Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Shaved Turnip Salad with Prosciutto

Serves 4

4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive o4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 small turnips, about 5 ounces, peeled
8 cups arugula, wild if possible
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into bite-size pieces.
In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar and salt until the salt dissolves. Whisk in the honey, oil and pepper. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the turnips into paper-thin rounds. In a large bowl, combine turnips, arugula and prosciutto. Toss with the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Sesame Broccoli Rabe (Rapini)

Serves 4 as a side dish

1 pound broccoli rabe (rapini)
2 medium shallots
4 large cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
Soy sauce
Chop the stems off the broccoli rabe and pull off the leaves and flowerets. Chop into smaller pieces, if desired. Peel and finely sliver the shallots, and mince the garlic. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and film the bottom with the sesame oil. Add the garlic and shallots and turn the heat to low. Cook the onion and garlic very slowly over low heat until they soften and turn golden - about 8 minutes. Add more oil if they begin to look crispy. When they are soft and fragrant, turn the heat to medium high and add the broccoli rabe, stirring constantly. You want the leaves to wilt evenly. Pour in the vinegar and enough soy sauce to dampen the leaves. Cook, stirring, until the soy sauce evaporates somewhat and the leaves are wilted enough for your taste. This might take anywhere from two to five minutes. Remove from the heat, taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. 

Bok Choy and Green Garlic Saute

Serves 2-4

1 head bok choy
3 stems green garlic
1/4 lemon (juiced)
pinch salt and pepper
1 T olive oil
Chop the green garlic into thin slices. Discard the root end and the tips of the leaves. In a hot skillet, add 1 T. of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the green garlic and sauté on medium high heat until the greens are caramelized and browned. Add the chopped bok choy, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Stir. Turn down the heat to low. Cover the pan and let cook for 1-2 minutes or until the bok choy wilts but still has some crispness to it. Serve hot.
Variation: You can add your radish greens to this sauté too! Add them when you add the bok choy. Radish greens need to be mildly cooked to soften the spiky hairs on the leaves, but they are delicious and nutritious!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Honeyed Carrots and Oranges

Serves 8

2 pounds very small carrots, scrubbed; or regular carrots--trimmed, peeled, and cut into thin sticks 
1 orange, cut into 8 pieces 
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons small dill sprigs
Heat oven to 375° F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots and orange with the oil, honey, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast, tossing once, until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Sprinkle with the dill.

Baked Tomatoes, Squash, and Potatoes

Serves 8

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 small tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 medium yellow summer squash, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 medium Yukon Gold potato, sliced 1/4-inch thick
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil over medium and cook onion until tender and lightly golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Arrange the onion on the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Overlap tomato, squash, and potato on top of the onion. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with thyme and Parmesan, and drizzle with more oil. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden, 30 minutes more.

Parsley Root Fries

Serves 2-3

*Note: If you cannot find parsley root, this recipe is delicious with parsnips and celery root (celeriac).*
3 large parsley roots – about 1.5 lbs / 700 grams
high-heat cooking oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
fresh rosemary (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F / 200°C. Peel roots and cut them into french-fry sized sticks. The thinner, the crispier they will be. Toss with some oil, a few pinches of salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary if desired. Roast for 20 minutes, toss, and place back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes until golden on the edges with crispy ends and a tender center. Serve immediately with Roasted Tomato Ketchup. (See link for the ketchup.)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Squash Blossoms Stuffed with Ricotta

Serves 2-4

For tomato sauce:
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pound plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
For squash blossoms:
1 cup whole-milk ricotta (preferably fresh)
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup finely chopped mint
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
12 to 16 large zucchini squash blossoms
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup chilled seltzer or club soda
About 3 cups vegetable oil for frying
Equipment: a deep-fat thermometer
Make tomato sauce:
Cook garlic and red pepper flakes in oil in a 2-quarts heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until garlic is golden, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, water, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 25 to 30 minutes.
Prepare squash blossoms: 
Stir together ricotta, yolk, mint, 1/3 cup parmesan, and 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
Carefully open each blossom and fill with about 2 rounded teaspoon ricotta filling, gently twisting end of blossom to enclose filling. (You may have filling left over.)
Whisk together flour, remaining 1/3 cup parmesan, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and seltzer in a small bowl.
Heat 1/2 inch oil to 375°F in a 10-inch heavy skillet. Meanwhile, dip half of blossoms in batter to thinly coat. Fry coated blossoms, turning once, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes total. Transfer with tongs to paper towels to drain. Coat and fry remaining blossoms. (Return oil to 375°F between batches.) Season with salt. Serve with tomato sauce.

5 Ways with Green Tomatoes

Besides frying them, what can you do with green tomatoes? Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of the Splendid Table show on NPR, has some new and tasty ideas for us to try!
First off, Lynne recommends either serving green tomatoes in a raw preparation or cooking them all the way down. Anywhere in between and she says they end up rather slimy.
With this in mind, here are some of the ideas she gave a caller with a surplus of green tomatoes:
1. Green Tomato Salad - Raw green tomatoes add a great crunchy texture to late-summer salads.
2. Green Tomato Chutney or Salsa - Toss those green tomatoes with onions, garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, and vinegar for a basic pickled chutney.
3. Green Tomato and Yogurt Soup - With cucumbers and garlic, this is an excellent version of the Middle Eastern and Eastern European classic.
4. Green Tomato Curry - Make a basic curry with a coconut milk base and then add the green tomatoes at the very last second.
5. Pasta with Green Tomatoes and Ricotta - This would be good hot or cold!

Lentil Soup with Parsley Root and Carrots

Serves 4-6

1 lb  Dried lentils, -washed and drained
1/4   c  Lard, bacon drippings, -or oil
2 md  Onions or leeks, chopped
1 parsley root or parsnip, chopped
2  md Carrots, sliced
1 c  Sliced fennel or celery
8 c   Water
1 t Salt to or to taste
Several whole black pepper-corns
2  Whole cloves
2  Bay leaves
1 lg Potato, peeled and grated
2  lg Links (or 4 small) smoked -sausage, skin pricked-with fork
 2 tb Good vinegar
In a large pot, heat fat and add carrots, root vegetable and onions. Saute until onions are golden. Add lentils, water, celery, and seasonings. Grate the potato into the mixture and add sausage. Simmer covered 1 hour until lentils and vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaves. Add vinegar just before serving and adjust salt. Serve with a crusty bread and salad.  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Kale and Quinoa with Creole Seasoning

Serves 4

Bring chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan; stir in quinoa. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan; cook kale in boiling water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain. Heat olive oil in the same saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir shallot until softened, about 5 minutes. Add kale, cooking and stirring, until desired doneness. Mix quinoa into vegetable mixture and season with salt and Creole seasoning.

Mashed Parsnips and Potatoes

Serves 6

4 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
2 pounds parsnips
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Peel and cut the potatoes and parsnips into even sized pieces. Put them into a large pot, cover them with cold water, and add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until the vegetables are fork tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small pot gently heat the cream and butter over low heat. When the vegetables are done drain them well. Put the vegetables back into the pot over medium heat. Gently stir them to remove any excess moisture; be careful not to burn them. While the potatoes and parsnips are still warm, press them through a potato ricer or food mill into a bowl. Add the warm cream a little at a time and beat with a wooden spoon until the potatoes are fluffy. Season with salt and pepper and gently stir in the chives. Serve immediately.

Grilled Garlic Artichokes

Serves 4

Fill a large bowl with cold water. Squeeze the juice from one lemon wedge into the water. Trim the tops from the artichokes, then cut in half lengthwise, and place halves into the bowl of lemon water to prevent them from turning brown. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Add artichokes to boiling water, and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain. Squeeze the remaining lemon wedges into a medium bowl. Stir in the olive oil and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Brush the artichokes with a coating of the garlic dip, and place them on the preheated grill. Grill the artichokes for 5 to 10 minutes, basting with dip and turning frequently, until the tips are a little charred. Serve immediately with the remaining dip.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

Serves 4

2 medium ruby grapefruits
1 teaspoon finely grated grapefruit zest
1 medium shallot, minced
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
2 medium Hass avocados, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
Chervil leaves, for garnish
Using a sharp knife, cut the skin and all of the bitter white pith off of the grapefruits. Working over a bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the sections. Squeeze the juice from the membranesinto the bowl. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the juice to another bowl. Add the zest, shallot and vinegar; let the dressing stand for 10 minutes. Season the avocado with salt and arrange on plates with the grapefruit sections. Stir the oil into the dressing; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle onto the grapefruit and avocado, garnish with the chervil and serve.

Roast Potatoes, Parsnips, and Carrots

Serves 6

1.2 kg potatoes
6 parsnips
6 carrots
1 bulb garlic
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
To prepare your vegetables:
If you're cooking these separately and not as with my perfect roast chicken, preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Peel the vegetables and halve any larger ones lengthways. Break the garlic bulb into cloves, leaving them unpeeled, and bash them slightly with the palm of your hand. Pick the rosemary leaves from the woody stalks.
To cook your vegetables:
Put the potatoes and carrots into a large pan – you may need to use two – of salted, boiling water on a high heat and bring back to the boil. Allow to boil for 5 minutes, then add the parsnips and cook for another 4 minutes. Drain in a colander and allow to steam dry. Take out the carrots and parsnips and put to one side. Fluff up the potatoes in the colander by shaking it around a little – it's important to 'chuff them up' like this if you want them to have all those lovely crispy bits when they're cooked.
Put a large roasting tray over a medium heat and either add a few generous lugs of olive oil or carefully spoon a little of the fat from the meat you're cooking. Add the garlic and rosemary leaves. Put the vegetables into the tray with a good pinch of salt and pepper and stir them around to coat them in the flavours. Spread them out evenly into one layer – this is important, as you want them to roast, not steam as they will if you have them all on top of each other. Put them into the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until golden, crisp and lovely. Serve immediately, with your roast dinner and your gravy.

Garlicky Collard Greens

Serves 4

This technique of blanching the collard greens in boiling water, then sautéing them takes away any bitterness.
1 lb. chopped collard greens
2 Tbs. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 4 tsp.)
Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add collard greens, and simmer 5 minutes. Drain. Heat olive oil in same pot over medium heat. Add garlic, and sauté 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Add greens, and sauté 5 minutes, or until tender. Season with salt and pepper, and serve warm.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Roasted Parsnips and Carrots

Serves 4

2 pounds parsnips, peeled
1 pound carrots, unpeeled
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or parsley
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. If the parsnips and carrots are very thick, cut them in half lengthwise. Slice each diagonally in 1-inch-thick slices. The vegetables will shrink while cooking, so don't make the pieces too small. Place the cut vegetables on a sheet pan. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss well. Roast for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the vegetables, tossing occasionally, until the parsnips and carrots are just tender. Sprinkle with dill and serve hot.

Artichokes with Lemon Garlic Dipping Sauce

Serves 2-4

2 large fresh artichokes
1 large lemon, cut in quarters
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 dried bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
Sprinkle of kosher salt
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2-3 fresh whole garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Prepare artichoke for cooking
To prepare whole artichokes, cut the top one third off with a serrated knife. The teeth of a serrated knife make it easier to cut through the tough exterior. Discard the trimmings.
Trim the bottom stem flush with the base. Next, trim off the prickly point of each leaf with a pair of kitchen scissors. Rub a cut lemon over the artichoke to prevent it from turning brown.
How to cook an artichoke
In a deep pan wide enough to hold artichokes, place trimmed artichokes stem side up in the bottom of the pan (or place on a steamer rack). Fill pan with a few inches of cold water. Squeeze lemon juice over the artichokes and put rinds in the pan. Drizzle in olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt, add bay leaf, black peppercorns, thyme sprigs and garlic. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and bring to a boil. When steam starts coming out of the pan, turn the heat down to low and cook artichokes until you can pierce the center of the stem with a paring knife. The timing will depend on the size of the artichokes. For big ones test at 20-25 minutes and continue if needed for a few minutes. Another way to tell when an artichoke is ready is to pull off and outer leaf. It should come off easily. Remove the artichokes from the pan and drain on a towel. At this point, you can arrange the artichokes on a platter and serve them hot, at room temperature or chilled.To finish by grilling, split the artichokes in half from top to bottom, remove the fuzzy choke, brush with a little olive oil and place on the grill for a few minutes until a little charred. This enhances the earthy, nutty flavor and makes for a great presentation.
Serve with lemon garlic dipping sauce, recipe below
Lemon Garlic Dipping Sauce
1/2 cup of your favorite reduced fat mayonnaise, (I like Veganaise)
1 large garlic clove, pressed or finely minced
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons fresh chopped parsley or chives for color and flavor, as you prefer
Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth. Can be made ahead of time, covered and refrigerated until serving time.

Kale and Pink Grapefruit Salad

Serves 4

pink grapefruit
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 cups thinly sliced kale (center ribs and stems removed)
avocado, halved, pitted, sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
Using a sharp knife, cut peel and white pith from grapefruit; discard. Working over a small bowl, cut between membranes to release segments into bowl. Squeeze juice from membranes into another small bowl; add any accumulated juices from bowl with segments (there should be about 1/4 cup juice total). Whisk oil into juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place kale in a large bowl and drizzle 3 Tbsp. dressing over. Toss to combine and let stand for 10 minutes while kale wilts slightly. Toss once more, then arrange grapefruit segments and avocado slices over kale. Drizzle with remaining dressing and serve.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Roasted Tomatillo Avocado Salad with Homemade Tortilla Chips

Servings vary

For the salsa
1 pound tomatillos, papery husks removed
1 large yellow onion, quartered
3 green onions
1 jalapeno pepper
4 cloves garlic
1 green tomato (optional)
olive oil
1/4 cup cilantro
Juice from 1/2 lime
1-2 large, ripe avocados
salt, to taste
For the chips
1 package tortillas
oil, for brushing
For the salsa
Place tomatillos, yellow onion, jalapeno, green onions, tomato (if using) and garlic cloves on a sheet pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil and broil until vegetables start to blister, turning as needed. To remove the skin from the jalapeno, throw it in a bag for about 10 minutes and then peel it off. Place roasted vegetables in food processor, along with cilantro, lime juice and avocado. Pulse until smooth and creamy. Season with salt, to taste and add more lime juice if needed.
For the chips
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush each tortilla with a little oil, cut them in wedges, sprinkle with salt and bake in the oven until browned and edges start to curl. (about 10 minutes, but check them often).

Steamed Artichoke with Blood Orange-Almond Dressing

Serves 1 (or 2 as an appetizer)

1 artichoke (select globes with tight leaf formation that look fresh)
2 lemon slices
2 tbsp flaked raw almonds
1 blood orange (or any variety)
1 tbsp almond oil (or another nut oil)
1 tsp herbs de provance (or your favorite fresh herb)
pinch of salt
Rinse an artichoke and shake off excess water. Lay the artichoke on its side and, using knife, trim the top portion by 3cm / 1.5in to get rid of sharp ends. Using scissors, trim the top ends of the outer leaves, cutting away any dry or sharp ends. Use the lemon slices to rub the top and sides of the artichoke to prevent from browning. Bring 4cm / 2in of water to a boil in a pot and place the artichoke inside vertically, adding used lemon slices to the water. Cover with a lid and steam for 35-40 minutes, depending on artichoke’s size.
In the meantime, prepare the dressing: squeeze the orange to get about quarter cup of juice, add almond oil, spices or herbs, and salt. Whisk for few seconds to combine. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and toast almonds for couple of minutes (they’ll brown quickly so don’t walk away!).
Once the artichoke feels soft the touch, drain the water and slice artichoke in half lengthwise (or keep it intact if you prefer), pour the dressing and sprinkle toasted almonds. To eat, pull one leaf at a time and eat only bottom (soft) part, discarding the top (fibrous) part. When you get to the core, be sure to remove the fuzzy, sometimes almost sharp, center with a spoon. There you’ll discover the best part – tender, flavorful artichoke heart!

Mashed Potatoes with Green Onions

Serves 6

1 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed, unpeeled
1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed, unpeeled
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, room temperature
Cut all potatoes into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Set steamer rack in pot. Add enough water to pot to reach depth of 1 inch; bring to boil. Place potatoes on rack. Cover pot and steam potatoes until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove potatoes and steamer rack from pot. Discard water in pot. Return potatoes to pot. Add half and half, green onions, and butter. Mash until almost smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Radish Pods, What?

Do not fear! Just crunch! Pods may be eaten raw or cooked. They are excellent as a snack or added to salads. They may be pickled in vinegar, or lightly stir-fried. In India they are cooked in ghee and used in curries. Pods lose pungency with cooking. They are best when freshly picked, but may be kept chilled for a month or more.

Nopales and Scrambled Eggs

Serves 6-8

8 nopales (cactus leaves)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 eggs, lightly beaten
Use a sharp knife to cut off the spikes from the cactus leaves, if necessary (be very careful as you do this). Cut the trimmed nopales into 1/4-inch strips. In a large frying pan over medium high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and nopales and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the nopales are tender and most of their liquid had evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the eggs and cook, stirring, until the eggs and nopales are combined and the eggs are set, about 3 minutes.

Sauteed Dandelion Greens

Serves 8

3 pound dandelion greens, tough lower stems discarded and leaves cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 large garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Cook greens in a 10-to 12-quart pot of boiling salted water (3 tablespoons salt for 8 quarts water), uncovered, until ribs are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, then rinse under cold water to stop cooking and drain well, gently pressing out excess water.
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic and red-pepper flakes, stirring, until pale golden, about 45 seconds. Increase heat to medium-high, then add greens and sea salt and sauté until coated with oil and heated through, about 4 minutes.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Fennel and Potato Hash

Serves 2-4

small fennel bulbs with fronds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes, patted dry
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
garlic clove, chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
Cut fennel into 1/2-inch cubes (there should be about 4 scant cups). Finely chop enough fennel fronds to measure 1/4 cup. Cook fennel in boiling salted water until just tender, 3 minutes. Drain; set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes. Cook until golden and crisp, turning often, 20 to 25 minutes. Using potato masher, crush potatoes in skillet. Add fennel, salt, and pepper. Cook until fennel is golden, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Stir in parsley. Serve hot.

Tricolor Salad of Endive, Beet, and Arugula

Serves 4

2 beets (can substitute golden or chioga)1/2 cup roughly chopped pistachios (can substitute almonds or hazelnuts)

Place washed, but not trimmed or peeled beets on top of 1 cup salt on a baking sheet, and roast in a 350 degrees F oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until fork-tender. Let cool. Wearing gloves or holding with a piece of plastic wrap, cut off stems, and peel. Cut each beet in half, cut in 1/2 inch slices, then medium dice by cutting in the opposite direction. Toast nuts in a 400 degrees F oven for 15 minutes, tossing once. Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients, mixing well, adding nuts when cool. Trim the end of the endive, cut in half, separating the leaves for each half, but reforming each as 1/2 a head of endive. For each salad, place 1/2 cup beets, 1 cup arugula, an 1/2 endive on a plate. For each salad begin with 1/3 cup vinaigrette, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Toss each of the three components, separately in the vinaigrette, making sure to toss the beets last. Top with 1/8 cup of shaved parmesan. Repeat for remaining three salads. Serve immediately. Reserve left-over dressing.

Roasted Parsnips with Parsley

Serves 4

2 pounds medium parsnips, peeled, cut on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss first 3 ingredients in bowl. Spread parsnips in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Dot with butter.
Roast parsnips 20 minutes. Using tongs, turn parsnips; roast until browned and soft, about 15 minutes longer. Transfer parsnips to plate and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Honey-Glazed Carrots with Green Onions

Serves 2-4

1 lb baby carrots (think 1-2 bites, leave the skinny parts whole, halve or quarter fat ones) or 1 lb carrot, peeled, washed, and sliced into sticks about the size of baby carrots 
2 tablespoons butter
1 large garlic clove, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons honey 
salt and pepper
1/4 cup green onion tops, cut small (about 3-4 green onions once you discard the very tops and the white parts) or 1 tablespoon dried chives
Salt a large saucepan full of water and bring to a rapid boil. Add carrots and boil 5-7 minutes, until tender. Drain. In a large skillet or saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove garlic and discard. Add the honey, stirring to blend. Add carrots and salt and pepper to taste (it doesn't need much, a few shakes should do it). Stir around until carrots are coated. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-10 minutes, until carrots begin to brown. (You may need to increase heat to medium-high on some stoves.) Pour carrots and all the "juices" into a serving bowl. Add green onions and toss.

Roasted Potatoes and Beets with Balsamic Glaze

Serves 6

4 red beets, cut into chunks
2 potatoes, cut into chunks
1 yellow onion, cut into chunks
3-4 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ cup olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Toss beets, potatoes, onion, & garlic with olive oil, balsamic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for about 1 hour or until edges are crispy. Top with chopped fresh parsley.

Classic Greek Horta Greens

Serves 5-6

2 lbs of Greens:
Suggestions of Greens to choose from:
Swiss Chard
Dandelion – (Here in the United States, I’ve found that the white or green stemmed dandelions and especially the younger/shorter ones are less bitter than the red stems).
Feel free to combine different greens as well.
(Whenever possible buy organic greens to avoid ingesting the pesticides – if not available soak and rinse greens several times)
1 1/2 cups of water
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Salt to taste
2 lemons
(optional – 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder)
Cut the Greens into bite size pieces. Wash several times in bowl with water to remove any soil. If using kale with thick stems tear the leaves off the stems and discard stems.
In a large pot, add water, bring to a boil and add greens. Cover. Boil until stems and leaves are soft depending upon which greens you use. Check after 10 minutes by tasting to see if greens are tender and continue up to 20 minutes. Add more water if needed. Strain water from greens and return to pot. Add juice of two lemons, one turn of olive oil, salt and mix. Let sit for a few minutes in warm pot with flame turned off. Serve on plate or in bowl.
This makes 5 to 6 servings. Make extra since it tastes delicious the next day.
Dandelion Leaves Tip: If you want to make dandelion greens only (a bitter green) – use younger leaves if possible. Whatever length you use, I have found that by cooking dandelion greens in a steamer you reduce bitterness and follow directions to season with lemon, olive oil and salt above while still hot. Dandelion also taste milder when combined with another milder green such as Swiss Chard.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup

Serves 4
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 leeks, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (white and light green parts only)
3/4 cup dried yellow or red lentils
1 4 -inch piece ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 teaspoon curry powder
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus lemon wedges for serving (optional)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Combine the sweet potato, carrots, celery, leeks, lentils, ginger, 3/4 teaspoon curry powder and 1 teaspoon salt in a 4-to-6-quart slow cooker. Add 6 cups water and stir, then cover and cook on low, undisturbed, 8 hours. Stir the soup vigorously with a whisk to make a rough puree. Thin with hot water, if desired. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon curry powder and cook until the curry powder is slightly toasted, about 1 minute. Stir the curry mixture into the soup and add the lemon juice, cilantro, and salt to taste. Serve with lemon wedges.

Massaged Kale Salad

Serves 6

1 bunch kale (black kale is especially good), stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons honey
Freshly ground black pepper
1 mango, diced small (about 1 cup)
Small handful toasted pepitas ( pumpkin seeds), about 2 rounded tablespoons
In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes. Pour the dressing over the kale, and add the mango and pepitas. Toss and serve.

Fennel and Chard Gratin with a Crispy Salsa Verde Topping

Serves 4

2 T unsalted butter
¾-pound fennel (one large bulb or a few smaller bulbs), top trimmed and fronds reserved
1 1/2 pounds chard, thoroughly washed, thick stems and leaves separated
4 ounces chèvre, cut into uniform slices
¼ cup 2% milk
3 T chicken stock
Pinch of kosher salt
Preheat oven to 400° F. Butter a 1-2 quart oval baking or gratin dish and set aside. Slice fennel bulb(s) in half lengthwise and remove core from each half. Cut side down, slice fennel about ¼ inch thick (will start as half moons and get smaller as you reach the frond end). Repeat with remaining piece(s). Slice chard stems the same way. Roll the chard leaves and chop. Melt butter in a wide sauté pan and cook over medium low heat, stirring. When butter begins to brown and smell nutty, add fennel and chard stems and cook until tender (but still holds a bite) about 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of kosher salt. While fennel and chard stems are cooking, place chèvre in a small saucepan with milk and chicken stock. Heat over medium low, stirring until mixture is well combined. Turn off heat. Transfer fennel and chard stems to a colander. Gently press down vegetables with the back of a wooden spoon to remove excess liquid. Move fennel and chard stems to a large bowl. Increase heat to medium high and add chard leaves to saucepan by the handful, stirring until all of it has wilted. Transfer chard leaves to the colander and repeat with the wooden spoon. Once you have removed excess liquid, place chard leaves into the bowl with fennel and chard stems. Add chèvre mixture to vegetables and transfer to prepared gratin dish, spreading evenly. Top fennel and chard with salsa verde bread crumbs and bake for 20 minutes. When finished, gratin should be bubbling and top golden. Remove and allow gratin to cool for a few minutes.
For Topping½ cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
3 T reserved fennel fronds (feathery parts, not stalk), finely chopped
12-imported oil cured black olives, pitted and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of ½ an orange (I used a Cara Cara)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup bread crumbs
Combine parsley, fennel fronds, olives, minced garlic, orange juice and olive oil in a bowl. When you are ready to put gratin in oven, add breadcrumbs and stir to combine.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Garlic Dill Sweet Potato Wedges

Serves 4-6

3 sweet potatoes
¼ cup duck fat, melted (or other oil such as olive oil, coconut oil, etc.)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon paprika
3-4 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise, the cut each half into 4-5 wedges. Place wedges in a bowl, cover with water and add ice, about 2 cups worth. Let wedges sit in ice for 30 minutes. Preheat over to 450 degrees. Remove wedges from water and pat dry. Place wedges back into a large, dry bowl. Add melted fat, garlic powder, salt, and paprika. Toss wedges to coat. Place wedges on a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet to help cook on both sides (if you don’t have a cooling rack, just cook on parchment paper lined baking sheet and flip half way through cooking). Bake wedges for 30-35 minutes until cooked through and browned. After cooked, let cool for 5 minutes then toss wedges in the bowl with fresh dill. I used the same bowl that I had first tossed the wedges in with oil, the oil helps coat the wedges a little more and keep the dill sticking to the wedges.

Stir-Fried Brown Rice with Chard and Carrots

Serves 6
A lush bunch of red Swiss chard that I got at the farmers’ market was the inspiration for this stir-fry. The stems, which stay nice and crunchy, are an important ingredient in the stir-fry, so look for chard with nice wide ribs.

1 generous bunch of red chard (1 to 1 1/4 pounds), stemmed and washed well in 2 changes of water (retain the stems)
2 to 3 teaspoons minced garlic (to taste)
2 to 3 teaspoons minced fresh ginger (to taste)
2 eggs
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons peanut, canola, rice bran or grape seed oil
1 medium carrot, cut in 2-inch julienne
1 bunch scallions, sliced, dark green parts separated
4 cups cooked brown rice, either chilled or at room temperature
1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce (to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Dice the thick part of the red chard stems (discard the stringier, tapering part of the stems); you should have 1 to 1 1/2 cups diced stems. Stack leaves and cut in slivers, or coarsely chop. You should have about 8 cups (the leaves will lose a lot of volume when they wilt in the stir-fry). Combine garlic and ginger in a small bowl or ramekin and place near your wok. Beat eggs in a bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Prepare the other ingredients and place in separate bowls within arm’s reach of your wok. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or a 12-inch skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Swirl in 2 teaspoons of oil by adding it to the sides of the wok and swirling the wok. Make sure that the bottom of the wok or pan is coated with oil and add eggs, swirling the wok or pan so that the eggs form a thin pancake. Cook 30 – 60 seconds, until set. Using a spatula, turn pancake over and cook for 5 to 10 more seconds, until thoroughly set, then transfer to a plate or cutting board and quickly cut into strips, using the edge of your spatula or a knife.
Swirl in remaining oil and add garlic and ginger. Stir-fry no more than 10 seconds and add chard stems and carrots. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, until crisp-tender, and add light part of the scallions and chard leaves. Stir-fry until leaves wilt, 1 to 2 minutes, and add rice. Stir-fry, scooping up the rice with your spatula then pressing it into the hot wok or pan and scooping it up again, for about 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, dark green part of the scallions, eggs and cilantro, stir-fry for about 30 seconds, remove from heat and serve.