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.