green.lentil.hummus

This is a really simple, healthy dish from the March, 2010, issue of Food and Wine magazine. Perfect for parties, as a snack, or spread on a bagel for breakfast.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup green lentils (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Sweet paprika, for sprinkling
  • Pita chips, sliced fennel and red bell pepper strips, for serving

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken stock, green lentils, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. Uncover and boil the lentils over high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes.  Discard the bay leaf and let the lentils cool slightly.

Transfer the cooked lentils to a food processor. Add the chopped garlic, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice and puree until smooth. Scrape the hummus into a bowl, stir in the cumin and 2 tbsp of the chopped cilantro and season with salt and cayenne. Garnish the hummus with paprika and the 2 remaining tbsp of cilantro.

bulgur.salad.with.lightly.roasted.vegetables

This healthy recipe comes from the March, 2010, issue of Food and Wine magazine. It seems like an ideal dish to take to work for lunch, or to include in a picnic spread.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups coarse bulgur, rinsed
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided*
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • Crushed red pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a large bowl, cover the bulgur with the hot water. Cover the bowl with a plate and let stand until the water has been absorbed and the bulgur is tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, on a large rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the zucchini, carrot, onion, and bell pepper with 2 tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss well. Roast for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are slightly softened; let cool.

Fluff the bulgur with a fork. Stir in the tomato paste. Fold in the roasted vegetables, lemon juice, cucumber, and the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil*. Season with salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

*I would probably not use the full 2 tbsp of olive oil called for at the end of this recipe. You may want to start with one tbsp and see how the salad looks before adding the second tbsp, so you don’t end up with an overly oily meal.

lentils.with.red.wine.and.herbs

This recipe is taken from the March, 2010, issue of Food and Wine magazine. I haven’t tried it  yet, but it sounds like a well-balanced, delicious lunch or side dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups French green lentils (12 ounces)
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • 1 packed cup baby spinach
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp crème fraiche
  • 4 lightly packed cups mache or arugula
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

In a large saucepan, cover the lentils with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Season with salt and simmer over moderate heat until tender, 40 minutes. Drain the lentils.

Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the red onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the lentils and the wine and simmer until the wine has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the crème fraiche. Add the mache, parsley, and cilantro and cook until barely wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm.

mushroom.cakes.w.avocado.pesto.and.red.pepper.coulis

Another lovely dish from the January, 2010, issue of Bon Appetit magazine. There are so many delicious ingredients in this recipe that the multiple steps involved are worth it.

Red Pepper Coulis:

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 small garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 ½ tsp honey

Mushroom Cakes:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 8-oz packages sliced button mushrooms
  • 2 large Portobello mushrooms (about 6 oz total), gills scraped out, sliced
  • 8 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large eggs, beaten to blend
  • 2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs, plus additional for coating

Avocado Pesto:

  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 cup coarsely mashed avocado (about 2 lg)
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter

Mushroom Cakes

Melt butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add all mushrooms and sauté until browned and edges begin to crisp, stirring often, about 14 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Transfer mixture to processor. Add eggs, Parmesan, herbs, salt, and pepper. Using on/off turns, process until mushrooms are coarsely chopped. Transfer to large bowl. Mix in ½ cup panko.

Divide mushroom mixture into 8 equal portions (¼- to ½- cup each). Form each into ¾-inch-thick cake. Spread additional panko on plate. Coat cakes with panko. Place on rimmed baking sheet.

Red Pepper Coulis

Char peppers over gas flame or in broiler until blackened all over. Seal in plastic or paper bag; let stand 15 minutes. Peel and seed peppers. Place in blender. Place garlic cloves in small, dry skillet. Cover; cook over medium heat until browned and tender, shaking skillet occasionally, about 7 minutes.  Cool. Peel garlic; add to blender with peppers. Add milk and honey to blender. Puree until smooth. Transfer to bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Avocado Pesto

Place pine nuts in processor; using on/off turns, process until coarsely ground. Add avocado, Parmesan, cilantro, parsley, and lime juice. Process to blend. With machine running, gradually add ¼ cup oil through feed tube. Transfer to bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cooking

Preheat oven to 300ºF. Melt butter with 2 tbsp oil in large skillet over medium heat. Working in 2 batches, add mushroom cakes; cook until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to baking sheet; place in oven.

Spoon about ¼ cup avocado pesto into center of each plate; using back of spoon, spread out to 5-inch round. Place two cakes on each plate. Drizzle with red pepper coulis.

quinoa.risotto.with.mushrooms.and.thyme

This is another recipe from the January, 2010, issue of Bon Appetit magazine. I love all of the ingredients in this dish, and can’t wait to try it. Expect pictures soon(-ish)!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 8-oz package sliced crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
  • 6 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced
  • 3 tsp chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Bring 2 cups salted water to boil in medium saucepan. Add quinoa, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender and water is absorbed, about 13 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until onion begins to brown, 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and thyme. Saute until mushrooms are tender, 6 minutes. Add wine; stire until wine is reduced and liquid is syrupy, 2 minutes.

Mix quinoa into mushroom mixture; season with salt and pepper. Pass cheese separately.

fried.sunchoke.chips.with.rosemary.salt

This recipe is taken from the January, 2010, issue of Bon Appetit magazine. For perfectly thin chips, BA recommends using a V-slicer or mandoline with an adjustable blade. If you use a mandoline and cut off (or maim) a digit, please don’t blame me.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds unpeeled sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes), scrubbed
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary

Directions:

Fill large bowl with cold water. Slice sunchokes into thin rounds (about 1/16-inch thick), immediately dropping into bowl of water to prevent browning. Rinse and drain three times. Pat very dry with paper towels.

Pour enough oil into large, deep skillet to reach depth of 1/2 inch. Submerge bulb of deep-fry thermometer into oil; lean top of thermometer against skillet rim. Heat oil to 375ºF. Mix 1 tbsp salt and rosemary in small bowl. Using fingertips, blend well, rubbing salt and rosemary together.

Working in batches, fry sunchoke slices until golden brown, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Using skimmer, transfer chips to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle chips with rosemary salt.

BA instructs us to “mound chips in bowl and serve,” but I encourage you to be creative with both the arrangement of and vessel for your chips. =)

falafel.with.hummus

This recipe is from the March 2010 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. They recommend serving with hummus, for dipping, or as a quick meal, either over salad or inside pita bread with lettuce, tomatoes, and a drizzle of tahini.

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for dredging
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt-free garlic pepper spice blend
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp (packed) chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • Purchased hummus

Directions:

Puree canned garbanzo beans, chopped onion, 3 tbsp all-purpose flour, garlic pepper spice blend, ground cumin, baking powder, and salt in processor until coarse puree forms. Add chopped Italian parsley; process just to blend. Generously sprinkle plate with all-purpose flour. Roll level tablespoonfuls of garbanzo bean mixture into balls; transfer balls to plate. Roll falafel in flour to coat generously; flatten balls slightly.

Pour enough vegetable oil into heavy large skillet to reach depth of 1/2 inch. Heat oil to 375ºF. Working in two batches, fry falafel patties until deep brown, turning once, about 3 minutes. Transfer falafel patties to paper towels to drain. Serve falafel with hummus.

pasta.with.spicy.broccoli.and.cauliflower

This recipe is from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook. It’s freaking delicious, and the small touches that Judy Rogers includes in her recipes really make a  big difference. I recommend following the directions (which I copied almost word-for-word from the cookbook) as closely as possible. It’s worth it.

Note: I didn’t use anchovies, I substituted Pecorino Romano cheese for the breadcrumbs, I did some minced fennel bulb in addition to the fennel seeds and cut the amount of seeds in half, and I used black olives instead of green.

Recipe: For 4 to 5 servings
Ingredients:

  • About 1 cup fresh, soft bread crumbs (about 2 oz) made from crustless, slightly stale, chewy white peasant-style bread (optional)
  • About 3/4 cup mild-tasting olive oil (I didn’t use this much…I probably used about half that much)
  • About 12 oz broccoli, trimmed, with a few inches of stem intact
  • About 12 oz cauliflower, leaves removed and stem end trimmed flush
  • Salt
  • 1 generous tablespoon capers, rinsed, pressed dry between towels, and slightly chopped
  • 1lb penne, spaghetti, orecchiette, fusilli, or medium shells
  • 1 tbsp chopped salt-packed anchovy fillets (4 to 6 fillets) (I omitted these)
  • 6 small garlic cloves, coarsely chopped (I used about 3)
  • About 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly pounded in a mortar
  • 4 to 8 pinches dried chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp tightly packed, coarsely chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 to 5 tbsp coarsely chopped pitted green olives

Directions:
If using bread crumbs, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Toss the breadcrumbs with 2 tsp olive oil, spread on a baking sheet, and bake for about 5 minutes, until golden. Keep the crumbs on the stove top until needed.

Slice the broccoli and cauliflower about 1/8-inch thick, and generally lengthwise. Most of the slices will break apart as you produce them, yielding a pile of smooth stem pieces, tiny green broccoli buds, little cauliflower crumbs, and a few delicate slabs with stem and flower both. Don’t worry if the slices are of uneven thickness; that will make for more textural variety.

Warm about 1/4 cup of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add most of the sliced broccoli and cauliflower, conveniently leaving the smallest bits behind on the cutting board for the moment. (They’ll burn if you add them too soon.) The oil should sizzle quietly. Swirl the pan, and leave the vegetables to cook until you see the edge bits browning, about 3 minutes (it took me way longer than 3 minutes to see this, but I used less oil ). Salt very lightly and toss or stir and fold gently.

Add a few more spoonfuls of oil and scrape the remaining bits of broccoli and cauliflower into the pan. Add the capers and swirl gently. (Mine was never so oily as to be able to swirl, so I just stirred a little) Continue cooking over medium heat until the edges begin to brown, another few minutes, then give the pan another stir or toss. Don’t stir too soon or too often, or you will get a homogeneous, steamy pile of vegetables instead of a crispy, chewy one. Most of the capers and vegetable crumbs will shrink into crispy confetti-like bits.

Meanwhile, drop the pasta into 6 quarts of rapidly boiling water seasoned with a scant 2 tablespoons of salt (a little more if using kosher salt). Stir, and cook al dente. Set a wide bowl or platter on the stove top, or in the still-warm oven if you made breadcrumbs, to heat.

Once the mass of broccoli and cauliflower has shrunken by about one third and is largely tender, reduce the heat, add another few spoonfuls of oil, and scatter the chopped anchovy, garlic, fennel, and chili over all. Give the vegetables a stir or toss to distribute. Cook for another few minutes, then add the parsley and olives. Taste – Every flavor should be clamoring for dominance. Adjust as needed.

Toss with the well-drained pasta and garnish with the warm, toasted bread crumbs, if desired (I used cheese).

beet.rhubarb.and.orange.salad

This recipe is from the April issue of Bon Appetit. I’ve never eaten rhubarb, that I’m aware of, but I’m curious and this salad looks delicious. The colors are vibrant oranges, reds, yellows, golds, purples, and greens, punctuated by bright crumbles of cheese. Also, the thought of beets with fresh cheese makes my mouth water. This recipe calls for feta, but I think I’d use queso fresco, instead. I also might use blood oranges and regular oranges.

Note: Rhubarb greens should be discarded, as they are toxic.

  • 8 2- to 2 1/2-inch-diameter red or yellow beets, 4 of each color if available
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 pound trimmed rhubarb stalks, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 3 large oranges
  • 2 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3 cups watercress sprigs
  • 1 1/4 cups coarsely crumbled feta cheese (about one 7-ounce package)
  • Fresh chervil leaves (optional)

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place beets on large sheet of foil. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil; sprinkle with coarse salt. Wrap beets in foil. Roast until tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour. Unwrap and cool. Peel, then cut each into 8 wedges.

Bring 3 cups water, 1/2 cup sugar, and pinch of coarse salt to simmer in large saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add rhubarb. Simmer over medium heat until just tender but still intact, 1 to 2 minutes (do not overcook or rhubarb will be mushy). Using slotted spoon, transfer rhubarb to platter and cool completely.

Finely grate enough peel from 1 orange to measure 1/2 tsp; transfer to small bowl and reserve for dressing. Cut off peel and white pith from all oranges. Working over medium bowl to catch juice and using small sharp knife, cut between membranes to release orange segments into bowl; squeeze membranes to release juice into bowl. Transfer 2 tbsp orange juice to bowl with orange peel. Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, shallot, honey, and remaining 3 tbsp olive oil into bowl with orange peel and juice mixture. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Arrange watercress, beets, rhubarb, and orange segments on 6 plates. Sprinkle with feta and drizzle with dressing. Garnish with chervil leaves, if desired, and serve.

warm.winter.vegetable.salad

This is a dish I haven’t tried yet, but it sounds like something I’d love. When I make it, I’ll probably reduce the amount of walnuts and add some quinoa, Israeli cous cous, or other grain.

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad

[From Food and Wine magazine’s March 2010 issue]

  • 1 small red onion, cut into ½-inch wedges
  • 1 small sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 parsnip, chopped
  • 1 small celery room, chopped
  • 1 small beet, chopped
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 1 ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 ounce feta, crumbled (¼ cup)

Preheat oven to 425. In a medium roasting pan, toss the onion, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, celery root and beet with 2 tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and lightly browned in spots.

Meanwhile, spread the walnuts in a pie plate and toast until golden, about 6 minutes. Transfer the walnuts to a work surface and coarsely chop.

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with lemon juice, mustard and 1 tbsp olive oil and fold in the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Add vegetables and walnuts to dressing and toss. Top salad with feta and serve warm or at room temperature.