Recipes: Buttery Spaghetti Squash, Farro with Fennel and Carrots and Arugula Salad

13 Feb

 

The force is strong with this one.

 

We got a great haul on Friday so dinner last night used a ton of  different veggies, including a spaghetti squash which has been sitting on our counter for weeks (months?) which I had been avoiding cooking because I just don’t like spaghetti squash that much.

Buttered Spaghetti Squash

  • 1 spaghetti squash, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out and generously rubbed with oil
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan
  • a few sage leaves, chopped
  • a pinch of nutmeg (freshly grated)

Roughly following this recipe from a Serious Eats thread, I roasted the spaghetti squash at 400 for 45 minutes, cut side down.  Turn the squash over and cook for 15 more minutes, or until tender.  While the squash is cooling a bit, melt a stick of butter in a small saucepan.  Add the sage leaves and cook the butter until it starts to brown and smelly nutty.  Combine everything in a large bowl.

Farro with Carrot and Fennel

Based on this recipe, I scaled it down for 2 people, and made some substitutions with ingredients I had on hand.

  • 3/4 cup of farro, soaked for 30 minutes
  • 3-4 small carrots, cut into matchsticks (or grated)
  • half of a fennel bulb, cut into 1/4 inch die
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 small clove of garlic, pulverized into a paste
  • some capers
  • some garlic chives (or any other green herb, like parsley)
  • olive oil

Drain the farro and discard the soaking water.  Combine with 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan.  Bring to boil then cook for 15 minutes with the lid off.  Meanwhile, combine fennel, garlic, capers, vinegar and a good pinch of salt and pepper in a serving bowl and let marinate.  When the farro is done, drain and add to the fennel along with the carrots and herbs and a good dose of olive oil.  Taste for S&P, or add more vinegar if you’d like.

Arugula Salad with Avocado and an Orange Vinaigrette

  • Enough arugula for 2 people, washed
  • 1 avocado, cut into large pieces
  • Some orange juice
  • 1/2 shallot, diced
  • Some rice wine vinegar
  • Olive oil

Combine the orange juice, rice wine vinegar, olive oil and shallot to taste.  Add some S&P.  Toss with arugula and avocado.

Recipe: Split Pea and Celeriac Soup

8 Feb

Hearty Healthy Soup

I love celeriac and should eat more of it.  It’s perfect for soups – acts like a potato, but less starchy.  It’s hard to describe the flavor – mild, kind of celery-ish, very delicate.  Pairs well with other delicate flavors like fennel and leeks.  I’ve made soups with it before, but this was a new recipe for me, from our old friend Deborah Madison, adapted from the Greens cookbook.  It used a lot of our CSA ingredients, plus rosemary from the front yard.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup green split peas
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp rosemary, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch squares
  • 3 inner stalks celery, cut into a small dice
  • 1 celeriac, trimmed an duct into small cubes
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T nutritional yeast (optional, but adds more nutrition and that “umami” flavor
  • 1/2 c dry white wine
  • 8 cups water or stock – I used 4 cups of each
  • pepper
  • 1 rosemary branch (about 3 inches long)
  • 1 slice of baguette/ good bread per person (for crouton/ toast)
  • Parmesan for garnish (optional)

Sort and wash the split peas.  Soak them overnight, or, if you forget, don’t fret.  Cover with boiling water and soak them for at least an hour.

Warm 3 T of the olive oil in a soup pot with bay leaves and rosemary and cook for about 3 minutes.  add garlic and cook for 30 seconds (don’t let it brown).  Add the veggies, salt and nutritional yeast and cook for 5 minutes.  Pour in the wise and raise the heat to reduce.  Add the drained peas with the water/ stock combo.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 90 minutes, until peas are soft.

Blend a few cups of the soup with an immersion blender, regular blender or food mill.  Taste for salt and add some pepper.

To make the croutons – warm the remaining 5 T of oil in a small skillet with the sprig of rosemary.  Toast the slices of bread in the oil until brown.  You can make small croutons too, but it’s easier to make the big kind.

Garnish with the croutons & cheese.  Yum!!!!

Recipe: Honey Roasted Carrots with Thyme…plus roasted beets and couscous

7 Feb

Carrots and Beets and Couscous, Oh My!

We’ve been getting lots of beautiful young carrots in our CSA lately, so I roasted up a bunch.  There’s no real recipe here.  Just trim and clean the carrots (no peeling necessary), toss with some olive oil, S&P and leaves from a few thyme branches and roast at 425 for about 45 minutes, stirring often.  When they’re done, toss with about a T of honey (we have this great stuff that is produced on a rooftop in downtown LA – doesn’t get more local than that!).  Meanwhile I tossed in the young beets, wrapped in foil and cooked them at the same time.  We made some couscous to accompany the veg – tossed with some Meyer lemon juice and topped with some parmesan.

Recipe: Green Noodles with Cauliflower, Broccoli and Mustard Butter

6 Feb

Oodles of Noodles

Um, yum!  There is a ridiculous amount of butter in this recipe, and yes, we ate the whole thing (serves 2 to 4 people).  There is also a ridiculous amount of broccoli and cauliflower in this recipe, which should counter the effects of the butter, one would hope.  From the Greens cookbook.  If you’re feeling super special, you can make this with Deborah Madison’s fresh herb pasta recipe, or if you’re looking for a quick weeknight recipe, some herbed linguine from Trader Joe’s does the trick.

Ingredients

  • 1, 8 oz package spinach & chive pasta from Trader Joe’s
  • 7 T soft butter (yes, this is 1 tablespoon short of an entire stick of butter, but let it hold you back!)
  • 2 T dijon mustard (the stronger the better)
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 t balsamic vinegar
  • 2 t parsley (optional – our parsley plant needed a break, so I omitted this with no ill effects.  Could have used arugula, but didn’t have any on hand)
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs – I used my immersion blender to obliterate some leftover baguette
  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3-4 cups broccoli & cauliflower florets, broken into tiny pieces (we used a whole head of cauliflower-though it was relatively small-to make up 2 cups of each vegetable)
  • thin strip of lemon peel, very finely slivered
  • S, P & Parmesan

Cream 4 T of the butter with the mustard, shallots, garlic, vinegar and parsley (if using) and set aside to let flavors mingle.

For the bread crumbs: melt the remaining butter, add the bread crumbs and fry until they are crisp and brown.  This makes a lot of breadcrumbs – we saved some to top soup later in the week.

Bring a large pot of water to bowl.  Melt the mustard butter in a wide skillet.  Throw the broccoli and cauliflower into the boiling water and cook for about 1 minute.  Scoop them out and add to the mustard butter.  Cook the pasta according to directions.  Add cooked pasta and lemon peel to the butter/ veg mix and toss well, season with S&P.  Serve topped with the crunchy breadcrumbs and some parmesan.  Do not think of how much butter you’re consuming and enjoy with some white wine!

Recipe: Easy Beet Salad

29 Jan

It is super easy to roast a bunch of beets on the weekend to have them handy to peel for salads and such during the week.  The salad here couldn’t have been simpler for a Monday night meal.

For the Salad

  • 2 beets, cooked, cooled, peeled and sliced
  • Some red leaf lettuce
  • 1 orange, supremed (segments cut out)
  • handful of walnuts for some protein

For the Dressing

  • Orange champagne vinegar
  • Juice from the supremed orange
  • Olive oil
  • S&P

Combine all dressing ingredients in a large bowl.  Add other ingredients.  Toss together.  serves 2.

Recipe: New Year’s Resolution Stew

17 Jan

In an effort to eat healthy in 2011, we made this delicious recipe from Epicurious.  There are a lot of pieces to put together, but in the end, it’s a simple, delicious, healthful soup.

Udon  with Mushroom Broth, Cabbage and Yams

Broth:

  • 10 cups vegetable broth ( I combined veggie stock I made a few months ago and some organic boxed veggie broth)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms, rinsed
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, outer dark layers removed, all but bottom 4 inches cut off and discarded (we have some growing in our yard that we used)
  • 2 6-inch strips dried kombu (we didn’t use this and didn’t miss it)
  • 2 teaspoons tamari soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar

Garnishes:

  • 2 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled yams (red-skinned sweet potatoes)
  • 5 ounces snow peas, trimmed
  • 4 cups 1/2-inch-wide crosswise slices cored Napa cabbage
  • 5 ounces slender carrots (preferably assorted colors), peeled, thinly sliced on diagonal
  • 10 ounces Japanese-style udon noodles or soba noodles (I used green tea soba noodles)
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup matchstick-size strips peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 to 6 ounces semi-firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (optional)
  • Sambal oelek (we used sriracha)
  • Tamari soy sauce

For broth:
Bring broth and 3 cups water to simmer in large pot over medium heat. Add cilantro, mushrooms, sliced ginger, and lemongrass. Cover; simmer until mushrooms are tender, about 30 minutes. Rinse kombu; add to broth. Simmer 1 minute. Using tongs, remove kombu and mushrooms; discard kombu. Transfer mushrooms to work surface; cut off stems and discard. Cut each mushroom into 3 to 4 strips. Strain broth through fine-mesh strainer into another large pot; discard solids in strainer. Add tamari and rice vinegar to broth. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill mushrooms. Cool, cover, and chill broth.

For garnishes:
Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Cook yams until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Using skimmer, transfer to medium bowl. Cook snow peas, cabbage, and carrots separately until crisp-tender (snow peas, 30 seconds; cabbage, 1 1/2 minutes; carrots, 2 minutes). Using skimmer, transfer vegetables to separate bowls. Reserve cooking liquid. DO AHEAD: Vegetables can be cooked 2 hours ahead. Let vegetables and liquid stand at room temperature.

Bring cooking liquid to boil. Sprinkle with salt. Add noodles; cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring often. Drain; rinse.

Meanwhile, bring vegetable broth to simmer. Add green onions and ginger strips. Season with salt and pepper.

Using tongs, divide noodles among bowls. Divide mushrooms, yams, snow peas, cabbage, and carrots among bowls, each in separate mound. Divide tofu, if using, among bowls. Ladle broth over and serve, passing sambal oelek and tamari separately.

Recipe: Shredded Root Vegetable Ragout

17 Jan

Deborah Madison does it again.  Somehow she combined two of my favorite ingredients (tarragon, sour cream) into a wonderful wintery dish that’s perfect for the end of a long holiday weekend (plus, it used many of our CSA veggies).  This would be good for a potluck, since you can make much of this in advance.  If you do not have a food processor with a grater attachment, run out and get one now!  This recipe can easily be made with an old box grater, but a food processor really cuts down prep time and the amount of bloody knuckles you may suffer.  Adapted from Vegetarian Suppers.

“wild rice pancake”

  • 2 cups cooked wild rice or long-grain brown rice (I used a wild rice mix)
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 T oil or melted butter
  • 3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour (or AP flour)
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1 T tarragon, chopped
  • 1 T parsley, chopped

“the ragout”

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 T tarragon, chopped
  • 1 large beet, peeled & grated (we got some candy cane beets)
  • 1 large carrot (or 3 small ones), peeled & grated
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled & grated
  • 4 c thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1 tart apple, peeled & grated
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup vinegar (I did half balsamic, and half red wine b/c that’s all I had)
  • 1/2 c toasted walnuts chopped (from a Christmas gift!)
  • 5 oz goat cheese
  • Sour cream for serving

Oil a 9×12 inch gratin dish, or a couple smaller ones.

Chop have of the rice finely and leave the rest whole.  Mix the egg yolks with the milk and oil, then whisk in the flour, baking powder, 1/2 t salt and rice.  Stir in the scallions and herbs and some pepper.

Heat oil in wile skillet with the bay leaves over med-high.  Add onion and tarragon, then beet, carrot, parsnip and cabbage.  Season with 1 t salt and cook until cabbage is tender (stirring frequently).  Halfway through the cooking, add the apple and 1/2 cup water.

Once the veggies are tender, stir in the tomato paste and vinegar.  toss well, season with pepper and turn off the heat.  Add more water if it looks too dry.  Stir in the nuts and then transfer to the baking dish(es).  Place aside.  Preheat oven to 375.

When ready to bake, crumble goat cheese into the veggies and toss.  Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff and fold into the rice batter.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Enjoy with sour cream and a nice white wine.

This recipe would also be good just as shredded root veggies, sauteed, and served with rice, etc.  Had not really thought of grating root veggies before like this, but it’s so easy and delicious!

Recipe: Carrots A-Go-Go

31 Oct

We had a bounty of carrots this fall – all types – and had been talking with friends about finding an easy recipe that used up a lot of carrots. My friend said she had made this Sunburst Carrot Salad recipe from 101 Cookbooks so I gave it a try on Halloween.  It was good, and used a lot of carrots.

Sunburst Carrot Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 bunches carrots, preferably spring carrots
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fine grain sea salt
  • 1 green chile (serrano), deveined and minced
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup green pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted

Start by washing the carrots. Use a vegetable peeler to shave each carrot into wide ribbons. (NOTE: This is harder than it sounds.  You may waste some carrots, but they make for good snacks while you’re making the rest of the recipe.  Also, we had a faulty peeler that I bought out of desperation at the grocery store.  Now we have 2 fancy peelers and one faulty one.)  If your carrots have beat up, dirty skins, peel them first before making ribbons.

Heat a big splash of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a big pinch of salt and stir in the carrot ribbons. Saute for just 20 seconds or so – barely long enough to take the raw edge and a bit of crunch off the carrots. Quickly stir in the chiles and lemon zest. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro, about one tablespoon of lemon juice, and then most of the pepitas. Taste. Add more salt and/or lemon juice if needed. Garnish with remaining pepitas.

Serves 4 to 6.


 

Recipe: Quinoa & Greens Pie

15 Jul

Quinoa and Greens Pie with Mashed Turnips and Beet Chips

Due to popular demand, below is the recipe for the Quinoa & Greens Pie from Vegetarian Times we made for an backyard meal with friends a few months ago, served here with mashed turnips and Mark Bittman’s beet chips (at least the ones that didn’t burn).

Greens and Quinoa Pie

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large bunch chicory (1 to 1 1/4 lb), cut into bite-sized pieces (bottom 1 1/2″ of hard stems removed) OR a big bunch of Random Greens (beet tops, turnip greens, cabbage, etc.)
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium onions thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, preferably Greek (1 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup grated aged goat cheese or Swiss cheese (1 oz.)
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten

Place quinoa in small saucepan, and toast over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until almost dry. Ad 1 cup water, and season with salt, f desired. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer to large bowl.
Heat large pot over medium heat. Add chicory, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until wilted, stirring frequently or tossing with tongs. Add romaine, and wilt 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer greens to strainer, and squeeze out excess moisture. Transfer to cutting board, and chop into small pieces. Stir into quinoa.
Preheat oven to 350*. heat 1 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, and sauté 10 minutes, or until browned. Add cooked onions, green onions, dill, feta cheese, and goat cheese to quinoa mixture. Stir in eggs; season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Pour 1 Tbs. oil into 9″ pie pan, and place in oven. hat 5 minutes, or until oil is hot. swirl oil to coat bottom of pan, then spread quinoa mixture in pan with spatula. Bake 20 minutes. Drizzle pie with remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and bake 20 to 30 minutes more, or until golden brown.

Serves 6

Recipe: Crumpets & Blueberries with Chamomile Creme Anglaise

16 May

Crumpets with Chamomile Creme Anglaise & Blueberries

Amazing and amazingly simple recipe.  Store bought crumpets from Trader Joe’s were perfect for this, but you could probably use any sort of cajey base to enjoy this cream on.  Based on a recipe from Epicurious.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups half & half
  • 4 T fresh chamomile flowers (there are about 18 flowers per tablespoon)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/6 cup sugar

Bring half and half to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Add chamomile flowers; remove from heat. Cover; let steep 30 minutes. Strain mixture through strainer into bowl; discard flowers. Return half and half to same saucepan; bring to simmer.

Whisk egg yolks and sugar in medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in hot half and half. Return mixture to same saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sauce thickens very slightly, about 15 minutes (do not boil; sauce will be thin but will thicken slightly when cold). Cover and chill. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

To serve, plate a crumpet, top with a small handful of blueberries and a dollop of the creme anglaise.  I think ours turned out a little thick, but it was delicious!