Archive | February, 2011

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.

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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!