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Posts Tagged ‘Savory’

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Socca— also called farinata or cecina– is an unleavened pancake made from chickpea flour.  It originated in Italy, and has a distinct earthy flavor that sublimely compliments all sorts of savory toppings.  Aside from tasting fantastic, socca has the added benefit of being gluten-free.  And while I’m not gluten-intolerant, I have been trying to go easy on my intake.  I like that they are so versatile and can be topped with any number of ingredients.  This dish is one of my favorite ways to enjoy them.

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Here I’ve added kale, sausage, and squash as toppings to the socca.  The flavor combination is magnificent.  Roasted sweet potato is another nice option.  And the buttermilk vinaigrette stands out just enough to tie everything together without overwhelming the dish.  It’s made with an apple cider vinegar that compliments the other flavors remarkably well.  The vinaigrette calls for raw egg yolk, which you can opt to leave it out, if you like.  I’ve noticed that this changes the texture a fair amount– it’s not as rich and silky.  Personally, I recommend making the dressing with the yolk, but make sure to use it up right away as it won’t keep long in the refrigerator– which won’t be a problem once you taste it.  It’s that good.

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This is a meal that comes together rather quickly as long as you manage your time wisely.  As in many dishes, a little bit of preparation goes a long way.  One thing to note, like typical pancake batters, you’ll get the best results if you let the water absorb into the flour for a couple of hours.  Even so, if you don’t have time to let it rest, it’ll still be fine.  Perhaps not quite as amazing, but good nonetheless.  Socca is great to try if you are gluten-intolerant or just want to change up your routine a bit.  It is loaded with protein and is a nice healthy choice for you and your family.  Hope you give it a try!

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The Recipe:  Socca with Squash, Kale, and Italian Sausage topped with a Buttermilk Vinaigrette

Serves 4 people

Socca (Chickpea Pancakes)

2 cups chickpea flour

1 3/4 cups water

1 egg

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon olive oil

sprinkle of sea salt

Medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 pound sweet Italian sausage, browned

1 bunch of Lacinato kale (also called Tuscan or Dino), washed and cut into thin ribbons

olive oil

Buttermilk Vinaigrette:

3/4 cup canola oil

1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove

3 tablespoons buttermilk

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper

To make the Socca: Combine the chickpea flour, water, egg, olive oil, smoked paprika, and salt in a large bowl.  If possible, let mixture rest in the refrigerator for 2 hours, so that the water can absorb adequately into the flour.  Though, I’ve made them without doing this step, and they were still fine.   When ready to make the socca, heat a large skillet on medium-high heat.  Put a thin coating of olive oil on it and a sprinkle of kosher salt.  Pour the batter into the pan and cook until tiny bubbles appear in the batter.  Flip the pancake.  Repeat until the batter is gone, re-coating the pan with olive oil, as needed.

Things to do beforehand:  Make the Buttermilk Vinaigrette.  Combine all the ingredients, except the oil in a blender.  Slowly add the oil while the blender is running.  Refrigerate for about an hour and then re-blend.  This will thicken the vinaigrette up even more.  Re-season with salt and pepper, if necessary.

Prepare a medium-sized butternut squash by peeling it and cutting into cubes.  Coat with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet and bake at  400°F for about 25 minutes, or until tender.  Tossing a couple of times while baking.   Set aside.

Brown the Italian sausage, drain grease and set aside.  Right before the socca is ready to be cooked, sauté the kale in a hot skillet with a thin coating of olive oil.  Cook for just a minute or so.  The kale will wilt just slightly.  Sprinkle with sea salt.

Assemble the pancakes by topping with the kale, sausage, and squash.  Drizzle the buttermilk vinaigrette on top.  Enjoy!

Buttermilk Vinaigrette was inspired by Chef Adam Vickerman from Cafe Levain in Minneapolis, MN

Thanks for stopping by today!  xo

Laurie

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One of the best perks of late spring and early summer cooking is that so many dishes are quick and simple– there’s isn’t much fussing or preparation time.  This is a good thing– especially if you have little ones either underfoot or begging to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.  And even if you don’t have to keep one eye on the kids while you cook, who wants to spend these longer, warm days in the kitchen?  I know I sound like a skipping record, but I happen to be delighted that summer produce is starting to appear.  Aside from the fresh seasonal flavors, it’s easy– and that means more playtime.

This week, it’s time for asaparagus!  Yes, that sentence was worthy of an exclamation point.  You see, asaparagus isn’t around for long, so when it arrives, I go all out.  I have several simple asparagus dishes that I make this time of year.  This gorgeous tart is one of my favorites. And this one, which combines two fantastic seasonal ingredients– asparagus and morels, still makes me swoon. But the best of all is the dish in today’s post- roasted asparagus with balsamic browned butter.  It is, unquestionably, my favorite way to prepare asparagus.

I first made this dish years ago for my in-laws.  They loved it enough that they started preparing asparagus this way, too.  I think the chances are better than average that you’ll do the same.  This side is perfect because it relies on a simple flavor combination.  Browned Butter, balsamic vinegar, and soy sauce.  That’s it.  These three ingredients pack an amazing punch.  So much so, that you don’t want your asparagus swimming in the sauce.  Less is more, here.

A word or two about the preparation of the asparagus.  First, use fresh seasonal asparagus.  Don’t get me started on that asparagus you often see year-round in some grocery stores and restaurants.  Those oversized, tough, tasteless, shoots are not what I’m talking about.  Asparagus should be enjoyed when it was meant to be– for those few weeks in spring when it’s fresh and tastes amazing.  When looking for asparagus at the market, look for the tops of them to be tight and closed.  This indicates they were recently harvested.  Asparagus should be eaten as soon as possible after you buy it, as the flavor dissipates pretty quickly.  Also, I don’t follow the school of thought that you should snap huge chunks off the bottom of the stem to avoid the “woody” portion.  Instead, I simply use a vegetable peeler and peel the bottoms.  It becomes just as tender as the top section and you avoid wasting a fair amount.  Hope you enjoy this dish!

The Recipe:  Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter

1 pound asparagus

olive oil, to drizzle

kosher salt

cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

toasted, sliced almonds, optional

shaved lemon zest, optional

Preheat an oven to 400°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Wash and dry the asparagus.  Cut off the very bottoms with a sharp knife.  Use a vegetable peeler to peel the bottom 1-inch to 1  1/2 -inch.  Toss the asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Place on the baking sheet and roast for about 12 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile, place the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat.  Stirring frequently, melt the butter until it is a deep golden brown, about 3 minutes.  Be careful not to burn it.  Remove from heat and add the soy sauce and vinegar to the pan.  Mix it together well with a wooden spoon, making sure to incorporate any brown bits in the butter.

Place the asparagus on a serving platter and pour the balsamic browned butter over the top.  Sprinkle with toasted almonds and a bit of shaved lemon zest.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Cooking Light

Thanks for stopping in — have a wonderful weekend!

Laurie

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A quick stroll through my dessert and cookie sections pretty much confirms that I have an insatiable sweet tooth.  Even so, when we go to our near-by patisserie, I choose a savory bite almost every time.  And if they’ve made a savory tartlet, my decision is easy.  Thankfully, I now have a recipe to make these little beauties at home– and this is one of the best tartlets I’ve ever had.

This wonderful, firm but flakey crust is made from olive oil rather than butter.  It lends a light floral, almost earthy, quality to the dish. Even though it is not par-baked, the crust becomes perfectly crispy on the outside, yet is still substantial enough to hold up to the liquid center.  Even after days in the refrigerator, the crust has an excellent texture.  And you know what that means– this is a great dish to make ahead of time.

The savory filling contains ramps, gouda, and goat cheese.  That’s right, it’s ramp season.  Remember last year when I was so excited and made this ramp pesto?  Well, I’m just as excited this year– and Radd is again making fun of the fact that I talk about ramps far too much.  If you don’t recall, or are unfamiliar with them, ramps are basically a wild leek.  They taste a bit like green onions combined with garlic.  If you find them, buy and enjoy them right away.  They’re not in season for long.  If you can’t find ramps, substitute green onions or leeks with a couple cloves of garlic.  It will still taste amazing.  I love the combination of ramps and goat cheese, and in this dish it really shines.  The goat cheese is soft and pillowy as you bite into the tartlet, while the gouda melts into the creamy center.  Enjoy!

The Recipe:  Ramp and Goat Cheese Tartlets

(Makes six 4-inch tarts or one 9 – 10-inch tart)

For the Savory Tart Dough:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup olive oil

For the Tart Filling:

about 1  1/4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

about 1  1/2 ounces gouda, grated

3 ramps, chopped (about 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon)

4 eggs

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

To make the Savory Tart Dough:  Place both flours, salt, and sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.  Add the eggs and olive oil and pulse about 10-15 times until the dough forms a ball.  Remove dough and place on a lightly floured work surface.  Knead  3-4 times, careful not to over work the dough.  Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.   Can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen.  The dough will defrost quickly at room temperature when you are ready to use it.

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Position rack in the center of the oven.  If making tartlets, measure out the dough into 6 equal portions, about 1  7/8 ounces each.  Roll the dough in a circle 1-inch larger than the tartlet pan or just press the dough evenly into the pans.  Distribute the goat cheese, gouda, and ramps evenly between the 6 pans.  In a small bowl, combine the eggs and cream and pour over each of the tarts, careful not to over fill them.

Place tartlets on a baking sheet and put into the oven.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden brown and the filling is puffed and becoming golden brown, as well.  Serve the tartlets warm or at room temperature.  They keep well for about 3 days in a covered container in the refrigerator and can be reheated in a 350°F oven.  Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche, if desired. Enjoy!

Source:  Olive Oil Crust adapted from Nick Malgieri’s How to Bake

Thanks for stopping by!

Laurie

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I seems like I’ve been preaching the ‘Spring vegetable gospel’ for the last few weeks.  I can’t help it.  That’s how excited I get about them.  For this dish, I decided to incorporate one of those Spring gems– fava beans.  They aren’t available for very long, so I grab them when I can.  Preparing fava beans is a little out-of-the-ordinary.  They need to first be shelled, then peeled.  Once you’ve removed the shells, boil for a few minutes and place them in an ice bath.  The light green peel then comes off easily.  It’s a bit of a process, but it’s worth it.  Fava beans are soft and delicious, and again, they’re versatile.  They’re perfect mixed into sauces, tossed into salads, or mashed into a fantastic bruschetta topping.

Fava beans are a great addition to the typical meat sauce like this one.  Here, they add an interesting texture, and pair wonderfully with the sweet Italian sausage and tomatoes.  I buy a local sausage that has plenty of seasoning, so I didn’t add much.  In fact, I didn’t use one grain of salt– the sausage and grana padano cheese added enough.  Test your sauce as you go, add seasonings and salt as you see fit.  I also didn’t have white wine on hand, but would have added a glug or two if I did.  Even my freezer wine stock was empty.  As an aside, you can freeze leftover wine in ice cube trays and add them to sauces as you need them.  Slick, huh?  For the pasta, you can use dry pappardelle, or if you want that silkiness of fresh pasta, use this recipe.  It’ll be more time-consuming, but the texture is amazing.  If you make it fresh, note that you’ll need to cut the pasta a bit wider than shown in the recipe.  Hope you give this pasta with fava beans a whirl.

The Recipe:  Pappardelle with Italian Sausage and Fava Beans

(serves 4)

1 pound fresh or dried pappardelle pasta (you can use this recipe for fresh pasta)

1 pound sweet Italian sausage

1 1/2 cups shelled fava beans

1/2 medium white onion, chopped (about 3/4 scant cup)

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/2 cups crushed canned tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

cracked black pepper

grated grana padano or parmesean-reggiano, for garnish

To begin, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil.  Once it is boiling, add the fava beans that have been shelled.  Boil for 1 1/2  to  2 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain, and immerse the beans into an ice bath (a bowl of cold water with ice in it).  Let cool in the water for a couple of minutes.  Next, remove the light green “peel” from the beans using your hands.  The fava beans will be dark green in color.  Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.  Meanwhile, begin making the sauce.  Heat a large skillet and add the Italian sausage to it.  When it is cooked, drain and discard any grease.  Add the onion and garlic to the pan of Italian sausage and continue to cook for a few minutes over medium-high heat until the onions start to become somewhat tender.  Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, and cracked black pepper.  Cook for a few minutes until the flavors have combined a bit and the sauce has thickened.  Add the fava beans and cook a few more minutes.  Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings.

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water when the sauce is nearly done.  Cook pasta until al dente.  Reserve a bit of the pasta water, in case you need to loosen your sauce with it.  Drain pasta and combine with the sauce.  Serve sprinkled with generous amounts of grana padano cheese!  Enjoy!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend — do you have any big plans?  I’m looking forward to having some fun with my family and hopefully getting a chance to do some relaxing and a little cooking/baking.  See you next week!

Laurie

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As a blogger, I try not to write about dishes that other bloggers have recently covered.  Obviously, many of us are cooking with seasonal produce, so there’s going to be some ingredient overlap.  For other, more random foods that can be made everyday, I try to avoid imitation.  But every once in awhile, I come across something like these amazing tacos.  I first encountered these beauties on Pinterest, and knew I had to make them right away.  Aaand…they were incredible.  Really, really incredible.  So good that I figured I had to share them with you.

One of the strange paradoxes of Spring and Summer is that as the days get longer, our amount of free time for preparing meals gets shorter.  More time spent driving kids from one practice to the other.  More time trying to squeeze every last minute of fun out of warmer days.  These tacos are a nice solution to that time crunch.  You can put the meat in the crockpot in the morning or the night before.  As an aside, I find it odd that so many people think the crockpot is for winter cooking.  Who wants to turn on the oven in the middle of the summer heat?  I use mine as much, if not more, during the warm months.  And again, if you don’t own a crockpot, throw all the ingredients into a Dutch oven and braise.

These Asian-inspired tacos taste amazing. The ginger and garlic mixed in with the subtle, sweet flavors pair perfectly with the beef.  I made these mildly spicy  for my kids, but feel free to add extra sriracha sauce for more of a punch.  I love the pickled cucumbers and red onions.  It’s a quick extra step that shouldn’t be avoided.  The pickled flavors are the final perfect touch to this  meal.  Hope you enjoy!

The Recipe: Asian-Inspired Beef Tacos with Pickled Vegetables

2 – 2  1/2 pounds of grass-fed beef chuck roast

1/2 cup water

3  1-inch knobs of ginger, finely chopped

4 – 6 cloves of garlic, rough chopped

3 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon sriracha sauce

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

For the Garnishes:

1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

cilantro or green onions

lime wedges

about 1/2 cup white vinegar

To make the tacos:  In a small bowl, combine the water, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sriracha sauce, brown sugar, and orange juice.  Place the chuck roast in a crock pot and pour the mixture over it.  Set the crockpot to low and leave on overnight.

In the morning, remove the chuck roast,  place on a plate, and wrap in aluminum foil.  If time allows,  place the liquid from the crockpot into the refrigerator or freezer for about a half hour.   The fat will harden and be easy to remove.  Otherwise, spoon out as much fat as you can.  Place liquid (don’t strain) into a small sauce pan and simmer until it has reduced a bit.  Re-season, if necessary.

Meanwhile,  place the sliced cucumbers and red onion into a small bowl.  Pour enough white vinegar over them so they are covered and let them sit for a bit to “pickle”.  After a while,  use two forks and shred the chuck roast.  Pour the reduced sauce over the meat.  Serve with tacos shells,  pickled cucumbers and red onions, cilantro, and limes.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today!  See you soon.

Laurie

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Alright, I’m salivating looking at the pictures of this unbelievable mole-inspired pork shoulder (MOLE-lay).  You see,  I often blog at night before I go to bed, which means I’m just starting to get hungry.  It’s been a few days since we had this delicious meal, but now I’m thinking that I may have to make it again this weekend.  I’m not sure I’ll be able to prepare pork shoulder any other way (that might be a lie, but dang– it’s really amazing!).

I love the varied spice combination here.  Combining the cocoa and cinnamon, along with the pork works perfectly– they compliment each other so well.  We were able to enjoy two meals out of this one pork shoulder.  The first time we made shredded tacos served with chunks of avocado and lime.  Wowzer!  Then we made these fantastic savory cornmeal cakes to go with it the next night.  The cakes were perfect, they were substantial and best of all, had that nice ‘toothsome’ bite.  The flavor of the cornmeal was a nice base for the the intriguing mole flavors.

A few things to consider when you make this.  Sometimes it’s difficult to get the exact amount of meat listed for recipes.  If you can’t find a 2 1/2 pound pork shoulder, or would just like to make more (because the leftovers are fabulous) just get a bigger one.  Increase the amount of the seasonings a little, and cook it a bit longer.  It’s not a big deal at all– one of the joys of cooking is getting confident enough to make changes and substitutions as needed.  Remember, it’s just food.  Take control of it and make it your own.  Enjoy the pork shoulder on either the cornmeal cakes or as tacos.  They’re brilliant!

The Recipe: Mole-Inspired Roasted Pork Shoulder with Crackling Cornmeal Cakes

For the Mole-Inspired Pork Shoulder:

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon natural cocoa powder

1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

1/3 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, (bone-in or boned are both fine), trimmed of fat

1 head of garlic, broken into cloves, peeling is optional

In a medium sized bowl, add all of the dry ingredients.  Stir with a spoon, or use your fingers like I do, until thoroughly combined.  Place pork shoulder on a plate and rub the spice mixture all over it.  Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour, or in the refrigerator for 2 – 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 275°F.  Place the pork shoulder in a Dutch oven, or a similar pan of some sort that is deep and has a lid.  (If you don’t have either, you can also wrap the pork shoulder in aluminum foil, making sure the seam is at the top, so the juices don’t seep out.  Then place in an oven-proof skillet or casserole.) Add the garlic cloves to the pan.  Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the top of the Dutch oven and then place the lid securely on it.

Roast the pork until it is very tender and falling off of the bone, about 2 hours.  When it is done, transfer to a platter and cover with foil.  Defat the juices by putting them in the freezer for 10 minutes and then spoon the fat off with a spoon.  Shred the pork with two forks and pour the juices over the top of them.

Crackling Cornmeal Cakes

(makes about ten to twelve 2-inch cakes)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 2/3 cups coarse cornmeal

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for the pan

In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together until combined.  Stir in the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter.  (Add more or less buttermilk depending upon if you prefer your pancake thick or crispy.)

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and brush the surface with butter.  Pour the batter onto the pan, 2 tablespoons at a time works well.  Cook the cakes until they bubble at the surface and set and the edges on the underside are brown.  Flip them and continue to cook.  Repeat until all of the batter is gone, making sure to butter the pan each time.  Serve as soon as they are done, or keep warm, covered with tea towels in an oven warmed to 200°F.

Serve the pancakes smeared with sour cream and piled high with the mole-inspired pork shoulder.  A squirt of lime juice and a few sprigs of cilantro will complete the meal nicely.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Sally Schneider’s the Improvisational Cook

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today!

Laurie

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Every once in a while I try a recipe that turns out so much better than I anticipated.  It usually ends up being a recipe that I crave days, weeks, or even months after I make the dish.  This is one of those meals, and it stunned me.  Sure, I expected it to be tasty, but to be honest I was more focused on the health benefits when I decided to make these cakes.  I didn’t expect the flavors to be so vibrant, the taste so fresh. And I had no idea that my family would love them as much as I did.

I was drawn to this recipe the moment I read it.  It is loaded with healthy ingredients that I generally keep on hand, contains Indian spices, and it’s in a tiny cake-form.  That’s right, I’m not above making a dish because I like little cakes.  Hey, they’re fun.  Another nice aspect to this dish is that is works as both a side accompaniment to a larger meal, or as the centerpiece with a salad or fruit.  Or how about this?  Stuff a couple of the cakes into pita bread along with some fresh vegetables like cucumber, tomato, and red onion.  Top with the sauce and it’s a perfect lunch to take to work, the park, or wherever you like.

The extra cakes from the recipe keep very well and heat up easily  without loosing any their wonderful texture.  It really is a nice meal to make at the beginning of the week that you can come back to over several days.  Just a note, you can roast a head of garlic for the raita (sauce).  I decided to use fresh garlic in the sauce, and it was incredible.  I substituted 2 cloves instead of the whole head, as fresh garlic is much more pungent.  Also, the roasted garlic need not be mixed into the raita, but can be served on the side.

The Recipe: Indian – Spiced Lentil Cakes with Raita

(2-4 servings)

Raita

1 -2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (substitute ground, if necessary)

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1/4 cup finely chopped peeled and seeded cucumber

1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint

1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon seeded jalapeno

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or more)

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Lentil Cakes

1/2 cup mix dried legumes (lentils, chickpeas, mung beans, green or yellow split peas all work well)

1/4 cup brown basmati rice

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger

1/2  jalapeno, seeded and minced

1 cup leaves from pea tendrils, arugula, or spinach, chopped

1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed and chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 cup chopped scallions

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

To prepare the Raita: Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant.  Let cool.  Pulverize with a mortar and pestle or finely crush with a sharp knife.  Mix the yogurt, cucumber, cilantro, mint, jalapeno, cumin, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

To prepare the lentil cakes:  Rinse legumes; place in a medium bowl with rice and cover with 3-inches of water.  Let mixture sit at room temperature for 3-5 hours.  Drain mixture and transfer to a food processor.  Add garlic, ginger, and jalapeno.  Process until grainy paste forms (add 1-2 tablespoons water, if necessary).  Transfer to a large bowl; mix in your choice of chopped greens, peas, cilantro, scallions, mint, salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.   Fill a 1/4 cup measuring cup almost full and gently compress it.  Tap mixture out onto your hands, careful to keep it’s shape and gently place into the hot skillet.  Reduce heat to medium and saute until golden brown and cooked through, add 1 more tablespoon of oil (if necessary) and flip.  Cook about 4-5 minutes per side, of whenever they are your desired color and doneness.  Repeat with remaining oil and mixture.   Top with raita — enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from the September 2011 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine

Have a great day!

Laurie

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Ah, the evening chill of Fall.  It turns the switch in my brain from wanting the cool, crisp vegetables that I’ve been eating all summer to warm, comforting dishes.  Yes, it’s hard to say goodbye to those fabulous cucumbers for the next several months, but I’m ready to slowly warm my house and enjoy the lingering smell of roasted vegetables.  I’m ready to have Radd come home from work, open the front door, and see him smile when he notices those beautiful aromas.  There is something therapeutic about it.  I get so excited to share this style of warm, homecooked meal with my family.

You already know that (aside from sweets) vegetables are really all I need.  While I love those raw fresh and crisp summer specimens, roasting imparts– or perhaps emphasizes– other flavors entirely.  They develop a bit of a personality and a little more character.  They are both sweeter and more complex.  This recipe really showcases what I’m talking about.

The vegetables are prepared in a large baking dish where they slowly caramelize in the oven.  They take on those fantastic roasted notes, and become oh-so tender.  But there’s more.  This meal has another layer of flavor due to a superb caper vinaigrette.  To be honest, I was a little hesitant to add the dressing at first.  Capers– though I love them– can really overpower a dish.  Adding their salty, briny character struck me a bit odd.  Much to my surprise, the result was brilliant.  The maple syrup accentuates the sweetness of the vegetables.  The Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and olive oil meld to create a beautiful canvas for the punch of those potent little capers.  Rather than compete to overpower your taste buds, the flavors end up nicely balanced, each taking its turn.  They complement each other perfectly, and once you taste these vegetables, you won’t roast them any other way.

For the vegetables, most any combination of your favorite root variety will work here.  Some will need longer roasting times, so adjust accordingly.  When choosing parsnips, try to choose medium sized ones.  If you can only find large ones, just make sure to quarter them and cut away the woody center.  This dish would be wonderful paired with a roasted chicken or a braised pork shoulder.  Or make them on their own.  Just be sure to share.  Enjoy!

The Recipe:  Roasted Vegetables with Caper Vinaigrette

(Serves 4)

4 medium parsnips

4 medium red onions

2 medium sweet potatoes, unpeeled

2 -3 medium purple carrots (regular can be substituted)

2/3 cup olive oil, divided

4 thyme sprigs (about 1 teaspoon dried can be substituted)

2 rosemary sprigs (about 1 teaspoon dried can be substituted)

1 head garlic, halved horizontally

handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons small capers

1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Peel the parsnips.  Cut the carrots and parsnips into halves and then into 2-3-inch segments.  Peels the onions and cut each into 6 wedges.

Place the parsnips, carrots, and onions on a roasting pan and toss with 1/2 cup of the olive oil, the rosemary, thyme, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and some pepper.  Spread out evenly and roast for 20 minutes.

Prepare the sweet potatoes by cutting their ends off.  Then cut them into halves. Then each half into six wedges.  Add the potatoes to the dish of vegetables, toss, and return to the oven for a further 40 minutes, or so.

When the vegetables are cooked through and have taken on a golden color, toss in the tomatoes and roast for another 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice, maple syrup, mustard, capers,  1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Pour the dressing over the roasted vegetables as soon as they are removed from the oven.  Adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty Cookbook

For more healthy fare inspiration, take a look at these other ideas via womenshealthmag.com   —  Thanks for stopping by!

Laurie

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This recipe blew me away!  How’s that for an opening?  When I read about these savory pancakes, I figured they’d be delicious– the flavors sounded like they really worked well together.  But I had no idea that they would meld into such a heavenly combination.  The first bite was, honestly, a revelation.

This dish comes from the amazing Yotam Ottolenghi.  He owns the highly-regarded Ottolenghi restaurant in London’s Notting Hill district.  This recipe can be found in his latest cookbook– devoted to vegetables– called Plenty.  Both the recipes and presentation are brilliant.  The photography, ingredients, and flavor combinations of his creations are an inspiration.

Aside from their incredible flavor, these pancakes are also a perfect way to get more greens into your day.  I used rainbow Swiss chard, along with green onions and cumin in the batter– they combine into a wonderful flavor.  But the real showstopper in this dish is the cilantro lime butter.  It is not subtle– more like a ‘flavor punch’ to your tastebuds.  You won’t need to use all of the butter on your pancakes, but you should make the entire amount. Once you taste it, you’ll see why.  I’m already thinking of other foods to put it on, like grilled sweet corn and sweet potatoes.  These pancakes make a fantastic star for any brunch menu, but work just as well for dinner, given their savory flavor.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

The Recipe:  Savory Green Pancakes with Cilantro Lime Butter

Serves 3-4

Cilantro Lime Butter

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, soft, but somewhat cold

grated zest of 1 lime

1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely minced

dash of chile flakes, to taste

Savory Green Pancakes

1/2 pound (8 ounces) Swiss Chard, washed, stems removed

3/4 cup self – rising flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 egg

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2/3 cup milk (I used 2%)

5-6 medium green onions, finely sliced

1 fresh green chili, thinly sliced  (more if you prefer heat)

1 egg white

olive oil for frying

(Note: to make self-rising flour, combine 1 cup flour, 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, and a pinch of salt)

To make the cilantro lime butter: Place the somewhat chilled butter in a medium bowl (I liked working with the butter slightly chilled, because it was easy to roll into a log — it does take a little more muscle to get the ingredients mixed into it).  Mix in the rest of the ingredients until the butter mixture is creamy and uniform.  I formed the butter into a log using the wrapper from the butter,  you could also use plastic wrap and twist the ends of the wrap.  Chill until firm.

Wilt the Swiss chard in a hot frying pan with a splash of water.  Drain in a colander and when completely cool, squeeze out the remaining liquid using a paper towel or your hands.  Chop well and set aside.

Place the flour, baking powder, whole egg, melted butter, salt, cumin, and milk in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth.  Add the green onions, chiles, and Swiss Chard and combine with a spoon.  Whisk the egg white to soft peaks (I used my electric mixer, but you could do it by hand) and gently fold into the batter.

Pour a small amount of olive oil into a heavy frying pan and place on medium-high heat.  For each pancake, ladle 2 tablespoons of the batter into the pan.  These are meant to be small pancakes, about 3 inches in diameter and 3/8-inch thick.  Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until you get a beautiful golden color.   Enjoy with a small slice of the cilantro lime butter placed on each pancake.

Source:  Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Cookbook, Plenty

Thanks for stopping by today — hope you all have a glorious weekend!

Laurie

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Hello everyone!   Summer finally arrived in the Upper Midwest, and boy, did it show up with a vengeance!  Those living nearby probably don’t want to hear more about just how miserable the weather is, but for those of you in distant lands, the heat index has been flirting with 120 degrees here all week.  I’m seriously starting to look forward to a nice winter snow storm…which will probably be only a few months away.  Ahhh… Minnesota.

So where have I been, you ask?  Well, we’ve had a busy July.  As you know, I took the kids to North Dakota to visit family.  We had such a great time seeing everyone.   Shortly after we got back, we took our first trip to the world-famous Wisconsin Dells.  It was so much fun, and so cheesy (Wisconsin pun intended).  Waterslides, go-cart racing, food, a tour down the river on some sort of World War II vehicle.  Our kids are still talking about the trip.  They want to go back right away.

Now that you’ve had the family update, let’s talk food again.  Wow!  Do I have some exciting things to share with you!  Let’s start today with this gorgeous heirloom tomato galette.  You know I love fresh tomatoes, but are you aware that I’m that slightly-crazy person who refuses to buy one all winter long?  More than any other vegetable (cucumbers are a close second), tomatoes purchased out of season and shipped in simply do not taste the same.  Not even close.  Thankfully, they’re  in-season now, so you can expect to see several more tomato-based dishes in the coming weeks.

This show-stopper of a tart is the perfect way to feature the pure flavor of ripe tomatoes.  I’ve been waiting to make this recipe for awhile– not only because it looks incredible– but because it’s the creation of chef/owner Naomi Pomeroy from the fabulous restaurant Beast in Portland, OR.  Last October, Radd and I vacationed in the Pacific Northwest and stumbled into Beast– a communal-style locavore paradise.  We shared a table and company with six strangers.  The food was divine, and it was easily one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had.  When I saw that this tart came from Beast, I knew I had to make it.

So how is it?  Better than you can imagine.  When I showed Radd, he thought it looked great, but he wasn’t exactly fired-up to try it.  After his third piece, he said it was one of the best things he’s eaten in a long, long time.  The crust is so delicate and flakey.  The manchego cheese adds a creaminess that perfectly compliments the acidity of the tomatoes.  Finally, the olive oil and herbs provide subtle complexity– the flavor really goes on and on.  It’s delicious warm, but even better at room temperature.  If you make only one savory dish from my blog over the next couple of weeks, it should be this one.  It’s that good.

The Recipe:  Heirloom Tomato Tart

Makes one 12-inch tart

Serves 4 to 6

For the Galette

1 cup all-purpose flour; plus more for work surface

1/2 teaspoon course salt; plus more for tomatoes

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or rosemary for the dough, plus more for on top of the galette

1 stick (8 tablespoons), unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 – inch pieces

1/2 cup sour cream (full fat), chilled

1 pint tomatoes  (a combination of heirloom cherry tomatoes and other tomatoes, cut in half or sliced if large)

1/3 pound manchego cheese, or other semi-hard sheep’s milk cheese

1 egg white,  for an egg wash

For the Garnish (Optional)

1 bunch microgreens (arugala microgreens worked well)

Extra-virgin olive oil

Red-wine vinegar

Coarse salt

To make the dough: Combine the flour, salt, baking powder,  and 1 teaspoon of minced herbs in a food processor and pulse a few times to mix.  Then add the butter and pulse until the butter is just incorporated into the dry ingredients, making sure not to over-mix.  Some of the butter may be the size of a pea, which is fine.  This can also be done by hand if you don’t have a food processor.  Mix in the sour cream, being careful, once again, not to over-mix.  Turn the entire mixture out onto a cutting board and gently push it together into a ball.  Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

To make the filling: Put the tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle generously with coarse salt.  Lay the tomatoes on several sheets of paper towel to drain (dried tomatoes will make a crisp tart).

In the meantime: Heat the oven to 425°F.  Lay out a sheet of parchment paper that will fit onto your baking sheet.  Dust it with flour, as well as your rolling pin, and roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle about 1/8 – inch thick.   Leaving a  3 -inch border, scatter the cheese on the top of the dough, then arrange the tomatoes evenly over the cheese.  Sprinkle with a bit more thyme and rosemary.  Fold the edges of the dough over the tomatoes, making pleats as you fold and leaving the center of the tart open.  Make sure there are no holes in the dough; pinch the dough together if one appears.  Whisk the egg white and apply to the tart dough with a pastry brush or paper towel.  Transfer the tart with parchment paper still underneath to a baking sheet.

Bake the galette until golden brown, 30 -40 minutes.  Let cool on rack.

While the galette cools, lightly dress the microgreens with the olive oil, vinegar and salt.  Drizzle the top of the galette with olive oil and sprinkle it with course salt.  Slice the galette and serve with microgreens, of desired.    Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Harvest to Heat Cookbook via Naomi Pomeroy from Beast in Portland, OR

Thanks for visiting Relishing It today!  Hope you are all enjoying your summer.  See you soon.

Laurie

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