Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Freekeh Salad

I haven’t been able to post in ages, but if I don’t post this recipe, I’ll forgot it and I DEFINITELY want to make it again.  This salad is delicious.  It’s complex without be fussy, unusual without being weird.  There are a few steps for a salad, but it really doesn’t take too long and you probably have most of the ingredients at home.  [Note: I substituted balsamic vinegar for the saba.]

Blue Apron recipe, serves 2, (I tripled the amount of Brussels sprouts)

https://www.blueapron.com/recipes/roasted-brussels-sprout-freekeh-salad-with-pickled-raisins-shaved-parmesan-hazelnuts

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Miso-Roasted Vegetable Salad

Ingredients serves 2

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 sweet potato, about 1/2lb (Japanese sweet potato recommended)
  • 1 purple top turnip (8oz)
  • 2 scallions, white part only
  • 1/4 cup sweet white miso paste
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp spice blend that includes white sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, kibbled nori, and aleppo pepper)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Prep the vegetables.  Thinly slice the scallions on an angle, separating the white bottoms from the green tops. Remove and discard the kale stems; roughly chop the leaves. Cut the turnip and potato into 1/4-inch rounds.
  3. Mix together the miso paste and 1/4 cup of water.
  4. Place the  sweet potato and turnip on a sheet pan and drizzle with the miso-water mixture.  Toss thoroughly to coat.  Arrange in an even layer and roast, stirring halfway through, 20 to 22 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.
  5. Combine the kale, sesame oil, white bottoms of the scallions, roasted vegetables, and spice blend.  Season with salt and pepper.

Original recipe from Blue Apron.

CSA Haul

I joined a local CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) and just brought home my first crop.  I’m excited to experiment with some these new (to me) ingredients.

The contents of my first haul:

  • lettuce
  • kale
  • Japanese turnips
  • bok choi
  • curly endive
  • escarole
  • tatsu
  • turnip greens
  • garlic scapes
  • radishes
  • spring garlic
  • snap peas

A bit of goggling led me to the follow resources:

For garlic scapes

For spring garlic (or green garlic)

For Japanese turnips

Asparagus, Avocado, Basil Salad

My friend Christina brought this salad to a party last weekend and I begged for the recipe.  It’s just so good!  She made the paleo diet version (no quinoa), but I added the quinoa to make it a bit more substantial (for a light lunch)– either way it’s quite tasty.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch (or so) pieces
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/3 cup quinoa (optional)
  • mint leaves, handful (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook the quinoa as per package directions (I like the pasta-type method, pot of boiling water, 15 minutes, drain and done).  Set aside to cool (spread on a baking sheet).
  2. Steam asparagus for 5 to 7 minutes.  Set aside to cool.
  3. Mix together in a large bowl all the ingredients.  Enjoy!

Coconut Red Lentil Soup

This is absolutely delicious!  Seriously, it is the best soup I have ever made.  It is sweet, layered with flavor, and the plump little raisins are true treasure.  Actually, it’s hard not to overeat this dish.  Plus. it’s easy to make– a real winner.

Kudos really go to 101 Cookbooks.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup yellow split peas, rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed well
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp ghee (or butter)
  • 4 green onions or 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 7 oz coconut milk (half a can)
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Directions

  1. Place the split peas and lentils in a pot with the water and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrots and 1/4 of the ginger (I added all the ginger by mistake the first time and the dish was still delicious). Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes (I forgot to cover it the first time, and, again, this is a very forgiving recipe).
  3. Meanwhile, in a small dry skillet over low heat, toast the curry powder until very fragrant (but be careful not to burn it). Set aside.
  4. In a pan over medium heat, melt the ghee and add the green onions or shallot, the remaining ginger, and the raisins.  Saute for two minutes, stirring constantly, and then add the tomato paste.  Continue sauteing for another minute or two.
  5. Add the curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add it to the simmering soup with the coconut milk and salt.
  6. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so.

 

Health Facts

  • Lentils are an excellent source of soluble fiber and a good source of protein, manganese, iron, phosphorous, copper, vitamin B1 and potassium.
  • For detailed information about the health benefits of coconut milk, click here, highlights below:
    • Coconut milk contains an abundance of Vitamins C, E, and B.
    • Coconut milk is also rich in magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and iron.
    • Coconut milk is a good source of antioxidants and contains lauric acid.

Short Ribs

I don’t cook a lot of red meat (or eat much of it for that matter), but I wanted to create a hearty dish that my Irish-American husband (a true meat-and-potatoes man) would relish.  This was perfect!

P.S.- I also had the day off which is helpful when cooking a recipe that takes about 4 hours (only the first part is active time).

Ingredients

  • Bone-in short ribs, 3 – 6 lbs depending on how many people you’re feeding
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 can tomato paste (or a bit less depending on your taste)
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme (dried will do in a pinch)
  • 2 bay leaves
  •  salt

Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
    2. Prepare your vegetables for the sauce (peeling, washing).  Throw vegetables and garlic into a food processor and form a coarse paste. Set aside for a bit.
    3. Season the short ribs with salt.
    4. In a Dutch oven or large pot, coat with a thin amount of olive oil, set over high heat, and brown the ribs well, 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Don’t crowd the pot; brown in batches as necessary.
    5. Drain the fat from the pan and add another thin layer of oil.  Add the pureed vegetables, season with salt, and brown the vegetables until they are dark and a curd begins to form at the bottom of the pan, 5 to 7 minutes.
    6. Add the tomato paste, scraping down the pan, and again allowing a curd to form, 4 to 5 minutes.Add the wine and lower the heat if things start to burn.  Reduce the mixture by about half.
    7. Return the short ribs to the pot and add 2 cups of water or until the water has just about covered the meat.  Add the thyme (tied in a bundle if using fresh, sprinkled if using dried) and bay leaves.  Cover the pot and place in the oven for 3 hours.  Check periodically and add water if needed.
    8. Halfway through cooking, turn the ribs.
    9. Remove the lid for the last 20 minutes to allow things to turn nice and brown and to allow the sauce to reduce.

I recommend serving with tiny red potatoes roasted in olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary, with a simple vegetable side (I made fresh string beans).

Julia Child’s Scrambled Eggs

I rarely make eggs for breakfast.  I usually opt for hearty grains– steel cut oats  or bulgur,  occasionally sweetened quinoa with nuts and fresh fruit.  If a weekend morning finds me at a brunch table, mimosa and cappuccino on hand, then I might select an egg dish, but all too often those quickly produced eggs are dry and scratchy or just plain bland.  And I do not know the art of the egg.  I know the cook should be patient, the heat low, but still, all too often, my own eggs, scrambled or fried, were unmemorable enough to be forgotten while still on the tongue.  And so, this morning, I turned to Julia Child.

Julia’s simple instructions were perfect and for the first time my scrambled eggs were remarkable enough to merit comment and a promise of repeat performances.  The following is instruction for two servings but can easily be doubled for a larger morning meal.

Julia writes, “[Scrambled eggs] preparation is entirely a matter of stirring the eggs over gentle heat until they slowly thicken as a mass into a custard.”

Ingredients for 2 servings

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp milk
  • salt and pepper
  • (I added) a sprinkling of chopped, fresh parsley and chives
  • a bit of butter for the frying pan

Directions

  1. Beat the eggs with a wire whisk in a bowl with the seasonings and milk for 20 to 30 seconds, just to blend yolks and whites.
  2. Smear the bottom of a small frying pan with butter.  Pour in the eggs and set over moderately low heat.
  3. Stir slowly and continually, reaching all over the bottom of the pan. Nothing will seem to happen for 2 to 3 minutes as the eggs gradually heat.  Suddenly they will begin to thicken into a custard.
  4. Stir, rapidly, moving pan on and off heat, until the eggs have almost thickened to the consistency you wish. Then remove from heat, as they will continue to thicken slightly.
  5. Serve promptly.  Season to taste, if desired, and top with parsley if you have it on hand.

 

adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking