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Category: Meat Free

Pad Thai Daikon Noodles

Pad Thai Daikon Noodles

Pad Thai Daikon Noodles

 

1 daikon (peeled, spiralized)

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 persian cucumber or 1/2 a seedless cucumber (sliced into 1/4″ rounds)

 

1/4 C. unsalted peanuts (chopped)

1-2 T. cilantro/coriander leaves

fresh lime wedges (to serve)

 

For the Dressing:

 

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

2 T. low-sodium tamari

juice of 1/2 a lime

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1-2 garlic cloves (minced)

1” fresh ginger (peeled and grated)

1 shallot or 1/8 red onion (peeled and finely chopped)

1 small red chili (seeds removed, finely chopped)

1/8 tsp. of sea salt

 

In a small bowl, mix the dressing ingredients and set aside. Spiralize or julienne the daikon into thin noodles with a mandolin. Heat the remaining oil In a frying pan. Add the daikon noodles (doodles!) and sauté them for 6-8 minutes to soften, add a splash of water if it’s looking too dry. When complete, transfer to a serving dish and toss with the dressing to coat evenly. Top with cucumber slices, peanuts, and cilantro to serve.

Chef Garcia’s Goat Cheese Artichoke Strata

Chef Garcia’s Goat Cheese Artichoke Strata

Chef Garcia’s Goat Cheese Artichoke Strata

 

8 C. cubed sourdough bread (about 1 baguette)

12 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

Zest of 1 lemon

¼ cup chopped fresh sage

2 T. chopped fresh thyme

1 tsp. grated fresh nutmeg

3 6½-ounce jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained

1½ C. heavy cream

8 large eggs

Salt and white pepper to taste

 

Generously butter a 13 x 9 x 2–inch baking dish and layer in the cubed bread, crumbled goat cheese, artichoke hearts, and lemon zest. Sprinkle the chopped herbs over mixture. Whisk cream, eggs, nutmeg, salt, and pepper until frothy, then pour over strata. Let sit for at least 4 hours or overnight so the bread can absorb the egg cream mixture. Bake at 350° until brown around the edges and golden on top, about 1 hour

Grilled Halloumi Wraps

Grilled Halloumi Wraps

Grilled Halloumi Wraps

 

1 red onion, halved and sliced thin

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon ground sumac

3/4 teaspoon table salt, divided

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 large red bell pepper

4 (8-inch) pitas, divided

12 ounces halloumi cheese, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 ounces (2 cups) arugula

Combine onion, vinegar, sumac, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Stir until well combined and set aside. Place lemon juice in small bowl. Mince or grate garlic and add to juice. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and whisk to combine. Whisk in yogurt until smooth. Slice 1/2 inch from top and bottom of bell pepper. Gently remove stem from top. Twist and pull out core, using knife to loosen at edges if necessary. Cut slit down 1 side of bell pepper. Turn bell pepper skin side down and gently press so it opens to create long strip. Slide knife along insides to remove remaining ribs and seeds. Lightly moisten 2 pitas with water. Sandwich remaining pitas between moistened pitas and wrap tightly in lightly greased heavy-duty aluminum foil. Turn all burners on gas grill to high; cover; and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s). Clean and oil cooking grate. Arrange halloumi slices and bell pepper pieces, skin side up. on hotter side of grill. Cook, covered, until undersides of cheese and bell pepper are lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Using tongs, flip cheese and bell pepper and continue to cook until second side of cheese and bell pepper are lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Meanwhile, place packet of pitas on cooler side of grill. Flip occasionally to heat, about 5 minutes. Transfer cheese and bell pepper to cutting board. Cut bell pepper into 1/2-inch pieces and transfer to second small bowl. Add oil. pepper flakes, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and toss to combine. Lay each warm pita on 12-inch square of foil or parchment paper. Spread each pita with one-quarter of yogurt mixture. Place one-quarter of cheese in middle of each pita. Top with pepper, onion, and arugula. Drizzle with any remaining onion liquid. Roll pita into cylinder. Wrap in foil, cut in half, and serve.

Spaghetti all’assassina

Spaghetti all’assassina

Spaghetti all’assassina

This recipe was developed with our winning spaghetti, De Cecco Spaghetti No. 12. Other brands of spaghetti may vary in thickness, which will affect the cooking time and the amount of broth required. Fish spatulas work well for flipping the pasta. Passata is an uncooked tomato puree: we used Pomi brand. If you cannot find it, tomato puree can be used.  The sauce will splatter as it cooks, which is why we call for using a long-handled spatula. A splatter screen helps contain the splattering.

 

6 C. water

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 cup plus 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2-3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 cup tomato passata

1 cup tomato passata

1 3/4 tsp. table salt

12 ounces spaghetti

 

Whisk water, tomato paste, and sugar together in medium saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low to keep tomato broth warm. Heat 1/3  cup oil, garlic, and pepper flakes in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently with long-handled rubber spatula, until garlic is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in passata and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens and oil around edges of skillet begins to sizzle, about 4 minutes. Add pasta in even layer and increase heat to medium-high. Add 1 cup tomato broth and cook, pushing between pasta strands frequently with edge of spatula to prevent clumping, until broth has been mostly absorbed by pasta and sauce around edges of skillet begins to sizzle, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1 cup broth and cook, shaking skillet occasionally and continuing to prod pasta strands with spatula, until broth has been mostly absorbed and sauce begins to sizzle, 5 to 7 minutes. Using 2 thin spatulas, gently flip half of pasta so bottom is on top and spread into even layer. Repeat with remaining half of pasta . Add 1 cup broth and cook, continuing to shake skillet and prod pasta, until broth has been mostly absorbed and sauce begins to sizzle. 5 to 7 minutes. Add 1 cup broth and repeat cooking until sauce begins to sizzle, 5 to 7 minutes. Repeat dividing and flipping pasta.  Add 1 cup broth and repeat cooking until sauce begins to sizzle. 5 to 7 minutes. Pasta should be firm but cooked through. If not, add remaining 1 cup broth.1/2 cup at a time, and continue to cook, checking frequently, until pasta is cooked through.  Increase heat to high and cook pasta, without moving it, until underside is deeply browned and crisp and some strands are beginning to char, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat, drizzle with remaining 2 T. oil, and serve immediately.

Halloumi Sheet Pan Dinner (for 2)

Halloumi Sheet Pan Dinner (for 2)

Halloumi Sheet Pan Dinner

 

14 ounces butternut squash, cut into 3/4-inch slices

8 ounces halloumi cheese, sliced into 6 slices

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch rounds

6 large radishes, halved

1 medium red onion, cut into wedges and layers separated

14 large black olives

1 serrano chile pepper

2 tsp. za’atar

1 tsp. ground turmeric

½ tsp. dried mint

3 T. extra-virgin olive oil

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Combine butternut squash, halloumi, bell pepper, radish halves, red onion, black olives, and serrano in a large bowl. Sprinkle za’atar, turmeric, and dried mint over the vegetables; mix to coat. Drizzle oil over everything and toss to combine. Spread out vegetables in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast in the preheated oven until the halloumi is brown and bubbly and the vegetables have softened and browned, about 18 minutes.

Polenta-Baked Eggs with Corn, Tomato and Fontina

Polenta-Baked Eggs with Corn, Tomato and Fontina

Polenta-Baked Eggs with Corn, Tomato and Fontina

 

2 C. (475 ml) water

1/2 cup (70 grams) fine polenta or yellow cornmeal

1/2 cup (60 grams) fresh corn kernels, from 1 small cob (or use frozen, defrosted)

1/2 cup (55 grams) coarsely grated fontina, plus 3 T. for sprinkling

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 T. (30 grams) sour cream or creme fraiche

1/4 cup (60 grams) prepared tomato sauce or tomato puree

4 large eggs

Fresh flat-leaf parsley or chives, for garnish

 

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring the water to a simmer in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in the polenta, trying to avoid lumps then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer the mixture, stirring almost constantly, for 15 minutes. Stir in the corn kernels, and cook for 5 minutes more, continuing to stir regularly. Add Vi cup cheese and stir until melted; then season well with salt and pepper. Add the sour cream and stir until partially combined. (I like to leave a few creamy bits throughout.) Coat a 1-quart baking dish or an 8-to-8‘/2-inch oven-safe skillet with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the polenta to the dish, then dollop with spoonfuls of tomato; swirl them unevenly into the polenta, so that there are pockets of tomato throughout. Smooth the top of the polenta and use a spoon to make four deep wells and crack an egg into each hole. Sprinkle the whole dish with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with the 3 T. cheese. Bake in the heated oven until the whites are firm and the yolks are runny; you can check progress by inserting a toothpick into the whites to see if they’ve firmed up. If you plan to serve this dish more than a few minutes after taking it out of the oven, remove the eggs from the polenta before they are done, because otherwise they will continue to cook in the hot polenta. If you’d like it to be a little brown on top, run the pan under your broiler when the eggs are only halfway as cooked as you like. Sprinkle with parsley or chives and serve with a spoon.

Tomato Scallion Shortcakes with Whipped Goat Cheese

Tomato Scallion Shortcakes with Whipped Goat Cheese

Tomato Scallion Shortcakes with Whipped Goat Cheese

 

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

2 tablespoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼-inch pieces

1 green onion, thinly sliced

1 cup whole milk

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar

⅛ teaspoon salt

Pinch of sugar

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

½ pound (about 1½ cups) cherry or grape tomatoes

 

3-4 tablespoons heavy cream

4 ounces goat cheese, softened

Greens from 2 green onions, thinly sliced

 

Heat oven to 425º. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a nonstick baking mat and set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Using your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the scallions and milk until evenly moistened.  Pat the dough into a ¾ to 1-inch thick circle and use a 3-inch cutter to cut rounds, reforming the scraps as needed. Arrange the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown, rotating halfway through baking.  While the biscuits are baking, prepare the tomatoes. Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, sugar and pepper in a medium bowl. Quarter the tomatoes lengthwise, place into the bowl and toss gently to coat. In another bowl, whip the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the goat cheese and continue beating until the topping is light and fluffy.  To serve the shortcakes, split each biscuit in half and top with a generous amount of the tomato salad. Add a dollop of the whipped goat cheese and sprinkle with scallions. Serve immediately.

Sheet Pan Halloumi with Burst Tomatoes, Summer Squash, Preserved Lemon, and Mint

Sheet Pan Halloumi with Burst Tomatoes, Summer Squash, Preserved Lemon, and Mint

Sheet Pan Halloumi with Burst Tomatoes, Summer Squash, Preserved Lemon, and Mint

 

1 (about 8.8-ounce) package halloumi

1 pound summer squash (about 2 medium)

1/2 medium red onion

4 cloves garlic

1 preserved lemon

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes (about 11 ounces)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

8 sprigs fresh mint

 

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 425ºF.  Prepare the following, adding each to the same rimmed baking sheet as it is completed: Pat 1 (about 8.8-ounce) package halloumi dry with paper towels and cut into 1-inch cubes. Trim 1 pound summer squash, halve lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Cut 1/2 medium red onion into 1-inch chunks. Smash and peel 4 garlic cloves. Pull away the flesh from 1 preserved lemon and discard. Rinse the skin well and thinly slice.

Add 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes to the baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Toss to coat and spread out in a single layer.  Roast, tossing halfway through, until the halloumi is softened and browned in spots and the vegetables are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pick the leaves from 8 fresh mint sprigs and finely chop (about 2 tablespoons).  Let the halloumi and vegetables cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle with the mint and gently toss to combine.

Baked Rigatoni with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Baked Rigatoni with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Baked Rigatoni with Fresh Tomato Sauce

 

9 medium (1 kg) roma tomatoes

½ small (60 g) small onion, peeled

1½ small (125 g) carrots, peeled, halved

3 Tablespoons (45 g) tomato paste

1 small garlic clove, peeled

¾ teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt, optional

1 pound (454 g) pasta, rigatoni or ziti, dried

2 cups (225 g) Mozzarella cheese, shredded, or provolone

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place tomatoes, onions, carrots, tomato paste, garlic, oregano, basil, fresh lemon juice, brown sugar, and salt, optional into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid. Select Hot Soup program. Start the machine and slowly increase to its highest speed. Allow to complete programmed cycle (5:45). While the sauce is blending, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain. Transfer pasta to a 9 inch x 12 inch prepared baking dish. Top with 4 cups (960 ml) warm tomato sauce and 2 cups of shredded cheese. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted.

Leek Fritters

Leek Fritters

Leek Fritters

 

1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

2 Garlic Cloves, Minced

2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/2 Cup Parsley

1 Cup Cilantro

 

For the Fritters

 

3 Leeks, Trimmed, Sliced Lengthwise, Cut into 1/2 Inch Pieces and Cleaned Thoroughly

1 Vidalia Onion, Chopped

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 Cup Parsley, Chopped

3/4 Teaspoon Coriander

1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Sugar

Salt

1 Egg White

3/4 Cup Plus 1 Tablespoon All-Purpose Flour

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

1 Egg

2/3 Cup Milk

4 1/2 Tablespoons Butter, Melted

 

Make the Sauce: This part is super easy. Add all the sauce ingredients to a food processor with the lower blade attached. Run the processor for about 15 second or until the sauce is smooth. Finally, using a rubber spatula, transfer the sauce from the food processor into a small bowl and place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it later.

 

Prepare the Vegetables & Spices: Warm a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Then, when the pan is to temperature, add 4 tablespoons of olive oil to it. Also add the cut leeks and the chopped onion and cook for 15 minutes, while stirring occasionally. The goal here is to soften and lightly brown these ingredients. When the leeks and onion have softened sufficiently, transfer them to a medium sized bowl. Add the parsley, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix everything thoroughly.

 

Add the egg white to a small bowl and whisk until it forms peaks. After the egg white has a firm consistency, transfer it to the bowl with the softened leek in it. Fold the egg whites into the vegetables.

 

In another medium sized bowl, add the flour, baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, whole egg, milk and butter. Mix these ingredients well until they are smooth. Then, add the batter to the bowl with the vegetables in it and mix well.  Warm a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is to temperature, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to it and then add a few ladles of batter as well. Each fritter should consist of approximately 1 ladle-full. Let the fritters cook for about 3 minutes each side. You’ll know when to flip them when you slide a fork under each one and the underside is nicely browned.  As you make your way through the fritters, set each one aside on a plate. When they are all finished, divide them among the different plates. You should end up with 8 fritters in all. Serve with a side of sauce and enjoy.

Pantry Pasta Spaghetti with Garlicky Bread Crumbs and Anchovies

Pantry Pasta Spaghetti with Garlicky Bread Crumbs and Anchovies

Pantry Pasta Spaghetti with Garlicky Bread Crumbs and Anchovies

 

⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed

12 anchovies, chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

1 cup good dried bread crumbs

Black pepper and kosher salt, as needed

1 pound spaghetti

2 egg yolks

1 T. Asian fish sauce (optional)

1 tsp. hot sauce, such as Tabasco, or to taste

½ cup roughly chopped parsley

Lemon wedges, for serving

 

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, warm oil. Add anchovies, garlic and red pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in bread crumbs and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Season liberally with black pepper, and a little salt if needed. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook according to package instructions; drain well, reserving some of the pasta water (about 1/2 cup is plenty). In a large, preferably warmed bowl, stir together egg yolks, fish sauce, hot sauce and 2 T. pasta water. Add hot pasta and toss well, adding more pasta water if the mixture looks dry or unevenly yellow. You want the yolk to evenly coat the pasta but you don’t want it to be soupy. Add bread crumb mixture and parsley and toss well. Season with plenty of black pepper, and salt to taste. Drizzle pasta with more oil just before serving and serve with lemon wedges.

 

Fettuccine with White Truffle Butter and Mushrooms

Fettuccine with White Truffle Butter and Mushrooms

Fettuccine with White Truffle Butter and Mushrooms

 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 T. unsalted butter

1 T. good olive oil

12 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced 1/4-inch thick

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 ounces white truffle butter

8.82 ounces fresh fettuccine

3 T. chopped fresh chives, plus extra for garnish

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish

 

Add 1 T. of salt to a large pot of water and bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, melt the butter and olive oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes, tossing often, until the mushrooms are cooked and the liquid has evaporated.  Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and rinse out the pan. Pour the cream into the sauté pan and heat it over medium heat until it simmers. Add the truffle butter, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper, lower the heat to very low and swirl the butter until it melts. Keep warm over very low heat. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander and add it to the truffle cream. Add the chives and mushrooms and toss well with tongs. Stir in the Parmesan. Serve hot in shallow bowls, garnished with extra chives and Parmesan.

Ricotta Gnocchi with Salsa della Nonna

Ricotta Gnocchi with Salsa della Nonna

Ricotta Gnocchi with Salsa della Nonna

 

3 pounds whole-milk ricotta, drained overnight

6 egg yolks

2 tsp. sea salt, preferably gray salt

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for sprinkling and dusting

best-quality extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

Salsa di Pomodoro della Nonna for serving

grated Pecorino-Romano for sprinkling

 

Using the back of a large spoon, press the ricotta through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Add the egg yolks and sea salt and mix with a rubber spatula. Gently fold in the 3⁄4 cup flour; the less you work the dough, the lighter and more tender the gnocchi will be. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Lightly sprinkle your work surface and two baking sheets with flour. Pull off about a quarter of the gnocchi dough and gently roll it into a rope about 1 inch wide. Using a dough scraper or a sharp knife dipped in flour, cut individual dumplings from the rope into 1-inch pieces. Gently transfer each piece to a prepared baking sheet and dust with flour so it’s lightly coated. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi. Slide the pans into the freezer and freeze for at least 24 hours or up to 1 month. (Gnocchi have a better texture if they go right from the freezer to the pot.) Heat a pot of salted water (see note, at right), and, while the water heats, put the sauce on the stove over a simmering flame so it’s warm when the gnocchi are cooked. When the water comes to a boil, cook two dozen frozen gnocchi for 3 to 3 1⁄2 minutes, or for 30 to 45 seconds after they rise to the surface. Using a slotted spoon or a wire skimmer, transfer the gnocchi to a warmed plate. Add another two dozen gnocchi to the pot. While they cook, finish plating the batch of gnocchi you just took out of the pot. Spoon about a dozen gnocchi per serving onto a warmed plate. Drizzle with olive oil. Spoon a little of the warm tomato sauce on top and finish with a sprinkling of pecorino.

Puff Pastry Mushroom and Blue Cheese Strudel

Puff Pastry Mushroom and Blue Cheese Strudel

Puff Pastry Mushroom and Blue Cheese Strudel

 

1 sweet onion

¼ stick butter

1 roasted red bell pepper

3 cloves garlic (chopped)

4 cups wild mushrooms (sliced)

2 cups spinach

4 ounces Crater Lake Bleu Cheese

¼ cup sherry wine

Salt and pepper to taste

1 full sheet puff pastry

 

Caramelize onions in butter, set aside. Julienne roasted bell peppers, set aside. Sauté mushrooms and garlic until soft. Deglaze with sherry. Add spinach and cook until liquid is evaporated. Set aside and cool. Mix onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, blue cheese, salt and pepper. Lay puff pastry on cutting board, put filling in middle of puff pastry horizontally, flip bottom of puff pastry to cover top of filling and flip top of pastry to cover bottom half of puff pastry (like a burrito). Make sure ends are sealed, brush with egg wash and bake at 400° until golden brown.  Once strudel has cooled, cut horizontally and serve with whatever side you prefer (sautéed white beans, black-eyed peas).

Spicy Peanut Tofu Lettuce Cups

Spicy Peanut Tofu Lettuce Cups

Spicy Peanut Tofu Lettuce Cups

 

1 block extra firm tofu

5 T. natural peanut butter

2 T. liquid aminos

2 T. sesame oil

1 T. lime juice

1 tsp. chili powder

1 T. erythritol/stevia blend

1 T. coconut oil

1 small red bell pepper, diced

5 medium butter lettuce leaves

1 T. crushed peanuts

2 small green onions, chopped

 

Pre-heat the skillet on stove. Slice the extra firm tofu into approximately 1-inch cubes and pat dry with a towel. In a mixing bowl combine the natural peanut butter, liquid aminos, sesame oil, chili powder, lime juice, and sweetener. Stir well until smooth. Melt the coconut oil in skillet. Place the tofu cubes and diced red bell pepper into the skillet. Sauté the tofu and red pepper until the edges of the tofu begin to brown slightly. Add half of the peanut sauce to the tofu and stir to coat, cooking on medium heat for about 1-2 minutes. Once the sauce begins to thicken and crisp on the tofu, remove from heat. Place the skillet ingredients into the butter lettuce leaves. Top with the remaining sauce, and garnish with crushed peanuts and green onion.

Spaghetti with Green Tomato Pesto

Spaghetti with Green Tomato Pesto

Spaghetti with Green Tomato Pesto

 

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves

1/4 cup arugula, washed and spun dry

5 green tomatoes, chopped

2 clove garlic, chopped

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 T.

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound spaghetti

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for garnish

 

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 2 T. salt. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the mint, basil, parsley, arugula, 1 clove of garlic, Parmigiano and olive oil and pulse to form a chunky purée. Season aggressively with salt and pepper and set aside. In a sauté pan add 2 T. of olive oil. Add chopped tomatoes and garlic, cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add full ladle of pesto into pan. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until just al dente. Drain the pasta and add to pan with tomatoes and pesto. Add some of the pasta water and toss to coat. Top with sprinkle with the Parmigiano and serve immediately.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Marigold Blossoms

Stuffed Tomatoes with Marigold Blossoms

Stuffed Tomatoes with Marigold Blossoms

Marigolds and Tomatoes are great buddies in the garden.  They like similar growing conditions, and marigolds deter tomato worms in the soil.

12 Roma or cherry tomatoes, cut in half, seeds scooped out

1 small (4 oz.) package cream cheese, room temp.

1 sprig (about 4 inches long) Sweet Basil, stem removed

1/2 cup pecan halves

Petals from 2 French marigolds

In small food processor, put the pecans, marigold petals and basil and pulse-process until the material is chopped fine. Put in small bowl and combine with the cream cheese, then stuff each tomato half, rounding up like with deviled eggs. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving.

Savory Gruyere Custard

Savory Gruyere Custard

Savory Gruyere Custard

2 oz/55 g Gruyere cheese

2 oz/55 g Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

2 C./500 mL 35% cream

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 garlic clove

3 eggs

3 egg yolks

½ tsp. Dry Mustard

Salt and pepper

 

Assemble, prepare, and measure ingredients. Grate both cheeses. Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C. Lightly butter four l-cup/250 mL ramekins or a 1-quart/l L baking dish. In a small saucepan, warm cream over medium-low heat with thyme and garlic until steam rises. Remove from heat and allow to infuse and cool while you make the eggs. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and yolks with mustard (or cayenne) and salt and pepper. Stir in grated cheeses. Strain cream through a fine-mesh sieve and whisk into egg mixture. Pour custard mixture into ramekins (or baking dish) and place in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water around dishes to come halfway up their sides. Be careful not to splash any water into the custards, as you want them to be creamy and silken, not watery. Bake for 30 -45 minutes, or until center is just set. Custards in ramekins will cook more quickly than those in a single baking dish. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.  To serve, place ramekins on individual plates or scoop out servings from larger baking dish.

Instant Pot Breakfast Shakshuka with Feta and Dill

Instant Pot Breakfast Shakshuka with Feta and Dill

Instant Pot Breakfast Shakshuka with Feta and Dill

 

1 T. unsalted butter, room temperature, or olive oil

3 cups Quick Pomodoro Sauce or prepared marinara sauce

Pinch of red pepper flakes

¼ tsp. ground cumin

8 large eggs

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

 

Perfect Toast

1 small shallot, thinly sliced

Caper berries

¼ cup (packed) torn fresh dill

Extra-virgin olive oil

Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Brush the bottom of the inner pot of the pressure cooker with the butter. Add the sauce, red pepper flakes, and cumin and stir to combine. Crack 8 eggs (1 or 2 per person) into the sauce. Lock on the lid and Pressure Cook on low pressure for 1 minute. Immediately release the pressure manually (to prevent the eggs from overcooking) and open the lid. Check the yolks; if you like a firmer yolk, turn off the heat, re-cover with the lid (but don’t lock it), and let the eggs sit for 1 to 2 minutes more, until set. Open the lid and sprinkle the feta over the top of the eggs to warm it. Spoon the sauce, eggs, and feta into shallow bowls or over the toast and sprinkle with shallot, caper berries and dill.  Drizzle with Olive oil if desired and finish with a sprinkle of flaky salt and pepper.

Creamy Mushroom Soup Topped with Sautéed Shiitakes

Creamy Mushroom Soup Topped with Sautéed Shiitakes

Creamy Mushroom Soup Topped with Sautéed Shiitakes

 

8 T. unsalted butter, divided

6 large shallots, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

2 pounds white button mushrooms, washed, dried, and thinly sliced

7 cups chicken broth

1/3 cup dry sherry

1 cup heavy cream

2 tsp. lemon juice

Fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and thinly sliced

 

Melt 6 T. butter in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add shallots and sauté, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and nutmeg and cook for 1 minute. Increase heat to medium, add sliced button mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Pour the chicken broth into the mushroom mixture and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes. Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and bring to a simmer over low heat. Stir in the sherry, cream, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 T. butter in a medium skillet over low heat. When foam subsides, add the shiitake mushrooms and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated and the mushrooms have browned. Serve in soup bowls, garnishing each serving with the sauteed shiitake mushrooms.

Wheat Berry & Wild Mushroom Stew

Wheat Berry & Wild Mushroom Stew

Wheat Berry & Wild Mushroom Stew

 

2 pounds cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin

½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed and minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 T. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus extra for drizzling

2 tsp. minced fresh thyme or ½ tsp. dried

½ tsp. table salt

6 cups vegetable or chicken broth, plus extra as needed

1½ cups wheat berries

½ cup dry Madeira or sherry, divided

6 ounces (6 cups) baby spinach

Grated Parmesan cheese

 

Microwave cremini mushrooms, porcini mushrooms, garlic, 1 T. oil, thyme, and salt in bowl, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker. Stir in broth, wheat berries, and 6 T. Madeira. Cover and cook until wheat berries are tender, 8 to 10 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.  Stir in spinach, 1 handful at a time, and let sit until wilted, about 5 minutes. Adjust consistency with extra hot broth as needed. Stir in remaining 2 T. oil and remaining 2 T. Madeira and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle individual portions with extra oil and sprinkle with Parmesan before serving.

Northwest Forest Mushroom and Oregon Hazelnut Strudel

Northwest Forest Mushroom and Oregon Hazelnut Strudel

Northwest Forest Mushroom and Oregon Hazelnut Strudel

1 pound assorted forest mushrooms

2 tsp. shallots, minced

2 tsp. garlic, minced

3 T. butter

1 T. lemon juice

3 T. dry sherry

4 tsp. white wine

1 cup heavy cream

2 1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped.

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

 

¾ C. lukewarm water

1 large egg. Beaten

¼ tsp. white Vinegar

2 ½ C. Bread Flour

¾ tsp. Salt

2 T. melted Butter

 

Prepare the strudel dough. Combine the water, egg. salt and vinegar mixing well. Place the flour in a mixing bowl, add half of the liquid and mix a few seconds. ADD remaining liquid and continue to mix until smooth, about I minute. Add the melted butter, mix until blended. Knead the dough slightly by hand to check for consistency. Coat with a drop of oil and place In a covered bowl. Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before using. Combine 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts and ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese. Reserve this mixture to use in rolling the strudel. Mince the assorted mushrooms. Sauté the shallots and garlic in butter until lightly toasted. Add the mushrooms and lemon juice, continue to cook until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.  ADD the white wine and sherry to the hot pan and stir into the mushrooms. ADD the cream, salt and pepper. Reduce the liquid by half and add the remaining cheese and hazelnuts. PLACE in a shallow pan to cool. STRETCH the strudel dough. Butter lightly with drawn butter. PLACE the cooled filling at one end of the dough and roll as per all strudel preparations, brushing each turn of dough with drawn butter and sprinkling with the reserved hazelnut/ Parmesan mixture. BAKE at 400* F for approximately 25 minutes. COOL slightly before slicing.

Cauliflower steak with mushrooms and anchovy

Cauliflower steak with mushrooms and anchovy

Cauliflower steak with mushrooms and anchovy

 

One 2-ounce (45 g) tin of anchovies in olive oil, drained

3⁄4 C. (200 g) butter (at room temperature), plus extra

½ pound (200 g) French fingerling potatoes, halved

Olive oil

2 garlic cloves, one crushed and one halved

Salt and pepper, to taste

½ bunch of rosemary

1 large cauliflower

1 tsp. nutmeg

1½ C. (150 g) mixed mushrooms (such as oyster, beech, and chestnut mushrooms), chopped into pieces

½ C. (50 g) roasted pecans, coarsely chopped

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Combine the anchovy fillets with the butter in a food processor until it forms a thick mass. Scoop the mixture onto plastic wrap and roll it into a neat, thick tube. Let it set in the fridge. Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drizzle with olive oil, and rub in the crushed garlic with your hands. Season with salt and pepper and scatter the sprigs of rosemary on top. Roast the potatoes for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Meanwhile, cut two large, flat “steaks” from the middle of the cauliflower. Rub both sides with the garlic halves and sprinkle with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Melt the extra butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the cauliflower steaks, flipping them regularly, for a total of 5 minutes on each side. Add the mushrooms halfway through the cooking time. Take the anchovy butter out of the fridge and cut into slices. Serve each cauliflower steak with a slice of anchovy butter, along with the roasted potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, and pecans.: The remaining anchovy butter will keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. It’s great on toast or on a baguette!

Shakshuka not just for Eggs

Shakshuka not just for Eggs

Shakshuka not just for Eggs

It’s every bit as delicious without the eggs, stashed in the freezer for a quick meal with nothing more than a piece of toast or a sprinkling of feta, or as a base for some leftover grilled chicken. If you’re a gardener with bumper crops of peppers and tomatoes, you’ll want to put up some extra quarts; it’s an easy recipe to double or even quadruple. If you use red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, the final dish will have a sweeter, less pungent flavor than if you use green, so use your favorite or what you have on hand. It’s also fine to use chicken stock rather than vegetable broth.

 

3 T. olive oil

1 medium white or yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 T. pimenton de la Vera or smoked paprika

2 tsp. ground turmeric

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste

2 medium bell peppers, seeded and diced

1 (15-ounce) can whole or diced tomatoes, or 2 medium fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced

1 1/2 C. vegetable broth

1/2 to 1 tsp. salt

 

In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and stir, cooking until it is translucent and golden, about 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute, until golden. Stir in the pimenton, turmeric, thyme, cayenne, and bell peppers. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peppers have softened. Add the tomatoes with their juice and the broth, stirring to blend. Simmer, uncovered, for 40 to 55 minutes, until the mixture has reduced to a thick sauce. Season to taste with salt. Shakshuka will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

French Onion Tart

French Onion Tart

French Onion Tart

 

Pastry

2 C. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 T. sugar

12 T. cold unsalted butter, diced (1 1/2 sticks)

1/2 C. ice water

 

Onion Topping

1 C. gruyere cheese, shredded (4 oz)

1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced

2 tsp. fresh chives, minced

1 1/4 lb. sweet onions, (about 3 medium onions)

1 T. heavy cream

3 T. unsalted butter, diced

1 tsp. kosher salt

 

Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Roll the dough between two sheets of lightly floured wax paper, slightly larger than 10 x 14 inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the onions. Sprinkle the rolled pastry with the cheese right to the edges. Sprinkle with thyme and chives. Peel, halve, and very thinly slice the onions into half-moons, keeping the moons intact. Place the onion half-moons on the pastry in diagonal lines, just barely overlapping and brush lightly with cream. Dot with the butter and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 40 mins or until the tart is golden and browned. Cover the edges with foil if the tart is getting too brown during baking. Let cool slightly and cut into squares to serve. Serve warm or at room temperature. Recipe Notes: The dough comes together in minutes in your food processor and can be made well in advance and frozen until you’re ready to use it.

There’s no pre-cooking of the onions on the stove like many onion tarts require. They’re simply sliced thin and arranged over a sprinkling of grated cheese and herbs and baked until golden brown and caramelized. The tart can be sliced into squares, strips, or wedges, but no matter how you slice it (yes I went there), it’s just plain delicious. Tart can be served right out of the oven or at room temperature, which makes it ideal for parties.

 

Broccoli Cheese Cups

Broccoli Cheese Cups

Broccoli Cheese Cups

 

3 cups cooked and chopped broccoli

1 large egg

12 Ritz crackers (crushed)

1 heaping cup of cheddar cheese (plus more for topping)

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  In a medium size bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until well incorporated.  Generously grease a mini muffin tin and evenly distribute the mixture into about 16 of your muffin tin cups.  Use your fingers to squish the mixture down so that it’s well compacted. Top with more cheese and bake in the center rack for 14-16 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown. Let them cool for at least 5 minutes before removing them from the pan. Serve alone or with a little ranch or ketchup for dipping. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Recipe Notes: The mixture will seem a bit dry, but this is what makes them crispy and not too eggy. Add an extra egg if you want more of a quiche consistency. They’re great for breakfast this way!  Like things crispy? You can add a pinch of cheese to the bottom of your greased muffin tin wells before adding your mixture.  Feel free to season however you’d like. You could also add onion powder or black pepper. Don’t forget that the Ritz crackers already have added salt.

Quick Sesame Ramen Noodles

Quick Sesame Ramen Noodles

Quick Sesame Ramen Noodles

 

1 package ramen noodles, flavor packet discarded

1 T. coconut oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp. grated fresh ginger

1 T. brown sugar

2 T. low-sodium soy sauce

1 T. rice vinegar

1 tsp. chili garlic paste

2 T. toasted sesame oil

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Toasted sesame seeds, for sprinkling

 

Cook the ramen noodles according to the directions on the package. While the noodles are cooking, in a large skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium-low heat. Stir in the garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute, then stir in the sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and chili garlic paste. Turn off the heat and stir in the sesame oil. Add the cooked noodles to the skillet and toss well to coat. Serve the noodles with lots of scallions and sesame seeds on top.

Zucchini Quesadilla

Zucchini Quesadilla

Zucchini Quesadilla

 

4 T. olive oil

1 onion, coarsely chopped

Salt

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium zucchini (about 1 lb.), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

1 cup frozen corn kernels (4 ounces)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas

2 C. grated pepper jack cheese

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 3 T. oil over medium heat. Add onion and 1 tsp. salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute more. Add zucchini and frozen corn kernels; cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is soft and corn is tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro, if using. Brush one side of all tortillas with remaining T. oil; lay 2 tortillas, oiled side down, on a baking sheet. Place half of the filling on each, and sprinkle with half the cheese. Place remaining 2 tortillas on top, oiled side up; press down gently with a spatula to seal. Bake until cheese has melted and tortillas are golden brown, turning once, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool slightly. To serve, slice each quesadilla into wedges.

Kuku Sabzi (Persian Herb Frittata)

Kuku Sabzi (Persian Herb Frittata)

Kuku Sabzi (Persian Herb Frittata)

 

Kuku sabzi can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature – making it the perfect make ahead dish and picnic favorite!

 

4 T. extra-virgin olive oil

5 oz chopped baby spinach (about 4 cups)

3 cups thinly sliced green onions

3 cups finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 cup finely chopped fresh dill leaves and tender stems

12 large eggs

2 T. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

 

Fresh mint leaves, for garnish (optional) Preheat the oven to 375°F [190°C] and set an oven rack in the middle position. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and green onions and cook until softened and wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes. Add the cilantro, parsley, and dill and stir to combine. In another bowl, whisk the eggs until lightly beaten. Add the flour, salt, turmeric, and pepper and whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the herbs and stir until combined. Add the remaining 3 Tbsp of oil to a 9 in [23 cm] square pan and tilt the pan to coat the bottom and sides. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and transfer to the oven. Bake until the eggs are just set, about 30 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into 16 squares. Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with mint leaves before serving, if desired. Store, refrigerated, in a Stasher bag or an airtight container for up to 3 days.

 

To fry the kuku instead of baking::  Preheat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat in a 12 inch skillet. When the oil begins to ripple, pour half of the kuku mixture into the pan, lower heat to medium and cook until the kuku is set on the bottom and beginning to set on the top. Use the flat end of a spatula to divide the kuku into wedges. Flip one wedge at at time and continue to cook until the kuku is fully set and there is no raw egg in the middle. Move the cooked kuku onto a plate and repeat with the other half of the batter, adding more olive oil before you add the batter.

Baked Tofu

Baked Tofu

Baked Tofu

 

These chewy, savory nuggets are an excellent make-ahead protein option for meatless lunches.

 

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cut one 14 to 16 oz block of extra-firm tofu into 1 in slabs. Place a double layer of paper towels onto a baking sheet and arrange the tofu slabs in a single layer on top. Cover with a double layer of paper towels and set another baking sheet on top. Place a heavy cast-iron skillet or several large cans onto the baking sheet to weigh it down for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together 3 T. of soy sauce, 1 T. of sesame oil, and 1 T. of maple syrup. Cut the pressed tofu into 1 in cubes, gently toss in the marinade, and let sit for several minutes. Arrange the tofu in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes, turning the pieces over halfway through baking. Makes about 2 cups [320 g].

Nepalese Vegetable Momos

Nepalese Vegetable Momos

Nepalese Vegetable Momos

 

1.5 C. all-purpose flour maida

1 T. cooking oil

Salt as per taste

1/2 C. water or as required to knead a smooth elastic dough

Ingredients for the momos stuffing

2/3 C. cabbage finely chopped

2/3 C. carrot finely chopped

1/2 C. capsicum finely chopped

1/2 C. onion finely chopped

2 T. spring onion finely chopped

1 tsp. grated ginger

1 tsp. grated garlic

1 T. vinegar

1 tsp. black pepper powder

Salt as per taste

1 tsp. any cooking oil of your choice

 

Mix all the ingredients of dough and knead to make a smooth dough. Cover it with a wet cloth and keep aside. In a pan heat oil, add ginger, garlic, and onion. Sauté for around 30 seconds and then add all the remaining vegetables. Add salt, pepper, vinegar and stir fry till the moisture evaporates. Switch off the gas and keep the stuffing aside till it reaches room temperature. Make same sized, small balls of dough. Keep them covered under a wet cloth. Take one dough ball at a time; flatten it by pressing between your palms. Dust with some dry flour and roll it into a thin disc with the help of a rolling board and pin. Now put around 3/4 T. stuffing in the middle of a disc. Lift the edges from all sides and start pleating to bring them to the center. Pinch them together to join at the center. Make momos from the remaining balls in a similar way. Now grease the surface of your steamer’s plate. Place the momos on it and steam for around 20 minutes or till they become translucent. Serve hot with momos chutney! Or savory dipping sauce.

 

Savory Dipping Sauce

 

1 C. distilled white vinegar

1 C. sugar

¼ C. soy sauce

1 C. ketchup

1 tsp. cornstarch

 

Place the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and ketchup in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. 2 Combine the cornstarch and 1 T. of water in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork. Stir into the sauce, then bring the sauce to a boil over high heat and boil until thickened, about 1 minute. Serve alongside the momos. Any extra sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before serving.

 

Yield: 12 dumplings

1 dumpling

Calories: 80

Fat: 2g

Fiber: 1g

Leek Top Cacio e Pepe

Leek Top Cacio e Pepe

Leek Top Cacio e Pepe

1 leek top, split in half (see here) and cut into 6-inch lengths

6 ounces bucatini or spaghetti

3 T. extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 C. grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

 

Fill a large pot with salted water (use 2 or 3 three-finger pinches of salt – it should taste like the sea) and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, stack a couple of leek lengths on top of one another and make narrow cuts down the length of them, like you’re turning them into linguini. Once you get the hang of this, you can make your stack a little higher. Don’t stress out about it too much; they won’t all look perfect – it’s fine. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and give it a stir. Take note of the instructions on the package; you’ll be subtracting 2 minutes from the cooking time. One minute before the pasta is done (so 3 minutes before the time on the package), add the shredded leek tops. Drain the pasta and leek tops, reserving 1 C. of the cooking water. Return the empty pot to the same burner and turn the heat to medium. Add the olive oil and pepper to the pot; let it sit until it smells fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the drained pasta and leek tops to the pot, and using tongs, toss everything around to coat. Add ¼ C. of the reserved pasta water to the pot, sprinkle on about half of the cheese (you’ll end up with cheese clumps if you dump it all in one pile), and, using the tongs, toss to coat and melt the cheese. Repeat this step with another ¼ C. pasta water and the rest of the cheese. You should now have a silky sauce coating all of the pasta and leek tops (the tops might require a little more tong action to distribute them evenly). If not, add a little more pasta water and toss everything again, then serve and eat immediately.

Ricotta Gnocchi with Parsley Pesto

Ricotta Gnocchi with Parsley Pesto

Ricotta Gnocchi with Parsley Pesto

1 pound fresh ricotta, about 2 C., drained well

Salt and pepper

3 or 4 T. grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

2 eggs, beaten

¼ to ½ cup all-purpose flour, as needed

Fine semolina flour or rice flour, for dusting

3 C. flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems

1 small garlic clove, minced

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 T. unsalted butter

¼ cup toasted pistachios, roughly chopped for garnish

 

Put ricotta in a large mixing bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Whisk in Parmesan and taste. The mixture should be well seasoned. Add eggs and mix well, then sprinkle in 1/4 cup flour and stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate. You should have a soft, rather sticky dough. Dump dough onto a clean work surface. Add a little more flour if necessary and pat very lightly to form a soft mass. Test the dough: Bring a saucepan of well-salted water to a boil. Take 1 T. of dough and drop into water. Dough should sink to the bottom, then rise to the surface. Let simmer 1 minute, then remove and taste. If the dumpling keeps its shape, continue to Step 3. If it falls apart, add a little more flour to the dough, but carefully: If you add too much, the gnocchi will be stodgy. Dust dough lightly with semolina, then cut it into 4 equal parts. Dust work surface with semolina. With your hands flat, gently roll each piece into a rope about 3/4-inch in diameter and 12 inches long. Keep sprinkling semolina on dough to keep it from sticking to the counter or your hands. Using scissors or a sharp, thin-bladed knife, cut each log into 12 pieces. Dust bottom of a baking sheet with semolina. Transfer gnocchi with a spatula to baking sheet, leaving space between them so they are not touching. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour (or leave in a cool room). To make the parsley pesto, put parsley, garlic, olive oil and butter in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse briefly, then blend to a rough purée. Taste and season with salt and pepper. You should have about 1 cup pesto, more than you need for this recipe. Leftover pesto can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to a month. Place a large pot of well-salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add gnocchi, working in batches, if necessary. When they bob to the surface, let them cook for about 2 minutes and lift them from the pot with a slotted spoon or spider, transferring gnocchi to a large, wide skillet. Add 4 to 6 T. pesto and 1/2 cup pasta cooking water to skillet and swirl pan to coat gnocchi. Serve gnocchi in warmed individual shallow soup bowls or a deep, wide platter. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and dust with Parmesan. Pass more grated Parmesan separately.

Green Shakshuka

Green Shakshuka

Green Shakshuka

 

2 T. olive oil

1/2 medium onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

9 ounces brussels sprouts, shaved or finely sliced

1 zucchini, grated

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

2 C. packed baby spinach

5 large eggs

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 large avocado, for garnish

 

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Add the shaved brussels sprouts and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. When the brussels sprouts have softened, add the zucchini and spices and stir for another minute. Add the baby spinach and stir until it just starts to wilt, then turn the heat to low. Flatten the mixture with a spatula and create 5 small wells, then crack the eggs into each well. Cook until the eggs are done to your liking. You can also add a lid to steam and cook the eggs faster. Sprinkle the fresh cilantro on top and garnish with sliced avocado.

Pesto and Ricotta Filled Spinach Crepes with Pomegranate

Pesto and Ricotta Filled Spinach Crepes with Pomegranate

Pesto and Ricotta Filled Spinach Crepes with Pomegranate

 

For the Crepes:

1 cup milk

1 cup flour

2 eggs

2 T. Olive Oil, plus more for cooking the crepes.

1 cup frozen spinach

Pinch of salt

For the Filling:

16 oz ricotta cheese

1 jar Colavita Pesto

For the Topping:

Fresh or frozen pomegranate seeds

 

Add all the crepe ingredients to a blender and purée until smooth. Pour it into a bowl. Heat a crepe or frying pan over medium-low heat. Drizzle the pan with about 1 tsp. of Olive Oil. Ladle a scoop of the crepe mixture into the hot pan and swirl it around the surface of the pan, so that there is a thin, even layer. Allow it to cook for about 1-2 minutes and flip. Cook another minute. Slide the crepe from the pan onto a dish. Oil the pan again and repeat with the remaining batter. For the filling: In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta and the pesto. To assemble: Spoon the cheese and pesto mixture into the center of the crepe and fold in thirds. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve alongside remaining cheese.

Baked Savory Custard with Cheese

Baked Savory Custard with Cheese

Baked Savory Custard with Cheese

2 C. cream, half-and-half or milk

1 sprig thyme, optional

1 clove garlic, optional

3 eggs plus 2 yolks

Pinch cayenne

½ tsp. salt

½ cup grated semihard cheese, like Gruyère, Comté or Emmenthal

½ cup grated Parmesan

 

Put cream in a small pot with thyme and garlic, if you’re using them. Cook just until it begins to steam. Heat oven to 300 degrees and set a kettle of water to boil. Put eggs, cayenne and salt in a medium bowl and whisk or beat until blended; stir in the cheese. Remove thyme and garlic from cream, then add cream gradually to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour mixture into a 1-quart dish or into 4 ramekins or custard C.. Put dish or ramekins in a deep baking pan and pour boiling water in, to within about 1 inch of top of dish or ramekins. Bake until mixture is not quite set; it should jiggle a bit in middle. This will take about 30 minutes for ramekins and longer for baking dish; also, cream sets faster than milk. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold within a few hours of baking.

Hedgehog Mushroom Risotto

Hedgehog Mushroom Risotto

Hedgehog Mushroom Risotto

 

1 ½ C. Hedgehog Mushrooms, cut into bite sized pieces

1 small Orange winter squash or pumpkin, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

6 cloves Garlic

Fresh Thyme

3 C. Arborio Rice

Butter

Olive Oil

Toasted Pine Nuts

 

Place mushrooms in 2 C. hot water and leave to soak.  Meanwhile, Roast squash, garlic and some thyme in a 350F oven for 20-30 minutes, until fork tender and lightly browned.  Add olive oil to pan and dice 3+ cloves of the roasted garlic and add to pan over medium heat.  Add rice to pan, and toss around to toast a little.  Add a few pieces of squash and mash them to add color to the rice.  Add mushrooms to rice – reserving liquid.  Add a ladleful of the mushroom soaking water and stir the rice until liquid is almost absorbed.  Repeat until all mushroom stock has been absorbed.  Stir in a knob of butter and then the cooked squash.  Top with additional fresh thyme and serve.

Foraged Mushroom Tart

Foraged Mushroom Tart

Foraged Mushroom Tart

1 ready-made pie crust

2 T. butter

1⁄2 cup minced onion

salt

freshly ground black pepper

4 C. sliced exotic mushrooms (lobster, hedgehog, oyster, black trumpets, baby shiitakes, etc.)

2 tsp. chopped garlic

2 C. heavy cream

3 large eggs

1 dash hot pepper sauce

1 dash Worcestershire sauce

1 cup grated white cheddar cheese

4 ounces shaved parmigiano-reggiano cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place crust in a 10 inch tart pan. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. In a medium sauté pan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until the mushrooms are wilted. Stir in the garlic and remove from the heat. Cool completely. In a mixing bowl, whisk the cream and eggs together. Season with 3/4 of a tsp. of salt, pepper, hot pepper sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well. Pour the mushroom mixture into the pastry shell. Sprinkle the cheese over the mushrooms. Pour the cream mixture over the cheese. Bake until the center sets and the top is golden, about 55 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing to serve.

Five-Spiced Crispy Baked Tofu with Seared Bok Choy

Five-Spiced Crispy Baked Tofu with Seared Bok Choy

Five-Spiced Crispy Baked Tofu with Seared Bok Choy

2 T. corn starch

2 T. Shaoxing wine

1 T. dark soy sauce

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder

pinch black or white pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. Sichuan peppercorns ground

4 cloves garlic minced

Tofu

450 g medium firm tofu

3 medium heads bok choy quartered, leaves removed and set aside

1 T. rice vinegar

1/3 cup water

watermelon radishes or carrots (optional garnish)

 

Place the tofu on a plate, then place a heavy plate on top of it to press out the excess water. If necessary, you can add a book to weigh down the plate a little but take care not to crush the tofu. Press for at least an hour, draining the water from the bottom plate periodically. Combine all the marinade ingredients and set aside. Cut the tofu into strips or cubes and combine with the marinade. Let stand for at least 1 hours, or up to overnight. Preheat the oven to 500 F and cover a baking pan with a silicon baking sheet or a very generous amount of high smoke-point cooking oil (e.g. grapeseed or avocado oil). Layer the marinated tofu on the baking tray, making sure to avoid crowding the pieces together. Mix the leftover marinade with the rice vinegar and water and set aside (or refrigerate if you plan to cook the tofu ahead of time). Bake for 7-10 minutes or until the tofu is crispy and brown on the bottom (i.e. the side touching the tray). Flip the pieces and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the other side is browned and somewhat crispy. Once the tofu is finished, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool somewhat. It can be refrigerated and reheated the next day, if you like. (See note below) Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tsp. of oil (I used avocado, but grapeseed, vegetable, or peanut oil would all work well). Once the oil is shimmering and quite hot, add the quartered bok choy stalks to the pan, cut side down. Sear for about 1 minute, then turn and sear the other face (note that if you use small baby bok choy, you may simply want to halve them instead of quartering, in which case you’ll only need to sear one side). Remove the bok choy stalks from the heat and set aside. Add the bok choy greens to the pan and stir fry for about 15 seconds, then add the marinade and water mixture (from step 4) to the pan. Stir fry for and additional 30 seconds and set aside with the bok choy stalks. The sauce should thicken considerably thanks to the corn starch. Serve the tofu and greens over a bed of rice or noodles and garnish with some crunchy raw vegetables like carrots or watermelon radishes. Notes: In order to crisp up properly, the tofu must bake at high heat. This means that it’s quite easy to overcook (or even burn) the tofu, so make sure to keep a very close eye on it. If you have a silicon baking tray, I strongly recommend using it – even with a grapeseed or avocado oil, an oiled pan tends to smoke a little. Turn on your oven fan to help deal with it, and make sure not to use a low-smoke point oil like olive oil.

Don’t be tempted to omit the corn starch – it’s what makes the tofu crispy as it cooks, rather than just dry. Note that very well-pressed tofu can become quite the sponge for liquid, so you may want to consider doubling the liquid ingredients if you’re using a tofu press or leaving it to drain for a particularly long time.