Roasted vegetables for summer meal

This is super-delicious, freshly vibrant, and low-stress because cooked vegetables sit on the counter until you’re ready to eat.

Here’s how to do it:
Game plan:

Put up some black forbidden rice or perhaps brown rice.

Grill vegetables in a grill pan over hot fire, basting with flavored olive oil (with pastry brush) before placing oil-side down on grill, and baste top. Cover grill to stop flares. Watch carefully and move around to prevent burning. Takes just a couple minutes if fire is hot.
Remove and serve warm or room temperature with perhaps some black forbidden rice and Asian vinaigrette.
Or take in Italian route with oregano in the oil, and fresh basil in some brown rice(?) with fresh tomato slices.

Specific directions:
Light a charcoal fire.

Chop garlic and add to olive oil with S&P. Optional: tarragon or rosemary.

Prepare Vegetables:

Sweet peppers, cut in half and remove seeds and ribs
Eggplant — Love Thai. Cut in half lengthwise and then into 4” pieces. If using large eggplant, cut off outside lengthwise and then into 1/2” or wider slices.
Onions, especially summer onions — peeled and cut in half if not too large. Otherwise cut into segments. I think it would be a good idea to stick a toothpick or soaked skewer through ‘em so they don’t fall apart and burn.
Zucchini, cut like eggplant — trim outside, then cut into 4” lengths and thick-ish slices.
Mushrooms — wash and de-stem, leaving whole. I like cremini. Portobello of course if you have ‘em.
Shishito peppers

 

Cooking black rice: Wash rice 4-5 times. Put in rice cooker and add 1 c rice to 1-3/4 c water. Cook like brown rice.

Alternately, put into small saucepan and cook for 30 minutes.

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Greens and beans

This is a classic Italian dish, and I believe is “classic” because it is so very delicious. The ingredients are interchangeable as long as there is plenty o’ garlic, greens and those thar beans!

Here is a pleasant summer variation, close to standard:

Broccolini

new or older onion, sliced in half-moons or quarters

garlic cloves, rough minced

chicken or vegetable stock

parmesan cheese

cannelini beans

Directions:

Cut up onion and garlic. Sauté onion in olive oil until soft. Add garlic and crushed red pepper, and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Rinse broccolini and add to sauté pan with S&P. Turn up heat and add stock. IMG_6042

Turn in stock, cover and cook on medium for about 5 minutes until just under crisp tender. Add beans to warm through about 3 minutes. IMG_6043

Serve with drizzle of lemon juice or vinegar, olive oil, and grated parmesan.

Green beans, farro & shrimp summer dinner

In July when green beans are at their peak harvest, quick sauté/braise stovetop with garlic scapes, new onions and almonds. Serve with farro and some easy oven roasted shrimp. Healthy, balanced meal that is also delicious!

Lay of the land:

You’re going to sauté green beans in olive oil after first sautéing garlic scapes and onions. Add beans, toss to cook quickly and then add water, cover and cook for 5+ minutes to crisp-tender. Remove cover and increase heat to boil away liquid. If you have pre-cooked farro (rinsed and cooked in 2-3x boiling salted water 20-25 minutes), you can heat it on one side of the pan while you finish cooking the beans. IMG_6035

Preheat oven to 450 degrees with pan in the oven to heat up. You will defrost and marinate some shrimp perhaps in an Asian-style marinade.

When you add green beans to sauté pan, remove shrimp from marinade with tongs and toss into oven for 8 minutes, turning with tongs halfway through.

My favorite potato salad

I had a college roommate Elizabeth who taught me a high-fat way of eating toasted bagels: spread the hot bagel with butter and *then* smear with cream cheese. That way the bagel part is not dry, since it has the melted butter in it. That’s the idea behind my potato salad method. I combine the German potato salad method of dousing the just-boiled, hot potatoes with white wine vinegar and olive oil. The hot taters soak up the vinegar/oil. THEN I add a mayo mixture to the taters once they are cooled in refrigerator, which coats and gloms onto the outside. A winner!

Ingredients:

3 # potatoes — new, Yukon Gold, or other delicious, preferably organic potatoes, scrubbed, cut into large pieces and boiled with onion if you like until just tender when pierced with knife, usually under 20 minutes cooking time. Drain in colander. While sitting in sink in colander, drizzle over potatoes white wine vinegar and then olive oil. Let sit, and then later put on plate and put into refrigerator to chill.

3 T mayo (I like Hellman’s regular, not healthy, but I’m used to the taste)

2 T sour cream

1 t mustard — Dijon only

shallot, 1 T, chopped, perhaps macerated for up to 15 minutes in white wine vinegar

S&P

Herbs:    garlic scapes, chives and/or tarragon — fresh from the garden, chopped.

Directions: Chop up shallot and herbs. Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and pepper and mustard. Whisk in herbs. Test by dipping piece of potato into dressing. Does it need more salt? A splash of vinegar to brighten? Let mayo mixture sit in refrigerator a bit to blend nicely ahead of time, such as while potatoes cool in refrigerator, or simply mix into cooled potatoes.

 

Farro and asparagus dinner, or how not to eat pasta

Ingredients:
Cooked farro, 1 c+
Asparagus 1/2 bunch, rinsed and cut into 2” pieces
Vegetable stock
onion, 1/2, diced
garlic, couple cloves, smushed
Red pepper flakes
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

Heat sauté pan, add coating of olive oil and then add garlic cloves and pepper flakes, reduced heat to low and cook gently for 5 minutes, turning garlic so as not to brown. Remove garlic, and increase heat to medium.

Add onion and cook about 3-4 minutes until softened, adding Salt.

Add asparagus and cook about 5-7 minutes until crisp-tender, adding stock and covering pan with lid to cook, and mixing in cooked farro about 3 minutes before asparagus is cooked.

Remove cover and raise heat to reduce liquid. (Can if desired mix 1 t cornstarch or arrowroot with 1 T water to create sludge, and add 2 minutes before dish is complete to create thickened stock/sauce.)

Plate and grate on parmesan cheese. Yum!

Grains and greens bowl

Once you get a rice cooker, you may want to not stop exploring the universe of rice varieties (not to mention yummy steel-cut oats for breakfast). For such an exploration, here’s a recipe that combines farro and black forbidden rice, cooked separately and cooled on a sheet pan. Mix in roasted cauliflower, steamed dandelion greens with a champagne vinegar dijon vinaigrette, and it’s stick-to-the-ribs delicious! Gilding the lily with some sweet on-hand cherry tomatoes and pepitas. Roasted butternut squash and/or other winter squash in lieu of cauliflower is Chef Thomas Keller’s recipe.

Ingredients:
Farro, 1 c
Black forbidden rice, 1 c
1/2 onion, chopped
Dandelion greens, 1/2 bunch, rinsed well and cut off tough bottom stems — steam in rice cooker for 10 minutes at end of one grain’s cycle
Cauliflower florets, roasted w/ olive oil, S&P
Vinaigrette made with champagne vinegar & mustard

Optional: cherry tomatoes
Pepitas
roasted butternut squash, sautéed first in butter in sauté pan

Directions:

Cook two separate batches of farro and rice. When each is done, remove to sheet pan, spread out and cool. (Tip: tastier farro if you sauté onion in olive oil, then add in farro to toast for 2 minutes, and then add into rice cooker with water.)
At end of second cycle, lay in cleaned dandelion greens on steamer dish to steam during last 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put sturdy sheet pan in oven to heat up.
Roast cauliflower florets with olive oil, S&P for 10-15 minutes, turning once or twice so they don’t burn.
Prepare vinaigrette: Put 3 T vinegar into Pyrex measuring copy and whisk in 1/2 t Dijon mustard. Add S&P, and whisk in olive oil. Taste with dandelion green and adjust to your taste.

Assemble:
Rice and faro in large bowl.
Mix greens in separate bowl with vinaigrette.
Put cauliflower on rice/farro, top with greens and vinaigrette. Add tomatoes and pepitas.

Serving the greens and cauliflower while still warm is nice. And the room temp rice/farro is a lovely contrast.

source/inspiration: https://www.jamesbeard.org/recipes/farro-and-black-rice-with-roasted-autumn-squash

Brussels sprouts hash

I recently learned a good way to use Brussels sprouts as an ingredient is to blanch them for three minutes (after cutting in half) and then refrigerate for a day or two.

I did this to roast Brussels sprouts for dinner (watch carefully! They are burn quickly!)
Then I had some left over and thought they could reappear as breakfast.

To do this:
Mince brussels sprouts.

Other ingredients:
Jalapeno pepper (or sweet peppers with dried red pepper flakes)
Mushrooms
Scallions (or onions)
Pancetta

Sauté in butter and a bit of olive oil or other oil (to prevent burning), adding salt and pepper along with way to layer the flavor.
Try cooking in this order: (for next time, know: cook first the items you least want to see raw!)
Mushrooms
Pancetta
Jalapeno
brussels sprouts
Scallions

Serve under fried eggs with toast.
Or poached eggs would not be an unwelcome partner to the hash either!