Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fried Lima Beans with Sorrel, Sumac and Feta Cheese

I met Yotam Ottolenghi last month and when I saw this recipe on David Lebovitz' blog recently, I knew it would be the first dish I'd try from the new cookbook, Plenty. When I was a kid, there was nothing I hated more than lima beans. I even made a list of 10 reasons I refused to eat them, and my babysitter helped me illustrate it. Everytime my mom made something with lima beans, I'd have to eat five of them before I was allowed to pick the rest out and I would always grumble about it. But those were frozen, or sometimes canned lima beans, and it wasn't until recently that I tried dried ones and even fresh ones that are considerably less mushy (my major complaint with the beans of my childhood). In this dish, the sumac and sorrel make a really nice lemony contrast to the toasty beans. I'll definitely be making this again!

Roasted Plums with Baked Ricotta

My dad has an abundance of Satsuma plums and has been offloading them onto me regularly. I baked these with some honey and spices (vanilla bean, cloves, cardamom), and had them for breakfast. They were a bit tart (the skin can be very sour on this variety of plum and that comes out when they are cooked) so next time I would add a good handful of brown sugar as well.

Open Faced Goat Cheese, Roasted Tomato and Arugula Sandwiches

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fresh Shell Beans Over Polenta

I picked these Cranberry and Scarlett Runner beans from my garden today and there were just enough to make dinner for one. I simmered the beans with some marjoram, slowly cooked onions with thyme, and served them together over creamy polenta drizzled with a little good olive oil. Let me tell you: this was a winner! I will definitely be making this again once more beans start showing up in the market, and next year when (hopefully) my harvest is a little more plentiful.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Braised Fennel with Olives Over Polenta

Have you ever wished you hadn't followed a recipe? This was one of those dishes that I could picture in my head and probably would have made much better if I'd winged it. In the end I felt like I could have left out the vinegar, used less tomato paste, less chillies (although maybe the ones I used were especially spicy) and more salt. Next time...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Peaches with Greek Yogurt

Roasted Sweet Potato and Cranberry Beans with Ricotta

This is a River Cafe dish that's become a staple in my kitchen. I love making it with fresh cranberry or Borlotti beans when they are in season because it speeds up the cooking process, but it's just as good with dried beans soaked overnight. The beans are cooked with sage, garlic and a tomato, and the sweet potato is cut into chunks, tossed with olive oil, marjoram, and chili flakes, and roasted at 400 degrees for about a half hour. Fresh mozzarella is amazing with this dish but I didn't have any... to be honest, the ricotta just wasn't the same.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Zucchini and Arugula Frittata with Goat's Milk Feta

Frittatas really are the best way to get lots of veggies into a meal. I had some zucchini that was starting to wrinkle, and a big bag of arugula in my fridge, and half an hour later: lunch! I don't use a recipe for frittata- in this case I just sauteed the onions with some herbs and garlic, added in the zucchini and arugula and let them wilt, and then poured in beaten eggs. I scrambled them around a little and then let them set around the edges before crumbling some feta on top and sticking the pan in the oven for a few minuts, until the center was set. Finally, I put the frittata under the broiler for about 2 minutes, just to brown the cheese a bit and puff the eggs up.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Basil Devilled Eggs with Fried Capers

Yesterday what I expected to be a quiet holiday with a couple of friends turned into a big party. I made lamb and beet burgers, a couple of salads, grilled corn with garam masala and lime, sangria, Eton Mess, and these devilled eggs, inspired by Orangette's recipe. Instead of topping the eggs with the basil aioli, I mixed it into the egg yolks, and I thought that worked out really well. The fried capers on top were a great addition and I will definitely be finding ways to use them in other recipes too! Sadly, this was the only picture I got of the eggs before they were devoured... if anyone else took a better pic, let me know!

Summer Sangria

I am a sucker for Moscato d'Asti and as great as it is on its own, it also makes an amazing sangria. Here I used a combination of peaches, plums, and a handful of cherries, but really any summer fruits will work. I also added some green apple and grapefruit to give it an authentic sangria feel.

Lamb Burgers

For these, I mixed ground lamb with finely chopped red onion, fresh Greek oregano, ground cumin, and salt and pepper. I served them with mint chutney, feta cheese, and chopped olives, on rosemary focaccia.

Beet Burgers!

When I was in Austin a couple months ago I had an amazing veggie burger at 24 that was made with beets, lentils, and brown rice. I found this recipe on the Kitchn that looked similar, and with a couple of small modifications I think it came out great! Here's how I made mine (warning- lots of prep work is involved). I used chickpea flour so that the burgers would also be gluten-free.

1/2 cup cooked brown rice (you should overcook it so it's very soft)
1 onion, diced very fine
3 large red beets, also chopped very fine (you could use a food processor for this)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 C cooked lentils, slightly mashed
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 Tbs ground coriander seed
1/2 C chickpea flour
salt and pepper
olive oil

Sautee the onions with a little olive oil until translucent. Add the beets, garlic, and coriander and season with salt and pepper. Once the beets have softened (shouldn't take long since they are chopped so fine), add the mixture to the rice and lentils in a large bowl. Check for seasoning and add the lemon juice and chickpea flour to help bind the mixture together. Form into patties.

When you are ready to serve the burgers, heat olive oil in a very hot pan and cook the patties until browned and crisp on one side before flipping (about 2 minutes per side). The patties may fall apart a bit in the pan, but you can just push them back together with a spatula and once they are cooked they should hold together pretty well. If you have time, form the patties ahead and regfrigerate for an hour or two before cooking them- this will make them hold together much better.

Serve with roasted tomatoes, goat cheese, and arugula lightly dressed in lemon juice. I think the burgers eat best on a softer bun, since they are relatively fragile- a harder roll will squash them and make for a messier meal.

Farro with Cucumbers and Radishes in Buttermilk Dressing

Recipe from 101 Cookbooks.

Shaved Carrot Salad with Harissa, Mint and Feta

I like Amy Chaplin's harissa recipe, and I usually keep a little jar of it in the fridge to season veggies and chickpeas easily.