HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Vegetarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vegetarian. Show all posts

Monday, October 20, 2014

Whole Grain Spaghetti with Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms from Giada de Laurentiis

         
The stalks of Brussels Sprouts made their appearance at the farm stand a couple of weeks ago.   Because the weather here has been unusually warm, Brussels Sprouts seemed a little out of season.  But with the temperatures falling, it was time to find something to do with them.  Let’s face it, Brussels Sprouts are a love-them-or-hate-them vegetable.  Nobody is on the fence about them.  Recently they seem to have surged in popularity but I’ve never been sure this was about the sprouts themselves or whether it was a reaction to the countless recipes that paired them with bacon or roasted them in maple syrup or shredded them into Brussels Sprouts Two Ways (see http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2014/01/almonds-brussels-sprouts-hot-and-cold.html) which is reason alone to head out to dinner at Almond (1 Ocean Road, Bridgehampton NY Tel (631) 537-8885).
         That recipe made me a convert to these tiny cabbages. Wanting to see if I could expand my repertoire, I poked around and lo and behold, I came across a recipe that made them into a pasta sauce.  Furthermore, it was a vegetarian dish made even more healthy by the use of Whole Grain Spaghetti.  This dish could even make it onto Almond’s Meatless Monday menu!  But I could save myself a 100 mile drive  from the city and make it at home.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Petty Cash's Zucchini Quesadilla with Spicy Salsa Rioja

       
Food and Wine's Version 
As I was working my way through last month’s Food and Wine, I came to an overhead shot of a crispy, toasted tortilla topped with bright red chiles and cilantro leaves.  I was taken with the photo and I was consumed by the recipe. It’s vegetarian so perfect for those meatless meals I am trying to achieve at least once a week.  And I love a great Quesadilla, with the cheese oozing out the sides of the tortilla and filled inside with any number of meaty ingredients like a tinga of puerco, pollo or carne.  This Quesadilla has none of those.  Instead it’s filled with a smoky flavored salsa made with roasted tomatoes, onions and garlic, thin slices of zucchini and as much Monterrey Jack cheese as you can stuff into it.  It’s pure Mexican street food but it was invented in a place that’s about un-Mexican as anywhere in Los Angeles CA. It’s on Beverly Boulevard between Beverly Hills and Hancock Park.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Burrata and Tomatoes...two ways


     
  It’s been a really rough winter here so far and there are still 50 days to go.  But I found a couple of ways to conjure happier and warmer days.  This is thanks to the introduction of some delicious, ripe tomatoes that are widely available no matter what the weather is outside.  There are several varieties of Grape tomatoes to choose from. There are also small heirloom tomatoes that are equally good at putting summer on a plate in the dead of winter.  And to further the illusion, there’s beautiful, ripe Burrata cheese. And for Burrata fans fortunate enough to live near one, Trader Joe’s sells 8 onces of the cheese for $4.99 – enough for at least four salads or our second recipe for a Tomato and onion tart.
            For the past two summers, we’ve been using Burrata as a stand in for fresh mozzarella.  We love opening up the mozzarella-like exterior to reveal the luscious creamy center of the cheese.   In fact, it is cream because Burrata itself is made from both mozzarella and fresh cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella while the inside is a mixture of both mozzarella and cream, giving it an unusually soft  and creamy texture.  The name “Burrata” actually means ‘buttered’ in Italian and one taste tells you why.   Served fresh, at room temperature, it is a perfect  partner to ripe baby tomatoes,  an excellent stand-in for the big boys of summer in the iconic Tomato and Mozzarella Salad.  That dish is an exceedingly  simple thing to put together as you will see here.  The second way to enjoy these wonderful flavors together requires a little more time.  It relies on roasting the tiny tomatoes and some onions then using store-bought Puff Pastry to make a tomato and onion tart that you then heap with fresh burrata.  The tart not only staves off the cold, it makes a perfect appetizer or a delightful side dish.
          Burrata, like all mozzarella, owes its existence to an Asian native, the water buffalo, first brought to Italy in the 15th century. Water buffalo milk is richer and higher in protein than that of cows, yielding 1.6 times more cheese. It doesn’t have the yellowish  pigment found in cow’s milk, so buffalo mozzarella is pure white. True Mozzarella is made with the milk of water buffaloes; in Italy this is a legal requirement, and a similar cheese made with cow's milk is called fior di latte or fiordilatte, and not Mozzarella at all.  In the US however, this cheese is often made with cow's milk and sold under the names of mozzarella and burrata.  This is precisely what the Trader Joe variety is made from.   I am not sure how they make it as white as it is.       
        Regardless of contents or national origin, these two recipes are so easy and so delicious, they really do put color and summer on your table in no time.  Here are the recipes:
Recipe for Baby Tomato and Burrata Salad
1 lb container of Grape Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes or Heirloom Baby Tomatoes, sliced in half
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil  
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper
Fresh thyme leaves (Optional)
8 ounces fresh Burrata Cheese
1.   In a bowl, gently toss tomatoes, olive oil and, if using, thyme leaves together. 
2.   Divide among 4 plates. 
3.   Break open the ‘boules’ of Burrata and divide them evenly among the plates.  Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.  Serve at once.
Recipe for Tomato and Onion Tart topped with Burrata
1 large Spanish or Vidalia onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 lb Grape, Heirloom or Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1/2 of a 17.3-ounce package Pepperidge Farm® Puff Pastry Sheets (1 sheet), thawed

8 ounces of Burrata

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme 
1. Heat the oven to 400°F.


2. Place the onion into a medium bowl.  Add 1 tbsp. oil and toss to coat.  Place the onion onto a baking sheet.  Place the tomatoes, cut-side up, onto another baking sheet and drizzle with the remaining oil.


3. Roast the tomato and onion for 25 minutes or until the onion is well browned.  Remove the onion from the oven.  Roast the tomatoes for 10 minutes more.  Let the onion and tomatoes cool on the baking sheets on wire racks.


4. Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface.  Roll the pastry sheet into a 12-inch square.  Place the pastry sheet onto a baking sheet.  Prick the pastry thoroughly with a fork.  Arrange the onions on top of the puff pastry and then arrange the tomato pieces over them.  Sprinkle with the thyme leaves.


5. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the cheese is melted.  Remove the pastry from the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
6.  Divide the Burrata into four even pieces and top the tart with them.  Serve at once. 



Monday, November 1, 2010

South Indian-style Vegetable Curry

All these beautiful vegetables go into this delicious Curry
       I don’t know what verb I’d use to describe my reaction to the latest statistics showing that Americans just don’t eat their vegetables….Appalled? Shocked? Disturbed?  I’d have to say none of the above.  I started doing a check on what I’d been eating in a week.  There was the day I had a Porchetta sandwich for lunch—devoid of even a piece of lettuce, then followed that with a dinner out of Speck and Figs, followed by the most delicious Scallops but absent any vegetables of any kind.  Of course, this day I ate both meals out.  It’s amazing how many very good restaurants don’t incorporate vegetables into their main courses.  But I guess when you can charge $9.00 for a bowl of spinach as a side, you’d be hard pressed to rationalize putting a carrot on the plate to accompany a main dish.  At home, we do a lot better.  Although we hardly qualify as vegetarians, there are always vegetables or, at minimum, a salad.   And while we have yet to put a strictly vegetarian dinner on our weekly schedule, this fantastic Vegetable Curry could change that.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wild Mushroom and Leek Tart



David Falkowski's  Oyster Mushrooms are beyond compare
Leeks from the Foster Family Farm
        One of the joys of being part of the Farmer’s Markets this fall has been getting first dibs on some incredible produce.  The market opens at 9 but everyone is generally in place before that.  I feel like an early bird at a Yard Sale because before we welcome our paying customers, I do a little shopping.  The bread from Blue Duck Bakery is superb.  You’ve read how good David Falkowski’s mushrooms are.  And right next to where I am, from the Foster Family farm in Sagaponack, there’s a beautiful array of vegetables every week.  That the farm still operates is a bit of a miracle:  The land is so valuable that mostly what has sprouted up in the neighboring fields are multi-million dollar houses.  At one point, Sagaponack was listed as the most expensive Zip code in the country.  But the Fosters carry on.  The soil in Sagaponack is said to be about the best on the East Coast.  Left behind millennia ago when the glaciers retreated, it’s six feet of loam in places!  So you can imagine how beautiful everything that’s grown there is.  Last week, I could not resist the leeks.  Putting them together with two of David’s mushroom varieties—dried porcinis and fresh Oyster Mushrooms— seemed the perfect thing to do.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A visit to The Beacon and a recipe for Crispy Portobello Mushrooms with Shallot Beurre Blanc Sauce


View from The Beacon.  Photo by Beth and Peter Whiteley


        There’s no shortage of great places to eat on the East End.  Although you would never think so on a Summer weekend when you can’t get a table anywhere without advance reservations.  There is, surprisingly, a dearth of restaurants right on the water--especially considering we’re surrounded by it.   And sad to say, several of those have traded in good food and decent service to trade on their view.  So you are even more limited if you want to eat well. 
Of all the restaurants out here, with waterviews or without, our hands-down favorite is The Beacon at 8 West Water St. in Sag Harbor.  I’d give you the phone number but it’s not much use.  The Beacon doesn’t take reservations.  It doesn’t have to.  The line forms downstairs before the place opens at 6. The last time I was there, the place was jammed by seven.  Those of us who were early birds had snagged the open air tables on the deck overlooking the Marina. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tomato Bread Pudding



It's the height of tomato season on Long Island and this year's crop is incredibly good.  The heat and the sun have given us not only red beauties but all kinds of heirloom varieties and lots of choices in cherry tomatoes--from yellow to red to purple.  I really wait all year to make dishes that are meant for fresh tomatoes.  Sorry, not even those "tomatoes on the vine" can compete with the flavor and goodness of a summer tomato...although I have to admit, grape tomatoes really can hit the spot.  But of all the tomato dishes we've been gorging ourselves on, this recipe for a Tomato Bread Pudding is right at the top of our list.  



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

3 Side Dishes – Alex Guarnaschelli’s Stuffed Artichokes and her Oven-Roasted New Potatoes and the Lee Brothers Skillet Green Beans with Orange




        Almost all of the time, we share center of the plate dishes with you.  Today, we’d like to share three vegetable side dishes that put a spin on familiar favorites like green beans and potatoes, and we venture outside our comfort zone with Stuffed Artichokes.  In the process we were cooking in great company.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chicken with Taragon and Garlic Sauce Rice and Corn Salad with Lemon Dressing


        This recipe will add to your Chicken repertoire with an easy weeknight preparation that packs a lot of flavor into any BLSL* chicken breast you come across. It’s from the most recent issue of Bon Appetit (May 2010).  But the really wonderful discovery for me was the Rice Salad that was served along with it.

*BoneLess, SkinLess


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mario Batali’s Pasta Primavera


        The other day I told Andrew I wanted to cook “Pasta Primavera” for dinner.  He was a little leery and asked if the recipe didn’t call for heavy cream.  I had to admit that the original dish, when I first tasted it at the old Le Cirque, where it was invented in 1974, I seemed to recall swimming in cream sauce.  But right after he left for work, there was Mario Batali, who recently lost something like 20 lbs.,  preparing a Pasta Primavera with no cream whatsoever—just a reasonable amount of heart-healthy olive oil. It's from Mario's new and ninth cookbook "Molto Gusto:Easy Italian Cooking". And this recipe sure fits that bill.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Butternut Squash and Duxelles, a vegetarian main course or a great new side dish to try.




I remember when my Mother got her first Cuisinart in the 70s.  They were about the same price they are now but in '70s dollars, they weren’t cheap.  But my Mother was notorious for buying any labor-saving device that would get her out of the kitchen as quickly as possible.  So it wasn’t a surprise that she  latched onto the Cuisinart in the first wave of buyers.  I remembered asking her what she could make with it.  “Peanut Butter” she replied, “and Duxelles”.  Why you would spend over $200.00 for something you could get in a jar for .79 cents was a little beyond me.  And I can positively guarantee that no dish involving Duxelles, that paste of finely chopped mushrooms and shallots so dear to classic French cuisine, ever came out of my mother’s kitchen.  But in trying to find some vegetarian dishes to share with you, I came across a wonderful casserole of Butternut Squash, and yes, Duxelles.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Eggplant Parmigiano made for the Yogic Vegan's visit



I’m all for eating more vegetables and I’m all for spreading the word that vegetarian cooking can add a lot to your kitchen repertoire. But I was thrown for quite a loop when our dear friend, the doctor, informed us that she was now a Yogic Vegan. Vegans, in case you have never had the pleasure, are a tough lot to cook for. They not only eschew any kind of meat, poultry, or fish, they also restrict themselves to not eating any animal products at all. I mean any. The ramifications? Eggs? Animal Product. Cheese? Animal Product. But layer on Yogic to the vegan equation and here’s what else you can add to (or actually subtract from) your shopping list: Gelatin, rennet, garlic, onions, and mushrooms. I must admit I have no reasonable difficulty cooking without gelatin or rennet but the rest of the list gave me pause. However, there seemed to be a loophole because I’d very recently seen the good doctor devour a piece of ice cream cake at her child’s birthday party. Chink, chink. I contacted her and got a funny message back: “Oh sh*t”, she wrote. “ I just meant a kind of “quiet” vegan thing- and without the internet you would never have known-- nor would I have known, that there was actually such a thing. Bottom line: I am flexible and will eat anything other than a cow…….:). You can imagine my relief as I zeroed in on Eggplant Parmigiano as the centerpiece of an otherwise Vegetarian, though not vegan, meal.