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Posts from the ‘Quick sides’ Category

Kohlrabi & Walnut Salad

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Less is more. I find this is often true with recipes and ingredients, and this recipe has a short ingredient list with big flavor and texture.

Kohlrabi is in the Brassica family along with cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, and is a rather amusing looking little devil.

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It has a subtle, earthy flavor, and its texture is versatile: great crunch raw, or sweet tenderness roasted. In this salad, from Michael Anthony’s terrific book “V is for Vegetables”, it is sliced super thin and dressed with toasted walnuts and walnut oil & lemon juice dressing.

The trick to a salad like this one, or any where a vegetable is called to be thinly sliced, is a mandolin. I very much enjoy weilding a knife on a regular basis and can’t deny the consistent and ultra thin results from a kitchen mandolin. My favorite is a simple, light, Japanese one from Benriner ($23 on Amazon). Once you trim and peel the kohlrabi, slice, very carefully, onto a cutting board.

A little whisking and then gently fold in the kohlrabi and walnuts. The recipe calls for toasted walnuts, which is I know sometimes feels like an extra step, but it is always worth it. A hot oven at 400F for 3-4 minutes or a 2-3min in a hot, dry pan on the stove will bring out their best flavor.

Loveliness, crunchiness, tenderness.

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Crunchy Salad of Kohlrabi and Toasted Walnuts, serves 4

Michael Anthony, V is for Vegetables

Ingredients:

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup walnut oil

2 T olive oil

salt & pepper

1 or 2 kohlrabi, peeled and sliced paper thin

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

Whisk together the lemon juice, walnut oil and olive oil in a small bowl, then add lots of salt and pepper. Combine the kohlrabi and walnuts in a medium bowl. Gently toss with enough of the vinaigrette so that the salad is quite moist, separating the kohlrabi slices.

I also like to add freshly grated Parmesan right before serving.

Enjoy!

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Endive & Avocado Salad

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This is one of my favorite winter salads (or spring, or summer, or fall) because it can be chopped and whisked together in minutes and has a short ingredient list: endive, avocado, olive oil, Dijon mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, salt & pepper.

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My affection for it has increased since it is also raw, and as we continue our family’s kitchen remodeling and have no working kitchen (or more importantly no kitchen sink), recipes that are quick and cold are a plus. It begins with the lovely relationship between crispy endive and smooth avocado…

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See how they nuzzle? I love contrasts – in life, in opinions, in friends – and this is no exception. Endive is such a treat: if you’ve never worked with it, buy one and toss into your next salad for a great crispy crunch. Or slice in half lengthwise, braise in a bit of butter and olive oil, then sprinkle with a touch of sugar. Delicious. And avocado adds silkiness and a bit of good fat to the marriage. For this salad, slice the endive lengthwise and then cut into half moons. Halve the avocado (remove pit), make grid with a knife, then scoop out with a spoon. Both can head into a medium sized bowl.

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In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette (a basic french one always has zesty Dijon mustard), and pour over the endive and avocado, stirring gently. Enjoy!

Endive & Avocado Salad

Ingredients:
One head Belgian endive, sliced lengthwise and cut into half moons
One ripe avocado, halved, pitted, cubed and scooped
Add both to medium sized bowl, pour vinaigrette over top, stir gently.

Basic French Vinaigrette:
4T olive oil
1/2t Dijon mustard
1T vinegar (I typically have champagne on hand, but sherry also fine)
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (optional, and only if you have lemons handy)
1T minced shallot (optional)
Pinch salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Whisk all together in a small bowl

Enjoy immediately (both avocado and endive brown quickly once cut or sliced).

Sweet Potato, Green Apple & Celery Salad

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Here is a perfect dish for trumpeting Spring: crunchy vegetables, bright lemon juice, spicy grated ginger and sweet honey – like a deep breath of fresh air after a long winter. I stumbled upon this recipe on Food52: I stopped on this one when I read ‘raw sweet potato’, intrigued, and made it that afternoon. Yum! Indeed, the starchy sweet potato acts like jicama might: sturdy and crunchy, as the backbone for the other sweet and spicy components.

The only labor for this raw salad is the dicing, which I find enjoyable, but which can be easily done with a mandolin.

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This recipe can officially kick off picnic season, with the extra scarf and sun hat of course. Welcome Spring!

Sweet Potato, Green Apple & Celery Salad (adapted slightly from http://www.food52.com)

2T lemon juice

1T freshly grated ginger

1/2T – 1T honey

2T extra-virgin olive oil

coarse salt and freshly grated pepper

1 small sweet potato, peeled and finely julienned into matchsticks

1 tart Apple like Granny Smith, cored and finely julienned into matchsticks

1 celery stalk, thinly sliced, with leaves

2 scallions, thinly sliced

3 radishes, quartered and finely julienned

3T toasted sesame seeds

1/4c packed fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, ginger, honey and olive oil; season to taste with salt & pepper

2. In another bowl, combine sweet potato, apple, celery, scallions, radishes, sesame seeds and cilantro. Pour dressing over and toss gently.

Enjoy!

Cucumber Salad with Smashed Garlic and Ginger

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Happy new year! I really enjoy this time of the season, the lull after the holiday excitement, and the refocusing on the new year ahead. The weather is cold and bright here, so I see this zesty, fresh salad as a nice accompaniment to January: crisp, spicy and comforting.

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Red onions get a bit melbowed by a rice wine vinegar, sugar and sunflower oil dressing, but keep their crunch to contrast with the snappy cucumbers and spicy ginger.

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Enjoy and best wishes in 2016.

Recipe: Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi
Cucumber salad with smashed garlic and ginger
Dressing:
3T rice wine vinegar
2t sugar
2T sunflower oil
2t toasted sesame oil

Ingredients:
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1 1/2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1t Maldon sea salt
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
4 small (or 8 mini, or 2 English) cucumbers, peeled
1T toasted sesame seeds
3T chopped cilantro

1. To make dressing: whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

2. Add sliced red onion, mix well and leave aside to marinate for about an hour.

3. Place the ginger and salt in a mortar and pound well with a pestle. Add the garlic and continue pounding until it is also well crushed and broken into pieces (stop pounding before it disintegrates into a paste). Use a spatula to scrape the contents into the bowl with the onion and dressing. Stir together.

4. Cut the cucumbers lengthways in half, then cut each half on an angle into 1/4″ thick slices. Add the cucumber to the bowl, followed by the sesame seeds and cilantro. Stir well and leave to sit for 10 minutes.

5. Before serving, stir the salad again, tip out some of the liquid that may have accumulated, and adjust the seasoning.

Fresh Lima Beans

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Looks can be deceiving: this is the Lima Bean story. If you see them in the market or store, they are completely unassuming:

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But what sneakily hides inside these flat pods is a treasure. They are one of the legumes that requires shelling, like soy beans (edamame) or fava beans, which is another way of their trickery (aah, another deterrent). But shelling takes very little time so don’t despair.

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Once shelled, they still have a quiet presence: smooth and pale green staring back at you.

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After several therapeutic minutes of shelling (even little hands like to help with this part), you will have scores staring back at you.

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Let me tell you: it is all worth the wait. Freshly cooked lima beans, tossed in just a little bit of salty butter, are SUBLIME. They have a smooth bite, a nutty flavor, almost like pecans, but have their own earthiness, and they are an absolute treat. Don’t pass them by!

Local Fresh Lima Beans
1 1/2lbs beans in pod will yield roughly 2cups shelled beans
Shell by gently twisting pod, enough to open and remove beans, discard pod
Set large pot of water on stove to boil
Once boiling, add generous pinch of salt
Boil lima beans for 8-10minutes
Check often after 6-7min with a larger sized bean, texture should be smooth
Do not overcook, look for bright green color
Drain and run cool water to stop cooking
Toss with butter and salt to taste.

Spring Potato Salad

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My thoughts this week are drifting to Spring’s arrival on Friday. It was a great winter for cooking, lots of new recipes, lots of tinkering with past ones, but the sun’s angle has shifted, clocks have been changed and the snow is finally melting a bit. So this week as I gaze at fingerling potatoes, I’m seeing Spring colors in the form of one of my favorite, simple dishes: potato salad. Violet hued shallots, light green celery, and dark green parsley. Lots & lots of parsley.

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Of course, you’ll want some good sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

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Potatoes, steamed & smashed, skins on, crispy celery, crunchy shallots, mayonnaise, champagne vinegar, and a little salt & pepper. Preferably, all of it still a bit warm from the steaming.

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For me, potato salad is not a summer thing, it’s a spring thing and, if I may speak on behalf of all New Englanders, we are ready for a little Springtime.

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Enjoy!

Marinated Mushrooms with walnut and tahini yogurt

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Here is a perfect summer mushroom plate. It is light & healthy and travels very well for lunch al fresco. It starts with a tangy marinade of olive oil, white wine vinegar, maple syrup and lemons whisked and poured over a mix of button mushrooms and beech (or shimeji) mushrooms. I love the use of white button mushrooms here, since their simplicity is often over looked. Whip up a tahini yogurt with greek yogurt, tahini paste, and garlic and set it aside. Finally, give a quick boil to some bright fava beans (skin them if you like afterwards, which I do), chop some walnuts, fresh dill and fresh oregano and it’s simply assembly time. Add the beans, walnuts & cumin to the mushrooms, stir well, check for seasonings. Then add a dollop of tahini yogurt and sprinkle with fresh herbs. A welcome addition to summer picnics or a park bench lunch.

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Marinated Mushrooms with walnut and tahini yogurt

Plenty p. 58, by Yotam Ottolenghi

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2009/apr/11/yotam-ottolenghi-new-vegetarian

Barley, celery & cranberry salad

Barley, celery & cranberry salad

A really nice winter pick-me-up kind of dish here: the barley offers a heartiness, the crunchy celery folded in adds a bite, dill & parsley keep it interesting, and little surprises like allspice and sherry vinegar keep it very bright and playful. The original recipe, from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, called for pomegranate seeds, but I just missed the last batch of them at the market, so I substituted dried cranberries. A feel-good bowl of goodness for you!

Caramelized Fennel with garlic & dill

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What a lovely little dish, thanks to Mr. Yotam Ottolenghi once again. Lightly browned fennel slices, removed from the pan briefly in order to add coarse sugar and fennel seeds, then returned to the pan to caramelize gently. Remove from heat, mix carefully with a touch of garlic and chopped dill, then plate and add goat cheese (excluded here), lemon zest and fennel fronds. It is sweet and salty, tender and crunchy and start to finish took about 20 minutes: an A+ in my book.

Watercress, Pistachio, Cherry Salad

Watercress, Pistachio, Cherry Salad

Watercress, dill, cilantro, basil, tarragon, orange blossom water, fresh squeezed orange, pistachios and dried cherries. Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s Watercress salad. What an absolute awakening!