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Posts from the ‘Sides’ Category

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).

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Roasted Butternut squash & Red Onion with Tahini

Roasted Butternut squash & Red Onion with Tahini

As we are perhaps nearing the final cold days of winter, it was actually quite exciting to stumble upon a recipe that could still make squash feel new & fresh. Leave it to Mr Ottolenghi again. So simple and yet so interesting: roasting the squash and onions until they are browned actually brings the sweetness to the table, and then adding tahini (sesame paste) mixed with lemon and garlic, and sprinkling with za’atar makes for a simply wonderful mix of textures and flavors. It’s warm and familiar, and yet also, spicy and fresh. An gentle awakening for the senses…just in time for Spring…which must eventually arrive, right?

Tamara’s Ratatouille

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This is jam packed with red peppers, butternut squash, parsnip, zucchini and eggplant, and feels healthy and filling and cozy. I’m continuing to work through the Yotam Ottolenghi cookbook Plenty and am filled with inspiration and ideas! Let me make this for you soon.

Balsamic Wheatberries with Peaches & Prosciutto

Balsamic Wheatberries with Peaches & Prosciutto

I love wheatberries and find them pretty versatile. So with the late summer peaches being so juicy and sweet, I envisioned a hearty, sweet, salty summer grain salad: wheatberries, super ripe peaches, balsamic vinegar, prosciutto and chopped parsley. Yum!

Braised Endive with sauce Gribiche

Braised Endive with sauce Gribiche

Oh Gribiche! Pronounced ‘gree-beesh’, this classic French sauce is made by mashing a cooked egg yolk and mustard into a paste, then adding olive oil, capers, cornichons, parsley, tarragon, red wine vinegar, the cooked, diced egg white, and a squeeze of lemon. It is sublime. Braised endive is a great supporting vegetable, and it is also often served with asparagus. The sauce is so good, I swear you could simply go at it with a loaf of crusty bread…