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Posts from the ‘Vegetarian’ 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).

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.

Bok Choy, Carrot & Apple Salad

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This is a perfect salad! Five ingredients and the only work required is some matchstick dicing, (which can be quite a calming task) grating and squeezing. The ginger and lemon juice mellow each other and result in a lovely dressing, bright and spicy, tossed with the crunchy, snappy fruits and vegetables. This is basically all you need:

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Bok Choy, Carrot & Apple Slaw (altered slightly from Food Everyday)
Ingredients:
1lb baby bok choy (5-6 heads), halved lengthwise
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into matchsticks
2 large carrots, peeled & shredded (or cut into matchsticks)
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger

Directions:
1. Rinse bok choy under cold water to remove grit, let drain. Cut crosswise into thin strips; place in a large bowl.
2. Add apple, carrots, lemon juice, oil and ginger; season with salt & pepper. Toss.
3. Serve right away, or you can also refrigerate for a few hours to allow flavors to marry; toss before serving.

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Fava Bean Burgers

Fava Bean Burgers

Fava beans are my favorite beans, hands down. They have a short spring season and take a few minutes of extra work to make ready, but there is nothing better than their nutty, sweet, earthy flavor. I’ve always enjoyed them simply handled: quickly boiled for a minute or two, skinned, with a touch of butter and salt, but then I came across a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe for Fava Bean Burgers…Fava beans pods are roughly six inches long and once you snap them open, you will find three to five fava beans in a soft, furry lining. Apparently you can boil the beans and eat as is, but each bean does have an additional protective sheath, and I prefer skinning them after boiling (as is also called for in this particular recipe).

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Recipe calls for mashing these bright green beauties with cumin, coriander, fennel, spinach, jalapeño, boiled potatoes, garlic, cilantro, breadcrumbs, egg (are you excited yet?).

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Shape into burgers and refrigerate briefly…

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Finally, a quick sear in a hot pan with safflower oil, and you’ve got a powerhouse lunch, smooth and nutty from the beans, a little crunchy with the seared potatoes, and bursting with spice from the cumin, coriander and fennel.

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YES.