Archive | veg RSS feed for this section

Chickpea Sauté with Greek Yogurt

3 Apr

chickpea greek yogurt

I am a major fan of the Ottolenghi Plenty cookbook, given to me by Kara on my 30th bday. You may recall my glowing endorsement for the Soba w Eggplant and Mango, another recipe from that book. The thing about these recipes– they are simple–not too many indigents or tedious steps. But the ingredients they do use are – and at least to my mind – not so intuitive. For example, this recipe uses caraway seeds (caraway is that rye bread flavor). Like many of his recipes- this one finishes with mint, cilantro, and lemon, which imbues the dish with freshness. Also- flavoring the greek yogurt with olive oil, salt and pepper, epitomizes the simple cleverness of his recipes. The other thing i like about this dish- is its textural balance- the crunchiness of the carrots with the softer chickpeas etc

3/4 pounds swiss chard
1/3 cup olive oil, plus extra to finish
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/8 inch dice
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or canned. i used a 15 oz can)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper
1/2 cup greek yogurt + 1 tbsp olive oil

separate chard stalks and leaves. blanch stocks in boiling water for 3 mins. Add leaves, cook another 2 mins. Drain everything and run under cold water and squeeze dry, then roughly chop.

heat up the olive oil in large saute pan. add carrots and caraway seeds, and sauté for 5 mins on med heat. Add chard and chickpeas and continue to cook for 6 minutes. Now add garlic, herbs, lemon juice and some salt and pepper. remove from heat and cool down a little. taste and adjust seasoning.

to serve, mix yogurt, olive oil and some salt and pepper. pile vegetables on serve dishes and spoon yogurt on top. sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and drizzle over more olive oil.

Soba with Eggplant and Mango

11 Nov

soba eggplant mango

Dear Reader,

I fear you have become like a long lost pen-pal. That I should begin every post with apologies for not writing more. I could give excuses- and say, that i’ve been lazy– that i’ve started, as chrissy would say “to make food” more than cook. Or that- in perhaps a growing comfort in the kitchen- i’ve relied less on recipes– and become more like the people i used to despise— using a dash of this and glug of that. measurements too imprecise to pass on to you, dear reader. But instead of these quibbles,  i will offer you something better. A recipe. This comes from the Ottolenghi cookbook- Plenty- which happens to be vegetarian- Special Thanks to Kara– who gave me this cookbook for my last bday. This recipe is easy to put together— but it tastes like something i’d be willing to pay for in restaurant. the author says his mother loves to show off with it when she has guests over. the combination of eggplant and mango- with a lime-spiked dressing is refreshing- perhaps characteristic of a summer dish. boston is cold. but fuck it, this shit tastes good.

i should add- that i threw some best baked tofu in here [baked alongside the eggplant at 350]. you could also serve alongside some nice miso salmon or seared tuna.

1/2 cup rice vinegar

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 tablespoon salt

2 garlic cloves

1/2 fresh red chile, finely chopped [i subbed a big pinch of red chili flakes]

1 tsp sesame oil

grated zest and juice of 1 lime

2 eggplants, cut into 3/4 in. dice [mine weighed roughly 1 pound each]

8 to 9 0z soba noodles

1 large ripe mango, cut into 3/4 inch dice or 1/4 in thick strips [i used about 3/4 of a pound- sold pre-cut from whole foods- which i then sliced into strips.

1 2/3 basil leaves, chopped (ottelanghi writes if you can get thai basil- use it- but use much less of it)

2 1/2 cups of cilantro leaves, chopped [i will admit- this is a lot of herbs- and didn’t use all, so it’s ok if you are a little scant]

1/2 onion, thinly sliced.

1 cup sunflower- if frying eggplant- i did not.

in a small saucepan, gently warm the vinegar, sugar and salt for up to a minute, just until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, add garlic, chile and sesame. Allow to cool and then add lime zest and juice.

original recipe is to shallow fry the eggplant in three  to four batches- once golden brown remove to a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt and leave there to drain. HOWEVER- I decided to bake the eggplant- because I always find frying it problematic. I chopped, put in a colander- liberally salted- and left for an hour to drain. Then, I rinsed the eggplant, squished dry in paper towels. Put on a baking sheet- doused with olive oil [just a couple glugs :)- no need for a cup], salt and pepper- and baked in a 350 oven for about 40 minutes.

Cook noodles in boiling salted water- stirring occasionally- takes about 5-8 minutes- until tender but al dente [don’t overdo.] Drain and rise well- running under cold water. Shake off as much water as possible- then put on a dry dish towel to further drain.

in a mixing bowl- toss noodles, dressing, mango, half the herbs and the onion. you can leave this for an hour or two. then when ready to serve add rest of herbs- pile on plate or bowl.

Gujarati Green Beans

18 Oct


I first came across this recipe at Ballymaloe Cooking school—last summer- shit, two summers ago—in Ireland. But the recipe originally comes from Madhur Jaffrey- a queen of Indian cooking. Normally, I would not count green beans among my favorite vegetables— but there is just so much flavor in these—I keep coming back. Also works great served along side a nice piece of fish, with some new potatoes etc. Btw-I’d rate this recipe as fast & easy.


1 pound fresh green beans

4 tablespoons vegetable oil [can also use grapeseed oil]

1 tablespoon whole black mustard seeds

4 cloves garlic- minced

1/2 -1 hot, dried red chili coarsely crushed in mortar [that’s a lot. Can also do a big pinch of red chili flakes]

1 teaspoon salt

1/2  teaspoon sugar

freshly ground black pepper


Trim beans- and cut into 1-inch pieces [I keep them a bit longer than this- cutting each bean in half or thirds.] Boil a medium pot of water- blanch [which means quickly cook]- by dropping them into boiling water for 3-4 minutes or until just tender [I go on the low-end of this- as they will cook more later in pan.] Immediately drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Put aside. In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium. When hot – add mustard seeds. When they begin to pop [and they will] [quickly hold pan away from the flame] and mix in your garlic [this helps it not to burn. then, put back down on flame] and cook until just turns light brown. Stir in chili flakes- cooking for a few seconds. Add green beans, salt and sugar. Stir. Turn heat to medium-low. Original recipe says cook for 7-8 or until beans have absorbed the flavor of spices- I probably cook less than that- beans should retain their bite. Add black pepper- mix- serve. I also finish most green vegetables with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to brighten flavor.



Sweet Potato Side or Dip

18 Dec

Char sweet potato copy
Delighted to have a guest post from the truly one-of-a-kind, Charlotte:

From Char:

The way I cook? It’s about process. A little of this, a little of
that. Give it a taste. Until it’s good.

I don’t presume to know the exact combination of ingredients that will
result in the best possible outcome. People like different things.

I realize that you can’t do that with everything. But here’s a dip
that I just made using that methodology. It’s good and you should try


·        2 fully-cooked room temperature yams or sweet potatoes. Cook
them in the microwave or via boiling water. Google how long — I don’t
know off the top of my head — but basically they should be soft when
forks are stuck in them

·        Tablespoon or two of freshly grated ginger

·        Teaspoon or two of cumin. I think ground would be better than
whole but I only had the latter

·        Couple tablespoons of chicken stock. I had some homemade
lying around made from Tessa’s recipe

·        Salt and pepper

·        Tablespoon or two of olive oil


·        Set your baseline. Whirl the sweet potatoes + olive oil +
salt and pepper. Then add your chicken stock in amount depending on
what kind of consistency you want (see below).

·        Now experiment. Add small increments of the remaining
ingredients. Taste good? Stop.

Recipe Variations:

·        Don’t like spice? Switch out the ginger and cumin for blue
cheese, lemon, and chives. Or goat cheese.

·        Don’t make it a dip. Make it mashed potatoes instead by
hitting the pulse button a few times on the food processor.

·        Fry dollops of it in a pan with maybe some breadcrumbs mixed
in for a fritter.

·        Stuff it inside protein: sole filets or chicken. Then bake
it.  If you’re doing fish though I would think about decreasing the
cumin and ginger so as not to overwhelm.


·        Obviously pita and veggies

·        Spread it on your sandwich instead of mustard or mayo

·        Eating it with any kind of red meat would be killer. Roll it
in prosciutto/speck/bresaola for an appetizer or just plop some
beside a roast. Or mush it on top of a burger.

Moroccan-Style Braised Vegetables

12 Nov

I’ve wanted to make this recipe every since I stole/borrowed this Alice Waters book from Chrissy. The book In the Green Kitchen: Techniques to Learn by Heart has some great very basic techniques- for example- it taught me the proper way to fry an egg. Or, there will be a whole chapter devoted to the mortar and pestle- as I mentioned in the post on  green tomatillo salsa. She has her friends- share recipes. This one is by Joyce Goldstein and it is called Moroccan-style Braised Vegetables. And the reason why I finally made it- is because I was able to use a lot of vegetable from my CSA. So very seasonable, very fall. I’d say this is closer to soup/chunky stew. And before you ask, yes, you should use dried chickpeas. Not only do they taste way better- but this broth you cook it in- is the base for the braise. And man, it was tasty, I will definitely use for future chickpeas. What always deterred me is that this recipe seems a bit overcomplicated. But put on some Netflix and just let it ride. Oh and yes, you should also use the whole spice seeds- toast and grind- you will get way more flavor out of it.

½ pound (1 cup) dried chickpeas, picked over and soaked overnight [i left overnight because i had time, but could also do the speed up method Just the Tips #10]

1 small onion, peeled and halved

½ cinnamon stick

1 small dried red chile

2 tablespoons olive oil


Drain the chicpeas, put them in a medium pot, and add water to cover by 1 ½ inches. Add the onion, cinnamon stick, chile, olive oil, and generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook gently until chickpeas are tender, about 45 minutes [check, a forgot to time it but I think they might have taken less.] Taste for salt. Remove from the heat and allow the chickpeas to cool in the cooking liquid.

For braised vegetables:


½ pound carrots

1 pound baby turnips [1 used two small turnips and 2 parsnips]

1 ½ pounds butternut squash [I substituted acorn squash because I had it at hand- though next time would go w. butternut]

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

a pinch of saffron threads

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 large onion, peeled and diced

2 celery stalks, diced

One 14-oz can whole tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger

[optional: i threw in some currants my leftovers, yum. golden raisins would also work nicely]

Preheat the oven to 400. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with generous amount of salt. Peel and halve the carrots and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch segments. Trim the turnips and cut into halves and quarters. Cook the carrots and turnips in separate batches until just tender, about 5 minutes. Spread the vegetables on baking sheet to cool at room temperature.

Peel and seed the squash and cut into 1-inch chunks. Put squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Spread the squash out to an even layer, season with salt, roast in the oven until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside at room temperature.

Lightly toast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and saffron [in a dry skillet], and grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. Add the turmeric and cayenne, and stir to combine.

Warm a large [large- i used my 5 qt all-clad- this makes a ton], straight-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, followed by the onion, celery, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the tomatoes and cut into ¼ inch dice. Add the tomatoes to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the spices, garlic, and ginger and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the chickpeas, and the cooking liquid, and bring to a simmer. Add the squash, carrots, and turnips. At this point there should be a nice amount of broth in the pan- like a chunky soup. If not, add water as necessary. Taste for salt, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Recommend to serve with buttered couscous or saffron rice (ask me for recipes- I haven’t tried yet) and pass a bowl of harissa at the table. I think this Moroccan couscous would work well too.

Harissa recipe- I didn’t make but would have if I had the ingredients so am including.

Toss 5 dried ancho chiles on a hot griddle until puffed and fragrant. Put the chilies in a bowl, cover with boiling water, soak for 20 minutes, and drain. Roast, peel and seed 1 large red bell pepper. In a blender or food processor, purée the drained chiles, and peeled pepper with 4 peeled garlic cloves, ¾ cup olive oil. 1 tsp red wine vinegar and salt to taste. Thin with water if desired.

Brisket w. Tzimmes, Braised Kale, and Rutabaga Kraut

30 Sep

Have been on the hunt for a good Brisket recipe and finally found one that I’d be happy to make year after year. This recipe comes from Pierce’s mom. It is all about the Tzimmes- which is like this sweet potato and prune mixture. And while I LOVE the taste of the chili sauce/can of coke brisket- I do like knowing exactly what’s in this one. And while it’s not shy on the sugar- there is essentially a caramel sauce for peet’s sake- I still feel like it’s probably less than in the coke/chili. Had some friends over for dinner and I served it w. some red wine braised kale, a quick rutabaga kraut and some cornichons to much on w. wine. I have to say- very well fitting accompaniments. See further down for recipes. Finished w. a refreshing watermelon sorbet- post to come.

5 pounds brisket of beef [can scale up or down. keep in mind that brisket does shrink.]

*** Addendum: I just made with 7.5 pd brisket and I’m not sorry about it. Remarkably it did not effect the cooking time. I also liberally salted the brisket the night before (leave overnight loosely covered in fridge), which I highly recommend to increase tenderness and flavor. Before cooking, I patted dry. Since it was such a large piece of meat, I kept the 1 tablespoon of salt in the tomato juice mixture and it worked out perfectly.

1 pound carrots

1 large  onion (2 small)

3 sweet potatoes, pared

4 white potatoes, pared

½ pound dried prunes

1 cup water

2½ tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup fresh or canned tomato juice (i used the organic bottled juice kind)

½ cup brown sugar (used light brown) [can scale slightly back on this]

step 2:

3 tablespoons granulated white sugar

2 tablespoons water

1½ cups cold water

1. Trim most of the fat from the meat. Slice the carrots crosswise. Slice onions thinly. Cut potatoes into medium-sized chunks. [cut my carrots big- like size of my potato chunks).

2. Place meat in the bottom of the large pot, arrange layers of white potatoes, prunes, sweet, onion and carrots.

3. Mix water, honey, salt, tomato juice and brown sugar, pour over meat/veg; simmer for 1 hour.

4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

5. Heat 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons water over high heat until the sugar caramelizes (wait until it turns that amber caramel color), then pour cold water over the caramelized sugar. Add liquid to the tzimmes.

6. Place tzimmes in the oven and bake for 2 hours at 325. Can even let it cool in the oven but not necessary. That might be overkill but you really just can’t over cook it. My butcher says he does his for like 7 or 8 hours. That’s right. I have a butcher. How stoked am I. Cook until the texture you want- mine ended up like the pull apart. Mrs. Weiner also told me that the stovetop cooking which is a bit strange for brisket- might also contribute to that pull apart effect]

As always brisket is good- some say best- the next day. I put the whole pot in fridge, left over night. Skimmed off some fat. and reheated in the oven at 300. Every time it just cooks more and gets better and better.



Mark Bittman’s Red Wine Braised Kale (Collards or other greens)

1 bunch regular curly kale. Can also use 1 ½ pounds other greens- like collards, washed and trimmed.

¼ cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, mined

salt and pepper to taste

½ cup chicken stock (I subbed of the fat/stock of the brisket mixed w. water)

½ cup dry red wine

i also added a pinch of red chili flakes. I did towards the end- but if I thought of it sooner, would have added w. garlic

1.tear or chop greens into small pieces. Put oil in large skillet, heat on med-high. Add garlic, and when it colors (just barely and gets fragrant), the green. Toss frequently- cooking 3 or 4 minutes.

2. reduce heat to med, add stock, salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 5 mins.

3. remove cover, add wine. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, about 5 mins, until almost all liquid has evaporated and greens tender.


Rutabaga Quick-Kraut

I got some Rutabaga from a CSA pick up- and this recipe was exactly what I was looking for. Something fresh and vinegary to cut the density of the brisket. Found through a long-winded google search. Eventually landed on this at

My rutabaga was a bit big so I tampered w. the measurements slightly

2 heaping cups of rutabaga (less than 1 whole big rutabaga)

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard [looks like a lot but actually not that strong tasting]

salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat honey, apple-cider vinegar and mustard in skillet to combine (on med heat).

2. Add grated rutabaga to pan.

3. Saute on med-high heat until rutabaga is tender and lightly browned [just a few minutes]

4. Add in small amounts of oil as needed to keep rutabaga from sticking to the pan. [I used grapeseed oil but I’m sure olive or whatever you have is fine. I think it is good for taste- not just sticking issue.]

Tastes great room temp.

Roasted Red Pepper Gazpacho

22 May

Also made this week: Turkey Burger. Yum! Check out its hot new pic.

There was a phase where my mom made “fat burning soup.” I think the idea was similar to the (myth?) of celery– that it takes more calories to eat than you actually consume? Well, this tastes nothing like that soup– but gazpacho makes me think of it- as it always feels like the most healthy and fresh soup. This recipe is packed with flavor and comes from The Voluptuous Vegan. Obviously, I would never have found a recipe from this on my own. But last summer, this gazpacho was brought to the vegeatrian potluck thrown by the tech dept at the museum. It was so tasty, i asked for the recipe. Normally, I get lazy and skimp on garnishes. But these really add something- so I encourage you to use. I also had thought about adding a serrano pepper to add some heat to the soup or garnish— in the end, i didn’t- but the idea is out there, if you want to. I do also have a more traditional gazpacho- an Ina Garten recipe– elsewhere on the blog.

Also- check out my new rooster timer! I’m in love. Thanks to Alexis- for encouraging the purchase at Fish & Eddy’s.

4 thick slices of bread (preferably sourdough) [two slices go in the soup, two used as croutons]
2 cups cold water
2 pounds red tomatoes
1 large roasted red pepper
1 scallion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons paprika [i used 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon sweet parika. this produced a strong smokey flavor, so adjust accordingly to your tastes]
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons salt
finely chopped red onion, for garnish
finely chopped green bell pepper, for garnish
finely chopped tomatoes, for garnish

To roast red pepper (directions as cribbed from swordfish recipe): Preheat to 400. Line baking sheet with foil. Lightly coat whole red peppers with olive oil. Cook for 30-40 mins. Flip over once during. The peppers will get charred and black on outside- that’s what you want. When done, take the peppers out. I put in a tupperware, and cover with lid for 15 mins. This steams and makes them worlds easier to get skin peel. When cool, using hand or knife, to slide off skin, seeds and top.

Remove crusts from bread. Place 2 slices of bread in a small bowl, cover with water and soak for 5 minutes. Remove the bread and squeeze it like a sponge to rid of excess water. Discard the water.
Remove the stems from the tomatoes. Transfer tomatoes, soaked bread, and water to a blend/food processor to break up the tomatoes. Will probably need to do in 2 batches. [i regrettfully didn’t listen, and it caused a mess, so batch it]
Remove the charred skin from the pepper. Scrape of stems and seeds. and chop into 1-inch pieces.
To the blender, add the pepper, scallion, paprika, garlic, vinegar,1/4 cup of the oil, chopped basil and salt and blend until smooth.
Tranfer to a container and chill thoroguhly. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

[admittedly, I skipped this step- and just ate with bread] To make croutons: preheat oven to 350. Cut the remaining slices into 1/2-inch cubes. Put remaining tablespoon of oil in small bowl. Place the bread cubes in bowl and light toss around so bread touches oil. Spread cubes on baking sheet and bake about 15 minutes until crispy and golden.

Serve the soup garnished with a spoonful of red onion, green pepper, tomato and croutons. Gazpacho is one of those things that tastes even better the next day- when flavors have all spent the night together.

%d bloggers like this: