Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Broccoli Stems: a treat for the whole family

Sometimes it's the little things. Shulman's cookbook suggested this recipe as a tasty way to use the whole broccoli plant, even if another recipe calls for only the florets. Turns out it's both simple and very, very good.

     Garlic Broccoli Stems 
     from Martha Rose Shulman's Gourmet Vegetarian Feasts

  • Stems from 1 1/2 lb broccoli, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbls wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or put through a press
  • 2 Tbls olive or safflower oil
  • [optional:  fresh dill]
  1. Toss broccoli stems with salt in a jar and refrigerate several hours. Pour off whatever liquid accumulates and rinse.
  2. Add vinegar, garlic, [dill] and oil and shake together well. Refrigerate for several hours. Place in a bowl and serve.
Toddler Approved!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Oodles of Noodles (and a sauce!)

This recipe was recommended as an ideal accompaniment to a side dish I was making. Simple to make, tasty to eat. And another opportunity to use our wasabi powder (because, seriously, unless you're making a lot of sushi rolls, how else are you to use-up the can of powdered wasabi?).

     Noodles with Mirin
     from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home
  • 8 ounces noodles (somen, linguni, or whole wheat spaghetti)
  • 1/2 cup mirin (or sweet sherry)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 Tbls vegetable bouillon powder (1 1/2 cubes)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup fresh or frozen snow peas or green peas
  • 2 tsp powdered wasabi mixed with 2 tsp water
  • chopped scallions
  1. Bring a large covered pot of water to boil and add the pasta.
  2. While the pasta cooks, bring the mirin, 2 cups of water, bouillon powder, and soy sauce to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add the peas and cook briefly, until they are tender but still bright green. Stir in the wasabi paste.
  3. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and transfer it to a serving bowl. Pour the peas and sauce over the pasta and toss well.
  4. Top with chopped scallions and serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. (To serve at room temperature, allow the finished dish to sit for 12 to 20 minutes. To serve chilled, refrigerate for at least an hour.)
I'd say this counts as one of my sauces/dressings, no? What are we on now...?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Feast Your Nose On This: A Curry Dinner

Mmmm. You're either a curry person or you're dumb not. Here is a three recipe feast for those of you in my pro-curry camp, adapted from Atlas' and Kayte's Vegetarian Express:

Fruit & Spice Pilaf

  • 1 cup raw quinoa (the original recipe called for couscous. My instructions below are for quinoa)
  • 2 Tbls butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed dried fruits (I used raisins)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/3 cup toasted sliced or slivered almonds (I used walnuts)

  1. Rinse the quinoa and combine it with 2 cups water. Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes on medium or until water is absorbed, cover and let sit for five minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  2. As the quinoa cooks, melt the butter in a skillet on medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent.
  3. Add the diced apple into the onion saute, cover, and let cook for another 3-5 minutes or until the apple has softened. Stir the dried fruit into the apple-onion mixture.
  4. Add the cooked quinoa to the skillet. Pour 1/2 cup water into the skillet and sprinkle in the spices. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes, until everything is well-mixed and heated through.
  5. Salt to taste. Add the nuts. Serve. (Alternative:  set the toasted nuts aside in a serving dish and let people sprinkle on their own, to taste.)

Creamed Curried Vegetables
  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into large dice
  • 3 cups cut broccoli florets (save the stalks for another recipe)
  • 1 cup peas
  • 2 Tbls flour
  • 3/4 cup whole milk or whole plain yogurt
  • 1-2 tsp curry powder, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1-2 Tbls minced jalapeno pepper, optional
  1. Place the carrots and potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover all but an inch of their volume. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until nearly tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the broccoli and peas. Cover and cook another 5 minutes or so, until broccoli is tender-crisp. 
  3. As the broccoli & peas cook, dissolve the flour in the milk (or mix into the yogurt) and then stir in the curry powder. Add the mixture to the vegetables, followed by the jalapeno (if using). 
  4. Cook, uncovered, another 2-3 minutes until the liquid has thickened. Season to taste with salt.  

Cucumber Raita
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, quartered, and diced
  • 1 cup whole plain yogurt
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh dill weed, optional
  1. If cucumber seeds are large and watery, remove before dicing the cucumber (if small, leave them in). 
  2. Combine the cucumber and yogurt in a serving dish and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper (and dill, if using).

Why I love this dinner: The vegetable curry has a snappy zip to it. The simple raita is cool and refreshing. The pilaf is sweet and simple. It's a great combination of flavors to have on one plate. If you're a lover of curry (or suspect you might be) I encourage you to recreate this meal in your own kitchen. It's a great way to warm up as this autumn weather gains hold over summer's warmth, and it's surprisingly quick to make.