With the recent abrupt onset of summer, our grill has been getting some good use lately. Although I love grilling vegetables (asparagus, potatoes, eggplant, and portabellas are among my favorites), I kept my greens off the flames until today. I’m happy to report a new vegetable will now be part of the regular rotation. The parmesan basil crisps on top of the lettuce add the necessary crunch. Also, parmesan cheese might be one of the best foods out there and making these crisps seemed like a fun experiment to try on this quiet Sunday.
The crisps can be made a day ahead of time and stored in an air-tight container. Hopefully you make a few extra because you’ll want to taste a few right away, just in case.
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 3 T julienned basil
- 2 large heads of romaine lettuce, outer leaves removed, cleaned and patted dry, and sliced lengthwise down the middle
- 3 T olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper
For the crisps…
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine cheese and basil.
- Put a heaping tablespoon on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten gently.
- Continue to add more tablespoons of the cheese mixture, leaving a bit of space between each one.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes, until golden and crisp.
- Allow to cool, and then remove with a flat spatula.
For the lettuce…
- Once your lettuce is dry, you’re good to go.
- Heat grill to medium-high
- Combine olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper and set aside for a few minutes so that the oil gets garlicky.
- Brush both sides of the lettuce with the oil mixture, starting with the rounded side and then doing the flat side of the lettuce.
- Place the romaine heads flat side down on the grill.
- After 2-3 minutes (check for a nice browning), flip the lettuce 1/3 way. Repeat again after 2-3 minutes more. Do it again until the lettuce is nicely browned all over.
- Serve with crisps.
As a follow-up from yesterday, here is a flavorful and simple asparagus recipe. This makes enough for 4 servings. Thanks to Bev Cooks for this recipe. I discovered that green lentils make for a nice weeknight meal because the whole thing took less than 30 minutes.
- 1 cup green lentils
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs. freshly minced fresh ginger
- 1 Tbs Indian curry powder
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 bunch kale, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 lemon
- coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lentils and cook until tender, about 25 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high. Add the onion and saute until it starts to soften, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Add the curry powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to cook the spices for another 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
- Add the asparagus and saute until bright green, 2 minutes. Add the kale and continue to saute until wilted, another 2 minutes.
- Drain the lentils and add them to the kale mixture. Toss to combine. Sprinkle with lots of cilantro and a good squeeze of the lemon juice. Add more salt to taste.
- Serve with more cilantro and lemon juice
Today was an exciting day at the Carroll Gardens Farmer’s Market. There were ramps and asparagus! Seeing these signs of spring made me feel better about still wearing my winter coat on April 21st. I was hoping that Grazin’ Angus had some fresh cream so I could make my own butter, but they didn’t. They did have their own butter, which I used for this recipe. Thanks for Birdworms and Buttermilk for this great idea. I think this would be a great base for sautéing some of the asparagus I got this morning. I tasted a little bit of this today, and reluctantly froze the rest.
- 1/2 pound butter, softened (I used unsalted, so I added salt to the recipe)
- 1 bunch ramps, cleaned
- zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
- Place butter in medium bowl; set aside.
- Blanch ramps in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then place in an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Squeeze excess water and then chop the ramps.
- Add the chopped ramps, zest, lemon juice, and salt (if using) to the butter and mix thoroughly with a spoon or spatula.
- Form the butter into a log shape on a piece of parchment paper. Tightly roll the parchment paper around the butter, and twist the ends tootsie-roll style. Store in the freezer until you are ready to enjoy.
Trade in your green beer for a green smoothie this St. Patrick’s Day!
I was a skeptic of drinking my greens until recently, and now I’m hooked. For the fellow skeptics, start with just a few greens and then slowly add more each time. We’ve been aiming for a ratio of half vegetables and half fruits, with most of the vegetables being leafy greens. Many people ask, “Why smoothies instead of juice?” I have two main related reasons: less waste and easier clean-up. I like knowing that I’m getting all the nutritional benefits of the whole fruit and vegetable. Also, I hate cleaning up. The vitamix blender I use has a clean setting, so all I have to do is rinse out the soap at the end. Any variation of this smoothie makes for a very filling breakfast or snack.
Today’s smoothie included the following ingredients, many of which were available at this morning’s farmer’s market. It’s fun and healthy to vary the ingredients daily, and pretty much any combination is good.
- 1 cup kale (assorted)
- 1/4 cup vitamin greens
- 1 carrot
- 1 green apple, peeled and cut into quarters
- 1/2 cup frozen peaches
- 1 banana, chopped
- Blend 2 cups of water with the kale and vitamin greens until you have a gorgeous green water.
- Put the rest of the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
- Drink right away, or put some in the fridge for later or the next day.
Here’s another vegan winner from Crazy Sexy Kitchen. It was refreshing and well-balanced, with a little bit of heat (especially since we kept all the seeds in the serrano pepper). This salad can be a meal by itself, but we had some edamame with it for a little more protein.
- One 8-ounce package of buckwheat soba noodles
- 1/2 cup thinly shredded Napa cabbage
- 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly julienned
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly julienned
- 1/4 cup thinly julienned snow peas
- 2 carrots, thinly julienned, or shredded
- 1/2 cup buckwheat sprouts, sunflower sprouts, or pea shoots (my choice), plus more for garnish
- 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted (just realized I didn’t toast mine…oops!), plus more for garnish
For the dressing: Whisk the following ingredients in a small bowl and set aside:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1.5 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons tamari
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons agave (I used honey, so this recipe is only mostly vegan)
- 1/2 teaspoon finely minced ginger
- a tiny bit of minced chile pepper
- Cook the buckwheat according to the package instructions. Do not overcook; buckwheat is very temperamental and falls apart if cooked too long. Strain and rinse with cold water to stop the noodles from cooking further.
- Toss the cooked noodles with cabbage, red and yellow bell pepper, snow peas, carrots, sprouts, and sesame seeds in a mixing bowl. Set aside some sprouts and sesame seeds for a garnish.
- Pour the dressing evenly over the salad, toss gently, and serve.
- Before serving, garnish with leftover sprouts and sesame seeds.
This recipe comes from Crazy Sexy Kitchen, the creative vegetarian cookbook by Kris Carr and Chad Sarno. Not only is this chili delicious and filled with vegetables, but it can be made in under 45 minutes from start to finish. Serve with your favorite chips. We tried Lundberg’s rice chips–Fiesta Lime flavor. We crushed them up and sprinkled them on top for added crunch and flavor.
- 1 1/2 Tbs. cumin seeds
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 white onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeño chile, finely diced (omit seeds or use less jalapeño for a milder chili)
- 2 Tbs. chili powder
- 1 1/2 cups ground seitan, crumbled tempeh, or finely diced mushrooms (I used frozen Quorn crumbles)
- 1 zucchini, diced (I used 2 small zucchini)
- 1/2 cup diced potato
- 1 15-oz. cans of black beans, rinsed (The recipe called for 2 black bean and one kidney, but I reversed it because that’s what I had on hand)
- 2 15-oz. can of kidney beans, rinsed
- 1 14-oz. can of crushed tomatoes, such as San Marzano
- 2 Tbs. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish (optional)
- 1 cup kale, chopped
- Diced avocado, for garnish, optional
1. Toast cumin seeds in dry soup pot over medium heat for 2 minutes or until aromatic.
2. Add oil, onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Stir until onion is golden and translucent. Add chili powder, seitan, zucchini, and potato, and stir well. Sauté 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Add black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, 2 cups water, maple syrup, sea salt, and cilantro. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 to 25 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
3. Remove from heat; stir in kale. Garnish with diced avocado and sprigs of fresh cilantro, if using.
I’ve started this post multiple times, but keep deleting the first sentence. I wanted to lead with how the runny yolk makes the rice velvety. However, “runny yolk” just doesn’t sound as good as it tastes. Trust me on this one. You can prepare the egg however you like, runny or sedentary. We tried over easy and poached.
I don’t know how much of each rice bowl topping you want. You decide. The amount listed for each dressing ingredient was enough for 2 rice bowls.
- brown rice
- raw peanuts
- 1 T sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 T chopped mint
- 1 T chopped cilantro
- 1 t soy sauce
- shredded carrots
- chopped scallions
- seeded and diced cucumbers
- bean sprouts
- steamed and chopped baby bok choy (or other greens)
1. Prepare brown rice as directed.
2. Roast peanuts in a heavy, dry skillet, stirring constantly. Let cool. Chop peanuts (I put them in a bag and used the side of a large wooden spoon to crush)
3. Combine the next 6 ingredients (through soy sauce) in a medium bowl, and stir.
3. Divide the rice into the number of servings you’re making. Top with the carrots, scallions, cucumbers, bean sprouts, and bok choy. I think it looks pretty to make sections for each vegetable. Pour 1-2 teaspoons of the dressing over each bowl of rice/vegetables.
4. Prepare the egg as desired. Place it in the center, on top of the vegetables.
5. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve immediately. If you like it spicy, serve with a side of chili garlic sauce.
This Epicurious recipe is a great way to use the vegetables you can find at the Farmer’s Market even after a week of below freezing temps. Thanks to LF for bringing this over for brunch and then leaving the leftovers so I could have it for dinner, too. It went well with a vegetable frittata and sourdough bread. Although this recipe calls for Tuscan, you can use any kale that is available.
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 1 1/2 pounds total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
- 12 ounces brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/3 cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup finely grated Pecorino
Although this salad doesn’t highlight local ingredients (for those of us in the northeast), it is a great way to beat the winter blues. To turn it into a meal, try adding some chopped avocado and putting it over a bed of farro. Happy New Year everyone!
From Food and Wine, December 2012 (makes 8 servings)
- 6 oranges
- 2 red grapefruits
- 2 limes
- 1 large shallot, very thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream (I used Vermont Creamery’s crème fraîche)
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- Using a sharp knife, carefully peel the oranges, red grapefruits and limes, removing all of the bitter white pith. Working over a small bowl to catch the juices from the fruit, cut in between the membranes to release the sections. Cut the lime and grapefruit sections into thirds and leave the orange sections whole. Transfer all of the citrus to a serving bowl and add the sliced shallot and chopped parsley. Reserve the citrus juice for another use.
- In another small bowl, whisk the lemon zest with the lemon juice, crème fraîche, maple syrup and poppy seeds. Season the dressing lightly with salt. Pour the dressing over the fruit, toss the salad gently and serve right away.
I can’t get enough Brussels sprouts. Although my go-to recipe is Brooklyn Brussels Sprouts (which I posted almost exactly one year ago), I was looking for a variation. I like this one because it requires no cooking. This recipe came from Food and Wine magazine. If you use the shredding attachment on your food processor, it can be made very quickly. What’s also nice is that you can make this a day in advance. The recipe in Food and Wine called for salted roasted sunflower seeds. I only had raw unsalted seeds, so I just toasted them on a skillet for a few minutes and added a bit of salt before folding the seeds into the slaw.
- 1/2 cup 2 percent plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup chopped chives
- 1/4 cup chopped dill
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 pounds raw brussels sprouts, finely shredded in a food processor (12 cups)
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons salted roasted sunflower seeds
- In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt with the mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice, chives and dill and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the brussels sprouts and toss to coat evenly.
- Fold in the sunflower seeds and serve.