Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian recipes

25
Jul
13

Baby Spinach Salad with Roasted Strawberries


While looking for easy to prepare,  nice summer salads, we came across this one in Williams Sonoma‘s New Flavors for Salads – Classic Flavors Redefined:

Baby Spinach Salad with Roasted Strawberries

From book, page 37 - Photo by: Kate Sears

From book, page 37 – Photo by: Kate Sears

The flavor of this salad sparkles with the bright acidity of red wine vinegar, its tartness tempered by the sweetness of fresh orange juice. Roasting strawberries with a bit of sugar intensifies their fruitiness and softens their texture, creating a nice counterpoint to the salty cheese and crunchy toasted almonds.

Ingredients

  • large strawberries, 2 pints (1 pound total weight)
  • extra-virgin olive oil, 8 tablespoons
  • sugar, 1 tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • fresh orange juice, 1/4 cup
  • fresh tarragon leaves, 4 teaspoons finely chopped
  • blanched whole almonds, 1 cup toasted *
  • baby spinach, 9 cups
  • pecorino romano cheese, 9 ounces shredded

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Using a pairing knife, hull the strawberries** and cut them in half lengthwise. Spread the berries on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with with 2 teaspoons sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper. Toss to coat the berries evenly, then spread them out again. Roast until softened, about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

In a small nonreactive bowl, whisk together the vinegar, or orange juice, tarragon, the 3 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper until the sugar dissolves. Slowly whisk in the remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil until well blended to make a vinaigrette. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

In a small bowl, stir together the almonds and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, combine the spinach, 3/4 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Whisk the vinaigrette to recombine, drizzle about one-third of it over the spinach and toss well (reserve the remaining vinaigrette for another use). Taste and adjust the seasonings. Divide the dressed spinach evenly among individual plates, top each serving with an equal amount of the roasted strawberries, and sprinkle with the almonds and cheese. Serve right away.

Makes 6 servings

* toasting nuts and seeds

Toasting nuts and seeds crisps their texture and lightly browns them, giving them a rich full flavor. Be sure to let toasted nuts and seeds cool to room temperature before use.

in the oven Scatter the nuts or seeds in an even layer in a baking dish or on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in a 325 F. oven stirring once or twice, until fragrant and slightly darkened in color , 5-10 minutes, depending on the size and quantity of the nuts or seeds.

on the stove top Place the nuts or seeds in an even layer in a frying pan. Toast over medium heat , stirring or shaking the pan often, until fragrant and slightly darkened in color, 2-5 minutes, depending on the size and quantity of the nuts or seeds.

** hulling strawberries

Hull fresh strawberries after washing them and just before use.

  1. Insert the tip of a pairing knife – Insert the sharp tip of a pairing knife at a slight angle just below the stem areauntil the tip of the knife reaches the center of the berry.
  2. Trim and pull off the top – Cut around the stem area, rotating the berry to make a circular cut. Gently pull or pry off the top.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

09
Jul
13

Lasagne alle Verdure – Vegetable Lasagna


Few Italian dishes have seen more variations than Lasagna, each one is delicious, each one has a distinct character.

From The Big Book of Pasta, published by Parragon Books Ltd in 2007:

Lasagne alle Verdure – Vegetable Lasagna

From The Big Book of Pasta, published by Parragon Books Ltd in 2007 - Photo on page 258

Detail from photo on page 258

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 2 eggplants sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 4 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh marjoram
  • 8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups strained tomatoes
  • 6 ounces dried no-precook lasagna sheets
  • 2 1/2 cups Béchamel Sauce *
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmegiano cheese
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Brush a large ovenproof dish with olive oil.. Brush a large grill pan with olive oil and heat until smoking. Add half the eggplants and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, or until golden brown all over. Remove from the grill pan and drain on paper towels. Add the remaining eggplant slices and extra oil, if necessary, and cook for 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
  2. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the garlic, zuchini, parsley and marjoram. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the zucchini are golden brown. remove from the skillet and let drain on paper towels.
  3. Layer the eggplants, zuchini, grated mozzarella, strained tomatoes, and lasagna sheets in the dish; season with salt and pepper as you finish with a layer of lasagna. Pour over the Béchamel Sauce, making sure all the pasta is covered. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese and bake in the preheated oven 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately

* Béchamel Sauce

Makes about 1 quart

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart milk
  • 2 teaspoons
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper (for a more Italian flavor, add ground nutmeg instead)

Directions

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the flour until smooth. Continue stirring as the flour cooks to a light, golden, sandy color, about 7 minutes.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high and slowly whisk in milk until thickened by the roux. Bring to a gentle simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and continue simmering until the flour has softened and not longer tastes gritty, 10 to 20 minutes, then season with salt and pepper (or nutmeg).

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

09
Jul
13

Briami – Vegetable Casserole


This is a Greek dish, a prime example of healthy, natural, Mediterranean cuisine:

Briami – Vegetable Casserole

Briami

Serves 6
Ingredients

  • 2 pounds zucchini
  • 1 pound potatoes
  • 2 sweet green peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups chopped peeled tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fennel
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • fennel, for garnishing

Directions

  1. Cut zucchini and potatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Remove seeds and white membranes from peppers and slice. Mix together crushed garlic, tomatoes and sugar.
  2. Oil an oven dish and arrange some sliced onion on the bottom. Add a layer of zucchini, potatoes and peppers combined and top with part of the tomato mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle on some of the herbs and oil. Repeat until all ingredients are used, about 3 to 4 layers depending on the size of the dish, finish with herbs and oil.
  3. Cover and put in a preheated 350 F. oven for 90 minutes, until vegetables become tender. Remove cover for the last 15 minutes.
  4. Garnish with additional chopped herbs and serve immediately.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

31
May
13

Rice Stuffed Tomatoes


One of my favorite summer appetizers, though I could make it at any time:

Rice Stuffed Tomatoes

RiceTomts

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin oil, plus extra for oiling and drizzling
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Cut a slice of the stalk end of each tomato and set aside to use as lids. Scoop the pulp out of the tomatoes and chop.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl, carefully so as to minimize any loss of tomato juices; add the garlic, rice and basil. Season with salt and pepper and stir in 1 tbsp of the oil. Cover and let stand – at room temperature – for one hour, for the rice to absorb the juices.
  3. Stuff the tomatoes with the rice mixture and transfer to an oiled baking pan. Top each tomato with the reserved lids and drizzle with remaining oil. Bake in a preheated 350 F. oven for 35 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and the rice is cooked through. Serve warm or at room temperature.

If available (usually in gourmet fruit and vegetable stores, use Brandywine tomatoes which have a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness, for more sweetness use Spanish Montserrat tomatoes which have low acidity, but any large tomato will do. Arborio rice kernels are high in starch, shorter and fatter than any other short grown rice. They are great for risotto because the extra starch lends the dish a perfect creamy texture.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy

CS




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