BEETS AND BEET GREENS WITH TAHINI SAUCE

1 bunch medium or large beets (3 to 4)

1 large bunch or 2 smaller bunches beet greens (about 3/4 pound)

 Salt to taste

1 plump garlic clove, cut in half, green shoot removed

¼ cup sesame tahini

2 to 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste

2 to 4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Cut greens away from beets, leaving about 1/4 inch of stems. Scrub beets with vegetable brush. To steam beets, place in a steamer above 2 inches water. Bring to a boil over high heat and cover. Turn down heat to medium. Steam small and medium beets for 30 minutes and large beets for 40 minutes, until you can pierce the beet to the middle with a knife or skewer. Remove from heat and allow to cool. To roast, preheat oven to 425ºF and place beets in a baking dish (or lidded ovenproof casserole). Add 1/4 inch water to the dish. Cover tightly. Place in the oven and roast small beets (3 ounces or less) for 30 to 40 minutes, medium beets (4 to 6 ounces) 40 to 45 minutes, and large beets (8 ounces) 50 to 60 minutes, until they are easily penetrated with the tip of a knife. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the covered baking dish.

When beets have cooled, cut away ends and slip off skins. Slice in rounds or cut into wedges or half-moons. Blanch greens in salted boiling water for about 1 minute, just until they wilt. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, then drain and squeeze out excess moisture, taking up the greens by the handful. Alternatively, steam for 2 minutes, using tongs to flip the greens over top to bottom halfway through, for 2 minutes, or until wilted. Rinse with cold water, squeeze out excess water and chop coarsely.  To make sauce, purée garlic cloves with a generous pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle, or put through a garlic press. Transfer to a bowl or measuring cup and whisk in sesame tahini. Whisk in lemon juice, beginning with smaller amount. The mix will stiffen up. Gradually whisk in up to 1/4 cup water, until sauce has consistency of thick cream or runny yogurt. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice.  Line a platter with the beet greens and arrange beets on top and around greens. Drizzle on tahini sauce, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

PARSNIP AND APPLE SOUP

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1-2 leeks, finely chopped

1 large parsnip cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 apple peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

3/4 teaspoons ground coriander

2 cups of stock or water

salt and pepper

¼  cup heavy cream

parsley, finely chopped

Optional: 1 apple, caramelized (see instructions below)

Melt the butter in a large heavy bottom pan or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the leeks, parsnips, apples and coriander. Cook, stirring occasionally until the veggies are tender. About 8 minutes. Add the water and season generously with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and then puree the soup in a high speed blender until completely smooth and creamy (you may have to do this in batches). Alternately, you can use an immersion blender but your soup won’t be nearly as smooth or creamy. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the heavy cream. Keep on low heat for an additional 10 minutes to let the flavors meld together.  While the soup simmers prepare caramelized apples by chopping one apple into ½ inch pieces then  heating 2 Tbs butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the apple pieces and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.  Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with the caramelized apples and minced parsley. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serves 2-4 From DishingUpTheDirt.com

PARSNIP SALAD WITH CITRUS AND OLIVES

1 Lb. parsnips

¼ cup white wine vinegar

3 navel oranges

1 cup pitted black olives, chopped

3 scallions, chopped

Salt & pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

Use a mandoline, vegetable peeler, or spiralizer to shave the parsnips into very thin ribbons.  Put them in a bowl of ice water with half the vinegar and soak for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, grate the zest from one of the oranges.  Segment all the oranges over a bowl to catch all the juices.  Drain the parsnips and dry them as well as you can ( a salad spinner can be very helpful).  Toss the parsnips with the orange zest, orange segments, and their juice along with the olives and scallions.  Season with salt and pepper adjusting to taste.  Let the salad stand for about 15 minutes then toss again with a generous drizzle of olive oil and serve.  From Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden.

Cabbage & Sausage Skillet

CABBAGE AND SAUSAGE SKILLET

1 pound Hot Italian Sausage

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, sliced

1 bag cooking greens

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

In a high sided saute pan over medium high heat, brown the sausage until cooked through.  Remove from pan.

Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Once hot, add the onions and season with a little salt.   Cook for 5-10 minutes, until softened and golden.  Add the garlic and spices, cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Add greens to the pan. The pan will be very full at first, carefully mix the greens in and it will start to wilt and reduce in volume.  You my need to add it in a few batches.  Continue to stir, until everything is combined and greens are wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage back to the pan, stir to combine.  Cook for another minute or two, until sausage is warmed.  Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.  From foxandbriar.com

Roasted Vegetable Salad

Technique tips: Roast different vegetables separately — they’ll cook at different rates and this way you can make sure they are all properly cooked. When roasting vegetables, space them out so they don’t touch. Overpacking the pan will cause the vegetables to steam and get mushy instead of crisp and brown.

Salad

1 bunch young carrots, peeled

1 small head cauliflower

1 small head romanesco

1½ pounds Brussels sprouts, halved

2 cups cooked white beans, liquid reserved

4 ounces French feta cheese, broken into large crumbles

Extra virgin olive oil

Kosher or Sea Salt

1 cup cilantro leaves

1 cup fresh dill

1/2 cup mint leaves

Red Wine Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon finely diced shallot

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Place oven racks in lower middle and upper middle positions. Preheat oven to 425°F. Halve Brussels sprouts through the stems, then place in a large bowl. Toss with enough oil to coat, about 3 tablespoons. Season with salt and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place the carrots in the same large bowl and toss, adding more oil as needed to coat. Season with salt and place in a single layer on a second baking sheet. Lightly trim the root end of the cauliflower and romanesco, then cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices through the root. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons oil onto another baking sheet and lay slices in a single layer, keeping cauliflower on one side of the pan and romanesco on the other side. Place vegetables into oven and cook until tender and caramelized, about 26 to 30 minutes. Check on the vegetables after about 12 minutes. Rotate the pans and switch their positions to ensure even browning. When the roasted vegetables are brown on the outside and completely tender when pierced with a knife, remove them from the oven. Set aside to cool for a few minutes. Reserving the cooking liquid, drain beans and place into large bowl. Dress with 3 tablespoons vinaigrette and season with salt and 1 teaspoon za’atar. Add a little bean liquid to make it juicy. Taste and adjust dressing and seasoning as needed. To assemble salad, layer cauliflower, romanesco, carrots, and Brussels sprouts on a large platter. Drizzle with vinaigrette, sprinkle with za’atar, then spoon beans over vegetables. Sprinkle with large crumbles of feta. In a medium bowl, lightly dress cilantro, dill, and mint with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette and salt. Place atop salad and serve immediately. From Fat, Salt, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat.

 

Calabacitas Con Crema

This recipe comes from Diana Kennedy’s “The Cuisines of Mexico”. Diana writes: “There are hundreds of ways of cooking squash in Mexico, and every cook has her own method and seasoning. This was our maid Godileva’s way of preparing them, and the dish frequently appeared on our dinner table. It has an exotic flavor, and is quite unlike any other squash dish I have come across.”

1 ½ lb. diced zucchini

2 medium tomatoes, diced
6 whole peppercorns

4 sprigs fresh coriander
2 sprigs fresh mint
1/2″ stick cinnamon
4 whole cloves
2 whole chiles serranos
1/2 cup light cream
Salt to taste

 

Combine everything in a pot and cook over a very low flame, stirring occasionally so it does not stick. Add a little water if it looks like it is getting too dry. It will take about 30 minutes to cook, the zucchini should be very soft, the milk or cream should be absorbed with no liquid remaining in the pan. The chilies should remain whole and just flavor the squash — it should not be picante. It is even better reheated the next day.

BEET, TOMATO AND COCONUT CURRY

BEET, TOMATO AND COCONUT CURRY

1 large onion

5 small vine-ripened tomatoes (14 to 16 ounces total)

2 large cloves garlic

One 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger root

4 small raw beets (10 to 11 ounces total, trimmed)

1 small jalapeño or serrano chile pepper (see headnote)

1 heaping teaspoon solid coconut oil

Handful cilantro stems

1/2 lemon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

Pinch ground cinnamon

2 cardamom pods

3 whole cloves

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup low-fat coconut milk 

Cut the onion in half, then into very thin half-moon slices. Cut the tomato into small dice. Mince the garlic. Peel and grate enough ginger to yield 2 teaspoons. Scrub the beets well (or peel them), then cut them into small dice. Stem and seed the chili pepper, then cut it lengthwise into very thin strips.  Melt the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Stir in the onion to coat; cook for about 6 minutes, stirring often, until golden and softened.  Meanwhile, coarsely chop the cilantro (tender leaves and stems). Squeeze juice from the lemon half into a small bowl (at least 2 tablespoons).  Reduce the heat to medium; stir in the garlic and fresh ginger; cook for 2 minutes, then add the jalapeño or serrano chili pepper, ground ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves, plus the tomatoes and the water. As soon as the mixture starts to bubble at the edges, add the beets, stirring to incorporate. Cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the beets are fork-tender. Uncover and stir in the coconut milk, cilantro and lemon juice; cook for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat. Let sit for 5 minutes (for the flavors to meld). Fish out and discard the whole spices before serving, if desired, or at least tell your fellow diners to be on the lookout for them.

Curry Roasted Root Vegetables with Lime Leaves and Juice

3 large carrots

2 parsnips

1 rutabaga

¼ cup olive oil

3 Tbs. lime juice

2 tsp. curry powder

6 Kaffir lime leaves, shredded

2 stems fresh curry leaves

6 scallions

3 Tbs. chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper

Cut all the veggies into batons (approx. ¼ in. wide by 2 ½ in.) and place them in a large roasting pan.  Drizzle the olive oil over the veggies and sprinkle half the lime juice, the curry powder, 1 ¼ tsp. of salt and a healthy dose of black pepper.  Mix well and roast at 4750 for 30 minutes turning the veggies once or twice during cooking.  Add the lime leaves, curry leaves, and scallions and roast for an additional 10 minutes.  Remove the veggies from the oven, sprinkle with the remaining lime juice and cilantro.  This dish can be served warm or at room temperature.  Adapted from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi.

SQUASH AND BLACK-EYED PEA COCONUT CURRY

SQUASH AND BLACK-EYED PEA COCONUT CURRY

2 ½ lb. winter squash, cut into ¾ in. wedges

2 Tbsp avocado oil

1 Tbsp. garam masala

1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste

½ tsp. ground black pepper

2 Tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 serrano chile, halved

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 15 oz can of black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained

2 plum tomatoes, cut into wedges

½ tsp ground turmeric

1 15 oz can coconut milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine squash, avocado oil, garam masala, 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp black pepper. Toss to coat; arrange in a single layer on a foil lined baking tray. Roast until tender, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat coconut oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add mustard seeds. When seeds begin to pop, add onion and serrano (or 1/8 tsp cayenne). Cook, stirring, until onion is softened and golden. Add garlic and cook about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in black-eyed peas and tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are jammy around the edges, about 3 minutes. Stir in turmeric, then coconut milk, and season with salt and pepper. Add roasted squash and fold to coat with curry. Cover and let simmer 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4-6. From Food and Wine March 2018.

Utica Greens

FOR THE OREGANATO:

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup bread crumbs

½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

 

FOR THE GREENS:

1 1/4 pound greens mix

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 slices prosciutto cut roughly

4 to 6 hot cherry peppers (pickled or fresh), chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup + 2 Tbs Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and set aside.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, prepare the oreganato: Mix the oil, bread crumbs and cheese until well blended. It should have the texture of moist beach sand. Set aside.  When the water is boiling, blanch the greens until they are nearly limp but still a little firm, about 1 to 2 minutes. Plunge them into the ice bath to stop the cooking. Remove and drain them well in a colander or salad spinner, allowing them to remain moist but not dripping wet. Squeeze just a little of the moisture from them, then chop them into 2-inch pieces. Set aside.  Heat the broiler. Coat a large pan with the olive oil. Over medium heat, sauté the prosciutto, cherry peppers and garlic until the prosciutto is browned and slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. (Lower heat slightly if garlic begins to brown too quickly.) Add the chopped greens to the pan, season with salt and pepper and stir to mix well.  Add 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and 1/2 cup of the oreganato. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently to blend, scraping the bottom of the pan to keep the oreganato from burning. Sprinkle another 1/4 cup oreganato atop the greens. (Save leftover oreganato for use in another greens dish, or add it to baked chicken or shrimp.) Place the pan under the broiler and broil until the top browns, about 2 minutes. Remove from the broiler and sprinkle a bit more cheese on the dish. Serve immediately.