Roasted Sardines with Green Garlic and Mint

12 (2-ounce) fresh sardines, scaled and gutted

Kosher salt

Extra virgin olive oil

4 stalks green garlic, trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise

1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs, toasted

1 tablespoon salt-packed capers, soaked and minced

1/3 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, torn by hand

1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 500ºF.  Working with one fish at a time, remove the head. Gently pry open the belly to reveal the backbone. Place the fish, skin side up, on a work surface and run the palm of your hand along the spine to loosen it, then trim off the back fin. Turn the sardine over. Starting at the head end, pull the backbone towards the tail in a single motion. (Part of the tail may come off with the backbone.) Rinse the sardine under cold running water, checking for any loose bones, and then pat dry. Repeat with the remaining sardines.  Arrange the butterflied sardines on a baking sheet, skin side up. Season both sides with salt, and brush both sides lightly with olive oil. Roast the sardines, skin side up, for about 5 minutes, or until they are cooked through and the skin begins to sizzle.  Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan, heat a few tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the green garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, or until softened. With a slotted spoon, remove the green garlic and set aside. Over medium-low heat, replenish the sauté pan with a few additional tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle in the bread crumbs. Sauté for about 2 minutes, or until they crisp up and darken slightly. Remove from the heat, add the green garlic, stir in the capers and mint, and set aside until serving. Transfer the sardines to a serving platter or divide among individual plates, and squeeze the lemon half.

Asian Lettuce Wraps

16 lettuce leaves

1 pound lean ground beef

1 tablespoon cooking oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 green garlic, minced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons minced pickled ginger

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Asian chile pepper sauce (optional)

1 (8 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped

1 bunch green onions, chopped

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

2 teaspoons Asian (dark) sesame oil

Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside. In a medium skillet over high heat, brown the ground beef in 1 tablespoon of oil, stirring often and reducing the heat to medium, if necessary. Drain, and set aside to cool. Cook the onion in the same pan, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar, and chile pepper sauce to the onions, and stir. Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked beef; continue cooking until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter, and pile meat mixture in the center. To serve, allow each person to spoon a portion of the meat into a lettuce leaf. Wrap the lettuce around the meat like a burrito, and enjoy!

Chimichurri

¾ cup parsley, large stems removed

1/3 c. mint leaves

2 Tbsp. capers, drained

1 small green garlic, white and pale green part chopped

4 Tbsp. olive oil

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

½ Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Can be covered and stored in the fridge for a few days until needed. Makes about ¾ cup.

Very Easy Tomato Sauce

I just quarter the tomatoes (any that don’t get eaten within four or five days), cherry and sungold tomatoes I leave whole, quarter an onion or two and place these in a baking dish. Then I peel and add four or five garlic cloves, fresh basil, rosemary, etc. and drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil all over everything. Then I roast it all in allow oven – 300 to 325 degrees, for three or four hours or until everything is mushy. Once it’s cooled, I dump it all in the food processor and voila! thick rich roasted tomato sauce. The most recent batch included a smallish fennel bulb and a coarsely chopped eggplant. The roasting seems to bring out the natural sweetness of those delicious tomatoes.

Szechwan Noodles with Peanut Sauce

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb udon noodles
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 head cabbage
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 spring onion or green onions

Whisk water, peanut butter, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, chili flakes, sweet chili sauce and minced garlic in medium bowl to blend (sauce will be thick; add more water if too thick). Break noodles in half and cook in large pot of boiling water until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain. Rinse noodles under cold water and cool. Transfer noodles to very large bowl. Toss with sesame oil to coat. Shred cabbage; cut red pepper, carrots and onions into matchstick-size strips. Add veggies to noodles and mix. Toss with peanut sauce to coat. Optional garnish with chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, etc.

Spinach, Green Garlic and Mushroom Pie

  • ¾ Lb spinach and/or other greens
  • 1 cup sliced green garlic
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Lb ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • ½ Lb oyster (or other) mushrooms
  • 2 Tbs vermouth
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prepare a dough as you would for pizza crust.

Chop the spinach coarsely.  In a heavy pan, sauté the garlic in 1 Tbs of olive oil until limp.  Add the spinach with some salt and pepper and cook until the spinach is wilted and the water it releases is boiled off.  Remove from heat and toss with the lemon juice.  Beat one egg into the ricotta along with the parmesan cheese and mix with the cooked spinach mixture.

In another pan, sauté the onion in the remaining olive oil until it begins to brown.  Add mushroom and continue cooking until they begin to brown.  Add salt, pepper and vermouth and stir until the vermouth evaporates.

Lightly oil a cookie sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Roll out the dough to about 15×20 inches and place on cookie sheet.  Spread the Ricotta and spinach mixture onto the dough leaving approx. 3 inches around the edges and cover the cooked mushrooms over the spinach.  Pull the edges of the dough over the filling and fold together.  Beat the remaining egg with a spoonful of oil and brush onto the dough.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 35 minutes.  When it is fully cooked, allow it to cool for a few minutes before slicing into wedges for serving.

Soy Sausage-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

  • 1 large head green cabbage
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (2 cups)
  • 2 14-oz. packages beef-flavored soy sausages
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp. white pepper
  • 3 cups bottled pasta sauce or homemade tomato sauce

Lightly grease a large shallow casserole.  Remove 12 large leaves from the cabbage and set aside.  Shred enough of the remaining cabbage to make 1 cup.  Save the rest of the cabbage for another use.  Put the shredded cabbage, bay leaves and garlic in the bottom of the casserole.  In a separate pan, blanch the reserved cabbage leaves in boiling water for 3 minutes.  Remove and set aside.  Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat and saute onion and sausage for 3 minutes.  Reduce heat and add the rice salt, Worcestershire sauce and pepper.  Mix well.  Divide the mixture among the 12 leaves, rolling each one up, tucking the ends toward the center and fastening with a toothpick.  Place in the casserole dish.  Pour the sauce over the rolls, cover tightly and simmer 30 minutes.

Serves 6.

From The Whole Soy Cook Book by Patricia Greenberg.

Sautéed Broccoli With Garlic

  • 1Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. thin broccoli spears
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 tsp. lemon juice or 2 lemon wedges

Heat oil in nonstick skillet, add garlic and sauté briefly (don’t let garlic brown).  Add trimmed broccoli spears and sauté 2 minutes to coat with oil.  Add chicken broth, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes; simmer over low heat until tender, about 20 minutes.  Stir in lemon juice or serve with lemon wedges.

From Foodday.

Roasted Carrots with Garlic and Thyme

  • 1 ½  Lbs carrots, peeled
  • 10 – 12 small garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbs Olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • thyme sprig
  • chopped parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut carrots into 1-2 inch pieces, toss with oil, then season with salt and pepper.  Put them in a roomy baking dish with the unpeeled garlic and thyme sprig.  Add 2 Tbs of water, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake until tender, 25-45 minutes.  Check at least twice to make sure there is moisture in the pan and stir the carrots gently.  Toward the end, remove foil and continue roasting until liquid is reduced and the carrots are browned.  Serve garnished with parsley.

Note:  The unpeeled garlic cloves can be squeezed to remove the creamy garlic, which can be used as a spread on bread or mixed with the carrots for a stronger garlic flavor.

Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.

Green Garlic Gnocchi

  • 5 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 4 green garlics, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more for cooking water
  • 15 oz. whole milk ricotta
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour

In a medium frying pan over medium heat, melt 1 Tbsp. butter. Add green garlic and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. In a large bowl, stir ricotta and break up any lumps by mashing them against the side of the bowl. Add green garlic and stir to combine. In a medium bowl, beat eggs until light and foamy. Add eggs to ricotta mixture and stir to combine. Mix in flour. You should have a loose but thick dough. Cover and chill while you prepare the cooking water. Bring a large, wide pan of water to a boil. Add enough salt to make the water taste salty (about 1 Tbsp.) and reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. Meanwhile, turn oven to 200° and melt remaining 4 Tbsp. butter is a wide baking dish in the oven. Drop small spoonfuls of chilled ricotta mixture into the water, being careful not to crowd the pan. As they cook, the gnocchi will rise to the surface of the water and they must all be able to fit in a single layer. Poach until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to dish with melted butter. Cover dish and return to oven to keep gnocchi wamr. Repeat with remaining batches until all batter is used. Serve gnocchi as soon as possible.