Winter Squash and Coconut Soup with Thai Pesto

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 winter squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste
  • 2 c. chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 c. coconut milk

Thai Pesto:

  • 2/3 c. roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. Sriracha sauce
  • A small bunch of cilantro
  • A large handful mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar (optional)

Put oil in a heavy-based saucepan and set over medium heat. Add the cubed squash and onion, partially cover with a lid, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often until starting to soften. Add the curry paste and cook until the paste becomes fragrant. Add the stock and coconut milk and simmer until squash is tender. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and whiz until smooth. Return the blended soup to a clean saucepan. To make the pesto, put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until you have a chunky green paste. Gently reheat the soup, then ladle into bowls. Top with a generous spoonful of Thai pesto to serve. Serves 4. Adapted from Easy Veganfrom Ryland, Peters and Small.

Wide Green Noodles, Cauliflower, and Broccoli in Mustard Butter

  • 7 oz. fresh pasta noodles (spinach fettucine is ideal)
  • 7 Tbs. soft butter
  • 2 Tbs. strong Dijon mustard
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. parsley or a handful of arugula, chopped
  • 1 c. bread crumbs
  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes, cut in pieces
  • 3-4 c. broccoli and cauliflower florets, broken into tiny pieces
  • thin strip lemon peel, finely slivered
  • salt
  • pepper
  • parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cream 4 Tbs. of the butter with the mustard, green onions, garlic, vinegar and parsley or arugula.  Melt the remaining butter, add the bread crumbs, and fry them until they are crisp and browned.  Melt the mustard butter over a low flame, add a little of the boiling pasta water and the sun-dried tomatoes.  Drop the broccoli and cauliflower florets into the boiling pasta water, return to a boil, and cook about 1 minute.  Scoop them out and add them to the mustard butter.

Next, cook the pasta; then add it with the lemon to the vegetables.  Toss well with a pair of tongs to mix, season with salt and pepper.  Serve on warm plates garnished with breadcrumbs and Parmesan.

Serves two to four.

Adapted from The Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison with Edward Espe Brown.

Tomatillo Turkey Tacos

  • 8 small white corn tortillas
  • 1 pound fresh tomatillos
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 jalapeno chile, stemmed
  • ¼ bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • frshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of granulated sugar
  • 2 cups chopped boneless, skinless roasted turkey
  • 4 Tbsp. light sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wrap the tortillas tightly in foil and place in the oven to heat through for about 10 minutes.  Or, layer with damp paper towels and heat in the microwave on medium for 20 seconds, check and then repeat.  Wrap to keep warm.  Meanwhile, remove the papery husk from the tomatillos, then rinse and cut in half.  Combine the tomatillos, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, pepper and sugar in a food processor or blender.  Process until combined but still slightly chunky.  Chop the turkey into small pieces.  Put into either a microwave-safe container or a saucepan with the salsa.  Heat through, about 5 minutes, stirring once or twice.  Everyone can build his or her own tacos with the turkey tomatillo salsa and sour cream.  Finely chopped onions and cilantro can be used as garnishes.

From Fooday.

Tarragon or Basil Green Beans

  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 36 black peppercorns
  • 3 lbs young, tender snap beans, trimmed, if necessary, to 4 inches
  • 6 tarragon sprigs or 12 basil sprigs
  • 3 ½ cups white wine vinegar
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • 2 Tbs. pickling salt

Into each of 6 sterile pint mason jars, put 1 sliced garlic and 6 peppercorns.  Pack the beans vertically into the jars, adding 1 tarragon sprig or 2 basil sprigs to each jar.  In a non-reactive saucepan, bring to a boil the vinegar, water and salt.  Pour the hot liquid over the beans, leaving ½ inch headspace.  Close the jars with hot two-piece caps.  Process the jars for 5 minutes in a boiling-water bath, or pasteurize them for 30 minutes in water heated to 180-185 degrees, F.  Store the cooled jars in a cool, dark place for at least 1 month before eating the beans.

Spinach and Mint Soup

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 (9- to 10-ounce) russet potato, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 1/2 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained very well
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika

Heat 1/4 cup oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add potato and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add 4 1/2 cups broth and green onions; bring to boil. Cover and simmer until potato is tender, about 15 minutes. Add spinach, 3/4 cup mint, and cilantro. Simmer soup 1 minute.  Puree soup in blender in batches; return to same pot. Thin with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls, if desired. Season soup with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1/4 cup oil in small skillet over low heat. Mix in paprika; cook 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with paprika oil; garnish with 1/4 cup mint.

Scallops with Raab

For the lentils

  • 4 tbsp lentils
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped sage

For the cima di rapa

  • 1.5 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 dried chilli
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 400g cima di rapa, leaves removed from stalks, thick parts of the stalks sliced at the bottom

For the scallops

  • 12-16 scallops, in their shells (or buy the scallops out of their shells and ask your fishmonger for 4 cleaned shells)
  • olive oil

To garnish

  • 2 tsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp capers, drained

For the lentils: place the lentils, chopped garlic and sage in a small saucepan with enough water to cover them to twice their depth. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes or until tender. Drain if necessary and set aside.   Crush the fennel and chilli together in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Heat the 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy-based frying pan and lightly fry the fennel seeds, chilli and garlic for 1-2 minutes.  Meanwhile, blanch the cima di rapa stalks in a pan of boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then add the leaves and cook for a futher 2 minutes. Once the cima di rapa is cooked, drain and add to the frying pan with the fennel seeds, chilli and garlic. Lightly fry for a few more minutes.  Remove the cima di rapa mixture from the pan and chop finely. Put it back in the pan along with the lentils and heat through with a splash of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the scallops: if using scallops in their shells, remove from the shells, trim the scallops and reserve 4 cleaned shells for serving. Rub the scallops with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large frying pan and fry the scallops for 1-2 minutes on each side until slightly caramelised and just cooked. To serve, pile the cima di rapa into the cleaned scallop shells, spoon over a few lentils and top with the scallops. Garnish with the parsley and capers.

Sautéed Bok Choy with Cashew Sauce

  • 1/2 cup cashews, roasted
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
  • 7 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. basil, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. mint, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb. bok choy, washed and dried
  • 1/3 cup peanut oil

Puree the cashews, vinegar, water, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, Tabasco, basil and mint in a blender. Separate bok choy leaves from stalks, and cut stalks into 1-inch long pieces. Sauté bok choy in a large pan over high heat (oil should not be smoking). Stir briskly for 1 – 2 minutes until it is bright green and well seared. Remove from heat and drape with cashew sauce. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Roasted Onions on a bed of Herbs

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 large onions, halved
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh herbs (like dill or parsley)
  • 1 cup dry white wine or water

Heat the butter and oil in a wide skillet, then add onions, cut sides down.  Cook over medium high heat until well-browned, about 15 minutes.  When browned, turn them over and cook on the curved side for a few minutes,  Season well with salt and pepper.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line the bottom of a 10 inch earthenware dish with the herbs.  Place the onions, browned side up, on the herbs and pour in the wine.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake until tender when pierced with a knife, 1 hour or longer.  You can serve the onions with a quick vinegar sauce made by deglazing the skillet with 2 Tbsp. of sherry vinegar.

Serves 6.

From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.

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.

Portabello Mushrooms filled with Bok Choy and Mint

  • 4 medium sized portabello mushrooms
  • sea salt/ fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 fresh mozzarella balls, sliced
  • 1 bok choy, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ginger, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ onion, sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Remove the stems of the mushrooms, place on a baking sheet, season, and sprinkle with fresh lemon juice. Place in the oven for approx. 4-5 minutes. Remove and put aside.  In a sauce pan add 1 tbsp. Olive oil, heat, add onion, season, and saute for 2 minutes, add ginger and bok choy and saute an additional minute, add fresh mint  Place the saute in the mushrooms, top with fresh mozzarella and place back in the oven for 5-7 minutes.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve.