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Fava Bean & Blood Orange Salad with Ricotta Salata

April 27, 2013

Fava Bean & Blood Orange Salad with Ricotta Salata

Spring is a time of transition–Fava beans, along with calcots, ramps & fiddleheads, are some of my favorite in-between spring crops. The hearty fava’s season is a bit longer, and they’re more available across climates and geographies than some of the others, and they pair well with a variety of other foods, and can be really enjoyed both hot and cold.

Blood oranges have a late season this year, so I’m still enjoying them here in California. This is a really straight forward but delicious and loved dish, which serves 3-4 as a side.

Fava Bean & Blood Orange Salad Recipe

1-2lb fresh fava beans, whole
1 medium blood orange, peeled with a knife
1 tbsp (Spanish! buttery!) olive oil
Ricotta salata (or bits of fresh goat cheese, farmer’s cheese, sheep’s feta or shaved pecorino romano)
lots of salt & fresh cracked pepper

Pop the beans out of their pods, and bring water to boil. Boil the beans for about 1 minute, until the color has brightened a bit. Strain, and dunk immediately into a cold water or ice water bath. Once cooled, strain again and begin peeling the beans out of their membrane. You can do this part ahead, stopping at any junction and resuming later. Cut the blood orange into diced chunks. Toss all the ingredients together, topping with shaved ricotta salata (which I clearly managed to get in the photo…) or other cheese as mentioned above.

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Roasted Crispy Chickpeas with Bangkok Spice

August 1, 2012

One of my all time favorite upscale bar snacks, these crispy, fluffy, roasted chickpeas are versitile and delicious. You can serve them by themselves as a snack or on a salad to add a substantial note to it, such as the Arugula Pistachio Salad. These are also known as garbanzo beans–so, roasted crispy garbanzo beans with bangkok spice.

Roasted Crispy Chickpeas Recipe
Feel free to make a double or triple batch. This is a great snack for 2-4.

1 can or 15 oz cooked chickpeas
1 T olive oil
Salt
Bangkok spice or Cajun seasoning (or similar)

Preheat oven to 400. Drain and rinse the chickpeas well. Dry them between paper towels, lightly smashing each one to break it open. If you have a cast iron pan, add the olive oil and mix the chickpeas into it. If you don’t, use a heavy bottomed baking pan or pie pan. Add the salt and spices, mixing well. Bake for 35-45 minutes, agitating/stirring every 10 minutes for maximum crispiness.

 

appetizers dinner one-pan recipes salad dressings salads soups Spring vegan vegetables & hot greens vegetarian

Green Garlic Soup & Fennel Barley Salad with Roast Radishes

May 1, 2012
Green Garlic Soup

Green Garlic Soup

Fennel Barley Salad with Roast Radishes

Paired with a quick asparagus appetizer, this Green Garlic Soup and Fennel-Barley Salad made a wonderful vegetarian 3-course meal. I made this for an old roommate who came to visit last night; were stuffed but happy and feeling good. Our fourth course was chocolate-covered honey cake with sliced mango.

Green Garlic Soup Recipe
Serves 4

~1lb green garlic, sliced roughly
2 T butter or olive oil
1/2 C dry sherry
1 large turnip, roasted or boiled
3-4 cups spinach
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
salt & pepper

In a soup pan, warm the oil or butter over medium high heat. Add the green garlic, cooking until nearly tender and beginning to color.  Add the sherry and cook 3-4 minutes until no brash smell remains. Add salt, and the broth, and bring to a simmer. Add the turnip and the spinach, cooking 1-2 minutes more. Puree in a high powered blender or by another method, being sure to go in batches if needed to avoid a mess. Adjust the seasoning, adding some sherry or wine vinegar if needed. Serve with delicious croutons and garlic chives on top.

 

Fennel Barley Salad Recipe (with roast radishes and flageolet beans)
Serves 3

1.5 C cooked pearled barley
1/2 head fennel, sliced very thinly
1 C flageolet beans, cooked, or other salad bean
9-12 stem on mix of easter egg radishes, french radishes, or petite turnips, roasted whole and sliced in half
3-4 C mixed tender salad greens
3-4 T Fennel Citrus Dijon Salad Dressing
2 T olive oil

On high heat, fry the cooked barley in olive oil until grains separate easily and everything is warm. Add the fennel for 1 minute, then turn the heat off and add the radish mixture and beans to the pan. Toss well. In a large bowl, dress the salad greens generously in dressing. Add the warm barley mixture and toss. Serve!

 

Fennel-Citrus Dijon Salad Dressing Recipe

1 T dijon
1/4 C fennel fronds
Juice of 1/2 large orange
Zest of 1/2 an orange
1 T honey
1 T olive or sunflower oil
2 T apple cider vinegar

Blend all ingredients very well. Stores for up to a week in the refrigerator.

appetizers breakfast & brunch lunch Recipes salads savory baked meals Spring vegan vegetables & hot greens vegetarian

Roasted Spring Root Vegetables

April 20, 2012
Roasted Spring Root Vegetables: Baby Carrots, Turnips, Easter Egg Radishes, Golden Beets, Rutabaga

Roasted Spring Root Vegetables: Baby Carrots, Turnips, Easter Egg Radishes, Golden Beets, Rutabaga

Roasted Spring Root Vegetables: Baby Carrots, Turnips, Easter Egg Radishes, Golden Beets, Rutabaga

A beautiful and simple lunch or light dinner, these roasted spring root vegetables are pleasing to the eye and are the perfect summary of the spring bounty that is now my CSA/farm shipment.

Simply find the best spring veggies you can, cut them in fairly even sizes, toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper (or add some herbs de provence if you like), and roast them 25-40 minutes at 400 degrees on some foil (for easy clean up). Save them cold to toss into salads for the coming days or feast on them then; serve them as an appetizer with friends over on a large platter and cocktail forks. It’s a pleaser.

Use things like: Baby Carrots, Turnips, Easter Egg Radishes, Golden Beets, Chiogga Beets, Rutabaga, Celery Root

Leave the stems on (they are edible! and save those radish & turnip greens for a sautee, a quiche, or a pesto) but trim off any broken or decrepit parts of the stem and use a vegetable sponge to scrub the dirt from the tops and sides. Don’t peel the carrots, just scrub the dirt off. You can also roast everything whole and slice them in half afterwards for brighter centers, but you may need to separate a few trays by size of the objects to ensure even cooking.

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Ginger-Miso Soba Noodles with Crisp Tofu & Red Cabbage Recipe

March 2, 2012
Ginger Scallion Soba Noodles with Crisp Tofu & Red Cabbage

Ginger-Miso Soba Noodles with Crisp Tofu & Red Cabbage

A recipe for a quick and healthy weeknight meal; this is versatile, feel free to swap scallions for chives or spring onions, tofu for a tablespoon or two of raw cashews, red cabbage for arugula, napa cabbage, spinach, turnip greens or any other thing you’ve got hanging around.

Ginger-Miso Soba Noodles with Crisp Tofu & Red Cabbage Recipe
Serves 2

2 rolls dry soba noodles (pre-bundled by most manufacturers)
1/2 pack tofu (enough for two people), cubed
1/4 head red cabbage, shredded thinly
2 scallions (green onions), sliced thinly on the diagnoal
2 T golden or light miso (just not the really really dark mugi type stuff)
1 T fresh grated ginger
2 tsp mirin
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil or toasted sesame oil
sesame seeds
olive oil

In a skillet, heat olive oil to medium high heat. Press dry your tofu and cube it, fry it in the oil turning every minute or two until golden all around. Set side if you’re done with it ahead of time.

Bring a big pot of water to boil, add a tablespoon of salt and boil the soba. Plunge them into a bowl of room temp water when they’re cooked to rinse.  It’s important to rinse the starchy coating off soba.

Whisk together the miso, mirin, soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil until smooth. Add a touch of salt if needed.

Add the soba to the fried tofu pan (while it’s still hot or you bring it back up to temperature), tossing. Add the sauce and toss until warm, in the hot pan over a medium flame, mixing in half the cabbage. Separate two servings into bowls, top with remaining cabbage and scallions, and a touch of sesame seeds.

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Meatless “Meat” Raw Burger Patties

February 16, 2012
Meatless Raw Burger Patties

Meatless Raw Burger Patties

I love to serve these warm from the dehydrator with sundried tomato puree (with garlic and some vinegar), or broken up into raw chili.

Meatless Sprouted Seed Vegan Raw Protein Patty Recipe
Makes about 10

1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked 4-6 hours or sprouted
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, soaked 4-6 hours or sprouted
1/2 cup raw walnuts
Juice of one lemon
3 cloves garlic
2 T sweet and/or barley miso
Pulp (from juicing) of 6 carrots, 2 apples, 1 big bunch spinach (about 1/2-1lb)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 T mustard any kind
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1T dry oregano or sub fresh herbs, chopped
2 T capers, rough chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced

Puree soaked seeds and walnuts (can sub other nuts for the walnuts), lemon juice, garlic, miso, salt, mustard, pepper, herbs in a high powered blender. Mix resulting pate with vegetable pulp from juicing and remaining ingredients. Form into patties using a can with both ends cut out or a cookie cutter. Dehydrate on nonstick mats for 3 hours, then flip onto mesh screens and dehydrate 4-5 more hours. Eat warm or store in refrigerator for 5-7 days max. They freeze ok but defrost and then re-dehydrate.

You can break them up into wraps or on salads, into sauces, you can serve them whole like a burger with or without a bun, on cabbage, with sour cream, etc. In this instance break them up loosely in a bowl of raw chili, recipe below.

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Raw Vegan Chili Recipe and Raw Sour Cream

January 8, 2012

I know what you’re thinking, but it’s really not that bad. It’s possible someone slipped some patchouli or some hemp seeds or some godknowswhat into my breakfast smoothie, but this stuff is seriously tasty, and it’s good for you, and it’s better for the environment than the alternative. And I’m going to keep making it.

Raw Vegan Chili with Vegan Ground Meat and Cashew Sour Cream

Great served with Raw Burger Patties (meatless/vegan).

Raw Cashew Sour Cream

Makes about 1.5 cups

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4 hours
1 cup water
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Puree all ingredients in a high speed blender. Chill to achieve thicker consistency. Can be used as a base for creamy dips and sauces. Good for about a week in a mason jar sealed tight.

Raw Vegan Chili Recipe
Makes about 6 servings
1 portabello mushroom, diced finely
1/2 red bell pepper, diced finely
1/2 sweet onion, diced finely
2 stalks celery, diced finely
1 cup raw almonds, soaked 24-36 hours
2 carrots, cut into 1/2 inch coins or so
1.5 C sundried tomatoes, soaked in water 5-12 hours
1.5 C fresh water or water from soaking tomatoes
2 T tamari, namu shoya, or soy sauce
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt

Chop carrots and almonds in a food processor until chunky. Add to diced veggies.

Puree tomatoes, tomato juice or water, and all spices/seasonings in a high speed blender until smooth. Mix everything together and warm in dehydrator or let sit room temp for a few hours to soften. Serve warm (if possible) with cashew sour cream. If you made the meatless meat patties, tear one apart for each serving and mix into 1 cup of raw chili to make “meat.”

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Zucchini & Purslane Soup

September 7, 2011
Zucchini and Purslane Soup

Zucchini and Purslane Soup

Quick, healthy, and delicious zucchini soup recipe. Works best with a high powered blender, but a stick blender or regular one will work too, with a little finesse. Can be served chilled as well.

Zucchini & Purslane Soup Recipe
Adapted from Food & Wine
Serves 2

1.5 lb of zucchini or mixed summer squash, washed, trimmed, and sliced evenly*
1/2 medium or large yellow onion, diced roughly
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1.5 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme or 1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 cup purslane (or microgreens, which can be tossed with a little lemon or orange zest as well)
Salt to taste

In a 3 quart pan or larger, warm your vegetable stock over medium heat. Add onions, cooking until almost transparent. Add garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and zucchini, cover and cook about 5 minutes at medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but still firm. Add the water and cover. Cook about 10 minutes, until soft.

Using your preferred blending method, puree the soup until smooth. Taste and season with salt, or salt at the table. To serve, do so immediately warm, reheat later with a little more vegetable broth, or add several ice cubes to the fresh puree to bring the temperature down, then store in the fridge up to two days and serve chilled. Garnish with generous purslane and raw zucchini strips.

*Make some thin strips for garnish if you like, before chopping it all up

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Thai Cucumber Salad and Generous Friends

August 28, 2011
thai cucumber salad

thai cucumber salad
It’s probably been five weeks since I posted here. I’ve been cooking plenty, but it’s been of the utilitarian type–meals my friends would (and sometimes are) still delighted to join in on, but that I’ve either posted before, or that I didn’t plate well, or that we were in a hurry to eat. That’s the true life behind a food blog–very little of what is produced makes it on here.

I’ve made Tutto Mare (for my man’s parents while they visited for three weeks in my house–another reason I’ve been absent), eggplant parmasean (without frying the eggplant but with a stick of butter in the sauce), flank steak with chimichurri sauce (for which I already owe you a recipe–noted!), cookies, Chinese desserts involving potatoes and ginger, pesto, and a million other things. Between the house guests and my day job and my latest quest to drink only disgusting green purees of things, there’s not much time to write or much worth writing about.

Now about generous friends. Usually when I post to Red Blossom Tea I’m talking about P. This time I’m talking about his sister Alice–I owe her big time. Every time I drop into the shop she seems to have some treat to share with me, we talk cheese, we talk travel, we talk food and wine. I took the visiting pseudo-in-laws to the shop and came home with a gigantic bag of washed, ready to use, beautiful mature arugula which I’ve put to several uses over the last two weeks–yes, it’s lasted two weeks and still looks gorgeous!

I’ve made arugula pesto, added it to one of my disgusting green smoothies, mixed it into bruschetta, blanched it and served it with eggs poached in tomato sauce, and even used it in this thai cucumber salad recipe. Thanks Alice!

mature arugula grown in bay area garden

raw green smoothie

This is why I haven’t been posting. While writing this enry, I drank this green smoothie of apples, carrots, spinach and a dash of whole lemon and tried really hard to pretend it was baked french toast with mascarpone cream.

Thai Cucumber Salad
Serves 4-6 with possible leftovers as a side

2 medium cucumbers, preferably unwaxed persians
1/4 red onion
1 large watermelon radish or other radish totaling the size of a small peach
1/2 C arugula, chopped
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 C seasoned rice vinegar
1 T sugar
1 tsp salt

Mix the vinegar, sugar, and salt and microwave for 30 seconds, stir to combine. Set aside.

Prepare your cucumber- if waxed/thick skinned, trim the ends, and peel most of the skin off leaving bright green behind, cut in half and remove the seeds with a spoon from each side. If using edible peel, simply remove ends and cut in half, removing seeds.  Using a mandolin or a very patient hand, slice into 1/8th inch thick slices. Place in a serving bowl. Next, slice 1/8th or thinner slices of red onion using the mandolin. Peel off any tough outer layers before doing so. Add to cucumber bowl. Peel the watermelon radish (no need to peel other types), cut in half, and slice thinly with the mandolin.

Toss everything with the vinegar mixture, add sesame seeds and arugula at the end. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to two weeks, so long as everything is coated in vinegar. Makes a quick refrigerator pickle that is tasty right away or later on. You can also store in jars with more vinegar up to a couple months if refrigerated.

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Watermelon Rind Pickle Recipe & Their Applications

August 15, 2010
Homemade pickled watermelon rinds

Homemade pickled watermelon rinds

My mother loves using these as appetizers by wrapping bacon around them, tooth-picking them and cooking in the oven until crispy, salty, sweet.

They’re relatively annoying to find in local markets and for a variety of reasons I expect them to be better made at home–organic watermelon, spices hand carried back from India, quality control. In a market, a jar half this size will cost about $4-5.

Watermelon rind in brine

watermelon-rind-boiling

Pickled Watermelon Rinds with Water Bath

These will keep at least a year assuming a seal is made upon canning.

Rind from an 8lb watermelon, peeled, flesh removed and cubed
Lots of kosher salt
Lots of water
2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar, rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
4 cups sugar
1 T whole cloves
6 cinnamon sticks, 3 inches or so long
1-2 T star anise, whole
Optional: whole mace, tied in a cheesecloth bag (do not can it)

Peel and chop your watermelon rind and place the pieces in a briny water overnight, up to 24 hours, at room temperature.  You should use 3T kosher salt to every quart of water. Let it sit a few minutes then give it a stir to dissolve.

Drain the rind and put it in a large pan, such as a pasta pot. Fill with water, just covering the pieces. Simmer until becoming slightly translucent, about 40 minutes.

Drain again and set aside. Use the same pot to combine the vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil, add the spices and the watermelon rind, reduce to a simmer and continue cooking about 20-30 more minutes, until all pieces are translucent.

Immediately transfer the rind pieces into clean mason jars or canning jars and have new lids ready and clean. Once the rind is distributed, pour the spices and spice syrup (less the mace packet in cheesecloth) in over the rind until about 1/4 inch from the top, covering the pieces.

Screw the lids on with moderate force and place into a large pot (maybe the same one, cleaned?) filled with warm/hot from the tap water, and bring it to a gentle boil. Once boiling, continue for 10 minutes, then turn off heat and leave until cool enough to handle.

If you force the jars to cool more quickly, they will likely crack or break. Within about an hour, all of the seals will probably sink to show that they are pasteurized and ready for storage. If they have not sunk by 24 hours later, you’ll need to repeat the water bath process.