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Recipes vegan vegetarian

Broccoli Slaw Sesame Salad & Impatient Pickles

February 21, 2010

Broccoli Slaw Sesame Salad

1 stalk broccoli, stem only
1 small bunch mizuna, about 20 stems of different sizes
2 spring carrots, medium-small
2 radishes
1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 tsp gomashi
1tsp black sesame seeds

Wash all vegetables and peel the carrots as well as any easy areas of the broccoli stem. Cut both into julienne as best you’re able.

Wash & pat dry the mizuna, trimming excess stems. Wash & slice radish into even pieces, either julienne or in half rounds.

Whisk the oil, vinegar, and gomashi together. If you don’t have gomashi, crush sesame seeds with the back of a knife or in a mortar & pestal and mix with some salt. Coat the vegetables in the dressing and top with black sesame seeds when serving.

Impatient Pickles (quick Japanese pickle)

1 Japanese cucumber or equivalent other cucumber (seed other types, but not Japanese cucumber)
1 square kombu (1×1 inches or so, can use some you used to make stock, no problem; this is a type of kelp used to make stocks and other dishes in Japanese cuisine)
1/4 small head of Napa, Chinese, or Savoy Cabbage, sliced thinly and washed
Pinch salt

Add a pinch of salt to the cabbage once it’s sliced and let it sit while you chop the cucumber.

Prep your cucumber by slicing off the ends. Use a lot of salt in your hands to rub the cucumber vigorously; the salt will turn green and a bit of foam will appear. This is normal. Supposedly, it removes bitterness from the vegetable. Rinse it and pat it dry, then cut it into julienne by slicing dramatic diagonal ovals and then chopping them longways to have sticks with green tips.

Mix everything together with your hands, using a light and then a firmer touch to squeeze moisture out of the vegetables. Leave the moisture in the bowl, you’ll use it. When the vegetables are flexible and soft, add the kombu. Put it in a jar with a tight fitting lid or otherwise in a ceramic or glass container with a lid and let it sit at room temp for 1 hour or in the fridge for up to 3 days with the kombu. Remove the kombu and store it another 2 weeks if you want to, assuming it doesn’t smell or look funny.

Serve in small clumps in bowls.

You can add radish or carrot or substitute it as well.

Recipes vegan vegetarian

Lipstick Peppers & Watercress

June 25, 2009

6-8 lipstick or gypsy sweet peppers
1 medium/small red spring onion (or shallots would do, etc)
1 bunch watercress, cleaned thoroughly
olive oil, salt, pepper

Heat the oil at medium heat, add the diced onions when hot. When beginning to sweat, add the peppers in ring slices. Remove the seeds beforehand. When softened but not greying, add the watercress, turn off the heat, cover. Serve when wilted. Toss well. Add some lemon juice or zest if you feel up to it.

Recipes vegan vegetarian Wine pairings

Troffiette with Pesto & Asparagus

June 21, 2009

Do yourself a favor and make the pesto from scratch if you have access to a food processor. It’s soooo much better than that stuff you’re tempted to buy at trader joe’s. Shame on you.

1/4 C pesto
1 C troffiette (substitute a pasta of similar size if you must)
1 bunch asparagus (~ 1/2 lb)
olive oil

Clean your asparagus and use a carrot peeler gently to remove the thick skin along the bottom. The result should not be white but a paler green from below the head down. Trim the ends off. Cut in pieces as in the picture.

Heat olive oil in non stick pan (about 2 tsp) at medium heat. Add asparagus and cook until bright. Meanwhile, boil the pasta until al dente (very important not to overcook for this one). When done, drain and add to asparagus, turning to low. Add the pesto, mix, and turn off heat immediately. Serve by itself or with some meat or other dish.

By the way, troffiette is a Ligurian specialty (as is Pesto aka “pesto genovese,” I’ve mentioned before basil grows like weeds in the seaside, Italian riviera hillside that is Liguria, let’s not even start to talk about the ligurian foccacia, lobster-like delicious seafood, or wines on this tangent), though it’s not impossible to find in the US or to make yourself. It’s a very easy to make shape, the hardest part is cutting the peice of pasta dough you’re going to work with small enough and using a fine enough ground wheat flour in its construction, as well as letting it rest long enough to cooperate with you. But I encourage you to try to find it or make it.

Recipes vegan vegetarian

Summer Vegetable Sautee

June 17, 2009

A case of “there is a lot of stuff going bad in my refrigerator and we need to eat some vetatables. What goes with flank on the grill?” came up on me tonight.

1 small white onion (top attached, ripped from the earth ala farm-fresh-to-you style)
2 gypsy peppers (small sweet peppers)
3 medium yellow flower squash
1 small bunch spinach
1 bunch beet greens
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Wash all your delightful veggies, and spin dry the greens. Chop the beet greens, take big stems off the spinach. Dice the squash into medium cubes, cut the peppers into small squares. Finely dice your onion.

Heat olive oil in a nonstick. When medium hot, add onion, and 1 min later add gypsy pepper, salt, pepper. 4 more min, add squash, keep heat up. Let brown, tossing. When cooked, add the greens, cover, turn off the heat.

I served it with my favorite marinated flank steak.

Recipes vegan vegetarian Wine pairings

Mixed Spring Vegetable Ragu on Polenta

May 3, 2009

It’s been hard to write lately, to give you something tasty to look at. I’ve been counting calories, learning to run, humbly saying no to my favorite morning pastries and the breakfast burritos I’ve become so fond of.

So tonight, I’ll try to sate you. I delighted in some zucchini from my farm shipment, fava beans from farmer’s market, celery that needed to be used (leftover from last week’s stock making), leftover san marzano tomatos and more.

1 cup polenta, cooked (3 cups water & 1tsp salt boiled, add the polenta and stir well for 10 minutes, add 1T butter & lots of grated parm at the very end)

1 lb fava beans (weight in pods; prep them by blanching in salted water, putting in cold water, removing skins)
1/2 large zucchini, sliced
1/2 large carrot or equivilent, medium dice
1/2 large yellow onion, large dice
2-3 stalks celery, diced
8-10 black olives (for shame, mine were from a can–thanks Mom!), rough chop
3-4 san marzano tomatoes or 1 cup marinara sauce
1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp chili flakes
olive oil
salt & pepper

For the sauce, start in a non-stick pan by heating 1 T olive oil. Add the celery, carrot, and onion, cooking at medium/medium low heat until carrots are bright, celery is more dull and onions are almost translucent. Add the minced rosemary, salt, and pepper. Cook 1 minute. Add the olives and zucchini, cook until zucchini have some color at medium/medium high heat. When zucchini still firm, but colored, add marinara sauce/tomatoes, fava beans, and chili flakes if desired and turn to medium low to simmer and combine.

Serve on top of the delicious polenta, or mixed with rigatoni. Serves 3-4.

Wine: A dry, hearty red like Chinati would be great with this. You could also go Sicilian with some Nero d’Avola

Recipes vegan vegetarian

3 Impressive Crostinis: Carrot-Kaboucha, Beet Green & Red Onion, Artichoke & Bacon

March 18, 2009

Carrot-Kaboucha Crostini
4 large, fresh spring carrots
1/2 kaboucha squash (1-1.5lb), roasted with olive oil at 350 until soft
sesame seeds (or toasted sesame & salt mixture)
2 T butter
salt & pepper
macadamia oil

You will need a food processor. Cut roughly your carrots and sautee with salt & pepper in 1T butter until soft and bright. Place into food processor. Add 1/2 C water and then 1/4 C water at a time as needed, and puree. Add 1-3 T macadamia oil to taste. Add 1 T sesame seed to taste. Blend and puree. Add liquid as needed keeping it as minimal as possible while achieving the smoothness. When smooth, add the kaboucha squash, and puree, adding water as needed. Adjust seasoning, add 1 T butter and puree, and you’re done.

Beet Greens & Red Onion Crostini
Optional: Add sheeps milk in a shaved slice on top, over the warm mixture.
Greens and Stems from 2-3 fresh red beets, cleaned and seperated
1 T butter
1 large red onion
2 T fresh parsley, minced
salt & pepper

In a non stick pan, sautee finely chopped beet stems until softened. Add thinly chopped red onion and sautee until soft. Add medium to fine chopped beet greens and cook until wilted and bright. Take off heat and add parsley. Serve with sheetps milk cheese (like pecorino) on top if you like.

Artichoke & Bacon Crostini
4 small to medium artichokes
1/4-1/3 lb thick cut bacon (thick is important in this one)
1/3 C sour cream
3 T grated Parmesan or other grating cheese

I used previously grilled artichokes for this, but you can use fresh ones. If you are using fresh ones, clean & trim the artichokes, and steam/simmer until tender. Remove the hearts and chop coursely but smaller than bite size.

My artichokes were not fully cooked (hence why they survived the aftermath of the grill–I didn’t blanch them long enough before), so I removed the hearts, chopped them, and added them to a sautee pan with some water and steamed them for a bit.

Add your artichokes to a pan and turn the heat to medium high. Add a touch of water and let it evaporate after a while. Add pepper. When water is evaporated, add bacon (cut it into small strips first). The thickness of the bacon is important in order to contrast with the artichoke size. Fry the artichokes with the bacon until all is colored and bacon is crispy. Remove with tons and place on paper towels and allow to drain a bit.

Finely grate the cheese and mix it with the sour cream. Slowly incorporate the artichokes and bacon (after draining). It should be thoroughly coated without an excess of sour cream.

Recipes San Francisco vegan vegetarian

Urad dal – a Quick Indian Snack

January 28, 2009

A good friend of mine and his wife celebrated his anniversary recently, and welcomed a houseful of friends with this wonderful appetizer. He has an interesting history and a lot of experience with Indian food, being that he had years of involvement at a restaurant in a small town in India.

Here’s the secret recipe:

Urad dal (a white lentil available at Indian Groceries and not really anywhere else)
Chat Masala spice mixture
Vegetable oil for frying
red onion
lemon & lime
raw cashews

Soak the dal in water for 30 min-1 hour. Drain well. Heat oil to high and pan fry the dal, taking care to stir frequently so they don’t stick (use a nonstick if possible, or a wok). Once golden and oily, put into a bowl. In the bowl, add a tablespoon of masala seasoning at a time to 1C or more of the lentils. Juice the lemon/lime into it, keep extra handy for adjusting the flavor. Mince or finely dice 1/2 or 1 whole red onion. Mince the cilantro. Mix everything together with a few cashews, adding salt and additional ingredients as needed for taste to bring the whole thing together.

Wine: a dry rose or a champagne without too much acid.