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Posts Tagged ‘Bon Appetit’

 

I was having friends over for pizza, and I wanted something not too cheesy or bread based for an appetizer.  I have seen kale chips popping up in the blogs lately and thought they might be just the right thing.  There’s, s a few different recipes going around, but this one by Dan Barber of Blue Hill Farms, which appeared in Bon Appetit, seemed like the way to go.   

They are super easy to prepare.  I whipped them up and they tasted like a potato chip, only more vegetal.  Light, crispy, and a faint vegetable taste to them.  Very crunchy and addictive. 

But, 10 minutes before people arrived, I freaked that they were just a little too hippie to serve to people.  

How would people react to burnt leaves?  

It was too late to change my mind, though. I had nothing else to serve, so the hippie food stayed out.  Thankfully, my risk taking paid off.  While one guest did say, “you can eat those?!”, everyone loved them and the double batch I made was completely gone.  People liked them enough that these may become a party staple of mine.

Tuscan Kale Chips
Recipe from Bon Appetit

Ingredients
12 large Tuscan kale leaves, rinsed, dried, cut lengthwise in half, center ribs and stems removed 
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 250°F.  Toss kale with oil in large bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Arrange leaves in single layer on 2 large baking sheets.  Bake until crisp, about 30 minutes for flat leaves and up to 33 minutes for wrinkled leaves.  Transfer leaves to rack to cool.

At this point, you could break them up and have them more chip size, but I liked the presentation in Bon Appetit.  Into a vase they went to be nibbled on with wine, marinated olives, and quick salt and sugar radish pickles

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My husband hates lentils.  They were a staple in my kitchen for years, back in my fresh out of college, underpaid world saving vegetarian days.  I moved in with my husband almost six years ago, and I don’t think I’ve cooked them since. 

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I miss them and I frequently joke that one day, I’m just going to make them and he will just have to deal.  I haven’t carried through with this threat yet, probably because I don’t want him to take out his revenge on me through steaming bowls of French onion soup.

Well, he’s out of town this week, so I made myself a big pot of lentil soup for dinner, using carrots and sweet potatoes from our CSA box.   The carrots I used were Thumbelina carrots.  I felt guilty for chopping them up into unrecognizable little bits and not taking advantage of their adorable, pudgy shape, but such is life.

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I don’t remember how I used to make my old lentil soup since it had been so long, but I found a great recipe on Epicurious.  Maybe it was like stumbling upon an oasis after a long walk through the desert or maybe my cooking skills have just improved a lot over the last six years, but either way, the soup was better than I remember.   I may need to make him go out of town more often. 

The original recipe comes from the May 1998 issue of Bon Appetit and can be found here.  I halved it because I didn’t need 6-8 servings and tweaked it a bit, so I’m giving you my version. 

Curried Lentil Soup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion or large shallot, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, chopped
1 cup of carrot, peeled, chopped
1-2 tablespoons curry powder 
pinch or two of cayenne pepper
   * with the spices, I recommend starting with 1T and 1 pinch, then adding
      more later in the cooking process if needed
3 cups low-salt chicken or vegetable broth
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice 
1  cup lentils (about 6 ounces), rinsed, drained
Fresh cilantro for serving

Directions

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, potato and carrot and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  Mix in curry powder and cayenne and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 

Add broth, tomatoes with juices and lentils and bring to boil.  Cover pot, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until lentils are very tender.  The recipe suggests 45 minutes, but I needed closer to an hour. 

Season soup to taste with salt and pepper and additional spices if needed.  Garnish with a bit of fresh chopped cilantro.

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I am a relatively new convert to the world of beets.  I could probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve eaten them, but I’m quickly discovering that I adore them.  Back when I made my beet and orange salad, I also flagged this recipe because it looked so tasty.  I had been waiting for Eatwell to bring us more beets, but so far, no luck.  Two weeks ago however, I found myself at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market and beets were everywhere.   Of course, I filled up a bag of gorgeous golden beets so I could finally try this dish.

It’s really good.  About halfway through the cooking, I started to have second thoughts.  “Is this really going to taste good?” I kept thinking.  I think it was because I was still not firmly convinced that I did really like beets.  I’m glad I powered through, because it paid off.  It makes for a very hearty, simple vegetarian pasta dish.

If you can’t find beets with the greens still attached and fresh, I think chard would probably be the best substitute, but spinach would probably work too, though you’d have to cut the cooking time down a bit.   You can also make this with red beets, but your pasta will be pink.

This recipe comes from the February 2009 Bon Appetit.

Farfalle with Golden Beets, Beet Greens, and Pine Nuts

Ingredients

1/3 cup pine nuts
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large onions, quartered lengthwise through root end, sliced crosswise (about 4 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 bunches 2-inch-diameter golden beets with fresh healthy greens; beets peeled, each cut into 8 wedges, greens cut into 1-inch-wide strips
12 oz farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving

Directions

Heat heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and stir until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to small bowl.  Add 2 tablespoons oil and onions to same skillet and sauté until beginning to soften and turn golden, about 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to sauté until onions are tender and browned, about 30 minutes longer. 

Meanwhile, cook beets in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes.  Using slotted spoon, transfer beets to medium bowl.  Return water to boil.  Add pasta to beet cooking liquid and cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. 

If you finish cooking the pasta while the onions and greens are still cooking, reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid before draining.  Otherwise just keep a ladle handy.

While the pasta is cooking, add garlic to the onion mixture and cook for about 2 minutes.  Scatter beet greens over onions.  Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons oil over and a couple tablespoons of the pasta  cooking water; cover and cook until beet greens are tender, about 5 minutes.

Drain the pasta ifyou haven’t already, reserving extra water, and return it back to the pot.

Stir onion-greens mixture and beets into pasta.  Add pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten as needed.  You probably won’t need the entire cup, but you will probably need to add a half cup or so just so the beets and greens don’t stick together and the pasta doesn’t look too dry.   Season with salt and coarsely ground black pepper.  Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese.  Divide pasta among shallow bowls.  Sprinkle with pine nuts and additional cheese.

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