Sonal’s Tandoori Spiced Tempeh Bowl

Santa’s best present to me this year was two packets of homemade Indian spice mixes from Sonal over at Simply Vegetarian777. Read More

Isn’t Stalking Fun?

This week I’m co-hosting a weekly blogging event with my good friend Selma @selmastable that has become a fondly anticipated part of my week, maybe the only fondly anticipated part of my week these days as I am, ahem, up to my ears in self promoting and self-selling as I stalk out a job.  I’m stalking attorneys, stalking my fellow party goers at Fiesta Friday #50 to see what they’ve brought, so I might as well be stalking in my kitchen. Read More

Juicy Red Salad, Buttermilk Dressing; and, May I Rant?

 

Without Avo

Without Avo

Here’s a fresh and beautiful springtime salad inspired by the early Brooks Cherry appearance in our farmer’s markets this week.  It’s crunchy, creamy & juicy, and sweet, tart & peppery, all in one bite.

The sweet and juicy fruit pairs well with the crunch and grassyness of the black eyed pea and english pea sprouts; and the avo and creamy dressing, tangled with the shock of peppery arugula, rounds everything out in balance.

That's Better

That’s Better

This Friday at my favorite farmer’s market, I was so excited about these cherries, harbinger of summer, that I literally just threw together a salad idea in my head, made a few more purchases with the cash I had left, and biked all the ingredients to work in my backpack.  I figured I could snap some pretty good photographs in our office kitchen, which encompasses one quarter of one entire building floor, and has 2 floor-to-ceiling windows as its 2 out of 3 walls.  Great light, juicy cherries, some sprouts, my iphone camera, and all of a sudden I have a chance at making it to Fiesta Friday after all!

I artfully assembled my salad, moved it around to scout lighting, and then it happened.  That person, you know the one . . . the one that every office has who is miserable . . . she snarked me!  She rained on my sunny disposition.  Really staring deeply into my salad (and getting into my personal space) I believe what she said was, “That looks so disgustingly healthy,” with a tinge of sincere scorn and mockery. Plus maneuvering around me with a step-ladder and crowding me big time.  I mean, can you give a girl a little happy privacy . . . or wait 2 minutes until the space is free?  I know I’m a little weird with my food but . . . can’t we all just get along? 🙂

Ss3

On that note, I would like to wish all of my fellow “food obsessed” or “food interested” bloggers and Fiesta Friday #13 co-guests a very happy weekend filled with lots of good food, companionship, gratitude and love!!!!!!!

Here’s the Salad Recipe:

*Please note that the dressing recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe published on the foodnetwork.com, and it will make much more dressing than you need for this salad, but it is a WONDERFUL salad dressing to have on hand.  I use Thai basil instead of regular basil because I like it better! I keep a jar in my refrigerator at work and at home.

Ingredients:

3 cups wild arugula

1 cup mixed sprouts (I used black eyed pea and english pea found at my farmer’s market, but please feel free to use bean sprouts, radish sprouts, whatever you can)

1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted

1/2 cup strawberries, halved

1/2 avocado, sliced

Arrange all ingredients in a nice big bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and let sit while you make the dressing.

Ingredients for the Dressing:

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup yoghurt, drained for half an hour

1/4 cup olive oil

2 scallions

1/2 bunch Thai basil

1 Tbsp mustard

1 clove garlic, smashed

1 Tbps lemon juice

1 tsp honey

pinch salt

Place the scallions, basil, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Puree for 15 to 20 seconds to make a smooth mixture. Add the mayonnaise, yogurt, and buttermilk and blend until smooth. Transfer the dressing to a container, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour for the flavors to develop.

For one gigantic salad as listed above, I use about 1/4 to 1/3 cup dressing and mix really well with my hands, then eat with a spoon!  Don’t forget to top with freshly cracked black pepper.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/buttermilk-ranch-dressing-with-bibb-lettuce-recipe.html?oc=linkback

 

Pea & Shoot Soup with Green Almond Garnish

This week at the Farmer’s Market I was intrigued by green almonds.  I’ve never had green almonds, nor read about them.  Upon sampling, I decided that their grassy, young flavor tanged up with some preserved lemons and chile would make a nice garnish for sweet pea soup.

Pure Pea SoupFresh English Peas won’t be around for much longer and since I’m still nursing a healing mouth and eating soft foods, I made Pea Soup.  I used a simple recipe from Daniel Boulud, added more peas and shoots in place of the fava beans, and finished the soup with my own embellishments:  crisped bacon, a thick tangle of pea shoots and sunflower sprouts, and a green (raw, unshelled) almond relish.

Here’s the Recipe:

Ingredients:

8 slices of bacon

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced

5 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken or veggie broth

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 pound pea shoots and sunflower shoots

1/2 pound sugar snap peas

1 lb fresh shelled English Peas, plus 1/2 cup more peas

1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 cup heavy cream

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 lb green almonds

1 preserved lemon

1 red fresno chili

Instructions:

In a medium soup pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate. Pour off the fat in the pot.

In the same pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and leek and snap peas, cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 7 minutes. Add the stock, 4 slices of the cooked bacon, 1 rosemary sprig and a pinch each of salt and white pepper. Simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes. Discard the bacon and rosemary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a blender.

Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add half the shoots and cook for 3 minutes. Add the peas and the parsley and cook just until heated through, about 1 minute; drain. Add the peas and parsley to the blender and puree until smooth, adding a few tablespoons of the broth to loosen the mixture. Transfer the soup and the remaining broth to a large bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water to cool.

In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream and garlic to a boil. Simmer over low heat until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Strain the garlic cream into a bowl and let cool.

Blanch 1/2 cup peas in boiling water for about 1/5 minutes and shock into ice water.  Set aside.

Chop green almonds, preserved lemon and chile.  Set aside.

Scatter rim of bowls with shoots.  Ladle the chilled soup into bowls and drizzle with the garlic cream. Crumble the remaining 4 slices of bacon into each bowl, top with a small portion of blanched peas, add a spoonful of the almond garnish, and serve.

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Sweating the Onion, Leek, Peas and Snap PeasSweating the Onion, Leek, Peas and Snap Peas
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After pureeing I like to add more pepper and a drizzle of olive oilAfter pureeing I like to add more pep
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The Green Almond GarnishThe Green Almond Garnish
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Super Fresh Soup
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