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Summer Squash Risotto

I suppose I have a risotto for all seasons. This one is just right for a cool, rainy spring evening in Austin; comforting but bright and summery. The base is sweet onions just harvested from my garden. Pulling 50 beautiful little onions out of the dirt is a great way to celebrate the end of another semester. Cooking up recipes full of them is a great way to celebrate being on vacation.


2 Tbs Butter
1 cup Sweet Onion [Texas 1015 or the like, chopped]
4 Garlic Cloves [minced]
2 medium Summer Squash [mixed colors, grated]
1/2 cup White Wine
4 cups Vegetable Broth
1 cup Arborio Rice
Lemon Zest from 1 lemon
1/4 cup chopped Flat Leaf Parsley + Basil
Salt to Taste

Heat vegetable broth and keep at a low simmer.

Melt butter in a large shallow sauce pan over medium low heat. Saute sweet onion till translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic + summer squash. Season with salt, depending on how salty your veggie broth is. Cook for a few minutes more, until the squash just begins to soften. Add rice + toast for a minute. Add wine + stir. After all liquid is absorbed, add about a half cup of vegetable broth. Stir frequently until liquid is absorbed. Repeat until all broth has been added and rice is tender and mixture is creamy. Stir in basil + parsley. Serve in shallow bowls garnished with plenty of lemon zest.

Serves 4 as a substantial side.

Sesame Soba

1 Tbs Tahini
1 Tbs Tamari
2 Tbs Rice Vinegar
1 Tbs Honey
1 Tbs Sesame Seeds

2 Daikon Radishes [sliced into matchsticks]
2 Carrots [sliced into matchsticks]
1 Kohlrabi [sliced into matchsticks]
Swiss Chard or Kale [to garnish]

8 oz. Soba Noodles

Cook soba noodles in boiling water till just tender then rinse under cool water. Mix tahini, tamari, sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey + sesame seeds in a small bowl then toss veggies, noodles + sauce together in a larger bowl.

Serves 3-4. For a main course, top with a poached egg or some spicy or simple baked tofu.

Haluska

*This is a pinch outside of our traditional family recipe, but I’d say a delicious little deviation. To my family, don’t worry… I made a perfectly traditional green cabbage version right along side while I was at it!

1 head Napa Cabbage [sliced thin]
1 cup Purple Cabbage [sliced thin]
a few Tbs Safflower Oil

2 cups Russet Potatoes [grated with the fine “hole punch” side of the box grater]
3 cups flour
salt
1 egg

Sea Salt + Sugar [to taste, for serving]

Heat a few Tbs oil in a large skillet. Add cabbage + saute until nicely browned. Set aside while preparing haluska.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

Mix grated potato, flour, egg + salt in a medium bowl till well mixed. Dough should be pretty damp, be careful it doesn’t become too stiff.

Pile dough onto a plate + cut small chunks, about the size of a dime into hot boiling water. Cook for about 7 minutes, until haluska float. Scoop haluska from water as they cook + float to the top. Keep warm till all haluska are cooked.

Mix with cabbage. Serve with small bowls of sea salt + sugar on the table depending on your guest’s preference.

Serves 4 a very hearty meal.

Butternut Squash Risotto

1 Tbs Butter
1 Tbs Olive Oil
1-1/2 cups Onion [chopped finely]
4 Garlic Cloves [minced]
1 small Butternut Squash [peeled + chopped, about 3-1/2 cups]
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
1 cup Arborio Rice
4 cups Vegetable Broth
1/2 tsp Mexican Mint Marigold [or Fresh Tarragon, minced]
1 cup Arugula [chopped finely] + a few handfuls for serving
Salt to Taste

Heat vegetable broth in a small pan to a simmer. Keep over low heat.

Melt butter + heat olive oil in a large shallow pan over medium heat [15 quart saute with 2″ sides is perfect.] Add onion, season with salt + saute for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, butternut squash + a bit more salt, then turn up the heat slightly and cook 5 minutes more, stirring infrequently. Add rice + toast for about two minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in wine + stir frequently until liquid is absorbed into rice.

Reduce heat to medium then add hot broth about 1/2 cup at a time to the rice + vegetable mixture, stirring frequently. Add the next half cup when all the liquid has been absorbed until you have added all 4 cups + rice is tender.

Stir in arugula + Mexican Mint Marigold. Allow to stand 5 minutes before serving on a bed of arugula leaves.

4 main course servings.

Red Bean Cashew Pasta

Here’s a riff on a cold bar salad that Wheatsville makes.

1/2 cup Cashews [raw]
2 tsp Tamari
2 Garlic Cloves [roughly chopped]
1-1/2 cups Kidney Beans [cooked]
2 servings Spaghetti
1 Tbs Olive Oil
handful of Basil + Parsley [chopped]
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Lemon [juice only]

Cook spaghetti in a pot of salted water till al dente. Meanwhile, pulse cashews in a food processor. When they are ground finely, add tamari and garlic and pulse until well mixed.

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add cashew paste + red beans, stirring till heated through. Add pasta and 1/2 cup+ of the pasta cooking water to moisten to desired consistency. Top with fresh herbs, lemon juice + ground black pepper.

Serves 2 generously.

Green Curry Risotto


2 1/2 cups Butternut Squash [chopped into bite size pieces]
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Sweet Onion [medium, chopped, about 1 1/2 cups]
3 Garlic Cloves [minced]
1 Tbs Ginger Root [fresh, peeled + minced]
1 cup Arborio Rice
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
14 oz Coconut Milk
2 1/4 cups Vegetable Broth
2 Tbs Thai Green Curry Paste
1/2 cup Basil [fresh, chopped]
3 springs Thyme
1/2 Tbs Oregano [fresh, chopped]

Steam or pressure cook the butternut squash until very tender. In a medium saucepan, bring the coconut milk + vegetable broth to a gentle simmer and hold over low heat.

Meanwhile, saute onion, garlic + ginger in olive oil for about 10 minutes, until onions are softened. Add rice + toast, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes. Add half a cup of wine + cook, stirring frequently, until the rice has absorbed all the moisture. Continue to cook the rice, adding 3/4 cup of coconut broth as it is absorbed.

Stir the curry paste into the last cup of broth until well mixed. Add the cooked butternut squash + herbs with the last cup of coconut broth to the rice. Stir all the ingredients together gently + adjust the salt if necessary. Cook another couple minutes, then allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Spinach Tofu Lasagna


1-1/4 lbs Firm Tofu
1 lb Spinach Leaves
1 Tbs + 1 tsp Olive Oil
1 Garlic Clove
1 Lemon [zest + 1 Tbs juice]
1/4 cup Pinenuts [toasted]
scant 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
Sea Salt
1/4 cup Basil [fresh, sliced into thin strips]
1/2 lb Lasagna Pasta [about 12 3″ wide strips]
2 cups Tomato Sauce [your favorite recipe]

Saute spinach in 1 tsp olive oil till just wilted. Once cooled enough to handle, squeeze out excess moisture. Meanwhile, cook pasta till nearly cooked, firm to bite.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, combine tofu, garlic, lemon juice + zest, pine nuts +nutritional yeast. Blend till smooth. Season with salt + stir in basil with a fork.

Starting with a thin layer of sauce + spinach, alternate each ingredient to a 9 x 9 glass baking dish. There should be enough ingredients for 2 layers of spinach + tofu, + 4 of sauce and pasta. The top layer should be pasta covered with a thin layer of sauce to keep it from drying out while baking. Bake for about 35 minutes till edges begin to brown and center is heated through.

Serves 6+.

Pumpkin Buckwheat Risotto


1 cup Onion [chopped]
4 Garlic Cloves [minced]
8 oz Crimini Mushrooms [sliced]
1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbs Butter
1 cup Kasha [roasted]
2 cups Vegetable Broth
Sea Salt + Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbs Oregano [fresh, chopped]
2 cups Pumpkin [roasted, chopped into 1″ cubes]

Roast pumpkin till tender, but not mushy. [A whole pumpkin will take 30-60 minutes, at 400 degrees F, depending on its size.] Chop.

Heat oil + butter in a large pan with a lid. Saute onion until translucent, about 10 minutes, seasoned lightly with salt + black pepper. Add garlic + mushrooms and saute until the moisture from the mushrooms has released and evaporated, about 10 minutes. Stir in kasha, making sure to mix well so groats are covered with oil. Add vegetable broth, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until liquid has been absorbed + kasha is tender.

Stir in pumpkin and oregano, reserving a small amount for garnish.

Ginger Peanut Noodles

8-12 oz Soba Noodles
1 Carrot [medium, grated]
1/2 cup Cucumber [sliced]
1/2 cup Sweet Red Pepper [sliced]
Several Slices of Chili Lemon Tofu
handful Cilantro Leaves

Dressing:
1/3 cup Peanut Butter [natural]
1 tsp Red Jalapeño Pepper [minced]
1/2″ Ginger Root [chopped or grated]
1 Garlic Clove
1-1/2 Tbs Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Water [more as desired]
Tamari [to taste]

Blend all the dressing ingredients with a blender, seasoning with a little tamari if you use unsalted peanut butter. Add more water if the sauce is too thick.

Cook soba noodles + drain. Feel free to toss the noodles with a pinch of sesame oil to prevent them from clumping together.  Mix noodles with the ginger peanut dressing to taste [you may have left over dressing].  Top with veggies + tofu.

Stuffed Red Peppers

3 Red Bell Peppers [whole]
1 cup Bulgur Wheat
1 cup Sweet Onion [sliced]
2 Summer Squash [chopped]
4 Garlic Cloves [roughly chopped]
2 Tbs Olive Oil
Salt + Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup Kalamata + Green Olives [pitted + chopped]
1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Basil [fresh, thinly sliced]

Roast peppers till skins blacken [either under the broiler or over an open flame]. Allow to cool, remove skins, stems + seeds. Set aside.

Bring 1-1/2 cups water to a boil. Stir in bulgur, turn off heat + cover. Allow to stand for 15-20 minutes until water has been absorbed and bulgur is tender.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss onions, summer squash + garlic with olive oil, salt + pepper then spread into a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, flip, roast for 5 minutes more. Squash + onions should be lightly browned.

Toss squash, onions, garlic, bulgur, basil + olives in a large bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Season with pepper. Stuff some of the mixture into the roasted red peppers. Transfer the remaining bulgur mixture to a serving dish + place the stuffed peppers on top. Serve.

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