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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.

Tangy Citrus Slaw


1 small head Green Cabbage [sliced very thinly]
3 small carrots [grated]
1 Orange [segmented, then juiced]
1 Grapefruit [segmented, then juiced]

Dressing:
4 Tbs Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Orange + Grapefruit Juice [from segmenting 1 each]
2 Tbs Rice Vinegar [seasoned]
1 Tbs Honey
Salt to Taste

Whisk all dressing ingredients together + mix with veggies + fruit in a large bowl. Allow to marinate half an hour+ then serve.

Ginger Curry Scramble

3 large Collard Green Leaves [center ribs removed, chopped]
1 Garlic Clove [grated]
1/2 tsp Ginger Root [fresh, grated]
1/4 cup Red Onion [chopped finely]
1/2 tsp Sweet Curry Powder
3 Eggs [free range, well beaten with 1 Tbs water]
1 Tbs Safflower Oil
Sea Salt
Smoked Hot Paprika or Cayenne Pepper

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, garlic + ginger till fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add collard greens. Saute until just tender + bright green, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder + stir. Add eggs + stir frequently until just cooked. Season with sea salt + serve with a dash of hot paprika.

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.

Panzanella


3″ Baguette [day old, sliced into 1/8″ slices]

Salad:
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes [cut in half]
1 Armenian Cucumber [sliced, or two other thin cucumbers]
1/4 cup Red Onion [sliced thinly]
handful Basil Leaves [fresh, torn]
1-1/2 cups Navy Beans [cooked]

Dressing:
generous pinch Sea Salt
1 tsp warm water
2 Tbs Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
black pepper [to taste]

Arrange slices of baguette on a cutting board in a single layer. Allow to dry out for several hours. Break bread slices into 1″ pieces + set aside.

Dissolve sea salt in water + vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk in oil + season with pepper. Toss dressing over the vegetables + beans in a medium bowl. Gently mix in bread. Serve immediately.

Mustard Grilled Tofu


1 lb Firm Tofu [sliced into 6 pieces + pressed*]

Marinade:
1 Tbs Dijon Mustard
1 Tbs Soy Sauce [or liquid amino acids]
2 tsp White Wine Vinegar
1/4 tsp Basil [dried]
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Mustard Seed
1 Tbs Olive Oil
dash Cayenne Pepper

Mix all marinade ingredients together in a shallow dish [I like to use a glass loaf pan]. Dip slices of tofu in marinade, coating all sides. Allow to marinate [in the same dish] for an hour or more.

Heat grill to medium high. Grill tofu, about 5 minutes per side, until it is a little crusty + has nice grill marks. Serve immediately.

Grilled Potato Leek Salad


3 small Leeks [well washed, green ends trimmed to 2″]
4 medium Golden Potatoes [cut in half]
1/4 cup Garlic Chives [chopped]
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Heat the grill to medium high. Lightly rub potatoes + leeks with a little bit of oil. Grill potatoes for 10 minutes on each side. Add leeks to the grill away from the hottest heat [top rack or over cooler coals]. Grill for 5 minutes, until leeks have grill marks + potatoes are just cooked through.

Chop leeks + mix in a medium size bowl with mayonnaise. Season generously with salt + pepper. Chop + stir in potatoes. Garnish with a bit of sweet Hungarian paprika. Serve warm or room temperature.

4+ side dish servings.

Cucumber Melon Salad


1 Pickling Cucumber [small, sliced thinly]
1 cup Cantaloupe [sliced thinly into 1″ pieces]
1 Carrot [small, peeled + shaved]
1-1/2 Tbs Red Onion [very thinly sliced]
1 Tbs Rice Wine Vinegar [seasoned]
Sea Salt [to taste]
1/2 tsp Honey
dash Sesame Seeds

Dissolve honey and salt in rice vinegar. Mix melon, carrot, red onion + cucumber in a small bowl. Toss with vinegar dressing + top with sesame seeds. Serve very cold, immediately.

Serves 1.

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.

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