Here’s a simple but healthful and umami-packed dish for a meatless Monday. It’s my take on the Japanese nasu dengaku, roasted eggplant dressed in a sweet miso glaze and garnished with scallions and black and white sesame seeds. My favorite way to eat it is to let it cool to room temperature and enjoy it with a little glass of cold beer. It’s a perfect way to chase off any Monday blues. Cheers! Continue reading
Category Archives: Side Dish
Beet, Carrot & Goat Cheese Stack with Chive-Pistachio Pesto
I believe there’s some wisdom in the mantra, “Eat Your Colors,” and this little stack of goodness embraces it. Just the sight of these colorful layers of earthy red beet, crisp grated carrot, soft melt-in-your-mouth goat cheese and a drizzle of chive-pistachio pesto energizes me. As an appetizer, lunch, or side dish, this is one mighty tower of wholesome goodness. Have you filled your plate with colors today? Continue reading
Sweet Potato Wedges with Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette
These sweet potato spears are seriously addictive, and I’ve made a quick meal of them on a couple occasions this week. If you know me, you know I like to douse my food in lemon and herbs, and that’s basically what I’ve done to these. Seared on a grill pan to get a smoky char then steamed to cook through and soften, the sweet potatoes soak in the flavors of the lemon, chive & thyme vinaigrette then get an extra punch from grilled shallots and a touch of saltiness from crumbled feta. They’re fancy enough as a side dish for a dinner but totally fit for finger food. Hope everyone’s having a great weekend! Continue reading
No-Knead Artisan Olive & Herb Bread
Olive lovers, you know how when you buy a loaf of olive bread, there are never enough olives in there? I have a solution: make your own at home! I assure you, it’s not that hard. (And if you don’t like olives, you can still make your own bread with different flavorings of your choice.) For this recipe you do need an oven-proof pot with a tight-sealing lid that will withstand 450 F/ 230 C degree heat. I use my 5.5-quart Le Creuset dutch oven and it works like a charm. You just mix everything together the night before, let the yeast do its magic overnight, then plop it in a preheated pot and cook. It comes out crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside, and (my version, at least) loaded with olives and herbs. It’s the only bread recipe you’ll ever need (and never knead)!
Mediterranean Eggplant, Spinach & Ricotta Rolls
This dish is our new favorite for a Meatless Monday, because for relatively little effort, we can have a rich, wholesome, flavorful meal that doesn’t leave us missing meat. And by “us” I mean my husband. My dear carnivore loves his steaks and this kind of meal, and rarely does he feel satisfied without a little meat. Except with this dish. I think it’s because of the rich texture of the eggplant. I love it because of all the flavors reminiscent of the Mediterranean, with fresh and dried herb seasonings, and creamy ricotta and spinach that oozes out of these little eggplant rolls. The tomato sauce is simple and rustic, and the whole meal comes together in about 40 minutes. We’ll be making this again for a meatless meal any day of the week!
For more eggplant ideas, check out Nancy’s delicious Eggplant Stacks at Feasting with Friends, as well as Johnny’s delectable Eggplant Slices in Spiced Batter at Kitschnflavours and Elaine’s lovely Baba Ganoush at Foodbod. I know I’ve probably left out other great eggplant recipes I’ve seen lately – please feel free to add your favorite eggplant links in the comments. Enjoy!
Lemony Roasted Asparagus
To me, nothing brings out the flavor of asparagus like lemon. Here, an intensely lemony vinaigrette brightens some oven-roasted spears, still toothsome and vibrant green — a plateful of spring. Enjoy!
Leek & Ricotta Strata
A rustic breakfast dish or side, this strata can feed a crowd with minimal effort on the cook’s part. And it’s tasty! I’ve used some light spring flavors of leeks, creamy ricotta, fresh thyme & chives, but you could use whatever veggie-cheese-herb combination appeals to you. Leftover Easter ham would be a great addition too! Happy Easter to all celebrating, and happy Fiesta Friday — come check out this week’s party!
Austrian-Style Potato Salad
I love potato salads of any kind; they are usually what I go for first at a barbecue or other warm-weather get-together. And yet I can’t tell you how many times I’ve botched my own attempts at making a good potato salad. The potatoes have ended up either too mushy and falling apart or too hard and unyielding. I finally figured out that the right variety of potato makes all the difference.
A potato is a potato is a potato, I used to think. Not so. And this is particularly crucial to those of us living in new places where the potato varieties are unfamiliar and labels can be confusing. Here’s what I’ve learned: Continue reading
Tabouleh-Stuffed Globe Zucchinis with Mint & Sumac Yogurt Sauce
Two things I love about Middle Eastern cuisine are stuffed vegetables and fresh herb-filled salads like tabouleh. When I found some beautiful little globe zucchinis, I thought about combining these two loves into one — zucchinis stuffed with tabouleh. This way, I can have my bowl of tabouleh, and eat it too!
It made for a striking presentation, and was quite simple to prepare. I’m going to try this out sometime at a dinner party; it would be a great accompaniment to grilled meat or kebabs — easy for the host to assemble, and fun for the guests to eat. It might also be good to serve vegetarian guests or as part of a whole vegetarian spread.
Roasted Eggplant with Lemon & Garlic Tahini Sauce
I had been thinking about this lemon and garlic tahini sauce since I made it last week for the Roasted Butternut Squash dish from the Jerusalem cookbook, and was trying to conjure more applications for it. I decided to try it with eggplant and was so excited when the combination turned out so scrumptious, so meant to be, so… familiar, when — midway through scarfing it down — I realized what I had was actually a deconstructed Baba Ghanouj, with all the Baba Ghanouj flavors (eggplant, lemon, garlic, tahini) but just in a different form. I love the almost-meaty texture of eggplant, sliced thickly and roasted, so I think I like this even better than the pureed kind. In fact, if I were a vegetarian, this would most certainly be my steak. Happy Weekend!