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This recipe makes a simple dish with that has plenty of flavor. If you wish to, adding some chopped lacinato kale adds color to the dish and contrast to the flavors, all of which meet under the aromatic umbrella of the garlic chives. This recipe is set to yield a “dry” dish, but if you wish, you can use more stock and have the carrots in a broth, adding little pasta shapes or Israeli couscous or grains if it pleases you.
Here’s a salad where textures, flavors, and colors all play off one another. Even the beets join in as the different color beets are seasoned with different types of vinegar. The dressing is a light creamy (yogurt) dressing flavored with garlic chives. The flavor and aroma are redolent of garlic, but do not have the heat of clove garlic.
Mayonnaise is used for simplicity, as well as for its wonderful ability to brown up and form a nice glaze. If you wish for something lower calorie and lower cholesterol, you can use whipped egg whites instead, although it may not brown nearly as well. You could whip the whites and fold in the whisked yolk if you want loft and richness as well. If you do not have green garlic, just use a single clove of garlic minced or just season the pan by cooking the whole clove in the oil you’ll cook the spinach in. Don’t have oyster mushrooms? Don’t worry about it. Cook ¼ of a finely diced white or yellow onion and cook it until soft before adding spinach. Although the recipe looks long, it is really not. There are just lots of tips to ensure this is an easy dish.
This is a brightly flavored treatment for meaty swordfish. The radishes are a great foil for the buttery sauce and sweet tasting fish. Untoasted coriander seed has a citrusy profile that matches well with the sauce. If you wanted to, you could lightly cook the radishes in the sauce to give them a softer flavor, but the soaked raw slices provide a nice crunch as well as a little heat for contrast.
Colorful and crunchy, this “slaw” type salad is easy to vary. Try adding Tokyo and/or golden turnips, kohlrabi, or even cabbage. The dressing is simple and easily varied as well. You can use a mandolin for creating thin matchsticks or just use a large-holed grater. Do purple carrots last and add them in at the end so they don’t turn everything else the same color, although that would create a nice pale reddish salad. Serve as a side or plop into a smoky pulled pork sandwich. You can also use the same recipe, but switch to a vinegary/no mayo dressing (use the same dressing only switch to all oil and no mayo) and use as a side for banh mi (classic Vietnamese sandwiches) or with noodles.
This iteration of the classic French sauce was made with swordfish in mind, but will work for most seafood, and light poultry as well. It can be used as a lower cholesterol substitute for Hollandaise sauce also. The sauce is pretty simple. The trickiest part is mounting the sauce with butter and not breaking the sauce. This is easily avoided by simply paying attention and pulling the pan from the heat while adding (mounting) the butter, returning it to the heat if the pan cools too much.
Another riff on the Italian classic. Where gremolata usually uses garlic, this version contains none, and uses shallot instead. It also uses only a little lemon zest, and calls for Meyer lemon rather than Eureka. This iteration came about as a garnish for seared and roasted butternut squash rounds, which are sweet on their own, and have a nutty flavor. This version would go well on other roast or crisp sautéed vegetables such as parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes, or other dense-fleshed winter squash. Try it on turkey cutlets, pan roasted halibut, or charred octopus as well.
Thick rounds of butternut squash pan seared and roasted are paired with a fresh, herby gremolata variant, then toasted hazelnuts or raw pine nuts are added to light the nutty flavor of the squash a little higher. Use this as a side instead of a starch, or as an entrée on a meatless Monday.
The profile of this dish can easily be changed by altering the spices. Go with thyme, marjoram and fennel seed for a French flare-you could even add some lavender- or use oregano or sage for a more Italian turn. Use some Moroccan spices and go North African/Mid-East. Curry will take you to India, and you can add hot chili for an incendiary approach or use fennel seed with a sweet curry for mild but fragrant. Use this for topping fish, boneless chicken breasts or cubed chicken chunks, or cut cauliflower into large pieces and roast them after oiling and seasoning. You could serve at room temp or cold as part of a mezze or thali lunch. It would also do well with cooked chickpeas or kidney beans heated up in it. This is the iteration for roast cauliflower, or for topping fish or even shrimp.
Here, Butternut squash slices replace potatoes in variation of a typical gratin. Vegetable stock stands in for the usual dairy, and bread crumbs are there to soak up moisture and add some texture and loft. Chard adds a contrast to the sweetness of the squash, and you could mix potato slices into the squash slices if you wish to tone the sweetness down as well.
These can be done in stages ahead of time up to the final cooking if you wish, and they are quite flexible in terms of what you use. Instead of lamb and currants, use pork and a fine dice of apples. Skip the meat entirely and add in some cheese, firm or pressed tofu, or chopped nuts.
Halved florets of romanesco pan-fried and then steamed with a shot of white wine to finish is then garnished with a variation of gremolata, the classic Italian mélange of flat-leaf parsley, lemon zest, and garlic. Be sure to use good oil that has a high flash point, good wine (if it isn’t good just use water) and a heavyweight pan with a tight fitting lid.
Here is a riff on the famous New Mexican “Green Sauce” using end of season green Corno di Toro peppers and leeks, with a little almonds and maybe some honey for a Spanish inflection. Try this on just about anything from turkey and pork to fish and vegetables such as winter squash, or on eggs or potatoes. The original iteration has a little more heat and Southwest seasonings. Check it out on the website.
The sweet crisp apple is a great foil for soft chard with its shaved tongue feeling engendered by oxalic acid. Also, adding a little vinegar seems to tame that feeling and helps with calcium absorption. The un-toasted pine nuts give a resinous nutty flavor that helps pull things together. Be sure to cook the stems and onions gently so they do not turn bitter or singe.
This is the sort of thing that can be thrown together with help from the pantry and leftovers, and is just right for a cold evening or lunch time. Or, if like me you are tired of cereal or omelets for breakfast, fire this up and add a couple poached or basted eggs on top and enjoy. You can also skip the eggs and have a piece of toast spread with some soft goat cheese smoked olive oil and you have a complete protein breakfast.
This salad takes a little planning and has a few steps to it, but with a little bit of strategics it is easy enough. And the work that goes into this is rewarded with lots of clean flavor and crunch. Although substantial on its own, if you need more protein, it will take easily to some chicken or bacon.
A variation on a theme, where carrots get cooked in some water and then a glaze is made of the cooking liquid. Pomegranates are in season right now, and if you see a white pomegranate, the seeds would look lovely in this dish and would add a nice textural and flavor “pop” to the whole.
Be sure not to overcook the spinach. This recipe yields some nice color on the plate. The pepitas (pumpkin seeds) are there to provide a crunchy contrast, but if you don’t want to take the time to clean the seeds or if they are just too few to be worth the effort, use store bought or substitute toasted pine nuts instead. The ingredients list looks long, but half of it is just options you can choose from. This is a fairly simple recipe that can go in many directions with ease.
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