Currently viewing the tag: "vegan"

Favas and Romano cheese are a classic Italian combination, from simply eating small early favas and slices of young Romano to mixing them in dishes. I recently had company that did not eat dairy, but I wanted to use pesto. If you taste a fresh young fava it has a cheesy taste, with a little tang and that hard-to-define eau de barnyard funk, along with a slightly gritty yet creamy texture. Just like Romano cheese. Turns out that tender young favas make an excellent substitute for Romano cheese in pesto. Use this vegan pesto as you would a regular pesto.

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The flavors of this dish showcase the sweet and nutty flavor cauliflower possesses, which is best brought out by roasting. The idea of marinating vegetables may seem odd, but many are quite receptive to marinades. Although the flavors work fine with any color cauliflower, a white or yellow cauliflower will pick up a lovely color from the saffron and Pimenton de la Vera used in the marinade.

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This is the basic prep for most fava bean recipes. 

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This is a fast and loose interpretation of a Thai “yellow curry”. Be sure not to cook the vegetables to long or they will get mushy and unpleasant. This dish has some heat to it as written, but if you prefer it mild, simply omit the chilis. If you do not have Thai basil, substitute cilantro or mint. If you like your food spicy, substitute in 1/2 cup of Cilantro Chili Sauté Juice for a half cup of the stock.

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Here, cauliflower gets treated the way meat is often cooked in restaurants-started in a pan to brown and finished in the oven. Faster than roasting with deeper browning outside while the inside stays firmer. It is then “dressed” with ingredients long associated with Sicilian cooking-capers and chili flakes, and some vinegar.

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Colorful and sunny flavors of the south of France, with nice crunch enhanced by soaking the vegetables in cold water for a while prior to serving.

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This is easiest to make using various colored zucchini shaped summer squash, although with a little thought patty-pan and crookneck squash will also work. If your rosemary stalks are not the firmest, run them in with a metal skewer or a bamboo one that has been soaked in water first so it does not ignite.

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Vaguely Middle-Eastern and Indian in influence, this is a colorful dish with surprising flavors. Remember, peeling purple carrots may render them simply orange, so use a scrub brush or wash cloth to gently clean the outside of these carrots and remove any hairy rootlets. Roasting the carrots deepens the flavor, as well as the color, which adds to the contrast with the sharp mustard.

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There are many dishes where the greens of things such radishes, turnips, and carrots are combined with used as a sauce for the roots they are attached to. Here is a recipe that has a powerfully “green” flavor to it similar to that of nettles, and is colorful as well. Be sure to wash the leaves in several changes of water as they seem to hold sand and fine particles well.

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Unless you have home made tomato sauce, canned tomatoes work best here, especially if you have good Italian San Marzanos. Otherwise, just use your favorite. Be sure to use a really big pan for sautéing the squash, or do it in batches. If the squash is crowded it will steam and just get mushy.

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This is a mash of fava beans studded with small bits of summer squash flash sautéed to crisp them up a bit. This dish could serve as a topping for crostini or something from the grill. Here it is served in small Romaine leaves as a mezze. This dish has flavorings more from the Middle East, but switching the cilantro for mint or basil, and removing the cumin will swing it towards Italy, France, and Spain.

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This soup uses potato to give it a creamy feel, and there is no dairy in it at all. The garlic used is young “green” garlic which has a lovely garlic aroma and a mild flavor without any heat. If you wish, omit it. The soup is excellent either way. This soup is also good served cold a la Vichyssoise. See Notes for ideas. By the way, you do not want this soup to boil- boil this soup and it will turn khaki and smell very broccoli-esque. This recipe includes a step where the stock is simmered with the peelings of the broccoli to add flavor. This is optional, and omitting it won’t hurt.

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This simple syrup was developed for adult flavored sodas, but has other functions as well. It can be used to flavor a dessert “salad” of strawberries and mozzarella a la a Caprese salad, or use it in cocktails or salad dressings. With herbs in the mint family (if it has a square-ish stem it is in the family) you must be careful not to over-steep or you wind up with a bitter taste. Start checking flavor at seven minutes, as eight is the magic number when making a tea with dried mint. Basil and fresh mint can often go longer. Although the anise and fennel are optional, they are there to compound and emphasize the flavors of the basil.

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This quickle is meant to show off the colors of the carrots to their best effect, and allow the taste differences of each to still show through. Since some red carrots are only red as far as the skin, this method of cleaning preserves the color and renders the carrots clean and safe. This recipe uses cilantro and coriander seed because the idea of keeping it all in the family appeals to me, but you could use other herbs as long as it is subtle. Using low acid vinegar- around 4 to 5% or 40 to 50 grain- such as rice or white balsamic is easy and preserves the flavors of the carrots. You can dilute other vinegars with water to get to this number if you wish. Stronger vinegar will need more sugar to balance the flavors. You will want a mandolin to make this easy.

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This dressing goes with the Fennel and Blood Orange Salad. If blood oranges aren’t in season, use another orange. The use of fennel oil and orange blossom water add depth of flavor and emphasis to the salad ingredients. Using orange blossom water this way is inspired by Moroccan cuisine where it is sometimes drizzled on a dish at the last moment to add aroma. If you do not have this or the fennel oil, don’t worry, the dressing will still be quite good.

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“Confit” is the term for slow cooking something to tenderness in a (typically) oil bath, and for whatever it is that has been cooked this way. This may seem like a lot of oil, but the oil is part of the yield of this dish, and is great for building other dishes. Use it with braised meats and for flavoring fennel poached fish, or use it to flavor spreads like tapenade or on a sandwich. The fennel confit can be used to top cocques and pizzas, as a base for fish or chicken, or in salads and sandwiches, among many other things, and is great for giving you a quick jumping off point for quick meals.

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A colorful combination of textures and flavors, this is a quick and healthful salad. Made with daikon radish, it is quite traditional. The use of watermelon radishes would be novel, but quite colorful. A mixture of daikon and watermelon radishes would make this dish arresting to the eye. This is one of those dishes where a Ben-Riner or other fixed-blade slicer is really handy.

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Roasting the squash adds depth of flavor, and the apple and squash are a great combination. There are different options for seasoning the soup that, while they are small changes, they move the soup a lot in terms of flavor.

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This dressing is nice with assertive flavors or things with a bitter edge to them, such as radishes, turnips, or chicories. It is also nice used on fish or shrimp. If you don’t have tangerines, just use oranges.

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The fresh rich flavor of the cooked down tomatoes is a nice counterpoint to the smokey, earthy flavor of the broccoli, and the sweetness of the tomato plays well with the sweetness the broccoli develops in the oven. This makes a nice side dish, but also can be used as a pasta sauce, pizza topping, or mixed with grains.

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This recipe turns on two other basic recipes – Roast Beets, and Braised Shelling Beans-for a fairly easy to make dish that is filling and pretty in a bowl. Although the beets may seem an odd fit here, the earthiness of the beets links to the earthiness of the beans and carrots, while the vinegar and natural sugars of the beets make them an excellent foil to the rest of the ingredients.

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If it sits still long enough, I’m bound to try this technique on most anything it seems. It works beautifully with fennel, giving a sweet and sour taste that is reminiscent of a lightly done sauerkraut. Simple, quick, and versatile. Use it to top a salad, or put it in sandwiches. Great on grilled fish or roast pork as well. If you heat it up it can be used like sauerkraut with sausages and potatoes. It goes great topping Swedish crispbread topped with coarse mustard and pâté and crispbread with labne and smoked salmon. The fennel/licorice flavor is enhanced with a pinch of fennel seeds, but it is not “in your face” fennel/licorice flavor. This is one of those times when you’d like to use your fixed blade slicer.

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This stock is used in the same way you would use a dark chicken stock or other meat stock. It works well as a base for sauces and soups, and if you are feeling under the weather it is nice for when you don’t want to actually eat, but want some nutrition. It is really nice heated up with some fresh ginger in it. In meat stocks, the agent that thickens it is gelatin. In vegetables, the equivalent is pectin. By charring the onions and sautéing the rest of the vegetables, the pectin is catalyzed and so more readily available to the stock. Konbu* is a type of kelp. Seaweeds are used commercially as a thickener in many things, from toothpaste to ice cream, and is used that way here.

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There are many different methods for making basil infused oil, but I find this one works really well. It produces a deeply colored and flavored oil that will last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days before the flavor begins to drop off. It can be frozen for a month or two without much loss of flavor, but be sure to wrap it closely once frozen. Use this as a garnish, or as a flavoring. Try smearing a little across a plate when you want a subtle basil aroma and flavor, or add drops onto dishes for small intense burst of basil flavor. Although the recipe calls for olive oil, save the intense Tuscan Extra Virgin oils for something else, or the basil will be overwhelmed.

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This treatment of favas is especially good when you have more mature beans which can have a more assertive taste and are starchier. This recipe works fine with young favas, and the taste is really bright and makes a great sauce for fish like halibut or other firm white fish. Depending on how much you mash the beans and how much oil or stock you use, this recipe can be used as a topping or dip for crostini or as a sauce for fish or vegetables or pasta.

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Although this dish seems ridiculously simple, the flavors meld to yield a sophisticated tasting dish which dish is quite popular here, even with the kids, who normally don’t care for hot spinach dishes. The flavor of the mushrooms helps mitigate the sometimes strong earthiness of spinach. This dish is easy to riff on, making it flexible and fun to make. Add tofu and leftover grains for a one-dish meal. Some spinach has stems that are unpalatable-chewy or stringy-but some have tender, succulent stems. If this spinach falls into the latter class, by all means use the stems. You will have to chew on a couple stems to know if they will work. If they do not, just ignore the recipe instructions pertaining to them.

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This is a riff on a dish I found in “Vegetables A to Z” by Elizabeth Schneider. The result is sublime. I find it interesting to note the changes in flavor as I eat the different colors of the leek, from the white to the palest green to the more uniform green. Try these as a starter or have as a side with roast chicken, salmon, or braised beef.

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INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup salted cashews
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 onion, minced
5 large garlic cloves
1 bunch kale, stems removed

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This is the basic method for cooking winter squash either to eat as is, or to prep it for something else, like soup or as a ravioli or tortellini filling. This works for most winter squash, with the only variation being the times, which will change based on thickness of the squash.

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One of the things I like to do in the kitchen is make vegetable dishes using the same method as I would a meat dish. In this instance, I was thinking of a pot roast done with Chantenay carrots instead of chuck roast. I love Chantenay carrots, especially when they get bigger. The stubby shape with the larger diameter makes them perfect for trimming into larger shapes that take a longer cooking yielding a deep flavor. For the potatoes, you want a waxy potato that will hold it’s shape when cooked, and the Bintje is great for this.

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