Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Red Pepper

(recipe from Bon Appetit magazine)

1 1/4 lbs. broccoli crowns, cut into florets (about 8 cups)
3 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
Large pinch of dried crushed red pepper

Preheat oven to 450 F.  Toss broccoli and 3 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl to coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast 15 minutes.  Stir remaining 1/2 Tbsp. oil, garlic, and red pepper in a small bowl.  Drizzle garlic mixture over broccoli; toss to coat.  Roast until broccoli is beginning to brown, about 8 minutes longer.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

(It took 32 years for me to really like broccoli.  Roasting it makes it so good!  Tender, but crisp, garlicky and zippy.  This says it serves 4 to 6 side servings, but I ate most of it in one sitting.  Yum.)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Roasted Carrot-Coconut Soup

(this recipe is from a cooking blog, but I can't remember which one)

1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 small red onions, quartered
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1-inch ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 to 2 tsp. Thai red curry paste
2 cups veggie stock
1 15 oz. can coconut milk (full fat)
1/2 lime
cilantro (optional)
toasted coconut flakes (optional)

Preheat oven to 425F.

In a medium mixing bowl, toss carrot and onion with oil, sugar, and salt.  Spread the veggies evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until browned and tender, stirring once halfway through.

Transfer the veggies to a food processor or blender along with the ginger, 1 tsp. curry paste, and the stock.  Blend until incorporated.

Add coconut milk and blend until smooth.  Taste for seasoning and add salt and additional curry paste if you like spice.  Add lime juice and any additional liquid if you prefer your soup thinner in texture.  Spoon into bowls and serve with cilantro or toasted coconut for garnish.

(So simple and tasty.  I used the food processor, but think a blender would have given a better consistency.  Also, I just mixed the cilantro right into the soup at the end.  I think this soup benefits from a day or two of having the flavors blend.)

Hearty Greens Soup with Pasta and Tomatoes

(recipe from Whole Foods Market)

2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
4 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped (I used one 15 oz. can chopped tomatoes)
2 carrots, chopped
8 cups water (or broth)
1 bunch Swiss chard (about 3/4 lb.), roughly chopped
1/2 bunch escarole (about 1/2 lb.), stemmed and roughly chopped
1/2 lb. dried bowtie pasta (I used wheat-free macaroni)
1 (3-inch) Parmigiano Reggiano rind, plus grated cheese for garnish (I omitted this)
1/4 lb. baby spinach

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add garlic, onions, bay leaf, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until caramelized, about 15 minutes.  Add tomatoes and cook until most of the liquid is released and absorbed, about 5 minutes more.  Add carrots and water and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

Stir in Swiss chard, escarole, pasta and Parmigiano Reggiano rind, reduce heat, cover and simmer until broth is flavorful and greens and pasta are tender, about 15 minutes.  Stir in spinach and season with salt and pepper.

Remove and discard bay leaf and rind from the soup, then ladle into bowls.  Garnish with grated cheese and serve.

(All of the greens packed into this soup made it so good!  I'd almost rather switch the pasta for beans in this recipe.  It makes a lot, and is very hearty.)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Roasted Green Bean and Potato Salad with Radicchio

(recipe from unknown magazine - Cook's Illustrated?)

1 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb. red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1/2 tsp.)
1 small head radicchio (about 6 oz.), washed and cut into 2- by 1/4-inch slices (about 4 cups)

Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place large rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees.  Toss beans and potatoes with 2 Tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, and sugar in a large bowl.  Remove baking sheet from the oven and, working quickly, carefully transfer beans and potatoes to sheet and spread in an even layer.  (Do not wash bowl.)  Roast until vegetables are tender and well browned on one side, 20 to 25 minutes (do not stir during roasting).

Meanwhile, whisk remaining 1 Tbsp. oil, vinegar, garlic, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper in now-empty bowl.

Toss hot vegetables with vinaigrette and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.  Stir in radicchio, transfer to a serving platter, and serve.

(Very earthy.  Radicchio is bitter, and I found that eating this salad with some other greens mixed in (like romaine) can reduce the bitter a bit. I found this salad to hold up pretty well for a few days in the fridge.  Simple and satisfying, and different.)