Gluten Free

Cauliflower Soup with Coconut Milk

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Makes 6 servings. 

This soup is good for all seasons. It’s creamy, light and delicious, with a distinct flavor of turmeric and coconut milk.  Depending on the season, I serve it hot, room temperature or even cold.  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 Vidalia onion, coarsely chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

  • 1 large cauliflower, about 2 ½ pounds

  • 2 ¾ cups vegetable broth

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon, lime juice, approx.

  • Toasted sesame seeds for garnish.

PREPARATION:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté over low heat for a few minutes.  

  2. Cut off the green leaves of the cauliflower and the heavy stem. Discard both. Cut the head into small pieces and rinse.

  3. Add to the onion and sauté for a minute.

  4. Add 2 ½ cups of the broth, coconut milk, turmeric and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook, covered, for about 25 minutes. The cauliflower will be soft.  

  5. Puree in two batches in a Vitamix until smooth.

  6. Adjust the consistency with the reserved broth and season to taste with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and lime juice.

Winter Vegetable Soup

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Makes 6-8 servings. 

Nourishing, hearty, with a rich flavor of vegetables, tomatoes and basil, this soup freezes very well and is convenient to have on hand for unexpected guests.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 onion

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 parsnips

  • 2 carrots

  • 1 zucchini

  • 6 cultivated mushrooms

  • 1 small cauliflower

  • 1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes, Pomi brand (See Note)

  • 3-4 cups vegetable broth

  • One 15.5 can butter beans, drained (See Note)

  • 2 cups tightly packed basil leaves, torn to small pieces

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper  

PREPARATION:

  1. Peel and cut the onion and garlic into large pieces. Chop coarsely in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. 

  2. In a large saucepan heat the oil and sauté the onion/garlic for a few minutes.  

  3. Peel and cut the parsnips and carrots into large pieces. Chop coarsely and add to the saucepan. 

  4. Wipe the zucchini, trim the ends, cut into large pieces. Chop coarsely and add to the saucepan. 

  5. Wipe the mushrooms with a damp towel, quarter, chop coarsely and add to the saucepan. 

  6. Separate the cauliflower into small florets and also add to the saucepan.  

  7. Sauté all for a few minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, vegetable broth, butter beans and basil. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook covered for about 30 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft.

NOTE:

I chop all the vegetables SEPERATELY in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. It is important to cut the vegetables into large pieces before chopping.   

I use Pomi brand chopped tomatoes. They come in cartons. Leftover tomatoes can be frozen. 

I use Goya brand beans.  

 
 

Savoy Cabbage Soup

Makes 6 generous servings. 

Freezer friendly, thick, nutritious and great on a cold, winter day, this soup can be a meal in itself if cooked with meat. I chop all the vegetables in a food processor to save a lot of time.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • ¾ ounce dried porcini mushrooms

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 onions, quartered

  • 4 cloves garlic, quartered

  • 2 carrots, cut into large pieces

  • 1 small Savoy cabbage, about 11/2 pounds or regular cabbage.

  • 6 cultivated mushrooms

  • 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 4 cups vegetable broth

  • Small bunch dill, tied with a string, leave some for garnish

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl, pour boiling water over the mushrooms, cover and let stand for about 20 minutes. Strain soaking liquid through a sieve lined with a paper towel, squeezing mushroom over the sieve to extract more liquid. Set liquid aside. Wash soaked mushrooms carefully to remove any sand, pat dry with paper towels and chop coarsely. 

  2. Chop the onions and the garlic coarsely in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Do the same with the carrots. Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage, quarter, core and chop coarsely.   

  3. Wipe the cultivated mushrooms with a damp paper towel, quarter and chop coarsely.

  4. IT IS BEST TO CHOP EACH VEGETABLE SEPARATELY.    

  5. In a large saucepan heat the oil, add the onions, garlic and carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the cabbage, both mushrooms, mushroom liquid, tomatoes, vegetable broth and dill.   

  6. Bring to a boil over high heat, lower the heat then cook gently, half covered for about 30 minutes. The Savoy cabbage will be a little crunchy.   

  7. Season to taste with salt, pepper. 

  8. Garnish with dill snipped with scissors.

 
 

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup.jpg

Makes 2 servings. 

This is a soup without the addition of any liquid. The taste and the consistency is totally dependent on the quality of the tomatoes.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes

  • 2 garlic cloves, quartered

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 5 thyme sprigs, plus leaves from 2 sprigs for garnish

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

PREPARATION:

  1. Rinse, core and slice the tomatoes. Place them in a saucepan along with the garlic, olive oil and thyme.

  2. Bring to a gentle boil, cover and cook over low heat until the tomatoes are very soft, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.  

  3. Discard the thyme and puree in a Vitamix until very smooth.

  4. Season with salt, pepper and sugar. Garnish with thyme. 

 
 

Corn and Yellow Squash Soup

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Makes 4-6 servings. 

I prefer to make this soup when fresh local corn and yellow squash is plentiful. I do not puree this soup.  I like the rough texture, the touch of sweetness to the flavor, and the lovely golden color.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 ears of fresh corn

  • 6 cups of water

  • 3 leeks including some green part

  • 3 garlic cloves

  • 3 small yellow squash, about 1 pound

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, approx.

PREPARATION:

  1. Shuck the ears of corn and set aside.

  2. Put the cobs of corn in a saucepan, add the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover and boil gently for 30 minutes. 

  3. Cut off and discard the dangling roots and most of the green parts of the leeks. Discard 2 tough outer leaves and cut the white and green parts into cubes. Place in a sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove all the sand. Drain well.

  4. Chop the garlic finely.

  5. Rinse the squash, trim the ends and cut into small cubes.  

  6. In a medium saucepan sauté the leeks and garlic for a few minutes. Add the corn and the squash, sauté for a minute. Add all the cob stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

 
 

Cucumber Avocado Soup

Cucumber Avocado Soup.jpg

Makes 4 servings.

A delicious refreshing summer soup with a distinct taste of cucumbers, this recipe requires no cooking and is so quick to prepare.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large cucumbers, trimmed, peeled, sliced
  • ½ ripe medium avocado, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, approx.
  • ¾ cup cold water, approx.
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

GARNISH:

  • 1 Kirby cucumber, rinsed, dried, trimmed and cut into very small cubes.

PREPARATION:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a Vitamix and puree till silky and smooth.
  2. Adjust the consistency with cold water. Season to taste with lime juice, salt and pepper.
  3. Serve chilled, garnished with cucumbers.
 
 

Acorn Squash Soufflé

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Makes 4 luncheon servings or 6 first course servings.                                                                 

This soufflé is easy to prepare and has the distinct taste of squash and cheese.  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 acorn squash, about 2 pounds

  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus ½ tablespoon for greasing the soufflé dish

  • 4 scallions, including the green part, cut into thin slices

  • 8 ounces cottage cheese, at room temperature

  • 3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

  2. Cut the squash in half and discard the seeds and fiber. Place the halves, skin side down, on a foil-lined pan and bake until the inside is soft, about 40 minutes. Cool.

  3. Butter a 1-quart soufflé dish.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small skillet and sauté the scallions.

  5. Scoop the squash from the shells (discarding the shells) and place in a medium bowl. Mash coarsely with a fork, and then add the scallions, egg yolks and cottage cheese. Combine well and season to taste with salt and pepper. THIS PART CAN BE PREPARED AT ANY TIME.

  6. Beat the egg whites at high speed until stiff. With a rubber spatula fold ½ of the whites into the squash mixture to lighten it. Repeat with the remainder of the whites, mixing gently.

  7. Spoon the mixture into the soufflé dish (place a piece of heavy foil in the center of the oven rack, in case of any drippings) and bake for about 35 minutes. The soufflé should be puffy and golden on top (it rises a little).

NOTE:

When a recipe calls for stiffly beaten egg whites the surest way to know whether they are fully beaten is to tilt the bowl. If the egg whites stay when turned over they are ready.  

 
 

Cauliflower with Tahini

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Makes 4 first course servings, 4-6 side dish servings.

The combination of all these ingredients makes for an unusual nutty flavor.  It is amazing what a versatile vegetable cauliflower can be.  

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ cup tahini
  • Grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, approx
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Freshly ground black pepper.
  • 1 large head cauliflower, about 21/2 pounds
  • ½ cup cashews, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, or flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 500F.
  2. Cut and discard the stem off the cauliflower. Cut the cauliflower head into 1½ to 2 inch florets and rinse.
  3. Line a large baking sheet (12 by 18) with heavy foil.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the tahini, lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt, paprika and pepper. It is easier to combine with a wooden spoon. Add the cauliflower and toss well.
  5. Spread it all on the baking sheet and bake on the lowest rack of the oven.
  6. Roast until well browned and just tender, about 13-15 minutes.
  7. Gather all the cauliflower to center of baking sheet and season to taste, with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  8. Add cashews, cilantro or parsley.
 
 

Tomato Watercress Soup

Watercress Tomato Soup2.jpg

Makes 6 servings.

This soup is a blend of interesting strong flavors. I serve it either at room temperature or hot.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1½ cups vegetable broth
  • ½ pound Golden Yukon potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, rinsed, cored and cut into large pieces
  • 1 bunch watercress, stems removed, rinsed (3 cups loosely packed). Reserve a few petals for garnish
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium covered saucepan. Add onion and garlic and sauté over low heat for 5 minutes. Add 1½ cups broth, potatoes and tomatoes.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook, covered, until potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes.
  3. Add watercress and cook covered for 2 minutes.
  4. Puree in a Vitamix, in 2 batches, until smooth.  
  5. Adjust the consistency with the reserved broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with watercress petals.
 
 

.

Corn and Squash Soup

Corn Soup 2.jpg

Makes 6-8 servings.

The combination of summer corn and summer yellow squash makes for a wonderful, nutritious and golden colored soup.

I serve it warm or at room temperature.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 4 ears corn plus 1 for garnish
  • 4 medium yellow squash, about 1½ pounds
  • 3 cups vegetable broth.
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, approx
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and sauté for a minute.
  2. Shuck the corn kernels, setting aside one of the ears for garnish.
  3. Rinse the squash and slice.
  4. Add the corn, zucchini and 2¼ cups of the broth to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes or until tender.
  5. Puree the soup, in two batches, in a Vitamix until smooth and silky.
  6. Adjust the consistency with the reserved broth. Season with lime juice, salt and pepper.
 
 

Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup

Makes 2 servings. 

This is a refreshing creamy tomato soup which I like to serve cold or at room temperature on hot summer days. Unfortunately without a Vitamix the soup will have to be strained to remove the seeds and some of the skin. I like to serve it with a basil pesto but snipped chives are equally delicious and certainly less work.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ -1 cup vegetable broth
  • ¼ teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chives, finely snipped for garnish

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Rinse the tomatoes. 
  3. Place in an ovenproof dish that is large enough to hold the tomatoes in a single layer. Place the garlic underneath the tomatoes.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Roast for 1 hour, turning the tomatoes once. 
  6. Pour into a Vitamix and add ¾ cup vegetable broth. Puree until smooth.
  7. Adjust the consistency with the extra vegetable broth.
  8. Season to taste with sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. 
  9. Garnish with snipped chives. Use scissors.
 
 

Zucchini and Roasted Pepper Soup

Makes 4-generous servings.

This is a light, creamy, flavorful soup with a touch of cumin, and it freezes very well. The ingredients are in season all year.  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 red bell peppers
  • 1 pound zucchini (3 medium), plus 1 extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil,
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin, approx
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Core the peppers,
  3. Cut into quarters and seed.
  4. Line a broiler pan with foil and place the peppers, skin side up on it.
  5. Broil close to the heat source until skin is almost blistered and charred, about 7 minutes. Wrap the peppers in the existing foil and cool.  The heat will loosen the skin. Peel and cut into pieces.
  6. Rinse zucchini, pat dry, trim ends and slice.
  7. Heat olive oil in a medium, covered saucepan, add the onions, and sauté covered over low heat for 2 minutes. Add the cumin, zucchini, peppers, and broth.
  8. Bring to a boil over high heat, lower the heat and cook covered until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. 
  9. Puree the soup in batches, in a Vitamix until the soup is very smooth. Season to taste with cumin, salt and pepper.

GARNISH:

Rinse, dry, trim and finely cube the extra zucchini. Sprinkle over the soup.

 
 

Eggplant Caviar

Makes 6 first course servings.

This is a Georgian (Russian) dish where eggplants are plentiful and seedless. There it is called “the poor man’s caviar.” l like to serve this piquant dish surrounded by sliced English or Persian cucumbers and crackers.

Like most simple recipes with very few ingredients, the quality of the eggplant becomes paramount. Unfortunately, I have no suggestions how to pick a good eggplant (try to find one with few seeds).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium to large eggplant (about 1 ½ pounds)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons double-concentrate tomato paste
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Line a pan with foil.
  3. Place the eggplant in pan and bake for about 35 minutes, turning once, until the eggplant is soft to the touch.
  4. While the eggplant is baking, heat the oil in a skillet.  Add the onion and sauté, over low heat until soft and transparent. About 10 minutes.
  5. When the eggplant is  cool enough to handle, discard the stem, cut in half, scrape off some of the seeds if there any, and pour off any accumulated juice. Scrape the flesh into a food processor, fitted with the steel blade. Add the onion, and the tomato paste and pulse until almost smooth. 
  6. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  7. Serve at room temperature.
 
 

Asparagus Soup

Makes 6 servings.        

This is a silky, creamy and delicious springtime soup, when asparagus is at its best. Before the advent of the Vitamix the soup was a bit time consuming requiring a blender and a strainer to remove the stringy parts.  With the Vitamix it is just blending that is required.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4 shallots, sliced
  • 3 pounds asparagus, plus 6 spears for garnish
  • ½ pound Golden Yukon potatoes, peeled, sliced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Heat the olive oil in medium-sized covered saucepan. Add the garlic and the shallots and sauté for a minute.
  2. Hold each asparagus spear with both hands and snap at the point where it breaks off easily.
  3. Discard that part and rinse and cut the rest. Add to the saucepan along with the potatoes, chicken broth and tarragon.
  4. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat and cook covered for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.  
  5. Remove tarragon sprigs. Puree the soup in two batches in a Vitamix until very smooth. 
  6. Season to taste and garnish with steamed sliced asparagus tips.

NOTE:

This soup freezes very well, but when reheating it, whisk it as it begins to boil to restore the creamy texture.

 
 

Mushroom Soup

Makes 5- 6 servings.

I like to take advantage of the mushroom season – which is at its peak in Fall and Winter – and if you happen to be a mushroom lover, as I am you will find this soup irresistibly delicious.

A bit of dried porcini brings out the flavor of the assorted fresh mushrooms.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 -3 leeks
  • 1 pound assorted fresh wild mushrooms (chanterelles, black trumpets, oyster, shiitake)
  • ¼ cup extra -virgin olive oil
  • 3 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Leaves from 6 thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Place the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl, pour boiling water over the mushrooms, cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove reconstituted mushrooms and squeeze dry all the liquid back into the bowl. Cut the mushrooms into small pieces. Set aside.
  3. Strain the mushroom liquid through a fine mesh sieve (if you do not have a fine mesh sieve line what you have with paper towel).
  4. Cut off and discard the roots and tough dark green leaves of the leeks. Cut the white and light green parts into thin slices. Place in a sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove any sand.
  5. Wipe all the fresh mushrooms with a damp paper towel and trim ends. For the shiitake discard the stems.  Cut all the mushrooms into small pieces.  
  6. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan, add the garlic and the leeks and sauté over low heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Add all the mushrooms, including the reconstituted porcini. Increase the heat and sauté for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The mushrooms will exude a bit of liquid. Add the porcini liquid, the chicken broth, parsley and thyme.
  8. Bring to a boil, over high heat. Lower the heat and cook, covered, for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  
 
 

Celery Root Soup

Makes 6 generous servings.

This is a silky, nutritious soup that tastes rich without the addition of any cream.

People are always impressed with the elegance of this soup, and it is very simple to prepare.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 leeks
  • 2 medium celery roots, about 2 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 thyme sprigs, plus some for garnish
  • 5 ½ cups chicken broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Cut off and discard the roots and tough green leaves of the leeks. Cut the white part and light green part into small pieces. Place in a sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove all the sand.
  2. Peel celery root carefully and remove all embedded dark spots. (This rough looking vegetable is a bit tricky to peel.)
  3. Cut into small pieces.
  4. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan with a cover, add the leeks and sauté covered for 5 minutes. Add the celery root, thyme and 5 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook covered for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
  5. Remove the thyme sprigs and discard. Puree in a Vitamix until smooth.
  6. Adjust the consistency with the reserved broth and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve garnished with thyme petals.
 
 

Gazpacho

Makes 6 servings.

Since tomato season is very short – usually from July until early October or however long the warm days of early Fall remain – I urge you to take advantage and try this soup.   

If you like your gazpacho to be more nourishing, you may want to serve it with condiments, such as chopped seeded cucumber, chopped bell pepper, chopped red onion,  chopped peeled tomato and croutons.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, rinsed, cored, cut into large pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, rinsed, cored, seeded, cut into large pieces
  • 2 Kirby cucumbers, peeled, ends discarded, cut into large pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, halved
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, cut into pieces (See Note)
  • ½ small red onion, cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, approximately
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Snipped chives for garnish, or an assortment of condiments
  • 1 slice gluten free whole wheat grain bread, optional

PREPARATION:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a Vitamix and puree until very smooth. (If you like your soup a little coarser, puree it for a shorter time.)  If your soup is not as thick as you like it add 1 slice gluten free whole wheat bread cut into pieces and puree.
  2. Season to taste with vinegar, salt and pepper and serve it very cold garnished with chives or the suggested condiments.

NOTE:

When seeding jalapeno peppers, I advise wearing thin plastic gloves to avoid irritating your skin or your eyes. 

 
 

Sweet and Sour Eggplant

Makes 4 first course servings.

This recipe is a nice addition to your file of first courses as it is delicious, easy to prepare and it keeps well.  The mint really enhances the flavor.  Serve it warm or at room temperature with crackers, toasted pita, or just plain.                 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium eggplant, about 1 ¼  pounds
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼  cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 plum tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped (See Note)
  • ½  cup tightly packed flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • ½  tablespoon sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Leaves from 4 sprigs fresh mint, coarsely chopped

PREPARATION

  1. Rinse the eggplant, pat dry, discard the stem and cut into ½ inch pieces.  Scrape off as many seeds as you can.  Place the cubed eggplant in a colander and sprinkle lightly with salt.  Let drain for about 30 minutes.  Squeeze gently and then pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan.  Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, uncovered, stirring from time to time, until golden, about 8 minutes.  Add eggplant and stir for a minute.  Stir in tomatoes and cook covered over low heat, stirring from time to time until the eggplant is soft, about 15 minutes.  Add parsley, vinegar and sugar.
  3. Season to taste with salt, pepper.
  4. At serving time add mint.  If combined before, the mint loses its aroma.

NOTE:

To skin tomatoes, drop them into boiling water.  Bring the water back to boil and drain.  Core the tomatoes and slip off the skin.  Cut the tomatoes in half widthwise and squeeze gently to remove the seeds.  Some seeds will remain.

 
 

Broccoli Frittata

Makes 8 first course servings.  Makes 4 luncheon servings.

The calcium rich broccoli combined with the eggs makes for a complete and healthy dish. This frittata is delicious at room temperature, which makes it very easy to serve at any time. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small bunch broccoli, no more than1 pound
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 scallions including the green parts, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely chopped (See Note)
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature.
  • ½ cup tightly packed flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

PREPARATION

  1. Cut broccoli florets into small pieces. Trim the stems, peel and cut into small pieces. Steam all until almost tender, about 2 minutes.
  2. Chop coarsely, in 2 batches, in a food processor. Empty into a bowl.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 12 inch non-stick skillet. Add the scallions, garlic and jalapeno. Sautee for 5 minutes over low heat. Add to the broccoli, along with the parsley.
  4. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the vegetables and season well with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet over medium heat.
  6. Pour in the egg mixture, distributing the vegetables evenly, and reduce the heat to low. Cook the frittata, covered, over medium to low heat for 10-12 minutes. The sides will be set but the top still soft. Shake the pan once or twice during this period.

NOTE:

When seeding jalapeno peppers, I advise wearing thin plastic gloves to avoid irritating your skin or eyes. 

 
 

Quinoa and Kale Pancakes

Makes 12 pancakes, 4 servings.

These pancakes are very nutritious and fun to make. They are also quite tasty at room temperature. I especially like to serve them with a creamy yogurt condiment, which can be prepared at any time. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (recipe follows)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 2 cups ricotta, at room temperature,
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 6 stalks kale, rinsed, dried, stems discarded, finely chopped (See Note)
  • ½ cup loosely packed Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter for sautéing the pancakes

TO MAKE QUINOA:

  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa

YOGURT CONDIMENT:

  • 1½ cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Persian cucumbers
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 10 chives snipped with scissors
  • ¼ cup loosely packed mint leaves, finely chopped

PREPARATION:

  1. In a small sauce pan bring butter, salt and water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Sprinkle over quinoa, lower the heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. If the grains are still not cooked, add 1 tablespoon hot water and continue cooking. Fluff the grains with a fork. Cool.

TO MAKE THE PANCAKES:

  1. Place the cooked quinoa, eggs and ricotta in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add the grated lemon rind, kale and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
  4. Shape ¼ cup mixture into patties, patting the mixture down a bit. Sauté in batches, flattening the patties, for 3-4 minutes on each side or until pancakes are golden and crisp.

TO MAKE THE YOGURT CONDIMENT:

  1. Place yogurt in a bowl.
  2. Rinse the cucumbers, trim the ends and dice finely.
  3. Place the diced cucumber in a sieve and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Let stand for about 20 minutes to drain. Squeeze tightly to get rid of excessive juice (this is important so that the condiment is not watery after a few days.)
  4. Coarsely chop the garlic clove on a cutting board and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Using a knife blade crush into a paste.
  5. Add to the yogurt along with the other ingredients and season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  6. Refrigerate to allow the flavors to blend.

NOTE:

I chop the kale in a food processor in several batches.