Helen Nash

Celery Root Fries

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Makes 4 cocktail servings .

Makes 2 side dish servings. 

This recipe is a nice change from the usual vegetables.  The fries are so tasty you will not be aware that they are baked not fried.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 celery root about 1 pound (See Note)

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat oven to 500F.

  2. Line a cookie sheet with foil.  

  3. Peel the celery root and slice into ¼ inch rounds. Cut the rounds into ¼ inch strips

  4. Place on the cookie sheet. Toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper.  

  5. Arrange the fries on the cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes, or until almost soft.

NOTE:

Celery root is not easy to peel, take your time.

 
 

 

Cauliflower Rice

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Makes 4 servings. 

Simple, nutritious and tasty.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, about 2 pounds

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon capers

  • 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice,

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Cut away the stem and separate the cauliflower into small pieces. Chop finely, in 2 BATCHES, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. The consistency of the cauliflower should resemble couscous. 

  2. Heat the olive oil in a wok or a skillet, add the garlic, sauté for a minute. Add the cauliflower and stir for about 3 minutes. The cauliflower rice should be soft and fluffy. Add the remaining ingredients and season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

 
 

Roasted Kabocha Squash

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Makes 4-6 first course servings or side dishes . 

Among the winter squashes, Kabocha has become one of my favorites to begin a meal or as a side dish. The skin is edible and the texture is rich in flavor. It is full of vitamins such as Iron, Vitamin C and Carotene.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small Kabocha squash, about 1 ½ pounds

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing the foil

  • 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar

  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

PREPARATION:

  1. Rinse the squash and pat dry. Place in the microwave for about 4 minutes (this softens the skin  making it easier to slice). Cut the squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds and fibrous strings. Cut into 1 inch wedges.   

  2. Preheat the oven to 400F.

  3. Line a large baking sheet with foil and brush the foil with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  

  4. In a small dish combine the olive oil, soy sauce, sesame oil and cinnamon.   

  5. Spread the wedges on the baking sheet.

  6. Brush with the mixture. 

  7. Bake for 20 minutes. The squash should be tender.

 
 

Kohlrabi Slaw

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Makes 4 servings. 

I have recently discovered this vegetable, and I’m making it quite often. Like cabbage, kohlrabi is delicious eaten raw. The flavor is sweet, mild with a crisp and juicy texture. The salad does not lose its crunchiness; it actually improves with time.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound green kohlrabi (3 small)

  • 1 small greening apple

  • 1 medium carrot

  • ¾ loosely packed flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, approx

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Peel the kohlrabi deeply, making sure it is trimmed well at the root. Cut into eights to fit into the feeding tube of a food processor fitted with the medium grating attachment, and grate. 

  2. Peel the apple, cut into quarters, core and grate.

  3. Peel the carrot and grate. 

  4. Place the kohlrabi, apple and carrot in a large bowl. Add the parsley, toss well and season with lime juice, salt and pepper.

  5. I suggest that you check the seasoning before serving.

 Note:

Sometimes the kohlrabi can be watery. If that happens drain it in a colander before combining with the other ingredients.

 
 

Carrot Salad

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Makes 6 servings. 

Perhaps because carrots are so readily available all year we do not see them very much on menus.  In France carrot salads are iconic dishes. This carrot salad is easy to prepare and goes well with meat, poultry or fish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ¼ pounds carrots, about 8 carrots (See Note)

  • 2 tablespoons natural rice vinegar

  • 6 sprigs tarragon, remove leaves and chop coarsely

  • 3 scallions, including most of the green part, thinly sliced

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • Kosher salt

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

PREPARATION:

  1. Peel the carrots. Grate in a food processor fitted with the medium grating attachment. 

  2. In a large bowl combine the vinegar, tarragon, scallions, honey and ½ teaspoon salt. Slowly add the olive oil.

  3. Add the carrots and the parsley and toss well. Season to taste with vinegar and salt.

NOTE:

If possible look for bunches of medium carrots with the greens still attached.  

 
 

Versatile Couscous

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Makes 4-6 servings. 

In this dish the couscous is not steamed or cooked; it is hydrated with boiling water and combined with nutritious ingredients.

It pairs very well with most meat dishes and is particularly good with salmon. It even improves with time.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup couscous

  • 4 tablespoons dried currants

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • 2 cups loosely packed baby arugula (about 2 ounces) some stems discarded

  • 1/3 cup pignolia nuts, toasted

  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, approx

PREPARATION:

  1. In a large bowl place the couscous, currants, cumin, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and 1 tablespoon oil.  

  2. Pour 1 cup boiling water over the couscous. Cover with foil and let stand for 10 minutes.

  3. Fluff the couscous with a fork. 

  4. Add the parsley, arugula, 4 tablespoons oil, pignolia nuts and lime juice. Toss well and season to taste with lime juice salt and pepper.

 
 

Roasted Whole Carrots

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Makes 4 servings.

This is a spring variety of carrots, which are sold in multicolored bunches with beautiful green leaves.   

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 carrots, with about 1 inch green top
  • 2 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Scrub the carrots and dry well. Arrange in a single layer on a foil lined roasting pan. 
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and toss with the other ingredients to combine.
  4. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until well browned and caramelized around the edges. Turn over midway during roasting.
 
 

Green Lentil Salad

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Makes 4-6 servings.

There are many varieties of lentils but I like the French green variety. This salad is a good accompaniment to most fish, poultry, meat or you can eat it on its own.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup French Green lentils
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 3 tablespoons extra -virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 scallions including green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup loosely packed Italian parsley, coarsely chopped

PREPARATION:

  1. Place lentils and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and cook, covered, for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender (if the lentils are not ready and all the water is absorbed add 1-2 tablespoons of hot water and continue cooking).
  2. Transfer the lentils to a medium bowl. Toss with the oil, add all the remaining ingredients and combine.  
  3. Season to taste. I suggest you recheck the seasonings before serving.  
 
 

Kohlrabi Salad

Kohlrabi Salad.jpg

Makes 4 servings.

Kohlrabi is part of the cabbage family. It is nutrient dense with a nutty taste and a delicious crunch. The jalapeno in this salad gives it a little bite. 

The salad actually improves with time.

I tend to prefer the green variety of kohlrabi, which I find milder than the purple, but the taste of both is similar.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1½ pounds green kohlrabi (2 medium)

  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely chopped (See Note)

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

  • ½ cup tightly packed cilantro leaves

CITRUS HONEY VINAIGRETTE DRESSING:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin-olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Peel the kohlrabi deeply, making sure it is trimmed well at the root. Cut into eighths to fit into the feeding tube of a food processor fitted with the medium grating attachment.

  2. Place the kohlrabi into a medium bowl and add jalapeno, scallions and cilantro.

  3. Whisk the dressing and toss with the kohlrabi. Season to taste.

NOTE:

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

I suggest that you recheck the seasonings before serving.  

 
 

Broiled Eggplant

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Makes 2 servings.

I find this quick and easy recipe is a nice addition to my eggplant dishes. I have eaten it as a first course and as an accompaniment to meat or poultry.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 baby eggplants

COATING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus ½ teaspoon for greasing the foil
  • 1½ tablespoons Tahini
  • ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chives for garnish, snipped with scissors  

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the broiler.
  2. Trim the eggplants, peel deeply, cut in half and cut deep slits into the flesh.
  3. Combine the COATING ingredients.
  4. Line a broiler pan with foil, grease the foil and place the eggplant on it.
  5. Spoon the coating over the eggplants.
  6. Broil close to the heat source for about 5 minutes. The eggplants should be soft and well browned.
  7. If the eggplants are not soft enough, leave them for another minute in a turned off oven.
 
 

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Beets

Roasted Root Vegetables with Sage.jpg

Makes 4 generous servings.

Easy to make, nutritious and versatile, this dish is for all seasons and can be paired with fish, meat or poultry. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 medium parsnip
  • 2 medium golden beets
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 sprigs of sage, plus a few leaves for garnish
  • 1½ tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Peel the vegetables, cut to the size that fits into the feed tube of a food processor fitted with a medium slicing attachment and slice.
  3. In a large bowl combine olive oil, maple syrup and vinegar. Add the vegetables and the sage. Mix very well and season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Line a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spread the vegetables on it.  Roast for about 20 minutes. The vegetables should be soft.
  5. Discard the sage sprigs.
  6. Slice the sage leaves thinly and garnish.
 
 

Creamed Spinach

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Makes 4 servings.

These days preparing spinach is quite easy – it comes prewashed and ready to go. I discovered that by adding coconut milk I can make a creamy, healthy, pareve spinach dish which I like to serve with fish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 9 ounces of prewashed spinach, discard some of the dangling stems
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon oil and add half of the spinach. Stir until wilted. Remove to a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
  2. Do the same with the next batch of spinach.
  3. Puree the spinach adding the coconut milk through the feed tube.
  4. Transfer to a skillet and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Serve warm.  
 
 

Creamy Tofu Dressing

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This recipe is a retro dressing. The original was made with mayonnaise and sometimes the addition of sour cream and avocado. My version is creamy and light and quite versatile. I use it to make coleslaw, shredded kale, romaine salad and even fish.

It keeps very well refrigerated for some time.

Unfortunately, 8 ounce packages of tofu are not available so I was obliged to give you this amount of dressing.  

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 16 ounces drained silken tofu, drained in a sieve
  • 1 cup tightly packed flat leaf parsley
  • Tarragon petals from 15 sprigs
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice, approx
  • Kosher salt,
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Adjust the seasoning with lemon juice, salt and pepper.  
 
 

Braised Leeks

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Makes 4 servings.

Leeks are relatives of onions, but sweeter with a firm bite. This vegetable compliments any dish, and it is so simple to prepare.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 leeks
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 sage leaves torn into small pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Cut off and discard dangling roots and most of the green part of the leeks. Discard one or two of the tough outer leaves.
  2. Cut the white and light green parts of the leeks into thin slices. Place in a sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove any sand.  Drain well.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan until hot. Add the leeks and sage. Braise, covered, over low heat, stirring from time to time, for about 15 minutes, or until the leeks are almost soft.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
 
 

Quinoa Pilaf

Makes 4 -6 servings.

I like the nutty, earthy flavor of this nutritious dish. Cooking the quinoa with some carrot juice perks up the flavor. You can easily pair this dish with tofu, salmon or poultry.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 medium shallots, diced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled, grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, approx
  • ½ cup carrot juice (See Note)
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, approx
  • Kosher salt

PREPARATION:

  1. In a medium saucepan with a cover, heat the oil, add the carrot and shallots and cook stirring over medium/low heat, covered until softened, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add the quinoa and cook stirring over low heat, until the quinoa is fragrant and beginning to pop, about 5 minutes. Stir in cumin and ginger. Add the carrot juice, and water. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over low heat until the liquid is absorbed, about 13 minutes.
  3. Stir with a fork to fluff the grains, Add the almonds, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Season to taste with cumin, lemon juice and salt.

NOTE:

Carrot juice is available in most supermarkets and health food stores.

 

 
 

Miso Roasted Baby Eggplants

Miso Roasted Baby Eggplants.jpg

Makes 4 servings.

These eggplants are well flavored, delicious and so easy to prepare.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 baby eggplants
  • Extra -virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 4 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons sesame seeds for sprinkling
  • Chives, cut into long pieces, for garnish

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease it with olive oil.
  3. Trim the eggplants at both ends. Peel close to the flesh, cut in half and cut deeps slits into the flesh. Sprinkle lightly with salt and let stand for 10 minutes.
  4. Squeeze each eggplant gently to remove moisture.  
  5. Combine the miso, mirin and sugar into a paste.  Place the eggplants on the baking sheet and spoon the paste over the eggplants.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.  
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and roast for another 20 minutes.  The eggplants should be soft and well browned.
  8. Garnish with chives.
 
 

Stir-Fry Spinach

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Makes 2 servings.

This side dish is quick, easy and rich in iron. 
 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 6 ounces spinach, not baby
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Heat olive oil in a wok, add garlic and sauté over low heat for a minute. Add all the spinach, increase the heat to high, and add 2 tablespoons of hot water. Toss until the spinach is JUST wilted. 
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. When serving, use a slotted spoon or tongs to avoid the accumulated liquid.
 
 

Red Cabbage Salad

Makes 8 servings.

Red cabbage seems to be a neglected vegetable, even though it is more nutritious than white cabbage and more flavorful. This easy-to-prepare salad compliments most dishes.     

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small head of red cabbage, about 1½ pounds
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra- virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice, approx
  • ½ cup toasted blanched almonds
  • ½ cup tightly packed mint leaves, coarsely chopped.
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Discard limp and discolored outer leaves.
  2. Quarter the cabbage. Holding on to the core, finely shred the cabbage. Discard the core.
  3. Place the cabbage in a large bowl and toss it with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Add the almonds and mint. Let stand for a few minutes and then season to taste.
  4. If prepared a day before, adjust the seasoning and add fresh mint.
 
 

Roasted Root Vegetables with Sage

Makes 8 servings.

I like to roast these vegetables at a low heat, to ensure that they cook evenly and keep their distinct flavor. This method allows the root vegetables to exude their natural sweetness. Sage leaves compliment these vegetables.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small butternut squash, about 1 pound
  • 1 small celery root, about 1½ pounds
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 small red onions or 1 large one
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 30 sage leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 F
  2. Line 3 baking sheets with aluminum foil.
  3. Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, cut into quarters lengthwise and slice thinly in a food processor fitted with a medium slicing attachment. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Peel the celery root, quarter and slice as well. Add to the squash.
  5. Toss with 5 tablespoons olive oil and 15 sage leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Distribute evenly on the lined baking sheet.
  6. Peel the carrots and the parsnip, cut lengthwise, if necessary, to fit into the feed tube of a food processor and slice.
  7. Transfer to a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 5 of the sage leaves.
  8. Distribute on the baking sheet.  
  9. Peel the onions, cut into quarters and slice as well. Transfer to a bowl, toss with 2 tablespoons of oil, and season with salt.  
  10. Distribute on the baking sheet as well.  
  11. Roast the vegetables for about 1½ hours, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes.    
  12. The onions will be ready earlier than the other vegetables. The other vegetables should be soft.  
  13. Combine all the vegetables and season to taste.

 

 
 

Basmati Rice with Chickpeas and Herbs

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritious, delicious and you can make it as flavorful as you like by adjusting the amount of cumin and curry powder that you use.

I like mine not very perfumed. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup Basmati light brown rice
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt.
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin, approx
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder, approx
  • ½ cup dried currants
  • 1 can 15.5 ounces chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 8 sprigs dill, snipped with scissors.
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper. 

PREPARATION:

  1. In a heavy small saucepan with a cover bring to a boil over high heat the rice, water, oil and salt. Lower the heat and simmer covered for about 20 minutes. The rice should be soft and the water absorbed.
  2. In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil, then add the cumin and curry powder. Stir for a minute to bring out the flavor of the spices. Add to the rice and combine well.
  3. Add the currants, chickpeas, parsley and dill. Season to taste.