I love a dish involving warm dressing and wilted greens. I am also in love with farro- and pesto. This full-flavored vegetarian dish was made for me! Loved it. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Yasmin Fahr. I used homemade pesto, Campari tomatoes, and several of the modifications and options that were suggested in the original recipe for ingredient substitutions.
It was incredible as a summer dish but could easily be served in any season with all of the possible variations. It can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature. The dish could also be topped with a protein such as grilled chicken, scallops, or shrimp, if desired. We ate it for dinner with roasted CSA vegetables and a green salad. It would also be lovely for a special lunch or brunch. Fabulous.
Yield: Serves 4
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup farro, rinsed (I used Trader Joe’s “10 minute” Farro)
2 pints (4 cups) cherry or grape tomatoes or 2 pounds of Campari tomatoes (12-14 tomatoes)
1 red onion, peeled, quartered and cut into 1-inch wedges keeping the root intact (I cut a large red onion into 8ths)(can substitute shallots)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the farro
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/4 cup (4 T) store-bought or homemade pesto, plus more to taste (recipe below)
2 packed cups baby spinach, arugula, Swiss chard (stemmed & chopped), or baby kale
1 (4 oz) ball fresh mozzarella or burrata, torn into chunks, or 1/2 cup ricotta salata or feta, crumbled, optional (I used 4 oz crumbled feta)
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil leaves and tender stems, chiffonade or roughly chopped, for garnish
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the farro and adjust the heat to maintain a medium boil. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom, until tender and not too chewy, about 10 to 30 minutes. (I used Trader Joe’s “10-minute” Farro which cooked in 10 minutes)
Meanwhile, on a parchment paper-lined, rimmed sheet pan, combine the tomatoes and onion wedges with the oil, making sure everything is well coated and glistening, then season with salt, pepper and the red-pepper flakes. Roast until the tomatoes blister and slightly deflate, 20 to 30 minutes.
When the farro is done, drain, then pour into a serving bowl or back into the pot. Toss with some olive oil, then mix in the pesto.
Add the lemon zest and juice, then stir in the spinach (or other greens). Set aside to cool slightly.
Scrape the onions, tomatoes and their juices into the farro; season with salt and pepper as needed.
Add the cheese, if using, then garnish with herbs and serve.
For the Pesto: (Makes about 1 cup)
2 loosely packed cups fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried
1 large clove garlic
2 T toasted pine nuts or walnuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more to taste
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
Combine the basil with a pinch of salt, the garlic, the nuts, and about half of the oil in a food processor or blender.
Process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container if necessary and adding the rest of the oil gradually.
Add more oil if you prefer a thinner mixture. (Sometimes I add a little bit of stock instead to achieve the same result.)
Stir in the cheese.
The pesto recipe is from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. The amounts can be modified to reduce the volume; only 1/4 cup of pesto is used in the farro dish.
Making homemade mayonnaise has been a challenging endeavor for me. It is always described as “quick and easy” but that has not been the case in my kitchen! This time- with a little bit of a struggle- I finally had a successful result. 🙂
The garlic aioli base of this potato salad was very creamy and flavorful. The diced hard boiled eggs added even more richness to the finished dish. This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I modified the method and proportions. The original recipe suggests making the salad at least an hour prior to serving to allow the flavors to mellow.
This dish could also be made with store-bought mayonnaise as a shortcut! Skip steps 3 and 4 and add garlic and lemon juice to the mayo.
Yield: Serves 4 as a side dish
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or pushed through a garlic press
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice, at room temperature, more as needed (I used Meyer lemon juice)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 T sour cream
4 T (1/4 cup) finely chopped celery
2 T finely chopped red onion
1 pound small waxy white or yellow potatoes, roughly about the same size (I used tiny yellow potatoes)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
finely chopped chives, cilantro, or parsley, for garnish
Place the 2 whole eggs in a small pot with water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat; immediately remove from heat and cover for 8 minutes. Transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water to cool. Peel and dice small.
Meanwhile, combine grated garlic, salt and lemon juice in a blender, and pulse a few times to combine. (I used a Vitamix.)
Pulse in the egg yolks. (I incorporated the egg yolks briefly at the highest speed.)
With motor running, set to medium-low speed (3 on a Vitamix), very slowly drizzle (drip!) in olive oil until completely incorporated and mayonnaise is thick. (I covered the opening with a paper towel to prevent any mess.)(I initially began this process with 1 egg yolk and the mixture separated. I was able to bring it back to a creamy state by slowing adding the broken mixture to an additional egg yolk prior to slowly adding the rest of the olive oil in the blender.)
Scrape the mayonnaise into a bowl and fold in sour cream.
Fold in the chopped celery and red onion.
Place whole unpeeled potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then generously salt the water. Cook until potatoes are just tender, 15 to 25 minutes depending upon size. (I cooked the potatoes for 20 minutes.)
Drain and cut the potatoes into 1 1/2-inch chunks as soon as you can handle them.
Transfer hot potatoes to a large bowl and toss with diced boiled eggs and 2/3 of the mayonnaise.
Let cool to room temperature, or refrigerate until ready to use.
Just before serving, toss with some of the remaining dressing to taste (if desired). (I reserved the remaining mayonnaise for another use.)
Season with black pepper and add more salt, if necessary, to taste. Sprinkle with chopped herbs. Serve.
I served this heaping platter of fried deliciousness for our celebratory St. Patrick’s Day dinner. It was extremely well received. 🙂
I used Irish Harp beer in the fish batter, of course. As I was cooking the fish and chips, my husband realized that we hadn’t included the essential tartar sauce in our menu. He was thankfully able to make sauce with a few adaptations.
The beer-battered fish recipe was adapted from Donal Skehan via today.com; I modified the cooking method. The potato chip recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit. I used gold potatoes, olive oil, and seasoned the chips with sea salt. The tartar sauce recipe was loosely adapted from inspiredtaste.net. It was a treat. We’re planning to eat the leftover fish in tacos!
For the Crispy Potato Chips:
2 pounds gold, russet, or purple potatoes
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
vegetable oil, for frying (I used 10 cups of canola oil with 3-4 cups olive oil)
For the Beer-Battered Fish:
4 skinless and boneless white fish fillets, patted dry and cut into thick strips (I used Alaskan Cod)
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more to coat the fish
1 cup cold beer (I used Harp)
coarse salt, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper
canola oil and olive oil, to fry (see above)
lemon wedges, to serve
For the Tartar Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 small dill pickle, chopped very small (3 tablespoons)(I substituted 1 tsp white wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste (I used the juice of 1/2 a lemon)
1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill (I substituted fresh basil)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
To Make the Crispy Potato Chips:
Using a mandoline, slice potatoes about 1/8-inch thick.
Place slices in a large bowl, add cold water to cover, and stir to release starch; drain. Repeat until water runs clear.
Return potatoes to bowl; cover with 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar and about 6 cups water. Let sit at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. (the vinegar helps make the chips more crispy)
Drain potatoes and pat dry prior to cooking.
Fit a large heavy pot with a deep-fry thermometer; pour in oil to measure 3 to 4”. (I used a very deep “pasta pot” to reduce splattering.)
Heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 300°. (frying the potatoes at a lower temperature helps to remove moisture)
Working in 4 to 6 batches and returning oil to 300° between batches, fry potatoes, turning occasionally to cook evenly, until golden brown and crisp (oil will have quit bubbling), about 5 to 7 minutes per batch.
Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined rimmed sheet pan fitted with a wire rack. While hot, season with salt.
Reserve the cooking oil to fry the fish.
Note: Potatoes can be fried 6 hours ahead. Keep at room temperature. (I kept the chips in a warming drawer while I cooked the fish.)
To Make the Beer-Battered Fish:
Top the pot with more oil, if needed, and bring it back to temperature, 300° to 340°, over a medium-high heat.
Coat the fish strips with flour, shake off the excess and set aside in a single layer on a plate.
Place 1 cup of flour in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the middle of it and pour in a little beer and whisk. Keep adding the beer and mixing until you have a smooth batter.
Season generously with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Working beside the pan, dip the fish strips in the batter one at a time and then into the hot oil. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan. (I used tongs and cooked the fish in 3 batches.)
Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until golden-brown, turning halfway through the cooking time.
Remove the fish from the pot using a spider or slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel–lined rimmed sheet pan fitted with a wire rack. While hot, season with salt.
Serve with some lemon wedges, crispy chips, and tartar sauce, as desired.
To Make the Tartar Sauce:
Combine the mayonnaise, pickles (or vinegar), lemon juice, capers, dill, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a small bowl and stir until well blended and creamy.
Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste then adjust with additional lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Note: For the best flavor, cover and store in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to one week.
I am not sure that I would have tried this recipe if I hadn’t seen these fries made on an episode of America’s Test Kitchen. The method is unusual- the cut potatoes are coated in a cornstarch slurry prior to being baked. This coating allows a crust to form on the outside of the fries just like a deep-fried fry. They were crispy and delicious. I’ve made them twice already! 🙂
This recipe was adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, via Brit.co. I doubled the recipe with the exception of the oil, used Maine gold potatoes, and cut the slices smaller than suggested.
Yield: Serves 4 to 5
vegetable oil spray
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes or Maine gold potatoes, unpeeled
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon coarse salt, or more, to taste
Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425°F, preferably on convection roast.
Generously spray rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray. Pour oil into prepared sheet and tilt until surface is evenly coated with oil. (The oil spray contains a surfactant called lecithin, which prevents the oil from pooling and, in turn, prevents the potatoes from sticking. Using the oil spray also decreases the total amount of oil to 3 tablespoons, just enough to evenly coat the fries.) Note: If halving the recipe, do not modify the amount of oil used to coat the pan.
Halve potatoes lengthwise and turn halves cut sides down on cutting board. Trim a thin slice from both long sides of each potato half; discard trimmings.
Slice potatoes lengthwise into 1/3- to 1/2-inch-thick planks. (each potato slice should have 2 flat sides)
Combine 2/3 cup water and cornstarch in large bowl, making sure no lumps of cornstarch remain on bottom of bowl.
Microwave, stirring every 20 seconds, until mixture begins to thicken, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and continue to stir until mixture thickens to pudding-like consistency. (If necessary, add up to 1 tablespoon water to achieve correct consistency.)
Transfer potatoes to bowl with cornstarch mixture and toss until each plank is evenly coated.
Arrange planks on prepared sheet, leaving small gaps between planks. (Some cornstarch mixture will remain in bowl.)
Cover sheet tightly with lightly greased aluminum foil and bake for 12 minutes. (Covering the fries with foil ensures that they are fully tender by the end of the baking time.)
Remove foil from sheet and bake until bottom of each fry is golden brown, 7 to 15 minutes.
Remove sheet from oven and, using thin metal spatula, carefully flip each fry.
Return sheet to oven and continue to bake until second sides are golden brown, 7 to 15 minutes longer.
Sprinkle fries with 1 teaspoon salt. Using spatula, carefully toss fries to distribute salt.
Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and season with salt, to taste. Serve.
Baked rice is quick and easy to prepare and is really delicious. This baked rice dish was inspired by prasorizo, the classic Greek rice-and-leek dish. It makes a great vegetarian main dish or a phenomenal side. We ate it as a main dish with rotisserie chicken on the side. 😉 The freshly grated Parmesan really added richness to the meal.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Ali Slagle. Almost any vegetable can be incorporated into the dish. I added my beautiful CSA Romanesco cauliflower (with its greens) as well as baby spinach. The original recipe suggests alternatively adding tomatoes, zucchini, and/or broccoli with the leeks, or arugula and/or sliced sugar snap peas after the dish is removed from the oven.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
4 to 5leeks (about 2 pounds), trimmed, white and pale green parts, cut lengthwise & sliced 1/4-inch thick
chopped tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli florets, and/or cauliflower florets, optional (I used Romanesco cauliflower florets)
1/4cup raw almonds (I used raw slivered almonds), or more, to taste
1/2teaspoon red-pepper flakes
5tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2cups uncooked white basmati rice
1(15-ounce) can white beans (such as cannellini or great Northern), drained and rinsed
2 1/2cups boiling water or stock
coarsely chopped spinach and/or arugula, or sliced sugar snap peas (I used 2 cups chopped baby spinach)
1/2cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1/4cup thinly sliced or chopped basil, chives, mint or fennel fronds, plus more for serving
Heat the oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
Soak sliced leeks in a bowl of water, remove with a slotted spoon or spider, then shake or pat dry.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel 1-inch-thick strips of lemon zest, then cut the lemon in half. Cut one half into four wedges and reserve the other half.
In a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, combine the leeks, lemon zest strips, almonds, red-pepper flakes and olive oil. (I used an enameled cast iron baking dish.)
If adding chopped tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, and/or cauliflower, add to the pan with the leeks. (I added Romanesco cauliflower florets.)
Season generously with salt and pepper, and arrange in an even layer. Roast until the leeks start to caramelize, about 20 minutes.
Remove and finely chop the lemon zest strips, then stir the zest back into the leek mixture. Arrange in an even layer.
Sprinkle the rice evenly over the leeks, then top with the beans and 1 teaspoon salt.
Add the boiling water or stock, then seal the pan tightly with foil.
Bake until the rice is tender, 20 to 22 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
If adding spinach and/or arugula, or sliced sugar snap peas, add them in at this time. (I added the Romanesco cauliflower greens, ribs removed and finely sliced, as well as 2 cups of baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped.)
Squeeze the lemon half over the rice, then stir in Parmesan and herbs.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with lemon wedges, and more Parmesan and herbs, as desired.
My daughter and I made this lovely dish as a side for our Thanksgiving feast- although it was practically her entire meal. She absolutely loves cauliflower and garbanzo beans and is not a big fan of other Thanksgiving dishes. Dessert is her exception. 😉
This dish was adapted from It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen, via theyellowtable.com. Healthy and delicious.
Yield: Serves 6 as a side dish
14 oz can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed, and dried
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
coarse salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole grain seeded mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Set a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400ºF, preferably on convection roast.
Toss the chickpeas and cauliflower florets together on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet or in a large roasting pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a big pinch of salt.
Roast, stirring now and then, until everything is dark brown and the cauliflower is quite soft, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the mustards, vinegar, and 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with a big pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, or to taste.
While the chickpeas and cauliflower are still warm, toss them with the mustard dressing and the parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.
These caramelized carrots were part of our Thanksgiving feast. Initially, I thought that the proportions were really off in this dish- only a drizzle of the amazing browned butter vinaigrette is used and I had a tremendous amount leftover. The proportions could be reduced, of course, but I have used the leftover vinaigrette with roasted Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, CSA rutabaga, and more rainbow carrots. It is absolutely wonderful.
This recipe was adapted from chef Neil Borthwick’s “forgotten carrots” at Merchants Tavern in London via The New York Times, contributed by Mark Bittman. I modified the proportions and cooked the carrots in a cast iron skillet. I would roast four pounds of rainbow carrots next time.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish
2pounds large carrots (I used rainbow carrots)
3tablespoons olive oil
8tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus 3 extra tablespoons for roasting the carrots
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-4tablespoons sherry vinegar, to taste
1teaspoon Dijon mustard
3tablespoons chervil leaves or chopped fresh parsley
Heat the oven to 325 degrees, preferably on convection.
Scrub the carrots, and peel them if you like (it really doesn’t matter but I peeled them).
Set a 12-inch cast iron skillet or a roasting pan over two burners on medium heat; put the olive oil in the pan.
When the oil is hot, add the carrots and cook, turning as they brown, until lightly caramelized all over, 10 to 15 minutes.
Add 3 tablespoons butter, spices, salt and pepper.
Transfer the roasting pan to the oven, and cook, shaking the pan once or twice, until the carrots are crinkly on the outside and you can pierce them easily with the tip of a sharp knife, 45 to 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, put 1 stick butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the butter foam subsides and the butter turns nut brown, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Put brown butter, vinegar, Dijon, salt and pepper in a blender or mini food processor. Blend until a creamy emulsion forms, about 30 seconds; taste, and adjust the seasoning.
Put the carrots on a platter, drizzle the vinaigrette over the top and garnish with the chervil or parsley, and serve.
Note: Leftover vinaigrette can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator to toss with other roasted vegetables.