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Vegetable centric cooking

Tag: smoked_paprika

Green gazpacho w/ almonds and grapes

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New York weather spins on a dime in May.  Memorial Day weekend was disappointingly cold and rainy; last week was hot and humid.  My taste is suddenly all about the summer — refrigerator ice tea, corn on the cob, grilled pizza and lots of radishes and tomatoes.   And I am obsessed with finding a quick and nourishing recipe for green or white gazpacho, without fillers like white bread.

I adapted a recipe that Los Angeles Times published from Martha’s Vineyard’s Sweet Life Cafe, adding hot peppers, making the dairy an optional topping and skipping the step of straining soup.  The result is a cool and refreshing soup with a touch of heat — toppings such as almonds and feta make it a light meal.  There you go, a weeknight gazpacho!

Serves 2

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Mango-lemongrass sorbet

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Darcy starts the Boston Marathon in about two hours! My all-important job is the roving gummy bear dispenser, starting from halfway at Wellesley. Fanny pack is stuffed with 13.1 miles of provisions — I shall not disappoint.  She was a pretty strict carb loader last week, with minimal dairy.  So I adapted this tasty sorbet from an Epicurious recipe, and it was my first time cooking with lemongrass. Raw, it reminded me of a cross between ginger and a scallion. Cooked, it was wonderfully fragrant.   Although I used less sugar than called for, the sorbet was still too sweet.  But the salt, lime juice and smoked paprika gave it nice balance.

Try to make the lemongrass simple syrup a day early, so it can chill — leave mangoes in fridge too.   Leftover syrup would be great in a cocktail, pretty much whatever kind you like.  I’d vote for a margarita or gin and tonic.  Or maybe a brunch drink with dry prosecco and St Germain.

Serves 2

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Bulgar, black bean and squash chili w/ charred bok choy

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When I think of chili, I think of two things — pro sports on tv and a dish with heat, not just spice. Well Super Bowl Sunday took care of the former. My goal in the latter was a deep and smoky vegetarian dish that did not induce tears or bring to mind the hot pepper scene from Dumb and Dumber. It came out pretty good — plenty deep and smoky thanks to smoked paprika, caramelized poblanos and a topping of charred greens. Bring on that cold weather!

Serves 4

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