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Vegetable centric cooking

Tag: vegetarian

Apple-nectarine crisp w/ fresh ginger


Fruit cobbler with vanilla ice cream is my favorite summer dessert.  The fresh ginger adds nice heat and aroma. You can use many combinations of apples, pears and stone fruit.   It’s a great way to use mediocre or overripe fruit; I was happy to find a use for a big bag of disappointing summer apples I got at the farmer’s market.

Serves 4

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Beet pickles


Okay, I admit it.  I live in Brooklyn, and I pickle things.  Bring on the Portlandia jokes.  Usually, I do a quick pickle — salt + vinegar + overnight in fridge.  This is the first time I have used boiling brine.   This recipe would work with many vegetables, such as green beans, red onion, fennel, or cauliflower.   You don’t need to cook most vegetables; rather, cover in hot brine, let cool, cover and refrigerate.  But do boil more toothsome vegetables such as beets or carrots for about 10 minutes, until they are just crisp-tender.   These are not a shelf stable pickle — the jar is not airtight or sterilized.   Keep in fridge, and eat within about two weeks.  We tend to finish ours in a few days! 

Makes 5 or 6 servings, as a side

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Corn pesto


I am hooked on yet another summer pasta, a vegan pesto of fresh raw corn pureed with parsley.  The result is creamy and incredibly bright.  Parsley is underrated.  I like it for many reasons — it’s cheap, it keeps well and it adds a fresh note to dishes. Cooking the corn cobs in pasta water is a nice touch here that adds starchiness and flavor to your sauce.

Serves 2

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Summer pasta w/ salsa cruda + roast eggplant


This summer pasta could not be simpler.  Roast eggplant tossed with fresh tomatoes and basil.  Although it is absolutely delicious vegan, it is even better topped with a little creamy Bulgarian feta.  I wish I could make this dish in gloomy January.  If only tomatoes were nice year-round!

Serves 2

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Grilled peach salad


Grilled peaches are one of my favorite summer fruits.  They are wonderful atop this salad, where they slightly warm the feta and wilt the arugula. Although a grill is ideal, a cast iron pan works well too. If the radish greens are tiny and fresh, you can add them to arugula or even use as a substitute.  If the greens are a little tough, save to saute for another dish.

Serves 2

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Summer rice noodles


There are only about six things I can stand to cook in summer in a New York City apartment.  Rice vermicelli fit the bill.  That is, you barely need to cook them — just soak a few minutes in hot water. These days, I like to eat them room temperature, topped with grilled tofu and a mix of grilled, blanched and raw vegetables.   Swapping a poached egg for the tofu is a delicious variation.

Serves 2

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Cold roasted zucchini soup w/ tahini


I love zucchini when roasted slowly at a low temperature.   I adapted this recipe from the charred zucchini soup in Love Soup, a vegetarian cookbook by Anna Thomas.  She serves hers hot, and topped with a generous amount of yoghurt.  This one is chilled and vegan, with extra richness and smokiness from tahini.  Use a ton of dill — it adds brightness and makes the soup a lovely deep green.

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Green gazpacho w/ almonds and grapes


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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Warm Israeli hummus w/ greens


Lately, I have been obsessed with eating hummus warm, as is popular throughout the greater Middle East.  I think I am shooting for a hearty baked hummus I ate in Turkey a few years ago in a stone terrine.   We also just received Jerusalemthe new Yotam Ottolenghi cookbook, with a recipe for Israeli hummus masubha — topped with warm whole chickpeas. This hummus is my simpler weekday version of the Ottolenghi recipe.  I skipped the steps of soaking overnight and serving with extra tahini.  This dish is my absolute favorite lunch with pita, caramelized onions and sauteed greens; microwaved at work, heated properly on a weekend.

Serves 2 or 3

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Radish salad w/ oranges and black olives


I guess I am just into radishes after last week’s dinner.  Well, they are in season — the Borough Hall farmer’s market has generous bunches topped with fresh greens that you can cook or eat as a salad green.   This salad balances sharp, salty, sweet and creamy and is a lovely side to a Middle Eastern meal.  We had it with warm hummus, pita and sautéed radish tops.

Serves 2

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