Friday, August 31, 2007

Roasted Garlic Pasta

To roast slice off just the very top of the head of garlic so that you can see the tip of the flesh of the cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and roast at 350 F for about 15-20 minutes or until soft. When it has cooled break open the skin of each clove and the garlic should just pop out. You can keep the roasted garlic in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Serves 2.

1 head roasted garlic
1/2 - 3/4 cup cream
1/2 cup fresh thyme (or whatever) chopped
salt and pepper to taste
pasta for 2
parmesan cheese to taste

1. In a small pot mash the roasted garlic to a paste.
2 Add cream, thyme, salt and pepper and stir until slightly thickened
3. In a separate pot cook pasta in abundant boiling water until al dente.
4. Pour the sauce over the pasta and serve immediately

Roasted Garlic Pasta: From Hugh Alter, via Nigel Slater

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Fava Bean Cakes with Diced Red Peppers and Yogurt

This simple main course pairs favorite Mediterranean flavors and ingredients. It comes together quickly and suits family tastes, yet looks dramatic enough to impress VIPs. Serves4.


2 cups canned fava beans, drained and rinsed
1 large egg [or substitute]
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbs. olive oil, plus extra oil for frying
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. chopped Italian parsley
1 ½ cups plain low-fat or regular yogurt, for garnish
1 red pepper, seeded and diced, for garnish

1. Combine fava beans, egg, onion, garlic, 1 Tbs. olive oil, lemon juice, flour, and 1 Tbs. parsley in food processor. Process until coarsely chopped and well combined.

2. Heat 2 to 3 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium heat. When hot, scoop 1/4 cup bean mixture into oil and repeat until skillet is full. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on one side, and when firm and slightly brown, turn over to cook other side. Carefully remove from skillet and place on plates. Repeat with remaining bean mixture until mixture is used up.

3. To serve, spoon generous scoops yogurt over each serving and sprinkle with parsley and diced red pepper. Serve immediately.

Fava Bean Cakes with Diced Red Peppers and Yogurt [Recipe of the day: Vegetarian Times]

Friday, August 10, 2007

Soba Noodle Salad

2 tbsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp chili oil or chili flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp chili flakes
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp corn starch or arrowroot powder
juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp cilantro, minced

1 lb soba noodles
2 tbsp hijiki seaweed, soaked and cut into small pieces or seaweed flakes, unsoaked
4 scallions, minced
1 carrot, shredded
1 sweet red pepper, julienned
1/2 English cucumber
2 avocado, cubed
1/4 cup roasted cashews

1. Heat oils in pot over medium heat. Add garlic and chili and saute briefly being careful not to let them burn. Stir in vinegar, soy sauce and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and add honey, stirring to dissolve. Mix corn starch and a couple of tablespoons of water and whisk into simmering liquid. Continue to simmer for about 5 minutes. When the mixture has thickened slightly, remove from heat and cool. Stir in lime juice and cilantro and set aside.

2. Meanwhile cook noodles according to the package. Drain and rinse in cold, running water. Remove excess water. Lightly toss with sesame oil. Refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Before serving combine chilled noodles with prepared vegetables except avocado. Coat liberally with dressing and toss well. Garnish with avocado and cashews. Serve immediately.

From Sarah Bonsall and Robert Oullette of Reading Toronto [via TreeHugger].

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Swiss Chard

[Chard] has a more delicate taste than spinach and it holds it's shape and colour better in the cooking. You can find regular swiss chard which has a bright red stem or rainbow chard which has red and orange stems.

If you have young chard, by all means cook the stems as well. If the plant is a bit older and the stems are large they can be a bit woody so you should trim them off. With this recipe you can come home from work and have a simple, delicious dinner on the table in less than half an hour.

1 bunch swiss chard, carefully washed and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic - mashed, chopped or minced - this is entirely to your taste
olive oil
1 can beans, drained and rinsed - use navy, black beans or white kidney beans, also your choice
crusty bread
sea salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in pan. Saute garlic until golden. Add chard the saute over medium heat until tender, about 8 minutes.
2. Add beans and heat through.
3. Toast a couple of slices of bread - if you want, rub a clove of garlic over the toast. Pour the chard and beans on the toast and add salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Of course, you can always soak dry beans over night and then cook them and add to this recipe, but that implies forethought. This is really about getting something nutritious and delicious to the table quickly when you are tired and hungry and are tempted to order take-out. If you can't find chard you can substitute spinach and cook it for less time or kale and cook it for closer to 20 minutes.

Swiss Chard