Archive for the ‘The One Pot Meal’ Category

PASTA NICOISE

SALAD NICOISE

Serves 3 – 4.

I don’t know if there is a thing in France called Pasta Nicoise, but this is very similar to Salad Nicoise, so that’s what I’m calling it. Based on this recipe at Bon Appetit plus other reader reviews, I made the recipe below which was very easy and quick and perfect for a weeknight.

1/3 cup sundried tomatoes

1 cup green beans, stemmed and cut into bite sized pieces

8 oz. dried short pasta

3 – 4 garlic cloves, minced

zest of one lemon

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 can tuna in olive oil (wild caught), drained

¼ olive oil

salt

pepper

2 tablespoons capers, drained

2 cups baby greens, chopped

parmesan cheese

 

Put the sundried tomatoes in a heat-proof bowl and cover with hot water. Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes and then drain. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.

After zesting the lemon into a small bowl, squeeze the lemon juice into a small bowl and put the garlic in the juice to macerate for 10 – 15 minutes.

In a large heat-proof bowl, combine the drained tuna, olive oil, salt pepper, drained capers and tomatoes, lemon zest, greens and salt and pepper to taste. You can place the bowl over the water to heat up the sauce ingredients a bit or just let sit at room temperature as the pasta boils.

Cook pasta according to directions. When 2 minutes are left in cooking time, add the green beans to blanch them. Stir lemon juice and garlic into sauce. Drain pasta and beans and add to sauce bowl and toss. Garnish with grated parmesan and serve.

Here’s a PASTA NICOISE.

SUPER LOW-STRESS SUMMER SALAD

I adapted this from a “Green Goddess Salad” but I can’t find it now and I didn’t like that name.  This is a loosely measured salad, which means that you don’t need to stress about relative quantities.  But, as I learned the hard way, don’t go crazy with the substitutions (e.g. lime for lemon juice, yuck).

Super, cuz it’s got lots of high quality fats, proteins and vitamins.  It’s also got a great combo of tastes and textures.  To completely avoid cooking on a hot evening, cook the farro in the morning and let it sit in the fridge.  Let it come to room temp before using.

Anchovy Dressing:

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ small shallot, minced

juice from one lemon

2 big squirts Anchovy paste

big pinch of parsley leaves, minced

pinch sugar

1/3 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Step one:  combine first three ingredients in a jar, shake, let sit for ten minutes.  Step two: add rest of ingredients and shake well.

Salad:

2 handfuls of dinosaur/Tuscan kale leaves, preferably about 6” long

1 big handful of arugula, chopped

1 handful flat leafed parsley leaves, chopped

1 palmful minced mint leaves (or basil, or tarragon)

1 palmful minced chives

1 big handful cooked and shelled edamame

1 small cucumber, diced

2 cups cooked farro*

1 hard boiled egg, diced

½ avocado per person, diced

Make dressing step one.

Stem and chop the kale leaves.  Place in a large mixing bowl.  Spray or drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Massage the kale by gathering it into your fists and gently squeezing and rubbing until it has all darkened in color and begun to soften.  Add the rest of the ingredients except for the avocado and gently fold together (preferably with your hands).  Finish the dressing and drizzle it on sparingly, mixing it in gently and adding more to taste.  Serve with diced avocado on top, as well as additional parsley or a few crumbles of feta cheese or seeds or nuts of choice.

*Cooking Farro:

Combine 1 cup pearled farro with 2 cups water and ½ teaspoon salt.  Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes, until al dente.  Drain if necessary.  If not using pearled farro, add another ½ cup of water and cook 40 – 50 minutes.

LENTIL VEGETABLE SOUP

This is adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe in “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook”.  Halved it, simplified it a little, and made it completely vegetarian.  The French green lentils are nice, but I’ve also made it with red or regular green lentils (even in combination, see picture below).  What really makes this quick soup special is the dash of vinegar before serving.  Sounds weird, but don’t skip it!

½ lb. French green lentils

this was a double batch

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups diced yellow onions

1 ½ cups diced carrots (3 – 4 carrots)

1 ½ cups diced celery (3 – 4 stalks)

1 teaspoon dried bouquet garni, or thyme

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

½ teaspoon cumin

3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced

1 quart vegetable stock

15-oz. can diced tomatoes with juice

1 bay leaf

red wine vinegar and parmesan cheese for serving

After picking them over for stones, etc., place lentils in a large metal bowl, cover with boiling water and let stand 15 minutes.  Drain.

In a large stockpot or dutch oven, sauté onions carrots, celery with spices, salt and pepper with olive oil over medium heat, until onions are translucent and soft, 15 – 20 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté for another minute.

Add stock, tomatoes, bay leaf and drained lentils.  You might also want to fill the (unrinsed) tomato can with water and add that.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about one hour, until lentils and vegetables are cooked through.  Add salt and pepper as needed.  Serve hot, with a dash of vinegar and a sprinkled of grated parmesan on top.

Printable version here:  LENTIL VEGETABLE SOUP

SPINACH & MUSHROOM QUICHE

Will not last long.

This is a simple and satisfying recipe that comes together pretty easily, adapted heavily from a Bon Appetit June 1991 recipe.  Totally do-able for weeknight cooking.  I used a combo of Crimini and baby Shitake mushrooms, but your favorite mushrooms will do.  You can also sub a yellow or red onion for the shallots, other cheeses like Monterey Jack, cheddar or fontina and cottage cheese or plain greek yogurt for the sour cream.  This goes well with the WHOLE WHEAT PIE CRUST (SAVORY) recipe.  This just fits into a regular 9” crust, or easily into a deep dish crust.

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup finely chopped shallots

2 tablespoons minced garlic

8 – 12 oz. mushrooms, sliced

splash dry white wine

6 oz. fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped

salt

dough for one 9” pie crust

1 ½ cup grated Gruyere cheese

4 eggs

½ cup sour cream

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon dried basil

Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Saute shallots until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté for one minute.  Add mushrooms and sauté until they begin to release their juices.  Add splash of wine, raise heat, and sauté until juices are almost evaporated.  Add spinach in handfuls, with a few pinches of salt and sauté just until wilted.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Roll out dough to fit your pie pan and fit into it.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat eggs, then beat in sour cream and spices.  Put half the cheese on the bottom of the pie crust, then layer in vegetable mixture, then other half of cheese.  Pour egg mixture over top.  Bake about 50 minutes until filling is set.  Cool slightly and serve.

Printable version here:  SPINACH AND MUSHROOM QUICHE

Morgan likes it.

LENTIL RICE STEW WITH CRISPY ONIONS

 

This is from Cook This Now by Melissa Clark.  Very hearty and uniquely spiced, it was great as lunch all week!I used red onions

Crispy onions:

3 medium onions, halved from root to stem and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

pinch salt

Stew:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced (mine was rotten so I subbed a teaspoon of ground ginger)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cinnamon stick


¼ teaspoon ground cumin

pinch ground allspice

1 bay leaf

Rinse and pick out any stones before using

6 cups vegetable stock

½ cup short grain brown rice (or basmati)

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 ½ cups red lentils

bunch of baby spinach, chopped (I used “teenage” kale)if its young, you can leave in the stems

¼ cup chopped fresh mint

lime wedges

 

Make onions:  Melt butter and 2 tablespoons oil over medium low heat in a large skillet.  Add onions and cook until they release juices, about 5 minutes.  Raise heat to medium high and cook until the onions are soft and golden, about 7 minutes.  Add remaining tablespoon oil and increase heat to high.  Cook, stirring only a few times, until onions are crisp and charred in spots.

Make stew:  Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté until softened, 5 – 7 minutes.  Add ginger, garlic and herbs and spices and cook for about a minute, until fragrant.  Add stock, 3 cups of water, the rice and salt.  Raise heat to high, bring to a boil and then reduce to medium low and simmer for ten minutes.  Add lentils and cook until lentils and rice are soft, about 30 minutes.  Stir in greens and mint and stir until wilted.  Add more salt, and pepper if necessary.  Serve with a squeeze of lime and topped with crispy onions.  If you have leftovers, go ahead and stir the onions into the stew before storing.

Printable version here:  LENTIL RICE STEW WITH CRISPY ONIONS

before the crispy onions

PESTO WITH ARUGULA & WALNUTS

Here in California, walnuts are local and arugula is fantastic in late winter and early spring. Last week I went to a Farmer’s Market class at The Gourmandise School in Santa Monica where we made pesto totally without basil, which was new to me. We had a bunch of arugula in our garden that needed harvesting and I thought: make pesto! This is an adaptation of the recipe we used in class.  Ingredients and amounts are fluid: feel free to adjust to desired taste and texture, and to substitute nuts or greens or hard cheeses.  You can combine spinach with the arugula for a milder taste, use pecans or the traditional pine nuts, pecorino or romano for the cheese.  You can blend until its really smooth, or keep the leaves and nuts coarse for a more rustic pesto.  This will keep in the fridge for several days in an airtight container and freezes well, too.

1 ½ cups walnut pieces, toasted and cooled

4 – 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

3 cups packed arugula leaves

1 cup grated parmesan

¾ cups olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Pulse the nuts and garlic together in a food processor, just until nuts are in very small pieces.  Don’t turn it to butter.  Add arugula and cheese and pulse about ten times.  Scrape down edges if necessary.  Add oil in a slow stream while processor is running, until you reach the desired texture.  Taste; add salt if necessary and stir in lemon juice to preserve color.

Serving suggestion: 

Prepare 8 oz. pasta according to package directions. When the pasta is almost done, stir a few handfuls of thinly sliced kale leaves into the cooking pasta.  After another minute of cooking, drain pasta and kale.  Squeeze a bit more lemon juice on top, and toss with about ½ cup of pesto in a large serving bowl.  You can also add fresh mozzarella, dabs of goat cheese, sundried tomatoes, etc.  Top with additional toasted nuts and/or grated parmesan and enjoy!  Serves 2 – 4.

Printable version: PESTO WITH ARUGULA & WALNUTS

I’m an enthusiastic participant in Weekend Cooking, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.  Head on over to her blog to link your posts on any foodish topic: cookbook reviews, recipes, food for thought…from Beth Fish Reads

CRISPY BROCCOLI & VEGETABLE STIR FRY

This is adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe from Jan 2011 – just noticed it’s from Melissa Clark – I’m a new fan of hers!  I’m teaching myself to cook without meat and this way of making tofu was a hit with my carnist husband and older daughter.

14 – 16 oz. extra-firm tofu

soy sauce

toasted sesame oil

rice vinegar

canola or peanut oil

about ¼ cup finely chopped green onion or shallot

2 – 4 tablespoons finely chopped garlic

1 – 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger

Drain tofu and cut into bite sized cubes.  Layer with paper towels on a plate and let stand while you prep the vegetables.

6 – 8 cups sliced vegetables, including:

carrots, peeled or scrubbed and sliced thin

celery stalks, sliced thin

broccoli stalks, peeled and sliced thin

cabbage, sliced thin

broccoli florets, bite sized

baby bok choy, outer leaves removed and sliced thin

kale or chard, stems removed and sliced thin

4 – 6 cups cooked brown rice

handful of toasted sesame seeds

In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sesame oil and ½ teaspoon vinegar.

Pat top of tofu dry, then toss in a plastic bag (or a bowl) with enough cornstarch to coat on all sides.

Pour about ½ inch of canola or peanut  oil in a wok, swirl in about a tablespoon of seasame oil and heat until its very hot without smoking.  Fry tofu cubes in two batches, until golden and crispy on all sides.  Drain on paper towels, and then reserve on a plate and brush with the soy sauce mixture.

Once all of the tofu is cooked, pour off all but about a tablespoon of the oil, add another tablespoon of sesame oil and reheat wok to medium high.  Add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add another couple tablespoons of soy sauce and about a tablespoon of vinegar, then add the more dense vegetables (carrots, celery, broccoli stalks) and stir fry for a couple minutes.  Add broccoli florets and/or cabbage, stir fry a few more minutes.  Add bok choy and/or greens (in batches if necessary) and stir fry a few more minutes.  If broccoli is not cooked enough, turn heat down and steam by covering with a lid for a few more minutes.  Then, add tofu to skillet and gently toss in.

Serve on a platter over brown rice, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

PRINTABLE VERSION HERE: CRISPY BROCCOLI & VEG STIR FRY