Thursday, May 30, 2013

Honey Glazed Carrots with Golden Tomatoes and Garlicky Quinoa

K was right when she said that we sisters love quinoa.   This is a recipe from a few nights ago that I was reminded to post when a blog search with the word "quinoa"  turned up a variety of results.  It's a bit of a spin on basic idea of the Curried Pineapple Quinoa I posted recently, so my apologies if you begin to feel quinoa-ed out (I have a warm-salad-with-quinoa-recipe I will also be posting soon).  I love how many different spins this grain can have, and was pleased that this recipe that I threw together was equally delicious as its inspiration, yet entirely different.

I bought some carrots from a farmer's market, and figured their farm fresh glory deserved to shine in a dish built for them.  Remembering how simple the curried quinoa was, I tweaked it, replaced spices, found a great carrot recipe which I also tweaked, and tossed it together to create this:
For Quinoa:
1 1/2 cups veggie or chicken broth
3/4 cup quinoa
2 teaspoons lemon garlic spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Lemon zest
Lemon juice

For tomatoes:
A quarter of a red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
About 1/2 pint golden cherry tomatoes

For the carrots: 
1 bunch carrots
1 small head garlic, halved
Coarse salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Bring broth, quinoa, lemon garlic spice powder, salt, and pepper to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. 

Dice onion and sauté with garlic and olive oil for a few minutes.  Toss in as many cherry tomatoes as you like.  Sauté until onion is tender and cherry tomatoes have cooked down until they begin to char and burst.

Place carrots and garlic in a separate pan, salt and cover with water. Simmer about 10 minutes or until tender. Remove carrots and garlic, and set aside, clean pan. Heat to medium high. Add oil, honey, rosemary, and 1 tablespoon water and cook until bubbling. Add carrots and garlic and cook, stirring, until coated and slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.

Combine quinoa, carrots and tomatoes and enjoy.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Indian-Spiced Black Lentil Soup

This is one of those times when I really really don't want to let a recipe slip away from me, so I'm reposting it even though I have nothing really useful to add.  If you hit an unseasonable cold streak, or crave Indian food and live in a city without much of it, or don't know what to do with a bag of black lentils, trust me, this is the answer.  

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Avocado Kale Salad with Roasted Chicken, Radishes, Sweet Corn, Grapes, and Hazelnuts

Alright, this is a ridiculously long title. But these ingredients went so well together that I didn't have the heart to leave any of them off.

I made this delightful salad to complete a baby shower spread for one of my dearest friends. We also served this quiche; a cheese spread with honey goat gouda, blueberry goat cheese, wine-soaked syrah, white apricot stilton, and sharp cheddar; a mix of hazelnuts, almonds, and pistachios toasted with sea salt and rosemary; chocolate covered strawberries; grapes and tangerines; cake; and some delightful drink that involved grapefruit bitters.
Everything But Kale Salad

Unfortunately in the photos I didn't capture the salad, but you can see the rest of the table. The quiche cooks up beautifully even when you use skim milk rather than cream.

Despite its somewhat unorthodox ingredients, this salad was much enjoyed.

Please do note that I made this for more than thirty people and thus can't really provide exact amounts for a smaller salad. In the notes below I've given loose guidance for a salad to serve five.

Raw Sweet Corn
Hazelnuts (pistachios would also be amazing here; in one bowl I actually used both. If those are too
expensive, use sliced or blanched almonds)

To serve five people, I usually use two big bundles of kale. If you are using  a whole-roasted chicken, use the best meat for this and judge accordingly. If not, I would recommend one big breast for a five person serving. One or two cobs of corn will be fine, again for a medium sized salad, and just buy one bunch of radishes and use to your preference. Be generous with the grapes and hazelnuts. I usually use two avos for a regular sized salad. 

Ingredient Prep and Assembly
Husk your corn and wash all vegetables
De-stem and chop your kale
Thinly slice your radishes
Saw the corn off of the cob
Slice grapes in half
Pit avos and cut in half
Shred chicken

After everything is cleaned and prepped, I begin by massaging my kale with the avocado. This can be a bit laborious, but is absolutely necessary. Massage until your kale is tender and there are very few whole avo pieces remaining. Then, add your radishes, corn, grapes, chicken, and hazelnuts, pistachios, or other nuts of choice. Toss well. 

Dressing Suggestions
For the bridal shower, I made a mustardy dressing that I unfortunately didn't document. The basic ingredients and process went like this: 

Whisk a generous amount of whole-grain mustard with 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add lemon juice, brown sugar, and sea salt to taste. You can substitute the lemon juice for apple cider vinegar or the juice of an orange. Start with small amounts and work up in increments until you find a nice balance of acidity, sweetness, and saltiness. 

This would also be great with a homemade buttermilk dressing! When I make a homemade buttermilk, I usually combine 1/2 cup or so buttermilk with several tablespoons greek yogurt or sour cream, lemon juice, and sea salt. You may need a splash of olive oil to get to the right consistency.

Considerations for food ethics and allergies: Using the mustard-based dressing, I made a vegan version of this by omitting the chicken; it was still hearty and delicious. If you are concerned with protein, consider adding chickpeas. Gluten free. Dairy free unless you use the buttermilk dressing.

Ed. 5/19/13 (by Sarah):  Here is a picture of the salad as I made it this weekend!