the recipe sharer

Vegetable sides

10 minute Portobello pizzas

The perfect low-carb pizza with the added flavor of earthy portobello mushrooms and ready in 10 minutes!.
From the wonderful blog, “Cafe Delites”

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Serves 6

6 portobello mushroom caps, stems removed, washed and dried with a paper towel
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
6 tsp Italian seasoning (or a dried oregano and basil leaf blend), divided
3/4 cup pizza sauce (garlic and herb)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (or a pizza cheese blend)*
30 miniature-sized pepperonis**
6 or more cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced thinly
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to broil / grill settings on high heat. Arrange oven shelf to the middle of your oven.

Combine the oil, garlic and 4 teaspoons of the seasoning together in a small bowl. Brush the bottoms of each mushroom with the garlic oil mixture and place each mushroom, oil side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet / tray.
Fill each mushroom with 2 tablespoons of the pizza sauce per cap, 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese, 6 pepperoni miniatures and tomato slices. Broil / grill until cheese has melted and is golden in color (about 8 minutes).

To serve, sprinkle with the remaining Italian seasoning (or mixed herbs), and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes
*I find using dry cheese such as shredded mozzarella gives the best results. Using fresh mozzarella may cause the mushrooms to release some liquid during the broiling / grilling process.
**For the miniature pepperonis, I bought normal-sized pepperonis and cut them with an apple corer like this one to get miniature sized ones. (I used 8 slices.) However, you can use whatever you can find!

TIP: Do NOT over bake them! They WILL release a lot of liquid if left in the oven for too long! Make sure your oven is preheated well and HOT when putting them in.

Coconut creamed spinach

This is a terrific recipe from the blog, “Pure Wow”. Coconut milk replaces the cream in this gorgeous, silky spinach dish and the fresh ginger and dash of curry powder make it more fragrant.
I served it with “Rosemary rack of lamb” from The Barefoot Contessa’s book “Make it ahead”.
This is a delicious side dish to lamb, chicken or beef.

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INGREDIENTS
2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion–peeled, halved and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
One ½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
8 cups fresh spinach, rinsed and dry
1 cup coconut milk

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp curry powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
Kosher salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.

Add the spinach a few handfuls at a time, stirring until it wilts before adding more. Continue until all the spinach is added.

Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the mixture thickens, about four to five minutes.
Mix together the cayenne pepper, curry powder, smoked paprika and salt in a small bowl and start by seasoning the dish with half of it, stirring to combine. Taste, and if you would like more heat and spices, add some more.
I only used 1/2 of mine

Baked porcini mushrooms and potatoes

Rich, earthy, woody and fabulous to have with roasted or grilled meats and a salad. This recipe is from the River Cafe in London.

Serves 6

5oz dried porcini mushrooms. (See below for soaking instructions)
3lbs medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
5 oz Ghee, clarified butter or butter
6 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked from the stalks and washed

Preheat the oven to 400F

Cut the potatoes in half lengthways and into quarters lengthways if they are too big. Wash and pat dry.
Soak the porcini mushrooms in 2 pints (1 liter) boiled water for 20 minutes, then strain, retaining the liquid.
Strain the liquid through a fine sieve. Rinse the porcini mushrooms under running cold water to get rid of any remaining grit. Dry well on paper towels.

In a thick-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter/ghee over medium/low. When the butter starts to foam, add the garlic and soften for a minute of two before adding the porcini.
Cook, stirring to prevent sticking, for a few minutes before adding the strained porcini liquid.
There will be a lot of liquid, which needs to reduce and thicken for about 7-8 mins.

Now add the potatoes. Coat them in the juices the gently stir and cook for around 15 to 20 minutes.
The potatoes should begin to take on the color of the porcini juices.

Remove the pan and tip everything into roasting trays.
Season with salt, pepper and the fresh thyme, stir gently and bake for another 30 mins.

Test the potatoes with a skewer to make sure they are tender.

Chile-roasted Delicata squash with queso fresco

Here’s another interesting vegetable dish.
I happen to love Delicata squash as it’s the sweetest of the squashes and you don’t need to peel it. It’s perfect paired with these flavors and well worth trying

Serves 4

2 delicata squash (about 1½ pounds)
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ to ½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
¼ cup crumbled queso fresco (you can use French feta cheese)
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Slice the squash in half crosswise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp, discarding the pulp. Rinse the seeds and set aside to drain. Slice each squash half into ¼-inch to ½-inch rounds.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the 3 tablespoons olive oil, maple syrup, cumin, chipotle powder, paprika, and salt. Add the squash and toss to thoroughly coat. Arrange the squash in a single layer on a large baking sheet, overlapping the slices slightly if necessary.

On a separate baking sheet, toss the squash seeds with the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a light sprinkle of salt.

Place the squash and seeds in the oven. Roast the squash for 20 to 25 minutes, turning the slices halfway. Check on the seeds after 10 minutes and remove from the oven when golden brown. The squash will be ready when fork-tender, golden brown, and caramelized.

Place the squash on a large serving dish. Sprinkle the toasted seeds, queso fresco, and cilantro leaves over the squash.

This dish is best served warm.

Oven-roasted eggplant with caramelized miso

I often choose versions of this dish in Japanese restaurants and have wanted to make this for a long time. This recipe comes from the food blog “I’m a flood blog” and is delicious.

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serves 2-4
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp sake
2 tbsp shiro miso (white miso)
2 tbsp sugar
2 Japanese eggplants, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 tsp sesame oil (preferably toasted)
toasted sesame seeds
sliced green onions

Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Place the mirin and sake in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the miso and stir until smooth. Stir in the sugar, and reduce to low. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, while you broil the eggplants.
Brush the cut sides of the eggplants with the sesame oil. Put the eggplants cut-side down on a baking sheet and place in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes, depending on eggplant size, until they just start to shrivel. The flesh should be fork tender. Remove from the oven and turn them over.
Top the eggplants with all of the miso sauce and put them under the broiler until the sauce bubbles up and starts to caramelize, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, rest for 5 minutes and enjoy with sesame seeds and green onions!

Blistered green beans with garlic and miso

Such a lovely combination of flavors. Don’t rush to shake the pan and toss the green beans before they blister; they need a little time to char.

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3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
3 tbsp white miso
1 tbsp coconut or agave nectar
3 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 1/2 lbs haricots verts or green beans, trimmed
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Flaky sea salt, freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

Mix the garlic, lime juice, miso, and coconut nectar in a small bowl to combine. Set the garlic mixture aside.


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the green beans and cook, undisturbed, until beginning to blister, about 2 minutes. Toss and continue to cook, tossing often, until tender and blistered in spots, 8–12 minutes. 


Remove the skillet from heat, pour in the garlic mixture, and toss the green beans to coat. Add the red pepper flakes; season with sea salt and black pepper.
Transfer to a platter and top with the chopped cilantro.

Crispy potato, olive and caper bake

This is such a lovely mixture of flavors and again, really not difficult to make.
Paired with some grilled meat or poultry, you have a pretty gorgeous meal

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2lbs Jersey Royal or Baby Yukon potatoes
A handful small capers
2 x handfuls pitted black olives (Please, not those awful canned ones!)
1 tbsp thyme leaves
A medium bunch rosemary, broken into sprigs
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Heat oven to 450 F
Boil the potatoes until the softer side of cooked, about 12 mins.
Drain, slice in half, then tip into a bowl. Tip the capers, olives and herbs on top of the potatoes then add most of the oil and a some seasoning.
Stir together, lightly crushing the potatoes.
Line a medium Swiss roll-type tin with baking parchment, leaving some hanging over the sides.
Tip the potatoes into the tin and flatten down. Mix the vinegar and remaining oil, drizzle over the potatoes, then bake for 40 mins until golden.

Enjoy!

Onion and parmesan gratin

This is a very economical dish high in flavor, which is a great accompaniment to strong flavored dishes. It goes really well with red or white wine and the cloves bring an unexpected wonderful flavor to the dish

 

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Serves 4 to 6

2 pounds yellow onions, peeled
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ teaspoon freshly ground whole cloves
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Fine sea salt, to taste
2 large egg yolks
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Slice the onions in half lengthwise. Place, cut side down, on a cutting board and slice crosswise into very thin slices, and set aside.
In a large, nonstick skillet, combine the butter, cloves, onions, thyme and salt. Cover and cook over very low heat until the onions are very soft, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Transfer the onion mixture to a gratin dish and smooth it with the back of a spoon. The recipe can be prepared several hours in advance up to this point. Cover and store at room temperature.

Preheat the broiler. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks and cream and whisk together well. Stir in the cheese. Pour the mixture over the onions in the baking dish. Place the baking dish under the broiler about 2 inches from the heat. Broil until the top is sizzling and golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately as a vegetable course or as an accompaniment to meat dishes.

Absurdly addictive asparagus

This recipe is really special as it combines the most wonderful melange of flavors that complement asparagus so beautifully

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Serves 4

4 oz pancetta or prosciutto cut into 3/8 inch to 1/4 inch dice
1 tbsp butter, ghee or clarified
1 lb asparagus, woody ends trimmed and sliced into 2 inch pieces on the bias
1 1/4 cups leeks, thinly sliced crosswise (white and pale green parts only)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts or almonds
1-2 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large non-stick pan, sauté the pancetta, stirring frequently, over medium heat, until crisp and lightly golden.
Add 1 tbsp of butter to pan. Add the asparagus pieces and leeks and sauté until the asparagus is tender crisp, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the garlic, lemon and orange zest, toasted pine nuts and parsley and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and salt and serve immediately.

Bruce’s beautiful broccoli dish

You may not have known but I am married to not only a wonderful composer, but a wonderful cook. Because he’s such a brilliant orchestrator of his own music, that attention to detail works wonders with his food preparations too. He just knows how to combine flavors, textures, tweak, and make all his food look and taste stunning.
This recipe he makes up, so I have had to stand over him and catch the ingredients as he throws them into the bowl, then measure them and give them back to him to re-throw. It has taken several times to get it right and he continues to tweak the recipe but to me, there is no better dish using broccoli out there.

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Serves 2, but can easily be augmented

4 Cipollini onions
1 large head of broccoli
1/2 cup whole cashews or slivered blanched almonds
3 cloves garlic or granulated garlic to taste
Dried chili pepper flakes
1/3 cup smoked sun-dried tomatoes (the smoked ones are preferable if you can find them)
1/2 cup good olive oil
salt and pepper

First, fill a large pot of salted water and bring to the boil. This is for the broccoli and onions.
Peel and quarter the onions. Chop the garlic if using real garlic. Cut the broccoli into florets and cut the stems into 1/4 inch slices.

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Lightly toast the nuts, then put these into a large bowl. Add the chopped garlic or 4 to 5 shakes of granulated garlic, 4 big pinches of salt and 2 good pinches of dried chili pepper.
Julienne the sun dried tomatoes and add them to the bowl.

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When the water is boiling, add the broccoli and onions and cook for 3 minutes only. (Please use a timer for this) Drain and add to the bowl with the nuts and sun dried tomatoes. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, toss together and season very well. It can take a good whack of salt but taste as you season to check.

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Bruce’s beautiful broccoli dish

Serves 2, but can easily be augmented

4 Cipollini onions
1 large head of broccoli
1/2 cup whole cashews or slivered blanched almonds
3 cloves garlic or granulated garlic to taste
Dried chili pepper flakes
1/3 cup smoked sun-dried tomatoes (the smoked ones are preferable if you can find them)
1/2 cup good olive oil
salt and pepper

First, fill a large pot of salted water and bring to the boil. This is for the broccoli and onions.

Peel and quarter the onions. Chop the garlic if using real garlic. Cut the broccoli into florets and cut the stems into 1/4 inch slices.
Lightly toast the nuts, then put these into a large bowl. Add the chopped garlic or 4 to 5 shakes of granulated garlic, 4 big pinches of salt and 2 good pinches of dried chili pepper.
Julienne the sun dried tomatoes and add them to the bowl.

When the water is boiling, add the broccoli and onions and cook for 3 minutes only. (Please use a timer for this) Drain and add to the bowl with the nuts and sun dried tomatoes. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, toss together and season very well. It can take a good whack of salt but taste as you season to check.