Tuscan Bean Salad

This isn’t exactly how I made it, but how I want to try to make it next time.

  • 2 cans white beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 minced garlic
  • 3-4 diced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup kalamata olives
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts
  • herbs (rosemary, basil, oregano, parsley)
  • olive oil
  • champagne vinegar
  • salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes

Saute garlic and onions in olive oil with herbs and salt and pepper. Add a bit more olive oil and whisk in vinegar. Fold in beans and tomatoes and heat through.

Veal In Tomato Sauce

Tried making this Mario Batali recipe, only without the butcher’s twine. Ended up cooking up the onions, garlic, and pancetta, then rolling up the filling in thinly sliced veal (8-9 slices) and adding it to the mixture and browning both sides. Obviously, things fell apart a little, but not too much, and I think the sauce was made better by it. Once everything was browned, I added the rest of the sauce-like ingredients and simmered it for about an hour.
Filling
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted in a 400 degree F oven 2 minutes and roughly chopped
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup freshly-grated pecorino
3 ounces prosciutto, cut into 1/8-inch dice
1/3 cup Italian parsley leaves, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper
1 egg

Sauce
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, thinly sliced
2 ounces pancetta, minced
1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes and their juices, crushed
2 cups red wine

Asparagus with Cucumber Dressing
From Epicurious. I did it a little differently than the recipe called for and it still came out really good. And my way was a lot easier.

Boil 3 pounds asparagus for about 3 minutes and then place into cold water for a couple of minutes. Then, move to a plate and pour the dressing on top.
Dressing
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey (my addition)
4 cups thinly sliced green onions
3 cups 1/4-inch cubes peeled seeded Kirby or English hothouse cucumbers
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

Pizettes
Also from Epicurious.

1 13.8-ounce package refrigerated pizza dough
3/4 cup grated Fontina cheese (about 2 ounces)
8 cherry tomatoes (about 3 ounces), quartered
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1 1/2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, coarsely torn into strips

Also good vegetarian. And there are lots of possibilities here. Both for the crust and the toppings.

Mashed Turnips and Potatoes with Horseradish Crumbs
From Epicurious. We added parsnips, which didn’t soften up quite as much so didn’t mash well. I might choose different root vegetables next time. I grated fresh horseradish in with the crumbs. You’re supposed to toast up the breadcrumbs with half the butter, then added the other half of the butter in with the mash.
2 pounds yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold
1 1/4 lb turnips
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs (from 2 slices firm white sandwich bread)
2 tablespoons drained bottled horseradish, patted very dry between paper towels
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion greens

Two Italian Dishes

Last weekend, I made way too much food, but it was all really good. I got the recipes from the Food Network web site, but of course, I sort of made things up as I went along.

Goat Cheese and Ricotta Crostini
Easy and delicious recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. The trick is not burning the bread when you broil it.

Baquette – sliced, brushed with olive oil, and broiled
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces soft fresh goat cheese
1/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
Salt and pepper

I think you can overdo the lemon peel, so watch for that. Mix the spread ingredients together and serve it with the bread. The spread is also excellent mixed with mashed potatoes the next day.

Spicy Bean Soup
Also from Giada De Laurentiis. This is really spicy, especially the next day. I say the spicier the better, but you know, use your own best judgment. This also makes A LOT of soup.
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup chili powder (I used a bit less; it still was super spicy!)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juices
1 (11 1/2-ounce) can tomato juice
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (3-inch) piece Parmesan cheese rind (this didn’t actually seem to melt or add much, oddly)
2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup dried green lentils
3 cups broccoli florets
2 zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds
2 yellow crookneck squash, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Really good with bread.

Pollo alla Cacciatora
Nigella Lawson recipe. Super fast and easy, yet delicious. I liked it best so far with mashed potatoes.

1 tablespoon garlic oil
1/2 cup pancetta cubes
6 scallions, finely sliced
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 pound chicken breast, each cut into 4 pieces
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 cup white wine
1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 (14-ounce) can cannellini beans

Probably too much to eat all in one night, particularly when you add the nectarine and blueberry crisp, served with vanilla ice cream. We tried our best though.  

roasted green beans and lentil soup

Sometimes I forget how good vegetables are roasted. This recipe helped me remember. I added a bit of balsamic vinegar rather than lemon juice. I think I liked them better before the balsamic. But then I added some Humboldt Fog cheese and while that may have made them slightly less healthful, it did make them even tastier than before. Which is to say, really tasty. Any goat cheese would likely do.

I also made Kieca’s lentil soup recipe (well, Cook’s Illustrated, technically). Also really great. Although I may have oversalted it.

I may have gotten full from bread and cheese before I started eating, so I might have quite a few leftovers. It’s possible is all I’m saying.

cauliflower and green onion mash

I make recipes from Cooking Light all the time. And normally, they’re very good. But I made a recipe the other day that is causing me to break the food blog hiatus so I can warn everyone about it.

The trouble with this recipe is that it says to roast the cauliflower for 20 minutes and then to mash it with a potato masher. I knew when I read the recipe that this had to be wrong. Cauliflower is not mashable after a 20 minute roasting. But I let my belief in the magazine overrule my intuition.

Basically, you roast a bunch of cauliflower with olive oil and garlic at 500 degrees for 20 minutes. Then, you add green onions, 1 cup of milk, a couple of tablespoons of butter and some salt and pepper. You know, like you would with mashed potatoes. And then you mash it all together.

Right. I tried that. Mashing was not happening. And I didn’t think more roasting would really help. So, I improvised. I made a roux and then I made a white sauce with the milk and green onions, and tossed in some grated cheddar. And then I poured it on top of the cauliflower and roasted it a bit longer.

And it was good, don’t get me wrong. But it sure wasn’t a mash.