White Root and Pear Soup (Zuppa di Radici Bianche e Pera)

This soup is all about fall.  Right now, I am all about fall so this soup makes me happy.  I just spent the weekend in upstate New York among friends and we did all the quintessential fall stuff: apple picking, walks through the fall foliage, sitting by a wood-burning stove and making apple pie.  Fun as it was, by Sunday I was ready again for balance.  That means meals that are nutrient dense with low oil, light protein and complex carbs.  That does not mean, however, no yum.  Luckily when I came home I had some good produce in my fridge that came together really nicely.

The celeriac, turnips and pears are low starch, but have enough to make the soup creamy when blended.  I used light homemade chicken broth- just some chicken bones, celery leaves, garlic, onion and thyme.  If you use vegetable broth, make sure to use one that doesn’t have tomato added to it, not only because of its flavor, but because of its color as well.  I added tomatillos because they become citrusy when cooked, which meant I wouldn’t need to add lemon.  However, if you can’t get your hands on tomatillos, a little lemon juice at the end should be perfect.  I used two Seckel pears, which are small green and red pears that become very sweet and soft when fully ripe.  If you can’t find Seckel pears, Comice is a good substitute.  Fully ripe pears are key for flavor, as well as for lending texture to the soup.

White Root and Pear Soup (M) - The Clean Gourmet

A note on nutrition: It’s important to eat a variety of colors for optimal nutrition.  White is part of that nutritional “rainbow”.  There are nutrients in white produce, such as quercitin in pears, vitamin C and calcium in turnips, vitamin B-6 and magnesium in celeriac, not to mention plenty of fiber.  I could go on.  Basically, you should eat all the colors, including white (I know…white is not a color, but you get what I mean).

Everything in this soup is seasonal and can be purchased at your farmer’s market (at least here in the Northeast).  If you use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, this soup is very vegan friendly.

Serves 3-4

What you need:

1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil (can sub half with grass-fed butter)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks

1 medium head celeriac (5-6 inches in diameter), peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

4 medium turnips, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

5 cups chicken stock or light vegetable broth

1/4 head green cabbage, light inner leaves, cut into 1 inch chunks

3 tomatillos*, quartered

2 Seckel or 1 Comice pear, well-ripened, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (reserve half for serving)

3 sprigs thyme

To serve:

5 leaves sage, very finely chopped

freshly ground black pepper

eggs, medium boiled (1 per person)

100% rye bread slices, toasted

grass-fed butter, for bread (optional)

What to do:

Sweat garlic and shallot in oil with salt over medium heat in a medium/large pot or dutch oven.  Stir frequently and cook until soft but not brown (lower heat if any browning begins to occur), about 3 minutes.

Add the celery, celeriac and turnips.  Sauté 4-5 minutes to soften the celery and the root vegetables.  Add some water (or white wine, if you have it!) if any browning or sticking begins to occur.

Add stock, cabbage, tomatillos, half the pear and thyme sprigs.  Cover, bring to a boil, then turn heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove thyme sprigs and transfer soup to blender.  Start on LOW speed, then gradually raise to high speed and let run until very smooth.  (Thirty seconds with a Vitamix or high-speed blender, about a minute with a regular blender.)  Transfer soup back to the pot and re-warm over low heat while you prep to serve.  Adjust for salt (*and add lemon juice if you didn’t use tomatillos).

Ladle soup into bowls, top with remaining pear chunks, black pepper and a sprinkling of minced sage.  Serve with rye bread and a light smear of grass-fed butter for omega-3s and drop in a medium-boiled egg for protein, aminos and more omega-3 if you’re not vegan.

Leftovers: This soup will last about three days in the refrigerator, but it will thicken.  Reconstitute with a little water and reheat over medium-low flame, stirring frequently.

White Root and Pear Soup (M) - The Clean Gourmet

Zuppa di Radici Bianche e Pera:

3-4 porzioni

Ingredienti:

1 cucchiaio di olio d’oliva (potete sostituire metà col burro)

1/2 cucchiaino di sale marino, più altro a piacere

2 spicchi d’aglio, tritati

1 scalogno, tritato

1 gambo di sedano, tagliato a pezzi

1 sedano rapa media, pelato e tagliato a cubetti

4 rape medie, pelate e tagliate a cubetti

1,25 litri di brodo di pollo o di verdura leggero (sennò usate dell’acqua)

1/4 del cespo d’un cavolo verde

3 tomatillo, tagliati a quarti (*oppure del succo di limone fresco)

2 pere Seckel oppure 1 pera Comice, tagliate a cubetti (tenete da parte metà dei cubetti)

3 ramoscelli di timo

Per servire:

5 foglie di salvia, tritate

pepe nero

uova sode (uno a testa)

fette di pane integrale di segale (100%), tostate

burro grass-fed, per il pane (secondo la vostra dieta)

Cosa fare:

Saltare in una pentola media/grande l’aglio e lo scalogno nell’olio col sale su fiamma media.  Agitate frequentemente e fate cuocere finché non siano teneri (attenti a non far rosolare), circa tre minuti.

Aggiungete il sedano, il sedano rapa e le rape.  Fateli cuocere altri 4-5 minuti per far ammorbidire le verdure.  Aggiungete un pò d’acqua (o di vino bianco, se ne avete!) se comincino ad attaccare al fondo della pentola.

Aggiungete il brodo, il cavolo, i tomatillo, metà della pera tagliata ed i ramoscelli di timo.  Coprite, fate bollire, poi abbassate il fuoco e lasciate sobbollire finché la verdura non sia morbida, circa 15 minuti.

Togliete il timo e trasferite la minestra al frullatore.  Fatelo andare prima a velocità bassa, alzandola pianamente a velocità alta.  Fatelo andare finché la zuppa non sia liscissima.  (Circa 30 secondi col frullatore potente, 1 minuto col frullatore normale.)  Trasferite la zuppa alla pentola e riscaldatela a fuoco basso mentre preparate per servire.  Aggiustate il sale (*e aggiungete del succo di limone se non avete usato del tomatillo).

Servite la zuppa e guarnite con la pera rimasta, del pepe nero e la salvia tritata.  Se non siete vegani, spalmate le fette di pane col burro grass-fed per omega-3 e aggiungeteci un uovo sodo per proteine, aminoacidi ed altre omega-3.

Per le rimaste:  Questa zuppa dura circa tre giorni in frigo, ma s’addensa.  Ricostituitela con un pò d’acqua e riscaldatela sul fuoco medio-basso, agitando frequentemente.

White Root and Pear Soup - The Clean Gourmet


Simple Nights: Garlicky Arugula and Shaved Vegetable Salad with Poached Egg (Sere Semplici: Insalata di Rucola e Verdura Affettata all’Aglio con Uovo in Camicia)

Woo life got crazy!   Culinary school, work and exercise dominate my days, but I’m having the time of my life!  New York is amazing and I’m loving the people I get to see every day.  Indeed, I no longer dread Mondays :).

Dinners lately often consist of practicing recipes from school or utilizing leftovers from class to make new dishes.  I’ll also whip up something simple like tonight’s dinner.

Raw garlic, radish and celery are very cleansing and are a refreshing way to start the week.  Also, using a mandolin makes prep go twice as fast and makes cuts look beautiful without fail.  (I love OXO’s Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer, because it’s small and light, but you get three settings and it locks for safe storage.)  If you are vegan and don’t eat eggs, I would recommend some white beans cooked with minced fresh rosemary and black pepper.

Proportions are not terribly important here, but I’ve put suggested amounts based on what I used tonight.  Feel free to switch up the veg as well!

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

For the Garlicky Arugula and Shaved Vegetable Salad:

4-5 cloves garlic

juice of 1 medium lemon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

pinch salt

arugula

1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced*

1 6-inch piece daikon radish, peeled and thinly sliced*

3 red radishes, thinly sliced*

2 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal*

1 large stalk celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal*

freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

For the poached eggs:

egg(s) (as many as you and whoever is with you prefers)

apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar

salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Organic whole wheat English muffin or whole grain bread, toasted

What to do:

Whisk together raw garlic, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and salt.  Set aside.

Assemble the arugula, cucumber, daikon, red radish, carrot and celery on each plate.

Carefully crack eggs into individual cups, ensuring that the yolks don’t break.

Bring a small to medium pot (depending on how many eggs you’re poaching) of water to a boil.  Add a splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt.  Turn flame under water down to a low simmer and slowly lower eggs into water.   Use a spoon to gather the whites around their yolks.  Simmer 3-4 minutes, until whites are set.  Scoop eggs out with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel-lined plate in order to drain excess water.

Prepare toast and set on plates.  Top with poached egg and season with salt.  Give the dressing another whisk and drizzle over salad and egg.  Finish with some cracked black pepper.

*Use a mandolin to quickly make consistent and beautiful thin slices.

Garlicky Arugula and Shaved Vegetable Salad with Poached Egg - The Clean Gourmet

Insalata di Rucola e Verdura Affettata all’Aglio con Uovo in Camicia:

(2-3 porzioni)

Ingredienti:

Per l’Insalata di Rucola con Verdura Affettata all’Aglio:

4-5 spicchi d’aglio

succo di un limone

1-2 cucchiai d’olio di oliva extra vergine (aggiustate secondo le vostre preferenze)

pizzico di sale

rucola

1 cetriolo, pelato e tagliato a fette sottili*

1 pezzo di ravanello daikon, pelato e tagliato a fette sottili*

3 ravanelli, tagliati a fette sottili*

2 carote medie, pelate e tagliate a fette sottili al diagonale*

1 gambo di sedano, tagliato a fette sottili al diagonale*

pepe nero, a piacere

Per le uova in camicia:

uovo(a) (quante ne servono secondo gli appetiti)

aceto di mele o di vino bianco

sale e pepe nero, a piacere

pane integrale, tostato

Cosa fare:

Battete insieme l’aglio crudo, il succo di limone, l’olio d’oliva e il sale.  Mettetelo da parte.

Montate della rucola, del cetriolo, del ravanello daikon, del ravanello, della carota e del sedano su ogni piatto.

Delicatamente aprite le uova dentro tazze separate, facendo cura di non rompere i tuorli.

Fate bollire dell’acqua in una pentola piccola o media (secondo quante uova fate).  Aggiungete un goccio d’aceto e un pizzico di sale.  Abbassate il fuoco sotto l’acqua, giusto che si faccia poche bollicine.  Abbassate le uova e usate un cucchiaio per radunare gli albumi intorno ai propri tuorli.   Lasciate cuocere 3-4 minute, finché gli albumi non siano sodi.  Usate una mestola perforata per rimuovere le uova e fatele scolare su un panno da cucina pulito.

Tostate il pane e mettete una o due fette su ogni piatto con sopra le uova.  Metteteci del sale a piacere.  Battete l’olio e l’aceto all’aglio un’altra volta e gocciolatelo sull’insalata e sulle uova.  Finite con del pepe nero fresco a piacere.

*Usate il mandolino per fare velocemente le fette consistenti e belle.

Garlicky Arugula and Shaved Vegetable Salad with Poached Egg - The Clean Gourmet

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Winter Citrus and Escarole Salad (Insalata Invernale di Agrumi e Scarola)

This is a result of healthy/seasonal food cravings after having an heavy lunch this past Sunday.  It completely hit the spot…If you want to be “fancy” you can serve at as in the picture, but feel free to chop up the escarole and orange for easier communal serving.

This is a good side to accompany a white fish, cannellini beans or marinated tempeh.  I like the balance of multiple acids, which is why I use lemon juice over oranges with a touch of apple cider vinegar to balance the lemon.  However, if you don’t have any good apple cider vinegar on hand, I recommend you just use more lemon juice in its place.

I highly recommend that you mix the dressing before preparing the vegetables to allow the flavors to marry and to allow the dried mint to open up in the liquid.  Also, be sure to rinse the escarole well as it can be quite sandy.

I hope you enjoy my first NY recipe!

What you need:

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons walnut or extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or more lemon juice)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

juice from 1 tablespoon grated ginger (simply squeeze it in the palm of your hand or through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag and discard the fiber)

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot (about 1 shallot)

1/2 teaspoon dried mint

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad:

1 head escarole, leaves removed from core, well rinsed and dried in a salad spinner or on a clean dish towel

1 orange, peel and pith removed with your knife and sliced into 1/4″ slices

5 radishes, thinly sliced

chia seeds, for sprinkling

What to do:

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Assembly:*

Arrange in layers: escarole leaf, orange slice, radish slice.  Repeat three times per plate.

Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle chia seeds.

*You can also chop the escarole leaves and quarter the orange slices to toss in a communal bowl with the radish slices, dressing and chia seeds.

Insalata Invernale di Agrumi e Scarola:

Cosa serve:

Per la salsa:

2 cucchiai di succo di limone

2 cucchiai d’olio di noce o extra vergine d’oliva

1 cucchiaio d’aceto di mele

1 cucchiaio di sciroppo d’acero

succo d’un cucchiaio di zenzero grattugiato (semplicemente stringetelo tra i palmi e raccogliete il succo, scartando le fibre)

2 cucchiai di scalogno, tritato (circa un scalogno)

1/2 cucchiaino di menta essiccata

1/2 cucchiaino di sale marino

pepe nero macinato

Per l’insalata:

1 grappolo di scarola, foglie separate dal torsolo e ben lavate ed asciugate (consiglio di asciugarle in una centrifuga scolaverdure o in uno strofinaccio)

1 arancia, pelata (inclusa la parte fibrosa) e tagliata in fette da circa un centimetro

5 ravanelli, affettate sottilmente

semi di cia, per cospargere

Cosa fare:

Frustate gli ingredienti per la salsa in una scodella piccola e mettete da parte.

Preparazione:*

Mettete in strati su ogni piatto: una foglia di scarola, una fetta d’arancia ed una fetta di ravanello.  Ripetete tre volte per ogni piatto.

Fate cadere gocce di salsa e cospargete i semi di cia sulla verdura.

*Potete anche servire in un’insalatiera grande, tagliando la scarola e facendo pezzetti d’arancia per unire al ravanello, la salsa ed i semi di cia.

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Mexican Wild Rice Salad (Insalata di Riso Selvatico alla Messicana)

I finally made the move to NY to begin the Chef’s Training Program at The Natural Gourmet Institute and once again have INTERNET!  Here is the last meal I made pre-move…a whole foods approach to Ameri-Mex fare.   It is both winter and summer friendly…serve it warm in the winter (leftovers sauté nicely) or cold in the summer (great for picnics and barbecues).  Add the jalapeño if you like some heat.

Wild rice is especially high in fiber and vitamins compared to other types of rice (it’s not really a rice, actually) and yes, it’s gluten free.  I hear the Native American hand cultivated wild rice is the best in quality, nutrition and taste, but I have yet to try it.  In the meantime, I use the common black variety.

About the corn…if it’s summer, get it fresh, slice the kernels right off the cob and throw it in the water with the asparagus.  However, this time of year you’ll want to go ahead and get it frozen.  Don’t worry about cooking it, it will thaw as the rice cooks and especially once it’s tossed with the warm rice.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 cup wild rice, soaked for 2-8 hours and rinsed

3 cups light vegetable broth or well salted water

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

2 heads Belgian endive (red or white), cut into 1/2″ slices

1 cup corn (frozen or fresh)

1 jalapeño, seeded and minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced

1 golden beet*, peeled and chopped into small chunks

1 bunch fresh asparagus, stems snapped off and the rest cut into 1″ pieces

juice of 1 large (or 1 1/2 small) lemons

salt and black pepper, to taste

avocado, to serve

cilantro, rinsed well and finely chopped

What to do:

Begin to cook soaked wild rice in the broth or water, covered, in a medium pot.

In the meantime, place olive oil, endive, corn (if using frozen), jalapeño, cumin and thyme in a medium bowl and toss together.

After the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, add the beet chunks.  After 10 more minutes, begin to test the rice for doneness.  Once the rice is just a few minutes from doneness, add the asparagus (and corn if using fresh) and let steam with the rice.

Test the rice, asparagus and beet chunks to ensure doneness.  Pour into a strainer to allow everything to cool and to let any excess water drain off (about 10 minutes).

Add cooled rice, lemon juice, salt and pepper to bowl with vegetables.  Toss gently and serve with sliced avocado and cilantro.

Great alongside roasted tomatillos and “refried” black beans :).

*Unfortunately, I didn’t have yellow beet for this photo and had to use turnip instead.

Mexican Wild Rice Salad - The Clean Gourmet

Insalata di Riso Selvatico alla Messicana:

4-6 porzioni

Ingredienti:

200 gr di riso selvatico, impregnato per 2-6 ore e sciacquato

700 ml di brodo leggero oppure d’acqua salata

2 cucchiaini di olio d’oliva extra vergine

2 indivie, tagliate in pezzi a 1 cm

175 gr di mais fresco o 200 gr di mais surgelato

1 peperoncino fresco, tritato coi semi tolti (facoltativo)

1 cucchiaino di cumino in polvere

2 cucchiaini di timo fresco, tritato

1 barbabietola gialla, pelata e tagliata in cubetti

1 grappolo di asparagi, tagliati in pezzi da 2 cm coi gambi rimossi

succo di un limone grande

sale e pepe, a piacere

avocado, per servire

coriandolo fresco, tritato

Cosa fare:

Fate cuocere il riso selvatico nel brodo o nell’acqua, coperto, in una pentola media.

Intanto, metteteci l’olio, l’indivia, il mais (se congelato), il peperone piccante, il coriandolo, il cumino ed il timo in una scodella media e mescolate.

Dopo 15 minuti di cottura, aggiungete i pezzi di barbabietola al riso.  Dopo altri 10 minuti, cominciate a controllare il riso per la cottura.  Poco prima che sia pronto il riso, aggiungete i pezzi d’asparagi (ed il mais se usando fresco) e fateli ammorbidire col riso.

Controllate il riso e l’altra verdura per la cottura.  Scolate e lasciate raffreddare per una decina di minuti nel colino.

Unite il cotto al crudo ed aggiungete il succo di limone, del sale e del pepe.  Agitate e servite con delle fette d’avocado.

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Chili Tempeh with Rainbow Chard and Mesquite Mash (Tempe al Peperoncino con Bietole Colorate e Purea al Mesquite)

This recipe has a somewhat long list of ingredients, but is actually very simple to prepare.  You can prepare the spices for the marinade the night before and just mix the spices with the liquid and the tempeh in the morning.  The pumpkin seed sprinkle, however, I recommend preparing shortly before serving, so it’s nice and warm.

Mesquite flour is not really a flour, but a meal from the bean pods of the mesquite tree.  Mesquite is commonly used by Native Americans in the southwest part of North America and is very nutrient dense.  It is 25% fiber, 13% protein and is gluten free.  The taste is mildly smoky and somewhat sweet.  Don’t worry, it does not have the strong flavor associated with mesquite barbeque, whose flavor is derived from smoking the wood from the mesquite tree, rather than from ground bean pods.

I hope you like this vegan southwestern take on autumnal food :).

Chili Tempeh with Rainbow Chard and Mesquite Mash - The Clean Gourmet

Serves 4 

What you need:

For the Chili Tempeh:

1 8-oz package tempeh (I used 3-grain)

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 T lime juice (from about 2 limes)

1 T apple cider vinegar

2 T grapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp sweet paprika

2 tsp smoked paprika (or chipotle chili powder)

2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

1-2 dashes cayenne pepper (depending on how fresh it is and how much spice you like)

For the Mesquite  Mash:

2 acorn squash, halved

5 oz cooked (about 2/3 cup) chestnuts (could also try pecans, soaked for 2-3 hours)

2 tsp mesquite flour

Cilantro, coarsely chopped, to serve

For the Rainbow Chard:

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch rainbow chard, roughly chopped, keeping stems separate

1/2 cup vegetable broth or water

salt and pepper, to taste

For the Pumpkin Seed Sprinkle:

2/3 cup RAW pumpkin seeds

1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt (Himalayan or Celtic are great)

What to do:

Prepare the marinade for the tempeh either in a shallow bowl or quart-size plastic bag.  Fillet the tempeh into two flat rectangles.  Cut each fillet into eight strips.  Toss with marinade and place in fridge for 3-8 hours.

For the mesquite mash, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place squash halves cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, until a fork can easily pierce the flesh.

While the squash is baking, prepare the pumpkin seed sprinkle.  Add raw pumpkin seeds and salt to a small foil-lined baking sheet or oven-proof pan and place on top rack of oven with the squash.  Cook for 5-8 minutes, checking for a light toast (I recommend using a timer, as they burn quickly).  Remove promptly once toasted and lift foil from the pan, to prevent them from burning.

Allow the seeds to cool for a few minutes, then add to food processor.  Pulse until coarsely ground.  Pour into a small bowl and set aside.  Simply wipe out the food processor, as you’ll need it for the mesquite mash.

Once the squash is cooked, remove from oven and flip halves cut side up to cool a bit.  Meanwhile, place the chestnuts in the food processor and pulse until you get a small crumble.  Add the mesquite flour and pulse once or twice.  Scoop squash flesh into food processor and pulse until mashed, but not completely smooth.  Pour into bowl, cover with foil and set aside.

For the rainbow chard, heat oil over medium heat in a medium pan and add garlic.  Sauté garlic for 1 minute, add chard stems and sauté another minute.  Add the rest of the chard, broth or water, salt and pepper.  Cover, turn heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the chard is cooking, turn oven to broil setting and place tempeh on a small baking sheet (do NOT use parchment paper, as it will burn under the broiler).  Place on highest rack and cook on each side for 5-7 minutes, until slightly crispy (I would use a timer for this as well).

Now you can serve!  Place a dollop of the mesquite mash on a plate, top with rainbow chard and then 2 or 3 strips of chili tempeh.  Garnish with pumpkin seed sprinkle and cilantro.

Tempe al Peperoncino con Bietole Colorate e Purea al Mesquite:

4 porzioni

Cosa Serve:

Per il Tempe al Peperoncino:

1 confezione di tempe (io ho usato quello ai cereali)

3 spicchi d’aglio, tritati

2 cucchiai di succo di lime (da circa 2 lime)

1 cucchiaio di aceto di mele

2 cucchiai d’olio di vinacciolo o d’oliva

1 cucchiaino di sale marino

1 cucchiaino di paprica dolce

2 cucchiaini di paprica affumicata

2 cucchiaini di peperoncino in polvere

1/2 cucchiaino di pepe nero

1-2 pizzichi di peperoncino di Caienna (o a piacere, specialmente se è poco fresco)

Per la Purea al Mesquite:

2 zucchine, dimezzate

150 gm di castagne cotte (oppure di noce pecan, impregnate per 2-3 ore)

2 cucchiaini di farina di mesquite

coriandolo fresco, tritato, per servire

Per le Bietole Colorate:

2 cucchiaini di olio d’oliva extra vergine

4 spicchi d’aglio, tritati

1 grappolo di bietole colorate, tagliate coi gambi da parte

100 ml di brodo di verdura o d’acqua

sale e pepe, a piacere

Per il Condimento di Semi di Zucca:

1 manciata generosa di semi di zucca crudi

1/2 cucchiaino di sale

Cosa Fare:

Preparate la marinata per il tempe dentro una scodella oppure una sacchetto a gelo.  Tagliate il tempe in due filetti piatti.  Tagliate ogni filetto in otto pezzi.  Unite il tempe con la marinata e lasciate in frigo per 3-8 ore.

Per la purea al mesquite preriscaldate il forno a 200 gradi.  Metteteci le zucchine coi lati tagliati in giù in un vassoio da forno coperto di carta da forno.   Lasciate cuocere per circa 40 minuti, finché una forchetta non lo perfora facilmente.

Mentre le zucchine si cuociono, preparate il condimento di semi di zucca.  Mettete i semi di zucca e il sale in un vassoio da forno piccolo, coperto di carta stagnola e mettetelo in forno con le zucchine, ma sul ripiano più alto.  Lasciate i semi in forno per 5-8 minuti, giusto per tostarli (consiglio usare il contaminuti, dato che si brucino facilmente).  Appena tostati, rimuoverli subito dal forno e sollevate la carta stagnola dal vassoio per prevenire la bruciatura.

Fate i semi raffreddare un pò, poi metteteli nel robot da cucina.  Pulsate giusto per fare una polvere granulare.  Versateli in una scodella piccola e mettere da parte.  Non lavare il robot, perché servirà per la purea al mesquite.

Appena cotte le zucchine, rimuoverli dal forno e rovesciateli per raffreddare un pò.  In tanto che si raffreddino, mettete le castagne nel robot da cucina e pulsate per fare una sbriciolata.  Unite la farina di mesquite e pulsate altre due volte.  Aggiungete la polpa della zucchina e pulsate finché non sia una poltiglia (attenzione che non diventi troppo liscia).  Versate in una ciotola, coprite con carta stagnola e mettete da parte.

Per le bietole, scaldate l’olio in una pentola media sul fuoco medio e aggiungete  l’aglio.   Fate cuocere l’aglio per circa un minuto, aggiungete i pezzi dei gambi e fate cuocere un altro minuto.  Unite gli altri ingredienti.  Coprite, abbassate il fuoco e fate cuocere per 10 minuti, agitando ogni tanto.

Mentre le bietole si cuociono, preriscaldate il forno alla temperatura massima e ponete il tempe su un vassoio da forno piccolo (non usate la carta da forno, perché potrebbe bruciare).  Mettete sul ripiano più alto e fate cuocere per 5-7 minuti per ogni lato.  Dovrebbero essere scuriti, appena prima di bruciati (consiglio di usare il contaminuti).

Ora puoi servire!  Su un piatto mettete un mucchietto di purea di mesquite, delle bietole e 2 o 3 strisce del tempe.  Guarnite col condimento dei semi di zucca e con del coriandolo.

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Braised Fennel with Oil-Cured Olives (Finocchio Brasato con Olive)

This is a super simple snack that I whipped up, but would be a great complement to some simply baked or sautéed fish, poultry or tempeh.

I love fennel and I love that it’s good for you, as well as low in calories.  Luckily, it’s a fall/winter vegetable so it’s currently in season!  Unfortunately, my jaw has trouble with it lately in its raw form, so I can only enjoy it cooked.  This was a good way to satisfy my craving in a way that I can enjoy.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 large head fennel (outer parts removed), halved, cored, cut into fourths and sliced

1 large shallot, quartered and sliced

2/3 cup vegetable broth

6 oil-cured olives (the wrinkly kind)

1/2 lemon

salt and pepper

What to do:

Heat oil with a bit of salt in a medium pan over medium heat.  Add shallot and cook for 2 minutes, until it begins to soften.

Add fennel, broth and olives.  Cover and turn heat to medium-low.  Allow to cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and the broth is reduced.  (If the broth is cooked off before the fennel is soft, add more.)

Once the vegetables are soft, squeeze juice of 1/2 lemon and add salt and pepper.  Cook an additional 2 minutes and serve immediately.

Finocchio Brasato con Olive:

Ingredienti:

2 cucchiaini olio d’oliva

1 finocchio, dimezzato, torsolo rimosso, e tagliato in quarti e affettato

1 scalogno grande, tagliato a quarti e tritato

175 ml di brodo di verdura

6 olive (quelle sgualcite)

metà di un limone

sale e pepe

Cosa fare:

Scaldate l’olio con un pò di sale in una padella media sul fuoco medio.  Aggiungete lo scalogno e fate cuocere per 2 minuti, finché cominci ad ammorbidire.

Aggiungete il finocchio, il brodo e le olive.  Coprite e abbassate un pò il fuoco.  Lasciate cuocere per 10-15 minuti, agitando ogni tanto, finché la verdura sia tenera e il brodo sia ridotto.  (Se il brodo si riduca prima della cottura, aggiungete un pò di più.)

Appena tenera la verdura, spruzzateci il limone e insaporite di sale e pepe a piacere.  Fate cuocere altri 2 minuti e servite subito.


Gingered Fennel, Pea and Apple Slaw (Insalata di Finocchio, Piselli e Mela allo Zenzero)

I’m trying to incorporate more raw vegetables into my diet, as well as learn to use sumac, a lemony spice that is common in Persian cooking.  I came up with a bright and refreshing slaw that utilizes some seasonal fall produce: apples and fennel.

While it’s best to let the dressing sit so the ginger and lemon flavors develop, the slaw is best served immediately while the vegetables are brightly colored and crisp.

A last-minute way to thaw the peas is to put them in a strainer and run warm water over them for about 1-2 minutes.

For the salad:

1 head fennel, halved, cut into thirds and thinly sliced

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 small apple, quartered and thinly sliced

For the dressing:

1/4-inch piece peeled ginger, grated

2 teaspoons lemon oil or EVOO with zest of one lemon

4 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sumac

salt and pepper, to taste

What to do:

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a bowl and let rest for about an hour.  Toss with salad and serve immediately.

Gingered Fennel and Apple Slaw - The Clean Gourmet

Insalata di Finocchio, Piselli e Mela allo Zenzero:

Per l’insalata:

1 finocchio, dimezzato e tagliato in terzi e a fette sottili

1 tazza di piselli scongelati

1 mela piccola, tagliata in quarti e a fette sottili

Per il condimento:

un pezzo (circa 2-3 cm) di zenzero fresco, pelato e grattugiato

2 cucchiaini d’olio al limone oppure di olio extravergine d’oliva con la scorza di un limone

1 cucchiaio d’aceto di vino rosso

1 cucchiaino di sommacco

sale e pepe a tuo piacimento

Cosa fare:

Frustate in una scodella le ingredienti per il condimento e lasciare riposare per circa un’ora.  Unite con l’insalata e servitela subito.