Greek Summer Vegetable Gratin - The Clean Gourmet

Greek Style Summer Vegetable Gratin (Plus a Bonus: Greek Style Lemon Potatoes)

I live in a very Greek neighborhood of Queens, but rarely go out to eat.  That’s not to say I’m not piqued by what I see in the specialized grocery stores in my area.  Seasonal produce, an entire wall of olive oils, SIXTEEN kinds of fresh feta, and ready meals that are not fried chicken and mushy macaroni salad, name a few examples.

This is usually a quick mid-week dinner, served alongside sautéed broccoli rabe or a simple salad with oregano and red wine vinaigrette.  However, if we want something heartier, I’ll also make some classic Greek style lemon potatoes.  Bonus! I’ve included said recipe below- no photo, but trust me, they’re delish ;).

Greek Style Summer Vegetable Gratin

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

⅓ cup quinoa (or ½ pound ground lamb, turkey, or beef for grain free/high protein version)

½ teaspoon salt

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

¾ tsp sweet paprika

¼ tsp ground allspice (ground clove is a good substitute)

¼ teaspoon crushed coriander

¼ teaspoon dried dill

⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper (I do about 6 turns on a pepper mill)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 small/medium yellow onion, small dice

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into rounds (cut on the bias if your carrots are skinny)

⅓ cup vegetable or chicken broth

14.5 oz can tomato sauce

1 tsp honey

2 medium zucchini or summer squash

1 small eggplant (I like white, Japanese, or Italian varieties)

Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped

For the topping:

2 eggs

½ cup grated Parmesan

⅔ cup 2% Greek yogurt

A few grinds black pepper

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cook quinoa in 2/3 cup water with a pinch of salt.  If using meat, brown in a pan with a bit of oil over medium/high heat until fully cooked, breaking it up with a heat resistant spatula or wooden spoon as it cooks.  Scoop out with slotted spoon and set aside.

Assemble spices (salt, cinnamon, paprika, allspice, coriander, dill, black pepper) in a small bowl or cup and set aside.

Meanwhile, sauté carrots, onion and garlic with olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Once soft, add spices and sauté for 1 minute, until fragrant.

Add broth, zucchini, and eggplant, cover and simmer on medium for 10 minutes.

While the zucchini and eggplant cook, mix eggs, Parmesan, yogurt, and black pepper for topping in a small/medium bowl and set aside.

Add tomatoes, cooked quinoa (or meat), and honey and cook an additional 5-10 minutes, covered, until vegetables are just tender.

Pour into casserole dish and spread yogurt topping over stew.  (If your pan is oven safe, skip a step and pour the yogurt topping right over stew in the pan you’re cooking in.)

Place in preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes, until topping is set.  Sprinkle with a generous amount of parsley and serve.

Inspired by: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/11/health/nutrition/11recipehealth.html?ref=kale

Greek Style Lemon Potatoes

Ingredients:

2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered lengthwise

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon garlic flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups vegetable broth

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss all ingredients together in a baking dish and bake one hour, or until potatoes are fork tender.

 

 


Herbed Quinoa and Kale Casserole (Casseruola di Quinoa e Cavolo Nero alle Erbe)

This is what I make when I need to whip up something quick during the week.  We always have quinoa, alliums (i.e. onions, garlic, leeks, etc.) and eggs, and the kale can be swapped with another vegetable such as, zucchini, spinach or eggplant.  The one thing you should not swap is the white quinoa for other varieties (trust me, I’ve tried it.  There’s something about the fluffiness of the white quinoa that holds together and tastes much better in this than the red and black varieties), but feel free to play with the seasonings as well!

Herbs and Parmesan lend plenty of savory “umami” to this dish, so it’s a vegetarian (though not vegan) meal that your carnivorous friends will love too.  A dash of cayenne not only tastes great, but warms you up and strengthens those lungs and  blood vessels…perfect for battling nasty winter viruses.

Serves 4-6 

Ingredients:

grapeseed or extra virgin olive oil, for the baking dish

For the vegetables:

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 head Tuscan kale, stems removed and leaves sliced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

2/3 cup white wine (or broth)

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the quinoa:

1 cup raw WHITE quinoa, rinsed and cooked in 1 cup broth + 1 cup water

1 1/2  teaspoons garlic powder, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp dried ground thyme

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling

2 large eggs, beaten

cayenne, to serve

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 2 quart baking dish (preferably with grapeseed oil, due to its high flash point).

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium-to-large pot and add the onion, garlic, carrot and rosemary.  Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about five minutes.  Add the bell pepper, cook for about a minute, and add the white wine.  Add the kale, cover, and cook for 3-5 minutes, allowing the leaves to wilt and get relatively tender (do not overcook).  Season to taste with salt and pepper, remove from the heat.

Fold spices, parsley and Parmesan into cooked quinoa.  Add to cooked vegetables.

Fold the eggs into the vegetable and quinoa mixture.  Scrape into the greased baking dish (don’t smooth top if you like browned peaks, which I recommend), sprinkle with parmesan and place in oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the top is golden.

Serve while hot with a dash of cayenne!

Herbed Quinoa and Kale Casserole - The Clean Gourmet

Casseruola di Quinoa e Cavolo Nero alle Erbe:

4-6 porzioni

Ingredienti:

olio di vinacciolo o extra vergine d’oliva, per ungere

Per la verdura:

2 cucchiaini d’olio extra vergine d’oliva

1 cipolla gialla, spezzettata

4 spicchi d’aglio, tritati

1 grappolo di cavolo nero, tagliato coi gambi buttati

1 peperone rosso, spezzettato

1 carota media, pelata e affettata

2 cucchiaini di rosmarino fresco tritato

175 ml di vino bianco (o di brodo)

sale e pepe, a piacere

Per la quinoa:

170 grammi di quinoa bianca, sciacquata e cotta in 250 ml di brodo + 250 ml d’acqua

1 1/2  cucchiaini d’aglio in polvere, 1/2 cucchiaino di pepe nero, 1/2 cucchiaino di sale, 1/2 cucchiaino di timo in polvere

piccola manciata di prezzemolo fresco, tritato

manciata di grana, più dell’altro per spargere

2 uova, sbattute

peperoncino di Caienna, per servire

Cosa Fare:

Riscaldate il forno a 200 gradi e ungete una teglia da forno da 2 litri (preferibilmente con olio di vinacciolo, dato il punto di fuoco alto).

Riscaldate una pentola media-grande con l’olio d’oliva e aggiungete la cipolla, l’aglio, la carota ed il rosmarino.  Fateli cuocere, agitando spesso, finché le verdura non sia tenera (circa 5 minuti).  Quindi, uniteci il peperone, fate cuocere circa un minuto, e aggiungete il vino bianco.  Unite il cavolo rosso, coprite e fate cuocere per 3-5 minuti, facendolo avvizzire e tenerizzare (non scuocere però!).  Insaporite con sale e pepe, a piacere.  Spegnete il fuoco.

Incorporate le spezie, il prezzemolo ed il grana con la quinoa cotta.  Unite con la verdura cotta.

Mettete le uova insieme alla miscela di verdura e quinoa e mischiate, ma non troppo.  Versate tutto dentro la teglia da forno (non spianate se vi piacciono dei picchi rosolati, che consiglio fortemente), spargete con dell’altro grana grattugiato ed infornate.  Fate cuocere per 15-20 minuti, finché non sia rosolata.

Servite caldo con un pizzico di peperoncino di Caienna!

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Whole Grain Lentil Casserole

Whole Grain Lentil Casserole - The Clean Gourmet

This is a great way to use up leftover grains and is based on a recipe my mom used to make for us when we were kids.  You can play with the grain-to-lentil proportion according to your personal preference, just be sure that the the final amount is 4-5 cups so the spices don’t overpower or underwhelm.

Whole Grain Lentil Casserole - The Clean Gourmet

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked brown rice (from about 1 cup uncooked), or other whole grain such as farro or freekeh

3 cups cooked lentils (from about 1 cup uncooked), drained

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

2 teaspoons chili powder

3 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup whole milk 100% grass-fed yogurt, plus more for serving

1 cup freshly grated cheese (feta, Manchego, or a mixture of provolone and Parmesan are great options), to cover

Organic ketchup, to serve

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400º Fahrenheit.

Mix above ingredients, except for cheese and ketchup, in a medium-large bowl.  Taste for spice adjustments and place in sprayed or oiled medium-sized casserole dish.

Top with grated cheese and place in oven.  Let cook until the top is browned, about 20 minutes.

Serve with more yogurt and organic ketchup.