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.

 

 


Baharat Spiced Lamb and Sorghum Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers - The Clean Gourmet

Spiced Lamb and Sorghum Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers

Sorghum is a gluten free grain that has yet to gain in popularity, but should be.  It’s a round grain that looks a lot like Israeli cous cous and has a mild enough flavor that it makes a seamless whole grain alternative.  Sorghum does take a while to cook, so I recommend soaking it overnight, like you would beans, before cooking.  If you have a pressure cooker, use it to prepare perfectly tender sorghum in a fraction of the time.

Of course, if you’re not into exotic ingredients or can’t conveniently access sorghum, cous cous or rice will sub just fine in this recipe.  But PLEASE, try the sorghum!  Like most things, you can buy it online.

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Since I cannot stand wasting food, I macerated the tomato guts with a bit of balsamic vinegar and salt to make a dressing/topping for a side salad, along with some ribbons of zucchini, which is so abundant this time of year :).

Spiced Lamb and Sorghum Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

4 bell peppers, cut vertically in half, gutted and blanched 3 minutes in boiling water

4 beefsteak tomatoes, tops removed and gutted

1 cup sorghum, soaked overnight (or 2 cups cooked Isreali cous cous or rice are fine substitutes)

1.5 pounds ground lamb

½ medium red onion

2 cloves garlic

1 bunch broccoli rabe, well cleaned and roughly chopped

1 ¾ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon Cinnamon

1 tablespoon Ground cumin

1 tablespoon Baharat spice mix

½ teaspoon Garlic powder

¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped

1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

Panko mix:

⅔ cup panko

1.5 tablespoons harissa paste or 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 tablespoon olive oil

Zest of 1 lemon

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Prepare a baking dish with oil or parchment.  Arrange tomatoes and peppers in the dish, hollow side up.

Cook sorghum in boiling water 40 minutes, until tender, and drain. (I like to use a pressure cooker at 10.5 psi for 9 minutes.)

Brown lamb in skillet, breaking up with a wooden spoon.  Remove meat with a slotted spoon into a medium bowl and set aside.  Discard grease, but do not wash out the pan.

Add onion and sauté until softened, about 2 minutes, then add garlic and broccoli rabe and cook until soft, about 8 minutes.  Season with salt, cumin, and baharat.  Add lamb, sun-dried tomatoes, and parsley.

Combine panko mix ingredients in a small bowl.  Stuff peppers and tomatoes with lamb mixture and top with panko.

Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown.

 


Creamy (Creamless) Summer Corn Soup

This soup is a celebration of summer corn- with few ingredients the creamy, sweet corn flavor really is what it’s about.  Adaptable for a fancy first course, a simple summer dinner, or a side for summer grilling, Creamy Corn Soup is a handy chameleon to have in your recipe bank.

This weekend, it was a simple Sunday dinner, accompanied by a Boston leaf, radish, and walnut salad.  I also made a quick sea bean chutney to dollop into the soup, as well as seared tempeh cubes for light protein.

For another winning dinner, drop in some seared okra chunks and serve it alongside this pork dish.

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Creamy (Creamless) Summer Corn Soup 

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter or avocado oil (or better yet, half of each- butter for flavor, avocado oil for cooking properties)

1/2 onion or 1 large shallot

1 whole clove garlic, peeled and quartered

2 ears corn

1/3 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 1½ cups florets)

⅛ teaspoon dried thyme or 2 sprigs fresh thyme

4 cups water

¼ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

⅛ teaspoon white pepper or finely ground black pepper

Fresh thyme, for serving
What to do:

Remove kernels from corn cobs.  Do not throw out the cobs!

Sweat onion and garlic in butter/oil. Add corn kernels, cobs, cauliflower, thyme and water.  Season with salt and pepper and simmer 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. Remove corn cobs from soup, as well as thyme sprigs if using fresh.  Blend soup in high speed blender until very smooth.

Pour into soup bowls and sprinkle with fresh thyme.

Serving suggestions:  Top with a dollop of green bean chutney (pictured); chili seasoned seared tempeh cubes; seared okra chunks; or make it a side for roasted/grilled pork loin.

 


Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce

Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce - The Clean Gourmet

If you have tons of tomatoes, this is a great way to preserve them.  I make this sauce every August/September when I’m drowning in tomatoes and peppers, picked ripe from local vines.  None may go to waste!
Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce - The Clean Gourmet

Simmering tomatoes with olive oil makes the naturally occurring lycopene and carotenoids much more available for absorption by the body.  The longer, the better!

Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce - The Clean Gourmet

Use this as a dipping sauce, pasta sauce or eat is alone as a soup.

Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce - The Clean Gourmet

Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce:

Makes about 1 1/2 cups sauce.

1 red bell pepper

1 tablespoon high quality olive oil

2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole

2 large heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped (include skins and guts)

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 turns black pepper

1/2 cup creamy homemade almond milk or walnut milk (whole milk if you’re okay with dairy)

1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

Start by roasting your pepper:  Place pepper on a parchment lined sheet pan and place in your broiler.  Once you see dark browning/blackening, turn the pepper and repeat once or twice until blackened all over (should take about 10 minutes per side).  Remove pepper from oven and place in closed paper bag or covered bowl for 15 minutes to steam.  Remove blackened skins.

Sauté garlic in olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan until golden.  Add roasted pepper, tomatoes and salt.  Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes, uncovered.

Blend simmered ingredients on high in blender until smooth.  Add nut milk and black pepper.  Continue to purée until silky smooth.  Transfer to a container or bowl and stir in basil.

Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce - The Clean Gourmet


Herbed Zucchini Cakes with Minted Sheep’s Milk Yogurt Dipping Sauce

Summer is NOT over!  Make these Herbed Zucchini Cakes while zucchini is still dirt cheap at the market and your neighbors are still drowning in zucchini from their backyards.

Herbed Zucchini Cakes with Minted Sheep's Milk Yogurt Dipping Sauce - The Clean Gourmet

These really don’t take long to make and are great as an appetizer for guests or as a light main course.

Herbed Zucchini Cakes with Minted Sheep's Milk Yogurt Dipping Sauce - The Clean Gourmet

I use almond flour to bind the patties, as it lends body and more flavor than breadcrumbs or flour do.  It also happens to make this dish paleo and gluten-free :).  Just make sure to wring the zucchini out well so that when making the patties they’ll come together without having to add extra almond flour.

Herbed Zucchini Cakes with Minted Sheep's Milk Yogurt Dipping Sauce - The Clean Gourmet

Don’t make these unless you plan on having some kind of sauce!  Tangy sheep’s milk yogurt and lime, along with fresh mint, is the best way to do these puppies justice.  If you’re vegan or dairy free (or not…), they’re also great with Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce.

Herbed Zucchini Cakes:

Serves 2

2 cups grated zucchini, from 2 medium zucchini

½ cup grated potato, from 1 small potato

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme

2 teaspoons finely chopped mint

zest of 1 lime (about 1/2 teaspoon)

4 turns black pepper

about 1/3 cup almond flour (add more, if needed)

1 tablespoon avocado oil, for cooking

Place grated zucchini and potato in a colander and toss with salt.  Let drain in sink or large bowl while you prepare the remaining ingredients and dipping sauce.

In a large bowl, mix together egg, parsley, thyme, mint, lime zest and black pepper.

Wring out zucchini with clean dish towel- the drier you get it, the less almond flour you will need!  Add wrung zucchini and almond flour to bowl with other ingredients and combine.  Form into patties (this is where you’ll realize whether or not you need more almond flour).

Heat a large pan with avocado oil over medium-high heat.  Form patties with zucchini mixture and sear on pan, 2-3 minutes each side.

Serve with Minted Sheep’s Milk Yogurt Dipping Sauce or Creamy Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Summer Sauce.

Minted Sheep’s Milk Yogurt Dipping Sauce:

1 6-oz container sheep’s milk yogurt

1 tablespoon lime juice (1/2 juicy lime)

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves

Stir yogurt, lime juice and mint together in a small bowl.


Quinoa Pilaf with Strawberries, Jalapeño and Mint

Quinoa Pilaf with Strawberries, Jalapeño and Mint - The Clean Gourmet Strawberry season ends quickly after it arrives, so when it’s here I try to enjoy strawberries in every way possible- sweet or savory.  This salad is probably my favorite way to enjoy them.  A hint of jalapeño for kick, pistachio for crunch and the tang of lime and mint perfectly round out the strawberries.  I do recommend chilling a bottle of white wine before you get this going… Since quinoa is a complete protein, as well as a source of low glycemic carbohydrates, and the nuts/feta provides fat, this dish qualifies as a complete meal on it’s own or as a satisfying accompaniment to lean proteins or grilled vegetables. I’ve provided detailed instructions on how to get fluffy pilaf-style quinoa.  If you aren’t a perfectionist or are in a hurry, feel free to cook the quinoa as you normally would. Ingredients: 1 cup quinoa 1 3/4 cups hot water sea salt 1/2 quart strawberries, small/medium dice (I like to quarter a few for presentation 🙂 ) 1 shallot, fine dice/mince 1 jalapeño pepper, fine dice/mince handful fresh mint, chiffonade handful fresh parsley, basil or tarragon, finely chopped zest and juice of 1 lime (a little more than a tablespoon of juice) 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for kale 4 cups baby kale, or cut lacinato kale fresh lemon juice, for kale 2 ounces goat cheese or feta, crumbled 1/4 cup whole pistachios What to do: Rinse quinoa to remove the bitter-soapy coating called saponin (unless your quinoa says “pre-washed”).  Drain thoroughly and toast in 1.5 quart saucepan until dry and starting to smell toasty.  Pour in hot water and a pinch of sea salt, stir and cover.  Reduce heat to low and cook about 15 minutes, until a fork scraping the bottom shows no water.  Turn off heat and let steam, covered, for 10 minutes and then uncovered for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and you’ve got perfect quinoa! Perfect Quinoa for Pilafs - The Clean Gourmet While the quinoa cools begin to prep other ingredients. Add strawberries, shallot, jalapeño, herbs, olive oil, lime zest/juice and a pinch of salt to quinoa and toss gently.  In a medium bowl, toss kale with a little olive oil, lemon and salt.  Top with quinoa mixture and garnish with pistachios and goat cheese.  Here you can either serve it nice and pretty with strawberry quarters and a little mint or just mix it all together. Strawberry, Mint and Jalapeno Quinoa Pilaf - The Clean Gourmet


Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

I was blessed with these gorgeous zucchini blossoms, thanks to my mom’s contractor, who happens to have three acres in upstate Connecticut and, apparently, plenty of zucchini plants.  Just because winter is coming doesn’t mean beautiful produce ends.

I usually like to toss squash blossoms into saffron risotto at the end of cooking.  However, with such a big bag of blossoms I felt I had enough that I could do some experimenting.  I knew I wanted to try stuffing them, but usually that includes a breadcrumb filling followed by deep frying.  I wanted to make them gluten free and definitely not fried, as I prefer to avoid heating oils to such high levels.

This combo seems to straddle summer and fall, with herbs like basil, mint and thyme, heavily sprinkled into a mixture of goat cheese, lemon and sweet potato.

This is a beta-carotene-filled snack, thanks to the orange petals and the sweet potatoes.  Also, the fresh herbs have highly concentrated amounts of phytochemicals, which ward off viruses and other more serious ailments.  In particular, mint is known to calm digestion, which especially important for those who struggle with IBS.  Also, basil is an especially powerful anti-inflammatory, which is key for those who suffer from arthritis or other joint pain.  In addition, the oils in thyme are shown to be highly antimicrobial, which means consuming more thyme helps fight bad bacteria so you don’t get sick as easily.  Sounds better than that multivitamin, no?

You definitely want to serve these nutritional tasties immediately while hot, as they lose their texture a bit as they sit and the petals lose their crisp.  I think they’re great alone, but you could serve with a mildly flavored dipping sauce as an appetizer or top a salad or risotto with them.


Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

What you need:

2 medium/large sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2″ chunks

1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil, plus more for drizzling

11-15 zucchini blossoms, stamens removed

4 ounces soft goat cheese

5 sprigs fresh thyme, picked

1/3 cup fresh mint, finely chopped (plus more, very thinly sliced, for serving)

1/2 cup basil leaves, finely chopped

one lemon, zested and juiced (about 1 tablespoon of juice)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

salt, to taste

2 eggs, lightly whipped

What to do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Toss sweet potato chunks with oil and arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet.

While sweet potatoes roast, mix together goat cheese, thyme leaves, mint, basil, lemon zest and lemon juice in a medium bowl.

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

When sweet potatoes are crisp-tender (about 20 minutes), put in bowl with goat cheese mixture and mash together with a fork.  Taste for lemon, salt and pepper.  Adjust as needed and add eggs.  Mix well.

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

Line the same baking sheet with a fresh sheet of parchment and lightly grease with oil.

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

Using a small spoon, scoop the goat cheese-sweet potato mixture into blossoms (it’s okay if they split, just wrap the petals around the stuffing) and arrange on prepared baking sheet.  Drizzle with oil and bake for about 20 minutes, until they’re beginning to brown and crisp.  They will also be nice and puffy :).

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

Sprinkle with thinly sliced mint and serve alone or with a dipping sauce.  I like my Creamy Vegan Red Pepper and Tomato Summer Sauce ;).

Herbed Goat Cheese and Sweet Potato-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms - The Clean Gourmet

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Avocado and Roasted Tomatillo Dip

My CSA this week included five beautiful tomatillos.  I’d never cooked them myself before and had only eaten them in the form of green enchiladas and salsa verde in various Mexican restaurants in California.  But here I was in New York City with five locally grown tomatillos.  I’ll admit, I wasn’t exactly excited when I saw that it would be included in the week’s CSA share,  and my first thought was “OK, what am I gonna do with these.”

Well I was inspired by a recent Bon Appetit Instagram post and luckily had most of the ingredients I’d need already on hand.  Tomatillos have a bright and slightly acidic flavor that brightens up this quacamole-ish dip.  I didn’t even add any lime.  Also, roasted garlic adds aroma and depth of flavor, sans the bite and bad breath of raw onion.

No need for special equipment, as I don’t have much myself, but if you have a food processor I suppose that could be a convenient way to incorporate the ingredients.  I just used my knife and cutting board.

Serves 2-4

What you need:

2 avocados, cubed

5 tomatillos

3 cloves garlic (do not peel or crush)

3 red chili peppers (a.k.a. fresh cayenne peppers)

handful cilantro, finely chopped

salt, to taste

What to do:

Put whole tomatillos, garlic cloves and chilies on a pan and place in oven set to broil.  Roast for about 15 minutes, turning once as it begins to blacken.  (The tomatillos may pop a bit- that’s okay.)

Meanwhile, place avocado and cilantro in medium bowl.

When ready, remove roasted vegetables from oven and let cool slightly.  Remove garlic from the peel and toss in bowl with avocado and cilantro.  Squeeze chilies from their skins and remove most of the seeds, without obsessing too much.  Chop as much as you can- a little smooshing action is okay.  Add to bowl as well and, finally, chop up the tomatillos and begin mashing that with the rest of the ingredients.  Season with salt and serve with chips, on top of fish, salad or whatever else you feel like!

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Celery and Zucchini Detox Soup with Tarragon and Lime (Zuppa di Sedano e Zucchina al Dragoncello e Lime)

It’s hot and humid in New York, so I wanted something light and easy to digest.  (I’ll admit, I also had some celery and leftover brown rice I wanted to use up…)  I don’t often use tarragon, but the grassy, “anisey” flavor plays nicely with the lime and celery and is very refreshing.  Avocado adds some clean protein and healthy fat to the dish as well.  (Unfortunately we ran out before we were able to get a picture with it.)

Note:  I freshly ground dried thyme, so I used just a pinch.  However, if your thyme has been sitting in the cupboard for over six months, you’ll probably need to use a bit more.  Hence, the range of measure I provided.  In general, I highly recommend swapping any old herbs or spices for fresh ones, as the flavor of fresh herbs and spices will completely transform your health-conscious cooking.

serves 4

2 teaspoons canola or grapeseed oil

1 shallot, finely chopped

1/2 small onion, medium dice

1/2 head celery (5-6 large stalks), scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground dried thyme

4 cups water

1/3 cup cooked sweet brown rice or 1/4 cup uncooked rolled oats

1 large zucchini, quartered and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

pinch black pepper

3 sprigs tarragon (stems removed), finely chopped

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)

To Serve:

avocado, sliced or cut into chunks, to serve (optional)

tarragon leaves, for garnish

 

In a medium pot, warm oil over medium heat and add shallot and onion with a pinch of salt.  Cook, stirring often.  Once beginning to soften, add celery and thyme.  Cook until celery is mostly soft and then add water, rice or oats, zucchini, salt and pepper.  Cover, bring to a low boil and turn heat to low.  Simmer 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Turn off heat, stir in tarragon and transfer to a blender (preferably Vitamix or other high speed blender).  MAKE SURE THE BLENDER IS SET TO LOWEST SETTINGS.  Working in two batches, add half of the soup to the blender and turn on at low speed.  Gradually raise to a higher speed and blend until the soup is smooth and there are no major flecks of tarragon remaining.  Pour into a bowl and repeat with the other half.

Once all of the soup has been blended and consolidated, stir in lime juice.  Pour into bowls and top with whole tarragon leaves and/or avocado, to serve.  The soup should be warm, but not piping.

Celery and Zucchini Detox Soup with Tarragon and Lime - The Clean Gourmet

Zuppa di Sedano e Zucchina al Dragoncello e Lime:

4 porzioni

2 cucchiani di olio di colza

1 scalogno, tritato

1/2 cipolla picolla, tagliata a pezzi

5-6 gambi grandi di sedano, puliti bene e tagliati in pezzi a circa 1 cm

pizzico di timo essiccato macinato

1 litro d’acqua

30 grammi di riso integrale cotto oppure 23 grammi d’avena cruda

1 zucchina grande, tagliata in quarti e poi in pezzetti

1/2 cucchiaino di sale, o a piacere

pizzico di pepe nero

3 rametti di dragoncello, tritato

1 cucchiaio di succo di lime (da circa 1 lime)

foglie di dragoncello, per guarnire

avocado, per servire (facoltativo)

 

In una pentola media, riscaldate l’olio sul fuoco medio e aggiungete lo scalogno e la cipolla con un pizzico di sale.  Fate cuocere circa 4 minuti, agitando spesso.  Appena cominiciano ad ammorbidire, aggiungete il sedano e il timo.  Fate cuocere finché il sedano non sia abbastanza tenero, poi aggiungete l’acqua, il riso o l’avena, zucchina, sale e pepe.  Copritela, fate bollire e subito abbassate il fuoco.  Fate sobbollire 10-15 minuti, finché la verdura non sia tutta tenera.

Spegnete il fuoco e uniteci il dragoncello.  Trasferite tutto nel frullatore (idealmente uno potente, come il Vitamix).  ASSICURATE CHE IL FRULLATORE SIA SISTEMATO ALLA VELOCITA’ PIU’ BASSA.  Lavorando in due lotti, mettete la metà della zuppa nel frullatore e accendete, cominciando dalla velocità più bassa.  Pian piano, alzate la velocità e fatelo andare finché non ci siano più pezzetti noti di dragoncello.  La consistenza dovrebbe essere abbastanza liscia.  Quando finita, versatela in una zuppiera e ripetete col resto.

Dopo aver passato tutto per il frullatore e tutta sia consolidata, aggiungete mescolando il succo di lime.  Servite calda, ma non scottante, e guarnite con foglie di dragoncello e, se volete, delle fette d’avocado.


Summer Cold Green Bean Salad

This is a pretty simple salad but I thought I’d share it anyway.  You can easily play with this by adding things like walnuts, goat cheese or olives.  I’ve kept it clean by leaving out oil, but feel free to add some.

The picture is of Version 1, but I thought I’d include the recipe for Version 2 as I did it a while ago and really enjoyed it.

Serves 4

What you need:

10 oz FRESH green beans, ends trimmed

2 heirloom tomatoes, diced

Salt and Pepper

Version 1:

Handful sweet basil, torn into pieces

2 endives, chopped in thirds and leaves separated

Balsamic

Version 2:

Handful fresh dill, minced

1-2 oz goat cheese

Fresh lemon juice

Red wine vinegar

What to do:

Trim green beans and blanch in boiling salted water for about 3 minutes.  Strain and let cool.

While green beans are cooling, put tomatoes in medium-sized bowl and add the acid ingredients (Version 1: balsamic; Version 2: lemon juice and red wine vinegar) and oil, if using.

Once beans are cooled, add to bowl along with endives and basil for Version 1 or goat cheese and dill for Version 2.  Season salt and pepper and toss to coat.

You can either serve immediately or let marinate for a few hours.

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