Veggies

Brussels Sprouts with Raisins and Almonds

IMG_0124

I brought home some beautiful Brussels sprouts from the Farmer’s Market. It seems like just yesterday that sprouts and beets were #1 and #2, respectively, on my list of most vile foods. They now proudly sit at the top of my most favorite foods. This gives me hope that someday my boys will broaden their horizons and eat a more diverse array of veggies. Honestly, corn and carrots are just not enough.

Preheat your oven to 400-degrees

IMG_0115

1lb Brussels sprouts with leaves removed

½ cup golden raisins

2 tbsp. quality sherry vinegar

3 tbsp. avocado oil

1 small shallot, minced

2 tbsp. slivered almonds

Soak the raisins in the sherry vinegar for at least an hour.

IMG_0119

Add your sprout leaves to a large bowl.

IMG_0120

Drizzle in the avocado oil and salt. Mix with your hands.

Place the leaves on a baking sheet and pop it into the oven.

IMG_0123

When the leaves begin to crisp at the edges, add the almonds and shallots. Roast until the almonds are a light golden brown.

Remove the raisins from the vinegar. Toss the raisins and your sprout mixture into a serving bowl. Test your seasoning and add more salt to your liking.

Serve warm as a side.

Eat well!

April

“Vegetarian-that’s an old Indian word meaning lousy hunter.” – Andy Rooney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harissa Roasted Carrots with Yogurt Dip

 

IMG_9437

I picked up a tube of Harissa Entube (Tunisian chili pepper paste) at a market last week. While there I spotted some ginormous carrots, too. Carrots become uber sweet when your roast them, so they make the perfect veg to slather with something spicy.

IMG_9449

To compliment the spicy carrots, I drizzled a bit of pomegranate molasses over them right before serving (you can find this at a Middle Eastern market like Jordan in Laguna Hills) and mixed up a dip of yogurt and dill to serve on the side. I was thrilled with how they complimented one another. Here’s what you’ll need –

Preheat your oven to 375

IMG_9436

6 large carrots, washed and peeled

1 ½ tbsp. harissa (if you like SUPER spicy, bump it up to 2 tbsp.)

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

2 tbsp. of olive oil

1/2 cup Fage (Greek yogurt)

1/8 cup chopped dill

Juice from ½ lemon and zest from ½ lemon

3 pinches of salt

IMG_9440

Mix together the harissa, olive oil, and 1/4 tsp. of kosher salt. Smear this all over the carrots and slow roast (you don’t want the harissa to burn) for 45 minutes to an hour (all ovens are different). They are done when you can pierce them through with a knife; however, you don’t want them to turn to mush. They should retain their structural integrity.

IMG_9441

While your carrots are roasting, mix the yogurt, lemon, lemon zest, and pinches of salt in a small bowl.

 

This dish makes a great pre-dinner, wet your appetite, kind of thing, and the yogurt dip, plus the drizzle of pomegranate molasses are great cooling elements. The combinations are delish. 

Eat well!

April

“The only difference between the cucumber and water is the moving of the teeth.” – Tunisian Proverb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scallops with Soba Noodles and Asian Stir-Fry

While in Japan visiting Tokyo and Kyoto last April, we visited many outdoor markets, and as a result of our many shopping experiences, I came home with half a suitcase filled with various food items that I was fairly sure would pass agricultural inspection. Soba noodles being one of the many. I bought so many beautifully wrapped bundles of soba noodles, from various stalls, that it will probably take another year before we’ve finally exhausted our supply. Unless we eat them everyday, of course, which is definitely not going to happen.

Scallops were on my mind the other evening and I decided to whip something up utilizing some of our noodle booty. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat, which happens to be naturally gluten free, so they’re a great alternative to spaghetti. They have a nutty flavor and marry quite well with pesto.

If you’re looking to buy authentic soba noodles, I suggest an outing to H Mart in Irvine. It’s located on Alton in the Diamond Jamboree Shopping Center. H Mart has all things Asian. It’s super fun to check out the interesting eats on display. I ask you, where else could you see a bucket load of live abalone slithering their way across the inside of a fish tank? You should also take a friend and have lunch in one of the many authentic Asian restaurants located around the market. One piece of advice, you should get there no later than 10:30AM to nab a parking space in the parking lot. It gets ridiculously busy after 11, and you’ll be circling the lot stalking people trying to find a space. Once you’ve captured a spot, wander around inside H Mart for a bit before walking to lunch. Most of the eateries surrounding the market open at 11.

IMG_8076

What you’ll need to feed two people-

4 oz. soba noodles

2 garlic cloves, smashed

6 sea scallops

1 tbsp. ponzu sauce

1 tbsp. minced ginger

1 tbsp. sesame oil (I used sesame chili oil because I like it hot)

1 ¼ cup miso ginger broth

¼ cup sliced scallions

1 or 2 (your choice) bok choy, root ball cut off and leaves removed

1/3 cup thinly sliced fennel

1/3 cup halved small tomatoes (Optional. I had some that were beginning to soften and needed to be used)

1 generous tbsp. of ghee

Boil soba noodles until al dente and toss with sesame oil. Set aside.

Dry scallops well with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.

 

Add ghee to a sauté pan large enough to hold six scallops without over crowding. Heat the ghee until it begins to shimmer.

IMG_8083

Add the scallops to the hot pan and sear until you begin to see a nice crust form, then flip. Remove the scallops from the pan once you begin to see “pearling” on the sides. Pearling appears as small white bubbles forming on the outside. Set scallops aside to rest.

IMG_8084

IMG_8085

Quickly dump the grease from the pan, and place it back on the burner. You’ll have some beautiful brown bits (also called fond) in the bottom of your pan. With your pan on medium heat, add the ginger and garlic and warm until fragrant. Deglaze the pan with miso ginger broth and ponzu. Scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to ensure all the good bits are in the sauce. Simmer and reduce by 1/3.

 IMG_8086

Add the vegetables to the sauce and sauté for a minute. Add your noodles to the pan and warm. Split noodles and veggie mix between two plates, top with scallops, and spoon extra sauce over the top of your scallops.

IMG_8088

Eat well!

April

“Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,

My staff of faith to walk upon,

My scrip of joy, immortal diet,

My bottle of salvation,

My gown of glory, hope’s true gage,

And thus I’ll take my pilgrimage.” – Sir Walter Raleigh