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side dish

Eggplant Caponata

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Eggplant Caponata

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Eggplant Caponata

1 Large Eggplant
1 Yellow Onion
2 Large Tomatoes (Heirloom or Beefsteak)
1 Clove Garlic
1/4 Cup Capers
1/4 Cup Golden Raisins
1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
1/4 Cup Chopped Parsley
1/4 Cup Chopped Mint
Salt & Pepper to Taste

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  1. In a small ball place the raisins in warm water to soak.  This makes them plump up 
  2. In a large saute pan, sauce the onion with olive oil.  These will take a while as you want them to sweat and become translucent, soft, and slightly brown
  3. When the onions are slightly translucent, add the garlic and a pinch of salt
  4. While the onions cook down, roast or grill the eggplant.  Roast at 400 degrees until slightly browned or during the summer, I like to grill the eggplant on medium high heat (direct flame) for ~10 min per side *make sure to coat each side with olive oil so they don't stick to the grill
  5. When the eggplant and tomatoes are cool enough to handle, give them a rough chop and add them to the onions, which should be slightly browned at this point
  6. Drain the raisins from the warm water they have been soaking in
  7. To the onions, tomato, and eggplant mixture, add capers (whole or chopped), pine nuts, and raisins 
  8. Cook and let the flavors combine for ~5 minutes
  9. Once the eggplant is fully soft and combined with the tomatoes and onion, add the chopped parsley and mint and remove from the hit.  Stir to combine. Flavor with salt and pepper as needed.
  10. Top fish, chicken, or use as a side dish for any meal!

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Yogurt Spiced Carrots

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Yogurt Spiced Carrots

Yogurt Spiced Carrots

Organic Carrots
6 oz. 0% Fage Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup Chopped Hazelnuts or Walnuts
2 tbsp Parsley
1/4 cup raisins
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

  1. Preheat the oven to 410 degrees
  2. Place the carrots on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of salt
  3. Roast for 30 minutes or until slightly browned on the outside and tender
  4. While the carrots are roasting, place the raisins in a bowl and top with warm water to soak for 20 minutes.  These should plump up
  5. Drain the raisins and place the raisins, along with the yogurt and garlic in a food processor or blender.  Mix to combine until the sauce is smooth
  6. Once smooth, mix in the paprika
  7. Top the carrots with the yogurt sauce and sprinkle with nuts and parsley before serving

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Haricots Verts & Snow Peas with Hazelnuts and Orange

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Haricots Verts & Snow Peas with Hazelnuts and Orange

Here’s a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Ottolenghi.  The recipes are created by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s diverse culinary traditions rooted in the Mediterranean.   Everything has a ton of flavor and the recipes always manage to combine ingredients that I normally wouldn’t put together, but happen to pair perfectly.

I made this for brunch a couple weeks ago.  It’s light and perfect as a side or salad.  It has a beautiful green color and a contrast of flavors and textures that is unexpected and delicious!

 

Haricot Verts & Snap Peas with Hazelnuts and Orange

 

14 oz. haricots verts

14 oz. snow peas (can also substitute sugar snap peas)

1 cup unskinned hazelnuts

1 orange

1 clove crushed garlic

3 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp hazelnut oil (or other nut oil, such as walnut)

salt and pepper to taste

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Using a small paring knife, trim the ends off the beans and snow peas
  3. Bring a large pot of bowling salt water to boil
  4. Boil the string beans for 3-4 minutes
  5. Remove the string beans from the water, keeping the water on the stove
  6. In a colander, run the string beans under cold water.  This blanches the string beans and helps them maintain their vibrant green color.
  7. Place the snow peas in the boiling water on the stove
  8. Cook the snow peas for 1-2 minutes
  9. Remove the snow peas and run under cold water (same as you did with the haricots verts)
  10. While the beans are drying, scatter the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes
  11. Allow the nuts to cool.  Once you’re able to handle them, rub the nuts in between two paper towels or kitchen towels.  The skin should easily come off
  12. Chop the hazelnuts
  13. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel from the orange and slice into very thin matchsticks.  You can also use a zester if that’s easier!
  14. Combine the olive oil, hazelnut oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and the juice of half an orange.  Whisk together.
  15. To assemble the salad, combine the beans, hazelnuts and orange zest in a bowl.  Toss with olive oil and hazelnut oil mixture.

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Pumpkin Caponata

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Pumpkin Caponata

Like many recipes before it, this stemmed from a need to use up leftovers.  I had just made Daphne Oz’s Sweet Potato and Apple Casserole, which is delicious!! I swapped the sweet potato puree for pumpkin and was left with 1 cup of pumpkin puree.  I also had leftover raisins, which are called for in the casserole as well. 

Pumpkin and raisins naturally leads my mind to dessert but one of my resolutions for 2016 is to cut out dessert so I decided to challenge myself and turn it into something savory.   

I rummaged in my kitchen and found capers and pine nuts.  Combined with raisins these are common ingredients in a caponata, which is a Sicilian Italian dish.  I decided to try a pumpkin caponata.  The only ingredients I had to buy were eggplant and tomatoes, easy enough. 

As a side dish or blended to be a puree, this came out so well!  I think you’re really going to like this and it’s so versatile.  After having it for dinner with chicken, I used it the next morning with eggs.  Finally I finished the remaining leftovers by adding it to sautéed kale.

 

Pumpkin Caponata

 

1 Cup Pumpkin Puree

1 Package Cherry Tomatoes

1 Small Eggplant

½ cup pine nuts

½ cup raisins

2 tbsp capers

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  2. Dice the eggplant and halve the cherry tomatoes
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the tomatoes, eggplant, pine nuts and raisins.  Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper
  4. Add the pumpkin puree to the mixing bowl and combine until the pumpkin is evenly coating the mixed vegetables
  5. Lay the mixture on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes or until eggplant is soft and tender
  6. Add capers
  7. Serve as is or place in a food processor to make a puree

  

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