Soupe au Pistou

This is France’s spring/summer equivalent of Italian Minestrone. Since the list of vegetables is long, just use what you have on hand, including a different bean and/or pasta. As summer vegetables become more prolific, you can use a variety of beans and squash.

1 small onion, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil

Vegetables – pick and choose based upon your availability:

2 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise, washed well, and drained

2 small celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 medium carrot, cut into small dice


1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 small yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 small tomatoes, chopped or ½ can (15oz) diced tomatoes

3 small red bliss potatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces

1 C fresh or frozen green beans, cut into ½ inch piece

1 C fresh or frozen peas

1 can (15oz.) small white beans, such as navy, rinsed and drained

5-6 C vegetable or chicken broth

1 Parmesan rind, about 1 by 3 inches
 (-optional)

¼ cup small pasta, such as elbow, small shells, ditalini or stars (-optional)

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Pistou – if fresh herbs are not available, top the soup with a bit of fresh lemon zest

1 C lightly packed basil leaves (can substitute parsley or cilantro)

1-2 cloves garlic

1/3 C grated parmesan

¼ C olive oil

Soup: Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, leeks and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and golden in spots, about 10 minutes. 


Stir in zucchini, squash, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, broth, and Parmesan rind. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in beans and simmer, covered, just until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Remove rind. 


Pistou: Pulse together the basil, garlic, Parmesan, and oil in a food processor to a loose paste. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Serve each bowl with a small dollop of pistou. Serves 6-8.


It’s Thyme for Marinated Mushrooms

4oz. white button or cremini mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced thin

Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 T)

¼ C extra virgin olive oil

1 T fresh thyme leaves, chopped (or 1 t dried)

1 clove garlic, minced

½ t sea salt – more to taste

Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

Toss sliced mushrooms with remaining ingredients. Marinate 1 hour at room temperature or up to 3 hours in the refrigerator. The mushrooms can also be quartered, which is nice if you are using them for an appetizer platter (poke with a toothpick); if you choose to quarter the mushrooms, marinating time may be slightly longer. Serve chilled. Serves 2-3.

Note: mushrooms will be fine the following day although the texture will be softer, well-marinated and release a lot of juice.


Chilled Blueberry Soup

This sweet and creamy blueberry soup is a delightfully refreshing treat during the spring and summer months. Makes 4 servings

 

4 C fresh blueberries

1 C orange juice

½ C sugar

1/4 t ground cinnamon

1/8 t salt

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 pint half-and-half

Mint sprigs for garnish

 

Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring often. Remove from heat, and slightly cool. Process blueberry mixture and lemon juice in a blender or food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

 

Stir in half-and-half just before serving. Serve in stemmed glasses. Garnish, if desired.

 

 

 

 

 


Baby Potatoes with Coconut Flakes and Mustard Seeds

potaotes

 

A delectable complement to any Indian cuisine. Try substituting green beans, cut into thirds, for the potatoes.

1 lb. baby potatoes
2 T coconut oil or ghee
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ t turmeric
1 t whole mustard seeds (yellow or black)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
¼ C water or broth
¼ C dried unsweetened coconut flakes
Sea salt

Scrub the potatoes to clean. If using larger potatoes, cut them into large chunks. Pat them dry with a dish towel or paper towel. Heat the oil or ghee in large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, turmeric and mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to sizzle, add the potatoes. Shake the pan so the potatoes are well coated with the oil, lower the heat a bit and continue to sauté the potatoes until they are browned a bit, about 8-10 minutes. Add the jalapeno and water/broth, cover and let simmer until potatoes are tender, about another 8-10 minutes, adding a small amount of water if they begin to dry out. Just before serving, add the coconut flakes and season with salt. Serves 4-6.

 


Vegetable Carpaccio

vegetable-carpaccio

 

If you don’t own a culinary mandolin, use a vegetable peeler to get the paper-thin slices this recipe calls for. The inspiration for this salad comes from beef carpaccio, a classic dish of rare/raw sliced beef dressed in lemon juice, olive oil, capers and Parmesan cheese. The root vegetable version was invented by Chef Andy Hollyday of Selden Standard, named Restaurant of the Year 2016 by Hour Detroit magazine. It’s perfect for what’s coming in season right now — baby beets, beautiful radishes of every color, sweet turnips, colored carrots. The carpaccio certainly made an impression in March 2016 at several different demo venues.

A selection of seasonal vegetables that could include:

1 small fennel, shaved thin
1 small red or gold beet, peeled and shaved thin
3 medium sized heirloom carrots, shaved thin
6 small radish, washed and shaved into thin coins or 2 small turnips
1 small celery root, peeled and shaved thin

¼ C capers in brine, drained
¼ C cup fresh herb of choice, chopped – chives, tarragon, parsley or basil work well
3oz. Parmesan Reggiano, shaved thin
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Lemon Vinaigrette

Zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 2 T)
1 shallot, minced fine
1 T champagne or white wine vinegar
½ C extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

To make the vinaigrette combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl or a mini-prep food processor, season with salt and pepper and whisk together. In another bowl add the shaved vegetables and enough vinaigrette to generously coat. If there is any vinaigrette remaining reserve for another use. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and allow to marinate for 10-30 minutes, mixing once or twice. After 10 minutes, taste the salad again for seasoning. Distribute onto a large platter or on individual plates. Garnish with shaved Parmesan, capers, herbs of choice, and a twist of freshly ground black pepper. Serves 4-6.

 


Warm Potato Salad with Lemon-Herb Dressing

potatoes

 

 

Baby new potatoes are great in this. The golf-ball sized tubers start hitting farmers markets around April. Use a variety of colors –purple, yellow, red-skinned – if you can find them for maximum nutrition, or stick with red-skinned or yellow Yukons. We love the sweet flavor of the new potatoes in this recipe, but any type of boiling potato works for year-round goodness. If you have a culinary mandolin, use that to slice the potatoes, or better yet, the slicing bade on a food processor. The sauce comes out thick, almost like a chimichurri sauce. Mix and match herbs – tarragon, chives, parsley; or dill, parsley and chives; or basil, cilantro and chives. Mix your sauce in while the potatoes are still warm for maximum flavor, and also to “cook” the raw garlic, making it less harsh. You can serve it any temperature, though it is best either warm or room-temperature. One last thing – if you don’t have a steamer (and lots of us don’t), just boil these gently in about an inch or so of water, covered.  Demoed at USBG in March 2016. Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking.

1¾ lb. baby potatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick
Kosher salt
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 C lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ C lightly packed fresh basil
½ C thinly sliced chives
1/3 C extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large, wide pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring about ½-inch of water to a boil over medium high heat. Arrange the potatoes in an even layer in the steamer and sprinkle with ½ tsp. salt. Cover and steam, carefully stirring every now and again, until the potatoes are just tender, five to six minutes. Drain and put them back into the hot pan, cover.

While the potatoes are cooking, finely grate the zest from the lemon and then juice the lemon. Put the zest in a food processor and set the juice aside. Add the garlic to the food processor and pulse a few times. Add the herbs and pulse to coarsely chop. Add the olive oil, 1t salt, and ½ t pepper and pulse until the mixture is fairly homogenous, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. (Avoid overprocessing or the herbs will heat up and discolor; 10 to 12 pulses should do.) Add 3 T of the lemon juice and pulse once to mix.

Drizzle the herb mixture over the potatoes and toss gently to combine. Season to taste with more salt or lemon juice. Serve warm.


Chickpea Turmeric Stew with Coconut Bacon

chickpea_turmeric_stew_sweet_potato_thai_red_curry_coconut_bacon_vegan_4Imagine a vegan meal of great, chunky protein (the chickpeas or garbanzo beans), soft, creamy sweet potato distilled in a coconut broth flavored with fresh turmeric and ginger root, floury Yukons to absorb those great juices, topped with crunchy flakes of something smokey, meaty-tasting and incredibly satisfying. “Coconut bacon?” you’re wondering. Make that part ahead of time (the whole thing can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator a couple days – reheat gently on top of the stove.) But do extra of the “bacon,” as you’ll find all sorts of use for it, from spinach salads to sprinkling on baked potatoes to serving with eggs and hash browns for breakfast.  Adapted from the food blog yupitsvegan.com and demoed by Adrienne at Brookside in January 2016.

For coconut bacon:
1½ C unsweetened coconut flakes
1 T soy sauce (or tamari or liquid aminos)
2 t prepared Thai red curry paste (Thai Kitchen brand is vegan)
½ T pineapple juice
½ T maple syrup
scant 1/4 t liquid smoke

For the chickpea turmeric stew:
3 T olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 to 2 serrano peppers, finely chopped (depending on your tolerance)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T minced fresh ginger
2 T minced fresh turmeric root (about 3 inches) (or use 1½ t dried turmeric, added along with the curry powder)
½ T mild curry powder
1 ~14 oz. can coconut milk (1½ C)
½ C pineapple juice
2 t soy sauce (or tamari or liquid aminos)
1 medium to small potato, cubed
1 medium to small sweet potato, cubed
1½ C chickpeas (one can)
2 T lime juice
salt, to taste
chopped cilantro or green onion, for serving
(optional) rice, for serving

For the coconut bacon:
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick aluminum. Dump the flaked coconut onto the baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients, making sure to evenly incorporate the curry paste. Drizzle the mixture over the coconut, and use your hands to toss it to coat. Spread it out in an even layer and place in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed/cooked off and the coconut is evenly browned. Let cool before using. The coconut bacon will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for at least a week.
For the chickpea turmeric stew:
In a saucepan, heat a small drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the shallot with a sprinkle of salt; cook until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the pepper, garlic, turmeric, and ginger with another sprinkle of salt, and stir. Cook 3 minutes until the shallot is soft. Add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in the coconut milk, pineapple juice, soy sauce, and cubed potatoes and sweet potatoes, along with another fat pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. If desired, use the back of your spoon to mash up some of the potatoes to thicken the stew slightly. Stir in the cooked chickpeas and lime juice and let simmer partially covered for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Garnish with cilantro and coconut bacon.