HERBED GOAT CHEESE & RADISH TARTINES

I am and always have been the biggest fan of toast.  It’s the most perfect and versatile blank canvas that works well for any time of day.    Whether it’s avocado, eggs or something a little sweeter - there are truly endless opportunities for greatness here.  Especially on those days where we really only have time to slap something on a piece of bread.  It doesn't always happen to be joyless - sometimes you just need a pretty radish.

Herbed Goat Cheese & Radish Tartines (Gluten-free) Serves 2 

4 slices gluten-free bread, toasted

1 raw garlic clove

3-ounces goat cheese, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

4 sprigs fresh dill, de-stemmed & minced

4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, de-stemmed & minced

4-5 radishes, sliced thin (use mandolin or paring knife)*

Microgreens, to top

Freshly cracked pepper

Sea salt, to taste

When your bread is toasted & still warm, rub raw garlic clove evenly over each slice.  Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, stir together goat cheese, lemon zest and fresh herbs until evenly combined.  Spread herbed goatcheese evenly across each toast.  Layer with sliced radish and top with microgreens.  Season with flaky sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.  Serve immediately.

*Note: I used green meat & watermelon radishes, but feel free to use any radish variety you can find. They're all good!

SHAVED ASPARAGUS SALAD WITH ROASTED CHICKPEAS, RADISH & LEMON CAPER VINAIGRETTE

I've always been a huge advocate of salads, especially those that can double as actual meals. So many people think salads can't fill them up, or worse, they get the "restaurant salad" which is arugula and a shaved something (which won't fill you up for more than 10 minutes).  It's a recipe for thinking salads only belong as starters.

Another thing, I use the word salad as a lose term.  It doesn't have to be green, or even made OF greens (ex: quinoa salad). This shaved asparagus salad is as light as Springtime (which it finally is!!), but satisfying enough to be a main meal.  Even though the radish is technically shaved, it's not the only thing on this salad. The crunchy chickpeas (addictive enough on their own) add such amazing texture and the true holding power to this "green" salad.  

Even though this meal is meat & dairy-free, you won't even notice.  As the days are starting to get warmer, I'm looking a lot to these hybrid salads.  Something not too cold, not too hot.  Something a little in between Spring & Summer...

SHAVED ASPARAGUS SALAD WITH ROASTED CHICKPEAS, RADISH & LEMON CAPER VINAIGRETTE (Gluten-free & Vegan) Serves 4

 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sumac powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1.5 lbs asparagus

2 small watermelon radishes, shaved

1 cup microgreens, loosely packed

Lemon Caper Dressing:

1/2 lemon, juiced

1-2 teaspoons capers

1 teaspoon caper liquid

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 small shallot, minced

Sea salt to taste

Freshly cracked pepper

About 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, or to taste

reheat oven to 400 degrees (°F). 

In a mixing bowl, dry chickpeas well.  Mix together with spices, salt, pepper and olive oil.  Make sure chickpeas are evenly coated.  Then, place in an even layer on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until super crispy and browned.  Set aside to cool.

Trim the edges off all asparagus stalks.  Using a vegetable peeler, shave asparagus, and add to mixing bowl.  Continue until all asparagus has been shaved (save the scraps and use for stocks or soup). Using a mandolin or paring knife, shave radishes and add all vegetables to a large mixing bowl.  I used watermelon radishes, but feel free to use any radish variety you can find. They're all good! Season with salt and pepper.

In a small jar, add all dressing ingredients and shake until well emulsified/combined.  Drizzle dressing over salad, toss well and add to serving bowls.  Top with roasted chickpeas, microgreens and flaky sea salt.  Serve immediately!

THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY SHOT FOR H&M !


YEAR OF THE HIPPIE / "PULSES" !

I was very excited to be contacted by the USADPLC back in March to help them develop recipes based on dry peas, beans & legumes.  I mean, what a treat!  Apparently, each year the United Nations picks a topic of global interest, and they named 2016 the “Year of Pulses” - meaning beans, peas & legumes (who knew they were named pulses, right?).  It’s officially going to be the year of hippie food!

Obviously, I’ve always been a huge advocate of beans & legumes.  For healthy eating, vegetarian cooking & low-cost meals, “pulses” are literally the best option out there.  When I’m tired, exhausted & don’t want to feed myself (but need a homemade meal), I’ll very often turn to soccas or a quick batch of lentils over a salad.  It’s the easiest way to feel well-fed, fast.

Gearing up for 2016 (I can’t believe it’s already May), each country is called to submit one recipe to represent their country.  The USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council reached out for me to develop a recipe to be in the running.  Side note: If you love cooking with beans/legumes, their site is a great resource for recipes ( Lentil meatballs & chickpea quiche sound so good!).  With your help, my recipe could be selected as the National Signature Pulse Recipe for the U.S.

All you have to do, is go to the USADPLC Facebook page & vote just by LIKING my photo.  Simple as that.  I'd love if you could help spread the word, help out this amazing non-profit and get a good, hippie pizza recipe selected Nationally.  As always, thank you for your continued support!

As for this pizza, it's the simplest crust option there is - no rising, waiting or yeast.  It's super quick & something you could throw together for a lovely weeknight meal.  Plus, pesto & pizza are a true match made in heaven.

CHICKPEA PIZZA WITH ARUGULA, PISTACHIO NETTLE PESTO & BURRATA (Gluten-free, Grain-free) Serves 4

Chickpea Crust:

1 cup chickpea flour

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon fennel fronds, roughly chopped

1 cup lukewarm water

4-6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 garlic clove, minced

1 lemon, zest

4oz. burrata, broken into knobs

Large handful baby arugula, to top

Pea shoots, to top

Flaky sea salt

Cracked black pepper

Toasted Pistachio Nettle Pesto:

2 large "tongfuls" of stinging nettle leaves, de-stemmed* 

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1/3 cup pistachios, toasted

1 lemon, juice & zest

1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, freshly grated & packed

1;2 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Olive oil (about 1/3-1/2 cup)

Heat oven to 450 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together chickpea flour, salt, pepper, celery seed, fennel fronds and parsley. Slowly whisk in lukewarm water, making sure to eliminate all lumps.  Stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Fold in garlic and lemon zest.  Let mixture sit and thicken for about 15 minutes (or up to 12 hours).  

While socca thickens, make pesto: Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Blanch your nettles: add leaves to a boiling pot of water for 1-2 minutes. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon, and add to an ice bath to cool.  once greens are cool to the touch, strain and squeeze all water from the leaves.

Roughly chop the blanched greens.  Add to a food processor with garlic, pistachios, lemon juice and zest, parmigiano, salt and pepper.  Pulse into a coarse paste.  Then stream olive oil to desired consistency or about 1/3-1/2 cup.  Set aside.

*NOTE: To de-stem your nettle leaves, hold onto stem with tongs, and use your other hand to carefully snip the leaves using kitchen scissors

Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil evenly into a cast iron (10-12 inches) or 9x11 baking dish to preheat for about 5-6 minutes (or until pan is very hot).  Carefully remove hot pan and pour in batter evenly.  

Top with sea salt, fresh pepper and bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges are browned and firm.  If socca appears dry while baking or after, drizzle more olive oil over top.  Let cool for 15-20 minutes.  Then. spread a thick layer of pesto over chickpea crust and dollop with burrata.  Top with baby arugula, a sprinkling of pea shoots, flaky sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.  Serve warm!

BLACK SESAME ICE CREAM

I've always found myself feeling a little like an outsider when it comes to defining my own "food philosophy."  I seem to  end up in a sweet spot between wholesome/health-inspired/allergen-free cooking and a more classical, technique-driven (and probably sugar-laden) sense of cooking.  

I generally respond to extremes - those who throw themselves into what they do with complete abandon.  I'm inspired by someone like Amy Chaplin as much as I'm inspired by the decadent-driven ways of Nigella Lawson.  As much as I appreciate what might be the thing that sets me apart, it often leaves me feeling like I'm in a neither-nor world.  Not quite fitting in on either side of the pond.

I barely adapted this amazing recipe to make the most decadent, dairy-filled ice cream ever.  In celebration of extremes, heavy cream and in betweens.

DECADENT BLACK SESAME ICE CREAM (Serves 4-6) GLUTEN-FREE

ADAPTED FROM JUST ONE COOKBOOK

  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds, divided
  • 5 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 600ml heavy cream
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving

First, toast your sesame seeds - add to a skillet over medium heat.  Stirring constantly, toast until they smell nutty and being making a crackling sound.  Remove from heat and let cool.

In a food processor, add 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds and pulse until they begin to breakdown into a gritty paste.  Add 3 tablespoons honey and pulse until smooth.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks, sea salt, 2T honey, vanilla, sugar, sesame paste and reserved whole sesame seeds. 

In a small saucepan, heat cream until hot, but not boiling.  Slowly whisk the cream into the sesame mixture in a continuous, thin stream until well combined and smooth.  

Put mixture back onto stovetop over medium-medium high heat until the custard reached 175 degrees.  Then, remove from heat and add to a mixing bowl.  I will often add the bowl to an ice bath to cool it down quicker, or you can let the mixture come to room temperature.  

Chill in the fridge for 4-6 hours or until well-chilled.  Add to an ice cream maker and churn for 25 minutes.  Add to a baking dish or loaf pan covered with foil and chill two hours for the best texture.  I love to serve this ice cream with another sprinkle of black sesame seeds and flaky sea salt.

 

*The beautiful bowl used in this post is made by HENRY STREET STUDIO


ONLY A FEW DAYS LEFT TO VOTE FOR THE SAVEUR BLOG AWARDS!  I would so appreciate your vote! PLEASE VOTE HERE TO SUPPORT THIS SITE & ALL YOUR OTHER FAVORITE BLOGGERS.