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Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian ideas’

Flavies gifts

Our lovely French friend, Flavie, spent the weekend on a farm in the Catskills and upon her return came bearing a basketful of beautiful vegetables she had picked just for us.  It was quite a diverse lot – tiny potatoes (purple and white), purple cauliflower, purple and green asparagus (which amazed me as it is long past New York asparagus season), amaranth, radicchio, Swiss chard, carrots, 2 wee stalks of broccoli, onions (red and white), garlic – all organically grown and fresh as fresh could be.

My first use was to sauté a few of the fingerling potatoes, the cauliflower, and the amaranth seasoned with some of the onion, chopped, and a clove or two of garlic.  I had a few scallops purchased that morning at the greenmarket that I had intended to turn into a ceviche, but thought why not sear them and top off the sauté.  That is exactly what I did and, once sautéed, I added a bit of butter and lemon juice to the pan and drizzled it over all.  Then, because it was all so brown and purple, I shredded a couple of cauliflower leaves for garnish and Eh! Voila! – to quote Flavie – we had a most delicious dinner.

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Avocado Toast

In the last few years we have somehow become best buddies with quite a few Australians who along with great friendship have introduced us to their favorite breakfast, avocado toast and a flat white. Avocado toast became an immediate choice for me as my most memorable childhood treat was mashed avocado on a saltine and avocado toast is about as close a relative of that simple snack as you can get. For the easiest version you toast some great bread – I like to do ciabatta or baguette on the grill pan – and then simply slice some avocado over the top, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkle on some sea salt. There are other versions calling for mashed avocado seasoned with chilies or dukka (also spelled duqqa), an Egyptian spice mix comprised of ground spices, nuts, and herbs or with Mexican seasonings and chopped cilantro. Lots of New York restaurants are now featuring unusual “cheffy” versions and you can find any number of interesting takes on this simple and quite healthy breakfast on the web and in food magazines.

And should you want to do the whole Aussie breakfast, a flat white is a coffee similar to an Italian cortado, but the milk is softer and thicker and the coffee flavor more pronounced than it is in any of the milky Italian espresso beverages. I think that Starbucks now features a flat white which gives you a further sense of the Australian influence in our culture.

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20130713_Squash_Stew_DSC_0986

Sometimes when I am shopping in the farmers market everything looks so inviting that I can’t decide what to buy.  All of the little summer squashes looked at the peak of perfection which made it impossible to select just one type.  So I decided to buy one of each and put them all together in the pot.  When I got home I sautéed some sweet onion (from a new crop) and garlic in extra virgin olive oil.  When the onion was sweet and soft, I added the sliced summer squash – green, yellow, and a little of both – along with some cherry tomatoes.  I let them simmer for about 15 or 20 minutes or until soft and juicy, but not mushy.  I had a perfect side dish, a toss-in for pasta, and a take along cold lunch all in one.

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