Menampilkan postingan dari Maret, 2018

Homegrown Tomato Soup

I grew tomatoes in my garden last year for the very first time. I remember going to the local plant nursery in late spring and spending literally hours agonizing over which tomato plant varieties I should buy for the newly constructed raised bed in our backyard. Would I want lots of cherry or grape tomatoes? Red ones or yellow ones? Green zebra striped heirlooms or San Marzanos? Beefsteak or Roma? I wanted them all, but I knew we only had room for about eight plants. And so, I settled on eight little plants whose tags promised varying sizes, shapes, and colors of tomatoes come late summer. Fast forward through a summer filled with lots of watering, staking, pruning, mulching, stressing over, and fawning over those tomato plants to now. In late autumn, my tomato plants were just about done producing fruit for the season. I cannot say for sure if I think my crop yield was worth all of my time, money, effort, worries, and love I put into those plants. But what I can say is that the satisf…

Braised Fennel with Saffron and Tomato

I'll never forget the time I met Deborah Madison. She was on her book tour for Vegetable Literacy in Seattle and I got to hear her speak and get my book signed. Her books hold special places in my heart and are well-loved. It's amazing how many ways she can create beautiful new vegetable recipes that still manage to inspire after all her years of recipe development. Truly, an inspiration. This dish is such a special one.  Lovingly braising the fennel brings out so much flavor and aroma. It is my absolute favorite way to prepare fennel.  Top it with a poached egg or two to make it a beautiful meal.

Braised Fennel with Saffron and Tomato (from Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison)

2 large fennel bulbs (I used 3 smaller ones)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp fennel seeds
good pinch of  saffron threads
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 clove garlic, crushed (I actually used 5 cloves of chopped garlic in this...I'm a garlic lover)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup water
sea salt and fres…

Avocado Toast: 3 Ways!

Avocado toast is one of life’s simple pleasures, and it also happens to be super easy to make and very healthy, too. Avocados are packed with potassium (more than in a banana) and vitamins and have been shown to help reduce inflammation. Here, I use the fruit to make toast three different ways, transforming a simple snack into a feast for senses. So the next time you have some ripe avocados on hand, try one (or all) of these variations.

For Tomato and Hemp Seed Toast: Ingredients 1/2 medium avocado 1 slice of whole wheat bread (or bread of your choice) 3 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half 1 tablespoon hemp seeds 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, parsley)
Preparation Toast the bread. While the bread is toasting, mash the avocado in a small bowl with a pinch of salt. When the bread is done toasting, top with the mashed avocado. Sprinkle with hemp seeds, chopped herbs, and tomato halves. Serve at once.
For Radish and Sprout Toast Ingredients 1/2 medium avocado 1 slice of whole wheat bre…

Pazole Verde and Embracing the Tomatillo

For the longest time, I was intimidated by the tomatillo. I regularly shied away from it at the market. It just wasn’t a vegetable I was very familiar with. Something about those papery skins turned me off. It seemed like a vegetable that probably didn’t taste all that good since, to me, it looked like it was never ripe. It wasn’t until I realized that salsa verde, that pleasantly refreshing condiment at my favorite Mexican restaurant, was made from those pretty green vegetables that always show up at the farmers market this time of year. 
I was determined to make something with this new-to-me vegetable in my own kitchen. Soon after, this soup was born. And it has become one of my favorites. I’m already coming up with other ways to use the tomatillo because it is my new best friend. Pasole Verde (serves 4 generously) 1 cup dried hominy (alternatively, you may use 1 can of prepared hominy) olive oil 2 onions 12 tomatillos, papery skins removed 1 jalapeƱo, deseeded 8 cloves of garlic  1/2 teaspo…