Friday, March 26, 2010

Red onion dressing

My most-used dressing; this has a fruity component with a delicious tang that makes it the perfect companion for spinach-type salads!

1/2 red onion
1 C sugar
2 T dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 C red wine vinegar
1/2 C oil

Blend all ingredients together--the spiciness of the dressing will depend on the strength of the onion, so adjust the amount of onion included accordingly (I recommend tasting the onion as you're chopping!)

Roasted portobello mushrooms

These thick, meaty mushrooms are divine sandwiched between slices of focaccia with a bit of avocado and red onion dressing. If I'm serving this alongside a spinach salad (the one picture here also includes oranges, pecans, dried cranberries, and avocado), I'll often put some salad in with the mushroom. Alternatively, you could slice the mushroom and serve it atop the salad!

This recipe comes straight from Veganomicon.

1/2 c. cooking wine (I use white grape or apple juice)
1 T. olive oil
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large or up to 4 small portobello caps.

Combine all ingredients in a glass pie plate. Place the mushrooms caps-up in the marinade and spoon marinade liberally into each cap to form a small pool. Marinate for 20 minutes; cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, flip the caps over, and cook, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.


This recipe is adapted from Williams-Sonoma Breads. It tastes best hot from the oven; I like to split it in half for sandwiches.

2 1/4 t. quick-rise yeast
1 1/4 c. lukewarm water
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus a bit of extra
2 t. regular salt (I use sea salt)
3-3 1/2 c. unbleached bread flour (occasionally I'll substitute a cup of WW)
coarse salt for top of loaf
crumbled dried rosemary
**1 egg white

Dissolve the yeast into the water, stir in 2 T. oil and 2 t. regular salt. Gradually stir in 3 c of flour to make a soft dough that holds its shape. Knead by hand or with the dough hook of a mixer, adding flour as necessary. Knead until smooth and elastic (10 minutes by hand or about 6 with the dough hook).

Form the dough into a ball and place in a clean, greased bowl, turning to grease all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 45-60 minutes.

Grease a heavy rimmed baking sheet (I use my jelly roll pans) with olive oil. Knead dough a few times on lightly floured surface, form into a ball and let rest on baking sheet for five minutes. Stretch or roll out the dough until it covers the bottom of the pan. Cover with a towel and let rise until puffy, about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Uncover the dough. Using your fingertips, make a pattern of dimples at 2-inch intervals over the entire surface. Brush with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with coarse salt. OR, if you're adding rosemary and you'd like it to stick, brush the surface with egg white, then add rosemary and coarse salt.

Bake until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Best when served warm!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Apple, peach, cranberry crisp with fennel topping

The topping in this recipe was inspired by the strawberry-plum crisp from Veganomicon, although I've jazzed it up a bit. The filling is a modification of a standard apple pie, with a few little additions to spice things up and make it a tasty little treat rather than a ho-hum standby. If you're nervous about the fennel, go ahead and give it a try--it's what really elevates this dish. The original recipe calls for anise seed, so you could substitute 1.5 t. of that instead.

3/4 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
1/4 c. sugar
2 t. fennel seeds
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
pinch of salt
4 T. canola oil

Process in a stand mixer until thoroughly combined and crumbly.

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly
1 quart drained home-canned peaches (this is what I happened to have on hand; if you're using fresh, probably 3. Don't use store-canned peaches, as they're flavorless and too syrupy). If you're using home-canned peaches, drain out as much liquid as you can, but don't get too particular.
1 generous handful dried cranberries
3/4 c. sugar
2 T. white flour
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/8 t. ground nutmeg

Stir together dry filling ingredients, then add fruit; stir to combine. Spoon filling into a deep-dish pie dish or a 9x9 glass pan; bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes or until the topping is browned and the juices are bubbling. Watch to make sure it doesn't burn!!

White bean soup with zucchini, rosemary, and kale

I originally posted about this several months ago; I received lots of requests for the recipe, but hadn't really noted things mentally as we cooked. When I prepared this soup on Friday evening, I paid more attention, and here you have it. This is a lovely light-tasting and hearty soup; all three of my children love it and eat it without complaining (which is the ultimate accolade). Unfortunately, we never have leftovers, so next time I'll double it

1 head kale, stems removed, cut into smallish pieces
2 15-oz cans navy or cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
1 onion, diced
2-3 t. garlic, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 c. light-tasting broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 zucchini, washed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 t. rosemary
1-2 t. lemon juice
Extra-virgin olive oil, salt, freshly ground pepper, and rosemary as needed

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Add the garlic and rosemary, saute for one minute, then add the onions and a scant teaspoon of salt and cook until tender. Add the carrots and celery and cook a few minutes more. Add the broth, bring to a boil, then add the beans and the zucchini. Simmer until the vegetables are tender but not falling apart (15-20 minutes). Add the lemon juice and a few grinds of pepper, taste, and correct the seasoning as needed. Stir in the kale until wilted into the soup, then serve with a crusty loaf of fresh bread and salad.

**Note: the broth will thicken somewhat with the addition of the beans.