Category:  Vegetables

Home » Archive by category "Vegetables" (Page 8)
A Side of Carrots & Green Beans

A Side of Carrots & Green Beans

In Vegetables On February 16, 2011 2 Comments

It’s February and we should start thinking about summer – the sun, the beach and – wait a minute – the bathing suits, too? Whether we’re happy with last year’s G-string size or not, now is definitely a good time to stop eating and get moving.

Accordingly, I brainwashed myself into believing that sweets can be replaced by salads and vegetables. One of my fav’s is a carrot and green bean dish that I grew up with in Italy. All you need for this is a little salt, pepper, garlic and extra virgin olive oil to boost the natural sweetness of these two veggies.

Should I get caught in a restaurant in the next few weeks, rest assured that you’ll hear me ask my server for fish or chicken, “a side of carrots, green beans – and bring the olive oil, please”.

Prep time: 20 to 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
1/2 pound fresh green beans, tips discarded
3 large carrots, peeled and julienned
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic Cream*, for drizzling (optional)

1. Place green beans in a 2-quart saucepot; cover with cold water and bring to a boil.

2. Cook 2 minutes or until beans are crunchy-tender.

3. Drain and place beans in a large glass or porcelain bowl. Set aside.

4. Meanwhile, place carrots in same 2-quart saucepot; cover with cold water and bring to a boil.

5. Cook for 1 minute or until carrots are crunchy-tender.

6. Drain carrots and add to the beans in bowl. Add salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil and toss. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve immediately as a side to fish, chicken or steak. Drizzle with a little balsamic cream (optional).

*Balsamic cream is a thick, glazed reduction of dark balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar is from Modena, Italy. It is made from the Trebbiano grape and is aged in wooden barrels for several years. There are two varieties of balsamic vinegar: the dark and light variety. Both the cream and the vinegar can be found online at Amazon.com®.

Text and Photographs ©2011 Nancy DeLucia Real

Chive&Pot-1.Latkes.P.'s

Celebrating Chanukah – Potato & Chives Latkes

In Breads, Crêpes, Pancakes & Puddings, Holidays, Vegetables On December 4, 2010 9 Comments

Lasting eight days, Chanukah, also known as the “Festival of Lights”, is a Jewish holiday  which commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple (Second Temple) in Jerusalem. At Chanukah, one of the traditions occurring in Jewish homes is the lighting of a candle on a Menorah – a candelabrum – in a prayer at dinnertime. Over the years, I have been invited to my Jewish friends’ homes in order to participate in such a joyous celebration.

A popular side dish served at Chanukah dinners consists of potato pancakes called “latkes”. Latkes are crunchy on the outside and deliciously sweet inside. I finally learned how to make them with an added accent of chives. Serve these latkes as tradition has it – with applesauce and sour cream. Enjoy.

Active prep time: 10 to 15 minutes
Inactive prep time: 4 minutes
Cook time: 16 minutes
Makes: 6 to 7 latkes

Ingredients:
1 pound Russet potatoes (approx. one large)
1 small white or brown onion
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
Dash ground black pepper
1 tablespoon all-purpose, unbleached flour
1 to 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup olive oil
8 ounces (1 cup) ready-made applesauce
8 ounces (1 cup) sour cream

1. Peel and grate potato into a large bowl with cold water. Peel and grate the onion into the same bowl; stir in ½ teaspoon of the salt. Let mixture soak 1 to 3 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a 4-quart mixing bowl, beat together the egg, remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, black pepper, flour and chives. Set aside.

3. Drain the potato-onion mixture in a colander, pressing down to remove excess water.

4. Transfer the drained potato-onion mixture to a cheesecloth or clean white kitchen towel; roll up and squeeze out excess water.

5. Stir the potato and chives into the egg mixture and blend with a fork until uniform.

6. Heat both oils in a 12-inch, nonstick skillet until oil is hot but not smoking.

7. Measure ¼-cup potato mixture into hands and form a round, flattish shape.

8. Place the flattened potato mixture in hot oil, pressing down with a spatula to form a 4-inch pancake (latke).

9. Measure and prepare 2 more flattened potato mixtures in skillet and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, on medium-high heat, until latkes are golden brown.

10. Drain on paper towels on a platter.

11. Serve latkes hot, accompanied by applesauce and sour cream. Latkes usually accompany beef brisket or other roasted meats.

Note: If oil is not hot enough, the latkes will be oily.

Text and Photographs ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real

Stewed Okra

Stewed Okra

In Soups and Stews, Vegetables On September 11, 2010 0 Comments

A few weeks ago, at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market I heard someone ask, “How do you make okra?” This recipe is a wonderful response to that question. While all the vegetables marry well in the stewing, the sauce is the best part and should be picked up with some good Italian bread.

Prep time: 20 to 25 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound fresh okra, tops cut off and discarded
2 Japanese eggplants, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pasilla pepper, stem and seeds discarded and flesh cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds discarded and flesh cut into thin strips
1 medium brown onion, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup vegetable broth
1 pound cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat the oil in a 4-quart stockpot. Add the okra, eggplant, pasilla and bell pepper strips and stir fry on high heat, about 2 minutes.

2. Add the onion and cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes.

3. Stir in the vegetable broth and cook on medium-high heat, 1 to 3 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve with fresh Italian bread or steamed rice.

Note: This is a vegan recipe.

Text and Photographs ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real

Roasted Peppers (Peperoni Arrostiti)

Roasted Peppers (Peperoni Arrostiti)

In Salads, Vegetables On July 12, 2010 0 Comments

ENTER OUR KITCHEN, WATCH & LEARN

Although red bell peppers are delicious when freh and added raw to salads or other foods, they’re quite succulent when roasted. This is because their naturally sweet flavors are enhanced in the roasting process. Make this traditional “peperoni arrostiti” salad and discover why Italians have such delicate palates. After savoring every ingredient in this delicacy, you’ll never go back to ready made roasted peppers!

 

Active prep time: 5 to 20 minutes
Inactive prep time: 10 to 15 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
3 to 4 large red bell peppers, cut in half lengthwise, seeds and stems discarded
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons fresh chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley or fresh basil

1. Line a 12 X 18-inch baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place peppers, rounded side up, on foil-lined sheet.

2. Place baking sheet with peppers on an oven rack positioned 6 to 8 inches away from overhead oven broiler/grill.

3. Roast peppers 8 to 14 minutes or until skin is charred.

4. Transfer baking sheet with peppers to a counter and cool, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and discard the charred skins from roasted peppers.

5. Cut the peppers lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick strips. In a glass or porcelain serving bowl, toss the peppers together with remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serving tips: Enjoy roasted peppers with Italian breadsticks called “grissini” or on toasted bread.

Accompany with some cheese, a salad and a favorite wine.

Buon Appetito!

Text ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real
Roasted Peppers Salad Photograph Only ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real

Hummus Heat with Pitas & Vegetables

Hummus Heat with Pitas & Vegetables

In Appetizers / Starters, Fun Foods, Vegetables On April 9, 2010 4 Comments

Hummus is a garbanzo bean dip from Mediterranean countries but has now become popular all over the world. Even kids are reaching for a pita wedge or a carrot stick to dip in hummus. My addition of the chipotle chile accounts for the “heat”. Make Hummus Heat for your friends and family and watch it disappear in moments.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Makes: 2-1/2 cups

Ingredients:
1-1/2 to 2 cups cooked garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained -or-
One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
4 tablespoons sesame Tahini*
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Juice of 1 small lemon
1/2 chipotle chile** in adobo sauce
2 fresh parsley sprigs
2 to 3 six-inch pita breads, cut into wedges
4 to 5 celery stalks, peeled and julienned
2 to 3 large carrots, peeled and julienned
1 large or 5 small Persian cucumbers, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch thick circles

1. In a food processor, blend the garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, lemon and chiles to a grainy paste.

2. Taste and adjust olive oil, salt, lemon and chipotle chile levels (you may add more, to taste).

3. Transfer the hummus to a 3-cup serving bowl. Make a small well in center (about 1/2-inch deep) and fill it with olive oil; place parsley sprigs as garnish in center of olive oil in well.

4. Serve as an appetizer, accompanied by pita wedges, celery, carrots and cucumbers.

Tip: For a thinner consistency, add more olive oil or 1 tablespoon of sour cream.

Note: “Cooked garbanzo beans” refers to dry garbanzos and following package cooking instructions.

*Sesame tahini is a paste made with ground sesame seeds and can be found in the ethnic foods section of large supermarkets or in Middle Eastern grocery stores.

**Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are sold in cans and can be found in the ethnic foods section of large supermarkets or in Latin American grocery stores.

Text and Photographs ©2010 Nancy DeLucia Real