Category:  Vegetables

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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)

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

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