a vegetarian pop-up for New Orleans

Tag: recipe

Recipes: Rice, Greens, and Pickled Daikon

We had the pleasure of teaching a cooking class at the Grow Dat Youth Farm out in City Park last weekend. These were the recipes we shared, based on produce that’s available from Grow Dat and other vendors at the Crescent City Farmer’s Market this month. These are simple dishes, but using good ingredients and a hearty stock made from vegetable peels and trimmings make for a delicious meal with a full complement of flavors and textures. 

Rice with Black-eyed Peas, Carrots, and Greens

Ingredients: brown rice, black-eyed peas, onions, carrots, greens (kale, collards, carrot tops, etc.), oil, vegetable stock

  1. Heat oil in deep saucepan or pot.
  2. Cook diced onions on medium heat until they become translucent.
  3. Add diced carrots and cook until onions begin to brown.
  4. Add rice and black-eyed peas. Stir to coat grains of rice with oil.
  5. Add stock (or water) so that the depth of the water over the rice is approximately equal to the depth of the rice and the other ingredients below.
  6. Stir in chopped greens, cover, bring to a boil, lower heat, cover, and cook at a low boil for 30-40 minutes, or until the rice and peas are fully cooked.

Chard with Mushrooms and Garlic

Ingredients: chard, mushrooms, garlic, hot peppers, sweet peppers, feta

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan until it shimmers and a drop of water sizzles on contact.
  2. Add sliced mushrooms and cook on high heat so they begin to brown within a minute or two. Stir occasionally.
  3. Add chopped chard stems, diced sweet peppers, and minced hot peppers, and cook for one minute, still on high heat.
  4. Add chopped chard leaves and chopped garlic, and cook for two minutes.
  5. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste and serve immediately, with feta sprinkled on top if available.

Daikon with Lemon and Cilantro

Ingredients: daikon, lemons, cilantro, salt, sugar

  1. Cut daikon into thin strips, thin slices, or grate, and place in a bowl with a sprinkling of salt and a little sugar.
  2. Knead for a few minutes, until the daikon softens. Drain the liquid that collects at the bottom of the bowl and rinse with water.
  3. Place drained daikon in a bowl with a few squeezes of lemon juice, salt, and enough water to cover.
  4. Allow daikon to soak in the brine while cooking other components of your meal.
  5. Before serving, remove daikon from brine, toss with coarsely chopped cilantro, and serve alongside vegetables and rice.

Recipe: Beans, Peas, Zucchini, and a Roasted Red Pepper Broth

We’ve been happy to see the splendid variety of beans and peas at the farmer’s markets these last few weeks. Pink-eyed peas, crowders, butterbeans, limas…none of them take very long to cook, and they’re delicious boiled, fried, cold, leftover, in a stew, or in pretty much any culinary context we can think of. This recipe joins legumes with the rich flavors of roasted red peppers using an unorthodox technique that’s straightforward and yields wonderful results. As you can maybe tell from the title of this post, we developed this recipe so recently that we’re still working on figuring out a decent name for this dish, which we served a couple weeks ago at the OCH Art Market with a fried egg on top, feta, cilantro, and a scoop of rice.

Ingredients: red peppers, jalapeno peppers, celery, onions, garlic, tomato sauce (optional); assorted beans and peas, chopped zucchini and yellow squash

1. On a stove top, grill, or in an oven, roast whole red peppers and jalapeno peppers until the skins blacken, turning the peppers periodically for even roasting. Remove the peppers from heat, and place in a covered container for the peppers to cool and to allow the steam from the roasted peppers to loosen the skins. The jalapenos should take less time to roast, so make sure to keep an eye on them and remove them from heat when they’re roasted.  

2. Once the peppers are cool, peel the peppers, and discard the skins, stems, and seeds. Collect the juices from the roasting pan and container in which the peppers were allowed to cool.

3. In a blender, combine and puree roasted peppers, pan juices, a handful of chopped onions and celery, whole cloves of garlic, a little bit of tomato sauce, and a drizzle of vegetable oil. (This mixture fragrant and versatile and will keep for a few days. It is delicious with pasta, eggs, or even served cold as a salsa of sorts. Last weekend, we mixed in chopped walnuts and minced scallions, and spooned that onto hard-boiled eggs for breakfast.)

4. Combine peas and squash with enough of the roasted pepper mixture to cover, in a pot or saucepan. Add water to thin the mixture, and bring to a boil. Cook at a slow boil for 10-15 minutes, until the legumes and squash are fully cooked and the contents of the pot have been reduced to the desired thickness. Serve in a bowl with feta and cilantro, and a fried egg on top and rice on the side.


Recipe: Baby Squash Salad

We love our baby squash raw. We gussy it up here (and served it at our Rio Mar anniversary event) with a pesto-based dressing, cherry tomatoes, and medium-boiled eggs. If you have the pesto made ahead of time, this dish should take just a few minutes to prepare, and it will delight you with with its colors and flavors. See upper left plate in picture for evidence.

Ingredients: baby squash, cherry tomatoes, eggs, rosemary basil pesto, olive oil, Steen’s cane vinegar, salt, pepper

1. Prepare medium-boiled eggs. Here’s a recipe you can follow. Do this first so that the eggs can cool while you prepare everything else, as they’ll be much easier to peel once they’ve cooled.

2. Prepare the dressing by mixing rosemary basil pesto with the cane vinegar and olive oil, and adding salt and pepper to taste. To make rosemary basil pesto, follow any basic pesto recipe and include a bit of rosemary. We omit the customary pine nuts and Parmesan cheese, but make use of lots of garlic.

3. Slice the baby squash thinly with a sharp knife or using a mandolin. We don’t own such a clever instrument, but have found a vegetable peeler to be equally effective. Cut cherry tomatoes into halves or quarters.

4. When the eggs are cool, peel and cut them into quarters.

5. Combine the squash, eggs, and tomatoes in a bowl, and drizzle with the dressing. Stir gently with a spoon to lightly coat everything with the dressing. Add salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste before serving.

Recipe: Zucchini Kale Soup with Toasted Walnuts and Tomato Relish

We served this soup cold at our last house event, with a hunk of foccacia on the side. If you have vegetable stock prepared ahead of time, this soup doesn’t take much time to make, and is a beautiful addition to a mid-summer meal. If you’d like something a little richer, we’ve also served this soup with feta and chopped basil sprinkled on top, in place of the tomato relish, and that works well too.

Ingredients: zucchini, potatoes, kale, celery, onions, vegetable stock, walnuts, tomatoes, hot peppers, basil, garlic, cane vinegar

1. Cut zucchini and potatoes (2:1 ratio) and a handful of celery and onions into big chunks. Remove the stems from a few leaves of kale, and chop into large pieces. If you’re looking to use giant zucchini that you want to get rid of, make sure to peel off the tough skin and to scoop out the seeds. In a large pot, cover the vegetables with vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, and cook at a rapid boil until the vegetables are tender. Set aside to cool.

2. Once the vegetables and broth are cool enough to handle, puree the mixture with a blender or food processor, add salt and pepper to taste, and adjust the consistency of the soup with vegetable stock if it needs thinning. Refrigerate.

3. Mince tomatoes and basil and a clove or two of garlic and hot pepper. Combine these ingredients with cane vinegar, salt, and pepper to reach a  consistency similar to a thin salsa.

4. Use a frying pan to toast walnuts in a single layer on the stove — be careful not to burn the walnuts. Remove the walnuts from heat. When cool enough to touch, break the walnuts into small pieces.

5. To serve, ladle the chilled soup into bowls. Spoon tomato relish on top, and sprinkle with walnut pieces.

Zucchini Kale Soup, Focaccia, and Roasted Tomato and Lima Bean Salad


Recipe: Cauliflower Soup with Goat Yogurt and Baby Squash

Try this cold soup on a hot summer day. The mild flavor and texture of pureed cauliflower and potatoes serves as a base for slightly acidic goat yogurt and tender baby squash marinated in a little lemon juice, herbs, and ginger. It’s worth it to get to to the farmer’s market early — the beautiful baby squash you can find there are delicate and sweet, and tend to sell out within the first hour or two of the market opening.

Ingredients: cauliflower, potatoes, onions, baby squash, vegetable stock or water, cumin, coriander, turmeric, fennel seed, cilantro, mint, ginger, lemon juice

1. Separate cauliflower into large florets, and place in a pot with quartered potatoes, chopped onions, cumin, coriander, turmeric, fennel seed, and enough water or vegetable stock to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Let cool.

2. In a smaller pot, bring salted water to a rolling boil. Cook the baby squash for two to three minutes, so that they are barely cooked and the squash retain their bright greens and yellows. Transfer the squash to a bowl of ice water, then drain.

3. Finely mince ginger, cilantro, and mint. Combine with lemon juice and water, at a ratio of 1:2. Marinate the squash in this mixture. We find that the lemon juice without the water can be overpowering because baby squash is so delicate in flavor.

4. Puree the cauliflower and potatoes with the cooking liquid, add salt to taste, and chill. The cooling process will thicken the soup somewhat and also change your perception of how salty the soup is, so keep some stock on hand with which to adjust the texture of the soup.

5. Before serving, add freshly-ground pepper and taste the soup again before serving to see if you want to add any more salt.

5. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Spoon goat yogurt into the bowl, and place a baby squash or two on top, making sure to include a little of the lemon juice and minced herbs as garnish. The consistency of the soup should be thick enough to float the baby squash.

Recipe: Egg, New Potatoes and Creole Cream Cheese with Blueberry Caviar

Eggs, New Potatoes, and Blueberry Caviar with Creole Cream Cheese and Scallions

We served this at the last OCH Art Market, and it was a big hit as a surprising arrangement of all local ingredients that was both colorful and delicious.

Ingredients: egg, new potatoes, Creole cream cheese, blueberries, pecan oil, scallions, rosemary, salt and pepper

1. To make the blueberry caviar, mix fresh blueberries with finely chopped fresh rosemary and a pinch of salt. Blend to create a consistent texture. The rosemary flavor should be strong but should not overpower the blueberry. If you have any left over, you can use it for salad dressings and marinades.

2. Place potatoes in a small pot with water to cover. Boil for about ten minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked. Be careful not to overcook because you do not want the potatoes to fall apart when you cut them.

3. Slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch thick coins, and lay flat on a plate.

4. Beat eggs, and fry a little bit at a time to create thin silver-dollar sized pieces of egg, thin and on medium high heat so that the eggs cook through in a few seconds. Cut to fit nicely over the potato slices.

5. Spoon a teaspoon of cream cheese, or substitute something mild and creamy like coconut milk, onto the egg and potato assembly, and top off with a spoonful of blueberry caviar.

6. Finish with a drizzle of pecan oil, a sprinkling of thinly sliced scallions, and salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe: Fava Bean with Roasted Cauliflower and Beet Salad

Fava beans have been abundant at farmer’s markets in the last couple of weeks, and we were eager to try them out. The 4- to 10-inch long pods are not the prettiest things, and the beans themselves are a little bit grotesque in comparison to daintier spring and early summer legumes, but it’s hard to beat the sensation of biting into a fresh fava bean. Here’s a simple and tasty dish we came up with for last weekend’s OCH Art Market. 

Ingredients: fava beans, cauliflower, beets, parsley, lemon juice, minced garlic, cumin, salt and pepper

1. Remove fava beans from pods. Blanch for 2 minutes in salted water and place in ice water, and then drain. We decided not to remove the waxy skins of the beans for this recipe, convincing ourselves that the skins shouldn’t be discarded because we enjoyed the flavor and texture of the skins. When the fava beans were a little younger two weeks ago, we thought that the skins lent something extra to the dish. Last weekend, however, the skin-on favas were a bit tough for our tastes. For the full process, follow these instructions. 

2. Set oven on broil. Wrap whole beets in aluminum foil with the stems and ends removed. Remove cauliflower stem and cut florets into big big-sized pieces.

3. Roast the beets for 45 min to 1 hr. Use a knife to see if the beets are done — you should be able to insert the knife easily into the center of the largest beet.

4. Gently toss the cauliflower with vegetable oil and salt. Roast the cauliflower for 15-20 minutes, turning each of the pieces halfway through so that the cauliflower browns on two sides.

5. Once the beets have cooled, slip the skins of the beets off with your fingers, and cut the beets into thin coins.

6. Make a dressing by mixing together lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Whisk in oil, and then combine the dressing with the shelled fava beans, chopped parsley, cauliflower and beets, at least half an hour before serving.

Recipe: Seared Greens with Crispy Fried Onions, Pickled Kohlrabi, and Poached Egg

We’ve served ruby streak baby leaf mustard greens raw before because they are delicious uncooked, but we like this version even more, in which a few other ingredients are brought in to play off of the feathery texture and slight bitterness of the greens. (This was one of more popular dishes at our Pre-Valentine’s Day Brunch a couple of weekends ago.) We deal with each of the ingredients simply, and combine them at the end for a plate that’s varied in texture, flavor, and color while allowing the qualities of each ingredient to shine through. We quick-pickled the kohlrabi with rice vinegar, garlic, hot peppers, and star anise two days ahead of the event. Pickling endows the vegetable with wonderful flavors but also allows it to retain its refreshing crunch. An hour or two before service, we fried the onions until they were crisp and golden — the sweetness of the caramelized onions mingles well with the greens. We poached the eggs and seared ruby streak baby leaf mustard greens to order, and served these four ingredients with a good dash of freshly-ground black pepper and kosher salt. We think of this dish as a salad, because it is as refreshing to the palate as it is to the eyes, as good salads often are.  

Ingredients: kohlrabi, rice vinegar, cayenne peppers, star anise; onions, vegetable oil; ruby streak baby leaf mustard greens; egg, vinegar

1. Peel kohlrabi, which has been widely available at farmer’s markets, and cut into 1/4″ thick slivers. Place kohlrabi in a container along with whole garlic cloves, star anise, cayenne pepper sliced open, and a mixture of 1 part rice vinegar and 1 part water. Make sure that there is enough vinegar and water to cover. Refrigerate.

2. Heat a 1/4″ of oil in a frying pan, and fry a single layer of thinly sliced onions until they turn golden brown. Remove and dry on paper towels, separating the fried onions as they tend to stick to each other.

3. Poach an egg. We like to add a little vinegar to the water to help the egg hold together.

4. Right before serving, heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a pan until just before the oil starts to smoke. Sear washed and dried ruby streak greens for 30-45 seconds on high heat, just long enough to cook the greens and render them a deeply saturated shade of green. Cook a single layer at a time, and do not overcook.

5. On a plate, make a bed of seared greens, sprinkle onions on top, followed by a poached egg. Lay a couple slivers of kohlrabi alongside the greens, and season the plate with thickly ground black pepper and a generous sprinkling of kosher salt.

Recipe: Red Lentils (Sri Lankan style)

We served a variation on these lentils way back in summer of 2011 while we were still at the Dragon’s Den. This basic recipe comes courtesy of our good friend Jamin and his mother, and we are forever indebted to them for showing us how to make this dish that will knock your socks off, especially if you like garlic as much as we do.* Even if you never try any of our other recipes, try this one. There is very little prep work, and cooking time is under thirty minutes.

Ingredients: red lentils, water, turmeric, thinly-sliced onions, minced garlic, curry leaves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, oil, chopped hot peppers, scallions

1. In a large bowl, combine lentils, a sprinkling of turmeric, onions, garlic (we like to use a lot), and a little more than enough water to cover all the ingredients. Allow these ingredients to soak for at least ten minutes. To start, try using approximately 1/2 onion and 3-4 cloves of garlic and 1 tsp. of turmeric for each cup of dry lentils.

2. In a wide saucepan, heat cooking oil along with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, hot peppers, and a few curry leaves.** When the mustard seeds start to pop, add the lentil mixture to the pan. Keep the heat on high.

3. When the lentils have come to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes. Stir occasionally — you may need to add some vegetable stock or water to make sure the lentils don’t become too dry, as they will absorb a large amount of the liquid. The lentils are done when they are soft and start to meld together.

4. Remove curry leaves, salt generously, garnish with thinly sliced scallions, and serve with rice.

*This dish accomodates other ingredients well. When we served it last year, we used beet greens to provide a little more color and flavor, and have also incorporated mushrooms, spinach, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables in previous iterations.

**Curry leaves should be available at international food markets or anywhere that sells Southeast Asian produce.

Recipe: Root Vegetable Hash

image courtesy of Nora McGunnigle

 A week of experimentation with the gorgeous root vegetables that are currently available at the Crescent City Farmer’s Market yielded this recipe for vegetable hash, which we served with baked eggs and sourdough bread at our brunch last weekend. There’s a couple of steps to this recipe, but they’re simple and the results are well worth the effort. The first step is to make some mustard, which is easier than you might imagine, followed by the roasting of mustard-coated vegetables, and then the pan-frying of the vegetables with a tomato-mushroom-split pea sauce to create a rich, colorful dish that will fill you up and stick to your ribs. Check in next week for Grandma’s Apple Pie Recipe.

Ingredients: root vegetables (such as turnips, rutabagas, parsnips, pumpkin, potatoes, and carrots), mustard, vegetable oil, onions, wild mushrooms (such as porcini, shiitake, black trumpet, morel), vegetable broth, tomato sauce, split peas, cilantro

1. Dice the root vegetables, and coat with a dressing made by whisking together vegetable oil and mustard. Roast vegetables in a single layer, and stirring once or twice to turn the vegetables. They are ready when the vegetables are cooked and browned on the edges. This should take twenty to thirty minutes.

2. In a saucepan, heat oil and cook diced onions and finely chopped mushrooms on medium heat, until the onions are translucent — eight to twelve minutes. Add vegetable broth, tomato sauce, and a handful of split peas. Cook on medium heat for thirty to forty minutes, until the split peas are cooked but still somewhat firm. (Use the split peas judiciously, as they are strong in flavor and will overpower the sauce if used in abundance.) The consistency of the sauce should resemble that of a marinara sauce — use broth or water to adjust.

3. The roasted vegetables and sauce can be prepared a day in advance. To make the hash, heat oil in a frying pan, add enough roasted vegetables to cover the bottom of the pan. Ladle the tomato mushroom sauce on top of the vegetables, using enough to thoroughly coat the vegetables. Cook on high heat, stirring frequently, for five to six minutes.

4. Salt and pepper hash to taste. Garnish with chopped cilantro, and serve immediately.