Posts from the ‘vegetarian’ Category

black garlic hummus !!!


we have an awesome outdoor market called green city market that i LOVE to hang out & shop at first thing in the morning-7am-before the massive crowds show up. i can only hit a few stalls per visit because it’s SO overwhelming. yesterday i saw little virgin bloody marys that had a piece of black stuff on a pick. i pulled one out & quietly sipped. i was being watched by the vendors. i sniffed the black thing, so interesting, & chomped down. i heard a chorus of angels in my head. it was my first taste of black garlic ! and i HAD to have more. it’s not cheap-around $3/bulb, but i bought 2 & a jar of the puree, which sells out fast. i have never tasted anything like it. it completely blew my head off.

i couldn’t wait to run home & make the most obvious dish with it-hummus. i used a basic recipe & increased the garlic from 2 cloves to an entire bulb of the black garlic. i wanted tons of that incredible flavor which is nothing like regular garlic. i can’t even describe what it reminds me of because it’s totally in a league of it’s own.

the hawks playoff game against the kings would be on in the evening & black garlic hummus was the PERFECT game nosh. it turned out totally amazing! seriously the very best hummus i have ever had! i used plentils-little lentil chips instead of pita. it worked perfectly.

i will never be the same again.


thomas keller’s insane avocado louie recipe


served at the oscars last night.
that is just insane. i mainly had to post this so i can try to remember to make it when i’m feeling very creative. what is super cool about him is that he shares it all! i use his simple roast chicken recipe in many of my recipes.

he encourages you to pickle your own, which is very intriguing.
who’s in?

Avocado Louie
½ avocado, pitted
5 hearts of palms, cut into rings
4 petite radishes, chopped
5 celery stalks, shaved
3 cucumber parisiennes (pickled cucumbers)
3 pickled mushrooms (Keller used pickled hon shimeju)
2 asparagus tips
1 sugar snap pea
2 romanesco cauliflower
1 cherry tomato (Keller used Sweet 100)
2 pearl onions, sliced
1 tbsp. lemon vinaigrette
1 tbsp. green goddess puree
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Fleur de sel, to taste

1. If you can, do your own pickling. Add cucumber parisiennes, hon shimeji mushrooms in a large bowl or jar with 1 part champagne vinegar, 1 part water, 1 part sugar. Let sit.

2. In a pot of boiling water, blanch hearts of palm, green asparagus, snap pea and romanesco cauliflower until tender.

3. Cut avocado in half. Trim the base so there is a flat surface. Trim the top and cut off any blemishes on the flesh. Brush the outside with lemon vinaigrette.

4. Spoon green goddess puree (recipe below) onto plate and place avocado on top. Add the rest of the ingredients—have fun with it! Drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Season with fleur de sel.

Green Goddess Puree

1 ¾ cups mayonnaise
¾ cup crème fraiche
⅓ cup roasted garlic, pureed
2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
2⅔ cups herb puree (below)
Salt, to taste

Incorporate all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and combine well. Adjust to desired consistency and season to taste.

Herb Puree
3 cups pickled parsley
2 cups baby spinach
1 cups pickled tarragon
1 cups dill

1. In a pot of salted, boiling water, add all ingredients and stir well. Allow the herbs to cook until tender: they should disintegrate when pressed.

2. Remove the cooked herbs with a slotted spoon place in a colander lined with cheese cloth or paper towel. (Ring out excess liquid to avoid the puree becoming too salty.)
Place ingredients in a blender and blend on high (you might need to add a small amount of cold water to help it spin) to a smooth thick puree. Scrape the sides of the blender and pulse again. Let chill.

tomato/avocado/corn salad w/roasted garlic olivada


this blog is really for me. when i make something, i want to remember it. this recipe was made with what i had on hand & caters to my current olive/avocado fetish. it is utterly delish-SO good i ate almost the entire batch on my own.

the salad

2 ears corn painted w/olive oil
2 ripe avocados
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 lg cucumber peeled
1/4 cup small diced red onion soaked in ice water
1/4 cup nicoise olives
the dressing

1/2 head roasted garlic
3 T. olive tapenade (ground olives w/olive oil)
3 T. olive oil
3 T. balsamic vinegar
maldon salt to taste
fresh ground pepper
bunch fine chopped basil
2 T. anchovy paste
3 T. shredded parm/asiago/romano cheese

-roast the corn in 350 oven till browned. cut off kernels & put in large bowl. chop avocados & tomatoes & add. i used 3 kinds of my garden cherry tomatoes-white cherry, black cherry & fig. peel, de-seed & chop the cucumber. add olives. add onions after soaking 30 minutes. this makes a big difference to people who are sensitive to raw onions. you need the flavor but it can be too harsh if you don’t soak. toss this together.

-roast garlic painted in oil in foil oven 350 for 35 minutes. squeeze into mini chopper/processor with olive tapenade, balsamic, anchovy paste, salt, & pepper. add olive oil gradually. mix in the basil (i used my purple basil from the garden which is stronger in flavor than regular green basil) & the cheese. add to veggies, toss gently & serve with a sprinkle of cheese on top.

SO good! all of these ingredients are in season so take advantage!

*easily can be made vegan by omitting the anchovy paste because the olives are flavorful enough & cheese is not necessary either because of this. olives are your flavor friend 🙂

strawberry jam


i went shopping at a local produce store stanleys-over the weekend. a worker shoved an entire box-8 lbs-of strawberries in my arms & said, “you take. 98 cents.” i guess they needed to get rid of the ripe berries that day. what do i do with 8 lbs of ripe berries besides freeze them for smoothies? then i remembered someone at the store said, “jam.” so i looked up some recipes & went for it.

SO easy!

take 1 lb strawberries quartered. put in sauce pan with 2/3 cup sugar & 1 peeled & grated granny smith apple. simmer till strawberries fall apart-around 30 minutes. add 1 tablespoon lemon juice. let sit in fridge at least 2 hours.

delish! i plan on making buttermilk biscuits this weekend. there’s plenty to give away as i made 2 lbs of this stuff! you can probably use this in a dessert-such as a crepe or donut.

jam out!

pasta salad w/cherry tomatoes & olivada


i have been trying to figure out the best way to use my home grown cherry tomatoes-i have black & white cherry & fig. this is the best since i’m feeling close to the olive lately.

this recipe is excellent. it has everything delish-capers, olives, anchovy paste, fresh mozzerella, fresh cherry tomatoes. it’s cold so my hubs can take it to work without having to heat it up. and the colors are excellent.

i topped it with parmesian/reggiano & anchovy. maldon salt is also a good idea. supreme 🙂


chai masala tea cake


i’m off on fridays. this is recent & i’ve turned it into a major cooking/baking day, usually starting early in the morning. i woke up to a fb recipe post by the lovely show-me-the-curry ladies for chai-tea. i have a cupboard full of indian spices-many which are whole-that i wanted to use up, so i made the spice mix. i dragged out my mortar & pestle & went to work. it’s hard work-those indian ladies do it all day long. they are all buff. then i put it all through the coffee grinder & sifted it. it makes a lot.

you can use the powder to make many things like chai masala tea cake. i had everything except walnuts, subbed pistachios, & brown sugar, subbed molases. it worked perfectly!

best served warm with a dollop of european butter!

SO good 🙂


hand-crafted pierogi


pierogi. i’ve made them a few times before but it’s been years. 4 dozen took over 5 hours from start to finish. you have to love these to work this hard. and it is hard. i respect bakers. dough can be back-breaking work if you do it right. you have to knead it for about 10 minutes, give it the proper time to sit, keep it from drying out, roll perfectly-this has to be very thin. and it’s so hard! practice practice practice. there’s nothing more to say.

i researched a few dough recipes & settled on one that i’m pretty sure will be my stand-by. pierogi & vareniki dough is perfect. & if you don’t have cake flour on hand, just put 2 tablespoons of corn starch in a one cup measure, add regular flour to the rest. i did this & it worked perfectly. and 10 minutes is a long time to knead, but you have to get that gluten going. when you start to roll, cut the dough in fours. and roll it until you can’t get it any thinner. it takes awhile. i used a 3 inch diameter serrated edged cutter.

filling is tricky. you have to stretch the dough in the air all around the dollop of potato mixture & seal well. it took me a couple of hours to do 48 of these. you can use any kind of filling out there. my favorite pierogi is potato cheese onion, so i started with a standard recipe but instead of using onion powder & garlic salt, i used real onion & garlic. the farmer cheese is important for the flavor so don’t skimp if you decide to make this flavor. here’s the recipe for potato and cheese pan-fried pierogi. it’s excellent & you can easily cut it in half. i was left with tons. however, it tastes so damn good it’s not a bad thing to have it to eat on the side.


you finally boil until they float-5 minutes


they did turn out pretty good. i’m a little intrigued to work with dough again. i enjoy the challenge. & i enjoyed the backbreaking work involved in making this beloved polish comfort food.