Pearled Barley with Butternut, Pomegranate and Pistachios

Butternut and Barley - january 25, 2014

This seems like a salad, but is it? I'm not really sure. It acts like more of a starchy side, with vegetables and fruit. Either way, it has been a hit at potlucks this winter and helped use up the butternut squash that have been cluttering up my kitchen counter since last September.

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20130911-53

Fall - september 25, 2013

Summer is over.

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Buy the book

Pasta with Roasted Vegetables
september 24, 2013

This is another use for the vegetables I roasted earlier this week, using Tamar Adler's method. On Friday, I loaded the oven with a tray of eggplant and peppers, a tray of acorn squash, a glass baking dish of cherry tomatoes and another glass dish of zucchini. Most of it turned out pretty well.

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Buy the BookPomegranate Glazed Eggplant
september 5, 2013

Pomegranate molasses is one of those strange ingredients sitting in my fridge that I very rarely use. How exciting that it will help me use another ingredient I very rarely use: eggplant. This is made with tempeh and the recipe calls for winter squash, but I'm going to see if I can sub in zucchini instead. Because it's still summer.

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PumpkinCurry

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry - april 17, 2010 

Today I picked up Alice Water's latest book - In the Green Kitchen. It looks to be an interesting mixture of essential basics for simple home cooking, gathered from people she knows, most of whom are chefs. She also has a website with each featured person giving their cooking lesson, a recorded series that was begun at Slow Food Nation in 2008. I love the book's lime green spine, and it has gotten me all fired up to revisit The Art of Simple Food, which is still sitting on my bookshelf only partially read. Maybe I'll get to it in time to pull some recipes out for late spring and summer of this year.  

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StewyRootVegetables

Get your chard on!

Today was a second great day for my garden - I've eaten two salads from it. For lunch, I had some mixed lettuces with a hard boiled egg and vinaigrette along with an open faced mozzarella and avocado sandwich.  The kids ate peanut butter and honey roll-ups, on wheat tortillas. They sampled the salad while harvesting but weren't interested once it entered the house.

Now, for dinner, we're having my favorite arugula salad of all, along with the very last butternut squash in our kitchen. (Well, actually there is one more, but its humungous and moldy at the top and must be composted.)  Its officially spring, so I think that means we'll be done with the squash. (Except for an acorn squash still hanging around on the counter).  Hurray!  I'm always looking for new winter squash recipes, if you happen to have a good one.

The Stewy Roasted Root Veggies is adapted from Canal House Cooking volume 3, which is my goto cookbook for this week.  I'm celebrating its arrival, but promise to move on to other sources in a few days. Usually I'm not fond of cooking with wine, but thought I'd give it a try in order to rid the kitchen of any remaining winter veg.  In fact, I paired it up with the arugula to bring in a little spring- but really the two do well together.  

Speaking of the arugula, I planted it from seed on February 5, in one of our raised beds underneath the big cold frame I bought this year, in advisement from Nigel Slater.  What a great idea - I just grew salad in six weeks. In February. With no irrigation. And there's still more - today I just thinned the plants a little bit.

Today the kids and I planted two beds of carrots - in with some onions (to keep pests away), one in the sun and one in shade that will be sunny by the time summer rolls around.  I'm told that you should start carrots in cold soil and finish them in heat, so I'll see how that goes.  We also started weeding and sweeping the patio - its all very exciting.  And I'm trying to figure out how to trellis the kiwis - they've started leafing out, so I guess I'd better get on that one.  

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Stewy Roasted Root Vegetables (adapted from Canal House Cooking volume 3):

4 Tablespoons olive oil

1 large yellow onion, sliced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

4 large shallots, peeled

1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into pieces

4 carrots, peeled and cut into pieces

4 parsnips, peeled and cut into pieces

2 cups white wine

3 bay leaves

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Heat half the olive oil with the onions, garlic and shallots in a large ovenproof pot over medium heat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook until soft and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Scrub and cut up the other vegetables while the onions cook.  For the squash - I recommend using half of a large one if you can't find a really small one.  To make prepping the butternut easy, cut it in half where the neck starts to round out into the bottom, so that you have one round piece and one long thin one.  slice off the top with the stem horizontally, and the bottom too.  Then peel each half with a vegetable peeler.  

Arrange the carrots, parsnips and squash in the pot with the onions, garlic and shallots, and stir them up. Season with salt and pepper, then pour in the wine and add the bay leaves.  Add the rest of the olive oil and roast, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, around an hour or so.

While the veggies are cooking you should make the lentils.

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French Lentils:

1 cup french lentils

salt 

balsamic vinegar

Put one cup french lentils into a medium pot, cover by about an inch with water.  Bring the lentils to a boil, then cover partially and turn the heat down to simmer.  Check the lentils in about twenty minutes.  Add more water if the pot is getting dry.  The lentils will be done when they are soft, but not falling apart.  When they seem just about done, add a teaspoon of salt and let them simmer for five more minutes. Finish by mixing in a splash of balsamic vinegar and salt to taste.

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Arugula Salad:

1 bunch arugula

1/2 lemon

2 Tablespoons olive oil (or so)

3 Tablespoons pine nuts

a bit of parmesan cheese, shaved

salt and pepper

Wash the arugula and cut off all the long stems with no leaves.  Spin it dry and put it in a salad bowl.  In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts on medium heat.  They will burn very quickly, so you should devote all your attention to the skillet while they toast.  When they are brown and smell good, remove them from the heat and into a bowl. Right before you serve the salad, squeeze the lemon and toss it with the greens.  pour the olive oil into the bowl, salt and pepper and toss. Sprinkle the pine nuts and cheese over the top of the salad.

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