Displaying items by tag: grains and legumes


If asparagus is available, the tips are a delightful addition. You can use vegetable stock if you want to keep this menu vegetarian.Servings: Serves 4.



Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 5 minutes

Ready In: 25 minutes


½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon flour

1 egg

¼ cup chives, chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 cups chicken stock

3 cups baby spinach, sliced

1 cup sorrel, sliced (optional)

½ cup fava beans, peeled


Whisk together Parmesan, flour, egg and 2 tablespoons of the chopped chives. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.

Heat chicken stock in a pot over medium heat. Add spinach, sorrel and fava beans and simmer for 3 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Turn heat to high and whisk in cheese mixture. Bring to boil. The mixture will break up and make little flakes in the soup. Season to taste and garnish with remaining chives.

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This easy and attractive dish serves four as part of a Chinese menu or two alone with noodles or rice. Clams or shrimp make excellent substitutes for the mussels. If you can't find fermented dry black beans, you can substitute an equal amount of Asian black bean sauce, though the dry beans have a better flavour. This makes a lot of mussels; you can serve them without the noodles if you prefer.


8 ounces Chinese egg noodles

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil


2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic

2 teaspoons minced ginger

2 tablespoons fermented dry black beans, rinsed

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons white wine

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup chicken stock or water

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 pounds mussels, rinsed

1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add noodles and boil until just tender. Drain and season with soy sauce and sesame oil. Set aside.

Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Add garlic, ginger and black beans. Stir-fry for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add soy sauce, wine, sugar, chicken stock and rice vinegar and bring to boil. Add mussels, cover wok and steam for 3 minutes or until they open. Remove mussels to a bowl.

Add cornstarch mixture and sesame oil to sauce and bring to boil, stirring until sauce has thickened. Toss with mussels and garnish with coriander. Serve over noodles. Serves 4


Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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South Indian vegetables can be very simply prepared. Here green beans are blanched and then quickly stir-fried with spices. These can be served with any meat, poultry or fish dish, South Asian or Western. 



1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths

3 tablespoons olive or canola oil

1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon whole brown or yellow mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Bring 8 cups water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt to it and then the cut beans. Boil for 4 to 5 minutes or until the beans are just tender. Drain immediately and leave in the colander.

Pour the oil into a frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the cumin, mustard and sesame seeds. As soon as the seeds start popping, a matter of seconds, take the pan off the heat and stir in the beans. Put the pan back on the stove, turning the heat down to medium low. Stir to mix for about a minute, adding 1/2 teaspoon salt and the cayenne. Remove pan from heat.


This recipe comes from At Home with Madhur Jaffrey: Simple, Delectable Dishes from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka by Madhur Jaffrey (Random House, $40).

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Years ago on my first visit to Spain, I tasted a paella made on a wood-burning grill that became my standard for paellas ever since. I’ve experimented over the years but it was always missing something – it must have been the wood they used, the warm night and my new relationship. Last week, I tossed caution to the winds; instead of sourcing hard-to-find Spanish ingredients, I used what I had. Somehow this time it worked magically. A finished paella should still have some liquid on the top and ideally, a bit of a brown crust on the bottom of the pan. I used a large skillet.

1 pound (500 grams) jumbo scampi or large shrimps

1 teaspoon saffron threads

1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika or chili flakes

4 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock

⅓ cup olive oil

1 cup thickly sliced Spanish dried chorizo sausage

1 cup diced onions

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

4 medium squid, sliced

1 cup fresh or canned tomatoes chopped

2 cups short-grain rice, either sushi rice, Spanish Valencia or Arborio

1 pound (500 grams) fresh clams

1 pound (500 grams) fresh mussels

1 cup lima beans or green peas, defrosted

¼ cup chopped parsley

3 green onions, cut into long pieces

Use kitchen shears to cut through scampi shell on the leg side (the shell stays on). If using shrimp, shell and reserve shells.

Combine shrimp shells (if using), saffron, stock and paprika and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Discard any shell and reserve.

Heat oil in paella pan or large skillet. Add chorizo and sauté for one minute. Add onion and sauté for two minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add scampi or shrimp and sauté for two minutes or until partly cooked. Remove scampi or shrimp from skillet.

Add squid and sauté in oil for two minutes or until white. Add tomatoes and sauté one minute or until just limp.

Stirin rice, then pour in flavoured stock and bring to boil. Turn heat down to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until rice is nearly cooked through. Stir occasionally. Add in clams and mussels, cover pan and cook five minutes or until shells begin to open. Add scampi or shrimp and peas and cook another five minutes or until seafood is cooked through. Taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with parsley and green onions. Serves 6 to 8.  

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The Armagnac perfumes the prunes and imparts its lovely taste to the goose. Prunes and goose are a classic combination. This is also excellent with turkey and capon.


¼ cup butter

1½ cups chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1½ cups chopped pitted prunes

2 tablespoons Armagnac or brandy

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

2 teaspoons grated ginger

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

3 cups fresh breadcrumbs

½ cup chicken stock

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Melt butter in a skillet over medium low heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add celery and cook for 5 minutes more or until celery is soft and onions are slightly golden.

Remove from heat and stir in prunes, Armagnac, soy sauce, grated orange rind, ginger, thyme and parsley. Add breadcrumbs and stir in enough stock to moisten. Season well with salt and pepper. Yields 3 to 4 cups.


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You can also make this dish with halibut. I roast four 6-ounce pieces of halibut at 450 F for 12 minutes, seasoned with equal amounts of cracked fennel seed, coriander and black pepper. Serve with mango chutney, cucumber relish and rice.

6 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon chopped ginger

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon medium Indian curry paste

2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas

1 cup coconut milk, shaken

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed

2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Drizzle squash with 2 tablespoons oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Place squash on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Sir and bake another 5 minutes, or until tender.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric and cinnamon and cook another 30 seconds. Stir in curry paste and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add chickpeas and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until coconut milk is nearly absorbed by chickpeas. Season with garam masala, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add Swiss chard and boil for about 2 minutes, or until wilted. Drain and season with salt and pepper.

Place Swiss chard on a plate, top with rewarmed chickpeas and place squash on top. Scatter with coriander. Serve 4  

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The addition of garam masala makes this soup sparkle. It's like a French onion soup but thick with lentils and spice. Vegetable stock gives a better flavour than water, and chicken stock works well for non-vegetarians. Serve with some toasted naan.

2 tablespoons butter

5 cups sliced onions

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon chopped ginger

1 tablespoon garam masala

1/2 cup red lentils

4 cups vegetable stock or water

1/4 cup yogurt

Heat butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, sprinkle with salt and cook slowly, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until nicely caramelized. Add ginger and garam masala and cook 1 minute longer. Add lentils and stock and bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until lentils have exploded. Adjust seasoning. Swirl with yogurt. Serves 4  

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The look of these beans may make you remember "Frenched" frozen beans, which were a staple in many homes. These are fresh and crunchy, sparked by a spritz of lime. Don't use the lime until just before serving as it will turn the green beans brown if they sit for a few hours.


2 tablespoons butter

8 ounces green and yellow beans

¼ cup chicken stock or water

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon grated lime rind

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Trim beans and slice them lengthwise on the bias.

Heat butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add beans and sauté for 2 minutes. Drizzle in chicken stock, lime juice and rind and cook for 2 minutes longer or until tender-crisp. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4 

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This salad brims with freshness and snap. If you can't find fennel, use Belgian endive instead.

To turn this into a more substantial dish, drape smoked salmon or prosciutto over the finished salad or add slices of slivered Parmigianino Reggiano or Spanish Manchego cheese.

The tarragon dressing is my all-time favourite. I like the creaminess as well as the spring-like, liquorice taste.

1 small fennel bulb, trimmed

Salt to taste

8 ounces green beans, trimmed

6 cups packed baby spinach

Creamy Tarragon Dressing:

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or ¼ teaspoon dried

¼ teaspoon finely chopped garlic

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cut fennel in half and remove core. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, slice fennel thinly. Place in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and let sit for 30 minutes.

Bring a large skillet of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and boil for 3 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Drain and refresh under cold water until cold. Drain and pat dry. Cut into 2-inch pieces.

Combine green beans and spinach in a bowl.

Prepare dressing by whisking mayonnaise, vinegar, tarragon and garlic in a bowl. Slowly whisk in oil. Season well with salt and pepper.

Pat fennel dry and add to green beans. Toss salad with dressing. Serves 6.

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It is good luck to have seven vegetables in any Moroccan dish.

3 cups chicken stock

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup carrots, diced

½ cup white turnip diced

½ cup diced red pepper

½ cup diced zucchini

2 cups coucous

1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen

Salt to taste

3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

Heat chicken stock in a pot over medium heat. Add cumin, paprika, black pepper, cinnamon and turmeric and simmer together for 10 minutes.

Add onions and carrots, turnips, red pepper and zucchini and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Turn heat to high and bring to boil. Stir in couscous. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork, season with salt and sprinkle with coriander. Serves 6.

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