Displaying items by tag: grains and legumes

img_0335You will need 3 ears of fresh corn to make 2 cups of corn kernels. Using a sharp knife, slice kernels off the cob into a bowl, saving any juice. You can also use frozen, defrosted corn. Dice vegetables the same size for even cooking and an attractive look.

2 cups corn kernels

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

1/2 cup diced red pepper

1/2 cup diced green pepper

2 teaspoons minced jalapeno pepper or 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon hot smoked paprika, optional

5 cups chicken stock or water

1 bay leaf

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Coriander Cream:

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons milk

3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Place corn on a cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When corn is browned remove to a bowl and reserve.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, red and green pepper, jalapeno, sweet potato and chilli powder and sauté for 1 minute longer.

Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Add corn and bay leaf and simmer another 12 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Whisk or puree together sour cream, milk and coriander and reserve.

Ladle soup into bowls and dollop with Coriander Cream. Serves 6

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img_0324A healthy Thanksgiving side dish. It was also great tossed with penne or orrechiette pasta. Romano beans are the red tinged beans available fresh right now. You shell them and cook for about 30 minutes. Otherwise use canned, drained Romano beans.

1 pound Romano beans, shelled

1 bay leaf

3 parsley stems (use leaves for another purpose)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup diced onions

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes

1/2 cup diced red pepper

1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary

1 bunch Swiss chard stems removed, cut into ribbons (about 12 cups)

Place Romano beans in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Add bay leaf and parsley stems and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat to low and simmer gently for 30 to 40 minutes or until beans are tender. Drain beans reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and chilli fakes and sauté for 1 minute longer. Add beans, red pepper and rosemary and sauté for 5 minutes or until red peppers have softened and beans are flavourful.

Add Swiss chard and sauté for 5 minutes more or until Swiss chard has wilted and flavours come together. Add enough reserved cooking liquid to make the mixture juicy. Season with salt to taste. Serves 6 to 8

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A simplified risotto. The stock is added twice instead of in small increments. The texture is not identical to a well-made risotto, but stands up beautifully.

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 1/2 cups short-grain Italian rice

3/4 cup dry white wine

4 cups hot chicken stock

1 cup peas, fresh or frozen, defrosted

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt, freshly ground pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add rice and stir until coated with oil, then add wine and cook, stirring, until the wine has almost totally evaporated.

Add 2 cups stock, and cook, stirring occasionally, until stock is absorbed.

Add remaining 2 cups stock and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until stock is absorbed and rice is creamy but firm. You may need to add up to ½ cup extra stock. Total time will be about 22 minutes.

Stir in peas, remaining 1 tablespoon butter and cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with osso bucco. Serves 4 to 6

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Real hummus made with cooked beans is totally different from the usual store bought kind. Mixing it with cashews is a great addition. However you could just buy ready made and re-blend it with some cashews.

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight

1 bay leaf2 sprigs thyme

¼ teaspoon chilli flakes

1 cup unsalted cashew nuts

1/2 cup cooking water

¾ cup olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons garlic

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons ground cumin

Salt to taste

Drain chickpeas and place in a pot. Cover with water, add bay leaf, thyme sprigs and chilli flakes and bring to boil over high heat. Lower heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until chickpeas are softened. Drain reserving cooking water seperately.

Place chickpeas and cashew nuts in a food processor and puree. Add olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and cumin and process until uniform. Add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup chickpea cooking liquid to thin to desired consistancy. Season with salt to taste. Makes 3 ½ cups hummus

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Risotto is a favourite dish in Scotland among the better restaurants. There, it would be cooked with large juicy prawns just fished out of the loch, but large shrimp or baby lobster tails work beautifully. Serve a green salad on the side.

¼ cup butter

1 pound large shrimp, peeled

1 cup chopped onion

2 cups carnaroli or Arborio rice

½ cup white wine

4 to 5 cups hot chicken stock

1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen defrosted

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in pot over medium heat. Add shrimp and sauté for 2 minutes or until partly cooked. Remove from butter and add onions. Sauté for 2 minutes, add rice and sauté 2 minutes longer or until rice is coated with butter.

Pour in wine and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer vigorously until wine practically disappears, then add stock about 1 cup at a time. As stock is absorbed, add another cup, stirring frequently. After 15 minutes or when rice is still a little hard, stir in shrimp and peas. Cook 5 minutes longer, adding more stock or until rice is al dente. Remove from heat and stir in parsley and remaining butter. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Serves 4.

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These vegetarian noodles are a good dish to serve with the fish. You get a starch and lots of vegetables together. Use the broad rice noodles that you would use for Pad Thai.


8 ounces rice noodles


2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon sambal oelek (or to taste)

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1/4 cup water

Stir fry:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoons chopped garlic

1 tablespoons chopped ginger

2 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced on the bias

50 grams (2 ounces) thin green beans, stem ends removed, halved if long

250 grams (8 ounces) wild mushrooms, thickly sliced (5 cups)

1/4 cup coriander sprigs


Soak noodles in hot water to cover for 15 minutes or until softened. Drain and rinse with cold water and reserve.

Combine fish sauce, sugar, sambal oelek, lime juice and rind, oyster sauce and water and set aside.

Heat wok over high heat. Add oil and swirl carefully to coat. Add ginger and garlic. Stir fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add zucchini and green beans.

Stir fry for 2 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add mushrooms and fry for 1 to 2 minutes more or until just cooked.

Add noodles and toss to combine. Add sauce and toss until noodles are coated.

Bring to a boil and cook 1 to 2 minutes more or until noodles have softened. Sprinkle with coriander sprigs. Serves 4.

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A quick and easy recipe that has lots of flavour and colour. You can use defrosted lima beans or green peas as a substitute for favas. Serve with lentils or rice. If fresh morels are not available, use dried ones (in my opinion, they are nearly as good), or use oyster mushrooms. To blanch and skin favas - first peel them from the pods. Add to a pot of boiling water and boil for 1 minute. Drain and refresh with cold water. Slip off hard outer skins. The bright green bean nestled inside is what you eat.


4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 1 kilogram)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

50 grams (2 ounces) bacon, chopped

125 grams (4 ounces) fresh morel mushrooms, thinly sliced, or 25 grams dried

2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced


½ cup dry white wine

1 cup chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium

1/3 cup whipping cream

1 cup fava beans, blanched and skinned

1 tablespoon chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 400 F.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and sauté until slightly crisp. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat.

Add chicken breasts and brown about 1 minute on each side. Remove and add mushrooms and leeks. Sauté for 1 minute or until softened. Lay chicken on top.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until juices are no longer pink. Remove chicken, bacon, mushrooms and leeks and keep warm. Drain any fat from skillet.

Add wine and stock to skillet, bring to boil over high heat and reduce by two-thirds, about 5 minutes. Add cream, bring to boil and boil until sauce lightly coats a spoon. Add beans to sauce and heat up together. Return chicken, bacon, mushrooms and leeks and simmer together for one minute, or until breasts are reheated. Garnish with parsley. Serves 4

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There is a famous Puglian recipe for dandelion greens and chick pea puree that I love. Here I have deconstructed it to make a savoury pasta dish with another Puglian specialty - orrechiette. Look for young organic dandelion greens if possible. They are full of flavour and not bitter. Serve as an appetizer.


250 grams (8 ounces) orrechiette

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

½ teaspoon chili flakes

About 8 cups dandelion greens, stems and bottom of leaf.

540-millilitre (19-ounce) can chick peas, drained and rinsed

Salt and freshly ground pepper


½ cup grated Parmesan

1 tablespoon olive oil


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add orrechiette and boil for 9 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Strain, reserving ¾ cup pasta cooking water.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté 3 minutes or until soft then stir in garlic and chili and sauté 1 minute longer.

Add dandelion greens and sauté for 1 minute or until greens are limp then add chickpeas. Pour in ½ cup pasta cooking water and let mixture cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until everything is heated through and the tastes are amalgamated. Season with salt and pepper.

Add cooked pasta and stir together. If mixture seems a little dry, add the remaining pasta cooking water. Drizzle with olive oil. Taste for seasoning adding more salt and pepper as needed. Serve sprinkle with Parmesan. Serves 4

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Sorrel is lemony-tasting herb that looks a bit like spinach or arugula. It enhances sauces and soups. When mixed with sweet fresh peas, it makes a decadent soup. You can use frozen peas rather than fresh, if you wish. If sorrel is not available use spinach and two tablespoons lemon juice instead.


3 cups chicken stock

1 cup chopped onions

2 cups shelled peas (fresh or frozen)

2 cups coarsely chopped sorrel leaves

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ cup whipping cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped chives


Combine stock and onions in a pot over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add peas and simmer for 5 minutes longer. Add sorrel and cook another 2 to 3 minutes or until sorrel is wilted and peas are tender. Add lemon juice.

Use an immersion blender to purée mixture until smooth. Add cream. Raise heat and bring to boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or cold sprinkled with chives. Serves 4.

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I like to slightly smash the potatoes when I am sautéing them, but it is not necessary. As fresh peas are in the market right now, try to use them.


750 grams mini red potatoes, cut in half

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen defrosted

2 tablespoons slivered mint

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Place potatoes in pot of cold, salted water. Bring to boil and boil for 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender.

Drain and reserve.

Heat oil and 1 tablespoon butter in skillet on medium-high heat. Add potatoes and sauté until potatoes are beginning brown, about 3 minutes. Toss in peas and sauté until peas are cooked, about 2 minutes.

Stir in remaining butter and mint. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4

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