As I noted last post, I have been on a Jerusalem kick. The flavors and ingredients of the Near East are exotic, yet delightful, offering a welcome change from some of the normal mid-week meals. One such ingredient is tahini, a ground sesame paste, that is central to hummus, halvah, and other staples of middle eastern cuisine. Another ingredient is bulgur, which is a critical component of kibbeh (a stuffed meatball) and tabbouleh.
In one recent dinner, a layered kibbeh pie, we had a mix of bulgur and tahini (along with ground beef, pine nuts, and plenty of chopped parsley). Speaking of chopped parsley, tabbouleh can properly be seen as a vehicle for parsley and more parsley. It is a parsley-heavy salad. But it is also a cool Continue reading
We are now in the second year of our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) from the La Vista farm in Godfrey, Illinois. Every other week, we pick up our bounty of fresh vegetables and herbs. In recent weeks, we have been enjoying La Vista’s tomatoes, okra, summer squash, basil, and other similar items from our farm basket. We have also supplemented from our herb garden, replete with rosemary, thyme, and dill, giving us the full array of summer flavors.
This recipe comes together Continue reading
Every so often, I’ll catch myself, and realize that it’s been a few days since I’ve had a good, solid, salad. I may have had some vegetables – I certainly love my sweet potatoes and butternut squash – but for some reason, a head of lettuce is not one of my staple purchases. So, whenever I come to this realization, I go for a Greek Salad.
I think there’s something about the saltiness in the feta that drives my love for the Greek Salad. Or maybe the soft taste of the sliced red onions, given a pickled quality by the vinegar. Or maybe the sharp taste Continue reading
It seems like most of the restaurants we’ve been to lately offer a beet salad. And I really like them. There’s just something about the vibrant red colors and that soft, sweet taste that I find mesmerizing. So, as with any good dish I’ve seen on the menu, I asked myself if I could make it at home. The answer, resoundingly, was Continue reading
Posted in Salad
Tagged Beets, Feta, Roasting
Chickpeas are a complicated bunch. The first time Caitlin and I cooked with chickpeas, we opened a can, drained them, and prepared a mixture to make falafel. It was a total disaster. The canned chickpeas disintegrated the minute they hit the frying oil. Fortunately, dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, worked like a charm.
With that lesson in mind, Continue reading
The Palouse region along the Idaho-Washington border is lentil country. In field after field, the tiny, green-coated legume covers the land.
The Palouse region counts roughly 200 miles of land, and is home to over 3,000 family farms. Between them, these farms account for nearly 90 percent of the lentils grown in this country. But sadly, few of these lentils ever find their way onto American plates or palates. Nearly the entire lentil crop is exported – to countries like Spain, Italy, Greece, and India – countries that appreciate the culinary qualities of the lentil.
And the lentil is worthy of appreciation. Unlike beans, lentils cook quickly and do not require soaking. They pair with almost any dish, and Continue reading
I’ve been feeling a little blue lately.
After making the blue cheese souffle, I wanted to find another recipe for the pungent cheese. With a crisp Fall day on hand, and several pumpkins beckoning, I decided to throw some pumpkin slices on the grill. I marinated the pumpkin slices with ginger, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then tossed them on the grill. A few grill marks later, I combined the hot gourds with blue cheese and the salad regulars, for a real American salad.
Indeed, pumpkins are one of the continent’s oldest crops, having been first cultivated thousands of years ago by Native American tribes. During the colonial era, the tribes routinely prepared Continue reading