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The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen: Vegetables

JoanN Jan 1, 2008 06:51 AM

January 2008 Cookbook of the Month, The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen by Paula Wolfert.

Please post your full-length reviews of vegetable recipes here. Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing as well as any modifications you made to the recipe.

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  1. Gio Mar 17, 2009 05:50 PM

    I bought this book, read through it, then gave it to a friend of mine.
    I hope he's inspired to make something from it....I wasn't.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Gio
      JoanN Mar 18, 2009 03:58 PM

      I'm surprised to read that. I haven't cooked a lot from this book, but the two recipes I did try (Pork Coddled in Olive Oil with Tuscan Beans and Arugula and Slow Roasted Rack of Lamb) were both wonderful. For me, it's mostly cold weather, company coming food so I haven't had much opportunity to explore it. But my two experiences have left me with very positive thoughts for the book.

      1. re: JoanN
        Gio Mar 18, 2009 05:45 PM

        Weeelllllll..... I guess it just hit me at the wrong time of year? Month?? I dunno. I just was not moved to recreate anything and IIRC I may have been just a bit overwhelmed by all the instructions or procedures... Maybe later.

    2. beetlebug Jan 31, 2008 04:47 AM

      Oven Baked Cauliflower with Yogurt Garlic Sauce (pg. 244)

      This was ok. Not quite worth the minimal effort it took. It's a simple recipes but there are a lot of steps for the preparation of the cauliflower.

      1. Soak head in vinegar for 5 minutes.

      2. Steam head.

      3. Chill head.

      4. Cut head into pieces and place into an oiled dish.

      5. Bake head with topping (3 (!) beaten eggs, 1.5 cups sheep cheese, lemon juice and parsley and only 1 T of bread crumbs).

      6. Flowerets are served with a yogurt garlic sauce (yogurt, garlic and salt).

      I think the proportions for the topping were off. It was really eggy and not bready enough. I actually added more bread crumbs then called for and it still wasn't enough. Reading the description, it sounded like it would be crispier. But, the end product was more of an eggy cauliflower (on the bottom of the pan, there was baked egg adhered to the bottom of the floweret.). I wonder if the recipe should have been one egg to 3T of bread crumbs.

      If you wanted to make this, prep the head the night before and keep it in the fridge. Once those little steps are completed, the recipe is a snap to put together.

      Here is a pic of the dish, sans sauce.

      1. l
        Linda513 Jan 18, 2008 11:09 AM

        Golden Potato Gratin - page 265

        In this dish you slice some yukon gold potatoes very thinly using the mandoline, put them in overlapping rows in a baking dish, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Then prepare the sauce - milk, eggs, flour, s & p, and cheese. I used gruyere, although the recipe says French Chaource, or California Teleme, or Mozzarella. I happen to like gruyere. You pour that over the potatoes and put back in the oven uncovered for 30 minutes. The top gets brown and crusty, the edges are crispy and the potatoes are soft and tender. What's not to like?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Linda513
          oakjoan Feb 11, 2008 10:25 PM

          I made the potato cabbage gratin and it turned out great. Cabbage is parboiled and then chopped and mixed with some chopped Serrano ham and garlic, juniper berries and fresh thyme and bay leaves (ham and all are sauteed for a bit in olive oil and then mixed into the cabbage). Sliced potatoes are spread on top of the cabbage, s&p are sprinkled, the baking dish is covered with foil and baked. When it's pretty much done, you remove it from the oven and pour over milk/cream and chopped gruyere cheese, then bake sans foil until the top is brown and bubbly. Amazing.

          I made it for a dinner party Sat. night and it was a huge hit. Several people gasped when I said that cabbage had been one of the main ingredients. They all HATED cabbage, yet the baking dish almost needed no washing due to their scraping every last bit off the sides.

        2. pikawicca Jan 11, 2008 04:17 PM

          Casserole of Black-Eyed Peas with Fennel and Tomatoes

          This was a lovely foil for grilled bluefish. I added more than a "tiny pinch" of fennel seed, and about a teaspoon of grated orange rind. This is also a very pretty dish. It could stand on its own as a vegetarian main.

          5 Replies
          1. re: pikawicca
            F Schubert Jan 16, 2008 03:02 PM

            I love this dish--maybe my favorite and most frequently cooked one in the whole book. Orange zest sounds like a great idea. I usually use twice as much chard leaves as she calls for because they cook down so much anyway, and who wants to have a few lonely leaves of leftover shard in the fridge? Same thing with the tomatoes or the fennel--an overabundance of either does no harm to the finished dish. I usually have it over brown rice as a weeknight dinner. I'm making it as I type this!

            1. re: F Schubert
              pikawicca Jan 16, 2008 03:10 PM

              I turned the leftovers into a dip: put in the food processor, added some tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil. Yummy!

            2. re: pikawicca
              foxy fairy Mar 16, 2009 07:24 PM

              Sounds excellent. I received this book for Christmas after cooking from it last January (I think it was the one I cooked from most of the 2008 COTM selections). Just tonight I was paging through deciding on a few side dishes to prepare for someone I love* * * I am glad to read these reviews and to turn back to a former COTM thread for inspiration. When I've made black-eyed peas before, I have been like Eh, not so exciting. But this sounds like a great preparation. YUM. I also really like chard and seek more ways to use it... plus I am always up for a great weeknight dinner!

              Tomorrow I am making the asparagus in parchment pouches with caper mayonnaise (p 236) No reviews yet on that recipe. I bought the parchment today and I think I'll also use it for some fish-in-a-packet from Fish Without a Doubt.

              1. re: foxy fairy
                bearette24 Mar 17, 2009 01:48 PM

                is the casserole of black-eyed peas the one you mentioned? maybe i should try it. i saw the big fennel bulbs they have at Whole Foods.

                i have a recipe for nigerian black-eyed peas (from One-Dish Vegetarian Meals by Robin Robertson) that I'm thinking of making...

                1. re: bearette24
                  foxy fairy Mar 17, 2009 04:14 PM

                  Yay, bearette! So excited to see you on chowhound where there are so many exuberant home cooks trying out new books! Welcome! Maybe you'll join us for our next Cookbook of the Month. YES, this is the casserole that I mentioned today, and overall this is an EXCELLENT cookbook.

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