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MAY COTM Flexitarian Table SIDE DISHES (all seasons)

Discussion of side dishes from all the menus for all the seasons here.

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  1. I'm not quite sure if I'm posting in the right category, but here goes....

    I made the Creamy Root Vegetable soup the other night (internet recipe). It was relatively straightforward, but time-consuming. With all the veg peeling, chopping and simmering, it took nearly two hours! I used a mixture of parsnip, carrot, swede and jerusalem artichoke as that's what I had in the fridge. It was a pretty typical soup recipe - I sweated onion, garlic and ginger in butter and olive oil, added ground fennel seeds, turmeric and the root veg and stock (I used a light chicken stock, as I had some that needed using up), and simmered until tender. Then I pureed it using my immersion blender and added cream and seasoning (I halved the amount of cream). It needed quite a lot of S&P to lift it.

    The resulting soup was hearty, as you'd expect from the amount of root veggies used, but a bit, well, meh. I thought the ground fennel dominated a bit, which I wasn't overly keen on. Maybe it would have helped if I'd added the full amount of cream. Overall, it was a handy, filling lunch to take to work for the next few days (especially as the weather has been rubbish here), but I wouldn't make it again.

    1. Butter-braised Radishes with their greens (spring menu 6, p. 64).

      Thanks to oakjoan for pointing this recipe out - I had somehow overlooked it, but I'm so glad I tried it. I had leftover radishes and was going to be eating solo, so I figured it was the perfect time to give this a shot. You braise the radishes in butter, brown sugar and water, add their greens a few minutes after the bulbs, then take them out to reduce the sauce (along with some white wine vinegar and nutmeg). I tossed in a little additional brown sugar at the end (he tells you to taste for this), probably next time would add a little more. I'd also cut the radishes into maybe quarters, because I'd like them to soak up every bit of the braising juice - really a nice dish, and very pretty.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LulusMom

        Butter-braised Radishes with their greens (spring menu 6, p. 64).

        I've been meaning to make this for a while, and finally had the chance this weekend. Love this simple recipe! I used radishes and Japanese salad turnips from the farmers market. I took LuLusMom's advice and halved them so they would soak up more of the braising liquid. Great flavor and quick to cook, this recipe is a keeper.

      2. Rice with Herbs (Spring menu 7, pg. 75)

        This was amazing. From making the sauce (blend spinach, parsley, cilantro, mint and a jalapeno with water) to sautéing the pine nuts with rice, the whole dish was incredibly fragrant. And, the dish didn’t disappoint once I ate it. I paired this with the soy sauce tofu and the salad with the dill vinaigrette. The whole meal was delicious.

        I served this with the soy tofu (pg. 126) and the Spring Greens in Dill Vinaigrette (pg. 52)

        1. Spring Roasted Carrots with Cumin and Lime, page 25
          Chilled Asparagus Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette, page 56

          1. To the carrots I added quartered fingerling potatoes and a red onion sliced in half moons but followed the rest of the recipe pretty much as designed. The combination of cumin with Aleppo pepper and lime was brilliant....We loved this! I did not use the skillet techinique but loaded all the veggies and seasonngs into a roasting pan and set it into the oven at 425*. The result was wonderful.

          2. As for the asparagus..... What can I say? I love sherry vinegar. I love asparagus.... asparagi, in Italian.... I love that word.

          I did not add the hard boiled egg garnish because I thought it would be over kill. I cannot wait to make this again. AND, I cannot wait to serve it to family and friends! Bravo Maestro Berley! To make this complete we found very thin early asparagus at the farm we shopped at yesterday... just as Chef recommended for the recipe. Lucky us.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Gio

            Spring Roasted Carrots with Cumin and Lime (spring menu 1, pg. 25)

            This was delicious. I had some beautiful baby carrots in the CSA box. I'm not the biggest carrot fan and am always looking for tolerable ways to eat them. This could be it. The lime and cumin were nicely contrasted with the sweetness of the carrots. I added too much lime juice and not enough cumin. I didn't know the total weight of the carrots so I winged it. But, it was still tasty although a bit too tart for my taste.

            1. re: beetlebug

              Isn't that a great recipe? I just love the combo. As I posted below (because I missed Gio's original post), I made it with supermarket 'baby' carrots, and it was still great.

          2. Creamy Risotto-Style Brown Rice with Spring Greens and Asiago - p. 41

            I think this is the right thread - I'm still getting my mind around tofu as a "main"! I cooked brown basmati my way rather than his, as I find that 40-45 minutes is far too long and give you mushy rice. I soaked for about 5 hours, but could discern no difference from the rice when I don't do that, so will skip that next time. I had some really nice baby greens from the farmer's market, including arugula, tatsoi, and baby mustard greens, and supplemented it with grocery store baby arugula to get to 6 oz (I made half a batch). I used a combination of ramps and scallions, and some nice aged (though still soft) Asiago, and probably used more Asiago than called for. Overall, I liked the dish, and did keep tasting and salting to bring out the flavors. My husband said it would be MUCH better as a real risotto, and I think of this more as a rice pilaf than "risotto-style".

            7 Replies
            1. re: MMRuth

              I made this last night with the pressed crispy chicken

              I loooooved this. I made it with mache and arugula as the greens, used short grain brown rice that I cooked ahead in the rice cooker. The flavor of this reminded me of my favorite soup, broccoli rice, and also of some similar dish I ate growing up (probably zuchhini & spinach rice with romano cheese? not sure, but I absolutely knew the flavor). We all had second helpings of this dish. I used scallions, alas during little league season I can't make it to the farmers market on Saturday mornings.

              1. re: MMRuth

                I made this for dinner tonight and quite liked it (OH loved it). I used green garlic, regular garlic and what we call spring greens but what you probably know as collard greens. I cooked them for a bit longer than called for as they're not as tender as baby greens. I substituted parmesan for the asiago which seemed to work OK. Served with Marcella's lemon chicken (my regular roast chicken recipe), tsatsiki and sauteed courgettes (the first of the season). All in all a pretty nice dinner.

                1. re: MMRuth

                  Creamy Risotto-Style Brown Rice with Spring Greens and Asiago - p. 41

                  I made this tonight, with amaranth as my greens. I loved the concept and the texture, but found the ginger flavor a total distraction in the dish. I'll definitely make it again, but without the ginger.

                  I wonder if whether the dish comes out like pilaf or risotto depends on how much of the reserved cooking liquid from the greens you use. I made about 1/3 of a recipe using 1 c of cooked brown rice, but I added about 3/4 c of the reserved water. It all got absorbed, and the effect was creamy, not soupy. (It's curious that the picture in the book looks more soupy than creamy, though.)

                  Btw, the rice was some that I already had cooked, so I didn't follow his soaking regimen, and it seemed fine. I think I'll try it again some time with barley.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    Re: MMRuth's rice cooking ala Berley post. I just recently discovered organic brown basmati rice in bulk at our local food shrine, Berkeley Bowl. The directions I found for cooking it (can't remember where) didn't call for any soaking at all. I rinsed it as Madhur instructed me to do in one of her early cookbooks. Not sure if it's necessary anymore. Anyway, I cooked it exactly as I'd have done for regular rice and it came out fine. I hate it when rice splits at the ends and gets mushy!

                    This basmathi is my new favorite rice, along with Bhutanese red rice.

                    1. re: oakjoan

                      Glad it worked out - I disliked brown rice for many years, based on cooking it for 45 minutes or so. But this way, it doesn't split and is almost like regular rice. I think I have some Bhutanese rice - need to pull it out. Have to confess that I've not cooked from the book since last Friday, when we decided that two weeks of being veg was enough for us!

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        I had a mild dislike of brown rice for years, but then when short grain brown rice was on sale at my food co-op, I bought some and have not looked back. Short grain is so much better. Chewy and tasty. Long grain tends to get dry w/ an unappealing mouthfeel.

                    2. re: MMRuth

                      I made this last night but true to form changed it up, cooking the shorter grain brown rice from Massa Organics in more a risotto style (next time I will probably almost cook it and then turn to risotto style like Berley suggests). I thought it needed more flavor, but didn't want too much butter and cheese, so I added some orange zest. Completely changed the dish, but I liked it. USed radish and turnip greens.

                    3. Tapenade, p. 31

                      Made 2.5 times the recipe since I had enough olives, and it is a good dish to tide my husband over while I'm cooking. Really liked this - I did screw up a bit as I processed the olives, capers, olive oil w/out the onion mixture - for some reason I thought I was supposed to add them in afterwards - so the result is maybe a little over processed. Last night we had it with Finn Crisps, but I'm going to try it with my leftover radishes and fennel as well.

                      1. Risotto Style Brown Rice with Spring Greens and Asiago

                        We absolutely loved this dish, I took a couple of liberties with it and halved the recipe, but I tried to be mindful of following measurements and timing to be true to the recipe.
                        First off, I used a short grain, organic brown rice we get locally here in the Bay Area called Massa brown rice. It is short grained, and has cooked up into a creamy consistency in previous recipes, so I thought it would work well here. It did.I soaked it about four hours, and cooked it to Berley's specifications, but it took more like 30 minutes to fully cook, not the suggested 45. Also, as MMRuth mentioned, I'm not sure the soaking really affected the final cooking time...but I am tempted to keep soaked brown rice in the fridge for one or two days and see if this aids in cooking.
                        For the mixed spring greens I used stinging nettles, on their own, no other greens. I think this may be why we liked the dish so much, the nettle flavor was so nutty and delicious and paired really well with the rice, cheese and butter.
                        I used scallions and green garlic, and instead of Asiago cheese, I used up a nub of Grana Padano.
                        I also feel that the ginger was key here. I don't often add ginger to my savory food, unless it's in South East Asian cooking, but it really lifted the dish, as my BF said. I was careful to finely slice and chop it really fine, so it almost melted into the rest of the sweat ingredients, it smelled heavenly.
                        Also, I think I probably doubled the butter at the end. I didn't measure this exactly, just added some in at the end, but it kept calling out to me, so I added a little more. This, along with the cheese, resulted in a nicely thickened "risotto" with very little effort.
                        We had this with lamb chops (not a FT recipe, I still can't tear myself away from My Bombay Kitchen's spice rubs for meat!) and the tomato gratin from another Spring Menu in FT. All in all, a huge success, everything went really well together and seemed pretty easy to get onto the table.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: rabaja

                          I agree that the ginger gives it a nice extra "zing".

                          1. re: rabaja

                            Don't you just love that tomato gratin? I gave it a second chance and decided it was something to keep in our rotation. Just beef it up a bit with herbs and spices. I think it would pair well with a number of meat and fish courses. DH hates brown rice but I think we have to try PB's recipe... perhaps that will win him over.

                            1. re: Gio

                              We finished up the gratin last night with the leftover risotto as well. It reheated beautifully, and I look forward to recreating it soon!
                              As for the brown rice, try to use short-grain, I think it really contributed to the creaminess.

                              1. re: rabaja

                                Thank you, rabaja, for the short grain recommendation. I'm not sure which kind we presently have in the pantry. DH was disappointed with the al dente brown rice he made last week.

                          2. Fresh corn polenta w/sauteed cherry tomatoes
                            Wow wow wow.
                            I was initially going to use frozen corn, it seems too early for nice fresh corn. I found some at the Persian market though (where produce is super cheap), and then used those sweet little grape tomatoes. This was probably the best polenta I have ever made, and we pretty much licked the bowl clean. It was nice alongside the shrimp w/harissa, and I might even try it with the fried or poached egg over the top as the alternate protein. We were really in love with this polenta, I think it will replace all other methods, the whole corn kernels really brought up the flavor so that it didn't need extra butter or cheese.
                            As far as the sauteed tomatoes, they provided a zip of acid alongside the polenta, and the oil/garlic/pepper was nice drizzled atop as well.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: ErikaK

                              On decadent, I'm so hungry mornings, I've made the polenta without the corn or tomatoes for breakfast. On top, I put scrambled eggs with cheddar and avocados. The whole thing is just a luscious breakfast. I bet eggs with those tomatoes would also be great.

                              1. re: beetlebug

                                I love polenta for breakfast. I'd never thought of adding the cheese and avocados - sounds wonderful.

                              2. re: ErikaK

                                Fresh Corn and Polenta with sauted cherry tomatoes - this with the harissa shrimp. Well, I had to use frozen corn, but I don't really think that was a big problem. I liked the addition of the corn a lot, and will probably incorporate that into my normal polenta. For the tomatoes, I think maybe my herb mix wasn't intersting enough - I used basil and tarragon. Trust me - it was still good (husband absolutely raved about the whole meal), but I was expecting the tomatoes to be just a little more "wow."

                                1. re: ErikaK

                                  We also made the fresh corn polenta with sauteed cherry tomatoes from summer menu #3 (along with the shrimp with harissa main from the same menu, which I reported about in the summer mains thread http://www.chowhound.com/topics/51482... )--I used 2 tsp of canola oil instead of the 2 TBSP of butter in the polenta, and 2 tsp of EVOO instead of the 1/4 cup of oil in the tomatoes. Our "fresh herbs" were rosemary, chives and parsley. The polenta was lovely with the fresh corn. The tomatoes weren't sweet enough (still out of season, I guess--we used tiny ones, the size of marbles) and I don't think I cooked them long enough. Because I cut back on the amount of oil, the tomatoes started to dry out in the saute pan, so I dropped in two ice cubes of chicken stock (I was a little panicked--ideally, I would have defrosted the stock but I didn't think I'd have time...)--this solved my "not enough liquid" problem but threw off the cooking time a little, I think. Anyway, we'll definitely try this again--and thaw the chicken stock before adding it to the tomatoes!


                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    During the tomato season, I've also used chopped up whole tomatoes v. grape/cherry tomatoes. This works just as well and is just as tasty. It also cooks a little faster. I find that the cherry tomatoes always take longer to cook than I had planned.

                                  2. re: ErikaK

                                    Totally agree with you about the polenta, Erika. I'm not usually a big fan, but this was terrific. I liked it even better than the shrimp (photo here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/51482... ). Unfortunately, I let it warm to long at too high a heat so it wasn't as creamy as I would have liked. But the flavor, with the fresh corn, scallions, and a hint of hot was bang-on. I used fairly large grape tomatoes (because the small cherry tomatoes were *ridiculously* expensive) and cooked them much longer than called for. The smaller size would have been better visually, but even then I think I'd cook them considerably longer than recommended--until some of the tomatoes begin to pop and give off a bit of juice. I used a combination of basil and tarragon and would have liked a bit of extra juice to blend in with the herbs.

                                  3. Grilled Zucchini with Mint Oil
                                    I made this yesterday with grilled flatiron steak instead of serving Friday with the shrimp, polenta & tomatoes. The mint was a nice subtle flavor, it didn't overpower the garlic/red pepper. The oil really complemented the zucchini. The drizzle of vinegar really didn't do much though, I think next time I might omit that step or else use balsamic or sherry vinegar - something with a bit more presence. For some reason I don't cook zucchini that much, but this might make a return in the fall when our friends have tons from the garden.

                                    1. Spicy Roasted Winter Squash, p. 200

                                      The combination of the smoky, spicy red pepper with the squash was great. I'm not convinced about the maple syrup, though, which seemed to burn more than glaze.

                                      My changes: I still have hard-shelled, long-keeping squash to use up, rather than the relatively tender-skinned winter squash available in the fall that he calls for. So I cut mine into roughly 1-2" peeled chunks and tossed them with the glaze. It would be easier to pay closer attention to slices and carefully turn them so each side get browned uniformly. I gave the chunks a few stirs throughout the process, but wasn't about to make sure each one got browned on every side! As a result, some sides were still bright orange while others sides got extremely browned (nearly black), though even the darkest ones still tasted great. The cubes also got quite soft, making it hard to turn them without their breaking up.

                                      Bottom line for me: While I loved the flavor, I think I'd be just as happy leaving out the maple syrup, just brushing the squash with the spicy oil. I used hot smoked paprika, btw. The pans were a sticky mess to clean up, and if the squash is sweet enough, I don't think the syrup is necessary. But I have to admit, I'm not big into glazing.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                        My absolute favorite roasted squash dish comes from Jamie Oliver. He slices it into wedges and paints it with olive oil mixed with garlic, coriander, oregano, etc. I think I posted the recipe once, but at least a year ago. I think it's in his first book. I'll paraphrase if anybody's interested.

                                        This squash is fabulous and always popular at dinner parties.

                                      2. Bulgur with Roasted Chickpeas, Red Onion, and Lemon (Spring - p. 36)

                                        Thanks LulusMom for this rec - this was a nice side dish and the roasting chickpeas (with red onion, olive oil, lemon, bay leaves, cumin seeds, paprika and cayenne) smelled so good! E doesn't like turmeric so I left it out. After this has roasted for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, the bay leaves are removed and then everything is mixed with cooked bulgur. I used Arrowhead Mills organic bulgur wheat. Roasting with all the seasonings really made this flavorful. I served it with Steak with Bread Crumb Salsa (p. 108), and made it ahead of time and served it at room temp.

                                        28 Replies
                                        1. re: Rubee

                                          I made this recipe a few weeks ago, but with millet instead of bulgur. It was very tastey - I am now addicted to roasted chickpeas...

                                          1. re: jsaimd

                                            How do you think it would work with quinoa?

                                            1. re: GrillNextDoor

                                              Fine, but I think millet more closely resembles bulgur which is why I used that. I personally think just about all grain salads work OK interchanging the grains as long as the grains are pilafed.

                                          2. re: Rubee

                                            Could you post a rough recipe for this please? I am planning to cook the grilled shrimp with harissa tomorrow night and I think this would be a nice side (I'm not that keen on polenta).

                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                              1 1/4 cups water
                                              1 cup med or coarse bulgar, pref. golden duram wheat
                                              Sea salt
                                              1 15 oz can chickpeas
                                              1 med. red onion, sliced thini
                                              2 T EVOO or butter, cubed
                                              2 T lemon juice
                                              2 bay leaves, halved
                                              1 tsp cumin seeds
                                              1/2 tsp ground tumeric
                                              1/2 tsp sweet Spanish smoked paprika (presumably Pimenton)
                                              1/8 tsp cayenne, or to taste
                                              Chopped flat leaf parsley.

                                              Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Bring water to boil in small sauce pan, add bulgar, 1/2 tsp salt, cover. Cook for one minute. Let stand off heat, 20 min, until all water absorbed.

                                              In the interim, in 8-10 inch skillet that can go into oven, combine ingredients from chickpeas to cayenne, plus 1/4 tsp salt, stir over med. heat until sizzling. Put into oven and roast 20 minutes. Stir halfway through.

                                              Remove from oven, discard bay leaf, add bulgar and stir. Add more salt if needed. Serve hot, warm or at room temp.

                                              PS - I assume parsley is garnish for this.

                                              1. re: greedygirl

                                                Here's a link to a recipe on-line. I just double-checked and the only difference from the book is she says you can use either 2 Tb of extra-virgin olive oil or 2 Tb cubed unsalted butter. (Also, I used smoked Spanish paprika instead of sweet - I buy mine from Penzey's).


                                                1. re: Rubee

                                                  Can't believe you found it on line! Searched before I typed it in!!

                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                    Thanks very much for taking the trouble to do that, MMR. I will report back once I've made it.

                                              2. re: Rubee

                                                I'm so glad it worked out for you! Isn't it a pretty dish too? And the ease of being able to make it ahead and serve room temp. I need to make this one again soon.

                                                1. re: Rubee

                                                  I love chickpeas, so really enjoyed this dish. Roasting them makes the chickpeas nice and chewy. I like bulgur wheat as well, and this makes a nice alternative to tabbouleh. I served it with the Harissa shrimp and a tomato salad and it was a definite hit. Will make again.

                                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                                    That sounds like a great combination. Maybe next time thats what I'll do as a side with the shrimp (doing the tomato/polenta thing while also worrying about the quick cooking shrimp raised my blood pressure even with the help of my husband).

                                                  2. re: Rubee

                                                    Not a lot to add to this, but we really enjoyed it. I did use cilantro instead of parsley, in part because I found it first in the fridge and in part b/c I thought the cilantro would go nicely with the other "Indian" reminiscent flavors. Served it with the asparagus w/ mustard vinaigrette and the goat cheese/red onion frittata - rather an odd combination but well, c'est la vie. I served it at room temperature, but I think I did like it better when it was warmer.

                                                    1. re: Rubee

                                                      Bulgur with Roasted Chickpeas, Red Onion, and Lemon (Spring - p. 36)

                                                      I made this with whole wheat couscous instead of bulgur, as he suggests (and because that's what I had in the house), but I don't think it was a good idea, at least not the way I did it. My couscous ended up being very sticky, not nice individual grains that the chickpeas would have contrasted with better.

                                                      But I can't say the roasted chickpeas did that much for me either. I might try it again with a different sort of bean. I really loved the texture of the roasted beans in Paula Wolfert's Pork and Orange Flavored Beans. Maybe I'll just make the beans and skip the bulgur/couscous!

                                                      Following Rubee's lead (though I didn't realize it at the time), I served this with Mushrooms/Steak with Bread Crumb Salsa (reviewed in the summer thread), and a romaine salad with blood orange.

                                                      1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                        I made the bulgur with roasted chickpeas salad but it didn't really rock my world. I also used couscous because I had it on hand, and the texture was fine. I also sauteed sweet vidalia onions in olive oil until they were soft before adding them to everything else for the roasting step. I used have smoked paprika and half regular sweet paprika. It was ok, but not earthshaking.

                                                        I make a similar salad in the summer with couscous, chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, cucumber, scallions parsley and cilantro. And do like that. I may use the roasted chickpeas in that salad. The variations on the theme are endless.

                                                        1. re: karykat

                                                          Re: karykat's post on the bulgur with roasted chickpeas

                                                          I made this a couple of nights ago and, although the taste was really great, the dish was very dry. Maybe my onions were not the best.

                                                          It could also be that I discovered I had no bulgur and only a tiny bit of brown basmati rice...so I used spelt cooked in the pressure cooker. I didn't discovery my missing ingredient until a couple of hours before our guest was coming.

                                                          In any case, I think it may have been the spelt. The texture and taste were great, but it was reallllly dry. Maybe I should add more onions? It was so dry that I sauteed some red pepper strips and added them to give it some moisture. Didn't really work.

                                                          Did you guys find this dish dry or was it my sub spelt?

                                                          I served it with green garlic potato soup and a big salad. Our guest asked me if it was okay for him to put his spelt dish into his soup. He claimed it was quite good...Hmmm.

                                                          1. re: oakjoan

                                                            I used couscous and didn't think it was too dry, but any drier would have been too dry. (If that makes sense.)

                                                            1. re: karykat

                                                              I also used couscous and completely concur - it wasn't too dry, but any drier and it might have been. I thought it was pretty much perfect.

                                                            2. re: oakjoan

                                                              My bulgur wasn't dry. Maybe a touch of olive oil would help?

                                                              1. re: beetlebug

                                                                I added a bit of olive oil but didn't want to make it soupy.

                                                              2. re: oakjoan

                                                                My millet based one was dry, but I tend to reduce fat too much according to my husband, and millet is a drier grain anyway. I don't mind dry, but my husband always douses almost all grain salads in oil!

                                                          2. re: Rubee

                                                            this is a two thumbs up dish! Healthy and very tasty! I think I overdid it wi/ the cayenne. And I had some concerns about his haphazard method of quick sauteeing -- I thought later I should have toasted cumin seeds first, then sauteed onion in oil, etc. But I kinda threw everything together -- though I held back the chickpeas and lemon until everthing was cooking away. I used olive oil. It all came out great. With dishes like this, who needs meat??
                                                            Yum, yum.

                                                            I think it would go well w/ grilled shrimp, raita and naan.

                                                            1. re: NYchowcook

                                                              I think it could stand very well on its own for a vegan main course.

                                                            2. re: Rubee

                                                              Bulger with Roasted Chickpeas, Red Onion and Lemon (Spring menu 2, pg. 36)

                                                              I never would have made this dish if other hounds hadn’t posted about it. I don’t know why I skipped over it because I like all the components. So thanks, early cookers.

                                                              I don’t know what took me so long to try this dish. It had all my requirements for a weeknight dish – fast, easy and tasty. I also don’t know why I was surprised at the taste of it – a strong curry flavor. When I took a second look at the spices, I went duh. Good thing we both like curry.

                                                              Not much to add, but I think this dish is a keeper for us since it is a quick side dish. Next time, I would use a plainer flavor protein so I can fully appreciate this dish (I served this with the seitan on pg. 234). Maybe the mint thighs.

                                                              BTW, this dish also tastes great cold as a snack.

                                                              1. re: beetlebug

                                                                The first time I made it, I served it room temp with a fish dish and it was perfect. I'm so glad it worked out so well for you.

                                                              2. re: Rubee

                                                                Bulgur with Roasted Chickpeas, Red Onion and Lemon (Spring menu 2, pg. 36)

                                                                There may be hope for bulgur and me yet. I would have been tempted to make this with couscous, but was all out. I enjoyed this dish and only made one change. I cooked the garbanzos 10 minutes longer to make their texture crispier. Had I not been so hungry, I might have given it another 10. I'm looking forward to trying the tofu with lemon, soy, etc next.

                                                                1. re: BigSal

                                                                  The tofu dish is legendary. It was the dish that made my husband like tofu. He still talks about it and compares all other tofu dishes to it.
                                                                  I love the dish you made. Glad you enjoyed it.

                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                    I can't wait to try it. I'm hoping it'll make my husband a believer too.

                                                              3. Roasted spring carrots with cumin and lime, p. 25

                                                                Yummy! I wouldn't have predicted lime, cumin, red pepper flakes, and carrots to be a great combination, but they were. Despite his admonition, I used ready-to-go 'baby-cut' carrots, and they worked great. And I used piment d'espelette instead of Aleppo pepper. I might cut the butter in half next time. It isn't really that much butter (2 tbsp for 1 lb of carrots), but I don't normally put butter or oil on veggies, except maybe to toss them lightly with olive oil to roast.

                                                                In any case, it was delicious, and I'll definitely make it again.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                                                                  These carrots are excellent! I served these last night with Nigella's Mughlai chicken (creamy curry with almonds) and her Pilaf for a Curry Banquet. I roamed around on Home Cooking looking for something cool to do with a bunch of carrots -- something that would complement the flavors. I came across this recipe when I searched carrots cumin. Perfect. I wasn't in the mood for a shaved carrot salad... I liked the texture of these, the color on the plate (VIBRANT!) and the zesty flavors. I like the tart, bright combination. I am excited, always, to toss a little Aleppo into something! I found the flavors more pronounced the next day. I might up the cumin and Aleppo a little next time. Thanks to Karen, Gio, and beetlebug for reviewing this and prompting me to check it out! An excellent side dish for an Indian meal (it was actually all divine, to my pleasure).

                                                                2. Spiced Red Onion Marmalade pg72
                                                                  *hope this goes here! It was part of the Roast Duck menu...

                                                                  Ever since I browsed through this book last weekend I've been wanting to make this onion marmalade, mostly just to have on hand.
                                                                  I made a full batch, and can definitly see halving it in the future, two cups of this onion mixture is a lot, and I'm going to have to remind myself to add it to everything.
                                                                  The good thing is that it's good enough to add to everything!
                                                                  I used Spring onions, and really tried to follow the recipe (a challenge for me, but I am trying to be true to the COTM for the first time), in fact I think I did everything as instructed until it came to putting a lid on the saute pan. My largest saute pan doesn't have a lid, so I used a piece of folded parchment. I like to use parchment in this manner, so no problem for me.
                                                                  Anyway, used a reasonably nice bottle of red, a Petit Verdot from Mendocino Co. that my boyfriend found too green and acidic for drinking. It was nice in this dish though, and I used sherry vinegar for the red-wine vinegar.
                                                                  The cinnamon really came through, and I pulled it out about 10 minutes before the onions were really done. The ginger, honey and sage all gave some nice complimentary undertones.
                                                                  Although i'd love to try the duck dish this goes with in FT, I just wanted to have it around for last minute dinners, sandwiches, etc. We had veal scallopini last night, and a little spoonful of this marmalade was a nice counterpoint.
                                                                  It took about 1 hr and 20 to fully reduce, but I think that has something to do my using parchment as a lid.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: rabaja

                                                                    Thanks so much for your report. I'm hoping to try this tonight (using your suggested mod of 1/2-ing the recipe, since I don't see myself using up 2 cups!). It sounds like such a great condiment.

                                                                    1. re: Smokey

                                                                      You know, it's been really nice to have around! I am going to try to keep some variation of it on hand, as it made last nights dinner SO easy.
                                                                      I found a Nigella Lawson recipe on the FN show that intrigued me so I looked it up online. It was for a quick lamb ragu, made with pancetta, marsala, chopped tomatoes, lentils and a big scoop of onion confit.
                                                                      Having this condiment on hand, I was able to put dinner together in 10-15 minutes, which doesn't happen very often for me. It was fantastic and I am still marveling at how easy it was.

                                                                    2. re: rabaja

                                                                      I just made this condiment again tonight, for probably the fourth or fifth time. I just like having it around and it was very satisfying to start stocking my new fridge again.

                                                                    3. Chilled Asparagus Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette, p. 56

                                                                      I would swear that someone else made this, but I can't find the post. Really loved this vinaigrette. Since I decided to make this at the last minute, it was "warm asparagus salad" and not "chilled asparagus salad", however it was good - and v. low oil content in the vinaigrette vs. the mustard/vinegar. The scallions added a nice and different flavor as compared to the traditional shallots. No hard boiled egg today as I served it with a frittata, but I imagine it would be a nice addition. This is the first recipe that made me think to myself "I'll make that for company".

                                                                      16 Replies
                                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                                        Hi MMRuth - Looks great! Gio made it (above) and I reported on it also, but put it under salads instead of side dishes, oops.


                                                                        I didn't mention it, but I also skipped the chilling and marinating, though will try that the next time. I roasted the asparagus (s&p and evoo at 400) about half an hour before dinner, and then served it at room temp with the sherry vinaigrette poured over. I really liked it too, and so far, it's the first dish from the book that will definitely be a repeat.

                                                                        1. re: Rubee

                                                                          Well - you are probably actually right - since it is called "Asparagus Salad" - ha ha - and at least now I don't feel crazy. I guess I thought of it as a side dish since I served it that way ;-).

                                                                          I'm enjoying the food that I'm cooking, and to me, overall, they are good week day meals, but not inspiring (a la Goin etc.).

                                                                          1. re: MMRuth

                                                                            Oh MM, That asparagus salad was so tasty! We've been buying asparagus every week for a few now. But, as I've been reading my feeds, I realize that everyone cooking has a similar recipe. Or a variation on the theme of asparagus with hard boiled eggs. I'm beginning to think that everyone out there reads everyone else's blog and has the exact same recipe. But it's all good and very healthy!!

                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                              I do think this vinaigrette is particularly good - dare I say, gasp, better than the similar one of Hopkinson's? I actually used aspargus that I bought at the farmer's market almost two weeks ago - wanted to use it up - and it was still so nice and fresh.

                                                                              1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                Wow! That is high praise indeed!


                                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                  Burn the heretic! What's in the vinaigrette, btw? Am hoping to get new season English asparagus in this week's veg box (oh the excitement).

                                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                    I had a considerable amount of that vinaigrette left over, and it kept very well in a tightly covered jar in the fridge. Last night I used it as a marinade for a pork roast we bought at the organic farm we frequent. The meat maranated for about 45 minutes before roasting at 375*. Just let me say the roast never tasted so good! Double duty vinaigrette!

                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                      Clever! I have all sorts of little jars of vinaigrette in my fridge from various recipes ....

                                                                            2. re: MMRuth

                                                                              Chilled Asparagus Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette (spring menu 5, pg. 56)

                                                                              I really liked this. Not much to add to earlier reports, but I particularly liked the contrast flavors of mustard and the honey all mixed in with the sherry vinegar. I did use the egg which was a nice addition. I decided to try and use a microplane which was a mistake (I microplaned eggs with one of the Zuni recipe.) For whatever reason, chunks of egg kept coming off preventing it from being grated. I used the microplane because I didn’t want to clean out yellow bits in my little sieve. I didn’t have this problem with the Zuni radicchio salad, but whatever. I also used Berley’s method of boiling eggs which worked as well as any other method I’ve tried. The eggs were easy to peel though, despite these eggs being on the newish side.

                                                                              1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                My contribution to this asparagus thread is that I decided I liked to mix them with the vinaigrette while they were hot and then serve at room temp after they stewed in their own juices for a while. I don't know if they absorb more while hot, but they taste even better than usual. I actually like them a little warm.

                                                                                We've been getting tons of asparagus in our CSA box the past few weeks. Lucky us!

                                                                                1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                  *drumming fingers impatiently while desperately awaiting start of CSA season*


                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                    Ditto. Every time I read about oakjoan's CSA, I feel myself turning green from jealousy.

                                                                                    1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                      Just think of the acres of kale and you'll lose some of that jealousy.

                                                                                2. re: beetlebug

                                                                                  I do like how he calls for honey in a lot of his vinaigrettes - not something I usually add, but a nice touch. I thnk the grater is actually easier for the eggs.

                                                                              2. Soba with Garlicky Spinach and Sesame oil.

                                                                                I had Dinosaur Kale instead of spinach, so I used that. I increased the garlic and decreased the sesame oil quite a bit. The flavor seemed to cook out a bit, since he has you fry the garlic in the oil, so I added some fresh stuff at the end. Overall, decent - I love buckwheat, and I had 100% buckwheat soba, but not a wow dish.

                                                                                I served it with a riff on his teriyake carrots, but I just used the recipe for inspiration. It worked fine, but nothing eye opening.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: jsaimd

                                                                                  I think that I saw a neat-o way to take kale/chard/greens off the stem. He held onto the stem and put a finger on each side (one was thumb) of the stem. Pointing it downward toward the counter, he rapidly moved his hand down the stalk and the leaves came off easily. It looked fabulous, but I haven't tried it yet.

                                                                                2. Stuffed Eggs with Capers and Garlic (Spring).

                                                                                  Basically deviled eggs, but lots of great flavors. Though from the photo it looks like I over did the pimenton, I used a v. fine sieve to dust the eggs with it, so the taste wasn't overwhelming.

                                                                                  1. Asparagus and Fiddlehead Ferns with Garlic (Spring).

                                                                                    Found both at the farmer's market in the morning, so seemed the perfect dish to go with the Tomato/Bean Gratin. V. simple, and I added some Maldon salt and olive oil after I put the dish on the serving dish. I made half the recipe and there is lots leftover still - maybe a frittata in the works for lunch .....

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                      Nice photos, I love your china pattern MMRuth:)
                                                                                      Are you guys getting Meyer lemons out on the East Coast now? That lemon sure does look like a Meyer!

                                                                                      1. re: rabaja

                                                                                        Thanks - that is actually a regular lemon. The last Meyer ones I bought were actually bad (at $6.00 for 2 of them!) and I'm not seeing them regularly any more, sadly.

                                                                                        PS - The dishes are my "Spring" ones - http://www.tableideas.com/gien-alice.htm

                                                                                      2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                        MMR: So now you have no reason to feel jealous of us SFBayareans. I found fiddlehead ferns in the market last week and they were almost totally black and limp. The ramps, as I reported earlier, were similarly on their last legs. Don't have any desire to make this recipe with defective ingreds!

                                                                                        I do have a Meyer lemon tree in my back yard, though...to ease the pain.

                                                                                        I'm also reporting on the second preparation of Fregola Risotto Style with Chard and Feta. It's a recoup your losses report.

                                                                                        I started out with the stock and that went fine (simmering onion, carrot, celery, etc. with water). While I was "toasting" the fregola, however, I got a phone call and didn't notice until too late that the liquid had evaporated and the fregola was burning. Aghhhhhh! I tried to pick out the non-burned ones, but it was just too tedious. So, I regrouped and used Bhutanese Red Rice as the starch. Turns out this is also a great dish! I had never used BRRice before, but I looked up directions for length of cooking time, etc. It cooks much more quickly than brown rice, and the slight crunchiness was great.

                                                                                        I still want to use the fregola again, as it was just delicious last time.

                                                                                        Tonight I'm making another batch of the sauteed radishes. "Yummo!" as RR would say.

                                                                                        1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                          Thanks - making this for dinner tomorrow night! I needed my protein kick from sushi tonight so we went out.

                                                                                      3. Cucumber Lime Yogurt/Raita and Naan (Spring)

                                                                                        Made the yogurt the day before, and added quite a bit of extra lime juice and a little leftover lemon juice. I added the cilantro right before serving. Great flavors, and a nice complement to the Lentil & Rhubarb curry. I made half a recipe and we ate all of it - so good with the naan.

                                                                                        The Naan - well, I haven't baked any kind of bread for many years, and only made small forays into doing so in the past. I made the dough the day before, using bleached rather than unbleached flour, and whole wheat flour, rather than whole wheat bread flour (a baker colleague of mine said he thinks there may not be such a thing), and then used Fage yogurt. You let part of it rise, then add the rest of the flour, knead, and then it says you can refrigerate and finish the next day. I took it out the next day to let it come to room temp and then rise again, but I had an uncomfortable feeling that it wasn't going to. So, I got out Mangoes & Curry Leaves and made their recipe (AP flour - 1/2 the recipe as a safe guard). Sure enough, my Flexitarian one was a leaden lump, and the other seemed to be doing what it was supposed to do.

                                                                                        I think there were two factors - one, maybe using Fage instead of "regular" yogurt which would have had more liquid, and adding in all of the flour, instead of doing it gradually, as I did with the other. I did have to some fiddling about with finding a place that was warm enough, and used JC's trick of turning the oven on for a couple of minutes and then turning it off and putting the bowls of dough in it. Anyway, at the end of the day, I'm really reporting on the M&C Naan. I was so excited that it turned out well. I don't have a pizza stone, so I used a cookie sheet as suggested in Flexitarian. I also don't have a peel, so I used the back of a cake pan, with corn meal on it. To boot, my oven door is currently unhinged on one side, making this all a precarious and potentially dangerous activity, since the oven was preheated for an hour at 500. But, all is well that ends well, and this did.

                                                                                        Looking forward to trying some other bread baking soon! Last two pictures are Flexitarian dough the day before. The top in the first one is supposed to be "lacy", which I don't think it was, and the second is the leaden lump after kneading!

                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                          This one should be subtitled "Adventures in Bread Making". FWIW, you can get wholewheat bread flour - I use it all the time. It's usually called "strong wholewheat flour". i like the tip about the oven - I usually use my breadmaker but sometimes I will only make the dough and then prove and bake it myself, so that will be useful. Mind you, it's so unseasonably warm at the moment that's not really necessary!

                                                                                          1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                            Keep in mind, *you* can get it, but that doesn't mean it's available to us in the US!

                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                              Out of curiosity, I called King Arthur (a well known seller of flour, etc. - for GG) to ask if they carry "whole wheat bread flour" and was told that they don't and that there isn't such a thing (in the US, at least).

                                                                                              GG - do you happen to know how the WW bread flour that you get differs from "regular" whole wheat flour?

                                                                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                A quick google suggests you can get it in the US. http://www.wadesmill.com/

                                                                                                MMRuth - my "Breadmaker Bible" provides some of the answer. "The presence of bran reduces the effectiveness of gluten during baking and hence bread made with only wholemeal flour will not rise as high and will be much denser than its white equivalent. The presence of bran also means that the flour will absorb more liquid, so more water is needed in the dough." In a separate section, the writer also explains that it is the level of protein found in the endosperm (the inner part of the wheat kernel that contains starch and protein) which determines whether a bread is suitable for breadmaking. I'm no expert but I'm guessing that "strong" flour is higher in protein, and therefore gluten.

                                                                                                Edit: Looks like that's right.


                                                                                                1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                  Thanks! I had read about bread flours being higher in protein - will look into your links.

                                                                                            2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                              Naan, or my misadventure in baking bread.
                                                                                              I've made plenty of (successful) breads in my past, but this did nothing for me. I love naan at Indian restaurants and this was not it. It was dry and dull. It did not rise after I took it out of the refrigerator after (oops!) 3 days, nevertheless I went ahead and baked it. I followed the recipe using WW bread flour, unbleached white, and fage 2%. I think it was the absence of oil or fat (ghee?) that made it dull and dry. Won't be making that recipe again.

                                                                                              1. re: NYchowcook

                                                                                                Sounds like you had exactly the same problem I had, even with the right flours. Do you think using the Greek yogurt, rather than one with more liquid, might make a difference?

                                                                                                1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                  I think it's fat that's missing,and suspect that's what makes Indian restaurant Naan so toothsome (never get to use that word!)
                                                                                                  I think I'd like to check out Alford's Flatbreads cookbook and see how they do it.
                                                                                                  It was nice to see how it divided in the middle. But that's about it for my being pleased w/ the recipe.

                                                                                              2. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                I tried the naan a few nights ago and was pretty pleased with the results. It certainly does *not* taste like naan from an indian restaurant, but I suspect this has far less fat/ghee.

                                                                                                I made it with whole milk plain yogurt (not Fage) and ghee (unlike NYchowcook, below) and baked it 2 days after starting it (as brerly says one can). I think for flour I used 1cWW pastry flour, 1 1/2c white KA bread flour and 1cKA AP flour (not sure I've got the total amount of flour correct, but it was something like that). As warned, it goes stale fast (not surprise). But I would certainly make it again.

                                                                                                I'm sorry yours turned out a leaden lump, MMRuth. It might very well be that if I made the M&C one, I would think it was much better! I did compared the Flexitarian recipe to one in VCFE by Madison that I had made before and liked, and it was nearly identical.

                                                                                                I may return with a photo of my naan. I was so pleased with it I did actually take pics, now I need to get them off photo and upload them!

                                                                                                1. re: Smokey

                                                                                                  I made naan dough, but after I'd read the "thisisn'tsogreat" posts about Berley's recipe, I went searching for a recipe. Of course I have about 10 Indian cookbooks, but wanted to search online. I found a wonderful video on YouTube which I used to make my naan and recommend to you all highly. It's called Naan Bread by Manjula and she makes it in her tiny kitchen with an electric stove. She tells us to cook it for just a few minutes on a pizza stone in the BROILER. Anyway, she goes through all the steps and is very straightforward.

                                                                                                  I've got a batch rising and will let you know. Even if you don't make naan, this video is fabulous. She has others as well.

                                                                                              3. Made the Dilled Yogurt Dip p29 in Spring Menu 2 for a snack. I really loved how the sweetness of the dab of honey balanced out the tartness of the yogurt. We had it with triangles of store bought naan bread, cherry tomatoes and cucumber sticks. Very nice, would make again.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: ErikaK

                                                                                                  Sounds great - I keep meaning to make it and sounds like a good way to use up my leftover yogurt, naan, tomatoes, radishes & cucumber from other dishes!

                                                                                                2. I made the asparagus vinaigrette as a side tonight. Liked it very much - the dressing has a very nice tang to it, a lot of character. Nothing much to add to what others have said. I cooked the asparagus earlier in the day and then just wrapped it in a paper towel and stuck it in the fridge. It was lovely and crisp for dinner.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                    Made this aspargus vinaigrette again last night (to go with scallops with porcini butter). My husband had been out of town the time I made it before (which turned out to be the time Lulu decided she loves asparagus) so this was his first time having it. He said "you've ruined me for all other asparagus vinaigrettes." I need to keep this recipe in mind for company.

                                                                                                  2. Sautéed Escarole with Red Pepper and Garlic, page 193

                                                                                                    This is a dish I have either made or eaten at least twice a month all my life.
                                                                                                    The only exception to PB's direction is that we use a tin of oil-packed anchovies....which you'll be glad to know I did NOT do last night, as I wanted to see the difference.
                                                                                                    However, I did not boil the escarole first. The greens were chopped and braised, covered, in the requisite EVOO, red pepper flakes and garlic till tender yet still green.
                                                                                                    Just as tasty as I'm used to but without that extra punch. Escarole is a very nutricious vegetable and is available year round. I believe this recipe can be used with spinach and the curly endive Italians call Chicoria, or indeed any leafy green veggie.

                                                                                                    1. Quinoa Salad with Green Beans, Corn and Tomatoes (Summer menu 5, pg. 128)

                                                                                                      I love this salad and have made it numerous times. This time, I tried it with red quinoa instead of the standard white, and used sugar snap peas instead of string beans. I loved the nuttiness of the red quinoa and liked the snap peas as well. I vary between making the full amount (which serves more than 6) or half the amount (which serves around 4). I especially love the pumpkin seeds in the dish because it lends a pleasant crunch to the whole salad.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                        Quinoa Salad with Green Beans, Corn and Tomatoes (Summer menu 5, pg. 128)

                                                                                                        We made this tonight with white quinoa and fresh tomatoes, green beans and chives from the garden. Like beetlebug, I also loved the crunch the pumpkin seeds add. Feeling virtuous for eating so healthy, but satisfied too.

                                                                                                      2. Avocado and Hijiki salad

                                                                                                        I made this, but didn't have cucumbers. I ended up adding some lightly cooked Kale for chew, but of course it would have been better with cucumbers. I was scared to add the hijiki, but it worked well. It was nice, but didn't have too much of a flavor. Perhaps I rinsed it too much after soaking. I prefer my guac, but it was fun to try.

                                                                                                        1. Sauteed Baby Artichokes with Garlic and Wine (Spring, p 35).

                                                                                                          This recipe is a keeper. My first time cooking these little beauties and I'll be making this recipe again. Pretty easy too, except for trimming the baby artichokes (which is a lot easier, however, than large globe artichokes). I trimmed 12 artichokes by removing the tough outer leaves, peeling the stems with a vegetable peeler, and then slicing off the top third. Rub w/a cut lemon so they don't brown. To cook them, brown artichokes in evoo with garlic cloves and fresh thyme, then add white wine, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes. Remove lid, boil to thicken sauce, and then plate and drizzle sauce over artichokes.

                                                                                                          Couldn't be easier, though I really liked how soft and sweet the garlic became so would add more cloves next time. The only negative is I made this beforehand to serve as a side dish to some burgers, but there wasn't much left for dinner! Every time my husband and I walked by the plate, we ate a couple. Berley does say you may want to double the recipe. Next time I will. This spring side dish goes on the list as a repeat. I liked them warm, but they can also be cooked ahead and served room temp.

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                            This didn't sound appealing to me but your picture makes it look great!

                                                                                                            1. re: Rubee

                                                                                                              how do you think the dish would taste if I used canned artichokes?

                                                                                                              1. re: NYchowcook

                                                                                                                I think those might steam instead of browning? Good question though - I might try it this weekend since I have a can in the pantry.

                                                                                                            2. Fennel with Lemon and Fennel Salt (p. 305)

                                                                                                              I'd made this once before and was disappointed, but that was mainly because I found the fennel to be too thickly cut. This time around I cut it much thinner, added a bit of fleur de sel (sp?) at the end once plated and a bit more lemon than he called for, and loved it.

                                                                                                              1. Ok. I made the Roasted Cherries in Red Wine. I got this recipe from one of the articles online that was compiled by TDQ at the beginning of the month. (The article says it's from The Flexitarian Table but I can't find it in my copy. There's not more than one edition, is there?) Anyway, I made it so I thought I'd let you know how it turned out.

                                                                                                                I thought it was really good. The fresh cherries I used were the first of season here and probably not the best. But they lent themselves to this very well. One thing I really liked about this was the bay leaf flavor. I was a little dubious about that when I saw it in the recipe, but it really works. It was subtle but distinct and really made the dish. The recipe didn't specify what to do with this. I think it could be a side to the right kind of meat, maybe a pork thing, but it may be a little sweet for that. I've been enjoying it over vanilla ice cream for breakfast and a late night snack. Yum.

                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: karykat

                                                                                                                  Huh, no, I don't remember seeing it in the book. I love cherries though, and have a nice bay bush right outside my door. Maybe I should check out this link. Thanks for the report.

                                                                                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                                                                                    That does sound wonderful - and I have some fresh bay leaves to use up. There's a wonderful dish at a Spanish place we love that makes bunuelos with a bay leaf inside - so I can imagine a "sweet" dish that uses it.

                                                                                                                2. Toasted Millet Pilaf, p. 201

                                                                                                                  I'd swear I posted my review of this earlier today, but I don't know what happened to it. Anyhow, we loved this dish. I forgot to garnish with the toasted pumpkin seeds, but it was fine. The orange, ginger, and carrots really added to this dish. When I make it again, which I'm sure I will, I'll up the rosemary and cayenne, and maybe add a little more water because a few of the millet grains were still a bit crunchy.

                                                                                                                  A colorful, tasty, whole grain dish -- what more can you ask?

                                                                                                                  1. Pinto Beans with Chipotle and Melted Garlic, p. 247

                                                                                                                    I know, the month is over, but I still have a few recipes on my list to try before I take the book back to the library.

                                                                                                                    This was a tasty bean soup, but I somehow expected more flavor from the toasted seeds. You could definitely smell the fennel seeds while it was cooking, but the chipotle trumped everything else flavor-wise. I used a hambone and some ham chunks, per his suggestion. My beans were Indian Woman Yellow, which stay whole rather than getting mushy, so I may not have gotten the texture he intended, though it was still quite good.

                                                                                                                    1. And one more (I think this is the last for a while): Millet Cauliflower Polenta, p. 274

                                                                                                                      I loved this dish, though my husband thought it was merely okay. The millet has a sort of corn-like flavor, and the cauliflower wasn't overpowering. I actually made a fairly minimalistic version, no fried shallots, no Parmesan or butter added at the end, just the millet, cauliflower, and initial seasonings. I served it with a couple of shellfish tapas (detailed in Casas Tapas post), so I didn't want the extras.

                                                                                                                      That said, this would be a great base for all sorts of other seasonings. However, I'll leave the saffron out in the future. It smelled great while it was cooking (fresh Kashmiri saffron from Penzeys), and I thought it would really complement the tapas, but was totally lost in the end.

                                                                                                                      1. I made the grilled zucchini with mint and garlic a few days ago. It was fine. I think it probably got a little more charred than I would like. Our fire was probably a bit too hot. Would adjust for that next time. And I thought the mint flavor would come out more than it did. That's kind of what I was looking for and that flavor was barely there, even though I probably used a good amount more mint than called for.

                                                                                                                        1. Creamy Root Vegetable Soup (with Honey-Crisped Walnuts), Pg. 290

                                                                                                                          We made for this past "Soup Tuesday's" meal and loved it!
                                                                                                                          Lots of vegetables in this soup made it very flavorful: A lb. of onions, 6 finely chopped garlic cloves, peeled and chopped ginger, and 2 lbs of coarsley chopped assorted root veggies...I used tiny turnips, parsnips and carrots. There were 3 leeks which *had* to be used so I sliced them and tossed them into the mix. The seasonings are: ground fennel seed, ground tumeric, sea salt and FGBpepper. Shredded braised duck legs...I used turkey...The braising liquid is topped off with broth to make 6 cups. Heavy cream or creme fraiche is called for at the end but I used 1/2 & 1/2. Lastly, chopped Italian parsley is used for garnish.

                                                                                                                          It's a very simple procedure... the first 4 ingredients are heated in a combination of butter and EVOO for 20 minutes then the veggies are added and stirred to coat, next the liquid is added and the whole is simmered for 40 minutes or till completely tender. The cream comes next. At the end of the simmer, just before the shredded meat is added, Mr. Berely uses an immersion blender to puree but we like a hearty soup we simply mashed the veggies a bit.

                                                                                                                          This was quite filling; although I thought I'd serve some garlic bread too, we didn't really want it.

                                                                                                                          1. Bulgur with Roasted Chickpeas, Red Onion, and Lemon (Spring - p. 36)

                                                                                                                            I have been making this regularly as a main dish. I find that as a main, it works best to halve the bulgur relative to the chickpeas, so I use 1/2 cup bulgur and keep the other measurements. This way, the flavor components of the dish are more prominent, as well. Oh, I've started increasing the amount of lemon juice, and prefer the flavor. Probably makes a bigger difference because I'm usually using (homegrown) Meyer lemons. In season, chopped farmers' market tomatoes folded in right before serving are a great addition.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                                              I don't have the book with me right now, but a dish I make regularly now is the Gratin of Artichokes, leeks and Potatoes. Amazing dish - the artichokes are a bit difficult to prep, as he asks us to cut away all the tough leaves, the prickly tops and take out the choke while the artichokes are raw! A lot of work. After they're prepped, you slice them and combine with some sliced potatoes (I used Yukon Gold) and leeks. Some chicken stock is poured over this and bread crumbs and grated parm. cheese are combined and sprinkled over the top. .

                                                                                                                              I make this dish over and over and never tire of it. Also really nice for a dinner party. Worth the work it takes to make. It's on p. 81. I'll be glad to paraphrase if anybody's interested so long after this thread ended.

                                                                                                                              1. re: oakjoan

                                                                                                                                Sounds delicious! I found that many of Berley's recipes are a little labor intensive, but nearly always worth the effort. This is a book I need to dig back out again. One of my favorite COTMs.