Breakfast salad for Meat-free Monday

 

Despite my sweet teeth, I mostly prefer savory for breakfast. If grains and veggies are not your daybreak cup of tea, try this salad for lunch or dinner. It tastes the same.I made this as a single serving but double or quadruple. It keeps well for a couple of days and travels nicely too! 

Ingredients
1/4 cup barley, cooked 
1 pickling cucumber, chopped 
Handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped 
1 tablespoon dill, chopped 
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon-ish red wine vinegar 
1 oz feta, crumbled 
Salt 
Pepper 

Combine barley, pinch of salt & up to 1 cup water. Boil & reduce to simmer, cooking until it's just slightly chewy. Drain excess water if there is any. Cool slightly & combine all other ingredients. Adjust pepper, salt & vinegar to taste. I like to assemble it when it's warm. You could add red onion or chives, but even I don't indulge at breakfast. :)

 Eat - B

 

The House Dressing, Green Edition

I get many calls for this salad dressing. Before I bought into the precious nature of balancing single estate olive oil and artisanal vinegar in just the right proportions, I ate this and happily. It's got a million uses from salad, to grilled veggies, to steak marinade. My mom called it the house dressing. This version is green. It's got a match in red. And we've always whipped it together in a blender or food processor (hello, Ninja!)

Probably for the first time ever, I tried to measure out ingredients, but adapt to your own taste.

Ingredients

1 big clove garlic

Small handful parsley leaves (less stem)

Small handful dill (less stem)

BLITZ BLENDER

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2-3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

Several grates pepper

BLITZ BLENDER

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons veg or neutral flavor oil

BLITZ AGAIN – Adjust seasonings, oil & vinegar

Note: most recently I used this dressing with a minimal amount of mayo in chicken salad – a winner!

Second note: it keeps really well if fridge. Big batch it!

Eat-B

 

Zucchini Latkes

If at first you don't succeed, fry, fry again.

Really all but a few belligerent green avoiders will eat zucchini when it's pan fried into crunchy deliciousness.

Fry it, you'll like it!

Ingredients

2 medium zucchini, grated and squeezed through a sieve to dry out

3 scallions, chopped – all of the white and halfway up the green

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup matzo meal (in kosher section or international foods)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Grated pepper to taste

*2 pinches cayenne, optional

1 egg

1/3 cup milk

2-3 tablespoons veg oil

Mix dry ingredients, add wet ingredients, stir in veg. Heat oil in fry pan over medium heat until it shimmers. Add spoons of mixture for desired size. Flip when crispy. Drain if you like, but paper towels deflate the crunch. Better on a cookie cooling rack. Sprinkle with salt (take that Mayor Bloomberg!)

Eat – B

 

Break Fast, Lunch or Dinner

I always say if you can't cook, cook soup. It's nearly impossible to make an unfixable mistake. Soup is meat and/or veg with liquid of almost any kind. It can be vegan, gluten free or grain rich, dairy-centric or not, and an easy way to get vegetables into haters. They're not hiding, they're puréed.

For the annual bagel and smoked fish bonanza I've been hosting at the end of Yom Kippur, I've recently added a couple of soup selections. This year chicken with matzah ball and the roasted eggplant tomato.

I didn't roast the tomatoes as they were farmer's market seconds that needed too much skinning and trimming (but a bargain!). But beautiful romas could easily be halved, dressed with olive oil and sent to the oven with the eggplant.

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped

2 carrots chopped

Modest handful of fresh basil

5-ish pounds of fresh tomatoes, seeded. Peel if desired.

Olive oil

2-3 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water for thinning

1 eggplant, cubed into size of choice

1 head of garlic, top sliced off to expose cloves

Over medium heat drizzle olive oil in stock pot or Dutch oven. Melt onion 5-10 minutes, adding carrots halfway through. Add tomatoes, a few good pinches of salt, pepper if preferred and cook a good 20 minutes, lowering the heat when it's super bubbly.

Meanwhile, preheat oven 425. Drizzle olive oil over garlic, wrap in foil and put in oven. Toss eggplant with enough olive oil to cover and put on baking sheet in oven. Eggplant takes about 20 minutes depending on size, garlic about 10-15 minutes longer. If it gets too hot, turn down the heat.

Add basil and all but 2 handfuls of eggplant to the stock pot. Squeeze out the roasted garlic, spread one on toast and add the rest to the stock pot. Eat the toast.

Purée the soup and return to pot, adding stock or water for desired consistency. Heat through with the rest of the eggplant. Adjust seasonings.

Note: my daughter said it needed something crunchy.

Croutons: cut stale bread into cubes of any size. Drizzle with olive oil. Toast in fry pan (or oven!) sprinkled with herbs of choice…garlic powder, kosher salt, thyme etc. Toss to avoid burning, turn off heat when crunchy, and toss with Parmesan. Store in zip top.

Eat – B

ps – stores beautifully

 

Festival of Peaches

Who woulda thunk…best peach season ever is lingering! Today features a fruit crumble. Later this week: pie!

And because stone fruit gods were smiling over the weekend…a farmer's market bargain ($4 for 9 peaches!) could mean peach pie again for the third annual après Thanksgiving. **Assemble and freeze raw pie, bake as normal without defrosting. It's worked before with apple.

I loosely followed a Martha fave for the cobbler. But I doubled the topping (!), peeled the peaches, and subbed a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar for the lemon juice in the fruit. I also cheated the sugar in the filling down to less than 1/2 cup since the fruit was super sweet.

If you put this in the oven before dinner, it's ready for dessert. No need to let it settle for hours like pie.

Click here for the recipe.

Eat…with ice cream and a spoon 🙂 – B

 

Savory Tomato Jam

 

The secret ingredient for gooey tomato delicousness is butter. I'd heard that before but now I know for sure. You can use farmers market fresh tomatoes for this project, but my were sort of fit for a makeover. I also threw in 1/2 of an heirloom chunked up and left over from lunch rather than see it suffer in the fridge.

2 or more pints of tomatoes, larger ones cut in half

Olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Smattering of basil leaves (or fresh thyme, or oregano)

A glug of white wine

Sugar

Salt

Butter

Start with large pan over medium heat, coat with olive oil. Add tomatoes, seasoning with salt and a healthy 2 pinches of sugar. Roast until tomatoes start popping and softening. Stir in garlic till it smells good. Add enough wine to slosh around the pan. Reduce wine at least by half. Swirl in butter. Adjust salt and add basil. Done.

Scrape with with a spoon, throw in chopped black olives like kalamata, toss with pasta, think about cheese, dredge the pan with bread.

Double down on the recipe – No regrets!

Eat- B

Mary Had a Little Lamb…

…and so did Betsy from a grilled butterflied leg.

My mom taught me the art of braising leftover meat into a brand new, no this is NOT a leftover dish! And to be honest my little lamb started with my mom, marinated in juices and garlic at her house. But I was the one who manned the grill for the Jewish New Year. So I felt no guilt snagging a hunk to take home. And yes shopping for food in the parents' pantry never loses its allure!

Basically this is a stew that works with any protein, it's just meat that has already been cooked.

Start the same way as most other stews. Sweat a sliced onion in olive (or any) oil, add a couple cloves chopped garlic and in this case chunks of bell pepper. Cook. Reduce a 1/2 cup of wine and scape up the bits. Add about a pound of de-fatted, chunked Lamb plus a cup of stock or water. Being to a boil,and simmer a good 45 minutes. In my case I also added a rinsed jar of white beans, several pinches of dried oregano and for the last 10 minutes, some cut up broad, green beans. Adjust salt & pepper.

Eat–B