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KALE AND POTATO GRATIN WITH KALE PESTO – Guest Blog by Mission Delectable

 
 

Kirsten of Mission Delectable

Kirsten of Mission Delectable

Today we have a guest blog from Kirsten of Mission Delectable

Mission Delectable is a blog about delicious, homemade food, and about my eating adventures in San Francisco. My goal here (or, should I say, mission) is to make satisfying recipes that you can realistically cook on weekday nights after work—plus more involved recipes for when you’re feeling adventurous and/or have a little free time on the weekend. Most of what I make is seasonal and vegetarian. I’m not, however, a vegetarian. I just love fresh, seasonal vegetables, and also consciously try to eat less meat.

Kale Potato Gratin With Kale Pesto

Kale Potato Gratin With Kale Pesto

Back in December, I made a rich, hearty, and very delicious gratin with chard, potatoes, and caramelized onions. Sure, this dish also has potatoes and winter greens. And sure, this dish is also a gratin. But while last month’s gratin was super rich and creamy, this gratin is light and bright. This month’s gratin is last month’s vivacious little sister, on a diet.

Potatoes

Potatoes

Thinly Slice the Potatoes

Thinly Slice the Potatoes

Well, not a huge diet—we’re not trying to deprive ourselves here, people. But it does cut out the heavy cream, eliminates the cheese, and keeps the olive oil to a minimum, all while remaining delectable and satisfying. The result? Something you can make and enjoy—without guilt—any day of the week. Sign me up.

Kale

Kale

Chopped Kale

Chopped Kale

The genesis of this dish was an ill-fated—i.e., disastrous—attempt at making Gourmet’s Potato & Kale Galette a few months back. What can I say? The whole process of cooking this thing just did not work out for me. The worst part was when I came to this step:

“Wearing oven mitts, carefully slide galette onto a baking sheet and invert skillet over it. Holding them together, invert galette, browned side up, back into skillet.”

Make the Kale Pesto

Make the Kale Pesto

Kale Pesto

Kale Pesto

You’re literally supposed to dump this very loose, flimsy “galette” onto a baking sheet, and then perfectly invert it back in the pan. Does this work? Not very well. Not for me, at least. At the same time, the final result—which, I promise you, wasn’t pretty—was missing something. It needed some acid. Some texture. A whole lot less butter. I remember thinking that it would be way more delectable if it took a little inspiration from this gratin. Add a little lemon for acid. Red pepper flakes for heat. Bread crumbs for texture. Plus, a unique pesto (instead of all that butter) to add moisture and round the whole thing out.

Sautee the Kale

Sautee the Kale

Assemble the Gratin

Assemble the Gratin

And that’s how this recipe was born. Oh is it ever a good one.

Kale Potato Gratin

Kale Potato Gratin

KALE & POTATO GRATIN WITH KALE PESTO

Inspired by Gourmet and 101 Cookbooks

Serves 4

2 bunches of kale
2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
lemon (zest and juice)
3 medium garlic cloves
1 cup homemade breadcrumbs (approximate)*
1 tablespoon butter
red pepper flakes
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Meanwhile, wash the kale, remove the tough stems and ribs, and coarsely chop. Reserve 1.5 cups of the chopped kale to make the pesto (see below). In a large nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat, add a couple slashes of olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped kale to the pan, along with a couple pinches of salt, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and a couple grinds of black pepper (all to taste). Toss everything together, and cook until the kale is just wilted, about 3-5 minutes). Remove from heat, and set aside until you’re ready to assemble the gratin.

Make the kale pesto. In a food processor, combine 1 clove garlic, the reserved 1.5 cups of chopped kale, and some salt and pepper (to taste). Process until everything is coarsely chopped. Drizzle in a 1/4 cup of olive oil, and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Set aside.

Make your breadcrumbs (if you don’t already have homemade ones on hand). Remove the crusts from a few slices of day-old rustic bread; tear into pieces, toss in the food processor, and pulse until coarse crumbs are formed. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small pan. Remove from heat, and stir in the breadcrumbs, along with a pinch of salt, until the crumbs are lightly coated in the butter. Set aside.

Now you’re ready to assemble the gratin. Lightly oil your baking pan or gratin dish. Arrange 1/3 of the potato slices in a slightly overlapping layer, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In this order, top the potatoes with 2-3 tablespoons of the kale pesto (approximately 1/4 of the pesto), and then 1/2 of the sautéed kale. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of lemon zest over the kale. Arrange another 1/3 of the potatoes on top, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with 2-3 tablespoons of the kale pesto, the last of the sautéed kale, and another teaspoon of lemon zest. Arrange the final layer of potatoes on top, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with 2-3 more tablespoons of kale pesto and, finally, the breadcrumbs. You should have several tablespoons of kale pesto leftover for garnish—stir approximately 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into the leftover kale pesto, and set aside until the gratin is done baking.

Bake the gratin at 400F for 40-50 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Top each serving of gratin with a drizzle of the kale pesto.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

2 Comments

Filed under Guest Blog, Main Dish, Recipes, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

CURRIED RED LENTIL STEW

Curried Red Lentil Stew

Curried Red Lentil Stew

The weather turned cold in Southern California today which made it the perfect opportunity to make some stew.  In my continuing quest to clean out the pantry I saw that I had a bunch of red lentils, so those became the base of the stew.  As I often do, I went to epicurious to look through their recipes containing red lentils.  I came across one by Ruth Cousineau (from Gourmet Magazine 2/2009) that I based this stew on, but as usual I tweaked it to make it healthier and to include ingredients that I had in my fridge.  This was a very hearty and filling dinner…not to mention tasty!

INGREDIENTS (Makes 4-6 main course servings)

1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. butternut or kambocha squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs.s minced peeled ginger
1 Tbs. curry powder (preferably Madras)
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed 
4 cups water
1-2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Accompaniment: cooked brown basmati rice & chopped cilantro

Ingredients

Ingredients

 

 Heat oil in a large pot and add in the squash,onion, carrot, celery, garlic, ginger, and salt.  Cook until soft and beginning to brown (15-20 minutes) stirring occasionally.

Into the Pot to Soften

Into the Pot to Soften

Softened & Ready for Spices

Softened & Ready for Spices

Add in the curry powder and pepper.  Stir to incorporate.

All Spiced-Up

All Spiced-Up

Add in the lentils and water.  Bring to a boil and skim off any foam.  Simmer for 25 to 40 minutes until the lentils are cooked.  At the end stir in the lemon juice and taste to see if any additional salt or pepper is needed.

Add the Lentils & Water

Add the Lentils & Water

Serve over brown basmati rice and top with chopped cilantro.

Curried Red Lentil Stew

Curried Red Lentil Stew

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

1 Comment

Filed under Beans/Legumes, Gluten Free, Main Dish, Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

VEGAN GOAT CHEESE

Raw Vegan Goat Cheese

When people make the decision to remove dairy from their diet cheese is often what they say they miss most.  Dairy is NOT healthy (in the future I will do an in-depth post to explain why) , so it is important that we find good alternatives.

Russell James

Russell James

I recently purchased one of Russell James‘ e-books called Raw Nut Cheese from his Raw Chef’s Recipe Series and decided to give the goat cheese recipe a whirl.

Raw Nut Cheese by Russell James

I have made raw nut cheese before and they weren’t as successful as this recipe was (I am eating it as I type…yum!).  I think the curing step is key…

INGREDIENTS – day one

2 cups raw unsalted macadamias, soaked 4 hours

1 cup water

1 tsp. probiotics powder (I used New Chapter Organics All Flora)

INGREDIENTS – day two

1 tsp. nutritional yeast

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. lemon juice

Soak the macadamia nuts in filtered water for 4 hours.

Raw Macadamias

Soaked for 4 Hours

Blend the soaked nuts with 1 cup of filtered water and 1 tsp. probiotics powder in your high-powered blender (I used my Vitamix).  Make sure all of the nuts are blended well and there are no chunks.

Water & Probiotics

Blend Macadamias & Water

Blend Away All Lumps

Transfer the mixture to a cheesecloth-lined strainer that has been placed over a bowl.

Strainer Over Bowl

Line Strainer w/ Cheesecloth

Fold the cheesecloth over the cheese and place a weight over the top (I used a plate with pie weights over it).  Allow this mixture to cure at room temperature for a full 24 hours.

Put the Mixture in the Cheesecloth Lined Strainer

Fold Over the Cheesecloth

Top w/ Weight

Once the cheese has cured, mix in the nutritional yeast, salt, and lemon juice.

Cheese Texture After Curing

Add the Nutritional Yeast, Lemon, & Salt

Place the mixture in a Saran wrap lined spring form pan (I used a 5” pan) and place in the refrigerator to firm-up.

Put the Cheese Mixture in the Pan

Close the Plastic Wrap

When the cheese is more firm (it will never get firm…it will become the texture of goat cheese) and ready to serve, top it with your choice of toppings i.e. pesto, chopped sun dried tomatoes, fresh herbs.  The next time I make this cheese I plan on mixing pesto directly into the mixture.  This cheese is great served with crackers, on a salad, or in a sandwich.

Raw Vegan Goat Cheese

For a printable version of this recipe click here

18 Comments

Filed under Books, Cheese, Gluten Free, Raw, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

AWESOMELY EASY ARTICHOKES

 

I went to the market and was thrilled to see that they had beautiful artichokes.  I have always loved artichokes.  While growing-up my mom would make them often by stuffing the leaves with garlic and putting them in a pot of water with lemon slices to cook.  She had the technique mastered.  I have never been consistent making them that way.  Whenever I try it is so hit and miss, coming out either mushy or crunchy.

A few months back my sister and her family came over for dinner while my parents were in town and she brought artichokes to add  to the meal.  The way she made them was ingenious, easy, and produced a wonderful result.

And so here you have it…

 

INGREDIENTS
 
4 Artichokes
2-3 Lemon slices (you will want 3-4 slices per artichoke)
6-8 Garlic cloves sliced
Olive oil to drizzle
Celtic or Himilayan salt
Pepper
Foil
 

Preheat the oven to 425˚.

 

Wash and trim the artichokes.

 

Make the foil beds for each artichoke.  You will need two squares for each artichoke (they may burn if you only use one layer).

Run an artichoke under water and quickly move it onto the foil bed.  You want to maintain the moisture so the artichoke will steam inside the foil.  There should be a small pool of water on the foil.  I tend to do all of the artichokes at one time, kind of an assembly line style.

Drizzle each artichoke with olive oil.

Sprinkle some salt, and crack some pepper on top.  Next, place some garlic on top of the artichokes (you can even squish some into the leaves for extra garlicky goodness).

Top with lemon slices.

Fold the foil tightly over each artichoke.

Put the foil wrapped artichokes on a cookie sheet or inside a pan and place them in the preheated oven.  Small artichokes tend to take 60 minutes, medium to large 1 hour and fifteen minutes, and jumbo can take up to 1 hour and 30 minutes.

When you take them out of the oven allow them to cool in the foil.  Once they have cooled enough for you to handle them, unwrap the foil, and pull out the center leaves.

You will notice that there are tiny hairs in the middle above the heart of the artichoke.   Clean the hair out of the choke with a spoon (being careful to leave as much of the heart as possible…don’t scrape the good stuff out).

You can serve the artichokes immediately after cleaning or put them in the fridge where they will last for atleast 4 days.

I serve my artichokes with dairy free ranch dressing (I’ll post my recipe at a later date), or I’ll make a creamy lemon pepper dip.  They are so yummy!

For a printable version of this recipe click here

2 Comments

Filed under Recipes, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

FOOD LOG – JANUARY 3, 2011

Today's Green Smoothie

Me & My Liquid Health

So here’s the low-down on what I ate today.  Since I am in recovery mode from the holidays, there is a bunch of green juice to get my nutrient levels back to where they should be…I guess you could say I am doing a cleanse of sorts.

6am – 32 ounces of water with an entire lemon squeezed in

8:15am – 20 ounces of green juice (made in my Breville juicer)

RECIPE (this made enough for the day)

  • kale stems that I saved from making kale chips
  • mixed greens
  • 5 carrots
  • 1 huge cucumber
  • 1/2 head of napa cabbage

10am – handful of raw nuts… almonds, walnuts, pecans

1pm – 16 ounces of green juice (made in the morning and put in a 16 ounce mason jar filled to the lid in order to prevent oxidation…a trick I got from Kris Carr)

2:30pm – green smoothie

RECIPE

Blend all of the ingredients in the blender.  I use my Vitamix since it completely emulsifies everything.  If you don’t have a Vitamix, any blender will work…you may have to add some more liquid to get it all to blend.

4pm – the rest of the green smoothie

6pm – brown rice, baked beans (recipe from weelicious.com), roasted brussel sprouts

7pm – 3 Cuties tangerines

8 Comments

Filed under Cleansing, Detox, Food Journal, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian