Category Archives: Uncategorized

Roasted Kohlrabi and Eggs with Mustard and Honey

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My husband Scott, knowing how much I love vegetables came home last night bearing the gift of kohlrabi, actually he brought kohlrabi, beets, carrots, lettuce and broccoli , what a nice guy!  The following morning, after I checked my emails  I googled kohlrabi in search of information and recipes.   I did find several intriguing recipes including one by Jeremy Fox of Ubuntu fame. I liked his recipe for kohlrabi that called for roasted eggs.  I’ve never roasted eggs in the oven and wanted to see them come out  as he described, with freckled  brown syrupy spots.  This is most definitely a slow food movement kind of recipe as the eggs are roasted in a 250° oven for 2 hours along with the kohrabi and then we get serious and turn the oven up to 375° and continue roasting it for an additional hour!  Wow, good day to catch up on stuff around the house!  The kohlrabi is also called a German turnip and is said to grow almost anywhere, I guess that means it’s grows like a weed.    It is the same species as a wild cabbage plant and it comes from the same family as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens and brussels sprouts.  In ‘How to Cook Everything Vegetarian’, Mark Bittman writes that kohlrabi is in the cabbage family but that it should be treated like a turnip.  It should be peeled before it’s roasted unless you have managed to get your hands on some baby kohlrabi then peeling is optional.  The taste and texture are similar to a broccoli stem, but milder and sweeter.  It can also be eaten raw and is commonly eaten in Kashmir where they will eat it for lunch or dinner 3 to 4 times a week. I don’t want to seem ungrateful  but I only received 3 kohrabi bulbs, not even enough for one lunch in Kashmir.  Another ingredient in this recipe that caught my eye is the fresh sorrel, a perennial herb that is used a lot in soup and sauces but  can also be added to salads.  I don’t usually grow sorrel but this year I put a few plants in my herb garden.  I was thinking about making pesto but I’m happy to use it in this recipe and I probably will  have enough to make pesto.

Ingredients and Directions

4 eggs

1/4 cup olive oil

8 small green kohlrabi bulbs

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

4 teaspoons honey

1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard

Sea salt

1/2 cup chopped fresh sorrel, plus several small leaves for garnish

2 tablespoons honey

Preheat the oven to 250°F.  Put unpeeled eggs in a bowl of hot water.  Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil in an 8×8 pan, add the kohlrabi, turn to coat and cover with aluminum foil.

Remove the eggs from the water and set directly on the oven rack.  Put the pan with the kohlrabi on another rack and roast for 2 hours.  Eggs will be brown with dark brown freckles.  Remove the eggs, crack all over under running water, don’t peel and put in a bowl of cold water.  Turn the kohlrabi and  re-cover, increase the oven temperature to 375° and continue roasting until soft when pierced by a knife.  Remove foil and continue roasting the kohlrabi until browned, about 30 minutes longer.

In a small saucepan, heat the mustard seeds over medium high heat until they start to pop, 2-3 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of water, bay leaves, vinegar and honey.  Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered until mustard seeds are tender, 15-20 minutes.   Remove from heat and whisk in mustard.

Peel and chop the eggs, mix with the sorrel in a medium size bowl.

While the  kohlrabi bulbs are still warm, cut in wedges.

Spoon the sorrel-egg mixture either on to 4 individual plates or a large platter.  Arrange the kohlrabi on top and drizzle with the honey mustard sauce.  Add a few sorrel leaves to the top.

Serves 4

Advertisements

Celery Root Salad with Cashew Nut Dressing

Last Saturday I ate a raw food vegan celery root salad at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market and it was so good that all week I kept thinking about how I was going to get a celery root and recreate it. Today I made a salad very close to the one I had last week, except they used a small amount of red cabbage and I opted to go with the just the celery root, celery and carrots for the veggies. I found a salad dressing with cashew nuts from, ‘eat, drink & be vegan’ and adapted it for my salad. Then I found another recipe for traditional French celeriac rémoulade to get an idea of the proportions of dressing to the other ingredients. The outcome is a fresh tasting raw salad, similar to coleslaw. Celery root is hard to cut, I used my largest, heavy duty chef’s knife and it was still hard to peel and cut into wedges. I used my food processor to do the shredding, which was a big help.


This is the reality of the situation, not a pretty picture!

Ingredients


For the salad dressing

1 cup raw cashews
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
1/4 cup water, to thin the dressing

Place all the salad dressing ingredients, except water, in the bowl of a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. If you prefer the dressing to be thinner, add water. Taste for seasoning, add more lemon juice or honey if desired. Place the dressing in the bottom of a large bowl so as you prepare the veggies, they can be put directly into the dressing so that the celery root doesn’t turn brown.


Ingredients

For the salad

2 lbs celery root, peeled, quartered and shredded just before mixing, yields about 4 cups
4 medium size carrots, peeled and shredded, yields 1 generous cup
3 celery stalks, peeled, trimmed and thinly sliced, yields 1 cup
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, I used Lovage( see note) but Italian parsley is fine

Mix everything together with the cashew dressing in a large bowl. If you like, use some of the chopped herbs to sprinkle on top before serving.


Cover and refrigerate until chilled before serving, at least 1 hour. This recipe makes a generous amount and would serve 8 for a salad course.


Lovage is an edible Mediterranean perennial which resembles celery in appearance and flavor. I planted Lovage last spring in a pot on my deck and it is vigorously emerging, giving the mint some competition! Lovage is an excellent ingredient to spice up vegetables and salads.

Patty’s Pitas with Roasted Eggplant Spread


I made these pita breads for my grandsons, Noah and JD. They’re spending the afternoon with me and I like to offer them something good to eat. I also made a roasted eggplant spread, but that was for me because I like roasted eggplant. I found this recipe for pita bread on The Fresh Loaf which is a wonderful place for any aspiring bread baker to find all types of information. The comments on this pita bread post range from what kinds of flours to use, the whole wheat flour puffing issue, who knew?, recipes for hummus, tsatziki and how much someone loves shawarma, including pictures. There’s a whole new world in bread baking just waiting to open up to anyone who has an interest in this topic. Personally, I remembered making pita bread dough in my food processor awhile ago and wanted to give it another try. But, I have to say that I did get pretty excited when my pitas puffed, after reading that some people’s pitas didn’t puff, that’s the kind of thing you never really think about, will my pitas puff? It’s the miracle of puffing, they just do it!


For the Pitas

Ingredients

3 cups flour, I used 2 cups all purpose and 1 cup whole wheat
1 & 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar or honey, I used sugar
1 package yeast, I used instant yeast
1 & 1/4 to 1 & 1/2 cups room temperature water
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

1. Mix the yeast in with the flours, salt and sugar. Add the olive oil and the 1 & 1/4 to 1 & 1/2 cups water and stir together with a wooden spoon. The ingredients should form a ball. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, like the counter or a cutting board and knead the dough for about 10 minutes. I used my Cuisinart with the dough blade, mixing all the dry ingredients together in the bowl, then pouring in the oil and the water, and then kneading the dough until it formed a ball that went around the bowl, for 2-3 minutes. You may need to add more water to get the dough to come together and form a ball, I used a total of 1 & 1/3 cups of water, adding the last bit of water slowly. I turned the dough out on the counter and kneaded it a few more times and form it into a nice ball, ready for action.

2. Place the dough in a bowl that has been lightly oiled, roll the dough around to cover it with oil. Cover the bowl and set aside until doubled in size, around 60-90 minutes.

3. When it has doubled in size, punch the dough down and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover with a damp kitchen towel and let them rest for about 20 minutes.


4. While the dough is resting preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you have a baking stone, preheat as well. If you don’t have a baking stone use an upside down cookie sheet or a large flat griddle, just be sure and preheat whatever surface you plan on using to bake the pita bread.

5. After the dough balls have rested, spread a light coating of flour on your work surface as well as on a rolling pin. Roll the balls out to about 1/4 inch thickness, you can start with the rolling pin and finish with your hands, stretching and flattening the dough.

6. Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can on the hot surface. They should be baked through and puffy in 3-4 minutes. They keep pretty well but are best eaten right out of the oven.

Makes 8 pitas


For the Roasted Eggplant Spread

1 eggplant
1 head of garlic, cloves separated
1 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°

1. Wash the eggplant and slice in half. Brush with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, along with the garlic cloves, and roast 45- 60 minutes.


2. Let the eggplant cool for around 20 minutes, until you can comfortably handle it, and scoop out the flesh with a spoon and place it in a bowl. Press the garlic flesh from the skin and add it to the same bowl. Mash the eggplant and garlic together, I used a potato masher, until they are combined. Add the lemon juice, half the zest, save the other half for garnish, 1 tablespoon olive oil, at least 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Mix everything together, check the seasonings and fold in 1 tablespoon of mint.

3. Transfer to a smaller bowl and garnish with the rest of the lemon zest and chopped mint.


This recipe for roasted eggplant spread is adapted from Finecooking.com

Kiwi and Orange Salad

Fruit salad after a St. Patty’s day lunch, what a great way to enjoy kiwis and oranges on a beautiful Spring day! My guests commented that they really didn’t eat kiwis that often but that these kiwis ( certified California organic kiwis from Betty’s Organics) were the best they have ever tasted. I peeled and sliced 6 kiwis, cut 2 oranges into segments and arranged them on salad plates. I saved the juice from the oranges in a small bowl, added a teaspoon of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon, then I poured the juice mixture on top of the fruit. I have a giant pot of mint by my back door and it’s full of the cutest little mint buds so it’s been going in, on or around a lot of things coming out of my kitchen these days. I also made banana bread from my surplus of ripe bananas and served it with my fruit salad. My friend Janice and her friend Kathy, both Presentation High School alums had a little reunion before we enjoyed our lunch. They both wore green shirts with shamrocks, I enjoy spending time with people who take their holidays seriously.

I also made the Kona Inn recipe for banana bread.


I played around with the food and took pictures while they reminisced about the good old days!

Kona Inn Banana Bread

My grandsons, Noah and JD love banana bread, I think they’re following the family tradition. This recipe for banana bread is a classic that appears in several cookbooks in my collection as well as all over the web. You can make 2 loaves and freeze one for later. I follow the original recipe except for the addition of baking spices, like cinnamon but that is optional.

5-6 ripe medium size bananas
2 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening, I like Spectrum organic all vegetable shortening
4 large eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon baking spice, Penzey’s brand, or cinnamon, optional

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter and flour two 8 &1/2 x 4 & 1/2 loaf pans.

1. Mash the bananas with a fork in a medium bowl, you should have about 2 cups.

2. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.

3. In a large bowl, using a rubber spatula, mix the sugar and shortening together to form a stiff paste, 1 minute. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the mashed bananas until well combined. Stir in the walnuts. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Don’t over mix or worry about a few lumps. Spread batter into prepared pans.

4. Bake for 1 hour, until a tooth pick comes out clean, bread pulls away from sides of pan and top looks brown.

5. Transfer to a wire rack and cool in pans for 20 minutes. Loosen bread by running a knife along edges and turn out bread to finish cooling on the rack.

The loaves will last for several days if they are wrapped in plastic after they are completely cooled. Also, The loaves don’t come out as well if baked in larger loaf pans.

Potato Rosemary Focaccia with Coarse Salt

Focaccia is a thick, crusty flatbread that can be baked in a sheet pan on top of a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven. It’s good eaten dipped in olive oil or as part of a meal with cheese or salad. Instead of the all-purpose flour called for in the recipe I used King Arthur’s Artisan Flour which is a European style flour used for bread baking. This recipe is from a cookbook, Kneadlessly Simple by Nancy Baggett, which features hassle and mess free no-knead bread recipes. There’s a lot of information about rising, cooling to room temperature and refrigerating the dough in the original recipe that I’m not repeating here in the interests of keeping it simple and straight forward.

2 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed, I used King Arthur’s Artisan Flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 medium baked Yukon gold potato, skin removed and cut into small pieces
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon instant, fast-rising yeast
1 & 1/3 cups plus 1/2 teaspoon ice water, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
3/4 teaspoon coarse crystal salt

First Rise: In a large bowl, stir together flour, rosemary, sea salt and yeast.Vigorously stir in the water, scraping down the bowl and mixing until the dough is blended. Vigorously stir in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. If the mixture is too dry to blend together, stir in just enough ice water to make it easy to mix, but don’t add to much because the dough should be slightly stiff. Brush the top lightly with olive oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 3 to 10 hours. Then let rise at cool room temperature for 12 to 18 hours.

Second Rise: Brush a 15x10X1-inch baking pan with olive oil, then line with baking parchment. Brush the parchment with olive oil. With a spatula, turn the dough out onto the pan, trying not to deflate it anymore than necessary. Drizzle the dough with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. With well oiled hands, lightly pat and press the dough until it is evenly thick and extends to within 1 inch of the Pan’s edges. Tent the pan with spray coated plastic wrap.

Choice of Methods for the next Rise: If you want a regular rise, let the dough stand at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2-3 hours. If you want an extended rise, put the dough back in the fridge for 4 – 24 hours, then set out at room temperature. Just before baking, with oiled fingertips, make dimples all over the dough. Sprinkle evenly with the potato pieces and the coarse salt.

Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat to 500°. Reduce the heat to 475° and bake on the lowest rack for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown, turning the pan from front to back about half way through. Bake for 5-10 minutes longer to be sure the center is done. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Lift the bread onto a cutting board to cut into servings. Focaccia is best when fresh. Cut into rectangles and serve drizzled with additional olive oil or serve more for dipping.

Lemon Curd

Friends who share their Meyer lemons with me might receive lemon pound cake or lemon bars but most likely they will be the recipients of my lemon curd. I’ve always made lemon curd with the same recipe from Chez Panisse but today I tried a new method and it was kinda cool! It starts off like making a cake. So today it was Chez Patty with a recipe from finecooking.com. I always double or triple the recipe to make a large batch but I’m going to give the original recipe which yields 2 cups.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar for about 2 minutes. Slowly add the eggs and yolks. Beat for 1 minute. Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but it will smooth out as it cooks.

2. In a heavy saucepan or dutch oven, cook the mixture over low heat until it looks smooth. (The curdled appearance disappears as the butter melts.) Cook and stir constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. It should leave a path on the back of a spoon and will read 170°F on a thermometer. Don’t let the mixture boil.

3. Remove the curd from the heat; stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the curd to a bowl. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the lemon curd to keep a skin from forming and chill the curd in the refrigerator. The curd will thicken further as it cools. Covered tightly, it will keep in the refrigerator for a week. Spoon the lemon curd into small jars to give away. It’s good on scones, toasted English muffins, shortbread, or just plain out of the jar.