All posts in side dish

Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes

I feel as though the only recipes I post are sweet/dessert recipes…which is not a good representation of the foods I really love and enjoy.
So I am going to start making a conscious effort to post what I really eat, on the day-to-day, the healthy whole veggies and grains!
We’ll start with a couple of eggplant dishes.  I love cooking with eggplant because there are a lot of different options, roast, stuff, puree…

So, the story behind this delicious dinner: My best friend (slash, roommate) from my days when living in Milan came to SF for a two week visit! Cecile is such an amazing person and fills any room that she’s in with love and positive vibes.  Unfortunately, for me, she is still living in Milan (running the marketing for a very high end jewlery/accessory company!) but we still manage to meet every year somewhere in the world!

The day after she touched-down into SF we took a day trip up to Napa Valley for a little wine tasting.  Something all guests love doing when visiting, and something I never get tired of “tour-guiding”
On our way out of Napa we passed a big beautiful produce stand and stopped to load up on goodies for the house (after having already loaded up on the vino!).
Japanese eggplants, asparagus and cherry tomatoes were among the many things we grabbed (great low prices too)

This is a simple dish to make when you don’t want to spend a lot of hands oh time- plus I did it all on the same pan in the oven.
Serve this on a whole grain (I used this) or over pasta or polenta

Serves 2 for Dinner or a 4 for a side
2 medium Japanese Eggplants
1 cup tomatoes
1 garlic clove thinly sliced
olive oil
Fresh Basil
Parmesan Cheese
Sea Salt fresh Pepper
10 spears of Asparagus
Lemon zest

preheat the oven to 375
Chop the eggplant into about 1 inch cubes
Halve the tomatoes
toss in a bowl with olive oil, garlic, good salt and pepper to taste
Spread on a baking sheet and roast for 8 minutes.
In the meantime trim the asparagus toss with a little olive oil, minced garlic and salt and pepper
Up the temp to 400
Toss the veggies and scoot them to one side of the baking dish
Add the asparagus in a single layer
Roast for 10 minutes, tossing halfway through

I like to toss my veggies in lemon zest because I am obsessed with it.  It is so fresh and clean feeling, I love it, but definitely optional
Serve the Eggplant and omato over your starch of choice and top with fresh basil.


Quinoa Tabbouleh

All the times I enjoyed tabbouleh in Greece and Turkey this summer, I thought, “how nice would this be made with quinoa as oppose to bulgur”

Well, quinoa has yet to find its place on shelves in Turkey, but it is available anywhere rice is sold here in California.  I assume always use quinoa in a recipe that calls for a grain.  Not only because it is gluten free but it is also a complete protein, making it the ideal grain for vegetarians.

I added chickpeas and stuffed into heirloom tomatoes (sorry no pic) and garnished with lemon zest and a mint leaf for a light lunch
For dinner, omit the beans to keep it as a side dish, serve along grilled salmon and and asparagus, oooo and lots of lemon zest! Perfect!

Serves 6 side or 4 main
1 cup quinoa
1 large cucumber, chopped
3 tomatoes, seeded and cubbed
2 cups parsley, finely chopped
1 cup mint, finely chopped
1 can Chickpeas, rinsed well

Lemon Dressing:
1 lemon, juiced
1-2 garlic cloves, to taste, minced
3 T good quality olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Cook the quinoa.  set aside in a bowl, even in the fridge, to cool completely.
Whisk the dressing ingredients in a bowl and set aside

Meanwhile, prepare all the vegetables.

Toss the quinoa with veggies with the quinoa and gently toss with dressing
Season with sea salt and pepper
Garnish with lemon zest and whole pretty pieces of mint


Broccoli, Beans and Pesto Rice with Pine Nuts and Parmesan

grain, nuts, side dish 0 Comments
Like most of the things I make, they’re inspired by what ever happens to be in my fridge and the ingredients can easily be changed and adjusted to your liking

If I had a term term for my cooking style it would be “don’t make it so technical”
This dish is a perfect example of just that.  
The grain is up to you, actually, this is my favorite combination with orecchiette pasta.
Asparagus or spinach could be used in place of the broccoli
Feta crumbled on top is a delicious option too.
Yields 2 for main, or 4 side dishes
Basic Grain Pilaf, or 2 cups of a cooked grain
1 T olive oil
2 cups Broccoli
1 cup Cannellini Beans
2 T Pesto
2 T parmesan 
1 T pine nuts
Heat the oil in a large skillet 
saute the broccoli for a few minutes
Add a little water, cover and steam for a few minutes until tender
Add the beans and pesto to the skillet, turn up the heat
Add the pesto and heat
Top with toasted pine nuts and parmesan cheese

Butternut Squash, Corn and Leek Gratin

I can’t believe how long it takes me to post recipes.

Squash is already out of season, but it is my favorite vegetable (in all verities) so I figure why not share a few more as well share a few more wonderful squash recipes…
Gratins are great to make when cooking for a crowd! Delicious, hot, cheese, savory and can be made ahead, everyone wins!

This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite vegetable cookbooks!
Fast, Fresh and Green, By Susie Middleton
1 T unsalted butter
1 cup bread crumbs
1 medium leek, diced, white and light green parts
1 clove garlic minced
2 ears corn kernels
fresh black pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup vegetable broth
1/2 lemon zest
1 t thyme fresh, chopped
2 1/2 cups butternut squash, cubed
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat 400
Grease a shallow dish, about 5-6 cups, with 1/2 t of butter
In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs, olive oil and a pinch of salt, set aside
In a bowl, combine the heavy cream and broth
Add the lemon zest, thyme and salt and ground pepper, set aside
In a medium skillet melt the remaining butter over medium low heat.
Add a pinch of salt and the leeks, cook, stiring until softened, about 5 minutes
Add the garlic
Add the corn and fresh pepper and salt, stir well, cook 2-3 minutes
Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes
Add the squash to the corn/leek mixture and mix well
Transfer to the gratin dish and spread evenly
Sprinkle with Cheese
Pour the liquid mixture evenly over the vegetables
Sprinkle with bread crumbs
bake for 40-45 minutes, until it is a deep golden and the squash is tender.
The juices will be bubbling below the surface of the vegetables, leaving brown bits of heaven in a line around the edges of the pan.
Yuuuum enjoy! I know you will!

Sweet Potato and Kale- with a kick

Two of my favorite fall foods coming together at last…

1 bunch of Kale, rinsed and chopped
4 cups Sweet Potatoes/Yams, rinsed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 T olive oil
2 cups Purple Cabbage, thinly sliced
1 Onion chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 T ginger, peeled, minced
1 Serrano Chili, seeded diced
Seperately, in a steamer, cook the yams and kale.
Kale should still be colorful
Yams shouls still be somewhat firm
Meanwhile, heat the oill in a large saute pan and cook the onion, garlic, ginger and pepper
Add the cabbage and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add amall amounts of water if necessary to prevent sticking.
Place in a large serving bowl, add yams and kale and mix well

Mushroom and Barley

This dish goes very well with many fall recipes. If you are gluten sensitive, try using rice or buckwheat in place on barley.

Even the young boys of my clients I cook for adore this dish and request it almost weekly.

olive oil
1 T butter
1 onion, chopped
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup barley
Walnuts, chopped and toasted
Parsley, chopped
In a heavy sauce pan, heat the oil and melt the butter
Add the onions and cook over medium heat, about 3 minutes
Add the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms release their moisture, about 5 minutes
Add the broth, barley and Salt and bring to a boil
Simmer partially covered for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally
Season to taste with salt and pepper and garnish with nuts and parsley