Archive for July 2008

Roasted potatoes and green beans

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Our tasty but pretty oily dinner tonight:

Roasted new potatoes

2 pints of medium new potatoes (from the Bloomington farmer’s market, one bag via Jeanne; red ones and Yukon Golds)

Dried rosemary

Olive oil


Freshly ground pepper

Soy sauce

Heat a pot of water on high, add salt, then add the potatoes. Cook till tender. Drain and let cool.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Pour oil, soy sauce, salt, pepper, and rosemary into a baking dish. Without peeling, break the potatoes into quarters with your hands (rather than cutting–this leaves more crusty surfaces).  Mix well, put in the oven, and roast for about 45 minutes or until crunchy all over.
Green beans amandine

1 bag purple green beans (again from the farmer’s market)

2 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp sliced almonds

Soy sauce

Lemon juice

Coconut oil

Wash and trim the beans. Stir-fry over high heat in the coconut oil until cooked (they magically change from purple to green once they’re cooked!). In the meantime, toast the sliced almonds in a small dry pan until golden brown. When they’re toasted, add the butter. Let it melt, then add the soy sauce. It will foam up. Cook for a little bit, then turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Pour the almond-lemon-butter sauce over the green beans, mix well, and enjoy with roasted potatoes.


Written by orata

July 31, 2008 at 9:42 pm

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Beet and tempeh salad

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Inspired by my trip back to CA and all the yummy food to be found there, I made this beet and tempeh salad for lunch today and really enjoyed it (and ate some organic blueberries with Greek Gods honey yogurt last night for dessert… divine.) The tempeh and pine nuts really make the salad–that intense nuttiness and the crunch from the tempeh crust are so wonderful against the sweet, tender, earthy roasted beets and the tang of the shallot vinaigrette. I think the dressing would be really nice with a roasted hazelnut or walnut oil, if you have such a thing lying around, but sesame oil from the Asian market is similarly fragrant and nutty, and way cheaper.

For the salad:

2 medium-large beets

1 package wild rice tempeh

1/4 bunch fresh Italian parsley, chopped (about 3 Tbsp)

A few leaves fresh basil, chopped (about 1 Tbsp)

Approximately 2 Tbsp pine nuts

For the dressing:

1 shallot, minced

Lemon juice

Silver Palate Sweet and Rough mustard

Extra virgin olive oil

Dark toasted sesame oil



Dried tarragon

Dried thyme
The night before, roast the beets. I washed them and poked a few holes in the skins with a knife (probably not necessary, but just in case), then put them in a pie pan covered in foil with 1/4 inch of water in the bottom of the pan, and left them in the oven while I made biscotti–about 2 hours total. Let the beets cool overnight.

Trim the ends and peel the beets, then cut them into 1/2 inch cubes. Put them in a bowl with the parsley and basil. Toast the pine nuts in a pan over medium heat till brown. Add them to the bowl.

Fry the tempeh in a little oil, browning both sides over medium heat, till golden brown and crusty on the outside. I cooked the whole block first, then used an iron spatula to cut the block into 1/2 cubes, and fried these a little longer to try and get the sides browned a little bit. However, it might work better to cut the tempeh into cubes first. Either way, you should wind up with a bunch of 1/2 crunchy fried tempeh cubes. Add these to the bowl.

Make the dressing by mixing all dressing ingredients together thoroughly. Since lemons cost a dollar each here, I used bottled lemon juice. I have no idea about the proportions of each ingredient–I tend to try and do a 1 to 2 or 1 to 3 ratio of acid to oil by volume, with a generous spoonful of mustard to emulsify. I used a little bit of fancy New Zealand olive oil I got as a sample from Whole Foods, but mostly just the bulk EVOO from Bloomingfoods, and a couple of teaspoons of dark sesame oil for extra flavor.

Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Mmmm.

Written by orata

July 23, 2008 at 1:32 pm

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Adapted from Todd English’s book The Olives Table:

2 c. chopped almonds

3.5 c. all-purpose flour

1.5 tsp baking soda

1.5 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 stick* unsalted butter, softened

1.5 c. sugar

4 small or 3 large eggs at room temperature

3 tsp vanilla extract

(2 tsp almond extract: optional)

(dried cherries or cranberries: optional)

(walnuts: optional)

All ingredients should be at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and toast almonds for 15 minutes.

Combine dry ingredients.

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Mix wet mixture into dry.

Form into 4 logs, approximately 4″ x 12″.

Bake 30-35 minutes, till golden brown.

Let cool 5-10 mins.

Slice into individual biscotti shapes.

Bake 5 mins, then turn biscotti and bake on the other side for 5 mins.

*Butter amount can vary from none (just 1 Tbsp olive oil) to 2 sticks, depending on
desired consistency. 1 stick is recommended for a compromise between a cookie soft enough to eat and firm enough to hold up to dipping into coffee.

Dad usually toasts whole almonds and then chops them up in a food processor.

Written by orata

July 22, 2008 at 8:38 pm

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