I am in veggie heaven with these roasted vegetable stacks and in one recipe I get the daily recommended servings of vegetables; my kind of dish. Although the end of Summer means goodbye to warmer days (sigh), its departure signals the bounty of the harvest (yay!). It’s the perfect time of the year to grab all the locally grown goodies from markets and farmers roadside stands. Continue Reading →
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Do you remember eating cauliflower when you were a kid? I do. My favorite was smothered in my mom’s homemade cheddar cheese sauce. Come to think of it, I don’t think I really liked cauliflower; I loved the cheese sauce! Fast forward to my adult years and I have served cauliflower many ways and fondly enough, not smothered in cheese sauce. I’ve roasted cauliflower pieces but never a whole roasted cauliflower – well, come to think of it, not strictly true. Back in 2009 I baked a whole Romanesco cauliflower in a tomato sauce and that was a big hit. Continue Reading →
Looking for a Sunday-style roast but without the fuss? As much as I adore a Sunday roast, it’s an all day thing or close to it. Sure, you can leave the roast in the oven and putter around the house or go out for a quick lunch, but realistically, you need to be nearby to make sure all is going well. And, perhaps that’s the whole purpose of a Sunday roast – to keep everyone at home. It lends for more family time; chatting while the dinner is in prep mode. For me, though, my kids are too far away for them to pop over for the afternoon. Unless we have our friends over, it’s just the two of us so a chunk of meat has to be given careful consideration to make sure there’s no waste. Continue Reading →
Stews can take a while to cook but this lentil and vegetable stew can be ready in 35 minutes. It’s loaded to the brim with vitamin and mineral goodness and will fill you up and keep you satiated for hours. Lentils are slow-burning, high-fiber, and lean protein food. Continue Reading →
Years ago I bought a book to hold all my scraps of paper that I scribbled recipes on or ones I cut from magazines and newspapers. I remember, after the last recipe was glued down, how triumphant it felt to see my collection in one place. The other day I went through one I started back in 2005. I had forgotten these recipes. The baked vegetable custard is one I made once before, most probably in 2005, and it’s a pity I forgot about it as it’s darn delicious and relatively easy to make. As much as I like to view recipes online, I still enjoy the tactile nature of paper. Continue Reading →
For months I have passed by the vegetable section of my local food market and wondered what kohlrabi (German word for cabbage turnip) was. The other day I finally picked up a bunch and decided to do a little research on this curious vegetable. It’s an odd-looking thing and couldn’t get my head around how to use it. Continue Reading →
I am and have been for a long time enamored with local farmers’ markets. For those who don’t know me, I grew up in the country where my parents grew their own vegetables and later on had chickens and pigs (hobby farm, of sorts). As much as I liked being able to walk over to the vegetable field (yep, it wasn’t a patch!) to pick or dig the veggies for the evening dinner, I did not like any of the work that went into growing and maintaining a vegetable garden. I still don’t!
I love recreating a food memory. I grew up in the country where my parents had enough land to grow their own vegetables along with 2 pigs and 6 hens. We didn’t have a farm per se, it was more of a hobby farm. Looking back it was an interesting learning experience for me but at the time, a vegetable garden (a large one at that!) and a few farm animals meant outside chores increased and that ate into my summer time fun. When my siblings and I got older, we would help mom prepare the vegetables and shelling peas was one I did not mind doing. Continue Reading →
John and I barbeque all year round and when Spring and Summer arrive, it’s full on. Our barbeque gets used on a weekly basis so it’s not unusual to see me out on our back deck firing up the barbie. I love it…less mess for me to clean up! I’ve been noticing more and more these days that most food places I shop carry planks for grilling – some individual and some in packages carrying an assortment (cedar, birch, hickory or maple). Plank grilling originates from the Native Americans from the Pacific Northwest who grilled salmon on open fires over cedar and alder. The concept is by far not new but certainly merits consideration.
4 portobello mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
2 medium-sized zucchini, sliced
2 medium-sized yellow summer squash, sliced
Allow cedar plank to soak in water for at least an hour (longer if possible). If using a stainless steel plank saver then soak the plank for 30 minutes. On medium heat, grill portobello mushrooms gill side down, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Lightly brush olive oil onto zucchini and summer squash slices. Season with salt and pepper. Place on grill for up to 5 minutes and turn. You want the slices to show some grill marks and the flesh to be slightly softened.
Remove cedar plank from water and pat dry. Place portobello mushroom (gill side up) on the cedar plank. Followed by zucchini slices, yellow summer squash slices, tomato slices, and pesto. Make sure bbq is at 350f and add plank. Cover with bbq lid and cook 10 minutes. Don’t worry if smoke is billowing out of the bbq – this is normal. The cedar smoke will infuse the veggies. Remove from bbq and serve on a plate and drizzle with olive oil.
Note: After using, rinse the plank off with soap and water and let dry. Reuse the planks two or three times – if there’s wood left, you can use it. Crumble up charred planks over coals to use as smoking chips and choose planks that aren’t chemically treated.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: This was my first attempt at plank grilling and I liked it. I think I’ll experiment with salmon the next time. Add freshly grated Parmesan to the portobello mushrooms before adding the vegetables. Enjoy!
The tail end of Spring is drawing to a close and thankfully the warmer weather has arrived. And because of this, the air in our neighborhood is perfumed with food being cooked on backyard barbeques. If you don’t barbecue you almost feel left out. When I head out to our back deck to fire up the grill, my stomach grumbles as I get a whiff of someone using their barbeque. I love this time of year. Broccolini is a cross between broccoli and gai lan (Chinese kale). It’s more delicate in flavor than broccoli and can be eaten raw or lightly sautéed.
adapted by The Gardener & The Grill
1 to 2 anchovy fillets, mashed into as paste
3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
2 bunches broccolini, trimmed (about 2 lbs.)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce, whisk together all ingredients and set aside. Light your barbeque to a medium-hot fire. Place broccolini on a plate and brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill until broccolini is al dente, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and serve with sauce.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: Fresh and simple! Make sure broccolini is similar in size otherwise the larger pieces will take longer to cook and will result in the smaller ones becoming burnt. Serve this right off the grill or at room temperature. Summer is just around the corner…Friday, 21st of June. Enjoy!
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