Jacqueline will be hosting the next edition of No Croutons Required. The challenge this month is to come up with a soup or salad featuring carrots.
Always pairing best with simple flavours, I steamed a bunch of asparagus with fresh baby potatoes and tossed the vegetables with a simple but lively balsamic and Dijon mustard dressing. Served right away to enjoy the warmth and tenderness of the potatoes and asparagus, this was an elegant salad that I think you will find inviting at any time of year, even if the produce isn't local. Enjoy!
Warm Baby Potato and Asparagus SaladOther potato salads you may enjoy:
1 1/2 pounds baby potatoes
1 bunch fresh asparagus
1 shallot, diced
small handful fresh parsley, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
Steam the potatoes for 20 minutes, or until just tender. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and cut the spears into 1" to 1 1/2" pieces. Add to the potatoes and steam for five more minutes.
Remove the warm potatoes and asparagus from the steamer and place in a large mixing bowl with the shallot and parsley. Whisk together the dressing ingredients, drizzle over the salad, and toss gently to combine.
Serve warm. Serves 4.
Potato Radish Salad
Mexican-Style Potato Salad with Avocado and Jalapeño
Potato Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
On the top of the reading stack: Small Memories by Jose Saramago
Audio Accompaniment: doozer construction and sandblasting
As I have noted many times in this space, I always do prefer to make my own spice blends, time permitting. Although there are plenty of good ready-made blends to be had from Indian grocery stores, there is just no comparison between the homemade versions. Sambar powder — or sambhar masala — is the base for a wide range of spicy south Indian vegetable or dal curries known as sambars or sambhars, and I prepared this mixture in preparation for a black-eyed pea sambar dish that I made for a dear friend of mine. The addition of chana dal was a welcome addition to the mixture and it thickened it out to suit my preferences. Chana dal as well as the other ingredients in this recipe are easily found in Indian and most Asian grocers.
Our first entry comes from Akheela of Torviewtoronto. She served up this mouthwatering Coconut Roti consisting of coconut, flour, chili flakes, onion and curry leaves alongside this unique Sweet Semolina Sago Porridge. Akheela suggests that when making the coconut roti to go with this dish that you omit the spices. So many serving possibilities for the roti and I am sure it is especially delicious with any number of curry dishes. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Our next submission comes from my co-host and good friend Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes. These beautiful Yogurt Scones with a Trio of Three Cheeses are made up of Greek yogurt, flour, mustard powder, cayenne pepper, butter, cheddar cheese, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese and one egg. Indeed these would be perfect for dunking into soup, such as this tempting Carrot, Cumin & Yoghurt Soup. (Scotland, UK)
Our next entry comes from Priya. She made this lovely Whole Wheat Multi-Seeds Bread that includes whole wheat flour, a homemade seed mixture of pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and sesame seeds, olive oil, yeast and a wee bit of sugar. I can imagine how wonderful Priya's kitchen smelt as this healthy bread was baking in the oven. Serve with this Velouté De Poireaux (Leeks N Potato Creamy Soup) for an especially comforting meal. (Paris, France)
Janet of Taste Space is up next with this gorgeous Dill and Cheddar Beer Bread that she made without any yeast. Included amongst the ingredients are of course flour, dill, sharp cheddar cheese, beer and you can glaze the top with egg if desired. This rather dense bread is easy to make and best served with a simple soup Janet tells us because of the complexity of the flavours. I am thinking this would be a perfect use of the fresh dill I have growing outside and know I would especially enjoy it with this Roasted Red Pepper and Squash Soup. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Sunita enters this month with these stunning but easy to make Cheesy Potato and Rosemary Scones. Whole wheat flour (atta), mashed potato, fresh rosemary, english mustard, olive oil, Red Leicester cheese (or cheddar), a bit of milk and an egg are combined here to perfection. Certainly these colourful scones would be an ideal accompaniment to this Mixed Beans and Lentils Broth. (UK)
Ashley of Eat me Delicious contributes these oh so tempting Sun Dried Tomato, Feta and Oregano Muffins. Who could resist this combination of flour, freshly ground black pepper, oregano, butter, eggs, milk, feta cheese and a whole cup of sun-dried tomatoes. These scrumptious savory muffins would go very well with this Mediterranean Pepper Salad. (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
Next up is Radhika of Food for 7 Stages of Life with this moist and healthy Carrot Mango Pecan Bread. Delightful mangos, that invoke fond memories of her grandfather, add a nice touch to this bread made with whole wheat flour, carrots, pecans, some sugar, eggs and cinnamon. I am sure this soft bread wouldn't last long, especially if served with Dixie Stampede Homestyle Cream of Vegetable Soup. (New Jersey, United States)
Eleanor from BrownievilleGirl is on a scone mission and she submits this easy, but incredibly tasty, slightly crumbly Honey and Sunflower Ginger Scones recipe. I have a ginger fan in the house who would be sure to enjoy this combination of spelt flour, ground ginger, finely grated carrot, butter, fresh ginger, honey and sunflower seeds. Imagine how delightful these scones would be served with Butternut Squash Coleslaw and a hunk of Dubliner cheese? (Ireland)
Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe digs into her archives and serves up this plump yeast based Zucchini Loaf made up of zucchini, yeast, a bit of honey, bread flour and glazed with some olive oil. This most delightful bread would be wonderful with this Tomato and Lentil Soup. Your dinner guests will be asking for seconds. (Melbourne, Australia).
My submission this month are these Apple Cheddar Scones that I made for friends. Spelt flour, cornmeal, cinnamon, butter, an egg, buttermilk, apple juice, red wine cheddar cheese, dried apple and freshly grated apple make for a most delightful combination. My friends gave them rave reviews. I would suggest serving them with Fresh Fruit and Berry Soup. (London, Ontario, Canada)
Mango Cheeks of Allotment 2 Kitchen offers up these most appetizing Vegan Parsley Shortcakes that she describes as slightly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Flour, fresh parsley, olive oil, white wine vinegar and soya milk are combined to serve alongside homemade chutney. These would also be a most satisfying side to dip into this Chickpea and Sun-Dried Tomato Soup. (West of Scotland, UK)
Vanessa of Sweet Artichoke experiments for the first time with these cute and appetizing Mini Focaccia. Flour, yeast, a pinch of sugar, some olive oil, fine semolina and olive oil make up these delights that can be garnished with a variety of ingredients, including cherry tomatoes, herbs, Parmesan cheese and olives. These would go well with any Mediterranean dish, such as this Tunisian Salad with Grilled Veggies. (Switzerland)
Sweatha of Tasty Curry Leaf makes her first attempt at a rustic Pane Toscano -Saltless Tuscan Bread and it turned out beautifully. The first step is to make a sponge with flour, water and yeast and then a dough made with more flour, water and yeast. An interesting step in the process is that you spray the baking bread with water to ensure you get a nice hard crust. This bread would certainly go well with Roasted Tomato Soup. (Bangalore, India)
Reshmi of A Feast to the Eyes and Stomach participates in our event for the first time and submits this lovely Potato Bread that she describes as the softest she's ever had. A mixture of flour, mashed potatoes, yeast, chives and dry milk powder are divided into balls and then given an egg wash and garnished with sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Serve this with Red Gram (Red Lentil Soup) and you will have one satisfying and filling dinner. (Germany)
Last, but certainly not least, we have these absolutely gorgeous Cloverleaf Rolls with Honey Lavender Shallot Butter Glaze from Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook. A dough of flour, some sugar, yeast, milk, butter and an egg is left to rise in the fridge for up to 24 hours, then cut into balls, left to rise in a warm place for another 30 minutes and then glazed with butter, poached shallot, lavender flowers and honey. A special benefit for cooks in humid climates is they only take 15 minutes in the oven to bake. How elegant, especially when served with Lima Bean and Artichoke Soup. (New York, USA)
Jacqueline will be hosting the next edition of No Croutons Required. Check back at the beginning of August for the theme.
I'm just barely making the deadline for No Croutons Required this month, even though it is my turn to host. The theme this month is breads that go well with soups and salads. I can't think of a nicer bread right now than this simple but wonderfully soft and delicious batch of scones with both fresh and dried apples and a light sprinkling of fresh grated Cheddar cheese to go with it — an easy and much less sweet biscuit version of the famous apple pie with Cheddar cheese. Many thanks for the idea of these scones to Ashley of the now sadly defunct Eat Me, Delicious blog.
One of the oldest grains known to be cultivated by humans, millet is a staple food in many parts of Eurasia as well as in Africa where it is thought to have originated thousands of years ago. Although in North America it's primarily grown as livestock fodder, millet is a highly nutritious grain for humans, containing nearly 15% protein, high amounts of fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium minerals, B-complex vitamins including niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin, and the essential amino acid methionine. Non-glutenous and non-acid-forming, millet is also one of the most easily digestible and least allergenic of grains.
But to the modern cook, the main appeals of millet are its warm buttery and slightly nutty taste and a soft porous texture that easily absorbs spicy or astringent flavors. These qualities make it a perfect complement to citrus and fresh tomatoes, and a welcome and healthy addition to zesty summer salads. This simple Mexican-style black bean salad loaded with tomatoes and vegetables and tossed with a spicy lemon-balsamic vinaigrette is a delicious way to incorporate millet into a complete, healthy and colorful summer meal.
I was fortunate enough to have a few dinner guests to share this dish with. I was even told this sauce was probably the best one of my diners had ever tasted. Give it a try and you'll see how rich, luscious and thick it is.
This is also my submission to Presto Pasta nights, a popular event created by Ruth and hosted this week by Pam.
Kamut Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato SauceOther pasta dishes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen you will be sure to enjoy:
454 grams / 16 ounces of kamut pasta
For the sauce:
2/3 cup of marinated sun-dried tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1 - 2 jalapeno peppers or green chilies
1/3 cup of fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup of olive oil
crumbled feta for garnishing
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the pot and cook until el dente or to your desired consistency - roughly 10 - 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a food processor, combine the marinated sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, balsamic vinegar, pine nuts, hot peppers, parsley, sea salt, black pepper and Parmesan cheese until well blended. With the food processor still running, pour in the olive oil.
Drain the pasta, cover with sauce and crumbled feta.
Serves 4 - 6.
Pasta and Feta Cheese Casserole
Greek Macaroni and Cheese
Macaroni and Paneer Cheese
Rye Pasta with a Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce and Goat Cheese
On the top of the reading stack: Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness by William Styron
Audio Accompaniment: Laughing Stock by Talk Talk
Tempted by yet another recipe from 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer, I couldn't resist making this chili from the contemporary curries section on one of the hottest days of the year. This is certainly a recipe I will be revisiting in the future, especially during the colder months, but I will say I very much enjoyed it on a hot and humid day. The nuts provide a wonderful accompaniment to the selection of beans. Mr. Iyer suggests serving this delightful chili with cheese, such as shredded paneer, scallions, sour cream or yogurt or perhaps chopped fresh mango. Packed full of vegetables, legumes and nuts, this is a particularly healthy vegetarian meal, and a most tasty one at that. A big thanks to Mr. Iyer for such a lovely and inspired volume of creative recipes.
|Vegetarian Three Bean Chili with a Cashew-Pistachio Sauce|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Adapted from 660 Curries
Published on July 8, 2010
An Indian-style vegetarian three bean chili cooked in a creamy and delicious cashew-pistachio sauce
Print this recipe
Other chili recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen you would be sure to enjoy:
Smoky Black Bean Chili
Southwest Vegetarian Chili
Cornmeal Crusted Chili
On the top of the reading stack: The National Post
Audio Accompaniment: street construction (blah)
Chocolate Brownies with Fresh GingerMore brownie recipes from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter + another few teaspoons for buttering the pan
2/3 cup of chocolate (I used a combination of carob and dark chocolate)
1 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of unbleached white flour or spelt flour
1/4 cup of cocoa
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
2/3 teaspoon of vanilla
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves
Butter an 8 inch square baking dish. Line the bottom with parchment paper, with some overlap on the sides. Butter the bottom of the parchment paper.
In a medium saucepan, over medium - low heat, melt together the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from the heat and beat in the sugar, flour, cocoa, eggs, fresh ginger, vanilla, nutmeg, ground ginger, sea salt and ground cloves.
Transfer to the prepared pan and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 30- 35 minutes. Let the brownies cool for 10 minutes, lift out with the parchment paper and cool for another 15 minutes on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve.
Gooey Peanut Butter Brownies with Carob Chips
Chocolate Cocoa Brownies with Dried Cranberries and Chickpea Flour
Peanut Butter Brownies
Brownies with Dried Fruit
On the top of the reading stack: Penguin Classics Three Tales by Flaubert
Audio Accompaniment: Anger Do Not Enter by Beef Terminal