vegetarian Archive

Roasted Delicata Squash Rings with Mast-o-Khiar Yogurt Dip

My husband and I are part of a small and informal supper club/dinner group. We jokingly refer to these gatherings as “The Beet Goes On”, mostly due to the fact that beets always manage to appear on the menu. (Apparently, we’re all big beet fans.)

Truth be told, it doesn’t seem right to call this group a supper club. Really, it’s just five friends who like to cook food and drink wine. It’s as simple as that. We all take turns hosting, cooking, and menu-planning and we always have a great time. We feast, we talk, and we indulge in a few nice bottles of wine. It’s damn near perfect.

A few weeks ago, The Beet Goes On crew gathered at my house. I knew I wanted to make something special for the group, and I had been pouring over recipes, blogs, and cookbooks for weeks. Eventually, I settled on a Middle-Eastern (Israeli/Persian/Moroccan/etc) theme for the dinner. We dined on Shakshuka, Harissa roasted carrots & beets, feta and olives, lemony cous cous salad, flat bread, and delicata squash rings with mast-o-khiar yogurt dip. Let me tell you, it was a feast fit for kings. (Lest you think I’m giving myself all of the credit, my dinner guests made some of the sides. This was a group effort!). However, of all of the dishes we ate that night, the squash and yogurt combo was my favorite. The squash was sweet and spicy, and the yogurt dip was tangy, creamy, and refreshing. They just worked so well together.

Mast-o-Khiar is a Persian dip, which is relatively similar to a traditional Tzatziki. It is traditionally made with yogurt, cucumber, and mint. I got the idea from 101 Cookbooks, who garnishes her mast-o-khiar with rose petals, dried cranberries, and toasted almonds. I took mine in a slightly different direction, and used toasted almonds, pomegranate seeds, and a touch of flat leaf parsley. I thought it worked rather well.

Mast-o-Khiar Yogurt Dip | Rosemarried

ROASTED DELICATA SQUASH WITH MAST-O-KHIAR YOGURT DIP
Inspired by and adapted from 101 Cookbooks

For the roasted squash:
1-2 small delicata squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & pepper
1.5 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

For the dip:
2 cups Greek yogurt
2 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
High quality extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup toasted almonds
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
A few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley

To make the dip:

Peel the garlic cloves and place on a cutting board. Sprinkle the garlic cloves with salt, then mash or chop into a paste. Combine the garlic paste with the yogurt, dill, and mint. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. When ready to serve, stir in the diced cucumber and season with salt & pepper, to taste. Spoon into a serving dish and drizzle with olive oil and garnish with toasted almonds, pomegranate seeds, and chopped parsley.

To roast the squash:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash the squash and leave the skin on. Note: You could slice the squash into rings and de-seed each individual ring, but I prefer to de-seed the squash in one fell swoop. Here’s how you do it: Slice a 1/4″ or 1/2″ round off the top and bottom of the squash (discard these pieces). This should expose the soft center, and allow you to remove the seeds. Take a butter knife and insert it into the center of one of the exposed ends of the squash. Move the knife in a circular motion, and carve through the center of the squash from top to bottom, loosening seeds as you go. Make sure the knife penetrates through to the other end of the squash, and the seeds should fall right out. Once the squash is de-seeded, slice the squash into 1/4″ rings. Toss these rings with olive oil, salt, pepper, and spices. Lay squash rings in rows on a line baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until fork tender and golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before eating.

On Mushroom Foraging + A Recipe for Cream of Chanterelle Soup

For most of my life, I despised mushrooms. I hated the taste and color of mushrooms, but most of all I hated their slimy texture. I viewed mushrooms as an obstacle between me and a delicious slice of pepperoni pizza.

Granted, I had good reasons for hating mushrooms. When I was a kid, I ate a small handful of mushrooms I found growing in the backyard. My mom freaked out, naturally, and had me take some sort of medication that forced me to puke up all the potentially poisonous mushrooms. It was not my finest hour. In fact, I remember the whole experience was absolutely miserable.

That day, I decided I hated mushrooms and I never looked back.

Fast forward 20+ years and I am now living in Oregon. I am married to a mushroom-loving Oregonian. Mushrooms grow like weeds in Oregon, so I am literally surrounded. Eventually, I gave in. I can actually remember the first bite of a mushroom I tried that I actually liked. It was a morel that had been sauteed in a bit of butter — and it was nothing like those sad, grey mushrooms slivers I habitually pick off my pizza. It was meaty and dense, full of flavor and texture. It was delicious.

And now, I find myself wandering in the woods in search of wild mushrooms. I’m that person. (To be fair, I still don’t get mushrooms on my pizza. Old habits die hard, I suppose.) I have been converted to the wonderful world of mushrooms, and there is no looking back.

Chanterelle Hunting | Rosemarried

Here’s the thing, I am very new to the world of mushroom hunting. I am no expert, by any stretch of the imagination. But, I think that foraging for mushrooms is a blast and I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks with you all.

The first rule when hunting for mushrooms, is know thy mushroom. Do your homework! Buy an identification guide. Before you go picking (and eating!) wild mushrooms, you should know what you’re looking for. Secondly, be safe! Do not hunt for mushrooms on private property and be sure to wear bright colors when wandering about in the woods. Lastly, pack lightly. When I forage for mushrooms I bring a knife (to cut/harvest the mushrooms), a sack for carrying the haul (burlap or something porous, so the mushrooms will spread their spores), a bottle of water, and my iPhone (for Instagramming, of course). That’s really all you need!

Since we are in the midst of chanterelle season, here a few notes about hunting for these particular mushrooms. (Thankfully, chanterelles are one of the easier mushrooms to identify and there aren’t many ‘false’ chanterelles.) Chanterelles do not have typical gills like other mushrooms, rather, they have shallow ridges. Chanterelles are not hollow and they are usually orange in color and grow out of the moss and dirt. (Note: there is a variety of mushroom that looks something like a chanterelle and it grows on wood. Chanterelles only grow out of the ground and do not grow on wood, which is a helpful identifying tip).

Chanterelle | Rosemarried

As I said, I’m no expert. I’m very new at this, but I’m having a blast! Oregon is teeming with an amazing array of mushrooms, and I’ve only begun to scratch the surface. I can’t wait for more mushroom hunting adventures! As for now, I have chanterelles coming out my ears. :) My last few foraging trips have been quite successful and I’ve cooked a lot of chanterelles in the past few weeks. Of all of the recipes I’ve tried, this one is my favorite, so I thought I’d share. Keep in mind that this recipe does not have to be made with foraged chanterelles — you can also purchase them in stores!

Cream of Chanterelle Soup | Rosemarried

Cream of Chanterelle Soup

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 4 large shallots, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Cook shallots and garlic in butter for 5 minutes, or until translucent.
  2. Add chanterelles and continue to cook for 5-10 more minutes, or until all the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Pour in the chicken stock, bay leaf, thyme, and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne. (Be sure there is enough liquid to full cover the mushrooms.) Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove bay leaf and thyme stems. Using an immersion blender (or food processor), puree the soup. Stir in the cream and return the pot to the stove and cook for 10 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.
  5. Optional garnish: cook a few cook a few extra chanterelles with butter, salt, and pepper for 5-10 minutes over medium heat. Sprinkle the mushrooms atop the soup for added texture and color.

Notes

Adapted from Saveur

http://rosemarried.com/2013/10/02/hunting-mushrooms-recipe-cream-chanterelle-soup/

Summer Corn and Vegetable Chowder

I hate to break it to all you pumpkin-loving peoples, but summer isn’t over yet.

I know that it is September, and signs of fall are all around us: school is back in session, leaves are starting to turn, and pumpkin spice lattes are back. (I think? I don’t actually drink them as I think they taste like crap.)

Let me remind you all that it is still technically summer. Fall begins on September 22nd, and until that day comes I plan on enjoying every last drop of summer. I want to laze in the sun and drink a Stiegl Radler. I want to BBQ and eat all of my meals outdoors. I want to eat cherry tomatoes like candy, straight off the vine.

Corn Stock | Rosemarried

Homemade corn stock.

This soup walks the fine line between summer and fall. It is warm and cozy, which is perfect for chilly September nights. But, the soup is made from a mix of ripe summer vegetables, so at the same time the soup is bright and vibrant.

Really, it’s quite perfect for this time of year.

Summer Corn Chowder | Rosemarried

Summer Corn and Vegetable Chowder

Serving Size: Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • FOR THE CORN STOCK:
  • 6 raw corn cobs (white or yellow), kernels cut off
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 red chili pepper
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Salt, to taste
  • FOR THE CHOWDER:
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small yellow summer squash
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 red potatoes, skin on
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, peeled
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 cups corn stock (or chicken/vegetable stock)
  • 1.5 cups fresh corn kernels (I used a mix of white & yellow corn)
  • 1 cup cream
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Minced green onions (for garnish)

Instructions

  1. Make the corn stock (can be done ahead of time): Place corn cobs, bay leaves, 4 thyme sprigs, peppercorns, and red chili in a stock pot. Fill the pot with water, enough to cover the corn cobs (about 2 quarts). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow the stock to simmer for at least 1 hour. Strain and store in the fridge until use.
  2. To make the soup, first dice the onion. In a dutch oven or large soup pot, head 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Cook the onion for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Meanwhile, wash and trim the zucchini, squash, bell pepper, and potatoes. Dice all the vegetables into very small cubes. Add the squash and bell pepper to the pot and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour in the corn stock and add the diced potatoes and thyme sprigs. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Add in the corn kernels, cream, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve warm and garnish with minced green onions or chives.

Notes

Adapted from Simple Bites.

http://rosemarried.com/2013/09/08/summer-corn-vegetable-chowder/

Chilled Cantaloupe Soup with Ginger and Mint

Summertime was made for cold soups. (Or is it the other way around?) Whatever, the case, I’m a sucker for a cold cup of soup on a hot summer day.

Chilled soups are simple, refreshing, and they require little or no cooking whatsoever. In the past, I’ve always made chilled vegetable soups: garden gazpacho, cucumber yogurt soup, beet soup with cilantro creme.

However, this was my first attempt at a chilled fruit soup. It’s light and refreshing, with a perfect balance of sweet and savory. The Greek yogurt gives the soup a creamy texture, but it’s the addition of fresh ginger and mint that makes this soup something special. It’s really quite lovely.

I would like to stress that this is not a dessert soup. It just isn’t all that sweet. I made this soup for a friend’s bachelorette party, and served it in small teacups as an appetizer. However, I think the soup could also be a great brunch dish. Heck, I’d eat a big bowl of this soup for dinner. (Truth be told, I would eat it anytime of the day. All day. Every day.)

All of that to say, this is summertime in a cup. Get some!

Chilled Cantaloupe Soup | Rosemarried

Chilled Cantaloupe Soup with Ginger and Mint

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe cantaloupe
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 small sprig of fresh mint
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Peel & slice the cantaloupe into large chunks.
  2. Place the cantaloupe pieces, yogurt, lemon juice, honey, ginger, and salt into a food processor or blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth & creamy. Taste, and adjust seasonings as needed. Add in a few mint leaves and pulse a few times, until mint is chopped and incorporated into the mix.
  3. Pour mixture into an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator for an hour before serving. Prior to serving, stir in the cream. Ladle into cups or small bowls and garnish with a mint leaf.

Notes

Adapted from Pinch My Salt

http://rosemarried.com/2013/08/04/chilled-cantaloupe-soup-with-ginger-and-mint/

Farro and Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese and Lemon

I’ve been in a fog for nearly a week now. My nose is stuffed up, my throat is sore, and my head aches. I’m not sure if this is a cold, a sinus infection, allergies, or a combination of all three. Whatever it is, it isn’t particularly enjoyable.

I’ve had the hardest time writing this post, simply because food simply doesn’t sound good. I can’t taste anything and I can’t smell anything. It’s all a little bit pathetic.

I made this salad before I got sick — back in the good ole days when I could taste and smell and enjoy. It was bright and lemony and full of the flavors of spring. It was lovely.

I’m sure I’ll feel better in no time, and that food will taste good again. For now, I’ll have to live vicariously through all of you. If you happen to make this dish, I just ask that you take a moment and savor it.

Enjoy the flavors of spring for me, please. :)

Farro and Asparagus Salad with Goat Cheese and Lemon

Serving Size: 4 as a

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked farro
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup (or more) hazelnut or olive oil
  • The juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1.5 teaspoons minced chives
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. First, cook the asparagus. Bring a medium or large pot of water to a boil. While the water is heating, trim the woody ends off the asparagus. Cut asparagus into 1″-2″ pieces. When the water comes to a boil, place asparagus pieces in the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from boiling water and plunge into an ice bath (or rinse with cold water). Drain asparagus, pat dry, and set aside.
  2. To make the dressing — mix together lemon juice, olive oil (or hazelnut oil), chives, salt, and pepper. Toss the farro, asparagus, and hazelnuts together in a shallow bowl. Pour dressing over the farro mixture, and stir to coat. Gently stir in goat cheese crumbles and lemon zest. Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.

Notes

Adapted from The Kitchn

http://rosemarried.com/2013/05/25/farro-and-asparagus-salad-with-goat-cheese-and-lemon/

Roasted Potates with Peas, Pesto, and Chives

It is precisely this time of year that I find myself in a pesto rut. It’s just that there are so many wonderful green things that exist in the world right now: basil, chives, spring onions, kale, arugula, spinach, nettles, and more. And my absolute favorite thing to do with spring greens is to make pesto. (Please see examples: A, B, and C)

But it’s easy to get into a pesto rut, to make the same pesto-ish dish over and over again. My typical pesto meal usually looks a little something like this: I boil some pasta. I toss pasta with fresh pesto. I eat said pesto pasta. If I’m feeling particularly creative, I’ll throw in some asparagus or sun dried tomatoes.

Don’t get me wrong, pesto pasta is delicious. It’s just not particularly exciting.

Last week, however, I had an inspired idea. I decided to roast some baby potatoes and afterwards, I tossed the warm potatoes with basil almond pesto, peas, mint, and chives. This dish, though somewhat humble and unassuming, was a breath of fresh air. It was exactly what I needed to get me out of my pesto rut. It was hearty and rustic, and a little bit unexpected.

Potatoes and pesto. Who knew it was a match made in heaven?

Roasted Potates with Peas, Pesto, and Chives

Ingredients

  • 1 pound baby yellow or white potatoes
  • 1/2 cup (shelled) peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup of pesto (Any pesto will do, just use your favorite pesto recipe!)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 405 degrees F.
  2. Wash the potatoes and pat dry. Slice potatoes in half, and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper to coat. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. (I like to ensure that some of the potatoes lay flat side up, and some flat side down, to ensure a varied level of textures and browned edges.)
  3. Roast the potatoes for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender and starting to brown along the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  4. If using frozen peas, remove the peas from the freezer and run under warm water until they are thawed. Gently pat dry and set aside. If using fresh peas, steam the peas for 3-5 minutes or until they are tender, but not mushy.
  5. Place the roasted potatoes into a large bowl. Toss with pesto, peas, chives, and mint. Taste, and add salt & pepper if necessary. Squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice over the potatoes prior to serving. Serve warm (but the leftovers are delicious when eaten cold!).

http://rosemarried.com/2013/05/17/roasted-potates-with-peas-pesto-and-chives/

Foraged Nettle Pesto

I’ve been making a concerted effort to get out into nature more often. To unplug and leave the city; to get away from it all. It’s been awesome.

Last week, the husband and I ventured into the Columbia River Gorge to look for morel mushrooms. Let me tell you right now, this not nearly as cool as it sounds. We are complete amateurs and have no idea what we’re doing. We searched and searched for hours and didn’t find a single morel. However, our foraging efforts were not in vain, as we did find a whole bunch of stinging nettles.

If you’re wary about the idea of eating stinging nettles, I don’t blame you one bit. Nettles are designed to inflict pain and injury! If you’ve ever been stung by a nettle, you know exactly what I’m talking about. They hurt. And yet, here I am, telling you to go into the woods and pick the damn things and eat them. It sounds insane, I know.

nettles

But I’m telling you, give nettles a chance. These prickly little plants are remarkably good for you. According to the Examiner, nettles are “high in potassium, iron, sulphur, vitamin C, vitamin A and B complex vitamins nettles provide a high amount of dense nutrition with very little calories. The sulphur makes them great for the hair, skin, and nails.” All that to say, nettles are a superfood.

So, now that we’ve established that nettles are a superfood, we should discuss harvesting nettles. Here’s the thing about foraging for nettles: they are everywhere. They grow like weeds, literally. Nettles aren’t hard to find, but they are slightly complicated to pick & cook. Here’s my advice: wear gloves (when picking) and use tongs (when cooking). When picking nettles in the wild, be sure to wear gloves and store the nettles in a paper or plastic bag (nothing with holes or mesh!). The smaller the nettle, the more tender the leaves. I’ve read that nettles are best picked when they are knee height or below. (However, if the nettles are taller, you can just pluck the tops off.)

Stinging Nettle Pesto

Once you’ve picked a bag full of nettles, the sky’s the limit! (Just make sure you don’t attempt to eat nettles in their raw form: you must blanch nettles in boiling water before you can eat them.) Nettles have a flavor similar to spinach, and can be used in a variety of different ways. I’ve made nettle pesto, nettle spanikopita, nettle scrambles, and more.

As for a recipe? I’m going to keep it simple. Here’s what I did: I quickly blanched the nettles in boiling water for 2 minutes. (Note: use tongs to handle the raw nettles!) I then removed the nettles from the boiling water and gave them a quick rinse with cold water (to stop the cooking process). I let them drain in a strainer for a few minutes and then gave them a quick squeeze, to remove any extra moisture. Once drained, I threw them into a food processor with toasted almonds, olive oil, lime juice, 2 cloves of garlic, red chili flakes, salt, and pepper. (Note: For some odd reason, I didn’t have any lemons. So I used a lime and it tasted great!).

I didn’t even bother tossing the pesto with pasta, I just slathered it on slices of crusty bread and ate it alongside some delicious cheeses and pickled veggies. It was perfect.