July 29, 2010
In a food processor, combine and homogenize the following:
- 1-2 cups loose basil leaves + parseley leaves
- 1/2 cup walnuts (I did not have any pine nuts but Bitman says that walnuts are OK)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- some salt
THE REST OF INGREDIENTS:
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 cup frozen peas
2 (9 oz each) packs of fresh pasta
In a large pan, add some olive oil and sautee the mushrooms on high heat until most of water has evaporated. Add the peas and onion, season with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper and continue cooking until soft.
In the mean time, heat a pot of water and once boiling, add the fresh pasta. Let boil for 3-5 min or until cooked.
Once the pasta is ready, drain and mix with some of the pesto sauce and with the mushrooms.
Sprinkle some shredded pecorino romano cheese and enjoy!
July 28, 2010
With my Indian cooking spell largely behind me, I am now knee-deep in the fascinating world of Sheherezade from A Thousand and One Arabian Nights..."How come?" you may ask...It's all about Zaatar...
I had the good fortune of receiving this magic (...and I guess no longer secret) ingredient from a colleague at work today and couldn't wait to put it good use.
To my surprise, zaatar resembles very much a beloved spice from my childhood in Bulgaria called samardala (
- 1 teaspoon tahini
- 1 teaspoon water
- juice of one lemon
- a bit of sea salt
- 1 large clove of minced garlic
July 21, 2010
Here is another interpretation of one of my very favorite BG dishes. Can be made vegetarian as well as with ground beef/pork (although I like the vegetarian version way better). Here is what you'll need (as always the recipe can be scaled up or down):
- 9 red bell peppers, tops removed
- 2 cups of rice (brown, wild, white ... pick your favorite)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1lb mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup corn, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
- 2-3 zucchini or summer squash, peeled and sliced
- 2-3 good sized potatoes, peeled and cut into thin round slices
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes (i like to blend them and get a homogenized mixture)
- season with thyme, savory, salt, red paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper to taste
0. To speed things up, I like to pre-cook the rice, especially if I use brown or wild rice, since these take ~ 45 mins to cook. In a boiling pot, mix 2 cups of rice with 4 cups of water and bring to boil. Then reduce to light simmer and cook until rice is almost done (brown rice ~ 45 min, white rice ~ 15 min).
Also preheat oven to 425C.
1. While the rice is cooking start working on the vegetables (you can also add ground beef/pork as well in addition). In a large pan over medium heat put some olive oil and saute the onions and the garlic until translucent. Add the carrots and keep cooking until tender, or for another 5 min. Then add the sliced mushrooms and cook until soft and all the water has been released. Add the corn and peas and the sliced zucchini last and cook for 5 min. Lastly, add the canned tomatoes (pre-blended to avoid large chinks) and cook for another 5 min and add the seasonings (thyme, savory, salt, black and red pepper, cayenne etc...).
2. Add the almost cooked rice to the vegetables and stir well to mix. It is a good idea to taste the rice mixture and add additional seasonings if necesary.
3. Then arrange the bell peppers (washed and tops removed) into an appropriate size baking dish and add ~ 1 inch of water at the bottom of the dish. Stuff the peppers with the rice+vegetable filling and "cap" each stuffed pepper with a slice of potato. If you have extra filling, then you can put it between the peppers in the baking dish. Then tilt the peppers so that they are laying on their side and cover with aluminum foil and bake at 425C for 1h. Then remove the foil and broil for ~ 10 minutes until the skin of the peppers is slightly burned.
- 2 cups dry couscous
- 1 english cucumber
- 5-6 tomatoes
- 1 small red onion
- 1/2 small jar kalamata olives
- 1/2 bunch parseley
- 1/2 bunch basi
- salt, black pepper and some olive oil
Add a little bit of olive oil (optional but i've found that it adds a nice flavor... also lemon juice goes well with this salad as well so you can use that instead), some salt and black pepper to taste and enjoy big time!