Archive for May, 2007

Delicious Vegetarian Recipes from Going Wild in the Kitchen
May 15, 2007

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Happy Spring! Asparagus, morels, and wild leeks are in season! Here are delicious and easy recipes from my latest cookbook, Going Wild in the Kitchen. Bon appetitie!
May 15, 2007

Asparagus Soup with Fresh Fennel
Fennel, with its subtle anise flavor, goes well with potatoes and asparagus in this simple, puréed soup. A great first course.

Serves 4 to 6

6 cups water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fennel
1 cup coarsely chopped unpeeled red potatoes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
3 1/2 cups 1-inch asparagus pieces
1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
6 thin orange slices

1. Boil the water in a separate pot.
2. Place the oil in a 6-quart stockpot, and warm over medium heat. Add the garlic, fennel, potato, and salt, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, or until the fennel begins to soften.
3. Add the asparagus and boiling water to the pot. Allow the ingredients to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the asparagus is bright green and tender.
4. Stir in the parsley, and remove the pot from the stove.
5. Let the soup cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then purée the ingredients in a blender. (This may have to be done in two or three batches.)
6. Adjust the seasonings, if desired.
7. Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish each with an orange slice before serving.

Creamy Wild Leek and Potato Soup
Wild leeks, also called ramps, are quick cooking and taste garlicky. They have a little bulb like a young scallion with tender green leaves that fan out like small tulips. You can find them growing in the woods or at your local farmers market or health food store in early spring. Here is a delicious twist from the classic potato leek soup. Pureeing this bean soup make it creamy without dairy or soymilk.

Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
4 cups coarsely chopped potatoes
4 cups water
2 1/2 cups cooked navy beans
1 bay leaf
3 cups coarsely chopped wild leeks
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley

1. Place the oil in a 6-quart stockpot and warm over medium heat. Add the garlic and potatoes and sauté for 5 minutes, or until potatoes are fragrant.
2. Add the water, navy beans, and bay leaf. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmered covered for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.
3. Add the leeks and oregano, and continue to simmer covered for 2 minutes, or until the leeks turn bright green.
4. Stir in the sea salt.
5. Adjust the seasonings, if desired.
6. Pureed half the soup in a blender, and stir it back into the pot.
7. Ladle the hot soup into bowls and garnish each with parsley before serving.

Roasted Eggplant with Wine and Morel Mushrooms
Earthy flavored wild morel mushrooms are succulent and meaty. In this recipe, I combine them with roasted eggplant and tempeh—one of my favorite soy foods—for an exciting main course.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

4 cups eggplant, cut into triangular pieces (about 1-inch wide and 1/4-inch thick)
1 teaspoon sea salt, or 1 tablespoon umeboshi vinegar
1 pound soy tempeh, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups red bell pepper, sliced into 1-inch-wide strips
1 cup red onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
4 dried morel mushrooms
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

1. Place the eggplant in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 45 minutes to release some of the eggplant’s bitter juices. Drain and set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
3. Add the remaining ingredients to the eggplant, mix well, and transfer to a large covered baking dish.
4. Bake for 1 hour, or until vegetables are tender.
5. Serve hot over pasta.