Vegetables get a starring role in these three dishes

Mother said you shouldn't play with your food.

Thank goodness J.M. Hirsch, Associated Press food editor, and Joe Yonan, cookbook author and food and travel editor of the Washington Post, didn't listen.

Both are fearless when it comes to experimenting with cooking vegetables. Hirsch recently wrote about how he has finally embraced the indoor grill pan, especially when making Grilled Chickpea Salad With Red Onion and Sourdough. Think about it: Those little chickpeas would be falling through the grate on an outdoor grill. The indoor grill pan is perfect for this recipe.

Yonan, author of Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook (Ten Speed Press, 2013), has a little turducken-style fun with Peppers Stuffed With Tomatoes and Brussels Sprouts. The sauce is powered by tahini and Greek yogurt, among other flavors.

Yonan is a fan of Sesame-Crusted Feta With Honey-Roasted Carrots, a recipe from chef Anthony Chittum at Iron Gate in Washington, D.C. There, the chef serves it as an appetizer paired with seasonal root vegetables. It certainly seems like it could be the star of a vegetarian meal.

>>MODERATE

Grilled Chickpea Salad With Red Onion

and Sourdough

Juice of 1 lemon

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 large red onion, cut into thin rounds

1 large red bell pepper, cored and cut into strips

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 loaf (about 19 ounces) sourdough bread, cut into 2-inch croutons

1 (5-ounce) container arugula

Heat a grill to high. Set a perforated grilling pan on the grill directly over the heat source.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, oregano, cumin and salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the onion, bell pepper, chickpeas, garlic powder, smoked paprika and 1 tablespoon of oil, tossing to coat evenly. When the grilling pan is very hot, transfer the mixture to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until the onions and peppers are lightly browned and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a clean serving bowl. Set aside.

In a bowl, toss the croutons with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Place the croutons directly on the grill grate. Cook, turning often, until lightly browned and crisp. Use tongs to transfer the croutons to the bowl of chickpeas and vegetables. Add the arugula, then toss well to slightly wilt the arugula. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, then toss again to coat. Divide among 6 serving plates.

Nutrition information per serving: 460 calories; 12g fat; 73g carbohydrates; 7g fiber; 16g protein; 970mg sodium.

Serves 6.

Source: Associated Press

>>MODERATE

Peppers Stuffed With Tomatoes

and Brussels Sprouts

This colorful four-vegetable dish would fit in just as nicely at a cookout as at an elegant dinner party or casual weeknight supper. Best of all, it can be served at room temperature. Serve atop bulgur or another grain of your choice, if desired.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan

3 large, stem-on yellow or orange bell peppers

3 large, ripe plum tomatoes

Fine sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced, divided use

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, divided use

6 large Brussels sprouts, trimmed

8 ounces cremini, baby bella or other mushroom of your choice, stemmed and cut into bite-sized pieces

1 teaspoon ground sumac, optional

For the sauce:

½ cup nonfat Greek-style yogurt

2 tablespoons tahini (paste)

1 clove garlic, chopped

Gel/seeds and flesh from plum tomatoes (used in the peppers)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton), optional

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

For the peppers: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Use a little oil to grease the inside of a baking dish or cast-iron skillet large enough to hold all of the peppers (halved) and mushrooms.

Carefully cut each bell pepper in half from top to bottom, including the stem so each pepper half has its own partial stem. Use a sharp paring knife to remove the seeds and ribs.

Cut each tomato from top to bottom. Use a sharp paring knife to remove the core. Use a spoon to scrape out the gel, seeds and flesh; reserve those for the sauce.

Arrange the bell pepper halves, cut side up, in the baking dish or skillet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil on the cut side of the bell peppers, and sprinkle them lightly with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle half of the minced garlic and half of the thyme on the peppers.

Gently fit each tomato half, cut side up, into each bell pepper half. Sprinkle them with a little more salt and black pepper plus the remaining garlic and thyme. Drizzle them with half the remaining oil, then place a Brussels sprout in each tomato half, creating a three-part stuffed vegetable, in effect.

Nestle the mushrooms on top of all; drizzle them and the Brussels sprouts with the remaining oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle the stuffed bell peppers with the sumac, if using. Roast until a skewer easily pierces the Brussels sprouts and the bell pepper halves and tomatoes are soft, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: Combine the yogurt, tahini, garlic, reserved tomato gel, seeds and flesh, lemon juice, smoked paprika, if using, and the salt in the bowl of a food processor; puree until smooth.

Spoon the sauce over the warm stuffed peppers and mushrooms, or pass the sauce at the table.

Nutrition information per serving: 130 calories; 6g protein; 14g carbohydrates; 7g fat; 290mg sodium, 3g fiber.

Serves 6.

Source: Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook by Joe Yonan (Ten Speed Press, 2013)

>>MODERATE

Sesame-Crusted Feta

With Honey-Roasted Carrots

1 pound thin carrots

3 cups plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided use

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon honey, divided use

Sea salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

cup flour

1 large egg

¾ cup plain panko bread crumbs

¼ cup each white sesame seeds black sesame seeds

1-pound block feta cheese

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Trim and scrub carrots. Cut in half any larger than ½ inch thick. On a rimmed baking sheet large enough to hold all the carrots in a single layer, toss them with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey and sprinklings of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Roast in a 450-degree oven until tender and caramelized, 10 to 20 minutes. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

Pour 3 cups olive oil into a saucepan; heat the oil to 350 degrees, using an instant-read thermometer. Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet or paper towels.

Spread flour in a shallow bowl. Lightly beat egg in a second shallow bowl. In a third, whisk together panko bread crumbs and sesame seeds. Cut feta into ½-inch slices and coat each piece in the flour, then the egg, then the panko mixture.

Carefully place the coated feta slices in the hot oil, working in batches to avoid crowding. Fry until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Use a spatula or slotted spoon to transfer each piece to the cooling rack to drain.

Divide the carrots among serving plates. Top with the fried feta and drizzle with another ¼ cup honey and balsamic vinegar. Serve warm.

Serves 4.

Source: Washington Post

Vegetables get a starring role in these three dishes 07/14/14 [Last modified: Monday, July 14, 2014 4:20pm]

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