Tag Archives: vegetarian recipe

Roasted Romanesco with Pistachios and Fried Caper Vinaigrette

Par-boiling before roasting results in deeply bronzed and crisp Romanesco halves.
Par-boiling before roasting results in deeply bronzed and crisp Romanesco halves.

It’s easy to be in awe of “Top Chef Canada” host Eden Grinshpan.

After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in London, she didn’t parlay that into a stint at any fancy restaurant. Instead, she went to volunteer at an orphanage in India, where she reopened a cafe to raise money and awareness about the children there.

Upon returning to New York, she co-created a Cooking Channel show, “Eden Eats,” which explored the global culinary scene. She even partnered for a spell on a fast-casual Middle Eastern cafe, DEZ, in New York.

This year, she debuted her first cookbook, “Eating Out Loud: Bold Middle Eastern Flavors for All Day, Every Day” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy, that was written with Rachel Holtzman.

On top of all that, she also appears to have the most enviable collection of high-waist jeans around. Hey, just saying.

Of Israeli heritage, Grinshpan’s more than 100 recipes are colorful, playful, and accessible just like her personality. Middle Eastern cuisine as seen through her lens comes in such fun forms as “Sunchoke Hummus,” “Sesame Schnitzel Sandwich with Harissa Honey and Tartar Slaw,” “Sumac-Roasted Snapper with Lime Yogurt,” and “Salted Halvah Chocolate Chip Cookies.”

I can never resist crisp, charred veggies, so I zeroed in right away on “Roasted Romanesco with Pistachios and Fried Caper Sauce.”

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Purple Reigns

Chef Eric Ripert turns everyday cabbage into something special.
Chef Eric Ripert turns everyday cabbage into something special.

Leave it to Chef Eric Ripert to turn purple cabbage from pauper to prince.

Yes, in the hands of this gifted Michelin three-starred chef, this lowly veg shines as royalty on the plate.

“Soy-Glazed Red Cabbage” is one of the star recipes in his newest cookbook, “Vegetable Simple” (Random House), of which I received a review copy.

As the long-time chef and co-owner of the venerable Le Bernardin in New York, Ripert has honed the magic touch with seafood. Now, he applies that same exquisite care to vegetables in recipes that are truly simple. In fact, most of them call for just a handful of ingredients along with three to six paragraphs of directions.

You will salivate without feeling the least bit intimidated when you come across recipes such as “End of Summer Tomato ‘Tea’,” Warm Potato, Goat Cheese Parfaits,” “Curried Brussels Sprouts,” and “Corn Cake, Blueberry Compote.”

Wedges of purple cabbage cook in a saute pan on the stove-top with a little water and butter, like making glazed carrots. OK, maybe more than a little butter; more like half a stick. But hey, you can’t fault a Frenchman for that.

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Roasted Delicata Squash with Smoked Paprika-Herb Sauce

Crescent-slices of delicata squash get beautifully roasted in the oven until tender and sweet.
Crescent-slices of delicata squash get beautifully roasted in the oven until tender and sweet.

Unless it’s baking pizza, the very bottom rack of my oven seldom gets used.

But thanks to America’s Test Kitchen, I now realize that it’s the perfect position to get deeply browned and caramelized undersides of potatoes, squash, and other veggies.

That’s exactly what I ended up with when making “Roasted Delicata Squash with Smoked Paprika-Herb Sauce” from the new cookbook, “The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook: 500 Inspired, Flexible Recipes for Eating Well Without Meat” of which I received a review copy.

The book, by America’s Test Kitchen, is ideal for anyone, especially those looking to incorporate more plant-based dishes into their diet in this new year. Even if you’re an avowed carnivore, you’ll still find plenty to like, especially if you enjoy these dishes as an accompaniment to whatever meat protein you prefer.

Recipes run the gamut from “Carrot Spice Steel-Cut Oatmeal,” “Pinto Bean-Beet Burgers,” and “Creamy Cashew Mac and Cheese” to “Overstuffed Sweet Potatoes with Tofu and Thai Curry,” “Turkish Eggplant Casserole,” and “Dark Chocolate Avocado Pudding.”

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Quac ‘N Cheese with Tillamook Maker’s Reserve Aged White Cheddar

Move over mac and cheese; make way for "Quac 'N Cheese.''
Move over mac and cheese; make way for “Quac ‘N Cheese.”

Picture a tantalizingly golden crusted, ooey-gooey mac and cheese.

Now, swap out that elbow pasta for rainbow quinoa instead.

Stay with me, stay with me.

Right about now, you’re thinking what an awful idea that is. Why in the world would you switch the classic tried-and-true pasta for something so healthful, and which frankly, always looks to me like a wool sweater that’s been put through a meat grinder?

Because my friends, it’s actually really, really good. And with the amount of cheese that goes into this dish, believe you me, it’s as far from health food as it gets. So there.

Tillamook's just-released Maker's Reserve Sharp Cheddar in 2015, 2016, and 2017 vintages.
Tillamook’s just-released Maker’s Reserve Sharp Cheddar in 2015, 2016, and 2017 vintages.

“Quac ‘N Cheese” is worth your while. If made with Tillamook Maker’s Reserve White Cheddar, it’s guaranteed to boast an impeccable cheesiness, too. I had a chance to try samples of the reserve cheeses, which are now available in stores, and are worth seeking out.

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Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Mustard, Citrus, and IPA

Just a few carefully selected ingredients combine for this whole roasted cauliflower dish for an incredible depth of flavor.
Just a few carefully selected ingredients combine for this whole roasted cauliflower dish for an incredible depth of flavor.

Have you ever tasted a restaurant dish, and sat back in wonder, flat-out amazed over its intense depth of flavor? Whether it’s a tomato dish that tasted more tomato-y than even the most perfect peak-grown tomato off the vine or the beef dish so boffo meaty it was like tasting beef for the first time again?

Turns out it’s not all about just using the best ingredients. It has even more to do with combining the right ingredients to magnify their shared flavor attributes.

That’s the genius of the new “Flavor for All: Everyday Recipes and Creative Pairings” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), of which I received a review copy.

It’s by James Briscione, a former culinary instructor who worked with IBM on its “Chef Watson,” which develops cognitive computing applications to create better ingredient combinations. Briscione also was the first two-time “Chopped” champion. He wrote the book with his wife, Brooke Parkhurst, a former culinary instructor. Together, the couple run Angelena’s Ristorante Italiano in Pensacola, FL.

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