Posts tagged ‘rosemary’

October 23, 2013

Warm Fennel White Bean Dip with Kale and Parmesan

Food 2013 013 I’m not going to tell you that I’ve been too lazy to keep up the blog lately. Or that my daily routine leaves me tired and uninspired sometimes. I’m not going to tell you that I feel just a teensy bit overwhelmed with planning a wedding or that I like to give my brain a rest with an episode of Scandal most weekdays. Because you don’t wanna hear that complain-y crap!

What I am going to tell you is that I’m back to share recipes with you.

While I’ve been away from voracious for a bit, I’ve still been in the kitchen most days cooking nourishing food to keep us going. I’ve even cooked some especially good things. But I’ve mostly been falling back on dishes that are easy for me to make and aren’t deemed “blog-worthy”.

I’m making a promise to work harder to share the dishes that are coming out of my kitchen with you – because I know that we all need a little inspiration for simple healthy food that tastes good. Or at least I do.

And I’m starting out easy with a dip.

This is a new spin on the old can of white beans. Or bulb of fennel, depending on how you look at it. It’s creamy, dip-able, spreadable and great for sharing. I love the fresh rosemary in this but you could use thyme, parsley, basil or any other herb, really. I’d probably use a bit more when using leafy herbs though.

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October 24, 2012

Pumpkin and White Bean Patties with Rosemary

Is pumpkin the new bacon? Discuss.

The virtues of salty, crispy bacon aside, I’m always and forever all-in for pumpkin. I’ll take it sweet or savory, roasted or pureed, spiced or herb-flecked.

This time of year, there are pumpkin and pumpkin pie-spiced (an entity unto itself) recipes everywhere. I love butternut squash and pumpkin dishes all year round but I lean toward the savory ones most of the time.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll see no shortage of pumpkin or butternut squash recipes here – especially savory ones – because it’s what I’m cooking. Even as we ramp up for summer here in Australia I still have a massive hunger for all things (American) Northeast October and fall-ish. I can’t help it. Luckily the weather in Sydney is accommodating my pumpkin roasting habits.

These pumpkin and white bean patties are a good way to use some pumpkin purée (be it left over or specifically made for this purpose) – they’re simple to make and require only a few pantry things. If you don’t have/don’t like rosemary – I think sage or thyme would be pretty awesome too.

I think these would even go well with some bacon – if we want to be diplomatic about it.

Pumpkin party worldwide.

PUMPKIN & WHITE BEAN WITH ROSEMARY

Makes 8 patties.

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans (or 1 15-ounce can)
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of rolled oats
  • a handful of Parmesan cheese (optional)

To make your own pumpkin purée: Place cut and peeled pumpkin on a baking tray with 1/2 inch to 1 inch of water in it. Bake at 400 F/205 C for 20-30 minutes (adding a little more water if needed) until soft. Allow to cool, then purée in a food processor.

In a small pan, heat olive oil over a medium heat. Add garlic and rosemary and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

In a food processor, place white beans and the garlic, rosemary and olive oil mixture. Pulse in the food processor until finely chopped and close to pureed.

Place pumpkin purée, white bean rosemary mixture, egg, oats, Parmesan and a pinch of sea salt in a large bowl and mix with a spoon until well combined. Place in the refrigerator to rest for at least a half an hour (so the oats can soak up the egg and purée).

Heat oven to 400 F/205 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with olive oil or baking spray.

Form the pumpkin white bean mixture into 2 1/2 to 3 inch-wide patties and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes and flip the patties, then bake for another 10. (20 minutes total.) Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2-5 minutes and serve over salad or on a small bun with desired toppings. (Hello, caramelized onions!)

 

(You could also pan-fry these in a large skillet with olive oil over a medium-high heat for about 3 minutes on eat side.)

March 23, 2012

Egg Bakes with Mushroom, Potato and Sage

Five minutes before I leave for the grocery store I review my list of things like dish soap, paper towels, shower gel, tissues…you know, boring non-food things.

30 minutes later I return with: two types of herbal tea, one Cadbury Creme Egg, a medium-sized jar of Nutella ($2 off!), Romaine lettuce and some marinated feta.

See what I did there? I completely ignored the boring list and skipped right to all the good stuff that we may or may not actually need.

What happened over that period of time, you might wonder, in which a normally clear-headed person completely glazed over and abandoned all responsibility in favor of childish, irrelevant purchases?

I don’t have a good excuse. All I can say is I love to food shop.

I deplore things like shoe shopping, furniture shopping, or anything in a department store. Give me a specialty cheese shop, a farmers market or a huge Whole Foods any day.

I slowly pace up and down each of the aisles (except the ones with cleaning supplies. Who needs that shiz?) making sure I don’t miss a good bargain or something totally crazy that I didn’t even know about. (Reese’s Ice Magic Shell! Feta marinated with preserved lemon and herbs?!)

Sometimes all this excitement gets in the way of the task at hand as I am left powerless to all of the enticing produce.

For serious shopping excursions I try to organize the supervision of Mr. F. Luckily, he’s good at remembering boring cleaning items and encouraging chocolate purchases. Add in the fact that he tolerates my borderline crazy food obsession and that’s what I call a happy partnership.

In order to clear room in our fridge for all the impulse-buys, I like to use leftover cooked vegetables to make individual egg bakes. A little ramekin with a perfect just-set egg nestled on top gives the leftovers a total makeover.

Technically the veggies don’t have to be leftover, but just a little pre-cooked.

I had leftover roasted potatoes, so to those I added mushrooms sautéed with shallots, sage and rosemary and sun-dried tomatoes, then cracked an egg on top. A sunny egg yolk makes everything more awesome. Fact.

Mushroom, Potato and Sage Egg Bakes
(Serves 2)

- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for greasing
– 1 shallot, finely chopped
– 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
– 1 cup leftover roast potatoes, diced into small pieces*
– 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, packed in their own oil, drained
– 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
– 1 teaspoon rosemary, finely chopped
– 2 eggs
– salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 200 C/400 F. Lightly grease the ramekins with a little bit of olive oil or butter.

Heat olive oil in a large pan over a medium high heat. Add shallot and cook for about 2 minutes until translucent.

Add mushrooms, sage and rosemary and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are soft and slightly golden, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in potatoes and cook an additional 2 minutes to heat through.

Remove from heat and stir in sun-dried tomatoes.

Divide the mixture between two 1-cup ramekins, making a slight well in the center. Crack an egg over each.

Bake for about 10 minutes until egg is just set. Serve with good crusty bread.

*Notes:
I used leftover roasted potatoes. You can cook your potatoes quickly by cutting them into very small cubes and cooking them in the large pan before you add the mushrooms. Heat olive oil in the pan over a medium-high heat and cook potatoes covered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Continue the recipe by adding the mushrooms and cooking with the potatoes, until they are soft and golden brown.

March 8, 2012

Zucchini, Garlic and Rosemary Soup

Dang, if ever there was a soup day in Sydney – today is it.

Each day I’ve been trying to write down 3 things that I am thankful for. It doesn’t matter how big or small, I just throw them in an Evernote list as I think of them. It’s supposed to be a practice in positivity. I learned it from a TED talk, so it must be a good idea.

A lot of times, I find myself thinking of  things I am grateful for in times of frustration, which makes me think that it’s working.

Stuck at the bus stop for 45 minutes in the rain? I am thankful for a warm, dry home to go to, fresh banana bread on the counter and a slack tea with my favorite guy.

I have also noticed that a lot of my gratitudes are weather-dependent. You can usually tell what type of day it was by at least one item of the three.

Today’s thankful three would look something like: sweatpants, cookbooks and soup. (Food is another common theme, as you might have guessed. I’ve mentioned important things like cheese, popcorn at the movies, curry and banoffee pie.)

I usually have a couple of zucchini kicking around in my fridge this time of year. Most of the time, I just roast them with heaps of seasoning until they taste like candy. But I thought I’d branch out when I saw a recipe for zucchini and mint soup in Gourmet Traveller. I decided to swap the mint for rosemary to justify the addition of cheese. I also doubled the amount of garlic, just because.

And that is what I call good decision-making.

Zucchini Soup with Rosemary and Chili
inspired by Gourmet Traveller

- 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 6 cloves garlic cloves, thinly sliced
– 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
– 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
– 4 medium zucchini, diced into 1 inch/ 2.5 cm pieces
– 3 small chat potatoes, diced very small into .3 inch/1 cm pieces
– 600 ml of hot vegetable stock
– 1/4 cup Parmesan, plus an extra to garnish
– salt and freshly ground pepper
– sprinkling of toasted almonds to garnish

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

Add onion, garlic and chilli and stir occasionally until tender, about 5-6 minutes.

Add zucchini, potatoes some fresh ground pepper and sprinkle of salt. Stir occasionally until the zucchini is bright green, about 4-5 minutes.

Add hot stock, increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium, simmer until zucchini is just tender, about 4-5 minutes.

Let cool for about 5 minutes. Process with a hand-held blender or in a standing blender until smooth and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring the pureed soup back up to a boil. Stir in Parmesan.

Serve warm with more Parmesan and toasted almonds.

March 6, 2012

Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille with Rosemary Croutons

Hmm, how can I explain my relationship with my baking trays without sounding like a crazy person?

I just feel like…they’re my best friends of the kitchen.

You know, I see them almost every day and they’re always there to help me with anything I need. Making chocolate bark? Line with baking paper and smooth melted chocolate over one. Cookies? Obviously, they’re the one for the job. Granola, salt and vinegar potatoes, roasting veggies…a baking tray is my partner in crime.

I kind of want to sing the Golden Girls theme song now…but I won’t. That would be legit crazy.

Roasted vegetable ratatouille is a slightly less saucy version of my stove-top favorite but with a way simpler approach. All you need to do is oil up your veg and bake it on our favorite BTs. I made some rosemary croutons to take the whole thing into roasted summer vegetable panzanella territory.

Serve it up on its own or as a side.

Roasted Vegetable Ratatouille with Rosemary Croutons
Ratatouille recipe adapted from Fine Cooking
(serves 4 as a side)

- 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1 inch/2.5 cm cubes
– 1 large red pepper, cut into 1 inch/2.5 cm pieces
– 1-2 medium zucchini, cut into half moons 1/2 inch/1 cm thick
– 1 medium red onion cut into large chunks
– 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
– 8 cherry tomatoes cut in half
– 6-8 cloves of garlic still in their skins
– 4 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
– salt

Preheat oven to 400 F/205 C

Combine eggplant, red pepper, zucchini, onion and rosemary together in a large bowl. Toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, marking sure everything is coated well. Spread the vegetables out on a large baking tray and sprinkle with salt.

On another baking tray, spread out tomatoes and cloves of garlic tossed with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Place baking trays on separate oven racks.

Cook the tomatoes for 25-30 minutes rotating and stirring once halfway. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Let the other vegetables cook for about 40-45 minutes (stirring and rotating the baking tray once or twice.) Let these vegetables cool for about 5 minutes.

Remove garlic cloves from their casings and chop them into smaller pieces.

Combine all the vegetables, tomatoes and garlic in a big bowl and mix well to distribute the garlic. Top with croutons to serve. (Can be served warm, at room temperature or cold.)

Rosemary Croutons
– 1 cup of 1 inch/2.5 cm cubes of stale bread (I used sourdough baguette)
– 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
– 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Toss bread with 1 tablespoon olive oil and rosemary. Heat remaining olive oil in a large pan over a medium high heat. Add the bread and cook, turning the pieces of bread over a couple of times, until all sides are golden. About 5 minutes.

December 12, 2011

Fig & Rosemary Scones


Some things I learned this weekend:

  1. Foil-wrapped chocolate Santas still get me excited.
  2. Clark Griswold will always make me laugh.
  3. You cannot find red sprinkles in supermarkets in Australia.
  4. If you make a batch of fruit and herb scones, they will all get eaten.

~~~~~

These may be the easiest scones ever. Using cream instead of a butter dough simplifies things but doesn’t sacrifice the taste that you want in a homemade scone.

Sure, they’re not the prettiest. In a moment of forgetfulness/scone crafting excitement, I neglected to add my figs and rosemary before I started kneading my dough. So ingredients were incorporated…haphazardly. I thought about scraping this batch when I saw the imperfections that formed during baking, but once I had a bite of one I realized there was no need for a do-over. They taste fantastic – beauty contests be damned!

Fig & Rosemary Scones (makes approximately 10-12 small scones)
Adapted from Gourmet Traveller

- 300 ml/1 1/4 cups pure cream
– 1 teaspoon sugar
– 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour, plus extra for dusting
– 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
– 5 dried figs, chopped into small pieces
– 1/2 teaspoon of salt
– milk, for brushing

Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Whip cream and sugar with an electric mixer until firm peaks form (3-4 minutes). Stir in flour, rosemary, figs and salt until a soft dough forms. Turn onto a well-floured surface and knead until smooth (2-3 minutes). Add extra flour if dough is sticky.

Roll dough to 2 cm/3/4 inch thick on a well-floured surface. Cut into rounds using a 5 cm/2 inch-diameter cutter. Place scones on a baking paper-lined oven tray, brush tops with milk.  Bake until risen and golden (10-15 minutes). Can be served warm or cold.

I served these with ricotta and honey. Further proving my hypothesis that ricotta goes well with everything.

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December 7, 2011

Nectarine, Serrano Ham and Caramelized Rosemary Walnut Salad

Phew, that’s a mouthful of a salad name – but all important elements should be mentioned!

The holidays, as I am sure you have been reminded constantly, are upon us. I was reminded last night at a party where my dinner consisted of 3 bites of honey baked ham, a Tim Tam, a fruit mince pie and some other sugary concoction called “White Christmas”. Yeah, that happened. Happy Holidays!

Naturally, my mind turned to salads today. I’ve been thinking a lot about special salads to add to my repertoire that are easy to throw together and make a positive contribution to a holiday feast. You know, not just any old salad – a festive salad.

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