Forget iceberg lettuce (I sure have). Really, once you go Mediterranean you never go back. The days of the everyday salad are over folks.
This salad is not only just as easy to make as a regular ol’ salad, it tastes better! And really, tomatoes, sweet onions, arugula, dill, and spice. This is a perfect time of year for such a dish. Read more
Some like it hot… but I like it warm and spicy. On their own (or cooked poorly) green beans get a bad rap (though some would argue the wrap is the best part). Enough with the corny jokes? Okay. Read more
Figs may not be local, but they are in season! Black mission figs have finally shown up at the neighborhood market I rely on for other treasures like squash flowers, masa, and cactus. Read more
The carrots are in, folks! I have been waiting and waiting for carrots to arrive in my weekly CSA box. They’re finally here! And what do I do with them? Bake them. No question!
There’s no better carrot than a carrot baked. They become soft and sweet and somehow more substantial. These patties are usually pan-fried, but, of course, I’m baking them instead. Baked or fried, this twist on latkes is extremely delicious and offers a few more vitamins for your buck. Serve with a little greek yogurt (or sour cream). Your family will think they’re at nana’s!
Onions and red peppers are in season here in Chicago, Illinois. Okay, well almost nothing is in season in Chicago itself, but the region has hooked me up with some beautiful red bell peppers.
If you’re a CSA subscriber or a farmer’s market dilettante, you might notice that red bell peppers from the farm have flecks of green. Well, this isn’t always the case, but as a general rule, green bell peppers are often the unripe version of red ones. It takes quite a bit of time for bell peppers to reach their sweet and colorful stage and often enough they’re ripe and ready before they’ve turned absolutely red. Read more
In my family, potato salad is another one of those guilty pleasure American foods we shy away from, except during the summer. Mayonnaise doesn’t really enter into my family’s culinary repertoire and pickles, potatoes, and hard boiled eggs make even sparser appearances on the family table. Something about these foods makes us go “ick” (regardless of the fact that they are all extremely tasty items).
Still, whenever potato salad hits the plate of anyone I know, it’s gobbled up instantly, followed by a groan of regret (and then seconds). So, since I’ve been cooking up American style food so often this summer, I thought I could update potato salad for the weekday plate. Read more
With all the corn, cucumber, squash, and potatoes arriving from my CSA this time of year, it sure feels like either the farm or the season is just begging for American-style food.
Vegetarians often get the short end of the stick when it comes to eating out. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a mediteranean pita and pasta with marinara. I really do. I grew up on this food. But sometimes, I just want a hearty (veggie)burger and fries. I eat veggie burgers a lot; you can make them in unimaginable quantities and, when not in the mood to cook (admittedly, this is not often), eat them with bread or without, but what I rarely eat, what I haven’t eaten in many years, are french fries.
I love beets with an unnatural passion. They’re sweet, substantial, and incredibly easy to make. Still, so many of my friends can’t stand them. The simple word “beet” elicits scowls and sneers. Well, friends, this is not a recipe for the scowlers. This is a recipe for bona fide beet lovers. Spare no super-caramelized onion! Leave no beet unturned! This recipe is for the beet of heart (…too much?).
Last week, a friend of mine asked if I could do something with Swiss chard. I had never taken a request before, and I really enjoyed the challenge! It felt like I was on some reality t.v. show and my mystery ingredient a well-beloved friend.
For many of us during this season, this leafy green is abound but tends to get marginalized on the dinner plate. Greens with garlic and olive oil is certainly a staple (and not a dish to be ignored), but I thought I would try to make Swiss chard the hero of the dinner plate today, especially since I’m pretty sure Michael asked for a Swiss chard recipe precisely because he, like many of us, was tired of serving it up in the same old way.
So to help us get through another Monday, I thought we could pretend it’s Saturday and bake up some burgers! Swiss chard burgers, that is. I was extremely tempted to call these Swiss charred burgers, but I abstained. :)
The really wonderful thing about these burgers is that if you don’t have something on hand, you can pretty much substitute anything you like! The quinoa can just as easily be replaced by any grain you have on hand; instead of Panko breadcrumbs, try whole-wheat. Don’t have almonds? Any nut will do! As unappetizing as it might sound, think of this as burger stew. Ewww… but you get the drift.
You might be noticing that the mixture in the stand mixer does not look like Swiss chard. You’d be right. Why not skip the supermarket burger buns and make your own? You really won’t regret it. These burger buns, recipe courtesy of Elra’s Baking, puff up like no bread you’ve ever made and the taste! They truly taste how burger buns should taste. Sweet, light on the inside, and crusty on the outside. Mmmmm….
To hold these patties together, I use egg whites. I’m saving the yolks to make a custard to throw in Rupert Murdoch’s face. But if you don’t mind the extra fat or custard ala Murdoch isn’t really your style, feel free to use 2 whole eggs instead.
Swiss Chard Burgers:
- 1 lb Swiss Chard
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup roughly ground almonds
- 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 egg whites
- 2 tbsp greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose)
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 2 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 3/4 cup skim milk
- 1 small egg or 1/2 large egg
- 4 tbsp butter, room temp, divided
- Sesame seeds for topping
- 1-2 tbsp milk for brushing
- Prepare dough. Beat milk and egg. Set aside. In a mixer bowl using a dough hook attachment, combine flour, yeast , sugar and salt. Make a well in the center and pour egg mixture into the well. Beat on low-speed for a minute; then on medium for three minutes. Add butter in two additions, making sure the butter is completely incorporated before each addition. Continue to beat for about three more minutes.
- Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl to raise until doubled (1-2 hours).
- Prepare burgers. Preheat oven to 375. Set a large pot of water to boil. While you’re waiting, use your food processor to roughly grind almonds (see above). When processing almonds, process for one second; wait; process again. Processing too much or too quickly could make almond paste.
- Combine 1/2 cup ground almonds, breadcrumbs, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
- Beat egg whites; add yogurt, honey, garlic, mustard and mix thoroughly.
- Boil Swiss chard until just tender (3-5 minutes). Cool slightly; squeeze out as much water as you can and place in a food processor. Blend for just about 1 second (be careful not to make Swiss chard paste by processing for too long!).
- Using a spatula, mix Swiss chard and quinoa. Then add almond mixture and finally add egg white mixture.
- Make six patties (1/4cup of the mixture per patties) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 30 minutes; flipping halfway through. Patties should be slightly browned and crispy on each side.
- While patties are baking, divide bun dough into six pieces and shape into balls. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet and let rest for 10-20 minutes.
- When patties have finished baking, set on a cooling rack and heat oven to 350.
- When oven reaches 350, bake buns until browned (about 30 minutes). You may have to cut one open to be sure they’ve cooked all the way through.
- Serve and enjoy!