Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Beet Green & Potato Frittata

So I've not had much luck in the past with beet greens. They've always been rather bitter and unappetizing. But now, I've discovered an awesome way to use them that passed every taste test!

I got a couple of bunches of smaller beets from the Farmers' Market today, and the leaves were so fresh and tender, not a dog-eared leaf in sight, that the thought of tossing them on the compost just seemed all wrong. I removed the thicker ribs and chopped them finely, along with some baby potatoes and garlic. I mixed them together with salt and pepper and put them in a small oven-proof dish with grated Emmental cheese and butter, then beat a Farmers Market fresh egg along with some half and half and poured the custard over the top. Baked in a 375 oven for 45 minutes and the result was totally delicious and outstanding. No hint of bitterness - it could easily have been tender chard.

I did another version without the egg and more cheese and it was tasty, but the egg version wins hands-down.


Friday, February 03, 2012

Spicy Broccoli & Chickpea Salad

Looking for a healthier Super Bowl side dish? This delicious combo of broccoli, chickpeas, assorted fresh vegetables and spice packs in the flavor, but not the fat.

The salad was inspired by a deli salad at my local favorite upscale grocery store, Paradise Foods. The original had a very creamy lemon aioli dressing that I loved at first bite, but quickly became too rich for me. This salad is much lighter - more of a lemon vinaigrette- with just a hint of creamy mayonnaise. I also changed the flavor profile with spices. Mine has cumin, red chili flakes and cayenne to give it a nice little kick. One of my favorite things about this salad, is the crunch of thinly sliced green beans.

While this is a snap to prepare, it's a great make-ahead option, as it tastes better the second day. Great for a pot luck or as a side for your lunch box.

And, I'm happy to announce, Albion Cooks entered it's 6th year on Jan. 31st!

Spicy Broccoli & Chickpea Salad:
3 cups broccoli florettes, cut very small, stalks removed
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small red bell pepper, diced
Bunch of scallions, finely sliced
1/2 cup thin green beans, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced black olives
crumbled feta (if desired)
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 TBS olive oil
1 tsp white wine vinegar (or a citrus based vinegar)
1 TBS olive oil mayo or vegan mayo
1 tsp ground cumin
red chili flakes to taste
cayenne to taste (start with one shake - mine had two)
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients except the spices in a large bowl. Add the spices and salt and pepper, according to your own taste.

You're done! Enjoy!