Tag Archives: vegetarian

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

In keeping with the clean eating theme of the week and the new year I thought I would post one of the easiest vegetable recipes I know that features one of the best veggies to help clean up your act.  Cruciferous vegetables, think broccoli, kale and our little friends the brussels sprouts, are considered “super vegetables” because they contain high amounts of Vitamins A and C, and help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease.  I love them because they are usually inexpensive and also some of the only good looking things in the produce aisle once the weather turns cold.  I love roasted brussels sprouts (and also fried ones but that’s not really health conscious!) but those take time.  By shredding the sprouts you can saute them in minutes.  In the spring and summer I like to pair them with bright lemon like I do here but in the fall and winter something a bit deeper is called for.  For that I turn to balsamic glaze, essentially balsamic vinegar that has been cooked down to a rich syrup.  You can do that yourself but lots of places are selling glazes these days and that makes this even quicker to make (I like Wegmans version).  Want to speed up the process even more?  Skip the tedious task of slicing the sprouts thinly and let the slicer blade on your food processor do the work for you.  Look how fast!

If you don’t have a food processor you can thinly slice them with a sharp knife for on a mandolin several days in advance.  Just keep them in a baggie until you are ready to use them and this dish will come together in minutes.  This dish would be great alongside Veal SaltimboccaPistachio Crusted Pork Medallions or Cornish Game Hens with Herb Butter.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  a healthy 2017
Special Equipment:  food processor fitted with a slicer blade (optional)

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic glaze

Heat your largest skillet to medium high and when it is hot add the olive oil.  Dump in the sprouts and season with salt and pepper.

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Let sit for a minute until some browning has occurred, then stir.  Stir again every couple of minutes for 5-7 minutes until the sprouts have wilted a bit and they are browned in areas.  Place on a serving platter and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

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Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  food processor fitted with a slicer blade (optional)

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic glaze

Heat your largest skillet to medium high and when it is hot add the olive oil.  Dump in the sprouts and season with salt and pepper.  Let sit for a minute until some browning has occurred, then stir.  Stir again every couple of minutes for 5-7 minutes until the sprouts have wilted a bit and they are browned in areas.  Place on a serving platter and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

Goat Cheese and Radicchio Risotto

Whoa baby is it cold outside!  I think most of the country has been hit with some kind of cold snap over the last week – DC certainly has.  I may have grown up in Boston but I have lived down here long enough to become a complete wimp when it comes to the cold.  I just want to snuggle by our fireplace with a kitty and a nice glass of red.  This quick dinner is perfect for a cold night when you want some comfort food.  Sure you have to stand over the pan the whole time but think of it as a way to warm you up!  If you have forgotten, here are my risotto rules.  This version includes two of my favorite things – goat cheese and a bitter lettuce, namely radicchio.  The two really play off of each other nicely and if you add some chives at the end you can get red and green for the holidays!  Thankfully we haven’t had to shovel yet (eek!) but I think this would be a great way to defrost after doing so.

 

TITLE (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:
Special Equipment:  none

  • 6 cups of chicken or veggie stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 cup aborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 5 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 head of radicchio, thinly sliced
  • chives

Add the stock to a small saucepan and warm over low heat.  In a high sided skillet or larger saucepan melt the butter over medium heat with the olive oil, then add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the rice and stir it around until all the grains are coated in the butter.

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Reduce the heat to medium low.  Splash in the wine and use your spoon to stir the rice.  Once almost all of the wine has cooked off you can start ladeling in the stock.  Add 1 ladelful at a time, stirring near constantly.

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Once the rice starts looking dry add in another ladelful.  After about 25 minutes I start checking the doneness of the rice but usually it will take closer to 30 or 35 minutes to cook.

 

Once the rice is done (its tender with just a little bit of bite to it) stir in the goat cheese and radicchio and cook for another minute or two more, allowing the radicchio to wilt and the goat cheese to melt in.  Sprinkle with chives and season with salt and pepper.

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Goat Cheese and Radicchio Risotto

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 6 cups of chicken or veggie stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 cup aborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 5 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 head of radicchio, thinly sliced
  • chives

Add the stock to a small saucepan and warm over low heat.  In a high sided skillet or larger saucepan melt the butter over medium heat with the olive oil, then add the shallots and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the rice and stir it around until all the grains are coated in the butter.  Reduce the heat to medium low.  Splash in the wine and use your spoon to stir the rice.  Once almost all of the wine has cooked off you can start ladeling in the stock.  Add 1 ladelful at a time, stirring near constantly.  Once the rice starts looking dry add in another ladelful.  After about 25 minutes I start checking the doneness of the rice but usually it will take closer to 30 or 35 minutes to cook.  Once the rice is done (its tender with just a little bit of bite to it) stir in the goat cheese and radicchio and cook for another minute or two more, allowing the radicchio to wilt and the goat cheese to melt in.  Sprinkle with chives and season with salt and pepper.

 

 

Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

For those of you who didn’t come up with your Thanksgiving menu months ago (better known as sane people) I decided to post some ideas from the A Capitol Contessa archive to inspire you.  I also included a couple of vegetarian main dishes if folks in your family don’t do turkey.  This year we are having a small group, just 4 people, but for a special meal you should always go all out on the table.  I based my table around antique “turkey plates” that were my grandmother’s.  They don’t have turkeys on them, actually they show scenes of Boston, but since they were used every Thanksgiving, my mom, aunts and uncles started calling them the turkey plates and it stuck.  My own wedding china, Vera Wang for Wedgewood, goes really nice on top as a salad plate.  To add some texture I used these Pier 1 Rattan Chargers (on sale now!) and tortoiseshell napkin rings.  To add some sparkle I used my favorite gold flatware set from Target and my new Gem Toned glasses from Pottery Barn in Amber.  Thanksgiving is definitely were you want to use a tablecloth instead of place mats to catch errant gravy drips.  I used a neutral beige once (similar here) – now all I need is flowers, a pitcher of water and lots of wine and my table is all set.  If you are having an even smaller Thanksgiving for 1 or 2 people I am posting a great weeknight turkey dish on Thursday that would work well.  Next week we will be dark for the holiday but when ACC returns it will be all holidays all the time!

Drinks and Appetizers

The Fall A-Way Cocktail

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Mascarpone Blue Cheese Dip

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Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Crostini

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Vegetarian Mains

Roasted Cauliflower and Farro

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Pumpkin Lasagna

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Sides

Roasted Carrots with Vadouvan Yogurt Sauce

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Over the Top Mashed Potatoes

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Lemony Brussel Sprouts

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Holiday Salad

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Roasted Onions

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Desserts

Individual Apple Crisps

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Peanutty Oatmeal Cookies

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Fennel Slaw

No cook dishes are key for steamy DC summers and this slaw makes the perfect side for just about any meal.  It is great with fried chicken, grilled steak, piled on pulled pork sandwiches, or as a raw accompaniment to grilled veggies.  I subbed in thinly sliced fennel for the typical cabbage for this slaw because it provides more flavor and snap to the dish.  I LOVE fennel, raw and cooked, but I know a lot of people still aren’t super familiar with it.

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This prehistoric looking bulb can be intimidating but its really easy to break down and almost all of it is edible.  The stalks can be a little woody so for a raw salad like this I toss them but if you were going to cook the fennel you can slice them up just like the bulb.  The fronds are delicious and are great to reserve and sprinkle on top of any finished fennel dish.

So first cut off the stalks, saving them for another use or for the fronds.  Then slice off the bottom, which is tough, and toss.  Cut the bulb through the middle until you have two halves.  There is a core that is also tough so for a raw dish it should be cut out (if it’s being cooked down you can leave in the core).  Cut along the edge of the core and it pops right out.  Then slice or dice away!  For this slaw I used a mandoline because it’s much quicker than using a knife, but if you don’t have one just make sure to try and get thin, consistent slices.  I have a relatively cheap mandoline that I like because it doesn’t take up a lot of drawer space and is dishwasher friendly.  This one also gets very good reviews – what you want to make sure is that it has a hand guard and at least a couple of thicknesses you can choose from.  Now that you are a fennel cutting expert you should make this and this.  I will be serving this up for the rest of the summer or at least while it’s still 90 plus!!

Fennel Slaw (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  no cook dishes
Special Equipment:  a sharp knife or a mandoline

  • 1 large fennel bulb (or 2 small), cored and sliced thinly (fronds reserved)
  • 1 fresno chili, sliced thinly
  • 2 scallions, light green and white parts, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I use light)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (I also use light here)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey

In a large bowl toss the fennel, chili and scallions together.  In a small bowl whisk the dressing together – the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, and honey.

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Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Start by adding half the dressing to the slaw, combine and then continue to add until dressed to your liking (I used 90% of the dressing and it was “lightly dressed.”)  Serve right away or store in the fridge overnight.  Bring to room temperature and sprinkle with chopped fennel fronds before serving.

Fennel slaw

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  a sharp knife or a mandoline

  • 1 large fennel bulb (or 2 small), cored and sliced thinly (fronds reserved)
  • 1 fresno chili, sliced thinly
  • 2 scallions, light green and white parts, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I use light)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (I also use light here)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of honey

In a large bowl toss the fennel, chili and scallions together.  In a small bowl whisk the dressing together – the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, and honey.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Start by adding half the dressing to the slaw, combine and then continue to add until dressed to your liking (I used 90% of the dressing and it was “lightly dressed.”)  Serve right away or store in the fridge overnight.  Bring to room temperature and sprinkle with chopped fennel fronds before serving.

Mexican Beans and Greens

Beans and Greens is a super traditional Italian dish that is usually made with bitter escarole greens and creamy white cannellini beans.  I love this dish and make it often.  However, for Fiesta Friday I wanted to come up with a Mexican version.  Black beans sub in along with black kale to give this dish a more rustic touch and mezcal is thrown in for good measure.  I had lovely spring onions from the farmers market but you could use a red onion, or regular white onion no problem.  This dish comes together really quickly and can be a great vegan/vegetarian main dish served alongside quinoa or rice.  I love to have it with braised turkey tacos or grilled skirt steak.  This is a great side to make extra of so you can have it for lunch the next day – really filling and healthy with a ton of flavor.  Happy Fiesta Friday and see you all next week!

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Mexican Beans and Greens (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  a spicier, smokier version of the Italian classic
Special Equipment:  none

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch spring onions, chopped or 1 medium red or white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large bunch of black kale (also called dinosaur or lacinato) – leafy part ripped off the stem and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup mezcal

In a large skillet (that has a lid) heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic (being careful not to burn the garlic) and jalapeno.  Cook for 3-5 minutes until the onions are soft.  Add in the beans and kale and toss so everything is combined.

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Add the mezcal and cover – adjust the heat until it is just simmering, usually low or medium low.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Remove the cover and season with salt and pepper.  If the liquid hasn’t all cooked off yet cook uncovered for several more minutes.

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Mexican Beans and Greens

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch spring onions, chopped or 1 medium red or white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large bunch of black kale (also called dinosaur or lacinato)
  • 1/2 cup mezcal

In a large skillet (that has a lid) heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic (being careful not to burn the garlic) and jalapeno.  Cook for 3-5 minutes until the onions are soft.  Add in the beans and kale and toss so everything is combined.  Add the mezcal and cover – adjust the heat until it is just simmering, usually low or medium low.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Remove the cover and season with salt and pepper.  If the liquid hasn’t all cooked off yet cook uncovered for several more minutes.

 

Creamy Avocado Linguine

Always looking for ways to incorporate pasta into my day I concocted this dish the other day.  I was hoping to use up items in my fridge and pantry and since there is always some rotation of peppers hanging around I thought a pasta with an almost guacamole type sauce would be good.  But we can be more refined than that right?  So blend all the ingredients together and get a silky smooth yet spicy and complex sauce.  DONE.   A great vegetarian main course or side for some grilled chicken.  I topped it with sliced fresno chilis (sometimes called red jalapenos) which are easily my favorite pepper to use these days but you could leave those off, use another pepper or just sprinkle on red pepper flakes if you need more heat.  I also had queso fresco on hand, a semi hard salty Mexican cheese, but parmesan would be a good sub.  Or omit the grated cheese on top and you will have a super creamy but creamless vegan dish on your hands (I could not help myself and of course added the cheese).

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Creamy Avocado Linguine (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  guacamole pasta
Special Equipment:  food processor

  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola or veggie oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 avocado
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 3/4 pound of linguine (I used fresh…from Wegmans)
  • 2 fresno chilis
  • queso blanco

Preheat your broiler and stem the poblano.  Place the poblano on a cookie sheet and broil for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skin is blistered and blackened.  Put in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam for 10 minutes.

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Peel and seed the peppers (I like to do this with plastic gloves on).  Put the poblano into the food processor.  While the peppers are steaming, heat the oil over medium heat in a small skillet.  Sautee the onion and garlic for 10 minutes until softened but not browned (lower the heat if you need to keep it from browning).  Scrape the onion mixture into the food processor.  Cut the avocado in half, get rid of the pit and scrape all of the meat into the food processor.

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Pulse a couple of limes to combine then add the lime juice.  Run until smooth then taste for salt and pepper.  Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt the water and cook the pasta according to the directions.  While the pasta cooks, finely slice the fresno chilis and grate the queso fresco for the pasta.  Drain the pasta and toss with the avocado sauce.  Top with the sliced chilis and cheese.

Creamy Avocado Linguine

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  food processor

  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola or veggie oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 avocado
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 3/4 pound of linguine (I used fresh…from Wegmans)
  • 2 fresno chilis
  • queso blanco

Preheat your broiler and stem the poblano.  Place the poblano on a cookie sheet and broil for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skin is blistered and blackened.  Put in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam for 10 minutes.  Peel and seed the peppers (I like to do this with plastic gloves on).  Put the poblano into the food processor.  While the peppers are steaming heat the oil over medium heat in a small skillet.  Sautee the onion and garlic for 10 minutes until softened but not browned (lower the heat if you need to keep it from browning).  Scrape the onion mixture into the food processor.  Cut the avocado in half, get rid of the pit and scrape all of the meat into the food processor.  Pulse a couple of limes to combine then add the lime juice.  Run until smooth then taste for salt and pepper.

Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt the water and cook the pasta according to the directions.  While the pasta cooks, finely slice the fresno chilis and grate the queso fresco for the pasta.  Drain the pasta and toss with the avocado sauce.  Top with the sliced chilis and cheese.

Parmesan Mini Zucchini

Make anything mini and I am on board.  Even non cute items like zucchini suddenly become adorable!  I found these at Trader Joe’s but I have seen mini zucchini at regular grocery stores as well.  Aside from being so stinking cute they are also a bit more tender and I find more flavorful than the big ones.  Not to say you couldn’t use regular zucchini in this, just cut them down to a similar size as these halved mini ones.  You want lots of exposed surface area so they can get nice and brown and crispy.  A sprinkle of parmesan over the hot zucchini and it melts on for side vegetable perfection.  These would be delicious with roast chicken or maybe pork tenderloin and can be served room temperature if you wanted to serve them at a picnic or on a buffet table.  An easy side for any night of the week really.  Thank heavens for baby vegetables.

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Parmesan Mini Zucchini (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  baby squash!
Special Equipment:  none

  • 24 ounces baby zucchini, cut in half lengthwise (or regular zucchini if you must, cut in half and then in quarters lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat your broiler.  Toss the zucchini with the olive oil and some salt and pepper.  Spread out on a baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.  When browned and softened toss the zucchini with the Parmesan cheese and serve.

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Parmesan Mini Zucchini

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 24 ounces baby zucchini, cut in half lengthwise (or regular zucchini if you must, cut in half and then in quarters lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat your broiler.  Toss the zucchini with the olive oil and some salt and pepper.  Spread out on a baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.  When browned and softened toss the zucchini with the Parmesan cheese and serve.

 

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