Parsnip, Date and Walnut Bread

I have been receiving a lot of parsnips from my local CSA. I was hoping to try a sweet recipe after having tried a tasty parsnip cake and this recipe was incredible. There has been a lot of buzz around Joshua McFadden’s new cookbook Six Seasons. It features vegetables so I had to check it out! I adapted this recipe from his Parsnip, Date and Hazelnut Loaf Cake with Meyer Lemon Glaze. I didn’t make the glaze and honestly do not think this bread needs anything else, it shines on its own.

Parsnip, Date and Walnut Bread

adapted from Six Seasons

Ingredients

  • Butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 150 grams (1 1/4 cup) all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates (about 8-12 jewel dates)
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once oven is warm, spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and roast in the oven 6-10 minutes until the nuts smell toasty and have a slightly darker appearance. Be careful of burning the nuts, check them early until you know how your oven works. Leave them to cool.
  2. Butter a 22 x 12cm Loaf plan. Add a small amount of flour and coat all the surfaces, dump out any extra flour.
  3. In a medium to large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Then mix in the dates. Try to separate the dates so that they do not clump together.
  4. Place the parsnips in a food process and process until they are finely chopped (similar to quinoa).
  5. Add the eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest to the food processor and pulse until smooth.
  6. Pulse in the olive oil until blended.
  7. Fold the parsnip mixture into the dry mixture.
  8. Fold in the toasted walnuts.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 60-80 minutes. Start checking at 50 minutes.
  10. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and remove it from the pan and allow the bread to cool.
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Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie Bar

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If you like pecan pie and chocolate you NEED to make these immediately.  A relatively easy recipe to throw together and the results are fantastic.  I took these to a dinner part and they were well received.  I opted to top them with fresh whipped cream but adding vanilla ice cream is another decadent option.  I also eat them as is and you will not be disappointed.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie Bars

recipe slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (180 grams)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) room temperature butter
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup of chocolate chunks (semisweet works best)
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • **optional: whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to serve on top

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter or coconut oil.
  2. To make the crust, mix together the flour, butter and brown sugar until crumbly.  (my method is the lazy version: melt the butter and mix with a spoon) Press into the bottom of the baking pan and bake for 12-15 minutes until light brown.
  3. To make the filling: beat the eggs, corn syrup, sugar, 1 Tbsp butter and vanilla extract with a whisk or hand mixer. Stir in the chocolate and pecans.  Pour on top of the baked crust
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes until set.
  5. Cool on a wire rack completely before cutting into bars or eat warm from the pan (let it cool a little so you don’t burn your tongue though)!
  6. Optional: serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Tomatoes

Hello everyone, this is my first post in my new special category of vegetable basics!  I’m going to start placing what I know about certain vegetables and fruits in regards to their storage and preparation methods as I continue cooking.  Hopefully this will be a helpful place to turn when figuring out how to work with different ingredients!

Tomatoes

Storage: keep tomatoes at room temperature or in a cool spot, they keep in a single layer best to prevent bruising.

Preparation:

  • How to Peel Tomatoes: Prepare a bowl of ice water.  Bring a pot of water to a gentle rolling boil.  Slice a small “X” in the bottom of the desired number of tomatoes.  Drop several tomatoes into the boiling water and wait 10-90 seconds for the skins to start to wrinkle.  Then scoop out with a slotted spoon and place into the ice bath.  When the tomatoes are cool peel the skin off the tomatoes!
  • **the amount of time your tomatoes will need in the boiling water will vary based on how fresh your tomato is, about 10 seconds for a super ripe farmers market tomato almost about to be overripe to around 60 seconds for your average grocery store tomato that is not quite as fresh

Guacamole

 

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I absolutely love fresh guacamole.  I was excited to check out the Food 52 Genius cookbook from the library and decided to give this recipe a whirl.  Finely chopping the ingredients and using a mortar and pestle are the main differences that help to elevate this guacamole.  I never had jalapeno as called for in the original recipe, it was tasty without but if you have jalapeno on hand then I would add it in!

The method I learned here for removing the avocado in chunks it my new favorite way to quickly add avocado to my favorite salads, sandwiches etc in addition to using it in this guacamole.

Food 52’s Guacamole

Adapted slightly from Food 52

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 large Mexican Hass avocados, halved and pitted
  • squeeze of lime
  • optional** 1 Tbsp minced fresh serrano or jalapeno chile (including seeds if you want your guacamole more spicy)

Directions

  1. Mash the onion,salt and half of the cilantro to a paste in a mortar (and chile if using).
  2. Score the flesh in the avocado halves in a crosshatch pattern (do not go through the skin) with a knife and then scoop it with a spoon into the bowl.
  3. Add the rest of the cilantro and lime juice and mash the avocados, leaving some larger pieces with a fork.
  4. Add additional salt and/or chile to taste.

April Bloomfield’s Kale Polenta

heApril Bloomfield Kale Polenta 3

I was browsing the cookbooks in my favorite technical bookstore in Seattle when I ran across A Girl and Her Greens by April Bloomfield.  I was intrigued by the wonderful colors and recipes featuring vegetables.  I went home and reserved the cookbook from the library and ultimately decided to try out the kale polenta.  This was my first time making polenta and it was delightfully warm and creamy.

April Bloomfield Kale Polenta 1

Treat yourself to something special and try this out tonight!

Kale Polenta Recipe

April Bloomfield’s Website

 

Banana Oat Muffins

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I love baking with banana.  When I have an extra banana that is overripe I put it in the freezer until I get to 3 bananas and then I let them thaw and use them to make delicious cakes and muffins.

All Recipes Banana Oatmeal Muffins 1

I wanted to go for a slightly healthier take on banana bread so I tried this recipe with oats.  It was moist, light and had a great banana flavor.

Banana Oat Muffin Recipe

Wheatberry Salad

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I’ve come across Dorie Greenspan’s name a few times while looking at other food blogs.  Last year I finally checked out her cookbook Around My French Table which I found to be full of delightful recipes.  I found myself with celery on hand and that is what inspired me to make this salad.  I am absolutely in love with grain based salads.  In fact, I just had the most incredible farro salad at Wondering Goose.

This was my first time using wheatberries and I was pleasantly surprised.  They are a little chewy while also light in texture.  Give yourself a hearty salad treat this weekend!

Wheatberry Salad

adapted from Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients

  • 1 cup wheatberries
  • 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus 1 tsp more for tossing)
  • Salt, fresh ground pepper, red pepper flakes
  • 2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium red apple, cored and diced
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • optional add-ins: chopped avocado, chopped cherry tomatoes, chopped hard boiled eggs, 2 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley, 1/2 cup chopped swiss chard

Directions

  1. Cooking the wheatberries: Start a few hours before you want to eat the salad by cooking the wheatberries. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the wheatberries.  Lower heat to a simmer and cook the wheatberries stirring occasionally until they are tender but not mushy (1-1 1/4 hours). Drain and rinse the wheatberries in cold water.  (Can refrigerate up to 24 hours before using, bring to room temperature before assembling salad)
  2. Make the dressing: Whisk together in a small bowl the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, olive oil, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  3. Make the salad: Place wheatberries in a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. If time allows, let the wheatberries soak in the vinaigrette for 1 hour.  Add the celery, onion, apple, and pepper and toss gently.  Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed.  Mix in a few additional add-ins if desired (I did fresh parsley and chopped raw chard). Enjoy!

**Note: when I make this to have for lunch multiple days in a row, I keep the dressing separate until the day of eating and mix a small portion in before having lunch!

 

 

Jerusalem’s Kohlrabi Salad

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My advisor recommended that I check out Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Jerusalem.  I checked out the cookbook from the library to take a look.  Checking out books from the library has been my new go to in order to try not to fill my entire house with cookbooks.  There are so many beautiful new cookbook’s and it is so difficult to choose, thus I began checking them out at the library and trying out a recipe or two.

This cookbook was absolutely gorgeous to flip through and I loved all the different Mediterranean flavors.  This recipe calls for ground sumac which was a first for me.  The sumac bush produces red berries and is one of the main components of za-atar. When in doubt, I venture over the The Kitchn to learn about various ingredients or cooking tips.  Check out their blurb on sumac!

I had some beautiful kohlrabi and purple carrots so I altered the recipe to be mostly carrot based with a little chopped kohlrabi and I think you will find that this combination is refreshing and delightful!

Carrot and Kohlrabi Salad

adapted from Jerusalem

  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 1 medium kohlrabi, peeled and chopped into small pieces (about 1/4 inch x 1/2 inch rectangles)
  • 1/3 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 5 Tbsp sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp mascarpone cheese
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 tsp ground sumac
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Mix together the shredded carrots and chopped kohlrabi in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. To make the dressing, place the yogurt, sour cream, mascarpone cheese, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil in a medium bowl.  Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a grind of fresh pepper.  Whisk the ingredients together until smooth.
  3. Stir the dressing into the kohlrabi and carrot mixture.
  4. Stir in the mint and sprinkle the top of the salad with sumac.