Restaurant Style Hummus with Smoked Paprika-Chili Drizzle

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Growing up in a Lebanese family, I’ve eaten a lot of hummus. And still, I’m always looking for new ways to prepare it.  This hummus is unexpectedly thick and rich. It hits the spot.

Hummus is health food for some. It’s comfort food to me.  It reminds me of spending fun summers with my grandmother in Brooklyn. She’d make her hummus the old fashioned way, soaking the dried chickpeas overnight. Then she’d cook them before blending them into a creamy dip. She’d always serve her hummus with fresh pita, scallions and radishes.

One night after having dinner with my husband at a little Indian restaurant on the outskirts of Boston, I declared that I had to stop at the closest supermarket for lemons and limes. Heaven forbid I don’t have any fresh lemons in the fridge! My patient husband has learned to just roll with my food-obsessed ways. We ended up at an old supermarket that looked like it hadn’t seen a remodel since the 1970’s. While waiting in the checkout line, I grabbed an issue of Cook’s Illustrated magazine. The recipe for restaurant-style hummus caught my eye. I knew I had to try it.

 

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This creamy hummus is topped with a complex-chili infused oil. This oil is also good on eggs and grilled chicken or fish.  You can omit the red chili pepper in the oil if you don’t want the spicy heat.

Aleppo pepper is a pleasantly tart ground pepper with mild cumin undertones. It’s sold in most Middle Eastern markets and online at Penzeys Spices.

The best paprika comes from Spain. They slowly smoke the peppers and grind them into a velvety powder. I like Safinter Smoked Spanish Paprika which I find at Whole Foods.

Store the hummus in the fridge in an airtight container for 2 days. Serve it with pita and olives and you’ve got a fresh, healthy snack or a light lunch. Add it to your favorite vegetarian wrap. Dip grilled chicken or veggies into it.  The sky’s the limit.

 
Once you’ve made hummus a few times, you’ll get the hang of it. Practice makes perfect. Enjoy!
 
 

 

Restaurant Style Hummus with Smoked Paprika Chili Drizzle Recipe

 

 

serves 4

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Magazine’s recipe for restaurant style hummus. http://www.food.com/recipe/cooks-illustrated-restaurant-style-hummus-380146

 
Some notes: 

I keep a couple of cans of chickpeas, a jar of tahini and some pita in my kitchen, so I can whip up this beloved Middle Eastern dip whenever the craving strikes.
 
My favorite brand of tahini sesame paste is from Beirut. I love this one because it pours/stirs so easily even after being refrigerated.  I find it at Middle Eastern grocery stores. Here’s the amazon link for it: http://www.amazon.com/Beirut-Tahini-Sesame-Paste-32oz/dp/B0074D3B9S   Use whatever brand you like.
 
Depending on my mood, I either add ground cumin to the hummus or I leave it out.
 
Sometimes I pick up another can of chickpeas and scatter whole chickpeas on top of the creamy hummus for additional texture. Have fun and add your own inspired toppings.
 
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 16-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2-3 lemons, I like my hummus lemony.
  • Generous 1/3 cup of tahini, well stirred. (see notes for information and my favorite brand)
  • 1/4 cup of cold water
  • 1/8 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin (optional)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Serving Suggestions: some whole chickpeas scattered on top, smoked paprika chili drizzle (recipe below), 1/2 teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds,  a handful of toasted pine nuts, everything bagel blend,  finely diced or thinly sliced jalapeno peppers


Instructions:

  1. Squeeze the juice of half of a lemon into the bowl of a food processor along with the chickpeas, tahini paste, salt, cumin and 1/8 cup of olive oil. Pulse to combine. Add the water, a tablespoon at a time while mixing in the food processor, until you reach your desired consistency. You want it to be thick and creamy, not watery or thin. Stop often. Taste often. Adjust salt, scrape down sides of the bowl and add more lemon juice if desired. I used the juice of one whole lemon in this recipe. Then I dowsed it with lots more lemon juice upon serving. Adjust the lemon juice according to your personal taste.
  2.  Serve it with my smoked paprika chilli drizzle (recipe below).
  3. Another option instead of the chili drizzle  is to  toast some sesame seeds or pine nuts or everything bagel blend in a small dry fry pan on medium low heat until fragrant, being careful not to burn. Serve the hummus with a drizzle of best quality olive oil and  a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds or pine nuts or everything bagel blend and very thinly sliced or finely diced green chili pepper.

 

Smoked Paprika Chili Drizzle 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground red chili pepper or Aleppo pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of smoked Spanish paprika (I used Safinter brand)
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste

 

Instructions:
Warm the olive oil on medium low heat with the red chili pepper or Aleppo pepper and smoked paprika and a dash of salt. Once warmed, set a side. The longer it sits the better it will be. Drizzle it over the restaurant style hummus and serve.

 

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Addictive Black Bean Salsa

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Every time my husband makes a business trip to San Diego, he comes home raving about the delicious salsas and tacos he has eaten there. I don’t blame him. California Mexican is so fresh and flavorful.

 Believe it or not, just outside of Boston sits a great little taco joint too. Taqueria El Amigo is the size of a large walk-in closet. It has about 6 tables, tops. It’s always crowded. We go there every so often to get our taco-fix and ice-cold agua de Jamaicas (refreshing, jewel-toned hibiscus drinks). Californians who have eaten there say the food reminds them of home.

 

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In the spirit of fresh Mexican cuisine, I’m sharing this light but satisfying meal with you today.  The salsa is smoky and spicy, thanks to a charred jalapeno pepper, smoked paprika, a pinch of ground cumin and a wee little bit of liquid smoke. Liquid smoke is sold in my regular market and on Amazon. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/Colgin-Natural-Hickory-Liquid-Smoke/dp/B0005Z8NCM  It lends a nice smoky flavor to meatless vegetarian chili too. Only use a tiny drop or two. You can leave it out with good results too.

The heat in the salsa is balanced by creamy black beans, sweet corn and a snappy red bell pepper. It’s finished with tangy lime juice and fresh cilantro or parsley. Simple cheese quesadillas, lite sour cream and sliced avocado lend welcome creaminess and round out this vegetarian, gluten-free meal.

 

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Black Bean Salsa Recipe 

Serves 4 with quesadillas

Some Notes: 

You could also toss the salsa into cooked rice for a complete protein.

This meal is high in fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 15-ounce cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  2. 6 scallions, diced
  3. 1 cup of frozen or fresh corn. I use frozen corn and defrost it a bit in the microwave.
  4. 1 red bell pepper, diced
  5. 1 jalapeno pepper, charred and diced. Remove the seeds and veins if you don’t want it too spicy.
  6. A generous handful of chopped cilantro or parsley
  7. 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  8. A tiny drop or two of liquid smoke, see blog post for explanation. (optional)
  9. 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin
  10. A drizzle of honey or a pinch of sugar
  11. Sea salt to taste
  12. A drizzle of olive oil or corn oil
  13. A couple shakes of Green Tabasco sauce (optional, but I love it!)
  14. 2-3 limes, zest one and reserve the zest. I use a microplane zester.
  15. Serve suggestions: sour cream, cheese quesadillas (recipe below) lime wedges and/or sliced avocado.

 

Instructions:


Char the jalapeno pepper on gas flame or under the broiler, adding some black blistering to the outside of the jalapeno.  Dice it up. This step is optional, but does produce mild, pleasant, smoky notes in the salsa. If you don’t want to char it, then just mince it finely.

Combine the first 9 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the lime zest, a couple of  good squeezes of lime juice a drizzle of olive oil and salt. Stir in a drizzle of honey to balance the acid in the lime juice. Add a little bit of green Tabasco sauce if you’d like.  Toss to combine. Taste. Adjust salt.

Serve with cheese quesadillas, lite sour cream, lime wedges and/or avocado slices. Enjoy!

 

cheese q

 

Simple Cheese Quesadillas Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Cheese of your choice. I used an aged cheddar.
  • Corn tortillas. I am usually able to find these in the refrigerated section of my grocery store.
  • Cooking spray

Instructions:

Spray tortillas with a little cooking spray. Put 1-2 slices of cheese of your choice between to two corn tortillas. Don’t over do it with the cheese. I tried this with light cheddar and it didn’t work too well. It made a mess in my panini press. The cheese oozed everywhere. So I suggest using full-fat cheese. I like aged cheddar or jack cheese or a Mexican shredded blend. Cook the tortillas in a panini press until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are somewhat crisp and browned. Alternatively, you can make them in a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan. Cut into wedges and serve with the black bean salsa, sour cream, avocado slices and limes.

Juicy Turkey or Chicken Meatballs ~ Middle Eastern Style

Middle Eastern Meatballs

Hello Everyone!
I’ve moved!
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The meatballs can be made with sundried tomatoes or dried apricots..come and see!
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xo ~ Jilly

Lemony Roasted Potatoes with Aleppo Pepper & Herbs

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I love using lemon to add sparkle and zip to almost any recipe, especially in summer. Here, they dress up golden brown fingerling potatoes. Roasted potatoes with a creamy center and a splash of energizing citrus are good eating.  The potatoes are substantial. The lemon and mint give them vitality and excitement, suitable for hot weather meals.   Any fresh tasting herb or small size potato will work here. I used parsley and mint because mint says summertime to me and because these herbs are used a lot in Eastern Mediterranean cuisine. But basil or chives would be great too.

This dish is good warm, at room temperature or hot from the oven, making it a nice recipe for summer gatherings. Potatoes are a familiar sidekick for grilled fish, chicken or steak, but they’re equally welcome on a vegetarian/vegan table too.

Fingerling potatoes always grab my attention at my local Italian grocery store. I even bypass the fancy purple potatoes for their taste and texture. My Italian market also has reasonably-priced fresh produce, handmade pasta and beautiful flowers. I usually come home with freshly made, delicate angel hair pasta or stuffed ravioli, crusty bread, artisan cheese, fresh veggies and bouquets of pink roses. Living close to such a wonderful market is a cooks dream. 

 

 

 

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Lemony Roasted Potato Recipe

Serves 4-6

Some Notes:

I use coarse Mediterranean sea salt here, but kosher salt is fine too. Good salt can enliven any recipe. I like Celtic gray salt too. 

Aleppo pepper comes from northern Syria. It’s moderately spicy with some fruitiness and mild, cumin-like undertones.  I find it online or in Middle Eastern markets.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of fingerling potatoes or other small potatoes
  • 1-2 lemons, zest one and reserve the zest
  • Generous handfuls of fresh mint and parsley, chopped.
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Coarse sea salt to taste
  • A sprinkling of Aleppo chili pepper (see notes) or red chili flakes
  • For Serving: sprinkling of fleur de sel or other flaky sea salt or celtic gray salt,  lemon wedges
Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 375

In a large baking pan, toss the potatoes with olive oil, some coarse sea salt,  Aleppo pepper and the lemon zest. Roast for 30 minutes. Take out of the oven. The salt will have dissolved a little in the pan. Toss again. Put the pan back in the oven and cook for 15 more minutes or until  the potatoes are tender and done. Before serving, add the fresh herbs, a couple of good squeezes of lemon juice. Serve and enjoy!

 

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Thai Style Broccoli with Coconut Cream & Lime

Thai broccoli

 

The flavor profile of this dish is reminiscent of Thai coconut curries, only it’s lighter and fresher tasting with lots of texture.

Broccoli is diced and quickly cooked. It’s given a hit of perky ginger and chili powder or sriracha sauce for some mild heat. Just a touch of warm cumin and coriander, along with a little creamy coconut milk and a few squeezes of lime make it exciting. Trader Joe’s Extra Thick and Rich Coconut Cream is delicious in this recipe because it adds just the right amount of creamy tropical notes and mild coconut flavor. It’s easy to store the rest in a tupperware in the fridge for use in other recipes.

The usual steamed-broccoli-side-dish can be rather boring. This dish wakes up the palate.

Sometimes I add some frozen corn to bump up the sweetness and add another layer of flavor.

Great with chicken, steak or fish. Loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and omega 3’s.

Serves two hungry people for lunch with a sprinkling of unsweetened shredded coconut, steamed jasmine rice and a drizzle of shoyu or tamari. Some toasted chopped cashews would be delicious on top, adding protein and crunch. Thai basil would also be a fresh finishing touch.

 

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 Thai Style Broccoli with Coconut Cream and Lime Recipe

serves 2 with steamed rice on the side

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of broccoli diced into very small pieces. My heads of broccoli were on the small side.
  • 2 limes, zest one and reserve the zest. Juice half of one and reserve the juice.
  • 2 scallions, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced, I use a microplane zester or a garlic press
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced. I use a microplane zester
  • 4 tablespoons of Trader Joe’s Extra Thick and Rich Coconut Cream or 4 tablespoons of the coconut cream from the top of a can of full fat coconut milk.
  • 1-2 teaspoons of neutral tasting oil or coconut oil for cooking
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of  ground coriander
  • A dash of ground red pepper or sriracha sauce
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Serving options: shredded unsweetened coconut, toasted chopped cashews, steamed jasmine rice, shoyu, Tamari , Thai basil or regular basil, lime wedges


Instructions:

Dice the broccoli into very small pieces. Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat with the oil. When the oil is hot, add the broccoli and some salt. Stir fry the broccoli until it starts to get tender. You may need to add a little water to help it soften. Stir in the scallions, lime juice, lime zest, minced garlic, ginger, spices and coconut cream. Add a pinch more salt. Toss to combine everything. The broccoli should be tender-crisp when done. Serve with lime wedges and any of the garnishes you like. Enjoy!

 

Potato, Pea & Leek Cakes

leek cakes 2

Hello Everyone!
There’s just a few recipes that I’ll be sharing on my new  blog. This is one of them.
Please click on the link to view this recipe:
      xo ~ Jilly

Thai Style Strawberry Cucumber Salsa

salsa

One summer, Tom and I were lucky enough to vacation on a remote part of Martha’s Vineyard with my sister and her husband.  I’d been planning this trip for most of my life, since I’ve always wanted to stay there. It seemed like a distant, dream-like place of golden-amber light and emerald-blue water. It was everything I imagined it to be.

Our little beagle-mix, Ellie, came with us to this magical island of soaring cliffs, sea and sky. We rode bikes, took long walks, visited lighthouses, collected scallop shells, sat on lonely beaches with crabs and sea birds as our only companions, soaking up the untouched beauty of this unique place.

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For dinner, we visited the local fish market to find the catch of the day.  I’d hunt around the tiny general store for fresh produce. A few cartons of sweet strawberries, garden cucumbers, Thai basil, fiery green chili peppers were always available.
 
One island night, I served this light salsa over grilled sea bass. Cool cucumbers and sweet strawberries balance the fiery chili.  A flurry of fragrant Thai basil and zesty lime juice lend a bright and sassy finish. The meals on Martha’s Vineyard will always be remembered as some of the freshest I’ve had in my life.
 
This salsa is great with tortilla chips or over grilled chicken too!
 
 
 
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Strawberry Cucumber Salsa Recipe

 
Some Notes: 
 
I love small, Persian cucumbers. If you can find them, grab them. If using Persian cucumbers, you don’t have to peel or seed them. If all you can find is regular cucumbers then peel and seed them.
 
Depending on my mood, I add a diced avocado to this salsa.
 
Ingredients:
 
  • 16 ounces of strawberries, chopped
  • 1-2 medium to large cucumber peeled, seeds removed and diced or use a few mini Persian cucumbers. (see notes)
  • 1 jalapeno chili pepper or one Thai bird’s eye chili pepper, diced. Leave out the seeds and veins if you want it to be less spicy.
  • 1 lime, zest half of it and reserve.
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Handful of Thai basil, chopped or torn. Fresh garden mint or regular basil would be great too.
  • Drizzle of light olive oil or other neutral tasting oil
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Optional: A diced ripe avocado

Instructions:

Place the strawberries, cucumbers and chili pepper in a bowl.  Add the honey, oil, lime zest and a couple of good squeezes of lime juice. Add the salt and toss to combine. Taste.  Adjust salt. Stir in the basil.  Serve immediately with fish, chicken, shrimp, scallops and/or tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

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Thai Pasta Toss ~ It’ll Get You Out of a Boring Broccoli Rut

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Here, I toss green veggies, chili, Thai basil and lime with elbow shaped pasta. The dish can be finished with a flurry of grated Parmesan and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Salt, chili and lime are a classic combo. They work well in this recipe, creating a  feisty, healthy and unexpected weeknight pasta toss. It’ll help you get out of a boring broccoli rut.

There’s an old, honest saying that goes, “Most of the world eats to live, but Italians live to eat”  The thing that I like most about Italian cooking is how simple and fast it is. With only a few, quality ingredients you can create fabulous dinners. This recipe uses the Italian principles of keeping things fresh and basic, but with a a little twist on the traditional basil and lemon.

Any kind of pasta will work here. If you’re gluten free, corn pasta is a particularly good choice.

If you don’t like zucchini then replace it with more broccoli.

It’s good hot, cold and at room temperature.

My coworkers tell me they make this recipe all the time. They particularly like the fresh, lively taste. The recipe is also featured on Healthy Aperture.

 

limes

 

pasta toss

Thai Pasta Toss Recipe

serves 4

Some Notes:

This dish is delicious with strong, peppery Thai basil. But regular basil, chives or scallions are also welcome.

Thai bird’s eye chili peppers are very spicy. I adore them! They have faint tropical notes. They come in red and green. I find them in Asian markets and even my regular supermarket. Use whatever hot chili pepper floats your boat.

Ingredients:

  • 16-ounces or one box of medium sized pasta. Penne, shells or spirals are all good choices.
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 3 medium size zucchini, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 jalapeno pepper or two-three tiny Thai bird’s-eye green chili peppers, diced. Remove the seeds and veins if you don’t want it too spicy.
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced (optional). I use a microplane grater for this or use a garlic press.
  • 2 limes. Zest them and reserve the zest.
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Olive oil for cooking, plus more for drizzling
  • To Serve: Thai basil or regular basil, lime wedges, Parmesan, flaky sea salt or grey celtic sea salt

Instructions:

Put the peas in the same colander that will be used to drain the pasta.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Toward the end of cooking throw in the broccoli and cook it with the pasta until the pasta is done. You can chop the broccoli before you add it to the pasta pot, but I find it works better to leave it whole and chop it later. You can also steam the broccoli in a separate pot.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil in a nonstick saute or frying pan. I use my wonderful, eco-friendly nonstick Scanpan for this. Add the jalapeno or Thai peppers and cook until soft. Add the zucchini, some salt and half the lime zest. Saute the zucchini until tender crisp. Stir in the minced garlic (if using) and toss it with the zucchini to warm it through.

Drain the pasta and broccoli over the peas in the colander. Remove broccoli and chop into small pieces. Toss all the ingredients together, adding the remaining lime zest, a drizzle of more olive oil and some squeezes of fresh lime juice. Serve with lime wedges on the side a, sprinkle on the Parmesan (if using) sea salt and basil. Enjoy!

Thai Sweet Potato Bisque with Coconut Milk and Warm Spices

bisque

This is my husband’s favorite soup!  He starts requesting this as soon as fall arrives. It also receives rave reviews from my trusty taste testers at the hospital where I work.

It’s a recipe makeover and slight departure from the more traditional bisques made with heavy cream and butter.  It’s healthy,  but you’d never know it by the taste and texture. Creamy coconut milk and sweet potatoes mellow the assertive flavors of chili and ginger.  The heat wakes up the palate in a controlled, pleasurable way. Thai basil and fresh lime juice finish things off with pep.
This special soup is suitable for holiday entertaining.  It would be a great choice for a first course at Thanksgiving or on a vegan Thanksgiving menu. You can make it the day before or even the morning of the meal. It reheats well.
This orange-hued bisque  is equally enjoyed in bed, under a quilt with a good movie playing on TV.  It’s our tradition to make it at Christmastime and serve it with glasses of cold Riesling wine. We decorate our tree, sipping wine from pretty vintage glasses and slurping soup out of mugs as we go.
sweet potato bisque

 

The soup contains omega 3’s, beta carotene, vitamins, minerals and fiber. It was featured on Healthy Aperture and Honest Cooking.

 

soup

Thai Sweet Potato Bisque Recipe  

Serves 6

Some Notes:

Vietnamese Cinnamon is the strongest, richest and sweetest cinnamon on the  planet. I love it in this soup. It’s also great in cinnamon desserts, morning oatmeal or coffee. But regular cinnamon is just fine too.

Rapunzel No Salt Vegetable Bouillon Cubes are my go-to choice for all my vegetable soups. This bouillon creates a broth that has a pure clean, fresh taste. I buy it by the case from amazon. You can also find it select Whole Foods supermarkets.  If you don’t want to search for it, use a vegetable stock or broth that you’d drink on its own or make your own stock. If using vegetable broth from a box or can, omit the water and use 6 cups or canned stock or broth.

Thai peppers are tiny and very hot. They come in red and green. I find them in my regular market. I use a green one for this soup. They lend their tropical heat and are a logical choice in any Thai inspired recipe. But you can swap it for a jalapeno pepper. Some jalapenos are much hotter than others, so dare to taste a tiny little bit of one before you start cooking it.

A roasted red pepper grounds all the flavors and counters the sweetness of the potatoes. You could leave it out if you don’t feel like doing an extra step. But it’s worth it to include it because it’ll give the soup another layer of flavor.

Finishing things off with torn or chopped Thai Basil, lime zest, a little sea salt and a couple of squeezes of juicy lime is so refreshing. These suggestions enhance lift all the flavors. If you can’t find Thai basil regular would be fine too or none at all. It’s up to you. The lime is a must!

Ingredients:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped. (They should weigh about one pound each totaling 3-3 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 red pepper, halved and seeded (optional, see notes)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tiny red or green Thai bird-eye pepper, diced or one jalapeno pepper, diced. Remove the seeds if you want it less spicy.
  • 2 limes
  • 1 inch piece of ginger peeled and grated. I use a microplane zester to grate it.
  • 6 Rapunzel No Salt Bouillon Cubes (you can also use your favorite vegetable stock or broth, see notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon plus more for sprinkling. I use strong Vietnamese cinnamon from Penzeys Spices.
  • Neutral oil or coconut oil for cooking
  • 1/2 of a 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk. I like Thai Kitchen brand.
  • Sea salt to taste
  • To Serve: Thai basil, cilantro, lime wedges, lime zest, ground cinnamon, flaky sea or my favorite finishing salt, grey celtic sea salt, toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), crusty bread

Instructions:
Place the sliced pepper, cut side down, on an oven safe baking sheet lined with tinfoil and broil on high until the skins are charred and blackened. Remove from the oven, place the pepper in a covered bowl or wrap in tin foil to steam. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin and discard. Chop and set aside.

In a large pot saute the onion and chili in some coconut oil or neutral tasting oil with a pinch of salt. Once the onion has softened, add the chopped sweet potatoes, roasted red pepper, grated ginger, 6 cups of water, 6 Rapunzel cubes and the cinnamon. Adjust the salt. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes have softened. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender (be careful if using a blender or food processor with hot soup). Stir in the coconut milk. Start with just a half a can and add more to your liking. Finish the soup with a good dash of cinnamon, a little lime zest, lime juice and Thai basil. Toasted pumpkin seeds are also nice sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

Artichoke and White Bean Salad

friday salad

 

This is a Mediterranean inspired, sunny salad that relies on some canned ingredients and some fresh ingredients to make it work. Canned artichoke hearts add a lemony lift to the creamy white beans. The salad is tossed with a simple dressing of olive oil and lemon juice. I make it in winter with either sun dried tomatoes or jarred red peppers.  In summer, fresh tomatoes are lovely. Olives are also welcome here.

This the kind of salad you can throw together very quickly with pantry staples you keep on hand. I always keep canned and dried beans in the pantry along with a few cans of artichoke hearts.

Toss it into pasta or eat it with a piece of crusty bread. It’s a substantial sidekick for fish and chicken too.

 

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Artichoke and White Bean Salad  Recipe

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of canned white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 sun dried tomatoes, soaked in very hot water, drained and chopped or use the ones packed in oil. Alternatively, fresh cherry or grape tomatoes or jarred roasted red peppers will work too.
  • 1 lemon, zest some of it and reserve the zest.
  • A few diced scallions, maybe 3 or 4
  • Generous handful of herb of your choice. I used chopped flat leaf leaf parsley. But basil, tarragon or chives would be great too.
  • 1 8.5-oz can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped into small pieces.
  • Best quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
  • For serving: Grated Parmesan cheese, crusty bread

Instructions:
Put a few tablespoons of olive oil in a medium size bowl, add a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice and some salt and pepper, stir or whisk to combine. Add all the other ingredients and toss to combine.

Serve and Enjoy!