21 June 2010

Mushroom and Tomato Flatbread Topped with Fresh Arugula

Cover recipe/image from August 2007 Food and Drink - the fresh arugula is AMAZING. The cherry tomatoes take quite a while to de-seed, but are definitely worth it. I don't really know what Telaggio cheese is, but I use brie from the market sometimes and it work well. The idea of pizza with something salad-ish on top seems kind of weird at first, but in the end, it totally works. We've served this at an appetizer party before, but it also works with a vegetarian entree if you don't mind that it's kind of low protein.

Cooked pizza toppings:
2 cups (500 mL) cherry tomatoes, halved and seeded
1 lb (500 g) mixed mushrooms
¼ cup (50 mL) olive oil
2 tbsp (25 mL) balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Fresh pizza toppings:
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
1 large flat bread
8 oz (250 g) Taleggio cheese, thinly sliced or chopped
2 cups (500 mL) arugula
2 tsp (10 mL) balsamic vinegar
Kosher or Maldon salt for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

2. Toss together tomatoes and mushrooms with oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. Lay tomatoes and mushrooms in 1 layer on a baking pan and roast for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables have softened. Let cool, and slice mushrooms.

3. Brush a baking sheet with 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil. Lay flat bread in baking sheet and brush with remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil.

4. Scatter over Taleggio cheese, mushrooms and tomatoes and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

5. Toss arugula with the 2 tsp (10 mL) balsamic vinegar and arrange on top of flatbread. Sprinkle with salt.

Original recipe/photo.

17 June 2010

Black Bean Salad with Avocado and Wilted Arugula

1 can (540 ml) black beans, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic or wine vinegar
A crushed clove of garlic
1 quarter cup chopped fresh Spanish onion
A handful of fresh chopped green coriander
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large clove garlic, chopped finely
2 large handfuls fresh arugula or spinach leaves, rinsed
A pinch or two crushed dried hot red pepper flakes
6 to 8 cherry tomatoes, in halves or quarters
1 ripe avocado
Lime juice

1. Put the rinsed, drained beans into a serving bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine the tree tablespoons olive oil, the vinegar, and the crushed garlic. Beat together and pour dressing into the black beans. Toss gently. Mix in the chopped onion and the coriander.
2. Heat a frying pan on medium heat and put in the one tablespoon of olive oil with the chopped garlic. Saute gently until garlic is golden - this will happen quickly so watch carefully. Burnt, bitter garlic means you have to start over.
3. When garlic is gold, put the arugula/spinach in the pan, with a sprinkling of salt and only the water that clings to the leaves. Cover the pan and let the greens steam for a few minutes. Take off the lid of the pan when the greens are less than half their original volume and look 'wilted'. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and stir gently. Turn off the heat when greens are tender and shining with oil.
4. Add the wilted greens to the black beans. Gently mix in the halved tomatoes and the avocado. Sprinkle the salad with lime juice. Add salt to taste Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Makes 2 meal-sized servings.

Thai-Style Tuna with Red Curry Sauce and Spicy Carrot Salad

This recipe (from Fine Cooking) was originally designed for sirloin steak, but my dad does it with seared tuna and it is *to die for*. I'm going to test it out with tofu (or maybe even some chickpeas?) sometime soon. Not sure that it can be made vegan though - I think the fish sauce is pretty essential.

1-1/2 lb. tuna steaks
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. canola oil
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
2 Tbs. fish sauce
2 tsp. light brown sugar
6 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1-2 jalapeƱo or serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
2/3 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
1 Tbs. Thai red curry paste

Put 1 Tbs. oil, 2 Tbs. of the lime juice, 1-1/2 Tbs. of the fish sauce, and 1 tsp. of the sugar in a large bowl and whisk to combine and dissolve the sugar. Add the carrots, cilantro, and chiles and toss well to coat. This is the carrot salad to be served with the main protein.

Add 1/3 cup water to a saucepan and bring to a boil (if you used a pan to cook the protein, here's where you would deglaze). Add the coconut milk, curry paste, and the remaining 1 Tbs. lime juice, 1/2 Tbs. fish sauce, and 1 tsp. sugar; cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Thinly slice the tuna across the grain and transfer to plates. Spoon the sauce over the top and serve with the carrot salad on the side.

Original recipe