Tag Archives: vegetarian

Warm Butternut Squash & Chickpea Salad

22 Apr

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Shhh…if you’re reading this, don’t tell the Filthy Fowl. I’m supposed to be packing.

Yes, we are 4 days away from The Move. We are leaving our balcony, our full-size, brand new stainless steel appliances, my 30 minute commute, and one of the prettiest neighborhoods in New York City. We’re getting no outdoor space, 3/4 size stove & oven, half the counter space, and a longer commute for me. And we couldn’t be happier.

Turns out I’m just not a Brooklyn girl. Maybe I’m not hip enough. Maybe I have an unnatural affinity for Fairway or running around the Central Park Reservoir. I don’t know, but I’m okay with it.

What I’m not okay with is the massive undertaking that is packing. The Filthy Fowl and I are trying to empty out our cabinets as much as possible so we don’t have to lug a butternut squash or half a container of tahini from Brooklyn to the Upper West Side. When thinking of things to make, I remembered this incredible salad from Smitten Kitchen that I’ve made before. I actually have ALL of the ingredients!

I was a little skeptical the first time I made this, but it’s delicious. I was SURE the Filthy Fowl wouldn’t like it…and he didn’t…he loved it. So I’m making it tonight, if I can find my kitchen counter under the mess we’ve created while packing. Enjoy!

Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad
from Smitten Kitchen (who adapted it from Orangette and Casa Moro)

For salad:
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoons ground allspice (I skip this)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

For tahini dressing:
1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, allspice, olive oil, and a few pinches of salt.  Toss the squash pieces until evenly coated. (I do this on the baking sheet – why get another bowl dirty?) Roast them on a baking sheet for 25 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool.

Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic and lemon juice. Add the tahini, and whisk to blend. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and taste for seasoning. The sauce should have plenty of nutty tahini flavor, but also a little kick of lemon. You will probably need to add more water to thin it out.

To assemble the salad, combine the squash, chickpeas, onion, and cilantro or parsley in a mixing bowl. Either add the tahini dressing to taste, and toss carefully, or you could serve the salad with the dressing on the side. Serve immediately.

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Braised Leeks

28 Mar

Sometimes, I come across a recipe that looks amazing, but that I know the Filthy Fowl will hate. Rather than try to force him to eat it (which obviously I don’t have the power to do, nor would I try), I make things like this on nights that he’s out.

Braised leeks are one of those things. He doesn’t like leeks, he doesn’t know what “braised” means (although, do I?) and he would never eat something like this for dinner. I, on the other hand, could easily make a simple meal out of this.

I seriously love the blog this came from, Smitten Kitchen, and you’ll be seeing more of her recipes shortly as I’ve made a few recently. As she suggests, this is delicious paired with an egg and a sharp vinaigrette. And maybe, just maybe, a slice or two of proscuitto. Yum.

And I think her whole recipe would be amazing. I might even get the Filthy Fowl to eat leeks.

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Braised Leeks

from Smitten Kitchen (I halved, this is the full recipe)

6 large leeks
About 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I used much less)
1 cup sliced shallots (I forgot the first time I made this, didn’t matter)
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Remove any bruised outer layers from the leeks. Trim off to the roots, leaving the root end intact. Trim the tops of the leeks on the diagonal, leaving 2 inches of the green part attached. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, and submerge in a large bowl of cold water to clean them. Shake the leeks well to dislodge the dirt stuck inside. Let them sit a few minutes, to allow any grit inside the layers to fall to the bottom of the bowl. Repeat the process until the water is clean. Place the leeks, cut side down, on a towel and pat dry completely.

Turn the leeks over so their cut sides are facing up, and season with 2 teaspoons salt and a few grindings of black pepper.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil, and wait 1 minute. Place the leeks in the pan, cut side down, being careful not to crowd them. (you will probably need to saute them in batches or in two pans. Add more olive oil to the pan as needed, for each batch.) Sear them 4 to 5 minutes, until they are golden brown. Season the backs of the leeks with salt and pepper, and turn them over to cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer them to a large gratin dish, lining them up, cut sides facing up. (Choose a baking dish or gratin dish that can go from oven to table and that will accommodate all the leeks and chick thighs, or use two smaller dishes.)

Pour 1/4 cup olive oil into the pan and heat over medium heat. Add the shallots, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, until the shallots are just beginning to color. Add the white wine and reduce by half. Add 1 1/2 cups stock, and bring to a boil over high heat.

Pour the liquid over the leeks. The stock should not quite cover them; add more stock if necessary.

Braise in the oven 30 minutes, until the leeks are tender when pierced.