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Category Archives: Vegetables

Easy Winter Salad

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I came across this idea in a Slovak cookbook, and I adapted it to our tastes (in other words, I changed the dressing).  Still, the idea is so simple and the vegetables so readily available now that we have been eating it several times a week.  I can’t  pretend that this salad is anything but white in color, but it has a wonderful taste and goes with almost anything.

All you need is a head of Napa/ Chinese cabbage and the white end of a leek.  Slice the cabbage in rings, starting from the head and moving down towards the base.  Dump this into your salad bowl.  Next thinly slice the leek so that there are nice little rings, and arrange these nicely on top of the cabbage.  Finally, top with a basic vinaigrette made with a nice vinegar, and maybe a sprinkle of parsley for color.

You could probably jazz this salad up, but it’s so straightforward that there is now no excuse for not having a salad with dinner, at least in our house.

Honey Roasted Vegetables and Rice

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I love these vegetables, because I have them in my fridge most of the year, so I can make this without even thinking about it too much.  This recipe is from Sainsbury’s, and I’ve made it exactly this way several times; however, I’ve also forgotten the rosemary a few times and no one has said a word.  If I’m short on Parmesan cheese, I just top the risotto with a touch of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.

Oh, and I usually make this with brown rice instead of arborio, but it works either way.

Really, I can’t follow a recipe to save my life.

Kohlrabi salad

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Kohlrabi is another vegetable that is everywhere in Central Europe, and I quite like its flavor, though it is not very strong.  It has a bit of a peppery flavor, so it goes well with mustard dressing.

Wash, peel and slice a kohlrabi into manageable pieces.  Whip up a mustard dressing by mixing equal parts vinegar, oil, and grainy mustard with some salt and pepper.  You can sweeten this with a bit of honey if you want, or just leave it as is, depending your mustard and your tastes.  Toss kohlrabi with mustard dressing to coat and serve.

Celeriac soup

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Mmm, celeriac soup (not celiac = )) is yummy, and now that we’re in the Czech Republic, I’ve been seeing a lot of this vegetable.  The soup is easy to make, like any basic veggie cream soup, and doesn’t taste nearly as much like celery as you would think, and I say this as a person who does not particularly like celery….

Saute one sliced leek in vegetable oil or butter until soft, then add in three big handfuls of peeled and chopped celeriac.  This works out to be about one smallish leek and a celery root bulb about the size of a large orange.  You can also use the tough green bits of two leeks instead of a whole leek in this, but the soup will be much closer in color to celery.  Pour on about three cups of water, and boil until soft with a bit of bouillon or whatever you flavor your soups with.  Once all is soft, take it off the heat and blend it smooth, top up with about 1/2 cup of milk, and stir until blended.  Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley, and maybe some (GF) croutons if the mood strikes you.

Spinach sauce for noodles

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It’s hot, and I don’t want to be near the stove any longer than I have to be.  Plus, spinach is finally back in season.  So here is my no-cook solution for making a spinach sauce to go with pasta.

Coarsely chop 2 -3 cloves of garlic and throw them into a food processor with some salt and pepper.  Dump in a bag of fresh spinach, about 4 -6 cups, and whirl together until finely chopped.   Keep whirling and drizzle in a bit of olive oil, just enough to wet it down.  Now add in several spoonfuls of a fresh cheese, like boursin, cream cheese, mild goat cheese, etc.  Whirl until well combined and slightly soupy.  Have a taste to see if it needs more salt or pepper before tossing with hot (gf) noodles.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if you want, or eat alone.

Watercress and egg salad

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Watercress is just coming back in season, as is mustard cress.  I’ve happily been making this cress and egg salad for as many people as will eat it.

Loosely chop two to three big handfuls of leafy cress and mix into an equal number of hard boil eggs.  Add in a few pinches of salt, pepper and a bit of mustard.  Then stir in enough mayonaise to bind the salad, or a little more if you want to make a sandwich spread.  Serve on either lettuce leaves or bread/rice cakes.

This is currently my favorite version of this salad, but I have been experimenting, so I’ll keep everyone updated.

Roasted Asparagus

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It’s also asparagus season, so eat all you can before this lovely vegetable goes out of season.  In our house, we can go through several pounds of asparagus for the five of us, just as a side vegetable.  This is our favorite way to eat it.

Wash the asparagus and snap the hard ends off.  Place on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and a bit of salt.  Pop into a medium hot oven for about twenty minutes.  The hotter the oven, the shorter the time, but all you have to do is keep an eye on it.  The asparagus is done when it is bright green and crispy on the tops.

Actually, this kind of asparagus is so popular in our house that I have to divide the servings before I put the rest of the food out, just to make sure that everyone gets at least some.