Saturday, December 15, 2012

Chocolate Espresso Biscotti

Chocolate Espresso Biscotti
Makes 30-35 cookies
2 cups flour
1 cup (about 5 oz) chopped semi-sweet chocolate
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons instant coffee or espresso powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted (I used salted)
3 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Combine the flour, chocolate chunks, cocoa, espresso, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Mix and set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer, or by hand, combine the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Next, slowly add in the flour mixture and mix until fully combined. The dough will be very sticky.
  4. With well floured hands, form two logs of dough on a parchment covered cookie sheet (I really recommend using parchment here as the dough is very sticky and it also seems to help the bottoms from burning). The logs should be about 12 inches long and 2 inches wide.
  5. Bake until firm (about 35 minutes). Take the biscotti out of the oven and let cool on the sheet for 30 minutes.
  6. Using a serrated knife, slice each log into 1/2-1inch pieces. Lay each cookie on its side and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until centers are dry. Remove from the oven and let the biscotti rest, allowing it to cool and harden completely. Quick lesson: “Biscotti” means “twice-baked.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wild Rice and Roasted Squash Salad/Dressing

1 cup wild rice
3 1/2 cups water or stock (chicken or vegetable)
Salt to taste
2 pounds kabocha or butternut squash, peeled and cut in small dice (about 3 cups peeled and diced, weighing 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds)
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (more to taste)
1 garlic clove, minced or puréed
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons walnut oil, or substitute extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, like parsley, chives, tarragon
1/2 cup diced celery
1 5- or 6-ounce bag baby arugula or spinach
1. Rinse the wild rice. Bring the water or stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, add salt to taste and the rice. Bring back to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes, until the rice is tender and has begun to splay. Drain through a strainer, return to the pot and cover the pot with a clean dishtowel. Return the lid to the pot and let sit for 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the squash in a bowl or directly on the baking sheet and toss with salt to taste, the balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Spread on the baking sheet in an even layer and make sure to tip all of the liquid remaining in the bowl over the squash. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes so that the squash browns evenly. The squash should be tender all the way through. Remove from the heat.
3. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, salt to taste and mustard. Whisk in the remaining olive oil and the walnut oil.
4. Combine the wild rice, squash, herbs and celery in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Line a platter, individual plates or a wide salad bowl with the baby spinach or arugula. Top with the salad and serve.
Yield: 6 servings.
Advance preparation: This salad holds well for a couple of days in the refrigerator, without the arugula or spinach.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Butternut Squash Salad with Farro, Pepitas & Ricotta Salata

Butternut Squash Salad with Farro, Pepitas and Ricotta Salata
Serves 4 to 6, generously

 You can use other winter squashes in the place of the butternut (or even sweet potatoes), the farro could be replaced with barley, or another grain of your choice. The red onion could be shallots. The pepitas could be another toasted nut, roughly chopped and the ricotta salata could be feta or soft bits of goat cheese. The sherry vinegar could be a white wine vinegar. Also, the cheese isn't necessary for flavor, or could be sprinkled on top of individual servings.

1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
5 to 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup farro (see Note up top)
1/3 cup toasted pepitas
3 ounces ricotta salata or another salty cheese, crumbled or coarsely grated (about 3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Peel squash, then halve lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Cut squash into approximately 3/4-inch chunks. Coat one large or two small baking sheets with 2 tablespoons oil total. Spread squash out in single layer on sheet. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast until pieces are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes, turning them over halfway through the cooking time. Set aside to cool slightly.
While squash is roasting, cook farro in a large pot of simmering salted water until the grains are tender but chewy, about 30 minutes. (Since there are so many varieties of farro, however, if your package suggests otherwise, it’s best to defer to its cooking suggestion.) Drain and cool slightly.

While squash is roasting and farro is simmering, in a small bowl, whisk together sherry vinegar, water, 1/2 teaspoon table salt and granulated sugar until sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in onion; it will barely be covered by vinegar mixture but don’t worry. Cover and set in fridge until needed; 30 minutes is ideal but less time will still make a lovely, lightly pickled onion. (Instead of pickling, I used an entire red onion, diced and roasted.

In a large bowl, mix together butternut squash, farro, red onion and its vinegar brine, the crumbled cheese and pepitas. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil, use the 4th one only if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings. Eat now or later. Salad keeps in the fridge for up to a week.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Vegan Oat Bars with Chocolate Nibs

  • 1 banana (mashed)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa nibs
  • 2/3 cup nuts or coconut or vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups rolled oats
-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 inch pan. Begin by mashing your banana in a small bowl. Add in the canola oil, vanilla and honey and mix all of these ingredients well. -In a larger bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and oats). -Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix (do not over mix). Add the cocoa nibs and nuts, chips or whatever, and stir a few times -Bake in oven for about 20-25 minutes. Cool before cutting

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


A savory pancake made from chickpea flour - from "O" magazine

Combine 2 cups garbanzo bean flour, 2 cups warm water, 2 T. olive oil, and 1 - 2 tsp. of salt. Let batter rest for 2 hours.

Slice one zucchini thinly, chop 1 large red onion, add a sprinkling of herbs, and saute until soft and just beginning to brown.

Turn on broiler. Oil jelly roll pan or oven-safe skillet and put in heated oven for 3 minutes. Remove from oven, and pour in batter to about 1/4" thick (this recipe fills one jelly roll pan). Top the batter with zucchini and onion, and a few twigs of fresh rosemary (optional: a few pine nuts). Place socca under broiler until edges are brown, batter is set and toppings are beginning to crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Slide out of pan and cut into slices.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Butternut Squash, Apple and Hazelnut Muffins

makes 15 muffins

1/2 small butternut squash puree, peeled, seeded and diced
3 eggs
1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 g) natural cane sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup (80 ml) coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (70 g) superfine brown rice flour
1/2 cup (70 g) quinoa flour
1/3 cup (45 g) hazelnut meal
3 tablespoons (20 g) tapioca starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Gala apple, peeled and diced into 1/8-inch pieces
1 ounce (30 g) chopped hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 350F (180C).

Steam the diced squash until tender, about 10 minutes. Puree it in the food processor and measure 1/2 cup (115 g). Reserve the rest for another use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the butternut squash puree, eggs, light brown sugar, natural cane sugar, coconut milk, coconut oil and vanilla extract.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together the superfine brown rice flour, quinoa flour, hazelnut meal, tapioca starch, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and whisk to combine. Fold in the diced apples and hazelnuts.

Pour the batter into the muffin molds or baking cups and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Let them cool for a few minutes before serving. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Pistachios and Lemon

from Melissa Clark's "Cook This Now: 120 Easy and Delectable Dishes You Can't Wait to Make"

1/2 pound peeled butternut squash
about 6 cups vegetable stock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
1 medium leek, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 cups arborio rice
2 rosemary branches
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/3 cup dry white wine
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped salted pistachios
grated Parmesan cheese

In a food processor fitted with a fine grating attachment, shred the squash.

In a small saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer. Melt the butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring them occasionally, until they are soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook it until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice, squash, rosermary, and salt. Stir until most of the grains of rice appear semi-translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. This means they have absorbed some of he fat from the pan, which will help keep the grains separate from each other as they form their creamy sauce.

Pour the wine into the pan and let it cook off for about 2 minutes. Add a ladleful of stock (about 1/2 cup) and cook, stirring it constantly and making sure to scrape around the sides, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Continue adding stock, a ladleful at a time, and stirring almost constantly, until the risotto has turned creamy and thick, and the grains of rice are tender with a bit of bite, about 25 to 30 minutes. Pluck out the rosemary branch and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and black pepper. Taste and add more salt and lemon juice if needed. Garnish with the pistachios and optional cheese before serving.