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Category: Sides

Hummus

3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup water
6 Tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves, minced/pressed
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne
paprika

Combine lemon juice and water in a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk together tahini and olive oil.

Process chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin, and cayene in food processor until almost fully ground (about 15 seconds). Scrape down bowl with spatula. While machine is running, add lemon juice-water mixture in a steady stream. Scrape down bowl with spatula and process for 1 more minute. With machine running, add tahini-oil mixture and process until smooth (about 15-30 seconds).

Let stand for about 30 minutes for flavors to develop. Serve topped with a sprinkle of paprika or drizzle of olive oil.

Options:
– 1 Tbsp fresh minced cilantro instead of paprika
– 1/4 cup roasted garlic, garlic evoo, garnish with parsley
– omit cumin, 1 cup artichoke (1/4 reserved for garnish), +1 Tbsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp lemon zest, garnish with artichoke reserve, parsley, and evoo
– omit water and cumin, 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, garnish with toasted almond slivers and parsley

Pear, Walnut, & Gorgonzola Green Salad

3 cups arugula or field green mix
3 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 D’Anjou or Bosc pear, thinly sliced
2 oz Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)

Dressing:
1 Tbsp shallot, minced
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp vinegar (white wine, red wine or apple cider)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper

Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk until emulsified, set aside. Toast walnuts in a small skillet over medium heat for about 3 minutes, set aside. Peel pear, remove core, thinly slice, and immediately toss with some lemon juice & water (to prevent oxidation).

When ready to serve, toss greens with dressing in a large serving bowl. Top with pears, Gorgonzola, and toasted walnuts.

Makes 4 servings.

Herbed Polenta

4+ cups water
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
3/4 cup milk
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp fresh basil, chopped (optional)
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Bring the water to a boil in a heavy large saucepan.  Add salt and gradually whisk in the cornmeal.  Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens, stirring often, and the cornmeal is tender, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Add the cheese, milk, butter, herbs, and pepper then stir until butter and cheese melt and thoroughly combined.

Garlic Fries

4 tsp canola oil
1 tsp salt
3 lbs. baking potato, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
cooking spray
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine oil, salt, and potato strips in a large bowl or ziploc bag and toss to combine. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and arrange potatoes evenly in a single layer. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown and tender, turning after 20 minutes.

Place butter, olive oil, and garlic in nonstick skillet and cook over low heat 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Toss cooked potato strips with garlic butter, chopped parsley, and parmesan cheese.

Moroccan Stewed Chicken

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large zucchini, cubed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (16 oz) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15oz) can chicken broth
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
handful of fresh cilantro, minced

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, place them in the pan, and cook for 2-3 minutes per side (until they brown thoroughly). Add the zucchini and continue cooking while occasionally stirring.

When the zucchini pieces have browned lightly, add the garlic, tomatoes, chickpeas, chicken stock, cayenne, cumin, and cinnamon. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Season with more salt and pepper and top with fresh chopped cilantro.

Serve with cooked couscous tossed with 2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Grilled Italian Steak with Smashed Beans

1 lb skirt or flank steak
salt & pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion. sliced
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 can (16oz) cannellini beans
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 Tbsp)

In a saute pan over medium heat, cook the red onion in 1 Tbsp of olive oil for 10 minutes, until it’s soft and slightly brown. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook another 5 minutes

Heat a sauce pan with 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic, beans, and rosemary and cook for 5 minutes. Use a potato masher or a fork to roughly mash the beans. Add the lemon juice and season with salt & pepper.

Heat a grill on high heat. Season the steak with salt & pepper (and any other desired herbs and spices). Grill for 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare. Slice in the strips across the grain and serve over smashed beans and spoon the onions on top.

Roasted Cumin Potatoes

1.5 lbs. red/new potatoes, quartered or cubed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
salt, to taste (about 2 tsp)
black pepper, to taste (about 1 tsp)
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil, red onion, garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt, and pepper. Roast potatoes for 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown. Remove from heat and toss with chopped cilantro.

*Note: 450 for 20-25 minutes also works

Rosemary-Garlic Roasted Potatoes

1.5 lbs. red/new potatoes, quartered or cubed
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped rosemary
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt, to taste (about 2 tsp)
fresh ground black pepper, to taste (about 1 tsp)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil, fresh rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper. Roast potatoes for 20 minutes, add garlic and toss the potatoes, cook another 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown. Toss the potatoes with a little fresh rosemary.

Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

3 lbs. red potatoes, quartered
2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Put potatoes in a large pot of salted water; cover and bring to a boil. Cook 15 minutes or until tender. Drain but save 3/4 cup of liquid.

Coarsely mash the potatoes, adding some of the reserved liquid for moisture. Use a large fork to stir in extra-virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Salt and pepper to taste.

Homemade Pasta

1 1/3 cup flour
2 eggs

Flour a work surface and make a well in the center of the flour. Break the egg into the well and beat with fork. Draw some flour from the inner rim of the well over the eggs and begin to incorporate.

When soft dough forms set aside, clean board, reapply flour to surface. Knead 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour as needed until dough is smooth, pliable and leather-like in appearance. Let rest in the fridge.