Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Rotelle with Roasted Grape Tomatoes and Basil

Sometimes a few simple ingredients combine to become a really great dish, and this is one of those recipes. Roasting the tomatoes concentrates their flavor, and when combined with other Italian staples it makes for a delicious meal.

Rotelle with Roasted Grape Tomatoes and Basil
Vegan Italiano, Donna Klein

2 pints (4 cups) grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon coarse coarse salt, plus additional to taste, if necessary
8 ounces rotelle, fusilli, or other spiral-shaped pasta
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 250F. Line a large baking sheet with sides with parchment paper.

Arrange the tomatoes, cut sides up, in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and sprinkle with the salt. Bake in the center of the oven until the tomatoes are dried around the edges but still moist, about 1 1/2 hours (cherry tomatoes will take longer).

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large stockpot in boiling salted water according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain well. Return to the pot and add the tomatoes, reserved cooking liquid, basil, remaining oil, garlic, pepper, and salt, if necessary; toss well to thoroughly combine. Serve warm.

3 to 4 servings

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Black Bean Soup with Cumin, Chiles, and Lime

This is a great recipe for a weeknight soup - not too many ingredients, quick to make, and absolutely delicious!

Black Bean Soup with Cumin, Chiles, and Lime
A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, Jack Bishop

3 tablespoons canola oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 small jalapeno, stemmed and minced (I used a large jalapeno, seeded)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer (I used Coors)
1 cup cold water
3 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Sour cream or plain yogurt for garnish
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and jalapeno and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the chili powder, cumin, and a generous amount of salt, and cook until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour the beer and water into the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer until the alcohol aroma fades, about 5 minutes.

Add the beans and bring the soup back to a boil. Simmer until the soup thickens and the flavors blend, about 10 minutes.

Remove 2 cups of the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pot. Add the lime juice and adjust the seasonings, adding salt to taste. The soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for several days. Warm over low heat. Serve, garnishing the bowls with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro.

4 to 6 servings

Friday, January 8, 2010

Smoked Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil Panini

I had some smoked mozzarella in the freezer that I wanted to use, so I made these sandwiches on the panini grill last night. They were just sourdough rolls, smoked mozzarella, sliced tomatoes and whole fresh basil leaves. They were delicious!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fish Tacos

These tacos were super-easy and super-good. I couldn't believe how quickly the kids gobbled these up - they are definitely going to be repeated often!

Fish Tacos
Everyday Food: Great Food Fast

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 small red cabbage, thinly shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
4 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 jalapeno chile, halved lengthwise, one half minced (I seeded)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound tilapia fillets, cut into 16 equal strips
8 6-inch flour tortillas (I used corn tortillas)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

In a large bowl, combine the sour cream and lime juice.; season with salt and pepper. Transfer half the mixture to another container; set aside for serving. Toss the cabbage, scallions, and minced jalapeno with the remaining sour cream mixture. Season again with salt and pepper.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and remaining jalapeno half over medium-high heat; swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Season the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. In two batches, cook the fish until golden brown on both sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Discard the jalapeno.

Meanwhile, warm the tortillas according to package directions (or over a gas burner).

To make the tacos, fill the tortillas with slaw, fish, and fresh cilantro. Drizzle with the reserved sour cream mixture. Serve immediately.

4 servings