12th April 2010

    Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad

    I find myself turning to epicurious more and more often when I have something sitting in the fridge that I just don’t feel inspired by. We had an eggplant from our CSA box hanging out for a few days, and a few minutes at epicurious turned up this recipe from Gourmet Magazine a couple years back. Eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms are oven roasted and then tossed with barley cooked in stock, green onions, and spices, cooled, and tossed with a lemon vinaigrette. Delicious!


    Chris says:

    Oh, happy day!

    Lisa says:

    What? What?

    Chris says:

    I figured out what to make with the eggplant, and it ain’t baba ghanoush… not only that, you’re gonna love it.

    Lisa says:

    Why, is it some sort of grain salad with a bunch of veggies?

    Chris says:

    How the — what? Hey!

    Lisa says:

    Man, I’m good. Yum — so is this dish! You’re right, I love it.

    Chris says:

    I’m still trying to figure out…. whatever. Yeah — I really like the tomatoes… and I’m glad I threw in those mushrooms, too.

    Lisa says:

    That’s good for the blog, too. It missed featuring shrooms.

    Chris says:

    If we didn’t know so many picky eaters, I’d suggest we bring this to parties.

    Lisa says:

    Hey, more for us.

    Chris says:

    I love the way you think.

    Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad
    1 1/2 lb eggplant, cut into 1/2″ cubes
    3/4 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2″ cubes
    6 oz cremini mushrooms
    10 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp black pepper
    1 cup chopped green onions
    1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 tsp ground coriander
    1/4 tsp cayenne
    1 1/4 cups pearl barley (8 oz)
    1 14-oz can reduced-sodium chicken broth (1 3/4 cups)
    3/4 cup water
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 garlic clove, minced
    1/4 tsp sugar
    1/2 lb cherry tomatoes, quartered
    1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
    1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, rinsed and drained if desired
    1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
    1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

    Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 425°F.

    Cook barley:
    Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot, then cook green onions, cumin, coriander, and cayenne, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add barley and cook, stirring until well coated with oil, 2 minutes more. Add broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all of liquid is absorbed and barley is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.

    Roast eggplant and zucchini:
    Meanwhile, toss eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms with 5 tablespoons oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl, then spread in 2 oiled large shallow (1-inch-deep) baking pans. Roast vegetables in oven, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until vegetables are golden brown and tender, 20 to 25 minutes total. Combine vegetables in 1 pan and cool, reserving other pan for cooling barley.

    Transfer the barley to reserved shallow baking pan and spread to quickly cool, uncovered, to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

    Make dressing and assemble salad:
    Whisk together lemon juice, garlic, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3 tablespoons oil in a large bowl. Add barley, roasted vegetables, and remaining ingredients to bowl with dressing and toss until combined well. Eat, eat, eat.

    4 Main-dish Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Mediterranean, Salads and Light Soups, Vegetarian | 5 Comments

    11th April 2010

    Black-Eyed Pea, Ground Turkey, and Chard Stew


    This stew is based on one made with ground lamb in Mediterranean Hot and Spicy. I don’t usually cook with black-eyed peas, and don’t think I’ve had many dishes where they were a main component — usually I’ve experienced them as a side dish. This stew was bursting with flavor and, according to Lisa, was even better the next day as delicious leftovers for lunch.


    Chris says:

    Oh, I love the spices in this. The flavors are awesome.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah I really like all the different ways we’re finding to use the chard in our CSA box.

    Chris says:

    I want to make this with lamb some time, but actually, it really works with the ground turkey.

    Lisa says:

    I think it’s great with the turkey — I just haven’t been in a lamby mood lately.

    Chris says:

    Well don’t feel baa-aa-aa-aad; this is definitely one of those recipes that’ll enter the rotation.

    Lisa says:

    I only feel “baa-aa-aa-aad” for anyone reading this who had to put up with that pun.

    Black-Eyed Pea, Ground Turkey, and Chard Stew
    1 cup dried black-eyed peas
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 cup chopped onion
    Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
    1/2 lb ground turkey
    2 tbsp red pepper paste
    1 cup canned chopped tomatoes, with juice
    pinch of hot red pepper flakes
    1 cup vegetable stock
    leaves from 1 bunch of chard, coarsely chopped

    In a medium saucepan, cover the black-eyed peas with water by 2 inches, bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, add fresh water just to cover the peas, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain once again.
    In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, salt to taste, and saute for four minutes until tender. Add the turkey and saute until firm and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add the pepper paste and stir for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, black-eyed peas, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the peas are very tender. Add the chard and toss to wilt. If the dish is watery, increase the heat and stir until mostly evaporated. Adjust seasonings, and serve.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Mediterranean, Mediterranean Hot and Spicy, Middle Eastern | 2 Comments

    13th October 2008

    We Heart (Italian) Food: Rome, the Cinque Terre, and Venice

    After spending almost an entire week in Northern Italy, it was time to journey down to Rome for a few days.  We stayed in the Appio Latino district, a few underground stops from the city center.  We found the best restaurants were away from the super-touristy spots, hidden in small side streets, and sometimes didn’t even have menus!  We had a great (and cheap!) dinner our first night in Rome at a place where the owner just asked what we liked, and brought something out to match our requests.  Our favorite find, though, was Pompi, an awesome breakfast/bar/dessert joint just a block away from our B&B.  It didn’t matter what time of day you went in, it was always crowded… with good reason: morning croissants, evening tiramisu, late-night drinks, all were great.  We loved the late-night food/drink culture in Rome!

    Favorite cultural “what-the?” moment: We eventually tired of pizza and pasta, so we sought out and found… a Mexican restaurant!  It was surreal being in the center of Rome having an Italian waitress explain to us how to assemble and eat fajitas.  :)

    The Cinque Terre region is famous for its white wines (trails connecting the five villages go right through the vineyards), and being right on the Mediterranean, seafood was fresh and plentiful.  We had dinner at Marina Piccola our first night, and I was thrilled with the mixed seafood appetizer plate, which included the tenderest octopus I’ve ever eaten, along with anchovies marinated in olive oil, fried anchovies, an anchovy fritter (they heart the anchovies here!) and a bacon-wrapped scallop.  Fantastic.  Trattoria Dal Billy was a fun find, with great food and quite the entertaining waitstaff.  Nothing like having booze-soaked fruit spoon-fed to you after dinner, while being told that it’s POISON!

    The end of our Italian journey took us to Venice, with great beer, bellinis, and pizza at Birraria La Corte.  We enjoyed the feel of the place so much that we ate here two nights in a row.  It also helped that it was 50 feet from our hotel.  ;)  The gelato was plentiful, but our favorite “snack” in Venice were these green pistachio cookies that every other bakery in town seemed to make.  I’m pretty sure we had six of these fist-sized cookies in just a couple of days…

    If it weren’t for all the hiking, walking, stair-climbing, sightseeing, etc., I’m sure we would have packed on quite a few pounds on this trip — but hey, the site’s called We [Heart] Food for a reason!

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    posted in Italian, Mediterranean | 2 Comments

    25th October 2007

    Mediterranean Swordfish Cioppino

    Tonight I made a cioppino from Great Bowls of Fire. I love the combination of the swordfish and the shrimp in the tomato and fish-stock based broth. The recipe calls for a quarter cup of dry red wine — the one we used was so dark it almost gave the broth a purplish hue!

    Chris says:

    I loves me some cioppino! This is one of those GBOF recipes that you don’t really notice the heat.

    Lisa says:

    It tastes really good. Hmm, did you butterfly the shrimp?

    Chris says:

    Yeah, why?

    Lisa says:

    Makes it look like calamari or body parts or something.

    Chris says:

    Well that sounds appetizing; let’s eat!

    Mediterranean Swordfish Cioppino
    ——————————–
    1 tbsp canola oil
    1 medium yellow onion, diced
    1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    2 serrano peppers, seeded and minced
    3 cups fish stock
    1 14 oz can stewed tomatoes
    1/4 dry red wine
    2 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp dried basil
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/2 tsp salt
    3/4 lb swordfish steak, cubed
    1/2 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
    1/4 tomato paste
    1/4 cup parsley

    Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and serranos and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the fish stock, stewed tomatoes, wine, oregano, basil, pepper, and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
    Add the swordfish and shrimp and return to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste and parsley and cook for 5 minutes more.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Great Bowls of Fire, Main Dishes, Mediterranean | 1 Comment


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