All posts tagged: fresh herbs

Vegetarian Summer Rolls with Brown Sugar Tofu

Summer rolls are one of my favorite, healthy Asian restaurant options.  I usually see them prepared with shrimp, thin rice noodles, cilantro, cucumber, carrot, and lettuce.  I had a package of extra firm tofu in the fridge for a while and decided to experiment with it–thus vegetarian summer rolls were born.  These are incredibly healthy, low in fat, low in carbs, easy to make, and the best part… you can eat a lot of them.  While I really enjoyed my invention (recipe below,) I would encourage you to try any combination you like. Vegetarian Summer Rolls with Brown Sugar Tofu Servings vary based on spring roll wrapper size and how stuffed you like them. Ingredients 1 package extra firm tofu 1 package of spring roll skins or wrappers 1 tbsp. granulated brown sugar 2 cloves garlic, minced and smashed 1 inch of peeled fresh ginger, grated on a microplane grater 1 tbsp. soy sauce 1 tbsp. vegetable oil 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks 1 large red bell pepper, sliced into matchsticks 4 …

Spaghetti with Clams

We all have our simple food pleasures.  Spaghetti with Clams can be found on virtually any Italian menu in the country.  Variations on the dish can be subtle but make all the difference.  Every year at Nick’s cousin’s Christmas Eve party, Spaghetti with Clams is served as part of the delicious buffet for 50+ people.  Every year I devour it.  Second, third helpings.  I discovered that the recipe is a well-kept family secret, and one that I’m not yet privy to. (Gerome family–this is my official BEG.  I’m begging!)  So I tried my best to recreate here for you.  If the family does bless me with the exact recipe, I’ll be sure to share it here. Spaghetti with Clams Serves 6 Ingredients 1 pound dried spaghetti, I like Barilla Plus for added nutrients and fiber 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 pounds of littleneck clams, well rinsed of sand and grit 1 bottle of clam juice 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped, plus 1/4 cup chopped reserved 1/2 cup dry white …

Kale, radicchio, and apple salad with pecans and pancetta

  I’ve caught the kale bug.  As more and more kale varities become available at grocery stores everywhere, so do more recipes emerge making delicious use of this superfood.  Kale is packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.  WebMD calls it the ‘queen of greens’ and is a true cancer-fighter.  If you’re not familiar, read more on the benefits of kale here.  As with most leafy greens like kale, swiss chard, escarole, and spinach, people tend to cook them to soften their texture and serve alongside a protein and starch on their dinner plate.  Trouble there is that some of the vitamins and nutrients are lost when cooked–leafy greens sometimes are better consumed raw or juiced.  Kale has a somewhat tough and waxy texture when eaten raw.  However, I’ve found that when sliced really thin, the texture is much better–and perfect for a salad. I served this kale salad to my family in Cleveland as part of Christmas dinner, to rave reviews.  What’s not to love?  Leafy greens, refreshing apples, sweet and spicy pecans, and …

White Bean Dip with Three Lemons

On a recent trip the farmers market, I started exploring a stall filled with potted plants: mostly flowers and herbs.  I found myself sooooo wishing I had a home garden.  How many times have I had to pay $2.99 for a bunch of fresh rosemary or thyme for a recipe, only to use a few pieces and have to discard the rest, only to have to buy it again a month later for another recipe.  If only I had a garden!  Then I could plant all of the herbs I wanted and enjoy them whenever I needed them with a quick snip outside.  Nothing would be wasted.  Meanwhile, I have wanted to buy lemon thyme for a long time.  It always smells so bright and sweet and filled with citrus joy.  I knew I wanted to find a good recipe that would let it shine.  So when I spotted the lemon thyme plant, I thought: I can do this.  I will try to keep this pot, this living thing, in my one-bedroom Manhattan apartment.  The …

Grilled Skirt Steak with Smoked Garlic + Parsley Compound Butter

If you live in the NYC area and haven’t been to Eataly yet–GO–and go soon.  The crowds have definitely died down a bit since opening, and while it’s still crowded, you can navigate the aisles with more ease.  (This is not to say that its not mobbed at certain key times during the week, as would any Whole Foods around the city.)  I recently made my way there the other night with my girlfriends Marcy and Sarah, filling my basket with tallegio, house cured meats, fresh amazing breads, and 2 foot long crackers with a touch of pepperoncini.  All were over-the-top delicious, and all I would expect from the good name Batali.  What was unexpected were the fruits and vegetables imported from around the world.  Finger limes, black garlic, mango nectarines, lobster mushrooms–the list went on.  It was ‘produce porn.’  There was a whole section devoted just to garlic, and in that section I spied ‘smoked garlic,’ imported from France.  The garlic wasn’t cooked from a smoker–it was still raw–but the skins had this intriguing …

Flat Iron Steaks with Mexican Chimichurri

Chimichurri is the nectar of the garlic gods.  Traditionally loaded with parsley and olive oil and garlic, I usually find myself dipping anything I can get my hands on into this Argentinian masterpiece.  Nick and I love it so much, we served it at our wedding.  I’ve had it more on the vinegar-y side (not my fave) and more heavy on the parsley side–but garlic is always there.  You basically have to make everyone in your party eat it if they’re within 2 feet of your breath.  This time around, I wanted to try to create a version that wouldn’t clear a small village out with the garlic stench, while also reducing the fat content.  Parsley can be surprisingly strong and the olive oil adds a sort of mellowness to it.  So I decided to go heavy on cilantro this time with less emphasis on parsley and less need for oil.  And while I kept garlic in there, I left it to one clove.  Once all of my modifications swirled around in the mini-chopper/food processor, …

Roasted Tomato Toasts with Ricotta, Chestnut Honey, and Basil

We all have our go-to’s.  The recipes we make over and over again.  The ones that your friends or family specially request.  The ones that you have made so many times, you don’t need to look at the recipe anymore.  That’s what this dish is all about.  Universally loved, this dish will not fail you.  I promise.  The honey slow-roasted tomatoes burst with sweetness against the creamy ricotta and the crunchy toasts.  The topping of shredded fresh basil and drizzled chestnut honey take the flavor profile to the next level.  What’s even better is that all of these ingredients are freely available all year round–so whether you need to bring a dish to a baby shower in the Spring or a festive platter to your Christmas table in the Winter, these yummy toasts will deliver. Roasted Tomato Toasts with Ricotta, Chestnut Honey, and Basil Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine Ingredients 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons clover honey 2 teaspoons thyme leaves 1 teaspoon …