We made this Beet and Yogurt Salad recipe the other day. It is from the cookbook This is a Cookbook: Recipes for Real Life by Eli Sussman and Max Sussman, which was recently passed on to Bettina. With small ingredient lists and interesting ideas, it is the type of cooking we are looking for right now. Compared to the Canal House Cookbook we suggested a couple of weeks ago, this book is just more fun, creative and inspiring. If you are cooking for Memorial Day, consider making this recipe as an added side. We found it really delicious (and super easy!).
About 2 -3 lbs. beets
2 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 c. Greek yogurt
1/4 c. minced fresh dill
Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, toss beets with olive oil and salt. Arrange beets in a glass baking dish and pour in 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook for about 1 hour. Let cool and then cut the beets into small pieces. Note: If the skin is thick, you may need to peel the beets before cutting.
Remove the zest of the lemons and the juice from one. In a small bowl, combine the zest, juice, yogurt and half the dill. Stir and combine with beets. Add salt and pepper and remaining dill.
“I had the supreme pleasure of having one of your potato-and-chard tacos at the DC farmer’s market yesterday. It was so delicious I tried my best to visualize those tacos as being available for purchase whenever I wanted them. Unfortunately, though I have a vivid imagination, my positive visualization didn’t work as planned. So I come to you, imaginary hat in hand, to beg for (or purchase) the recipe for those wonderful tacos. In lieu of that, I’d be equally happy with being put on a mailing list so that I’m notified as soon as you open a brick-and-mortar place, to which I may travel at will and purchase all the tacos my belly can hold at one time.
And may I end here by saying I can’t wait for next Thursday. Thanks for making plant food yummier than the meat kind.
Come join us every Thursday from 11:00 – 2:30 for seasonally-inpired market tacos at FreshFarm Market by the White House.
White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses and Assistant Pastry Chef Susie Morrison join us at market. They returned to work and email-blasted WH staff and alerted them to “hurry over” to try our “life changing food”. The following week they returned early and brought two more chefs with them for lunch.
1. To do: If you are local in DC, attend at least one of the Do Good Summit events hosted by Think Local First. You will be inspired by the speakers, love the good energy and learn so much about creating a successful and sustainable business.
2. To Make: Stir Fry of Green Beans, Bok Choy and Noodles – This is always devoured and can be made quickly during the week. We like it with tofu, but you could add a little chicken too, if you like.
3. To Get: We decided to feature a book for spring cooking and use it as a guide in our kitchens. Our pick is Canal House Cooks every day. The pictures are beautiful and the recipes look simple enough that you will be inspired to cook. Add it to your list of possible birthday or Mother’s Day gift ideas.
Microgreens seem to be “the thing” these days. We have noticed them in grocery stores, at farmers markets and on the menu at many restaurants – “topped with microgreens”. But, don’t confuse them with sprouts. Sprouts are seeds germinated in water just long enough to grow roots and underdeveloped leaves. Microgreens are tiny, baby, leaf seedlings that are less than 14 days old that are grown in soil and sunlight from a variety of vegetable seeds such as spinach, pea, beet, greens, etc. Beyond being delicate and beautiful, scientists have found that that they are packed with even more nutrients compared to their adult version of the vegetable. But, they are expensive, which is probably why they are used as a topping and not to replace a big salad. If you are interested:
Recipe: Simple Potato and Onion Frittata topped with microgreens.
Book: Microgreens – To learn more.
DIY: Microgreens on your patio.
Winter and spring are the best time for radishes. At our local farmer’s market, there were lots of varieties for sale this week. Beyond slicing and eating raw (wonderful on baguette with good butter and salt), we like to make quick pickles with them. This recipe for Kale Salad with Quick-Pickled Radish from Tree and Leaf Farm caught our eye. It was very easy to make and was delicious served with a simple roasted chicken for a dinner. Tip: Radishes are also really good when they are coated with olive oil and salt, and then grilled – with the greens on top. This is beautiful with grilled spring rockfish.
Kale Salad with Quick-Pickled Radish
(Adapted from Tree and Leaf Farm)
½ c. white wine vinegar
¼ c. sugar
1 or 2 watermelon radish
1 bunch kale
3-4 Tbls. olive oil
1 Tbls. lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ c. toasted pumpkin seeds
In a bowl, combine vinegar, sugar and salt. Thinly slice radish and add to the bowl. Let stand on the counter for at least 30 minutes.
Wash kale. Remove stems if it is not tender enough to eat. Slice leaves crosswise into wide ribbons. In a salad bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add kale and massage. Drain radish and toss with kale and pumpkin seeds
This week at our local Whole Foods, mangoes are on sale – 10 for $10. No, they are not grown locally nor are they domestic, but they do have a harvest season – which is why they are in such abundance now. Perfectly ripe and ready to eat, they are a refreshing change from cold-weather apples and pears. Here are some ideas for how to eat them:
Mango Lassi – cool and focused.
Quick Mango and Ginger Pickle – a favorite.
Ottolenghi Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango – delicious.
Coconut Milk Sticky Rice with Mango – A Thai classic loved by our children.
Note: There are dozens of cultivated varieties of mangoes. The majority of them found in U.S. grocery stores are from Central America. They are at the bottom of the Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, indicating that they are a good “non-organic” choice.
Weekends are the time for cooking something big or something slow. It’s also a time for experimenting. With any of these, you need time to do this. Since it’s a shoulder season and the days vacillate between warming weather and still-super cold days, we wanted to test-cook something Bettina just recently had during a quick trip to Berlin. While exploring the contemporary – and hipster – indoor food market, Markthalle IX (located in an historic rail station in Kreuzberg – and open Fridays and Saturdays only), what stood out was the bright, pink gnocchi from a young, German pasta artisan. There was no resisting it’s jewel-like charm. She and her girlfriend bought the equivalent of a pound and cooked it up later as a tasty appetizer tossed simply in good olive oil with freshly, grated parmigiano Reggiano. Stuffed with mascarpone and walnuts, these little pasta bites were amazing. They were airy – not heavy at all – and the wee filling was flavorful and interesting, but didn’t overpower or take away from the slight, rote bete (red beet) taste.
To get started, we’ve purchased all the ingredients we think we’ll need. We may substitute all-purpose flour with the lighter rice flour (found in Asian markets) for dredging and we’re hoping the recipe below can easily be stuffed with a tiny dollop of fresh mascarpone from our local Italian deli and toasted, finely-chopped walnuts. We’re looking forward to this cooking adventure.
Recipe: Red Beet Gnocchi
Here’s a video of the market.
We were asked to post a favorite quinoa recipe on Loulies. We immediately thought of a previous post titled Cooking Habit in which we suggested a recipe for Quinoa, Wild Rice and Sweet Potato. It is a favorite because it incorporates ingredients that are often overlooked by home cooks – plus, it is so delicious. We also thought of another favorite, but a bit more impromptu, made by tossing cooked quinoa with tahini dressing, chickpeas, sliced red onion and chopped cilantro. Serve with a side of arugula salad for lunch or dinner.
Note: The photo for this post is from Recipe Box Re-do. Very cute!
Styles come and go, but this is one that is bright and cheerful and makes us happy just thinking about it. Here are some ways to add this lively trend to your everyday:
Plant a Meyer lemon tree in a container right inside your living room or kitchen – then transport outside as soon as the weather warms up.
Reinvent with an inexpensive, IKEA hack – it perks up any space!
Lighten up your dining table and then add this flourish.
Make this for your loved ones.