100 Days Project, Dips, Condiments and Dressings, Gluten Free, Party Food, Recipes, Vegan (with substitutions)

Day 10 – White Bean & Pea Shoot Crostini

Day10

Mmmmm . . . Crostini . . .

There is nothing quite like a piece of toasted chrunchy bread topped with an assortment of tasty ingredients. These little nibbles are perfect for a party, an appetiser/entree,  along side of a salad or bowl of soup, or even on their own with a beautiful glass Sauvignon Blanc or other tipple of your choice.

That being said, flavor wise, this probably has not been one of my favorite dishes I have made so far during the 100 Days Project. It tastes nice and full of spring flavors (like lemon and mint), but the inclusion of the raw pea shoots, which I enjoy in salads and sandwiches on their own, did not quite seem to work with the other ingredients.

Th original recipe called for Fava beans, which I could not find in New Zealand this time of year, so maybe the Cannellini Beans I used instead were lacking something to bring the flavors together.

But everyone is different, so if you like the sound of the recipe, give it a try . . . you never know, it could be your new favorite.

You can easily make it gluten free by using a different base for the toppings, and  make it dairy free by leaving off the cheese.

White Bean & Pea Shoot Crostini

adapted from: The Cozy Herbivore

PREP TIME: about 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: about 20 minutes
MAKES: about 24 crostini
INGREDIENTS:

for the bean spread:

  • 1 1/2 pounds or 1 1/4 cups cannellini beans
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces pea shoots, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch or 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch or 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leafed parsley, roughly chopped
  • the juice of 2 lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • parmesan or manchego cheese, for garnish

for crostini:

  • 1  baguette, cut diagonally into 1/4″ slices
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly smashed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • a sprinkle of sea salt and a few cracks of the pepper mill

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the crostini:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C. Lay baguette slices on a couple of baking sheets and rub smashed garlic clove on top of the bread. Lightly brush slices with olive oil and from, and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Place in oven and bake until bread is uniformly a dark golden brown, checking often so the slices don’t burn.  This will take anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Remove slices as they brown and set aside. Crostini can be made up to two days ahead and stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

Prepare the bean spread:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add cannellini beans and boil till soft.  Drain and rinse
under cold water. Alternatively you can use a slow cooker to cook the beans, or you can use canned beans if you do not have dried beans around.

Place cooked beans, olive oil, pea shoots, 4. mint, parsley and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a thick paste is created. (If mixture is super-chunky, drizzle a little more olive oil through the top of the food processor while it’s running until a
smooth consistency is reached.) Season to taste with sea salt & pepper.

The fava paste can be made up to a day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

To assemble:

Spread 1 teaspoon of bean paste onto each crostini. Using a vegetable peeler, shave off long, thin slices of manchego or parmesan cheese to garnish.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Dips, Condiments and Dressings, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan

Day 7 – Mediterranean Spiced Carrot Relish

Day7

What do you all think about the new pop-up dining craze?

For those of you who may not know, pop-up dining is when a small restaurant appears in random and/or previously vacant space for a limited time, sometimes only one night.  Personally, I think it’s a great idea!! Serving a specialized menu or sometimes themed, pop-up restaurants offer patrons something different from what is normally locally available and helps turn going out to dinner into a social community event. Unfortunately, one of the draw backs of pop-up dining is that it is typically a set menu with limited vegetarian and vegan options.

I found this recipe on online from Pop-Up Dining Auckland. I have only recently found out about this group, but I am very excited to see that they not only are very creative with their events (the last one being Viking themed), but that often these events are Vegan. The next Vegan pop-up dining event, Vegan Latino, is on July 3rd, and tickets are on-sale now. Being American, I love Latino/Mexican food, and I am thinking I need to check out this yummy Vegan goodness myself. Here’s  hoping tickets will still be available when my next paycheck comes in. Anyone want to go with me?

Further endearing this group to me, they seem to openly post some their recipes on-line inviting and encouraging people to try to make the food they have tasted for themselves.  This recipe was one of the items they served during their recent Mediterranean Vegan pop-up dining event, held at Kokako. They called it Carrot Jam, but when I made the recipe, the consistency and texture is much more similar to what I would call a relish; hence the name change.

The flavors found in Mediterranean food are usually fresh and vibrant playing on the contrast between sweet and savory. This recipe for Mediterranean Spiced Carrot Relish certainly fits that description. Much of this recipe is based on your own personal tastes, and you have to work it it a bit to get the sweet savory balance right, but the results are well worth the effort. I am looking forward to eating this carrot relish with some feta and avocado on a cracker, or maybe as a topping for a falafel burger.

Mediterranean Spiced Carrot Relish

by: Pop-Up Dining Auckland

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 carrots, grated
  • 1 onion, grated
  • orange juice, preferably fresh squeezed
  • orange zest
  • apple cider vinegar
  • brown sugar
  • salt

Take a tablespoon of mustard seeds and one of cumin seeds and fry in hot oil until it smells nice and the mustard seeds pop.

Add about 5 grated carrots and a grated onion and let it sweat over a med heat. Then add orange juice and zest, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar. Here you will need to judge and taste. A rough guide is about 1 part juice to 2 parts vinegar and then a cup of sugar. You need some liquid to show in the bottom of the pan and you may need to add more as it cooks.

Cover pan with a lid and cook for ages; it is jam after all. If it starts to dry out, add more juice and vinegar and suagr to counter the acidity. Add salt as well. Keep cooking and tasting. If its too vinegary for you, add more sugar, to sweet add more vinegar. You get the idea. It should end up rich and sticky. Leave it to cool, refrigerate and eat tomorrow.

ENJOY!!

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