100 Days Project, Mains, Side Dish

Day 23 – Harissa Raviloi

Day23

It was a bright sunny Winter’s day here in Auckland . . . my favorite kind of day!!

Blue skies and sunshine, with a slight chill in the air, always makes me want to go to the markets. I was looking through a couple of my Heidi Swanson cookbooks over coffee this morning, and this recipe for Harissa Ravioli caught my eye.  After coffee I headed to the La Cigale French Market, which is pretty much my favorite Auckland Central market destination. The stalls have such a delicious range of foodie treats, hot coffee, well priced vegetables, and yummy baked goods. Today, there happened to be someone selling fresh ravioli, and I figured something in the universe was telling me to make this recipe.  I purchased the spinach ravioli, which I thought should go well with the harissa and broccoli flavors, but in hind sight the pumpkin ravioli probably would have done the trick just as well.

The main flavor component of the sauce is harissa, a spiced chili paste originally from Tunisia. You can usually find this as a pre-made condiment in middle eastern or high-end food stores, but I decided to make my own; click here for the recipe. Supposedly you need to leave it for 24 hours to reach full flavor, but I used it right away and it still tasted great, I can only imagine with delight how much more flavor it will have later on.

This recipe came out quite tasty . . .  The flavor combination of harissa, lemon, good quality olive oil, toasted seeds and feta made a delicious sauce for the ravioli and was a great way to spice up the broccoli.  I am not an olive person, so I left that ingredient off, but to each their own. I suspect broccoli with this same harissa oil and toppings would make an excellent side dish on its own right. This theory may have to be tested later on this week.

Harissa Ravioli

by: Heidi Swanson

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons harissa paste
  • 1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces or 340g fresh or frozen cheese ravioli or tortellini
  • 8 ounces or 225g broccoli florets or broccolini, trimmed into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sliced almonds, or pine nuts (I used a combination of all three), toasted
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 5 or 6 black oil cured olives, pitted and torn into pieces

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

In the meantime, make the harissa oil. Sprinkle the smashed garlic clove with the salt and chop into a paste. Put this aside in a small bowl and stir in the lemon juice, harissa, and good quality olive oil. Taste and add more salt if needed.

When the water boils, salt it generously and add the ravioli cooking them until they float and are cooked through (about 1 to 2 minutes). around 30 seconds before you think the ravioli will be done add the broccoli to the pot, boil for the remaining time, and then drain into a colander.

Place the ravioli and broccoli into a large mixing bowl and toss with a couple spoonfuls of the harissa oil and most of the pepitas/almonds/pine nuts. Taste and add more salt, if needed.  Turn out onto a serving platter or plates and top with more harissa oil and the remaining pepitas/almonds/pine nuts, the feta, and olives.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Salads, Side Dish, Vegan

Day 22 – Wild Rice Salad

Day22

Mmmmm . . . I love the nuttiness of Wild Rice and I am constantly on the look out for new ways of preparing it.

Wild rice is the grain from four species of grasses of the genus Zizania, which has been historically gathered and eaten in both North America and China.  This type of rice grain has a chewy outer sheath with a tender inner grain that has a slightly nutty taste.  Because of its nutritional value and taste, wild rice increased in popularity in the late 20th century, and commercial cultivation began in the US and Canada to supply the increased demand.  Typically sold as a dried whole grain, wild rice is high in protein, the amino acid lysine, dietary fiber, B Vitamins, minerals, it is low in fat, and like other rice varieties it is gluten free.

I found this recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi , a London based chef who is a rising star of the cooking world. His food tends to combine simple raw ingredients with influences from his Mediterranean background. I am already familiar with Ottolenghi’s vegetarian cookbook “Plenty“, which I borrowed from a friend a while ago, and was very sad to have to give back. This made me very excited to find out that he shares recipes on his website and in his weekly Guardian newspaper column.  I think I will be spending some time on the Guardian website this weekend. Still, I would love to have the cook book in my collection . . . wink, wink,nudge, nudge . . .

Wild Rice Salad

by: Yotam Ottolenghi

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g/1 1/4 cups wild rice
  • 60g/ 1/3 cup peeled pistachio (I used almonds because I had them around the house)
  • 150g soft dried apricot, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes
  • 1 small bunch of mint, leaves picked
  • 1 small bunch of rocket
  • 3 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the rice in a large pot and cover with water, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and cook for 30-40 minutes, depending on the variety, or until the rice is cooked aldente. Alternatively you can cook the rice in a rice cooker with 2 1/2 cups of water. Drain the rice and rinse under cold water.

While the rice is cooking, roast the pistachio or almonds in a dry pan over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Coarsely chop them with a large knife. Drain the apricot and coarsely chop them too.

In a bowl mix the rice, apricots and pistachios, and then add the rest of the ingredients, toss well and season with salt and pepper to taste.

ENJOY!!

 

 

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Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegan

Green Beans with Leek & Toasted Almonds

green beans

Hello Herbivores  . . . some people have been asking for the green beans recipe that was served along with the lentil sheppard’s pie in my Day 1 post. So, ask and you shall receive!!

This recipe originally came from Heidi Swanson of the 101 Cookbooks food blog. Her recipes are always simple, with minimal ingredients and packed full of flavor. I have to admit I have tweaked this recipe slightly myself (well then again, I tweak most recipes . . . that is half the fun of cooking).

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large leeks, well washed, root end and tops trimmed, sliced lengthwise into quarters and then chopped into 15mm segments
  • 1/3 cup fresh dill, well chopped
  • 500g green beans, tops and tails trimmed and cut into 30mm segments
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • fine-grain sea salt
  • slivered almonds

Toast the slivered Almonds in a dry skillet over a medium-high heat until they are nicely browned. Make sure you keep an eye on these as they can very quickly go from brown to burnt.

In a large thick-bottomed skillet of medium-high heat add a generous splash of olive oil, a generous pinch of salt and the leeks. Stir until the leeks are coated and glossy. Cook, stirring regularly until a lot of the leeks are golden and crispy. All in all it takes me roughly 7 – 10 minutes to brown the leeks.

At this point stir in the dill and almonds, and then stir in the green beans. Cook for a couple more minutes – just until the the beans brighten up and lose that raw
bite. Turn out into a bowl or onto a platter and serve immediately.

ENJOY!!

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