Carrot Salad with Tahini, Crispy Garbanzo Beans and Salted pistachios

I just love non-meat dishes these days especially with the temperature so warm. Although I’m not a vegetarian, I do fantasize about being one.
This is another beauty of a recipe and simple to make.

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Garbanzo beans
1 3/4 cups cooked Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), or 1 15-ounce can, drained and patted dry on paper towels
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 lb carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1/4 cup shelled, salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tbsp well-stirred tahini
2 tbsp water, plus more if needed
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and red pepper flakes to taste

Roast chickpeas: Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the chickpeas with one tbsp olive oil, salt and cumin until they’re all coated.
Spread them on a baking sheet or pan and roast them in the oven until they’re browned and crisp. This can take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size and firmness of your chickpeas. Toss them occasionally to make sure they’re toasting evenly. Set aside until needed.

Make dressing: Whisk all ingredients together until smooth, adding more water if needed to thin the dressing slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning; don’t worry if it tastes a little sharp on the lemon, it will marry perfectly with the sweet grated carrots.

Assemble salad: Place the grated carrots in a large bowl and toss with the parsley. Mix in 2/3 of the dressing, adding more if desired. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle with a large handful of chickpeas (you’ll have extra and if you’re like us, won’t regret it) and the pistachios and dig in.

Do ahead: Salad keeps well in the fridge for two days, however, I’d add the chickpeas and pistachios right before serving, so they don’t get soft


Roasted carrots with cumin yoghurt

This is a gorgeous dish and the little “stubby” carrots roast so well with a really deep flavor. The cumin yoghurt lends a “Middle Eastern” quality and all in all, it’s a must.

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Serves 8

3 lbs Thumbelina or other small carrots, scrubbed and cut into 2″ pieces
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup plus tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup plain Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro (coriander) leaves with tender stems, plus more for garnish
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Toss the carrots with the orange juice, thyme, bay leaves and 1/4 cup olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper.
Roast,tossing halfway through until golden brown and soft, 30 – 35 minutes; remove bay leaves

Meanwhile, toast the coriander seeds in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, tossing, until fragrant, about 1 minute; transfer to a plate. Repeat with the cumin. Let cool and coarsely chop.

Puree the coriander seeds, cumin, yoghurt,lime juice, 1/4 cup cilantro and remaining 2 tbsp oil in a food processor until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

Serve the carrots topped with the cumin yoghurt, cilantro and sesame seeds

Prosciutto wrapped sea bass with roasted Autumn vegetables

I have been thinking about this recipe ever since I watched the “Barefoot Contessa” make it.
Finally I made it tonight with some modifications and it really is lovely with sweet roasted root vegetables, moist sea bass enclosed in the salty prosciutto, and the lovely woodsy flavor of the rosemary infused buttery lemon sauce.


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Prep time 20 mins
Cooking time 1 hour
Serves 4, but is easily augmented

2 cups peeled, seeded and diced (1/2-inch) butternut squash
2 cups peeled and diced (1/2 inch) diced parsnips
2 cups peeled and diced (1/2 inch) diced carrots
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
4 ( 7 oz ) fillets skinless sea bass fillets
6 to 8 thin slices prosciutto di Parma
1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter
6 good sprigs fresh rosemary
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

For the vegetables;
Put the butternut squash, parsnips and carrots in a large bowl.Finely cut 2 sprigs of the fresh rosemary and add to the vegetables. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and the garlic. Add about 1/3 cup olive oil and toss together with your hands until well mixed together.
Line a shallow roasting tray with aluminum foil, spread the vegetables out in a single layer and roast for 30 mins, turning once during the cooking until they are tender and starting to brown.
Meanwhile, line another sheet pan with aluminum foil and place a baking rack on top of the foil.
Brush the fish fillets on both sides with olive oil and season liberally with salt and ground pepper.
Wrap each fillet with a slice or two of prosciutto to form a wide band around the center of the fillet.
Arrange the fillets on the rack with the prosciutto seam side down and roast for 10 to 15 minutes until barely cooked.
While the vegetables and fish are roasting, melt the butter over medium heat in a medium-sized saute pan.
Add the rosemary sprigs and cook over low heat until the rosemary leaves are crisp and the butter begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
Discard the rosemary, stir in the lemon juice and set aside.
To serve, place the vegetables in the middle of a shallow bowl, lay a piece of the prosciutto wrapped fish on top.
Spoon the butter/rosemary sauce over the fish and vegetables.
Garnish with a small sprig of rosemary and a wedge of lemon and serve hot.

Carrot puree with ginger and orange


This is the most delicious side dish with the freshness of orange juice, lemon juice and grated orange peel and the exotic, refreshing flavor of fresh ginger. A must to try!

8 servings
3 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds
4 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1 1/2 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tbsp grated orange peel
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Cook the carrots and 3 tbsp sugar in a large pot of boiling and salted water until the carrots are tender, about 25 minutes.
Drain well, return the carrots to the same pan, stir over medium heat until any excess moisture evaporates.
Meanwhile, bring the orange juice to a simmer in a heavy, small pan over medium heat.
Add the butter, ginger and orange peel; whisk until the butter melts.
Whisk in the lemon juice and remaining 1 tbsp sugar.
Puree half the carrots and half of the juice in a food processor until smooth.
Repeat with the remaining half and season to taste with salt and pepper.
You may need to reheat it before serving, otherwise, transfer it to a large serving dish

Fabulous braised oxtail

I know this is something that Americans may turn their nose up at, but if you eat and like Osso Bucco, you’ll LOVE this.
It’s rich, meaty, fall-off-the-bone good, inexpensive to buy and very satisfying, especially sitting on a bed of mashed potato or mashed cauliflower.
And don’t forget to suck out the inside of the bones, where all that calcium-rich bone marrow is!

Cook time – 3 hours 50 mins
Serves 4 to 6

2- 3 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
3 -4 lbs oxtail
4 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and roughly diced
2 stalks celery, peeled, trimmed and roughly diced
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp Colemans English mustard
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
17 fl oz (500 mls) red wine
14 fl oz (400 mls) beef stock
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme

In a bowl, mix the flour with a generous grind of black pepper. Place a large flameproof Dutch oven or casserole pot over a high heat and add the oil.

Pat the oxtail dry with kitchen paper. Roll the pieces in the seasoned flour and add to the pot one by one.
Don’t overcrowd the pan, or you won’t get a nice dark brown color on them, as they will steam and look pale. Do it in two batches.
Brown the oxtail on all sides, turning with the kitchen tongs until the meat is a really rich dark brown color.
Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.

Preheat the oven to 325 F

Add an extra drop of oil to the pot, reduce the heat and add the onion, carrot and celery.
Fry for 5 minutes until just tender. Stir through the tomato puree, mustard and Worcestershire sauce until evenly combined.

Pour over the red wine, beef stock and balsamic vinegar and pop in the rosemary and thyme sprigs.
Season with salt.
Cover with a lid and place in the oven to cook slowly for 3 1/2 hours or until the meat is falling away from the bone.

Serve on a bed of mashed potato or mashed cauliflower.

Carrot harissa hummus

Delicious and very different. Well worth making. Thank you to Aida Mollenkamp for this recipe.

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 lb carrots, roughly chopped and ends discarded
2 medium cloves garlic cloves, peeled
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained (chick peas)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp tahini or almond butter
3 to 4 tbsp harissa paste
4 to 5 large ice cubes
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp runny honey
Kosher salt and pepper

Heat the broth in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil.
Add the carrots and garlic, reduce to medium and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes.
Remove from the stove and cool slightly.

Combine the carrots and 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid with the chick peas and garlic in a food processor fitted with a blade.
Process until the mixture is very smooth.

Add olive oil, tahini or almond butter and ice cubes and pulse until the mixture is very smooth.
* Regarding the Harissa paste, this amount makes a fairly spicy hummus, so you might want to start with 1 tbsp and taste it to make sure you can handle the heat.

Pulse in 3 tbsp of the Harissa, (or 1 tbsp to start with if you’re not sure of the spiciness) lemon juice and honey and season well with salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, honey or Harissa as desired.

Place in the refrigerator to let the hummus cool off before using, at least 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

* The hummus can be made up to 4 days ahead of time – store it refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use.

Bok Choy Brown Rice Salad with Orange Sesame Dressing

So tasty, tangy and nutty, you won’t want to stop eating this salad!!

For the salad

4 cups cooked brown rice
1 1/2 cups coarsely shredded carrot
3 baby or 2 normal bok choy, rinsed, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/2 cup thinly sliced trimmed scallions
1/2 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

For the dressing

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp honey
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup canola oil

To make the salad, combine the brown rice, shredded bok choy, peas, cilantro, peanuts, scallions and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Toss gently to combine.

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Whisk vigorously until well combined.
Taste and adjust the seasonings, accordingly. Add the dressing to the bowl with the salad, a bit at a time, tossing gently to coat.
Taste and add more dressing as necessary. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.