Marinated Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomato

This one is from Plenty by Ottolenghi! It’s so good!

Marinade:

  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed, toasted and crushed
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch of basil leaves, shredded
  • 2 tbsp chopped oregano
  • 2 tsp olive oil, the best you got
  • 2 tsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp course salt
  • Black pepper
  • 8 oz buffalo mozzarella
  • 2 rope tomatoes, quartered

Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl.

Break up mozzarella with your hands and smear with marinade. Let rest for 30 minutes.

Place tomato quarters on a plate, top with tomatoes and cheese and drizzle with a little oil.

Serves 4 as a starter.

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Mushroom Pasta

This is from Ottolenghi – and it is amazing! This is vegetarian and so good!

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 c mushrooms, your choice
  • 1/4 c white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 thyme sprigs, leaves picked & chopped
  • 6 oz cream fraiche
  • Grated zest of one lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 c panko breadcrumbs
  • 8 oz broccolini
  • 10 oz pasta
  • Salt and black pepper

Blanch the broccolini in boiling salted water for 2mins before draining the water (I did this in the pasta water before I cooked the pasta).

Cook the pasta according to the package.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the mushrooms until they start to take on a lovely golden color. Add the wine, bay leaf and thyme. Bring to the boil, reduce the liquid to a third. Add the cream, stir and cover and set aside.

In a bowl, mix the lemon zest, garlic and parsley

Toast the breadcrumbs until crisp and golden. Add the breadcrumbs to the lemon, garlic and parsley mix.

Drain the pasta reserving a cup of the pasta water. Stir the pasta into the cream sauce.

To serve: divide the pasta among plates, top with broccolini and breadcrumb mixture.

Serves 4.

Pantry Tacos

This recipe for tacos literally came from what I had on the shelf! These are vegan if you use vegan cheese.

  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can fire roasted chilies
  • Olives
  • Sliced avocado
  • Sliced red onion
  • Cheese of choose
  • Tortillas, warmed
  • Hot sauce

In a medium pot, combine tomatoes, beans and chilies and cook over medium heat for 15 – 20 minutes, until it thickens – mashing the beans a little.

Scoop into tortillas and top with remaining ingredients.

Serves 4.

Grilled Eggplant with Almond Salsa

This is a riff of a recipe I found in the NYT. If you are vegan leave swap out vegan mozzarella and vegan yogurt. Melt the mozzarella on the eggplant in the broiler for a minute or two.

  • 3 small or 2 medium Italian eggplant
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more for serving
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 bunch of mint
  • Black pepper
  • ⅔ cup roughly chopped almonds, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 Fresno or Serrano pepper, minced
  • 8 ounces halloumi cheese, sliced
  • Pita bread, for serving

Line a colander with paper towels or a clean dishcloth. Slice the eggplant into 3/4- to 1-inch rounds, place in the colander and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes, until water beads on top of the eggplant.

In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt with the lemon juice, 2 garlic clove, 1 tsp olive oil and 1 tbsp of the torn mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Place the nuts in medium bowl, then add the red-wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, minced garlic clove and Fresno pepper. Mix and season with salt to taste.

Heat a grill over high heat and spray with olive oil. Cook the eggplant and cheese about 3 -4 min pee side until nicely charred.

To serve, spread some on the yogurt mixture on a plate, top with eggplant and cheese and drill with almond salsa.

Serves 4.

Eggplant Gyro

This recipe is inspired by Eating Well. You need to prepare and marinade the eggplant in advance so there is some fore thought required. The rest of the dish comes to gather super quick!

  • 1 ½ pounds eggplant
  • Salt
  • ½ c olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp piment d’Espelette or Aleppo pepper
  • 1 head of romaine, rinsed and separates
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 container of Tzatziki or you can make your own
  • Hot sauce
  • Feta, unless your vegan
  • Pita bread
  • Sliced red onion

To prepare eggplant:

Trim ends off eggplant and cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch-thick slices. Place in a colander and toss with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.

Transfer the eggplant to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Whisk oil, dill, lemon juice, garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano and piment d’Espelette (or Aleppo) in a small bowl. Rub the marinade on the eggplant. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.

To grill & serve: Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill the eggplant, turning once, until lightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve in pitas with tomato, lettuce, onion and some of the tzatziki and feta, of using.

Serves 4.

Oyster Mushroom Rockefeller

This vegetarian version of oysters Rockefeller is out of this world!! I was not sure if you could substitute nut milk in a béchamel sauce, so this dish is not vegetarian. I served it on toasted sourdough – so good! It comes together pretty quickly so it is doable on a weeknight.

  • 3 tbsp butter or vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (more for drizzling)
  • 1 lb oyster mushrooms, broken into pieces if they are large12 large
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 c shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • splash of Pernod
  • 1 tbsp vermouth
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 c whole milk
  • 8 oz fresh spinach
  • 1/2 c parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 c bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c chopped parley
  • lemon slices
  • 4 pieces of toasted bread

In a 12-inch frying pan over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter and olive oil. Once the oil has come up to temperature, sear the mushroom caps until lightly browned on both sides, season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan.

Add 1/2 tbsp of butter to the pan, stir in shallot and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until softened. Add the Pernod and vermouth to the pan. Once the alcohol has evaporated, remove the shallot and garlic mixture, and set aside in a separate bowl.

Melt the remaining butter in the pan. Add the flour and it starts to brown a little. Whisk in the milk making sure there are no lumps. Once the mixture starts to thicken, add the spinach and the garlic and shallot mixture, cook until spinach starts to wilt.

Mix the parmesan, parley and breadcrumbs together

Turn your oven on medium broil.

Grab a 8×8 baking dish, spread the spinach mixture on the bottom, top with mushrooms and breadcrumbs.

Broil for 3 – 4 minutes or until browned.

Spread on toast and serve.

Serve with lemon slices.

Serves 4.

Grilled Eggplant Salad

This is one of those dishes that evolves when you look in the fridge and can’t figure out what to cook tonight! It turned out so good and it literally took less than 20 min!

  • 2 small eggplants, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 package grilling cheese
  • 1 – 2 tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive
  • Pesto
  • Preheat grill on high. Brush or spray eggplant with olive and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill eggplant and cheese for 5 min per side or until nicely charred and softened.
  • Layer eggplant, cheese, tomato and repeat. Top with sliced olives, pesto and a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Serves 2.