Persian Split Pea and Rice Soup with Meatballs

This one comes from Food and Wine Magazine. If you are vegan leave out the meatballs. Also note, the split peas need to soak over night.

SOUP

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3/4 c short-grain white rice
  • 3/4 c dried green split peas, soaked overnight and drained
  • 2 c finely chopped parsley leaves and tender stems
  • 2 c finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1/2 c finely chopped mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses, plus more as needed
  • Salt

MEATBALLS

  • 1 small yellow onion, grated
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried mint

TOPPINGS

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Olive oil spray

Make the soup In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, cinnamon and turmeric and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is beginning to soften, 5 minutes. Add the rice, split peas and 10 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice and peas are tender and the soup is quite thick, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add the scallions, parsley, cilantro and mint and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the pomegranate molasses and season with salt.

Make the meatballs In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoons of the ground lamb into balls. Add the meatballs to the soup and simmer until cooked through, 10 minutes. If the soup is getting too thick, add water.

Preheat oven or air fryer to 350. Make the onions. In a bowl spray onions and toss to coat. Spread on a baking sheet or place in air frye and cook 15 minutes or until crispy, tossing several times.

Fill bowl with soup, top with onions and drizzle with Pom molasses.

Serves 6 – 8.

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Veggie Tacos

This is from Nopalito – it is amazing! Going to put these into regular rotation for taco Tuesday! You can pretty much use any hearty veggies. You’ll have leftover oil, it will keep in the fridge for several weeks.

  • 3 c diced broccoli
  • 2 c carrots diced
  • 2 c white onions, sliced
  • 2 c butternut squash, cubed
  • 3 c potatoes, cubed
  • 6 tbsp cascabel oil

Cascabel Oil

  • 6 Cascabel chiles, stemmed
  • 2 guajillo chiles, stemmed
  • 1 c grape seed oil
  • 1 clove garlic

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth.

Preheat oven to 400. Toss veggies with oil and roast, stirring several times, for 15 – 20 minutes until veggies start to char.

Serve with warmed tortillas and cheese.

Asparagus Quesadilla

Another winner from Nopalito! These may be the best ‘Dillas I’ve ever had. Perfect for lunch!!

Ingredients:
1 onion, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeño, mined 
salt
1 binch of asparagus, sliced into thin coins
Corn tortillas
12 oz shredded Oaxacan or Jack cheese
Queso fresco, crumbled
Cilantro leaves
Salsa

In a large pan heat 1 tbsp oil over medium cook the onions, garlic and jalapeño until soft, stir in the asparagus and cook for 2 minutes or until bright green.

Prepare a griddle or large pan, spread 1/3 c Oaxacan cheese on a tortilla, top with Asparagus filling top with a little more cheese and a tortilla. Cook on each side until cheese is melted.

Top with cilantro, queso fresco and salsa.

Serves 4.

Cold Asparagus Soup

  
This is a great light spring soups. I make it when I overbuy asparagus.

Ingredients:
2 spring onions or leeks, sliced thin
1 lb asparagus, sliced in 1/4 inch pieces
1 1/2 tbsp butter
2 1/2 c veggie stock
1 tsp sugar
Salt and Pepper
3 tbsp heavy cream
Greek yogurt

In a large pot heat the butter over medium heat, add onions and asparagus, sauté for 4 minutes. Add stock, salt and pepper, bring to a boil. Then cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Purée, add cream and chill. 

Serve with Greek yogurt.

Serves 6.

Chicken with Sumac and Onions

  
Another winner from Ottolenghi! This chicken dish is easy, packed with flavor and perfect for a weeknight dinner. Start the chicken in the morning and bake it when you get home.

Ingredients
2 lb chicken thighs
2 red onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp sumac
1 lemon, thinly sliced
scant 1 c chicken stock
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp za’atar
6 tbsp pine nuts toasted
4 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, minced

In a large bowl, mix the chicken with the onions, garlic, olive oil, spices, lemon, stock, salt, and pepper. Leave in the fridge to marinate for a few hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400. Transfer the chicken and its marinade to a baking sheet large enough to accommodate all the chicken pieces lying flat and spaced well apart. Sprinkle the za’atar over the chicken and onions and put the pan in the oven. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is colored and just cooked through.

Transfer the hot chicken and onions to a serving plate and finish with the chopped parsley, pine nuts, and a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle on more za’atar and sumac.

Serves 4 – 6.

Pasta with Caramelized Onions and Yogurt

 This one is from the Food52.com cookbook. I love yogurt and pasta together – bring in sweet carmazlied onions and you’ve got perfection.

5 TBSP olive oil
6 c coarsely chopped onions
Salt
1 lb pasta
2 c thick, Greek yogurt
1 c pecorino romano, grated

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the onions. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring frequently and seasoning with salt to taste as you go, until the onions are soft and golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package.

Reserve 1/2 c pasta water. Combine the yogurt with 1/4 c cooking water and mix well. Add more of the reserved pasta water as needed to get the sauce to your thickness. Drain the pasta and toss with the yogurt mixture. Serve the pasta immediately, sprinkled generously with cheese and topped with caramelized onions and their juices.

Serves 4 – 6.

Roasted Eggplant with Crispy Onions

IMG_1107
Another winner from Ottolenghi! I used my air fryer to make the onions, if you have simply toss the onions with a little oil and the spices then cook at 360 for about 8’minutes, shaking the basket a couple times. If you don’t have one follow the recipe below. I served the eggplant with turkey burgers – yummy!

Ingredients:
2 large eggplants
2/3 c olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 green chiles
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sumac
1 3/4 oz feta cheese, broken into large chunks
1 lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed

Preheat oven to 425.

Halve the eggplants lengthwise with the stems on. Score the cut side of each eggplant with a crisscross pattern. Brush the cut sides with oil and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet, cut side up, for about 45 minutes, until the flesh is golden brown.

Add the remaining oil to a large frying pan and place over high heat. Add the onions and 1/2 tsp salt, and cook for 8 minutes, stirring often, so that parts of the onion get dark and crisp. Seed and chop the chiles, keeping the whole chile separate from the half. Add the ground cumin, sumac, and the whole chopped chile, and cook for a further 2 minutes before adding the feta. Cook for a final minute, not stirring much, then remove from the heat.

Use a small serrated knife to remove the skin and pith of the lemon. Coarsely chop the flesh, discarding the seeds, and place the flesh and any juices in a bowl with the remaining 1/2 chile and the garlic.

Transfer the roasted halves to a serving dish, and spoon the lemon sauce over the flesh. Warm up the onions a little, and spoon over.

Serves 4.