All posts tagged recipes

  • roasted fennel and zucchini soup

    roasted fennel and zucchini soup

    Tired of zucchini yet? I’m not not ready to let go of summer vegetables yet, but I’m making batch after batch of soup as the temperatures begins to dip down. Heat, serve, and store back in the fridge — one of my favorite ways to eat. I love the gentle and sweet anise flavor of fennel, but I recommend going easy on the garlic here. Four cloves were added to this batch of soup, but I was initially tempted to toss in the entire bulb. I’m glad I didn’t, otherwise the fennel wouldn’t have had the opportunity to shine through. If your fennel includes stalks and fronds, save the fronds to make pesto. I added a little bit of of the pesto to the soup for garnish, but reserved the rest of it for pizza.

    As an aside, if you are visiting or live near Detroit, the Arab American Museum hosts a food walking tour of Dearborn. So bummed I didn’t know this tour existed until after I moved. Please eat everything ever from Shatila so I can live vicariously through your stomach.

    roasted fennel and zucchini soup 2

    Roasted Fennel and Zucchini Soup

    For the soup:

    4 medium sized zucchini, sliced in half
    2 fennel bulbs, cut in half
    1 cup new potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
    1 onion, cut into quarts
    4 cloves of garlic
    3 cups vegetable broth
    1 bay leaf
    freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
    salt and pepper, to taste

    For garnish (optional):

    a tablespoon of chopped nuts per bowl (hazelnuts or walnuts)
    fennel frond pesto
    drizzle of olive oil

    Fennel frond pesto (optional):
    2 cups fennel fronds
    2 cloves garlic
    1/4 cup pine nuts
    2 tablespoons lemon juice (add more to taste)
    salt and pepper, to taste
    1/3 cup olive oil

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, wash and prepare vegetables. Lay zucchini, fennel, potatoes, onion, and garlic on a pan. Use your hands to thoroughly coat the vegetables in olive oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and place in the oven. Roast for 35 minutes.

    While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the pesto (optional). Blend all the ingredients except for the oil in a food processor, scraping down the sides, processing again, and repeat until it’s formed a paste. With the machine running on low, slowly drizzle in the oil until the mixture transforms into a loose sauce. Scrape down the mixture in the food processor, as needed. Give the pesto a taste and adjust the amount of cheese, lemon, and salt to your liking.

    When the vegetables are ready, remove them from the oven and transfer them to a stock pot. Add vegetable broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium heat, lower the temperature and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Remove bay leaf from the pot. Working in batches, blend the soup in a food processor or blender, or just use an immersion blender if you have one, until the soup is smooth. Return the soup back to the pot, then add the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Season to taste, and serve. Garnish with some chopped up nuts, olive oil, and a small dollop of pesto.

    Serves about 6

  • huckleberry buckle

    huckleberry buckle

    When we moved to Oregon, I was hoping we’d be able to catch more of berry season black raspberries, marionberries, boysenberries, huckleberries, and other mystery berries I’ve never had before, but we missed it. Well, for the most part. I did manage to snag a bag of huckleberries at my first trip to the PSU Farmers Market. After sneaking a few, I deemed them too precious to eat and decided to do something special with them. AllRecipes to the rescue! I found a recipe for a huckleberry buckle, a moist cake with a crunchy streusel topping that’s bursting with huckleberry sweetness and tartness. I decided to have a go at it, despite the 90+ degree weather. I hated life the whole time the oven was on, but once I had that first bite with vanilla ice cream, all was well again.

    So, what the heck is a buckle? According to the HuffPo article, a buckle is a cake where fruit is layered above the batter, which causes the cake to rise around the fruit, the fruit to sink to the bottom, and the whole thing just ends up buckling inwards. Mayyyybe this isn’t a buckle, it’s probably a crisp. But huckleberry buckle (or hucklebuckle, as I’ve been calling it) is a lot of more fun to say than huckleberry crisp, so huckleberry buckle it is.

    Note: the recipe calls for a 8″ x 8″ pan. My 8″ x 8″ pan was a casualty of the Second (yes, second!) Pyrex Explosion of 2014, so I used a 10.5″ pie pan and the cake was ready after about 22 minutes of baking. Huckleberries are similar to blueberries, so if you don’t have huckleberries in your area, feel free to substitute blueberries for this recipe.

    huckleberry buckle

    Huckleberry Buckle
    (adapted from AllRecipes)

    For the cake:
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1/4 butter, softened
    1 egg
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 cups all purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 cup milk
    2 cups huckleberries or blueberries

    For the streusel:
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1/3 cup all purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 cup butter, softened

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease your baking pan.

    In a bowl, cream together sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg. In a larger bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Mix in milk, the sugar/egg/butter mixture and combine thoroughly. Stir in the huckleberries (or blueberries). Pour mixture into the baking pan.

    Make the streusel by combining sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter in a bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over the cake batter and bake for 25-30 minutes.

    Check with a toothpick to see if the cake is ready. Once ready, let it cool for a bit before serving. Serve with ice cream.

    Serves 10-12

  • growing sprouts in a mason jar

    growing sproutsin a mason jar from the sprout house

    When we lived with my dad over the summer, we ate out of his garden everyday. It really spoiled us. Need romaine for an egg salad sandwich? Kale for a gratin? Arugula for a side salad? 20 pounds of tomatoes for homemade salsa? No problem, just go to the backyard. Now we have our own place again and no garden of our own (let’s face it, I don’t want a yard. I’ll get a windowfarm someday), but we can still grow fresh food… in the comfort of our own home. That’s right, SPROUTS. The nutritious and crunchy additions to salads and sandwiches.

    I grow sprouts in a mason jar, but you can also grow them using products made specifically growing sprouts, such as this seed sprouter. If you’re anything like me, you already have far too many kitchen gadgets. Considering the amount of canning my dad and I did this year, I have no shortage of mason jars in my apartment and they do the job just fine. If you go the mason jar (or any old jar that resembles a canning jar) route, make sure to have some cheesecloth on handy for draining, and a screw band to keep the cheesecloth in place. If you don’t have an extra screw band around the house, I imagine a thick rubber band would do the trick.

    growing sprouts in a mason jar from the sprout house

    The sprouts I’ve been growing are a mix of lentils, mung beans, adzuki beans, and green peas from the Sprout House.They’re medium-sized sprouts which produce a slightly peppery taste. Not all sprouts are the same. The size, texture, growth rates and flavors will vary based on the type of seeds you use. For a comprehensive list types of sprout seeds and their tastes, I recommend checking out this blog post.

    Once you’ve grown sprouts, what the heck are you going to do with them? I add them to salads, sandwiches, sprinkle on top of soups, and have even slipped them in burritos (heresy, right?). My new favorite way to eat sprouts is in a wrap with hummus and roasted cauliflower. We recently ate it for lunch for four days in a row.

    smooth homemade hummus

    Roasted Cauliflower and Hummus Wrap with Sprouts:

    – 8 tortillas or wraps of your choice
    – 1 medium sized head of cauliflower, chopped into bite sizes and roasted (pre-heat oven to 400 F, drizzle with a couple tablespoons of oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 40 minutes, but check on the cauliflower a couple times to mix them around to make sure they bake evenly.)
    – 2 cups of hummus (if going the homemade route, I recommend this recipe by Desert Candy or this one by Smitten Kitchen. Both call for you to slip the skins from each individual garbanzo bean for the smoothest hummus possible. While I certainly appreciate the noble quest for perfect hummus, I skip this step. I’m still feeling burned after slipping the skins off 10 pounds of concord grapes last month.)
    – 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
    – 1 1/2 cups sprouts
    – 1 lemon (small squirt of lemon juice for each wrap)
    – a few shakes of dried parsley per wrap
    – a couple pinches of sumac, for an extra sour bite
    – 1 bunch of kale (optional), this isn’t a usual addition to the wraps but I had some leftover kale that needed to be used

    Assemble all the ingredients onto the tortilla. I start with the hummus and add about 2 tablespoons to each tortilla. I never measure the other ingredients, but I know I’ve added too much when I can’t wrap the tortilla without half of the ingredients falling out. Roll up or wrap the tortilla like a burrito. Serve cold, if that sounds good to you. I prefer to heat both sides on a cast iron skillet for a few minutes, until the inside ingredients are warm and the tortilla is crispy.

    wrap with roasted cauliflower sprouts hummus chickpeas kale

    How to grow sprouts:

    Ingredients needed:

    – water
    – 2 tablespoons sprouts seeds

    Materials needed:
    – clean mason jar (or any empty jar you’d find suitable)
    – screw band (a thick rubber band would also work)
    – cheesecloth


    Add two tablespoons of sprouts to the jar. Fill the jar with several inches of water. Keep jar in on a counter or table away from direct sunlight, for 12 hours or overnight. Do not skip this step!

    Drain water from the jar. Add enough water to the jar to cover the seeds and give the jar a few whirls. Drain the water from the jar again, and place the jar in a bowl, allowing it to tilt to the side to drain out excess water.

    2-3 times a day, fill the jar with enough water to cover the seeds/sprouts by a few inches, and then drain. Return the jar to the bowl, allowing it to tilt to the side. Repeat this process for 4-5 days. When the sprouts are ready, store them in an airtight container for 5 or so days.