Couscous- Stuffed Eggplant
2 small eggplants, about 10 ounces each
2 1/4 cups cooked couscous
4 plum tomatoes, diced
3 cloves roasted garlic, peeled
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/6 cup chopped fresh coriander
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick the eggplants a few times with a fork. Put them on a baking sheet, and bake until soft, about 45 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Scoop the flesh into a bowl carefully to avoid tearing the skins. Set the shells aside.
Put the remaining ingredients in the bowl with the eggplant and stir to combine. Taste, and adjust seasoning if needed. Spoon the mixture into the eggplant shells, mounding it over the top. Either serve the stuffed eggplants whole or cut them in half crosswise. Place on a platter and serve.
(From The New York Times)
Whole-Wheat Spaghetti w/ Swiss Chard & Pecorino Cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 bunches Swiss chard, trimmed and chopped (about 14 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino cheese
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Heat the oil in a heavy large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the chard and saute until it wilts, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, wine, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until the tomatoes begin to break down and the chard is very tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Season the chard mixture, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring frequently, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the spaghetti. Add the spaghetti to the chard mixture and toss to combine.
Transfer the pasta to serving bowls. Sprinkle the olives, cheese, and pine nuts and serve.
(From Giada de Laurentiis)
Roasted Tomatillo & Garlic Salsa
1 pound fresh tomatillos, husks removed
1 head garlic cloves, separated and peeled
3 fresh jalapeño peppers
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1/2 cup water, or as needed
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven’s broiler. Arrange the whole cloves of garlic, tomatillos, and jalapeños on a baking sheet. Place under the broiler, and cook for a few minutes. Remove garlic cloves first, as soon as they are toasted, to avoid developing a bitter flavor. Continue to roast jalapeños and tomatillos until evenly charred, turning occasionally. Set aside to cool. Don’t remove the charred parts of the tomatillos or the peppers. They add a really nice flavor.
Place peppers and tomatillos in a blender with the garlic and cilantro. Add a little water to the mixture if necessary to facilitate blending. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until serving.
4 cups fresh arugula
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup pure olive oil
2 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted, plus 1 tablespoon
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Prepare an ice water bath in a large bowl, and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put the arugula in a large sieve and plunge it into the boiling water. Immediately immerse all the arugula and stir so that it blanches evenly. Blanch for about 15 seconds. Remove, shake off the excess water, then plunge the arugula into the ice water bath and stir again so it cools as fast as possible. Drain well.
Squeeze the water out of the arugula with your hands until very dry. Roughly chop the arugula and put in a blender. Add the garlic, salt and pepper to taste, olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of the pine nuts. Blend for at least 30 seconds. In this way the green of the arugula will thoroughly color the oil. Add the cheese and pulse to combine. The pesto will keep several days in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
Pull out before dinner to get to room temperature. Before serving, add the remaining 1 tablespoon toasted pinenuts.
(From Michael Chiarello)
Cabbage & Basil Salad
1 small cabbage (about 1 1/4 pounds)
4 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and chopped fine (1 tablespoon)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon mustard, preferably Dijon style
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil, preferably virgin
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
Cut the cabbage in half and remove the center rib. Shred as you would for coleslaw. You should have about 6 to 7 cups of lightly packed cabbage.
For the dressing, combine the garlic, salt, pepper, mustard, vinegar and olive oil in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add the cabbage and stir. Just before serving, sprinkle the basil on top. The salad will develop more taste if made a few hours ahead.
(From The New York Times)
Parsley Red Potatoes
2 pounds red potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup butter, cubed
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Peel off a strip around each potato if desired. Place in a large saucepan; cover with water. Add salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until tender; drain. Add butter and parsley; toss until butter is melted.