This was a side to our main meal, but due to a little mishap with the salt (ALWAYS taste before adding more salt!), the salad ended up being the best (and only edible) part of the meal. Who’da thunk?
Mixed Salad with Ginger Lime Cilantro Dressing
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Cucumber, sliced and halved
1 lime, juiced
2 Tbs peanut oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp fire oil (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
Combine all dressing ingredients in bowl. Whisk well until combined. Drizzle over greens and salad.
I was afraid this recipe would be too omlette or fritatta like, and I’m not a huge fan of either. But the proportion of potatoes to egg was just right… just enough to hold it together but not so much that it tasted like an omlette. We topped it with parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of paprika, and it was quite good. Next time, we’ll add a bit more spice to the tortilla itself.
The best part of this dish? You can eat the leftovers for breakfast.
Potato and Kale Spanish Tortilla
Makes 6 servings. Recipe from Epicurious.
1 lb boiling potatoes
1 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 lb kale, center ribs discarded
7 large eggs
Peel potatoes and cut into 1/3-inch dice (2 1/4 cups). Heat oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then reduce heat to moderately low and cook potatoes, onion, and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Blanch kale while potatoes cook:
Cook kale in a 4- to 6-quart pot of boiling salted water until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately transfer to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking. Drain again, squeezing handfuls of kale to extract excess moisture, then coarsely chop.
Add kale to potato mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain vegetables in colander set over a bowl, reserving drained oil, and cool 10 minutes.
Lightly beat eggs in a large bowl, then stir in vegetables, 1 tablespoon drained oil, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Add 1 tablespoon drained oil to skillet, then add egg mixture and cook over low heat, covered, until sides are set but center is still loose, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 15 minutes.
Shake skillet gently to make sure tortilla is not sticking (if it is sticking, loosen with a heatproof plastic spatula). Slide tortilla onto a large flat plate, then invert skillet over tortilla and flip it back into skillet. Round off edge of tortilla with plastic spatula and cook over low heat, covered, 10 minutes more. Slide tortilla onto a plate and serve warm, cut into wedges.
We found a good hummus! Hooray! I couldn’t tell you what was wrong with the last one, but this hummus recipe is wonderful. Paired with the bread and veggies, it really can’t be beat. A refreshing, flavorful, and super-healthy lunch (or dinner).
Hummus and Vegetable Sandwiches
Makes 4 servings. Recipe from Epicurious, with adjustments.
2 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon salt
a 16- to 19-ounce can chick-peas, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup well-stirred tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
Pita or flatbread, warmed
1/2 cup sliced seedless cucumber
1 large carrot, cut into ribbonlike strands with a vegetable peeler (about 1 cup)
1 small sweet onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup finely shredded radish (about 6)
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts plus additional for garnish
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
To make the hummus:
In a food processor blend together garlic paste, chick-peas, tahini, lemon juice, oil, and cumin, scraping down side, until smooth. Add water, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste and pulse until just combined. Hummus may be made 2 days ahead and chilled. Makes about 2 cups.
Spread hummus evenly on pita and top with cucumber, carrot, onion, radish, 1/2 cup sprouts, and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds. Top with another pita and slice in half. (You could also put the fillings inside the pita).
This is a pretty involved recipe, but the results are well worth it. The cookbook we used for this had each part of the recipe in a different area of the book, so flipping back and forth probably made it seem more difficult than it really was. I’ve combined it all into one place to make it easier for you!
The dish has a delicious, earthy flavor, mainly due to the shiitake mushrooms. I wouldn’t recommend substituting any other mushrooms in their place, as this flavor is so distinct and so delicious. I’m sure either dried or fresh ones would work just fine! We used the dried, which honestly are amazing, how they just come back to life in minutes.
Vermicelli rice noodles are one of the hardest things to cook. This was really the first time we did it right. The key, we think, is not to overcook them at all. Even leave them undercooked if you need to. It’s better than the goopy, sticky mess they become when cooked to long.
Complicated or not, if you’re up for it, this dish is well worth it! The photo does not do the flavor justice.
Stir Fry Veggies and Noodles with Soy Lime Dipping Sauce
Makes 4 servings. Recipe from Pleasures of the Vietnamese Table.
2/3 lb. small dried rice vermicelli
2 cups shredded red- or green-leaf lettuce
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
1/3 cucumber, seeded and cut into matchsticks
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/3 cup Asian basil leaves, roughly chopped
6 ounces tofu
1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
8 dried Chinese black (shiitake) mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes, then drained, stemmed, and sliced.
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1 clove garlic
2 fresh Thai bird chilies
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice with pulp
1/4 cup water, or to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the vermicelli and stir gently to loosen them. Cook until the noodles are whit and soft but still slightly resilient, about 4 minutes. Do not overcook! Drain and rinse under cold running water. Gently fluff the noodles and set them aside for at least 30 minutes. Noodles should be dry before servings.
Gently toss together lettuce, bean sprouts, cucumbers, mint, and basil. Divide the salad mixture among 4 bowls. Top each with 1/4 of the rice noodles.
Cut the tofu slab into 3 or 4 manageable pieces and press with a dish towel to remove excess water. Heat 2-3 tablespoons oil in a nonstick pan over moderate heat. Add tofu in one layer and cook, turning once, until golden, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels, and then cut into 1/4 inch thick strips.
Blanch carrots in boiling water for 1 minute. Rinse and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large pan over high heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, soy sauce, sugar, and coconut milk. Stir, then reduce the heat slightly and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tofu and carrot and cook until all the ingredients are hot, 2-3 minutes. Add a little water if the pan gets too dry.
To make dipping sauce, place garlic, chilies, and sugar in a mortar and pound into a paste. Alternatively, you may chop the garlic and chilies by hand as finely as possible. Transfer to a small bowl and add the soy sauce, lime juice, and water. Stir until well blended.
Divide the vegetable topping among the 4 bowls of noodles. Garnish each with chopped peanuts and drizzle with soy-lime dipping sauce.