Monday, April 07, 2014

amaranth, sumac & sugared almonds

Oh yes, it's that time of the year when you want to cook lazy feasts and sit outside in the canyon listening to the hawks and the coyotes in the early evening, when you want to have your friends over to sip pinot grigio, when you find purple cauliflower and impossibly green asparagus at the farmers markets, when the heady optimism that heralds the arrival of summer overcomes you. Or so it is for me! Sunday night suppers at home with friends and family renews my faith in human kind. Last night we laughed till we cried, mostly at my expense, when I realized, both with pride and certain amount of trepidation, that I am, for all intents and purposes, slowly turning into my mother.

I share these menus and recipes only because they are easy and fresh and I can't bear to keep things to myself (well, only a few things...)

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Kofta b'siniyah (lamb & beef meatballs with cinnamon, allspice, parsley & pine nuts, click here for the recipe) 

Tahini sauce

Whole roasted purple cauliflower (recipe below)

Roasted red & yellow carrots & baby potatoes

Steamed asparagus

Lebanese Rice with vermicelli & pine nuts (recipe below)

Wild arugula, shaved fennel & micro red amaranth salad

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micro red amaranth - isn't it pretty?

First off, whole roast cauliflower with sumac (and pilfered Meyer lemon) via the Guardian:

Whole roast cauliflower with cumin, sumac and lemon

It's just a regular, humble, garden cauliflower, but there's something really exciting about seeing it come out of the oven whole. Think of this as an edible centrepiece to hack away at, cutting chunks off the main stem, throughout your meal.
Serves 6 as a side
2 small cauliflowers (each about 500g), outer leaves removed
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sumac
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Lemon juice
A handful of parsley, chopped
Sea salt
1 Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Drizzle the cauliflowers liberally with oil, scatter with salt and sprinkle over the sumac and cumin.
2 Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, but turn the temperature down if the cauliflowers start to get too dark. They're cooked when they're lightly browned and an inserted skewer meets with just a little resistance.
3 Before serving, drizzle again with good quality olive oil and a fair squeeze of lemon, then scatter with parsley and a little more salt.
Around the World in 120 Recipes by Allegra McEvedy (Conran Octopus, published in July)

Super Secret Lebanese Rice Pilaf from the Moshay family

Don't tell anyone I gave you this recipe. It's super secret and has been guarded for generations. It's the best rice in the world. You will float to heaven after tasting it.

2 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 cup long grain rice
1 tin Swanson's chicken broth (14.5 oz)
1/2 cup (a handful) thin spaghetti or vermicelli, broken into fourths
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

Over a medium heat melt the butter and cook the vermicelli till golden. Add the rice and stir around till coated. Add the pine nuts.
Throw in the can of chicken broth. It will sizzle. Bring back to the boil. Turn down the flame to low, cover and let it cook until all the moisture is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Fluff with a fork and serve.

Andrea's beautiful dessert tray
Girlfriends: Andrea & Katie

1 comment:

LPC said...

As of right now, dinner at your house is on my bucket list.

No pressure, or anything;).