There’s a comfort in ritual. For me, Sunday means farmers’ market. While I’m fortunate enough to have access to multiple greenmarkets throughout the week (hello, Union Square), it’s the smaller, slightly quirky one that I can breezily walk to without making a day of it that is dearest to me and the one I get most excited about. Phil teases me for this (and we laugh about this Superbad scene often), but even he has to admit that the fresh, local produce this time of year is pretty wonderful. He also loved this dish– which is pretty damn seasonal.
*If you can’t find garlic scapes just use 2-3 regular garlic cloves, thinly sliced, and watch very closely while cooking.
*You can also substitute farro, wheat berries, or pearl couscous for the sorghum (though note that the recipe will no longer be gluten-free).
1 cup sorghum, rinsed and drained
3 cups water or vegetable stock (I used water + ½ bouillon cube)
extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
10-12 garlic scapes, trimmed of stringy and dried ends, chopped
2 cups snap peas, trimmed and de-stringed
1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used heirloom grape)
generous handful of dill, chopped
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Place sorghum, water/stock, and a drop of olive oil in a saucepan and cook over high heat until boiling. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for about 50-60 minutes (mine took 60) or until tender but still a little chewy. Drain.
- Meanwhile, drizzle some olive oil into a large pan and cook garlic scapes and red pepper flakes over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring now and then.
- Add snap peas, turn up heat a bit, and cook, stirring as needed, for 3-5 minute, or until snap peas are just cooked through.
- Add snap peas and scapes to sorghum, and toss in the tomatoes and dill. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or cool.
Yield: About 4-5 servings
Like most people, I like my lunches to be as effortless as possible. This usually means left-overs from last night’s dinner, some sort of sandwich or rice cake creation, or– especially as the weather gets warmer– grabbing whatever items I have in the fridge and throwing them into a bowl. One of my favorite bases for the “grain” element of the bowl lunch is quinoa, which tastes great at any temperature and is easy to cook a big batch of to have throughout the week. The same goes for lentils, or feel free to substitute canned (BPA-free and rinsed, please). Of course with any bowl dish it’s the toppings that make it shine. Here I used sliced almonds, radish microgreens, olives, and avocado, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon, and a little harissa. It’s hippie food in the best sense possible. Delicious, delicious hippie food.
¾ cup cooked and cooled quinoa
½ cup cooked and cooled lentils
squeeze or two of lemon
a little hot sauce (I like something thick here, like harissa or sriracha)
handful of microgreens, pea shoots, sprouts, etc.
handful of sliced almonds
Combine quinoa and lentils in a bowl and toss with a little olive oil, squeeze of lemon, and sea salt. Top with everything else, then, if desired, finish with another small drizzle of oil and squeeze of lemon.
Yield: 1 serving
During my last haircut, I got to talking with my stylist about food and recipes and this blog. He pitched to me his own idea of featuring sets of recipes which share the same ingredients– a sort of batch cooking format. His desire to reduce waste and save money is something I think we can all relate to. I mean, who hasn’t sheepishly watched a bunch of cilantro rot away in the fridge after one night of chana masala? (Cilantro-haters, don’t answer that.) So while this post includes just one recipe, in the spirit of economy and forehandedness, I’m including some suggestions for what to do with the asparagus and chives you don’t use. For the asparagus, try grilling it: heat a grill pan over medium-high heat, when hot spray with a little cooking spray, and cook asparagus, a few minutes per side, until cooked through and slightly charred. Remove from heat and toss with a little extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. I also love asparagus in pasta dishes. This recipe looks great, as does this (and it uses sunflower seeds, too! I also bet you could substitute chives for the green onion). Or make risotto. This pesto looks like a delicious (and healthful) way to use up chives. And this pizza and this potato salad use both asparagus and chives. Waste not, want not.
*This salad dressing is on the rich side, which complements the grassiness of the asparagus really well. The lemon and hot sauce further balance out the flavors, but if you prefer something lighter, feel free to reduce the amount of oil, or the total amount of dressing overall.
1 cup quinoa
½ cup avocado, grapeseed, or mild olive oil
½ cup lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp finely chopped chives, plus a little extra for sprinkling on top
1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp mustard flour
1½ cups cooked /15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
15-18 thin asparagus spears (~½ bunch), rough ends removed, sliced diagonally into 1” pieces
3-4 tbsp sunflower seeds
couple splashes of your favorite hot sauce, optional
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a fine mesh sieve, rinse quinoa until the water runs clear. Drain. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil in a small saucepan and add quinoa. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until quinoa smells toasty and water has evaporated. Add 1½ cups water and a little salt, turn up heat to high. Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off heat but keep lid on for another 15 minutes, then remove lid, fluff with a fork, and let cool completely.
- Meanwhile make the dressing: in a tightly closed jar, shake together vigorously the avocado (or other) oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, chives, shallot, garlic powder, mustard flour, and some salt and pepper.
- Add chickpeas, asparagus, sunflower seeds, lemon-chive dressing, and hot sauce (if using), to cooled quinoa, and stir to combine. Taste for salt and pepper, and top with a little extra chopped chives.
Yield: 5-6 servings
Because it’s still root vegetable and citrus season, and because I’m always looking for more ways to add lentils to my diet, I give you this vibrant salad. Phil and I enjoyed it for dinner the other night, along with some roasted potatoes and grilled asparagus. I think it would also be really tasty (and make for great potluck/picnic fare) combined with something grainy, such as quinoa or farro.
*Optional: Before cooking lentils, soak them in hot water with a bit of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. I soaked mine for 5 hours. This makes them more easily digestible and reduces their cooking time, too.
*I also like to soak the chopped red onion in (cool) water while I prep the other ingredients. This helps tame its sharpness.
1 cup lentils, either beluga or French/de puy, picked over and rinsed
Couple splashes of apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice, optional
1 piece dried kombu, optional
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3-4 small beets, scrubbed
¼ cup olive oil
3 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1-2 tbsp chopped red onion, soaked and drained (see above note)
¼ cup shelled pistachios, chopped
generous handful of basil, chopped
generous handful of cilantro, chopped
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Wrap beets in foil, place in an oven safe dish, and roast for about an hour, or until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Let cool, then peel and dice small.
- Place lentils and kombu (if using) in a pot, and cover with about 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until done (but not falling apart). Cooking time for the lentils will vary, depending on freshness and whether or not they’ve been soaked. My presoaked lentils were done in 15 minutes. Lentils that haven’t been soaked will take longer, closer to 30 or 40 minutes. So be sure to keep an eye on them and check regularly for doneness. Once cooked, drain (and discard kombu), give a quick rinse, then toss with 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely.
- To make the dressing, whisk together or shake in closed jar the olive oil, orange and lemon juices, and some salt and pepper.
- Combine lentils, beets, dressing, and red onion, and season with salt and pepper. Top with pistachios and herbs. Taste for seasonings; you may wish to add more orange or lemon juice.
Yield: About 4 servings
Here, hearty lentils, crisp apple, arugula, and sunflower seeds are tossed in a zingy ginger orange dressing, making for one very flavorful salad. It’s basically fall in a bowl. And it’s good for you. Relatively inexpensive and a great source of protein, iron, folate and thiamin, among other nutrients, lentils are no doubt one of those foods that we all should probably be eating more of. On top of that, they’re easy to make.
In her wonderful (highly recommended!) cookbook My New Roots, Sarah Britton writes that she presoaks all legumes, even split peas and lentils, because it helps make them more easily digestible and decreases the active cooking time. I’ve tried her method a few times now, and must say that I am absolutely a believer. Adding a sheet of kombu to the cooking pot further aids in making legumes easier to digest. Lentils minus the, um, side effects? Sign me up!
*To make this salad more of a meal, serve with something grainy– quinoa, wild rice, and farro are all good choices– and/or some crusty bread. Roasted beets also make a nice addition.
1 cup French (de puy) lentils, sorted and rinsed
Couple spashes of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, optional
1 piece of dried kombu, optional
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
sea salt and black pepper
1½ cups arugula
1 apple, diced, tossed with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp sunflower seeds
For the dressing, shake together in a tightly closed jar:
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1½ tbsp fresh orange juice
½ tsp whole grain mustard
½ tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
sea salt and black pepper
- Optional: Before cooking lentils, soak them in hot water with a bit of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. I soaked mine for 5 hours.
- Place lentils and kombu (if using) in a pot, and cover with about 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until done (but not falling apart). If you’ve presoaked your lentils already, this can be as quick as 10 minutes. If not, it might be closer to 30 or 40 minutes. So be sure to keep an eye on them and check regularly for doneness. Drain (and discard kombu), give a quick rinse, then toss with apple cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely.
- Toss lentils with the dressing, arugula, apple, and sunflower seeds. Serve at room temperature.
Yiled: About 4 cups