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Posts Tagged ‘spring onions’

I really, really don’t like mayo, so I don’t eat most people’s versions of potato salad. This one, however, is perfect. It’s fresh, easy, and absolutely mayo-free, coated instead with a dressing made of whole-grain mustard, spring onions, and olive oil. If you are still finalizing your Memorial Day menu (like me), try adding this salad to the list.

Red Potato-Green Bean Salad (adapted from Epicurious)

8 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled, quartered
2 tablespoons champagne (or white wine) vinegar
1 spring onion, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon whole-grain (or Dijon) mustard
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add potatoes* and boil about 15 minutes, until tender. Add green beans to the water about 4 minutes before potatoes finish cooking. Empty potatoes and green beans into a colander to drain.

Meanwhile, prepare dressing. Combine onion, mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a small food processor and process until smooth. Place potatoes and green beans in a large bowl. Add dressing and mix to combine. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. You can make this a day ahead, but I like it warm.

*I used to avoid boiling potatoes because I hated getting splattered by boiling water when I dropped the potatoes in. Then, I realized that if I used a small strainer like this to lower the potatoes into the water, I’d stop being splattered. Now, my family gets mashed potatoes a lot more often. Try it if you have a strainer laying around and are also tired of being splattered.

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I’d been craving a good, creamy risotto for several days when I came across some pencil-thin asparagus on sale last weekend. I combined it in my risotto with fresh parsley, spring onions, and some other Local Box goodness, and I had a winner. I topped it with prosciutto that I tossed in the oven for a few minutes to crisp up, like bacon.

Now, risotto does require a bit of elbow grease in the form of near-constant stirring. You might break a sweat. I usually do. But the stirring is necessary to unlock the starches in the Arborio rice and give the risotto that telltale creamy texture, so just do what I do: put on some good music, pour a glass of wine, and sing along as you stir. It’ll go by before you know it. I promise.

Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Parsley

2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch of spring onion bulbs, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 carrot, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup Arborio rice*
1/8 tsp saffron threads, crushed
3/4 cup white wine*
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 lb thin asparagus, bottom 1 1/2 inches removed, the rest cut into 1 in. pieces
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay prosciutto slices on a greased cookie sheet and bake 7-8 minutes, until crisp. Set aside.

Heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, leek, and carrots, and cook 4 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan and keep warm. Add rice and saffron to vegetable mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir wine and cook 1 minute or until liquid is mostly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is mostly absorbed before adding the next — this takes about 25 minutes total. When you’ve gone through about half of the stock, add the asparagus. When rice is cooked, remove from heat and stir in cheese, salt, and pepper. Top with parsley and crumbled prosciutto.

Makes about 4 servings.

*It’s important to use Arborio or another short-grain rice — don’t try to sub regular long-grain rice. It doesn’t have the starch necessary to produce a creamy texture.
*3/4 cup is about the amount in a picnic bottle of wine. I don’t like putting my drinking wine in my dishes (feels like a waste), so I buy the little four-packs of wine and use those instead. It’s much better than that salted “cooking” wine you buy in the vinegar section of the grocery store.

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I love me a good slaw. This one has extra crunch from both jicama and green apples, and a citrusy dressing provides just the right amount of tartness. You can find jicama by the potatoes in the grocery store, and it does kind of look like a russet potato. It has a very mild flavor, so it’s great for recipes like this where you just want something that adds a bit of crunch but doesn’t overpower the dish.

If you have a food processor, this recipe will come together in about 15 minutes. I use mine all the time, and you don’t need to go all Williams Sonoma and spend $500 on one. I’ve used my cheapo Black and Decker for about 10 years with no problems. I couldn’t find a link to mine online (like I said, it’s old) but this one is similar. If you don’t have a food processor, use the large holes on a box grater to shred the veggies.

Anyway, enjoy this slaw with grilled shrimp or grilled bbq tofu kebabs. Or pretty much anything else grilled. Heck, it was so good I just ate a big bowl of it as a snack.

Jicama, Apple, and Cabbage Slaw

2 cups shredded cabbage (I used green, but Napa is fine)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and shredded
1 jicama, shredded (about 12 oz)
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 cup sliced spring onion tops (or green onions)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Juice of two oranges (about 1/4 cup)
Juice of two limes (about 4 tbsp)
2 tbsp olive oil

Combine cabbage, apples, jicama, carrots and onion tops in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. In a small bowl, combine orange juice, lime juice, and olive oil. Pour over veggies and toss to combine.

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Hilary reminded me today that I haven’t talked much about Ryan lately here. So I’m going to tell you what happened this week when I pulled out a pint of strawberries and offered him one.

He ate it quickly, then asked for more. He then ate another one. And another. And soon, in one sitting, he had eaten an entire pint of strawberries and then started crying when I told him that he’d eaten all the strawberries in the house. Yeah. If you remember, Ryan is not yet two.

Now, yesterday I made chicken nuggets. I’d never even made them at home until last night, when I came across a recipe for chicken nuggets breaded with almond meal instead of breadcrumbs that sounded interesting. They tasted just like regular chicken nuggets, but did Ryan want them? Of course not.

An entire pint of strawberries in one sitting? No problem. But a toddler finger-food staple? Just one bite? Well, that’s just ridiculous.

Tonight we resorted to bribery. It went like this:

Us: “Ryan, if you eat your chicken you can have some cake!”
Ryan: “No!”

Us: “Ryan, if you eat your chicken you can have your orange!”
Ryan: “No!”

And so on. It did not work. So tomorrow night, I’m going to serve this soup and hope for better results. If kiddie-style chicken’s not cutting it, we’ll just go with a more adult chicken dish and see what happens.

There’s much to love about this soup. Inspired by several veggies I needed to use, it’s stuffed with vegetables, chickpeas, and chicken, and gets a wonderful smoky flavor from smoked paprika. It also comes together quickly on a weeknight. It would taste great without the chicken and with vegetable broth for a vegetarian version.

Smoky Chickpea Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped (about 1 tsp)
1 bunch spring onion bulbs, thinly sliced (reserve the tops for garnish)
1 bunch bok choy, chopped
2 cups finely chopped kale
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
3 cooked chicken breasts, chopped (about 3-4 cups)
1 15-oz can chickpeas
1 15-oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Add onions and garlic and cook about 5 minutes, until onions soften. Add remaining ingredients, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until greens or softened. Garnish with chopped spring onion tops. Serve with crusty bread to soak up the rich broth.

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Some of you lucky folks will get fennel this week! The entire box will consist of:

So I am making:

Carrot-dill soup (with chopped spring onion tops as garnish)

Fennel, radish, and grapefruit salad — This recipe calls for paper-thin slices of fennel, which you’d usually get with a mandoline. If you don’t have one (like me) just thinly slice by hand or use the slicer blade on your food processor.

Mongolian beef

Grilled romaine lettuce — this is a great side dish with any grilled meat. I know it sounds odd, but try it and I think you’ll love it.

Strawberry bread

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We get a batch of juicy strawberries this week –the first of the season! I’m using them in this Spring Strawberry Pie, which gets a unique flavor from a touch of balsamic vinegar. The entire box consists of:

So I’m making:

Spinach and carrot quiche (recipe to come in your Local Box)

Smothered mushrooms and kale

Hearts of palm and red onion salad with citrus vinaigrette (subbing salad greens for the spinach, unless I have some left over from the quiche)

Chinese spring onion pancakes to accompany a beef and bok choy hot pot

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