soused & sun-dried tomato soup

Soup in the summer??  It doesn’t seem right but when you’re in need of a quick dinner, this one comes together in a cinch (as long as you have your soused tomatoes ready).  It’s also one of the most flavorful soups I’ve ever made, thanks to a combination of slow-roasted Roma tomatoes with tons of herbs and garlic and some sun-dried tomatoes for fun.

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Nut-Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies (with Crisp Brown Rice)

My husband is raving about these cookies.  Yes, they’re tasty and crunchy but simply the best cookie I’ve made thus far?  I didn’t think so, but he says otherwise and I’ll take that from my harshest (only) food critic.  I’ll let you decide for yourselves.

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These are nut-butter cookies because they’re made with a combination of almond and cashew butters, though I’m sure substitutions (all almond butter, peanut butter, etc) would work just fine.  Cashews are a bit more mellow in flavor than almonds (in my opinion) so using cashew butter really balanced the strong almond flavor of these cookies.  Add chopped dark chocolate and crisp brown rice (or Rice Crispies) and you’ve got a cookie with lots of flavor and tons of texture.  Top with flaked sea salt for good measure.

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They’re chewy, crispy and chocolaty…you should totally do it.  Happy weekending!


nut-butter chocolate chunk cookies (with crisp brown rice)

These come together in a snap and substitutions are welcome.  If you don’t have cashew butter, 1 cup of almond butter can be used instead.  Or peanut butter. Or any nut butter, really.  Don’t skip the crisp brown rice.

  • ½ cup cashew butter (raw or roasted)
  • ½ cup roasted almond butter
  • 1/3 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup muscavado sugar (or dark brown sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4-1/3 cup crisp brown rice
  • ½ cup  chopped dark chocolate (I prefer at least 70% cocoa)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine nut butters with both types of sugars in a large bowl until everything is combined.  Add in the egg and stir until fully incorporated. Add vanilla, baking soda and salt.

Add chopped dark chocolate and crisp brown rice.  Stir to combine.

Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  I then rolled each cookie dough ball between my hands to make sure they were all uniform in size and would spread evenly.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.  Let them cool completely on the cookie sheet before removing them.  Store in an airtight container and they should keep for about a week.

 

Barley Risotto with Marinated Feta

Let’s just start by saying I absolutely adored this dish.  It’s hearty and filling and feels like a warm hug for your stomach.  Is that weird?  Didn’t think so.


Arborio rice is found in traditional risottos, but this isn’t your traditional risotto.  There’s no need to warm vegetable broth in a separate pot, ladle broth into the rice, stir and repeat.  Instead, pearled barley is used and this dish doesn’t require the the meticulous preparation and exact measurements as its Italian counterpart.  We just sauté the aromatics, add all the broth at once, toss in the barley, kale, tomatoes and seasonings and let the heat do it’s thing. Just a few stirs here and there. Done.  Easy peasy one pot dinner.

But! We can’t forget about the marinated feta.  Caraway seeds may not be something you have readily available in your pantry but I love them in here, so use them if you can!

I adapted this recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem using what ingredients I had on hand.  The flavor profile remains in tact, though I added some kale for a pop of green, used leeks instead of celery and probably more tomatoes than originally called for.  Still tastes delicious.

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barley risotto with marinated feta

RECIPE

(serves 4-6)

  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 tbs ghee/unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • ¾ cup diced leeks
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 strips lemon peel
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes
  • ½-1 tsp fine-grain sea salt
  • scant 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I used Miur Glen’s fire roasted tomatoes- as always)
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2-3 oz crumbly feta cheese

Rinse the pearl barley well under cold water and leave to drain.

Melt the butter and tablespoon on olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the leeks, shallot and garlic over gentle heat until soft, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the barley, kale, thyme, paprika, bay leaf, lemon peel, chili flakes, salt, vegetable broth and tomatoes.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a very gentle simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure the risotto doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.  It is ready when the barley is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, toast the caraway seeds in a dry pan for a couple of minutes.  Lightly crush them so that some whole seeds remain.  In a small bowl, combine the feta, crushed caraway seeds and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and gently mix to combine.

Once the risotto is ready, check the seasoning and add more salt if needed.  Divide into bowls and top each with the marinated feta, olive oil included.  To bulk up the protein, add some sliced chicken on top!  It’s delicious either way.

(adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem)