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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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)

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Broccolette & Whipped Ricotta Pizza

I’m not sure if I can adequately profess my love for pizza.


Pizza in any form is pretty much irresistible, but how I adore those airy, crispy crusts that can only come from a wood-fired oven with just a smattering of the best ingredients.  A simple tomato, basil and olive oil pizza?  Yes, please.  Thinly sliced prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and a heap of peppery arugula on top?  Gimme gimme more.  There are only a few pizza places that have really captured my heart but unfortunately none of them are in my city.  So what do we do?  Naturally, we make our own.

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Cherry-Almond Bran Muffins

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The new year typically brings a sense of renewal, casting aside the excesses from the holidays and starting out fresh.  We’re almost a week in now; how are the resolutions coming along?  Still going strong…or not?   Whether it be your basics: exercising more, maintaining healthier eating habits or keeping cleaner house (all of which are on my list among other things), or something a bit more personal, those resolutions give this upcoming year a sense of purpose. Continue reading “Cherry-Almond Bran Muffins”

A Summer-y, Hearty Grain Salad with Shishito-Cilantro Dressing

I’m new to this shishito pepper bandwagon, but now that I’m on it I don’t plan on getting off any time soon!  Shishitos are a Japanese variety of pepper that are mellow and slightly sweet, except for the occasional spicy one hiding in the bunch.  Their preparation is simple and quick. In a hot cast iron pan with a bit of olive oil, the peppers are sautéd until the skin is blistered. Sprinkled liberally with sea salt and served with a cool dip, such as this one from The Kitchn, they make the perfect snack or appetizer.  I could eat these every. single. day.

  
That being said, I had been dreaming of another way to use them and I kept going back to some sort of a dressing, sauce or dip.  So here we are.  Use to dip vegetables, dress your salads or eat right off the spoon like I did.

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