Quinoa Salad with Shiitakes and Fennel
Adapted from www.thewednesdaychef.com

  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed well under cool water
  • 1 quart water
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 large bulb fennel, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 bunch green onions, trimmed, sliced, both white and green parts
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cashews, toasted
  • 4 Tbs. flat leaf parsley, minced
  • 4 Tbs. cilantro, minced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime

Directions: In a medium pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Stir in the quinoa, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 12-15 minutes, until the quinoa is tender. Remove from heat and drain. Set aside. Heat the peanut oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds, just until it turns gold. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the fennel to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, 5-7 minutes, until golden. Remove the fennel with the slotted spoon and set aside. Add the shiitakes to the pan and stir-fry until caramelized, 4-5 minutes. Add the green onions and cook until the onions begin to wilt, 1-2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and vinegar and toss to combine. In a large bowl, place the quinoa, shiitake and green onions, fennel, garlic, cashews, parsley, cilantro, lime zest and juice. Toss gently to combine, check the seasonings, and serve. Makes six servings.

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Mango Salsa
Adapted from www.thekitchn.com
Such a good replacement for the usual tomato salsa! Eat with tortilla chips, on tacos, or with grilled fish or chicken.

  • 2 cups plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups mango, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed and seeded, minced (optional)

Directions: Place all ingredients in a bowl and gently fold together. Allow the flavors to combine at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, or up to an hour. Serve! Makes five cups.

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Pesto with Parsley & Almonds
Adapted from www.orangette.com
Use this recipe as a starting point. Toast the almonds if you like, or use walnuts or pine nuts instead. If you have other herbs on hand, add them to the parsley. This is of course delicious on pasta, but try it on roasted potatoes or lightly steamed vegetables.

  • 2 Tbs. almonds
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, packed
  • 5 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 garlic clove (optional)

Directions: Place the almonds in the food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic (if you’re using it) and pulse until you have a paste. Adjust the salt, lemon juice and olive oil to taste. Makes 1/2 cup.

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Edamame and Rice Salad with Herbs
Adapted from www.thewednesdaychef.com from an L.A. Times recipe
The herbs in this salad are so fresh and bright, and the fennel and pepper provide a nice crunch!

  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen edamame, shelled
  • 1/2 cup long-grain rice, rinsed
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. white wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. peanut oil (or canola)
  • 2 tsp. chives, fresh, chopped
  • 1 tsp. oregano, fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. flat-leaf parsley, fresh, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. tarragon, fresh, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup red pepper, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup fennel, finely diced

Directions: Cook the edamame for 4-5 minutes in a small pot of boiling water until tender. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a large serving bowl and let cool. Bring the edamame water back to a boil and add the rice and cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. In the meantime, make a dressing by combining the mustard and vinegar in a small bowl. Drizzle the oil in, whisking until emulsified. Whisk in the chives, oregano, parsley, tarragon, salt and pepper. Strain the rice and place in the bowl with the edamame. Add the red pepper and fennel, and pour about half of the vinaigrette over the salad. Fold the ingredients together until coated. Add more vinaigrette, salt and pepper to taste. Top with the almonds and serve. Makes two servings.

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Cilantro Mint Chutney
Adapted from www.thekitchn.com
This is a perfect pairing with Indian dishes, a nice topping for sandwiches and burgers, or as an accompaniment to steamed or roasted vegetables.

  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed and dried well, stems (mostly) removed
  • 1 bunch mint, washed and dried well, stems removed
  • 1 Serrano chili, de-seeded and roughly chopped
  • 3” piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Water

Directions: Combine herbs and chili in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the ginger, cashews, raisins, a pinch of salt, and half of the lemon juice. Pulse to create a thick paste. Add about 1/3 cup of water and pulse. Add more water if needed, a Tbs. at a time. Taste and add more lemon juice or salt if needed. It will keep, refrigerated in a covered container, for a few days. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

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Pearl Couscous with Mint and Pecans
Adapted from www.thekitchn.com
This recipe comes together quickly and is a nice dish to bring to potlucks (and picnics!).

  • 1 red onion, medium, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pearl couscous
  • 1/2 cup water plus 2 tablespoons
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped, toasted
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Directions: Sauté onion in 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium heat for 20 minutes, until soft. Sprinkle with salt and place in a serving bowl. Boil water in a small pot and stir in the couscous. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, and remove from heat. Let sit for about 12 minutes, until the water has been absorbed.  Put couscous in the serving bowl with the onion. Add the mint, pecans, a Tbs. of olive oil, and vinegar. Toss gently to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or cooled. Makes two servings.

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Creamy Mango Salad Dressing
Adapted from www.epicurious.com
This is delicious served on a spinach salad or on lightly wilted greens.

  • 1 large mango, peeled, pitted, roughly chopped
  • 4 tsp. plain yogurt
  • 3 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Directions: Purée mango, yogurt and vinegar in a blender until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper. This will keep refrigerated and covered for a few days, but is really best the same day. Makes one cup.

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Rigatoni with Herbs, Onions and Ricotta Salata
Adapted from The Babbo Cookbook by Mario Batali, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
Oniony-herby-garlicky goodness, this pasta recipe is a keeper!

  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 lb. sweet onions, sliced in half from stem to root, then sliced lengthwise
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb. leeks, washed well, cut into 1/8” rings
  • 1/2 lb. red onions, quartered and sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed, cut into 2” lengths
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. rigatoni
  • 4 oz. ricotta salata, coarsely grated
  • 1/4 cup flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/8 cup chives, chopped into 1” lengths

Directions: Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the sweet onions and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Raise the heat to medium and cook until deep golden and nicely caramelized, stirring often. Place the onions in a bowl and set aside.

Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, leeks, red onion and scallions and sauté until soft and golden. Add the water and cook until it evaporates. Sprinkle with salt. Turn off the heat and add the sweet onions to the pan.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the rigatoni until al dente. Drain. Heat the pan of onions over medium-high heat and add the pasta to the pan. Fold in the pasta gently to combine with the onions, and sauté for one minute. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the cheese, parsley and chives. Serve immediately! Makes four servings.

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Sticky Rice with Mangoes
Adapted from www.saveur.com.
What a treat to be able to recreate this tasty South East Asian restaurant dish at home!

  • 1 cup sticky rice
  • 1 cup coconut cream (or 1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk—do not shake!)    
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and sliced

Directions: Soak the rice in water for 3 hours. Drain and place in a steamer. Steam over medium-low heat until tender, about 20-25 minutes.
Put the coconut cream (if using a can of coconut milk instead, spoon the thick cream off the top) in a saucepan with the sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, or until the sugar dissolves. Pour the coconut over the rice, mix well and set aside until the coconut liquid has soaked into the rice, about 30 minutes.
Put a spoonful of rice on each plate to serve and top with mango slices. Serves 6.

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