Roasted Broccoli, Potato and Vintage Cheddar Cheese Soup

Fresh broccoli, heirloom garlic and Yukon gold potatoes are lightly buttered, seasoned with sea salt and cracked black pepper and roasted until golden brown.  The vegetables are then simmered in a rich base of homemade vegetable stock with vintage yellow and Jasper Hill clothbound cheddar cheeses (in Austin, try Antonelli’s Cheese Shop in the Hyde Park neighborhood).  Seasoned with Piment d’Espelette and just a few red chili pepper flakes..

Roasted Broccoli, Potato and Vintage Cheddar Cheese Soup

The Espelette pepper (French: Piment d’Espelette; Basque: Ezpeletako biperra) is a variety of chili pepper that is cultivated in the French commune of Espelette, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, traditionally the northern territory of the Basque people.

Originally from Mexico and to a lesser extent South America, Piment d’Espelette was introduced into France from the New World during the 16th century.  After first being used medicinally, it subsequently became popular for preparing condiments and for the conservation of meat and ham.

Espelette peppers are harvested in the late summer, with characteristic festoons of peppers are hung to dry on balconies and house walls throughout the communes. –Wikipedia

This post is part of Meatless Monday, a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns
in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Peanut-Roasted Cauliflower, Thai Yellow Curry

Fresh cauliflower is separated into individual florets, then blanched in fresh ginger and lemongrass-infused vegetable stock.  The florets are shocked in ice water and patted dry before being tossed in chopped peanuts.  The coated cauliflower is then laid out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roasted at 400 degrees until golden brown and crisp on the outside, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, Thai yellow curry paste (yellow chilies, shallots, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon & turmeric)  is fried in raw coconut oil with fresh lemongrass, galangal and scallions and simmered with coconut milk..

Peanut-Roasted Cauliflower, Thai Yellow Curry

Galangal (galanga, blue ginger) is a rhizome of plants of the genera Alpinia or Kaempferia in the ginger family Zingiberaceae, with culinary and medicinal uses originated from Indonesia. (Lao: ຂ່າ “kha”; Thai: ข่า “kha”; Malay: lengkuas (Alpinia galanga); traditional Mandarin: 南薑 or 高良薑; simplified Mandarin: 南姜 or 高良姜; Cantonese: lam keong, 藍薑; Vietnamese: riềng).

It is used in various Asian cuisines (for example in Thai tom yum soups and tom kha gai, Vietnamese Huế cuisine (tre) and throughout Indonesian cuisine, for example, in soto). Though it is related to and resembles ginger, there is little similarity in taste. –Wikipedia

This post is part of Meatless Monday, a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns
in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health.

(Vegetarian) Sweet Potato Curry with Aged Cashew Basmati

Deep crimson in color with a slightly fruity flavor and mild to medium heat, Kashmiri chiles (Kashmiri mirch) are in such demand that there just aren’t enough to go around.  Combined here with ghee-fried onions, garlic, fresh ginger, Ceylon cinnamon and diced sweet potatoes..

Sweet Potato Curry with Aged Cashew Basmati


2 tablespoons ghee (substitute raw coconut oil)
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1-2 small green chilies, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 large ripe tomato, diced
1 4″ section fresh curry leaf
1 3″ piece Ceylon cinnamon
2 tablespoons Kashmiri mirch
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut cream, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaf, chopped
sea salt and black pepper

Melt the ghee in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat until shimmering.  Add onions and chilies and gently fry until tender.  Add cumin, curry leaves and cinnamon and cook 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add Kashmiri murch and turmeric and stir to form a paste.  Continue to stir and fry for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add tomatoes, sweet potatoes and stock, partially cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in coconut cream and coriander.  Season to taste and serve immediately over aged cashew basmati.

Like fine wine, basmati rice tends to improve with age.  High quality basmati may be stored for up to 10 years to enhance its flavor, bouquet and cooking characteristics.

This post is part of Meatless Monday!

Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli with a Sauce of Pepe Rosso, Herbs and Fresh Tomatoes

Calendula-colored, homemade ravioli filled with roasted butternut squash and served over a sauce of pepe rosso and fresh Roma tomatoes.  Topped with Mediterranean micro-greens, tomato concassé and shaved asiago fresco..

Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli with a Sauce of Pepe Rosso and Fresh Tomatoes

For the Tomato Pepper Sauce

4 Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup pepe rosso (sweet Italian pepper powder)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon pastured butter
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram
1 tablespoon fresh red basil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil and butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and pepe rosso, reduce heat to low and simmer 1 hour, stirring often. Add herbs and simmer 10 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper. The sauce may be left coarse or puréed as you see fit.

For the Concassé

1-2 Roma tomatoes, cored
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh Italian parsley, torn
pinch sea salt

Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 45 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomatoes to a plate to cool, then peel off and discard the skin. Split the tomatoes in half then gently squeeze out and discard the seeds. Coarsely chop the tomatoes and toss with olive oil, parsley and salt.

For the Pasta

1 1/2 cups organic, all-purpose flour
1 large pastured egg at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons filtered water at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup dried calendula (for color and a slight bitter flavor, optional)

Combine flour and salt into a mound on a large, flat work surface.  Make a small well in the center of the mound.  Crack the egg into the well, drizzle in the olive oil and beat lightly with a fork.

Working in a clockwise direction, use one hand to mix in the flour from the inside of the well while using the other hand to keep the outside of the well intact.  Continue working the flour until a smooth, non-sticky dough is formed. Cover dough with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest 30 minutes.

For the Filling

1 small butternut squash
1 tablespoon pastured butter
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh cream
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Split the squash lengthwise and clean out the seeds and any excess fibrous material.  Brush the insides of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.  Roast the squash in a 400 degree oven until tender and slightly caramelized, about 30 minutes.  Allow to cool, then use a spoon to scoop the flesh into a food processor.  Add the cream and process into a smooth puree.

Heat the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  When the foam subsides, add the shallot and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Reduce heat to medium-low, add the squash and stir to combine.  Mixture should be thick but spreadable, something like the consistency of wet sand.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary and allow to cool.

To Assemble Ravioli

Roll out the dough into 2 strips about 1/8 inch thick.  Arrange teaspoonfuls of squash mixture about 2 inches apart onto one of the strips of dough then lay the other strip of dough over the top, pressing out the air as you go.  Use a ravioli wheel or cookie cutter to cut out individual raviolis and arrange on a baking sheet to dry for 20 minutes.

To cook Ravioli

Bring unsalted water to a rolling boil and add the calendula and 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Cook the pasta until just tender, about 4 minutes (varies). Drain all but a tablespoon of water. Add torn micro-greens and toss gently to coat.

To Assemble

Ladle tomato pepper sauce into the center of a serving plate. Arrange drained pasta over the top and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Dress with tomato concassé and shaved asiago cheese.

This post is part of Meatless Monday!

(Vegetarian) Black Bean Enchiladas

Fresh corn tortillas filled with black beans, onions, peppers, cheddar, asiago and toasted cumin.  Bathed in fire-roasted tomato sauce with crushed chile chipotle, Mexican oregano & a splash of apple cider vinegar.  Topped with more cheese, then baked until sizzling hot.  Topped with a dollop of thick crema Mexicana..

Black Bean Enchiladas