Vegetarian Archive

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

wild mushroom pâté

wild mushroom pâté

Every spring, I promise I’m going to share a recipe for chopped liver. And every year I lose steam, perhaps because there are probably few more divisive foods than organs, or maybe because my instructions on the matter are quite short: just make Ina Garten’s. Ina can do no wrong, and I like to amuse myself by imagining that I’m only eight bestselling cookbooks and three homes in two countries away from basically being her when I grow up. (Sure Deb. Okay.)

creminis, oyster, chanterelle and porcini
as many cool mushrooms as you wish

But I like this year’s distraction the most, which came from me wondering what a vegetarian chopped liver might entail. The first thing it would need to do is lose the word liver, so not to scare away children of any age. Second, I hoped it would embrace rather humble ingredients like mushrooms that when cooked down to concentrated nubs, pack an unexpectedly fragrant and earthy complexity. And finally, although there are recipes for wild mushroom pâté from one end of the web to the other, I was hoping it would have a Jewish/Eastern European vibe, reminiscent of the promised chopped liver — rich, ample browned onions, making use of hard-boiled eggs, and served on matzo crackers, likely with pickles.

let's brown some onionscooking down the mushrooms, with steama cook's dread: mounds of brown fooda cook's dread: mounds of brown food

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

baked chickpeas with pita chips and yogurt

baked chickpeas with pita chips and yogurt

Nothing against barbecue-style baked beans, all tangy sauced and full of smoky burnt end drippings — hi summer, get here quick please — but I hardly see why navy beans get to have all of the fun. Where are the baked kidney beans, black-eyed peas and gigantes? Baking is a phenomenal way to cook dried beans and a great way to make something more complex of canned ones; when you start considering flavors, the sky, nay, the globe is the limit. I want these red beans slow-baked in a big casserole, scooped with tortilla chips. I want baked black beans heaped over tostones, braised white beans over Catalan-style tomato bread and I want what we had for dinner last night for the first time all over again, because it was perfect.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

red bean and green grain taco bowl

red bean and green grain taco bowl

I swear, this wholesome-looking meal isn’t penance for anything. It’s not a budget-friendly apology for the frenetic unplanned redecorating project or atonement for the fact that I’ve basically only wanted to eat chocolate, peanut butter, bread and pasta for the last 22 weeks. It’s not compensation for the frosting that didn’t make it onto the cake and was eaten instead with a spoon, or the impulsive meringues last weekend. It’s only ever-so-quietly a warning that the next thing coming on this site is so decadent, you might wish to advance yourself some greens, grains and beans.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

spaghetti pangrattato with crispy eggs

spaghetti pangrattato with crispy eggs

Several years ago, because we didn’t have a kid yet, didn’t know about things like school break schedules and figured midway through February was as good of a time to escape the snow as any, we decided to get away to someplace warm and winter-free during Presidents’ Day week. We found ourselves smack dab in the middle of a beach resort that had to have easily been 75% children, and the kind that were at that time my worst nightmare of what kids could be [insert yours here, then multiply it as far as you can see] and we decided to both never have kids and never ever go away on Presidents’ Week again.

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Monday, February 2, 2015

charred cauliflower quesadillas

charred cauliflower quesadillas

Last week* I mentioned that we’d been on a big breakfast-for-dinner spree this winter, less out of a noble desire for inexpensive, balanced, wholesome meals and more because scrambling eggs at the last minute allows us to go all the way to 15 minutes before dinner to come up with an idea for it, which is meal-planning equivalent of the heavens opening up and glorifying all of my late-afternoon lethargy at last.

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