Tag Archives: onions

Artichoke and Rosemary Pasta

Our artichoke harvest has been meager so far this year: one lonely bud.  The girls’ enthusiasm to eat it buoyed it straight from the back yard onto this week’s menu, where it was luckily joined by a larger bag of artichokes from our CSA.

I always end up feeling that artichokes are worth the work, don’t you?  I usually take the easy way out and steam them in eighths, but at least once a year I roll up my sleeves, clear my counters, and set to work cleaning and slivering artichokes for this recipe.  When you’re done, the deep, haunting flavor of any passable artichoke is magnified by caramelization, teased out by rosemary, and slathered across a gorgeous pile of pasta.  I confidently assert that this recipe is worth the hour it takes.Prepared Artichokes

Here’s a decent photo tutorial showing the steps for reducing a healthy-looking artichoke to a very-tasty shadow of its former self.  You can use artichokes of any size for this recipe–baby artichokes won’t have the thistle-blossom choke in the center, but if you use a larger artichoke you can just scoop out the choke with a paring knife or grapefruit spoon as you go.  Thinking of the task as meditative rather than repetitive helps.

Whatever you do, be sure to save the meaty outer leaves that you peel off.  I usually steam and serve them separately, but Elise of Simply Recipes offers the even-better idea of simmering them to make a broth.  I like the idea of getting three dishes from my bag of artichokes–this pasta, a plate of cold artichoke leaves with dipping sauces, and a steaming bowl of pillowy cheese ravioli floating in artichoke broth.  I’ll try that next time and report back.  Waste not want not, and all that.

p.s. After all that, the kids refused to eat the pasta, of course.  The leaves, which remained in recognizable artichoke form, were as popular as ever.

Artichoke and Rosemary Pasta Continue reading

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Black Bean Enfrijoladas

Today I’m here to offer you another version of my favorite black bean chilaquiles.  The original recipe gives you a riot of textures and bright flavors: the salty crunch of tortilla chips, lime, feta, chunky salsa, cilantro, a drizzle of crema, maybe even a few crisp radishes, all supported by a spicy puree of black beans, smoky chipotles, and garlic.  A bowl of those chilaquiles is one of my favorite foods.

But some days call for something a little simpler, a little healthier, and a heck of a lot less work.  On those days, lately, I’ve been making this version of the recipe instead.  The backbone of the dish, the spicy black bean puree, is unchanged from the earlier recipe.  But once the beans are ready, I don’t fuss with the little bowls of assorted toppings or with baking or frying the tortillas into chips.  Instead, I just dunk warm corn tortillas into the beans and then fold them into quarters right on our plates, topping them with a scoop of salsa, avocado, a handful of toasted pine nuts, and a dusting of cilantro.  With a salad alongside, dinner is served.Black Bean Enfrijoladas Continue reading

Whole Wheat Pasta with Greens, Caramelized Onions, and Creamy Walnut Sauce

There’s a new category of food in our house these days that I like to call “decadent vegan.”  Regular vegan food, as everyone knows, is steamed quinoa with shredded carrots and a squeeze of lemon, but decadent vegan food is different.  It’s this creamy, hearty pasta, and my first experiment with deep-frying and that addictive roasted squash salad that we’re still making every chance we get.  In truth, a lot of recipes on this site fall into the decadent vegan category, but for some reason I hadn’t thought of them that way before.  This year, I’m making a conscious effort to cook more vegan meals.  Decadent, delicious vegan meals.

What are your favorite recipes or ideas that fall into the decadent vegan category?  Please share!

Pasta with Greens, Caramelized Onions, and Creamy Walnut SauceIf you keep a jar of caramelized onions in the fridge, as I’ve been doing lately, this recipe can be prepared in the time your pasta takes to cook.  And if you don’t keep a jar of caramelized onions in the fridge, I encourage you to start. Continue reading

Spiced Lentils and Rice with Fried Onions (Mejadra)

I recognize that early January is a time of year traditionally reserved for repentance and asceticism, but I’ve never been much good at either of those.  After many years of making my never-changing Annual New Year’s Resolution (yeah, I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours), this year I didn’t make one at all.

So while better women are perfecting their green smoothie technique or annoying the regulars at the gym, I’ve been getting over my fear of deep frying.Lentils and Rice with Fried OnionsAnd I’m so glad I did.  This dish is spectacular for a few reasons.  The flavors are deep and rich and sweet, beautifully spiced but not at all spicy.  You probably already have all the ingredients in your cupboard, but I bet it won’t cost you $2 if you have to restock anything for this recipe.  And the leftovers just get better and better as the days go by. Continue reading

Savory Oatmeal with Mushrooms, Parmesan, and Thyme

Welcome to Emmy Cooks!  You can find some of my favorite recent recipes by visiting “My Favorite Recipes” (here are September, October, and November).  If you like what you see here, you can sign up on the sidebar to receive a daily recipe by email, add the RSS feed to your blog reader, or follow Emmy Cooks on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

I think it’s safe to say that J and I have made hundreds of pots of oatmeal in the past decade, if not more.  Now I wish that I had counted, so we could celebrate that 1,000th pot properly.  It’s coming soon, if it hasn’t already come and gone unnoticed.

Oatmeal is good for you, I know.  And I love oatmeal.  Oatmeal with berries, apples, bananas, raisins.  With brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, peanut butter.  I like a sweet bowl of oatmeal as much as the next person.  But you know what else is good for me?  Variety.  I can’t get enough of these savory oatmeal combinations right now.  Savory Oatmeal with Mushrooms, Parmesan, and ThymeSo did you make the Savory Oatmeal with Curry, Greens, and Caramelized Onions?  Did you make the Savory Oatmeal with Black Pepper, Blue Cheese, and an Olive Oil Fried Egg?  Am I getting to be a broken record here?  Good news, friends, I’ll be moving on soon, I promise.  To…sweet oatmeal!

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Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes, Roasted Broccoli, and White Beans

Have you entered this week’s cookbook giveaway yet?  You have until Monday night to enter!

I have a soft spot for those unreasonably large Greek “gigantes” beans.  They’re lima beans, maybe?  They’re fat and meaty and they make their presence known.  Here they nestle into a soft bed of pasta and roasted vegetables.  Small white beans could be fun too, though, especially if you use a shell pasta shape and let them get lost in the pasta swirls.  Either way, the beans and pasta are elevated one step beyond peasant food by the sweet, flavorful roasted vegetables.  Serve with a bracing, crisp, lemony salad for a nice flavor and texture contrast.

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Minestrone, or, My Biggest Pot of Soup

This is a soup with a story.  It’s essentially a minestrone, so you might think that our tale is going to start in Italy, with a grandmother tending a simmering pot for hours—and you’d be partly right.  Except that this story is about my good friend’s great-grandparents, and the pot was simmering on a stove in a bar in Sacramento, California.

Now, Sacramento has a long history as a drinking town.  So from the first days of the California Gold Rush, to the speakeasies of prohibition, to—I can only imagine—the indulgences of today’s state government bigwigs, there has been a steady stream of drinking establishment clients in need of a little something to help them sober up.

Our story, this soup’s story, takes place in the respectable post-prohibition era.  So it’s the 1930’s, maybe, and later the 1940’s.  The bar is remembered in family lore only as “The Joint,” which may or may not have been its name.  It resided within what was, at the time, the oldest standing building in Sacramento.  A watering trough waited outside the door for customers arriving by horse and buggy.  And my friend’s great-grandparents, the proprietors, always kept a pot of this minestrone soup behind the bar.  The recipe, needless to say, has been passed down through the generations. Continue reading