Category Archives: vegetables

Layered Vegetable Torte

Title: Layered Veggie Torte

From: The Minimalist


1 large eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch slices

4 medium zucchini or yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices

2 portobello mushrooms, cut into

1/4-inch slices

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/2 cup bread crumbs, preferably fresh.

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put a grill pan over medium-high heat, or prepare a grill; the heat should be medium-high, and the rack about 4 inches from flame. Brush eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms lightly with half the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; if roasting, grease 2 baking sheets with oil. Roast or grill vegetables on both sides until soft.

2. Coat bottom and sides of 8-inch springform pan with oil. Layer a third of the eggplant slices into bottom of the pan, then layer in half the zucchini, mushrooms, tomato, garlic and basil, sprinkling each layer with a bit of salt and pepper. Repeat layers until all vegetable are used. Press the top with a spatula or spoon to make the torte as compact as possible. Sprinkle top with Parmesan and bread crumbs, and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon oil.

3. Bake torte in oven until hot throughout and browned on top, about 30 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before removing outer ring of pan, then let cool for another 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


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Filed under low carb, mark bittman, vegetables

Qabuli, Crunchy Papad, and Raita

Title: Qabuli

From: Jugalbandi


QABULI (Bengal Gram Biryani)

1. Soak 1/2 cup chana dal in 2 cups water for 1 hour.

2. Soak 1.5 cups basmati rice in 4 cups water for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in 4 tbsps oil/ghee fry 2 cups thinly sliced red onion (about 1 big onion) until reddish brown and crisp. This will take close to 30 minutes on medium heat. Layer a plate with paper towels, and put the onions on them to soak up the oil.

4. Drain the chana dal. Bring 1.5 cups water to a boil, add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, the dal and a little salt, and cook it uncovered until done, but firm.

5. Drain the dal and set aside.

6. Meanwhile, boil 4 cups of water separately. Tie in a cheesecloth with some kitchen twine, 1 small stick cinnnamon, 4 cloves, 1 bay leaf, 1 cardamom, and 6 peppercorns. Add this bundle to the boiling water with the rice, a little salt and 1/2 tsp oil. Cook it until the rice is 3/4 done. It should have a tiny bit of bite left to it. Remove the spice bundle, drain the water and keep the rice aside.

7. Crush coarsely, a tiny piece of cinnamon, 4 cloves, 4 peppercorns, 2 green cardamoms and a small piece of mace using a mortar and pestle. In the oil in which the onion was fried, add the crushed spices, 1 bay leaf and 1 tsp shah jeera (caraway).

8. After a few seconds, add 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste. Fry for 20 seconds, then add 3/4 cup plain yogurt, 1/4 tsp turmeric, and 1/2 tsp cayenne (chilli) powder. Add a pinch of salt, and cook the mixture down on medium heat until it recudes to half the quantity, then add the cooked dal. Cook it for a minute, and turn off the flame.

9. Preheat the oven to 250 F.

10. This step is optional. Take 2 big handfuls of spinach or other greens, or any veggie of your choice cooked with some salt. If using greens, wash and chop them, then put them in the microwave on high uncovered for 40 seconds to wilt them a bit.

11. Chop 1/3 cup each mint and coriander leaves, and 4 green chillies very finely.

12. Microwave 3 tbsps milk wih 2 pinches of saffron for 20 seconds.

13. Take a wide oven safe dish. Layer it with half the cooked rice. On top of it, spread the whole dal mixture, half the fried onions, half the mint, coriander leaves and chilies, and all the cooked greens/veggies.

12. Spread the rest of the rice on top, then add the remaining fried onions, mint, coriander leaves and green chillies. Drizzle 2 tbsp ghee on top of the dish, 1 tsp rose water, and the saffron-milk mixture.

13. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

14. Remove the dish from the oven, mix it very gently.

15. Add 1/2 tsp ghee to 3 tbsps. broken cashews and microwave on high for 40-50 seconds until golden. Use as garnish.

Serve with salad, cruncy papad, and/or raita.

Crunchy Papad

Makes 4 Rolls.


  • 4 pieces Udad Papads
  • 1 bowl Grated Cheese
  • 2-3 boiled and mashed potatoes
  • 2-3 Finely chopped Green chillies
  • A pinch of Sugar
  • 2 tsp Finely chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1 pinch Chat masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying


  1. Take one papad at a time and brush it with little water just enough to make it soft so that it could be moulded.
  2. Mix all the above ingredients.
  3. Take the mixture and fill the soft papad with this mixture.
  4. Roll the papad and stick the open sides of papad with water.
  5. Repeat this recipie for all other papad’s.
  6. Let it dry for few minutes else the oil will crackle if wet rolls are put.
  7. Heat oil and fry the rolls.
  8. Serve hot.

Raita Sauce

  • 1 large unpeeled English hothouse cucumber, halved, seeded, coarsely grated
  • 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (packed) chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus pinch of cayenne pepper


Wrap grated cucumber in kitchen towel and squeeze dry. Whisk yogurt, mint, cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in medium bowl to blend. Add cucumbers and toss to coat. Season raita to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.) Sprinkle raita with pinch of cayenne pepper and serve.

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Filed under complex, indian, vegetables, vegetarian

Watercress with Chickpeas

Title: Watercress with Chickpeas

From: Jugalbandi


3 cups washed and chopped watercress

1/2 cup dried chickpeas (or 1.25 cups cooked)

1/2 cup chopped shallots (or red onion)

3 green chillies, chopped

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tsp finely chopped garlic

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp cayenne powder

1/4 tsp Kashmiri garam masala

2 tsps oil

1 tbsp plain yogurt

2 tbsp non-fat milk powder


Watercress sapling

1. If using dried chickpeas, soak for 8 hours and cook with salt with plenty of water until soft. (About 3 whistles in the pressure cooker). Drain, save the liquid, and keep aside.

2. Heat the oil in a pan, add the cumin and stir until toasted, then add the ginger, garlic, chillies, shallots and a pinch of salt. Stir, add some salt and cook on medium-high until the onions are light brown.

3. A the turmeric and cayenne, stir for five seconds. Add the greens and salt. Cook for three minutes until wilted.

4. Add the chickpeas along with 1/4 cup chickpea liquid, along with the yogurt and milk powder.

5. Simmer for 2 minutes. Check the seasonings, add the garam masala, stir and take it off the flame.

Serve with rotis, rice or bread. It makes a great filling for a toasted sandwich.

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Filed under beans, jugalbandi, side dish, vegetables

Asparagus, Artichoke and Shiitake Risotto

Title: Asparagus, Artichoke and Shiitake Risotto

From: Smitten Kitchen


Makes 4 main-course servings.

5 cups chicken broth (40 fl ounces)
1 cup water
1 pound thin to medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices, leaving tips 1 1/2 inches long
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 large fresh artichoke hearts, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices, prepared*
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup, though I used half)

Bring broth and water to a boil in a 4-quart pot. Add asparagus and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer asparagus with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking, then drain and pat dry. Keep broth at a bare simmer, covered.

Heat oil with 1 tablespoon butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a bowl.

Cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter in saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 1 minute.

Ladle in 1 cup simmering broth and cook at a strong simmer, stirring, until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next, until rice is just tender and looks creamy, 18 to 20 minutes. (Save leftover broth for thinning.)

Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese, remaining tablespoon butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir in asparagus, artichokes and mushrooms, then cover pan and let stand 1 minute. If desired, thin risotto with some of remaining broth. Serve immediately with remaining cheese on the side.

* My absolutely favorite artichoke heart preparation is to remove all the outer leaves, choke and stem of a whole artichoke, leaving just the heart. Cut the heart into 1/4 inch slices and toss it immediately in a bowl filled with the juice of one lemon. Make sure each and every edge, angle and side of the hearts gets coated in lemon juice, or they will brown very quickly. In a small pot, boil water with a good glug or two of white wine, a splash of white vinegar and if you’re feeling fancy, a smashed garlic clove and/or a bay leaf. Drop in the artichoke hearts with all of their lemon juice, and simmer them for about 10 minutes, or longer if needed for them to become tender. Drain and set them aside.

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Filed under artichoke, asparagus, mushrooms, rice, side dish, smitten kitchen, vegetables


Title: Tabbouleh

From: 101 Cookbooks


Bulgur comes in different sizes – look for fine or medium bulgur for this recipe. Larger coarse bulgur takes longer to soften up, and you might need to boil it. As you can see in the photo – I stumbled on a single bunch of stunning purple asparagus and used a bit of it alongside the more readily available green asparagus. The interesting thing about the purple asparagus is that it tasted sweeter and was more tender in its raw form than much of the green asparagus I’ve tasted. The purple asparagus will also lose its vibrant purple flair when cooked so keep that in mind if you ever encounter it. I sliced it extra thin and used it raw here.

1 cup fine bulgur
1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch segments
1 cup peas, freshly shelled or frozen

1 garlic clove, crushed to a paste with 2 big pinches of salt
1 lemon, juice only
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 bunch chives, finely chopped
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped*

Fill a medium sauce pan with water and bring to a boil. You are going to use some of this water over the bulgur (to cook it), and the rest to blanch (quick-boil) the peas and asparagus.

Put the bulgur in a medium bowl, add boiling water to the surface of the grains and let it stand for about 15 minutes, just until tender. Drain and press out any remaining water and toss with a couple pinches of salt. Set aside.

Return the saucepan to the heat and bring the remainder of the water back up to a boil. Salt the water and cook the asparagus and peas for just about 20 seconds, just long enough for them to brighten up and lose a bit of their bite. Drain, run under colder water to stop the cooking, and add to the bulger.

For the dressing, whisk the garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil together and season with more salt if needed.

To the bulgur, asparagus, and peas add 1/2 the chives and 1/2 the walnuts. Toss with a big splash of the dressing. Taste and add more dressing if needed. Adjust the seasoning as well at this point. Garnish with the remaining chives, walnuts, and chopped egg and serve.

Serves 4 – 6.

*For great hard-boiled eggs place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly seven minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready. When the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so – long enough to stop the cooking. Crack the shells, peel and enjoy.

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Filed under appetizer, lunch, middle eastern, salad, side dish, vegetables

Green Beans


From: 101 Cookbooks


The following recipe is best made just before serving time. But as I mentioned in the main post you can make/prep this ahead of time by cooking the leeks and dill first and setting them aside. Instead of cooking the green beans in the skillet, blanch them in a pot of boiling, well-salted water for about a minute. Drain the beans and dunk them in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and place the beans in a bag or bowl in the refrigerator until ready to use. When ready, combine the components – you can do it at room temperature, or heated quickly in a skillet or pan.

4 leeks, well washed, root end and tops trimmed, sliced lengthwise into quarters and then chopped into 1/2-inch segments (see photo in main post)

1/3 cup fresh dill, well chopped
3/4 pound green beans, tops and tails trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments
extra-virgin olive oil
fine-grain sea salt

In a large thick-bottomed skillet of medium-high heat add a generous splash of olive oil, a generous pinch of salt and the leeks. Stir until the leeks are coated and glossy. Cook, stirring regularly until a lot of the leeks are golden and crispy. I stir every minute or two in the beginning, and more often as they brown using a metal spatula. All in all it takes me roughly 7 – 10 minutes to brown the leeks. At this point stir in the dill, and then stir in the green beans. Cook for a couple more minutes – just until the the beans brighten up and lose that raw bite. Turn out into a bowl or onto a platter and serve immediately. If you want to prepare these green beans ahead of time – read the head notes.

Serves about 6.

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Filed under 101 cookbooks, dinner, green beans, side dish, vegetables

Zucchini Bread


From: Smitten Kitchen


Yield: 2 loaves or approximately 24 muffins

3 eggs
1 cup olive or vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 cup dried cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips or a combination thereof (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans, liberally. (See those pictures of the cakes inside their non-stick pans? Yup, they’re pretty much hanging out in there for the time being.) Alternately, line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk. Mix in oil and sugar, then zucchini and vanilla.

Combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt, as well as nuts, chocolate chips and/or dried fruit, if using.

Stir this into the egg mixture. Divide the batter into prepared pans.

Bake loaves for 60 minutes, plus or minus ten, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Muffins will bake far more quickly, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

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Filed under baked, bread, smitten kitchen, vegetables, zucchini