Miso-Braised Asparagus, Ginger Sauce

miso braised asparagus, ginger sauce

Miso-Braised Asparagus, Ginger Sauce, Sliced Scallion
served on
My “Le PONT de la TOUR” China
in Honor of
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

While ginger sauce makes a heart-healthy alternative to hollandaise, braising asparagus in miso broth adds another layer of subtle flavor. A casual ladle of ginger sauce over braised asparagus makes for a zippy vegetable side. The addition of buckwheat noodles, tomatoes and pine nuts makes a vibrant meatless meal.

❖❖❖

Lucy Robinson Hanson
1886 – 1970

Over a century ago, Lucy Robinson and Jack Hanson were Londoners. Early in the 1900’s, Jack left England for Chicago to follow his dreams. Shortly thereafter and still a teenager, Lucy left her family and followed her true love to America. By 1952 Lucy was a widow, a mother of 7 and grandmother of 17 when Princess Elizabeth, while visiting Kenya, received the news of her father’s death and her own accession to the throne.

Lucy decided to take one of her grandchildren back to England to visit the family she hadn’t seen in many many years and to witness The Coronation which was to take place in Westminster Abbey on the 2nd of June 1953. They boarded the RMS Queen Elizabeth and sailed to England. The granddaughter that accompanied Lucy was my mother. She was 19.

Continue reading “Miso-Braised Asparagus, Ginger Sauce”

Fiddlehead & Flower Month-of-May Salad

fiddlehead fern salad, edible flower salad
fiddlehead fern frond & edible flower
tatsoi & arugula salad
avocado, yukon gold potato, dijon dressing

April showers brought May flowers. And with the upcoming opening of our “ristorante alfresco virtuale” Ciao Fiore! I’ve got edible flowers on my mind. Marigold and Johnny Jump-Up, Nasturtium, Pansy, and Borage too. I spotted the fiddlehead fern fronds at Whole Foods Market, in season right now just shipped down from Portland, Oregon. Flowers and ferns seemed like a pretty pairing, and thus this delightful Month-of-May salad was born.

Edible Flowers in the Salad:

  • marigold – bright orange petals, some with red tips
  • johnny jump up – small purple petals
  • nasturtium – large orange flower
  • pansy – large dark violet-purple flower
  • borage – tiny blue petals

Continue reading “Fiddlehead & Flower Month-of-May Salad”

Woodsy Shiitake & Black Kale Soup

shiitake soup
Shiitake, Black Kale, Tofu & Seaweed Soup
Sesame, Scallion, Sriracha Garnish

Woodsy. Earthy. Deep.
This is one intense vegan soup that offers full epicurean contentment.

Flavor profile:
meaty shiitake mushroom, robust kale, subtly sweet ocean-y wakame seaweed,
toasty sesame oil, tangy hot sriracha
Aroma profile:
heady, intense, wet forest, earthy
Texture profile:
steamy broth, chewy kale, silky shiitake, slippery wakame, spongy tofu, crunchy sesame seed
Color profile:
deep dark broth, midnight-green wakame and kale, spring-green scallion, electric red sriracha

Continue reading “Woodsy Shiitake & Black Kale Soup”

Linguini, Smoky Avocado Sauce, Black Beans, Lime

avocado pasta

Linguini, Grilled Avocado Sauce with Lime & Cilantro
Topped with Black Beans, Red Onion & Serrano

Been seeing the avocado puréed, and used as a sauce or dressing a lot lately? I sure have. With pasta, as a substitute for mayonnaise in tuna salad, as a substitute for hollandaise with fresh fish or vegetables. Great heart-healthy ideas all!

Here, I take flavors that pair well with avocado such as lime, green chile, red onion, cilantro, black beans…and re-mix them into a refreshing green pasta dish. And by adding one more layer of flavor – smoke – the silky sauce takes on another dimension. Lime juice keeps it bright, and serrano kicks up the heat. It’s a healthy pasta fiesta!

Continue reading “Linguini, Smoky Avocado Sauce, Black Beans, Lime”

baby tagine = indian eggplant, lemon confit, garlic, thai basil

baby tagine, indian eggplant, thai basil

baby tagine
indian eggplant, lemon confit, garlic, thai basil, olive oil, red pepper flakes
with toasted ciabatta

indian eggplant, baby tagine

What to cook first in my new baby tagine?  I had been dreaming of a baby tagine ever since our most memorable meal on the 40th Floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange at Everest. Chef Joho serves a vegetable mélange side dish in the most charming vessel.

Continue reading “baby tagine = indian eggplant, lemon confit, garlic, thai basil”

Gourmet Picnic with Spicy Cold Soba Noodle Salad

gourmet picnic
Gourmet Picnic

Spicy Cold Soba Noodles with Peanut, Scallion, and Cilantro
Radish, Tofu, Shiitake, Carrot, Cucumber, Edamame, Shrimp

Natasha, the 5 Star Foodie & Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks! host the 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group, a fabulous monthly event for “sharing ideas and creating gourmet makeovers of selected classic dishes or flavor combinations.”

The 5 Star Makeover assignment for May is Gourmet Picnic Food, perfect for the Memorial Day holiday. “Take your favorite picnic food for a ride and make something special. Lots of leeway and freedom, you choose the ingredients. Just make sure it is 5 Star.”

My contribution to May’s Picnic is a makeover of the ubiquitous pasta salad. This one is portable, delightfully colorful, bursting with flavor, healthy, and since guests compile the salad themselves can be made vegan (just skip the shrimp).

Continue reading “Gourmet Picnic with Spicy Cold Soba Noodle Salad”

Kongnamul 콩나물 with Tofu Carpaccio

Kongnamul 콩나물
Soybean Sprout Namul with Leek & Red Bell Pepper
Tofu Carpaccio

Namul (a Korean seasoned vegetable dish) is usually served as banchan (a side dish accompanying the main course). In atypical fashion here, I serve kongnamul (soybean sprout namul) with a sliced tofu cutlet as the main course of a heart-healthy vegetarian lunch. We enjoyed a simple bowl of vegetable dumpling in broth on the side. Crunchy sprouts pair very well with mellow sautéed leek and bright red bell pepper plus a bit of spiciness from gochugaro (Korean chili powder). Toasted sesame oil adds a rich nutty component.

Continue reading “Kongnamul 콩나물 with Tofu Carpaccio”