GRILLED CAULIFLOWER STEAKS + CHICKPEA & FRUIT SALAD

These cauliflower steaks can also be cooked in a pan with a little bit of oil if you prefer that to grilling.


For the cauliflower

1 medium cauliflower head, leaves removed
1/3 cup olive oil
Fine sea salt and ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon yellow curry powder

For the salad
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 nectarine, finely diced
½ cup finely diced pineapple
10 basil leaves, chiffonaded
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
A light sprinkling of fine salt and pepper


Preheat the grill for 15 minutes.

Using a sharp knife, cut the cauliflower lengthwise into four 1 inch-thick slices. Reserve the scraps for another use.

Brush the cauliflower slices generously with olive oil. Mix the salt, pepper, cumin and curry, and sprinkle both sides of the cauliflower.

Cook the cauliflower slices on the grill, with the lid closed, 5 to 8 minutes per side.

To make the salad, simply combine all the ingredients in a bowl.

Plate the cauliflower steaks with the chickpea and fruit salad on top.

Serves 4

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

EASY CUMIN-LIME STEWED RED LENTILS

1 ½ cups red lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons grated red onion
1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish, optional


Place the lentils, vegetable broth, olive oil and salt in a medium pot over medium heat. Cover with a lid and cook 15 to 18 minutes, until the broth is almost evaporated and the lentils soft.

Remove from the heat. Stir in the grated onion, lime juice and cumin.

Serve warm garnished with chopped cilantro leaves.

Serves 3 to 4

Cumin lime red lentils

GREEN & BLACK OLIVE BEAN DIP

½ cup pitted black and green olives
¼ cup sundried tomatoes
½ cup water
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (or 1.5 cups home cooked beans)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped scallions


Place the olives, sundried tomatoes and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.

Transfer the olives, sundried tomatoes and their cooking water into the bowl of a food processor. Add the cannellini beans, garlic and vinegar and pulse until very smooth. With the motor still running, pour in the olive oil and process until fully incorporated. Taste and season with pepper. Transfer the puree to a serving bowl. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Garnish with chopped scallions. Enjoy with bread, chips or vegetables.

KALE TABBOULEH

8 cups chopped kale, ribs and stems removed
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 medium firm tomato, diced
1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
2/3 cup cooked quinoa or couscous (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lime


Using a food processor, finely chop the kale and mint leaves. This may take four to five batches depending on the size of your processor bowl.

Transfer the chopped kale and mint to a large glass bowl. Add the diced tomatoes, cucumber and grated lime zest (and quinoa or couscous, if using). Season with salt and pepper. Toss to mix the ingredients.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and olive oil. Add to the tabbouleh and toss well.

Serve immediately or refrigerate for later consumption. Tabbouleh will stay fresh for up to five days.

Serves 4

kale salad

CHARRED EGGPLANT DIP

Also known as baba ghannouj or baba ghanoush, this eggplant puree makes a lovely appetizer. Serve with bread or veggies.

1 large globe eggplant
1 large garlic clove, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon tahini
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For garnish:
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Smoked paprika


Line the surroundings of a gas burner with aluminum foil (you’ll be thankful you did when the eggplant starts dripping its sticky juices). Turn on the flame to medium-high and char the eggplant on all sides until swollen, cracked, soft and dripping hot juices. Use tongs to turn it as it can get very hot. The charring should take 10 to 15 minutes.

Place the charred eggplant in a paper bag to allow it to sweat and cool a bit, 5 minutes. Transfer it to a cutting board. Peel off and discard the skin.

Transfer the pulp into the bowl of a food processor. Add the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, cumin (if using), salt and pepper. Process to a puree.

Serve baba ghannouj at room temperature drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with chopped parsley and smoked paprika.

ROASTED ZAATAR POTATO WEDGES

¼ cup canola oil
1 tablespoon harissa or other hot sauce
Fine grain sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
2 large or 3 medium Idaho or red skin potatoes, cut into 6 wedges lengthwise (I used red skin)
2 tablespoons zaatar
Chopped cilantro, for garnish

Optional vinaigrette for serving:
1 small shallot, minced
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup olive oil


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the oil, harissa, salt, pepper and minced garlic in a large glass bowl and whisk to combine. Add the potato wedges and toss well to coat the potatoes with the oil-harissa mixture.

Place the potato wedges close together in a single layer in a large rimmed baking pan. Sprinkle with zaatar.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are lightly browned and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Let cool slightly and serve sprinkled with chopped cilantro.

If you wish to serve the potatoes with a vinaigrette, simply process all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette except the olive oil in a food processor. With the motor still running, slowly add the olive oil until emulsified. Serve the vinaigrette in a small bowl alongside the potatoes.

Serves 4 to 6

STUFFED CHARD LEAVES

2 tablespoons olive oil
5 scallions, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup jasmine rice
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup chopped roasted cashews
½ cup raisins, presoaked in warm water until plump
¼ cup chopped dill
Juice of ½ lemon
A large bunch Swiss chard, stems cut off

Vinaigrette
Equal parts olive oil and lemon juice


In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the scallions for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broth, rice, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 15 to 18 minutes. The rice should be fully cooked but still firm. Remove from the heat. Drain excess liquid.

Transfer the rice to a mixing bowl and let it cool a bit. Add the cashews, raisins, dill and lemon juice. Toss a couple of times to combine. Set aside.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Blanch the chard leaves for 2 to 3 minutes, until they look tender. Dry each leaf in paper towel and cut out the middle rib to obtain two halves. Working horizontally, fill each half leaf (vein side up) with about a tablespoon of the rice mixture. Fold by tucking in the sides and tightly rolling the leaf into a spring roll shape. Arrange the rolls on a plate.

Whisk the olive oil and lemon juice until emulsified to make the vinaigrette. Spoon the vinaigrette on top of the stuffed leaves. Enjoy at room temperature or slightly chilled.

Serves 4

Stuffed Chard Leaves

 

BUTTERNUT SQUASH, DATE AND TAHINI DIP

1/3 cup butternut squash purée (substitute pumpkin)

4 large ripe Medjool dates, pitted and chopped

2 tablespoons tahini

1 tablespoon water, or more if needed


Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and process them until smooth and creamy. Serve cold or at room temperature with fruits or vegetables.

Makes about 1/2 cup

SPICY CHICKPEAS IN TOMATO SAUCE

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large tomato, peeled and diced

1 medium yellow onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon harissa, Sriracha or other hot pepper sauce

1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3/4 cup water

Finely chopped cilantro, for garnish


Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the tomato, onion and garlic. Saute until withered, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste, salt, pepper, cumin, mustard powder, chili and harissa. Cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the chickpeas and water and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook on low heat for 10 to 20 minutes.

Serve hot.

Serves 4 as a side and 2 as a main dish.

VEGETABLE COUSCOUS

For the vegetables
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces
6 sprigs parsley
1 ¾ cups water or vegetable broth
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and halved crosswise
½ cup raisins
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas

For the couscous:
1 cup instant couscous
1 cup boiling water
1/4 teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon butter


In a medium pot, sauté the onion and garlic in olive until translucent, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, coriander, ginger and turmeric. Cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the water or broth, carrots and parsley. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat 10 minutes. Add the zucchini, raisins and chickpeas; cover and cook another 10 minutes. Discard the parsley.

Prepare the couscous by pouring the boiling water over couscous in a large bowl. Stir in the salt and butter. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Arrange the couscous in a dome on the serving plate. Place the vegetables on the couscous. Top with the raisins and sauce.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4