MUSHROOM SKEWERS

1/2 tablespoon harissa (or other hot sauce)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
8 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, halved lengthwise


Place 4 bamboo skewers in a pan filled with water. Allow to soak 20 minutes.

Whisk the harissa, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and oregano together in a medium bowl.

Add the halved mushrooms and toss well to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 or preheat the grill, if grilling.

Thread the mushrooms onto pre-soaked bamboo skewers. Roast them in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or grill them, 5 minutes per side.

Serves 4

NAVY BEAN STEW

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large leek, white part only, minced
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
3 cups precooked navy or cannellini beans, drained *


Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium pot. Add the leek, garlic, salt, chili powder, onion powder, cumin, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Saute until the leeks are wilted, 5 minutes. Add the stock and bay leaves and bring to a gentle boil.

Add the cooked beans. Cover and simmer over low heat 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the liquid is reduced and the beans are soft and buttery.

Serve warm with a sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs.

*To cook the beans, first pre-soak them for several hours or overnight. Drain and rinse. Place them in a pot with enough water to cover them by two to three inches. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for one to hours until cooked.

Serves 4 to 6