I have professed my love for all things meat in the past. I do love it but when I wrote that, I should have also said that I love vegetables almost as much as I love wine. Almost. Many readers of mine have asked for vegetarian recipes. Well, I have not one but THREE for you! Two are salads and one is a main dish. All three were enjoyed by my picky kids. If that isn’t a seal of endorsement, I don’t know what else is.
I came across this recipe for Eggplant and Porcini mushroom meatballs in tomato sauce in the recent issue of Food and Wine. I was intrigued so I decided to make them. It is relatively easy.
Cook whole eggplants in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour. Then while they are still warm you remove the skin and chop up the “innards” or pulp. This will be the meat in your meatballs.
– Combine the pulp with the soaked porcini mushrooms, bread crumbs, cheese, egg, parsley etc.
– Form into balls and then chill on wax paper for at least 30 min.
The Food and Wine recipe calls for frying the balls in small batches, which I did, and then simmering in the homemade tomato sauce. This was tedious and I usually don’t like frying things for health reasons so I decided to bake some as well.
-I baked them at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes, flipping them after 20 minutes. You can just eyeball it since everything is cooked already, you don’t need to worry about them being raw. You just want to get some of the water content out of them and make them keep their shape.
-I LOVED the baked ones. They were like eggplant fritters. I ended up eating them cold out of the fridge for 3 straight days. YUM.
Here’s Carly’s Smarty Seal of Approval:)
Authentic Lebanese Tabouli
Tabouli is a middle eastern parsley salad with bulgur, mint and tomato. Parsley gets the shaft by being just an afterthought most of the time. I adore it and love the taste. Both curly and flat leaf would work for this recipe.
3 bunches finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 cup chopped fresh mint
2-3 tablespoons fine bulgur
1 chopped firm tomato
1/2 onion or 2 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup extra Virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Prepare the chopped parsley and mint and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix bulgur, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions/scallions with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add to them the parsley and mint and olive oil and mix, adjusting seasoning by adding more oil and lemon if desired.
Massaged Kale Salad w/ Mango, Avocado and Pumpkin Seeds
OK. Just look at the color of this salad. It is beautiful. Kale is so popular right now and for good reason. It is the powerhouse of green leafy vegetables. Some people find the texture a little off-putting, it is tough and hard to eat raw. Did you know if you give your kale a massage with some olive oil, salt and lemon juice just for a few minutes it transforms into this soft silky texture.
Look at this before and after shot:
Before the kale massage…
After the massage…
-Take one large bunch of Kale or bag of kale in this case
-Juice of 1 to 2 lemons
¼ cup of olive oil
-dash of kosher salt
1-2 avocados diced depending on size
¼ cup of pepita or toasted pumpkin seeds.
Some recipes call for making a dressing after you massage the Kale. I don’t think this is needed if you put both the olive oil and lemon juice in while you massage it with the salt. It’s like you are infusing the dressing right in there.
Enjoy. If you make too much don’t worry it is so hearty that it will keep in the fridge until the next day. Take it for lunch. Definitely on my list of favorite salads.
Hey Smarties, what are some of your favorite vegetarian things?