Zucchini Cakes with Feta and Dill

1 lb zucchini (about 1 large or 2-3 small), shredded
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 small bunch dill, washed, dried, and finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
Vegetable and/or olive oil for frying
Lemon wedges to serve

Sprinkle the shredded zucchini with a little salt and set in a colander in the sink to drain for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes passes, press the zucchini against the colander and ring it with your hands to remove as much excess water as possible. Set aside.

Set a large skillet over medium heat, and add the olive oil. Once hot, sauté the onions 3-5 minutes until soft and aromatic. Add the garlic and the drained zucchini and sauté another 2-3 minutes until everything begins to brown. Add the flour and cook an additional minute. Remove from the heat and transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Add the dill, egg, and feta cheese and mix to combine.

Set a large skillet over medium heat and add a good layer of oil to the bottom of the pan (about ¼ inch.) Allow to heat 2 minutes and then, using a soup spoon, carefully spoon small pancake-size portions of the zucchini batter into the pan, leaving plenty of space between each. Cook until golden brown on the bottom – about 2-3 minutes, and then using a spatula, carefully flip the cakes over and cook an additional 2 minutes on the other side.

Transfer the cakes to paper towel to drain briefly. Sprinkle with a little salt and serve immediately with the lemon wedges.

Harissa

1 red bell pepper
¼ tsp coriander seeds
¼ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp caraway seeds
½ tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 medium–hot fresh red chiles,
seeded and roughly chopped
½ tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 to 3 tsp coarse sea salt

Preheat the grill to high, then grill the bell
pepper for 15 to 20 minutes, or until blackened all over. Transfer
to a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and allow to cool. Then peel
the pepper and discard its seeds.

Place a frying pan on low heat and lightly dry-roast the coriander,
cumin and caraway seeds for 2 minutes. Remove them to a
mortar and use a pestle to grind to a powder.

Add the olive oil to the frying pan and heat, then fry the onion,
garlic and chiles on medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, to a dark
smoky color. Cool slightly, then tip into a blender or a food
processor. Add the remaining harissa ingredients, including the
grilled pepper and ground spices, and blitz together to make a
paste.

Raspberry Yogurt Cake

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup turbinado sugar (natural cane sugar)
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup greek yogurt
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with olive oil. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the eggs and salt. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the eggs for 1 to 2 minutes until light and frothy. Add the sugar, honey, and vanilla. Beat for 1 to 2 minutes on medium-low speed until blended together. Add the yogurt and orange zest. Beat until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture and beat until combined. Using a spatula, fold in the olive oil until combined. Gently fold in the raspberries.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan to cool completely if so desired. Store leftover cake in the fridge.

Raspberry Orange Muffins

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white or light brown sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 oranges
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (about 1 pint)

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line twelve 1/2-cup muffin cups with paper liners.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together in a medium bowl. Whisk the oil, milk, eggs, and vanilla together in another bowl. Finely grate the zest from the oranges into the wet ingredients.

Make a small “well” or space in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients and raspberries into the center. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are moistened but still a bit lumpy. (Do not over mix the batter or your muffins will be dense and tough.) Divide the batter evenly among the muffin liners and sprinkle the tops generously with sugar (about 1/2 teaspoon per muffin).

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centers come out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking. Cool muffins in the pan on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes. Turn the muffins out of the pan and cool on the rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Green Beans with Salumi Vinaigrette

1 garlic clove
2 ounces salumi (such as sweet soppressata, chorizo, saucisson sec, or salami), casing removed, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt
1 pound green beans, trimmed

Blend garlic, salumi, vinegar, paprika, lemon zest, lemon juice, and coriander in a blender, scraping down sides as needed, until very smooth.

With motor running, slowly add 4 Tbsp. oil and 2 tablespoons water and blend until combined; season vinaigrette with salt.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add beans and cook, tossing often, until tender and browned in spots, 10–12 minutes.

Add 1–2 tablespoons vinaigrette (reserve remaining vinaigrette for another use) and toss to coat.

DO AHEAD: Vinaigrette can be made 4 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Source: Bon Appetit

Sugar Crusted Raspberry Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
Preparation

Heat oven to 400 ° F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners, or coat it with cooking spray, vegetable oil, or butter.

In a medium bowl, combine 1 3/4 cups of the flour, 1/2 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and combine.

In a second bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla. Gradually add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined; the batter will be lumpy.

Toss the berries with the remaining flour in a bowl. Gently fold the berry mixture into the batter.

Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full. Sprinkle the batter with the remaining sugar.

Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm.

Tip: Try this muffin recipe with blackberries or blueberries instead of raspberries. Or use a combination of all three.

Raspberry Lemon Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup milk
6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries or blueberries

Preheat an oven to 425°F. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until blended. Whisk in the milk, butter and lemon zest. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula, stir until just evenly moistened. Gently fold in the raspberries until just evenly distributed.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them three-fourths full. Bake until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes, then turn the muffins out onto the rack. Let cool briefly and serve. Makes 12 muffins.

Harissa

6 ounces bird’s eye chiles, seeded and
stems removed
12 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon coriander, ground
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon dried mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup olive oil

Place the chiles, garlic, ground coriander, cumin, salt mint and cilantro into a blender or food processor. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit of the olive oil. Store in a bowl or jar in the refrigerator with the remaining oil poured in a layer over the top.

Make sure that the surface is covered with a layer of oil each time you use some. When you run out of Harissa you can use the oil to add flavor to fried or baked dishes.

Raspberry Poppyseed Bread with Raspberry Glaze

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup flour

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp milk

Preheat oven to 325? F. In a large bowl, cream the butter, oil and sugar.

Add the eggs and beat well. Add the milk, vanilla and almond extract stirring to combine. In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder and poppy seeds.

In two additions add the dry ingredients to the sugar mixture on low mixing just until all the flour is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Coat the raspberries with the remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Add the raspberries to the batter and fold in with a spoon. Spray a 8″x4″ loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray or coat with shortening and flour.

Add the batter to the prepared baking pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. ( About 50-60 minutes. ) Let cool for 15 minutes then remove from pan and let cool completely.

Add the glaze ingredients together in a medium bowl and whisk together until the consistency that you like.

Using the whisk or a spoon drizzle the frosting over the cooled loaf and allow to set up.

Merguez Sausages with Couscous and Fennel

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
1 cup diced shallots
1 teaspoon dried oregano
8½ ounces merguez sausage, cut into 1-inch-long pieces
2 cups chopped fresh fennel bulb (discarding green stalky tops)
½ teaspoon harissa paste
2 cups chicken stock
2 cup dried cranberries
½ cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup couscous
1 teaspoon sumac

Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and bay leaves; stir, and then add the shallots. Stir-fry for 2 minutes and add the oregano.

Add the sausage and stir-fry for an additional 5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add the fennel and harissa. When grease starts to appear and the meat is dark brown, add the stock. Simmer for 2 minutes.

Add the cranberries and chopped dill. Pour in the couscous, stir well, and turn off the heat. Cover the pot immediately and let the dish steam for 15 to 20 minutes.

If the couscous is not soft and fluffy, sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of boiling stock or water over it, cover, and steam for a few minutes. Be careful not to add too much water. The couscous should not be mushy. Garnish with the sumac. Serve hot or at room temperature.

© 2007 Padma Lakshmi