Sheet Pan Patatas Bravas with Chorizo and Kale

1 (28-ounce) bag small, multicolored potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (12-ounce) package chorizo links, or 4 sausages of any kind
2 bunches lacinato kale, washed
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sriracha, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut potatoes into quarters, place in a large bowl; toss in olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Cut sausages into ½-inch rounds, and place rounds on baking sheet. Transfer to oven and roast for 15-20 minutes until sausages are golden brown. Remove sausage, set aside, and use a spatula to flip potatoes. Return to oven and continue roasting until potatoes are crispy and golden, about 15 more minutes.

While the potatoes roast, prepare the kale: Remove the thick, center rib from kale leaves, and cut the leaves into ¼-inch strips. The easiest way to do this is to stack your de-ribbed kale leaves, then roll the stacked leaves and slice, creating ribbons. Set kale aside.

Prepare your sauce: In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and sriracha, and taste. Add more sriracha to your own spice preference and thin with a little water, if necessary, to make it easier to drizzle.

When potatoes are done, remove them from the oven, then transfer potatoes to a bowl. Place the kale on the baking sheet and use a pair of tongs to coat the kale ribbons in the oil leftover on the pan from the sausages and potatoes. Once coated, add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the apple cider vinegar and continue mixing, using hands to squeeze and massage kale, until fully coated. Spread into an even layer, top with potatoes and sausage pieces, then drizzle with the mayonnaise mixture. Serve.

Barbecue Cauliflower Salad Bowl

For the BBQ Cauliflower:
1 medium cauliflower head chopped into florets
2 tsp oil
1 tsp paprika half smoked, half sweet
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (120 ml) or more bbq sauce
2 tsp or more hot sauce

For the Salad:
1 small head of iceberg lettuce chopped
1 apple peeled, and chopped small or sliced thin
1/3 cup (90 g) chopped pecans or use toasted sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds for nut free
1/4 cup (60 ml) vegan ranch dressing
1/3 cup (100 g) thinly sliced carrots
Chives for garnish

Chop your cauliflower, and set aside.

In a bowl, mix all your dry spices, and set aside.

Add the oil to the cauliflower, toss well, and rub in so that all the florets are coated well.

Add in the spice mixture and toss well to coat.

Transfer this to a greased or parchment lined baking dish.

Bake at 400 degrees F ( C) for 17-18 minutes, then remove from the oven.

Let the cauliflower cool for a few minutes, then drizzle the bbq sauce and hot sauce, and mix well. If you’d like more bbq sauce coating the cauliflower, add some more, and toss within the baking dish, spread the cauliflower out again, and bake again at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is cooked to preference.

Meanwhile, prep your salad by chopping up the lettuce, apples, and carrots. Add them to a bowl, and mix well.

Top the bowl with your baked cauliflower, and a generous drizzle of ranch, and some garnishes like chives or black pepper, and serve!

Khichdi

1/2 cup (92.5 g) long grain white basmati rice
1/2 cup (96 g) quick cooking lentils such as split Red lentils (masoor dal) or (petite yellow lentils) Mung Dal or both
1 tsp oil
1/3 tsp cumin seeds or 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 inch (7 g) ginger finely chopped
1 green Chili, chopped serrano or birds eye, or use half a jalapeño
1 bay leaf or 6 curry leaves , optional
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala , optional
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne optional
1 tomato chopped
1 to 2 cups chopped vegetables
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups (473.18 ml) water 2.5 for saucier

Wash the lentils and rice then soak in hot water for 15 minutes.

Heat the Instant Pot on saute. Add oil and let it heat up. Add cumin or mustard seeds and cook for half a minute.

Add the onion, chile, garlic, ginger and a pinch of salt (and bay leaves or curry leaves) and cook for 2 mins.

Add ginger and spices and mix in.

Add tomato and cook for 3 mins. Mash the larger pieces. Add 2 tbsp water to deglaze mid way.
Drain and add the lentils and rice. Add water, salt, veggies and mix well to pick up any stuck bits.
Close the lid and pressure cook one of the following times. Low pressure for 3 mins for pictured version. High pressure for 3 to 6 minutes for a porridge and if using mung dal. Once the cooking cycle is done, quick release the pressure after 5 mins.

Fold in a few tbsp chopped cilantro and lemon juice to taste and fluff. Taste and adjust salt and flavor.

Store refrigerated for upto 3 days. For brown rice kitchari, try this.

Notes:
To make it in a saucepan: follow steps 1 to 5 in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the lentils and rice and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low-medium and continue to cook for 15-20 minutes or until desired consistency. You can add any blend of veggies! Think carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, and spinach. Use any blend you like.

Make sure not to burn the spices or your kitchari will be bitter.

White basmati rice can be substituted for other quick cooking whole grains such as quinoa, and amaranth.

Feel free to play around with the spices and vegetables, according to what you enjoy and what’s in season.

Pan Seared Ranch Chicken

3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, or 1/2 teaspoon dried, plus more for serving
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill or parsley (or 1/2 teaspoon dried), plus more for serving
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a measuring cup or small bowl, stir together the yogurt, mayonnaise, chives, dill and garlic powder; season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Transfer half the ranch to a medium bowl.

Pat the chicken dry. If thickness varies greatly, pound to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. Season both sides with salt and pepper, then transfer the chicken to the medium bowl with the ranch and toss to coat. Let sit at least 15 minutes, or refrigerate overnight. (Let it come to room temperature before cooking.)

Heat the oil in a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet over medium-high. Working in batches if necessary, cook the chicken (with the marinade still on it) until deeply caramelized on the outside, chicken releases from the pan, and its juices run clear, 4 to 6 minutes per side.

If the ranch in the measuring cup is too thick, add a little bit of water to loosen it. (You should be able to drizzle it easily.) Serve chicken with the ranch passed at the table, and more herbs as desired.

Ranch Dressing Mix

1/2 cup dry buttermilk
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried chives
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon dried dill
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse buttermilk, parsley, chives, garlic powder, onion powder, dill, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper until well combined about 1-2 minutes.

NOTES:

3 tablespoons is equivalent to 1 (1.0-ounce) package Hidden Valley Original Ranch Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix.

To make the Ranch dressing, combine 1 cup milk and 1 cup mayonnaise with 3 tablespoons of this seasoning mix.

To Make Dressing:
Add 3 tablespoons ranch seasoning mix, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sour cream and 3/4 cup milk. Stir until well combined and refrigerate at least 20 minutes before serving.

Or: Mix together 1/2 cup ranch seasoning mix with 1 cup mayonnaise, 1/2 cup sour cream, and 1/2 cup buttermilk.

To Make Dip:
Combine 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning mix, with 1/2 cup mayonnaise & 1/2 cup sour cream. Add up to 1/2 cup milk to reach desired consistency. Stir will and refrigerate at least 20 minutes before serving.

Or: Mix together 1/4 cup of ranch seasoning mix with 1 cup of sour cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk.

Ranch Chicken Fingers:
When dredging chicken tenders in flour, egg, and cornflakes, add 2 tablespoons of ranch seasoning mix to the flour to give more flavor.

Ranch Popcorn:
Toss 8 cups of popcorn with 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning mix.

Roasted Ranch Potato Wedges:
Toss 1 pound of potato wedges with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning mix. Roast at 400ºF for about 30 minutes, until tender.

Navratan Pulao

1 1/2 cups basmati rice
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 green cardamoms
4 cloves
1-inch stick cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
2 medium potatoes (cut into a fine dice)
2 medium carrots (cut into a fine dice)
2 cups green beans (chopped into small bits)
1/2 small head cauliflower (separated into small florets)
1 cup green peas (frozen)
16 oz baked tofu (use my recipe linked here or use storebought)
1/2 tsp saffron strands
1/2 cup nondairy milk (I use almond)
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 tbsp sliced almonds
2 tbsp golden raisins

Bring a large pot of water to boil, lightly salt it, then add the rice and cook until the rice grains are almost tender but not fully cooked. Drain and set aside.

Mix the saffron with the nondairy milk and set aside.

Heat 1 1/2 tbsp oil. Add the cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf and cumin seeds. Stir-fry until the spices release their fragrance and begin to turn color.

Add the potatoes, saute for 2-3 minutes, then add the carrots and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and green beans and saute for a couple of minutes. Add green peas, then add some salt, cover the pot and let the veggies cook over a medium-low flame for about five minutes. Stir a couple of times to ensure they do not stick. You don’t want the veggies to brown.

When the potatoes are almost cooked and the cauliflower is al dente, mix in the rice, tofu cubes and the saffron in milk. Cover and let the rice continue cooking over low heat for 10 more minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1/2 tbsp oil in a small saucepan. Add the cashews and raisins to it, and finally the blanched, sliced almonds. Cook until the nuts are a light gold, then pour over the rice and mix.

Serve hot.

NOTES
To make this recipe soy-free, leave out the tofu.

To make this recipe nut-free, leave out the nuts. You can use apricots or another dry fruit along with the raisins. Also use a nondairy milk that’s nut-free.

Vegetable Tehri

1 1/2 cups basmati rice (covered in water and soaked for at least 30 minutes. Drain before using)
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
4 cloves
4 green cardamom pods (whole)
1 bay leaf
2-inch stick cinnamon
2 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
1 large onion (thinly sliced)
1 green chili pepper (like japeno or serrano. Leave whole with just a slit down the middle, or, for less heat, split into half, deseed, and then use. You can fish out the peppers before serving)
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 medium tomatoes (pureed. Or use 1 cup canned tomato puree)
3 medium potatoes (cut in a 1-inch dice)
1 large carrot (cut into chunky 1 1/2 inch slivers)
1/2 head cauliflower (separated into chunky but bite-sized florets)
1 cup green peas (I used frozen, but fresh work too)
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (or water)
Salt to taste

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot. Add the cumin first, then the cloves, cardamom, bay leaf and cinnamon. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add in the fennel seeds and stir quickly.
Add the onions and saute until they are soft but not brown. You can add a little salt to help this process go faster. Stir in the ginger garlic paste, green chili peppers and turmeric and saute another minute over low heat so the ginger and garlic don’t stick to the bottom.

Add the potatoes to the pot along with the carrots. Add a cup of the water or vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and let the potatoes and carrots cook about five minutes or until fairly tender but not quite done.

Add the cauliflower and tomato puree and continue cooking the veggies for a couple more minutes. Add the green peas and stir them in.

Add the remaining water or stock, followed by the drained rice, mix everything well and bring it all back to a boil. Once it looks like the rice has absorbed most of the water, give it all a good stir, cover with a tight-fitting lid, turn the heat to low, and set the timer for 15 minutes.

Avoid peeking while the rice is cooking, and let it stand, undisturbed, for 10 minutes after cooking. After 10 minutes, open the lid and fluff the grains of rice with a fork before serving.

Coconut Curry

1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion (thinly sliced)
3 medium tomatoes (finely chopped)
1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 medium potatoes (boiled and diced)
14 oz coconut milk (canned or freshly made are both fine)
Salt to taste
2 tbsp cilantro (or scallions, for garnish)

Heat the oil. Add cumin seeds and as they start to darken, add the onions and a pinch of salt. Saute for a couple of minutes until the onions start to soften.

Add the tomatoes, cayenne and turmeric and continue to saute for a few more minutes until the onions are soft and pulpy.

Add the potatoes along with half the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Let the curry cook another minute for the flavors to meld, then turn the heat to low and add the remaining coconut milk. Check for salt. If the curry is too thick for your liking, you can add some water or vegetable stock to thin it out. Turn off the heat as soon as the curry has warmed through but before it returns to a boil.

Garnish, if you like, with cilantro. I love this curry with the carrot rice and a garnish of scallions.

Carrot Rice

1 tsp vegetable oil
2-inch piece cinnamon
5 pods green cardamom
5 cloves
1 bay leaf
1 medium onion (thinly sliced)
2 tbsp raw cashew pieces (optional)
2 cups carrots (grated. Approx 2 carrots)
2 cups basmati rice
4 cups water (or vegetable stock)
Salt to taste

Heat the oil. Add the whole spices–cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf–and stir for a minute until fragrant.

Add the onions and cashews, if using, and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring frequently, until the onions become translucent but not brown.

Stir in the carrots and saute for another couple of minutes until they start to cook. Stir in the rice along with salt to taste and mix well. As soon as the rice starts to turn opaque, add the water and salt. Give everything a good stir and let it come to a boil.

Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook the rice 10 minutes. At the 10-minute point, open, give the rice a good stir, and cover and cook another 10 minutes.

Let the rice stand another 10 minutes before opening. Serve hot with any basic coconut curry.

TIPS FOR MAKING CARROT RICE:

Use the largest holes on your hand grater or food processor to grate the carrots. You want the carrots and the rice to be approximately the same size when they cook. Keep in mind the carrots will shrink as they express their juices, and the rice will expand as it absorbs them.
For the same reasons, slice the onions really thin. If the onion you use is big, cut the slices in half.

You don’t need to soak the rice for this recipe, which makes it come together even more quickly, since there’s no prep ahead of time.

Usually, when I share a rice recipe with you, I ask you not to stir the rice as it cooks. I will make an exception in this case. About halfway through the 20-minute mark when the rice is covered and cooked, give the rice a stir. This will help the carrots and rice mix better and cook more evenly.
I like adding a few cashew pieces to this recipe, but they are completely optional if you want it to be nut-free.

Masala Bhath

2 cups basmati rice (washed under running water or in several changes of water)
1 tbsp coconut oil
5 pods green cardamom (crushed slightly but left whole)
5 cloves
2 bay leaves
1 large potato (cut into 1/2-inch dice)
1 large carrot (cut into 1/2-inch dice)
1/2 small head cauliflower (separated into small florets)
1 medium zucchini (cut into 1-inch strips)
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional –the goda masala has some heat)
2 tbsp goda masala (you can substitute with garam masala; see my recipe tips above for details on how to do that)
1 heaping tbsp coconut sugar (or jaggery, or regular sugar. Piloncillo, if you have some, is a fine replacement for jaggery)
1/4 cup coconut (grated. I don’t mean the dry shredded coconut you use for baking, but either freshly grated coconut, or grated coconut available in frozen packets. The coconut shreds have to be juicy, not dry)
1/4 cup cilantro (minced)
Salt to taste

Heat the oil. Add the cardamom, cloves and bay leaves and saute until the bay leaves start to change color and become lightly golden.

Add the potatoes and carrots and saute, stirring frequently, until the potatoes have a light brown crust.

Add the cauliflower and zucchini and continue sauteeing another couple of minutes.

Add the powdered spices–turmeric, coriander powder, cumin and goda masala–and saute for a minute to coat the spices with the oil and toast them.

Add the washed rice and stir until the rice begins to turn opaque.

Add 4 cups water to the rice, and add enough salt to make the water a bit saltier than you’d like your final dish to be.

Stir well, bring to a boil, then cover the rice with a tight-fitting lid. Let the rice cook over medium heat for five minutes, then lower the heat and continue cooking for 10 more minutes, never opening the lid once during cooking.

Turn off the heat and let the rice stand another 10 minutes. Open and sprinkle on the coconut and cilantro.

Serve hot or warm.

Sheet Pan Chicken Marbella

1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 head garlic, peeled and pureed
1/4 cup dried oregano
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1/2 cup capers
3 tablespoons juice from capers
6 bay leaves
4 whole chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each, quartered
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white wine

Garnish:
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

In a large mixing bowl (large enough to accommodate all the chicken pieces), whisk together red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic puree, oregano, and salt and pepper. Mix in prunes, olives, capers, caper juice, and bay leaves. Add the chicken, cover, and marinate overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

On 2 rimmed baking sheets, arrange chicken pieces in a single layer; spoon marinade evenly over chicken. Sprinkle chicken with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.

Carefully place baking sheets in preheated oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting often. Bake until chicken is done, or an instant-read thermometer, inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, but not touching the bone, reads 165 degrees.

Transfer chicken pieces to a serving platter then top with prunes, olives, and capers. Spoon pan juices on top. Sprinkle with parsley

Quinoa Pilaf with Lemons, Shallots, and Herbs

1–2 shallots ( or 1/4 of an onion) – very thinly sliced – see notes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed, drained ( rinsing removes bitterness)
2 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon granulated garlic (or use 1–2 minced garlic cloves with the shallot)
1 teaspoon dried oregano ( or italian seasoning, or herbs de Provence, or similar)

Garnish:

lemon zest from one small lemon,
sprinkling of fresh herbs ( italian parsley, dill, basil, cilantro)
2 tablespoons slivered almonds ( optional- other nuts & seeds are ok, or just leave off)
sautéed shallot ( see notes) or crispy shallots
drizzle of good olive oil– optional but good.

In a medium pot, over medium heat, sauté the shallot in the oil, until golden and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. If you want, set half aside for the garnish. Add rinsed/drained quinoa, water, salt, cumin, granulated garlic and dried herbs, and give a good stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover well, and cook for 15 minutes. Check to see that quinoa has soaked up all the water. If not, continue cooking 2-5 more minutes. If it has, turn heat off and let it sit covered 5-10 more minutes.

Fluff with a fork, place in a serving bowl and toss gently with lemon zest, sprinkle with fresh herbs and, sauted shallots and optional nuts. Don’t over mix.

For extra richness a drizzle of good quality olive oil is really nice touch.

notes

When serving this as a side dish all on its own, I like to use two sautéed shallots, half for cooking with the quinoa, and the other half for sprinkling over the top as a garnish. If batch cooking for the week, you may not need the garnish.
Rinsing the quinoa is imperative. It really does help remove the bitterness.
If making a smaller batch or bigger batch, my general ratio of water to quinoa = 1 cup quinoa to 1.5 cups water.

Play around with this and embellish it as you please.

A easy way to turn this quinoa into a meal….is to serve it with simple roasted veggies and tahini sauce. Or these roasted parsnips! Add this make-ahead kale salad if you like. It really doesn’t have to be complicated! Simple real food -the best kinds of meals!

Perfect for meal prepping and batch cooking!

Chicken Soup (with Slow Cooker and Pressure Cooker Variations)

1–2 tablespoons olive oil
one large onion, diced (or sub 2 fat shallots, or two leeks)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
4–8 garlic cloves, rough chopped (I like 8)
4 cups chicken broth or stock
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (or use regular)
1 1/2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless, skinless ( or use breasts- if very large, cut in half)
——–
lemon juice to taste
pinch chili flakes
scallions, cilantro or Italian parsley
drizzle of toasted sesame oil (optional, tasty)

Optional: 2-3 cups of cooked grain or starch of your choice like… Quinoa, rice or soba noodles, pasta, rice, 1 can whitebeans.

STOVE TOP INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat oil in a big pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Lower heat to med- low and continue sauteeing until golden, 3-4 more minutes.

Add the chicken stock, water, salt, white pepper, bay leaves and skinless chicken. Bring to a boil. Cover, and lower heat so it’s gently simmering, covered for 20 mintues. If using breasts, check at 15.

Test a piece of chicken for doneness by pulling meat apart with two forks. It should come apart easily and look opaque. If done, shred the rest of the chicken, then return to the pot and simmer gently for 5 more minutes.

Squeeze with lemon, taste and adjust broth. You can add more salt of needed, or if too salty for your taste, water down with a little water. I prefer ours salty, lemony and unctuous, especially if adding a starch (like rice, noodles or beans) which will temper the salt quite a bit. Up to you. If the soup tastes bland, it needs salt.

Ladle it over cooked rice or noodles or just on it’s own.

Garnish with scallions or cilantro (or both) a drizzle of sesame oil if you like and chili flakes (or chili paste or sriracha). Or you could add some cooked or leftover rice or quinoa. You could add white beans or cooked pasta.

Or if going low-carb- leave all the starch and grains out keep it simple and keto-friendly. Cauliflower rice would also work well here too!

Notes:

Soup will keep 4 days in the fridge, or freeze.

You could ladle it over a mound of rice noodles, then finish with sesame oil, sesame seeds, scallions and cilantro

Feel free to add 1/2 cup rice or quinoa to simmering soup. Or add a can of whitebeans. You can also add pasta ( about 4 ounces) but I prefer to cook pasta and rice noodles separate and ladel the soup overtop cooked noodles. Up to you. Feel free to toss in veggies, kale, spinach, etc.

Instant Pot: Set Instant pot to “saute” function and heat the oil. Add onion, garlic and ginger and saute 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add broth, water, salt, pepper, bay, white pepper and chicken thighs, give a stir. Pressure cook on high for 12 minutes. (If using breasts, pressure cook 8-10 minutes depending on size). Manually release. Shred chicken with two forks. Season with lemon juice. Taste, adust salt. Follow the rest of the instuctions above.

For a slow cooker version, cook as stated above then cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or on High for 3 hours.

Quick Pickled Zucchini and Summer Squash

1 lb patty pan, crookneck or zucchini squash-or enough to fill four small 4 oz jars- (pick squash no bigger in diameter than the width of the jars you will be using).
1 small onion or shallot, sliced thin
1 tablespoon salt
1 garlic clove, sliced – per jar
1 T fresh dill -per jar
1 tsp mustard seeds– per jar
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns– per jar
1 small red chile, sliced thin

Pickling Liquid

1/2 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup rice vinegar (or sub more white vinegar)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt

Using a mandolin, carefully slice the summer squash. If using a knife, make sure to cut pieces as evenly as possible, to the same thickness. Thicker slices will result in a crunchier pickle. Paper-thin will be softer.

Slice the small onion, or shallot. Toss both onion and squash in a bowl with a tablespoon of salt and let drain in a colander or strainer over a bowl for 2 hours or overnight. Pat dry.

Make the pickling solution: In a small pot, bring white wine vinegar, water, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves, let cool slightly.

In each 4 oz jar, add about a tablespoon of fresh dill, a teaspoon of mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp peppercorns, a few slices of chile pepper and sliced garlic cloves. You could also try experimenting with other seeds like whole coriander, cumin, or fennel seed. Then layer the squash and onion in jars, and top off with the pickling liquid.

Press down on the squash. Seal, and let cool in the fridge.

notes

These will keep for up to 2-3 weeks.

Harissa Paste (Regular and Quick)

4 oz dried chilies – (an assortment mild, med, hot, smoked)
6–8 garlic cloves
1 T cumin seeds
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 T coriander seeds
3 T olive oil
1 3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 T fresh lemon juice ( or finely minced preserved lemon, and you can add more to taste)
1 tsp smoked paprika ( optional)

Bring chilies to a boil in a large pot of water, turn heat off, cover, let sit 1 hour or overnight.

Toast spices and grind them. When the chilies are soft and rehydrated, drain and remove seeds and stems ( you can rinse them under running water to get them cleaned up . Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency. If you like a “looser” style add more oil.

To store, place in sealable jar and drizzle olive oil over top after each use, to preserve. It will last 1-2 months in the fridge.As long as it’s covered with a layer of oil , it should keep well.

notes

The preserved lemon, is especially authentic and delicious if you can find it.

FOR a Quick harissa paste, simply mix the following together in a bowl. Not authentic, but a tasty quick option!

3/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vinegar (apple cider, red or white wine)
2 tablespoons plus two teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons plus two teaspoons smoked paprika
1 3/4 teaspoons cayenne or chipotle powder
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
10 garlic cloves, finely minced

Quick Pickled Vegetables

Enough Fresh Raw Veggies to fill 2 Quart size mason jars (about 5-6 cups)- beets, carrots, radishes, turnips, cucumbers, okra, green beans, asparagus, red onion, zucchini or summer squash, cauliflower florets, bell peppers, garlic scapes, fennel bulbs, cabbage, rainbow chard stems

1 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoons mustard seeds
6– 10 cloves garlic- sliced thickly
1/2 an onion sliced (optional)
few sprigs fresh dill ( optional) or other herbs

Other optional additions- whole cloves, dill seeds, whole allspice, fresh ginger slices, fresh chilies or chili flakes, celery seeds, peppercorns, cumin seeds, star anise, other fresh herbs.

Pickling liquid:

2 Cups vinegar- white, red wine, rice wine, apple cider (any of these, or a combination)
2 Cups water
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
4–6 Tablespoons sugar ( sugar is added for flavor, so feel free to cut back you like)

Prep your veggies. Wash them well and slice, quarter, or cut into spears, or leave whole ( like with green beans, asparagus, okra etc)

Bring the water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil in a small pot, and in the mean time pack the jars with the prepped veggies.

In two quart size mason jars, divide the garlic and whole spices.

Begin adding the veggies and if your are including the onion ( which I recommend), layer a few slices in with the veggies along with any fresh herbs you would like to include ( you can also layer the garlic this way too, or put it in first, your choice) leaving about an inch at the top of the jar.
Using a funnel, carefully pour the hot liquid into the jars, making sure to submerge all the veggies, pressing down on them with the end of a wooden spoon. You may be able to add more veggies at this point, just make sure the liquid completely covers the veggies leaving at least a half inch of room between the liquid and lid.

Cover and let sit on the counter to cool, and after an hour or two, place in the fridge. These will taste good after 6-8 hours, but much better after a couple days.

notes

These keep up to 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

If pickling firmer veggies like carrots or beets, feel free to simmer the veggies in the pickling liquid (in a pot) for a few minutes to soften them slightly. Don’t over cook them!

If you are planning to can your pickles for long-term storage, bring a large pot of water to a boil and sterilize 2 wide-mouth pint jars and their metal lids.

Place the pickling liquid in saucepan over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Pour the brine over the veggies filling each jar to within 1/2-inch of the top. Remove any air bubbles. Gently tap the jars against the counter a few times to remove all the air bubbles. Top off with more pickling liquid if necessary. Tighten the lids. Place the lids over the jars and screw on the rings until tight. For longer storage, place the filled jars in a boiling pot of water to can them. When the water comes back to a boil, boil the filled jars for 5 minutes then remove the jars immediately. Make sure the lids pop down.

Pickled Red Onions (with Variations)

1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup white vinegar, or use apple cider or red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 –2 tablespoons sugar (or honey or other substitute)
1–2 teaspoons whole spices (optional- one or any combination of peppercorns, fennel seed, cumin, coriander, peppercorns, caraway, star anise, juniper, allspice.)
optional additions:
1–2 garlic cloves, cut in half
a couple bay leaves
a teaspoon dried or fresh oregano ( if using on Mexican food)

Thinly slice 1/2 red onion. (Feel free to double the batch).

Place the onion along with the vinegar, water, salt, sugar and whole spices and any optional additions in a small pot on the stove and bring to a simmer. Simmer 1 minute, stirring.

Remove from the stove and let cool.

Place onions and liquid in a clean jar and store in the fridge.

Add fresh herbs if you like.

This will last 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

notes:

For a Mexican version of pickled onions, add sliced jalapeno and whole cumin and coriander seeds plus Mexican oregano to the pickling liquid.

For a Nordic version of pickled red onions, add fresh dill, caraway and peppercorns.

For an Indian version of pickled onions add fennel seeds, coriander and either fenugreek or cilantro!

Chermoula

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
1 cup cilantro (small stems ok)
1 cup Italian parsley ( or sub more cilantro)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger (a thin slice about the size of a quarter)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (optional)
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
Zest from 1/2 lemon (about 1-2 tsp)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon aleppo chili flakes -add more for more heat
1/4 teaspoon salt, adding ¼- 3/4 teaspoon more if using as a marinade ( see notes)

Toast seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring until fragrant and golden.

Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until well combined, but not too smooth.

Keep in an air tight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.

Fresh Tomatillo Sauce

1 lb Tomatillos, husked, rinsed ( in warm water) and quartered
1/2 bunch cilantro- leaves and tender stems OK ( 1 cup, packed)
1–2 jalapeno (or more, for more spicy) or 1–2 serano chilis ( I like 2 seranos)
1 small garlic clove
1/3 cup diced white or yellow onion
3 tablespoons lime juice plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon sugar ( or agave or honey)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 T olive oil (optional)

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until uniformly combined.

Taste, then adjust salt, heat and lime. ( I find it helpful to taste with a chip, or whatever you are serving this with.)

Refrigerate until serving.

notes

This fresh tomatillo salsa will keep 4 days in the fridge.

If you like extra heat, serrano chilies are a great option.

If it ends up too spicy for your taste, you can temper it by adding cucumber or more tomatillo. Re-adjust with salt and lime.

Poblano Pepita Sauce

1 large poblano pepper
1 cup cilantro ( small stems ok)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coriander
squeeze of lime

Roast the poblano chili directly over a gas flame on the stovetop, until blackened and blistered on all sides – or broil (or roast at 450F) in the oven, turning often, until skins blister.

Place in a paper bag or wrap in a towel to steam for 10 minutes (this will help soften the chili).

Remove the stem and seeds and most of the charred bits- a little char is good here.

Place in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients- cilantro, pumpkin seeds, oil, water, garlic, salt, coriander and a tiny squeeze of lime.

Pulse and blend until uniformly combined but not too smooth. A little texture is good here.

Taste. Adjust lime and salt. If your pepper happens to be too spicy ( they very in spicy level) you can mitigate the heat by adding more pumpkin seeds, water, oil, and then remember to reseason with more salt and lime.

Place in a bowl and serve at room temp.

notes

If making ahead, place in a sealed container and refrigerate for 2-3 days. The top (exposed to air) may discolor over time, so if making ahead, I like to pour a little olive oil over top to keep the herbs submerged and preserve the color.