Pickled Radish and Radish Top Red Pepper Salsa – Drought Friendly Recipe

On March 18, Super Sous and I wrote a blog introducing our “Drought Friendly Recipe” project. Recipes that are delicious and have low water footprints. Good to make no matter where you are in the USA – since 50% of all California produce is shipped to feed the country.

In that blog, we mentioned the idea of food waste, writing that 40% of all food that is grown in the US is wasted. This happens on all levels of the food chain. From the farms to transportation to grocery stores to restaurants to our own homes. Inherent in that 40% is approximately 11 trillion gallons of lost water. California is relying heavily on groundwater (think using your savings account instead of living off of your checking account – where your checking account would be California’s reservoirs). As the groundwater has been depleting, we are drilling wells reaching water that fell to the earth 20,000 years ago. As Mother Jones writes, “Such water is not just old. It’s prehistoric. It is older than the earliest pyramids on the Nile, older than the world’s oldest tree, the bristlecone pine. It was swirling down rivers and streams 15,000 to 20,000 years ago when humans were crossing the Bering Strait from Asia.”

We need to conserve all the water we can!

On April 22 (Earth Day and Super Sous’ birthday!), MSNBC will be broadcasting a documentary on food waste called “Just Eat It.” You can watch the trailer and/or check out this fascinating view of food waste at its origins on the farm:

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Although we may not have control over how something is farmed, we can certainly control things once we purchase them.

Let’s take the simple radish. Somewhat underestimated, the radish is a delicious addition to your regular repertoire. Radishes are a crunchy, spicy root vegetable that are delicious whether raw or roasted.

Not only is the radish delicious, but radish tops are a tasty green. Mild with a slight hint of pepper; delicate, but not too delicate; they have integrity. Radish tops often get discarded, but they are so worth preparing – raw, sauteed or in this radish top red pepper salsa recipe which is perfect for a taco, chips/crackers, potatoes…

Since it’s edible, delicious and took water to grow, let’s enjoy the whole thing. Here’s one idea to utilize the whole radish – from root to top.

pickeld radish

Pickled Radish

½ pound radish, rinsed and cut into 1/8-inch slices

1 cup distilled white vinegar

¾ cup water

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix to combine.

Let sit for at least 1 hour before using.

Radish Top and Red Pepper Salsa

Radish Top and Red Pepper Salsa

Yield: 1 cup

5 large fire-roasted red bell peppers, drained and rough chopped (1 cup)

2 large garlic cloves, peeled and rough chopped

¼ cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley

¼ cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves

1 cup roughly chopped (rinsed) radish greens

1½ tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Zest of ½ small lemon (1/4 teaspoon)

Juice of ½ small lemon (1 Tablespoon)

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground coriander

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

½ teaspoon granulated sugar

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Season to taste with additional salt, lemon and/or sugar. Let sit for 1 hour for flavors to meld before serving.

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Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad with Currants, Pine Nuts and Fresh Herbs

From start to finish this dish will take you around 10 minutes. Not only is it quick and easy, it’s versatile. Eat it as it’s own dish or use it as a bed for grilled fish, chicken or lamb. Enjoy it for lunch or throw it together for dinner. And did I mention it’s gluten free and vegetarian? (Make it vegan by omitting the cheese.) Fast, simple and delicious. No matter how you slice it, this one is a winner!

Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad with Currants, Pine Nuts and Fresh Herbs

Yield: 2 to 3 servings

1 small head of cauliflower, approximately 1½ pounds, cored and florets cut into medium-sized pieces

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1 small shallot, peeled and diced small (3 tablespoons)

2/3 packed cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley

½ packed cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup toasted pine nuts

¼ cup dried currants

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)

1/3 packed cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, not pre-grated

Place cauliflower chunks in a food processor. Blend until cauliflower has broken down into couscous sized pieces. You should have approximately 3 cups.

Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat until very hot and almost smoking, approximately 1-2 minutes.

Transfer cauliflower from food processor into the hot sauté pan. Add salt and pepper. Stir.

Cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is heated through and lightly cooked, approximately 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and transfer cauliflower to a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Add shallot, parsley, cilantro, pine nuts and currants. Stir to combine.

Add lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir to combine.

Add cheese and stir to combine.

Season to taste with salt, pepper and additional lemon as needed.

Divide into bowls and serve.

Roasted Sweet Potato Sandwich with Fresh Goat Cheese and Honey

It’s another meatless Monday dish – this time, a hearty veggie sandwich perfectly suited for this cold time of year when sweet potatoes are plentiful!

Roasted Sweet Potato Sandwich

Roasted Sweet Potato Sandwich with Goat Cheese and Honey

Yield: 2 sandwiches

 

For Sweet Potato

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut width wise into ¾-inch rounds

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing on onion slices

1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

kosher salt, for seasoning

freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning

1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch rounds

Balsamic vinegar, for brushing on onion slices

 

Place an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add the sweet potato, olive oil, thyme, cinnamon, and a healthy dash of salt and pepper. to a large bowl. Toss until well combined.

Place sweet potato in a single layer on a parchment lined sheet tray.

Place onion rounds on the same sheet tray (use an additional sheet tray if needed) and brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides of the onion. Using a brush or your finger, rub a small amount of balsamic vinegar on each of the tops of the onion rounds, just enough to cover and coat the top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until potato is cooked through and onion is soft.

 

For Sandwich

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small bunch of mixed greens

1 small loaf of walnut (or any other nut or seed bread), cut into 4 sandwich slices

¼ fresh cup goat cheese

1½ tablespoons honey

 

Whisk to combine vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl. Gently toss some greens in a small bowl to lightly coat with the vinaigrette.

Spread goat cheese on sandwich slices and drizzle honey over the goat cheese. Place a layer of roasted sweet potato on the bottom slice of bread. Add a layer of roasted onions (the more the better!) and top with some of the dressed mixed greens. Top with remaining slice of bread and enjoy.

 

 

 

Vegetarian Red Beans and Dirty Brown Rice

A twist on this classic Cajun Louisiana dish – made for all my vegetarian and vegan friends. Here’s to a happy, healthy and delicious New Year!

Dirty Veggie Red Beans and Rice

Vegetarian Red Beans and Dirty Brown Rice

Yield: 2 to 4 servings

 

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced small (2 cups)

3 medium celery stalks, diced small (1 cup)

1 large green bell pepper, diced small (1 cup)

8-ounces cremini mushrooms, diced medium (2 ½ cups)

¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

5 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced (2 tablespoons)

1½ teaspoons ground Hungarian paprika

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon dried Greek oregano

¼ teaspoon celery salt

1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle powder

1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup vegetable stock

2 ½ cups cooked long grain brown rice

 

In a large sauté pan, add the olive oil. Turn the heat to medium-high and let oil heat until hot and shimmering.

Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, mushrooms and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes, until vegetables have given off their liquid and are beginning to caramelize.

Add the garlic, paprika, black pepper, cumin, oregano, celery salt and chipotle powder. Stir and cook 2 minutes more.

Add the beans and vegetable stock and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, loosening up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated, approximately 10 minutes.

Turn off the heat and fold in the cooked brown rice until thoroughly mixed.

Season to taste with additional salt. Serve in 2 large bowls (big servings!) or 4 smaller bowls.