Falafel-Stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce and Tomato Relish

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While your Instagram feed may be blowing up with everything pumpkin spice, it’s still summer in my kitchen. Last winter, I signed up for my first CSA share. CSA stands for ‘Community Supported Agriculture’, and essentially it’s an investment into a farm. In exchange, you have the fortune of (in my case) 22 weeks of outstanding organic vegetables. Each Wednesday night, I walk about about 15 minutes to the pick-up site. I choose and weigh my vegetables and load them into my granny cart (glamorous, I know). A sample share from July:

  • fennel: 1 piece
  • peppers: 3 pieces
  • eggplant: 1 piece
  • fava beans: 1 pound
  • beets: 1 pound
  • garlic scapes: 0.25 pound
  • cucumbers: 2 pounds
  • greens: 1 pound
  • lettuce: 2 pieces
  • squash: 3 pieces

As you can see, you have to be cool with eating tons of veggies throughout the week. I’ve made countless batches of ratatouille, hot and cold soups and all manner of salads. My grocery shopping these days usually consists of breakfast staples, proteins/meat and fruit. I opted out of the fruit share, but I now wish I did (one week they got 5 lbs. of sour cherries…jealous!) Aside from a packed fridge to work through, it’s actually simplified the cooking I do at home.

I’ve been receiving a steady stream of eggplant all summer. Long, skinny eggplant, baby ‘fairy tale’ eggplant, even white ones. To prevent eggplant burnout (it’s a thing), I try to vary how I use it week to week. One week, it’s pasta alla norma, a recipe my Aunt Lee introduced me to. Another week, it might be miso-glazed eggplant over rice. This falafel-stuffed eggplant has got to be one of my favorites. I made it late last summer and dreamed of making it again ever since. What’s cool is you actually get two recipes in one – save the inside of the eggplant for baba ganoush.  This is your chance to use the last of the season’s tomatoes – get them before they’re gone! And if you’re not a member of a CSA, check out your local farmer’s market for most of the ingredients.

Falafel-Stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce and Green Tomato Relish

Recipe from Cooking Light

Tahini sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Eggplant:

  • 2 eggplants (about 12 ounces each)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Aleppo pepper (I used Piment D’Ville)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas ( or 1 15-ounce can)

Relish:

  • 1 cup chopped seeded tomato  (I used a green tomato, use what you have)
  • 1/2 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Ground sumac, for serving (optional)

Heat oven to 475°.

To prepare eggplant, slice the eggplants in half lengthwise; score cut sides with a crosshatch pattern. Place the eggplant halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet coated with olive oil. Bake at 475° for 7 minutes or until slightly tender and browned. Remove from oven; carefully scoop out pulp, leaving a 3/4-inch shell. Reserve pulp for another use (such as babaganoush). Season cut sides with about 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Combine about 1/2 teaspoon salt, onion, and next 11 ingredients (through chickpeas) in a food processor; process until smooth. Spoon 1/2 cup chickpea mixture into each eggplant shell. Bake at 475° for 25 minutes or until eggplant halves are tender and chickpea mixture is lightly browned.

To prepare sauce, combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl, and stir with a whisk. Set aside.

To prepare relish, combine the tomato and remaining ingredients in a bowl; stir to combine.

Top eggplant with relish and sauce. Sprinkle with sumac before serving.

Smoky Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with Pickled Red Onion

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Full disclosure: this is not a post about tacos. Yes, these tacos are the bomb-dot-com (does anyone say that anymore?) They happen to be vegan, gluten free and yes, really, really delicious for carb-eating carnivores as well. They take about 30 minutes start to finish. They are also cheap economical and are satisfying enough that you *may* forgo that after-dinner trip back to the kitchen for a brownie. But again, this is not about the tacos.

In an effort to create some balance in my life, I’ve signed up for my fifth (count ’em) half marathon. On May 17th I will be making the 13.1 trip from The Brooklyn Public Library to Coney Island. I can’t help but get nostalgic for my first borough. Jogging in Prospect Park, trekking to the Grand Army Plaza greenmarket – I’ll be running through my past, literally. In the next couple months, I’ll be sharing with you a bit about my training, more specifically what’s fueling me. While I’ve made a career out of cooking for and teaching others, my everyday eating is a lot more pared down and purposeful. Get ready for hearty salads, soups, oatmeal-y breakfasts and lots and lots of green things. Yes, there will be kale (obviously), but also chocolate, more protein-heavy recipes than I’ve shared before and simple snacks I like to keep around.

Let’s do this thing!

Smoky Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with Pickled Red Onion

Makes 8 tacos

Tacos:

  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium orange sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ dice
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (hot or sweet)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
  • 2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • Sliced avocado, cilantro and lime, for serving
  • Hot sauce (optional)
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Pickled Red Onions:

  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced

For the tacos: place the poblano pepper under the broiler in your oven and turn occasionally, charring on all sides, about 5 minutes. Alternately, char the poblano directly over a gas flame on your stove. Place the pepper in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap to steam for about 20 minutes. Using a paper towel, wipe off the charred skin, take out the seeds and roughly chop the flesh. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes until transluscent. Season with salt. Add garlic and cook a few minutes more, stirring constantly (careful not to burn the garlic). Add the chopped poblano, sweet potatoes and spices. Season with salt and give it a stir. Cover, lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes, checking periodically and adding a little water if the mixture is sticking to the pan. Cook until sweet potatoes are soft. Taste and season.

While the sweet potato mixture cooks, make the pickled onions. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt, stirring over medium heat to dissolve. Bring the mixture to a boil, add onions and turn off heat. Allow the onions to ‘steep’ in the vinegar mixture until softened.

Add black beans and stir well. Cover and cook 5 minutes more until warmed through. Heat tortillas over and open flame to char the edges a bit or wrapped in foil in the oven until warm.

To assemble tacos, fill each tortilla with a spoonful of filling, cilantro, avocado, a few pickled onions and a squeeze of lime. These have a good kick, but add more hot sauce if you like things really spicy.

The pickled onions may be made in advance and can be stored in the fridge for about a month.

Tuscan Kale, White Bean and Sausage Soup and Breaking Out of Your Comfort Zone

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A year or so ago, I read an article by Amanda Hesser on the future of food writing. As someone (clearly) interested in putting my kitchen work into words, I soaked up every morsel of advice. Amongst the facts and figures, one idea stood out: Amanda suggested to, “never eat the same meal twice. If you want to be knowledgeable about food, you need to experience it yourself.” I could not agree more. Whether or not you are a professional or home cook, it’s easy to retreat to your old standby meals. Everyone has one or two up their sleeve, whether it’s an omelet or osso buco. We turn to them for comfort and familiarity. I challenge you this: once you get the hang of a particular dish or recipe, tweak it. Swap out chicken breast for thighs, trade the baby spinach for those long stalks of Swiss chard. It could be as minute as a drizzle of good olive oil, a splash of vinegar. You may be pleased what you discover when you go off course a bit.

Kale, White Bean and Sausage Soup

This soup is one of my go-to meals, particularly as the weather grows colder. Each time it comes out a bit different  – I’ll try a new type of sausage, leafy green or herb combination. Each new version gives me a little more knowledge of flavor.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 bulk hot Italian sausage links, casing removed*
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 carrots, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon each chopped fresh rosemary and thyme
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 cups cooked white beans (from a 15-ounce can or cooked from dry*)
  • Chili flakes
  • Olive oil, fresh grated Parmesan cheese and black pepper, for serving

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up any large chunks, until deep golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Add onion and carrot to pot with sausage drippings. Saute for about 5-10 minutes, until soft and translucent. You may need to add a bit more oil. Add stock, herbs and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Add kale and reduce to heat. Simmer on medium-low for about 10 minutes. Add beans and sausage and cook for a few minutes longer to heat through. Remove bay leaf. Taste and season with salt, pepper and chili flakes.

Garnish each bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, Parmesan cheese and fresh black pepper.

Notes:

You may purchase bulk sausage in casing at the grocery meat counter or in a butcher shop. When I am in the neighborhood, I stock up at The Meat Hook in Brooklyn. I mean, come on, you have your choice of ‘Classy’ or ‘Trashy’.

Moroccan Braised Chicken

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While I was working as a full-time personal chef here in NYC, I had a number of clients whose homes I visited once a week to cook. I prepared a work week’s worth of meals, ranging from soups to salads, protein dishes and grains. Each morning, I trekked to Whole Foods with my uber-stylish granny cart, equipped with a list and a plan: in under 5 hours, I needed to shop, set up, cook, package and label 8 different dishes in my client’s kitchen. It was a bit like a Quickfire Challenge, plus the added pressure of making sure everything would be delicious after a few days in the fridge. Oh, and I usually had 2 client’s in one day, so I would turn around do the same thing in the afternoon.

I loved it.

I know a lot of people take issue with reheating food. How long does it really last? Won’t it go bad? What’s the best way to reheat? Now, hear me out. With a few exceptions (like soups and braises), I admit a lot of meals taste best right after they’re made (think fish, pasta, a perfectly seared steak). But that just upped the ante for me. It became my mission to make the best reheatable meals this side of the Hudson. The key? Take a cue from those delicious 3rd day soups and stews, which are scientifically proven to taste better after a night in the fridge.

This braised Moroccan-inspired chicken became one of my client’s favorites. They loved the exotic flavor, but with the familiarity of chicken, carrots and chickpeas. What they didn’t know was it could be made in one pot, took about 30 minutes and was a largely hands-off process, allowing me time to make the 7 other dishes. The best part? It reheats beautifully on the stove top with a bit of it’s cooking liquid. What? You thought I would say zap it in the microwave? I am a chef, afterall.

 

Moroccan Braised Chicken (Quick Chicken Tagine)

Serves 3-4 (2 thighs/person)

  • 6-8 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, preferably organic*
  • Grapeseed oil, for searing
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into 1″ pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 tablespoon ras el hanout
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • About 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots or golden raisins
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (about 1 can, drained)
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • A drizzle of honey (optional)
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish

Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Blot the chicken with a paper towel and season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear the chicken for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. You aren’t looking to cook the chicken all the way through, just get it nice and brown. Transfer to a large plate or rimmed sheet tray.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and carrot with a big pinch of salt, adding a bit more oil if there is a lot of sticky residue in the bottom of the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the ras el hanout and stir to coat the vegetables, allowing the spices to toast for about a minute. Add the tomatoes and stir, cooking some of the water out of the tomatoes, for about 2 minutes. Add back the chicken to the pot and cover with the chicken stock (just enough to barely cover most of the chicken). Increase the heat to high to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until meat is tender and almost falling off the bone.

Carefully remove the chicken from the pot and transfer to a serving platter.  To reduce the sauce, increase to high heat and bring to a rapid boil. This will allow the flavors to concentrate and the sauce to thicken. When the liquid has reduced by about half, add the dried fruit and chickpeas. Simmer for a few more minutes. Add the lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper to taste. You may also add a little honey or a few more pinches of ras el hanout if it needs it.

Serve the sauce and chickpeas over the chicken with a big handful of chopped parsley, and more lemon if you want. Serve with couscous, quinoa or millet.

To reheat: Heat over low in a high-sided skillet or small saucepan with cooking liquid. Do not microwave, chicken will toughen.

*General PSA: please buy happy chickens (happy = organic). Aside from the fact that they more humanely raised than commercial brands, they taste better and are altogether more chicken-y. A bang for your buck if you ask me. Trader Joe’s carries organic chicken, along with Whole Foods and most likely someone at your local farmer’s market. They probably have eggs, too.

Creamy Dill Hummus with Crunchy Cucumbers

Sour cream dill dip with pumpernickel bread was a favorite growing up in Upstate New York. Thick, creamy, rich yet refreshing, the dip was plopped in a scooped-out round pumpernickel loaf. The hollowed-out pieces were used for dipping. When the bread pieces were gone, we ate the bread bowl, too. I channeled the dill dip experience here, using fresh ingredients. My standard hummus recipe is jazzed up with a handful of dill, while cucumbers add a satisfying crunch and pickle vibe. Other good dippers: toasted whole grain pita, carrots, endive, jicama and cherry tomatoes.

Creamy Dill Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (liquid reserved, optional)
  • 2 T. tahini
  • 1-2 lemons, juiced
  • Handful fresh dill, washed and roughly chopped (leaves only)
  • 2 tablespoons water or reserved liquid from the chickpeas
  • Extra Virgin olive oil (optional)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Cayenne
  • Sliced cucumbers, for serving

Directions

In a food processor, combine garlic, chickpeas, tahini, a few tablespoons lemon juice, dill and a pinch of kosher salt and cayenne. Pulse to combine. With machine running, stream in a little water or reserved bean liquid until you reach a creamy consistency (this may take a couple minutes), scraping down sides. For an even creamier dip, stream in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Taste and adjust with additional salt, cayenne and lemon juice. Chill before serving. Serve with cucumbers.

Two Tomato Artichoke Salad with Parmesan and Summer Herbs

Sometimes the best dishes emerge from nothing. Take this salad. I had a couple tomatoes lying around and unfortunately, not much else. With a little dip in the pantry, I assembled a tasty lunch in under 5 minutes. Feel free to throw in more veggies or protein (zucchini and shrimp would be good).

Two Tomato Artichoke Salad with Parmesan and Summer Herbs

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts (fresh, jarred or frozen, defrosted)
  • 2 small tomatoes, small dice
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup assorted fresh herbs (I used basil, rosemary, thyme and sage), coursely chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Optional: lettuce or baby greens for serving

Dressing

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and Dijon. Stream in the olive oil. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and herbs and gently toss to combine. Add Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on lettuce or baby greens (optional)

 

Fava Bean & Couscous Salad with Tahini-Lemon Dressing

Fava Bean & Couscous Salad with Tahini-Lemon Dressing

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fava beans, fresh, dried or canned (for how to cook, see this NYT article)
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 1 small tomato, cored, seeded and diced (I used a yellow tomato)
  • 1/2 cup couscous (any type), cooked according to package directions
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

Dressing:

  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1 T. tahini
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely minced into a paste
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, gently combine fava beans, olives, tomato and couscous.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, cumin and garlic. Whisk in tahini and olive oil in a stream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add dressing to fava/couscous mixture and toss to coat (be sure not to overdress). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill before serving.

African Sweet Potato Stew with Red Beans and Rustic Cornbread

I know what you’re thinking: “Clare, really? Another weird, mushy vegetarian bean recipe?  And sweet potatoes…again?!” Yes, yes and oh, most definitely, yes. Guys, I admit it, I love me some legumes. As part-time vegetarian (or flexitarian, although that term denotes some crazed body-builder diet) beans are a staple. They’re like the MVP of foods – filling, inexpensive, versatile, and most of all, delicious.

Okay okay enough about legumes. Let’s talk stew. This dish is an interpretation of a traditional West African ‘groundnut’ soup. A base of sweet potato, tomato and red bell and green chili peppers is accented with the richness of peanuts  for an unexpected and decidedly savory finish. Even my meat-eating friends loved this!

As an added bonus, this dish is easy on the wallet and clocks in at around 300 calories per serving. You can make this on the stove top in about 45 minutes or stew all day in the slow cooker. Serve with simple cornbread or couscous.

African Sweet Potato Stew with Red Beans

Ingredients

Makes 6 servings

  • 2  tsp.  olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1  garlic clove, minced
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into medium dice
  • 1 15-oz. can red beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2  cups low-sodium  vegetable broth
  • 1  cup  chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2  cup  water
  • 1  tsp. grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2  tsp. kosher  salt
  • 1/2  tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4  tsp. black pepper
  • 1  (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1  (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 3  T. creamy peanut butter
  • 3  T. chopped dry-roasted peanuts
  • 6  lime wedges

Directions

Stove top:

1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, saute 5 minutes or until translucent.
2. Add sweet potato and next 10 ingredients (through chiles). Cover and cook on medium until sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 mins.
3. Turn off heat and using a potato masher, mash stew until thick and chunky.
4. Spoon 1 cup cooking liquid into a small bowl. Add peanut butter; stir well with a whisk. Stir peanut butter mixture into stew.
5. Stir in chopped peanuts; serve with lime wedges.

Slow cooker:

  1. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender.
  2. Place onion mixture in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Add sweet potato and next 10 ingredients (through chiles). Cover and cook on low 8 hours or until vegetables are tender.
  3. Spoon 1 cup cooking liquid into a small bowl. Add peanut butter; stir well with a whisk. Stir peanut butter mixture into stew. Top with peanuts; serve with lime wedge

Source: Cooking Light via Jen Loves Kev

Rustic Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 3 T. canola oil
  • 2 cups yellow or white cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. baking powder OR 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk or  buttermilk*
  • 1 T. honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place oil in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or similar-size glass baking dish and transfer to the preheating oven.
  2. Mix cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add egg and milk (or buttermilk); stir until just combined. Remove the pan from the oven and swirl the oil to coat the bottom and a little way up the sides. Very carefully pour the excess hot oil into the cornmeal mixture; stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the hot pan.
  3. Bake until the bread is firm in the middle and lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes then drizzle with honey.  Serve warm.

*Tip: In a pinch, make buttermilk  by adding 1 tsp. white vinegar to 1 1/2 cups milk

Source: EatingWell

Homemade Veggie Burgers + The Works

Like every other New Yorker these days, I am always on a quest for the best burger. While I eschew meat most of the time (have you caught on yet?), I have found some pretty darn good burgers of the veggie variety. Two of my favorites? Westville in Manhattan and Downtown Bar & Grill in Brooklyn. Even my carnivorous friends like ‘ em, and that’s usually a good sign.

I’ve attempted to make veggie burgers in the past, and they usually end up crumbling apart. Thanks to breadcrumbs, eggs and gooey sesame tahini, these held their shape fairly well.

These burgers make a good canvas to all sorts of toppings. I sandwiched mine between those new deli-flat rolls and jazzed it up with munster cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, and honey mustard.

Quick tip: it’s really important to make sure your skillet is heated before cooking the burgers. You need the oil to be thoroughly heated to get that crisp exterior. Do NOT use olive oil this recipe or you will risk burning – canola or vegetable oil works great.

Homemade Veggie Burgers

Makes 4-6 burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup plain dried whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame-seed paste)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • Whole grain rolls, lightly toasted (I like deli-flats)
  • Topping suggestions: lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese, red onion, your favorite dressing, sauce or spread

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix bulgur with 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1 cup boiling water. Cover bowl, and let sit until bulgur is tender (but still slightly chewy), about 15 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve, pressing to remove liquid.
  2. Place beans in a medium bowl; mash with a potato masher until a coarse paste forms. Add breadcrumbs, scallions, egg, carrot, cayenne, cumin, tahini, and bulgur. Season with salt and pepper, and mix to combine.
  3. Form mixture into 4-6 patties, each about 1 inch thick.
  4. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low. Cook patties until browned and firm, 5 to 8 minutes per side. Serve on whole grain rolls with your choice of toppings.

– Source: Everyday Food

Lentils with French Herbs

Leave it to my man Mark Bittman to devise this simple and satisfying dish. Herbes de Provence are a wonderful addition to lentils. Everyone has Italian Seasoning on hand, so why not adopt this blend, a sort of French Seasoning? It’s a mixture of marjoram, thyme, savory, basil, rosemary, sage, fennel and sometimes lavender.

Serve alone with crusty bread, chicken or fish.

Lentils with French Herbs

Ingredients

2 cups dried green or brown lentils, washed and picked over
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Chopped fresh herbs for garnish (optional)

Directions

1. Put the lentils in a large, deep saucepan with water to cover. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 15 to 20 minutes, then add the carrots, sweet potato, onion, garlic, and herbs.

2. Continue to cook, adding just enough water if necessary to keep the beans moist, until the lentils and vegetables are tender, 35 to 45 minutes total. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, add the olive oil, and keep warm.

3. Garnish with herbs and serve.

-Adapted from Mark Bittman