Monday, January 21, 2008

Ben's Vegetarian Dinner

This is for (and was enjoyed with) my friend Ben, who has been a vegetarian 13 years and counting. Also Aaron & Colin, new vegetarians. I could never be one, but I think it's great that you are.

Zucchini Frittata

This is unlike any frittata you've ever had-- it bears no resemblance to an omelet, and you can hardly tell it has any eggs (it only has 2).

You'll need:

a bunch of zucchinis, grated-- I used about 6 small roundish ones with pale green skin. Don't peel them.
a bunch of cheese
2 eggs
about 1/4c breadcrumbs
1t cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste

Lila inspecting the frittata mixture

Squeeze water out of zucchini. Mix all ingredients together and season to taste. Spread onto greased gratin dish and bake at 350 degrees until set and golden brown on top, about 30-45 minutes.

Parsnip & Carrot Puree

This is really a parsnip dish; we added the carrots for color. Parsnips are a delicious, underappreciated vegetable. They're easy to cook, taste great, and are probably good for you (they are, after all, a vegetable). Steam them to retain the best flavor & vitamins.

You'll need:

a bunch of parsnips, peeled and cut into pieces (If they're more than an inch wide, remove the core)
1 carrot
1/4c cream (optional)
s & p

Steam the vegetables about 15 minutes; you should be able to stick a small sharp knife through the pieces once they're done. Puree with 1/4-1/2c of the cooking water and some cream. Season to taste.

Brown Rice Revitalized--or,
what to do with leftover rice

You'll need:

leftover rice (cooked)
1T olive oil
1 large shallot, slice thinly
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4c slivered almonds
1/4c Madeira wine

Heat oil; saute shallot and garlic until translucent, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, to toast. Deglaze saucepan with wine; add cooked rice and stir to coat. Add a little water (I actually added some leftover roasted red pepper-feta-walnut dip mixed with some water) and cover. Cook over low heat until warmed through.

Ben's Almond Pralines

You'll need:

1c slivered almonds
1/4c maple syrup

Bring syrup to a boil in a small saucepan. Boil 1 minute. Add almonds and cook, stirring constantly, until syrup is totally absorbed and pot is dry, at least 5 minutes. Toss onto wax paper. Eat. They're really, really good.

Maple-coated almonds on wax paper

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