Fennel and feta with pomegranate seeds and sumac

March 18, 2012 § 17 Comments

Hope springs eternal every March: it’s plant-buying season and I am a perennial sucker for the lush herb plants at the farmers’ markets, grocery stores, and nurseries that then mysteriously fail to thrive in my little garden. Inevitably I spend so much time nursing the plants back to life that I barely get to use any of them. This year, though, if they’re not going to survive a hot Maryland summer I might as well enjoy them now whilst I can.

So, yesterday’s lunch was the inaugural herb garden meal, a refreshing salad from my much-flagged copy of Ottolenghi: The Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sam Tamimi. Chef/owners of the popular London chain, you may have heard of them via Yotam Ottolenghi’s second cookbook, Plenty — which is similarly flagged so as to resemble a paper hedgehog.

Known for their inventive vegetable recipes, I find that especially in the late-winter doldrums the recipes in Ottolenghi always cheer me up. As my parsley plant seems to be doing well (note that I’ve only had it in my care for three days), a bit of it was pruned off the top to go into a lovely, refreshing fennel and feta salad with pomegranate seeds and sumac. « Read the rest of this entry »


Chickpeas and kale with aleppo pepper

March 9, 2012 § 4 Comments

Chickpeas and I go way back, starting from when I was a little kid and enjoyed eating them mashed up as hummus, and in college they appeared frequently both in my dining-hall meals, and later in curries when I lived in an apartment off-campus. More recently my fondness began to wane, prompted by a twelve dollar chickpea salad that was both appallingly dull and expensive.

Fortunately, Super Natural Every Day came along and reminded me that chickpeas are still part of a healthy diet and budget, thanks to the incredible chickpeas and kale with aleppo pepper and lemon recipe that I adapted from it. Spicy, tangy, and garlicky, with tender chickpeas nestled among kale leaves that retain just a bit of their bite, this salad is perfect to take to work for lunch, or for serving family-style at a relaxing dinner.

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