Archive | July 2014

“Cipolla”

Cipolla

Cipolla 2

I remember the first time my mom made this dish for me. It was so not what I was expecting. “Cipolla”, in Italian means onion, so when she said she was in the mood for a “cipolla”, I was expecting a vegetable medley of sorts with onions at the center. Instead, I got what seemed to be an onion frittata. I was sooo wrong.

There are very few dishes that I make that don’t have at their core onions, but how often do such ingredients, so crucial for most other dishes, get to shine? That’s what makes this dish so special. It truly isn’t about the eggs; they act simply as carriers for the star ingredient, green onions. It’s one of the most important lessons my mother has taught me in the kitchen. That is, to move beyond what’s customary and to elevate those ingredients you most love, even the ones that are more commonly used as supporting characters, for the sheer purpose of enjoying them wholeheartedly and without intrusions, in and for themselves.

I’m not an egg person, but do love this dish. Mostly because the onions outnumber the eggs (1lb of onions to 4 eggs). I know! It seems like a lot, but it truly is an onion dish! My veggie box delivery featured the most beautiful bunch of monstrous green onions and there was no doubt in my mind what I was going to make with them. Fresh green onions scream summer to me and this dish brings out the best in them – their intricate sweetness and sharpness.  This is my favourite ways to enjoy green onions and a meal you can get on the table in under 30 minutes. Ohhhh summer…

Serves 2 (4 with a side salad)

Ingredients:

 Olive oil  4 tbsp
 Onions, green, large, sliced roughly  4 (approximately 1 lb)
 Salt 1/2 tsp +
 Black pepper
 Oregano, sprigs, fresh  3-4
 Eggs, beaten  4

1. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.

2. Add green onions, salt, and black pepper and cook for 4 minutes. Onions should be starting to soften, but should not be caramelized.

3. Add oregano and cook for another 30 seconds.

4. Add eggs, a couple of turns of black pepper and one of salt. Cover pan with foil paper and cook for 4 minutes or until egg is set.

5. Remove from stove and serve with some crusty bread and side salad.

Grilled Sun Chokes

 

Roasted Sun Chokes

I was really excited to see that Sun chokes (also known as Jerusalem artichokes) were one of the first items featured at my farmers’ market this year. I love sun chokes, especially roasted in the oven, but this time we tried them on the grill.

As good as they are in the oven, they are more so on the barbecue. Their skin crisps up with a hint of smokiness and the inside turns creamy.

I didn’t intend for this dish to turn into a salad. Was looking for a different sun choke side. Whatever you choose to call it, it was delicious! The sweet chokes balanced by the fiery radish greens are tied together by the toasted buttery pine nuts – very special and different. Told John this would be my next potluck dish. We liked it that much.

Any herb would work. I’m thinking fresh basil leaves and even dill. Add some hummus and you’ve got a beautiful sandwich wrap.

Salad or side, it’s a new favourite.

Serves 3 (as a side)

Ingredients:

 Sun chokes  2 pints
 Olive oil
 Salt
 Black pepper
 Tarragon, sprigs, fresh  2
 Pine nuts, toasted  1/4 cup
 Radish greens (or arugula)  Handful
 Red onion, small, sliced, thinly  1/4
Dressing:
 Olive oil  4 tbsp
 Vinegar, white wine/champagne  2 tbsp
 Pine nuts, toasted  1/4 cup
 Garlic, cloves, crushed  2
 Mustard, Dijon  1 tsp
 Salt  1/4 tsp
 Black pepper  1/4 tsp
 Tarragon, sprigs  2

1. Preheat grill.

2. Thoroughly wash the sun chokes and dry. Coat with a little bit of olive oil, salt and black pepper. Sun chokes should be lightly coated with olive oil.

3. Grill sun chokes for 25-30 minutes turning once half way through. Chokes should be tender before removing from the barbecue. Keep smaller chokes whole and cut larger chokes in half or thirds.

4. Over medium heat, in a small frying pan, toast pine nuts. Watch carefully and stir often. Do not walk away from the stove. Nuts burn easily. When they are golden on both sides, remove from heat and allow to cool.

3. Using a hand held blender, in a small bowl, thoroughly combine all vinaigrette ingredients, including 1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts. Puree until you achieve a creamy consistency.

4. In a medium bowl, combine roasted sun chokes, 1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts, tarragon, red onion, and radish greens.

5. Dress the salad with the vinaigrette. You should have enough vinaigrette to make one salad with no leftovers.

5. Taste and season accordingly with salt and black pepper.