English Peas Sautéed with Lettuce and Green Onions

English Peas Sauteed with Lettuce

This French-inspired recipe is loose and forgiving in proportion and spirit.  Add more peas if you like, or less.  You might spruce it up with a dollop of creme fraiche just before serving or add a splash of white wine instead of stock while cooking.  A small handful of chopped herbs such as chives, basil or mint would be nice as well.

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Escarole Salad with Roasted Broccoli, Pomegranate Seeds and Avocado

Escarole is a slightly bitter winter lettuce that partners well with other strong flavors—roasted broccoli, tangy pomegranate seeds and a mustardy vinaigrette, for starters.  We’ve added lots of pistachio nuts for crunch and a touch of aged Parmesan for flourish.  If you can’t find escarole substitute one of its cousins such as frisée or endive.  Peppery arugula would be lovely as well.  Cauliflower or Romanesco would be a nice addition if you don’t have broccoli on hand.

The colors make this dish a natural choice for a winter holiday table.

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Vegetarian Kale and Romaine Caesar

Raw kale is the perfect foil for garlic and lemon-laced Caesar dressing.  The substantial leaves stand up to the thick, flavorful mix.  I like to add some lettuce, too—to soften up the overall mouthful. You might add another green as well, perhaps a bit of spinach or arugula, or a few herbs. I developed the egg and anchovy-free dressing for my egg-avoiding, vegetarian husband.  You’ll hardly miss either.  The dressing is thick, fragrant and packs a lemony punch.  Just what you’d expect with Caesar.

Try adding some ripe avocado to the bowl—it adds a pleasant creaminess to balance the crunch and chew.

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Winter Panzanella with Beets, Orange and Fresh Herbs

In summer months one of our favorite salads is an Italian bread cube and tomato-studded masterpiece, called Panzanella.  It’s made with day-old bread that’s firm and crisp, and soaks up the juicy tomato goodness creating a sweet and crunchy-soft bite.  In this winter version, orange takes the place of the tomato, creating a different sort of sweet that’s every bit as good, if not traditional.  We toss in some of the season’s favorite partners as well — roasted beets, crisp romaine lettuce and fresh herbs like parsley, arugula and cilantro. Continue reading

Emerald Smoothie

A vitamin-laden cupful — kale and lettuce offer vibrant green color as well as bright, fresh flavor. You can vary the fruit — add an apple, pear, or even fresh pineapple. Try tangerines instead of oranges. Purée in the blender for a thick fiber-rich pour or toss into a fruit and vegetable juicer for a smoother drink. The optional ginger offers a tropical, sweet-spicy boost that compliments the mango. You can vary the green as you like — a touch of arugula lends a peppery kick, spinach offers a more delicate texture and deeper green hue. Continue reading