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

Sabzi Polo (Herb Rice)

This recipe is adapted from M.R. Ghanoonparvar’s Persian Cuisine. I’ve reduced the salt and fat content, without sacrificing taste. This fragrant dish is a classic and with good reason — it’s light, full of flavor and loaded with fresh green herbs. I added some arugula to the mix — feel free to replace or substitute as you like. Continue reading

Lemon Quinoa with Herbs

Quinoa is worth trying — if you haven’t already. It’s high in protein, fast-cooking, and its feather-weight grains are a natural basis for light and nutritious salads. Its neutral flavor is universally appealing and marries well with all sorts of vegetables and herbs. Try tossing in diced cucumber, tomato or stone-fruits when summer harvest arrives. Continue reading

Freekeh Salad with Roasted Cauliflower and Green Olives

Freekeh is a whole-grain wheat product popular in parts of the Middle East and Northern Africa. It is produced by harvesting green wheat, sun-drying, then roasting the grains. Freekeh has a unique taste all its own, with nutritional value superior to mature wheat.

Once virtually unheard of in American kitchens, freekeh is gaining in popularity as cooks look to world cuisine for less-processed (whole) grain options. Continue reading