Sweet potato “crostini” with roasted beets, figs, cashews and feta


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This recipe is great for a gluten-free vegetarian appetizer or party food.  The sweet potato base replaces a cracker or piece of toast in a more traditional appetizer, and the combination of roasted beets, feta, figs or dates, and cashews adds a sweet and salty flavor that is great for the fall or winter season.

sweet potato beet crostini   Sweet potato crostini with roasted beets, figs, cashews and feta

Ingredients:

  • 1 large beet
  • 2 large sweet potatoes or yams (I used yams, but sweet potatoes would have been better, I think)
  • about 4 oz feta cheese
  • 1/2 – 1 cup chopped dates or figs (dried or fresh, if available)
  • 1/2 cup cashews or walnuts
  • drizzle of honey or maple syrup for sweetness
  • olive oil and balsamic for roasting the beets

Directions:

  • Peel and chop the beets and toss in olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper
  • Wrap beets in tin foil and bake in the oven for ~40 minutes on 400 degrees or until tender
  • Scrub and slice yams or sweet potatoes in 1/2″ thick slices, leaving the skin on

baking sweet potato slices   Sweet potato crostini with roasted beets, figs, cashews and feta

  • Bake sweet potatoes on a lightly oiled cookie sheet (or oiled foil) in the oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom.  You may wish to brush the tops with oil to brown them as well.
  • In a food processor, pulse the roasted beets, feta cheese, cashews or walnuts, and chopped dates or figs.  I added a drizzle of maple syrup (honey would work, too) to moisten the mixture a bit.  Reserve a little cheese and figs or dates to garnish.
  • Top each slice of sweet potato with a spoonful of the beet mixture, and garnish with feta/figs

feta figs and dates   Sweet potato crostini with roasted beets, figs, cashews and feta

  • Using a salt grinder, add a very small amount of sea salt over each potato slice
  • Drizzle just a touch of maple syrup over the sweet potato / beets and serve warm

If you make extra, keep the beets/feta mixture separate from the potato slices.  Heat potato slices in the toaster oven and warm the beet mixture for 15-20 seconds in the microwave and combine.

Enjoy!

sweet potato beets and feta   Sweet potato crostini with roasted beets, figs, cashews and feta

January 6, 2013
Food, Recipe

 
 

Vegetable Fritters


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With some veggies that needed to be eaten soon, I set to work developing an on-the-fly recipe that would make use of everything available.

This recipe can be modified based on whatever veggies you have.

veggiepatties   Vegetable Fritters  Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes, boiled
  • 2 green peppers, diced
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 crown broccoli
  • 1 zucchini
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 white onion
  • greek yogurt (optional-for topping)
  • canola or other oil for frying
  • approximately 1 cup flour (more or less, depending on your mixture)
  • 2 eggs
  • Spices: salt/pepper to taste, Indian spices (garam masala.., turmeric, etc. or other mixture)

Directions:

  • Peel and chop the sweet potatoes and boil until soft
  • Dice onion and saute until caramelized
  • Dice garlic and add to onions, cooking for a few minutes
  • Mash sweet potatoes and add garlic and onion in a large bowl
  • Pulse peeled zucchini in food processor, then remove and squeeze the moisture out as much as possible using a cheesecloth, towel or paper towel
  • Pulse carrots, and broccoli in food processor until they are in very small pieces
  • Dice green pepper (do not add to food processor)
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl, adding spices to taste.  I used garam masala, salt, pepper, and a small amount of an Indian spice packet.

veggiemixture   Vegetable Fritters

  • Add eggs and flour until mixture is a consistency that can be formed into patties (not too dry)
  • Heat 1″ oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat until hot
  • Add veggie patties and fry until browned, turning once

fryingpatties   Vegetable Fritters

  • Let patties dry on paper towels to drain
  • Serve with a little Greek yogurt!

 

These turned out to be spicy and delicious, and can easily be frozen for a quick snack (just heat in the toaster oven)!


Food, Recipe

 
 

Calamari with Cilantro-Lime Sauce


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Calamari served with Broccoli white bean soup 225x300   Calamari with Cilantro Lime Sauce

Calamari served with Broccoli white bean soup

 

Previously I made a beer-battered calamari, which, while delicious, was a pain to fry and the batter was nearly overpowering the seafood in flavor.

This calamari ‘recipe’ (it’s so simple, is it a recipe?) is much lighter, and reminiscent of the fried calamari I frequently ordered in Greece– large tender pieces of squid with a light batter, covered in lemon–no sauce necessary.

I didn’t have lemon, so I opted to make a cilantro-lime dipping sauce for this dish.

Calamari (serves 2):

  • 4 squid (I only made 2 and I could have easily eaten double, but if you are having this as an appetizer or side dish, 1 per person is enough)
  • 1 C flour
  • Club soda (for marinating)
  • Seasoning: salt/pepper/paprika or cayenne pepper (basil/oregano if you desire)
  • Grapeseed or other frying oil

Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • handful of fresh cilantro
  • juice of 1 lime

Calamari Directions:

Slice the squid into fat rings, or whatever size you prefer.  I like to taste the squid, personally.
Submerge the calamari rings in a bowl of club soda for about ten minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and spices.
Drain and gently squeeze some moisture from the calamari.  I did this one by one to let the other rings soak a bit longer.

dredging calamari in flour 300x225   Calamari with Cilantro Lime Sauce

dredging calamari in flour

Dredge calamari in flour / spice mixture.  Set aside.

Calamari before frying 300x225   Calamari with Cilantro Lime Sauce

Calamari before frying

Heat grapeseed oil on the stove in a deep pan for frying.  I don’t really have appropriate pans for this so I used a deep wok with a nonstick finish.
Once oil is hot, add each ring and cook a minute or two on each side, until light golden, depending on how fat the rings are.  Don’t overcook or it will be chewy.  If you overcrowd the pan, the cooking temperature will go down and the squid will stick together.

Calamari frying 300x225   Calamari with Cilantro Lime Sauce

Calamari frying

Place fried squid on paper towels to soak up excess oil.

 

 

Cilantro-Lime Dipping Sauce:
Combine mayo, lime juice, and cilantro.  Stir until blended.
I’d really like to try this with yogurt instead of mayo.  I hate mayo..  This sauce was yummy, but why not make it healthier!?

Cilantro lime sauce 300x225   Calamari with Cilantro Lime Sauce

Cilantro lime sauce

We enjoyed the calamari served along with some leftover broccoli white-bean soup.  Delicious, and filling!

calamari and soup dinner 300x225   Calamari with Cilantro Lime Sauce

calamari and soup dinner

June 15, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Tomato, Feta and Mint (or basil) salad


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A delicious side dish, salad, or appetizer, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and mint or basil pair amazingly well together.

I suppose this is one more Greek Week” dish, due to the feta cheese involved.

Ingredients:

  • Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

    IMG 1317 300x225   Tomato, Feta and Mint (or basil) salad

    Halved grape/cherry tomatoes

  • Feta cheese, cut into small cubes

    IMG 1318 300x225   Tomato, Feta and Mint (or basil) salad

    Feta cheese slices

  • Fresh mint or basil, chopped
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt, pepper

Combine all ingredients and serve as a salad.

IMG 1328a 300x197   Tomato, Feta and Mint (or basil) salad

Tomato, Feta, Mint salad

Or, turn this into a cute appetizer by using toothpicks to spear a half a tomato, a small cube of feta, and a leaf of mint or basil.  Arrange on a tray for a beautiful and delicious finger food!

IMG 1328 300x225   Tomato, Feta and Mint (or basil) salad

Feta, Tomato, and Mint salad served with vegetable sweet potato curry

May 6, 2011
Food, Recipe