It’s farmers’ market season and time to celebrate by making vegetables the center of your meal. These five vegetarian recipes are ones you will share over and over.
While social media, food blogs, and recipe food sites have made access to new (and free) recipes easier than ever before, all this information can also be overwhelming. The reality is that it takes time to figure out if a recipe is really worth your time and money.
Checking out ingredients to see if you have them already; slogging through the user comments to get important tips; and knowing which sites and chefs to follow in the first place can keep you from trying new things.
I keep a special collection of recipes pulled from multiple sources that I label as “share-worthy.” These are recipes that have been tried and tested and really stand out as something special. They are also the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of warm weather and the growing season.
1. Radish, rhubarb & strawberry salad
Persian cooking is something many of us don’t know much about, but after trying this salad from Louisa Shafia’s cookbook, The New Persian Kitchen, you’ll wonder where it had been all your life.
It’s the perfect spring salad to celebrate the arrival of radishes, strawberries, and rhubarb. It hits all the right notes with crunchy salty pistachios, sweet strawberries, peppery radish, earthy mint, and tangy rhubarb.
Add a sprinkle of goat cheese to make it even more satisfying and eat it as a meal with a hearty piece of bread. It’s the perfect complement to the dish. You can find the recipe here and purchase the book on Louisa Shafia’s Website or on Amazon.
2. Marinated zucchini with hazelnuts and ricotta
By the end of the summer, most people pretend they’re not home when the neighbor shows up with another five pounds of zucchini.
But this recipe from Bon Appetit will change how you see this ubiquitous summer squash. It caught my attention because of the accolades in the comment section from people who had tried it.
It’s not often you hear “game-changer,” “complex” and “genius” in the same sentence as “zucchini”.
The list of ingredients includes lemon, ricotta, mint, hot pepper flakes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, and hazelnuts. The recipe Marinated Zucchini with Hazelnuts and Ricotta is by Bon Appetit’s Senior Associate Food Editor, Molly Baz.
To say I was impressed would be an understatement. I would add the word “complete” to the adjectives used by other reviewers, as in complete satisfaction. It hits all the important elements of good food with a surprising balance of acid, heat, salt, fat and sweet along with both a creamy and crunchy texture — all in one dish.
3. Quinoa bowl with crispy Brussel sprouts, eggplant, and tahini
Like the two previous recipes, this NY Times recipe from Melissa Clark is surprisingly complex and sophisticated. It hits all the right notes with a marinade for the eggplant that is spicy, sweet and sour. The tahini dressing is creamy and rich, and the quinoa and roasted Brussel sprouts make it hearty.
Fresh mint balances the entire dish and adds yet another layer to this complex array of flavors. It is a complete meal and a flavor extravaganza in your mouth. It’s also a good one to share with your vegan friends. Instead of roasting, you can also try grilling medallions of eggplant and cut them in half before marinating.
4. Olive oil roasted tomatoes and fennel with white beans
This recipe from Epicurious.com is one of my all-time favorites. Something magical happens during the roasting process when ingredients caramelize and the flavors blend together. You’ll want this one in your recipe file because it is also incredibly versatile. Serve it mixed with pasta, over polenta or under chicken or pork. You can also just eat it with bread and a side salad. It’s a deliciously simple recipe that is even better the next day. Add extra garlic and reduce the oil to a 1/2 cup to cut calories if you want. Find it on Epicurious.
5. Boiled artichokes with fresh mayonnaise and lemon
I don’t know who first thought to cook this thorny, bitter thistle, but they must have been desperate. But this hostile, unapproachable choke is actually spectacular inside – metaphorically holding out hope for the rest of us.
This recipe from Gabriel Hamilton, cookbook author and owner of Prune restaurant in New York serves is beautifully simple and delicious. It honors the artichoke with homemade mayonnaise and lemon, and serves it in a way the shows off its beautiful petals.
Find the recipe by Gabriel Hamilton on the NY Times Cooking website.