Why did the bagel lose the election?

It was the victim of a schmear campaign.

Greetings friends! This summer has been filled with wonderful activities for me; which have taken up the majority of my time of late, and left not much room for experimenting with food. I’ve been sticking with old favorites, simple recipes that whip up quick, and recipes that don’t require the oven. It’s been a bit warm.

With the increase in heat and humidity, my appetite decreases dramatically. I want fresh. I want fast. I want cooling.

Today’s recipe is just that. It has four ingredients. You don’t turn on the stove. And it’s better lukewarm. Does it get any better?

Today’s recipe cropped up for a variety of reasons:

1. My garden has been going overboard on basil production. Seriously, my plant has decided to take over. So…it was time to harvest. I then had an abundance of basil…but, surprisingly, not enough to make a batch of pesto.

2. I find nothing more refreshing that cucumbers. They are wonderful, and crisp, and deliciously bland until you combine them with other flavors. There was a half used cucumber in the fridge…Cucumbers and basil go great together.

3. What else goes well with cucumber? The classic tea-sandwich paring of cream cheese, naturally. Have you ever gone to a high tea and had cucumber sandwiches? Delicious. So simple, and yet…so tasty.

4. What vehicle can I put all these tasty, tasty flavors on? Mmmmm, nothing better than a fresh bagel in the morning!

Super Simple Summer Bagel Breakfast

Ingredients
Bagel, of the savory persuasion, sliced
1-2 tbsp cream cheese
4-6 fresh basil leaves
sliced and peeled cucumber

Method

  1.  Toast your bagel to desired doneness level. I like mine golden brown.
  2. Once your bagel is toasted to perfection, allow to cool slightly before applying cream cheese to both cut-side bagel slices.
  3. Place a layer of basil leaves on top of the cream cheese.
  4. Place a layer of cut cucumber slices over the basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper of you desire. b1
  5. Enjoy. b2

This weather is less than soup-erb…

Hello internet friends! Despite it supposedly being spring, and there should be warm weather, we’ve had a cold snap these past few days/week. And what better fix for cold than a lovely, delicious, silky smooth soup? A spring-time appropriate Asparagus soup at that.s1
I had a bunch of asparagus in the fridge that I need to do something with before it got wasted. And, lo and behold, this recipe floated across my computer screen one day. Talk about Providence.
I grabbed some mushrooms and…oh man, the rest is history. Delicious, delicious history. The soup is creamy and luscious. Smooth and creamy. It is one of those decadent soups that you just savor. It had just enough lemon to give it a nice tartness. I don’t think I had enough mushrooms and asparagus for the entire soup, because I went overboard with filling the bowls. So, I’ve adjusted accordingly…meaning I’ve upped the veg quotient, in typical fashion.  I also added garlic to the broth base. And I suggest adding cheese to the final product…delicious.
The original recipe comes from Food and Wine.
Lemony Roasted Asparagus Soup
Ingredients

2-3 pounds jumbo asparagus
1 onion, coarsely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
2 pounds shiitake mushrooms, sliced into small pieces
Parmesan cheese, for topping afterward, optional…but encouraged
s14

Method
  1. Peel and trim the asparagus. Slice the stalks diagonally 1/4 inch thick; reserve the stems and peelings.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the asparagus trimmings, onion, wine and 6 cups of water.s13 Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, over moderately low heat until the asparagus trimmings are soft, about 
1 hour.
  3. Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender and puree until as smooth as possible.s12 Strain the broth through 
a fine sieve, pressing on the 
solids.s11 Wipe out the pan.s10
  4. Preheat the oven to 450°. Melt the butter in the saucepan over moderate heat. Whisk in the flour until golden brown and nutty smelling, about 3 minutes.
  5. Whisk in the asparagus broth until smooth and bring to a gentle simmer.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the lemon juice. s9 s8Gradually whisk 
in 1/4 cup of the hot broth, then whisk in half of the remaining broth. Return this mixture to the broth in the saucepan and simmer, whisking frequently, until hot. Season with salt.s6
  7. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the sliced asparagus with 
2 tablespoons of the oil and 
season with salt and pepper.s7 Roast for about 8 minutes, 
stirring, until the asparagus is golden but still slightly firm.s4
  8. In a nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. s5Add the mushrooms and cook over moderately high heat until golden and crisp, 8 minutes.
  9. Transfer the roasted asparagus to shallow bowls. s3Ladle 
the soup over the asparagus. s2Top with the mushrooms. s1

What do you get if you cross a dog with a daisy?

A Colli-Flower!6Glorious day friends! Springs is upon us! Mostly for real this time. As the weather warms up, my appetite winds down. I get cravings for salad and sandwiches and meals stuffed with veggies. I guess that makes sense, because there is more fresh produce available.

So, as much as I love veggies and salad, I still get hungry. And want something satisfying, even if I don’t eat tons of it.

Enter the savory cauliflower cake of today’s post. This thing is delicious. It tastes like meatloaf, without, you know, actual meat. It’s ridiculous. It’s protein packed with chickpea flour and eggs. There are roasted red peppers and onion and really anything else you could want to put into it. 3A note about the chickpea flour…don’t worry, I know you’re probably thinking…ugh, I don’t want to have to track this stuff down. It can be really expensive if you buy it in the grocery store (if you can even find it in the grocery store). But, I have a much easier and more economical suggestion. If you buy a bag of dried chickpeas when they’re on sale, and then grind it yourself in your blender or food processor…it’s the same thing. For less money. And all grocery stores have dried chickpeas. And you can get them for about a dollar a bag on sale.

The original recipe today called for feta and dill and some other things that I didn’t have…so I adapted, as usual. It uses a lot of eggs, but it feeds a lot of people. At least 8 as a meal. If you’re having it as a snack, well, you will be set for days.

Savory Cauliflower Cake
Adapted from Eating Well

Ingredients51 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed and broken into small florets
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon caraway seed, ground or crushed
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, or to taste
3/4 tsp salt, divided
3/4 c garbanzo bean flour
1/4 c all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
1/2 tsp baking powder
6 large eggs
1 roasted red pepper, jarred or homemade
1/2 c grated Parmesan

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
  2. Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Add cauliflower and steam until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add caraway seed, coriander, crushed red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Gently stir in the steamed cauliflower, doing your best not to break up the florets, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to combine the flavors.
  5. Whisk garbanzo bean flour, all-purpose flour (or gluten-free blend), baking powder and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl.
  6. Whisk eggs in a large bowl until mixed. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the eggs and whisk to combine and eliminate most of the lumps.
  7. Stir in roasted red pepper, cheese, and 2 tablespoons dill. Add the cauliflower mixture and gently stir to combine.
  8. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.4
  9. Bake until the top is golden and the cake is set, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool to warm; remove the pan sides and the parchment.2
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.1