- 1 pint strawberries, hulled
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 1 loaf crusty bread (I bought a loaf of batard bread, only after giggling because I misread it as "bastard")
- 6 oz soft goat cheese
- 1 Tbsp julienned mint leaves
- 1 Tbsp julienned basil leaves
- Slice bread on a diagonal into 1-inch or 1.5-inch thick pieces. (I ended up with 14 slices.) Broil or toast the bread, turning if needed, until it's golden on both sides. Make sure it doesn't burn! Allow the crostini to cool.
- Next, set the oven temperature to 350 F. Slice the strawberries and place them in a glass baking dish; drizzle them with the vinegar. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and toss to coat. Roast the berries for 10-15 minutes, or until they're soft and syrupy. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese, mint, and basil. The crostini should be cool by now, so spread the cheese mixture evenly over the slices. When the berries have cooled, spoon them evenly over the cheese mixture, and top with more basil for garnish, if desired. Serve at room temperature.
I saw this recipe in the May-June issue of Vegetarian Times and knew right away that I had to make it, despite the clunky title. This was dinner tonight, served over jasmine rice. The peppers and onions are just popping up for harvest, and while I cringe a bit to think of how far the pineapple travelled to get to my plate, I have to admit it was damn good. Damn good, kids. This sweet/smoky/tangy combination typified a sticky summer night for me. This dish was easy to make and contains very little fat.
You will need:
- 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into cubes
- 1 medium red bell pepper, julienned
- 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into thin slices (I actually used just half an onion)
- 1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
- ~1/2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger (opt.)
- salt and pepper
- rice, couscous, quinoa, or whatever else you want to serve it over
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Prep and cut the pineapple and veggies if you haven't done so already.
- Spread out the pineapple, pepper, and onion in an ungreased 13x9 glass baking dish. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with sugar, ginger (if using), and a dash of salt and black pepper. Toss (with a big spoon or your hands) to coat.
- Roast the mixture for 30-45 minutes, stirring once or twice during roasting time. The pineapple and veggies should be lightly browned when done. Serve over rice or another grain, if desired.
Appetizers are especially popular in the summertime, and there are so many clever and easy ideas out there for meat-free dips and finger foods. YumSugar has some cool ideas in their "10 Killer Vegetarian Appetizers" section, and while I'm not thrilled by the combination of "killer" plus "vegetarian," I do think some of the recipes look intriguing. I'm making roasted strawberry bruschetta later this week and can't wait to see how it turns out!
What are your favorite summertime appetizers?
When you've been invited to dinner by people you don't know well, is it appropriate to let the hosts know you're vegetarian? By doing so, you will probably be able to enjoy more dishes, plus you may save the host from a potentially embarrassing "Oh, I wish I had known!" moment. However, making your diet known ahead of time could be interpreted as rude, fussy, or selfish, and it may put the host to extra work.
Strawberry season is almost over here in Pennsylvania, which is a sad, sad fact. I made a strawberry-laden version of Martha Stewart's Raspberry Buckle a few weeks ago and was so impressed that I may squeeze in another batch before the berries are gone. Say what you will about Martha, but the lady knows her way around desserts.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved (make sure you pat them dry after you rinse them)
- Whipped cream and/or vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Use the butter wrapper or non-stick spray to prep the bottom and sides of a 2-quart baking dish.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer on low until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition to combine. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Gradually add this mixture to the butter mixture with the mixer on low speed.
- Spread batter into baking dish. Scatter strawberries on top. Bake for 45-50 minutes (I think I baked it for more like 55 min) until a toothpick inserted into the center of the dish comes out clean. The top should be golden brown. Let it cool for about 20 minutes before serving.
I picked up The Adaptable Feast at the library when the subtitle, "Satisfying Meals for the Vegetarians, Vegans, and Omnivores at Your Table," caught my eye. The author, an omnivore, decided to create this book after growing frustrated with cooking for her vegetarian husband. In the introduction, she ponders, "So how do you cook for everyone in a mixed-diet family without making two separate meals every night or shortchanging vegetarians or vegans by serving them nothing but tofu dogs or side dishes?" How indeed.