CSA Season: Quick Veggie Sides for Weeknight Meals (GF/DF/V)

During CSA season, when organic, locally grown vegetables are delivered to our door weekly, we enjoy a lot of simple, anti-inflammatory meals that come together quickly and easily.  We pair vegetable side dishes with pan-cooked or grilled fish, meat, or veggie burgers for super-fast, super-healthy weeknight meals bursting with fresh flavors and beneficial micronutrients.  Here are three of our favorite cooked vegetable sides to celebrate the flavors of summer.

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Crisp & Creamy Potato Wedges with Lemon-Oregano Gremolata

Steaming potatoes before roasting them creates a wedge that’s crispy on the outside and creamy like mashed potatoes on the inside; it also cuts down on overall cooking time, for a friendlier weeknight dish.  You can roast the potato wedges in the oven at 425 F for about 20 minutes (flipping them halfway through cooking time), or, if you’d prefer to avoid turning on the oven in the summer heat, pan roast them in a large skillet.

6 to 8 small, Yukon Gold potatoes

2 Tbsp olive oil

sprinkle of salt

***

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 clove fresh garlic

zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup loosely packed, fresh oregano leaves

Scrub the potato skins and then cut potatoes into wedges. Pile the wedges in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 6 minutes, or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.  Set the potatoes aside for a few minutes to cool slightly. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add olive oil and a little salt to the potatoes in the bowl, and toss to coat. Lay out the potato wedges in a single layer on the hot skillet, cut side down.  (If you don’t hear a loud sizzle when you lay out the potato wedges, then the pan is not hot enough yet.) Cook until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes, then flip each wedge and cook on the other cut side until golden brown and crispy.

While the potatoes are cooking, mince together the kosher salt, garlic clove, lemon zest, and fresh oregano with a sharp chef’s knife.  Toss the hot potatoes and gremolata together in a small bowl, and serve immediately. Serves 2-4.

Warm Sweet Beet & Spicy Arugula Salad

This warm salad combines sweet beets and spicy arugula for a perfectly balanced side dish rich in micronutrients and anti-inflammatory compounds.

5 to 6 small beets, scrubbed and cut into bite-sized pieces

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/3 cup Madeira

salt and pepper to taste

10 oz. fresh arugula

Bring the beets, rosemary, olive oil, Madeira, salt, and pepper to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, covered, until tender.  Uncover the pan and continue cooking until most of the liquid has cooked off.  Set the beets aside in a bowl.  Toss the fresh arugula into the same pan with the remaining glaze.  Cook, stirring, until arugula is wilted, about 1 minute.  Serve the beets on a bed of the wilted arugula. Serves 2-4.

Simple Roasted Broccoli

You can season roasted broccoli with any favorite spice or herb blend, but I think garden-fresh broccoli tastes amazing roasted simply, with just a bit of olive oil and salt. Cut up one head of broccoli into florets, then peel and chop the stem. Toss with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp kosher salt. Spread out the broccoli in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and roast at 425 F for 20 minutes, until tender and toasty, turning halfway through cooking as necessary. Serve hot. Serves 2-4.

 

Posted in alliums (garlic/onions), Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients, Appetizers, citrus, cruciferous vegetables, Dairy-free, Entrees, Gluten-free, greens, herbs, monounsaturated oils, Nut-free, Recipes, root vegetables, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Madeira-Glazed Radishes (GF/DF/V)

GlazedRadishesThis recipe couldn’t be simpler. In fact, it’s so simple I hesitate to even call it a “recipe.” It’s also perfect for this time of year, when bumper crops of radishes are filling CSA shares and farmer’s market stalls.  Even if you dislike the characteristic peppery bite of raw radishes, you may find yourself falling in love with them in their braised-and-glazed form. Cooking mellows out the sharp flavor, turning radishes intoxicatingly sweet and fragrant. They’re the perfect companion dish for simply grilled meats or fish.

Madeira-Glazed Radishes 

2 bunches of radishes

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup Madeira wine

salt & black pepper to taste

Trim the tops and trailing roots off of the radishes, and then cut each radish vertically into wedges (4 if the radishes are small, and 8 if they’re large).

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the radish wedges and stir to coat. Carefully pour in 1/2 cup Madeira wine, and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and gently simmer radishes for about 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Uncover, raise heat to medium again, and simmer vigorously until most of the liquid is gone, stirring occasionally, until the radishes are evenly glazed and golden brown at the edges. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm and enjoy!

 

 

Posted in Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients, Appetizers, cruciferous vegetables, Dairy-free, Gluten-free, monounsaturated oils, Nut-free, Recipes, root vegetables, Vegan, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Simple Strawberry Basil Sorbet (No Ice Cream Maker Required)

StrawberryBasilSorbet-03

It’s strawberry season!  Last week, I dreamt that the Midwestern Gentleman requested strawberry-basil sorbet, and as synchronicity would have it, Berry Patch Farm opened its pick-your-own strawberry patches on Saturday. So, naturally, we went strawberry picking.  I hulled, rinsed, and froze nearly three quarts of tiny, perfectly ruby-ripe strawberries for later use, but I set aside some of the berries to make this bright, refreshing sorbet. Dreams do come true!

Berry Patch Farm, Nevada, IA.

A perfect morning for berry picking at Berry Patch Farm, Nevada, IA.

I grow five different varieties of basil, including sweet basil, Red Reuben basil, Mammoth Sweet basil, and Spicy Globe basil. However, for this recipe I used Mrs. Burns Lemon basil. Here in my central Iowa garden (Zone 4-5), Mrs. Burns Lemon basil has been growing hardily and healthily, and is twice the size of my other basil plants. I love its intense, lemony fragrance, which adds a little something extra to this sorbet. However, nearly any basil would pair nicely with ripe, juicy strawberries.

The strawberries were so tiny, I could easily hull them with my fingernail.

Hulling tiny, perfect strawberries.

You might be surprised to see vodka in a sorbet recipe, but you won’t be able to taste it in the final product. The alcohol prevents the formation of ice crystals, giving the sorbet a smooth and creamy texture.

Strawberry Basil Sorbet

3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

1/4 cup raw agave nectar

1/3 cup packed basil leaves

1 Tbsp vodka (or, in a pinch, gin)

Combine first three ingredients in a medium-size bowl, cover, and set aside at room temperature for about an hour, until strawberries have released their juices and softened slightly.

StrawberryBasilSorbet-02

Combine the macerated fruit mixture with the alcohol in a blender or food processor, and puree until very smooth.  Pour into a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm.

When the sorbet mixture is firm, scoop it back into the blender or food processor, and puree a second time until smooth and creamy.  Pour it back into the freezer container, smooth it down to eliminate air pockets, and freeze until ready to enjoy.  I recommend letting the sorbet container sit out at room temperature for about five minutes before scooping.

Posted in Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients, berries, Dairy-free, Desserts, fruit, gardening, Gluten-free, herbs, Just Keep Me Movin', Nut-free, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian | 2 Comments

Lemony-Peppery Kohlrabi Salad (GF/DF/V)

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I love the crisp texture and clean flavor of raw kohlrabi bulb, which I find reminiscent of peeled broccoli stalk.  Kohlrabi is a member of the anti-inflammatory Brassica family, along with cabbage, broccoli, and kale, to name a few.  Both the bulb and the greens are edible, but while the peeled bulb can be enjoyed raw or cooked, the greens should be cooked until tender.

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It’s easy to peel kohlrabi bulb using a large vegetable knife to cut off small slices, shaping it into a sort of geodesic dome.

This fresh, bright salad combines crisp, raw kohlrabi bulb with tender, sauteed greens in a lemony, peppery dressing with a pleasing hint of garlic.  It is delicious served immediately at room temperature, but only improves in flavor when chilled for later in the fridge.  You can use any type or combination of pepper you like, but I particularly enjoy this salad with a Creole pepper blend containing red, black, and white peppers along with a little garlic powder.

Lemony-Peppery Kohlrabi Salad

3 kohlrabi, bulbs and greens

2 scallions

1 lemon

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp Creole pepper blend (to taste)

1 clove garlic

Separate the bulbs from the greens. Peel the bulbs and cut them into about 1/4″ dice. Slice the scallions, both white and green parts. Combine the diced kohlrabi bulb and scallions in a small bowl. Zest and juice the lemon. Add 1 tsp fresh lemon zest, all of the lemon juice, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and Creole pepper blend (to taste) to the bowl with the vegetables, and toss well to combine. Set aside to marinate.

Meanwhile, wash the kohlrabi greens and leave the water clinging to the leaves. Roughly chop or slice the leaves into ribbons. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Peel and crush the garlic clove and add it to the skillet.  Cook, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add the wet greens and use tongs to turn them, coating them in the hot oil. Continue to cook the greens, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until tender.  Season the greens with salt to taste, and spread them out to cool slightly in a wide, shallow bowl. Top the greens with the raw kohlrabi and scallion mixture. Serve immediately at room temperature, or chill to serve later.

LemonKohlrabiSalad-2

Posted in alliums (garlic/onions), Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients, Appetizers, citrus, cruciferous vegetables, Dairy-free, Entrees, fruit, Gluten-free, greens, herbs, monounsaturated oils, Nut-free, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian | 2 Comments

Eating Gluten-Free in the Phoenix Area

CafeBink

View from the patio at Cafe Bink, Carefree, AZ.

I enjoyed a brief vacation at my mom’s new place in Arizona last week, and it was a treat to eat out at several restaurants which can accommodate gluten-free diners.  I tend to have more confidence in restaurants that specify their gluten-free dishes (or those which can easily be made gluten-free) with a symbol on the menu, because it takes the guesswork out of selecting a meal.  However, I have also been impressed by some restaurants whose servers know the menu by heart, and can point out safe dishes, or discuss modifications with me. Here are a few of my favorite gluten-free-safe places to dine in the Phoenix area:

Nourish

Nourish is a great spot for dining with a group of people with multiple allergens, because the menu is carefully coded with the allergens in each dish. The entire menu is gluten-free, and beyond that, it is very easy to select nut-free options, dairy-free options, soy-free options, and vegan options.  The food is fresh, wholesome, and delicious, and Nourish sells a cookbook on site with some of their most popular recipes. Locations in Scottsdale and Gilbert.

True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen is the brainchild of Dr. Andrew Weil. The menu focuses on anti-inflammatory whole foods, and gluten-free options are clearly marked. In addition to flavorful, gluten-free entrees like street tacos with sustainable sea bass, turkey lasagna, and panang curry, the menu features wine, beer, sake, and creative juice combos. My favorite is the refreshing juice blend “Kale-Aid,” with kale, apple, cucumber, celery, lemon, and ginger. Locations in Phoenix and Scottsdale.

Tryst Cafe

Tryst Cafe sources its mostly organic ingredients locally whenever possible, and its menu clearly marks dishes which can be prepared gluten-free. I particularly like the Ahi Tuna Salad and the Kalua Pork here.  Located in North Phoenix.

Cafe Bink

Cafe Bink, located in Carefree, AZ, is the more casual sister restaurant of Binkley’s in Cave Creek. (Other sister restaurants, which I have not visited, include Bink’s Scottsdale and Bink’s Midtown.) While Cafe Bink’s menu does not specify gluten-free options, the servers are very knowledgeable and can quickly explain the menu. There are very few of its French-American dishes which cannot be made gluten-free. Even the Trout Meuniere, a classic French dish usually made by dredging the fish in flour before cooking, is always made gluten-free here. And it is phenomenal, simply dressed in brown butter with toasted almonds and served on a bed of haricots verts.

(Gluten-free) Trout Meuniere at Cafe Bink, Carefree, AZ.

(Gluten-free) Trout Meuniere at Cafe Bink, Carefree, AZ.

Proof Canteen

Proof  Canteen is located in the Four Seasons Resort, Scottsdale.  Its upscale Americana comfort food menu is accompanied by an impressive offering of cocktails, beers, and old-fashioned soda fountain fare.  Gluten-free options are clearly marked on the menu.  I’m still dreaming about the Twisted Gin Fizz cocktail I sipped on the patio before diving into the Shrimp and Grits in creole crawfish sauce.

Proof Canteen, Scottsdale, AZ.

Proof Canteen, Scottsdale, AZ.

Shrimp and Grits at Proof Canteen, Scottsdale, AZ.

Shrimp and Grits at Proof Canteen, Scottsdale, AZ.

Patio dining at Proof Canteen, Scottsdale, AZ.

Patio dining at Proof Canteen, Scottsdale, AZ.

Posted in Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients, Domestic, Entrees, Gluten-free, Restaurant Reviews, Travel | Leave a comment

Growing Edible Mushrooms

Harvested flowering branches from the felled redbud tree.

Harvested flowering branches from the felled redbud tree.

We had a beautiful but problematic redbud tree in our backyard. It had been poorly planted too close to the neighboring yard, and our neighbors gently complained every now and again about a large branch extending over their fence. Several of the tree’s largest branches had been damaged in an ice storm and were dying. The Gent was constantly irritated by its dropping seedpods, which clogged the blades of his push mower. Finally, the tree blocked precious sunshine needed by my herb and vegetable garden. Clearly, the tree needed to come down. When visiting some friends in Maine last summer, the Gent and I learned that it’s possible to home grow mushrooms on stacked logs in a shady part of the yard, a garage, or even a cool, dark basement. Since we love exotic mushrooms and cook with them frequently, I decided to give mushroom “gardening” a try using our freshly hewn redbud.  Here’s how I did it.

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Step 1: Cutting the Logs

I recruited an enthusiastic, chainsaw-wielding friend to help me cut down the tree.  By “help,” I mean he cut the tree down while I stood out of the way shouting encouragement.  (I did get a lesson in how to use the chainsaw, and sawed one log, though.)  We cut two logs approximately 4 feet long and 5-6″ in diameter to use for the basement “mushroom farm.”

Step 2: Briefly Aging the Logs

I set the logs aside in the garage for two weeks to allow the tree’s natural fungicides to dissipate.  The ideal logs for growing mushrooms have been aged for no less than two weeks, and no more than six months. Older cut wood will have lost too much moisture and sugar to sustain the best mushroom growth.

Step 3: Ordering the Mushroom Spawn Plugs

Our true mushroom love is the shiitake mushroom, but shiitakes prefer oak, so the Gent and I took the advice of the folks at Fungi Perfecti and decided to try their aggressive, easy-to-grow strain of Pearl Oyster mushrooms instead.  If you’re considering growing your own mushrooms, I highly recommend calling the customer service line at Fungi Perfecti. It’s a family-run business started by a mycologist, and it’s clear that these folks are passionate about mushroom growing. I had a great phone conversation with a charming and knowledgeable staffer who helped me decide what kind of mushroom spawn to purchase and gave me valuable advice about how to approach the process.  The spawn plugs come in packages of 100 (the perfect amount for my two, 4-foot-long logs) or 1,000.  However, the spawn plugs don’t keep well for longer than a few months, so you should order just as many as you plan to use at a given time.

After my spawn plugs arrived in the mail, I followed Fungi Perfecti’s advice and let the package rest in a cool, dark place for a week so it could recover from its journey before I started inoculating the logs.

Step 4: Inoculating the Logs

I drilled 5/16″ holes approximately 3″ apart in a diamond pattern over the top three-quarters of the logs’ circumference.   Each log was able to accommodate about 50 holes.

Step1-Drilling

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I then washed my hands to be sure they were clean, and set a spawn plug into each hole, tapping it gently in place with a hammer.

Step2-BT-Plugs

Step2-Hammering

Once all of the holes had been filled, I melted some food-grade beeswax in a small pot and used a small chip brush to cover each plug with a bit of wax. I also brushed the cut ends of the logs with a layer of wax, to help the logs retain moisture over the coming months.

Step4-InoculatedLogs

Finally, I rested the logs on top of a couple of bricks underneath a table, and draped the table with a dark drop-cloth to protect it from light and help hold in moisture.

Step 5: Waiting…

Now comes the hard part: waiting six to nine months for the mushroom spores to fully penetrate the logs.  I’ll mist the logs with water weekly so the spores have enough moisture to survive and thrive.  Once the logs are ready, I will “initiate” them by saturating them with water, and after that they should start fruiting.

In the meantime, I’ll have to buy my oyster mushrooms. Here’s a simple but delicious way to enjoy them.

OysterMushroomOmelet

A simple dinner: oyster mushroom and scallion omelet with chilled sake.

Oyster Mushroom and Scallion Omelet

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

1/2 lb oyster mushrooms, sliced

3-4 scallions, sliced

sake or mirin

3 eggs

2 tsp gluten-free soy sauce

Beat the eggs and 2 tsp gluten-free soy sauce in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat the oil in a 10-inch or 12-inch skillet (depending on how thin you prefer your omelet) over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and scallions and saute for 1-2 minutes.  Add a splash of sake or mirin and cook until the liquid has evaporated.  Pour the beaten egg mixture over the mushroom mixture and lower the heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until egg is cooked all the way through. Slide omelet onto a large plate and serve.  Serves 1-2.

 

Posted in alliums (garlic/onions), Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients, Appetizers, Breakfast, Dairy-free, Entrees, gardening, Gluten-free, Just Keep Me Movin', monounsaturated oils, mushrooms, Nut-free, Recipes, Snacks, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Luck o’ the Irish: The Anti-inflammatory Shamrock Shake

AntiInflammatoryShamrockShakeYes, St. Paddy’s day has long since come and gone, but you can make the luck o’ the Irish linger as spring warms into summer with this creamy, frosty, anti-inflammatory version of a “Shamrock Shake.”  It’s full of nutrient-rich whole foods instead of processed powders and added sugar, and you won’t believe how good it tastes!  I make this healthful treat two ways, depending on my garden: when the mint is growing, I go straight to the source and use the fresh, whole herb.  When fresh mint is not available, a bit of food-grade peppermint oil does the trick instead.  The spinach gives the shake a pleasant minty-green hue, but I promise you won’t taste it at all.  The sweetness of this shake will depend on the sweetness of the bananas you use. If you find the shake is not sweet enough for your tastebuds, try adding 1 or 2 whole medjool dates (after removing the pits, of course).  They will add plenty of sweetness, plus a bit of extra fiber and vitamins.  Sláinte!

Anti-Inflammatory “Shamrock Shake”

2 medium-sized bananas, sliced and frozen

1 cup plain almond milk or coconut milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp peppermint extract (or to taste)
or 1/4 cup packed, fresh peppermint leaves

5 to 6 baby spinach leaves (for green color)

Combine all ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and process until very smooth and creamy. Enjoy immediately.

Posted in Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients, Beverages, Breakfast, coconut oil (virgin/ unrefined), Dairy-free, Desserts, fruit, Gluten-free, herbs, Nut-free, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Packing Lunch To Go: A Few of My Favorite Things

Since fully committing to an anti-inflammatory way of eating two years ago, I pack my lunch to take to work almost every day.  As part of my goal of inflammation-free living, I like to pack my food in glass mason jars, which can go from refrigerator to microwave and are safer for reheating food in than plastic containers, which can leach phthalates and plasticizers into your food as they heat up.  These reusable, washable, plastic mason jar lids have been great, too. They don’t rust the way metal canning rings can when re-used, and they form a reliable, leak-proof seal.  I’ve found pint-sized mason jars to be a convenient way to pack everything from snacks to soups, to leftovers from last night’s dinner, to salad (I pack dressing in a separate 8-oz. jar).

Cooking up a batch of this soup on Sunday means a week's worth of ready-to-go lunches for work.

Cooking up a batch of soup on Sunday means a week’s worth of ready-to-go lunches for work.

For a long time, I used a simple, washable, canvas tote bag (free swag from a conference I had attended years ago) to carry my lunch. This was a decent option, but I grew to dislike the way the mason jars tipped over in the unstructured sack, bulging out and clanking against one another as I walked along.  Sometimes I would remember to pack a cloth napkin to minimize the clanking and rattling, but let’s just say I’m not at my best in the morning, so I needed a more foolproof solution.  Surely, I thought, someone on Etsy has already identified and solved this problem…

Mason jar tote from A Tiny Forest on Etsy.

Mason jar tote from A Tiny Forest on Etsy.

And someone had! A Tiny Forest offers pdf sewing patterns for mason jar-friendly lunch totes, or, if you’d rather buy something ready-made, a variety of  bags to accommodate a range of jar sizes.  I bought this cute lunch tote, which features two sewn-in cloth sleeves for pint-sized mason jars, and a cloth napkin made from the same fabric as the tote’s lining. There’s enough space to slip in flatware, extra snacks, and a water bottle (or my insulated coffee mug).  I’ve been using the lunch tote for about a month now, and it is just as functional as it is pretty.  By making it easier to bring my lunch to work every day, I also make it easier to stay on track with my healthful eating goals.

What do you do to make it easier for yourself to stay on track?

 

 

 

Posted in Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients, Entrees, Environmental Factors, Gluten-free, Product Reviews, Snacks | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

April is Sjögren’s Syndrome Awareness Month

SjogrensAwarenessWIFG

Visit the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation website to learn more and get involved.  Sjögren’s Syndrome is one of over 100 recognized autoimmune diseases which affect over 20 million Americans, and are a leading cause of disability. Medical researchers are starting to recognize how closely related these illnesses are, and trying to identify common underlying causes to design better treatments. While diagnoses have reached near epidemic proportions, the majority of patients are the “invisible demographic” of middle-aged women, so little funding has gone into researching these diseases.  While some autoimmune cases are mild, others can be severely debilitating. Younger and younger women are being diagnosed with these diseases, and men can be affected by them as well, although their cases are rarer.  Please help spread awareness and support funding for research, so we can figure out how to treat and, hopefully, prevent these painful and debilitating diseases.

 

 

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Mini Farinata Cups (GF/DF/V)

MiniFarinata-01

Mini farinata cups, seasoned with cumin and smoked paprika, and topped with roasted tomatoes and garlic.

Farinata, made from a batter of seasoned chickpea flour and water and cooked in a generously oiled cast-iron skillet, has a texture somewhere between polenta and flatbread. In France and Italy, it is traditionally baked thin, until crisp at the edges, and then sliced up with random strokes and eaten piping hot like pizza. When I make farinata this traditional way, I have an unfortunate (albeit enjoyable) tendency to eat the whole thing at one go. So, sometimes it’s a good idea for me to bake it in muffin cups, the easier to portion them out.  They are certainly best piping hot from the oven, but they are also pretty good when I take leftovers to work for lunch and eat them cold or reheated, especially topped with a stew.

MiniFarinata-03This recipe is my favorite, go-to flavor combination, warm with earthy cumin and smoky Spanish paprika. However, the true beauty of farinata is as a culinary blank slate for any flavorings that suit your mood.  It’s delicious with curry powder, with dried or fresh herbs, with caramelized onions.  Baking the farinata in individual cups rather than in one large, cast-iron pan doesn’t impact the flavor, but it does provide a convenient form for dressing up in new ways. I love topping a farinata cup with a poached egg, Eggs Benedict-style, but gluten free and more interesting (not to mention protein-packed) than the traditional English muffin.

EggsFarinataAlternatively, you can also bake an egg directly on top, partially steaming the farinata, giving it a pleasantly fluffy texture: Pour about 1/3 cup of the seasoned farinata batter into a hot, oiled 1-cup ramekin and bake for 5-6 minutes at 375 degrees, just until it starts to set at the edges. Pour an egg carefully on top, sprinkle with herbs or chopped scallions if desired, and bake for another 10 minutes or until egg has reached desired doneness.

Mini Farinata Cups

1 1/3 cup chickpea flour (besan)

1 1/3 cup hot water

2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for baking

***

1 1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cumin*

1/2 tsp smoked (Spanish) paprika*

Gradually whisk the hot water into the chickpea flour bit by bit, working out any lumps along the way.

FarinataBatter-01

Add the water gradually, starting with just 1/3 cup and beating the batter until the lumps smooth out. Then gradually add the remaining water. The final batter will be about as thick as buttermilk. [Click photo for larger view.]

Whisk in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Let sit for at least 15 minutes, or up to 12 hours, covered, at room temperature.  (After whisking up the batter in a large bowl, I transfer it to a Pyrex pitcher, to make pouring it into the hot pan easier later.)

FarinataBatter-02     FarinataBatter-03

Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Put a 12-cup muffin tin in the oven as it preheats. Stir the salt and spices into the farinata batter.  When the oven is ready, remove the hot muffin tin from the oven and immediately pour a small amount of oil — just enough to cover the bottom — into each of the muffin cups.  Evenly divide the batter among the oiled muffin cups. Put the muffin tin back in the oven, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove mini farinata immediately from the muffin tin when done and serve hot.

*Or about 1 tsp of another spice, herb, or seasoning blend of your choice.

MiniFarinata-02

Posted in alliums (garlic/onions), Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients, Appetizers, Breakfast, chile pepper, Dairy-free, Entrees, Gluten-free, herbs, legumes, monounsaturated oils, Nut-free, Recipes, Snacks, spices, Vegan, Vegetarian | Leave a comment