Monday, October 31, 2011

back in the kitchen

After 10 days without cooking a single meal, I was actually excited and inspired to get back to making dinner. This month's bon appetit magazine was particularly full of good recipes so last week I tried out a few. Padang Curry was the best coconut based curry I have made yet. Going through the "hassle" of making curry paste is the difference between edible and good. A bigger hit though were the Corn Fritters which were devoured fresh and did surprisingly well reheated the next day. I recommend you give them a try. Don't forget the dipping sauce.
We took a trip to the library over the weekend and I picked up a book called "The Modern Vegetarian" by Peter Berley. Of the hundreds of options at the library, this one called to me because the recipes came across as creative without being weird and healthful while still being appetizing. Last night I made the Creamy White Bean-Garlic Soup with Rosemary which was somehow chock full of flavor and had about 5 ingredients. I will definitely make it again. I also tried this salad using raw mushrooms. The simple dressing contains no oil (healthy!) and the combination of fresh lemon juice and thyme and perfect for the season and their zing brought mushrooms to a whole new level. I just reread the recipe and found that I skipped over the step of whisking in 6 T olive oil. Umm, okay. How did that happen?! If you are attempting to avoid oils, go ahead and skip it like I did. We really had no idea. I'm sure adding it will mellow out the tang of the vinegar and lemon juice though so that is an option too. As it was, we decided the dressing was reminscent of mignonette and this would be our vegetarian version of oysters on the half shell. Therefore, next time I make this salad, I will be serving it with champagne.

Fresh Mushroom Salad with Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette

2T fresh lemon juice
1T white wine vinegar (I used sherry vinegar because this is what I had)
1T finely chopped thyme leaves
1T finely chopped parsley
1t coarse sea salt
fresh black pepper
6 T extra-virgin olive oil
10 oz fresh white button mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
6 cups mixed greens or lettuce

1) In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Slowly pour in the oil, whisking to emulsify.

2) Add the mushrooms and toss gently to coat.

3) Add the greens, toss gently and serve.

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