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Very Vegetarian
Originally published the week of June 5, 2000.

All content copyright by World Wide Recipes.

Most garlic lovers will agree that the only thing better than garlic is roasted garlic. This recipe makes a relatively mild spread, so if you love garlic you might want to increase the amount.

Roasted Garlic Spread

1 garlic bulb 
1 tsp (5 ml) olive oil 
8 oz (225 g) cream cheese, softened 
2 oz (60 g) goat's cheese 
1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese 
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 
2 - 3 Tbs (30 - 45 ml) milk 
Chopped fresh chives and/or parsley for garnish

Slice the top off the garlic bulb to reveal the cloves. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake in a 400F (200C) oven for 45 minutes. Cool and remove garlic cloves from their skins by gently squeezing. Mash the garlic with a fork and combine with the remaining ingredients, mixing well and adding enough milk to achieve a spreadable consistency. Spoon into a serving bowl and sprinkle with chopped herbs. Serve with raw vegetables, crackers, or pita bread. Serves 8 to 12 as an appetizer.

 

This soup gets an additional tomato punch from the concentrated flavor of the sun-dried tomatoes.

Cream of Sun-Dried Tomato Soup

1 Tbs (15 ml) olive oil 
1 medium onion, chopped 
2 ribs celery, chopped 
2 medium carrots, chopped 
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
4 cups (1 L) vegetable stock (or chicken stock for a non-vegetarian version) 
4 cups (1 L) chopped ripe tomatoes or canned Italian tomatoes, drained 
1 large potato, peeled and diced 
1/2 cup (125 ml) sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil) 
1 Tbs (15 ml) chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried 
1 cup (250 ml) milk, half and half, or heavy cream 
Sugar, salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste 
Chopped chives for garnish

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic and sauti until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the stock, tomatoes, potato, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Puree in a food processor or blender in small batches until smooth, straining through a fine sieve if desired. Stir in the milk or cream and season with sugar, salt, and pepper. Serve garnished with chopped chives. Serves 6 to 8.

 

Feel free to use any type of bean you like for this recipe. I am particularly fond of black beans, and this dish offers an interesting color contrast to whatever else is on the plate.

Savory Mashed Black Beans

1 Tbs (15 ml) olive oil 
2 medium onions, chopped 
4 - 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
1 - 2 jalapeno chilies, seeded and chopped 
2 cans (15 oz each, 425 g each) black beans, rinsed and drained 
2 cups (500 ml) vegetable stock (or chicken stock for a non-vegetarian version) 
1 tsp (5 ml) dried oregano 
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin 
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 
Chopped cilantro for garnish (optional) 
Lime wedges for garnish (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Add the onions, garlic, and jalapeno and sauti until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and mash the beans with a fork until the desired consistency is reached. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro and lime wedges if desired. Serves 4 to 6.

 

The wide availability of frozen phyllo dough makes this elegant dish easy to make, even for the novice cook.

Mushroom and Leek Strudel

1 Tbs (15 ml) plus about 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil 
1 medium onion, chopped 
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
2 lb (900 g) leeks, white part only, cleaned and sliced 
1 lb (450 g) shiitake or Portobello mushrooms, sliced 
1/2 cup (125 ml) white wine, vegetable stock, or water 
1/2 tsp (2 ml) fennel seeds, crushed 
1/2 tsp (2 ml) anise seeds, crushed 
1/4 tsp (1 ml) caraway seeds, crushed 
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 
4 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed

Heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil in a large pot over moderate heat. Sauti the onions and garlic until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the leeks, mushrooms, liquid, seeds, salt, and pepper to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Lay one sheet of phyllo dough on a clean dish towel and brush with olive oil. Lay another sheet on top and brush with olive oil. Repeat with remaining sheets. Spread the filling mixture along the long edge of the pastry, about 3 inches (8 cm) from the edge. Fold the edge of the pastry over the filling and roll it up, using the towel to help in the rolling. Lay seam side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet and brush the top with olive oil. Bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven about 30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before cutting. Serves 4 to 6.

 

I like pound cakes not only for their texture and flavor, but for their versatility as well. Eat this all by itself, or toast it for a breakfast treat, or use it as a base for your favorite ice cream or sweet sauce.

Lemon Pound Cake

3/4 cup (180 ml) sugar 
1/2 cup (125 ml) butter or margarine, softened 
1 cup (250 ml) sour cream 
3 egg whites 
1 Tbs (15 ml) lemon juice 
Grated rind of 1 lemon 
2 1/2 cups (675 ml) all-purpose flour 
1 tsp (5 ml) baking soda 
A grating of fresh nutmeg 
1 recipe lemon syrup (see below)

Beat the sugar and bitter together until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream, egg whites, lemon juice, and lemon rind, and beat until smooth. Add the flour, baking soda, and nutmeg and beat until smooth. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven for 40 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Spoon the warm lemon syrup over the cake, allowing it to soak in. Makes 1 cake to serve 8 to 12.

Lemon Syrup

1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar 
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice 
1/4 cup (60 ml) water

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cool slightly before pouring over cake. Makes about 3/4 cup (180 ml).

 

Who says that burritos aren't for breakfast? And who says these burritos can't be eaten at lunch or dinner? Any time you serve these they are bound to please, especially the younger eaters in the crowd.

Breakfast Burritos

1 Tbs (15 ml) olive oil or butter 
1 cup (250 ml) chopped red, green, or yellow bell peppers (capsicum) 
1 cup (250 ml) chopped green onions (spring onions, scallions), green and white parts 
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
1 cup (250 ml) diced zucchini (courgettes) 
1/2 cup (125 ml) canned or frozen corn, thawed 
6 - 8 eggs, beaten 
1/4 cup (60 ml) chopped cilantro 
1 tsp (5 ml) dried oregano 
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 
Cayenne pepper to taste (optional) 
6 - 8 flour tortillas 
1 cup (250 ml) grated mozzarella or Cheddar cheese

Heat the oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Sauti the peppers, green onions, and garlic until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and corn and cook covered for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, cilantro, oregano, salt, pepper, and optional cayenne and cook until eggs are set, stirring occasionally. Spoon the mixture onto the tortillas and top with the grated cheese. Fold over one side of the tortilla about 2 inches (5 cm) and roll up, making the folded side the bottom of the tube. Serves 6 to 8.

 

This is an Italian garnish that is traditionally sprinkled over osso buco, but it also livens up soups, salads, pasta, and even sandwiches.

Gremolata

1 cup (250 ml) loosely packed parsley
2 tsp (10 ml) grated lemon rind
4 - 6 cloves garlic, chopped

Combine all ingredients in an electric food processor and process until finely minced. Makes about 1/2 cup (125 ml) to serve 4 to 6.