Tag Archives: side dish

blackberry and endive salad

blackberry-and-endive-salad-webSometimes it’s the simple things that are best.

Like something bitter with something sweet, something crunchy with something soft, something healthy with something full of flavor.

endive

In summer, all I want is things that are hydrating and things that give me energy.  Since compromising taste is simply something that cannot be had, that’s just a given.  This salad was a pleasant surprise of things in my fridge and a tender summer moment in the kitchen.  Endives are rather bitter and I find them difficult to eat at times, but combined with the sweetness of the berries and the musk of either the cheese and/or the pumpkin seeds, you’re lookin’ scrumptious.

blackberries-webBlackberry and Endive Salad

Ingredients: 1 endive (cut into thin slices), 1 small box of blackberries (cut into fourths), 1/4 cup soft goat cheese and/or ground pumpkin seeds, 1 1/2 tbs. high quality balsamic or sherry vinegar, 2 tbs. grapeseed or olive oil, a large pinch sea salt, a large pinch paprika

Method: If using goat cheese, put it on the edge of a mixing bowl.  Add endive and (optional) seeds, olive oil and vinegar.  Mix with a knife, scraping up the edges of the cheese, so that all is coated.  Slowly mix in blackberries.  Salt and paprika to taste.  Serve alongside your favorite tartine in a little mound topped with a few leaves of baby basil for something charming.

 

 

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Vaikas Burbule! Bubble Child in Lithuania

vaikas burbuleIt’s official.  Bubble Child is now in Lithuania!  (“Vaikas burbule” to be precise.)  But why this Baltic country?  Because shortly following the new Bubble Child cookbook, we will be partnering with my buddy Jared’s company Tervezo (whom I met studying abroad in Paris in 2007 when I was first hit with my French food obsession) to expand the media of the project here.  Filming at a Lithuanian lake house?  Ookkkkk.

buckwheatGetting to know the local cuisine has been surprising for me, especially in the realm of gluten-free.  A traditional ingredient is “grikiai”, which is buckwheat that is boiled and served warm for both breakfast as porridge and meals as a starch.  Despite “wheat” being in the name, buckwheat does not contain gluten, nor is it in the same family as traditional wheat or spelt.  Kasha* is a common name for roasted buckwheat, and is easy to find in health stores.  It is delicious served as you would rice and has a luxuriously earthy flavor.

Kasha (Roasted Buckwheat): For ideal cooking, boil 2 cups water with a large pinch sea salt, add 1 cup kasha (or toasted buckwheat grains), bring to boil again, cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed and grains are cooked al dente.  I recommend tossing in a few teaspoons high quality olive oil, paprika and lemon zest for a subtle flavor boost.

*If you cannot find the roasted version, toast your own grains in a sauté pan for 5 minutes over medium-high heat with no oil stirring frequently to increase flavor and reduce cooking time.  Then cook according to method above.

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How to: Make the perfect Olive Oil Rice

fluffy rice olive oilRice pilaf is great.  A simple rice pilaf when it is flavored with olive oil, bay leaf and slightly salty with that oh-just-right texture of a perfectly cooked rice is wonderful.

Rice is naturally gluten-free, and is, thus, a natural friend of us Bubble Children.  How come, uncooked ricethen, so many of us are surprised when we have a simple rice that tastes surprisingly delicious?  It’s really easy, and can be a staple for many many dishes… and you don’t need packaged mixes.

To make a perfect rice that is dairy, gluten, soy, etc.-free and matches basically any plate, protein, or ethnicity of flavors, follow this!

1.  Measure out one part rice and one a half times water.  (Example: if you measure out 2 cups rice, measure out 3 cups water).  Thai, basmati, and other “Eastern” rices work best for this method.  (No risotto rice here!)

2. Bring your water to a boil.  Add about 1/8 tsp. sea salt for every 1/2 cup rice (you’ll add more rice and olive oil in potlater, don’t worry).  Add rice and a bay leaf.  Stir once.  Bring to a boil, cover with a fitted lid, reduce heat to low.  Let simmer for anywhere from 20-35 minutes, depending on your rice, until the water is just absorbed.

3. Remove heat, fluff once with a fork, and cover again.  Let sit 5 minutes.  Add 1/2 tbs. nice extra virgin olive oil for every 1/2 cup rice and another 1/8-1/4 tsp. sea salt, to start.  Stir, taste, and add more salt and olive oil if your palette is calling for more!

rice and fish<–if you serve it with some fish cooked in olive oil and dill and sea salt, you might make some new friends.

As much as my native California Bay-Area-self has an appreciation for the “San Francisco treat” (Rice-a-Roni and other various pilaf variations), this rice is so perfectly past al dente and infused with just the right amount of flavor from the bay leaf and olive oil and sea salt that I will have to pass on the butter, box, or any other added flavorings.

So nice. Good rice.

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Tender Leeks with Olive Oil and Shallot

leeks

Mmmm.  Caramelized leeks in olive oil.  Do I need say more?

Traditionally, when you get leeks that have been julienned and brought down to a tender moist consistency, there is butter involved.  Don’t get me wrong, I cutting leeksam not opposed to the use of butter (see Clarified Butter post last week), but sometimes I just don’t feel like straight milk fat.  And my body doesn’t, either.

This side dish is ridiculously tasty, and supremely simple to make.  The hardest part is cutting the leeks.  It’s not hard.

Tender Leeks with Olive Oil and Shallot

3 tbs. olive oil, divided
1 shallot, diced
1 large leek
enough water to cover leeks while cooking
1/4 tsp. sea salt + more to taste as needed
pepper to taste

Preparation time: 3 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
Serves 3-4 as a small side, 2-3 as a larger side

leeks cut1. Wash and dry your leek.  Cut into 3” rods, and then cut those in half length-wise, and then into vertical 1/2 cm strips.

sweat out shallots2. Heat 1 tbs. oil in sauté pan over medium heat.  When warm, add shallots, and sweat out for 3 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden around the edges.  Add leeks, and add water just up to the height of the top of the leeks.

cook them3. Top with remaining 2 tbs. olive oil and 1/4 tsp. sea salt.  Increase heat to medium high.  Cook until water has reduced down completely, and leeks are soft and tender.  Stir occasionally only as water is just about evaporated.

water evaporated4. Once water has left the pan, remove from heat, and check for seasoning; add salt and pepper to taste.

leeks and goat cheeseServe with your favorite protein and a baked sweet potato or goat cheese toasts with chive for something divine.

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