Sicilian Caponatina

Serves 6 to 8.  Serve with slices of freshly toasted garlic crostini.

3 whole eggplants

½ c. raisins

3 stalks celery

2 Tbsp. sugar

½ onion

1 tsp. chopped parsley

½ c. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

10 whole green olives, sliced

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp. capers

1 Tbsp. fresh oregano

12 oz. Tomato sauce

1 Tbsp. fresh tarragon

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

8 to 10 basil leaves, chopped

Peel eggplant and chop into ½ inch cubes.  Dice celery and onions.  In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add eggplant, celery, and onions.  Cook 12 to 15 min.  Add olives, capers, tomato sauce, vinegar, raisins, sugar, parsley, salt and red pepper flakes.  Stir thoroughly and remove from heat.  Cool in fridge for 1 hr.  Serve garnished with fresh oregano, tarragon, and basil.

Taken from The Herb Companion, January 2009 issue.

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Curried Cauliflower Bisque with Garlic Greens

Make this soup with a high-quality yellow curry powder.   If you like heat, add a diced Serrano pepper.  This soup is also great made with a little coconut milk in place of some of the vegetable stock.

1 ½ tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or butter

½ medium yellow onion, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

½ head cauliflower (4 c.), chopped

1 Tbsp. curry powder

4-5 c. stock

2 Tbsp. long-grain rice

Salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

3 ounces greens (spinach, chard, collard greens, dandelions, etc.), cleaned, tough stems removed

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil or butter in 4-quart soup pot over medium heat.  When hot, add onion and celery and cook until vegetables begin to soften around the edges (4-5 minutes).  Add cauliflower and curry powder and cook, stirring often, 3-4 minutes more.  Add just enough stock to cover vegetables (4-4 ½ c.).  Add rice, and bring soup to simmer.  Simmer until cauliflower and rice are tender (about 20 min).  Blend soup on High, in batches if necessary, until smooth.  If soup seems too thick, add last bit of stock and reheat until hot.  Season to taste with salt and fresh-ground pepper.  Heat remaining ½ Tbsp. olive oil or butter in medium-size sauté pan over medium heat.  When hot, add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, 30-60 seconds.  Add greens and cook until greens are wilted and tender.  Season to taste with more salt and pepper.  Ladle hot soup into bowls and top with spoonful of sautéed greens.  Serves 4.

Recipe from Mothering Magazine, January-February 2010 issue.

Curried Cauliflower Bisque with Garlic Greens

Make this soup with a high-quality yellow curry powder.   If you like heat, add a diced Serrano pepper.  This soup is also great made with a little coconut milk in place of some of the vegetable stock.

1 ½ tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or butter                                           ½ medium yellow onion, diced

1 stalk celery, diced                                                                             ½ head cauliflower (4 c.), chopped

1 Tbsp. curry powder                                                                          4-5 c. stock

2 Tbsp. long-grain rice                                                                        Salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

3 ounces greens (beet greens, spinach, chard, dandelions, etc.), cleaned, tough stems removed

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil or butter in 4-quart soup pot over medium heat.  When hot, add onion and celery and cook until vegetables begin to soften around the edges (4-5 minutes).  Add cauliflower and curry powder and cook, stirring often, 3-4 minutes more.  Add just enough stock to cover vegetables (4-4 ½ c.).  Add rice, and bring soup to simmer.  Simmer until cauliflower and rice are tender (about 20 min).  Blend soup on High, in batches if necessary, until smooth.  If soup seems too thick, add last bit of stock and reheat until hot.  Season to taste with salt and fresh-ground pepper.  Heat remaining ½ Tbsp. olive oil or butter in medium-size sauté pan over medium heat.  When hot, add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, 30-60 seconds.  Add greens and cook until greens are wilted and tender.  Season to taste with more salt and pepper.  Ladle hot soup into bowls and top with spoonful of sautéed greens.  Serves 4.

Potato Soup

Saute cut-up onions (1 or however many or few you like) and about 4 stalks of celery (optional) in 1 stick of butter.  Add garlic (as much or as little as you like).  In the meantime, cut 6 good-sized potatoes into 1/2-in. cubes, boil them in water ’til soft.  Add 4 Tbsp. of flour to onions and celery until thick.  Add 3 c. cream or milk (or a mixture of broth and milk) slowly to the butter-flour mixture, stirring to maintain smoothness.  Cook until it thickens.  Add salt and pepper.  Drain potatoes.  Add them to the cream mixture.  Add chunks of cheese, fresh parsley, and any other herbs you enjoy.