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Charred Plum Tomatoes and Garlic


Charred Tomatoes and Garlic

Here’s a dish that could be a perfect vegan side or a main course for a meatless Monday.

The idea is from Bryant Terry’s “The Inspired Vegan” (DaCapo, $19). I made it according to instructions, yet I also make a slight variation after cooking it and added Parmesan cheese to the top. Either way, the dish is delicious.

A word of warning: Because you are cooking these at a high heat, make sure you don’t have too much oil in the bottom. It bubbled and crackled throughout the cooking process and also produced more than a little smoke, which escaped from the oven even with the door closed.

Charred Plum Tomatoes and Garlic

10 garlic cloves, unpeeled
8 fresh plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Coarse sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh basil or thyme, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Spread the garlic cloves on the bottom of a baking dish. Add the tomatoes, cut side up.

Generously drizzle the tomatoes and the garlic with olive oil, and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.

Bake until the tomatoes have softened and are charred around the edges, about 40 minutes. Season the tomatoes with salt and white pepper, and garnish with fresh herbs.

Makes 4-6 servings.

From “The Inspired Vegan” by Bryant Terry

 

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Coconut Quinoa Is a Side Dish Loaded with Flavor


Chefs have been using quinoa more and more over the last 10 years. But it remains outside the mainstream for many, who seem reluctant to give it a try.

What is it? some ask.

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is “an ancient South American cereal grain (that) is higher in protein than any other grain,” Bryant Terry writes in “The Inspired Vegan” (DaCapo, $19). “It tastes great cooked in coconut milk.”

The coconut milk, not to mention the ease of this recipe, should be enough for some to give it a try.

You can find quinoa at a growing number of markets, including Central Market, Whole Foods  and Green Fields.

Coconut Quinoa

1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
Coarse sea salt, to taste
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 tablespoons dried coconut

In a medium-sized saucepan over high heat, combine the coconut milk with the water and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil. Add the quinoa and dried coconut and bring back to a boil. Immediately lower the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and steam with the lid on for 5 minutes, then lightly fluff with a fork.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

From “The Inspired Vegan” by Bryant Terry

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Raspberry-Lime Ice Pops


Raspberries and lime are the basis of this cool treats.

It’s still summer, even if the kids have gone back to school. So, here’s a fun idea for giving them a cool treat that’s filled with fresh fruit flavors.

“The raspberry and lime flavors are equally distinct in these bright, refreshing pops,” writes Bryant Terry in “The Inspired Vegan: Seasonal Ingredients, Creative Recipes, Mouthwatering Menus” (Da Capo, $19). “I make them using store-bought molds, but using small cups works just as well. Simple add the prepared juice to the cup, cover it with paper, wrap a rubber band around the paper to hold it in place, poke an ice-pop stick in the center of the paper almost to the bottom of the cup, then freeze as directed. I have found that freezing beverages typically decreases their sweetness. So the juice for making these pops may seem sweet, but after they are frozen the taste will even out.”

But don’t just make these for the kids. Adults will enjoy them, too.

Raspberry-Lime Ice Pops

2 cups fresh raspberries
11/2 cups filtered water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup raw cane sugar or 6 tablespoons agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

In a small saucepan  over medium heat, combine the raspberries, water, lime juice, sugar and lemon zest. Simmer, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved, the raspberries have softened, and the liquid is thick, about 10 minutes. Let sool for 5 minutes, then purée in two batches in a blender. Strain through a fine sieve or cheesecloth into a bowl, and refrigerate, covered until completely chilled.

Pour the justice onto 6 ice-pop molds or  cups with ice-pop sticks, leaving a 1/4-inch space at the top to allow for expansion after freezing. After filling the molds, if there is any juice left over, water it down and enjoy. Place the pops in a freezer for at least 6 hours until frozen compeltely.

Makes 6 servings.

From “The Inspired Vegan” by Bryant Terry

 

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