Tag Archives: vegetarian

Gluten Free Latkes!

We loved making the traditional potato latkes during Hannukah and people gobbled them up – but we’ve noticed more and more folks requesting gluten free foods, so Richard invented a delicious vegetable quinoa latke that was a real crowd pleaser! Here’s what he has to say:

“The quinoa latkes have been such a hit this past week I thought they deserved a mention.  I absolutely love the taste of quinoa and have been making tabouli with it all summer long. However, tabouli is a warm weather dish and I’ve been brainstorming about some type of gluten-free savory patty or cake and suddenly last week when we were making potato latkes it all happened in a flash. Quinoa latkes!!

Quinoa cooks very quickly, 2 cups quinoa to 4 cups salted water. Combine the cooked quinoa with a finely minced onion, scallion, parsley, 1 grated carrot and 2 medium grated zucchini (which are salted first, then squeezed dry).  Soy flour works well as a binder or you can also use mashed potato flakes. Regular flour would be our normal binder but then it obviously would not be gluten-free.  I used a little over  half a cup for this quantity.

Mix everything together with 4 beaten eggs, season with salt and freshly ground pepper. We use an ice cream scoop to portion out the proper amount for each latke and then shape into patties. The raw latke should hold together fairly well and it will tighten up a bit once you begin to fry it.  If they do not hold together or seem too wet add more flour, too dry, add another egg.  We always test one first to see if the seasoning is correct before making the whole batch.  Don’t be discouraged if they don’t hold together at first, the ratio of vegetable, quinoa, flour, and egg just needs to be adjusted.

If you’re experienced in making regular potato latkes, the cooking technique is very similar once you begin to fry them – you want a nice golden brown color and do a test to make sure it’s cooked all the way through.

The nice nutty flavor of quinoa is delicious combined with the vegetables and fried.  These “latkes” are great with sour cream or just as an accompaniment to a luncheon or dinner dish.”

What’s Vegetarian, Vegan and Very Good for You? Esclavida Catalan

Here’s a great recipe that will wow your friends, is savory, healthy, delicious and you can shop at your local farm stand to purchase all the ingredients. One of the reasons we love this recipe is that the vegetables are roasted, not grilled, so they absorb less oil and the dish is light and clean. Romesco sauce (which dates back to medieval times) is a wonderful type of “pesto” thickened with bread and nuts.  Traditionally made with romescu peppers we approximate the flavor with red peppers and a bit of ancho chili pepper. The recipe looks a little strange but follow it to the end and taste the results.  We think it’s worth it and that you’ll agree.  The mixture of vegetables is similar to ratatouille so we always tell people it’s a Catalan ratatouille!

Esclavida (Grilled Vegetables) with Romesco Sauce
Chef Richard Erickson, Bistro-to-Go

1 large eggplant
3-4 zucchini and/or summer squash
1 large Spanish onion
4 plum tomatoes
2 red & 2 green peppers
1/2 cup toasted almonds
1/4 cup Sherry wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Romesco Sauce (recipe follows)

1. Cut the vegetables into pieces of equal size (approximately 3/4 – 1” cubes). Season with salt and pepper, toss lightly with olive oil and roast for about 15 minutes on a sheet pan in a 400 degree oven.

2. Take 1/2 cup Romesco Sauce, 1/4 cup Sherry wine vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil and whisk together.

3. Garnish with whole toasted almonds and serve.

Romesco Sauce
4-6 Ancho chiles
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pita or other bread
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup hazelnuts
2 T garlic
1/2 cup tomato, peeled & seeded
1 large roasted pepper
pinch cayenne
2-3 T Sherry wine vinegar
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 T paprika
2 T tomato paste

1. Cover chiles with boiling water after discarding seeds and stems. Soak until soft.

2.  Heat half the oil, add bread. Fry until golden. Remove, add chiles, cook for 2 mintues.

3. In food processor, process almonds, salt and garlic. Add bread, chiles and tomato.

4. Add cayenne, vinegar and rest of olive oil. Grind black pepper and adjust seasoning. Thin with a bit of the ancho liquid but not too much. Should have a smoky and lightly spicy taste, but not be too spicy hot.

Gill Farms – Let the Good Times Roll

I have the utmost admiration for our local farmers and their ability to be harvesting the most gorgeous vegetables by the second week in June! Loretta from Gill Farms came by today and brought us a bounty of delicious produce which was grown just down the road – kudos to John who runs the farm and to Cindy and Loretta who do such a beautiful job at their roadside store on Route 209!

One of our favorite vegetable preparations we just call “Chef’s Seasonal Vegetable Medley” – when brides and grooms ask me in the dead of winter what’s in it, I tell them “whatever we can get that comes fresh from our local farms”. And hallelujah – here it is.

The preparation is simple: cut each vegetable to maximize the beauty of it’s shape. It’s nice to make the size of the broccoli, for instance, about two bites for interest. You can experiment and see how the sizes and shapes of different vegetables interact and look together when they’re cooked and presented.

Each type of vegetable will be steamed individually, tested with a knife for done-ness (they should have a bit of give and still have their color when you take them off the heat). Prepare a bath of ice water to plunge them into immediately to help retain the vibrancy of color – no one wants to look at or eat veggies that are overcooked.

Once you have cooked your assorted vegetables, put them together in a big mixing bowl and add toss with olive oil in which you’ve sauteed some finely minced shallots. Add salt and pepper and toss. Pour out onto your favorite platter and garnish with some fresh herbs.

In this case, we went out to our garden and picked some thyme blossoms, chopped them lightly and dusted the top with the flowers. Beautiful, aromatic and delicious!