Tuesday, September 7, 2010

This Week's Menu

There's a proliferation of stringbeans in the garden right now, and so I decided to feature them in a few of this week's entrees.  We've also had a change in weather, with cooler nights followed by warm, breezy days.  This makes me want to incorporate some of the late summer/early fall vegetables like butternut squash, corn, and Brussels Sprouts into a few recipes.

One meal I made was Three Sisters Stew on Baked Polenta.  The "three sisters" refers to corn, beans, and squash, which are companion plants that grow in perfect harmony:  the tall corn stalks serve as a trellis for the climbing bean vines, and their feet get shaded by the squash which grows along the ground.  This stew was made with tomatoes as a base and a little sprinkle of cumin and oregano which add a lovely savory quality that perfectly balances the sweetness of the squash.

Meal #2 was Baked Tofu with Harissa, Mashed Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts Amandine.  I love this Harissa sauce, which is made with roasted red peppers, paprika, red wine vinegar, olive oil and a pinch of salt.  You can add some cayenne, too, if you like things spicy, but I just enjoy that rich roasted red pepper taste.  It's amazing how such simple ingredients can have such a depth of flavor.  

The third meal for the week is my favorite:  Red Lentil, Corn and Millet Croquettes with Stringbeans and Cilantro Curry.  The little croquettes are seasoned with coriander, a light lemony contrast that balances well with the spicy green curry. 

I liked this so much that I made a version for myself for lunch the next day.  You can make the curry by combining cilantro, ginger, coconut milk, curry powder, turmeric, and sea salt in a food processor if you want it chunky, or in a blender if you want it smooth.  I made it smooth for lunch and the sauce developed a deep emerald green color.  Sprinkle the top with some shredded coconut for some added crunch and a pretty snowy contrast to the green mound on top of the hill.


Anonymous said...

All of your recipes this week look so delicious. I'm going to attempt to make some of them and hope that they will look like yours. Thanks for sharing them.

Mary said...

Thank you for your comment! I highly recommend the Brussels Sprouts as a place to start, since they're really quick and easy. Just cut off the stalky stump, cut them in half and toss them in a pan with hot olive oil, chopped shallot, and slivered almonds. Let them cook for a couple of minutes until the shallots get golden, then deglaze with 1 Tbl apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbl agave syrup and about 1/4 cup of water. Let cook until fork tender and sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Anonymous said...

Your red lentil croquettes seem delightful. Now, I have another recipe with red lentils. Thanks.