White Bean and Rosemary Soup

This soup is thick and rich in flavor. The white beans have a sweetness to them that is complimented by the rosemary. This soup is one of my favorites! You can find dried white cannellini beans at Italian specialty shops. (In Los Angeles at Vicente Foods and Sorrentos in Culver City).

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Ingredients:

1 pound dried white cannellini beans

4 cups sliced yellow onions (3 onions)

1/4 cup good olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 large branch fresh rosemary (6 to 7 inches)

2 quarts chicken stock

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

In a medium bowl, cover the beans with water by at least 1-inch and leave them in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. Drain.

  1. In a large stockpot over low to medium heat, sauté the onions with the olive oil until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 3 more minutes. Add the drained white beans, rosemary, chicken stock, and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the beans are very soft. Remove the rosemary branch and the bay leaf. Pass the soup through the coarsest blade of a food mill, or place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until coarsely pureed. Return the soup to the pot to reheat and add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot.

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Grapefruit Vinaigrette Salad

If you're like me, you're a salad lover. Always on the lookout for creative and delicious salads. I came upon this one. The grapefruit, one of my favorites, adds a refreshing twist to the salad. 

Pair with a salad of baby romaine and arugula, avocado, and pieces of Ruby Red grapefruit.

1 shallot minced
4 tbsp fresh grapefruit juice
4 to 5 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp lime zest
1 tsp grapefruit zest
½ tsp honey
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grapefruit Vinaigrette keeps refrigerated for 2 weeks.

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Israeli Couscous with Squash and Peppers

This side dish has been a family favorite for years. It is both delicious and nutritious and makes use of this season's vegetables, Butternut Squash and Red Pepper.  You can enjoy it as a side dish or a meal, (but add a little bit of protein to it!), depending on your level of hunger. 

Makes 6-8 Servings

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous

  • 2 sweet red peppers, seeded and diced

  • 2 cups diced butternut squash

  • 3 cups hot homemade chicken stock

  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro or parsely

  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat oil in large, deep non-stick skillet. Add onion and garlic. Cook on low heat until golden.

  2. Add cumin and couscous. Brown lightly. Add red peppers and squash and mix together well.

  3. Add hot chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for 10 to 14 minutes until couscous is tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.