Monday, January 14, 2013

Salad of Autumn Greens with Pomegranate

3/4 cup fresh tangerine juice
1 tablespoon grated tangerine zest
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup or honey
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2/3 teaspoon sea salt
generous pinch ground cinnamon

1 head escarole, rinsed very well, hand-shredded
1 large bunch watercress, rinsed well, stems trimmed
3-4 Belgian endive, halved lengthwise, sliced into thin slivers
2 pomegranates, seeds removed, reserved*
½ cup pecan pieces, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped

Place tangerine juice and zest and brown rice syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a mixing bowl.  Whisk in oil, vinegar, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside.

Place greens in a mixing bowl and add dressing.  Spoon dressing over greens and toss to coat.  Transfer salad to a platter and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and pecan pieces.  Makes 6-8 servings.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Black Eyed Pea and Tomato Soup

Happy New Year!

One of the traditions in my family is that of eating black-eyed peas, usually with collard greens, on New Years day.  Supposedly they bring luck and prosperity to the new year. Whether that is true or not doesn't really matter to me.  This soup has become one of my favorites and I will use any excuse to prepare it.

1 cup black-eyed peas
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 medium hot fresh red chillies, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
9 oz. fresh or canned tomatoes, diced
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 oz. fresh cilantro
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt to taste

Soak the dried black-eyes peas in fresh clean water over night.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot and add the onions, garlic and chilies and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.  Stir in the cumin, turmeric, tomatoes, stock, half the cilantro and the black-eye peas.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Salt to taste, stir in the lemon juice and remaining cilantro.  Serve with bread, pita is a good choice.