Spinach and Goat Cheese Risotto in the Pressure Cooker

Spinach and Goat Cheese Risotto in the Pressure Cooker

If someone were to ask me what kitchen utensil I couldn’t live without—I’d say the pressure cooker.  Dinner on the table takes one-third of the time as with regular stove-top cooking. More vitamins remain in pressure cooked vegetables, and you can have creamy Italian risotto lickety-split. That’s right, in 20 minutes you can be chowing down spinach and goat cheese risotto made in the pressure cooker.

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Epazote and Frijoles Negros de Olla

Epazote and Frijoles Negros de Olla

Epazote, happily drinking in water

Epazote, with its long, narrow, serrated leaves and strong, wild flavor, is a new herb for our Ranui Gardens CSA box.  When I found epazote in the box, I knew I had to make epazote and frijoles negros de olla.

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Pea Shoot and Black Rice Salad

Pea Shoot and Black Rice Salad

Pea Shoot and Black Rice Salad

Chinese cooks call them mustaches of the dragon. Pea shoots. The leafy tips and tendrils snipped from pea plants.
Pea shoots have a delicious fresh crunch that tastes like–yup–snap peas.

Chop up pea shoots, mix them with steamed black rice, crunchy nuts and colorful diced veggies–this salad is a winner.

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Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry with Radish Greens

White radishes with green leaves for Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry with Radish Greens

White radishes with beautiful edible green leaves

Earlier this month we were camping on our land in Underwood Washington, which is just across the Columbia River from Hood River Oregon. A neighbor with a prolific garden gifted us radishes with vibrant and healthy leaves intact. I couldn’t just throw them away. So, we cooked up a pot of Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry with Radish Greens. I love how the greens complement the curry’s orange color.

Today garlic scapes and summer savory from our CSA go in the pot, adding more green color and new flavor dimensions. Serve with plain yogurt and your favorite chutney, over steamed rice. The original recipe comes from Fresh Food Fast by Peter Berley.

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Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry with Radish Greens

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curry with Radish Greens

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 10 garlic scapes, trimmed and cut in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons summer savory leaves
  • 3 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 ½ cups red lentils
  • 1 bunch radish leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high flame. Add the onion and garlic scapes. Cook and stir until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the sweet potato, ginger, garlic, curry powder, bay leaf and summer savory; cook and stir another few minutes. Pour in the hot water and the lentils. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the lentils break down and the sweet potatoes are tender, 20 minutes or so. While the potatoes and lentils are cooking, wash the radish leaves and trim away the stems, then chop coarsely. Remove the bay leaf. Add the radish leaves about 5 minutes before serving. Season with salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
http://www.lettyskitchen.com/red-lentil-and-sweet-potato-curry-with-radish-greens/

Veggie Bundles with Garlic Scapes

I’m patting myself on the back for using our garlic scapes and chive stems for a fancy dinner party–these veggie bundles with garlic scapes, tied with chive stems.  I even drove to the Salt Lake Farmer’s Market early yesterday morning to buy snap peas and asparagus  to go in the bundles.

Veggie Bundles with Garlic Scapes

Veggie Bundles with Garlic Scapes

For easy last minute plating, prep these little bundles earlier in the day. All the veggies except for the peas are “blanched” first, 5 minutes in boiling water and then immediately “shocked” in ice water to stop the cooking. and so the veggies keep their bright color.

Four asparagus, 3 carrot sticks, 2 garlic scape lengths and 3 pea pods went in each bundle. You’re right, it’s painstaking to tie the bundles together with the steamed chive lengths. But ever so worth the effort.

For 8 bundles, heat 4 tablespoons of butter in a pan until it browns and smells like toasting nuts. Just before serving, rub a little olive oil in a 12-inch skillet, and turn to medium flame. Place the bundles carefully in the pan and pour the hot browned butter over. Heat just until the veggies are hot.

You might also like this recipe for garlic scape and greens pesto. Here’s one with red lentils and garlic scapes.

Wishing you a fabulous weekend–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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