Vegetarian Supper

All recipes from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Beet salad with ricotta salata and olives

Beet Salad with Ricotta Salata and Olives

1 1/2 lbs. beets, steamed or roasted, peeled
1 sm. garlic clove
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbl. extra-virgin olive oil
2 handfuls arugula
8 Kalamata olives
4 oz. ricotta salata, thinly sliced (I used Shepherd’s Hope cheese from Shepherd’s Way farm. Ricotta salata is a dry, tart sheep’s cheese from Italy. Another good sub is feta.)

Cut beets into wedges or large dice, keeping different colors separate. Pound the garlic with 1/4 tsp. salt in a mortar until smooth, then whisk in the lemon juice and olive oil. Dressing should be tart. Toss beets in enough dressing to coat lightly. Arrange beets on platter and garnish with arugula. Just before serving, tuck cheese and olives among the greens. If any dressing remains, spoon it over cheese.

Here’s a detail of the salad. I thought the beets looked like tuna sashimi. They were from a chiogga beet I’d roasted alongside red beets.

Detail: beet salad

For the main dish, I adapted one of my favorite dishes from the cookbook.

Chickpeas with Potatoes and Tomatoes

Chickpeas with Potatoes and Tomatoes (or, as 3yo Guppy says Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Tomatoes)

1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 red potatoes, peeled and diced into cubes about the size of chickpeas
2 carrots, cut into 1/2-in. rounds
3-4 stalks celery, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 pinch dried red pepper flakes
2 plump garlic cloves mashed with 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 c. diced tomatoes
3 c. chickpeas, cooked, or 2 15-oz. cans, rinsed
salt and pepper
1/2 c. water, broth or wine
1/2 c. chopped parsley

Heat the oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it’s lightly colored, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the potatoes, carrots, chile and garlic and cook for 5 minbutes more. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas, season with 1 teaspoon salt and a few twists from the pepper mill, and add the water. Cover and simmer gently until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Taste for salt, remove from heat and stir in parsley.

For dessert, I succeeded in saving the failed batch of fig jam from last week that I botched by putting in too much (1 teaspoon) ground cardamom. Madison notes, “Everyone needs a dessert to fall back on in a pinch, and this is one.” This saved the jam, was easy to make, and turned out well even though I forgot the baking powder! Now that’s a useful dessert recipe.

Fig jam tart

Jam Bars or Tart (I used a 9 inch tart pan)

1/4 (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown or white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 to 3/4 c. preserves
3/4 c. chopped walnuts, pecans or rolled oats

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg, beat until smooth, then add dry ingredients except nuts.

Set aside about 3/4 c. of the dough and press the rest evenly into an 8 x 10″ baking pan or a 9″ tart pan with removable bottom, or pie plate. Spread the preserves over the top. Mix the reserved dough with the nuts or oats and crumble it over the top. Bake until lightly browned on top, about 40 minutes. Let cool, then cut into squares or wedges. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

2 Responses to “Vegetarian Supper”

  1. Kate Says:

    How much do I love ricotta salata? Oh, let me count the ways. The salty, the creamy the way you make every salad taste better.

  2. girldetective Says:

    I wonder how it compares to the sheeps cheese I used, which was defininitely NOT dry, though v. creamy.