Monday, December 29, 2014

Ris-oat-o with Artichokes and a Poached Egg

I entered this recipe in Bob's Red Mill Spar for the Spurtle recipe contest back in July. Yes, I have been holding out on you. Shame on me.

Well, bottom line, I did not win *silent weep*. But you know what: it doesn't matter. They do not know what they're missing. Warming risotto-style oats, topped with a splash of acidity from marinated artichokes, and a pillow of creamy egg. Ah, heaven. My mouth is watering just thinking of that oozing yolk... Looks like I will have to reunite again with this recipe, which is utterly perfect for a cozy winter night at home. Paired with a leafy side salad and a glass of wine, it would also steal the show at a small dinner party. I say small because bulk poached eggs is not a thing, unless you have one (or three) of these little numbers

This was adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe that is included in her book, Meatless. There, however, it was made with creamy polenta. The boyfriend and I tried it out one night when we were looking for an easy-peasy dinner. Some polenta, artichokes, an egg. How good can it be with so few ingredients and such few steps? Lo and behold, our eyes bulged open at the first bite. So. simple. yet, so good. Oh, Martha.

I hope this recipe also makes your eyes bulge. Wishing you and your family all the best this holiday season <3

Ris-oat-o with Artichokes and a Poached Egg
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Serves 4


  • 2 tsp olive oil 
  • 1 medium onion, diced 
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • 2 cans artichokes in water, drained, and halved 
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste) 
  • 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning 
  • 1 cup of Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats (see note)
  • 1/2 cup white wine 
  • 3.5-4 cups vegetable broth 
  • 4 eggs 
  • A splash of white vinegar (optional) 
  • 1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese 


  1. Heat the 2 tsp of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. While the oil is heating, marinate the artichokes: mix the artichokes, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, italian seasoning and red pepper flakes in a bowl. Set aside.
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic. Sautee 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Add the oats and sautee for one minute. Add the white wine and stir for a few seconds. Then, add 3 cups broth. Stir. Put a lid on the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. 
  3. Once boiling, reduce it to simmer, with the lid on. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  4. About 10 minutes into the ris-oat-o simmering process, fill another medium pot with water and bring to a boil on a second burner. Add a splash of white vinegar to the water (optional). Reduce the water to a simmer. Crack an egg into a small bowl and gently slide it into the simmering water. Swirl the water to keep the whites together. Repeat with remaining eggs. Poach the eggs for 4-5 minutes. 
  5. By this time, the ris-oat-o's 20 minutes should be up. Check to see if additional broth is needed (1/2 cup to a cup), and add if so. Taste to see if the rice is cooked. If not, continue to cook for 5-8 minutes more. Stir in the cheese. 
  6. Ladle out ris-oat-o into 4 bowls, and top each bowl with artichokes and a poached egg. Savor. 

Notes: 1) I made this recipe for a Bob's Red Mill oatmeal recipe contest, so of course I suggested using their brand. However, any brand will work just fine. I adore all Bob's Red Mill products, so if you can find their Steel Cut Oats, I highly recommend using them. And, no, I am not being endorsed to say any of this! 2)You will likely have leftover artichokes, which are divine atop salads and pastas. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Honey-Mustard Broccoli & Apples with Pine Nuts

A seemingly simple recipe. Honey-mustard, broccoli, apples. Nothing revolutionary. Or so I thought until I took my first bite of this blow-your-socks-off veggie dish. What I failed to realize on my prejudiced analysis of the recipe was how sponge-like broccoli crowns are: perfect little mops for any and all saucey substance. 

Fishing through Mollie Katzen's The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without, (pictured on the left) with broccoli in hand and striving for a quick side-dish, I settled on this recipe. After devouring the whole bowl of this in two days, I am convinced Katzen really is the Queen of Vegetables (as if I should have had doubts?) I first chopped the broccoli, and saved the stems for some other dish. I've been adding them to soups and salads, but Katzen also has a pickled broccoli stem recipe in this book I may need to get on. 

You can also see pictured here my kick-ass KitchenAid knife. This is one of the sharpest, most balanced knives I have ever used, and it only cost me 10 bucks at TJ Maxx. Yes, I'm sure you just did a double take. KitchenAid isn't even known for having good knives! But really. If you ever see one of these at TJ's or Marshall's, pick it up. I haven't seen any on my latest trips, so maybe other people are catching onto their excellence.

So, here's where Mollie gets crafty: she slices the red onions, lines the colander with them, and then pours the boiled broccoli and the boiling water overtop (I swear there are red onions in the bottom of that colander!). This step softens the onions and takes out their astringent bite, leaving them sweeter, but still crisp. 

A honey mustard vinaigrette is made in the bottom of a large bowl. I tweaked the dressing recipe just a tad, using a bit less oil with success.

I also thought this dish could use a bit of crunch, and added some toasted pine nuts. Super buttery and aromatic, they added a nice contrast to the softer broccoli. However, their tiny size did make them susceptible to falling to the bottom of the bowl. Sliced, toasted almonds may be a better choice if you are concerned about this.

This was enjoyed as a side dish to baked potatoes stuffed with buffalo chickpeas + blue cheese, which were the bomb. It was quite the dinner. The leftover broccoli was a great lunch the next day, mixed with some blue cheese, spinach, and protein of choice (me with chickpeas, the boyfriend with chicken). Om nom nom.

Honey-Mustard Broccoli & Apples with Pine Nuts
Adapted from Mollie Katzen
Serves 4


  • 1 large bunch broccoli
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium apple, cut in half, cored, and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or sliced almonds
  • pepper, to taste
  • blue cheese, optional
  1. Cut the stems off of the broccoli and set aside for another use. Cut the broccoli into mouth-size pieces. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add broccoli and boil for 3 minutes, or until bright green.
  2. Set a colander in the sink. Line with red onion slices. Pour the broccoli and boiling water over the onions in the colander. Drain and shake off any excess water.
  3. Make vinaigrette in bottom of a large bowl: mix together vinegar, mustard, garlic, and salt with a whisk. Then add in honey and olive oil. Whisk briskly until emulsified.Dump in broccoli, onion, apple and coat with the dressing.
  4. If your nuts are not already toasted, heat a frying pan to medium-high and add nuts. They should be ready in 3-4 minutes. Check often! Add nuts, pepper, and optional cheese to the broccoli mixture. Devour!
Note: This dish is just as good the next day, straight from the fridge. Double-batch, anyone?

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Raw Cranberry-Orange Relish

I have been hiding something from you, friends. Something orangey, sweet, very tart, and dangerously addictive. It is truly a sin that I didn't share this recipe a week before Thanksgiving, so that you could have whipped it up to sit cozy alongside your turkey and root vegetables. Instead, time has escaped me. Part of it is the holiday season, and part of it was me being too occupied sneaking spoonfuls of this sweet-sour magenta crack. Open the fridge. Spoonful. Close the fridge. Maybe just one more spoonful?

This recipe takes all of 2 minutes if you have a Vitamix, and all of 5 minutes if you have a food processor. The Vitamix produces more of a puree (Vitamix version pictured here), while the food processor allows for a textured relish. Both will lure you into their jars at all hours. 

All you need are 3 ingredients: cranberries, an orange, and honey or agave. Plop them all in your machine of choice, and whiz away. There are only a few minutes between you and cranberry la-la land. 

I've been using this relish on errrrything: mixed with yogurt, plopped on salads, accompanying pumpkin pie, blobbed on sweet potatoes, and of course, with my Thanksgiving leftovers. I forgot to bring this home to my parent's house for Thanksgiving, so I even whipped up a batch there and stuffed the leftovers in the freezer for eating with Christmas dinner. Yes, this relish is that necessary.

Raw Cranberry-Orange Relish
Makes 2 cups


  • 1 bag of cranberries, preferably organic
  • 1 orange, NOT peeled, preferably organic
  • 1/4 cup agave or honey (see note)
  1. Wash cranberries and orange. If using a food processor, chop the orange into 1 inch pieces. If using a high-speed blender, you can leave it whole. 
  2. Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blitz until combined. A food processor will leave you with a chunkier relish, while a high-speed blender will produce a puree. If using a blender, you may want to use the tamper to push the orange into the blades. Enjoy!
Note: 1) I have used both agave and honey with success. Using 1/4 cup sweetener may not be enough for some folks- it produces a very tangy relish. If you like it sweeter, try 1/3 cup agave/honey. 2) Try to use organic produce for this recipe, as you are eating the whole orange (you are eating the peel!) and whole cranberries. 3) My Aunt Mary (who, along with my Aunt Mina, inspired this recipe) says she also includes a pear and apple. I imagine this adds a nice, natural sweetness.