Tag Archives: lemon

Greek Lentil & Spinach Soup with Lemon

23 Apr

Lentil soup Greek

Hi friends! I hope you haven’t given up on me although I’ve been MIA for several months. First we were getting ready to move, and then we moved, and then we got locked down. So now that we’re unpacked and as settled as we can be without going out to do any of the things we need to do, we have time to do some cooking. We just made this rather complex lentil soup (complex because of so many ingredients, which took us awhile to assemble), and it was deelish! It’s vegan, gluten-free and low fat too! Hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

1 lb. brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
10 cups vegetable broth or water
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
2 tsp. whole coriander seeds
1½ tsp. cumin seeds
2½ tsp. dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 medium potatoes ( 1¼ lb.), scrubbed and cut into ½-inch dice
10 oz. baby spinach, chopped
1 small butternut squash (1 lb.) peeled and cut into ½-inch dice (about 3 cups)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, with leaves, sliced
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp. kosher salt (or more to taste)
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper (or more to taste)
⅓ cup lemon juice
1 lemon, sliced

Directions:

In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, combine the lentils, stock or water, jalapeno, coriander, cumin, oregano and bay leaves. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to low. Simmer, partly covered, about 30 minutes, until lentils are tender.

Add the potatoes, spinach and butternut squash, re-cover and cook another 20 minutes, until the potatoes and squash are tender.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and cook the onion, stirring, until it starts to soften, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the celery and garlic and cook, stirring often, until they soften, about 3 minutes. Add the mixture to the soup; deglaze the pan if necessary with a little of the soup liquid. Add the salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaves.

Just before serving, stir the lemon juice into the soup. Serve the soup hot, with a lemon slice floating atop each bowl.

Lemony garlicky cauliflower

8 Dec

cauliflower lemon & garlicI was preparing a company dinner and didn’t want to have to worry about getting yet another dish heated at the right time but not overcooked , so I pulled out this recipe I clipped from the New York Times a few weeks earlier.

It’s a very tasty marinated cauliflower salad that I served as a vegetable. Be aware that you need to prepare it a day ahead of time so the cauliflower can marinate and all the wonderful flavors can meld.

I didn’t have any whole cumin but I did have whole coriander seeds, so I mushed them up with a mortar and pestle. I threw in a little ground cumin too, just for the taste. The flavors were very good together. I didn’t have fresh basil or dill, and didn’t want to fork out the exorbitant cost to buy it, so I used dried basil, figuring that the ample liquid and long marinating time would soften it sufficiently. Fresh would probably be preferable! Fresh parsley is a must.

If you seed the jalapeno before chopping, it won’t be too hot. If you don’t like a little zing of heat, leave out the red pepper flakes, but I think they add a lot of flavor.

The original recipe called for three-quarters of a cup of olive oil, which I thought sounded like a lot. So I used a half-cup, maybe a little more, and it seemed to work fine. You might have to work a little harder to stir it up so that all the cauliflower florets get coated by the marinade, but you won’t waste as much oil.

Don’t worry if you have leftovers — this will keep for a good several days in the fridge.

Ingredients:

1 large cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets (about 8 cups)
1 lemon, plus more lemon juice to taste if necessary
1¼ tsp. fine sea salt, plus more to taste if necessary
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped fresh dill or basil
½ cup chopped parsley leaves
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 fat garlic cloves finely grated or minced
2 tsp. whole cumin or cracked coriander seeds
Large pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

Finely grate the zest of the lemon into a large, heatproof bowl, then halve the lemon and squeeze in the juice. Add the salt and stir to dissolve.

Add the cauliflower florets, jalapeno, scallions, dill or basil and parsley and toss to combine.

In a medium skillet heat the olive oil until it is hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and cumin or coriander and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn off heat and stir in red pepper flakes, if using.

Pour the mixture over the cauliflower and stir well. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, up to 48 hours, to let the flavors mingle.

Toss well before serving, adding more salt and/or lemon juice if necessary. For best flavor, serve at room temperature.

Serves 8 to 10

 

Easy Hollandaise sauce

1 May

Hollandaise

I wanted to make salmon a little differently. I wanted a smooth sauce that was buttery and lemony. I wanted Hollandaise! But I had never made it. One reason is because it always seemed intimidating. Another is that most recipes make a large quantity of sauce, and there were only two of us so I didn’t want to make a lot.

So I did a web search. Some of the recipes described as Hollandaise “for two” called for a whole stick of butter — no thank you! This recipe, which I found on a blog called The Spruce Eats, used only half that – which still seemed like a lot, but more reasonable. The title was “Hollandaise Sauce for Two,”but as you can see from the photo, where the salmon is just about swimming in the stuff, the recipe can easily serve four to six, because a little Hollandaise goes a long way!

It was easy enough to make. If you’re looking for a rich, butter/lemony sauce, give this one a try!

By the way, the black specks in the photo are the fresh-ground black pepper I put on the salmon before I cooked it.

Ingredients:

1 egg yolk, at room temperature
2 tsp. lemon juice
Pinch salt
Pinch white pepper
2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature
1½  tsp. water

Directions:

Put an inch or so of water into the bottom of a double boiler or a saucepan large enough to hold a metal bowl without it touching the bottom of the pot. The water should not reach the bottom of the double boiler insert or the metal bowl.

Boil the water, then turn down the heat to maintain a low simmer.

In the double boiler insert or bowl, whisk the egg yok, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Set the bowl over the boiling water and whisk slowly but consistently until the mixture starts to thicken.

Add the butter, one piece at a time, whisking until each piece is incorporated before adding another piece. Repeat until all 8 pieces are incorporated. The sauce should be thick, smooth and glossy.

Whisk in 1½  tsp. water. Adjust the seasoning and add a bit more lemon juice if desired.

Remove the pan from the heat. The sauce will keep over the hot water for a half-hour or so as long as you whisk it occasionally.

Pour over vegetables, fish, or poached eggs on toast.

Serves 4 to 6

Egg-Lemon Soup for Passover

19 Mar

Passover Greek Egg Lemon Farfel SoupTime to start sharing some Passover recipes!

Here is a nice soup if you’re tired of the usual matzoh ball variety. Though who could ever tire of matzoh ball soup?

I usually make this one for the Shabbat dinner during Passover. It’s easy and a nice change.

The soup tastes like traditional Greek egg-lemon-rice soup, but because rice traditionally wasn’t used at Passover, at least not by Ashkenazi Jews, the recipe substitutes matzoh farfel.

Greek Egg-Lemon-Matzoh Soup

Ingredients:

2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups matzoh farfel
4 Tbs. chopped flatleaf parsley
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
6 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Bring the broth to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Add the matzoh farfel and parsley and simmer until the farfel is soft, at least 2 minutes. Add the salt and pepper to taste; the broth should be highly seasoned. Remove the pan from the heat.

Beat the eggs in a small bowl with a fork and strain them into a heatproof, medium-sized bowl. Beat in the lemon juice. Beat a half cup of the hot soup into the egg mixture, little by little. Very gradually, stir this mixture back into the remaining soup.

(Be careful not to add the hot soup to the eggs, or the mixture to the soup pot, too quickly because the eggs can curdle.)

Return the soup to medium heat and cook until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Do not let the soup boil or even simmer because that could curdle t eggs.

Add salt to taste and serve immediately.

Serves 8

 

Lemon (or lime) mousse

21 Feb

lemon-mousse

This is a nice, light dessert that’s good any time of year. The only thing hard about this recipe is finding kosher unflavored gelatin, if that’s important to you. The recipe was originally for “lime mousse” and it’s really delicious with lime too — but I almost always have lemon zest on hand, and rarely lime zest.  The recipe is also easy to halve if you want to make less.

Ingredients:

6 eggs, separated
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup lemon (or lime) juice
1½ Tbs. butter or margarine
1 Tbs. grated lemon(or lime) zest
1½ tsp. unflavored gelatin
½ tsp. vanilla

Directions:

If you use fresh lemons or limes grade the rind for zest before you squeeze for juice.

Combine the egg yolks, sugar, half a cup of the juice, butter and 1½ tsp. of the zest in the top of a double boiler. Cook over simmering water, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick. Remove from the heat.

Soften the gelatin the remaining lemon or lime juice and dissolve over a pan of hot water. Stir in the egg yolk mixture. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites until stiff. Stir the vanilla into the yolk mixture, then fold in the egg whites. Pour into serving dishes and sprinkle with the remaining zest. Chill several hours before serving.

Serves 8

Tuesday Tip: Make and store lemon (or orange) peel

22 Jan

ImageMy microplane is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets! It enables me to very quickly get that “rind of half a lemon” — or orange — that many recipes call for. Before I bought it, I would use a regular box grater, which was less than satisfactory because the rind tended to be mushy, and half of it would get stuck in the grater, which was then very difficult to clean.

If you’re like me, though, you often don’t have an orange or lemon on hand when the recipe calls for rind — or peel or zest, it’s all the same in recipes. I used to buy little jars of dried lemon peel and orange peel in the spice aisle of the supermarket. A jar containing 42 grams — less than 1.5 ounces — cost about $6. Then I realized how fast, easy and relatively inexpensive it was to make my own. I buy a few lemons when they’re on sale mainly for the peel.

Use a microplane to take the zest off all the lemons and leave the zest on a piece of waxed paper overnight. The next day it’s dry enough to store — I keep it in the same bottle the overpriced store-bought lemon peel came in. (The zest from four good-sized lemons will fill half the jar.) It can last many months. Use it in the same quantities you would use fresh zest.

As an added bonus, juice the lemons and use the juice instead of that stuff in the green bottle. My husband likes to drink hot water with lemon juice and says there’s a noticeable difference in the taste. In the summer, you can make fresh lemonade — yum!

Make sure the lemons are at room temperature before you start. After you take off the zest, roll each lemon on a counter before you juice it; this releases more juice.

My recipes don’t seem to call for grated orange rind as often as lemon, but when I start to run low, I just zest an orange, dry the zest and save it in my little bottle. Then I just eat the orange or use it in a salad.

By the way, an average lemon will yield 2 to 3 tablespoons of juice and 2 to 3 teaspoons of zest.