2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves, minced
½ thinly sliced red pepper
½ thinly sliced yellow pepper
½ thinly sliced green pepper
2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced in ½ inch pieces (2 cups)
4 ounces soft goat cheese (Chevre)
Cooked Penne pasta
½ cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
½ cup cooked artichoke hearts, quartered
½ cup Kalamata or Sicilian olives
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon olive oil. Over medium heat, sauté garlic until softened, about two minutes. Add peppers and sauté for another two minutes. Add tomatoes and stir just until they release their juices, about two minutes. Stir in goat cheese to make a creamy sauce. Toss with cooked pasta, hazelnuts, artichokes, olives, and basil. Drizzle with lemon juice and remaining olive oil. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
To peel tomatoes, spear the stem end with a fork. Holding the fork, immerse tomato in boiling water for about one minute. Cool by holding the tomato in a stream of cold water. The peel should slip off easily.
To seed tomatoes, cut in half horizontally. Place one half in the palm of your hand like you were holding a baseball for an overhand throw. Firmly squeeze at the same time, making a downward throwing motion over the sink or waste basket. Most of the seeds will come out. Just don’t let loose!
2 ½ quarts water
2 teaspoons salt
8 to 10 ounces Penne Pasta
In a four-quart kettle bring the water to a boil. Add salt and pasta, stir and cook until just barely tender, about eight to ten minutes. Drain and rinse.
Makes 4 servings
1 recipe of Heavenly Jasmine Rice (below)
1-1/2 cups of Heavenly Sauce (below)
2 to 3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 ripe avocados, peeled, seeded, diced
2 to 3 medium tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 cup sliced black olives
About 3/4 cup chopped green onion
1 cup black beans, canned or fresh-cooked
1-1/2 cups salsa
Place a serving of the rice (hot, warm or cooled) in a bowl, then top with a bit of the Heavenly Sauce, followed by the other ingredients listed and ending with the salsa. Add another dollop of the Heavenly Sauce, and bon appétit!
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cups jasmine rice
3 cups water
3/4 teaspoon salt
In medium-sized heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, sauté the onion in the butter until the onion is soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the rice and sauté to evenly coat the grains. Add the water and salt, increase the temperature to medium-high and bring the water to a boil, stirring occasionally with a flat-bottomed utensil so the rice won’t scorch. Once the water has boiled, reduce the temperature to low, cover, and cook the rice at a very slow simmer for 20 minutes without uncovering the pot.
After 20 minutes, check the rice. If all the water has been absorbed, the rice is done. Gently fluff it with a fork. If not serving immediately, place a paper towel over the top of the pot and put the lid back on to keep the rice hot (the paper towel absorbs condensation that would otherwise drip back down on the rice and make it soggy).
Makes 2-1/2 cups
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup roasted and skinned hazelnuts
1/3 cup cooked and drained garbanzo beans
1/4 cup cooked and drained soybeans
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon Ponzu sauce (or soy sauce)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ascorbic acid (optional, for “zing”—available in the health food section of most supermarkets)
In a blender jar, combine the oil, hazelnuts, garbanzo beans, soybeans and garlic. Run the motor, stopping several times to scrape the sides of the jar and push the mixture into the blades. Once the mixture is a rough purée, add the water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, Ponzu sauce (or soy sauce), salt, basil, cumin, and ascorbic acid. Continue blending until the mixture is relatively smooth (it will remain grainy because of the nuts). Scrape it into a container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.