Hummus

Creamy, spreadable, tangy, and a little sweet, hummus pairs well with a wide variety of raw and cooked ingredients, and also tastes good all on its own. Ingredients: 1 Cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) 3-4 Cups water 1/4 Cup tahini 4 tbsp olive oil 3 tbsp lemon juice 1 tbsp lemon zest (optional) 1 tsp…

Freezing Pesto

Pesto is a wonderfully versatile way to celebrate seasonal ingredients. Freezing pesto can bring summer back to your table even when it’s cold and snowy outside. Ingredients and Equipment: One batch cilantro stem pesto, or your favorite pesto An ice cube tray (preferably with a lid), freshly washed and dried A spoon Preparation: Spoon the…

Kalamata Olive Bites

A flavorful but simple “meal of leftovers,” these fried appetizers pair well with a fig reduction or other sweet, fruity dipping sauces. Ingredients: 1/2 C short grain brown rice, cooked and cooled to room temperature 1/2 C (3 oz) pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped 3 oz goat cheese or feta, crumbled 1/2 red onion, finely…

Pandemic Pantry: Curry with Cheesy Polenta

Creamy curry and crispy, cheesy polenta combine in this “meal of leftovers.” Both parts of this recipe can be prepared ahead of time and stored overnight in the fridge; cook the polenta but don’t fry it until the reheated dish is ready to serve. Curry: 300 g new potatoes, baked or boiled until soft 225…

Pandemic Pantry: Curried Carrot Soup

Like so many recipes “discovered” over the pandemic, this one uses what’s on hand. Thus, feel free to tweak it using your own ingredients. Ingredients: One large red onion 16 ounces (450 grams) baby carrots, or regular carrots, if preferred 16 ounces (450 grams) new potatoes Three tbsp sesame oil Three tbsp olive oil Cold…

Quick Fix: Cilantro Stem Pesto

Good for using up leftover cilantro stems, this pesto works well on pizza, sandwiches, appetizers, or pasta. Ingredients: One large bunch cilantro stems, washed A scant 1/2 Cup walnuts Two tbsp Parmesan cheese Four tbsp olive oil Ground black pepper, to taste Lemon juice, to taste (optional) Equipment: A food processor, a blender, or an…

Four-Bean Chili

To me, chili is the ultimate comfort food. Rich and warm, spicy and flavorful, and just waiting to merge with oodles of melty cheese, a bowl of hot chili on a cold autumn day is just one of my favorite things. Chili is wonderfully versatile. It’s great for using up bits of old ingredients, and…

Some Thoughts about Bouillon and Soup Starter

Bouillon days at my house function as a sort of kitchen organization adventure. I start with the refrigerator, pulling out vegetables that are past their prime, and arrange them on one of my apartment’s three postcard-sized counters. Any vegetable that’s yellowing, wilting, or softening is part of this move out of the fridge. This helps…

Pandemic Pantry: Spiced Beet Soup

Spiced beets can be a delicious autumn centerpiece in any form, and soup is no exception. Following the pandemic tradition, this recipe emerged as an end-of-the-week experiment in cobbling together some leftover ingredients: beets, a few pantry staples, and some of my favorite spices. Ingredients: 200 grams chopped yellow onions 200 grams chopped potatoes 200…

Pandemic Pantry: Curried Chickpeas and Potatoes

When you have a bunch of leftovers in your pantry, making a medley can be a great way to use them up. Spiced with ginger, garlic, and whatever curry powder or mix you happen to have on hand, this hearty recipe works well over a bed of brown rice. Prep time depends on the consistency…