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grain-free

Creamy Coconut-Broccolini Soup

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 4 - 6

This dairy-free soup is delicious in both the Spring or Fall—however, the natural sweetness of broccolini and spinach really shine after a touch of frost. In our Southeastern region of Pennsylvania, broccoli has a very short Spring growing window, since the weather quickly becomes too hot. This is one reason we choose to grow “flowering broccoli” or broccolini—the heads mature faster, and you harvest more than once off each plant.

The tender broccolini stems are especially delicious. If substituting large broccoli heads, make sure to peel the stalks before chopping, because they can be tough and fibrous. If you don’t have spinach, substitute arugula, mizuna, or other tender green—or forego the greens altogether and add more herbs!

*By swapping vegetable broth for chicken, this soup can easily be made vegan.

INGREDIENTS

4 tbls. unrefined coconut oil
1/2 tsp. each: fennel seed, black mustard seed, cumin seed, coriander seed
A dash cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 shallot or small yellow/white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 - 8 scallions or 2 leeks, trimmed & chopped
2 pounds broccolini, or 2 large heads broccoli, chopped
4 cups baby spinach
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1, 14-oz can full-fat coconut milk
1 quart chicken bone broth (or veggie broth, or water)
Juice from 1/2 lime, plus slices for serving
1 tbls. fish sauce (opt.)
Greek yogurt or crème fraîche, for serving (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Heat coconut oil in a heavy bottom soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat.

  2. Add the spices and let sizzle for a minute until fragrant.

  3. Add the alliums (onion, shallot, scallion, leek, garlic…) and broccolini. Cook, stirring often to avoid burning, until the broccolini is bright green and the alliums softened. If the seeds start to burn, add a little broth or water.

  4. Add the stock and bring to a boil.

  5. Turn the heat down to medium-low again, and add the herbs, greens, and coconut milk. Simmer until the broccolini is tender and the greens are wilted.

  6. Remove from the heat. Let cool slightly, then carefully transfer in batches to a high-powered blender, or use an immersion blender.

  7. Return to the pot and add the fish sauce and lime juice to taste. Adjust seasonings.

  8. Ladle into bowls and garnish with optional Greek yogurt or crème fraîche. Serve with extra lime slices.

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Roasted Cauliflower with Almonds, Lemon & Parsley

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 5 - 6, as a side dish
Adapted from NYT Cooking

Peeking through the leaves of a cauliflower plant in October and finding its white, creamy center is one of the best Fall surprises a grower can experience. Toasted nuts, lemon & herbs haven’t failed me yet, and they surely do justice to a beautiful head of long-awaited cauliflower.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium head cauliflower, florets & tender inner leaves chopped
3 tbls. olive oil
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
A pinch crushed red pepper flakes (opt.)
1/2 cup almonds
2 tbls. Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juice & zest, plus more to taste
2 tbls. capers or chopped green olives (opt.)
1 - 2 oz. feta (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Heat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower & leaves with olive oil, salt, pepper & optional crushed red pepper flakes. Spread evenly onto a large baking sheet and roast until crisp and golden, about 25 minutes (the really crispy bits are the best), stirring & rotating the pan halfway to ensure even browning.

  2. Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes to avoid burning. Remove from heat, roughly chop, and set aside.

  3. Once the cauliflower is roasted, toss it in a large, shallow bowl with half the almonds and 1 tbls. parsley. Mix in capers/olives and feta if using. Top with remaining almonds, parsley, lemon juice & zest, and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt to taste.

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Roasted Broccolini & Potato Soup

TIME: 30 - 45 MINUTES; SERVES: 4 - 6
Adapted from NTY Cooking

This soup is particularly delicious in the late Fall, after the broccolini has been frost-kissed to bring out its natural sweetness. Further roasting increases the caramelized flavor, and creamy potatoes add the right amount of substance without overdoing the dairy. *For a low-carb option, you can substitute cauliflower for potatoes.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup high-heat oil
2 bunches broccolini (~2 pounds), or 2 large heads broccoli
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbls. butter/ghee
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
3 - 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound potatoes, sliced (peeled or unpeeled), or cauliflower florets.
1 quart stock or water, more as needed for desired consistency
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1 1/2 tbls. lemon juice
Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
Parsley, chopped, to serve
Olive oil, to serve

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Toss broccolini with 2 tbls. high-heat oil & 1 tsp. kosher salt. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. If using broccoli heads, cut into florets, & peel/chop the stalks. Roast until a little crispy and browned, but not entirely soft, about 15 minutes.

  3. In a large soup pot, heat butter/ghee & 2 tbls. oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and garlic, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook until softened, about 4 minutes.

  4. Add potato or cauliflower to the pot with stock or water, and remaining salt if needed. Bring to a simmer, cover pot and cook until potato/cauliflower is just tender, (10 - 15 minutes for potatoes, 5 - 10 minutes for cauliflower). Add broccolini, cover again and cook another 5 - 10 minutes.

  5. Add lemon zest and purée soup with an immersion or standing blender, leaving some small chunks for texture. You may need to add more stock or a bit of milk/cream if too thick. Stir in lemon juice. Finish with grated Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, & parsley.

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Gluten-Free Crusts: Savory & Sweet

TIME: ~30 MINUTES + chilling; SERVES: 1 CRUST
Adapted from NYT Cooking & ‘Dishing up the Dirt’

If you’re looking for a crust that will replace a classic apple or cherry pie dough, these are not them. Ground nuts add a layer of richness, flavor and texture, but they are far from flakey. These are hardier crusts that are pressed into pans with either a sweet curd, like the Cranberry Curd tart from NYT Cooking, or a filling quiche.

ALMOND-THYME CRUST

INGREDIENTS

2 cups almond meal or flour
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 tbls. minced fresh thyme or 1 tsp. dried
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
~1 1/2 tbls. water

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 10-inch tart pan, cast iron skillet or 9-inch pie pan with oil or butter. In a mixing bowl, stir together the almond meal/flour, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil and stir until thoroughly combined. Add the water, a little at a time until the dough holds together.

  2. Press the dough into your prepared pan until it is evenly dispersed across the bottom and at least 1 inch up the sides. Bake until the crust is lightly golden and firm to the touch, about 15 minutes.


HAZELNUT CRUST

You can substitute almonds or pecans for this recipe. I prefer to buy raw nuts and roast them, because many of the roasted & blanched nuts I’ve purchased are rancid.

1 1/4 cup raw hazelnuts
1 cup rice flour (brown or white)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 - 1/2 cup sugar
6 tbls. softened, unsalted butter; more as necessary

METHOD

  1. Heat oven to 325°F.

  2. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for 12 - 15 minutes, until skins darken and crack. If you want a very uniform crust, place roasted nuts in a clean towel and rub off skins. Discard skins and let nuts cool.

  3. In a food processor, grind nuts with half the rice flour until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add remaining rice flour and salt, and pulse briefly.

  4. Cream sugar and butter in a mixing bowl for a minute or two until pale and thick. Add nut mixture and combine until dough comes together. If it seems crumbly, add 1 - 2 tbls. softened butter or a little cold water.

  5. Press dough evenly into a 10-inch tart pan; use 1/4 of the dough for the sides and 3/4 for the bottom. Prick bottom with a fork and freeze for 30 minutes (or up to several days). Don’t feel obligated to use all the dough if the crust seems very thick—about 1/4-inch is thick enough.

  6. Heat oven to 350°F. Bake the chilled tart shell about 15 minutes until lightly brown before filling.

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Baby Summer Squash with Ricotta & Hazelnuts

TIME: 45 MINUTES; SERVES: 4+
Adapted from “Bon Appetit”

This recipe is perfect for the first early harvest of baby summer squash & zucchini. It’s important when growing summer squash to harvest the first fruits before they fully mature. If left on the plant, they drain its reproductive energy, and the plant will produce fewer fruits long term.

What better way to enjoy this early Summer treat than over a creamy cloud of homemade ricotta and toasted hazelnuts?

If you’re purchasing zucchini from the market, look for the smallest ones, ideally that feel a little fuzzy—they are the freshest and pack the most flavor. Making ricotta takes less than 30 minutes and is an entirely different product than store bought, but my favorite product to use in a pinch is Bellweather Ricotta.

INGREDIENTS

1 - 2 pounds baby summer squash or zucchini, halved. (or ~4 medium, quartered)
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 cup hazelnuts
5 tbls. olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 small bunch basil, roughly torn or chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
2 tbls. sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 lemon, juice & zest
2 tbls. parsley
1/2 cup fresh ricotta

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss squash and 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt in a colander over a bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes.

  2. Toast hazelnuts in a cast iron skillet on medium-low heat, stirring often until golden brown, about 10 - 15 minutes. Let cool, then roughly chop.

  3. Mix basil, garlic, vinegar, crushed red pepper flakes & 2 tbls. oil in a large bowl; set aside.

  4. Toss squash in remaining 2 tbls. oil and arrange, cut side down on a large baking sheet (make sure not to crowd them—use 2 sheets if necessary). Roast for 15 - 20 minutes, until golden brown and very tender. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

  5. Toss squash in dressing to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature, tossing occasionally, 10 - 15 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, zest the lemon half into a small bowl, mix in ricotta and remaining 1 tbls. oil; season with salt.

  7. Spread lemon-ricotta on a platter. Top with squash, and scatter with parsley & hazelnuts. Squeeze remaining lemon juice on top and drizzle generously with oil. Season with salt and pepper.

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Spring Quiche with Peas & Green Garlic

TIME: 1 HOUR; SERVES: 6 - 8
Crust recipe adapted from ‘Dishing up the Dirt’

I make variations of this quiche every Sunday after market, so I have a grab-n-go lunch or breakfast prepped for the week. This is my all-time favorite “Spring Edition”, since peas and green garlic are so fleeting, yet so delicious together. Pea shoot micro greens in addition to shelling peas are used, which infuses the quiche with a grassy, fresh flavor. There is a bit of prep required, (especially if you like to make your own crème fraîche—recipe in Pantry Staples & Other Goodies). Double the crust and keep sealed in the fridge for the following week.

INGREDIENTS

Crust
2 cups almond meal or flour
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbls. fresh thyme, minced, or 1 tsp. dried
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
~1 1/2 tbls. water

Quiche 
1 tbls. ghee, butter, or olive oil
2 - 3 green garlic bulbs & tender stalks, minced (~1/3 cup)
2 cups pea shoot micro greens, roughly chopped
1/2 - 1 cup fresh shelling peas, shelled
1/4 cup parsley and/or mint, chopped
A splash dry white wine or chicken/veggie stock
1/2 cup whole milk, half & half, or heavy cream
4 large eggs
A few generous dollops of crème fraîche, sour cream, or ricotta
Sprinkle of Parmesan cheese (opt.)
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Grease a 10-inch tart pan, cast iron skillet or 9-inch pie pan with oil or butter.

  3. In a mixing bowl, stir together the almond meal/flour, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil and stir until thoroughly combined. Add the water, a little at a time until the dough holds together.

  4. Press the dough into your prepared pan to evenly cover bottom and at least 1 inch up the sides. Bake until the crust is slightly golden and firm to the touch, about 15 minutes.

  5. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the ghee/butter/oil to coat the pan. Cook the green garlic & peas with a dash of salt, stirring often, until fragrant and bright green. If dry, add the white wine or stock. Toss in the pea shoots and herbs of choice, and let wilt while stirring, about 30 seconds. Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to a plate to cool.

  6. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk/cream, salt and pepper.

  7. Once the crust has finished baking, spread the veggie mixture over top. Pour in the egg mixture, and add the dollops of crème fraîche or sour cream. Sprinkle with Parmesan if using, and bake for 30 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch and cooked through.

  8. Let the quiche cool for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing with a sharp knife. Serve warm or cold.

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