Main Course Recipes

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Rosemary Roasted Beet Risotto with Ricotta Salata Cheese Recipe

I had half of a beet, puréed, leftover from the harissa paste I made yesterday. Since there are no infants in the house and all the adults have teeth, I had to find some other use for it. I finally decided to incorporate the beet purée in a risotto. The beets imparted a mild sweetness and beautiful pink color to the rice. I roasted some more red beets and added them as well for a texture contrast. I flavored the dish with rosemary from the garden and topped it with some ricotta salata.

Leftover ingredients can be a great way to test out new dishes. What I often do is combine the ingredient with a basic dish, such as risotto in this case, and couple it with complementary flavors that work well with the ingredient in other recipes. This way, chances are the new dish you've created will taste delicious. The real trick is knowing really well a few recipes that are easy to modify. 


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Vegetarian Cheese Quesadilla Recipe

Vegetarian Cheese Quesadilla

10.16.09 by Jackie

Quesadillas are easy to make and fun to eat. We had relatives over for dinner tonight, so I made some quesadilla canapés as an appetizer. I prepared two fillings, one with shredded beef and a vegetarian option as well.

I wanted the vegetarian ones to have a chewy consistency, so I did not use vegetarian chorizo as I usually do when I make vegetarian Mexican dishes. I used shredded, fried tofu that I blended with harissa to add a little kick to the dish. Harissa is a spicy paste that is used as a condiment in Northern African cuisine. I think the grainy paste blended with the shredded tofu loosely resembles the texture of the meat version. I'll post the recipe for harissa tomorrow.

Vegetarian Cheese Quesadilla Recipe


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French Roasted Rack of Lamb with Lemon Persillade Crust Recipe

Have I told you how much of a carnivore I was back when I lived in Paris? There wouldn't be a meal without meat or fish on my plate. One of my favorite dishes, and one that was a staple at my home as a child, was le carré d'agneau persillé, or persillade-crusted rack of lamb. We would have lamb at least twice a month and this was the preparation of choice.

What makes this dish so special is the slightly salted, green crust of persillade. The persillade crust is very versatile and can be used for eggplants, tomatoes or even roast cod. I love the flavor so much that after finishing off the lamb, I mop up whatever is left on my plate with a piece of baguette. A traditional persillade is made with flat-leaf parsley, but I fortify my version with cilantro. I think it gives the crust a little more punch. 

It's very easy to make. Try it; you'll love it!

French Roast Rack of Lamb Recipe with Picture


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Cumin and Saffron Flavored Butternut Squash Risotto Recipe

If Fall had a flavor, it would be butternut squash. I know pumpkins are the symbol of Halloween, and sweet potatoes are a staple of Thanksgiving meals, but to me, nothing compares to the earthy sweetness and versatility of butternut squash. It works perfectly in salads, soups, side dishes, and, in the case of this risotto, as a main course.

To prepare this dish, I just diced and roasted some butternut squash and mixed it with a pot of risotto I infused with saffron. It's a simple, no frills preparation that really highlights the flavor and texture of the butternut squash.


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Brussels Sprout Salad with Marinated Feta Cheese Recipe

We're in a funny period. It's not cold enough to make soup, but we're starting to get fall and wintry ingredients such as figs and Brussels sprouts despite the hot weather. I bought some Brussels sprouts from the local market and decided to make a salad with them. I think the brininess of the feta complements the flavor of the Brussels sprouts really well. I marinated some feta cheese with lemon juice, lemon zest and pink and green peppercorns, and added it to the steamed and grilled Brussels sprouts. The result is something that in no way resembles the boiled, lifeless Brussels sprouts that are reviled by kids and adults alike. In fact, the girls absolutely love Brussels sprouts, and they completely inhaled the salad. 

This winter, I'll post a Brussels sprout gratin that no one can resist . Stay tuned!


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