Sautéed Tokyo Bekana with Sesame, Ginger & Soy Sauce

Fragrant ginger and sesame oil lend big flavor to this dish of sautéed greens.

Ingredients:
2 pounds Tokyo bekana (or any Asian green)
4 tablespoons light sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
4 teaspoons peeled and minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
4 teaspoons rice vinegar

Method:
1. In a wide heavy sauté pan or wok over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the sesame seeds and stir until they pop and become fragrant. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for 1 minute.

2. Add the greens and 1 tablespoon soy sauce, raise the heat and cook, covered, for 1 minute. Uncover and sauté for 1 or 2 minutes more, until the greens are tender but still bright green. Stir in more soy sauce and vinegar to taste, and serve immediately.

Garlic Butter-Roasted Shiitake Mushrooms

Roasted with capers and garlic, this simple dish is a real show-stopper.

Ingredients:
½ pound mushrooms, such as Shiitake
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 450° with rack placed in middle.

2. Toss mushrooms with capers, garlic, salt and several grinds of black pepper in a small 1½- to 2-quart shallow baking dish.

3. Top with butter and roast, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and golden and bubbly garlic sauce forms below, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Serve immediately.

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks with Honey & Lemon

Break in the rain? Break out the barbecue for these flavorful cauliflower “steaks”!

Ingredients:
2 large heads cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons, zested and juiced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts
Lemon wedges, for serving

Method:
1. Remove the outer leaves from each cauliflower head, then cut off the bottom stem end so that you create a flat base and can stand the cauliflower up on a cutting board. Resting the cauliflower on the stem, use a large, sharp knife to trim away the sides, then cut the remaining head into 2 very thick or 3 more moderate “steaks.”. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon zest and lemon juice, garlic, and honey.

2. Heat a grill to medium (about 350°). Brush one side of each cauliflower steak with the lemon–olive oil mixture and then sprinkle the brushed sides with half of the salt. Place the salted side down on the hot grill, then brush the tops of the steaks with the olive oil mixture and season with the remaining salt.

3. Cover the grill and let cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the bottom is beginning to char. Flip the cauliflower, then re-cover the grill and cook 5 additional minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. Remove from the grill. Sprinkle with the red pepper flakes, parsley, and walnuts. Serve hot with lemon wedges.

Roasted Potatoes, Turnips & Carrots

These easy roasted veggies are a great brunch side dish. (Or, try topping a hearty serving with a poached egg for a satisfying entrée.)

Ingredients:
2 pounds fingerling potatoes, washed and sliced into halves (if smaller) or quarters (if large)
1 small bunch carrots, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
1 bunch Hakurei turnips, washed, scrubbed and sliced into halves (if smaller) or quarters (if large)
1 red onion, peeled and chopped into small wedges
1-2 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
Freshly-chopped parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Place potatoes, carrots, turnips and onions in a baking dish large enough for vegetables to spread out into a single layer. (Don’t crowd, or the vegetables won’t have a chance to crisp and brown. If necessary, divide the vegetables onto two baking sheets.) Add oil and spices and toss evenly to coat.

2. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring once or two during roasting, until potatoes are pierced easily with a fork. Remove from the oven, drizzle with about a teaspoon of olive oil and garnish with the fresh parsley.

Variation: These vegetables are also lovely with sautéed Shiitake mushrooms tossed in!

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