kale mac and cheese :: by radish*rose

kale mac and cheese

Do you ever have a day in the early autumn when you absolutely *must* have comfort food? OK, maybe more than one day? A day like that just happened for me, while the NYC area was being rained on by a Nor’Easter for a week, while waiting to see if a hurricane was going to hit us next. I decided I *needed* to make classic macaroni and cheese, with a Radish Rose twist.

Where does one turn for the best classic recipes? To Cook’s Illustrated New Best Recipe, of course! For my Radish Rose variation, I added smoked paprika and dijon mustard to the classic cheese sauce, and I mixed in some kale before baking for extra healthy yum (not that this dish is slenderizing in any way!). And instead of regular bread crumbs, I used panko for extra crunchiness in the golden brown topping. I also baked it instead of broiling it as the original recipe says, because of that time I caught a breadcrumb topping on fire in the broiler. See? I can be taught. Continue reading

lemony quinoa kale salad with pepitas and goat cheese :: by radish*rose

lemony kale quinoa salad with pepitas and goat cheese

Tart and refreshing, with a hearty crunch from the toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), this salad is about as healthy as a salad can be. The goat cheese is optional, to make it vegan-friendly as well. You see, I received a giant bunch of curly kale in my CSA (community-supported agriculture) box and needed to find something to do with it using supplies already at hand. Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food came to my rescue, sparking this idea. I wandered a bit from the original recipe – for example, it calls for poppy seeds but I substituted pepitas because, well, that’s what I had, plus poppy seeds always get stuck in one’s teeth, don’t they. Humph.  Continue reading

kale salad with walnuts, apples and gruyere :: by radish*rose

kale salad with apples, walnuts and gruyere

My office recently moved to from midtown to downtown Manhattan, and I’ve been having a lot of fun exploring the neighborhood. One day my foodie friend and I were wandering around TriBeCa looking for a place to have lunch. We passed by a spot called Tiny’s, located in a 3-story pink townhouse built in 1810 – and she said “Hey! I hear their kale salad is famous.” Sold! We happily ordered it, while enjoying Tiny’s decor, which includes exposed brick walls, original tin-tile ceilings and a Masonic-themed copper-and-marble bar. The salad was crunchy, delicious, and refreshing on a super-hot day, with slightly mustardy, slightly gingery dressing, and an umami accent from the aged gouda grated over the top. Since we both love to cook, we kept puzzling over what might be in the dressing and whether there was a way to recreate the goodness at home. Luckily, she found a take on it by The Bari Studio (they must be as obsessed with this salad as we are!), so I used their recipe as my starting point. But don’t worry, Tiny’s, we’ll definitely be back for your original version! Continue reading

healthy vegetarian italian wedding soup :: by radish*rose

healthy vegetarian italian wedding soup

If you need to feed some carnivores a vegetarian meal where they won’t miss anything, THIS IS THE ONE. It is one of the most savory soups I have ever made. Instead of the classic meatballs usually included in Italian wedding soup, it contains baked white bean balls which are absolutely delicious. There’s also kale, orzo, and a bunch of other veggies to round it out. Continue reading

beet, walnut, and blue cheese kale salad :: by radish*rose

beet, walnut, and blue cheese kale salad

Beets are just about the pinkest of pink foods. I mean, that deep, deep pink magenta color is just gorgeous. Anyone who knows me personally knows I’m crazy about PINK! The pinkness of beets is just so vibrant, it makes me happy.

However… have you ever noticed that when you buy a bunch of beets, they are all different sizes, which is annoying because they cook at different rates? Like one tiny one and two huge ones. That’s what I got in my CSA box, but I like a vegetable challenge, so never fear, we have the technology. (Steam!)

I’d only roasted beets (which takes about an hour and half) and never steamed them before but I’m quite delighted with this new technique. The skins come right off after, and you can remove the little ones when they’re done and keep going with the others. (Harder to do with roasting. Maybe it’s all that foil.)

Of course you can use any crumbly or grated cheese you like for this, or eliminate it altogether. I like blue cheese because it stands up to the earthiness of the beets. Restaurants often use goat cheese which is also nicely assertive. But you be you. Whatever you like. Continue reading