Thursday, August 4, 2011

Arugula and Edamame Crostini

A light and tangy summertime dinner. These ingredients can really create two separate recipes. If you use a blender, the result will be a smooth and creamy edamame dip/spread. Lacking a blender, however, I chopped all the ingredients as finely as I could, with a much chunkier but delicious result. I think it would be great either way. Adapted from

1 cup shelled edamame (I used frozen from Trader Joe's)
a few tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups packed baby arugula
3 tablespoons grated parmesan
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 baguette
16 mint leaves

Cook edamame in boiling water, uncovered, until just heated through, 1-2 minutes, then drain.

If you're using a blender or food processor:
Pulse edamame beans in a food processor until very coarsely chopped, then transfer half of mixture to a large bowl. Add a few tablespoons of oil, 1/2 cup arugula, cheese, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to edamame in processor and purée until smooth. Add to bowl. Coarsely chop remaining cup arugula and fold into edamame mixture.

If it's just you, your knife, and your cutting board:
Chop edamame as finely as possible. I then transferred some to my little mortar and pestle so I could smash it into a smoother paste - this helped keep the mixture together. Chop the arugula and the mint very finely as well. In a big bowl, combine the chopped veggies and herbs with the parmesan, lemon zest and juice, and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cut 16 diagonal slices (1/3 inch thick) from baguette (you can toast these in the oven for a few minutes if you like). Spread mixture over bread and enjoy!

Chana Masala (Chickpea curry)

A delicious, fragrant, spicy chickpea stew. Yes, this recipe has a long list of ingredients (mostly spices), but it's very easy and comes together in about 30 minutes. This is great right out of the pan, but gets even better the next day as leftovers after the flavors have had time to meld. Adapted from Smitten Kitchen (, which, by the way, is a fantastic recipe site.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon ground coriander
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 cups tomatoes, chopped small or 1 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes, chopped small
2/3 cup water (you can also substitute juices from the tomatoes or liquid from the canned or cooked chickpeas for extra flavor)
4 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
lemon juice, optional

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper and sauté over medium heat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, paprika and garam masala. Cook onion mixture with spices for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Add the liquid you're using and chickpeas. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir in salt. You can finish with a squeeze of lemon juice if you like, though I didn't and it was still delicious!