Saturday, June 17, 2006

Creamy Potato Leek Bake & Garlicky Kale + Tahini Dressing

I found some info. on leeks: the leek is a member of the onion family, but the flavor is much more refined, subtle, and sweet than the standard onion. European chefs call leeks "poor man's asparagus." Asparagus is actually a distant relative of the leek, residing in the same Lily family as onions. Although giant leeks do not make for great eating, Britain holds a yearly competition and awards a prize to the largest leek, which can range from 4 to 5 inches in diameter. In 640 A.D., the Welsh wore leeks in their hats to distinguish themselves from the enemy during the battle between King Cadwallader of Wales and the Saxons.

Art requested a potato dish, so I looked through a few cookbooks, and came up with 'Creamy Potato Leek Bake' from Dreena's Everyday Vegan. There are 3 layers in this dish: Potato, Leek (what you see on top of this picture), & an optional soy/rice parmesan. I spaced on the Arrowroot flour, so Art & Liv made a store run and couldn't find it either, so I substituted the same amount of Corn Starch. Another major "DOH" is that I didn't have thyme, oregano, or savory! I didn't substitue for the spices, and this dish was really delicious plain! This is one of those warm comfort foods, probably ideal for winter but it's been a bit rainy (odd for June) and it really hit the spot. I'll make this one again.

The 'Garlicky Kale with Tahini Dressing' came from Vegan with a Vengeance. I was excited to try a recipe from Isa's cookbook other than fries (which are really great). I like this recipe because after getting the fresh kale & parsley all the other ingredients are always on hand. Art is a "big kale eater" (not big in stature, but rather "big" as in large quantities of kale consumed!), and he says it could be better, so we'll collaborate next time. This time, I cooked it (my first time), and I ate it (not a first), and thought it was delicious (also a first). So there'll be more kale in our future. Also on the plate, you see Vegetarian Sparerib Cutlets.

To go with the kale, I made Isa's 'Tahini Dressing' and stored it in this water bottle. We always consider the packaging when we buy things, and normally something like this would stay on the shelf. But take a look at the beauty of this bottle. It has that awesome self-contained rubber cork which is perfect for storing things airtight, so we splurged that day and bought 2 French Leamonades just so we could reuse the bottles. The leamonade was good too!

Oh, and I also made La Dolce Vegan!'s 'Green Bean Zasmashha' without snapping a photo. This recipe only has 3 items: breadcrumbs, green beans, & Earth Balance ~ extremely simple and surprisingly tasty.

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