Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

Super Soups Podcast

March 23, 2007

Just found this podcast interview with one of my favorite cookbook authors, Deborah Madison. Since I also just learned how to post Odeo podcasts on my blog, I thought I’d share it with you. Why all this new media on Pinch My Salt? The photography and written recipes are great but I’m learning (maybe a little late) that there are so many great ways to learn about food and cooking on the internet! Who knows, maybe there are even some Pinch My Salt videos and podcasts in the works 😉

Stay tuned!


Please let me know if you have any problems listening to the interview. Since this is my first time posting audio on my blog, I’m curious to know how it works for you.

Happy Carrot-Ginger Soup Day (a.k.a. Valentine’s Day)!

February 14, 2007

Carrot Ginger Soup

So, what does Carrot-Ginger Soup have to do with Valentine’s Day? Absolutely nothing. I had been planning on posting this soup recipe a week ago, along with some Whole Wheat Cheddar Onion Muffins that I have been working on. But, it just didn’t happen. I’m happy that the Naughty Ice Cream Sandwiches were such a hit because it makes me feel a little less guilty about my little two week break! Read the rest of this entry »

Carpaccio di Arance e Olive Verde

January 30, 2007


I made this simple salad of blood oranges, green olives and olive oil for a snack the other day and it was so beautiful that I couldn’t help but take photos of it. I’ve had the photos posted on Flickr for a couple of days now but I hadn’t planned on writing about it here. It’s so simple that I really didn’t think of it as a recipe. But, I am absolutely head over heels in love with this photo and the taste of this dish was spectacular. So, even though there isn’t much to it, I’ve decided this is definitely a recipe worth sharing. Read the rest of this entry »

Creamy Roasted Cauliflower and Artichoke Soup

January 26, 2007


Well, after all my talk about the warm, sunny days we’ve been having around here, the skies are now gloomy and overcast. It’s still not very cold but the dreary weather makes me crave something warm and comforting. And since my husband won’t be home for a while yet, I settled for some soup.

My original intention was to make the cream of artichoke soup featured on the Castroville Artichoke Festival Web site. I had a bunch of little artichokes in the fridge and I thought it would be an interesting way to use them since I had never tasted artichoke soup. But then I realized that I also had an entire head of cauliflower tucked away that I had been saving for soup.

Hmmmm. Guess what I did? Read the rest of this entry »

I Dreamed of Broccoli

January 17, 2007


No, really I did! Of course it was only a daydream, but that daydream led to my new favorite roasted broccoli recipe that I plan on sharing with you once I get through telling my silly story. I was at the gym, on the elliptical machine, listening to Bob Marley on my new ipod shuffle (I know, I probably wasn’t moving very fast while listening to that), when all of a sudden I drifted off and started daydreaming about the broccoli in my fridge. Read the rest of this entry »

Orange You Glad it’s Friday?

January 12, 2007


One of my favorite things about winter is fresh-squeezed orange juice! I’ve been lucky in that I’ve spent many years of my life surrounded by orange trees. Growing up in California, we actually never had an orange tree of our own but the thing about living in the San Joaquin Valley is that even if you don’t have an orange tree, you always know several people who do! Well it’s been several years since I’ve lived in California but now here I am in Sicily, surrounded by orange trees once again, and I’m loving it! Read the rest of this entry »

Farfalle with Pistachio Cream Sauce

December 27, 2006


People keep asking me why, if I’m living in Sicily, I haven’t posted any Italian or Sicilian recipes on this site. Well, the answer is simple. I just don’t cook Italian food at home that often because I can go out and get really good pasta or pizza anytime I want. In fact, it’s very difficult to find restaurants in Sicily that serve anything besides Italian food. While I love the food here, we like to experiment with different things at home. Of course a lot of my recipes have been influenced by the foods that are readily available here and new cooking techniques that I have picked up over the last few years. So, even if my recipes aren’t considered to be Italian, many of them are definitely born from my culinary experiences in Sicily 🙂

But there are a few Sicilian dishes I like to make at home and I will definitely be sharing them with you over time. And hopefully the list will continue to grow! One of my favorites is Pasta con Pesto al Pistacchio or Pasta with Pistacchio Sauce. Variations of this dish can be found in most restaurants here but this recipe is definitely one of the tastiest I’ve had. The best part is that it’s really fast and simple to make!


The pistachios grown here in Sicily are prized for their brilliant green color and are exported throughout the world. The majority of the nuts come from Bronte, an area situated on the base of Mount Etna. Unlike in the United States, where pistachios are often eaten out of hand, Sicilians use pistachios in a wide variety of both sweet and savory treats. Perhaps most famous is the pistachio gelato which I believe is the best gelato flavor in the world! But you will also find several types of pistachio cakes, cookies, candies and pastries. Of the savory dishes, my favorite is this one: Read the rest of this entry »

Creamy Spinach Soup

September 5, 2006


This was a soup that came about because I needed to use up some vegetables that had been hanging around my kitchen for a while. I had some chicken stock in the freezer so that’s what I used but using vegetable stock would make this a great vegetarian soup (leave out the cream and it becomes vegan-friendly too). I like everything a bit spicy these days so I added a couple hot Italian chilies (peperoncini). It wasn’t terribly spicy but I think the chili is what really made this soup special. I think any type of fresh chili would be fine but you could use some crushed red pepper instead. Or if you prefer no heat, add some bell pepper or leave the peppers out completely. Like most of my recipes, this soup is very flexible.

Creamy Spinach Soup

2 T. Olive Oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 hot peppers, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 C. Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1 10 oz. box frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
1/4 C. chopped flat leaf parsely
1/2 T. fresh chopped thyme
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 C. cream

  1. Saute onion, carrots and pepper in olive oil until just starting to brown.
  2. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for one minute.
  3. Add broth and potatoes, bring to a boil. Turn heat down then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  4. Add spinach, parsley and thyme; cook for another five minutes.
  5. Puree in blender or food processor (in batches if necessary) or put through a food mill.
  6. Return to pot. Add salt and pepper to taste then stir in cream and cook, stirring, over low heat until heated through.

This tastes even better the next day!

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Spinach and Feta Turnovers

August 23, 2006


My favorite thing about traveling is the food. And of all the places I’ve traveled, I love the food in Greece the best. I really don’t know much about Greek food except that I have loved everything I’ve ever tasted. I don’t even have any Greek cookbooks (I really need to do something about that!). But I do occasionally create “Greek-inspired” dishes and snacks.

This “Greek-inspired” snack came about because I’ve never baked with phyllo (filo) sheets before and I decided it was about time I try! I bought the phyllo last week and it has been sitting in my freezer since. What finally spurred me on was a recipe over at La Tartine Gourmande. The recipe Bea used was pretty different than the one I ultimately used but as soon as I get my hands on some goat cheese and fresh mint, I plan to try the Feta and Mint Cigarettes. What I had on hand was frozen spinach and feta cheese so that became the base of my filling and I’ve found that you really can’t go wrong with spinach and feta!

It will probably be a while before I attempt some baklava but these Spinach-Feta Turnovers were pretty easy to put together, even for a phyllo virgin. The worst thing that happened was I tried to unroll the sheets before they had completely defrosted and accidentally broke about three inches of the end of the stacked sheets. To keep the sheets from drying out, I covered them with a paper towel and then spritzed it with water occasionally to keep it damp. It worked pretty well and that way I didn’t have to dampen one of my big kitchen towels.


Well here’s the recipe I used for these yummy, flaky, spinach-feta treats: Read the rest of this entry »

Cucumbers with Creamy Feta Dressing

August 18, 2006


Creamy Feta Dressing

8 oz. plain yogurt
4 oz. feta cheese
2 T. mayonnaise
2 T. olive oil
1 T. lemon juice
1/4 t. lemon zest
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/8 t. garlic powder (or use a small amount of fresh garlic)
pinch of salt
fresh ground pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or small food processor. Blend until smooth.
  2. Taste and adjust seasonings. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

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