This week was all about sesame. Sesame seeds, sesame paste (tahini), sesame oil, sesame candy. You really can use sesame with everything and on anything. Almost.
It”s not the little black dress. It’s the navy blue.
We started with sesame pita chips with country humus, we made our own tahini, cause we are cool like that. We grilled some Miso Sesame Salmon with zucchini, except we ran out of propane so we cooked it on a grill pan. Todays starch was black and white sesame rice. Then there was some veggie sides, raw beets with sunflower seeds, we could have put black sesame seeds on the beets, but I don’t like to get totally carried away with the theme, so we did not. The burrata, nectarines and arugula salad, we sweetened with some crunchy sesame seed candy.
We finished up with black sesame seed Panna cotta, two ways: Buttermilk and mache.
Pita bread, split in center
olive oil spray
salt, pepper, sesame seeds
Cut opened halves of pita bread into desired shapes, such as triangles. Or alternatively use a cookie cutter to cut into rounds. Spray with olive oil spray, season lightly with salt and pepper, sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Bake in a pre heated 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until just crisp.
If you got some tahini (sesame seed paste) by all means use that, as your humus will be smoother. Here in the ‘bu, getting tahini can be a challenge, so since we are on a farm anyway, and my standard attire is garden clogs, and my favorite accessory is alfalfa sticking out of my hair, the chunky clunky, humus goes perfectly well with it all. Plus, who needs a jar of tahini taking up space in the fridge anyway?
chunky, clunky farm humus
1/4 cup tahini OR
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon salt
Ingredients to be continued
If you have a high-speed blender, this would be preferable, I don’t so, whirl whirl, in a standard blender it goes, call it a day, its gonna be chunky, and not perfectly blended.
Into the blender* now add:
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
juice from one lemon
1 clove garlic, grated
salt and pepper
additional olive oil
Blend blend, whirl, whirl. If too thick, thin with additional water and/or olive oil. Season with additional salt, pepper, and lemon juice, if necessary.
Optional: Garnish with additional olive oil, paprika and green herb of choice.
* if you are using tahini, you can make it in the food processor
1/8 cup each of mirin and sake
1/2 cup miso
1/3 cup sugar
Combine all ingredients in a small pan, and heat until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using.
Any fish you like, and/or any vegetable
Black sesame seeds
Pickled sushi type ginger
herb of choice
Place fish in marinated for a minimum of 6 hrs or preferably over night. Grill fish over high heat, spray with olive oil spray to prevent from sticking. Garnish with sesame seeds, ginger and chopped herbs.
The only beets I eat raw, are candy cane, which are white and pink striped beets.
Other varieties of beets, in my personal opinion, are not edible raw, although many raw food enthusiast would disagree.
Secondly, the candy cane beet is gorgeous, but once you cook it, the pretty stripes just blends into each other, so now it looks like any old pink beet. Obvi, its begging to be eaten raw. Candy cane, your wish has been granted.
2 Candy cane beets, peeled and grated
lemon juice from one lemon
2 tablespoons red vine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil (and when i say olive oil, I always mean extra virgin)
1 clove garlic,
2 tablespoons parsley, or green herb of choice, chopped
2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds (store-bought or toast your own: in a skillet with a sprinkle of olive oil, cook raw seeds until just toasty, season with salt and pepper. Please don’t burn)
Toss grated beets with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and red wine vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Taste it….add more lemon or vinegar if needed. Sprinkle with a small mountain of parsley (or other herb) and sunflower seeds.
I looooove black rice, it’s so seriously nutty and super delish I can’t even stand it. I usually just eat the black rice in it’s own simple glory, but in restaurants, I always see it blended with another grain, usually Farro. If you like black rice, try cooking it in chicken stock and eating it, just the way it is. No bells, no whistles. If that’s not for you, make a 40/60 blend with either Farro, white rice or brown rice.
1 cup cooked black rice ( you can also substitute wild rice)
2 cups cooked white rice (or brown)
2 cloves garlic, grated, and divided
1 large or (two small) leek, cleaned and sliced into thin slices
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
zest and juice from one lemon
2 tablespoons chopped herbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup thin green beans, or asparagus would be fine too, blanched and diced
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Add sesame oil in a large skillet and cook 1 garlic clove (reserve the second clove) and leeks, 4 to 6 minutes, or until just translucent, add rice (both). If you are making a large batch, or your skillet is not that big, cook the rice in two batches.Saute until crispy and hot. Season with salt and pepper, lemon zest and juice. Stir in garnish. Finish with sesame seeds.
In a small bowl, toss together, tomatoes, green beans, reserved garlic clove and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss into the hot rice.
This dish can be served hot or at room temp.
For the salad:
Nectarines, peaches or any fruit you like, sliced
Burrata (pulled into shreds), or mozzarella (sliced), or any cheese you like
fresh mint, chopped
Optional: in season, add pomegranate seeds for garnish as well
Toss the arugula and the nectarines in the dressing (recipe below) then scatter burrata on top. Putting the dressing over the burrata is going to give it an unappetizing color, so we don’t want that. Garnish with sesame seed candy and fresh chopped mint. pomegranate seeds are a great addition in season.
Except then the nectarines aren’t in season…..
Dressing, sweet pomegranate
We have been dutifully working our way through salad dressing ABC, this week we seasoned our dressing with pomegranate molasses
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon chopped shallots
1/8 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
You may very well have heard the ridiculous, standard, worldwide, professional chef opinion, which is, that the ratio of oil to vinegar is 3 to 1.
Are they seriously kidding?
If you like that much oil, go ahead. Personally I hate a seriously emulsified oily dressing, mostly I just ever so gently mix (without emulsifying) a highly acidic dressing. At the very most, I would go 2 to 1, most days I’m in the mood for flava’, so I am going 1 to 1.
and then there is the rest of the professional world….
Its your dressing, do as you choose, I use twice as much vinegar as pomegranate molasses, some shallots, just enough oil to blend it all together, season with salt and pepper, and yum yum.
Sesame seed Candy
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
You can use raw sesame seeds, but that requires you pay a lot more attention to what you are doing, which is why I prefer to use seeds that are already toasted. Raw seeds also spoil absurdly fast, so if you are using fresh seeds, make sure they have not turned rancid.
Basically, you just need more seeds than sugar. In a small dry skillet over medium heat, add sugar. No reason to stir, or do anything. Just sit back and wait for the sugar to melt. But no texting, no calls. If it is starting to burn, turn down the heat. Just when the sugar begins to melt, stir in the sesame seeds. Once the sugar is fully melted and the sesame seeds incorporated into the sugar, pour onto a sheet pan or other heat proof surface.
Let cool, which means, don’t touch, since melted sugar (ie:caramel) is always very hot.
Once cool, break into little “candy” pieces.
If you are working with raw seeds, add the seeds at the same time as you add the sugar, and the seeds will be toasted about the same time the sugar is melted. Or not….
I love it.
Panna cotta that is. Some people hate it. It’s jello.
For grown ups.
You can make it firmer or more jiggly. I hate firm Panna cotta. For me, it’s all about super silky, super smooth, so smooth, it will just barely hold together. If you slam a door in my kitchen, my Panna cotta will come crashing down……
Panna cotta can be placed into a container of some sort, and then un molded, or alternatively, placed into a servings container, such as a (martini or champagne) glass and served as is.
This recipe is a per cup recipe.
1. Choose your container.
2. How many servings do you want to make?
3. Figure out how many cups of liquid you need to fill your size containers.
4. Multiply this recipes times how many cups you need
1 cup liquid=
100% cream (which would be 1 cup heavy cream) OR
50% cream +50%buttermilk , (which would be 1/2 cup cream, 1/2 cup buttermilk) OR
cream +yogurt, or cream + half and half.
I have tried 100% soymilk, and I don’t recommend it. Creamier is better.
Now add the following per one cup of liquid:
1/8 cup + 1 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoons gelatin* + some water (2 to 4 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
*To jiggle or not to jiggle? 1/2 teaspoon of gelatin per 1 cup of liquid makes a soft Panna cotta. If you want yours to more like a hockey puck, use more gelatine.
Place cream into a sauce pan with the sugar. If you are using 100% cream, place it all into the pan at this point. If you are making a “blend” (we did a 50/50 cream+buttermilk blend), add all the cream (which would be half the liquid) , set aside the remaining half of buttermilk or yogurt.
Dissolve the gelatin in the water in a small bowl.
Stir the cream and the sugar until it hits a light boil, and the sugar is fully dissolved. Don’t let it boil over! Then pour the mixture over the pre softened, gelatin, then pour the entire thing (cream and gelatin) back into the pot. Make sure all the gelatin, has left the bowl and is now in the pot. Whisk so that it is properly blended. Now, remove from heat and stir in the buttermilk and the vanilla.
Optional: If you want to flavor your Panna cotta, you can stir in 1 tablespoon of Macha green tea powder, or cocoa power, or chocolate chips at this point. Whisk well until fully dissolved.
Pour immediately into prepared containers. If you plan to unmold your Panna cotta, lightly oil them first.
To serve, either unmold or not, drizzle with sesame seed sugar (recipe below), or not, garnish with fruit or berries, or not.
Its your dessert, own it, do it your way.
Remember, one cup makes 2 standard servings or 4 mini size, so you need to multiply this recipe by how many servings you are trying to make.
sesame seed sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
juice from half a lemon
In a small sauce pan, combine all ingredients until sugar is dissolved. If using a fruit/ berry of a firmer texture such as Kiwi, or mango, you can pour the sesame seed sugar over it. If using a berry, drizzle the syrup over the Panna cotta then garnish with the fruit.