I recently read an article about people who eat the same thing for lunch every day. There are multiple reasons to make this choice - easy to prepare, cheap, and tasty are common drivers - particularly for those of us who work in an office every day. One fellow ate a peanut-butter sandwich, with various fruit, vegetable, and dessert accompaniments for 25 years and he is still at it - even now that he's retired! He says "he's never stopped liking it".
While I applaud his consistency, it's impossible for me to imagine making the same choice every day for a week, let alone 25 years. I get bored eating the same thing for dinner 2 nights in a row. Sure, it happens - a first world problem for sure. But the possibilities of what to make from the box of veggie goodness that showed up in my kitchen last weekend are endless. My plan - I'm going to make enough dinner so that I can have a different lunch every day.
Farm Fresh Eggs
Winter Slaw with Farro
Deb Perelman | Smitten Kitchen
1/2 cup (100g) finely diced dried apricots
1/4 cup white wine vinegar, plus more to taste
1 small-medium (2 lbs) head green cabbage
1 1/3 cups cooked farro, cooled (from about 3/4 cup uncooked)
1/3 cup (45g) roughly chopped roasted almonds
2 ounces (55g) Parmesan, thinly shaved on a grater with a vegetable peeler
3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Serves 6 - 8
Peel potatoes and cut into 1/3-inch dice (2 1/4 cups).
Heat oil in a 10-inch Place the apricots in a small bowl with the vinegar, and set aside while preparing the other ingredients. Cut the cabbage in half, and remove the core; then cut the halves again into quarters. With a mandolin or a knife, slice the cabbage into very thin ribbons. You’ll have about 12 cups total, which will seem ridiculous, but it will wilt down with dressing on it. Pile it into your largest bowl.
Add to the bowl the apricots and their vinegar, the farro, almonds, and most of the Parmesan, plus the olive oil, salt, and a good helping of freshly ground pepper. Toss to combine, and try to give it 15 minutes to let the ingredients settle a little before making seasoning adjustments; then add more vinegar, Parmesan, oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Perelman emphasizes this: "With so few ingredients and most of them fairly mildly flavored, you cannot skimp on seasoning or texture; I hope everyone toasts their almonds well and uses salt and pepper until all the flavors are lifted."
Heap the slaw on plates in piles, and top with remaining Parmesan. The slaw's textures are best for serving to company at this point, but this will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge for great take-to-work lunches.
BUTTERNUT SQUASH Risotto
Jo Pratt | BBC
1 large butternut squash
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
About 15 sage leaves, chopped
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 large knobs of butter
1 large onion, chopped
14oz/ 400g arborio rice
2 glasses white wine
1¾ pint hot chicken or vegetable stock
good handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
3oz/ 75g pine nuts, to serve
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Cut the butternut squash into 6-8 wedges, remove the seeds and place in a roasting tray. Pound or chop the garlic and add a generous glug of olive oil, half the sage leaves, sea salt and pepper. Tip into the tray and rub over the butternut squash with your hands. Roast in the oven for 40-50 minutes until softened and becoming golden in colour.
Once the squash has cooked, cool slightly, then scrape the soft flesh away from the skin into a bowl. Lightly mash with a fork or potato masher until it is fairly chunky in texture. Scrape any sticky juices left in the roasting tray into the bowl and keep warm while making the risotto.
Heat the olive oil and a good knob of butter in a deep, heavy-based frying pan or saute pan. Gently fry the onion until softened. Add the rice and stir for about a minute until the grains are coated with the oil and butter. Pour in the wine and stir continuously until it has cooked into the rice. Add a good ladle of hot stock and the remaining sage and season well with salt and pepper. Turn the heat down so the stock is simmering gently. Keep adding ladles of stock as it cooks into the rice, stirring and moving the rice around in the pan. After about 15-20 minutes the rice should be soft but still have a bit of bite left in it. The texture of the risotto should be thick and creamy, but not too loose. Add extra stock if necessary. It may seem tedious standing and stirring but the end result will be worth it.
Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir the roasted butternut squash into the risotto with the parmesan, the remaining butter and seasoning to taste. Add any extra stock if the risotto seems particularly thick. Cover with a lid for a couple of minutes as this will give the risotto an even creamier texture.
During this time, place the pine nuts in a fairly hot frying pan and toss around until golden. Spoon the risotto into warmed bowls and scatter with the pine nuts and extra parmesan.
Ricotta, KALE & Mushroom Toast
Dawn Perry | Bon Appetit
Fresno (or other fresh) chile
White wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Cook wild mushrooms and sliced garlic in olive oil, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp.
Add torn kale leaves and sliced Fresno chile (seeded for less heat) and cook, tossing, until kale is wilted; season with white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Season ricotta with salt and pepper and spread onto toasted country-style bread; spoon mushroom-kale mixture on top.