Northwest NEWS

April 1, 2002

Home & Garden

Dining In: Vegetarian delights

Potato Veggie Pancakes
   Vegetable oil cooking spray
   6 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
   2 large carrots, peeled
   1/4 c. all-purpose flour
   1/4 c. flat leaf parsley, finely minced
   1/4 c. green onion, finely chopped.
   2 large eggs, beaten
   1 Tbsp. canola oil
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
   Sour cream for garnish
   Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray large nonstick baking sheet with oil spray.
   Using a food processor or large hand grater, coarsely grate potatoes and carrots. Place grated vegetables in large sieve. Set sieve into large bowl so it nestles securely. Hand squeeze vegetables to wring out as much liquid as possible. If vegetables still feel wet, pat dry with paper towels. Transfer vegetables to mixing bowl. Stir in flour, parsley, onion, eggs, oil, salt and pepper, making sure ingredients are well combined.
   Spoon small mounds of potato mixture on baking sheet to form 2 1/3-inch pancakes, leaving 1 inch between each.
   Bake pancakes until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes per side, turning once with spatula. Transfer to plates or platter and serve at once with sour cream or applesauce, if desired.
   Makes about 16 pancakes.
  
   Portobello Burgers
   4 large portobello mushrooms
   2 cloves garlic, sliced into very thin slivers
   1 tsp. fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp. dried
   1 tsp. fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried
   3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
   3 Tbsp. Balsamic or red wine vinegar
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
   Preheat broiler or grill. Wipe mushrooms with damp cloth. Remove stems. With paring knife, make slits in tops of caps. Stuff slivers of garlic and herbs (if using) into slits. In small bowl, whisk together oil and vinegar with salt and pepper to taste. Brush mushrooms with oil mixture.
   Place mushrooms, cap side down, on pan and broil or grill until soft and brown, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.
   Serve with lettuce and tomato on toasted buns.
   Makes 4 servings.
  
   Herbed Polenta with Grilled Portobello Mushroom
   2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
   1 c. non-instant polenta or cornmeal
   4 c. boiling water
   1 small garlic clove, minced
   1/4 c. chopped flat leaf parsley
   1 tsp. crumbled fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 tsp. dried
   1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1/4 tsp. dried
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
   1/4 c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
   4 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed
   Vegetable oil spray
   Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In deep, heavy pot, combine oil and polenta. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring until polenta smells toasty, about two minutes. Remove pot from heat. Add boiling water carefully to avoid splatters.
   Stir until polenta is smooth. Mix in garlic, parsley, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Bake polenta, uncovered 20 minutes. Stir well. Bake additional 20 minutes, or until polenta is creamy. Divide among four dinner platers. Sprinkle each with a quarter of the cheese.
   While polenta cooks, lightly coat mushroom caps with vegetable oil spray, sprinkle with salt and grill, underside (gills) down, on very hot grill or in heavy cast iron pan, about four minutes.
   Top each serving with a mushroom and serve immediately.
   Makes 4 servings.
  
   Black Bean Burgers
   Vegetable oil cooking spray
   2 bunches finely chopped scallions, both white and green parts
   1 red pepper, seeded and cut in 1/2-inch pieces
   2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
   1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
   1 c. cooked brown rice
   Dash hot pepper sauce, or to taste
   1 tsp. cumin, or to taste
   1 large egg white, lightly beaten
   1/2 c. whole grain bread crumbs
   Heavily coat a medium skillet with cooking oil spray. Heat over medium high heat until hot. Add scallions, red pepper and garlic. Reduce heat to medium low and saute until very soft, about 5 minutes. Do not let vegetables color.
   Remove from heat and mix in beans and rice. Transfer to blender or food processor and process until mixture is coarsely chopped. Be careful not to overprocess.
   Transfer mixture to medium bowl. Season to taste with hot pepper sauce, cumin, salt and pepper.
   Add egg white and mix in lightly with fork just until blended. Mix in bread crumbs with fork until lightly blended. Form mixture into eight patties. (Patties will hold their shape better if refrigerated, covered, at least 30 minutes,.)
   When ready to saute patties, lightly coat skillet with cooking oil spray and heat over medium high heat until hot. Add patties and saute on both sides until nicely browned - about 4 minutes per side.
   Serve plain or with lettuce and tomato on whole grain bun.
   Makes 4 servings
  
   Vegetarian Pate
   2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
   1 large Spanish onion, diced
   1 can (15 oz.) peas labeled "small early peas," drained
   1/4 c. pecans, coarsely chopped
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
   24 slices party rye or pumpernickel multigrain bread
   In medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Saute onion until well browned, about 8 minutes.
   Transfer onion to blender or food processor. Add peas and pecans and puree until mixture is well combined but still has texture.
   Season to taste with salt and lots of pepper. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, up to 2 days, before using.
   To serve, spread chilled pate on bread, or serve a 1/4 c. scoop of pate on bed of leafy green lettuce, accompanied by the bread.
   Makes 24 canapes.