As with morels and ramps, the season for fiddlehead ferns is far too short. Which makes it extra special when you get the chance to enjoy their delicate flavor. A perfect accompaniment to spring peas and mint. They must be well cleaned and pre-boiled before adding them to any recipe.
Once again, this raw vegan cookie dough was hard to resist. When baked, the cookies' texture was slightly crunchy on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside. The gluten free flour I used gave them an almost peanut butter-like flavor. I used a bit of brown sugar, but most of the sweetness comes from Truvia and the chips.
I am calling this a mousse because it was so unbelievably soft and smooth. I had run out of rejuvelac over the weekend, but I wanted to serve an elegant nut cheese with my crusty gluten-free bread. So I soaked walnuts for a change of pace from the usual cashews, and pureed them in the Vitamix with plain water instead of the probiotic-filled rejuvelac. Then, rather than culturing it for several days, I merely let it set up over night. I oven-dried rosemary because I think it's so much better than dried rosemary from the store, and stirred it into the mousse. Rosemary and walnuts are a great combination, and the added texture was welcome. I think next time I will add cognac-soaked currents more more depth of flavor, and the acidity will compliment the pâté's richness.
I usually cook lentils in the style of Indian dal until they break down and become a thick stew. But these I wanted to retain their shape and texture, so I cooked them just until tender in plenty of liquid. At the very end I stirred in cumin, lemon zest and a chiffonade of lacinato kale. Also known as dinosaur or Tuscan kale, this is my favorite Italian variety of kale, with its dark blue-green leaves. It also makes an excellent salad or green smoothie.
This is the recipe for my quinoa burgers that accompanied my interview with Out Impact.
MIXED BEAN & QUINOA BURGERS with SMOKED PAPRIKA SAUCE
LENTIL & QUINOA BURGERS with CHOPPED AVOCADO
These burgers are a total power food. They are super light, healthy and loaded with protein, fiber and nutrients. Depending on how big you want your burgers, this recipe will serve six to eight.
2 cups quinoa, soaked for two to four hours and rinsed well 4 cups cooked beans or lentils (or a combination of mixed beans) I often use canned beans as long as they are organic with no added salt. Canned beans must be well rinsed and drained. 1 medium onion, finely chopped 2 to four cloves garlic, minced 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 small bunch herbs, such as cilantro or parsley, finely chopped salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil over a medium flame in a pot with a lid that is large enough to hold all of the ingredients, and sauté the onion and garlic until soft, but not brown.
While the onion and garlic are cooking, puree 3 cups of the beans in a food processor, scraping down the sides as needed, until they become a thick paste. It works best to pulse the processor from time to time to keep the beans moving.
Add the quinoa to the pot of onion and garlic with just enough water to moisten is, about 1/4 cup, and cover the pot. The quinoa will be cooked in about five minutes. Remove the lid and check that the grains have popped open and become translucent. If there is any remaining water simply cook it off for a few more minutes until the quinoa mixture is dry. Then stir in all of the remaining ingredients with a spoon or your clean hands. The pureed beans will bind everything together.
You can form the patties my scooping out a cupful of the mixture and shaping them by hand. Or you may press the mixture into a large cookie cutter to form burgers.
At this point the burgers can be frozen for future use. Although they are essentially cooked, it is best to brown them on both sides by baking them in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes on each side. Or better yet, grill them on an open flame for a smokey, charred flavor and crunch. Either way, they will be crisp on the outside while staying soft and moist on the inside.
The options for topping the burgers are endless. These lentil-quinoa burgers I topped with chopped avocado. The mixed bean-quinoa burgers I topped with a sauce made by combining equal parts salsa and reduced fat Vegenaise (vegan “mayonnaise”) and a sprinkling of smoked paprika. I served them over a bed of baby arugula. No buns necessary, but the choice is yours! Keep it healthy and whole grain!