Nibbles, am I right?
I realized that I have a couple of tasty vegetarian entree recipes on this website, but I haven’t shared my favorite recipes for uncomplicated little dishes you could serve at a party or on the side at dinner. So without further ado:
Asian-Inspired Farro Salad
I think this is only Asian-inspired because I have no idea what actual Asian food is. Please don’t call me a racist. But even if you do, please make this salad anyway, because it is delicious. It can be served hot or cold, and one serving comes to less than 250 calories and is a pretty hefty side dish. Yum, yo.
1 cup farro (Like this!)
1 cup edamame (Edamame can be a budget buster, so feel free to sub any other kind of bean – no sweat.)
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
2 large carrots, chopped any way that makes your loins tingle
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
Pinch garlic powder (But my friends. PUH-LEASE feel free to use real garlic if you are not lazy like me.)
Pinch red pepper flakes
Cook the farro according to the package directions. (Usually they go something like this: “Put the farro in a large pot with 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Once it boils, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for thirty minutes.”) Once it is cooked, add in the chopped cabbage, sliced carrots, and the edamame. Then add in the flavrin’s; the soy sauce, garlic powder (or garlic, if you’re a real person) and red pepper flakes. Stir it all about. Seriously, it couldn’t be simpler, and look at all the pretty colors! Serve it warm or cold, it’s delicious either way. Makes 4 servings.
Struggling to rid yourself of the last of that summer plague known as the zucchini? These fritters give spectacular flavor to a vegetable that otherwise tastes like the underside of a canoe.
1 large zucchini
1/4 cup unflavored bread crumbs (It’s best to make your own.)
1/2 of a small onion, or 1/4 of a large one, diced. (Use your better judgement. I trust you.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Canola oil for frying
Grate up your zucchini in a cheese grater and put all the zucchini shavings on a paper towel. Holding the towel over the sink, squeeze it as hard as you can to get all the water out of it. Don’t skip this step, or your life will be a shambles. Put the shavings in a bowl and add the egg, bread crumbs, and diced onion. Add a pinch of salt and a feisty sprinkle of pepper. Now take a frying pan and drizzle in a layer of canola oil. You’re not deep-frying here, so it doesn’t need to be a pool. Just coat the surface of the pan and turn the heat on medium-high. With your hands, take a blob of zucchini mixture and sculpt it deftly into the shape of a patty. Plop it into the pan and listen to it sizzle with satisfaction. After about two minutes, flip it. It should be a nice dark brown, just short of burnt. One or two more minutes on the other size, and it’s done! Repeat with the rest; it should make about four servings, depending on how big you make ’em.
I brought this to a party once, and the host wouldn’t let me leave until I agreed to leave the leftovers with her. This broccoli salad is not a fucking game.
2 large heads of broccoli
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly grated parmesan
Salt and pepper (Obviously. What do I look like, a chump?)
Bring a pot of water to a boil while you chop your broccoli into manageable pieces. Seriously, don’t leave your diners with massive, branch-sized pieces of broccoli that they have to either stuff in their mouths whole and choke to death on, or bite with their teeth and lodge tiny green soldiers in there forever. It’s not good form. Anyway, once the water is boiling, put the nice small broccoli florets in there and immediately turn down the heat to a simmer. After no more than three minutes, drain the broccoli in a strainer and throw it in a big bowl. It should be nice and tender, but still have a good crunch to it, and it should be a lovely shade of Hulk. Now take one of the lemons and roll it between your hands to get all the juices flowing. Then cut it in half and squeeze all those juices over your broccoli. Your other lemon gets sliced as thinly as you possibly can without severing your fingers, and the slices get tossed into the bowl, along with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Lastly, throw in a healthy dose of grated parm, and you have got yourself a big ol’ side dish that will get people pants-wettingly excited about broccoli.