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Style Magazine

Master Your Munchies

May 03, 2011 06:03AM ● By Style

Photos courtesy of Chronicle Books.

Fresh From the Farmers’ Market

by Janet Fletcher; photographs by Victoria Pearson

(Chronicle Books, 2008, $19.95)

Bruschetta with Sweet Peppers and Ricotta

(shown above)

“Each year at the farmers’ market seems to bring bell peppers in ever more stunning colors. By mid-September, Bay Area markets are ablaze with red, yellow, green and orange peppers and multicolored combinations thereof. I can’t resist them. To show off their colors, I’ll braise them together, then spoon them over ricotta-topped bruschetta (oiled toast).”

“You may need to explore the breads available in your area to find the ideal one for bruschetta (pronounced brew-sketta). If the bread is too dense, the bruschetta will be hard to eat; if the bread is too holey, it won’t support the topping. Look for a rustic country-style loaf made of nothing but flour, water, yeast and salt. Once toasted, it should be sturdy enough to stand up to a slathering of ricotta and juicy peppers. Offer these Italian toasts at the start of a meal with a glass of crisp white wine.”

  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large golden bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 slices country-style bread, each about 1/2 inch thick and 4 inches long
  • 1/4 pound whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 6 to 8 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces

Roast peppers over a gas flame or charcoal fire, or under a broiler, until blackened on all sides. Transfer to a plastic bag and close the bag so peppers steam as they cool. When cool enough to handle, peel the peppers, halve them and remove seeds and ribs. Cut peppers lengthwise into strips 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over moderate heat. Add garlic and saute until lightly colored, about 2 minutes. Add peppers, season with salt and pepper and saute just until peppers are coated with garlic and are hot throughout. Remove from heat and cool in pan. For best flavor, saute peppers 1 hour ahead so they can absorb the oil and exude their own juices.

Toast the bread on both sides in a broiler, toaster oven, on a stove-top grill or—the best choice—over a charcoal fire. Remove from heat and drizzle one side of each slice with 1 teaspoon oil. Season ricotta with salt and pepper, then spread an even layer of cheese on each of the 6 toasts. Stir the basil into the peppers, then divide the peppers and their juices among the 6 toasts. Serve hot. Serves 6.


Skinny Dips

by Diane Morgan; photographs by Sheri Giblin

(Chronicle Books, 2010, $18.95)

Edamame Tofu Dip with Cilantro

“I almost always have a bag of frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans, available in Asian and natural-foods markets) in my freezer. Here I purée them for a creamy, fresh, pale green dip speckled with cilantro.”

  • 1 cup silken tofu
  • 2 cups frozen shelled edamame
  • 2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
  • 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. finely minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro/fresh coriander leaves, plus sprigs for garnish

“Skinny Dippers:” Baked Whole-Wheat Pita Chips, Crudités, Crostini

Drain the tofu and blot completely dry with paper towels/absorbent papers. Set the tofu on several thicknesses of paper towels while you cook the edamame.

Fill a medium saucepan two-thirds full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the edamame and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and boil for 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Drain again and blot with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.

In the workbowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the tofu, edamame, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, lemon juice, sesame oil, garlic, sugar, and pepper until very smooth. Scatter the cilantro/fresh coriander leaves over top and pulse to incorporate. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld. Garnish with cilantro/fresh coriander.

Makes 3 cups/serving size: 2 tbsp.

Dip Do-Ahead:
This dip can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator just before serving.

CALORIES 34; FAT 2.2g (sat 0.3g, mono 0.7g, poly 1.0g); PROTEIN 2g; CARB 2g; FIBER 1g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 0.4mg; SODIUM 99mg; CALC 21mg


Skinny Asian Shrimp Dip

“Relish the splendors of beautifully pink, delicately cooked shrimp—preferably wild-caught Gulf shrimp—when they’re infused with the heady accents of ginger, garlic, and green/spring onion. The sweet crustacean flavor is complemented by a splash of sesame oil and just enough reduced-fat mayonnaise and sour cream to call this magical concoction a dip.”

  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1 lb. medium uncooked shrimp/prawns in the shell
  • 4 green/spring onions, including green tops, finely minced
  • 1 rounded tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. finely minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. reduced-fat sour cream
  • 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground white pepper

“Skinny Dippers:” Crostini, Baked Pita Chips, Baked Wonton Crisps, Crudités, lavash

Fill a 3-qt/3-l saucepan two-thirds full of water, add 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the shrimp/prawns and cook just until they are pink and firm, about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Peel and devein the shrimp. Finely chop the shrimp and transfer to a medium mixing bowl.

Mix the green/spring onions, ginger, garlic, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt with the shrimp. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, sesame oil, and pepper. Stir until the ingredients are well combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Transfer to a serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld. Remove from the refrigerator 20 minutes before serving.

Makes about 3 cups/serving size: 2 tbsp.

Dip Do-Ahead:
This dip can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator 20 minutes before serving.

CALORIES 32; FAT 1.4g (sat 0.3g, mono 0.2g, poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 4g; CARB 1g; FIBER 0g; CHOL 38mg; IRON 0.6mg; SODIUM 111mg; CALC 11mg