Plateful of proof that being vegan at lunchtime can actually increase your options. @GoogleLAX
I put four thick hunks of summer
on some fresh-baked bread
with lots of mayo, salt, and pepper
and two slices of smoky bacon
for the perfect 5-minute lunch.
Here is my bag lunch suggestion: vegetable tart, any kind of vegetable tarts. They’re delicious when they come out of the oven as well as cold or reheated 1 or 2 days later. And they’re very simple to carry in your bag. Since I am Italian, I have to say that this kind of meal is very popular in Italy.
Vegetable tarts can be an elaborate dish but also a very quick and easy one.
This is my grandma’s recipe for “leeks tart”, delicious and very tasty:
Ingredients for the dough:
- 1 1/2 cup (7oz) of AP flour
- 1 unsalted butter stick chilled and diced
- 1/4 cup of chilled water
- 1 pinch of salt.
Ingredients for the filling:
- 3 medium leeks
- 2 1/2 tbs of AP flour
- 1 1/2 cup of water
- a little milk
- 4-5 smoked bacon slices diced
- 1 tbs grated parmigiano reggiano cheese (optional)
- 1 tsp salt.
Make a “Pâte brisée” (or you can also buy an unsalted or savory pie crust in your grocery shop, but it’s not the same).
Quickly combine flour and butter in a bowl using only your fingertips and being careful not to over mix otherwise the butter melts (it’s fine if remain a few butter pieces big like peas) until you obtain a kind of a crumble. Create a hill with the crumble and with 1 finger make a hole on top of it, add the salt and pour the water. Mould first with a single finger and then with the whole hand to create a ball being careful not to over mix. Wrap the dough in a plastic foil and refrigerate for at least 30 min (you can also keep the dough for 1 day and make the tart the next day).
In the meanwhile make the filling: Slice the leeks very thinly. Overcook them in a covered pan with the water and the salt for 30 minutes over medium-low heat. Sprinkle with the flour and keep stirring over medium-low heat to create a mixture similar to besciamelle, if it is necessary add a little milk to adjust the thickness. When the mixture is dense (about 10 min) adjust salt and add optional grated parmigiano cheese. Set it aside.
Preheat the oven at 375-400 F.
Dust a wooden surface with flour and roll the dough into an about 1/8” thick round. Grease a 9-10” round baking tin using oil or butter, dust it with a little flour and put the dough in. With the tines of a fork pierce several times the dough for it not to bubble while baking. Put the diced bacon on the dough and pour the leeks mixture. Fold the borders of the dough over the mixture making pleats as you fold it if needed. Bake the tart at 375-400 F for about 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
Serve warm with a mixed greens or heirloom tomatoes salad seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, fresh erbs, and a little salt or let the tart cool, slice it, and put in your bag lunch box for the next day.
P.S. this filling could be substituted with every vegetable, raw or cooked, mixed together with fresh ricotta, 1 egg and a little grated parmigiano cheese.
Thanks, Chiara! The recipe sounds delicious and addictive. I’m definitely going to give it a shot.
This week’s minisode: a couple of bag lunch ideas, for when you just can’t swallow another cold cuts sandwich. Shoutouts to Tasting Table and The Kitchn. Plus, be sure to submit your ideas for a Working Class Foodies Halloween episode!
The simplest, most pleasurable sandwich you can put together in 5 minutes.
Note: don’t skimp on the mayo. This is the only fat in your sandwich and with the hot sauce and the tomato juice, it will create a fantastic kind of dressing. Indulge.
What did you have for lunch today?
In this week’s mini-sode, I go over one of the great Jewish dishes: BLINTZES.
Non-practicing, proudly atheist, Jewish-in-heritage-and-history-only I may be, but if anything connects me to religion of any sort, it’s FOOD. There’s no denying that Jews have a long and proud tradition of producing some of the world’s best comfort food. While nothing may beat a bowl of matzoh ball soup, some tsimmes, and a batch of lace-edged potato pancakes, blintzes are definitely in the top 10 of Ultimate Jewish Foods.
So, in honor of the High Holidays and fall in general, here’s a little ode to the blintz. You can download a PDF of a few of my blintz recipes right here.
And, of course, if you feel like promoting us in the Tumblr/Food directory, just click here.
Lunch: Hot & Sour Fairytale Eggplant (tastes a hell of a lot better than it looks)
I have a ton of prepped (i.e. diced) fairytale eggplants leftover from my cooking demos at the NYBG last Saturday, so for lunch, I cooked up about a cup of them into a simple meal.
Heat half the olive or canola oil in a skillet on medium or medium-high. When the oil is shiny, add in the eggplant and let cook about 3 minutes. If the pan starts to look dry, pour in 3 tablespoons of water.
Remove the eggplant when it’s just turning translucent. Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary and cook the garlic (and optional ginger), about 2 minutes, or until it just begins to go translucent. Add the eggplant back into the pan.
Add the soy sauce, vinegar, and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir in and reduce the heat to medium-low.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until the eggplant is soft and almost falling apart. Taste for seasoning and adjust with more soy sauce or more vinegar. Stir in the hot sesame or chili oil and remove from the heat.
Serve with rice, a simple green salad, or some steamed bok choy. Top with thinly-sliced scallions and/or toasted sesame seeds if you’ve got ‘em.
Tip: because eggplant absorbs a lot of oil, you may want to serve it with a slotted spoon to drip off as much of the excess oil as possible.
Maine style lobster roll, Red Hook Lobster Pound, the Brooklyn Flea.
My lunch > your lunch.