KRI March 2019 Recipe of the Month

From Sat Kartar Singh, KRI Head Chef for the Espanola Level One Immersion

Makes 6 – 8 Servings

The Vegetables

  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and ¾-inch diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, fennel, onion, and garlic with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a large sheet pan. Roast for 40 minutes, until browned, turning once with a spatula.

The Orzo

  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound orzo pasta Sautee

One red onion and 2 tablespoons fennel seed in 3 tablespoons olive oil – slow and low, developing a caramelized flavor. Boil ½ pound orzo separately until al dente, then toss with onion and fennel seed sauté mixture.

The Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can (15 oz.) cooked chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon tahini paste (sesame seed paste)

Slow roast garlic in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add 16 oz cooked chickpeas and stir in 1 tablespoon tahini.

Mediterranean Flavor Layer Mix

  • 4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
  • ¼ cup pinole (pine nuts), toasted
  • ¾ pound good feta, ½-inch diced (not crumbled)
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into julienne

The Dressing

  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together.

To the Plate

  1. First layer the orzo, then chickpeas, next vegetables, then the flavor layer.
  2. Repeat, ending with the flavor layer.
  3. Decorate the plate with dressing in a circle.
  4. Garnish with fennel frawns.

Sat’s Secrets – Many people are sensitive to the alkaloids in nightshades, like the peppers and eggplant in this recipe. Their bodies react with inflammation or allergy-like symptoms. Avoid these vegetables in this recipe if you think you are sensitive. Replacements could be butternut squash, okra, or halved baby artichokes. Fennel seeds and bulbs are great digestive aids.