I get a lot of emails with recipes from blog subscriptions, magazines, etc... Some I delete, knowing they aren't my style. Most I archive to make later. Very few inspire me to make them ASAP; this recipe was one of those few. Shakshuka is a dish of Egyptian, Tunisian, Algerian, and Moroccan origin that consists of eggs poached in spiced tomato sauce.
This recipe, from Bessou restaurant in NYC (via Tasting Table), puts a Japanese spin on the dish. It was that fusion element that caught my eye. The tomato sauce is spiced with Japanese curry powder and cumin. Roasted kabocha squash is added, along with poached eggs. The original is topped with miso marinated tofu - I went for miso flavored labneh, instead. Lastly, it is sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, and served with toasted Japanese milk bread.
The tomato sauce is so fragrant and spicy (the original recipe uses harissa, too, but the curry powder was enough heat for me). It is counterbalanced by the sweet squash, tart pomegranate seeds, cool labneh, and creamy egg yolk. The squash and the pomegranate add varying texture, too, along with the crispy toast. And the miso adds this funky umami note that adds to the complexity. Dipping that perfectly crispy toast into the runny yolk and velvety tomato sauce is just so insanely satisfying.
Who would stuff a mushroom with more mushrooms? Melissa from Smells Like Brownies and I, that's who, for our weekly vegetarian lunch get together. Melissa had a ton of farro given to her by a neighbor that she needed to start using, and she was craving mushrooms. So she found a recipe for balsamic roasted mushrooms with goat cheese to mix with the farro, yum. You know how much we love goat cheese. But then she thought, what if we put that inside of a portabella and grilled it? And I said, why the heck not! Mushrooms inside of mushrooms, people - it's inception with fungi.
Mix up some baby bellas and tomatoes with olive oil, balsamic, thyme, garlic, and red pepper. Careful there - we thought we just added a pinch, but it turned out spiiiiiiiiicy. Thank goodness for goat cheese, amirite? Then roast those babies up.
Once they are roasted, mix them together with cooked farro, spinach,and goat cheese and spoon the mixture into portobello caps. The baby bellas are going inside the mamma bella! No? No one else finds that funny? Just me? Fine.
The next stop on the Vegan tour of the DMV was Amma Vegetarian Kitchen in Vienna, VA (click here for parts 1, 2, and 3). Amma is an all vegetarian South Indian restaurant specializing in dosas (crepes) with spicy fillings. Unfortunately we quickly discover that Amma was on the Washingtonian's list for being vegetarian friendly, NOT vegan friendly - they cook their crepes on a griddle with butter. After a lot of discussion with the man working the counter (who was very patient and helpful) we discovered that were maybe two options for my vegan friend - a fried bread and a whole wheat bread, both served with (SUPER) spicy potatoes and a vegetable stew.