Unbelievably, after a conversation with my best friend Basil, I realized that I had yet to document and share a recipe from my kitchen for saag aloo here on my space. As this potato and spinach curry is one of the most popular North Indian vegetable dishes around the globe, I am rather ashamed to just be sharing a favorite version from my kitchen just now — and that after 7 1/2 years of blogging with particular attention to Indian cuisine! I've shared many classics over the years but somehow this earthy and spicy vegetable classic got lost in the shuffle. That oversight is now corrected.
Once again a trip to the local market has to be an exercise in restraint as the bins and tables are bursting with beautiful local fresh produce of all kinds. But I can rarely resist picking up a bag of fresh garden peas in their pods, as the season for these always seems to be so short. I use frozen peas all year round, but there's nothing like the pop and sweet flavor of freshly shelled peas, and the methodical pace of shelling the peas is so calming besides.
I've been especially indulgent with the garden peas this year, and although many of them are left around in a snacking bowl, I also like to take advantage of their culinary possibilities. So I combined them this time with one of my favorite dishes to come up with a simple but colorful summery risotto. Studded with fresh plump peas cooked until just tender at the very end of the cooking time, and flavored with a quick pea and fresh mint and basil purée, this creamy and classic risotto is easy to prepare, requiring only attention, and makes for a stunning gourmet way to enjoy the garden pea season.
Legumes are a vegetarian's meat. Generally speaking, legumes in some shape or form appear on my menu everyday. They provide a multitude of health benefits, are inexpensive, and for the most part are easy to prepare. In addition to all of those benefits, think of the vast array of legumes at our fingertips and the endless ways to incorporate them into your diet — it follows that meals are never boring, but are instead an exciting taste experience.
Craving mung beans and not wanting to fuss too much in the kitchen, I came up with a simple curry with lots of ginger for a zingy dish. Mung beans have a distinct sweet and earthy taste and occupy a prominent role in the dishes they appear in, including spicy curries. They take very little time to cook, with minimal soaking beforehand — split mung cooks even faster, with no soaking time, but I generally prefer the slightly plumper whole mung for more texture.
This is certainly on the list of the most refreshing and vibrant salads I have ever enjoyed. Colorful chunks of sweet mango and creamy avocado are dressed up with a bold and tangy lime dressing that embraces the herbs and fruit for a extra boost to the palate without overpowering the balance of flavors throughout. I've added jalapeño here for a bit of a kick and stove-top toasted cashews for some nuttiness and texture. There's a lot going on here, but it all comes together texturally and textually for a stunning taste experience. Despite the complexity of flavors, putting this salad together takes very little time at all and should be considered an ideal summer meal accompaniment or light lunch.