Tender stalks of asparagus at the store are a sign that Spring is upon us (or at least we hope it is). This recipe for Asparagus Tapenade has been in my stack of ‘must try’ recipes for a long time. I wish I could remember where the recipe came from so I could give proper credit.
Asparagus Tapenade is a great recipe for anyone, but is a tasty treat for those practicing a Vegan or Vegetarian diet.
I served the Tapenade with vegetables and bits of bread. It was great with both but I LOVED it on artisan bread.
1 pound asparagus (thick spears work fine)
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil or fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, optional
1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
Additional salt and pepper to taste
Bring pan of water to boil over high heat.
Rinse and trim ends from asparagus, then cut in 1 – 2 inch pieces.
Add asparagus to water, return water to boil, reduce heat to medium. Cook until just soft and still bright green, about three minutes. Drain well.
Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium high, stirring occasionally, watching carefully to avoid burning.
Add remaining ingredients to a food processor. Add toasted pine nuts and cooked asparagus. Pulse until thoroughly blended but still roughly chopped.
Transfer to clean container and refrigerate until fully chilled. Serve with crackers, vegetables and/or on crostini/bread.
Sour cherry desserts are a big favorite. While trying to avoid gluten, I was craving a cherry something, crisp…pie…cobbler. I decided to try a Cherry Crisp with almond (instead of wheat) flour using applesauce instead of butter. The result is a gluten and dairy free dessert. The girls likened the Cherry Crisp to a really good cherry granola bar.
If you prefer to skip the whole gluten and dairy free scene, substitute all-purpose flour for almond flour and margarine instead of applesauce.
2 cups cherry pie filling (gluten-free)
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray 8×8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spread the cherry filling in the bottom of the baking dish.
Combine the oats, almond flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and applesauce together.
It was a special treat when my Mother made chocolate cake WITH hot chocolate sauce, topped with a scoop (or two) or vanilla ice cream. I can vividly remember my Mother making the cake, putting it in the back porch to cool then making the sauce at the last-minute before serving. Don’t be stingy with the sauce. I love it when the cake soaks up the sauce and the cold ice cream compliments the yummy, chocolate-drenched cake.
Wacky Chocolate Cake was popular during the depression since the recipe did not call for eggs, milk or butter all of which were scarce during the Great Depression. This cake, without the hot chocolate sauce, is a great vegan chocolate cake or good for those with sensitivity to dairy products. Just make sure the cocoa is dairy free!
This weekend I made this for my daughters and their guys. I am certain I have not made this recipe for over 20 years but a flood of childhood memories came rushing back. I talked to my sister about the recipe and she recalls our Mother referring to the recipe from our Grandmother Mary Smaha. She also recalls that our Mother would say that you need to add enough cocoa powder to the dry mixture, to where it looks like cinnamon. After discussing this memory, we decided it would be fun to try adding a little cinnamon to the hot chocolate sauce next time. I’m not waiting another 20 years to try this version!
Have a little chocolate cake with hot chocolate sauce today to celebrate your inner child and your fond memories!
WACKY CHOCOLATE CAKE
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups water
Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. Add oil, vinegar, vanilla and water. Do not use a mixer and do not sift flour. Pour in greased 9×13″ pan.
Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
HOT CHOCOLATE SAUCE
1 cup sugar
1 rounded tablespoon cocoa
1 tablespoon white Karo
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 to 2/3 cup milk
Mix all ingredients together (except vanilla) and bring to a rolling boil. Boil 1-2 minutes. Remove and add vanilla and let set for a few minutes.
Serve warm over individual pieces of chocolate cake. This recipe is enough for an 8×8″ cake pan. Double the recipe for a 9×13″ cake.