Get Your Nutrients
Many of you asked for recipes. As I'm writing this, I have a large pot of Passato di Verdure (Churned Vegetable Soup), my absolute favorite soup, simmering on my stovetop. It is a recipe by my friend Beatrice Tosti, a New York restaurateur. This recipe is also in Dr. Linda's book Harmonic Healing. There are several incredible soup recipes in her book, and they are a mainstay in my diet right now.
We also have another recipe by Beatrice, Farinata Con Verdure (Savory Chickpea Tart with Vegetables). Admittedly, this came via our mutual friend Danilo (whom you may have read about in our On Beauty series), and I have yet to make it. It's one of Danilo's absolute favorite Bea recipes, so I'm going to give it a go this weekend.
One more thing before we get to the recipes—if you are concerned about getting enough greens and nutrient-dense foods into your diet, here is what I recommend:
Purchase a variety of fresh herbs and greens and make a mountain of pesto. I'm talking a boatload. Get creative and keep it simple with olive oil and lemon juice (I skip the nuts and dairy). Keep what you need for one week in the refrigerator and freeze the rest. Pesto goes with everything!
Purchase bulk organic herbs to make infusions and drink one quart each day to give your body essential minerals in a bioavailable form. My favorites for nutritive, lymphatic, and immune support are lemongrass, peppermint leaf, nettle, oatstraw, horsetail, calendula, rosemary, dandelion, and fennel seed. You can also explore infusing them into broths for cooking lentils and other legumes, rice, congees, soups, and stews. In Japan, there is a popular dish called "Ochazuke" also known as "cha-cha gohan," which is green tea poured over rice- usually with an umeboshi plum and a piece of salmon and some nori. Delicious!
Mountain Rose Herbs
My friend Heidi Swanson is the queen of what she calls "Freezer-Friendly Pantry." I mean, how amazing is that? And she has several nutrient-dense pestos, miso spreads, and curry paste ideas that freeze well, too.
101 Cookbook Freezer Friendly Pantry
FARINATA CON VERDURE
Savory chickpea tart with vegetables
Chickpea flour is ever so present in Italian cooking, Liguria with the “Farinata,” Tuscany with their “Cecina” and the delicious Sicilian fried ‘Panelle” to name a few. Plus, it’s vegan.
1 ½ cups of chickpea flour
2 cups of water
Extra virgin olive oil
2 medium carrots grated
2 small zucchinis sliced
1 large onion sliced
½ red or yellow bell pepper diced
½ jalapeno sliced (optional, if you like heat, put a whole one)
A handful of baby spinach
1 11” non-stick pan with lid
Place chickpea flour in a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of EVOO olive oil and a teaspoon of sea salt and mix. Add water a little at a time to avoid lumps in the batter. Set aside.
Prepare your veggies (set aside carrots and spinach), and sauté with 1 or 2 tablespoons of extra EVOO olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Let cook for 7 minutes over medium heat. Add carrots and spinach and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Set aside on a plate.
Place an 11” round non-stick pan over medium/low heat. Using a spoon, remove the foam that naturally forms on the surface of your chickpea batter. Pour enough EVOO generously over the pan (this will create a crispy skin). Add the sautéed veggies to the batter and mix. Being very careful not to burn yourself, pour the mix into the hot pan keeping the bowl as close to the pan as possible to prevent splattering.
Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat. Remove lid and check that the FARINATA has settled. If it is still runny, cover and let cook a little longer checking often. Once you see that it doesn’t ‘jiggle,’ use the lid to turn it and cook 10 minutes on the other side.
Enjoy warm or at room temperature. You can use any combination of vegetables and herbs you want—squash, beets, kale, broccoli, cauliflower—go for it!
PASSATO DI VERDURE
Churned vegetable soup
The entire In Fiore team has made this our “go-to soup,” and we recommend it to everyone for high concentrated nutrition. You can use any green vegetable you want—changing with the season, served hot or cold, and finished with an EVOO drizzle.
1 bunch swiss chard
1 bunch spinach
1 bunch dandelion
1 bunch Tuscan kale stems removed (or Russian kale depending on the season)
2 carrots coarsely chopped
1 onion coarsely chopped
5 shallots coarsely chopped
5 cloves of garlic
1 heart of celery, white part only coarsely chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of sea salt (start with 1 tablespoon and add more as desired to taste)
Crushed red pepper - if you like the heat
*You can use string beans, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, watercress, or escarole. The choices are endless.
Place your heaviest stockpot on the stove. Add the oil, the chopped vegetables, and all the greens carefully washed and shredded with your hands. Add the sea salt and the chili pepper and barely cover with water, you can always add more water later. Bring to a slow boil, lower the heat to fairly low, place a lid over the pot, and let cook for 1 to 1½ hours. Do not saute the vegetables and the greens first. It all goes into the pot at the same time. In Italy, this soup is slowly cooked on the side of a fire all day.
Taste for seasoning, remove from heat, and turn into a “passato” using an immersion blender. “Passato” comes from “passa verdure,” meaning hand-churned. You can also add cooked rice, leftover stale whole grain bread, a poached egg, pasta, or broken spaghetti.