Mark Bittman is the food writer for the New York Times. His most recent book is Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes. He has written numerous cookbooks including How to Cook Everything.
Easy Whole Grain Flatbread
1 cup whole wheat flour or cornmeal, or chickpea flour (also called besan; sold in Middle Eastern, Indian, and health food stores)
1 tsp salt
4 Tablespoons olive oil (see the headnote)
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced (optional)
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves (optional)
1. Put the flour into a bowl; add salt; then slowly add 1 1/2 cups water, whisking to eliminate lumps. Cover with a towel, and let sit while oven heats, or as long as 12 hours. The batter should be about the consistency of thin pancake batter.
2. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 450°F. Put the oil in a 12-inch rimmed pizza pan or skillet (along with the onion and rosemary if you’re using them) and put in the heated oven. Wait a couple of minutes for the oil to get hot, but not smoking; the oil is ready when you just start to smell it. Carefully remove the pan (give the onions a stir); then pour in the batter, and return the skillet to the oven. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until the flatbread is well browned, firm, and crisp around the edges. (It will release easily from the pan when it’s done.) Let it rest for a couple minutes before cutting it into wedges or squares.
Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa or other small-kernel grain or 1 cup raw
1 large or 2 medium (about 1 lb) sweet potatoes
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1/4 cup minced red onion or shallot
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic, sherry, or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup minced fresh chives or parsley leaves
1. If you haven’t already, cook the quinoa or other grain. Drain in a strainer and rinse. Meanwhile, peel the sweet potato and dice it into 1/2-inch or smaller pieces. Cook it in boiling salted water to cover until tender, about 15 minutes; drain well.
2. Toss together the potato, quinoa, bell pepper, and onion; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Whisk the oil and vinegar together and toss the salad with about half of this mixture; add all or some of the rest to taste. Taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish with the chives and serve.
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