Meatless Mondays

Yes, you can reap health benefits from one small change—by going vegetarian one day a week. MARK BITTMAN offers delicious recipes that won’t leave you asking, “Where’s the beef?”

By Mark Bittman
meatless mondays, vegetarian, mark bittman
LIGHT AND LUSCIOUS Creamy polenta is topped with browned mushrooms and Brussels sprouts.
Photograph: Levi Brown

¼ cup olive oil, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 pound escarole, roughly chopped
½ cup dry white wine, vegetable
stock or water, plus more if needed
2 cups cooked or canned white beans, drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried Black pepper
8 ounces whole wheat pasta
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Meanwhile, put the oil in another large pot over low heat. Add the -garlic, and cook just until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the escarole and wine, raise the heat to medium high, and cook, stirring once or twice, until the escarole begins to wilt, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the beans, rosemary, a sprinkling of salt and pepper and, if the mixture is sticking, a little more wine. Cook and stir until -everything is hot, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water until it’s tender but not mushy (start tasting after 5 minutes), then drain, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta and the cheese with the escarole mixture, adding just enough of the pasta water to keep it moist. Taste, and adjust the seasoning. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.



Prep time: 50 minutes plus time for dough to sit
Cooking time: 23 minutes
Makes 1 large or 2 small pizza

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed
½ teaspoon instant yeast
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing
1 medium onion, chopped
Black pepper
1 28- to 35-ounce can diced tomatoes,drained, with liquid reserved
6 cups baby-spinach leaves
½ cup pitted and chopped oil-packed black olives
¾ cup (about 3 ounces) grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Combine the flours, yeast and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Stir in 1½ cups water. The dough should be relatively sticky and wet, like biscuit batter. If it isn’t, add a little water. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover, and put in a warm spot. Let the dough
sit for at least 6 hours or up to 12. (The longer it ferments, the more complex the flavor.)

2. Heat the oven to 500°. Generously oil a baking sheet or large ovenproof skillet. Dust your hands with all-purpose flour, and fold the dough over in the bowl a few times. It will be sticky, but resist the urge to use too much flour; dust your hands again only when absolutely necessary, and use a gentle touch. If you’re making small pizzas, divide the dough in half or quarters. Gently press the dough onto the baking sheet or into the skillet; the pizzas needn’t be perfectly round, but avoid tearing the dough.

3. Brush or drizzle the top of the pizza or pizzas with 2 tablespoons oil, cover, and let sit while you make the sauce. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat; when it’s hot, add the onion, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, and cook until the mixture thickens a bit, 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Spread the sauce over the dough, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top
with the spinach, olives, mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake until the crust is crisp and the cheese is melted, usually 8 to 12 minutes. Let stand for several minutes before slicing so the cheese sets.




Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 4

8 poblano chiles
½ cup chopped pumpkin seeds, almonds or walnuts
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing the chiles
½ cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
½ cup chopped scallions
½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Salt and black pepper
Lime wedges, for serving
Tomatillo or tomato salsa, for serving

First Published September 14, 2011

Share Your Thoughts!


ruth 10.05.2011

I love the menu -- too bad its not "meatless Fridays," would be a nice feature for Lent.

Post new comment

Click to add a comment