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Friday, October 24, 2014

Bitter Gourd Scallion Cutlets with Cilantro Kale Pumpkin Seed Pesto




Cold, wet winter days are here. Soups, dampers, casseroles, cutlets, fritters, fresh off the oven or pan, seem to be the remedy to beat the chill.

Salting and sweating the bitter melon, then sautéing the finely chopped bitter melons until well done and slightly mushy, helped remove much of the bitterness for these savory cutlets. Optionally, mash in cooked potatoes, carrots, peas to mask the bitterness.

Cooking on a hot cast iron skillet crisped up the outsides a bit more than I was aiming for, but, it turned out just fine anyway.

I went with raw green pumpkin seeds this time, but, toasted pumpkin seeds work just as well for the pesto. A combination of Cilantro, Kale, Parsley makes a fantastic pesto.


Bitter Gourd Cutlets/Patties
½ large bitter melon, salted, drained, rinsed and chopped finely
¼ red onions finely diced
1 jalapeño or serrano chili diced finely
spring onions chopped
¼ cup chickpea flour
¼ cup rice flour
¼ cup buckwheat flour
¼ cup cream of wheat
¼ cup quick cooking oats
a few teaspoons of water as needed to make dough
salt to taste

Preparation

  1. Finely chop the salted, drained, rinsed bitter melon, chili, and red onions
  2. Heat oil in a pan and sauté the veggies till cooked through and a bit mushy, adding a bit of water as needed
  3. Off heat, stir in the flours, cream of wheat, oats, salt to make a dough that can be shaped into patties, adding a bit of water if needed
  4. Heat a few teaspoons of oil in a cast iron skillet to medium high heat
  5. Cook the cutlets/patties till cooked through on the inside
  6. Serve warm with Cilantro Kale Pumpkin Seed Pesto



Cilantro Kale Pumpkin Seed Pesto
½ cup chopped packed cilantro
½ cup finely chopped kale
¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp roasted sunflower seeds
1 jalapeño, chopped
salt to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 Tbsp lemon juice (adjust to taste)

Combine the ingredients and grind to a fine paste. Adjust salt to taste.

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