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Another one of those just-an-idea posts, inspired by an al fresco lunch at Pentimento on Long Island: season and sear fresh tuna; remove from pan and dice; sweat minced garlic and shallots in evoo in same pan; add baby kale (or spinach or other baby greens) and cook until just begins to wilt; add cooked pappardelle pasta, some pasta water, lemon juice, grated parmesan cheese, and more evoo; stir to emulsify and create a sauce; toss in diced tuna at the very last minute just to warm; garnish with sliced scallions and more grated parmesan.

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The restaurant I used to work for created a Tunisian-inspired savory oatmeal. I completely fell in love, and have been making my own version ever since (first blogged here). This one is a perfect springtime recipe that takes advantage of asparagus and sweet green peas, and pairs them with a spicy harissa oil.

1 1/2 c steel-cut oats (use certified gluten-free oats if gluten is an issue)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 c fresh or frozen green peas
2 Tbsp harissa paste
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 stalks medium asparagus, trimmed and thinly sliced on a bias
5 scallions, thinly sliced on a bias
4 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
Lemon juice, for garnish
Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional–omit for a vegan and dairy-free recipe)

1. Prepare oats according to package directions; season with salt and pepper.
2. If using fresh peas, blanch for 2 minutes and place under cold running water to cool. If using frozen, thaw.
3. Combine harissa and oil and set aside.
4. Spoon oatmeal into bowls and top each with asparagus, peas, scallions, pine nuts, lemon juice, harissa oil, and cheese (optional).

Serves 4.

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2 tsp olive oil
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 medium leek, finely chopped (or 1 small onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 slices white bread
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
3 Tbsp Parmesan, grated
1 pound ground meat (lean turkey or beef)
1/2 cup ketchup

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Heat oil over medium heat in a pan and add the carrots, celery, leek, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Cool and add to a medium bowl.
3. Soak the bread in warm water until the bread is very soft. Gently squeeze, leaving a good amount of water in the bread. Place in the bowl.
4. Add the egg, thyme, oregano and Parmesan to the bowl and stir.
5. Add the meat to the bowl and gently mix with your hands until just combined (do not overmix).
6. Form into a loaf on a sheet pan, or place into a loaf pan.
7. Spread ketchup over the top of the meatloaf and cover pan with foil.
8. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

Serve with sauteed hearty greens and mashed cauliflower.

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Note: this recipe was adapted from a recipe my parents made. Theirs, as they claim, was perfectly moist; mine was a bit dried out. I forgot to add tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce, for which I was reprimanded by my mother. I estimate you will need 1/2 cup tomato sauce and 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce. Will try it again soon!