Piccata, Risotto & Focaccia

Time for some fancy foods!  Piccata, risotto and focaccia are all restauranty-sounding dishes to me, things that a few years ago I would have never thought I’d be making for myself.  They also all have double letters that I have a hard time remembering where to put.

Let’s start with the CSA delivery that brought me some of the ingredients:

leaf lettuce, chard, artichokes, collards, asparagus & rosemary

tangerines, beets, shallots, kiwis & apples

It was a lovely coincidence that I saw Lindsay’s post on piccata the very same week I received asparagus, which everyone knows is good with piccata.  Even those of us who’d never tried it before, like me.  She made hers with her chickpea cakes, which I’m sure are good, but I decided to go with the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon, because I love them and it had been a very long time since I made them.  I followed Lindsay’s sauce recipe exactly though.  Like all of her recipes, the sauce is fat-free, so I feel like the end result might have been lacking a little bit of richness you might get from a “normal” piccata.  The sauce was definitely not lacking in flavor though.  In fact, I was quite happy the sauce was fat-free, because I used olive oil on the asparagus and earth balance in the mashed cauliflower.

Yes, I know that mashed potatoes go with piccata and asparagus.  But I like to use cauliflower instead of potatoes sometimes to lighten up a meal.  I chopped up a bit of fresh rosemary to go in the cauliflower, and it lent just the faintest hint of delicious rosemary flavor.  I was suspicious of using fresh rosemary because I’m not a huge fan of dried, but for serious:  fresh is awesome.  And it lasts a lot longer in the fridge than I thought it would.

I have always been intimidated by the thought of making risotto.  You hear about having to stand in front of a pot, stirring forever, and all for some flavored rice?  But I kept seeing risotto pop up on the internets, and it didn’t seem to be such a big deal.  So when the CSA newsletter came with a recipe for Red Chard Risotto, I gave it a whirl.

I had to figure out what “dry white wine” is to make this.  (Google it.)  And I learned that you don’t actually have to stir constantly; just a lot.  It turned out pretty well, but the rice could have been cooked more, and the flavor could use a boost.  So I will rework this soon and have a recipe.  The good news is that I am no longer scared of arborio rice.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the majority of my fresh rosemary, and the only idea that came to mind was focaccia, so I went with it.  I followed the recipe in Veganomicon, subbing half whole wheat flour.

This was very easy to make, and the rosemary flavor is awesome.  I have one question though:  What makes focaccia different from regular ol’ bread just shaped into a disc?  The texture seemed like normal bread.  Not that I’m complaining…I just want to know.

To go with the focaccia, I remade the stuffed collards that I first tried here.

My filling of choice was lentils and tempeh, and the flavor of the filling was great.  It didn’t quite stick together enough to recreate the original though.  I think I have a solution, and I happen to have collards in the fridge, so hopefully with one more tweak I will have a recipe to share.

Speaking of recipes that I’m working on, here’s a sneak peek.

It’s going to be my first recipe contest entry.  It’s fun to be working toward something instead of just cooking whatever I want sometimes.  Can anyone guess what the triangles are?  Hint:  it’s not tofu.


  1. VeggieGirl said

    Fancy deliciousness!!

    Are the triangles polenta??

  2. macie said

    Ohhh, now I’m curious since my first thought was tofu. Hm…

    I’m loving the looks of those stuffed collards! I have a bunch sitting in my fridge right now. I’m usually not ambitious enough to try anything other than just chopping them and cooking them… but now you’ve inspired me! Great looking piccata, risotto, and focaccia!

  3. jessy said

    are the triangles polenta? and all of your “fancy eats” look geat! nice job on tackling a risotta – and i’ve never tried vcon’s focaccia before – i’ve gotta give it a whirl! we’ve made veganyumyum’s focaccia before – but all total, the time to make it is about 5 hours so we save it for special occasions.

    your stuffed collards look wonderful – i really need to try them – and that piccata sauce! mmmmmmmmmmmmm!

    • veganhomemade said

      It’s not polenta, but that’s a very close guess!

  4. fajer said

    ( licking my lips :p ) wow that picture is making me crave risotto.

    it looks like breaded potatoes?!

  5. i love ALL of those things! it’s been far too long since i’ve had focaccia…mmm. my mom used to make it all the time. isn’t it just like…denser and chewier than regular bread? and yeah – fresh rosemary is the best. i have no idea what those triangles are, as i was going to guess polenta as well. hmm!

  6. Carrie said

    I love how you show your CSA delivery and then show what you make with it, you always make such delicious looking things!

  7. Melisser said

    Mmm, make me restauranty foods!

  8. mihl said

    If I had to choose… it would be dificult! But I think I need to try piccata pretty soon.

  9. […] first posted a picture of this dish that I’m working on for a cooking contest here, asking if anyone could identify the triangles, and giving the hint that they’re not […]

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