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Category: Vegetables

Roasted Mini Sweet Peppers

Roasted Mini Sweet Peppers

Roasted Mini Sweet Peppers

 

1 pint mini peppers (8 oz)

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons Parmesan dry-grated

 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Cut the mini peppers in half lengthwise. I usually leave the stem as I think it’s pretty – but you can cut it off if you wish. The larger mini peppers might have some seeds and membranes – remove those with your fingers or with a paring knife.  Place the peppers in a large bowl. Toss them with the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and Parmesan. Arrange the seasoned mini peppers in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake them until tender, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Roasted Pepper Salad

Roasted Pepper Salad

Roasted Pepper Salad

4 assorted bell peppers (preferably red, yellow, and orange)

 

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

1 T. drained bottled capers, coarsely chopped

1 bunch arugula (1/4 lb), tough stems discarded

 

Preheat broiler. Put bell peppers on rack of broiler pan about 5 inches from heat and broil, turning occasionally with tongs, until skins are blackened, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let stand, covered, until cool enough to handle. Peel peppers over bowl (to catch any liquid) and discard stems and seeds. Cut peppers lengthwise into 1-inch-thick strips and add to liquid in bowl with vinegar, thyme, and capers. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss. Divide arugula among 4 plates. Top with peppers and drizzle with any remaining dressing. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad with Halloumi (Sheet Pan)

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad with Halloumi (Sheet Pan)

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad with Halloumi

 

5 T. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1½ tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. Aleppo-style pepper

½ small head of red cabbage (about 10 oz.), cut into 1″ pieces

1 medium red onion, cut into 8 wedges through root end

1½ lb. winter squash, preferably delicata, halved, seeds removed, sliced crosswise ½” thick

1 large pita bread, split into 2 layers, cut or torn into 1½”–2″ pieces

8 oz. Halloumi cheese, cut into 1″ pieces

2 T. apple cider vinegar

1½ tsp. ground sumac

Mint sprigs (for serving)

 

Preheat oven to 425°. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with 1 Tbsp. oil. Mix garlic, salt, Aleppo-style pepper, and 3 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl. Add cabbage, onion, and squash and toss to coat. Spread out on prepared baking sheet (keep bowl handy) and roast until squash is browned underneath, 25–30 minutes. Toss pita, Halloumi, and remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in reserved bowl. Scatter over vegetables, then turn vegetables over with a large spatula. Roast until squash is fork-tender and cabbage, onion, pita, and Halloumi are browned in spots (cheese should be soft inside), 15–20 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with vinegar. Top with sumac and mint.

Grilled Mushrooms with Rosemary-Lemon Basting Butter & Variations

Grilled Mushrooms with Rosemary-Lemon Basting Butter & Variations

Grilled Mushrooms with Rosemary-Lemon Basting Butter & Variations

 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon pepper, divided

1 pound white, cremini, shiitake, portobello, oyster, maitake, and/or king oyster mushrooms, at least 2 inches wide

½ teaspoon vegetable oil

¼ teaspoon table salt

 

Use any mix of mushrooms you like, as long as the caps measure at least 2 inches in diameter. A grill basket is helpful here but not essential. These mushrooms make a great accompaniment to other grilled foods. The parcooked mushrooms can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

 

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add soy sauce, rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, and ½ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is simmering and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover to keep warm until ready to use. Trim tough ends of stems on white and cremini mushrooms and cut in half. Remove stems from shiitake mushrooms. Remove stems from portobello mushrooms and halve caps if smaller than 4 inches; quarter if larger. Trim oyster and maitake mushrooms and tear into 2- to 2½-inch pieces. Trim stems on king oyster mushrooms and slice crosswise ¾ inch thick. Combine mushrooms and ½ cup water in bowl. Cover and microwave for 1 minute. Stir well; re-cover; and microwave until mushrooms have reduced in size by about one-third and liquid has increased to almost 1 cup, about 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes to finish cooking. Drain well. Dry bowl and return mushrooms to bowl. Let stand at room temperature while preparing grill. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter three-quarters filled with charcoal briquettes (about 4½ quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high; cover; and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s). Clean and oil cooking grate. Toss mushrooms with oil, salt, and remaining ½ teaspoon pepper. Arrange mushrooms on hotter side of grill. Cook (covered if using gas), flipping mushrooms every 2 minutes, until well browned on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes. Carefully brush mushrooms with half of basting butter and continue to cook until butter is sizzling and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer to bowl with remaining basting butter and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

 

Garlic-Parsley Basting Butter

 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon pepper

 

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add Worcestershire, parsley, garlic, and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is simmering and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover to keep warm until ready to use.

 

 

Ginger-Miso Basting Butter

 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon white miso

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon pepper

 

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add miso, soy sauce, ginger, and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is simmering and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover to keep warm until ready to use.

Budín de Zanahoria (Mexican Carrot Custard)

Budín de Zanahoria (Mexican Carrot Custard)

Budín de Zanahoria (Mexican Carrot Custard)

With its sweet, savory, and tangy flavors plus a wonderfully creamy texture that kids love, it’s a great comfort food for any season. The concept works with many different vegetables, so you might want to make budín de camote (sweet potato), budín de maíz (fresh corn), or budín de calabaza (squash or pumpkin), depending on what you have handy.

2 pounds fresh carrots

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup finely chopped piloncillo (This is a Mexican raw sugar, but you can substitute brown sugar, Sucanat, rapadura, granulated palm sugar, or maple syrup)

3 eggs

1/2 cup sour cream (plus extra for garnish)

3/4 cup rice flour (can substitute white flour)

1 teaspoon fine salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated

1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg

 

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Cut carrots into big chunks and steam until completely tender, almost falling apart. Transfer into another pot or bowl and mash with a potato masher, fork, or whisk. Combine melted butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until sugar is dissolved or incorporated (I recommend using an electric hand mixer if you have one. You could also use a food processor or a whisk). Add the eggs and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Mix in the sour cream. Add in the steamed mashed carrots and beat until completely incorporated. Mix or sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder, then add to the carrot mixture. Beat for another minute or two until everything is completely incorporated. Stir in the cheese and the nutmeg. Pour custard into a buttered baking dish, then bake until set, about 45 minutes. Serve hot with sour cream on the side.

Cauliflower Wedge

Cauliflower Wedge

Cauliflower Wedge

 

2 small, compact-looking heads cauliflower (1  1/4 to 1  1/2 pounds each)

3 Tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil, plus more for frying capers

Coarse or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup (35 grams) finely grated Parmesan

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 1/2 tablespoons (25 ml) white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons (20 grams) currants

2 tablespoons (25 grams) capers, brined variety

1 scallion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

 

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Trim the outer leaves from the cauliflower, then slice the heads in quarters through the stem. Coat a large foil-lined baking sheet with 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. Arrange the cauliflower wedges with the cut side down. Drizzle another tablespoon of olive oil over the top of the cauliflower. Season it generously with salt and pepper. Roast on one cut side until nicely browned underneath (15 to 20 minutes), then flip each piece onto its other cut side, sprinkle with more salt and pepper and half of the Parmesan (don’t worry if some lands on the tray) and return to the oven to roast for another 10 minutes, until browned. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and return the baking tray to the oven for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the top layer of cheese is fricoed.  While the cauliflower is roasting, place the lemon juice, vinegar, and V4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Add the currants; set aside and let them soak while you prepare the other ingredients.  Drain the capers and spread them on paper towels until most of their moisture has wicked out, about 5 minutes. Pour 1/2 inch of olive oil, or another oil that you prefer to fry in, in your tiniest skillet or saucepan. Heat it over medium-high heat. When it’s hot enough so a droplet of water makes the oil hiss, carefully add the capers and take a step back! They’re going to sputter a bit for the first 10 seconds. Once it’s safe to get closer, give them a stir. Depending on how dry the capers were at the start, it can take 1 to 2 minutes for them to get first lightly golden at the edges, and then crispy. Remove the capers from the oil with a slotted spoon. Drain them on paper towels, and set aside. Arrange the cauliflower wedges, any loose cauliflower rubble, and any fricoed bits of Parmesan from the roasting pan on a platter. Sprinkle with the scallions, then the currants with their lemon-vinegar mixture, then the capers and parsley. Eat with a fork and knife while standing at the kitchen counter, and order takeout for your family; I won’t tell if you don’t.

Peas with Nasturtium Blossoms and Mache Lettuce

Peas with Nasturtium Blossoms and Mache Lettuce

Peas with Nasturtium Blossoms and Mache Lettuce

 

1 clove Garlic, sliced in fine slivers

1 teaspoon Olive Oil

1 tablespoon fresh Dill, torn from stems

1/3 cup shelled peas

1-2 cups Mache lettuce

6 to 8 Nasturtium blossoms

 

In a medium skillet, heat olive oil.  Add garlic, dill and peas, sauté for 2 minutes. Toss in the Mache lettuce, sauté just until wilted.  Add Nasturtium blossoms and stir for about 10 seconds. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and serve immediately.

Pickled Kohlrabi

Pickled Kohlrabi

Pickled Kohlrabi

 

Pickling Mixture

3/4 c white vinegar

1 1/4 c water

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dill seed

1 teaspoon mustard seed

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

 

Peel and slice 3 kohlrabi, 1/4 inch thick. Peel one carrot and slice into thin sticks. Parboil the carrot briefly (should yield to a fork but not be soft). Place raw kohlrabi, carrot, 2 crushed garlic cloves, 1 bay leaf, and a sprig of fresh dill into a quart canning jar. Heat pickling mixture to boiling and pour over the vegetable mixture in the jar, filling the jar completely. Let cool, then refrigerate for 3-4 days before use. Will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.

Mascarpone-Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Mascarpone-Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Mascarpone-Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Raspberry Vinaigrette

 

¹⁄³ cup fresh raspberries

¹⁄³ cup chopped shallots

¼ cup raspberry vinegar

½ cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¹⁄³ cup mascarpone cheese

1 tsp. minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

½ tsp. minced fresh thyme

12 fresh squash blossoms, pistils removed

Vegetable oil, for frying

½ cup all-purpose flour

 

Beer Batter

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 cup dark Mexican beer

 

Combine the raspberries, shallots, and vinegar in a blender or food processor, and process to form a coarse puree. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil. Season the vinaigrette with salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside.  Mix the mascarpone, chipotle chiles and sauce, and thyme in a small bowl. Season the filling to taste with salt and pepper. Place the filling in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch tip. Pipe the filling into each squash blossom and twist the blossom at the top to enclose it. Place a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and add enough vegetable oil to reach one third of the way up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil to 350°F. Dust the squash blossoms in the flour and then dip them into the beer batter. Working in batches, fry the squash blossoms for 3 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Transfer them to paper towels to drain. Arrange the squash blossoms on a platter, drizzle with the raspberry vinaigrette, and serve. Prep Beer Batter: Mix the flour, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually add the beer while whisking. Set the batter aside and let it rest for 15 minutes before using. Tip: No pastry bag? No worries. Put the filling in a plastic bag and cut a 1/4-inch hole in one of the corners.

Roasted Fennel & Peppers

Roasted Fennel & Peppers

Roasted Fennel & Peppers

 

2 fennel bulbs, halved and sliced

2 medium sweet red peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage

Fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced, optional

Place the fennel, peppers, onion and garlic in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with salt, pepper and rubbed sage. Toss to coat. Bake, uncovered, at 425° until tender, 20-25 minutes, stirring twice. Garnish with fresh sage if desired.

 

Yield: 6 servings; 2/3 cup each

Calories: 67

Fat: 3g fat

Fiber: 4g

Artichokes with Bay Leaves and Lime

Artichokes with Bay Leaves and Lime

Artichokes with Bay Leaves and Lime

 

4 medium artichokes with tightly packed leaves

12 large fresh (not dried) bay leaves

6 to 8 T. olive oil

Juice of 1 lime

Fleur de sel or salt of your choice

 

Trim back the stocks of the artichokes, snip the outer edges of the leaves and trim the top. Cut the bay leaves in half lengthwise. Tuck the bay leaves into the artichoke leaves, distributing them evenly and hiding them well. Wrap each artichoke in several rounds of plastic wrap. Fill a stockpot or deep saucepan half-full with unsalted water and bring it to a boil. Have ready a saucepan lid that is slightly smaller than the stockpot and a weight, such as a small, heavy saucepan. Lower the artichokes into the boiling water. Submerge them with the saucepan lid held in place by the weight. Simmer the artichokes until tender enough that a small sharp knife easily pierces the base, about 30 minutes. Remove the artichokes from the water with a slotted spoon and leave them to cool in their plastic wrap for 1 hour. Meanwhile, make a vinaigrette by mixing the olive oil and the lime juice. Put this in a sauceboat and set aside. To serve, unwrap the artichokes and arrange them on 4 small plates, adding a small mound of good sea salt beside each. Pass the vinaigrette for people to use as they wish.

Fireweed Pickles

Fireweed Pickles

Fireweed Pickles

 

1 lb. fresh fireweed shoots

FOR THE BRINE:

1 T. mustard seeds

1 tsp. peppercorns

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

2 T. sea salt (or canning and pickling salt)

 

In a saucepan, combine all brine ingredients and bring to a boil. Then remove from heat. Rinse the fireweed shoots well. Sterilize your jars, either one quart, two pint jars, or four half-pint jars. Pack your jars tightly with the fireweed shoots and cover with the brine to 1/2 inch from top of jar. As you add the brine, you might be able to fit in more fireweed. Cover and cool in the refrigerator. Serve pickles with cheese and crackers, or salmon and cream cheese, or add to a spring omelet. Store jars in the refrigerator, and use within one month for best quality.

Chive Corn Pudding

Chive Corn Pudding

Chive Corn Pudding

 

2 ears corn, husks and silks removed; or 2 cups frozen corn thawed

2 cups 1-percent milk

2 T. low-fat sour cream

2 eggs

2 T. flour

1 T. sugar

2 T. minced chives

1/2 cup low-fat cheddar cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If using fresh corn, use a sharp knife to scrape the corn from the cob.  Combine the corn with the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Spray a casserole dish with nonstick spray. Pour the corn pudding into the casserole dish.  Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes until pudding is set and tester put in the center comes out clean.

Collard Greens in Coconut Milk

Collard Greens in Coconut Milk

Collard Greens in Coconut Milk

 

1 14-ounce can coconut milk

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 T. peeled, minced fresh ginger

½ tsp. crushed red pepper

2 bunches collard greens, washed, stems removed, and torn

½ tsp. salt, or to taste

½ tsp. freshly ground pepper, or to taste

 

Pour a quarter cup of the coconut milk into a large, heavy skillet, and place over medium heat until it simmers. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper; sauté for 3 minutes. Add the greens and pour in the remaining coconut milk, stirring to coat the greens. Cover and simmer until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper.

Fennel And Jicama Salad

Fennel And Jicama Salad

Fennel And Jicama Salad

 

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)

3 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3/4 tsp. flaky sea salt, or to taste

1 tsp. pink peppercorns, lightly crushed with your fingers, plus more for garnish

1 large fennel bulb, halved, cored and thinly sliced, fronds reserved

1 small jicama (about 1 1/4 pounds), peeled, halved and cut into thin matchsticks

1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped

1/3 cup black olives, pitted and sliced

1 ounce Feta cheese, crumbled

coarsely cracked black pepper

 

Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and add hot water to cover. Set aside for about 20 minutes, then drain and thinly slice them. Meanwhile, in a small, lidded jar, combine the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pink peppercorns. Cover and shake until emulsified. Finely chop the fennel fronds to make ¼ cup and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the fennel, jicama, cucumber, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Stir in the fennel fronds and cheese, finish with a little salt, a couple of grinds of pepper, and a sprinkling of pink peppercorns lightly crushed between your fingers. Spoon into bowls and serve.

Charred Asparagus End Pesto

Charred Asparagus End Pesto

Charred Asparagus End Pesto

 

1/4 C. plus 1 T. extra virgin olive oil

1-to 2-inch ends cut from the bottom of 1 bunch of asparagus

1 C. loosely packed fresh shiso or basil leaves

1/1 C. pine nuts, toasted

1 garlic clove, minced

1/j C. finely grated pecorino Romano cheese

1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice

 

This recipe is for the ends of middle-of-the-road asparagus: If the ends are extremely woody, they’re best saved for stock. And if the ends don’t seem very woody at all, you might just want to peel the ends of your stalks instead and save those peelings for tempura)! This is a thick pesto, meant for tossing with hot pasta or smearing on sandwiches. I also think it would make an excellent dip (maybe mixed with softened cream cheese). Thin it out with additional olive oil to use it as dressing. Shiso is a Japanese herb in the mint family; I think of it as basil’s Asian cousin (basil is also the best substitute should you not be able to find shiso). Look for shiso in the produce section of Asian grocery stores or at your local farmers market. Since it can sometimes be hard to find, I opt to grow my own supply. If you can find shiso leaves,. they’ll quickly grow roots when their stems are placed in a glass of water on a windowsill. After they do, plant them. I’ve also grown shiso from seeds procured online and from small plants found at my local farmers market – both options work well.  In a medium-size heavy skillet, heat 1 T. of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus ends to the hot pan, and let them cook, undisturbed, until the side touching the pan chars, 3 to 5 minutes. Move them around a bit to expose another side to the heat, and let them cook, undisturbed, until they are charred on all sides and can be easily pierced with a knife, another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool slightly. Using a knife, finely chop the asparagus ends. This is important: If you try to skip this step, the food processor will shred the cooked ends and you’ll have stringy pesto. Add the chopped asparagus ends, shiso, pine nuts, and garlic to a mini food processor and pulse to process all ingredients, scraping down the bowl a couple of times as needed. Then add the cheese and lemon juice and pulse a few more times. Finally, add the rest of the olive oil and process again until smooth. The pesto is at its best when used immediately, so the basil doesn’t discolor, but can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Stir-fried Dandelion Greens with Duck Fat and Garlic

Stir-fried Dandelion Greens with Duck Fat and Garlic

Stir-fried Dandelion Greens with Duck Fat and Garlic

If you’ve cooked with duck fat before, you can jump into this simple recipe with gusto because you’ve experienced duck fat as the culinary gem that it is. Its unctuous and rich flavor is worth going that little bit out of your way for. Believe it or not, it’s close to olive oil on the health meter. You can buy containers of duck fat at fine grocers, or you can buy a duck, render the trimmed fat, and have a lovely duck ready to roast another night.

 

For the Duck-Fat-Roasted Garlic

1 cup rendered duck fat

12 garlic cloves, tough stem ends removed

Place the duck fat and garlic in a small heavy-bottomed sauté pan over low heat. Slowly bring the mixture to a simmer. The garlic will burn quickly, so keep an eye on it. If it cooks too much, it will taste bitter and unpleasant. Cook until the garlic is just turning light golden brown. Turn off the heat and let the garlic cool in the duck fat, about 30 minutes. The cloves will continue to brown as they sit in the fat.  Remove the garlic cloves from the duck fat. Store the garlic and duck fat separately in the refrigerator in covered containers for up to 1 week. Let stand at room temperature about 1 hour before using.

 

 

2 bunches dandelion greens (about 1 pound)

2 T. rendered duck fat

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

12 cloves duck-fat-roasted garlic (above)

Trim the tough ends from the dandelion greens and discard. Wash the greens thoroughly and drain.

 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the greens into the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Drain in a colander. When the greens are cool enough to handle, place them on a cutting board and cut into 2-inch ribbons. (young tender greens need not be blanched).  Heat the duck fat in a large sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the fat is hot, add the greens, stirring to coat with the fat. Add the salt, pepper, and garlic cloves. Cook, stirring frequently, until the greens are just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Hunan Bean Sprout Salad

Hunan Bean Sprout Salad

Hunan Bean Sprout Salad

 

2 T. Sesame seeds

1 pound Fresh bean sprouts thoroughly washed and drained

3 md Garlic cloves peeled and minced

2 md Scallions −− trimmed & minced

1 1″ cube ginger peeled and minced

2 T. Oriental sesame oil

1/3 cup Soy sauce

2 T. Cider vinegar

1 T. Mirin (sweet rice wine)

2 tsp. Light brown sugar

1 tsp. Spicy sesame oil or Chinese chili oil

 

Fresh bean sprouts are a must for this recipe from China’s Hunan province. The canned variety don’t have the requisite crispness. Keep a close eye on the toasting sesame seeds so they don’t burn.  PREHEAT OVEN TO 300F. Toast the sesame seeds by spreading them over the bottom of a pie tin. Roast for 12−to−16 minutes, stirring often, until they are golden. The seeds can be toasted in advance and stored in an airtight container. Place the bean sprouts in a large heatproof bowl and set it aside. In a medium−size skillet set over moderately low heat, stir−fry the garlic, scallions and ginger in the oil for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are limp. Add all the remaining ingredients, increase the heat to moderate, then boil the mixture, uncovered, for 1 minute to slightly reduce the liquid. Pour the boiling dressing over the bean sprouts, toss well, then cover the bowl and chill the salad for several hours. Toss again before serving.

Asian Coleslaw

Asian Coleslaw

Asian Coleslaw

 

1 medium head green cabbage

1 medium head red cabbage

3 T. sea salt

3 large carrots

1/4 cup minced scallions

1 T. toasted sesame seeds

 

2/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 1/2 T. dark-roasted sesame oil

 

Discard the outer leaves of cabbages. Cut heads in quarters; remove and discard cores. Slice cabbage thinly or shred in a food processor. Layer the cabbage in a large bowl with the sea salt. Toss to distribute salt evenly and let cabbage sit for 1 hour to soften.  Meanwhile, peel the carrots and grate them into thin shreds.  Drain off any liquid produced by the cabbage and rinse the cabbage well in several changes of cold water to remove excess salt. Taste the cabbage; if it is still too salty, rinse it again.  Add carrots to the cabbage and mix well.  Whisk the rice vinegar, brown sugar and sesame oil together in a small bowl.  Pour the dressing over the cabbage and mix well. Let chill. Garnish with minced scallions and toasted sesame seeds before serving.

Fried Squash Blossoms with Mint and Goat Cheese

Fried Squash Blossoms with Mint and Goat Cheese

Fried Squash Blossoms with Mint and Goat Cheese

 

For the blossoms:

 

14 to 16 large zucchini squash blossoms

3/4 cup/6 ounces fresh soft goat cheese or whole-milk ricotta

1/2 cup/4 ounces mascarpone or crème fraîche

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1 to 2 T. fresh chopped mint and basil, plus more for garnish

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

 

For the Batter and Frying:

 

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

About 1/2 cup chilled seltzer or other unflavored sparkling water

About 3/4 cup vegetable oil, for frying

Optional: fresh tomato sauce, for serving

 

Carefully open each blossom and remove stamen; set aside. Combine goat cheese (or ricotta) with mascarpone (or crème fraîche) and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Stir in mint and basil and season with salt and pepper. Gently stuff blossoms with cheese-herb mixture, twisting end of blossom to close. NOTE: You might have some cheese mixture leftover; if so, stir into a pasta sauce or spread on toast and eat with tomatoes. Make batter by combining flour, cornstarch, and baking powder with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Whisk in beaten egg and sparkling water, adding a bit at a time, until batter is well-combined and is the consistency of heavy cream or a loose pancake batter. Pour oil to about a half inch into a large (10-inch) heavy skillet and heat to about 365° (or until oil begins to shimmer but not smoke; add a bit of batter to test oil. The batter should bubble and float). Fry blossoms, in two batches, if necessary, turning over once until golden, about 2 minutes total time. Place on a paper-towel-lined cooling rack or plate. Sprinkle while hot with a bit of Parmesan or salt, such as Maldon or other finishing salt. If serving with sauce, spoon some fresh tomato sauce on bottom of plate and top with squash blossoms. Eat at once.  Notes: To prepare blossoms, gently open the blossom (they might tear, but that’s OK) and pull out stamen. Rinse gently and place in a paper towel-lined colander. Pat dry.

Spring Ragout of Artichoke Hearts, Fava Beans, Peas and Baby Turnips

Spring Ragout of Artichoke Hearts, Fava Beans, Peas and Baby Turnips

Spring Ragout of Artichoke Hearts, Fava Beans, Peas and Baby Turnips

A ragout is basically a well-seasoned stew. This one takes its flavor from the tarragon, which brings out the best in the array of seasonal vegetables.

 

8 cloves garlic, whole and unpeeled

2 pounds fresh fava beans in pods, shelled

Ice cubes

4 T. nonhydrogenated margarine (divided)

4 trimmed and cooked artichoke hearts, halved or quartered, depending on size (see note)

12 baby turnips, peeled

1 cup vegetable broth

1 pound English peas in pods, shelled (or 1 cup frozen, thawed)

2 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh tarragon

1 T. finely chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

 

Put the garlic in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring slowly to a boil over low-medium heat, then drain. Slip the skins off each clove and set aside in a bowl. Refill the saucepan with water and return to a boil over high heat. Drop the fava beans into the boiling water for 1 minute. Immediately drain in a colander and transfer to a bowl of ice-cold water. Then peel the beans. Reserve until needed. Melt half of the margarine in a sauté pan over a medium heat. Once it starts to froth, add the artichoke pieces, turnips and peeled garlic, and sauté until the artichoke pieces become flecked with golden-brown color. Add the vegetable broth and peas, then cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover, scatter with the beans and herbs, and shake gently to mix; there should be very little liquid remaining in the pan. If it still looks too wet, increase the heat to high and continue to shake the pan. Add the reserved margarine to form a small amount of sauce. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and freshly ground pepper as needed. Serve at once.

Note: To prepare artichoke hearts, cut off and discard all but 1 inch of the stem. Peel remaining stem, rubbing cut artichoke flesh with lemon to avoid discoloring. Remove tough outer leaves (discard, or reserve for steaming and eating separately) until you get to the tender, slightly yellow leaves. Pull off the soft leaves to reveal the fuzzy choke. Using a spoon, scoop out the choke and discard, rubbing exposed flesh with more lemon. Use a paring knife to cut off any tough, dark green parts clinging to the outside of the heart. In a stainless steel or enamel-coated cast-iron Dutch oven filled with a couple of inches of water and lined with a steamer insert, steam artichoke hearts until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Herb-Filled Peppers on Warm Crusty Bread

Herb-Filled Peppers on Warm Crusty Bread

Herb-Filled Peppers on Warm Crusty Bread

 

2 large Bell Peppers, cut in half, seeds and membrane removed

5oz. Broad Beans in pods, shelled

40g Butter

2 cloves of garlic, minced

60g onion, minced

2 handfuls of Sorrel, finely chopped

½ bunch Cilantro

30g chervil

30g basil

30g chives

2 T. Olive Oil

Baguette

Parmesan

Fluer de Sel

 

To skin the broad beans, plunge them into lightly salted boiling water for 3 minutes, then refresh in cold water, and drain. Remove and discard the skins. Chop the beans finely and set aside. To assemble the filling, melt the butter in a sauté pan over low heat. When the butter starts to foam, add the garlic and onion and. after a few minutes the broad beans. When these ingredients have softened slightly, add the sorrel, the coriander, chervil, basil and chives, and stir to distribute the ingredients evenly. Season to taste with salt, then set aside to cool on a plate. To make the peppers easy to peel, blister their skins evenly beneath a hot grill, turning them with a skewer. Wrap them briefly in a cold damp kitchen towel, then peel them. Spoon the filling into the peppers and transfer them to a shallow roasting pan smeared with the olive oil. Bake in a preheated 200’C (400°F, Gas Mark 6) oven. When – after about 20 minutes the filling is cooked, remove the peppers from the oven and turn it off.  Cut the bread in half lengthways, then across, to make 4 rectangles about 13cm (5inches) long. Put the peppers on top and return them, in the roasting pan. to the warm oven for 30 minutes, leaving the door of the oven wide open. Just before serving, adjust the seasoning and scalier with shavings of Parmesan. Offer the peppers with a mesclun salad

Fritto Misto of Fiddleheads, Ramps and Asparagus with Meyer Lemon Aioli

Fritto Misto of Fiddleheads, Ramps and Asparagus with Meyer Lemon Aioli

Fritto Misto of Fiddleheads, Ramps and Asparagus with Meyer Lemon Aioli

 

1 large or 2 small garlic cloves

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Finely grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon

2 T. fresh Meyer lemon juice

4 quarts peanut or vegetable oil

3 C. unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup cake flour

1 large egg

2 C. buttermilk

1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 to 2 pounds mixed fiddleheads, ramps (or green onions) and asparagus, cleaned and patted dry

 

Place the oil in a 6- to 8-quart pot and heat it to 375°F. Sift together the all-purpose and cake flours and place them in a wide bowl or on a platter. Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, salt, and pepper in a large shallow bowl. While the oil is healing, prepare the vegetables, making sure that they are dry before coating. To avoid gluey fingers, use one hand for wet dipping and the other for dry. Working with a few pieces of the vegetables at a time, dip them into the buttermilk mixture, coating them well. Lift them out, letting the excess buttermilk drip off, then drop them into the flour mixture, working quickly to coat them evenly with the flour. Shake off any excess flour and lay the vegetables in a single layer on a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Continue until all die vegetables are coated. When the oil is hot, carefully add the vegetables to the pot but do not overcrowd. Fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Give the vegetables a stir as they fry, turning any that are browning unevenly. Using a slotted spoon or flat strainer, remove the vegetables and place on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Hold in a warm place while frying the rest of the vegetables. Be sure to bring the oil back up to temperature before adding the next batch. Serve warm with the Meyer Lemon Aioli.   Note: Coating 20-25 minutes ahead of time makes the coating adhere better when frying.

 

Meyer Lemon Aioli

 

½ C. EVOO

½ C. Olive Oil

1 lg. Garlic Clove

1 tsp. Salt

1 Egg

1 Egg Yolk

Zest from Meyer Lemon

2 T. fresh Meyer Lemon Juice

 

Combine the extra virgin olive oil and the pure olive oil in a measuring cup with a spout. Place the garlic and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the garlic is finely minced and beginning to liquefy. Add the whole egg and egg yolk. Process for 30 seconds. With the machine running, slowly begin to drizzle in the oil. As the mixture thickens, the oil can be added a little more quickly. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice and process briefly to mix in. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. If the aioli is too stiff, add water in ½ tsp. increments to thin.

Fritto Misto of Ramps, Asparagus, Fiddleheads with Citrus Mint Aioli

Fritto Misto of Ramps, Asparagus, Fiddleheads with Citrus Mint Aioli

Fritto Misto of Ramps, Asparagus, Fiddleheads with Citrus Mint Aioli

4 C. canola oil

2 C. all-purpose flour

¼ cup cornstarch

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

Zest of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 lime

½- 1 cup ice cold club soda, diluted with 2 T. lemon juice

1 ½ to 2 pounds mixed fiddleheads, ramps (or green onions) and asparagus, cleaned and dried

Maldon salt, to season

Citrus Mint Aioli, to serve (recipe follows)

 

Place the oil in a 6- to 8-quart pot and heat it to 375ËšF. In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and baking powder. Add salt and citrus zest and mix well. Slowly add in water or club soda until the consistency is like a loose pancake batter. Once the oil has come to temperature, working with a few pieces of the vegetables at a time, dip them into the batter, coating them well and letting the excess drip off, before adding to hot oil. Working in batches, place vegetables in oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pot and fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables and place on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with maldon salt. Hold in a warm place while frying the rest of the vegetables. Be sure to bring the oil back up to temperature before adding the next batch. Serve warm with the citrus mint aioli.

 

Citrus Mint Aioli

 

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

¼ cup fresh mint, chopped

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Juice and zest of 1 lime

½ cup canola oil

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

 

Place garlic, salt, egg and egg yolk in a blender and blend until smooth. Add mint and combine. Slowly stream in half the oil and then add citrus juice and zest and then continue to add the rest of the oil until thick and emulsified. Adjust with salt, if needed. Serve with fritto misto.

Crispy Lemon Parmesan Zucchini Chips with Basil Aioli

Crispy Lemon Parmesan Zucchini Chips with Basil Aioli

Crispy Lemon Parmesan Zucchini Chips with Basil Aioli

 

2 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1/2 C. flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 C. panko breadcrumbs

1/2 C. parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated

1 T. lemon zest

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 C. mayonnaise

1/4 C. basil

 

Dredge the zucchini slices in flour, dip them in the egg, and coat them in the mixture of the breadcrumb, parmesan, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Fry the coated zucchini slices in oil until lightly golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side or place them on a wire rack on a baking pan, spray lightly with oil and bake in a preheated 425F/220C oven until lightly golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Puree the mayonnaise and basil and serve with the zucchini chips.

Quick-Pickled Stems

Quick-Pickled Stems

Quick-Pickled Stems

8 to 12 stems from braising greens, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 clove garlic

½ tsp. coriander or mustard seed

½ C. apple cider or white wine vinegar

½ C. water

1 ½ tsp. salt

 

Pack the trimmed stems into a clean pint jar. Add the garlic and coriander or mustard seed. In a small saucepan set over high heat, combine the vinegar, water, and salt. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the salt. Pour the brine over the stems. Cover the jar and let cool to room temperature. Tighten the lid and refrigerate for at least 2 days before eating. They’ll keep in the fridge for about 3 weeks.

 

Cauliflower steak with mushrooms and anchovy

Cauliflower steak with mushrooms and anchovy

Cauliflower steak with mushrooms and anchovy

 

One 2-ounce (45 g) tin of anchovies in olive oil, drained

3⁄4 C. (200 g) butter (at room temperature), plus extra

½ pound (200 g) French fingerling potatoes, halved

Olive oil

2 garlic cloves, one crushed and one halved

Salt and pepper, to taste

½ bunch of rosemary

1 large cauliflower

1 tsp. nutmeg

1½ C. (150 g) mixed mushrooms (such as oyster, beech, and chestnut mushrooms), chopped into pieces

½ C. (50 g) roasted pecans, coarsely chopped

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Combine the anchovy fillets with the butter in a food processor until it forms a thick mass. Scoop the mixture onto plastic wrap and roll it into a neat, thick tube. Let it set in the fridge. Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drizzle with olive oil, and rub in the crushed garlic with your hands. Season with salt and pepper and scatter the sprigs of rosemary on top. Roast the potatoes for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Meanwhile, cut two large, flat “steaks” from the middle of the cauliflower. Rub both sides with the garlic halves and sprinkle with nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Melt the extra butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the cauliflower steaks, flipping them regularly, for a total of 5 minutes on each side. Add the mushrooms halfway through the cooking time. Take the anchovy butter out of the fridge and cut into slices. Serve each cauliflower steak with a slice of anchovy butter, along with the roasted potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, and pecans.: The remaining anchovy butter will keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. It’s great on toast or on a baguette!

Oven Roasted Baby Turnips with a Lemon & Herb Vinaigrette

Oven Roasted Baby Turnips with a Lemon & Herb Vinaigrette

Oven Roasted Baby Turnips with a Lemon & Herb Vinaigrette

 

1 lb (1/2 kilo) of baby turnips, washed and with stalks trimmed short

2 T. hi temp cooking oil such as avocado or grape seed

 

1/2 T. of freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ tsp. of finely grated lemon zest

1 tsp. of Dijon mustard

1 T. of finely chopped shallot

2 heaped T. of chopped parsley

A pinch or two of sugar

4 T. extra-virgin olive oil

 

Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients together and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 425F / 220C and put a roasting pan in the oven to heat. Cut the turnips in half lengthwise, toss them with the two T. of avocado oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange the turnips in the preheated pan and roast for 18-25 minutes or until tender and tinged brown in patches. Transfer them turnips to a bowl, allow them to cool a bit then toss them with the vinaigrette. Serve warm or at room temp. If you make them ahead, cover and chill in the fridge but bring them back to room temp before serving.

Quick Pickled Fennel

Quick Pickled Fennel

Quick Pickled Fennel

Fennel for pickling should be free of blemishes and soft spots; choose bulbs that are firm, small, and bright white in color. This pickled fennel cannot be processed for long-term storage.

 

3/4 C. seasoned rice vinegar

1/4 C. water

1 (1‑inch) strip orange zest

1 garlic clove, peeled and halved

1/4 tsp. fennel seeds

1/8 tsp. black peppercorns

1/8 tsp. yellow mustard seeds

1 fennel bulb, stalks discarded, bulb halved, cored, and cut crosswise into 1/4‑inch-thick slices

 

Bring vinegar, water, garlic, turmeric, peppercorns, and mustard seeds to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring vinegar, water, zest, garlic, fennel seeds, peppercorns, and mustard seeds to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, place one 1‑pint jar under hot running water until heated through, about 1 minute; dry thoroughly. Pack fennel into hot jar. Using funnel and ladle, pour hot brine over fennel to cover. Let jar cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Cover jar with lid and refrigerate for at least 2 1/2 hours before serving. (Pickled fennel can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks; fennel will soften significantly after 3 weeks.) This cannot be processed for long term storage.

Low Carb Baked Zucchini Casserole

Low Carb Baked Zucchini Casserole

Low Carb Baked Zucchini Casserole

 

40 ounces (approximately) Zucchini, large, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 tsp. Salt

2 T. Butter

5 ounces Onion, diced

2 cloves Garlic, minced

½ C. Heavy Cream

6 ounces Gruyere Cheese, grated and divided

4 ounces Parmesan Cheese, grated and divided

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Prepare zucchini by slicing it and then lightly salting it on both sides. Place the salted zucchini slices on a layer of paper towels and let sit for 15 minutes before flipping and letting sit for another 15 minutes. This will remove the excess water from the zucchini before baking. In a baking dish place the prepared zucchini slices in rows one on top of another until the dish is filled. Set dish aside.

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes until it begins to soften. Then add garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Pour the heavy cream into the pan stirring until it begins to bubble. Add 2 ounces of Parmesan cheese and 4 ounces of Gruyere cheese to the heavy cream, onions, and garlic. Stir together until the cheese melts. Pour the cheese sauce over the zucchini spreading it evenly over the zucchini. Cover the casserole dish with foil and place in the oven and bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil, top with the remaining Gruyere and Parmesan cheese and bake for 5 minutes more or until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the zucchini is tender. Remove from oven and serve.

Winter Slaw with Maple Vinaigrette

Winter Slaw with Maple Vinaigrette

Winter Slaw with Maple Vinaigrette

 

1 small butternut squash, about 1 lb., seeded and cubed

4 medium carrots, peeled

2 medium turnips, peeled

3 parsnips, peeled

1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut in wedges

4 T. olive oil, divided

1 T. maple syrup

3 T. apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

6 scallions, thinly sliced

 

In a large bowl, whisk  2 T. of the olive oil, maple syrup, apple cider, salt, pepper and scallions.  Set aside.  Shred butternut squash, carrots, turnips, parsnips, and apples in a food processor using the medium shredding blade.  Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat and add 2 T. of the olive oil.  Add the vegetables and fruit and sauté, stirring occasionally for 6 – 10 minutes, or until they are tender crisp.  Place in bowl with the vinaigrette and toss to coat evenly.

Roasted Swiss-Chard Stems with Creamy Sesame Dressing

Roasted Swiss-Chard Stems with Creamy Sesame Dressing

Roasted Swiss-Chard Stems with Creamy Sesame Dressing

 

2 tbs. sesame seeds, toasted

2 tsp. rice vinegar

1/2 tsp. mirin (or ½ tsp. white wine with a pinch of sugar)

1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

1½ tsp. tamari or soy sauce

2 tbs. mayonnaise

1½ tsp. full-fat, plain Greek yogurt

Stems from 1 large bunch Swiss chard, leaves reserved for another use

1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Crush the toasted sesame seeds with a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle. In a small bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, rice vinegar, mirin, sesame oil, tamari or soy sauce, mayonnaise, and yogurt. Set aside. Cut the chard stems into 5- to 6-inch lengths. Place them on a baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil. Gently toss to coat, spread them into a single layer, and lightly sprinkle with pepper. Roast the stems until the centers are tender when pierced with a knife, the edges are starting to char, and any lingering leaf pieces crisp up, about seven to 10 minutes. Divide the roasted stems among plates and drizzle with the sesame dressing. Store any extra stems and dressing separately in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Casserole

Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Casserole

Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Casserole

 

4 C. grated zucchini I used about 3.5 medium zucchinis

½ tsp. salt

½ C. finely diced onion I like to use frozen diced onion as a shortcut

1 T. minced garlic

2 eggs

½ C. grated Parmesan cheese plus an additional 2 T.

1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese

½ C. shredded cheddar cheese

½ C. Panko breadcrumbs

2 T. melted butter

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray and set aside (I used a dish that was 8-in x 5-in, but an 8-inch square pan will also work). Place zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and allow to sit for about 10 minutes (this will help draw out some of the water from the zucchini). After 10 minutes, squeeze out moisture from the zucchini. TIP: In order to make sure that I get most of the water out of the zucchini (and avoid a runny casserole), I like wrap the zucchini in a dish towel. Squeeze it and wring it out multiple times while it’s in the towel. In the prepared dish, combine zucchini, onion, garlic, eggs, ½ C. Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, and cheddar cheese. I like to use my hands to make sure that it’s all completely combined, and then gently press the mixture evenly into the prepared dish. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, pour melted butter over breadcrumbs and 2 T. of Parmesan cheese. Stir until completely combined. After 20 minutes, remove zucchini from the oven. Sprinkle buttered breadcrumbs over the zucchini and return the dish to the oven. Continue baking for about 5-10 more minutes, or until the top is golden brown and crispy.

Sautéed Hedgehog Mushrooms

Sautéed Hedgehog Mushrooms

Sautéed Hedgehog Mushrooms

 

About 1 pound hedgehog mushrooms

1 T. butter

1 T. oil ( olive oil or vegetable oil)

Optional: 1 clove garlic (sliced)

Optional: 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

Sea salt, to taste

Parsley or chives (minced)

 

Trim and clean the mushrooms. First, cut off and discard any browned, dried, or bruised bits. Use a paper towel to brush off any dirt or, if the mushrooms are particularly dirty, give them a quick rinse under cold water and pat them thoroughly dry on paper towels. Small mushrooms can be cooked whole; larger specimens can be halved, quartered, chopped, or sliced as you like.  Heat a large frying pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the butter and oil. When the butter is melted, add the trimmed and clean mushrooms. Stirring frequently, cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid, that liquid has evaporated, and the mushrooms are tender and starting to brown—about 5 minutes.  If adding garlic, do it now. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant and the mushrooms are browned. This should take about 1 to 2 minutes.  If using fresh thyme, add that after the garlic. Stir to combine it with the mushrooms, about 15 seconds.  Remove from heat and sprinkle the mushrooms with salt to taste (unsalted mushrooms really won’t have the same flavor, so be generous as you sprinkle on the salt!).

Buttery Sautéed Mushrooms with Spruce Tips and Chives

Buttery Sautéed Mushrooms with Spruce Tips and Chives

Buttery Sautéed Mushrooms with Spruce Tips and Chives

2 T. salted butter

4 C. small white button mushrooms (11oz/320gms)

¼ tsp. salt

1 T. chopped spruce tips

2 T. minced chives (or green onions)

light sprinkling of pepper

 

Wash the mushrooms under running water, then leave them to dry on a tea towel or paper towel until most of the moisture is off. Pat them lightly with the towel to speed the process. If your mushrooms are large, cut them in halves (or even quarters if really large). In a heavy skillet over medium heat, melt the butter until it starts to sizzle and smell nutty, just beginning to brown slightly. Tip in the mushrooms and sprinkle them with the salt. (The salt helps draw the moisture out of the mushrooms.)  Sauté the mushrooms, stirring them often, so they brown on several sides, for 8 to 10 minutes. First, the liquid will be released from the mushrooms, but keep cooking them until this liquid is cooked away and the mushrooms start to brown. Once the liquid is evaporated you will need to stir them more often.  When the mushrooms have all turned a deep golden color on several sides, sprinkle them with the chopped spruce tips and chives. Cook them for 1 minute more, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat, give them a very light sprinkling of pepper (you don’t want to overpower their delicate flavor), and tip them into a small serving bowl, scraping all the lovely butter and sprucy, chivey bits into the bowl, too. Serves 4 as a side dish.

Pan-Roasted Little Tomatoes with Basil Ribbons

Pan-Roasted Little Tomatoes with Basil Ribbons

Pan-Roasted Little Tomatoes with Basil Ribbons

 

1 lb. grape or cherry tomatoes

1 garlic clove

Small handful basil leaves

1 T. butter

1 T. olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Assemble, prepare, and measure ingredients. Halve tomatoes. Mince garlic. Stack basil leaves and slice into thin ribbons.  In a heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter with olive oil for about 2 minutes, or until a foam forms. Add tomatoes and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Stir for about 30 seconds, then turn down heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, or until tomatoes have given off most of their liquid and caramelized slightly. Transfer warm tomatoes to a serving bowl, scatter basil ribbons over top, and serve immediately with a generous spoonful of pan juices.

Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Roasted Cabbage Steaks

2 small cabbage heads

3 tbsp. olive oil

½ tsp. salt or to taste

2 tsp. paprika

1 tbsp. garlic powder

 

Cut the stems off the cabbage heads and then cut each one in half, then in half again. You should have four flat discs of cabbage that are about ¾ to 1 inch thick from each head. Place the cabbage steaks on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper, allowing some space between each one to even cooking.  Brush the cabbage with the olive oil, coating them thoroughly. Then generously sprinkle the salt, garlic powder, and paprika on the cabbage steaks. Flip the cabbage over and repeat, brushing them with oil and sprinkling the seasonings. Then add a pinch of red pepper flakes to each one, if desired. Bake the cabbage steaks at 400°F for about 25 minutes, until the leaves are browned and the center is tender. Serve hot out of the oven.

Honey-Glazed Radishes and Turnips

Honey-Glazed Radishes and Turnips

Honey-Glazed Radishes and Turnips

2 T. margarine or butter

1 large shallot

1 1/2 lb. radishes

1 1/2 lb. small turnips

1 c. water

1/4 c. lower-sodium chicken broth

1 T. Honey

salt

pepper

2 tbsp. thinly sliced mint leaves

1 tbsp. finely chopped chives

 

In 12-inch skillet, melt margarine or butter on medium-high. Add shallot and cook 2 minutes or until golden and tender, stirring occasionally. Add radishes and turnips; stir until well coated. Stir in water, broth, honey, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 15 minutes. Uncover and cook 7 to 10 minutes longer or until vegetables are glazed and most of liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in mint and chives. Transfer to serving platter and garnish with mint leaves.

Penelope Casa’s Garlic Green Beans (Judias Verdes con Ajo)

Penelope Casa’s Garlic Green Beans (Judias Verdes con Ajo)

Penelope Casa’s Garlic Green Beans (Judias Verdes con Ajo)

 

3/4 pound fresh green beans

1 T. butter

1 clove garlic, crushed

Coarse salt

 

Snap off the tops of the beans. Melt the butter in a skillet, add the beans, and cook them over a medium to medium-high flame, stirring, until they begin to brown. Lower the flame, cover, and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until the beans are the desired tenderness, stirring occasionally. Resist the temptation to add liquid. They’ll stew in their own juices, and their flavor will be completely undiluted. Mix in the crushed garlic, sprinkle with salt, and serve immediately.

Blistered Shishitos with Furikake Ranch and Crispy Quinoa

Blistered Shishitos with Furikake Ranch and Crispy Quinoa

Blistered Shishitos with Furikake Ranch and Crispy Quinoa

 

4 T. neutral oil

½ cup cooked quinoa

Kosher salt

1 pound shishito peppers

Garlic salt

½ lemon, cut into wedges

¾ cup ranch dressing

3 T. Furikake 

 

In a large skillet, heat 2 T. of the oil over medium-high heat. When it’s shimmering-hot, add the quinoa to the pan and spread evenly. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown and crisp, 5 to 15 minutes (depending on the quinoa’s moisture content; freshly cooked quinoa will take longer). Drain the fried quinoa on paper towels and season with a pinch of kosher salt. Wipe the pan clean. Add the remaining 2 T. oil to the pan and place over high heat. Once the oil begins to smoke, add the shishitos. It’s important that all the peppers touch the pan, so work in batches if necessary. Sear the peppers on all sides, turning occasionally, until they begin to blister and slightly char, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with garlic salt and a squeeze of lemon. Transfer to a plate and top with the fried quinoa. In a small bowl, whisk together the ranch with 2 T. of the furikake. Serve it alongside the shishitos. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 T. furikake before serving.