Monday, November 7, 2011

Baked Delicata Squash Rings


Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 min


4 delicata squash
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Have on hand two (2) large rimmed baking sheets.

With a long paring knife, cut the squash into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Then cut around the centers of the rounds to remove the seeds.

Place the squash rounds on the baking sheets. Pour the butter and olive oil over the rings. Turn the rings so they're coated on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Arrange the rings so they do not overlap on the baking sheets. Bake approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until they are golden brown and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven.

To serve, stack the rings on individual serving plates or a large platter, sprinkle with salt and thyme, and serve at once.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Sardine and Chard Gratin, NY Times

A great way to use up a lot of greens. If you use a baking pan, you can easily fit 2 or 3 heads of leafy greens!

From Martha Schulman's column.
This is unbelievably easy to make and so delicious I can hardly believe it’s made with sardines from a can. The recipe is a simplified version of a traditional Provençal dish made with fresh sardines and spinach. You can easily throw this dish together on a weeknight.

2 3.5-ounce cans boneless, skinless sardines packed in olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 pounds Swiss chard (about 3 bunches), stemmed and washed in two changes of water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup low-fat milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh or dry bread crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish. Drain the sardines over a bowl, and separate them into fillets. Set the oil aside.

2. While the chard is still wet from washing, heat a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Working in batches, pile a few handfuls into the pan and stir until the chard begins to wilt. Cover the pan for a minute, then uncover and stir the greens until they have wilted. As each batch collapses, transfer it to a bowl. When you have wilted all of the chard, rinse briefly with cold water, squeeze out excess water and chop medium-fine.

3. Heat the olive oil (not the oil from the sardines) in the skillet over medium heat, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt, stir in the garlic and thyme, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the chopped, wilted chard and salt and pepper to taste. Stir together for one minute until everything is blended. Add the milk, and stir together for about one minute until you no longer see liquid in the pan. Remove from the heat. Taste, and adjust salt and pepper.

4. Spread half the greens in the bottom of the baking dish. Top with the sardine fillets in one layer. Drizzle a tablespoon of the oil from the cans over the sardines, then top with the remaining greens in an even layer. Sprinkle on the breadcrumbs, and drizzle on another tablespoon of the oil from the cans. Place in the oven, and bake 15 minutes until sizzling. Serve hot or warm.

Yield: Serves four to six.
Advance preparation: You can assemble this up to a day ahead of baking. Keep well covered in the refrigerator.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Zucchini Fritters

I recently saw a recipe for zucchini fritters on Mark Ruhlman's blog. Rather than following his recipe, though, I was inspired to do my own version, using breadcrumbs and cheddar cheese instead of egg and feta. In the end, they didn't stick together as well without the egg, but they were still very tasty!


2 medium zucchini, grated
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 red onion, minced
2-3 tablespoons minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon ancho powder (or other mild pepper)
1 pinch cayenne powder (or more if you like, or none if you don't)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese
olive oil for frying

As Ruhlman notes, the key to a successful zucchini fritter is to get as much water out of the grated zucchini as possible. So, after grating, salt the zucchini and let it stand in a strainer while you get all your other ingredients ready. Once they are, you'll want to squeeze the zucchini to get even more water out: wrapping it cheesecloth is an ideal way to achieve this, but I use doubled up paper towels instead and that generally works fine.

With that done, you'll want to the oil in your pan and warming over medium heat: the oil should be deep enough to come halfway up the sides of the fritters. Now mix all the ingredients together well in a bowl and start forming fritters with your hands (Ruhlman suggests that you can use a 1/4 cup measure, but I think you'll end up with a better packed fritter if you do it by hand). Fry them in batches for about 4-6 minutes per side, or until they are well browned. Drain on paper towels, and, if you like, you can garnish them with fresh parsley and serve them with a dollop of sour cream.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Carrot, Carrot Top and Quinoa Soup

I'm always wondering what to do with the tops of the vegetables Farmer John sends along. Carrot tops taste a lot like parsley!

Adapted from this recipe at

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
4 cups water  + 2 tsp bouillon or dried soup stock OR 4 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1 cup carrots, tops washed and finely chopped
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
sea salt and black pepper to taste

In a 3-quart pot, sauté the onion in oil until translucent, then add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Turnip and Carrot Purée

1lb Turnips
½ Small Onion
1lb Carrots
1tbsp Butter
1tbsp Honey
1tbsp Curry
Pinch of Sea Salt
Pinch of Nutmeg
Pinch of Cinnamon

Boil peeled and chopped turnips with onions, separately boil carrots.
Strain after boiling and mix all in a bowl along with the remaining ingredients.
I use a hand held blender this way I have greater control of the texture. If too thick add a 1/3 cup of cream or milk. For soup add the water from cooking the carrots or turnips, depends if you prefer bitter or sweet.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Turnip Top Soup

Only 5 ingredients, plus garnish. Also works with radish tops.

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Large Shallot, finely chopped or 1/2 large onion
2 Cups Radish Greens, roughly chopped, packed
2 Cups Vegetable Stock

1 Tablespoon Fresh Mint, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, finely chopped

Sea Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Fresh Chives for serving

Wash and de-rib the turnip tops. Loosely chop. Blanch in boiling water for 3-4 minutes.

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; add finely diced shallots or

Sauté, stirring often, until shallots or onions are soft and translucent.

Add turnip tops and cook about 3 minutes.

Add stock and bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Add the chopped parsley and mint. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Remove from heat; purée with an immersion blender or in blender, in batches. Add
more vegetable stock if you like a "thinner" soup.

Top with with freshly chopped chives just prior to serving, or drizzle olive
oil, parsley oil, or basil oil on top. Serve with rustic bread and butter.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Escarole and Bean Soup

My grandmother's recipe:

1 head of escarole, chopped
2 16 oz. cans of cannellini beans (Italian white kidney beans)
32 oz. vegetable or chicken stock (I like Trader Joe's Low Sodium Vegetable Broth)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf (optional)

In a large saucepan or soup pot, saute garlic in olive oil until fragrant. Add chopped escarole, bay leaf, and vegetable or chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain beans and add to soup.

Tastes great with parmesan or romano cheese on top, and it always tastes better the next day if you can wait that long.