stuffed delicata squash

Stuffed Delicata Squash

Move over butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash and make from for the cute little delicata, an heirloom variety of squash with a thin edible skin, which makes it much easier to work with and take less time to cook.  It is an heirloom variety with a pale yellow or beige skin and shallow ridges with dark green mottled stripes.  As its name suggests, the delicata’s lack of a tough outer skin means that it is more fragile and doesn’t last as long in the produce section as most winter squash, which can make it hard to find. 

I recently discovered the delicata and it has become my new favorite. It’s smaller size and thin, edible skin make it  perfect for stuffing and roasting. For a quick and easy weeknight meal, try this Stuffed Delicata Squash with a hearty filling made with sausage, kale, and cheese.  Continue reading

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brown butter brussels sprouts with crispy shiitake mushrooms

Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Shiitake Mushrooms

I grew up a full-fledged carnivore, and, as a kid, I successfully avoided most vegetables. It helped that my parents weren’t the sort who made me sit at the dining room table until I finished everything on my plate. If they were, chances are that I’d still be sitting there! Haha!   One vegetable I especially disliked was Brussels sprouts.  The only time I tried them they were mushy, bitter and had a weird smell. Yuck!!

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grilled peaches with burrata and prosciutto

Grilled Peaches with Burrata and Prosciutto

Are you looking for something different to serve at your next barbecue? Why not grill peaches alongside the burgers and steaks to serve as an appetizer, side dish, or salad.

Peaches on the grill are delicious; their natural sugars caramelize and their flavor becomes more concentrated and slightly smoky.

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creamy herbed polenta with mushroom ragout

We tend to associate comfort food with winter but this creamy bowl of polenta is also good on a summer evening.  Simple and comforting, it is like sunshine in a bowl.  It is luscious without being heavy and satisfying without being overly rich.  Well-made polenta, with plenty of butter and parmesan cheese, is delicious by itself.  Topped with an earthy mushroom ragout, it’s even better. I served this polenta alongside Grilled Lamb Chops marinated in olive oil, garlic, rosemary, and thyme and a green salad with a simple meyer lemon and olive oil vinaigrette.  The whole combination was hearty, yet still fitting for supper on a warm summer evening. Continue reading

gougères with goat cheese and chives

Chives are one of the easiest herbs to grow, and are a staple in my herb garden. They are hardy perennial plants from the same family as onions, leeks, and garlic. They grow in clumps with narrow, hollow leaves that reach about 6 to 12 inches in height.  In the spring, they produce a mass of beautiful, globe-shaped violet blossoms which, I learned recently, are also edible. I planted a couple of small plants about three years ago, and, since then, I’ve been spoiled with an abundant supply of chives all year round.

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twice-cooked french fries with sriracha mayonnaise

 

I seldom make french fries at home, and when I do, I usually purchase the frozen kind and bake them in the oven.  This time around, I decided to make them myself as the accompaniment to the lamb sliders I shared with you a few days ago.  Making the perfect fries, golden brown potatoes with a soft and creamy inside and crunchy exterior, takes a bit of time and effort. It involves cutting the potatoes uniformly into the desired shape, soaking the cut potatoes in water and then frying them twice, first at a low temperature to cook them through and then at a higher temperature just before service to brown and crisp them. Continue reading

tuscan mashed potatoes


I was inspired to cook mashed potatoes using olive oil instead of butter after I tasted the rich and creamy Olive Oil Smashed Potatoes at Birreria, the rooftop beer garden at Eataly in New York City. These Tuscan mashed potatoes have a great flavor from the olive oil, roasted garlic, and rosemary. Obviously, using a good quality extra virgin olive oil is the key to this recipe. Omitting the cream will result in a healthier dish, that is both vegan and gluten-free, with a more distinct olive oil flavor.

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Slow Roasted Tomatoes


Over the last week, I harvested over a pound of beautiful tomatoes, and I want to preserve  some of them for use later in the week.  Ignoring the stifling summer heat, I turned on my oven and roasted my tomatoes for close to 2 hours.  I was rewarded for my long, hot and sweaty wait with the sweetest, and arguably, the most intense tomato flavor I have ever tasted.  The slow roasting method really brought out the sweetness of the tomatoes, giving them a slightly caramelized, candy-like flavor.  Imagine how good it would be to squeeze the roasted garlic on a piece of crusty bread with a spoonful of roasted tomatoes garnished with sprigs of thyme.  Yummy!

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