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 →
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!!
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 →
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.
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 →
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.
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!