Friday, October 31, 2014

RECIPE: Oven Baked Turnip Fries

Difficulty Level: Easy

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


•Olive Oil
•Salt, garlic powder, and paprika


Preheat oven to 425 F. Peel rutabagas with a paring knife and slice in 1/4" rounds. If you like, you can do them in strips - they will cook a little faster, but you have to watch them carefully or they'll burn.  Smear with oil and a little salt and put them on a nonstick baking sheet.  Cook about 12 minutes, turning twice. Take out when golden brown and tender. Immediately sprinkle with garlic powder and paprika. I like to add kosher salt at the end as well.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

RECIPE: Swe​et and Sour Delicata Squash

Difficulty Level: EASY

1. 1 pound delicata squash

2. 1/3 cup olive oil

3. 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed

4. 1 tablespoon light brown or demerara sugar

5. 3 tablespoons white wine, red wine, or sherry vinegar

6. 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste

7. Freshly ground black pepper

8. Fresh mint, chopped

1.Trim the delicata squash on both ends. Halve lengthwise, and slice in 1/4-inch thick half moon slices.

2.In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil with the garlic over medium-low heat, cooking it until it is fragrant but not at all browned. Press down on the garlic cloves with a spatula or wooden spoon to release their flavor. Remove the garlic.

3.Arrange a layer of the squash slices in the heated oil. Cook, turning once or twice, until they are beginning to be golden, with some chestnut spots, on each side, but not mushy. Remove the slices with a slotted spoon or spatula and continue to work in batches until you’ve cooked all the squash slices this way.  

4.In a small bowl, mix the vinegar and sugar. Return the squash slices to the skillet and add the vinegar-sugar mix. Season with some salt an pepper, and carefully toss the squash in the mixture until it reduces and coats the slices. This won’t take long. Taste for salt and season more if necessary.  Don’t agitate them too much, or else they’ll start to fall apart.

5.You can serve the squash right away, but it is best to transfer it to a platter, covering it, allowing it to sit for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle, and serving at room temperature.

Scatter the chopped mint over the squash before serving

RECIPE: Apple Brownies

Difficulty Level: Easy
Total Time: 1 hr. 25 min.
Yield: 12 bars

1 stick salted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for baking dish
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 chopped walnuts
2 large firm, sweet apples (about 1 lb. total), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (approx. 2 3/4 cups)

1. Preheat oven to 350° with rack in center position. Generously butter a 9x11 baking dish.
2. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, beat together butter, sugar and egg with a hand mixer until pale, about 2 minutes. Add walnuts and apples and stir by hand until combined. Add flour mixture and stir until combined, about 30 seconds more.
4. Spread batter in pan and bake until golden brown and slightly firm, about 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then cut into 12 bars.

*Bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

RECIPE: Stuffed Napa Cabbage with Napa Slaw

Difficulty Level: Easy 

Stuffed Cabbage:
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 lb pork and fennel sausage (out of its casing)
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp Siracha
6 large Napa cabbage leaves

Add the sausage to a nonstick skillet and sauté until cooked through.  Add Siracha and stir to combine. Steam cabbage leaves, 2 at a time for 2 minutes just until pliable. Add sesame oil to warm rice and stir to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Add spoonful of rice and a spoonful of cooked sausage to cabbage leaf and roll up.  Repeat process with the rest of the leaves.

Napa Slaw:
3 cups napa cabbage, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar 
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. mustard
salt and pepper

Combine the wet ingredients and toss with cabbage.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, October 24, 2014

RECIPE: Roasted Squash and Apple Chowder with Potatoes

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Serves 8

Puréed roasted butternut squash provides the creamy base for a hearty chowder. If making the chowder ahead, prepare the recipe through step 3, then assemble and reheat just before serving.

2 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut into ¾-inch chunks (6 cups), divided
3 medium apples, peeled and diced (3 cups), divided
2 large leeks, white parts cut into 1-inch chunks (1 cup), plus ½ cup thinly sliced leek greens, divided
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
1 lb. multicolored potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch chunks
½ cup apple juice
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Combine 5 cups butternut squash chunks, 2 cups diced apple, leek whites, oil, and maple syrup in large bowl, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Spread squash mixture in single layer on prepared baking sheet, and roast 30 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally.

3. Cook potato chunks and remaining 1 cup butternut squash in boiling, salted water 5 to 7 minutes, or until just tender. Drain, and set aside.

4. Purée roasted vegetables in blender until smooth. Add purée and apple juice to large soup pot with 4 cups water. Whisk in vinegar, and heat over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Add boiled potatoes and squash, remaining 1 cup diced apple, and leek greens, and simmer 5 minutes, or until hot.

RECIPE: Balsamic Plums and Mozzarella

Difficulty Level: Easy

1 large ball buffalo mozzarella, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
4 ripe plums, pitted and quartered
1 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped optional
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted optional

1.Put vinegar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Adjust heat to low and simmer until it is reduced nearly three-quarters in volume and thickened to a syrup. About 15 minutes.

2.Add plums to syrup turning gently to coat and continue to cook for another 4-7 minutes more. Turn off heat and let cool.

3.Meanwhile assemble mozzarella slices on platter, allowing to overlap slightly and season with salt and pepper to taste. With a fork, remove plums from syrup and place atop cheese, then top with the remaining syrup, pine nuts and mint.

RECIPE: Coconut Oil Kale Chips

Difficulty Level: EASY

Note: you can shred the kale and massage with the below ingredients - or you can sprinkle with lime and it is a great kale salad.

1 bunch of kale, washed, dried, and stems removed
1 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. red chili flakes (use ⅛ tsp. if you are not big on spice!)
⅛ tsp. ground ginger
Salt and pepper to taste (be sparse on the salt, trust me.)

1.Preheat oven to 300F.

2.Cut or tear the kale into smaller pieces so the chips are not huge. Spread them out onto a baking sheet. Pour the melted coconut oil over the kale and massage until all kale leaves are covered. Sprinkle on the garlic, red chili flakes, ginger, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine.

3.Place into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, and then give them a toss. Continue cooking until crispy, 5-10 minutes.

Friday, October 17, 2014

RECIPE: Maple-roasted Butternut Squash

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Active Time: 20 min.
Total Time: Approx. 60-80 min.
Servings: 6


1 large butternut squash
1 head of garlic, separated but not peeled
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 1/2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 oz. thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
16 whole fresh sage leaves


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and seed the butternut squash and then cut it into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes. Place squash and whole, unpeeled garlic cloves on a sheet pan in one layer.

2. Toss the squash & garlic with olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until squash begins to brown, turning once during baking.

3. Sprinkle the pancetta and sage leaves evenly over the butternut squash and continue to bake for another 20-30 minutes, until the squash and garlic are tender and caramelized. Season taste with salt & pepper and serve hot.

Note: the roasted garlic spreads easily onto crusty slices of bread, such as a baguette.

RECIPE: Roasted Tomato Soup

Difficulty level: Easy

4 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
12 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 small red onions, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup lightly packed chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
5 cups cold water

Note: adjust everything according to how many tomatoes you have. I used mint and parsley-AMAZING! Just be creative.

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C).

2. In a large bowl, toss the tomatoes with 1/4 cup of the olive oil, the vinegar, garlic, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and the black pepper. Transfer the tomato mixture (including all of its liquid) to a large, heavy rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer, skin side down. Roast until the tomatoes are charred on the edges, about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly. Slip the skins off the tomatoes.

3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until the onions are quite soft, about 10 minutes. Add the basil, parsley, and sage and sauté for about 1 minute.

4. Stir in the roasted tomatoes and garlic along with all the accumulated juices from the baking sheet and bring to a simmer. Add the water and simmer gently just until the flavors meld, about 8 minutes. If a smoother consistency is desired, blend all or a portion of the soup with an immersion or standing blender.

RECIPE: Gooseberry Ideas

Difficulty Level: Easy

Here are a couple great ideas for what to do with any leftover gooseberries: 

(1) Compote: husk, wash and cook down on the stove with a little sugar and water.  You can put it in yogurt, toast, etc.  Super easy and very delicious.

(2) Another suggestion for the compote is spooning it in elderflower soda or cordial. The french soda is available in so many supermarkets...quite elegant.

Friday, October 10, 2014

RECIPE: Coconut Gooseberry Clafoutis

Difficulty Level: Easy 

serves 4 for breakfast

1 1/4 cup coconut milk
3 eggs
scant 3/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup gooseberries, canned or fresh
butter to grease the pan
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, crack 3 eggs and whisk to combine. Add coconut milk, sugar, salt and vanilla and mix until well blended. Finally, add the flour to this mixture and stir until evenly incorporated.

Generously grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet (or pie pan of similar size will work as well). Pour batter into greased pan, then sprinkle the gooseberries evenly throughout the mixture. Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, then broil on high for about 2 minutes (until golden brown and puffy). Let stand 5 minutes, then serve with a generous dusting of powdered sugar.

RECIPE: Cooked Carrot Salad

Difficulty Level: Intermediate


·  1 1/2 pounds carrots
·  3 1/2 cups cold water
·  1 1/2 cups white vinegar
·  2 tablespoons honey
·  1/4 cup pine nuts
·  1/4 cup golden raisins
·  1/4 teaspoon salt
·  1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
·  1 1/2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh mint leaves

1. Peel and trim the carrots and cut them into 3-inch lengths. Slice each length lengthwise into wedges about 1/3-inch thick.

2. Pour the water and vinegar into a 3- or 4-quart saucepan and set over high heat. Stir in the honey. When the water’s boiling, drop in the carrot wedges and cook, uncovered, at a good bubbling boil for approximately 25 minutes, until cooked through but with some bite. Don’t let them get mushy.

3. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat tossing them frequently until light gold; spill them onto a plate to cool.

4. When the carrots are cooked, lift them out of the pan with a slotted spatula and let them cool and drain in a colander placed in the sink. Keep the carrot cooking liquid at a boil. Drop in the raisins and cook until plump, about 5 minute, then lift them out and let them cool and drain, too. Keep the pan of carrot cooking liquid at a boil.

5. Boil the vinegar liquid vigorously and let reduce until only 1/4 cup or so of thick syrup remains in the pan, about 5 minutes. Watch the pan carefully and lower the heat as the liquid level nears the pan bottom. Immediately pour the carrot cooking liquid into a cup or small bowl before it burns.

6. Put the carrots in a bowl, toss with 2 tablespoons syrup and several pinches salt, and let them marinate briefly. Before serving, toss the carrots with 1 tablespoon olive oil, the pine nuts, the raisins, and the shredded mint leaves. Taste and add more salt or oil or syrup if needed. 

RECIPE: Fresh Tomato Salsa

Difficulty Level: Easy
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: About 2 1/2 cups

4 lbs. vine-ripened, summer tomatoes (5-6 medium)
1/2 medium onion (preferably white or yellow)
1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
4 fresh Serrano or jalapeño chiles, seeded & chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. sugar
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Quarter & seed tomatoes. Dice tomatoes and transfer to a bowl.
2. Finely chop the onion; chop cilantro.
3. Stir chiles, onion, cilantro and garlic into the tomatoes. Add sugar and lime juice and season with salt & pepper.
4. Can be refrigerated for 1-2 hours if preferred chilled.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

RECIPE: Muhammara Dipping Sauce

Difficulty Level: Easy
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes or 1 small red chile
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup whole-grain bread crumbs
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 to 3 roasted red peppers
1/2 to 1 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

to serve: torn basil

Using a hand blender or a conventional blender, puree the chile flakes, cumin, most of the walnuts, bread crumbs, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, tomato paste, and red peppers to a smooth, even consistency. Mix in the warm water in increments to achieve an easily spreadable consistency similar to a thick yogurt. If you¹re going to use it for dipping, you might want to leave it a touch thicker. Stir in the salt and adjust the seasonings if needed. Serve topped with torn basil, the remaining walnuts, and a thick thread of olive oil.

RECIPE: Savory Apple Pie

This is the ultimate picnic dish.  It can be made ahead, eaten warm or cold. Versions exist in Italy and Nice, and whether you make it with chard or spinach or kale, it is always delicious.  If the thought of an apple, veggie, cheese, nut pie sounds weird to you, do yourself a favor and try it at least once. Trust me!

Difficulty Level: Advanced

3 cups unbleached flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
scant 1 Tbs salt

By hand: dump everything in a bowl and with the tips of your fingers, start working everything into each other until it all comes together into a shaggy ball

By food processor: pulse all the ingredients together until they come together into a shaggy ball.

Shape into a ball, cover with a clean cloth or plastic wrap, and leave at room temperature for 2 hours

4 large apples (nothing too mushy: Golden Delicious, Fuji, Granny Smiths, Honeycrisps, all work well)
3 Tbs raisins
2 Tbs dark rum (optional. You can use hot water too)
1 Cup cooked and thoroughly drained chopped greens (spinach, swiss chard, and kale all work well. Make sure to really cook them though. Totally wilted and very tender).
4 Tbs pine nuts
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 to 1/2 lb of a mild cheese, diced (young Gouda, mild Cheddar, mozzarella all work well)
2 beaten eggs
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbs of red currant jelly, room temperature and stirred with a fork to loosed it up a bit
3 additional Tbs confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 375 and butter a 9 inch springform pan or a 10 inch pie plate. Set aside.

Peel the apples and cut 2 into small cubes.  Place raisins and rum (or water) in a small pan and bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix the greens, raisins and their liquid, apple cubes, pine nuts, sugar, cheese, eggs, and lemon zest. Slice the remaining 2 apples, set aside.

Divide the pastry with one piece being about a third of the size of the larger piece.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough as thin as you can into two circles.

Place the larger circle in the prepared mold, covering the bottom and coming up the sides. Prick all over with a fork. Spread the currant jelly all over the bottom. Add the filling. Cover with the reserved apple slices (a concentric circle pattern looks nice and works well) and then with the remaining dough. Pinch the bottom and top crust edges together and trim off any excess. Prick the top crust with a fork and bake for 30 - 40 minutes until golden. Remove from oven, place on a rack to cool, and just before serving, dust with remaining 3 Tbs confectioner's sugar

RECIPE: Moroccan Ratatouille

This is a great recipe for using up a lot of produce at once. The recipe is very flexible so feel free to add in additional vegetables as you see fit.

Difficulty Level Easy
Time: Aprox 30 minutes

1 TBS butter
2 Cloves garlic
1 Onion
1 eggplant
2-3 zucchini
2 carrots
1 bell pepper
1 rutabaga
1 can tomato paste
1 cup water or vegetable stock
1 TBS cumin
1 tsp paprika
Salt and Pepper

1.     Chop vegetables into small, bite sized pieces that are approximately the same size

2.     Heat butter in a pot and add onions once hot

3.     After a minute or two when the onions begin to get translucent add pressed garlic

4.     Once Garlic has browned add the chopped vegetables starting with the carrots and rutabaga as they will take longer to cook

5.     Allow the veggies to brown for approximately 5 minutes, this will bring out a more robust flavor

6.     Add tomato paste and a the water or stock to form a sauce like consistency

7.     Season with spices and allow the sauce to simmer for approximately 20 minutes until the sauce is significantly reduced and the vegetables are tender

8.     Season with salt and pepper to taste

9.     Serve over couscous or as a side!