Tuesday, August 29, 2017

RECIPE: Ratatouille

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup tomato puree. (I used Muir Glen tomato sauce)
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 onion, thinly sliced then cut in half. It's ok if the pieces come apart. I used a mandolin for all the vegetables, to get thin even slices.
1 small eggplant, sliced. Cut slices in half, if needed. Or you can use a smaller Italian eggplant, if available.
2 small zucchini, sliced thinly
3-4 roma tomatoes, sliced thinly.
2 small yellow squashes, sliced thinly
2 red peppers, sliced thinly. I cut my pepper in half, sliced it thinly, then used 1-4 pieces when layering.
1-2 tsp. thyme- you will sprinkle over the top
1-2 tsp. basil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Pour tomato sauce in the bottom of a round, oval or square baking dish. I used a round one to create the spiraled effect, but any type of dish would work. My dish measures 10 1/2 inches across
Add the minced garlic and one tablespoon of olive oil into the tomato sauce. Stir to blend and season with salt, pepper, and a small sprinkling of basil (approx. 1/2 tsp.)
Wash all of your vegetables, and dry thoroughly. Trim ends.
Using a mandoline, adjustable-blade slicer, or a very sharp knife cut the onion, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, and peppers approximately 1/16-inch thick.
In your palm or on your cutting board, layer your vegetables in a pattern. This was my pattern, eggplant, tomato, onion, yellow squash, red pepper, zucchini, tomato, eggplant...repeat.
Once I had a sizeable stack, I placed it on its side in my dish. The purple side of the eggplant should be up. I started on the outside of the dish and worked my way in.
Cut a piece of parchment paper to the size of your baking dish and tuck in the paper around the edges. This will help seal in steam.
Bake for 35-45 minutes.
We sometimes top with mozzarella cheese and call it dinner! You can also use a hard cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano. Spoon over cous cous, rice, or quinoa for a heartier meal.


YIELD: 4 bowls

·       6 small to medium carrots with tops and roots
·       2 tablespoons butter
·       3 tablespoons white rice
·       2 large leeks, white parts only
·       2 thyme or lemon thyme sprigs
·       2 tablespoons chopped dill, parsley, or celery leaves
·       salt and freshly ground pepper
·       6 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water


Pull or pluck the lacy leaves of the carrot greens off their stems. You should have between 2-3 cups, loosely packed. Wash, then chop finely. Grate the carrots or, if you want a more refined-looking soup, finely chop them. Melt the butter in a soup pot. Add the carrot tops and carrots, rice, leeks, thyme, and dill. Cook for several minutes, turning everything a few times, then season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer until the rice is cooked, 16-18 minutes. Taste for salt, season with pepper, and serve.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

RECIPE: Classic Wedge Salad


Iceberg Lettuce, cut into wedges of desired size and additional mixed greens if desired
1-2 large Cucumbers, cut in quarters and sliced
1 medium Red Onion, diced
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes, cut in halves and quarters
4-6 strips of Bacon, diced and rendered in a pan, optional
Crumbled Blue Cheese
Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar

Salt and Pepper


1.      Combine blue cheese, olive oil, the juice of one lemon and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Mix with a whisk until combined and creamy dressing begins to form.
2.      Rinse and chop vegetables according to the directions above.
3.      Arrange iceberg wedges on top of mixed greens (if using) and scatter cucumbers, red onion, tomatoes and bacon on top.
4.      Dress with blue cheese dressing.

RECIPE: Summer Farro Salad

 3 tbsp olive oil, + more to taste
10 oz farro
2 small zucchini or squash, sliced into 1/2" half moons
1/2 lb green beans, chopped into 1" pieces
2 ears of corn
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp fresh oregano
1/4 cup roughly chopped or torn basil leaves
Fresh mozzarella in chunks or small balls
Chili flakes to taste
Salt + pepper to taste

1. Cook the farro per instructions. Set aside.
2. Boil unsalted water in a large pot. Once boiling, add ears of corn and cover. Cook for ~10 minutes, drain, and let cool enough for handling.
3. While corn is boiling, mince garlic.
4. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook til fragrant.
5. Add green beans and season with salt/pepper.  Cook for ~1-2  minutes.
6. Add zucchini and squash and cook, stirring frequently, for ~ 6 minutes or until done but not mushy.
7. Season with fresh oregano and remove from heat.
8. Add farro to a large bowl. Lightly cover with olive oil, roughly 1 - 2 tbsp.
9. Cut corn off cob. Add to farro.
10. Add zucchini, squash, green beans, basil and mozzarella.
11. Season with chili flakes and serve!

*Serving suggestions: This dish works cool or heated. I prefer it slightly warm. To make it a filling meal, top with a fried egg.

RECIPE: Zucchini and Fresh Corn Farmers' Market Salad with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette

This no-cook, raw salad gets its spunk from a garlicky-lemon basil vinaigrette and chunks of goat cheese that lightly marinate the thin squash peels and freshly shucked corn kernels.

1 small or medium zucchini
1 small or medium yellow squash
1 ear of corn, shucked and cleaned, with the kernels cut off the cob
1 ounce goat cheese
Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
A few leaves of fresh torn basil
*optional: A few tablespoons of toasted pine nuts

For the Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette
½ cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove minced fresh garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


For the Salad
With a wide vegetable peeler, peel the zucchini and squash lengthwise into long ribbons (discarding the middle — you'll know when you get to it, because the squash will get too thin and watery.) Place the ribbons in a good sized bowl or plate, alternating so you can see equal amounts of green and yellow. Add the corn kernels and about 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette. Toss. Add salt, freshly ground pepper and chili flakes to taste. Add the goat cheese and garnish with fresh torn basil.

For the Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette
Add all of the ingredients to a small jar with a lid and shake well. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.

Note: You'll have vinaigrette left over to use on other salads, or make this one again!