This is a very hearty and tasty salad that can easily charm any dinner guest as it has all the components that make for a great dish, savory, sweet, nutty and green. You could add a cup of cooked quinoa and it easily can be a main dish for a vegetarian. By having some vegetables roasted and some raw you get the balance of char and earth and the tahini dressing is a favorite even of my six year old.
Kale and Roasted Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
½ cup toasted sliced almonds
1 small head cauliflower (about 1 ½ lbs.) broken in florets
1 small head of broccoli (about 1 ½ lbs.) broken in florets
¼ tsp. of cayenne pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup tahini
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
10 cups stemmed and chopped kale (about 1 bunch) or torn escarole
½ cup pomegranate seeds
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 teaspoon agave
1-2 tablespoons of water to thin out
Heat oven to 450° F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower & broccoli with the cayenne, 2 tablespoons of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt. Roast, tossing once, until golden and tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of oil, water, and ½ teaspoon salt and agave (adding more water if necessary, to achieve the consistency of heavy cream). Toss the kale, almonds, veggies, and pomegranate seeds with dressing and serve.
My mother has never been a fan of cooked tomatoes, so marinara was never our go to sauce. While she always made meatballs to satisfy my Dad, she was and is always looking for new ways to get what she likes on the table, even if it means making two kinds of pasta for a family supper. This mushroom pasta is easy and decadent. The rich, earthy, and creamy notes eat well with a glass of chilled white wine. (Maybe just what she needs after having to satisfy such diverse and demanding palates.)
Wild Mushroom Pasta
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Butter
½ Onion, diced
3 cups of assorted Mushrooms, cleaned with a paper towel and sliced (Chanterelles, Cremini, Oyster, White)
2 tsp Salt
3 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh Oregano, minced
½ cup Heavy Cream or Half and Half
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 ladle of pasta water
1 tablespoon flat leaf Parsley, minced
In a large sauté pan place the olive oil and the butter. Add the diced onions and sauté on medium high heat until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and the salt. Saute on high heat, shaking the pan. When the mushroom release their water and begin to soften, add the garlic and oregano.
Add cream and on low heat, let reduce until the cream thickens a bit
Cook one package of pasta (Penne, Garganelli, Gemelli or Fettucini) and reserve one ladle of pasta water.
Toss the pasta, the mushrooms, the pasta water, and 3/4 of the Parmesan. Mix until the pasta is well coated then place in serving bowl and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and the parsley.
We are always experimenting, trying to find new ways to spice up a salad. Lately, we have been obsessed with grilling some of the vegetables and combining them with raw. It gives the salad a nice combination and texture of soft versus crunchy and the char on the grilled veggies imparts a nice smoky flavor. What really though turns this salad on in the vinaigrette. Sweet, floral, spicy, tart, and tangy. It hits all the right umami notes. Try leftovers in a rice bowl with some steamed spinach and baked salmon.
Kale, Grilled Vegetable and Grilled Chicken salad with Coconut Lime vinaigrette
3 cups kale, stemmed and sliced fine
2 cups red leaf lettuce sliced or shredded into bite sized pieces
1 small eggplant sliced into ¼ inch rings
5 scallions with tips removed
1 zucchini sliced long ways into ¼ inch thick pieces
1 yellow squash sliced long ways into ¼ inch thick pieces
1 firm stone fruit, diced (can be plums or peaches)
¼ cup radishes thinly sliced
2 Persian cucumbers, diced
1 chicken breast
½ -1 cup coconut lime vinaigrette
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
On the grill or in a grill pan, grill eggplant, squash, zucchini and scallions until tender, then dice. Set aside.
Season chicken breast with salt and pepper and grill in pan or on grill. (About 5 minutes per side.) Remove from heat and dice.
Dress kale with ½ cup dressing and massage. Let kale sit for at least five minutes.
Toss all ingredients together and add more dressing to your liking.
Coconut lime Vinaigrette
Makes about 2 cups
Juice of 3 limes
Zest of 3 limes
6 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons of fresh mint, minced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1-cup full fat coconut milk
3 cloves garlic minced
1 Serrano pepper, seeded and minced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, garlic and brown sugar until sugar dissolves. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk until mixed.
Serve with rice bowls or as dressing for any salad including the Kale, Grilled Vegetable and Grilled Chicken salad.
The little one loves soup, so we are always trying to find new combinations. This "classic" gets a twist by the use of the bounty of late summer heirloom tomatoes. The fennel seeds add a sweet undertone and feel free to experiment with different varieties of heirlooms. When we make it for the kids, we add a gooey grilled cheese on the side for dunking and for the adults a fresh salad.
Heirloom Tomato Soup
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tablespoons of flour
1 small can tomato paste
8 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon sugar
4 large heirloom tomatoes or 6 small, peeled and roughly diced
1 tablespoon fresh basil, sliced
In a large pot heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions, carrots, shallots and celery and saute until translucent. About seven minutes. Add fennel seeds, garlic, and oregano, and cook another few minutes. Add flour and cook for two minutes, then add tomato paste. Cook for one more minute and watch the heat so bottom does not burn.
Add tomatoes, then broth and bring to a boil. Add sugar and stir, then turn heat down to medium low and simmer for 40 minutes.
Turn off heat and let soup cool. In small batches, puree in blender and then place back on stove. Adjust seasoning and serve with a sprinkle of basil on top.
*optional toppings can be shredded parmesean cheese, toasted croutons, a pinch of red pepper flakes, sour cream.
*to peel tomatoes: bring a large pot of water to boil. Make a small x on the bottom of each tomato and plunge into boiling water for 45 seconds. Remove and place in bowl of ice water. Skin should just slide off.
This dish is a great summer into fall side dish as it takes advantage of green beans still in season but captures the richer, toastier vibe of fall. The balsamic and thyme start the palate thinking about the flavors to come.
Green Beans with Balsamic Glazed Onions
1 lbs fresh pearl onions
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme,
½ lbs fresh trimmed green beans
¼ cup olive oil
½ tablespoon Dijon
Blanch onions in large pan of boiling water. Drain & refresh under cold water. Trim the root ends and slip off the skins.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a small saucepan, combine ¼ cup of balsamic, butter, vegetable oil, thyme, 1 tsp of the pepper and ½ tsp of the salt and stir over moderately low heat until butter is melted. In a bowl, toss the onions with the vinegar mixture to coat. Spread the single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 35 - 40 min, stirring often, until evenly browned.
Meanwhile blanch green beans until tender in boiling salted water- about 4 min. Drain and refresh under cold water, then set aside. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, mustard and remaining vinegar and the rest of the salt and pepper. Add the green beans and the roasted onions to the dressing and toss well. Transfer to a large casserole dish (Can refrigerate here), preheat oven to 350. Cover and bake the room temperature green beans and onions for 20 min until heated through.
This is a light salad that is redolent with freshness. The grapefruit and fennel are a classic combination as the sweetness of the fennel pairs with the tang of the citrus, The cheese gives the salad a salty component to balance the spicy Arugula. It is great paired with fish. We only had yellow grapefruit for this, but pink grapefruit would be an even better choice. Play around with the citrus.
Grapefruit and Fennel Salad with Arugula
3 medium to large bulbs of fennel
1 pound of Arugula
1 cup of Parmesan, shaved
2 pink grapefruits, zested, segmented, then juiced
Juice from grapefruits
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon minced parsley
2 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup olive oil
zest from grapefruits
For dressing add salt, zest, parsley, and citrus juices to bowl and whisk until salt dissolves. Add honey and olive oil and whisk until combined.
Slice fennel bulbs with a mandolin into thin slices then toss with remaining ingredients and dressing. Serve immediately.
Tip- to prepare grapefruits. First zest, then carefully slice off rind exposing pink flesh and leaving no white pith. With a sharp paring knife cut along thin white pith between segments. Once all are done, squeeze the leftover to use juice.
Inspired by the bounty of peas in the garden, this simple pasta dish is a great thirty minute meal. You could easily use frozen peas, just follow the same recipe. The peas give the dish a slight sweetness which is a nice counterpoint to the cheese. The bread crumbs give the dish a toasty crunch. The kids gobbled it up!
Rigatoni with Fresh Peas and Parmesean
1 cup fresh, shelled peas
½ cup panko bread crumbs
2 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil plus 3 tablespoons
½ cup grated parmesean
½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup basil leaves, torn
1 box rigatoni
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Bring large pot of salted water to boil. When boiling, add peas and blanch for 3 minutes. Remove peas and chill in ice bath until ready. Add pasta and cook until al dente, reserving ½ cup pasta water.
In sauté pan heat 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil. Add garlic and bread crumbs. Saute until light brown and toasty. Place in small bowl and set aside. In same pan add cream, and heat on medium until bubbling and beginning to reduce. Add peas and season with salt and pepper. Keep on low heat, stirring occasionally. You want the cream to thicken slightly. Add reserved pasta water and cheese.
Toss pasta with peas and cheese sauce and the bread crumbs. Add remaining Olive oil, basil, and lemon zest.
This is an easy side dish for any summer bbq. The corn is both savory and sweet, with a little zing from the lime juice. You could add some jalapeños for a spicy kick, or could also season corn with any of your favorite spices like cumin, chili powder or smoked paprika.
Grilled Corn Salad with Feta and Lime
8 large ears of corn, husked
¼ cup fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons of Mayonnaise
2/3 cup of feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup fresh chives, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat grill to high heat. Brush corn with mayo and season with salt and pepper. Place on grill and grill for about ten minutes, until corn is browned on all sides. Remove from grill and cool slightly so it is easy to handle.
Slice kernels from corn and place in large bowl. Stir in lime juice and all but one tablespoon of chives and feta. Adjust salt if needed.
When ready to serve sprinkle with remaining chives and feta. Serve at room temp or chilled.
This dish is inspired by one of our friends, Lisa, based on a recipe from a popular British restaurant. It has worked its way into heavy rotation as its both savory and sweet, with a layer of spice not usually found in a simple vegetable side dish. The cumin beefs up the flavor, and we never have any left at the end of a meal. Sometimes we serve it sliced on angles into bite sized pieces, and sometimes we leave the carrots long, just sliced in half for variety.
Carrot and Cumin Salad with Cilantro
3 cups rainbow carrots
2/3 tsp. cumin seeds (if you don’t have a small spice grinder, you can use ground cumin, just omit the roasting portion of recipe.)
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 tsp. sugar
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
½ tsp Sea salt
Peel carrots and boil whole in salted water until just tender. Remove and shock in ice water, then let dry. Roast cumin seeds in small skillet over medium heat until fragrant and color darkens, 2 minutes. Grind cumin in mortar and pestle or in small spice grinder and add garlic and 1/2 tsp. salt. Pound. Mix in lemon juice, sugar, and olive oil with garlic. Toss carrots in cumin dressing and sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve at room temperature.
My dad is our toughest critic, but these beans always pass muster. They have just the right balance of sweet and savory and work well with a crowd. They have been a staple of our annual 4th of July barbecue and we rarely have leftovers.
BBQ Baked Beans
2 cans vegan beans
3 cans drained, baked beans
½ red onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ red jalapenos, minced
¼ cup green pepper, chopped
¼ cup red pepper, chopped
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup molasses
1 teaspoon dry mustard
¼ cup yellow mustard
¼ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 325.
Saute onions, garlic, jalapenos, peppers in olive oil. Then add brown sugar, molasses, mustard, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Combine beans into mixture.
Bake for an hour to caramelize.
Classic Caesar Salad
8 Anchovy Fillets
1 small garlic clove
½ teaspoon of kosher salt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 egg yolks cooked for two minutes in boiling water
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
4 tablespoon of finely grated Parmesan
½- 1 cup of olive oil
1 cup croutons
2 heads of Romaine Lettuce, roughly chopped
Chop together anchovy fillets, garlic clove, and Kosher salt into a paste, then scrape into a medium bowl. Whisk in egg yolks and Dijon mustard. Add lemon juice, then add olive oil drop by drop to start, gradually whisking in the rest. Then add Parmesan. Season with more lemon juice, if desired.
Toss lettuce, croutons, and dressing together and serve immediately. You can add a little more Parmesan cheese if desired.
Grandma Alice did not make many dishes, but the ones she did, she honed over many years. We have tweaked this slightly but it still retains her memory. The key is the sweet Hungarian paprika, which lends a smoky flavor without any heat, and the assortment of peppers. We have added the orange pepper but use what you have on hand. The meat is tender and juicy, and served over rice is a hit with all generations at our table.
Grandma Alice’s Hungarian Chicken and Pepper’s Stew
1 whole chicken cut in parts plus 2 extra whole breasts cut in half
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 orange pepper, sliced
1 large brown onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 of a cup of Hungarian sweet paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup of olive oil
2 boxes of chopped tomatoes
In large pan, heat half of the olive oil and sauté all vegetable until soft over medium heat. Remove from pan and reserve. Add the remaining olive oil and heat to high. While pan is heating, rub chicken with salt, pepper and paprika. Add chicken to pan and brown on both sides, about five minutes per side. Return vegetables to pan and add tomatoes. Reduce heat and cover. Cook until chicken is tender and falling off bone about one hour.
Serve with steamed rice
When we were first inspired to make this recipe, all ingredients were bought and guests were coming in forty minutes. Upon closer reading, it was meant for an seven hour slow cooker...oops. We decided to wing it and make it in the wok as a stir-fry and it was a hit. The thai flavors of ginger, curry, coconut and lime really make the green beans sing. If making for adults only, a few chili peppers would really make it pop, but the kids love the sweet and salty beans as is.
Coconut Curry Green Beans with Tomatoes
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 ¼ pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 tablespoon of lime juice
1/3 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
In a sauté pan heat the sesame oil and add the garlic and ginger. Cook until fragrant and add the green beans. Whisk together coconut milk and red curry paste and add to green beans. Add tomatoes and stir. Season with the salt. When green beans are just tender remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Top with chopped peanuts and cilantro.
Can be served over rice
A square meal is satisfying, nourishing, complete.
A round table includes all.