Basil Pesto with Potatoes, Green Beans, and Linguini

Basil Pesto with Potatoes, Green Beans and Linguini


½ lb. small new potatoes, sliced into 1/4 slices

2 handfuls of haricot verts, stem ends snapped off

8 ounces of linguini (or whatever pasta you like)

2 ounces of parmigiano reggiano cheese

1 garlic clove

1/2 cup pine nuts (or almonds)

2 cups packed fresh basil

1/4 cup olive oil

sea salt to taste

freshly ground black pepper 

You only need one large pot to cook everything in!

Fill a large pot with water and the potatoes and add about 2 tablespoons kosher or sea salt. You want the water to be nicely salted to not only flavor the pasta, but to maintain the shape of the potatoes and the greenness of the beans.   Bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until they are just done, about 13 - 15 minutes.  Take a slice out and poke it with a sharp knife to test.  If it easily pierces it, they are done.  Remove the potatoes with a strainer or spider and place in a large serving bowl.  Do not dump out your water. 

To the same pot and water, add the green beans and cook until they are just done, about 7-8 minutes.  Make sure they are done all the way, with no hint of a raw flavor.  Remove with the spider and add the beans to the potatoes in your serving dish.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook the linguini until just al dente - about 8 minutes.  Test for doneness. Remove with a pair of tongs and add to your serving dish.  A little bit of pasta water on the linguini is fine - this will help make a "sauce" of the pesto.

While the pasta is cooking, make the pesto.  Place the cheese and the garlic in a food processor and process until fine.  Add the basil and pine nuts and process. Start adding the olive oil through the feed tube until the pesto is all thoroughly processed.  You may have to use a spatula to scrape it down.  Taste the pesto and add a little sea salt if you like.

Add the pesto and a few grinds of black pepper to the serving bowl ingredients and toss well.  Add a tablespoon or two of the hot pasta water if you need help in blending the pesto.   Serve at room temperature.  

Leftovers the next day are great. 

Tandoor-Baked Cauliflower and Kohlrabi

Tandoor-Baked Cauliflower and Kohlrabi

altered from “The Food of India: Authentic Recipes from the Spicy Subcontinent”

This recipe involves a bit of prep time, but in the end, it’s a nice way to enjoy grilling outside with your cauliflower and kohlrabi in the summer with or without a tandoor oven.

2 small heads cauliflower

2 stems kohlrabi

1 tsp malt vinegar

1 tsp turmeric powder

¼ tsp mace powder

a pinch of salt



1 ½ c yogurt

2 tsp crushed garlic

1 ½ tsp crushed ginger

1 Tb chili paste

½ tsp Garam Masala

1 ½ Tb oil

2 tsp malt vinegar

Pour yogurt into cheesecloth and hang above your sink or a bowl for 5 hours. Alternatively, place in a paper-lined coffee filter over a jar. We’ve skipped this step in the past, and the result is still pretty good.

Divide cauliflower into four florets and prick the stems with a fork to allow the seasonings to penetrate. Peel kohlrabi, and divide lengthwise into fourths, then slice ½ inch thick. Prick as well. Heat a pan with a shallow layer of water and when boiling, add the cauliflower, kohlrabi, vinegar, salt, and turmeric. Boil the vegetables until just tender, drain and allow to cool.

Combine all the marinade ingredients and mix in the vegetables. Leave to marinade for 1 ½ hours. Skewer the kohlrabi pieces. Cook the cauliflower and kohlrabi skewers under a very hot grill or over charcoal until tender and golden brown. Sprinkle with mace and Garam Masala before serving hot.

Thai Chicken Salad with Glass Noodles

Thai Chicken Salad with Glass Noodles

For chicken and salad:

1 Tb fresh lime juice

1 Tb finely chopped garlic

2 tsp finely chopped ginger

½ tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 cucumber

1/3 to ½ pound carrots, depending on your taste

3.75 oz package of glass noodles (also called cellophane noodles or bean threads-- they should be made from starch)


For dressing:

2 ½ Tb fish sauce

2 Tb packed light brown sugar

1 ½ tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp. finely chopped ginger

1 shallot, minced

2 ½ Tb fresh lime juice

1/3 c roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped



Thai basil leaves, cilantro (or cilantro and mint for more of a Vietnamese take)


Stir together lime juice, garlic ginger, chilies, salt, and pepper, and marinade thighs in the solution in refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Cut cucumber and carrots into matchsticks. Put chicken in foil pouch, closed and cook until tender and cooked through. Remove and let cool.

Sit a fine mesh colander in a mixing bowl larger than it. Add glass noodle bundles to colander. Boil a good amount of water and completely submerge noodle bundles, letting sit for 10-15 minutes. Remove colander from bowl and let drain and cool.

Coarsely shred chicken meat. Lay out glass noodles on plates, add cucumber, carrot, and chicken. Pour dressing over and top with Thai basil and cilantro.


Haricot Verts with French Shallots and Bacon

Haricot Verts with French Shallots and Bacon

Serves two-four

~ ½ lb haricot verts, tops chopped off

2 slices bacon (Llano seco is nice)

2 shallots, chopped finely

1 handful almonds, toasted and sliced

2 Tb butter



Cook bacon in a skillet on a medium-low flame until browned. Remove bacon to a plate and add butter and shallots to pan. Lower the flame slightly. Stir frequently. Next, add in haricot verts. Continue stirring frequently. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until tender. While cooking, toast almonds in a separate pan. Chop bacon finely. Slice almonds when cooled. Add both the almonds and bacon back into the pan. Stir them in and serve.


Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad

Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad
From Deb Perelman’s, who adapted it from “Chez Panisse Vegetables”

Serves 6

1 pound green beans, though if you can find a mix of green and yellow beans, it will be all the prettier
1 pound cherry tomatoes
1 large shallot
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Basil or other herb (optional)

Prepare the vegetables: Top and tail the beans and cut them into large segments. Parboil the beans in salted water until just tender, about four to five minutes. Drain and immediately spread them out to cool. Stem the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half.

Make the vinaigrette: Peel and mince the shallot and put it in a bowl with the vinegar and salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust the balance with more vinegar, oil, or salt, as needed. Toss the cherry tomatoes in with the vinaigrette; this can sit for a while. Do not add the green beans until just before serving or they will discolor from the acid in the vinaigrette. For variety, the salad can be garnished with basil or some other fresh herb such as parsley, chervil or hyssop.

Do ahead: Beans and vegetables can be prepared ahead of time. Simply toss with the dressing only at the last minute, as it can discolor the green beans after several hours.


Zucchini and Ricotta Galette

Zucchini and Ricotta Galette

From, where Perlman notes: Crust adapted from Williams-Sonoma, filling adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated tart

For the pastry:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chill again
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup ice water

1 large or 2 small zucchinis, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup (about 1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded mozzarella
1 tablespoon slivered basil leaves

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water

Make dough: Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle bits of butter over dough and using a pastry blender, cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal, with the biggest pieces of butter the size of tiny peas. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water and add this to the butter-flour mixture. With your fingertips or a wooden spoon, mix in the liquid until large lumps form. Pat the lumps into a ball; do not overwork the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Make filling: Spread the zucchini out over several layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and let drain for 30 minutes; gently blot the tops of the zucchini dry with paper towels before using. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and the garlic together; set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and 1 teaspoon of the garlicky olive oil together and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Prepare galette: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a floured work surface, roll the dough out into a 12-inch round. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet (though if you line it with parchment paper, it will be easier to transfer it to a plate later). Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the bottom of the galette dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Shingle the zucchini attractively on top of the ricotta in concentric circles, starting at the outside edge. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of the garlic and olive oil mixture evenly over the zucchini. Fold the border over the filling, pleating the edge to make it fit. The center will be open. Brush crust with egg yolk glaze.

Bake the galette until the cheese is puffed, the zucchini is slightly wilted and the galette is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with basil, let stand for 5 minutes, then slide the galette onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes

Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes (Pomodori Ripieni di Riso)

just slightly altered from Deb Perelman’s

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse or Kosher salt
6 tomatoes
Red pepper flakes, to taste

1 zucchini, diced

3 leaves spigariello or chard, de-stemmed and sliced into ribbons
1/4 medium or 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
9 tablespoons arborio or another short-grained starchy rice
Few tablespoons chopped parsley, oregano or slivered basil (or mix thereof)
Handful breadcrumbs, if using (unless using gluten-free breadcrumbs, this will of course negate the dish’s gluten-free status)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat an ovenproof baking dish with olive oil.

Prepare tomatoes: Cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out tomato juices, seeds and flesh into a non-reactive (i.e. just about anything but aluminum) bowl. I like to use a grapefruit knife to make the first cuts, then a spoon to remove the rest, but you can use anything you have around, being careful not to pierce the bottom of the tomatoes. Salt the cavities of the tomatoes and turn them upside down on a plate to drain.

Prepare reserve: Run scooped-out tomato flesh and juices through a food mill or pulse in a blender until coarsely pureed. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add 2 tablespoons olive oil, heating it too. Once hot, add zucchini, onion, garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking them together for 2 minutes, or until onion begins to soften. Add rice and cook them together for about 3 minutes, or until rice toasts a little. Add tomato puree and spigariello or chard and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt, then cover skillet with a lid, and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until rice is par-cooked. Adjust seasoning if needed.

Reassemble tomatoes: Stir fresh herbs into tomato-rice mixture. Arrange tomatoes right-side-up in baking pan then spoon mixture into tomatoes, filling them just 7/8 of the way to leave room for the rice to finish expanding. Coat with breadcrumbs that you can drizzle lightly with olive oil, if using, or you can replace the tomato lid on each (though, do not spend 10 minutes trying to match them back up, as I did last summer. It’s pointless.)

Bake: Uncovered for 30 minutes, until tomato walls are soft and the rice inside has finished cooking. Serve hot. Repeat again tomorrow.

Moroccan Rutabaga and Carrot Stew

Moroccan Rutabaga and Carrot Stew
Altered from Bon Appétit, January 2006

Serves 4-6

4-6 garlic cloves
2 tsp Hungarian sweet paprika
1 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp fresh ginger, crushed or chopped finely

½ tsp cayenne pepper

pinch of saffron

1 cup water

2 Tb olive oil

4-6 tomatoes, chopped

2 Tb lemon juice

1 zucchini, chopped coarsely

1 rutabaga, peeled and chopped into half-inch cubes

4 carrots chopped coarsely

Prepare the vegetables: Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Mix in paprika and next 8 ingredients. Add 1 cup water, tomatoes, and lemon juice. Bring to boil. Add rutabaga and carrots. Add squash 5 minutes later. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve over couscous or quinoa. Garnish with parsley, cilantro, and/or mint. Drizzle with yogurt if desired.


Microbrew-Braised Rutabagas

Microbrew-Braised Rutabagas

from Roots, by Diane Morgan

Makes 6 servings as a side dish

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 large yellow onion, about 12 ounces, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar

4 teaspoons kosher or fine sea salt

½ teaspoon ground Aleppo chile

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 pounds rutabagas, ends trimmed, peeled, and cut into ½-inch wedges

One 12-ounce bottle porter-style beer

1½ cups canned low-sodium vegetable broth

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme

In Dutch oven or other heavy pot, melt butter with oil over medium-low heat until butter is foamy. Add onion and stir to coat evenly. Cover and cook until onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until onion is evenly golden brown and caramelized, about 20 minutes.

Add brown sugar, salt, Aleppo pepper, black pepper, and cinnamon and stir constantly until brown sugar has melted and spices are aromatic, about 1 minute. Add rutabagas and stir to coat. Add beer and stock, pressing down on vegetables to submerge them. Liquid should just cover vegetables. If it doesn’t, add more stock or water as needed. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat until liquid is at a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Stir in oregano and thyme, re-cover, and continue to cook until rutabagas are fork-tender, 5 to 10 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer rutabagas and onions to serving bowl, cover, and keep warm.

Increase heat to high and boil braising liquid, stirring occasionally, until it reduces to about ¼ cup and has thickened to syrup consistency, 10 to 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, return rutabagas and onion to pan, and toss to coat in sauce. Heat until vegetables are hot, and then taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve immediately.

Italian Turkey Soup

Italian Turkey Soup

altered from Bon Appétit, January 2005

Serves four

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 small onion, chopped

3 large garlic cloves, chopped

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

6 cups canned low-salt chicken broth (or homemade turkey broth)

2 medium zucchini or other summer squash, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 9-ounce package fresh cheese ravioli

1 1/2 cups diced cooked turkey

Grated Parmesan cheese

Slivered basil for garnish


Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add bell pepper, onion, garlic, fennel seeds and crushed red pepper and sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth. Cover pot and simmer 10 minutes. Add zucchini and carrot. Cover and simmer until carrot is almost tender, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to high and bring soup to boil. Add ravioli and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and cook just until heated through, about 1 minute. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Top with grated cheese and basil.

Herbed Chicken and Arugula Panini

Herbed Chicken and Arugula Panini

Bon Appétit, Jun 2004

This also tastes good with provolone slices added to the chicken.

1 pound thin chicken cutlets

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

8 1/3- to 1/2-inch-thick slices olive bread or 4 crusty sandwich rolls

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1 bunch arugula

Sprinkle chicken on both sides with salt and pepper, then 1 tablespoon thyme. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; sauté until golden and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate.

Add remaining 4 tablespoons oil and garlic to skillet; stir over medium heat 15 seconds. Add vinegar and remaining 1/2 tablespoon thyme; cook 15 seconds, scraping up browned bits. Return chicken to skillet and toss until heated through, about 1 minute.

Arrange 1 bread slice on each of 4 plates. Top with chicken, onion, and arugula, then drizzle with vinaigrette from skillet. Top with remaining bread.


Greek Salad on Grilled Pita

Greek Salad on Grilled Pita

You’ll need a mortar and pestle or a food processor for the hummus and a ridged iron skillet or grill for the pita.


For Hummus:

1 ½ Tb tahini

¼ c lemon juice (1 large lemon)

2 small garlic cloves, minced

2 Tb olive oil

½ - 1 tsp salt, depending on taste

1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas/garbanzo beans

For Dressing:

4 Tb lemon juice (1 large lemon)

2 Tb Flat-leaf/Italian parsley, chopped

1 small garlic clove, minced and crushed with side of knife

1 ½ Tb olive oil

2 tsp red wine vinegar

¼ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

For Pita and Salad:

4 pita breads

1 head lettuce, coarsely chopped

½ c cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cucumber, peeled if desired, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced

½ c pitted Kalamata olives

1/3 c feta, crumbled (2 oz.)

Black pepper


Make Hummus:

Combine tahini and lemon juice in a food processor, and blend for 1 minute. Scrape mixture down the sides of the container, then add the garlic, olive oil, and salt. Process for 30 seconds. Reserve the juice from the garbanzo beans, and add to the processor. Puree for about a minute. Add garbanzo juice from can, about 1 Tb at a time until it reaches your preferred consistency.

Make Dressing:

Whisk all dressing ingredients together until emulsified.

Grill Pita and Make Salad:

Heat grill pan or grill over high heat until smoking and lightly brush with oil. Grill as many pitas as will fit on the ridges (1 if you have our pan) turning over once, until grill marks appear. Transfer to plates.

Toss lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, in a bowl with dressing to coat. Add feta and toss gently a couple times, so it doesn’t become milky goo.


Spread hummus on pitas, then top with salad. Grind black pepper on top and serve.

Farro Salad with Roasted Rutabaga, Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts

Farro Salad with Roasted Rutabaga, Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts

slightly altered from Roots, by Diane Morgan

Makes 3-4 servings as a side dish

3/4 pounds rutabagas, ends trimmed, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

Kosher or sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cups farro

1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar, plus more for drizzling

A pinch of granulated sugar or 1/4 tsp honey

1 tablespoons minced shallots

1 small garlic clove, minced

2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

2 cups lightly packed arugula


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss the rutabagas with 2 tablespoons of the oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and a generous grind of pepper. Spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the rutabagas, stirring occasionally, until fork-tender and browned at the edges, about 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and add the farro. Reduce the heat so the water just simmers, cover partially and cook until the farro is tender, 20 to 45 minutes according to the kind of farro you use. Add more water if necessary. Drain the farro in a sieve and shake to remove any excess water. Let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons of the oil, the vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of pepper, the sugar, the shallots and the garlic. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the farro to the bowl and toss to coat the grains with the dressing. Add the rutabagas and toss gently to mix. Add the cheese and hazelnuts and toss until evenly combined.

In another bowl, toss the arugula with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, a drizzle of vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the arugula among the individual salad plates. Mount the farro salad on top and serve immediately. (The farro salad can be made up to 1 day in advance. cover and refrigerate; remove from refrigerator 2 hours before serving.)


Fall Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Fall Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

If you want this salad to be a bit more substantial add a little bacon.

2 Tb balsamic vinegar

2 Tb olive oil

1 Tb honey

1 Tb Dijon mustard

1 bag arugula

1 apple, cored and sliced thinly

¼ c walnuts, toasted and chopped

1 oz. blue cheese or gorgonzola


Whisk balsamic, olive oil, honey, and Dijon together then toss into arugula to coat. Divvy up arugula into suitable portions. Top with apple, walnuts, and blue cheese/gorgonzola.


Cucumber and Wakame Salad

Cucumber and Wakame Salad

from Step-By-Step Japanese Cooking

Serves four. This recipe is a bit time consuming for a side salad, but it will leave you with extra dashi--a wonderful Japanese broth.

For dashi:

7 ½ c cold water

4 in piece kombu seaweed (edible kelp)

2 Tb dried bonito flakes


For salad:

1 cucumber

½ tsp salt

3 Tb rice vinegar

2 Tb dashi

2 Tb soy sauce

1 Tb sugar

¼ tsp salt

2 Tb mirin

1 Tb dried wakame seaweed

1 Tb ginger, chopped finely into needles


To make dashi: Put kombu and 1 Tb bonito flakes with the cold water in a large saucepan and heat just to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the stock is reduced by a third. Add the other tablespoon of bonito flakes and immediately remove the saucepan from the heat. The flakes to settle, then strain off through a cheesecloth-lined sieve.

To make the salad: Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds. Cut into paper-thin slices. Dissolve ½ tsp salt in ½ cup cold water, add the cucumber, and leave to soak for 20 minutes. Put the cucumber into cheesecloth to drain. Squeeze the cucumber gently to remove excess moisture. Combine the rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons of dashi, soy sauce, sugar, salt and mirin in a small saucepan, and heat to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and chill. Trim the wakame seaweed and chop coarsely. Combine the wakame and cucumber in a bowl and spoon the chilled dressing over them. Toss gently. Arrange neat mounds of salad in individual bowls. Garnish with a little chopped ginger.

Braised Rutabaga with Poppy Seed Bread Crumbs

Braised Rutabaga with Poppy-Seed Bread Crumbs

Adjusted from Gourmet, Feb 2008

For rutabaga

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 pounds rutabagas, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges

1 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

For bread crumbs

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs from a baguette

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley



Braise rutabagas:

Melt butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat, then add rutabagas, water, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Increase heat to medium and stir rutabagas, then briskly simmer, uncovered, until all of liquid has evaporated and rutabagas are glazed and just tender, 20 to 35 minutes (they should be cooked through but still retain their shape).


Make bread crumbs while rutabagas cook:
Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic, stirring, until pale golden, about 1 minute. Add bread crumbs and poppy seeds and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and salt to taste. Just before serving, sprinkle bread crumbs over rutabagas.

Banh Mi Sandwiches

Banh Mi Sandwiches
Altered from

Serves 3

For the slaw:

2 lemon cucumbers, cut into sticks

4 carrots, shredded
½ head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
¼ cup sugar or ½ cup honey
1 tsp salt

For the sriracha aioli:

¼ - 1/3 cup mayonnaise (depending on your affection for mayonnaise)

1 Tb sriracha

2 scallions, finely chopped

For the Vietnamese meatballs:

12 oz ground pork
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
6 garlic cloves, minced

2 scallions, finely chopped
1 Tb fish sauce
1 Tb sriracha
1 Tb sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
Sunflower or safflower oil

3 demi-baguettes or 1 baguette divided into thirds

Prepare the slaw: Place cucumbers in a bowl and add sprinkle with salt. After 5 minutes, squeeze water out of them. Add the vinegar, sugar and salt to a large bowl.  Stir to dissolve. Add the cucumbers, carrots, and napa cabbage and toss well. Let sit for at least an hour at room temperature, tossing it if you are around.  You can make this ahead and keep it in the refrigerator; it stays crispy for several hours.

Make the sriracha aioli: Stir mayonnaise, sriracha sauce, and 2 scallions in a small bowl. Taste. Add salt if needed, or more sriracha sauce.

Make the meatballs: Gently mix the rest of the ingredients (except for the oil and baguettes) in a bowl. Using wet hands, use a tablespoon to scoop up meat and form a 1 inch meatball. Heat sesame or canola oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs to the pan (they should not touch in the pan) and fry until golden brown on all sides, about 15 minutes.

Assemble sandwiches: Heat baguette(s), then slice open. Drop meatballs in, cover generously with slaw and drizzle with sriracha aioli to your liking.

Orecchiette with salad turnips, spinach, shiitakes, and bacon

Orecchiette with salad turnips, spinach, shiitakes, and bacon

Serves two

10 oz orrechiette pasta

5 oz bacon (Llano seco is nice) or pancetta

¼ lb shiitake mushrooms

½ tsp balsamic vinegar

1 bunch salad turnips with their greens

5 cloves garlic

¼ lb spinach

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

6 sprigs thyme, de-stemmed or 2 Tb chopped parsley

1 Tb marsala wine or white wine

 Cook bacon in a skillet on a medium-low flame until browned. As bacon cooks, boil water, cook the orecchiette and strain. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. And shiitake stems to rendered fat and cook for 30 seconds, then add shiitake heads. Remove shiitakes after 5 minutes and place in the bacon bowl with ½ tsp of balsamic vinegar. Add turnip roots to bacon fat, then add garlic after two minutes, and then turnip greens and spinach after three more minutes. Stir occasionally until cooked down, about 8-10 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and thyme or parsley and stir. Add a splash of marsala or white wine. Heat for thirty seconds, then incorporate bacon and shiitakes. Finally, stir in pasta and enjoy.


Zucchini Ribbons with Almond Pesto

Zucchini Ribbons with Almond Pesto

from Deb Perelman’s, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

This recipe is made for zucchini, but any mix of summer squash can be substituted.

1/2 cup almonds, toasted and cooled

1/4 cup (3/4 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese

1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed

Pinch of red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup olive oil

2 pounds medium zucchini, trimmed

Grind almonds, Parmesan, garlic and red pepper flakes in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Add the lemon juice, salt and olive oil and pulse a few times until incorporated. Pour the dressing into a large salad bowl and let it roll up and around the sides.

Using a vegetable peeler (a Y-peeler or mandolin works great if you have one here, but any old peeler will do) and working from the top to bottom of each zucchini, slice the zucchini into ribbons (about 1/16-inch thick). Place the ribbons in dressing-coated bowl.

Toss the ribbons gently—frankly your hands are best for this as they wont break up the ribbons while tossing them—attempting to coat the zucchini as evenly as possible with the dressing. Serve at room temperature. This can sit out for a while (the longer it does, the more relaxed the ribbons will be) but I like to eat it right away, when the ribbons still make tall loops and twists in thee bowl.


Summer Squash & Shiitake Tacos

Summer Squash & Shiitake Tacos

3 summer squash (cousa, scallop, zucchini, etc.)

6 oz. shiitakes

~4 oz. olive oil

4 garlic scapes (or 2 cloves garlic)

2 Tb oregano

2 Tb cumin

2 Tb chili powder

¼ c balsamic vinegar

6 kale leaves, de-stemmed

1 avocado or sour cream

2-4 scallions, chopped finely


Quarter zucchini and cousa squash lengthwise, and slice into ½ inch chunks. Cut scallop squash into thick pie-like slices, then halve if needed, so they’re roughly  the same size as the other summer squash. Separate shiitake stems from heads, and finely chop the stems. Halve or quarter the heads, depending on size. Mix together oregano, cumin, and chili powder in a small bowl.

Heat skillet at a medium heat and, after a minute, add oil to generously coat. When oil seems watery, add the finely chopped stems along with the summer squash (it may spatter) and stir for 1 minute. Add chopped mushroom heads for 3 minutes and stir occasionally. Add half the garlic scapes, and cook 2 more minutes Add a heavy splash of balsamic and a light splash soy sauce. Cook until absorbed, roughly 3 minutes, then add half of the dry mixture, and turn the flame down to low. The goal is to coat the wet vegetables and mushrooms in the dry mixture without it sticking to the pan. A small amount of vinegar or wine can help with any stickiness. Cook for 3-5 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan frequently with a wooden spoon. At this point, you should have spice coated vegetables—turn off the flame.

In a large bowl mix the other half of chopped garlic scapes with the rest of the olive oil. Coat kale leaves in this mixture and place enough that will fit on a hot skillet or grill. Turn when necessary, until the whole leaves are crispy. Remove to cool, and cook the rest of the leaves the same way if needed. Slice into thick ribbons when cooled.

Heat tortillas and fill with summer squash and shiitakes, and top with kale and avocado or sour cream, and scallions.