Roasted butternut squash with wild rice, cranberries, shallots and garlic

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 20 MINS

COOK TIME | 45 MINS

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This recipe is a star as a side dish alongside our Thanksgiving turkey or alone as the main dish on Meatless Monday. It’s festive, beautiful and full of great flavor and nutrients.

INGREDIENTS

* 2 acorn squashes (1 1/2 pounds each), halved lengthwise, seeds removed
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 shallot, minced
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed or 5 leaves, fresh chopped sage
* Kosher salt and ground pepper
* 1 box (6 ounces) wild-rice blend.
* 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
* 1/2 cup dried cranberries
* 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
* chopped parsley for garnish, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. On a rimmed baking sheet, arrange squash cut side down; cover sheet tightly with aluminum foil. Roast until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, about 40 minutes.

3. While the squash bakes, heat butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add shallot and sage and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper and sauce for a minute more.
4. Add rice (toss the little spice packet that came with the rice) and add 1 3/4 cups broth and bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low and simmer, without lifting the lid, until tender, check after 20 minutes. If not tender yet, add additional broth if necessary, and simmer another 5 minutes or until rice is firm yet tender.
5. 
Turn the heat off, stir in the cranberries and chopped nuts and mix, add additional kosher salt and pepper to to taste.
6. Scoop even amounts of the rice mixture into each of the squash.
7. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, if using, and serve.

NOTES

Quick and Easy Sesame Garlic Noodles

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 5 MINS

COOK TIME | 10 MINS

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I have been making a version of this dish for years. I love its chameleon-like versatility. Missing an ingredient-improvise! This dish can take it. Add seasonal veggies for an ultimate fresh and healthy version.
The bonus is I haven’t met a kid who hasn’t gobbled it down! Double Duty Recipe: Make extra sauce to use later in the week to pour over rice or marinate fish, beef or chicken and broil or grill.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 8 oz. package favorite spaghetti, I like thick spaghetti
* 2 tsp chili oil or vegetable oil
* 8-10 oz cremini mushrooms, coarsely chopped
* 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
* 1 carrot, julienned
* 2 Serrano peppers or to taste, thinly sliced1
* 3-4 scallions , cut into 2” pieces and then slices lengthwise, set aside a few pieces for garnish
* 3 Tbsps soy sauce
* 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 tbsp maple syrup
* 2 tsps fish sauce
* 3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
* 2 tbsps toasted sesame seeds 
* 4-5 large basil leaves cut into ribbons, optional for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Start a large pot of water. over high heat and cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water.


2. While the pasta cooks, in a small bowl, whisk the garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce, maple syrup, sesame seed oil. set aside.


3. In a pan large enough to toss all the ingredients including the pasta, heat the chili or vegetable oil over medium heat.

4. Add the Serrano, bell pepper and carrot. Cook, for about 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally or until tender.

7. Add the chopped mushrooms, stir and cover. Cook for 5-7 more minutes. Stir once or twice.

9. Uncover and remove from the heat. The liquid will evaporate.


10. Add the cooked pasta and and toss and then add the sauce and mix well.

11. Serve hot or at room temperature. Garnish with basil, if using, scallions and sesame seeds.


NOTES

Add in any vegetables you would like. Add add extra carrot or beansprouts and broccoli.
Substitute rice vinegar for the fish sauce to go vegan and vegetarian.

Homemade Sauerkraut

YIELDS | 8-10 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 15 minutes plus fermentation

COOK TIME | NA

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Sauerkraut alone, on a polish or mixed with pork sausage, the benefits of this gut friendly fermented vegetable are almost endless. Like Kimchi, this dish can morph into many dishes by changing the flavor profile. This recipe is the ultimate in simplicity and tastes so much better than store bought. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself making it often.

INGREDIENTS

* 1 1/2-2 teaspoons pickling salt, or kosher salt –
* 1 large head fresh green cabbage, keep a couple large leaves to use to hold down the sauerkraut and brine.
* Jars with lids

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cut the cabbage in half, remove any brown or bruises leave and the core.

2. Slice the cabbage 1/8 inch thick, almost like a shred, sprinkle on the salt. Massage the salt into the cabbage for about 15-20 minutes. Do not pour out the juice. 


3. Pack the cabbage in a the glass jars and tamp until the jar is about 3/4 full. Pour in juice until the cabbage and liquid are about 1” from the top of the jar. Be sure the cabbage is fully submerged and there are no air pockets..

4. Fold a piece of the reserved cabbage leaf on top of the sauerkraut and brine and gently push down until it keeps the contents submerged. Loosely cover the jar with a lid.

5. Place the jars in a cool, dark place where the temperature is between 65-70 degrees. IMPORTANT: Be sure to open the jar every day to release any pressure so the jar doesn’t explode.

6. After 3-4 days of fermenting begin to taste the cabbage every day and until it reaches the level of preferred tanginess. The brine will most likely become effervescent. This is a sign of active microbial activity-a good thing.

NOTES

To reap the benefits sauerkraut has to offer, ferment the cabbage for a minimum of two weeks.
Once the sauerkraut is finished, tighten the lid and store the sauerkraut in the refrigerator.
Sauerkraut can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 months.

Oil Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

YIELDS | 4 cup SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10-15 MINS

COOK TIME | 2-21/2 HOURS

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I make a big batch of these oil roasted cherry tomatoes and freeze them. I use them throughout the winter months and spoon them along with the oil into pastas, on top of flatbread’s and pizzas and toss into stews for a burst of fresh tomato flavor.

INGREDIENTS

* 2 pints cherry tomatoes
* 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
* 6 fresh thyme sprigs
* 2 sprigs rosemary
* 6 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed, optional
* 6 Serrano peppers, optional
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 225F.

1. Place the tomatoes in a single layer in a baking dish and drizzle them with the oil.
2. Add thyme, garlic and salt. Bake until the tomatoes are swollen and the skins are wrinkled. About 2.5-3 hours.
3. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Freeze in 1 cup containers along with equal amounts of oil or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

NOTES

I typically make two batches; one with time and kosher salt iand 1 batch with garlic and Serrano pepper for a spicy version.

Cumin Charred Cabbage Wedges with Pistachios and Spiced Butter

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 15 MINS

COOK TIME | 30 MINS

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INGREDIENTS

* 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
* 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
* 1/4 teaspoon allspice
* 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 1/2 tsp Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
* 1 small-medium head green cabbage, core removed and cut into four wedges
* 1/3 cup roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
* 2 tablespoons butter

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400°

1. Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a small, dry pan over medium heat. Let cool. Set the pan aside to use again.
2. Grind the all the spices, except for the paprika, and salt with the mortar and pestle.
3. Mix the spice and salt mixture with the olive.
4. Drizzle the oil over the cabbage. Using your fingers, rub the spiced oil into the nooks and crannies of the cabbage.
5. Heat a pan large enough to hold the wedges over medium high heat, and sear the wedges for 3-4 minutes on each side until browned.
6. Pop the wedges onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cabbage is tender.
7. While the cabbage bakes, using the same pan used to toast the spices, melt the butter, add the pistachios and smoked paprika. Mix and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant. Remove from the heat.
8. Place the cabbage wedges onto a serving platter, drizzle the melted butter and pistachio mixture over the cabbage. Sprinkle with additional kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

NOTES

Butter Braised Leeks with Parmesan and Thyme

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | X MINS

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As soon as the warm weather began to cool, my father Jean would serve us quintessentially French vegetable dishes of braised leeks, cabbage or Belgium endive. Most were prepared in this buttery braised and herbaceous broth and then finished under the broiler. This is fresh country French cuisine at it finest, without the complicated steps and long list of ingredients. Only creamy butter, a little wine, fresh herbs and a hearty handful of grated cheese make this a must have recipe for your fall recipe repertoire.

INGREDIENTS

* 6-8 medium leeks, about 2 lbs, trimmed and rinsed clean

* 
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

* 
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

* 2 Tbsps cold, unsalted butter, cut into slices

* 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

* 1/2 cup parmesan or pecorino or cheese, grated

* Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS


Step 1. Trim dark-green tops and roots from the leeks then cut in half lengthwise. Remove any tough, bruised outer layers. Hold the leeks to keep them intact and rinse them under running water and drain.

Step 2. In a baking dish or cast iron skillet, arrange the leeks in a single layer, close together, with the cut sides up to absorb and hold the butter and broth.

Step 3. Add the wine to a small pan and boil for a minute and then add the broth and bring to a simmer. turn heat off.

Step 4. Sprinkle the leeks with kosher salt and a few good cranks of freshly ground pepper.

Step 5. Evenly distribute the slices of butter on top of the leeks and sprinkle with the thyme leaves. Pour the wine and broth over the leeks and butter. tightly cover the baking dish or pan with a lid or foil and simmer for 40-45 minutes. Add additional broth if necessary.


Step 6. Uncover and continue simmering for 15-20 minutes or until the leeks are tender and the broth has reduced by half or more.

Preheat broiler to high

Step 7. Sprinkle the leeks with the pecorino or parmesan cheese and broil for 3-5 minutes or until browned and bubbly.

Add additional salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

NOTES

I like to make and serve this dish in a cast-iron skillet. I think it brings a beautiful and rustic flair to the dinner table.