September 15, 2011

Unemployed Shepherd's Pie

Shepard's pie always tastes comforting and hearty to me. Plus I love that's it's cheap and easy to make. And this vegetarian recipe is also healthy!

Unemployed Shepherd's Pie
Vegetarian Times 2008 Reader Recipe 2nd Place Winner

8 Servings

6 cups peeled, cubed potatoes
¼ cup low-fat milk
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
¼ cup plus 2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
2 15-oz. cans diced organic tomatoes with liquid
2 large eggplants, peeled and chopped (1½ lb.)
1 Tbs. Simply Organic Parsley
1 tsp. Simply Organic Basil
1 tsp. Simply Organic Garlic Flakes
1 tsp. sea salt
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup dried breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, beaten
1 green bell pepper, sliced very thin
1 small zucchini, sliced very thin
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper, optional
  1. Place potatoes in large pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, and cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until soft. Drain, and mash with milk and butter. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes, or until beginning to soften. Stir in tomatoes, eggplants, parsley, basil, garlic flakes, and sea salt; season with pepper. Simmer 20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Remove from heat, and stir in Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and eggs. Spread potato mixture over top, banking up sides a bit.
  3. Heat remaining 2 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add green bell pepper and zucchini, and sauté 7 to 10 minutes, or until just tender.
  4. Fill center of mashed potatoes with sautéed bell pepper and zucchini, and sprinkle with black pepper, if desired. Bake 20 minutes, or until heated through. (Baking will take less time if mashed potatoes are hot at time of assembly.)

PER SERVING: Calories 342, Protein 9g, Total fat 16.5g, Carbs 41g, Cholesterol 65mg, Sodium 409mg, Fiber 6g, Sugars 9g

September 07, 2011

Delicata Squash Stuffed with Curried Wild Rice

mmmm....winter squash, wild rice, and curry. tastes like Fall.

Delicata Squash Stuffed with Curried Wild Rice
Vegetarian Times Issue: November 1, 2003   p.61

6 Servings

3 delicata squash, halved and seeded
2 Tbs. butter or margarine
1/2 cup minced onion
2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped cashews
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and minced
1 cup cooked wild rice
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/3 cup mango chutney
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Place squash halves cut side down on baking sheet. Bake about 20 minutes, just until squash is not quite cooked through. Remove from oven, and set aside until second baking.
  3. Heat butter in large saucepan over medium heat, and add onions. Sauté onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add curry, cayenne, black pepper and cinnamon, and toss well. Add raisins, cashews and apples, and continue cooking until apples are soft. Add rice, yogurt and chutney, and toss well.
  4. Divide curried vegetables equally between squash halves. Bake squash 25 minutes, or until squash is tender and stuffing is heated through.

Nutritional Information
Per SERVING: Calories 260, Protein 6g, Total fat 10g, Carbs 43g, Cholesterol 10mg, Sodium 55mg, Fiber 5g, Sugars 24g

August 28, 2011

Roasted Figs with Goat Cheese and Honey

There's something so delicious about the earthy, subtle taste of figs. But because they're so rarely eaten, they always bring a touch of class to any meal.

Quartered and wrapped in prosciutto, then fried till crisp makes for a lovely appetizer.

Poached in a red wine sauce makes for a fancy dessert.

But my favorite way to eat it is roasted with goat cheese and honey. This recipe serves 10:

10 fresh figs
1/3 cup honey
1/3 goat cheese, softened (can be substituted with marscapone cheese)

Simply cut each fig into quarters, but stopping about 1/2 inch from the bottom to leave the base intact.
Gently pry open the figs and roast in a well oiled pan at 425° for 9 minutes, until softened.
Spoon about a teaspoon of cheese into the center of each fig and roast for another 3 minutes.  Put the figs on a plate and drizzle with your favorite locally produced honey.

Want to make it a more savory? Simply mix the goat cheese with a few dashes of black pepper before adding it to the figs.

Or want to make it sweeter? Use marscapone.


August 11, 2011

Linguine with Sunflower Pesto

Sunflower seeds also taste like summer to me. And this sunflower pesto is satisfyingly delicious and healthy!

Linguine with Sunflower Pesto
Vegetarian Times Issue: March 1, 2001   p.52

4 Servings

2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup hulled sunflower seeds, plus more for garnish
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil, or more as needed
12 oz. linguine
  1. In food processor, combine basil, sunflower seeds, garlic, salt and freshly ground pepper and process until coarsely ground. With machine running, add oil in slow, steady stream through feed tube, processing until well blended.
  2. Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguine, stirring to prevent sticking. Cook linguine until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well.
  3. Transfer linguine to large, shallow bowl. Add pesto, salt to taste and a little additional olive oil and toss to coat. Serve hot.

Nutritional Information
Per SERVING: Calories 347, Protein 8g, Total fat 23g, Carbs 28g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 269mg, Fiber 3g, Sugars 0g

July 27, 2011

Couscous-Corn Salad

mmm there's nothing better than fresh corn in the summer. And this recipe for couscous and corn is a perfect side for summer barbeques!

Couscous-Corn Salad
Vegetarian Times Issue: June 1, 2002   p.54

4 Servings

1 cup couscous
2 cups fresh (about 4 ears) or frozen corn kernels
1 cup packed basil leaves, finely chopped
½ cup diced jarred roasted red peppers
½ cup finely diced red onion
2 Tbs. olive oil
3 to 5 Tbs. fresh lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
  1. In medium saucepan, bring 1 ½ cups water to boil over high heat. Add couscous, stir and return to a boil.
  2. Cover pan, remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, bring another medium saucepan of water to boil over high heat. Add corn, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well.
  4. Fluff couscous with fork and transfer to large serving bowl. Set aside to cool at room temperature. Add corn, basil, peppers and onion.
  5. In small cup, mix oil and lemon juice. Pour over couscous mixture and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Information
Per SERVING: Calories 310, Protein 9g, Total fat 8g, Carbs 53g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 15mg, Fiber 5g, Sugars 0g

July 18, 2011

Chicken and Goat Cheese Fritters with Chives

Lately I've been on a goat cheese kick. I picked up this recipe in Maryland. Can't go wrong with fried dough....

Chicken and Goat Cheese Fritters with Chives
edible Chesapeake: Spring 2007

6 Servings (appetizer)

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons diced, caramelized onions (see note)
2 tablespoons minced chives
1 cup coarsely chopped cooked chicken meat
1/2 cup crumbled chevre goat cheese (Firefly Farms is a local favorite)
Vegetable oil for frying
  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the eggs. Mix in the milk, onions and chives. Fold in the chicken and the goat cheese.
  2. Pour oil into a heavy skillet to a depth of 1 inch, and heat until very hot, about 375 degrees. Drop the batter by the tablespoonful, a few fritters at a time, and fry until golden brown, for 2 to 3 minutes, turning often. Remove with tongs or a slotted utensil to paper towels to drain.

NOTE: To caramelize onions, sauté small diced pieces in a little sweet, unsalted butter—or olive oil—until they turn a rich golden brown. This process gives the onions a delightfully sweet flavor.

July 09, 2011

Creamy Cauliflower Mac by Mark Bittman

The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better LivingWith all the talk of Kraft adding cauliflower to it's Macaroni & Cheese, it seems like a good time to try to make cauliflower mac & cheese (without the box). I like this recipe by Mark Bittman.

Creamy Cauliflower Mac by Mark Bittman
Makes: 4 servings
Time: About 45 minutes

(Recipe from The Food Matters Cookbook)

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing the baking dish
2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water
2 bay leaves
1 cauliflower, cored and separated into large pieces
8 ounces elbow, shell, ziti, or other cut pasta, preferably whole wheat
1 /2 cup grated cheese (like sharp cheddar, Gruyère, or Emmental or a combination)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, or to taste
1 /8 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste
Black pepper
1 /4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 /2 cup or more bread crumbs, optional

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking dish with a little oil. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Put the stock with the bay leaves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When small bubbles appear along the sides, about 5 minutes later, turn off the heat and let stand.
  2. Cook the cauliflower in the boiling water until very tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Scoop the cauliflower out of the water with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a blender or food processor. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until still somewhat chalky inside and not yet edible, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the bay leaves from the stock. Carefully process the cauliflower with 2 cups of the stock, the 2 tablespoons oil, the cheese, mustard, nutmeg, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. (You may have to work in batches.) If the sauce seems too thick, add the remaining 1/2 cup stock. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour the sauce over the pasta, toss, and spread the mixture evenly in the dish. (You can make the dish to this point, cover, and refrigerate for up to a day; return to room temperature before proceeding.)
  4. Sprinkle the top with the Parmesan and bread crumbs if you’re using them. Bake until the pasta is bubbling and the crumbs turn brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.
Less Creamy Cauliflower Mac: Cut the cored head of cauliflower in half instead of into large pieces. In Step 2, cook only half of the cauliflower until it’s very tender, then transfer it to the blender or food processor as described. Chop the remaining half of the cauliflower into large pieces and add them to the boiling water along with the pasta. Proceed with the recipe.

July 02, 2011

Roasted Lamb

Most lamb is grass-fed and grass-finished and has more omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linoleic acids) than beef or chicken. It's also delicious.

Roasted Lamb
Stonyfield Farm

8 Servings

8 cloves garlic minced
3 cups Stonyfield Farm whole milk plain yogurt
1 cup mint, chopped
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbs. red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
4 lb. boneless leg of lamb
  1. In a bowl combine garlic, yogurt, mint, lemon zest and juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Divide marinade in half. Place one half in a large freezer bag. Leave the remaining half in bowl, cover and refrigerate.
  2. Place boneless leg of lamb into freezer bag with yogurt mixture. Let sit in fridge for 3 hours, but not longer than 4 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  4. Remove lamb from mixture and place in a roasting pan. Brush with remaining mixture from freezer bag. Sprinkle with salt and generous amount of pepper. Roast 20 minutes.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue roasting until thermometer inserted into thickest part of lamb registers 130°F (about 1 hour), baste occasionally with drippings. Cool 20 minutes.
  6. Serve with reserved sauce. Garnish with mint leaves.

Per SERVING: Calories 580; Calories from Fat 210; Total Fat 24g; Sat Fat 9g; Trans Fat 0g; Cholesterol 260mg; Sodium 210mg; Total Carbohydrates 7g; Fiber 0g; Sugars 5g; Protein 80g

June 28, 2011

America's Test Kitchen Cookbook

A friend just told me that America's Test Kitchen has published a cookbook and I've got to buy myself a copy. Here's the review:
Since its debut in 1999, America's Test Kitchen has been public television's most-watched cooking show. This new comprehensive cookbook captures ten seasons of the show in a lively collection featuring more than 500 foolproof recipes and dozens of tips and techniques. You'll learn the secret to rich-tasting Weeknight Bolognese and Cheesey Garlic Bread in Bringing Home Italian Favorites. Prepare a platter of the best-tasting nachos you've ever had in Tex-Mex tonight. And discover a new way to cook the Thanksgiving turkey in Talking Turkey and All the Trimmings--choose among nine different recipes for the holiday bird--from Classic Roast Stuffed Turkey and Crisp-Skinned Butterflied Turkey to Herbed Roast Turkey, Grill-Roasted Turkey, and more.

Want to learn how to be a better cook? Throughout the book you'll find a special behind-the-scenes feature highlighting the most important test kitchen techniques from the past decade. In addition, we take you behind the scenes of the show for a fascinating look at how recipes are developed, why our equipment and ingredient ratings are different, what's involved in putting together an episode, and more. And assembled just for this collection, The America's Test Kitchen Guide to Recommended Ingredients and Equipment unites all our important tastings and testings into an easy-to-navigate buyer's guide so you can be a savvy consumer whether you're investing in a new gas grill or picking up a can of tomatoes. This new volume gives you a decade of great cooking and expertise from America's most trusted test kitchen.

June 24, 2011

Vegetarian Biscuits and Gravy

almost passes for biscuits and sausage gravy. almost.

Biscuits & Gravy
Vegetarian Times 2008 Reader Recipe 3rd Place Winner

8 Servings

1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and drained
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup diced red bell pepper
¼ cup diced carrot (1 carrot)
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
¼ cup plus 1 Tbs. unbleached flour
1½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. ground yellow mustard seed
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. rubbed (crumbled) sage
2½ cups low-fat milk
½ cup Annie’s Naturals Cowgirl Ranch Dressing
8 whole-grain biscuits or 4 English muffins
  1. Bring lentils and 3 cups water to a boil in 2-qt. saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 30 minutes, or until just tender. Drain, and set aside.
  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in large skillet. Add onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add bell pepper, carrot, and garlic, and cook 5 to 8 more minutes, or until vegetables are tender but not mushy. Stir in flour, black pepper, paprika, mustard, red pepper flakes, and sage; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring after each addition. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, whisking constantly, until gravy comes to a gentle boil. Remove from heat, and stir in ranch dressing and drained lentils.
  3. Split biscuits or English muffins. Lightly toast English muffins, if using. Place biscuits on plates, and top with gravy.

PER SERVING: Calories 461, Protein 16g, Total fat 21g, Carbs 55g, Cholesterol 11mg, Sodium 379mg, Fiber 11g, Sugars 9g

Food & Wine Favorite Italian Recipes e-book

Got an unexpected email from Vacationist with a link to a complimentary FOOD & WINE Favorite Italian Recipes digital book collection:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Vacationist <>
Date: Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 9:56 AM
Subject: Complimentary gift for Vacationist members

amex Favorite Italian RecipesFavorite Italian Recipes
Let FOOD & WINE be your guide with the complimentary FOOD & WINE Favorite Italian Recipes digital book collection. With this collection by your side, you'll be well on your way to creating recipes that are hand selected and tested by the editors of FOOD & WINE, including:• Classic Meatballs• Pappardelle with Veal Ragu

• Carrot-Potato Gnocchi with Cheese

• Vanilla Zabaglione With Raspberries and MORE!

What are you waiting for? This authentic and flavorful collection of recipes is FREE!

Plus, you'll get the FOOD & WINE Daily, a free e-newsletter with an inspired recipe idea from FOOD & WINE served up fresh every day!

Favorite Italian Recipes

American Express Publishing Customer Service Department
P.O. Box 62700 | Tampa, FL 33662-7008
© 2011 American Express Publishing Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
I can't wait to make a whole meal from this book: start Hearty Minestrone Soup, then to (vegetarian) Carrot-Potato Gnocchi with Cheese, then to Pappardelle with Veal Ragù, then end with Vanilla Zabaglione with Raspberries. So hungry!

June 10, 2011

Fresh Pea Soup with Tarragon


Fresh Pea Soup with Tarragon
Vegetarian Times Issue: April 1, 2008

Serves 4

1 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced (1 1/2 cups)
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
3 cups fresh or thawed frozen peas
1 Tbs. tarragon leaves
3 radishes, thinly sliced
  1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, and sauté 7 to 9 minutes, or until soft. Stir in garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add vegetable broth and 1 cup water, and bring to a simmer. Cook 15 minutes, stir in peas, and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat, and cool 30 minutes.
  2. Purée soup in blender with tarragon leaves until smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or chilled, with sliced radishes on top.

Nutritional Information
Per SERVING: Calories 139, Protein 6g, Total fat 3.5g, Carbs 22g, Cholesterol 8mg, Sodium 366mg, Fiber 6g, Sugars 8g

June 08, 2011

AHAlife - Hot Pot BBQ

love the look of this terra cotta bbq pot / fake plant.

June 07, 2011

6 Steps to Avoiding BPA in Your Daily Life

Great list of tips on avoiding toxic BPA by Ariel Schwartz (@arielhs) in Fast Company:
  • Drink tap water or rely on BPA-free stainless steel water bottles (from companies like Nalgene or Sigg) instead of slugging down bottled water. Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Instead of eating microwavable meals that come out of plastic containers, eat only freshly-prepared, organic foods. Difficulty Rating: Moderate (or hard, depending on where you live, the size of your bank account, and how lazy you are).
  • Instead of using plastic utensils, rely on the longer-lasting variety. Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • To be safe, avoid all canned foods and replace with non-canned variations (replace canned soup with soup in a carton, for example) unless cans denote that they have a BPA-free lining. If that's not possible, avoid these specific canned foods, which are known to be high in BPA: coconut milk, soup, meat, vegetables, meals, juice, fish, beans, meal-replacement drinks, and fruit (yes, we realize that encompasses most canned foods). Take special care to avoid foods that are acidic, salty, or fatty. Difficulty Rating: Hard
  • Steer clear of plastic storage containers for leftover food. Instead, use glass containers along with BPA-free plastic lids. The food should not touch the lids.  Difficulty Rating: Easy
  • Instead of using a plastic coffee-maker or going out for coffee, use a French press or ceramic drip. Difficulty Rating: Moderate (if you like to drink your coffee during the workday)
Sadly, BPA is even found in milk and eggs due to pre-market processing but at least this list is a start!

May 28, 2011

GOOP - Squash Blossom Pizza

squash blossom pizza

I adore Gwyneth Paltrow's energy and worth ethic. And lately, I've come to love her recipes. I can't wait to try this one for Spring Squash Blossom Pizza with homemade ricotta cheese and summer squash blossoms fresh from the garden.

For the dough:
  • 2 1/4 cups warm water (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 packages, or 2 tablespoons plus 3/4 teaspoon, active dry yeast
  • About 5 cups of flour plus more for kneading and dusting. I used Italian "00" flour but you can also use bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
For the dough, whisk together 3/4 cup of the water and the yeast in a large bowl and let stand until the surface has a few little bubbles and is creamy (about 5 minutes).

Add 1 1/2 cups water, 3 3/4 cups flour, olive oil and salt and stir until smooth. While stirring, gradually add up to another cup of flour until the dough starts to pull itself from the edges of the bowl.

Knead the dough on a generously floured surface until it's elastic and smooth—it will take about 8 minutes of hard work. Dust the surface with flour as you go—you don’t want the dough to stick.

Form the kneaded dough into a ball, dust with flour, and gently place in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a tea-towel. Let it rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. You can let it sit for up to a couple of hours or even overnight in the refrigerator.

For the sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrot and onion and cook, stirring now and then, until softened but not ground, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice and the salt. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 40 minutes. Carefully puree in a blender until very smooth. Let it cool before saucing your pizzas. This can be made up to a week ahead.

For the toppings:
  • A thin layer of tomato sauce
  • A few dots of homemade ricotta
  • Grated parmesan
  • Torn squash blossoms tossed with a bit of oil (so they crisp in the oven)
To assemble pizzas, break off pieces of the dough and stretch with your fingers until quite thin. You can also roll your dough out using a rolling pin.
Now top your pizza. I start with pizza sauce. Be sure not to put too much sauce on (this will weigh it down) and don’t go too close to the edge as this will make it hard to slide your peel under the pizza.
  1. Preheat the oven to 500° F. Arrange an oven rack in the top third of the oven (but not on the top rack) and place the pizza stone on the rack. Let it heat for about 1 hour. Turn a large baking sheet upside down and dust the surface with flour.
  2. Place a ball of dough on a clean, lightly floured table or cutting board, and dust the top of the dough with additional flour. Use your fingertips to flatten the dough into a 12-inch round.
  3. Carefully set the dough down upon the floured baking sheet. Working quickly, put the toppings on the dough.
  4. Jiggle the pizza gently on the pan to make sure it is not sticking, and un-stick it if it is, putting a little flour underneath the sticky parts. Slide the pizza onto the heated pizza stone; make sure to start at the stone’s back end so that the entire pizza will fit.
  5. Cook the pizza for 3 minutes. If you have a broiler on the top of your oven, turn off the oven and turn on the broiler. Broil the pizza until golden, crisp, and a bit blistery and charred in places, 2 to 4 minutes (watch it carefully to see that it does not burn). If you don’t have a top broiler in your oven, just bake the pizza until the cheese is melted and the crust well browned, about 10 minutes, but go on how it looks, not the time since it varies widely depending on your oven.
  6. Use tongs to slide the pizza to a large platter and dig in!

May 26, 2011

Garlic, Lemon, Pepper Ravioli

I love homemade ravioli...

Garlic, Lemon, Pepper Ravioli

6 servings

For pasta dough:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large fresh egg yolks
Semolina or cornmeal for dusting

For filling:
1 ½ cups fresh homemade ricotta cheese (made with lemon juice)*
1/3 cup (1 ounce) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary), chopped
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg, optional

1 yolk, for egg wash
  1. Put flour and salt in a large bowl. Add yolks, and use a fork to mix them into the flour. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for about 8 minutes or until dough is smooth. Add up to 2 tablespoons more flour if dough seems sticky. Knead dough a few times by hand to form an elastic ball, wrap it in plastic, and let rest for a half-hour to allow the gluten to relax.
  2. Stir together all ingredients for filling.
  3. Cut the ball of dough in half, cover and reserve the dough you are not immediately using to prevent it from drying out. Dust the counter and dough with flour. Form the dough into a rectangle and roll it out until 1/8 thick.
  4. Dust the counter and dough with flour, lay out the long sheet of pasta. Brush the top surface of dough with egg wash. Drop 1 tablespoon of filling about -inches apart  on half the sheet of pasta, starting from about 1 inch from edge of one length of dough. Fold the unfilled half over the filling. Gently press out air pockets around each mound of filling and form a seal with your fingers. Use a crimped pasta wheel cutter (or press down with blade of a serrated knife) to slice through dough halfway between each scoop of filling, then trim edges to create 2-inch squares. Press edges to seal completely. Dust finished ravioli with semolina or cornmeal. Cover with a kitchen towel and refrigerate for up to 1 day if not using immediately.
  5. To cook ravioli, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add ravioli and cook just until very al dente, about 2 to 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to scoop ravioli into a colander. Measure 2/3 cup pasta cooking water and gradually whisk it into butter sauce until it is smooth and creamy. Add ravioli, toss to coat with sauce, and simmer for 1 minute. Serve immediately, passing more Parmesan cheese at the table.

May 23, 2011

Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower

Can't wait to try this recipe for garlic-roasted cauliflower!

Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower

Adapted from How Easy Is That?, by Ina Garten


1 head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed, cut into large florets (See cooks' notes)
4 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil, divided use
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (See cook's notes)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the garlic cloves. Boil for 15 seconds. Drain, peel and cut off any brown parts. Cut the largest cloves in half lengthwise.

On a sheet pan, toss the cauliflower with garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Spread mixture out in a single layer and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, tossing twice, until the cauliflower is tender and garlic is lightly browned.

Scrape the cauliflower into a large bowl with garlic and pan juices. Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, parsley, pine nuts and lemon juice. Sprinkle with a little pinch of salt to taste, toss and serve hot or warm.

Cook's notes: If you can't find a large head of cauliflower, buy two small ones. To toast pine nuts, place them in a dry sauté pan and cook over low heat, tossing frequently, until lightly browned (about six to 10 minutes). 

GOOD: A Barcode for Every Tree

great idea, featured in the Daily GOOD:

To Make Logging Legal, Liberia Will Give Every Tree a Barcode

The African country of Liberia is blessed with lush rainforests full of pygmy hippos, Diana monkeys, duikers, and lots of valuable trees. But when Charles Taylor started plundering the forests to fund his forces in the country's civil war, the UN placed sanctions on Liberian timber.

Now President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf wants to establish a legitimate timber trade to boost the Liberian economy. To that end, she has signed a deal with the European Union that would require companies bringing Liberian lumber into the EU to have proof that it's legal. To make that possible, every legally harvestable tree and every cut log would have to carry a barcode that makes it traceable. Helveta, a British company that specializes in timber supply chain management, has invented the tracking system.

Even with the barcodes, there will still be challenges. Making sure harvests stay within sustainable limits will be difficult and corruption may still undermine the integrity of the system. But some think Liberia could be pioneering a new model for legal, sustainable logging. According to Frank Hawkins, who leads Conservation International's efforts in Africa, “Liberia has an opportunity to show the world how it is done.”

The barcode, that symbol of commercialism, could become a treehugger's best friend.

May 21, 2011

Shaved Asparagus and Mint Salad

This delicious salad by meatballsandmilkshakes is a finalist in this week's Food 52 Best Spring Vegetable Recipe:
Shaved Asparagus and Mint Salad


1 bunch asparagus
1 handful toasted, crushed hazelnuts
1 tablespoon chopped mint
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
parmesan or pecorino shavings
  1. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus lengthwise to create strips. Toss with the hazelnuts and mint.
  2. Wisk together lemon juice, vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Pour over asparagus and mix with salt and pepper to taste. Shave parmegiano or pecorino on top
So simple and yummy.

May 19, 2011

How to Cook Broccoli Stalks

One day into the beta launch and I'm already a devoted reader of Gilt Taste.

Last night I tried the broccoli chips recipe from How to Cook Broccoli Stalks Iron Chef Style. Delicious!

Read on for the recipes:
  • We love—ok, have become addicted to—broccoli chips. Just dip thin slices of peeled stalk in corn starch, then fry them in about 4 cups of 325⁰ F vegetable oil like potato chips until they're light brown. Drain them on paper towels, and sprinkle with salt.
  • Light and refreshing, broccoli stalk slaw is a winner. On the show, we made one with broccoli sprouts and a citrus vinaigrette, but you can basically peel and shred the stalks and use them in addition to—or in place of—cabbage in your favorite slaw recipe, whether creamy, salty, or vinegary. You get all the sweetness of cabbage, but juicier.
  • For some charred action, cut broccoli stalks into little slabs, shaving down their irregular sides. Toss them in some oil infused with garlic, salt them, and sear on a very hot grill. The char will bring out the nuttiness of the stalks. Serve with fresh mint and parsley chopped and sprinkled on top.
  • I have a problem with soups that use pureed potatoes as a thickener—all the starch billows out from the potatoes like toxic waste and turns too many chowders into gluey paste. But when we pureed cooked broccoli stalks in chowder instead, they thickened it nicely while keeping the texture light and soup’s flavor clean.
  • And our favorite discovery was broccoli carpaccio: thin slices of stalk layered between rich, creamy rectangles of avocado and sprinkled with fresh herbs and chiles. Peel the tough, fibrous outside and slice broccoli stalks thinly, about 1/8 of an inch thick. (We like to do this with a mandoline, but knife or even a good vegetable peeler will do in a pinch.) Toss with salt and lime juice to taste. Arrange the slices across your plate, alternating them with thin slices of ripe avocado, drizzle with nice extra virgin olive oil, and top to taste with a rough puree of 3 tablespoons chopped Thai basil, 1 teaspoon minced ginger, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon minced Thai bird's eye chiles.
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May 18, 2011

Gilt Taste

The beta launch of Gilt Taste is live and beautiful!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Gilt Taste <>
Date: Wed, May 18, 2011 at 9:16 AM
Subject: Gilt Taste is here

Gilt Taste - View Gilt Taste

Gilt Taste opens today!
Gilt Taste is the newest store from Gilt offering you access to:
  • Artisan foods and fresh seasonal ingredients from around the world.
  • Recipes from chefs and culinary experts along with advice from farmers and artisans.
  • Stories from writers Ruth Reichl, Francis Lam and Melissa Clark.
Stop by soon for a visit. We hope you’ll be inspired to taste something new today.
Kevin Ryan
CEO and Founder

Visit Gilt Taste

GILT TASTE. A member of the Gilt Groupe
2 Park Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10016
I want to buy everything on this site, especially the Mikuni Wild Harvest Mushroom Mix!

April 14, 2011

GOOP - My Father's Daughter

Excited to get a copy of Gwyneth Paltrow's My Father's Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family Togetherness:

My Father's Daughter

Well, it’s here at long last. After three years of hard work, my cookbook is finished, and in stores! To celebrate the release, I made dinner for 60 friends and foodies on Monday. Sunday was spent doing most of the cooking and prep. We snapped some shots with our blackberries to document the day. They are below, along with some of the recipes for the dishes we served.


P.S. A huge thank you to One Kings Lane (my fave online store for beautiful things for the home) for kindly making it all happen! And also to my boys at Creative Edge. And to JT. Always.