I have made this wonderfully cheesy dish a couple of times already- just to get the proportions right. I knew that I had to increase the amount of simple and flavorful sauce after making it the first time.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I lightened the dish by baking the cauliflower after coating it instead of frying it. We ate it over linguini fini with sautéed broccoli rabe on the side. Wonderful!
- 6 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon red Chile flakes, optional
- 3 (28-ounce) cans whole or diced plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
- 3 sprigs basil or 1 bay leaf
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- scant 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Parmesan rind, optional
- In a large, straight-sided skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. (I used an enameled cast iron pot with a glass lid.)
- Add garlic and cook until just lightly golden.
- Add chile flakes if desired and cook 30 seconds.
- Stir in tomatoes and juices, basil or bay leaf, and salt and pepper.
- Bring sauce to a simmer, add the Parmesan rind, if using, and cook until sauce is thick and tomatoes have mostly fallen apart, about 30 to 40 minutes. Adjust heat as needed to keep at a steady simmer. If using whole plum tomatoes, mash them up with the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to help them break down.
- Remove sauce from heat and discard basil or bay leaf.
For the Cauliflower & To Finish the Dish:
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 cups panko or plain unseasoned bread crumbs
- Kosher salt, as needed
- freshly ground black pepper, as needed
- 1 large or 2 small/medium heads cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 2-inch florets (I used 1 small and 1 medium)
- olive oil, for drizzling
- Simple Tomato Sauce (recipe above)
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 3/4 pound fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-size pieces
- linguine fini or other pasta, optional, for serving
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
- Place flour, eggs, and panko into three wide, shallow bowls. (I used glass pie dishes.) Season each generously with salt and pepper.
- Dip a cauliflower piece first in flour, then eggs, then coat with panko. Repeat with remaining cauliflower.
- Place on 2 parchment paper-lined, rimmed baking sheets. Roast coated florets for 22-24 minutes, or until nicely browned.
- Reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
- Sprinkle one-third of the Parmesan over sauce.
- Scatter half cauliflower mixture over the Parmesan and top with half the mozzarella pieces.
- Top with half the remaining sauce, sprinkle with another third of the Parmesan and repeat layering, ending with a final layer of sauce and Parmesan.
- Transfer pan to oven and bake until cheese is golden and casserole is bubbling, about 30 to 40 minutes. While the dish is baking, prepare the pasta, if desired.
- Let cool a few minutes before serving. Serve over prepared pasta, as desired.
Posted in Casserole, Pasta, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: baked, casserole, cauliflower, comfort food, dinner, fresh mozzarella, healthy, Italian, light, mozzarella, panko, parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano, San Marzano, San Marzano tomatoes, sauce, tomato sauce, tomatoes, vegetarian
By using maple syrup and brown sugar as sweeteners as well as whole wheat pastry flour, oats and almonds in the topping, this recipe succeeds as a lighter version of this classic comfort food dessert. We indulged a little and ate it with vanilla ice cream, of course. 😉 Without the ice cream, this dish could actually be served for breakfast.
This recipe was adapted from The Washington Post, contributed by nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger. Lovely.
Yield: 8 servings
For the Topping:
- 1/4 cup canola oil or other neutral-tasting oil
- 1/2 cup plus 1 T almond meal or slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (whole wheat flour may be substituted)
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp coarse salt
For the Filling:
- 3 pounds ripe but firm pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices (I used 6 Bartlett pears)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 of a lemon
- 1 T cornstarch
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Spray a 10×9-inch (can also use an 8×8-inch or 9×9-inch) baking dish with cooking oil spray, or brush lightly with oil.
To Make the Topping:
- If using slivered almonds, process them in a food processor until finely ground; alternatively use almond meal. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- Add the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt to the ground almonds.
- Drizzle the mixture with 1/4 canola oil; stir until well incorporated. Set aside.
To Make the Filling & Finish the Dish:
- Combine the pears, maple syrup and lemon juice in a large bowl.
- Sprinkle the fruit mixture with the cornstarch, cinnamon and ginger; stir until the pears are evenly coated.
- Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
- Crumble the topping over the pears.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until bubbling and the topping is lightly browned.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with ice cream, if desired.
Posted in Baking, Fruit Desserts, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Recipes, The Piggy Pancake (Breakfast)
Tags: almond meal, almonds, Bartlett, breakfast, brown sugar, comfort food, crisp, crumble, dessert, fruit, healthy, light, maple syrup, oats, pear, rolled oats, slivered almonds, whole wheat, whole wheat pastry flour
Did I mention that I met Bobby Flay this summer? It’s true! It was fun but really not that exciting. 😉 He came to our mall for the 10th anniversary of his first “Bobby’s Burger Palace” restaurant. I stood outside in a huge line in 90+ degree heat with my kids and friends for the opportunity to meet him. I think that I waited so long to share this news because the photo of me with Mr. Flay is terrible. I was also too shy to ask him to write to “the brook cook” in my new Bobby Flay cookbook. Ugh. Overall, we all had good time, I bought a great cookbook, and we got free milkshakes. 🙂
Now seems like the time to share this dish because it’s from his “Fit” cookbook, healthy and tasty. Perfect for the season of resolutions and dietary changes.
The recipe is adapted from Bobby Flay Fit: 200 Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle by Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson. I used graffiti eggplant instead of Japanese, grape tomatoes instead of plum, and increased the garlic. I made the dish a little more caloric by serving it over brown Basmati rice. Cauliflower rice would also be a nice option- or without rice as in the original recipe.
Yield: Serves 4
- 2 graffiti eggplants or 4 Japanese eggplants, about 1 pound, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 12 grape tomatoes or 2 seeded plum tomatoes, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 8 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, to taste, preferably Calabrian
- 5 T olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped, plus whole leaves for garnish
- 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 21-25 count)
- 1 tsp ground fennel
- brown Basmati rice or cauliflower rice, for serving, optional
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggplant, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and 3 tablespoons of the oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
- Spread the vegetables on a large, parchment paper-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring a few times, until soft and lightly golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the vegetables to a food processor and purée until almost smooth. Add the vinegar and 1/4 cup of water, and continue processing until smooth.
- Add the basil and the parsley and pulse a few times to incorporate while still leaving flecks of herbs. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and transfer to a bowl.
- In a large bowl, toss the shrimp with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and the fennel and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread the shrimp in an even layer on a large, parchment paper-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Roast, turning once, until pink and firm and just cooked through, about 8 minutes.
- To serve, spoon sauce over prepared rice, if desired, or in the bottom of a shallow bowl. Top with about 5 shrimp and garnish with whole basil leaves.
Note: The vegetable sauce can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Posted in Recipes, Sauces, Seafood, Shrimp
Tags: basil, Bobby Flay, dinner, eggplant, fennel, healthy, Italian, roasted, sauce, shrimp
I was initially drawn to this recipe because of the “jewel-like” color of the salmon in the finished dish. The beet and dill marinade gives it the lovely color as well as a wonderful layer of flavor. My husband was completely sold when I told him that the salmon is roasted over a bed of sliced potatoes. 🙂
I served this dish on Easter weekend, on Easter Eve, along with zucchini baba ghanoush as an appetizer and carrot cake for dessert. I would serve this menu again next year and serve it on Easter Eve- it was nice to have our larger and more labor-intensive meal the night before all of the Easter festivities. We had a spring pasta dish for lunch on Easter after having challah and Easter eggs (and Easter candy!) for breakfast. Perfect.
This lovely recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. I decreased the horseradish and left the skin on the potatoes. I also used a mandoline to slice the potatoes. I served it with steamed beet greens, roasted beets, and roasted asparagus on the side. Healthy and delicious.
- 1 small red beet, peeled and coarsely grated (1/2 cup)(wear gloves!)
- 1 cup dill fronds, chopped, plus more for serving
- 3 to 4 T freshly grated horseradish (from a 2-inch piece), or 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- grated zest of 1 lemon, plus lemon half for serving
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 side salmon, preferably wild, (1 3/4 to 2 pounds; about 1 inch thick at thickest part), skin removed
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch slices (preferably with a mandoline)
- Combine beet, dill, horseradish, zest, and 2 tablespoons oil in a bowl.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Season both sides of salmon generously with salt and pepper; transfer to sheet. Spread beet mixture on top. Let stand 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss potatoes with remaining 2 tablespoons oil; season generously with salt and pepper.
- Shingle potatoes in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, in a single layer. Bake until tender, about 35 minutes; remove from oven.
- Remove beet mixture from top of salmon with a spoon; spread over center of potatoes.
- Top beet mixture with fish (you may need to tuck part of tail end under fish to fit in pan), drizzle with oil (I omitted the additional oil), and bake until salmon is medium-rare, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Squeeze with lemon, garnish with dill fronds, and serve.
Note: Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish. For salmon that is 1/2 inch thick, start checking at 8 minutes. For 1 1/2 inches, start checking around 14 minutes.
One Year Ago: Swedish Meatloaf with Caramelized Cabbage (Kalpudding)
Two Years Ago: Chicken Paprikash
Three Years Ago: Pork & Ricotta Meatballs in Parmesan Broth
Four Years Ago: Pork Chops with Shiitake Mushrooms & Mustard Vinaigrette
Five Years Ago: Italian Braised Pork
Posted in Holiday, Recipes, Seafood
Tags: beets, dill, dinner, dinner party, Easter, healthy, horseradish, potatoes, roasted, salmon, wild salmon, yukon gold
I loved these wholesome, naturally sweetened muffins more than everyone else in my house. The cookbook described them as “a great alternative to a heavier banana bread.” Agreed! 🙂
This recipe was adapted from Kathleen’s Bake Shop Cookbook: The Best Recipes from Southampton’s Favorite Bakery for Homestyle Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins, and Breads by Kathleen King, founder of Tate’s Bake Shop. I substituted whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour and wheat bran for the wheat germ.
Yield: 12 muffins
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup wheat germ or wheat bran
- 1 T baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups mashed, fully ripe bananas (about 4 medium)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Grease 12 standard muffin cups with cooking oil spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together flours, wheat germ/bran, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter. Add honey, vanilla, and mashed banana.
- Add butter mixture to flour mixture and mix lightly.
- Spoon mixture evenly into prepared muffin cups.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of one comes out clean.
One Year Ago: Applesauce Oatmeal Bread
Two Years Ago: No-Knead Bread from Sullivan Street Bakery
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Posted in Baking, Muffins, Recipes, The Piggy Pancake (Breakfast)
Tags: banana bread, breakfast, healthy, honey, Kathleen King, muffins, Tate's, Tate's Bake Shop, vanilla, wheat bran, wheat germ, whole wheat
It is so important to balance heavier holiday meal side dishes with clean and relatively healthy vegetable sides. I loved the colors in this dish. Our unseasonably warm weather allowed me to incorporate freshly cut parsley and thyme from my herb garden too. Delicious. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Martha Rose Shulman. It was inspired by a roasted carrot antipasto the author sampled at Oliveto Cafe in Oakland, California. I doubled the recipe for our Thanksgiving feast.
Yield: Serves 6
- 2 pounds carrots, preferably rainbow carrots, peeled quartered or cut into sixths lengthwise depending on the size, then into 2-inch lengths
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- coarse salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
- Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Place the carrots in a large bowl, and toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and oregano.
- Spread in an even (single) layer in the prepared pan. Cover with foil, and place in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Uncover, and if the carrots are not yet tender, turn the heat down to 375 degrees and return to the oven for 10 to 15 more minutes until tender.
- Add the parsley, stir gently, and taste and adjust salt and pepper. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
- Advance preparation: These will keep for four to five days in the refrigerator.
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Posted in Recipes, Sides, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian
Tags: carrots, healthy, parsley, rainbow carrots, roasted, side, side dish, Thanksgiving, thyme, vegan, vegetarian
Adding vegetables to a baked pasta dish is a wonderful way to slim it down and make it a little bit healthier. My son enjoyed this version as much as our standard super cheesy baked ziti. Not only does this version incorporate cauliflower, it is also upgraded by adding flavor from saffron and anchovies.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Martha Rose Shulman. The dish was inspired by another Sicilian cauliflower dish in Clifford A. Wright’s “Cucinia Paradiso.” I modified the recipe by roasting the cauliflower, increasing the garlic and tomatoes, using whole wheat pasta, and incorporating mozzarella cheese. Great.
Yield: Serves 6
- 1 medium cauliflower, about 2 pounds, leaves and stem trimmed, cut into florets
- coarse salt, to taste
- pinch of saffron threads
- 2-4 T extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 anchovy fillets, rinsed and chopped
- 1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes, with juice
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 T chopped flat leaf parsley
- ¾ pound ziti or penne rigate (I used whole wheat penne)
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
- 1/2 pound part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated
- Preheat an oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
- On a parchment paper lined, rimmed baking sheet, toss the cauliflower florets with 1-2 tablespoons of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until tender.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees, on convection.
- Place the saffron in a small bowl and add 3 tablespoons warm water. Let steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Combine the grated cheeses in a bowl.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until it smells fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute, and add the anchovies and tomatoes. Season to taste with salt (remembering that the anchovies will contribute a lot of salt) and freshly ground pepper.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and smell fragrant, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the roasted cauliflower, saffron with its soaking water, and parsley, cover and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Add the pasta. Cook until just al dente, a few minutes less than you would cook it to serve. It will soften further when it bakes. (I cooked the whole wheat penne noodles for 5 minutes, 2 minutes shy of al dente.) Drain and transfer to a bowl.
- Oil a 3-quart baking dish. Toss the pasta with half the cauliflower mixture and half the cheese and spoon into the baking dish.
- Combine the remaining cauliflower mixture with half of the remaining cheese and spoon over the pasta.
- Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top. Drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of oil.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbling. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve hot.
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Posted in Casserole, Pasta, Recipes
Tags: anchovies, baked ziti, casserole, cauliflower, cheese, dinner, healthy, Italian, kid-friendly dinner, parmesan, pasta, pecorino romano, penne, saffron, Sicilian, tomatoes, ziti