Chickpeas & Kale in Spicy Pomodoro Sauce

This dish was also named one of Food and Wine Magazine’s “40 Best” in their 40th anniversary issue. It was super delicious.

The recipe was contributed by Missy Robbins of Lilia in Brooklyn. She was also named a “Best New Chef” in a previous issue. The genius of this dish is that Robbins substitutes chickpeas and kale for pasta in her spicy pomodoro sauce. It still tasted rich and indulgent for a “healthy” dish. I increased the amount of garlic and incorporated my CSA red kale. The inclusion of fennel seeds added subtle sweetness. We ate it with a crusty baguette to soak up all of the sauce- a little bit less healthy but crazy good.

I hope to make this dish repeatedly with my CSA kale. I absolutely love dishes that make kale a crowd-pleaser! 🙂

Yield: Serves 4

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over low heat. (I used an enameled cast iron pot.)
  2. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant 
but not browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper and a generous pinch of salt. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and 
the sauce is thickened, about 25 minutes.
  4. Stir the kale into the sauce and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 3 minutes.
  5. Stir in the chickpeas and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.
  6. Spoon into bowls and garnish with herbs. Top with finely grated pecorino and serve hot.

Creamy Corn Chowder

Wow. This was delicious. A real celebration of summer farmstand corn. My local farmstand happens to have absolutely wonderful bi-color corn which I used for this special chowder.

A fresh corn broth is made for the base of this soup. It incorporates the corn cobs, shiitake mushroom stems, herbs, as well as parmesan rinds. I think it really makes the finished dish extraordinary.

I adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit, contributed by Rick Martinez. I lightened the recipe by using half and half instead of heavy cream. I also used home-grown jalapeños instead of Fresno chiles and parsley instead of marjoram. I doubled the garlic too, of course. 😉 Fabulous!!

Yield: Serves 8

  • 8 ears of corn
  • 2 Parmesan rinds (about 4 ounces)
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and reserved, caps cut into ¼-inch pieces
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • coarse salt
  • 5 T unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 4 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into ¼-inch pieces (I used 3 thick slices)
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces (I used 1 1/2 large potatoes)
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts only, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
  • 2 Fresno chiles or jalapeños, seeded, finely chopped
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream or half and half
  • 1 T chopped marjoram or parsley, plus more for serving
  • oyster crackers, for serving, optional
  1. Cut kernels from cobs and place in a large bowl. Reserve cobs.
  2. Place cobs in a medium pot and add Parmesan rinds, if using, mushroom stems, thyme, bay leaf, 2 tsp. salt, and 8 cups water.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until broth is fragrant and reduced by half, 40–50 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl; discard solids and set broth aside.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 4 T butter in a large heavy pot over medium-high.
  5. Add corn kernels, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn is tender and juices have evaporated and browned on the bottom of the pot, 12–15 minutes. Reserve ½ cup corn for serving; transfer remaining corn to a medium bowl.
  6. Add wine to pot and cook, scraping up browned bits, until liquid is syrupy, about 2 minutes. Scrape into bowl with remaining corn.
  7. Heat remaining 1 T butter in same pot over medium and cook bacon until golden brown and fat has rendered, about 6 minutes.
  8. Add potatoes, shallots, leek, garlic, and chopped mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened but haven’t taken on any color, 12–15 minutes.
  9. Add chiles and cook until fragrant and softened, about 3 minutes.
  10. Stir in flour and cook until nutty and fragrant, about 1 minute.
  11. Add reserved broth, bring to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are fork-tender, 10–15 minutes.
  12. Add half and half (or cream) and corn mixture and cook, stirring, until chowder has thickened, 5–10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parley. Let sit 15 minutes before serving.
  13. Divide chowder among bowls. Top with additional parsley, oyster crackers, and reserved ½ cup corn; season with pepper.

Note: To make this vegetarian, omit the bacon and replace with more shiitake mushrooms; sauté them until they’re golden brown.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Mushroom Risotto with Spring Herbs

When will spring be here?!?! The brightness and color from the addition of fresh herbs in this dish- especially the chives- made me feel a little bit closer to springtime.

This was a quick weeknight dinner with the use of a pressure cooker. It would also be a nice side dish. I loved the texture of the quartered mushrooms.

We ate it with steamed asparagus on the side… another taste of spring! 🙂 This recipe was loosely adapted from Everyday Food.

Yield: Serves 6

  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts, thinly sliced and cleaned
  • 4 T avocado or olive oil
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 large shallot (or 2 standard-sized shallots), diced small
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 24 ounces cremini or button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, marjoram, and chives
  1. In a 10-inch heavy- bottomed skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add shallot, garlic, and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In a 5 to 7 quart pressure cooker, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium. Add leeks, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened. Add rice and cook, stirring, until rice is translucent at edges, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Add the unheated stock to pressure cooker. Lock the lid in place and bring to high pressure over high heat. Adjust the heat to maintain high pressure.
  4. Cook for 7 minutes. Release the pressure according to the manufacturer’s instructions or place the pot under running cold water. Carefully open the lid, being careful of the steam.
  5. Stir in the mushroom mixture, cheese, and herbs. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

One Year Ago:

Mustard Chicken

If possible, my husband would eat a “French Bistro” meal every night and mustard chicken would be one of his most frequent requests. This is a great version from Bon Appetit- probably his favorite version. Flavor-packed and super saucy.

I modified the recipe to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken. The recipe makes an excess of sauce that is wonderful drizzled over everything else accompanying the meal. I typically serve the chicken with roasted potatoes and roasted asparagus. I have also served it with creamed spinach and green salad. All absolutely delicious.

Yield: 4 servings

  • 3 T olive oil, divided
  • 2 T fresh thyme leaves, divided
  • 2 tsp minced fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried oregano) or 3 tsp minced fresh marjoram, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp minced fresh rosemary, divided
  • 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 5 to 6) or 1 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 6 T Dijon mustard
  • parsley or other fresh herbs, for garnish, optional
  1. Stir 1 T olive oil, 1 T thyme leaves, 1 tsp fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp dried oregano or 1 1/2 tsp fresh marjoram), dry mustard and 1/2 tsp rosemary in small bowl until paste forms.
  2. Trim the chicken and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Rub paste all over chicken. Place in bowl; cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Heat 2 T oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. (I used a low and wide enameled cast iron skillet.)
  5. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pot and cook until brown on all sides, about 4 to 5 min on the first side and 3 minutes on the second side for boneless and skinless meat, until browned and releases easily from the pan. (Cook chicken about 12 minutes total for bone-in and skin-on). Transfer to bowl. (I used a splatter screen.)
  6. Add onion to pot; sauté over medium heat until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Add garlic; sauté 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Add wine, broth, Dijon mustard and remaining 1 T thyme, 1 tsp fresh oregano (or 1/2 tsp dried oregano or 1 1/2 tsp fresh marjoram), and 1/2 tsp rosemary to pot. Bring to a boil and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
  9. Return chicken and accumulated juices to pot. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer until chicken is cooked, about 7 to 10 minutes for boneless and skinless meat or up to 25 minutes for bone-in and skin-on meat, until the internal temperature measured with an instant read thermometer reaches 165 degrees.
  10. Transfer chicken to platter; cover to keep warm.
  11. Boil liquid in pot until thickened to sauce consistency, whisking often, about 10 minutes.
  12. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Pour over chicken, garnish with herbs, if desired, and serve.

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