In Venice, this classic dish is traditionally served on April 25th, St. Mark’s Day. This version was adapted from Michela Tasca, owner of Ca’ de Memi Farm and Bed and Breakfast in Piombino Dese, outside of Venice, Italy, via 177MilkStreet.com, contributed by Diane Unger.
The recipe is similar to risotto in its cooking method and because it incorporates arborio rice, but this dish is much more fluid and soupy. It is definitely for pea lovers! Whole peas and puréed peas are mixed into the creamy rice. I loved the vibrant, beautiful color of the finished dish.
Yield: Serves 4
1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large white onion, half thinly sliced and half finely chopped
1 medium celery stalk, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 quart chicken stock or broth
2 cups frozen peas, divided (1 cup frozen, 1 cup thawed & at room temperature)
2 cups lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 ounces pancetta, cubed or finely chopped (I used uncured pancetta)
4 T salted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces, divided
1 cup arborio or vialone nano rice
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces (1 cup) finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to serve (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
In a medium pot, combine the carrot, sliced onion (reserve the chopped onion), celery, fennel seeds, stock (or broth), and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high, then cover, reduce to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables have softened, 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the solids to a blender, draining as much of the liquid as possible. (It’s okay if some of the fennel seeds remain in the pot.) (I used a Vitamix.)
Add 1 cup of the stock to the blender along with the parsley and the still-frozen peas. (The frozen peas cool the mixture so that it remains a brilliant green.) Leave the remaining stock in the pot, covered, so that it remains warm. (I kept the pot over low heat.)
Blend the solids, parsley, frozen peas, and cup of stock until the mixture is completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes; set aside. (You should have about 3 cups of purée.)
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the reserved chopped onion, pancetta, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and pancetta are lightly browned and the pancetta fat is rendered, 6 to 8 minutes. (I used a low, wide, enameled cast iron pot.)
Add the rice and stir until the grains are coated with fat, about 1 minute.
Stir in 1 cup of warm stock. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Ladle in additional stock to barely cover the rice, about 1 cup at a time, and simmer, stirring often, until the liquid is mostly absorbed, about 5 minutes per addition.
Repeat the addition of stock, about 4 or 5 times, until the rice is al dente and most of the liquid has been absorbed. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and let stand uncovered for 5 minutes.
Add the thawed, room temperature peas and the reserved purée; stir into heated through, about 1 minute.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter; stir until melted.
Stir in the Parmesan. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Serve sprinkled with additional grated Parmesan, as desired.
This is another weeknight dish loaded with spinach. I also incorporated my CSA turnip greens. It features many of the flavors of my favorite Greek dishes, including lemon zest, feta, and fresh herbs. I used parsley from my CSA share as well.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. It was very quick and easy to prepare. I used a large, wide enameled cast iron pot. I increased the amount of garlic and modified the cooking method.
Yield: 3 to 4 servings
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced, divided
2 to 4 large garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces baby spinach leaves (8 cups), coarsely chopped (I used 6oz spinach and 2oz turnip greens)
3/4 cup crumbled feta (3 ounces), plus more for garnish
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup fresh dill, or use parsley or cilantro, chopped
Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium, then melt butter, 30 seconds to 1 minute. (I used a large and wide enameled cast iron pot.)
Stir in about three-quarters of the scallions (saving some of the green parts for garnish) and garlic, and cook until softened, stirring frequently, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in stock and bring to a simmer.
Stir in orzo, lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until orzo is nearly cooked through and most of the liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Stir in spinach (and other greens, if using), adding in batches if it doesn’t all fit in the pan at once, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes.
Stir in cheese, peas, and dill/parsley/cilantro, cover the pan, and cook for another 1 minute, to finish cooking and warm the peas.
To serve, sprinkle with more cheese and the reserved scallions.
More weeknight comfort food! This dish uses rotisserie chicken meat and store-bought gnocchi as shortcuts to create a close match to traditional chicken and dumplings. It was quick to prepare and very tasty.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Alexa Weibel. I incorporated my CSA parsley, leeks, carrots, and collard greens. In addition, this soup could easily gobble up many other vegetables such as frozen peas, fennel, squash, parsnips, or mushrooms. We ate it with a green salad. Great.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
3tablespoons unsalted butter
4 to 5 cups 1/2-inch ribbons of collard greens or kale, ribs removed (optional)
2medium carrots or 8 ounces butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
1medium leek, trimmed, white and pale green portion halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 1 cup) (can substitute 1 large shallot, if desired)
1(16 to 18-ounce) package fresh or shelf-stable store-bought gnocchi (I used Trader Joe’s 17.6-ounce gnocchi)
1/2 store-bought rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded, meat torn into bite-size pieces (about 2 to 3 cups shredded meat)
fresh tarragon, parsley or dill, for garnish
In a large pot, melt the butter over medium. (I used a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
Add the carrots, leek, celery, garlic, rosemary, thyme and poultry seasoning, if using. Incorporate any additional vegetables at this time as well; I added sliced collard greens. Season generously with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with the flour, then cook, stirring, 2 minutes. (This cooks the flour to soften its raw flavor.)
Gradually stir in the stock and cream, and bring to a boil over medium-high to high heat.
Once the mixture boils, stir in the gnocchi, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until gnocchi and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the chicken in the last couple of minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide among bowls and top with fresh tarragon or parsley and more black pepper, if desired.
My son and I made this dish together for our St. Patrick’s Day dinner. We’ve been keeping ourselves busy while we’re stuck at home! He is a big fan of mashed potatoes, so he made the topping himself. I loved the ridged pattern on the finished crust.
Although the recipe is streamlined to be made in one skillet, it was still a little bit time-consuming. (Thankfully, we had plenty of time!) The plus side is that it can be prepared with ingredients that are readily available in your pantry and freezer. It definitely created less dishes too. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from America’s Test Kitchen via The Associated Press. It was originally published in their book, Cook it in Cast Iron. I used a combination of Dutch yellow baby potatoes and red potatoes instead of russet potatoes, ground turkey instead of ground beef, increased the amount of garlic, and modified the method. Great comfort food.
Yield: Serves 6
2 pounds potatoes, Dutch yellow baby potatoes (unpeeled), red potatoes (unpeeled), or russets (peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces)
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
1 large egg
6 T unsalted butter, divided (4 T melted)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey or 93% lean ground beef
2 T tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 T all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup frozen peas
Cover potatoes with water in large saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon salt, bring to simmer over medium-high heat, and cook until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes for unpeeled baby potatoes or 8 to 10 minutes for peeled and cut russet potatoes.
Drain potatoes and return them to saucepan. If using unpeeled baby potatoes, remove the peels at this point.
Using a potato ricer, process all of the potatoes. (Alternatively the potatoes can be mashed until smooth.)
In a measuring cup, whisk milk and egg together. Stir into potatoes along with 4 tablespoons of melted butter, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; cover and set aside.
Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in skillet.
Add carrots, onion, and 3/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add ground meat and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste, garlic, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
Slowly stir in stock and Worcestershire, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps.
Bring to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.
Off the heat, stir in peas and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Adjust oven rack 5 inches from broiler element and heat broiler.
Dollop the mashed potatoes over the top of the filling. Smooth topping with a knife or the back of a spoon, then use the tines of a fork to make ridges on the surface.
Place the skillet in the oven and broil until topping is golden brown and crusty, 5 to 10 minutes.
Let the casserole cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I am planning on serving shepherd’s pie tonight, but, for those of you serving corned beef and cabbage, this quick dish will put any leftover cabbage to good use. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. We ate it drizzled with sriracha and additional soy sauce. I also served the leftovers with scrambled eggs instead of fried.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
5tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or sunflower, plus more as needed (I used canola oil)
3slices thick-cut bacon, in 1/2-inch pieces
1small bunch scallions, whites and greens separated, sliced
4cups shredded cabbage (from about 1/2 small head)
4garlic cloves, minced
6cups cooked rice, white or brown, preferably day-old
2 ½tablespoons fish sauce, plus more as needed
½tablespoon soy sauce, plus more as needed for serving
½cup kimchi, drained and chopped, plus more for serving
½cup green peas (thawed, if frozen)
fried eggs or scrambled eggs, for serving, optional
toasted sesame oil, for drizzling, optional
sriracha or other hot sauce, for serving, optional
One day ahead, cook 2 cups of rice in 4 cups of water or stock. Once cool, store in the refrigerator overnight. (I used brown Basmati rice.)
In a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons oil until almost smoking. (I used a large 14-inch stainless steel skillet but a nonstick would have been preferable.)
Stir in bacon, and cook, stirring constantly, until bacon is golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof bowl, leaving as much oil in the skillet as you can.
Add scallion whites to the pan. Cook until soft, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes. If the pan looks dry, drizzle in a little more oil, then stir in cabbage and a pinch of salt. Cook, continuing to stir frequently, until cabbage is soft, 2 to 4 minutes.
Stir in garlic, and cook until fragrant, another 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the bacon.
Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil to skillet and raise heat to high.
Add rice, and a large pinch of salt, then toss thoroughly to coat with oil. Spread out rice in an even layer along the bottom (and sides if in a wok), and drizzle fish sauce and soy sauce over. Let rice sit until sizzling stops and it starts to crackle and crisp, 1 to 4 minutes. Toss, taste, and add more fish sauce or soy sauce if necessary.
Fold in bacon mixture, kimchi and peas, then transfer to plates.
Top with scallion greens, more kimchi to taste, and fried eggs, if using. (I served it with one fried egg per person.)
Drizzle everything with toasted sesame oil and soy sauce, as desired, and serve immediately with hot sauce on the side.
I have one more green soup to share. This bright green soup screams “springtime” to me but it can be a wonderful summertime soup because it is also delicious served chilled. It is a classic soup in my house- I have made it for years using both fresh or frozen peas.
The fresh herbs provide the bright flavor in the finished soup. I have always incorporated fresh dill but I can imagine that it would also be delicious with basil or a combination of fresh herbs.
This recipe is adapted from Mollie Katzen’s The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. Fast, healthy, and delicious.
Chicken Pot Pie is one of my ultimate favorite comfort food dishes. This version was fabulous! The use of rotisserie chicken meat in the filling and puff pastry as the crust were wonderful (and delicious) shortcuts.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Molly Baz. I modified the proportions and used rainbow carrots instead of turnips in the filling to add a little color. GREAT.
Yield: Serves 8
5 cups coarsely shredded rotisserie chicken meat
2 large yellow onions
1 lb rainbow carrots or turnips, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 garlic cloves
1 T thyme leaves
3 T unsalted butter
2½ tsp Kosher salt, divided
1½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 T all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups heavy cream, divided
10 oz bag frozen peas
1 sheet of puff pastry (1/2 box/8.6 oz), thawed overnight
Place a rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°, preferably on convection.
Remove and discard skin from a rotisserie chicken. Using your hands, shred the meat into 1″ pieces until you have 5 cups; set aside. Reserve any leftover meat for another use.
Cut the onions in half through root, trim root ends, then peel. Finely chop onion and transfer to a medium bowl.
Peel the carrots (or turnips), then trim off the ends. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer to another medium bowl.
Lightly smash the garlic cloves with the flat side of a chef’s knife. Peel, then coarsely chop. Transfer to bowl with the carrots/turnips.
Add thyme leaves to bowl with carrots/turnips and garlic.
Melt butter in a 12″ oven-proof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft but not browned, 5–6 minutes.
Add carrot/turnip mixture, season with 1 tsp salt and 1½ tsp pepper, and cook, stirring often, until just beginning to soften, 3 minutes.
Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, until flour begins to stick to bottom of pan, about 30 seconds. The flour is going to help thicken the gravy you’re trying to create.
Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, to burn off some of the alcohol, about 1 minute.
Set aside 1 tablespoon of heavy cream. Add remaining cream, reserved chicken, peas, and 1½ tsp salt and bring to a simmer. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Cook, tossing occasionally, until warmed through, 3–4 minutes.
Transfer skillet to a rimmed baking sheet, which will prevent any juices that bubble out of the pan from spilling onto your oven floor.
Roll out the thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured surface into a 13″ square (large enough to cover skillet with a bit of overhang). Roll pastry up onto rolling pin. (You could use an empty wine bottle if you don’t have a rolling pin.) Unfurl pastry from rolling pin, draping it over skillet.
Trim pastry so that there is a 1″ border all around. Fold edge of puff pastry under itself. Crimp edges with a fork (just like you would do when making the top crust of a pie).
Using a pastry brush, brush top of pastry with reserved cream. Cut 5–6 small slits in the center so steam can escape.
Bake pot pie until crust is light golden brown, 22 to 24 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°, preferably on convection, and continue to bake until filling is bubbling around the edges and crust is well browned, 22 to 35 minutes longer.