I love vegetable-loaded comfort food. 🙂 This casserole dish also has farro, a favorite, and cheese, of course. My husband said he would have loved it even without the fresh mozzarella on top! Absolutely delicious.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Sarah DiGregorio. I doubled the amount of cauliflower, omitted the olives, used Trader Joe’s 10-minute farro, and modified the method and proportions.
We ate the casserole as a main course with garlic bread and green salad. It could also be served as a hearty side dish. The recipe is very adaptable and could be easily modified to incorporate other vegetables.
Yield: Serves 8
For the Farro and Cauliflower:
1 large head of cauliflower, florets and tender stems cut into large bite-sized pieces
8.8 oz bag Trader Joe’s 10-minute farro
1 (28 to 32-ounce) jar good-quality marinara sauce (I used Rao’s)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pitted kalamata or black olives, roughly chopped, optional (I omitted them)
10 large garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
3 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino-Romano (about 3/4 cup finely grated)
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano or dried basil
1 teaspoon balsamic or sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, or to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup stock (can substitute water)
2/3 cup water
For the Topping:
1 cup panko
2 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano (about 1/2 cup finely grated)
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 to 12 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced into rounds (I used 12 slices)
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
In a 9-by-13-inch pan, combine the cauliflower, farro, marinara sauce, olive oil, olives (if using), garlic, grated cheese, onion powder, oregano or basil, vinegar and red-pepper flakes. Season with the salt and a generous amount of black pepper.
Pour in 1 cup stock and 2/3 cups water and stir well to combine. (can substitute with 1 2/3 cups water)
Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, make the topping: Stir together the panko, grated cheese and olive oil.
Uncover the pan and stir.
Evenly cover the top with the panko topping.
Top with the fresh mozzarella rounds.
Continue baking uncovered until the farro is tender and chewy, the sauce is thick, the topping is browned, and the mozzarella has melted, about 10 to 15 minutes more. (I baked it for an additional 12 minutes on convection roast.) (I also put my garlic bread in the same oven at this point!)
Preheat the oven to 400°. (I set my oven to convection.)
Fill a large pot with water, add 2 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until 2 minutes less than al dente, according to the instructions on the package. (Since it will be baked later, don’t overcook it! Drain and pour into a very large bowl.)
Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12 to 14-inch) skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat, add half of the cauliflower in one layer and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the florets are lightly browned and tender. Season with salt.
Pour the cauliflower, including the small bits, into the bowl with the pasta.
Add 3 more tablespoons of olive oil to the sauté pan, add the remaining cauliflower, cook until browned and tender and add to the bowl.
Add the sage, capers, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper to the bowl and stir carefully.
Stir in the Fontina.
Transfer half of the mixture to a 10 x 13 x 2–inch rectangular baking dish.
Spoon 12 rounded tablespoons of ricotta on the pasta and spoon the remaining pasta mixture on top. (I used a cookie scoop.)
Combine the panko, grated Pecorino, minced parsley and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small bowl and sprinkle it evenly on top.
Bake for 22 minutes on convection, or 25 to 30 minutes in a standard oven, until browned and crusty on top. Serve hot.
Note: The dish can be assembled ahead of time. Assemble the dish, cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake before serving.
I could eat broccoli rabe with a side of broccoli rabe- an absolute favorite. My husband could eat pappardelle with a side of pappardelle. 😉 Now you can see why this dish was perfect for our Valentine’s Day dinner! Everyone loved it. ❤
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Kristine Kidd. I modified the proportions and method. Fabulous.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
8 garlic cloves, peeled, flattened
1 large yellow onion, chopped
8 ounces cubed pancetta
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed (I used a mortar & pestle)
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
2 large bunches broccoli rabe (also called rapini; generous 2 pounds), stems sliced 1/2 inch thick, tops cut into 2-inch pieces
2 cups water
17.64-ounce (500 g) package dried pappardelle pasta
2 cups freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus additional for serving
1/2 cup raw pine nuts, toasted (@375 degrees for about 5 minutes)
Heat 4 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet, preferably with a lid, over medium heat. (I used a large enameled cast iron pan.)
Add garlic and cook until golden brown, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Discard garlic.
Add onion, pancetta, and fennel seeds to skillet; sauté until onion is tender and pancetta begins to brown, about 8 minutes.
Add dried crushed red pepper, then broccoli rabe stems and cook 4 minutes to soften slightly, stirring occasionally.
Stir in broccoli rabe tops, sprinkle with salt, and add 2 cups water. Cover and cook until stems and tops are tender, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain pasta, reserving 2 cups cooking liquid.
Add pasta to skillet with broccoli rabe and stir over low heat to combine, adding reserved pasta cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls to moisten if necessary.
Stir in 2 cups of the cheese. Season to taste with salt and generous amount of pepper.
Transfer to shallow bowls, if desired. (I served it in the pot.) Sprinkle with pine nuts and garnish with additional cheese.
We ate this wonderful one-pot dish during the Super Bowl this year. The chili and biscuit dough can be made in advance, even several hours in advance, so it was perfect for the occasion. It also complemented our mandatory game day guacamole.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I modified the proportions to serve 8 people- so that we would have leftovers! 😉 I reheated the chili, topped it with the biscuit dough and placed it in the oven just before serving. Great.
Yield: Serves 8
For the Cornmeal Biscuits:
1 cup/120 grams all-purpose flour
2/3 cup/92 grams fine yellow cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
8 T/113 grams cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup/177 ml buttermilk or plain whole-milk yogurt
1 scallion, thinly sliced, plus more for serving
milk, more buttermilk, or yogurt, for finishing
3+ tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino-Romano, for finishing
For the Turkey Chili:
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds ground turkey
1 very large or 2 medium yellow onions, diced
1-2 jalapeños, seeded (if desired) and diced (I used 1 1/2 jalapeños)
6 garlic cloves, finely grated, passed through a press or minced
1 1/2 T chili powder
2 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more to taste, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes with juices (I used San Marzano)
3 (15-ounce) cans pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus more for garnish
sour cream or Greek yogurt, for serving, optional
sliced or pickled jalapeños, for serving, optional
To Prepare the Biscuit Dough:
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda.
Using a pastry cutter (or your hands), cut (or rub) in the butter until mixture resembles rolled oats.
Fold in the buttermilk and scallion slices.
Gently stir mixture until it comes together in a moist, sticky mass. Cover bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. (This can be done a day in advance.)
Heat oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection.
To Prepare the Turkey Chili:
In a large ovenproof skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until it thins. (I used an enameled cast iron pan. A cast iron skillet would also be great.)
Stir in turkey and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until it’s no longer pink with some browned bits, about 7 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium, and add onion and jalapeño, and cook until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes.
Stir in garlic, chili powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, oregano, cumin, and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute longer.
Using kitchen shears (or your hands), break up tomatoes and add them, along with the juices, to the pan. (I cut the tomatoes while they are still in the can.)
Add beans and remaining 3/4 teaspoons salt, and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. If the mixture seems very dry, add a few tablespoons water. It should be juicy-looking but not wet.
Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
To Finish the Dish:
Divide biscuit dough into 8 equal balls. Use your palm to flatten each ball into a 3/4-inch-thick disk. Arrange on top of turkey chili.
Brush biscuits lightly with buttermilk, and sprinkle grated cheese on top.
Transfer skillet to oven and cook until biscuits are golden at the edges, 20 to 30 minutes. (I cooked mine for 22 minutes on convection.)
Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with additional cilantro and scallions, if desired. Serve with sour cream and sliced or pickled jalapeños.
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
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 to 7 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
one 28-ounce can whole peeled Italian tomatoes, crushed by hand (I used San Marzano tomatoes)
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
one 8-ounce bunch of Tuscan kale or red kale, ribbed, stemmed, torn in half, and sliced into 1/4-1/2″ thick ribbons
two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
torn or chiffonade basil and marjoram leaves, for garnish
finely grated Pecorino Romano, for serving
baguette or other crusty bread, for serving, optional
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over low heat. (I used an enameled cast iron pot.)
Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant but not browned, about 5 minutes.
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.
Stir the kale into the sauce and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the chickpeas and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.
Spoon into bowls and garnish with herbs. Top with finely grated pecorino and serve hot.
My friend has been sharing her beautiful homegrown tomatoes. Lucky me! They are more delicious than my CSA tomatoes. ❤
I try to use them in a special way and I love that this risotto uses fresh tomatoes in two ways- cooked and sliced as a colorful garnish. My homegrown basil and parsley were the icing on the cake.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by David Tanis. I attempted to adapt the recipe to cook using my pressure cooker, as I usually do with risotto, but there wasn’t enough liquid for it to cook properly. Cooking this version in the traditional manner is the way to go. 🙂 By using boiling liquid, it was still a quick weeknight dish!
Yield: 4 servings
extra-virgin olive oil
1large yellow onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
coarse salt and pepper
1 1/2cups arborio or carnaroli rice
pinch of red-pepper flakes
3 largegarlic cloves
1/2cup white wine
2cups diced ripe red tomatoes (and all juices)
3 to 4cups boiling water, chicken or vegetable broth
1/2cup grated pecorino or Parmesan, plus more for serving
2 to 4medium tomatoes, in different colors, sliced
chopped parsley, for garnish
snipped basil, for garnish
Put 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the onion, and season generously with salt. Add pepper to taste, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the rice and cook the onions, stirring, until the onions are barely brown, about 2 minutes.
Add red-pepper flakes, garlic, white wine and diced tomatoes, and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes more.
Add 2 cups boiling water or stock and adjust the heat to a brisk simmer. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring well with a wooden spoon every minute or so.
When the liquid is absorbed, add remaining 1 cup water or stock and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, until the rice is cooked, but the grains are still firm. (I added an additional cup of stock.)
Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding another splash of water if necessary to loosen the mixture.
Turn off the heat, stir in the grated cheese and 2 more tablespoons olive oil. (I omitted the additional oil.)
Transfer to a low, wide serving bowl. Surround the rice with tomato slices and season them with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with parsley and basil. Pass more grated cheese at the table, as desired.