This is another flavor-packed adaptation of a classic. It was a wonderful way to enjoy the bounty of delicious summer cucumbers. Although this version is lighter than a classic Caesar, I was initially concerned that the dressing may be too potent. No worries! It was perfect.
The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Zaynab Issa. I modified the method and proportions, used cucumbers from my CSA share, and used harissa instead of Calabrian chile paste. I loved the generous volume of fresh dill.
We enjoyed it with grilled chicken thighs and and roasted potatoes. Great.
For the Crispy-Spicy Panko Topping:
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp Harissa or Calabrian chile paste (or 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes)
1 cup panko
1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal)
For the Salad & Assembly:
4 to 6 garlic cloves, finely grated or pushed through a garlic press
5 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 T anchovy paste or 5 drained oil-packed anchovy fillets, smashed
1 T Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Morton kosher salt, plus more (or 3/4 tsp Diamond Crystal)
5 peeled, halved, and seeded cucumbers or 3 European hothouse cucumbers, cut on a diagonal into 1″ pieces
2 oz Parmesan, shaved (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
1 cup dill, chopped
To Make the Crispy-Spicy Panko Topping:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium. (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet.)
Add the chile paste and stir into the warm oil.
Add panko and salt (and crushed red pepper flakes, if using instead of chile paste) and cook, stirring often, until breadcrumbs are deep golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Transfer spicy breadcrumbs to a shallow bowl; set aside.
Do ahead: Breadcrumbs can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.
To Make the Salad & To Assemble:
Whisk garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, anchovies, mustard, and salt in a large bowl to combine.
If using regular cucumbers: peel, slice in half, and seed them. (I used a melon baller to seed them.)
Add the cucumber slices; toss well to coat.
Add shaved Parmesan and top with dill. Gently toss to distribute evenly.
Taste and season with more salt, if needed.
Just before serving, transfer cucumber salad to a platter and spoon reserved spicy breadcrumbs on top. (I reserved some of the breadcrumbs to pass at the table.)
Do ahead: Dressing can be made 3 days ahead; cover and chill. Salad (without breadcrumbs) can be made 3 hours ahead; cover and chill.
I have made this wonderful roasted chicken twice recently. The grated Parmesan forms a crispy and delicious topping on the skin and the meat is very nicely seasoned with fresh rosemary and lemon zest. I served it with roasted potatoes and vegetables on both occasions.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. If roasting vegetables with a short cooking time, such as asparagus, it would be amazing to roast them in some of the pan juices while the chicken is resting. I drizzled my roasted potatoes and other vegetables with the lemony pan juices after they were cooked. Great.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
zest and juice from 1 lemon, divided
2teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1teaspoon chopped rosemary, plus 3 to 4 sprigs
large pinch of red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving, optional
1(3 1/2- to 4-pound) whole chicken, patted dry
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1/3cup finely grated Parmesan (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
parsley, for garnish, optional
Finely grate the zest from the lemon and place it in a small bowl. (Save the zested lemon for the drippings.)
Stir in 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, chopped rosemary and red-pepper flakes, if using.
Season the chicken inside and out with salt mixture. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or refrigerate uncovered for up to overnight.
Heat oven to 425 degrees. I set my oven to convection roast.
Place chicken, breast-side up, in a large skillet, sheet pan or roasting pan. (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet.)
Stuff cavity of chicken with rosemary sprigs. Drizzle breast with a little olive oil.
Roast chicken for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle chicken all over with Parmesan.
Return pan to the oven and continue roasting until bird’s juices run clear when skin is pierced with a knife and the skin is golden, 25 to 30 minutes longer. (I used an oven probe and cooked the chicken until the breast reached 165 degrees.)
Let chicken rest for 10 minutes. (I tented it with aluminum foil.)
Squeeze juice from the zested lemon, to taste, into the pan drippings and season with more salt and red-pepper flakes if you like.
Carve and serve with drippings spooned over the meat. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired. (I also had extra drippings available at the table.)
I love a cheesy baked pasta loaded with greens. 🙂 This one was bursting with broccoli rabe (of which I am a huge fan) but it could have easily incorporated broccoli, baby broccolini, or other greens such as collards, spinach, and/or kale instead. We ate it with garlic bread and green salad. Great.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Alison Roman. I was a little bit concerned about the spice level after adding an entire teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, but the finished result was perfect. I baked the casserole in a Dutch oven and the cheesy bread crumb topping formed an incredible crispy crust over the entire top. I may consider adding garlic next time, but it was amazing without it!
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
1 lb rigatoni, ziti, or fusilli
8 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced into 1/4-inch half-moons
minced garlic, optional
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
2 bunches broccoli rabe or 3 bunches baby broccolini, trimmed, coarsely chopped (I cut the stems into 2-inch pieces and the leaves into 3-inch pieces)(see alternate green vegetable alternatives above)
1 cup heavy cream
12 oz sharp white cheddar, coarsely grated (about 3 cups), divided (I used 10 oz extra-sharp white cheddar and 2 oz white Beecher’s Flagship Handmade Cheese)
1 bunch chives, chopped, divided (about 1 cup)
1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs or panko (I used a blend of the two)
Preheat oven to 425°, preferably on convection.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add a generous amount of salt. Cook pasta, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking together, until just barely al dente, about 2 minutes less than package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.
While the pasta is cooking, heat 5 tablespoons of oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium. (I used a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
Add leeks and season with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are softened (but not so much that they don’t have any texture left) and starting to brown, 5–10 minutes.
Add red pepper flakes and garlic, if using, to leeks and stir to incorporate.
Add broccoli rabe by the handful, stirring to combine and allowing each addition to wilt before adding more.
Season with salt and black pepper.
Once all of the broccoli rabe has been added, cook, stirring occasionally, until bright green and wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat and set aside.
Add pasta to reserved broccoli rabe mixture along with cream, three-quarters of the cheese, 2/3 of the chopped chives, and reserved pasta cooking liquid; mix well. Season with salt and black pepper and add more red pepper flakes if you prefer more heat (keep in mind that the saltiness and spiciness will increase as the pasta bakes).(I didn’t add any additional heat.)
Transfer pasta to a 3-qt. baking dish (or, if your Dutch oven is ovenproof, just leave it in there). (I scraped down the sides of my Dutch oven and kept the mixture in it to bake- less dishes!)
Toss breadcrumbs and remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in a medium bowl until coated; season with salt and black pepper.
Scatter breadcrumbs over pasta, then sprinkle evenly with remaining cheese.
Bake until pasta is bubbling across the entire surface and breadcrumbs are deep golden brown, 22 to 35 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Scatter remaining chives over pasta just before serving.
This soup is described as “a lot more interesting than your average vegetable purée” because the broccoli is caramelized before being incorporated in the soup, adding a greater depth of flavor. By only caramelizing one side of each floret, leaving the other side bright green, the broccoli’s sweetness is preserved. It was quite delicious.
This recipe was adapted from Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark. The soup was inspired by one served by Andrew Feinberg at his former restaurant, Franny’s in Brooklyn. Next time I will make 1 1/2 to 2 times the recipe to have more leftovers! 🙂
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
8 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 heads of broccoli (about 2 pounds), separated into small florets, stems peeled and diced
2 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 T unsalted butter
1 large Spanish onion, diced
5 to 10 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
8 to 10 oz potatoes, thinly sliced (peeled, if desired)(I used unpeeled Dutch yellow baby potatoes)
1/4 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 1/2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1/2 a lemon, plus more to taste
grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
flaky sea salt, for serving
In a large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high to high heat. (I used a large enameled cast iron pot.)
Add about 1/3 of the broccoli, just enough so that it covers the bottom of the pan in a single layer without crowding. Cook the broccoli without touching it- until it is dark brown on one side (leave one side bright green), 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer the broccoli to a large bowl, and repeat with the remaining broccoli, adding another 2 tablespoons oil for each batch. When all of the broccoli has been browned, season it with 1 teaspoon of salt.
Reduce the heat under the soup pot to medium-low. Add the butter and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.
When the butter has melted, add the onions garlic, pepper, chile flakes, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Cook the onion-garlic mixture until the onions are soft and translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add the potatoes, 4 cups of water, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook until the potatoes are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the broccoli, cover again, and cook until it is tender, another 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir the lemon zest into the soup.
Using an immersion blender (or working in batches in a blender or food processor), coarsely purée the soup, leaving some small chunks for texture, if desired. (I puréed the soup until smooth.)
Stir in the lemon juice.
When serving, finish with grated cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkling of black pepper and flaky sea salt.
Enough sweet treats! Now I am going to start sharing several comfort food dishes.
I could eat soup every night in cold weather. The starches released by cooking the rice in the stock thickened the base of this dish. The resulting soup tasted hearty and rich.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Kat Boytsova. I modified the proportions, replaced most of the water with stock, and used olive oil, Italian carnaroli rice, and added parmesan rind.
The garlicky chile oil topping, which I doubled (it was recommended to have leftovers!), made this wonderful soup extra special. We ate it with a sourdough baguette and green salad.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1 medium to large yellow onion
6 garlic cloves (I used 12 cloves to double the oil)
2/3 cup white rice, preferably short grain such as Arborio or medium grain such as Carnaroli
6 T olive oil or vegetable oil (I used 10 T to double the oil)
1-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (I used 1 tsp in my double batch)
6 cups poultry stock (I used 4 cups homemade turkey stock & 2 cups chicken stock)
2 cups water
1 to 1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs
3 tsp kosher salt, divided
parmesan rind, optional
1 large bunch Tuscan kale (I used 10oz bag of chopped Tuscan kale)
freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon
dill sprigs, for garnish
freshly ground black pepper
To Prep Ingredients: Peel and finely chop 1 onion. Peel and thinly slice the garlic cloves. Rinse rice in a fine-mesh sieve until water runs clear.
To Make the Garlic-Chile Oil: (I made a double batch.) Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add garlic and cook, swirling pan often, until golden brown, 3–5 minutes; the garlic will continue to cook and darken slightly after it’s off the heat, so be conservative here. Transfer to a small heatproof bowl, leaving 1 T garlic oil in pot. Stir the crushed red pepper flakes into garlic oil in bowl; set aside.
To Make the Soup: Add the chopped onion to the 1 T of garlic oil that remains in the in saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and beginning to take on some color, about 5 minutes.
Pour in stock and water and stir to combine.
Stir in rice, chicken thighs, 1 tsp salt, and parmesan rind, if using. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 20 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Using tongs, transfer chicken to a plate and let sit until cool enough to handle. Shred meat with two forks. Continue to simmer soup while you’re prepping the rest of your ingredients (this will concentrate the flavor of the broth).
Strip kale leaves off of thick center ribs, discarding ribs. Rinse kale thoroughly in cold water, shake off excess water, then thinly slice leaves crosswise.
Add kale and shredded chicken to pot. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until kale is bright green and chicken is warmed through, about 4 minutes.
Remove pot from heat. Squeeze in lemon juice (being careful not to let any seeds fall in), season with 1 to 2 tsp salt, or more to taste, and stir to combine.
Divide soup among bowls. Drizzle with reserved garlic-chile oil. Garnish with dill sprigs and a few grinds of black pepper.
I was so happy to receive my first CSA box of the season. It has been such a LONG six months without a surprise box of fresh vegetables to look forward to every week! My box was loaded with tender spring greens including beautiful baby red kale- perfect for this salad and perfect for my guest post for Sonal of simplyvegetarian777. Sonal is my oldest friend in the blogosphere and is also one of my biggest supporters. She is always there with a “like” and a complementary comment on my posts- She is so kind to me!
This salad made a beautiful lunch that I thoroughly enjoyed. 🙂 This recipe was adapted from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite: 150 Recipes & Stories About the Food You Love by Melissa Clark (my favorite New York Times contributor).
The guest post along with the lovely remarks Sonal said about my blog 🙂 can be found here. Healthy & Delicious!!
1 small bunch Tuscan kale (for ex: black or laminate) or Red Kale
2 thin slices country bread, 1 slice whole wheat bread (crusts removed), or two handfuls good, homemade coarse breadcrumbs
1/2 large garlic clove or 1 small garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
1/4 cup (or small handful) grated pecorino cheese, plus additional for garnish
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (from a generous half of a large lemon- about 3 T)
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Trim the bottom few inches off the kale stems and discard. Slice the kale into 3/4-inch ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place the kale in a large bowl.
2. If using the bread, toast it until golden brown on both sides and dry throughout. Tear into small pieces and pulse in a food processor until the mixture forms coarse crumbs, or crumbs to your liking.
3. Using a mortar and pestle or a knife, pound or mince the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a paste.
4. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, pinch of salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well (the dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat the leaves).
5. Let the salad sit for 5 minutes. Serve topped with the bread crumbs and additional cheese.
Do you ever feel like you are fighting nature at every turn? Weeds? Insects? Pollen? Leaves? In our yard we have to add Canadian geese to that list. We can barely scare them away at this point! The families hanging out in our yard are absolutely adorable… we just wish that they didn’t leave anything behind….
I have been so busy fighting nature recently that it’s kept me out of the kitchen. 🙂 This was a delicious and quick cooking meal with wonderful fresh flavors. It’s traditional Italian name is Tagliatelle All’Aglione- in Tuscany- named for the generous amount of garlic (aglio in Italian) in the sauce. This recipe, a staff-favorite, was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Paolo Coluccio. We ate it with green salad and Whole Wheat Spicy Herb and Garlic Bread. Lots of garlic and lots of spice- Great!
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1/2 cup (8 T) extra-virgin olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 to 2 1/2 pounds fresh plum tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
coarse salt, to taste
1 pound dried tagliatelle (I substituted pappardelle)
In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, crushed red pepper, and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and form a sauce, 10-20 minutes. Season the sauce with salt to taste; keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain well.
Add the pasta and half of the cooking water to the sauce and toss over moderately low heat until coated, 2 minutes; add more of the cooking water if the pasta seems dry. Transfer the pasta to shallow bowls and serve.
Note: The sauce can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat before tossing with the pasta.