This is another dish with a crispy and delicious parmesan topping. Cheese makes everything better. 🙂 I loved that the base of the dish was an arugula salad. The crunchy roasted almond topping provided a nice contrasting texture too.
I cut the head of cauliflower through the center into two steaks and roasted the additional florets in a formation as close to a plank as well, for presentation purposes. Next time, I may change the orientation of the cauliflower to keep the florets attached to the core.
This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. I used French green lentils, added red pepper flakes, and modified the cooking and serving methods. It was a lovely, fresh and healthy light meal. We ate it for dinner, but it would also be wonderful served for a special lunch, of course. 🙂
Yield: Serves 4
- 3 cups of cored and chopped tomatoes, about 3 beefsteak tomatoes (I used 2 beefsteak and 3 romas)
- 2 to 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, plus 1 clove for cooking the lentils, if desired
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 1/2 cup (8 T) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- pinch of red pepper flakes, or more, to taste
- 1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed and cut through the core into 1-inch planks
- 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils (I used French green lentils)
- 2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (3/4 cup)
- 1 bunch arugula, trimmed (I used about 4 oz wild baby arugula)
- 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
- toasted almonds, chopped, for serving (I used sliced almonds)
- Cook the lentils: Place 3/4 to 1 cup of dried lentils with a large smashed (but intact) garlic clove, optional, in a pot covered by 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil and season with salt. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 25 to 30 minutes, or until tender. (You will have leftover cooked lentils.)
- Toast the almonds: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread almonds in an even layer on a rimmed quarter sheet pan. Toast the almonds, stirring once or twice, about 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Remove and set aside.
- Increase the oven temperature to 475°F, with a rack placed in the center and another rack in top position. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
- In a bowl, toss together tomatoes, garlic, capers, large pinch of red pepper flakes, if using, and 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper.
- Place cauliflower planks on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Brush cauliflower evenly with 3 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast until undersides are golden, 12 to 13 minutes. Remove pan from the oven, flip the cauliflower and push to one side.
- Add tomato mixture to other side of the pan.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees; roast 12 minutes more.
- Stir 1 1/2 cups drained lentils into tomato mixture. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle everything with cheese.
- Switch oven setting to broil, and broil on top rack until cheese has melted, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Toss arugula with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and vinegar; season with salt and pepper.
- Serve the roasted cauliflower planks over lentils and arugula salad, sprinkled with toasted almonds.
Posted in Greens, Quick, Recipes, Salads & Dressings, Vegetarian
Tags: almonds, arugula, brunch, capers, cauliflower, dinner, French lentils, green lentils, healthy, lentils, lunch, parmesan, Parmigiano Reggiano, red wine vinegar, roasted, salad, sheet pan, tomatoes, vegetarian, warm
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In addition to serving the Voltaggio brother’s cornbread stuffing last Thanksgiving, I also served this savory-sweet roasted carrot dish from Bryan Voltaggio’s cookbook. I loved that the sauce incorporated the carrot greens and that additional greens were used as a garnish.
The recipe was adapted from Home: Recipes to Cook With Family and Friends by Bryan Voltaggio. I used rainbow carrots and modified the proportions in the sauce. I also found the sauce too coarse to pass through a fine mesh sieve. (I often skip that step anyway!) 😉 It is interesting that his technique is to cut the carrots into bite-sized pieces after they are cooked.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
For the Roasted Carrots:
- 2 1/3 lbs (1 kg, about 13 medium carrots) carrots (I used rainbow carrots)
- 2 T (28g) olive oil
- 3/4 tsp (1.5g) cinnamon
- 1 tsp (3g) ground peppercorns, preferably Szechuan
- 3/4 tsp (4.5g) fine sea salt
For the Chimichurri Sauce:
- 1.8 to 2 oz carrot greens
- 2 oz (56g) baby spinach or flat-leaf parsley
- 1 large garlic clove
- 2 1/2 T (35g) olive oil
- 1 T (14g) red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp (3g) fine sea salt
- small carrot greens, for garnish
To Roast the Carrots:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Peel and trim the carrots.
- Set a large skillet with a lid over high heat and add the olive oil. When it begins to shimmer, add the carrots and cook, stirring, until they are golden brown and caramelized.
- Add the cinnamon, peppercorns, and salt; stir to blend.
- Cover and transfer to the oven to cook for 35 minutes, or until the carrots are completely tender.
To Make the Chimichurri Sauce:
- Set a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Prepare an ice bath.
- Blanch the carrot greens for 2 to 3 minutes and transfer to the ice bath.
- Blanch the baby spinach (or parsley) for 1 minutes and transfer to the ice bath.
- Once cool, squeeze out the spinach and carrot greens and put in a blender. (I used a Vitamix.)
- Add the garlic, oil, red wine vinegar, and salt and purée until smooth. Set aside.
To Finish the Dish:
- Remove the carrots from the oven, cut into bite-sized pieces, and transfer to a serving bowl.
- Spoon some of the Chimichurri Sauce over the carrots and garnish with small carrot greens.
- Serve family-style with reserved sauce on the side.
Posted in Holiday, Recipes, Sauces, Sides, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian
Tags: baby spinach, carrot greens, carrots, chimichurri, cinnamon, parsley, rainbow carrots, red wine vinegar, roasted, side, side dish, Thanksgiving, vegetarian
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I actually have a third tasty soup to share. This one is reminiscent of one of our family favorites, Lentil-Kielbasa Soup. Don’t worry- it’s not so similar that it will prevent me from making my tried and true lentil-sausage soup as well this season. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Sarah Digregorio. I used French green lentils instead of black lentils, modified the proportions and incorporated a mixture of CSA greens including beet greens, broccoli greens and escarole. I also garnished the soup with my CSA parsley instead of basil.
This soup could easily be made on the stove top instead of in a slow cooker. I loved that it gobbled up my CSA greens too.
Yield: 6 servings
- 1 pound hot or sweet Italian pork sausage, loose or removed from its casing
- olive oil, if necessary
- 1 large red or yellow onion, chopped
- Kosher salt
- 10 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 2 oregano sprigs, leaves only, or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- generous pinch of red-pepper flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups dried lentils, preferably black beluga (I used French green lentils)
- 1 (14-ounce) can whole or chopped tomatoes
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 5 ounces greens, such as baby spinach or kale, or 1 medium bunch greens, such as chard or kale, stemmed and chopped (I used a mixture of beet & broccoli greens with escarole)
- 1 T red-wine vinegar
- chopped fresh parsley or basil, for garnish
- grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for garnish
- In a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, breaking it up with a spatula, until it is in small, coarse pieces, and starts to brown and sizzle in its own fat, about 8 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked sausage to a 5- to 8-quart slow cooker. There should be a thin layer of fat covering the bottom of the skillet. If there is much more than that, pour a bit of the fat off. If there is not enough fat to cover the bottom of the pan, add a drizzle of olive oil.
- Add the onion to the skillet, season generously with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, add garlic and cook until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the onion and garlic powders, the herbs, red pepper flakes and several generous grinds of black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Increase heat to medium-high, pour in the wine and stir well, scraping the bottom of the pot. Let the wine bubble until the pan is almost dry, about 3 minutes.
- Scrape the skillet mixture into the slow cooker with the sausage.
- Add the bay leaf and the lentils.
- Add the tomatoes with their juice. If using whole, crush the tomatoes into pieces using your hands as you add them with their juice.
- Pour in the chicken stock.
- Season generously with pepper and add 1/2 teaspoon salt if you are using low-sodium stock or 1 teaspoon salt if using homemade unsalted stock. Do not add salt now if you are using fully salted stock.
- Stir well to combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on low until the lentils are tender, about 6 to 8 hours. (Taste the lentils to make sure they are firm but creamy on the inside; black lentils can vary in their cooking time depending on their age and the heat of your slow cooker.) The soup holds well on warm for 2 additional hours.
- Switch the heat to high. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs. Stir in the greens and cook until wilted and tender, about 2 minutes for baby spinach, 10 minutes for kale.
- Stir in the vinegar.
- Serve in bowls, topped with chopped parsley and/or basil and grated Parmesan.
Posted in Greens, Pork, Recipes, Slow Cooker, Soups, Stews, & Chowders
Tags: beet greens, beluga lentils, black lentils, dinner, escarole, French lentils, greens, Italian sausage, kale, legumes, lentils, oregano, Parmigiano Reggiano, red onion, red wine vinegar, sausage, slow cooker, soup, spinach, stew, thyme
It’s all about the sauce for me, and it’s all about the sauce in this dish. I try to adapt most skin-on chicken recipes to use my go-to protein, boneless, skinless, chicken thighs, but the skin is essential in this preparation.
This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Alison Roman. I used red wine vinegar and stock in the sauce and also added garlic. We ate it with a giant green salad instead of the lemon-dressed lettuce in the original recipe but I included the gem lettuce option below.
I served this tangy chicken and roasted mushrooms with crusty sourdough baguette (to soak up the sauce), roasted potatoes, and a dollop of Greek yogurt. Amazing!
Yield: 6 servings
For the Chicken:
- 3 1/2 to 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken (use any combination of legs, thighs or drumsticks, or breasts halved crosswise)(I used 8 bone-in chicken thighs)
- Kosher salt and ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 medium red onions, cut into 1-inch wedges
- 8 large garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar or white distilled vinegar
- 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
- 1/2 bunch thyme, plus leaves for garnish
For the Roasted Mushrooms:
- 2 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as shiitake, maitake, button, chanterelle or oyster, torn into large pieces or quartered (I used 24 oz cremini mushrooms and 10 oz button mushrooms, quartered)
- 3 T olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Lemony Salad Greens with Sumac & to Serve:
- mesclun salad greens or 2 to 3 heads Little Gem lettuces, ends trimmed, quartered lengthwise
- 2 T fresh lemon juice
- 1 T finely grated lemon zest
- Kosher salt and ground pepper
- sumac, for sprinkling
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- crusty bread, for serving
- Greek yogurt, labneh, or sour cream, for serving
- Dry chicken with paper towels and season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. (I used a large and wide enameled cast iron pan.)
- Working in batches, add chicken skin-side down and cook until skin is golden brown and releases easily from the pot, 7 to 10 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken to brown on the other side, another 4 to 8 minutes, depending on what cut you’re using. As the chicken browns, transfer it to a large plate.
- Add onions and garlic to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, without moving them so they have a chance to brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add vinegar and stock/water, then use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
- Bring to a simmer and return chicken to the pot, skin-side up, nestling all the pieces in there. (They don’t need to be totally submerged.) Scatter thyme around and place the lid on top. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook at a gentle simmer until chicken is cooked through and tender, with an internal temperature of 165 degrees, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, roast the mushrooms. Heat the oven to 425 or 450 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
- Toss mushrooms with olive oil on a parchment paper-lined, rimmed baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing once or twice, until the mushrooms are deeply browned and crispy on the outside but tender on the inside, 15 to 20 minutes depending on the type of mushroom and strength of your oven. (I roasted potatoes in the same oven.)
- If serving the salad, toss Little Gems with lemon juice and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper and arrange on a large platter. Sprinkle with sumac and drizzle with olive oil before serving. (I served the chicken with green salad instead.)
- Remove chicken from heat and season the cooking liquid with salt and pepper as needed.
- Transfer chicken, onions and thyme to a large serving platter, spooning cooking liquid over the top, or alternatively, serve directly from the pot, with the mushrooms and salad alongside you like. Add toast and something creamy if you choose.
Additional Suggestions to Complete the Meal:
- Bread: Slice any good, crusty loaf of your choosing about 3/4-inch thick and toast until golden brown. Rub with a cut garlic clove and drizzle with olive oil. Garlicky or spicy bread crumbs would also be welcome if you’re feeling carb-inclined. I served the dish with sliced sourdough baguette.
- Something creamy: Chicken loves more fat, especially this very tangy chicken. A bowlful of any seasoned creamy ingredient like sour cream, full-fat yogurt or labneh sprinkled with chives is excellent for spooning onto or underneath the chicken, over lemony lettuces and onto toast. I served the chicken with a dollop of Greek yogurt.
- Quick pickles: For a quick, light pickle, toss thinly sliced vegetables such as radishes or fennel with a little thinly sliced shallot and season with a good splash of vinegar, salt and pepper.
Posted in Chicken (Poultry), Recipes
Tags: chicken, chicken thighs, cremini, Greek yogurt, mushrooms, oyster, red onion, red wine vinegar, roasted mushrooms, shiitake, sumac, vinegar, white vinegar
I have made this simple and full-flavored dish a couple of times recently. It’s a crowd pleaser in my house.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Mark Bittman. According to the article, Jean-Georges Vongerichten learned how to make this recipe from the chef Paul Bocuse, who popularized it at La Mère Brazier in Lyon, France.
I decreased the oven temperature, used shallots in the sauce and scallions as a garnish. I kept all of the drippings to make the sauce and omitted the water and butter in the finished sauce. The extra sauce was wonderful drizzled over roasted potatoes and sautéed greens.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 3-pound chicken, cut up for sautéing
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup minced shallots (about 2 large)
- 1 cup good red-wine vinegar (preferably with 5% acidity)
- 1 tablespoon butter, optional
- fresh parsley, thyme, or tarragon for garnish
- sliced scallions, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection roast.
- Set a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; when it is hot, place chicken in the skillet, skin side down. Cook undisturbed for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is nicely browned. Turn and cook 3 minutes on the other side. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place skillet in the oven. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until almost done, about 165 degrees (juices will run clear, and there will be just a trace of pink near the bone). Remove chicken to an ovenproof platter. Place it in the oven and turn off the heat, and leave the door slightly ajar; alternatively place in a warming drawer tented with foil.
- Place skillet over medium-high heat, and add shallots; sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until tender, about 2 minutes.
- Add vinegar, and raise the heat to high. Cook a minute or two, or until the powerful acid smell has subsided somewhat. Add 1/2 cup water if using vinegar with >5% acidity (I omitted the water), and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring, until the mixture is slightly reduced and somewhat thickened.
- Stir in butter, if desired.
- Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet, and turn the chicken in the sauce. Garnish with herbs and scallions, as desired. Serve immediately.
Note: Most wine vinegar sold in the United States has an acidity level of 7%; many French vinegars are just 5% acidity. So it’s best to cut strong vinegar with some water.
Posted in Chicken (Poultry), Quick, Recipes
Tags: chicken, dinner, easy, French, Mark Bittman, parsley, red wine vinegar, sauce, scallions, shallots, tarragon, thyme
The culmination of my daughter’s summer theatre camp involves days of dress rehearsals followed by matinée and evening performances. She absolutely loves it all and it is worth every second, but it was also difficult to prepare and eat dinner during this time. That’s show business, right? 😉
This genius quick, healthy, and filling appetizer turned dinner saved the day the evening of her final performance. The recipe was adapted from Ina Garten via Smitten Kitchen.com. I made my favorite hummus, added arugula, used a peeled CSA cucumber, and substituted red wine vinegar for lemon juice in the dressing. I could eat it all summer long!
- 2 cups prepared hummus
- 2 T olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 1/2 cups (8 ounces or 225 grams) grape tomatoes, quartered, plus more to taste
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, or multiple small cucumbers, unpeeled, chopped
- 1/4 medium red onion, chopped small, optional
- 1 T red wine vinegar or juice of half a lemon
- 1/4 tsp sumac
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley, or a mix of parsley, mint, and chives, plus more for garnish
- 2 large handfuls baby arugula, to taste
- warm naan or pita, for serving
- Prepare hummus in a food processor.
- Spread hummus on a large plate with the back of a spoon, creating swirls and cavities. Drizzle it lightly with olive oil, just to freshen it up.
- Mix tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, red wine vinegar/lemon juice, about 2 tablespoons olive oil, sumac, plus salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.
- Stir in herbs.
- Top hummus with arugula. Heap salad on top of the arugula. Finish with additional sumac and/or fresh herbs.
- Serve with warm naan or pita wedges.
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Posted in Appetizers, Quick, Recipes, Salads & Dressings, Vegetarian
Tags: appetizer, arugula, basil, chives, cucumber, grape tomatoes, hummus, Ina Garten, lemon, mint, parsley, red wine vinegar, salad, Smitten Kitchen, sumac, tomatoes, vegan, vegetarian, Za'atar
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