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
Posted in Greens, Quick, Recipes, Shrimp
Tags: cherry tomatoes, dinner, farro, feta, grape tomatoes, Greek, kale, mustard greens, quick, Sara Moulton, shrimp, spinach, tomatoes
I made this lovely dish for Easter dinner. The sauce was absolutely incredible. I also loved that the salmon was served over a plate of sautéed vegetables. The recipe was adapted from one of the most popular menu items at NYC’s Union Square Café in the 1990’s.
The recipe is from the 40th Anniversary Special Edition of Food and Wine magazine titled “Our 40 Best-Ever Recipes,” contributed by Michael Romano. I am keeping this issue as a “cookbook” because I want to try so many (practically all!) of the dishes. The issue states that this salmon dish is one of the best recipes Food and Wine has ever published. Very special.
We finished our meal with a celebratory Bunny Cake, of course!
Yield: Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as a first course (this recipe can be doubled easily)
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (6 ounces), divided
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onion (I used 1/2 of a large red onion)
- 3 garlic cloves (2 thinly sliced and 1 whole), divided
- 1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and reserved, caps quartered, divided
- 1 medium-size ripe tomato, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- coarse salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound fresh spinach
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 3-4 ears)
- 1 (1 to 1 1/2 pound) center-cut salmon fillet, sliced crosswise into 4 to 6 strips
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
Make the Sauce:
- Cut 6 tablespoons butter into 1/2-inch cubes, and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium nonreactive saucepan over medium-low.
- Add onion, sliced garlic, shiitake stems, tomato, black peppercorns, and bay leaf, and cook until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 12 minutes.
- Add balsamic vinegar and 1/3 cup water, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is syrupy, about 4 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low, and add cubed butter, 2 to 3 pieces at a time, whisking thoroughly between additions.
- Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour sauce through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard solids.
- Keep sauce warm over a double boiler.
Prepare the Spinach:
- Spear whole garlic clove with a dinner fork. (I’ve never done this before- genius!)
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over high until just beginning to smoke.
- Add spinach; cook, stirring using fork with garlic clove, until spinach is wilted.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste; transfer to a colander to drain. Discard garlic clove.
Prepare the Corn & Mushrooms:
- Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Reduce heat to medium, and add 3 tablespoons butter.
- Add shiitake caps, and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in corn kernels; cook until completely heated through, about 3 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl, and keep warm.
- Increase heat to high, and add remaining 1 tablespoon butter and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet.
- Season salmon strips with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add fish to skillet, and cook until browned but barely cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
- Divide spinach among 6 plates; surround with corn and shiitakes.
- Place a salmon strip on top of spinach, and spoon vinegar sauce on fish.
- Garnish with a sprinkling of chives; serve immediately.
Posted in Greens, Holiday, Recipes, Sauces, Seafood
Tags: balsamic vinegar, chives, corn, Easter, fish, mushrooms, salmon, sauce, shiitake, spinach, tomatoes, Union Square Cafe
This soup was absolutely heavenly. It was a purée of all of my favorite greens with added silkiness from a single potato. Perfection!
This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Yasmin Khan, author of Zaitoun. I weighed all of the greens, added fresh lemon juice, and increased the garlic. I also incorporated my homemade turkey stock but vegetable stock could be easily substituted to make a vegetarian version. The original recipe recommends the use of spicier, mature arugula. I was upset that I didn’t make a double batch. Next time! 🙂
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 medium russet potato, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
- 4 cups homemade chicken or vegetable stock
- 7 ounces arugula (I used wild baby arugula)
- 5 1/4 ounces fresh spinach (I used baby spinach)
- 1 ounce cilantro sprigs (about 1/2 packed cup)
- freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 a lemon
- plain whole-milk Greek yogurt, for serving
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium. (I used an enameled cast iron pot.)
- Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring often, just until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in turmeric, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and allspice; cook, stirring often, 2 minutes.
- Add potato and stock, and bring to a simmer. Cook until potato is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Reserve a handful of arugula for garnish. Add spinach, cilantro, and remaining arugula to pan. Bring to a simmer over medium, and cook 10 minutes.
- Working in batches, transfer soup to a blender. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender to purée the soup.) Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece of lid to allow steam to escape. Place a clean kitchen towel over opening. Process until smooth.
- Incorporate the fresh lemon juice.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if needed, and divide among 4 bowls.
- Top each serving with a generous spoonful of Greek yogurt, some of the reserved arugula, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
Posted in Greens, Quick, Recipes, Soups, Stews, & Chowders, Vegetarian
Tags: allspice, arugula, cilantro, dinner, Greek yogurt, greens, lunch, Middle Eastern, nutmeg, Palestinian, rocket, shorbat jarjir, soup, spinach, turmeric, vegetables, vegetarian
The first time I made a one-pan pasta dish, I was skeptical about the results. Now I know that this technique is absolute genius. Cooking the pasta in the pan results in fabulously creamy sauce. The bonus is the ease of producing a great dish with minimal cleanup.
This recipe was adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s book, Cook It in Your Dutch Oven, via Cups and Spoonfuls.com. I literally started making the dish within an hour of reading the post. 🙂 It’s a perfect quick dinner made with pantry items- all in a single pot. Great!
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 ½ ounce of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, about ¾ cup, divided
- extra virgin olive oil, for toasting the bread crumbs
- freshly grated zest from one lemon, divided
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 slices of thick-cut bacon or 2 ounces of pancetta, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 ½ cups water, more as needed
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 12 oz (3/4 pound) bucatini
- 5 ounces of mixed baby greens (baby chard, kale, & spinach), about 5 cups
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Toast breadcrumbs in a small skillet with a bit of olive oil until golden brown.
- Next, mix together toasted breadcrumbs, ¼ cup of Parmesan, 1/2 of the lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon of coarse salt, and ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Cook bacon or pancetta in your Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Set aside until ready to serve pasta.
- Add garlic and remaining lemon zest to Dutch oven and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds or so.
- Add wine, scraping any browned bits and cook until the wine is almost evaporated, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add water and stock and bring to a boil.
- Stir in pasta and return to a strong simmer. Cook pasta, stirring often until the pasta is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add greens and peas. Stir and continue to cook until the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes.
- Add remaining Parmesan and stir until pasta is creamy and completely coated about 30 seconds.
- Add extra hot water if pasta seems too dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve and sprinkle each serving with crispy pancetta and lemon panko breadcrumbs.
Posted in Greens, Pasta, Quick, Recipes
Tags: baby, bacon, bucatini, chard, dinner, greens, Italian, kale, lemon, one pan, pancetta, panko, parmesan, pasta, quick, spinach, test kitchen
This healthy carbonara was unbelievably creamy. It was also absolutely loaded with fresh spinach. Amazing!
The purpose of the smoked gouda topping was to mimic the smokiness of the missing pancetta or bacon in this lighter, vegetarian version of “carbonara.” I thought is was equally delicious with and without it.
This recipe is from The New York Times, contributed by Kay Chun. I used whole wheat spaghetti and increased the garlic. It was a quick and delicious weeknight dish.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 7-8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 1 pound fresh baby spinach
- red-pepper flakes, to taste, optional
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan (2 1/2 ounces)
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup grated smoked Provolone or Gouda (1 1/2 ounces)
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until light golden, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve 2 cups cooking water and drain the pasta.
- Return the pasta and reserved cooking water to the pot and heat over low. Add the butter and onion-garlic mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid is absorbed and sauce is slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the spinach, season with salt, plenty of pepper and red-pepper flakes, if using, and stir until spinach is wilted.
- Stir in the Parmesan and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.
- Divide the pasta among 4 bowls and top each with 2 tablespoons smoked cheese. Finish with more black pepper, if desired.
Posted in Greens, Pasta, Quick, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: baby spinach, carbonara, dinner, gouda, Italian, parmesan, provolone, spaghetti, spinach, vegetarian, whole wheat
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The plus side (supposedly!) of the original recipe for this dish from Martha Stewart was that it was a vegetarian casserole without cheese. After seeing an adaptation on Kirkley Crossing, I added fresh mozzarella. Cheese makes everything better! I added fresh spinach too.
I made the polenta but did use jarred marinara as a shortcut. We enjoyed it with a green salad. Cheesy vegetarian casseroles are perfect comfort food in cold weather!
Yield: Serves 6
For the Polenta:
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup polenta or coarse yellow cornmeal (not quick cooking)
- Mix one cup of liquid with the cornmeal and stir. This prevents the cornmeal from lumping when added to the boiling liquid.
- Bring the remaining stock to a boil in a 3 or 4 quart sauce pot and add the salt and pepper.
- To the boiling stock, pour the cornmeal slurry in a steady stream, stirring constantly until completely added.
- Simmer over low heat, stirring often, until done, about 30 to 40 minutes. When done, polenta will pull away from the sides of the pot and will be soft in texture.
- Remove the pot from the heat and finish as desired. Adjust the consistency with additional stock or water, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Pour onto a greased half-sheet pan and refrigerated until cool and firm. (I coated the sheet pan with cooking oil spray.)
For the Layered Eggplant & Polenta Casserole:
- 24 oz jar (3 cups) marinara sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Italian Marinara Sauce with Barolo Wine- delicious!)
- 1 batch Polenta (recipe above)
- 2 large handfuls organic baby spinach, coarsely chopped
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil, or more if necessary
- coarse salt
- 1 medium eggplant, preferably organic, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 1 pound (16 oz) fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- Heat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Preheat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Slice polenta into squares about 1/2 inch thick. (I cut mine into 24 pieces.) Brush lightly with olive oil. Place in the skillet until lightly browned. Flip over and repeat. Transfer to a plate.
- Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in the skillet until nicely browned, flip over and repeat. Transfer to a plate.
- Spoon about 1/2 cup tomato sauce into a 9-inch square baking dish, spreading to coat evenly. Arrange eggplant slices snugly in a single layer. (I used 9 slices per layer.)
- Top each round with a sprinkling of spinach (1 large handful) and a slice of mozzarella cheese.
- Top with a layer of polenta.
- Spoon about 3/4 to 1 cup tomato sauce over the top. Repeat with another layer of eggplant, spinach, cheese, and polenta. Finish by dotting with remaining tomato sauce.
- Cover with foil; place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until bubbling and juicy, about 45 minutes.
- Remove foil; place on upper rack in the oven and continue baking until sauce is lightly caramelized and eggplant is tender, about 15 minutes more.
- Remove from oven; let cool slightly, and serve.
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Posted in Casserole, Greens, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: casserole, cheese, comfort food, cornmeal, dinner, eggplant, fresh mozzarella, grits, marinara, polenta, spinach, vegetarian