Vegetables and Salads

Delicata Squash with Mushrooms, Breadcrumbs and Hazelnuts

From Hello Gorgeous…

2013-10-11 18.49.48

Serves 2

  • 1 Delicata squash, halved lengthwise and cleaned of seeds and membranes
  • 2 TBSP roasted hazelnuts
  • ¼ cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 ½ TBSP butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2-3 TBSP finely chopped shallot or onion
  • 2 ounces mushrooms, torn or chopped to bite-sized pieces. (Use what you have available – I used chanterelles, but creminis work beautifully too.)
  • 2 tsp aged good balsamic vinegar, or balsamic crema (this is available in most supermarkets now as ‘balsamic cream’)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil, then drizzle the cut side of squash half with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast cut-side down on the foil for 20 minutes until soft. Take squash out of oven, cover with foil to keep warm, and turn oven down to 350°F.

Chop the hazelnuts and add to a bowl. Melt 2 tsp butter in a pan and sauté the breadcrumbs until toasted and lightly browned. Add to the bowl with the hazelnuts. Wipe out sauté pan; add the remaining butter and teaspoon olive oil and sauté the chopped shallot or onion with a good pinch of salt until softened, about 3 minutes over medium-high h heat. Add in the mushrooms; turn heat down to medium-low and sauté until the mushrooms have given up most of their liquid. Add onion/mushroom mixture to bowl with breadcrumbs, hazelnuts.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil, add a few grinds of black pepper and toss well.

Stuff the squash with the mushroom mixture and bake at 350° for about 10-15 minutes until everything is heated through and the top is crunchy. (You could assemble these ahead, stow in fridge and bake them off right before dinner – just bring to room temperature before baking.)

Drizzle with balsamic or balsamic cream and serve. Calories: approximately 230 per serving.

Herbed Corn Gratin

From Speaking Swedish

Serves 4

  • 1 tsp soft butter
  • 3 ears corn
  • 1 tsp finely chopped herbs (I like a combination of thyme and sage, but basil would be great too)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 ½ TBSP fine corn meal
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup shredded swiss, mild fontina or your favorite melting cheese
  • 1 TBSP grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 2 quart casserole dish with the teaspoon butter. Shuck the corn and cut the kernels off. You’ll need about 1-½ cups kernels total. Measure out ½ cup kernels and set aside. Take the remaining cup and put into blender. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the cheeses to the blender, in the order they are listed. Blend until smooth and pour into buttered casserole. Sprinkle the ½ cup corn kernels over the casserole, then the swiss cheese, and finally the parmesan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the middle is just set and top is golden brown. Serve immediately. Calories: about 245 per serving.


Herbed Goat Cheese Stuffed Blossoms

From Reaching the Heights

Serves 1 (Easily doubled or tripped based upon how many blossoms you can get)

  • 4 Squash Blossoms, stamens (the inside bit) removed
  • ¼ cup spreadable goat cheese (or if you have a log of goat cheese, just add some milk or better yet cream to loosen and smooth out so it isn’t so crumbly)
  • ¼ tsp anchovy paste, or one anchovy, finely minced
  • 1 TBSP Tomato Jam (2 finely minced sundried tomatoes in oil can substitute)
  • 1 TBSP toasted pine nuts, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp flavorful olive oil
  • A grind or two of black pepper
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp minced fresh herbs (I used a combination of thyme, parsley and basil)

Mix all of the ingredients together. Taste for seasoning, and add a pinch of salt and/or a grind of black pepper if needed. Let sit in refrigerator about 20 minutes. (This mixture is terrific on crackers or crusty bread too, if you wanted to make a double or triple batch.)

Carefully open up the blossom and spoon in a heaping teaspoon of the cheese mixture. Gently pinch and twist the top of the flower together to close. Repeat with the other blossoms. You could just serve these as they are with a drizzle of good olive oil on top as a starter. The night I made them I had them atop a salad of mixed field greens dressed with lemony vinaigrette and quartered ripe figs. Open up a chilled Rosé, add some crusty bread and you have the perfect reward for getting up those 413 steps! Calories: approximately 250 per serving


Tuscan Tuna and Cannellini Salad Makes about 2 ½ cups

From Three Tons of Stuff

I like to serve this the way I had it, atop thin slices of toasted baguette, but you could easily serve on a salad of arugula or baby greens and tomatoes.

  • 1 5oz. can of tuna in olive oil (I like Genova or Cento)
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery (about 2-3 stalks)
  • Zest and juice of a small lemon (you’ll need about 1 teaspoon zest, and 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons juice)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Drain and rinse the cannellini beans and put in medium bowl. Add the chopped parsley, chopped celery, lemon zest, 1 ½-2 tablespoons lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the can of tuna, with oil, and toss well. Let the salad sit for an hour or so for the flavors to develop, then taste. Add additional salt, pepper, and lemon juice if needed. Calories: 540 total, or about 110 per ½ cup.

Farro Salad with Dried Cherries and Hazelnuts Makes about 2 cups

From Do They Have This, There?

Farro or emmer wheat is an ancient grain popular in Italy, and supposedly what sustained the Roman legions on their journeys. I’m not so sure about that, but I am sure it makes a wonderful salad, pilaf or addition to soups. Farro has a texture similar to barley, and is available in many markets, in Whole Foods, and on-line. If you can’t find it, barley would make a fine substitute.

For the salad:

  • ¾ cup farro, soaked overnight in enough water to cover (store in refrigerator overnight)
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted hazelnuts
  • ¼ cup chopped dried cherries
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs –I used a combination of tarragon, basil and parsley), divided into two piles (you’ll use half in the recipe and add in the other half just before serving)
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped

For the dressing:

  • Zest from an orange (about a heaping teaspoon)
  • Juice from half an orange (about ¼ cup)
  • A few good grinds of pepper or more, to taste
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP + 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP water
  • ½ tsp honey
  • 2 heaping tsp honey mustard

To cook the farro:

Drain the farro, add to a medium saucepan, and cover with about an inch of water. Add in 1 tsp salt and mix well. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook 10-15 minutes. The farro should be chewy, not mushy. Drain and put in a bowl to cool.

Chop the herbs, hazelnuts, scallion and dried cherries and set aside. In a jar with a tight-fitting lid (or you’ll have dressing all over you and the kitchen), add the dressing ingredients and give a good shake to incorporate. Add 2 tablespoons of the chopped herbs and shake again. Pour the dressing over the farro, toss in the nuts and cherries and mix so everything is covered in dressing. Cover and let sit in refrigerator for a few hours. The longer it sits, the better it gets so this is the perfect make-ahead dish for your next barbecue or picnic. When you are ready to serve, toss in the remaining 2 tablespoons of chopped herbs. Calories: about 185 per half cup.


Good German Potato Salad  (I kid you not, that’s how it’s written on the card)Makes about 4 cups

From Oregon Observations: Chapter 1

Cook 2 lbs good potatoes not too soft.

(I used white potatoes, but you could use yukon golds, new potatoes, or another waxy type, cover with cold water, add a good pinch or two of salt, bring to a boil and simmer about 20-25 minutes, but start checking at 15 minutes or so.)

Boil together:

  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 2 heaping TBSP sugar
  • A dash (½ tsp) pepper
  • A messerspitz* dry mustard  (* a messerspitz literally translates to “knife tip” or somewhere between a pinch and a dash. Figure a heaping ¼ tsp.)
  • 1 TBSP vegetable oil

To the boiled mixture, add 1 grated small onion (about 1/3 cup), a heaping teaspoon of grainy mustard and mix. Put some of the mixture into a dish. Slice the potatoes into the dish, layering more mixture over it. Continue layering, finishing with the dressing mixture on top. If it looks too dry when you finish, you can add a little hot water till it suits you.

To make EXTRA good (and who wouldn’t want extra good), fry up about 3 oz. bacon and crumble over.

This is best served warm. Do not refrigerate.

Calories: about 150 per ½ cup

From Once more into the breach, dear friends

Herring Salad

My grandmother’s recipe was more like a framework around which you built the flavors that you liked best. Sometimes it needed a little more vinegar, other times more anchovies. I’ve done my best to give you the most complete recipe I could, but feel free to adjust it to your taste preferences. The good luck works regardless.

This recipe make a lot of herring salad (about 8-9 cups) – you can never have too much good luck I say, but the recipe is easily halved if you want just a little bit of luck this year.

  • 4 cans sliced beets, drained
  • 3 Macintosh apples, peeled and cored
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, one reserved for garnish
  • 3 medium Idaho potatoes, cooked and peeled
  • 1 jar small dill gherkins
  • 1 bottle capers, chopped
  • 4 small (12oz) jars of pickled herring in wine sauce, drained and onions removed
  • Juice of one lemon
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 3-4 tsp sugar
  • 4-6 anchovies, 2 filets reserved
  • 2 TBSP mayonnaise
  • 2 TBSP sour cream

Chop all of the ingredients finely (1/4 inch dice) and mix together. Add in vinegar and lemon juice. Add in the anchovies, reserving 2 filets. Once the entire salad is chopped and mixed, taste it and add more chopped anchovies if needed for saltiness or depth of flavor. Add in the salt, pepper and sugar and taste. You can adjust the salt, sugar and vinegar to your taste preferences. Mix in the mayonnaise and sour cream.

When ready to serve, take the reserved hard-boiled egg, grate it and sprinkle over the top for garnish.  Serve with black bread or other hearty, dense bread and sweet butter. Calories: Good luck foods have no calories.

Watermelon, ricotta salata, pine nuts and arugula salad (Adapted from Bon ApetitServes 6

From Killer Heels

This recipe is based on Cat Cora’s watermelon and feta salad, and you could certainly substitute feta, walnuts and mint if you’d like to change it up. I’ve added arugula and olives to the original recipe to give it a little more substance. I often have this for dinner all by itself with pita chips (they make great croutons crumbled up.) It’s great when it’s so hot and sticky out that you can’t even bear the thought of turning on anything that gives off heat…(um, sorry fellas…)

  • 3 cups baby arugula, washed and spun dry (or use the pre-washed stuff to save a bit of time)
  • 24 pitted oil cured olives roughly chopped (these are the black wrinkly ones)
  • 3 TBSP thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 2 TBSP fresh lime juice
  • 2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
  • A 4-pound seedless watermelon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
  • ½ pound ricotta salata (salted dry ricotta cheese),  cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

Whisk first 3 ingredients in small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Spread out arugula on chilled platter sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 TBSP dressing. Place watermelon and ricotta salata in bowl, drizzle with remaining dressing and toss. Scatter on platter over the arugula. Sprinkle with pine nuts and chopped olives. Calories: 270/serving


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