Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Israeli Cous Cous and Acorn Squash Salad

Just when I thought I was finished with Acorn Squash recipe research, the CSA email came announcing I'd get two in my share. Again, I browsed a few of my favorite recipe banks and found this salad. As I said in a previous post, I love grain based salads with veggies, herbs, dried fruit, nuts, you name it! So When I found this salad, it looked like it would be great.

The ingredient list is a bit lengthy for a simple salad, but many of the ingredients are herbs and spices that you'll likely have on hand. I used basil rather than mint because I have it growing in my garden, but other than that I made no substitutions. (I did forget to add the almonds for the photo, but added them just before we ate this, oops!). The cous cous was a bit sticky, and I didn't want to add a ton of olive oil, so I added a few splashes of balsamic vinegar, and it worked really well, adding just enough extra flavor and moisture without compromising the original recipe's flavors. If you can't find Israeli cous cous, or don't want a white pasta, you can easily sub in wheat berries, barley, quinoa, millet, or regular wheat cous cous.

Israeli Cous Cous with Acorn Squash, Feta and Almonds
slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma

3/4 c. slivered almonds
1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
Kosher salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
2 acorn squash (about 2.5 lbs)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 c. Israeli cous cous
6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled 
1/4 c. basil leaves, torn
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 350*
Place almonds on a baking sheet, toast until fragrant and browned, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Transfer to a plate and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine sage, 1 tsp. salt, cinnamon, chili powder and pepper, stir well.
Peel squash, cut into 1/2" cubes. 
Toss with 1 tbsp. olive oil, add to a baking sheet and toss with seasoning mixture.
Roast for an hour, until lightly browned and easily pierced with a knife. 
Bring large pot of water to a boil, add cous cous and cook for 5 minutes, until softened, drain in a mesh colander and rinse with cool water.
Transfer the cous cous to a platter, fluff, add squash, almonds, feta and basil (or mint), drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve warmed to room temperature.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Southern Stacks

Almost two years ago (really?!) I made this recipe for BBQ Tempeh and Fried Green Tomato stacks. They were so good, I've made them several times since. After picking up my CSA share with 2 lbs. of green tomatoes, I considered making the recipe again... but for the blog's sake, decided to try something new. I wasn't in the mood to fry the tomatoes, and decided to try to make a healthier stack. I had sprouts on hand, and a surplus of datil pepper sauce I made over the summer with the datil peppers I grew, so a Southern stack sounded perfect. I whipped up tiny corn pancakes as the base, then seasoned and crisped some tempeh and finally made a sort of pimento cheese to top it all off. These stacks were absolutely delicious! Hot and cold, healthy and full of flavor.

They should be made to order though, as the tomatoes did make the corn cakes a bit soggy at the end, but you could also re-work your stack so the tomato isn't directly on the corn cake, and problem solved! If you can't find or make datil pepper sauce, chili sauce will do. I believe the sauce at Firehouse subs is a datil pepper sauce, so you can always pick some up there!

Southern Stacks
Veggie by Season original, makes 8 stacks

Corn cakes:
1 egg
1 c. milk
1/4 c. frozen (thawed) corn kernels
1 tbsp. canola oil
3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. cornmeal
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together egg, milk, corn and oil.
Add flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder, gently whisk until all dry ingredients are incorporated.
Preheat griddle to medium heat, spray with nonstick spray and ladle 1/4  c. of batter at a time. 
Cook for 3 minutes, until bubbles appear, then flip and cook the other side for 2 minutes. 
Continue until all pancakes are finished. Keep warm in a 250* oven.

1 package of tempeh
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. olive oil

Slice tempeh into 16 pieces.
Add olive oil and spices to a shallow bowl, whisk together to form a paste, slather on tempeh pieces.
Preheat a skillet to medium heat, spray with nonstick spray and cook tempeh for 2 minutes per side, place on a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven with corncakes.

Pimento Cheese:
1 c. fresh grated colby-jack cheese
1/4 c. minced pimentos
1/4 c. plain nonfat greek yogurt
Salt and pepper

Add all ingredients to a small bowl, mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Pan Fried Tomatoes:
2 lbs. green tomatoes
Kosher Salt
Black pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil

Heat saute' pan over medium, add olive oil.
Slice tomatoes into 1/4" disks, you'll need 16 slices.
Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Place in pan, cook until seared brown, about 2 minutes, flip and sear the other side.
Remove from pan and cook remaining slices. 

Additional Ingredients:
Datil pepper sauce

Prepare all stack components (tomatoes last) and create stacks, corn cakes on bottom, tempeh (cut each slice into thirds), tomato, sprouts, tempeh, tomato, pimento cheese and datil pepper sauce. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Roasted Harvest Vegetable Salad

I've always been a big fan of grain or starch based salad bowls with fun veggies, nuts, or fruits added in. They tend to make a nice, complete lunch and the leftovers are always just as good, if not better. After receiving another delightful stalk of Brussels sprouts in my CSA basket, I decided to make a hearty, warm vegetable salad with seasonal ingredients. This, after all, the tagline of this blog!

I started with sweet potatoes as my base, they've always been a favorite of mine, but Violet goes bananas over them, so they're much more prevalent in our diet these days. I had some cranberries in the fridge, and figured a nice sweet and acidic flavor would pair well. Lastly, I needed a nut, and chestnuts were on clearance from the holidays, and fit in perfectly! I used a maple-tahini dressing that I whisked up last minute from kitchen staples, and this bowl was complete!

Roasted Harvest Vegetable Salad
Veggie by Season original

2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
kosher salt and black pepper
2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed well
1 lb. brussels sprouts
1/2 lb. fresh cranberries
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz. chestnuts
1/2 c. chopped green onions

1/4 c. tahini
2 tbsp. maple syrup
Juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
Olive oil, if necessary

Preheat oven to 450*
Slice sweet potato into 1/2" disks, then dice into smaller cubes, place on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper, toss well. 
Cover loosely with aluminum foil and place in the oven while you prepare Brussels sprouts.
Trim the Brussels sprouts, leave smaller ones whole, halve or quarter larger, add to a baking sheet with the cranberries and minced garlic, toss in 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper, add to the oven.
After 15-20 minutes, remove the foil from potatoes, toss and place back in the oven, uncovered. 
After another 10 minutes, check vegetables, they should be just crisping on the edges, toss and continue to roast if necessary.
In a small dish, whisk dressing ingredients.
In a serving dish, layer in potatoes, Brussels sprouts, chestnuts and green onions, gently toss but be careful to not break potatoes. 
Drizzle with half of the dressing, serve the rest on the side.
Serve warm, or at room temperature, store leftovers in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Garlic-Parmesan Crusted Romanesco Cauliflower

Romanesco Cauliflower is probably the most interesting looking vegetable I've ever seen. The vibrant color, pointy florets and bumps add so much charm. I received two heads in my CSA share a few weeks ago, and spend hours (I'm not even kidding) looking for recipes to do this vegetable justice. I wanted the shape and color to stay in tact, so chopping it to pieces wasn't an option. Then I remembered using a technique on artichokes that would work well. I roasted a few heads of garlic with olive oil, smashed them with some Parmesan and slathered it on to create this delicious crust.  I think a drizzle of balsamic or a tomato chutney for dipping would take this dish even further, but we loved it as it too.

Garlic-Parmesan Crusted Romanesco Cauliflower

3 heads of garlic
1 tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
2 heads of Romanesco Cauliflower
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. butter, softened

Preheat oven to 425*
Slice the top 1/4 off the heads of garlic, place them on a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, pinch up sides of foil to create a sealed packet, place on a baking sheet and into the oven.
While garlic roasts, steam cauliflower.
Prep the cauliflower by stemming, removing leaves, and washing well. 
Place in a pot, add 1" of water and heat over high.
Bring water to a boil, steam cauliflower for 5 minutes, until tender, turn heat off and set aside (keep the lid on and let it continue to steam/stay warm).
Add butter and parmesan to a small mixing bowl.
Take cauliflower out of pot and place in a baking dish that will hold cauliflower snugly.
After an hour, remove garlic from the oven and cool for a few minutes, then squeeze roasted cloves out into mixing bowl with cheese, use a fork to mash and stir well. 
Slather cauliflower with garlic mixture.
Turn broiler on low, place cauliflower under and broil for 3-5 minutes, keep your eye on it the entire time, and remove if it's too brown.
Serve immediately.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Black Eye Pea Cakes, Corn Waffles and Greens

When this Yankee gal married a born and raised Southern boy, our culinary norms collided. Growing up on Long Island, I was raised eating a lot of Italian food, bagels, deli sandwiches, and of course, the German food of my ancestors. When my family moved to Ohio, there were a few Cincinnati-specific foods we were introduced to, but no specific Mid-west specialties. However, when I went to school in North Carolina and met JJ, I was introduced to a world of new dishes. That's not to say people don't eat this food in the Northeast or Mid-west, but it didn't seem as prevalent growing up there.

When I started to pay more attention to the Food Network and read cooking magazines in college, I mentioned the tradition of collards and black eyed peas at New Years to JJ, and he looked at me like I was just realizing the sky is blue. So since then, I've made it a tradition to make these dishes on New Years Day. Usually I just throw the beans in a crockpot with garlic, onions and vegetable stock, but when I saw this dish on Joanne's blog, it seemed like a fun new way to enjoy the traditional food. We received kale in the CSA, so I used that instead of collard greens, and I guess it was a big mistake because on January 2, I had to drop a few hundred on car maintenance. At least it still tasted good! If you haven't had your black eye peas and collards yet in 2013, I insist you do it now, with this dish!

Black Eyed Pea Cakes with Collard Greens and Corn Waffles
BEPs and Greens adapted from Eats Well With Others and Cooking Light
Corn Waffles adapted from

1 tsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large bunch of collard greens or kale, chopped (12 oz.)
2 c. vegetable stock
1/2 orange or red bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. honey
Pinch of salt

Black Eye Pea Cakes:
1 tsp. olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
2 1/2 c. black eyed peas, drained and rinsed (I used dry, canned is fine)
1/4 c. bread crumbs
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 egg
1/4 c. cornmeal
Fresh ground black pepper and Kosher Salt

Corn Waffles:
1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
3/4 c. fine corn meal
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
1/4 c. canola oil
1 3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. frozen corn kernels

To prepare greens:
Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.
Add onion and garlic, saute' until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add greens, vegetable broth, bell pepper, cider vinegar, honey and salt, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, until greens are tender. Stir occasionally. 

To prepare BEP cakes:
Preheat oven to 400*
Heat olive oil in a large saute' pan over medium heat. 
Add onion and garlic, saute' 5 minutes, until garlic is golden.
Add onions and garlic, thyme, HALF of the BEPs, breadcrumbs, mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper to a food processor, pulse until blended, add the egg and pulse again.
Add to a bowl with the remaining BEPs, stir well until combined. 
Place cornmeal in a shallow dish.
Divide into 8 cakes, dredge in cornmeal, then place on a lined baking sheet.
Bake cakes for 20 minutes, then flip and bake for another 10, until crisp and browned.

To prepare waffles:
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, oil and milk.
Add baking powder, sugar and salt, whisk again.
Add flour, cornmeal and corn, using a spatula, fold until mixture is incorporated.
Heat a waffle iron over medium heat.
Spray with nonstick cooking spray, and ladle batter onto waffle iron.
Cook until waffles are puffed and release.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Habanero Aioli

One thing that really surprised me about Jacksonville when we moved here three years ago, was how diverse and impressive the culinary scene is. When I was the Bite Club host, I was able to try some really unique and absolutely delicious restaurants. When I meet new people and they know I cook and love to try new restaurants, I'm constantly getting great recommendations. The only downside is these places are usually in Riverside or at the beach, and nothing close to where I live.

There's a small strip of restaurants in a movie theater near my house, and about a year and a half ago, Speckled Hen moved into one of the locations. After driving past it one day, I went home and googled the menu, and knew it would be a great place for us to try. It's called a Southern Gastropub, the have great beer on tap, the menu changes seasonally, and the best part is it's next to the movies (perfect for date night!) and it's a few miles from our house.

Back in October, I took my parents there, and saw their Fried Brussels Sprouts with Habanero Aioli on the appetizer menu. Sold! The sprouts were tender with a little crunch, dusted in parmesan cheese, drizzled with thick, syrupy balsamic vinegar and spicy habanero aioli. The Brussels sprouts were so good and so unforgettable  that when my grandparents came down last weekend, I requested that we go there for dinner so I could get them again.

When I got a stalk of Brussels sprouts in the CSA basket last week, I knew I had to make the appetizer at home. I didn't want to fry the sprouts, so I roasted them instead. They were not quite the same, but still tender and delicious. The balsamic I used was from The Olive Leaf, I reduced it a bit to make it more of a thick syrup, and I used Greek yogurt to make the aioli, lightening it up a bit. If you're in Jacksonville, check out the Speckled Hen (the Hummingbird Cake is phenomenal for desert!)

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Habanero Aioli
inspired by Speckled Hen

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed, large ones halved
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
1/2 c. aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. plain Greek yogurt
1 habanero, halved, seeds and ribs removed
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. lemon zest
1 tbsp. parsley
1 garlic clove

Preheat oven to 450*
Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper on a rimmed baking sheet.
Roast for 20 minutes, flip and roast for another 5-10 minutes, until browned.
Meanwhile, reduce balsamic vinegar over medium heat in a small stock pot until it's a thick syrup.
Add yogurt, habanero, lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, garlic and a pinch of salt to a blender, blend on high speed until all ingredients are pureed. 
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Remove sprouts from the oven, arrange on a serving plate.
Top with parmesan, drizzle with balsamic and aioli, serve. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower Dirty Risotto

I always forget about risotto, and I don't know why. Every time I make it, I must say, "oh my gosh this is soooo good!" about ten times before I finish. It's also one of my favorite dishes to get in restaurants. When I received two heads of cauliflower in this week's CSA share, I remembered seeing a recipe for a cauliflower risotto float around the blogospehere a few months ago. On a lazy Friday night, nothing sounded better than a warm bowl of creamy risotto. Friday's are always a little tricky for us dinner-wise. I pick up the CSA share on Thursday, and go shopping Saturday, so I'm inundated with produce, but don't have a stocked pantry or fridge to cook with until after I shop. I surveyed the fridge, but didn't have white wine or parmesan cheese for a traditional risotto, so I improvised.

Dirty risotto is a concept I've seen on cooking shows, where you use red wine rather than white. Luckily we always have a bottle of red in the wine rack, so that was covered. We had blue cheese in the cheese drawer, which pairs well with cauliflower, some thyme from the previous week's CSA share, and a sole onion in the vegetable bowl, so this recipe came together out of fridge scraps, but you would never have known! It may look a little funny with the purple-ish tint, but this risotto was so full of flavor, creamy, pungent, earthy and comforting. I would definitely serve this at a dinner party, or make it again just for myself. Even my non-cauliflower-loving husband thought this was delectable. And once you've opened a bottle of wine for 1/2 c. in a recipe, you must also pour yourself a glass to drink while cooking, maybe one more to enjoy with dinner!

Roasted Cauliflower Dirty Risotto
Veggie by Season original

1/2 head of cauliflower or 1 small head
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 c. arborio rice
1/2 c. dry red wine
1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. dried
2 - 2 1/2 c. vegetable stock, warmed
2 oz. crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 400*
Drizzle a rimmed cookie sheet with 1 tbsp. olive oil.
Cut cauliflower into small florets, toss with oil on cookie sheet, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the risotto.
Melt butter over medium heat in a shallow saute' pan.
Add onions, season with salt and pepper and saute' for 5 minutes, until softened and edges begin to caramelize.
Add rice, toast for about 1 minute, stirring frequently.
Add red wine, bring to a simmer, once reduced by half, add about 1/2 c. stock, stir well.
Continue to add stock 1/2 c. at a time, stirring with each addition, until rice is plumped and cooked, about 20 minutes.
Remove cauliflower from the oven, chop the florets into small, bite sized pieces and stir into risotto.
Turn heat off, taste risotto and season, if necessary.
Add 1 oz. blue cheese, stir well.
Spoon risotto into a bowl, top with remaining blue cheese and chopped cauliflower.
Serve - makes 2 large main servings or 4 sides.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Caprese Salad & The Olive Leaf

If you're a long-time reader, you know that this blog began when I lived in the frozen tundra of Bloomington, Indiana! My husband was working on his masters at IU, and worked for the IU baseball team (when they were B1G 10 champs!). We have many fond memories there (favorite restaurant), and have kept in touch with many friends from there. In fact, I recently was crowned champion of a Fantasy Football league run by a friend from Bloomington! But enough bragging... let's get to the food!

During Thanksgiving, my family took a trip to Greensburg, Indiana, to meet with some friends from Bloomington for lunch and to exchange Christmas gifts. My friend, Vickie, gifted me with a set of gourmet Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil. She told me to check out the website, and after trying the oil and vinegar, I did! The Balsamic vinegar she gave me is Pomegranate Balsamic, it's sweet, syrupy, tangy and delicious. The oil she gave me is the Cilantro and Roasted Onion, which is bright and full of flavor. I'm not usually one to dip bread in oil, but I could use a baguette as a sponge to sop it up. Vickie even mentioned making grilled cheese with it once... definitely on my "to-make" list!

Now The Olive Leaf has no idea who I am, this post isn't sponsored, but if you're looking to support a local Bloomington company, and try something insanely delicious, check out all of the varieties they offer! If you're a Bloomington local, head on over, try it out, and tell me how wonderful it was so I can live vicariously through you! I just saw they even offer tasting parties!

To showcase these products and use some of the delicious tomatoes from my CSA share, I made a simple caprese salad for Christmas brunch that was divine.

Caprese Salad
featuring The Olive Leaf products

4 large tomatoes, in wedges 
8 oz. fresh pearl mozzarella
1/4 c. basil chiffonade
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 c. Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Arrange tomatoes in a bowl, season with salt and pepper.
Arrange mozzarella balls, sprinkle with basil.
Drizzle with balsamic and olive oil, serve.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Roasted Pear Salad

I've had this post sitting in my drafts for about a month. The photo seriously does not do this recipe justice, so please look at Ina's, who I have to assume was taken by a professional. Then, as fast as you can, make this recipe! This salad was far too delicious to not share with anyone reading this post. 

Growing up, my Aunt and Uncle sent my family a Harry and David tower almost every Christmas. My favorite layer was the shortbread cookies, I had no desire to eat the bottom layer full of pears. It wasn't until I was in my 20's that I realized how delicious pears were, and I cursed myself for not enjoying them back when I lived with my parents! When I received a tower from my boss for Christmas, I couldn't wait to break into every layer, especially the pears. Typically I would eat the pears for a snack as they're like candy, but when I saw this recipe, I knew it would elevate the pears into something even more amazing. 

Blue cheese is no stranger to pears, neither are walnuts or cranberries, but a marriage of the four is perfection. The baked pears are drizzled with a sweet port reduction that is over the top. We had a bottle of blueberry port on hand that we hadn't yet opened, and it added even more subtle flavor to the dish. The pears sit on a bed of arugula, which offers a nice spicy bite to balance out the sweetness. The recipe calls for baby arugula, but we had a bag of regular arugula from the weekly CSA share. 

This salad is elegant and special enough to start a dinner party, but also simple and easy enough to enjoy for any lunch or dinner during the week. Just please, whatever you do, make it as soon as possible! 

Roasted Pears with Blue Cheese
a few slight changes, from Ina Garten

3 firm but ripe anjou pears (I used Royal Rivera from Harry and David)
Fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 oz. crumbled blue cheese
1/4 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. walnut halves, toasted and chopped
1/2 c. apple cider
3 tbsp. port
1/3 c. light brown sugar
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
6 oz. arugula
Kosher salt 

Preheat oven to 375*
Slice pears in half length wise, use a melon baller to remove the core and seeds. 
Toss the pears with lemon juice, arrange them core up in a baking dish, they should fit snugly.
In a small bowl, gently toss the blue cheese, cranberries and walnuts, divide equally between pears, mounding into the cored area.
In another dish, whisk together apple cider, port and brown sugar, pour over the pears.
Bake the pears, basting with juices occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until tender. 
Remove from the oven and cool until just warm.
Arrange arugula on a serving platter or shallow dish, arrange pears.
Pour basting liquid into a bowl, add olive oil and 1/4 c. lemon juice, whisk together and drizzle over pears, serve the extra on the side. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Mushroom and Kale Kugel

While I don't really have a "to-make" list written out like many bloggers do, there are certain dishes that I've always wanted to make, one being Kugel. I've never had a Kugel before, but have seen several recipes, especially in magazines around Jewish holidays. What's not to love, noodles, eggs, and creamy cheese! Kugel often tend to be sweet, but this one was all savory.

I happened to stumble upon this recipe by chance, as I did a search on the Whole Foods website for kale recipes. Kugel was probably the last dish I expected to find! While I love kale because it just screams "healthy!" we've had a lot of it lately, and a creamy noodle dish that incorporated it sounded like a nice marriage between health and comfort.

I made two small changes, using whole wheat egg noodles, and subbing Greek yogurt for the sour cream, but otherwise made the recipe as written.  My family loved this dish, Violet happy gnawed on strands of kale in between noodles. If you find yourself in a cooking rut and can't find any fun new dishes to make, join a CSA! Be forced to eat a variety and try new things. Now, if I could figure out how to use my Daikon radish...

Mushroom and Kale Noodle Kugel

2 tbps. butter
16 oz. whole wheat egg noodles
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced
Fresh ground black pepper and Kosher salt
1 bunch of kale, stemmed and sliced thinly
1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp. dried)
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 c. low-fat cottage cheese
3/4 c. sour cream (or Greek yogurt)

Preheat oven to 350*
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt and cook pasta according to directions, leaving a bit al dente.
Drain and rinse, transfer to a large bowl.
Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.
Add mushrooms, cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
Stir in kale and cook until wilted, 2-3 minutes, add thyme and stir.
Add vegetable mixture to noodles, toss.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream and a pinch of salt.
Fold into noodles, then spoon mixture into a greased baking dish.
Press mixture down, cover gently with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove foil and bake 10 minutes more, until golden brown, serve.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Watermelon Radish Salad with Avocado Viniagrette

A few weeks ago when I got the weekly email from my CSA Farm and saw Watermelon Radishes were in our share, I was so excited. I have seen these elusive radishes on other blogs before, but haven't seen them at the farmer's market or in the grocery store. I'm really not a fan of radishes, but this particular type of radish looks so pretty and neat that I had to try it.  It was spicy, crisp, and beautifully pink. I did a little browsing for a recipe so I could actually show you a fun way to prepare it, and came across this one from Williams-Sonoma. It's very simple, and really showcases the bright, fun radish. The avocado cools down the spice and offers a nice creamy alternative to the crunch of lettuce and radish. The lemon brightens the salad and the cilantro - also in my share this week - adds a nice spice.

Watermelon Radish Salad with Avocado Vinaigrette

1 shallot, finely diced
1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon jice
1 1/2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
Salt, to taste
1 avocado, halved, pitted and sliced
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 head of romaine lettuce, washed and torn into large pieces
1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced
1/4 c. chopped cilantro

In a small bowl, whisk together shallot, lemon juice, vinegar and a pinch of salt.
Add the avocado slices and gently toss with finger tips, season with salt.
Add the olive oil and whisk to create a vinaigrette.
In a large bowl, arrange lettuce and radish slices.
Add avocado and pour the remaining vinaigrette over salad, top with chopped cilantro.
Serve immediately.