It’s winter…time to roast veggies! And Brussels sprouts are the perfect roastable veg. I found this recipe on finecooking.com and it spoke to me because a) I am a sucker for browned butter* and b) have been zesting lemons like crazy lately. The combination brightens the Brussels like nobody’s business.
Costco carries a big bag of Brussels sprouts that are perfect for this application.
1-1/2 lb. Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and quartered
3 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and black pepper
4 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp Shallot, minced
1-1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-1/2 tsp Fresh Thyme, chopped
1 tsp Lemon Zest, finely grated
1/4 tsp Dijon Mustard
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment or tin foil.
In a medium bowl, toss the sprouts with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread the sprouts out evenly on the two baking sheets. Roast until the sprouts are tender but not mushy, 20 to 22 minutes, stirring once or twice during roasting.
About 10 minutes out, combine the butter and shallot in a small, heavy saucepan. Cook, stirring often, over medium heat until the butter is melted and the shallots are soft, about 2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium high and continue cooking, swirling the pan, until the milk solids in the butter turn golden brown and the butter smells very nutty (take care that none of the shallots burn), about 2 minutes.
Whisk in the lemon juice, thyme, lemon zest, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to dress the sprouts.
Slide the sprouts into a medium bowl, add the vinaigrette, and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt, pepper, or extra lemon juice if desired, and serve immediately.
*My Dutch grandmother used to make a dish when I was young called Holland Beefsteak. It involved cooking steak in brown butter…I could have taken or left the steak at that point, but the aroma of the browning butter still makes me happy. No wonder I am happy to cook my veggies in it!
As I said, I’ve been roasting a lot of veggies lately. This one is great if you have a big bag of broccoli on hand (also a great buy from Costco). I brought this to a New Year’s Eve party the other night to accompany our hosts’ Italian feast…these are a great way to add some greens onto just about any main meal.
1 head of broccoli, or about 1 lb
2 tbsp Olive Oil
3 tbsp Parmesan, grated
Juice of 1 Lemon, freshly squeezed
Zest of 1 Lemon, finely grated
Preheat oven to 400°. Spread broccoli on rimmed baking pan and toss with olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes or until broccoli is tender but not mushy, stirring once halfway through.
Put broccoli in large serving bowl and add parmesan, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix well. Serve immediately.
_A friend forwarded this recipe from a fun site called Iowa Girl Eats—she said it would be perfect minus the ham the recipe originally called for. And perfect it was for a little Easter picnic brunch with my mom.
I made the quinoa and grated the zucchini the night before, so they were easy to mix up and make in the morning. We packed them up and took them to Chautauqua along with some egg salad, fresh fruit and yummy croissants from a bakery near my mom’s house. They don’t need to be hot to be delicious.
I tweaked a little for ingredients, pan size and preference. I doubled the batch, too, so you’ll have enough leftover to stick in the freezer—just take a few out at night, put them in the fridge and they’re the perfect filling, wholesome breakfast. And don’t be afraid to switch up ingredients! These would do well with a variety of veggies.
Makes about 24 muffin-sized cups
4 cups cooked Quinoa (about 1.5 cups uncooked)
4 Egg Whites
2 cups Zucchini, grated (1 large zucchini should do the trick)
2 cups Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 small can Green Chiles
½ cup Cilantro, chopped
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
4 Green Onions, sliced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350*. Liberally spray 2 muffin tins with cooking spray (make sure it’s liberal—they can get a stick-to-the-pan-y if not).
Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Fluff and add to large bowl.
While quinoa is cooking, grate zucchini into a separate bowl and toss with ½ tsp salt together. Let stand 5 minutes, then transfer to sieve/strainer. Press out excess liquid before adding to bowl with quinoa.
Add remaining ingredients, mix thoroughly and spoon into muffin tins, filling to the top of each cup.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Let cool about 5 minutes before removing from the pan.
Kale chips are an easy and savory way to get some greens into the whole family’s life. And so easy! Grab a bunch of Lacinato kale, strip the leaves off the stems by hand and chop/rip them right into a colander. Rinse and let the leaves drain while gathering your other ingredients and preheating the oven to 350.
Once they’re drained, toss them onto a foil-lined baking sheet with the following:
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
2 tbsp Olive Oil
A couple dashes of something salty, like, well Salt, or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
A sprinkling of Smoked Paprika (optional)
Bake for 5 minutes, then stir them/turn them as much as possible, and resume baking for another 5-8 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!
These are a great complement to soups, parties or just an afternoon when you are craving a (healthier) salty snack. My kid loves them.
White Bean Dip
Good gracious it’s been awhile since I’ve posted. It’s not like I haven’t been cooking, maybe it’s just that I’ve been cooking the old standards for awhile. I do that a lot—buy the staples that’ll make a few easy dinners and appetizers so that I always know I’ll have something on hand.
One of those things is the Lemon Curry Hummus I always make, filled with protein and easy to take to parties. But I’ve been making it so long that I decided it was time to swap it out for something new and exciting. A friend told me about this easy white bean dip from Giada de Laurentiis. She’s the queen of easy and delicious and I always feel fancy cooking her food. That being said, I took this on our annual hut trip in December along with some pita chips (sturdier than crackers when you’re getting stuffed in a backpack with 30 pounds of other goodies). True to form, it was easy and delicious.
1 15 oz can Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed (these are also called White Kidney Beans, I’ve learned)
2 cloves Garlic
2 tbsp Lemon Juice
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1/4 -1/2 cup Fresh Parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. (You can also use an immersion blender, but I found that it tends to chop up the parsley a little too finely and you end up with a green white bean dip, which confuses people.)
Put in a fancy bowl and serve with pita chips, homemade or otherwise.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
They're all the rage this year, right? I've never loved brussels sprouts, but I guess it's all in the cooking. My friend Carolyn raved about this recipe, especially the smoked paprika, which I went out and bought specifically for this dish. Man oh man is it good! I even put some in with some tomato sauce and pasta.
1 pound Brussels Sprouts, washed and cut in halves
1 tbsp Butter
1 Onion, cut into big wedges
1/2 clove Garlic, chopped into big pieces
Preheat oven to 425*.
Sweat the onion and garlic in butter, about 4-5 minutes. Add brussels sprouts and saute for a minute more, adding salt, pepper, and paprika. Transfer to a large cookie sheet, and roast, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes. Serves 4-6.
Snap Pea, Walnut and Feta Salad
We bought a huge bag of those sugar snap peas at Costco the other day. It's true you can just eat them raw and they're delicious, but they're also very tasty in this just-steamed format. The warmth of the peas help melt the feta a bit, combining to make one delicious salad.
3 cups Sugar Snap Peas
1 cup Feta, crumbled
1 cup Walnuts, crumbled
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
1 tbsp. Brown Mustard
Salt and Pepper
Trim the ends off the snap peas if desired. Place them in a saute pan with a half cup of water, and cover. Steam for 5-7 minutes over medium heat, until tender but not mushy. Meanwhile, mix dressing ingredients together.
Drain water from peas, mix with feta and walnuts, and top with dressing. Serve with a light pasta.
I began looking through my recipes to see what we should do with all the tomatoes that are about to burst out of our garden...we've had a bunch of red cherry tomatoes, but it's the huge black heirlooms and beefsteaks that we'll soon be inundated with.
I'm thinking this little recipe might be perfect for the heirlooms, alongside a fresh salad and a hearty pasta.
4 large Tomatoes
Olive Oil for brushing tomatoes1/4 cup fresh Bread Crumbs
3 tbsp fresh Parmesan, grated2 tbsp fresh Parsley, minced
1 small garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper Halve the tomatoes horizontally and trim the ends so that they will stand level, cut side up. Scoop out a small amount of the tomato pulp to make room for the filling. Brush them all over with the oil and bake them, cut side up, on a baking sheet in the middle of a preheated 325* oven for 20 minutes.
In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients, with salt and pepper to taste, and divide the mixture among the tomatoes. Drizzle oil over the tomatoes and broil them under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.
If you have an abundance of zucchini in your garden (like we do) and are tired of sauteeing or grilling them, try this fabulous recipe.
My friend Lex gave me the idea for the tzatziki, so I made this one up on the fly. I grated the zucchini by peeling off short strips with a veggie peeler.
2-1/2 cups Zucchini, coarsely grated/peeled
1 tsp Salt, divided
1 Egg yolk
1/2 cup Flour, and more as needed
1/2 cup Feta, crumbled
1/2 cup Green Onions, chopped
1 tbsp fresh Basil, chopped
1 tbsp fresh Dill, chopped
1/3 cup Olive Oil, and more as needed
1/3 cup Corn Oil, and more as needed
Toss zucchini strips and ½ tsp salt together. Let stand five minutes, then transfer to sieve/strainer. Press out excess liquid, and put zucchini in a dry bowl. Mix in egg, yolk, ½ cup flour, feta, and ½ tsp. salt. Mix in green onions, basil, and dill. If batter is very wet, add small amounts of flour at a time until batter is thick enough to drop into oil by spoonfuls.
Heat olive and corn oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop rounded spoonfuls of batter into oil, and fry patties until golden brown, about five minutes per side. Add more oil if necessary.
Transfer finished patties to paper towel and keep warm in a low oven.
4 oz. plain Greek Yogurt (I used Fage’s “Total”)
2 tbsp. Cucumber, grated
1 tbsp. Lemon Juice
1-1/2 tbsp. fresh Dill, chopped
Dash Garlic Powder (or real garlic, though the powder incorporates better)
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Serve chilled with warm patties.
I'm planning on making this one tonight--it's the perfect light complement to heavier dishes. I think I'll serve it with some zucchini fritters and a tomato and goat cheese tart...recipes to come later!
2 bunches Arugula, washed, dried, and torn
1/4 cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Lemon, juiced
Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
A chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano
In a serving bowl, drizzle the arugula with the oil, squeeze in the lemon juice, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss until well mixed and taste for seasoning. Use a vegetable peeler to shave thin pieces of Parmigiano over the top. Look like a total rock star to your friends who are used to iceberg lettuce in their salads.