Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Roast Chicken with Herbs

This recipe comes from a cook book I received as a wedding gift, many moons ago. It is published by Sunset, called Easy Basics for Good Cooking. I used to make the roast chicken as a meal for new mothers. I'll try it again and see if the reality of today matches my memory of it. My intention is to put the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan and fill the pan with vegetables for roasting. If you don't want to do that, then save the drippings and use them as a base for your roux for chicken pot pie.

1 frying chicken (3-4 lbs)
3 cloves garlic, halved
2 bay leaves
3 T butter, melted
1/4 t each salt and pepper
1/4 t each ground sage, dry basil, thyme, oregano, and marjoram leaves
2 bay leaves

Remove giblets, etc.

Rub skin of chicken with 1 clove garlic; then put all garlic and bay leaves into the body cavity. In a small bowl, stir together all other spices with the butter. Spoon 1 T of this mixture into the cavity. Truss now (if you want to.)

Brush skin generously with the rest of the butter mixture. Place chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Bake uncovered, in a 375 oven for 1 to 1/1/2 hours or deep thigh reaches 185.

Baste occasionally with any remaining butter mixture or pan drippings during last half-hour of roasting. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

 **Delicious and so easy! You can see I added potatoes, sweet potatoes, and carrots to the roasting pan  as well.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Swiss chard and potato soup

This looked like an easy recipe- one I have been carrying with me for several years, but have never tried it. Tonight is the night! I have amended the recipe below as I made it. The original recipe is on the NY Times site.


  • 1/4 pound slab bacon, diced (I used country ham, but next time I'd use bacon)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick 
  • 3 C vegetable stock
  • Salt
  • 6 eggs, optional
  • 1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 can, drained
  • 5 cups, packed, very finely shredded Swiss chard leaves (about 1 bunch)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1. Start chickpeas in the pressure cooker. Presoak for one minute. Change water, then cook for 21 minutes. Quick release using cold water on the lid. Drain and set aside.
2. Place bacon in a heavy 4-quart saucepan. Sauté until lightly browned. Drain, leaving 2 tablespoons fat in pan.
3.Add onion and garlic to oil in pan and sauté over low heat until soft and barely golden. Add potatoes and 3 cups water and 3 cups of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, season with salt, and cook until potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes.
4.Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon to a large mixing bowl, and roughly mash them with a fork or a potato masher. Return potatoes to liquid in pot, and stir to dissolve them.
5.Add chickpeas, and chard leaves. Bring to a simmer, and cook about 2-5 minutes, until leaves wilt. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to warm soup plates. If using the eggs, fry or poach them and add one to each bowl. 
 ** I liked the soup more than my family did. You can see my broth is a bit red due to the type of chard I used.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Buttermilk Pecan Pie

I remember eating a buttermilk pecan pie and loving it. I found this recipe before Thanksgiving and thought we'd give it a try. Next time, I'll use a mixture with brown sugar. I baked it on top of a gluten free pie crust. I have amended the recipe below as I made it (more pecans and tapioca for flour)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tapioca
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 9" unbaked pie  shell 


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar, adding 1/2 cup sugar at a time.
  3. Blend in vanilla. Stir in eggs one at a time. Combine flour and salt; add a small amount at a time.
  4. Stir in buttermilk.
  5. Sprinkle pecans in bottom of pie crust, pour custard over the pecans, and bake 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  6. Best served at room temperature.
**Careful not to overbake this pie- it will get too dry. Yummy!

Gluten Free Pie Crust

I scoured the web and finally decided on trying this recipe. Unfortunately, I could not find sweet rice flour so for the two crusts I made- one I added more sorghum flour and the other I added more white rice flour. I found this recipe via the blog called glutenfree goddess. However, you find the actual recipe on Epicurious.

1 cup white rice flour
1/2 sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch
3 tablespoons sweet rice flour
3 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon strong cinnamon (I use Saigon cinnamon from World Spice Merchants)
8 tablespooons (or, one stick) cold butter
1 large egg
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 ice-cold water, or enough to make the dough stick together

Mix together all the dry ingredients, including the sugar and cinnamon. Cut the butter into little pieces, about 1/2-inch thick and drop the pieces into the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or fork, meld the butter into the dry ingredients until the butter has crumbled into pea-sized pieces.
Make a well in the dry ingredients. Drop the egg and apple cider vinegar in, then stir them in, gently, with a fork, stirring from the center out. Once they are incorporated into the dry ingredients, slowly drizzle the ice-cold water into the mixture, a little at a time, then stirring to see if it has become dough yet. You do not want this dough to be too wet. Add water only it all coheres together.

At this point, drop the ball of dough onto a large piece of parchment paper. (Prepare this ahead, unless you want to wipe dough off the box of parchment paper later!) Place another piece of parchment paper, the same size, on top of the dough. Gently, smoosh the dough outward, equally in all directions, until it is a thick, round cake of dough, about the size of a pie plate.


Refrigerate the ball of dough, for as long as you can stand. Ideally, you would prepare the dough in the evening and refrigerate overnight. Take the dough out of the refrigerator at least twenty minutes before you want to work with it.

Leave the dough in the parchment-paper sandwich and roll it out. By rolling it, gently, between the pieces of parchment paper, you will not need to add more flour to the mix. Roll it out as thin as you can, then strip the top piece of parchment paper off the dough. Gently, lay your favorite pie plate on top of the dough, then flip the whole thing over. The dough should sag into the pie plate. You can crimp the edges at this point. If some of the dough falls off the sides, don't worry. Simply re-attach the pieces to the crust-to-be by pressing in with your fingers.

You can pre-bake the pie crust, if you like.

For both my pies, I simply added the ingredients into the raw crust and baked it.

**Easy to make the whole thing in a food processor.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Old English Fish Pie

My daughter is coming home for Thanksgiving and she loves this dish! I highly recommend the cookbook this recipe comes from, 50 Ways with Fish, by Katherine Blakemore.

1 1/2 lb potatoes, peeled
1 oz butter
1 1/2 C milk
12 oz smoked fish
8 oz fresh fish (haddock, cod, or ling)
1 bay leaf
1 blade mince (I use a pinch of ground mace)
6 black peppercorns
1 T cornstarch
3 T chopped parsley
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/4 C sharp cheese

Cook the potatoes in lightly-salted water for about 20 minutes or until soft. Drain well, then mash with the butter and 3 T milk.

Put fish into a pan with the remaining milk, bay leaf, mace and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, simmer for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat, cover pan and let stand until fish is cool enough to handle.

Strain the milk into another pan, discarding the bay leaf, mace blade, and peppercorns. Mix the cornstarch with a little cold water, add to the milk, bring to a boil stirring continuously. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Flake the fish, removing any skin and bones, add to the sauce with the parsley and eggs Taste and adjust seasoning. Transfer the mixture to a deep ovenproof dish, top with the mashed potatoes, running the prongs of a fork down the length of the potatoes. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Cook in a preheated oven (400F) for about 25 minutes until topping is browned.

Buttermilk Brined Turkey

I'm posting this recipe early due to several requests and the fact that you must start this a day or two before Thanksgiving. I made this last year and my husband still talks about it! Granted- the turkey was very moist! It is a mixture of two recipes. The first is the spices for the brine found on Martha Stewart. The second is the buttermilk brine recipe found on William Sonoma. Enjoy!

This recipe is for an 18-20 pound turkey. Adjust as required.

Turkey Brine:

  • 1 1/2 cups coarse salt
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried juniper berries
  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds

For the turkey: 
  •  Brine seasonings above
  • 1 quart water
  • 4 quarts buttermilk
  • 1 fresh turkey, 16 to 18 lb., neck, heart and gizzard removed (reserved,
      if desired)
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature


In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the turkey brine and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until the brine dissolves, 5 to 10 minutes. Let the brine mixture cool to room temperature. In a large pot, stir together the brine mixture and buttermilk.

Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and place in a large brining bag. Carefully pour the buttermilk brine mixture into the bag. Seal the bag, pressing out the air, and place in a large stockpot or other container large enough to hold the turkey. Refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours, turning occasionally. (mine was so large last year that I had to use an igloo cooler)

Remove the turkey from the brine; discard the brine. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off and discard the excess fat. Place the turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan. Rub the skin evenly with the butter. Truss the turkey as desired using kitchen twine. Let the turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F.

Roast the turkey for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325ºF and continue roasting, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices. If the breast begins to cook too quickly, tent it loosely with aluminum foil. After about 2 hours of total roasting time, begin testing for doneness by inserting an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and thigh, away from the bone. The breast should register 165°F and the thigh, 175°F. Total roasting time should be 3 to 4 hours.

Transfer the turkey to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Serves 12 to 14.
 **Too bad I didn't get a picture of the turkey out of the oven. It was beautifully browned. The turkey is so moist when cooked with this method. Delicious for the second year in a row.

Frittata with swiss chard, onions, and mushrooms

Frittatas are pretty simple and easy to make on a busy week night. You  just need some eggs and fillings.
Last night I made one with

5 eggs, beat lightly
1/4 small onion, diced
4 mushrooms, chopped
4 leaves chard, chopped

Saute the onion a bit, then add the mushrooms and the chard. Pour the eggs on top and let them sit and cook over medium heat for a bit. Then put the skillet into the oven on broil. Broil till the top gets puffy and the frittata is cooked through. Keep your eye on it- it doesn't take too long.
**Not much to look at, but delicious!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chicken pot pie-1

I ended up bagging the stock from the chicken soup earlier this week and freezing it for later. I cut the chicken up into bits for this dish. I found this recipe on I have amended the recipe below.

  • 1 package pie crust, thawed and rolled for top
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (spelt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 3/4 cups cooked chicken (cut up)
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables-I used cooked carrots, sweet potatoes, and frozen peas.


  1. Thaw crust according to package directions-or make your own.
  2. Heat butter in large saucepan. Cook onion in butter until tender-crisp.
  3. Add flour and seasonings, mixing until smooth.
  4. Gradually stir in broth and milk. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil and is smoothly thickened.
  5. Stir in chicken and vegetables.
  6. Cool slightly. Spoon into baking dish.
  7. Place rolled out puff pastry on top and make slits for steam to escape.
  8. Bake on lower rack in oven @ 375*F. until filling is bubbling and crust is puffed and golden brown. 30-35 minutes.

**this is a super easy dish to make. However, I didn't think it was flavorful enough. Next time, I'll up the spices and make sure to include a bit of sage and rosemary.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Quick chicken strips

This is the easiest thing to make when you get home late. My daughter loves them. My sister taught a "Kids in the Kitchen" cooking class and used this recipe. If the chicken breasts are somewhat frozen when you start, it will be easier to cut them into strips. By the time you have finished cutting them, they will be thawed enough to handle the 'breading'.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

2 (or more) semi-frozen chicken breasts, cut into strips.
A good 4 or 5 handfuls of corn tortilla chips crushed. You can do this in the food processor or get your kids to help you smash them inside a ziplock with a rolling pin.
Add a tablespoon or so of taco seasoning to the corn chips.

Roll the chicken strips in the seasoned tortilla mixture and put on a cookie sheet.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until done.

**Tasty and super easy!

Pressure cooker chicken soup

Last week I happened to catch a part of Dr Oz. He was exploring health myths. One of them had to do with the efficacy of using chicken soup during a cold. His conclusion? Not a myth- chicken soup really does help. Last week, I caught a cold from my daughter. Ugh. So out came the chicken from the freezer (they were on sale at Whole Foods the week prior- so I bought two) and down came the pressure cooker... I pulled this recipe from the internet- the site. I have adapted it below.

Pressure-cooker chicken soup
Serves 6
6 carrots (leave whole)
2 medium onions, chopped
6 stalks fresh parsley 

3 celery stalks- top with the greens
1 bay leaf
4 peppercorns
1 chicken (3 1/2 pounds), cut in half (you could do quarters if it fits better in your pressure cooker)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
12 cups water (or as much as you can safely put into your pressure cooker)

1. In a pressure cooker, lay the carrots, onions, parsnip, parsley, bay leaf, and peppercorns in the bottom. Add the chicken pieces with the neck and gizzard, extra breasts, and salt. Pour in the water.
2. Lock the lid and set over high heat to bring the pressure up. Adjust the heat to maintain medium pressure and cook for 15 minutes exactly. (Important: do not leave the kitchen while the pressure cooker is on; modern cookers are perfectly safe, but you still need to babysit.)
3. Let the pressure cooker sit for 5 minutes. Carefully carry the cooker to the sink and run very cold water onto the top to bring the pressure down. You'll hear the valve make a big sigh. When it's safe to remove the lid, lift it off.
4. Let the soup cool for 20 minutes. With tongs, transfer the chicken to a large bowl. Put the vegetables into one container, tip the broth into another. Discard the parsley, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Let everything cool.
5. Refrigerate the broth. Remove the meat from the chicken bones and transfer the meat to the vegetables. Refrigerate.
6. Remove the fat from the broth. Tip the broth into a soup pot. Add the vegetables and chicken. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Adapted from "The Way We Cook"

**Oops. Forgot to take a photo. Tasted good. I still have the cold. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Grilled Millet and Butternut Squash Cakes

I figured my family would throw me out if I only planned soup this week. This recipe looked interesting to me- I'm always looking for a good way to use millet. Plus I still have 2 butternut squash sitting on my counter from this summer. I got this recipe from Gluten Free Girl who in turn got it from The Splendid Grain cookbook.

1 cup of millet
1 teaspoon of mustard seed
1 teaspoon of curry powder
2 1/2 cups of water
2 cups of peeled and diced butternut squash
1 teaspoon of minced fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro

Put the millet in a saucepan or wok over high heat. Toast, stirring constantly, for about four minutes, or until the first seed pops. Wash, drain, and set aside. Toast the msutard seeds and curry powder for one minute, or until aromatic.
Put the millet and spices, water, squash, ginger, and sea salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes, or until the millet has absorbed all the water. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Add the cilantro to the millet mixture. Wet your hands and blend the millet mixture to a fairly uniform consistency. Form into twelve cakes. Grill for about three minutes on each side, or until golden. Serve hot.
 **The recipe was very easy to make. As you can see, I didn't add the cilantro to the mixture. BIG mistake. The cakes just didn't have the depth of flavor that they needed. The kale, on the other hand, was delicious as ever.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hearty Vegetable Soup

I couldn't resist picking up some chorizo at World Market this weekend. What a perfect way to use it! This soup looked great online at bbcfood and it uses all the right vegetables for the Los Poblanos box this week. It calls for crusty bread- I almost made some GF rosemary bread sticks...
I used 4 small turnips for this dish and fresh tomatoes. The leeks came from my garden as did the thyme. If you don't have an herb garden at your house- I'd recommend you put some flat leaf parsley, thyme, and rosemary into the ground or a container. Staple herbs!
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 25g/1oz unsalted butter
  • 1 leek, cut into small chunks
  • 1 large carrot, cut into small chunks
  • ½ large turnip, cut into small chunks
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into small chunks
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into small chunks
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 x 400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes (I used fresh romas)
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • small bunch thyme, tied together with string (I tied mine with a leek stalk)
  • 570ml/1 pint vegetable stock
  • 150g/5oz green beans, trimmed (and cut into more bite manageable pieces)
  • 1 raw chorizo sausage (about 110g/4oz), cut into small chunks (Optional)
  • crusty bread to serve- Optional

Preparation method

  1. Heat the olive oil and butter together in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the leek, carrot, turnip, sweet potato and celery and fry for 10-12 minutes, or until the vegetables start to soften but don't colour.
  2. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the cumin, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, thyme, vegetable stock and green beans. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the chorizo for 10-12 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown.
  4. Remove the thyme from the soup and stir in the chorizo. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Ladle the soup into warm soup bowls and serve with crusty bread on the side.

     Starting to simmer
     **The finished product. I'd say the chorizo is definitely optional with the richness of the broth-so I took it out of the title. Wow! This soup was fantastic.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Roast Chicken with root vegetables

What a perfect night to have this dish! Cold and dark, wind blowing, snow trying to form. I haven't made a roast chicken for a long time, so I thought I'd give it a go. I have a standby recipe I usually make, so I was pleased to try this one from Jamie Oliver. I like how nonchalant his recipes are and this one is just the same. I got the chicken from Whole Foods. I've amended the recipe below. If you want to know how to carve your chicken and make gravy, go to the link above.

• 1 x approximately 4 lb chicken, preferably free-range, organic or higher welfare
• 2 medium onions
• 2 carrots
• 4 potatoes
• turnips
• olive oil
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 lemon
a small bunch of fresh thyme, rosemary, bay or sage, or a mixture (I used thyme from my garden)

To prepare your chicken
• Take your chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before it goes into the oven
• Preheat your oven to 475°F
• There’s no need to peel the vegetables – just give them a wash and roughly chop them 

• Pile all the veg and garlic into the middle of a large roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil
• Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper, rubbing it all over the bird
• Carefully prick the lemon all over, using the tip of a sharp knife (if you have a microwave, you could pop the lemon in these for 40 seconds at this point as this will really bring out the flavour)
• Put the lemon inside the chicken’s cavity, with the bunch of herbs

To cook your chicken
• Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the roasting tray and put it into the preheated oven
• Turn the heat down immediately to 400°F and cook the chicken for 1 hour and 20 minutes
• Baste the chicken halfway through cooking and if the veg look dry, add a splash of water to the tray to stop them burning
• When cooked, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the chicken to a board to rest for 15 minutes or so

**The top photo is the chicken going into the oven. It turned out beautiful, juicy and tender.

Winter Squash or Pumpkin Soup

My intention was to try a new recipe that I saw on bbc. But my daughter walked in as I was cutting up the pumpkin we got last week (?) and asked if we could have the pumpkin soup we usually have. This is a recipe that is very forgiving and is very quick. It is originally from Alison Holst's Soup recipe booklet. She has several posted online, but not this one. I found it here on in their soup index on the top of the list. I have amended below.

1 small pumpkin  or winter squash
2 cups water (approximate)
2 tsp instant chicken stock
2 tsp instant green herbs stock
2 tsp sugar
1 medium or large onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg (optional)
2-3 cups milk (optional)
1 tsp vegemite (optional if you don't have any)

Remove seeds (good time to roast them) and stringy parts from pumpkin. Remove skin. Cut into chunks.

Put pieces with all the ingredients in a large pot. Almost cover with water and cook on a nice boil until pumpkin is fork tender. Usually about 10 minutes.

Puree soup. If you are adding milk, do it now.

Serves 4-6.
**This is a family favorite. We actually ate it with roasted, salted pumpkin seeds on top.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Gluten-free Scones

This is the second time I've made these scones. They were better this time based on my notes from last time!

Heat oven to 425.

In the bowl of your food processor (with metal blade):
2 C gluten-free flour mix (this time I used 1 1/2 C Arrowhead mix and 1/2 C yam flour)
1/3 C sugar
1 T baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/4 t xanthan gum (if it isn't already in your GF mix)

Pulse this mixture a couple of times. Then add:
6 T cold butter, cut into slices

Pulse this a few times, till the largest butter piece is the size of a pea.

To this, add:
3/4 C milk
1 egg, lightly beaten

Pulse till starting to lump. Then add:
1 C of nuts or dried fruit. I usually add chopped-up dates.

Pulse just till mixed.

Dump the whole lot onto parchment or a silicon mat on a cookie sheet. Shape quickly into a disc and score with a knife.
At this point, you can sprinkle the top with a cinnamon sugar mixture, or brush with milk.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Roasted Sweet Potato Pizza

I used Bob's Red Mill gluten- free pizza crust mix for this pizza.

Roasted sweet potatoes
Roasted garlic
Swiss chard, chopped into small pieces
Feta cheese
Garlic olive oil (for spreading on the dough)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lentil soup with roasted tomatoes and eggplant

With the weather turning colder today, a soup sounds nice. I pulled the last of my eggplant from the garden and I easily have the three pounds of tomatoes sitting on my counter. We got a nice bunch of kale this week, more than last week, so it will be going into the soup as well. I found this recipe on line at Nourished Kitchen.


  • 2 cups green lentils, picked over and rinsed well
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 lbs heirloom tomatoes, halved and seeded
  • 1 lb eggplant, any variety, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined extra virgin olive oil , plus extra to serve
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter/ghee
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon powdered mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 quarts roast chicken stock or filtered water
  • 1 bunch kale, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  1. Pour lentils into a large mixing bowl and cover with hot water by two inches.  Stir in vinegar, cover with a kitchen towel, and allow the lentils to soak for eight to twelve hours.  After they’ve soaked for eight to twelve hours, drain off the water and rinse them well.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Arrange tomatoes and eggplant on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and roast at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about thirty minutes or until the tomatoes begin to caramelize.
  3. Melt ghee in a heavy-bottomed stock pot and stir in onion and celery. Fry the them in ghee until it softens and becomes translucent, six to eight minutes, then stir in mustard, cumin and coriander.
  4. Pour chicken stock into the pot over the onions and stir in soaked lentils. Ad the bay leaves. Cover and simmer until the lentils are tender, about twenty minutes.  Once the lentils are tender, stir in roasted tomatoes and eggplant and continue simmering, covered, for a further twenty to twenty-five minutes.
  5. After twenty to twenty-five minutes, turn off the heat, stir in the kale and cover.  Allow the kale to wilt under in the ambient heat of the soup.  Season the soup to taste with unrefined sea salt, coarsely ground black pepper, and additional olive oil.
YIELD: about 8 servings | TIME: 8 to 12 hours (soaking), 30 minutes (oven), 45 minutes (stovetop)

**This soup is really good! I'll be making it again. Next time, if I don't have eggplant, I'll substitute mushrooms. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Provencal zucchini and greens torte

Receiving zucchini this late in the season meant I needed to find a nice autumn dish for dinner. When I saw this that includes greens, it seemed like a great one to try. I supplemented the spinach we got in the box this week.with chard from my garden. We also got one pound of zucchini rather than the 2 pounds called for in the recipe.

Although I found this recipe from Martha Rose Shulman's cookbook, Ready When You Are, I found it  online from her column in the New York Times. Please note that she recommends either a yeasty dough or turning it into a gratin with breadcrumbs sprinkled on top, I used a pre-made gluten free crust.

1 recipe whole wheat yeasted olive oil pie pastry
1 pound greens, such as Swiss chard, beet greens, or spinached.
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 pounds zucchini, cut in small dice (1/4 to 1/3 inch)
2 to 3 large garlic cloves (to taste), minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary (to taste)
2 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (1/2 cup, tightly packed)
3 large eggs, beaten
Freshly ground pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you stem the greens, and wash them thoroughly in several rinses of water. If the ribs are wide, wash and dice them, then set aside. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the water reaches a rolling boil, add a generous amount of salt and the greens. Blanch for one or two minutes, until just tender. Using a slotted spoon or deep-fry skimmer, transfer to the ice water, then drain. Squeeze out excess water and chop. Set aside.
2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet, and add the onion and diced chard stems, if using. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Stir in the zucchini. Season to taste with salt, and cook, stirring, until just tender and still bright green, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook with the zucchini and onion until the garlic is fragrant, about one or two minutes. Toss in the parsley, thyme and rosemary and take off the heat. Stir in the greens. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Stir in 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste), the zucchini mixture, and the Gruyère. Mix everything together, add pepper, taste once more and adjust seasoning.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 10-inch tart pan.
If using the yeasted dough:
Roll out two-thirds of the dough and line the pan, with the edges of the dough overhanging. Freeze the remaining dough. Fill the lined pan with the zucchini mixture. Pinch the edges of the dough along the rim of the pan.
If using pre-made crust:
Fill the crust with the zucchini mixture.
If making as a gratin:
Fill the gratin dish with the zucchini mixture.
Mix 1/4 C breadcrumbs with 1 T oil and sprinkle on top of the gratin.

Place in the oven and bake 40-50 minutes, until set and beginning to color. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving (preferably longer). This can also be served at room temperature.
Yield: One 10-inch tart, serving eight to ten.

Advance preparation: The blanched greens will keep for three or four days in the refrigerator in a covered bowl. The finished tart keeps for a few days in the refrigerator. Reheat gently at 275 degrees to re-crisp the crust.

**Very delicious!