Eggplant and green beans in spicy garlic sauce

Garlic and green beans in spicy garlic sauce

So having made a huge batch of vegetable stock the other day I was figuring out recipes to use it for — and as it happened I also wanted to use up both eggplant and green beans I had around, so when I found this recipe by chance, hey. Courtesy of Emeril and Martha, it turns out! Well hey, it did taste pretty damn good, so.

Garlicky roasted beets, leeks and eggplant

Garlicky roasted beets, leeks and eggplant

This was actually from the other night — a good light dinner, very delicious! I was looking for some way to use these very three ingredients from the CSA basket and thanks to Sarah’s Cucina Bella I did — the recipe is here.

Angel hair pasta with gremolata

Angel hair pasta with gremolata

Gremolata being a lemon/parsley/garlic sauce. This grew out of the fact I had both some lemons and parsley left over from my latest basket and was unsure what to do with them. A quick scrounge on the Net turned up this recipe and it was a simple enough matter to whip this up from scratch. A light taste that’s not so light as to be nonexistent, a good balance all around and the parmesan just rightly sends it over the top.

Garlic-spiked broccoli with currants

The original recipe, courtesy of my CSA farm, called for cranberries, but I didn’t have those. But I did have currants. And the combination was mighty fine.

· 2 teaspoons olive oil
· 3 cloves garlic, minced
· 4 cups broccoli florets
· 1/2 cup dried currants
· Salt and ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add broccoli and cranberries and saute 3 minutes, until broccoli is crisp-tender. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.

Risotto Barolo with roasted vegetables

Whew. I’m surprised I went ahead and did this — an exhausting (and somehow utterly boring) day left me feeling like a wreck. But I had already pulled together the ingredients and thought ‘heck with it’ — and I’m glad I did. Very, very delicious, and a great way to start the weekend.


    8 baby carrots, trimmed
    8 baby turnips, trimmed
    8 baby beets, trimmed
    3 sprigs fresh thyme
    3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


    6 to 7 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1/4 pound sliced pancetta, chopped
    2 shallots, chopped
    2 cups Arborio rice
    1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
    1 1/2 cups Barolo
    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter or truffle butter
    Freshly ground black pepper
    Black truffle shavings or truffle oil for garnish, optional

For the Vegetables: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss the carrots, turnips, beets, thyme sprigs and garlic in a roasting pan with the olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Roast, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 30 minutes. Peel the beets. Keep the vegetables in the turned-off oven until the risotto is ready.

For the Risotto: Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the broth simmers gently.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until slightly crispy, about 3 minutes. Add shallots and cook stirring, until tender, about 1 minute. Add the rice and stir until it is glossy, about 1 minute. Add the salt. Add 1 cup of the Barolo and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it is absorbed by the rice, about 2 minutes, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Ladle in about 1/2 cup of the simmering broth and stir constantly, until the rice again absorbs the liquid, adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Continue ladling in about 1/2 cup of broth at a time, stirring between additions and letting the rice absorb the liquid before adding more.

When rice is al dente, after 20 or so minutes of cooking time, stop adding broth. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup wine until just absorbed, then stir in the grated Parmesan and the butter. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let the risotto rest off the heat for a minute or so before serving. Divide among warm shallow bowls and top with the roasted vegetables. Shave black truffles over the top, or drizzle with a bit of truffle oil, if using.

Zucchini boats

An equivalent to the stuffed zucchini I made the other day, but in this case instead of ditching the central flesh it was mixed with other ingredients and then baked. A very delicious meal. The recipe below calls for tomatoes but I didn’t have any to hand; even so the whole thing turned out nicely!


6 baby zucchinis
1 tbs. oil
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1/2 onion (chopped)
1 large tomato (chopped)
1/4 cup basil
1 egg
salt and pepper
1/2 cup cheese

Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise to make 2 boats. With a small spoon, scrape out the inside flesh, leaving the skin intact. Chop the flesh and fry in oil, with onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add tomato and basil and cook for another 4 minutes. Take off heat and add 1 egg, salt and pepper. Mix well and scoop mixture into the boats. Cover with cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

This recipe also works very well with baby eggplant. If you’re making both eggplant and zucchini boats for dinner, you can combine the flesh from the two, making only one filling.

Mushroom stew

Though arguably it could just as easily be mushroom soup. Depends on the amount of the broth in the end!

Mushroom Stew Recipe

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned, and caps roughly chopped
1/2 pound red-skinned potatoes, such as Red Bliss or All Reds, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pound yellow-fleshed potatoes, such as Austrian Crescent or Yukon Gold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
1 Tbsp minced fresh sage
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
2 cups mushroom or vegetable stock
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Swirl in the oil, then add the onions and cook until soft and fragrant, about 4 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the cremini and shiitake mushrooms; cook just until the mushrooms begin to give off their liquid, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.

Stir in both kinds of potatoes with a wooden spoon, then add the rosemary, sage, and thyme. Cook just until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Stir in the stock, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork, about 12 minutes. Gently stir in the parsley, salt, and pepper and cook for another 2 minutes to bind the flavors. Serve immediately. The soup can be made in advance — store it covered in the refrigerator for up to three days, but thin it out with extra stock as you reheat it.

The stew can be varied with a seemingly limitless list of mushrooms. Substitute hedgehog, lobster, black trumpet, porcini, portobello, or hen of the woods, so long as you have a total of 2 pounds.

You can also finish the stew with one of several enhancers. Along with the parsley, stir in one of the following:

2 Tbsp dry vermouth
1-1/2 Tbsp sweet vermouth
1-1/2 Tbsp Chinese black vinegar
1 Tbsp basil oil
2 tsp sesame oil
4 dashes Tabasco sauce, or to taste

Yield: 6 servings

Vegetable Toscana soup

Cooking up a thickish soup in hot weather seems counter-intuitive, I realize, but the idea here was to use up a slew of ingredients before they weren’t fresh anymore, and to store nearly all of it (aside from a quick bowl to taste) for later. And I succeeded just fine on that front!

1 tbsp olive or canola oil
8 large garlic cloves, crushed or minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cups chopped raw kale
4 cups low-fat, low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 15-oz cans white beans, undrained
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp dried Italian herb seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped parsley

In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add garlic and onion, saute until soft.

Add kale and saute, stirring until wilted.

Add 3 cups of broth, one can of beans and all of the tomato, herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, mix the second can of beans with the remaining broth until smooth. Stir into soup to thicken.

Simmer 15 minutes.

Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with chopped parsley.

What to do with radishes

You could do this (repeating a photo I’ve already posted below, admittedly):

Radish mania!

Plenty of radishes and other things in my most recent basket prompted this — besides the bread and cheese and wine, I made not one but two radish-centered dishes, both very much contrasting and equally delicious. Copy/pasting from my CSA mailout (in the case of the salad I halved the portions since I was only making it for one person):

Radish, Cucumber, Apple Salad

2 cucumbers
6—8 small – medium radishes
1 apple
1/4 cup Cider/Sherry/White Wine Vinegar

Wash and destem all the radishes and cut off any stringy beards, cut each radish in half. Cut the radishes into thin slices and place in a salad bowl. Cut each cucumber in half and then slice into thin slices and place into the same bowl. Peel the apple, cut into quarters, and remove the core. Cut into thin slices and put into the same bowl.

Drizzle the entire mix with some vinegar of your choice so that all the items are coated. Then, sprinkle with a generous amount of sugar and just a pinch of salt so the sweet and sour is balanced.

This salad should hold for quite a while and will not lose its crispness but put it under plastic wrap as the apples may brown, even with the acid.

Noche de Rabanos Roasted Radishes

6-10 radishes
6 garlic cloves
2-3 tablespoons of sesame oil
Half tsp of mild chili powder
Half tsp of smoked paprika powder
A pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 375F. Cut the radishes in half. Place them in a deep baking tray. Peel the garlic cloves and add them whole.

Cover the radishes and garlic in the sesame oil, mild chilli powder and smoked paprika. Add a pinch of salt. Stir well to make sure they are coated in the oil and seasonings. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Half way through, stir them round to make sure they are evenly cooked. Serve hot.

You can try this with baby turnips and other root vegetables if you prefer.

My Friday evening summarized visually

Hurrah radishes

Hurrah sunsets

Hurrah Akron/Family

More later. And goodnight.