Warm Potato & Scallion Salad

slightly adapted from Alex Guarnaschelli’s The Home Cook

serves 4-6

2 pounds small Red Bliss potatoes
6 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
6 cornichons (or dill pickle chips) cut into 1/4-inch pieces, plus 1 tablespoon cornichon liquid
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 scallions (green and white parts), thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven until tender when pierced with a knife, 30-45 minutes, depending upon their size.

In a bowl that is large enough to hold potatoes, whisk together the sherry vinegar, both mustards, the cornichons and their liquid. Whisk in olive and canola oils. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the scallions into the dressing.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes.  Halve the potatoes and add them to the dressing and stir to break the potatoes up a little, but do not overmix. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.


I made an almost-Nicoise by adding quartered hard-cooked egg and oil-packed tuna for a fantastic lunch.

Published in: on November 25, 2017 at 1:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Brussels Sprout Salad with Apple, Cheddar, and Almonds

This recipe is from Cooks Country magazine.  They use hazelnuts, which would probably be good, but I always have almonds on hand.

Serves 8

3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 small shallot, minced
salt & pepper
6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 lbs Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, sliced in half through stem end, then sliced cross-wise as thinly as possible
4 oz (1 cup) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 Granny Smith Apple, cored and cut in 1/2″ pieces
1/2 cup dry toasted unsalted slivered almonds, or roasted unsalted sunflower seeds

Whisk lemon juice, mustard, shallot, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in large bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until incorporated. Add the sliced Brussels sprouts, toss, and let sit for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Gently stir in cheddar, apple, and almonds. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

Published in: on November 18, 2017 at 6:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Zucchini with Grape Tomatoes

serves 2

1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise, then sliced 1/8″ thick
1/4 onion, finely diced
6 grape tomatoes, halved
olive oil
fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper
splash of white balsamic vinegar

Heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat.  Add the zucchini and onion and cook until the zucchini begins to soften and brown.  Add the cherry tomatoes, thyme, salt, pepper and vinegar and heat through.

Published in: on May 13, 2017 at 5:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

To Try: Jeanne Lemlin’s Asian Coleslaw


Serves 8 as a side dish

6 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
2 cups finely shredded purple cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup finely diced white onion
3/4 cup minced cilantro
3 tablespoons Chinese seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine the vegetables and cilantro in a large bowl. Sprinkle on the remaining ingredients and toss well.   Let sit at least 20 minutes before serving so the flavors can meld. Cover and chill any leftovers. Pour off any accumulated liquid before serving again.

Published in: on February 25, 2017 at 4:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Barley Pilaf

From “Simply  Satisfying” by Jeanne Lemlin

Serves 4

1 cup barley
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cups (6 oz) quartered mushrooms
1 large onion, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (omit for Sean)
1 2/3 cups Vegetable Stock
2 teaspoons tamari or other soy sauce1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

Rinse the barley in a strainer under cold running water, then put it in a medium saucepan and cover it with water.  Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, then trun off the heat and cover the pan.  Let sit for 1 hour, then drain thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Melt the butter in a medium flameproof baking dish over medium heat.  (I do this in a cast iron skillet.)  Add the mushrooms, onion, and thyme, and saute for 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms begin to brown.  (I give the onions about an 8-minute head start because onions have to be completely soft for Sean.)

Add the drained barley, stock, soy sauce, salt, and pepper, and toss to mix.  (I use my 10″ square covered Corningware casserole.)  Cover the baking dish and bake undisturbed for 1 hour, or until all of the liquid is absorbed.  Do not stir until just before serving.  Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven until you are ready. May be prepared up to 48 hours in advance and chilled.  To reheat, add a few Tablespoons of water or stock and place in a 350 degree F oven until hot, about 20 minutes.

Ma  yes
Da  yes
Anna  yes but without the mushrooms
Sam no

Published in: on May 15, 2016 at 5:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

To Try: Cauliflower with Rosemary au Gratin

Cauliflower with Rosemary au Gratin

1 large or 2 medium heads cauliflower (about 3 lbs.), cut into florets (about 8 cups)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup dry white wine or vegetable or chicken stock
2 1/2 cups milk, warmed
Freshly grated or ground nutmeg
1 egg yolk, preferably free-range organic
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
optional:  buttered bread crumbs for the top

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees .
  2. Fill a bowl with ice water. In a large pot, bring about 4 inches of water to a boil. Salt the water, add the cauliflower and cook until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and cold-shock in the ice water. Drain very well.
  3. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium to medium-high heat. When the butter foams, add the garlic and rosemary and whisk in the flour. When the flour bubbles, add the wine and cook until reduced to a few tablespoons. Whisk in the warm milk and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk. Stir in a ladleful of sauce to prevent the egg from cooking, then pour the tempered yolk into the sauce. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cheese until it melts.
  4. Pour half the sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and add all of the cauliflower. Top with the remaining sauce and 3/4 cup cheese. (This dish may be made ahead to this point and refrigerated. Just bring it back to room temperature before baking.)
  5. Top with the buttered bread crumbs (if using) and bake until browned and bubbling and hot all the way through, 15 to 20 minutes.
Published in: on February 15, 2016 at 8:44 am  Comments (1)  

To Try: Carrot and Cauliflower Puree

From Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, by Ina Garten
Serves 5-6

1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
1.5 pounds of carrots, unpeeled, and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 T salt (for boiling the vegetables)
4 ounces salted butter
1 T plus 1 tsp salt (to taste)
1 T freshly ground black pepper

  1. Fill a 4 quart saucepan of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt.
  2. Add the cauliflower and boil for 20 minutes, until very tender.
  3. With a slotted spoon remove the cauliflower to colander.
  4. Add the carrots to the boiling water and cook for 20 minutes, until very tender.
  5. With a slotted spoon or spider strainer, remove the carrots to the colander.
  6. Puree the vegetables with a food mill back into the pan
  7. Meanwhile, in an 8 inch saute pan, heat the butter over medium low heat. The butter will begin to “boil.”
  8. When the butter just begins to turn brown (be careful not to over brown the butter), remove it from the heat, and pour it into the vegetable puree. Stir, add the salt and pepper, and stir again.
  9. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  10. When ready to serve, reheat over low heat on the stove top.


Published in: on January 14, 2016 at 7:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

To try: Roasted Carrots with Vinaigrette

From The Pioneer Woman Cooks:  Dinnertime by Ree Drummond


Published in: on January 14, 2016 at 7:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sweet Potato Home Fries


I am not a sweet potato fan in general.  I am happy to say that this recipe (slightly modified from the recipe by the great Jeanne Lemlin, in her book “Simply Satisfying”) is delicious and super-easy!!

Serves 4

4 medium sweet potatoes or yams (about 1.5 lbs), peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
1/4 cup oil (olive, canola, whatever you like)
2 large onions, cut into 1″ dice
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
other spices to taste (cayenne?  chili powder?  Cajun seasoning?)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Toss everything together in a large bowl.  Spread on a large sheet pan in a single layer.  Bake for 50 – 70 minutes, until as brown as you desire, turning every 20 minutes.

Published in: on January 2, 2016 at 7:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Diner Hash Browns

serves 4

3 small Russet potatoes
1 Tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons butter

Put a large skillet on medium-high heat.  Add the oil and butter.  Peel potatoes, rinse them, and dry them completely with a clean kitchen towel.  Place a clean dry kitchen towel (but not your favorite one, because the potatoes will stain it brown) on the counter, and put your box grater on it.  Grate potatoes on the large holes.  Remove grater, bring the edges of the towel together with the potatoes in the center and squeeze out water.  Repeat, moving the potatoes to a dry part of the towel.  On a large plate, place a double layer of paper towels. Spread the potatoes in an even layer and microwave on  high for 2 minutes.  Turn out the partially cooked potatoes into the hot skillet, pressing down with a spatula.  Cook for about 5 minutes, until as brown as you like on the bottom.  Turn in sections, adding more oil or butter for the second side if it seems necessary.  Cook for 4 or 5 minutes more until done.  Hold on a cookie sheet in a warm oven if necessary.

Published in: on December 18, 2015 at 7:06 am  Leave a Comment