Asparagus and Herb Frittata

Asparagus, herbs and eggs go together beautifully. Herbs are tender and prolific when asparagus starts popping up and I use them liberally here. Mix and match to your taste. You can of course vary the ratio of eggs to asparagus and herbs based on what you have on hand. It’s a very flexible template.

I love making frittatas for potluck and picnics because they’re best at room temperature, their easy to serve as finger food when cut into squares and are quick to make and hold up well. And they’re a great last minute dish, using whatever random herbs and veg you happen to have on hand.

 

Serves many as an appetizer or 6 as a light entree or 8 as a side

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 bunch asparagus (about 1 lb but a bit more or less if just fine), tough ends discarded and spears sliced thinly on the diagonal (it’s important to slice them pretty thinly as the frittata will be hard to neatly cut if the pieces are large)

1/4 cup water

1 – 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro, parsley chervil, chives, dill and/or tarragon, finely chopped (mix and match as you’d like, see headnote)

1 stalk green garlic, minced (optional)

8 eggs (more ore less–see headnote)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Set your oven to broil.

 

Heat the oil in a heavy sauté pan or well-seasoned cast iron pan or non-stick (if it’s heatproof and can go in the oven). Add the asparagus and a few generous pinches of salt and over medium-high heat, cook for a minute or two, then add the water and cook for another 2 minutes.

 

Meanwhile lightly whisk the eggs until they’re just broken up—no need to get them frothy or really well mixed. Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper and the herbs. Pour eggs over the vegetables and tilt the pan to evenly distribute the eggs. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for about 7-8 minutes. When the eggs have set around the edge take the pan off the heat and set under the broiler until the eggs are cooked and slightly puffed and golden, just a minute or two. Watch closely as you don’t really want any browning. Alternatively you can finish cooking it on the stove top, covered, on low heat until set.

 

Remove the pan from the oven or burner and let sit, uncovered, for at least 5 minutes before cutting and serving. It will release from the pan much more easily that way and is more flavorful when not piping hot.

Kale Pesto

This was part of the menu of the very first cooking class I taught in 2008. It remains a favorite. Whether much of it makes it into a dish–of pasta, eggs, beans or simply spread on toast–remains a question. By the spoonful at the counter, however. . .

 

Use hazelnuts, walnuts or even toasted pumpkin seeds if you don’t have almonds. And substitute Parmesan or an aged Asiago if you don’t have Pecorino.

–inspired by Cathy Whims of Nostrana

 

Yields about 1 1/2 cups

 

1 clove garlic

2 cups *blanched kale (from 1 large bunch)

½ cup toasted almonds (or other nuts/seeds, see headnote)

½ cup olive oil

½ cup grated Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan or aged Asiago)

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

To blanch kale, bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop chopped kale in and blanch for about 30 seconds, drain well and let cool.

 

In a mortar and pestle crush garlic to a puree with a pinch of salt or mash into a paste with the side of chef’s knife straight on your cutting board. Put almonds in a food processor along with the garlic. Pulse to finely chop. Remove from processor. Add kale and pulse to finely chop. Add back almonds and garlic then let run while pouring olive oil through the feed tube. Remove from processor to a bowl, stir in Pecorino and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss with pasta (be sure to reserve 1/3 cup of cooking water) to loosen pesto and coat pasta, stir into eggs or beans, spread on toast or sandwiches. It’s also delicious with grilled or baked salmon.

Roasted Squash Halves with Herbs

If you see this cute, golden acorn-type squash, buy it! It’s called Gill’s Golden Pippin and is incredibly flavorful–much more so than most acorn types. The skin is very hard and brittle so I just crack it in half and scoop out seeds and roast. And it’s fun to serve, in it’s little boat-like shell.

 

You can enjoy them as is or serve them filled with anything from been or beef chili to cooked grains or even other cooked vegetables.

 

Serves 2-4 depending on how/with what else you serve it

 

2 Gill’s Golden Pippin or other small winter squash

Salt

Olive oil

6 thyme sprigs or 2 2-inch rosemary sprigs or 6 sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried sage

 

Preheat oven to 400

 

Cut squash in half, lengthwise and scoop out seeds and strings. Rub each cavity with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and then put in whatever herb you’re using. Place the squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet and bake until tender when pierced with a knife–about 25-40 minutes, depending on your squash. Enjoy hot or warm.

 

Seared Young Fava Beans and Garlic Scapes with Lemon

When you have young/small fava beans you can eat the whole pod, either grilled or just seared in a heavy skillet, in this case alongside some shelled ones and garlic scapes and scallions. The whole pod gets tender and when well seasoned with salt and lemon, is just delicious. You can cook them all whole or shell a few for contrast and fun-either way is delicious.

 

Serves 4

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 lb young, tender fava beans in their pods

1 bunch garlic scapes, cut into 2-inch lengths or 2-3 the stalks green garlic or 1 head new garlic, minced

3-4 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths (optional)

Salt

Juice from 1/2 lemon

 

If you have time, shell 1/3 of the fava beans and cut the remaining whole pods into 2-inch lengths. The combination of the shelled and whole favas is fun but not necessary, see headnote.

 

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high to high heat. Add the fava beans in their pods (if you shelled some you’ll add those a few minutes later), the garlic scapes and scallions, if using, sprinkle with salt and cook, covered and undisturbed for a few minutes. When they start browning give them a stir and continue cooking, stirring often, for about 3-4 more minutes. Add the shelled fava beans and cook for another couple of minutes. When the pods, beans and garlic scapes are tender remove from the heat. Taste and adjust with salt if needed and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Serve hot or warm.

Garlicky Spinach with Chickpeas and Miso Tahini Sauce

If you have home cooked or canned chickpeas on hand, this comes together very quickly. The sauce is versatile and keeps for a week so make plenty to use in other ways. Use other tender greens like mustard or turnips greens or even mizuna or tatsoi if you don’t have spinach.

 

You can scale this up but don’t skimp on the greens. You want plenty per serving and they cook down so much.

 

Serves 2

 

1 tablespoon oil

2 small stalks green garlic, white and green parts minced, or 2 small garlic cloves, minced

1 large bunch spinach or other tender greens, see headnote, roots discarded, leaves and stems well washed and roughly chopped

2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, drained or rinsed

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or other hot pepper, more to taste

Salt, to taste

Sauce:

4 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoons white (shiro) miso or red miso (start with a little less if using red as its stronger)
1 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
Water to thin to the consistency you like

 

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl, adding the water tablespoon by tablespoon until you have a smooth, thick but pourable consistency.  Taste and adjust seasoning with more acidity, a bit of salt, etc.

 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes until softened and fragrant but not brown. Add the greens and turn up the heat and cover and cook for a minute or two until beginning to wilt. Add a few generous pinches of salt and toss the greens and continue cooking, uncovered until tender, just another minute or two. Meanwhile heat the chickpeas in another skillet and toss with the cayenne.

 

Divide the greens into two bowls, top with warm chickpeas and drizzle with some of the sauce–you don’t need it all. Serve warm.

Chickpea and Chard Curry with Tomato and Coconut Milk

This is a fairly quick, flavorful curry and you can use whatever leafy greens you have (feel free to increase the quantity of greens). I needed to use up some leeks when I made the above version which adds sweetness. Adding the fresh, mashed garlic at the very end adds a nice dimension.

 

Serves 4

 

2 tablespoons oil

1 onion, diced

1 leek, cut into thin half rounds (optional, see headnote)

2 teaspoons brown or black mustard seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 teaspoons grated or minced fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric or two teaspoons fresh, grated on a microplane

1 serrano chile, minced or cayenne or chili flakes to taste (I aim for a mild-medium level here but season as you like)

1 1/2 cups canned, fresh or roasted tomatoes, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 cups cooked or canned (and rinsed) chickpeas

1/2 bunch chard, leaves roughly chopped and stems diced

1 can coconut milk (full fat)

1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced and mashed

Rice for serving (optional)

 

Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. As soon as it’s shimmering add the cumin and mustard seeds and cook for a few seconds–be careful not to burn. Add the onions, chard stems and leek, if using, stir well and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the ginger, turmeric and hot pepper and stir well. Fry for another 3-4 minutes until fragrant and a shade darker. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, coconut milk and 1/2 cup water, salt, pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, partially covered, then add the chard and cook for another 5 minutes until tender. Stir in the minced garlic and lemon juice.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, lemon, hot pepper, etc. Serve hot over rice.

Green Tomato, Winter Squash and Lentil Salad

This a hearty but bright side dish/salad that is beautiful to boot. The tang of the green tomatoes offsets the sweetness of the squash.

 

Serves 4-6

 

1 cup small French green lentils or other small ones that keep their shape when cooked

1 1/2 lbs green tomatoes, diced

4 cups peeled and diced winter squash such as butternut

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped or a combination of parsley and cilantro, or just cilantro

1 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced

Salt

1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4-5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Put the lentils in a saucepan and cover with water by 2 inches. Add 1 teaspoon salt, bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, partially cover and cook for about 17-18 minutes or until just tender but still mostly holding their shape. Drain and set aside.

 

Cover the bottom of a large, heavy skillet with a slick of olive oil and set over high heat. Add the diced squash. Sprinkle with salt and then cover and cook undisturbed for a few minutes. Turn the heat down to medium high. Cook, turning the pieces occasionally to evenly brown them until they are tender but not falling apart, about 8-10 minutes.

 

Set your oven to broil and spread the diced green tomatoes on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with a bit of olive oil and put under the broiler. Under my broiler it took about 10 minutes to soften them a bit and get a nice browning on one side. No need to flip and disturb them. You want them to keep their shape and integrity, if possible.

 

In a small bowl mix together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the lentils on a platter or in a wide bowl and toss with one third of the dressing. Top them with the squash, tomatoes, herbs and scallions. Drizzle the remaining dressing over it all and gently toss. Taste and adjust seasoning as you see fit. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Radicchio and Celery Root Remoulade with Parsley and Walnuts

radicchio-celery-root-parsley-remoulade

This is a colorful and hearty variation of the classic Celery Root Remoulade. You can substitute a vegan mayo and/or yogurt.

 

Serves 4

 

1/2 medium celery root, about 8 ounces, trimmed and peeled cut into matchsticks or grated on large holes of a box grater or in a food processor

1 small to medium head radicchio, cored and thinly sliced

1/2 cup parsley leaves

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped (you can do this in a skillet over medium heat in about 6-8 minutes or in a 300 degree oven in 10)

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup whole milk regular or Greek yogurt (or vegan alternative)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons whole grain mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons classic Dijon-style mustard

A little white wine or cider vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Put the celery root, radicchio, parsley and walnuts in a large salad bowl.

 

Whisk the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the veggies. Mix well and adjust seasoning to taste.

Miso and Cider Vinegar Roasted Winter Vegetables

miso-roasted-squash-carrot-onion

miso-roasted-squash-onion-carrot-prep-ii

Use whatever combination of winter roots, tubers and squash you have on hand. Toss in some chunks of onion for variety. Skip the fresh herbs if you don’t have any as it’s nice and bright even without.

 

Serves 4

 

1 delicata squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeds and strings scraped out and then cut into quarters lengthwise and then crosswise into chunks

4-5 medium carrots, scrubbed, trimmed and cut into 1/3-inch slices on the bias

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 generous tablespoon white miso

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 small serrano pepper, minced

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt to taste

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

 

Spread the vegetables on a sheet pan. Mix the remaining ingredients, except the salt, in a small bowl and drizzle over the vegetables. Be sure to use all the dressing/marinade and toss the vegetables so they are evenly coated. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring several times during the roasting, until the vegetables are tender and browning in spots. Toss with the herbs, if using, taste and adjust seasoning with salt if needed. Serve hot or warm.

Charred Zucchini with Zhoug and Feta

zucchini w zhoug feta

Zhoug is an herb and green chile sauce/paste from Yemen but popular in Israel as well and other parts of the Middle East.

zucchini w zhoug prep

 

Serves 4+

 

5-7 small to medium zucchini or other kind of summer squash, washed and trimmed

2/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced

1-2 serrano chiles, minced (use the larger quantity if you like more heat), including seeds unless the peppers are very hot in which case you can remove the seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds or 1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/3 – 1/2 cup good olive oil

Salt

2 ounces feta, crumbled (optional)

 

Set your oven to broil.

 

Put the squash on a sheet pan and set about 4-6 inches below the broiler element. Broil, rotating the squash when they turn brown or lightly char. Keep rotating until they are more or less evenly browned and are tender when pierced with the tip of knife. Remove from oven and let cool a bit.

 

If using whole spices, toast the spices in a dry skillet over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes until a shade darker and fragrant and toasty smelling. Remove from heat and put in a mortar and let cool.
Mix the herbs, hot peppers, garlic salt and olive oil in a bowl. Coarsely grind the spices with a pestle and add to the herb mixture. Stir well and adjust taste with salt.

 

Slice the roasted squash into 1-inch rounds and  put in a serving dish. Top generously with the zhoug and the feta. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sautéed Chard with Jalapeño, Ginger and Sausage

chard jalapeno ginger sausage

This pairs very nicely with a very quick red lentil dal and a cooling dollop of yogurt. Substitute spinach, mustard or collard greens or any other leafy green you might have, for the chard. You can also omit the sausage and fry a couple of eggs in the pan instead or just serve as is with dal or rice.

chard ginger jalapeno sausage prep

Serves 4

 

1 tablespoon oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-inch piece of ginger, grated or minced

1 small jalapeño, minced and seeded if you want less heat (taste the pepper before adding it all–they vary so widely in heat level and add according to taste)

1 large bunch chard, washed, stems finely chopped and leaves halved lengthwise and then cut cross-wise into bite-sized pieces

2 4-oz sausages, cut into rounds or crumbled

Salt

 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chard stems, ginger, jalapeno and garlic and sausage and sauté for about 7 minutes, stirring often. Take care not to burn the garlic. When the sausage is nearly cooked through add the chard leaves and mix well. Add a pinch or two of salt. Stir well and cook for another 3-4 minutes until chard is tender but still bright.

 

Salsify and Potato Soup with Bacon and Thyme

salsify potato bacon soup

This is a lovely, light wintry soup. The earthy salsify makes it interesting.

 

Serves 4

 

Olive oil

1/2 medium onion, finely diced

1 slice bacon, diced

2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 lb salsify, trimmed

1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme

Pinch of chili flakes

5 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon salt

Parsley and olive oil for serving

 

Fill a bowl with cold water and add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Peel the salsify and as soon as you peel each one drop it in the acidulated water.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bacon and and saute for about 5 minutes until onion has softened. Add the diced potato, thyme, salt and pinch of chili flakes. Stir well and cook for about 5 more minutes. Meanwhile remove the salsify from the water and cut it into 1/2-inch rounds. Add it to the potatoes and pour in the water or broth. Bring soup to a boil, turn down to simmer and cook gently for about 10 minutes until the salsify and potatoes are tender. Adjust seasoning with salt and serve hot with chopped, fresh parsley and a drizzle of olive oil and good, crusty bread.

Black Radish, Carrot, Collard Green and Apple Salad with Toasted Walnuts

black radish, carrot, collard apple salad

I love this combination of disparate flavors. Toast the walnuts a bit longer than you might typically–the hint of char is delicious here. And use most any root vegetable (or kohlrabi) in place of the black radish–turnips, rutabagas, daikons or any kind of radish will work beautifully.

black radish carrot collard salad prep

 

Serves 4

 

2 small-medium black Spanish Radishes, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater

3 medium carrots, scrubbed and grated on the large holes of a box grater

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 bunch tender collard greens, washed, dried and tough stem ends removed, leaves cut in half lengthwise and then rolled up and cut very thinly crosswise

1 large, crunchy apple, cored and finely chopped

Generous 1/2 cup walnuts broken up or roughly chopped

2-3 teaspoons apple cider syrup or honey

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

4 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Put the grated radish and carrot in a salad bowl. Toss well with 1/2 teaspoon salt, I use my hands for this, and let sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients, or at least 5 minutes.

 

Toast the broken up walnuts in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, tossing frequently until toasty and almost blackened in spots–be careful with this but a little char is delicious.

 

Mix the apple cider syrup or honey, vinegar, oil and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add the collard greens and apple to the grated vegetables as well as the walnuts. Add dressing and toss well and taste and adjust seasoning. Serve as soon as possible. If you hold off on adding the nuts you can toss it and let sit for 30 minutes or so and just add the nuts when ready to serve.

 

 

Ratatouille

 

I love the time of year when I can make ratatouille, when sweet peppers, eggplant, summer squash and tomatoes are all at their peek–usually beginning early August and lasting until mid-to late September. In my cook-with-what-you-have version quantities are easily adapted and the ratios are not critical so scale up or down as needed. It is important to cook some of the vegetables separately so that you don’t crowd the pans and steam them rather than sautéing them. You want the browning and sweetness that comes with direct contact with the hot skillet.

 

It is a rich, stew-like dish in which the vegetables all break down a bit. It is not beautiful but it is GOOD! Serve with some good crusty bread, another salad, a frittata or some such. It’s even better the next day and delicious at room temperature as well.

 

Serves 4-6

 

4 medium tomatoes, diced

1 large eggplant, diced (no need to peel)

1 onion, cut into large dice

3 medium summer squash, sliced or diced

2 sweet peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces

Olive oil

Handful of torn basil leaves

2 cloves garlic, minced

Sea salt

Good olive oil for serving

 

Heat some olive oil in two large skillets over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers to one pan and the zucchini to the other. Sprinkle all with a bit of salt. Cook both on high heat for a few minutes, stirring frequently and then turn down to medium high and continue sautéing until softened and browning just a bit. When the zucchini is just about tender remove it from the pan and reserve. Add a bit more oil and add the eggplant and a bit more salt. You can keep the peppers and onions sautéing on medium while the eggplant cooks. When the eggplant is tender and browning, add half of it to the pepper and onion pan and divide the zucchini between the pans–or if you have space put it all in one pan now. Now add the tomato to both (or just the one pan) and bring to a lively simmer and cook for about 10 minutes to marry the flavors and soften the tomatoes. Add the garlic and basil and cook for 2 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve warm (but not hot) or at room temperature with a drizzle of good olive oil.

 

Cook-with-what-you-have Nicoise Salad

I take the idea of Salade Nicoise and adapt it all summer long, i.e. take fresh and/or cooked vegetables, good Oregon Albacore (usually canned), and hardboiled eggs, drizzled with an herby and/or creamy dressing, as a complete, fabulous dinner.

 

Quantities can be adapted to suit your needs and can be varied in all ways. You just want enough dressing for everything so scale that up if you’re using more vegetables.

 

Serves 4

 

¾ lb fresh green, romano or wax beans, trimmed

¾-1 lb potatoes about 4-5 medium, scrubbed

2 large tomatoes, cut into 3/4-inch wedges

4 eggs

2 5-oz cans albacore or fresh if you have it, seared

Handful brined or oil-cured olives, halved (optional)

4 cups lettuce, washed and torn (optional)

 

Dressing:

2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped or combination of parsley, chives and/or tarragon

1 large clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (more to taste)

2 teaspoona Dijon-style mustard

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Put the potatoes and eggs in a saucepan and cover generously with water. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer and set the timer for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes remove the eggs and set in a bowl of cold water to stop cooking. Peel eggs while potatoes continue to cook until just tender. Remove potatoes from the water with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool and then cut into bite-sized pieces. Salt the potato cooking water with 2 teaspoons salt, add the green beans and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain and refresh with cold water to stop cooking.

 

Mix all dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

 

Toss the lettuce, if using, with a little of the dressing and spread on a platter and arrange the eggs, beans, potatoes, olives, if using, tuna on top. Drizzle the dressing over everything. Serve with good crusty bread.

Aioli (garlicky home-made mayonnaise)

I make aioli starting in the spring when asparagus and snap peas show up. I love dipping blanched vegetables in it and making egg salad with aioli or spreading it thickly on toast and topping with whatever else I have on hand, until the tomatoes arrive and then it’s tomatoes and cucumbers . . . and then green beans and artichokes get dipped. I sometimes plenty of basil or chives or parsley and tarragon. I thin it out to make salad dressings, top halves of hard-boiled eggs with it for a fake deviled egg. It’s also perfect on a simply cooked piece of fish, chicken or any meat.

 

Yields about 1 1/2 cups

 

2 egg yolks (preferably organic)

2-5 cloves  garlic (start with the smaller amount if you’re uncertain and it does get stronger as it sits) or 2 stalks green garlic (the immature garlic that looks like a green onion and can be used as such, green parts too, minced finely).

2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard (optional)

about 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white wine or champagne vinegar, start with a bit less and adjust to taste, at the end

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2/3 cup neutral oil like sunflower oil

1/3 -1/2 cup good-tasting olive oil (not too bitter or strong or the aioli will have a bitter taste)

 

Mash garlic to a paste with salt (either in mortar and pestle or with a knife ). Put garlic in a sturdy medium-sized bowl. Add the egg yolks, mustard (if using) and 2-3 teaspoons of lemon juice and some pepper. Whisk well. Then start adding the olive oil drip by drip or in a very thin stream at first. You’ll need to incorporate about 1/4 cup of oil like this before you can safely speed things up. This is the most important step in ensuring that it properly emulsifies and doesn’t break. Incorporate the rest of the olive oil and neutral tasting oil (it can get too bitter if you use just olive oil) and adjust seasoning with more lemon and/or salt. The more oil you incorporate the thicker it gets, however, at some point it can’t hold any more oil and can break.

 

You can also make it in a food processor and you will end up with a slightly stiffer/denser texture–also good just a little different. For the food processor version follow the process above but just feed the oil through the feeder tube while the machine is running.

 

Aioli keeps in the fridge for about 4-5 days and it does get a bit stronger as it sits.

Salad of Fava Beans, Peas, and Crab with Basil and Aioli Dressing

aioli, crab, peas, favas

I put this salad together on a whim after I splurged on a beautiful Dungeness crab. I had both fava beans and shelling peas on hand but either or is fabulous too. And you could substitute canned Oregon Albacore for the crab or bay shrimp or omit entirely or add chopped hardboiled egg or no additional protein at all. Adapt to your tastes/what you have on hand.

Fava pea crab salad aioli greens

Serves 4

 

About 6 ounces crab meat (from one large, whole crab) (see headnote)

1 ½ – 2 cups shelled fava beans

½ cup shelled peas (optional—see headnote)

6 cups lettuce, washed, dried and torn or chopped

Handful of basil leaves, thinly sliced or torn

2 scallions, thinly sliced (or a bit of any other type of onion or chives)

3 tablespoons aioli or store bought mayonnaise you’ve doctored with some minced garlic, lemon juice, salt, a little Dijon and a bit of olive oil.

Juice of half a lemon or more to taste

Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Shell the fava beans and cook the beans in salted boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Pinch the skins of the beans and set aside. If using shelling peas, cook those for 2 or so minutes in the same water as you used for the favas.

 

In a small bowl mix the crab, beans (and peas if using) with 1 1/2 tablespoons of aioli and a little salt and pepper.

 

Toss the basil, scallions and lettuce in a large bowl or on a platter with the remainder of the aioli or doctored mayonnaise and the lemon juice. If your aioli or mayo is too thick for tossing thin it with a little cream or water. Taste and adjust seasoning. Spread the fava bean crab mixture on the bed of greens. Serve immediately.

Winter Squash and Peanut Stew

The stew is delicious with butternut, red kuri, hubbard or buttercup squash. I wouldn’t use delicata as it’s not meaty enough.  This stew is rich, nutrient dense, sweet, savory, just a little spicy and vegan. Garnish with green onions and crushed roasted and salted peanuts for an extra kick.

 

You can also add carrots or substitute carrots for some of the squash.

 

Serves 6 +/-

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 1/2 tablespoon ginger, minced

2 pounds winter squash cut into chunks (you can always roast a whole or half squash, seeds strings and all, for 20 minutes or so in a 400-425 oven and then remove it and peel and dice which is easier than doing it raw and then proceed with the recipe)

A couple of carrots, scrubbed and cut into rounds (optional, see headnote)

1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained

2 cups canned tomatoes, juice and all

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon,

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

Dash of cayenne pepper (to taste)

1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

4-5 cups Vegetable stock + extra as needed (I use homemade veggie bouillon)

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup green onion, thinly sliced

1/3 cup roasted and salted peanuts, chopped

Fresh lime juice, for serving (optional but very good)

 

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium- high heat. Add the onion and saute about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and ginger, and continue to cook for another 3 minutes, until garlic is fragrant, turning down the heat if garlic begins to brown. Add the squash, the red lentils, the tomatoes, the cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne and give it all a good stir to combine.

 

Add 4 cups vegetable stock and bring mixture to a boil. If there isn’t enough broth to cover everything by at least 1 inch, add another cup of stock. When soup boils, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes, or until squash and lentils are very tender. If things look too dry add more broth as needed.

 

Add peanut butter and stir well. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until partially pureed, for a varied texture.

 

Season to taste, adding more salt and pepper as needed. Serve, topped with a tablespoon each of green onion and crushed peanuts and squeeze of lime juice.

White Beans with Leeks and Sausage

This is more technique than recipe and is one of those that can be endlessly adapted and is a good template. Make it more or less soupy. Add kale or other greens or use more onion if you don’t have leeks. Change the ratio of vegetables to beans. Use bacon instead of sausage or leftover chicken or no meat at all. The beans are creamy and rich on their own. Add spices, maybe chili flakes or cumin and coriander.

 

Serves 4

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 pork sausages, spicy if you like, sliced into rounds or crumbled

2 large leeks, trimmed, well washed, cut in half lengthwise and then cut into thin half moons

1 teaspoon of fresh or dried thyme, savory or sage

3 cups cooked beans (I used Corona beans in the above version but any medium-large white bean works well)

2-3 cups bean cooking liquid (depending how thick/thin you’d like it), veg or chicken broth

Salt and pepper

 

In a large skillet or dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, leeks, sausage and herbs and a couple of pinches of salt. Stir well and sauté for several minutes, then cover the pan and turn down to medium and cook for about 10 minutes until the leeks have softened.  Stir in the beans and cooking liquid or broth simmer for 5 minutes to marry the flavors. Season with freshly ground black pepper and add salt if needed. Serve with another drizzle of good olive oil and good, crusty bread.