Parmesan Potato Gratin

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. chunk Parmesan
4 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh chives
4 lbs. potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh thyme
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut in small cubes
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1. Pre-heat oven to 325. Brush the bottom of a 3-quart rectangular or oval baking dish with olive oil. Using a wide vegetable peeler, shave Parmesan into thin strips.
2. In a small bowl combine bacon, green onion, and chives. In prepared baking dish, place half the potatoes. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper, half the bacon mixture, and half the herbs. Top with half the Parmesan and dot with half the butter. Repeat layers. In a small bowl whisk together whole milk, heavy cream, and flour; pour evenly over potatoes.
3. Bake, covered, for 1 1/2 hours. Increase temperature to 400 and bake uncovered for another 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and top is golden brown.

 

Marinated and Grilled Eggplant

Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
1 big pinch dried thyme (or 1 tsp fresh leaves)
3 big cloves garlic-crushed
2 medium eggplant

Procedure:
Slice eggplant. Mix all ingredients of marinade and soak eggplant in it. Be sure all surfaces are covered. Grill slices 8-10 minutes, turning often, until browned and tender.

 

 

Kale with Red Beans, Cilantro, and Feta Cheese

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups dried red Kidney or Tigers Eye beans, soaked overnight or at least 4 hours.
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
sea salt
1 white onion, finely diced
1 large bunch kale (can also use chard or collards)
2 TBSP olive oil, plus extra to finish
3/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

PROCEDURE:
1. Drain the beans, cover with plenty of cold water, and bring to a boil. Remove any foam that rises to the surface, then add the herbs, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and all but 1/2 cup of the onion. Lower heat and simmer until tender. Cooking time can vary from 30 minutes to over an hour, depending on the type of bean.
2. Slice kale leaves from their stems with a knife. Chop coarsely into 1 or 2-inch pieces and rinse well. Bring a few quarts of water to a boil, add salt and kale. Simmer until tender-about 5 minutes. Pour into colander to drain.
3. Heat the oil in a wide skillet. Add the remaining 1/2 cup onion and 1/2 cup of the cilantro. Cook over medium heat until the onion has softened, about 10 minutes. Add the kale and beans with enough of the cooking liquid so that there’s plenty of sauce. Simmer together for at least 10 minutes, then serve garnished with crumbled feta and the remainder of the cilantro.

Baked Fennel with Parmesan and Thyme

Ingredients:
3 fennel bulbs, trimmed and split lengthwise
1 tablespoon softened butter
Coarse salt and ground pepper (to taste)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
4 sprigs thyme

Procedure:
1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2) Boil 3 fennel bulbs until tender, about 15 minutes.
3) Drain fennel, cut side down, on paper towels, 5 minutes.
4) Place fennel, cut side up, in a buttered 8-inch square baking dish and brush with the softened butter.
5) Season with coarse salt and ground pepper and top with Parmesan and thyme sprigs
6) Bake until cheese is golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Serves: 6

 

Herb Garden Pesto

When plain old basil just won’t do….

1 cup fresh basil
1 cup fresh parsley
2 TBLS fresh dill
2 TBLS fresh chives
1 TBLS fresh oregano or marjoram
1 TBLS fresh rosemary or thyme leaves
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or slivered almonds
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 TBLS fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Procedure:
1. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and process until the pesto becomes smooth and even textured.
2. Add more olive oil if necessary.
3. Serve on pasta, bread, or add to soups.

Winter Vegetable Chowder

The Milk–2 cups milk, preferably whole
3 large parsley branches
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1/2 onion, sliced
10 peppercorns, lightly crushed
5 juniper berries, lightly crushed

The Soup–
2 Tablespoons butter
2 large leeks, white parts plus an inch of the greens, chopped
4 cups chopped winter vegetables–turnips, carrots, celery or celery root, rutabagas, a little parsnip
3 boiling potatoes, about 12 ounces, peeled and diced
2 small bay leaves
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
salt and freshly milled pepper
2 Tablespoons flour
4 to 6 large slices sourdough or country-style bread, toasted
grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese
chopped parsley, tarragon, or lovage

1. Put everything for the milk in a saucepan, bring it to a boil, then turn off the heat. Cover and set aside while you prepare the vegetables.
2. Melt the butter in a soup pot over low heat.
3. Add the vegetables, bay leaves, parsley, and 1-1/2 teaspoons salt. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Stir in the flour and add 5 cups water; bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.
5. Pour the milk through a strainer right into the soup. Taste for salt and season with pepper.
To serve, lay a piece of toast in each bowl, cover it with grated cheese, ladle the soup on top, and sprinkle with parsley.
Serves 4 to 6

Vegetable Chowder

Instead of 1/4 cup butter and 1/2-pint heavy cream, as in the original version, this new light one has only 1 Tablespoon butter, no cream, and the option of low-fat milk. It still tastes luxurious.Try not to shy away from the full amount of garlic. It gives the soup a rich flavor and is surprisingly smooth and subtle.

1 Tablespoon butter
2 cups chopped onion
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoons thyme
2 teaspoons basil
1 medium potato, diced
2 medium stalks celery, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups chopped cauliflower
1/2 lb. mushrooms, chopped
2 cups corn (frozen-defrosted is fine)
lots of fresh black pepper
1-1/2 cups water
optional: minced fresh herbs (chives, basil, marjoram)

1. Melt the butter in a kettle or Dutch oven. Add onion, half the garlic, salt, thyme, and basil. Sauté over medium heat 5 minutes. Add potato, celery, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. Sauté another 5 to 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and corn, plus lots of black pepper. Sauté another 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Add water, cover, and simmer about 15 minutes, or until everything is tender. (Make sure the potatoes are done.)
3. Stir in hot milk and remaining garlic. Remove from heat until about 10 minutes before serving time, then heat gently.
Serve topped with freshly minced herbs.
Makes 8 servings. (Can easily be halved)

Celeriac & Apple Soup with Blue Cheese Toasts

 

Celeriac & Apple Soup with Blue Cheese Toasts
Makes: Eight 1 cup servings with 1 cheese toast a
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

Ingredients:
2 pounds celeriac (celery root)
2 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
3 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 t salt, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 t chopped fresh thyme
2 t finely chopped garlic
1 medium russet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and chopped
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 t ground pepper

Toasts:
8 slices baguette (1/4-inch), preferably whole-wheat
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
8 t crumbled Gorgonzola or other mild blue cheese

Preparation:
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 450°F.
Cut one end of celeriac to create a flat surface to keep it steady, then cut off the skin, following
the contour of the root. (Or use a vegetable peeler and peel around the root at least three times to ensure all the fibrous skin has been removed.) Cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Cut apples into 1-inch wedges. Toss the celeriac and apples in a large bowl with 2 Tsp oil and 1/4 t salt until well coated. Spread out on a baking sheet. Roast, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned and tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 T oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and thyme; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened but have not colored, about 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add potato, broth, water, nutmeg, pepper and the remaining 3/4 t salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables smash easily when pressed against the side of the pot, 35 to 40 minutes. Add the celeriac mixture to the pot. Blend the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. (Or transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)
To prepare toasts: About 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve, preheat oven to 400°.
Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and bake until toasted, 6 to 8 minutes. Rub them with the garlic, then top with cheese. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes.
Serve the soup topped with a cheese toast.

Red And Green Salad

 

Ingredients:
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, quartered
1 cup Reed’s Powerhouse Dressing (recipe below)
1 Ib green beans, trimmed
2 cups water
1 Ib beets, trimmed to 1 inch of greens, roots left attached, well rinsed
Romaine lettuce leaves for lining platter
Radicchio or red cabbage leaves for lining platter
1 large red onion, sliced and separated into rings
8-10 cherry tomatoes for garnish
1 cup ripe black olives for garnish
1/4 cup Horseradish Cream (recipe below)

Directions:
1) In a medium bowl, toss mushrooms with enough dressing to coat. Cover and refrigerate several
hours or overnight.
2) In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook beans in boiling salted water to cover until tender-crisp, 6-7 minutes.
3) Cool under running water, drain, and put in a small bowl. toss with just enough dressing to coat the beans. Cover and marinate several hours or overnight in refrigerator.
4) In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the 2 cups of water to boil. Add beets, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until beets are tender, 30-40 minutes.
5) Cool beets under cold running water and drain. Slip off skins and trim tops and roots.
6) Slice beets crosswise and, in a small bowl, toss with enough dressing to coat. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
7) To assemble salad:

– Place romaine leaves at one end of a large platter and radicchio leaves at opposite end.
– Arrange beans on radicchio leaves and beets on romaine leaves.
– Mound mushrooms in center, top with onion rings, and garnish with tomatoes and olives.
– Spread Horseradish Cream on beets, but do not cover entirely.
– Serve at once.
Serves 6-8

REEDS POWERHOUSE DRESSING
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 green onion, including some tender green tops, coarsely chopped
2 parsley sprigs, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme (1/2 tsp fresh, chopped)
1/4 tsp dried oregano (1/2 tsp fresh, chopped)
1/4 tsp dried basil (1/2 tsp fresh, chopped)
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Dijon mustard
– Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender, blend well. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid, refrigerate till ready to use. Shake well before using.
Makes about 1 cup

HORSERADISH CREAM
2/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 Tbsp. freshly grated horseradish or prepared horseradish
1/4 tsp dry mustard
– In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients till well mixed. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Makes about 3/4 cup

 

 

 

Couscous Salad

Serves 6
Ingredients:
2 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 cups couscous
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped green onion, including some tender green tops
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
2 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 plum tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 small cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, diced
Lemon-Herb Dressing (recipe below)

Directions:
1) In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring broth to a boil and stir in couscous. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 5 minutes.
2) Fluff couscous with a fork and cool slightly.
3) Add parsley, green onions, chopped mint, garlic, tomatoes, and cucumber.
4) Add enough dressing to coat and gently mix. Cover and refrigerate several hours before serving.
5) Serve cold, garnished with whole mint leaves.

LEMON-HERB DRESSING
Juice 1 lemon (about 3 tbsp.)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp dried thyme (1/2 tsp fresh, chopped)
1/2 tsp dried oregano (1 tsp fresh, chopped)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
1/3 cup olive oil
– In a small bowl, stir together all ingredients, except olive oil. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.
Makes about 2/3 cup

 

 

Chopped Salad With Balsamic-Garlic Viniagrette

Ingredients:
3 Tomatoes, seeded, chopped, and drained
1 large cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 ounces mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup chopped red onion
Balsamic- Garlic Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1 cup cubed mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup pitted black olives

Directions:
1) In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, mushrooms, and onion. Toss with enough dressing to coat.
2) Cover and chill vegetables for several hours in the refrigerator before taking to a potluck.
3) Scatter cheese and olives on top before serving.
Serves 4-6

BALSAMIC-GARLIC VINAIGRETTE
2/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp dried thyme (1/2 tsp fresh, chopped)
1/4 tsp dried oregano (1/2 tsp fresh, chopped)
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
– In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients.
Makes about 1 cup

 

 

Summer Vegetables Stewed in Their Own Juices

You can vary amounts of each vegetable or add and subtract any to fit the season. Just follow the basic idea. You will need a small batch of pesto to go with this.
3 TBLS olive oil
¾ lb. new potatoes (fingerlings are best)
2 bay leaves
½ lb. green beans, trimmed
2 onions, chopped
5 medium tomatoes, chopped into large pieces, juice reserved
3 garlic cloves, cut in half
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bell pepper
6 fresh sage leaves
1 lb. summer squash cut into large pieces
4 carrots, julienned
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Warm the oil on low heat in a Dutch oven or other deep, heavy bottomed pot.
When fragrant add the onions, garlic, thyme, and sage.
Cover and cook while you prep the other veggies.
Start adding the veggies and salt each layer.
Add in this order for best cooking rates: carrots, potatoes, peppers, summer squash, tomatoes.
Pour the reserved tomato juice over it all and cook covered for about 40 minutes or until carrots and potatoes are tender.
If pot seems dry during cooking add a few TBLS of water or white wine.
Serve in soup bowls with a generous dollop of pesto on top.

 

Quiche

     Quiche is one of those recipes that seem so complicated and cumbersome, but really it is not. A great way to simplify the process is to buy frozen pie crusts (which I admit I do!) Also, if you make one quiche, you might as well make a few extra and freeze them. Go ahead and cook them all and freeze the others once they cool. Freeze it whole or in single servings. It makes for any easy meal somewhere down the road when you just don’t feel like cooking. Quiche makes a great lunch, or even breakfast for the rest of the week.
     Quiche is endlessly variable, and can you change the veggies and herbs each time. Add a spicy sausage or keep it vegetarian. All you need to remember is the egg/milk/flour filling and the rest is up to you. This recipe will fill 2 standard, shallow frozen pie crusts.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Pie crusts
4 eggs
1 ½ cups milk
2 TBLS flour
1 medium onion or 1 bunch green onions-chopped
2 cloves garlic-chopped
Other suggestions:  zucchini, bell peppers, garlic scapes, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, spinach, chard, tomato rings placed on top.
Basil, thyme, oregano (use any or all, fresh or dried)
Salt and pepper
1 ½ cups of swiss or cheddar.
Optional: sprinkle feta over the top in addition to the other cheese.

PROCEDURE:
-Poke holes in bottom of crusts and bake empty for 15 minutes.
-Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil, until translucent.
-Add the chopped veggies and sauté until barely tender.
-Divide the vegetables between the two pie crusts.
-Blend the mild, egg, and flour in a blender of food processor and pour over the veggies in the pies crusts.
-Sprinkle the cheeses over the top and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until the top is a little golden and the filling is set.

Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients:
2 Medium eggplants
¾ cups milk
2 cups fine bread crumbs
1 tsp basil
½ tsp each: oregano & thyme
1 jar Italian tomato sauce
1 lb grated mozzarella
½ cup parmesan

Procedure:
-Pre-heat oven to 375 and lightly oil a baking tray and a 9×13 pan.
-Cut eggplant into ½ inch rings.
-Dip rings in milk, the in bread crumbs until coated, then place in the baking dish and pan in a single layer. Bake until tender, about 20 minutes
-Remove eggplant from the 9×13 pan and spread a little tomato sauce on the bottom.
-Add a layer of eggplant slices, sauce, then mozzarella cheese and repeat the layering until you run out of ingredients. Make sure to have enough cheese to top it all off.
-Sprinkle top with parmesan and bake uncovered for about 40 minutes or until it is heated through and bubbly around the edges.
-Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

Butternut Squash Gratin

 

Ingredients:
2 leeks, chopped
3-5 TBS olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 butternut squash
1/4 lb Gruyere cheese, grated

Procedure:
1. Prepare squash by cutting in half lengthwise, scooping out seeds, and cutting into thick half-circles. Heat some of the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the squash in batches until brown on both sides.
2. Sauté the leeks, garlic, and herbs until leeks are soft. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce over the bottom of a pyrex baking dish, then a layer of squash, then a dusting of the grated Gruyere. Repeat these layers until all the squash is used.
4. Bake at 350 until the sauce bubble up through the squash and the cheese on top is browned.