Roasted Green Beans with Shallots

17 11 2010

Roasting green beans with shallots is a fresh alternative to heavy soup-based casseroles.

American Thanksgiving is next week and a favourite at many tables is Green Bean Casserole.  Made with canned soup and topped with fried onions, unfortunately it’s loaded with calories and sodium.  Lighten up with a delicious dish of roasted green beans and shallots, finished with sea salt and a squeeze of lemon.  These beans are also vegan-friendly and gluten-free so everyone at the table can enjoy a taste. Even if you’re not celebrating Thanksgiving, they make an excellent side dish for roast beef and chicken.

Strictly speaking, green beans are at their peak in the summer, however, they are greenhouse-grown and readily available throughout the year at most grocery stores. Do not use frozen beans as they have a different texture.  Tip: When slicing the shallots, be sure the rings are quite thick (about 1/4″) or they will burn before the beans are done.

Roasted Green Beans with Shallots

Makes about 4 side dish servings – can easily be doubled

  • 12 oz. (340 g) fresh green beans, ends trimmed – equals about 3 cups of beans
  • 2 small shallots, cut into rings about ¼” thick
  • 4 teaspoons neutral oil, such as canola or safflower
  • Parchment paper to line baking sheet or pan
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • Sea salt, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the baking rack in the middle position in the oven.
  2. In a large bowl, toss green beans with shallots and oil until they are lightly coated. Cut a piece of parchment paper to the same size as the bottom of a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Line the sheet and pour the bean/shallot mixture onto it, making sure they’re in a single layer.
  3. Roast the beans for 10 minutes. Check on them at this point – if the shallots and beans are becoming very brown, remove them from the oven. Otherwise, roast for another 5 minutes until the beans are beginning to char around the edges.
  4. To serve, season with sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Copyright Trish Coleman. Please contact the author to obtain permission for republication.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

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Hearty Stracciatella-Style Soup

15 11 2010

This Stracciatella-style soup is heartier than the traditional version with the addition of chicken, winter vegetables and rice.

It’s no secret that I love to make soups.  I have featured a number of soup recipes, from a quick and simple Peppery Leek and Potato to a more complex Corn Chowder with Bell Peppers.  They’re the perfect antidote to cool, rainy days and nothing is more welcoming than walking into a home with an aromatic soup simmering on the stove.

Stracciatella is a simple Italian egg-drop soup (ie. a beaten egg is dropped into the broth as it cooks).  This recipe is a heartier version, designed to be a meal on its own.  It features seasonal vegetables, chicken and a bit of rice.  No, it’s not traditional (hence the title ‘Stracciatella-Style’) but it is delicious. For a more authentic version, check out Mario Batali’s recipe: Roman-Style Egg-Drop Soup: La Stracciatella.

A note about spinach: You can always use fresh spinach but to be honest, I find frozen spinach easier to work with if I’m using larger amounts in cooked dishes. Frozen chopped spinach should be easy to find in the frozen vegetable section of any supermarket.

Hearty Stracciatella-Style Soup

Makes about 7-1/2 to 8 cups

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large (about 8 to 10 oz. / 225 to 280 grams each) bone-in chicken breasts with skin on
  • 1 cup thinly sliced leeks (white and light green parts only), equals about 1 large leek
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped Italian (flat leaf) parsley, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 cup (packed) thawed frozen chopped spinach or cooked fresh spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6-1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup raw long grain rice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (packed) grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Sprinkle chicken breasts with a pinch of salt and ground pepper.  In a large soup pot or enameled cast iron pot, heat the olive oil on medium-high.
  2. Add the chicken, skin side down, and sauté until browned, about five minutes. Turn the chicken over and brown the other side, about another three minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside on a plate. Do not drain the oil from the pot.
  3. Add the chopped leeks, parsley, thawed spinach and nutmeg.  Stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium and cook until the leeks begin to soften, about three minutes.
  4. Pour in 6 cups of the chicken stock (reserve the last 1/4 cup for the eggs) and add the rice.  Return the chicken to the pot.  Cover and let the soup simmer gently (not a hard boil) for 25 minutes.
  5. While the soup is simmering, beat two eggs with the remaining 1/4 cup of chicken stock and 1/4 cup of parmesan until smooth. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  6. After 25 minutes, remove the chicken breasts from the soup.  Remove the skin and discard.  Using two forks, pull the meat off the bone.  Discard the bones and chop the chicken meat into bite sized pieces.  Return the chopped chicken to the soup.
  7. Pour the beaten egg mixture into the soup, whisking vigorously.  Turn the heat to medium-high and simmer, whisking occasionally for five minutes.  Don’t be alarmed if the soup begins to look curdled – that’s how it’s supposed to look as the eggs cook.
  8. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish each serving with grated parmesan and chopped Italian parsley.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

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Mussels with Leek-Cream Sauce

11 11 2010

Mussels make an easy, versatile and inexpensive meal.

A feast of mussels is one of the cheapest and easiest meals you can make.  For less than $10 and 15 minutes of your time, you can have a big pile of tasty mussels to share.  Serve with fresh bread or toast to mop up the delicious sauce.

Preparing Mussels for Cooking

Many of the mussels found in Canada and the U.S. come from Prince Edward Island. They should be easy to find at fish markets and the fish department of most grocery stores. They’re very easy to cook, however, there are a few guidelines to follow for safe handling:

  • Discard any mussels with cracked or broken shells.
  • Rinse the mussles in cold water and pluck off any ‘beards’ that are present on the shell. The ‘beard’ is a moss-like growth that keeps the mussel attached when it is growing in the water. Soak the mussels for about 15 minutes in a large bowl of cold water to ensure they are clean and free of grit.
  • Make sure all mussel shells are tightly closed before cooking. If a shell is slightly open, give it a light tap on a hard surface – if it doesn’t close up, the mussel may be dead and it should be discarded.
  • Mussels need to steam for about 10 minutes to fully cook and their shells will open once they’re done. Inspect cooked mussels before serving and throw away any that do not open. Do not force closed shells open – this is an indication that the mussel is dead and may cause illness if consumed.

Mussels in a Leek Cream Sauce

Makes about 50 mussels

This recipe should make plenty for two to four people (depending on whether it’s a starter or main).  You can easily double or triple the recipe if you have a big enough pot.

  • 2 lbs. (907 g) mussels, cleaned and inspected (see instructions above)
  • 4 medium or 3 large leeks, white and light green parts only
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or safflower
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1-1/2 teaspoons dried
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chopped thyme or parsley to garnish – optional
  1. Trim the leeks of any roots and tough green tops. Slice them lengthwise down the middle and run under cold water to ensure any sand is rinsed from their layers. Pat the leeks dry and cut into thin ‘rings’, about ¼” thick.
  2. In a large stockpot with a lid, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the chopped leeks and let cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and let cook for another minute, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour in the wine and stir the tomato paste into the mixture until thoroughly combined. Dump in the cleaned mussels.
  4. Put the lid on the pot and let the mussels steam for 10 minutes. Check on them after 10 minutes and if a lot of the shells are still closed, let them steam for another 2 minutes.
  5. Remove pot lid and stir in the cream. Discard any shells that haven’t opened. Season with salt and pepper and pour the mussels and sauce into a large bowl. Garnish with chopped parsley or thyme if desired.
  6. Serve the mussels with fresh toast or bread to mop up the sauce or with homemade frites, if you’re feeling ambitious.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

This article first appeared on Suite 101.com.





Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Wrapped with Prosciutto

10 11 2010

Slices of stuffed pork tenderloin, served with risotto and garnished with fresh sage

Pork pairs very well with hearty herbs such as sage and thyme, making it the perfect choice for autumn dinners. Unfortunately, pork tenderloin is very lean and can tend to be dry if overcooked.  Stuffing it with a flavourful filling and wrapping it in thin slices of prosciutto will help keep it moist and delicious.

Preparing a pork tenderloin for stuffing is very easy:

  • Lay the tenderloin on a piece of plastic wrap on the counter. Using a sharp knife, slice lengthwise down the middle of the tenderloin, cutting about ¾ of the way through the meat (do not slice it entirely in half).
  • Open the slit as though opening a book. Make another similar slit down the middle of the left side and repeat again on the right. There will be three cuts down the loin in total.
  • Spread open the loin and place a piece of plastic wrap on top. Using a heavy meat mallet, pound the tenderloin until it is of uniform thickness, about 3/4“ thick. The pork is now ready to be stuffed and rolled.

A Helpful Tip: To secure the stuffed and rolled pork loin, break off a couple of pieces of raw dry spaghetti. Use the spaghetti like toothpicks to hold the meat in place. Insert into the meat and snap off any extra length that is poking out. The spaghetti will cook along with the pork and no one will notice it. It’s much safer than leaving toothpicks in!

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin Wrapped with Prosciutto

Serves 4 to 6

Stuffing:

  • 1 Tablespoon neutral oil such as canola or safflower
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 3 slices white bread, crusts trimmed and cut into ½” cubes
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine (optional)
  • 5 swiss chard leaves, chopped (about 1 cup of chopped chard)
  • 1 slice prosciutto, cut into small dice
  • ¼ cup (packed) shredded mozzarella or smoked mozzarella

Pork:

  • 1 lb. (450 grams) whole pork tenderloin
  • 4 to 5 slices prosciutto, sliced paper-thin
  • 1 piece dry spaghetti
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 large pieces of plastic wrap
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. To make stuffing: In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add bread cubes and toast for 1 minute. Add herbs and cook for another minute.
  3. Pour in chicken stock and wine. Add swiss chard and cook until the chard goes limp, about 2 minutes. Stir mixture and continue to cook for a couple of minutes, until all liquid has been absorbed.
  4. Remove stuffing from the heat. Stir in diced prosciutto and mozzarella. Set mixture aside until ready to stuff the pork (stuffing can be made in advance and refrigerated up to 24 hours).
  5. To Prepare Pork: Slice open and pound out pork between sheets of plastic wrap as detailed above (‘Preparing a pork tenderloin for stuffing’).
  6. Lay the prepared pork flat and spoon the stuffing in a line down the middle. Roll up the tenderloin and secure with pieces of dry spaghetti (see ‘A Helpful Tip’, above) or toothpicks.
  7. Wrap the entire tenderloin with prosciutto slices. Pour 1-1/2 Tablespoons oil on the bottom of a baking sheet and place the tenderloin on the sheet.
  8. Roast pork for about 30 minutes or until the meat is just faintly pink when sliced into. Let cool slightly and slice. Serve with roast potatoes, rice or risotto. Garnish each serving with a sprig of fresh sage.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

This article first appeared on Suite 101.com.





Stuffed Butternut Squash

2 11 2010

Butternut squash can be stuffed to make an elegant vegetarian dish

My brother-in-law Dan is a vegetarian so I’m always trying to come up with interesting dishes so he’ll have something special to enjoy at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I enjoy the challenge and it encourages those of us who eat meat to try some new dishes as well.  I made this butternut squash stuffed with wild rice and herbs last year and it was a hit.  It makes quite a bit so you should have plenty to serve as either a vegetarian main course or as a side dish.  It is delicious with pork, chicken or turkey. I can easily be adapted for vegans- just follow the substitutions at the end of the recipe.

Stuffed Butternut Squash

(VEGETARIAN)

Makes about 8 to 10 servings as a side dish or 4 to 6 servings as a main course

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 2 teaspoons neutral oil such as safflower

Stuffing:

  • ½ cup raw wild rice
  • ½ cup raw white rice
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ medium onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup red pepper, finely diced (about ½ a large pepper)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter OR margarine OR oil such as safflower or olive
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Using a large sharp knife, cut the butternut squash lengthwise down the middle and separate the two halves.
  3. Scoop out any seeds and discard. Rub each half of the squash with the oil (1 teaspoon per half). Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until tender. Check tenderness with a sharp knife – it should be soft enough to scoop out with ease.
  4. While the squash is roasting, prepare the stuffing ingredients. In a large saucepan, heat 2 cups vegetable stock until boiling. Add wild rice, cover tightly. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Add white rice to the pot and continue to cook the rice mixture for another 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and the stock has been absorbed.
  5. In a large bowl, add onion, red pepper, garlic, sage, rosemary and thyme. Once the rice mixture has cooked, add it as well.
  6. Remove baked squash from the oven and let cool slightly. Using a large spoon, carefully scoop the flesh out of the baked squash halves, making sure to leave about ¾” of a ‘wall’ intact so the shells will hold together. Add the scooped squash to the rice/stuffing bowl.
  7. Stir the cooked squash into the rice stuffing mixture until it is thoroughly combined. Add melted butter and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Scoop the stuffing mixture back into the squash halves. Top each half with parmesan cheese or bread crumbs (1/4 cup per half).
  9. Bake stuffed squash for 20 minutes or until the cheese is beginning to brown on top. Garnish with a sprig of sage if desired.

*Vegan Adaptation:

Substitute vegan-friendly margarine, olive oil or neutral oil (canola, safflower, etc) for the melted butter. Top with ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs that have been tossed with 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with fresh chopped herbs. Bake stuffed squash for 20 minutes or until crumbs begin to brown.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

This recipe first appeared on Suite 101.com.

Stuffed Butternut Squash, garnish with a sprig of fresh sage





Penne with Sausage and Fennel Seed

1 11 2010

Penne with sausage and fennel seed

I can’t believe it’s already November!  It seems like just yesterday I was excited about the first chives of spring peeking out of my herb pot.  Now most of the farmers’ markets are done for the year and there is the possibility of snow in many areas (in fact, it snowed in Eastern Canada yesterday!).  However, there is still a lot of seasonal cooking we can do and as we get cozy, our menus become more hearty and warming.

This easy pasta dish is rich and filling but you can use evaporated milk in place of cream to lighten the sauce a bit.  Lean sausages also work but make sure not to overcook them or they will become dry.  You can also use whole wheat penne instead of white if you’d prefer.  It’s perfect after a vigorous autumn hike or day of raking leaves.

Penne with Sausage and Fennel Seed

Makes 6 servings

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 5 mild or sweet Italian sausages
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • A 14 oz. (398 ml) can of tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup evaporated milk or cream
  • Pinch of sugar, to taste (optional – if tomatoes are very acidic)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 500 g (1 lb.) dried penne or rigatoni
  • Parmesan cheese, to garnish (optional)
  1. In a large deep skillet or enameled cast iron pot, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add onion and celery and sauté until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
  2. Slice the skins of the sausages lengthwise down the middle and remove the meat from their casings. Discard the casings. Add the sausage meat to the pot and use a spatula or spoon to break up the meat. Add garlic, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes.
  3. Cook sausage mixture on medium-high until just browned, about 7 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure it doesn’t burn.
  4. Add tomatoes and break up with a spoon. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until some of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in tomato paste until thoroughly combined.
  5. Add evaporated milk or cream and stir into sauce. Let sauce simmer for 5 more minutes. Season to taste with a pinch of sugar (optional – use if the tomatoes are very acidic), salt and pepper. Keep warm on low heat while the penne cooks.
  6. In a separate large pot with a lid, heat water to cook the penne. Bring to a boil and cook penne until al dente, according to package instructions, about 10 to 12 minutes.
  7. Drain penne and toss with sauce until thoroughly coated. Garnish with parmesan cheese if desired.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

This article first appeared on Suite 101.com.





Orecchiette with Rapini, Sausage and Crispy Garlic Crumbs

29 10 2010

Bunches of rapini (a.k.a. broccoli rabe)

A couple of years ago I discovered rapini for the first time.  Of course it’s not a new vegetable, but I had never tried it.  Rapini (a.k.a. broccoli rabe, raab, broccoletti di rape or Italian broccoli) is a green vegetable that’s at its peak in the autumn and winter. It has a bitter flavour and is often found in Italian and Asian dishes.

The bitterness in rapini can vary from one bunch to the next (I once bought some in the winter that was inedibly bitter) but for the most part the bitter flavour is mild. You can mellow any bitterness by blanching it: Bring a pot of water to a boil, cook the rapini for four minutes, drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water to halt the cooking.  Dry the stalks and use as desired.

Orecchiette with Rapini, Sausage and Crisp Garlic Crumbs

Makes about 6 servings

Note: Orecchiette are small ear-shaped pasta.  However, they can sometimes be difficult to find so you can easily substitute penne.

For garlic crumbs:

  • 2 cups fresh (not dry) breadcrumbs (made from approximately 5 slices of bread)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil

For meat sauce:

  • 4 sweet or mild Italian sausages, casings removed (see ‘Removing Sausage Casing‘ for tips)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 bunch (about 1 lb. / 450 grams) blanched rapini (see above for instructions), chopped into 2″ pieces
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 (500 g) package orecchiette or penne

To make garlic crumbs:

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add garlic and sauté on medium heat for about 20 seconds. Add breadcrumbs and stir until all crumbs are coated with oil.
  2. Sauté crumbs on medium heat, watching carefully, until they turn brown and crisp. Remove from pan and set aside. Crumbs can be made in advance and kept in a dry, covered container.

To make meat sauce:

  1. In a deep skillet, heat olive oil. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté on medium heat for about 25 seconds. Add sausage meat and break meat up with a spatula or spoon.
  2. Cook sausage meat until browned and cooked through. Add blanched rapini to the pan and sauté for about 2 minutes.
  3. While meat is browning, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 2 Tablespoons of the cooking water.
  4. Add drained pasta to the meat and rapini mixture and reserved pasta water. Stir together until all ingredients are evenly combined. Add garlic crumbs to pasta and toss to coat. Add a drizzle of olive oil if the pasta seems dry.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

This article first appeared on Suite 101.com.

Orecchiette with Rapini, Sausage and Crispy Garlic Crumbs





Farmers’ Market Report – October 21st, 2010

22 10 2010

Cortland apples and bosc pears from the farmer's market

As we near the end of October, many of the farmers’ markets in Ontario are beginning to wrap up for the year (there are a few that operate year round but the variety of local produce drops off considerably by November). I visited a small one this week and was pleasantly surprised to find there was still a lot available.  These were some of the highlights:

Corn

I was a bit taken aback to still see local corn at the market.  The husks looked sad and tired but the farmer ensured me that the corn was in fact sweet and tasty.  I was skeptical but at $4 for 7 cobs, I figured it was worth giving them a try.  I husked the corn and cut the kernels off the cob, sautéed them in butter and dressed them simply with some salt and pepper. Much to my surprise, it was delicious!  I expected it to be dry and tasteless but it was sweet and juicy (although the cobs were quite small).  It was almost certainly the last of the year and a sweet reminder of how much I will miss local corn over the next nine months or so.  However, canned and frozen corn are usually decent enough to tide me over.  Check out the Corn Archives for some tasty corn recipes.

Apples and Pears

 

A bosc pear

Apples and pears were abundant at this week’s market.  There were many different varieties available and the farmers were offering samples so it was a great way to make comparisons.  My favourite apples to eat out of hand are Cortlands – they are the perfect balance of sweet and tart. However, sometimes they can be a bit mealy and I prefer ones that are perfectly crisp and juicy. This week’s specimens were pretty good; I will eat a few and use the rest to bake with.  Perhaps a classic Apple Pie will be on the menu.  I also picked up some bosc pears after sampling various types including the always popular Bartletts.  Pears are delicious with nuts and my recipe for Pear and Pecan Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce is sure to be a hit at your next dinner party. An unusual pear cocktail is another fun way to incorporate pears into your menu.

Root Vegetables

Not surprisingly, there were a lot of root vegetables such as carrots, beets and potatoes available.  Because they can be harvested late in the season and store well, they are staples throughout the winter.  Why not make an interesting salad out of roasted beets or some carrot cupcakes with cream cheese frosting?

Pumpkins and Squash

 

Pumpkins are at their peak in October

October is peak pumpkin season and the sunny, dry weather this year has produced some nice specimens.  Large jack-o-lantern pumpkins aren’t very good for eating but they’re fun to carve and you can roast and eat the seeds.  Sugar (or pie) pumpkins can be turned into a delicious pumpkin treats such as pie, pumpkin french toast or pumpkin spice muffins.  My favourite winter squash are butternut squash – they can be used to make a variety of dishes such as soup, salads or gratins.

There are a few more weeks left for local produce so I’m looking forward to testing some new ideas I have using the best of the season.  Enjoy!

A black squirrel enjoys a snack in the park near my house





Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Brown Butter

21 10 2010

A butternut squash on the vine

Soups are one of my favourite things to make once the weather turns cool.  They are comforting and warming but best of all, easy to make (and most recipes are very forgiving).  They can also be made in advance which makes soups the perfect dish to serve as a starter at a dinner party or for a casual lunch.

Butternut squash is widely available at this time of year and it pairs beautifully with fresh sage.  A diced apple adds a touch of sweetness and brown butter is the perfect addition to drizzle over the finished soup.  Even though this soup seems hearty, it’s actually quite low in fat and can be easily adapted for vegetarians, making it a great choice for entertaining.

To learn more about making flavourful, lower-fat soups, check out this article I wrote for Suite 101.com: How to Make Flavourful Low Fat Soups.

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Brown Butter

(Can be adapted to be VEGETARIAN)

Tip: Use a very sharp knife to peel and cut up the squash – they can be quite hard.

Makes 7 to 8 cups of soup

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into cubes
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed and cut into 1″ cubes (about 3 cups of squash)
  • 6 cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken stock or vegetable stock (use vegetable stock if serving vegetarians)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Sage Brown Butter Garnish (see below)
  1. In a large pot, heat oil and add onion and garlic. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add herbs and cook for another 30 seconds.
  2. Add apple, butternut squash and stock. Cover and simmer on medium for 30 minutes.
  3. Let mixture cool and puree until smooth in a blender or with an immersion blender. Return to heat and simmer uncovered for another 15 minutes.
  4. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste and garnish each serving with sage butter.

Sage Brown Butter Garnish

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 medium sized fresh sage leaves

In a small saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and add sage leaves. Cook until leaves are crisp and butter is beginning to brown. Garnish each serving of soup with a crispy sage leaf and a few drops of brown butter.

 

Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Brown Butter

This article first appeared on Suite 101.com.





Celery Root Slaw

15 10 2010

 

Celery root (celeriac) is not the most attractive vegetable but it's delicious and versatile

 

Celery root (a.k.a. celeriac) is a root vegetable with a mild celery-like taste.  It is delicious both raw and cooked and it can be a nice alternative to potatoes in a puree or soup.  However, I particularly like celery root shredded and mixed with a lemony dressing, making a refreshing cold-weather slaw that is perfect with roast meats.

Celery root tends to be quite hard so peeling one requires a sharp knife.  To easily peel off the ugly outer skin, slice a sliver off the bottom so the root will stand upright on a cutting board.  Using a large, very sharp knife, carefully slice the skin off in a downward motion, working your way around the root (much like peeling a pineapple). Discard the skin. The root can be hand shredded on a box grater, however, I find it’s much easier to do so with a food processor grater attachment if you have one.

This salad makes a great side dish to roast chicken, braised short ribs or roast beef. Prepare the salad a few hours in advance so the flavours have time to come together and the celery root softens a little.

Celery Root Slaw

Makes about 4-1/2 cups of slaw

  • ½ large celery root or one small celery root, peeled (see note above for peeling guidelines) – will equal about 4-1/2 cups once shredded
  • ¾ cup Hellman’s or Best Foods style mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tablespoon flat leaf (Italian) parsley, finely chopped
  • Frisee or salad greens for serving (optional)
  1. Cut peeled celery root into 3” chunks. Using a food processor with a grater attachment or a box grater, grate celery root. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, celery salt, sugar, Dijon and garlic. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add mayonnaise mixture to grated celery root. Add chopped parsley and mix until completely mixed and celery root shreds are evenly coated.
  4. Serve on a bed of frisee or mixed greens, if desired.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

This article first appeared on Suite 101.com.

 

Celery root slaw makes a refreshing cold-weather salad