Side Dishes
Recipes from our Wednesday mailings. Click on a recipe to see it.
Quick and easy recipes are indicated by hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)

Arroz a la Mexicana (Mexican Rice) heart1.gif (331 bytes) hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Arroz Brasileiro (Brazilian rice with tomatoes and onions)
Artichoke Bottoms Tahitian
Bonnie's Taters       
Braised Celery Hearts
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Braised Peas with Prosciutto heart1.gif (331 bytes) hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Cauliflower Fritters
Cucumbers with Orange Sauce
Five Bean Salad
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French Country Style Potatoes
Harvard Beets
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Linda's Corn on the Cob
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Marinated Green Beans heart1.gif (331 bytes) hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Mexican Vegetable Stew
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Mushroom Risotto
Mustard Cauliflower and Broccoli
Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)
Noodles with Peanut Sauce
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Oven Fried Potatoes with Parmesan
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Oven Roasted Vegetables hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Potato and Bean Salad heart1.gif (331 bytes) hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Potato, Onion and Tomato Gratin heart1.gif (331 bytes) hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Quick Squash and Tomato Sauté
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Red Cabbage with Apples heart1.gif (331 bytes) hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Rice Pilaf with Glazed Tomatoes
Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Spinach with Lemon Confit and Olives heart1.gif (331 bytes)
Spinach with Parmesan and Pine Nuts heart1.gif (331 bytes) hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Squash Casserole
Sweet and Sour Cabbage heart1.gif (331 bytes)
Three Pepper Salad heart1.gif (331 bytes) hourglass1.gif (309 bytes)
Tomates a la Provencale (Baked tomatoes with bread crumbs and garlic)
Zucchini Stuffed with Parsnip Puree
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French Country Style Potatoes

3 lbs. (1 1/2 kg) red potatoes
1 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup milk, half and half, or heavy cream
3 cloves garlic minced
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbs butter or margarine, melted
4 cups mushroom sliced
2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped

Scrub potatoes. Do not peel. Cut into 1/4 -inch (1/2 cm) slices (you will need about 6 cups). Do not rinse sliced potatoes (starch will help thicken mixture).
In a 3-quart (3 l) saucepan, place potatoes, water and bouillon granules. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until partially cooked, stirring occasionally.
Add half-and-half, garlic, salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching. Remove from heat.
In an baking dish, spread 1 tablespoon of the butter or margarine. Layer in order, half of the mushrooms, half of the potatoes with half of the sauce and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. Repeat. Top with remaining mushrooms, then with sauce. Sprinkle with parsley. Cover with foil.
Bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 20 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Serves 6 - 8.
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Quick Squash and Tomato Sauté

2 fresh zucchini (courgettes, Italian marrow)   
2 fresh yellow crook neck squash
20 (more or less) cherry tomatoes, stems removed
1 Tbs. Roasted garlic olive oil*
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Clean and slice the zucchini and squash into 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thick "coins". Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes in very hot oil, stirring or tossing frequently. Add the tomatoes and continue to sauté until the tomatoes are warm. Do not overcook. Season to taste. Serves 4.

*Recipe available in the Pantry

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Zucchini Stuffed with Parsnip Puree

4 medium sized zucchini (courgettes, Italian marrow)
4 medium sized parsnips (1 lb., 450g)
2 Tbs. butter (optional)
Fresh nutmeg

Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard, making "boats" out of the zucchini halves. Steam for 5 minutes, or blanche in boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes and drain thoroughly.
Peel the parsnips and cut into 1 in. (2 cm) lengths. Steam until tender, about 10 minutes. (Note: parsnips have a tendency to become watery when boiled. If you decide to boil instead of steam them, make sure they are well drained and dried.) Mash the parsnips, or pass through a food mill, adding the optional butter and a grating of fresh nutmeg.
Spoon the parsnip puree (or pipe using a piping bag) into the zucchini boats, mounding it on top. Warm in a moderate oven (350F, 180C) for 5 to 10 minutes, or simply heat in a microwave. Serves 4.

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Oven Fried Potatoes with Parmesan

4 baking potatoes
2-3 Tbs. olive oil*, melted butter or margarine
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Scrub and cut potatoes into thick (1/2 in, 1.25 cm) slices. Place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, butter or margarine. Toss potato slices to cover entirely with the fat. Place in 350F (180C) oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Turn potato slices over, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown on top. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

*Try our Roasted Garlic Olive Oil. The recipe is in the Pantry.

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Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)

2 eggs
4 Tbs peanut (or other mild flavored) oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
4 oz (100 g) pork, chicken or beef, diced fine
4 cups cold cooked rice
1Tbs Hoisin sauce*
4 oz (100 g) cooked small shrimp, shelled
8 oz (225 g) peas, defrosted if frozen
2 scallions, chopped in 1/2 in. (1 cm) pieces
1/2 Tbs chili sauce (optional)

Beat the eggs and heat half the oil in an omelet pan. Pour the eggs in and allow to set into a pancake-type omelet. Turn out, slice into 1 in. (2.5 cm) ribbons and set aside.
In the same pan, put the rest of the oil and fry the onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the meat and cook for 3 minutes, then add the rice and stir till well heated. Season with the Hoisin sauce, and the shrimp, scallions and peas with the chili sauce , if used, and allow to heat through. Serve decorated with strips of omelet. Serves 4.

*Available in most good supermarkets and in Asian groceries and specialty shops.
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Braised Celery Hearts

1 head of celery
1 cup chicken broth

Remove the outer stalks of celery until only the smaller, paler inner "heart" remains. Save the outer stalks for another use. Trim the bottom off the heart, leaving enough to hold it together. Leave the leaves intact. Cut in half lengthwise, and place in a saucepan with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook covered for about 30 minutes
or until tender. Serves 2.
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Sweet and Sour Cabbage

A 2 to 2-1/2 (1 kg) red cabbage, quartered, cored,
and cut into 1/8 in (5 mm) shreds
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp salt
1 Tbs lard, bacon fat or butter
2 medium sized baking apples, peeled, cored
and cut into 1/8 in (5 mm) wedges
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 whole onion, peeled and pierced with 2 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
5 cups boiling water
3 Tbs dry red wine
3 Tbs red currant jelly (optional)

In a large mixing bowl combine the cabbage, vinegar, salt and sugar, tossing to mix well. In a heavy 4 to 5 quart (4 to 5 liter) casserole melt the lard or bacon fat over moderate heat. Add the apples and chopped onions and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until the apples are lightly browned. Add the cabbage, the whole onion with the cloves, the bay leaf, and the boiling water. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, and reduce the heat to its lowest possible point. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Check occasionally to make sure the cabbage is moist, adding a few tablespoons of water if necessary. When the cabbage is done there should be almost no liquid left in the casserole. Before serving remove the onion and bay leaf, and stir in the wine and currant jelly. Serves 4 to 6.
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Mexican Vegetable Stew

2 onions, peeled and sliced
1 sweet red pepper, cut into strips
1 sweet green pepper, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1+1/2 cups beef or chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
2 small red potatoes, diced
1 small sweet potato, diced
2 cups fresh green beans, sliced into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces
1 zucchini (courgettes), sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 ears corn cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces, or 1 cup corn kernels
2 Tbs lime juice
1/2 cup cilantro or flat leaf parsley

Combine the onion, red and green peppers, garlic and broth and bring to a boil in a large pot. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the spices, red potatoes and sweet potato, cover and simmer 10 minutes more, adding more broth or water if needed. Add the green beans, cook 5 minutes more. Add the zucchini, yellow squash, black beans, corn and lime juice. Reduce the heat and simmer 5 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender. Garnish with cilantro or parsley. Serves 10 to 12 as a side dish, 4 to 6 as an entree.
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Arroz Brasileiro (Brazilian rice with tomatoes and onions)        

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 cups raw long grain rice
3 cups boiling chicken stock
3 cups boiling water
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, or 2/3 cup drained, chopped canned tomatoes
1 tsp salt

In a large saucepan heat the oil over moderate heat and cook the onions for about five minutes, until transparent but not brown. Add the rice and stir for two to three minutes to coat the rice in oil. Add the remaining ingredients and return to the boil, stirring once or twice. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover the pan, and simmer for 20 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Serves 8 to 10.
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Linda's Corn on the Cob

8 ears of fresh corn, husked and cleaned
1 cup fat-free Italian salad dressing
1 Tbs chili powder

Prepare the corn on the cob according to your favorite method. I like to boil it for about 3 to 5 minutes, but it may also be steamed or cooked in the microwave. In a small saucepan over moderate combine the salad dressing and chili powder, stirring to combine. Heat until warm, not hot. Pour over the corn and serve immediately. Serves 4.
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Braised Peas with Prosciutto

4 Tbs butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups fresh peas, or frozen peas, thawed.
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 oz. (50 g) Prosciutto, cut into 1-by-1/4 in. (2.5 x .5 cm) strips (about 1/4 cup)
Freshly ground black pepper

Melt 2 Tbs of the butter in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat and cook the chopped onions for 7 or 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft but not brown. Add the peas and chicken stock and cook 15 to 20 minutes, covered.* When the peas are tender, add the Prosciutto and cook uncovered for 2 minutes, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 4.

* If using thawed frozen peas, cook uncovered over high heat for 5 minutes.
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Spinach with Parmesan and Pine Nuts

1 Tbs olive oil
2 lbs. (1 kg) washed and trimmed spinach leaves
2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs pine nuts (pignoli)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, and add the spinach gradually, turning and stirring until all the leaves are just wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the remaining ingredients, tossing to mix well. Serves 4 to 6.
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Squash Casserole

2 lb (1 kg) yellow squash
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp sugar
7 Tbs butter or margarine
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 to 1-1/2 cups grated New York Cheddar, sharp
1 cup sour cream (I use low-fat)
1/3 cup Romano cheese, grated
1/4 cup Dry white wine (or substitute apple juice)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 cup dry bread crumbs (I use Italian bread crumbs)

Cut squash in 1/4 in (1 cm) slices. Bring 2 cups water to a boil; add squash, salt and sugar. Cover and cook 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Melt 4 Tbs of the butter in a small skillet. Add onion and cook until transparent. Set aside. When squash is done, drain, pressing to force out excess liquid. Stir onion and butter into the squash. One at a time, add the Cheddar, sour cream, Romano, white wine and salt and pepper to taste, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Pour squash mixture into a large casserole or individual ramekins. In skillet sauté bread crumbs in the remaining butter until well mixed. Top casserole with the bread crumbs and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serves 6.
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Cauliflower Fritters

1 Small Cauliflower
1/2 Cup Matzo Meal (or Flour*)
2 Beaten Eggs
Any other favorite spices

Boil cauliflower till soft. Drain and mash. Mix together mashed cauliflower, matzo meal (or flour*), eggs and spices well. Heat some oil in a frying pan. Drop by tablespoons into the frying pan. Cook on both sides until nicely browned. Remove from pan, drain on paper towels. Serves 4 to 6.

* Not kosher
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Rice Pilaf with Glazed Tomatoes

2 cups raw rice
4 cups chicken broth or water
1/2 lb (225 g) cherry tomatoes, washed and stems removed
1/4 lb (100 g) plus 1 Tbs butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar

Butter a baking dish with 1 Tbs butter and put the tomatoes in it. Melt the remaining butter and pour it over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the sugar and bake in a 350F (180C) oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, bring the broth or water to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and stir. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes or until the rice is done. Do not stir or even open the pot during these 15 minutes. Pack rice into a ring mold and turn out of the mold onto a platter. Fill the center with the baked tomatoes and pour the sauce from the tomatoes over the rice. Serves 4 to 6.
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Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil

1/3 cup olive oil (extra virgin preferred)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
12 oz (300 g) spaghetti
2 Tbs finely chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. While spaghetti is cooking heat the oil in a pot large enough to hold the spaghetti when it is cooked. Add the garlic and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the garlic is golden (do not brown). Add the cooked, drained spaghetti to the oil and garlic. Add the salt, pepper, and parsley and toss to thoroughly coat the spaghetti. Serves 4.
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Mushroom Risotto

1 ounce (30 g) dried wild mushrooms, or 8 oz. (250 g) fresh mushrooms (any variety or mixture of varieties)
2 cups chicken stock (4 cups if using fresh mushrooms)
2 Tbs finely chopped shallots or onion
4 Tbs butter
3 Tbs olive oil
2 cups raw Italian Arborio rice*
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

If using dried mushrooms (recommended) soak in 2 cups warm water for at least 30 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft. Remove from the water and chop coarsely. Strain the water through a paper towel and combine it with the 2 cups of chicken stock in a saucepan. Bring this mixture to a simmer over medium heat. If using fresh mushrooms, chop coarsely and set aside, and bring 4 cups of chicken stock to a simmer.

In a heavy 2 qt. (2 L) pot over medium heat saute the shallots in 2 tablespoons of butter and 3 tablespoons olive oil until translucent but not brown. Add the rice, stir to thoroughly coat with the oil and butter, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine or 1/2 cup of the simmering stock, stirring frequently. When the liquid is almost completely absorbed add another 1/2 cup stock, and repeat this process for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the mushrooms and continue adding stock as it becomes absorbed for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the rice is done. You may have some stock left over; do not feel compelled to use it all, as this will make the risotto too runny. Test the rice for doneness by tasting it; it should be "al dente" (soft but still firm to the tooth) and the risotto should be creamy at this stage. When the rice is cooked remove the pot from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Serves 4 to 6.

*Arborio rice really is the secret to this dish, and is available in finer supermarkets and specialty shops. Long-grained rice may be used, but the results will be inferior.
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Artichoke Bottoms Tahitian

4 to 6 artichoke bottoms (canned or cooked fresh)
1 package frozen (or 2 cups fresh) French cut green beans
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 cup diced fresh tomato
1/2 tsp curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Saute the onion in the oil over moderate heat until translucent. Add the tomato, green beans, curry powder, salt, pepper, and chicken broth. Simmer until beans are tender. Meanwhile heat artichoke bottoms in microwave or in broth on stove top. Fill the artichoke bottoms with the bean mixture and sprinkle almonds on top. Serves 4 to 6.
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Noodles with Peanut Sauce

For the sauce:
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup low-fat chicken stock
Juice of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 dash Tabasco (or your favorite hot sauce, to taste)
1/8 tsp sesame oil

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until thoroughly mixed.

For the noodles:
1 lb (450 g) Chinese noodles, or Angel hair pasta, or egg noodles
(just about any noodle or pasta will do)
1/4 cup green onions (scallions) green and white parts, finely sliced

Optional ingredients (use any, all, or none of the following):
12 medium sized shrimp, cooked and cut in small pieces
1 to 2 chicken breast halves, cooked and sliced
6 chicken livers, cooked and roughly chopped
1 cup cooked pork, thinly sliced
2 cups bean sprouts
1/4 cup celery, finely sliced
1/2 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 cup sliced snow peas

Cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain, combine with sauce and any optional ingredients, and toss in a large saute pan over medium heat until well mixed and heated through. Sprinkle sliced green onions over all just prior to or after serving. Serves 4 to 8 (depending on the number of optional ingredients used).
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Arroz a la Mexicana (Mexican Rice)

2 cups rice
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 cups chicken or beef stock, or canned broth
1+1/2 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, or 1+1/2 cups canned tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup frozen or fresh green peas, cooked
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional garnishes chile pepper "flowers" (fresh, hot chile peppers, sliced from the tip to the stem into 4 or 5 sections and immersed in cold water until they curl back to form "flowers"), fresh coriander or parsley sprigs, 1 large avocado, peeled and sliced.

Puree the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and 1/2 cup of the stock in an electric blender or food processor. Heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the rice until it turns golden. Add the tomato puree, remaining stock, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cover until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed (about 15 minutes). Mix in the peas and continue cooking until all the liquid has been absorbed. Garnish with the optional garnishes. Serves 6.

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Tomates a la Provencale (Baked tomatoes with bread crumbs and garlic)

6 ripe tomatoes
3 to 4 slices slightly stale white bread (to make about 1 cup of bread crumbs)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbs finely chopped fresh basil, or 2 tsp dried basil
A pinch of fresh or dried thyme
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup olive oil

Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon or your finger. Sprinkle the insides of the tomatoes with a little salt and place them upside down on paper towels to drain for 10 to 15 minutes. Process the slices of bread in a food processor or blender until they are coarse in texture. Do not over process them. In a mixing bowl combine 1 cup of the bread crumbs, the parsley, basil, thyme, garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Fill each tomato half with about 2 tablespoons of the mixture, mounding it a little in the center. Place the tomatoes on a greased baking sheet and bake at 375F (190C) for 20 minutes. Serve them hot, or chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and serve cold. Serves 6.

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This recipe comes from Moyna Singh in India. She says "this is a favourite with friends both Indian and assorted foreigners, since it could be served with any cuisine really. I often serve it with Western food (minus the green chillies) with mild dishes such as quiche or roast gammon [ham]. I hope you like it!". I tried it, and I did.

Mustard Cauliflower and Broccoli

1 lb (500 g) broccoli, broken into smaller flowers
1 lb (500 g) cauliflower, broken into smaller flowers
4 to 6 Tbs (60 to 90 ml) mustard seeds (black* and yellow mixed preferably since the black lends an interesting mottled appearance)
2 tsp (10 ml) water
Green chillies, chopped, to taste
Pinch of turmeric (optional)
8 Tbs (120 ml) mustard oil* or vegetable oil
Salt to taste
Fresh cilantro (coriander) or parsley

* Available in Indian and Oriental specialty shops.

Grind the mustard seed, salt, chillies, turmeric, and water to a paste. Let this stand for at least one hour exposed to air (the oxidation helps prevent the mustard seed from becoming bitter). Saute the broccoli and cauliflower in the oil (mustard oil really does improve the flavor) over high heat until slightly crisp and brown around the edges. Add the mustard mixture and toss. Reduce the heat and cook covered until all the liquid is absorbed; about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with sprigs of fresh cilantro (Indian version) or parsley (Western version). Serves 6 to 8.

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Potato and Bean Salad

2 lbs (900 g) red potatoes
10 oz (280 g) package of frozen baby lima beans, cooked and drained
16 oz (450 g)  can of pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup (250 ml) plain fat-free yogurt
4 Tbs (60 ml) red or white wine vinegar
1 Tbs (15 ml) Dijon style mustard
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped fresh dill leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut the potatoes into chunks and boil until tender but firm. Drain and allow to cool. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss gently to coat the potatoes. Chill for at least one hour, or serve at room temperature. Serves 6 to 8.

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Potato, Onion and Tomato Gratin

1 tsp (5 ml) olive oil
1 lb (450 g) potatoes, peeled if desired, and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) dried thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Grating of fresh nutmeg
1/2 lb (225 g) fresh ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (125 ml) dry white wine, or chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup (125 ml) goat cheese, crumbled, or cheese of your choice
1 Tbs (15 ml) grated Parmesan cheese

Coat a 10 inch (25 cm) gratin or baking dish with the olive oil. Layer half the potatoes in the dish, followed by half the onions. Season with the thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, then cover with half the tomatoes. Repeat. Add the wine or stock to the dish, and sprinkle the top with the goat cheese and Parmesan. Bake uncovered at 400F (200C) for about 45 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and all of the liquid is absorbed. Serves 4.

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Harvard Beets

2 lbs (900 g) medium-sized beets, tops removed
1/3 cup (160 ml) sugar
2 Tbs (30 ml) cornstarch (cornflour)
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1/4 tsp (1 ml) freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (250 ml) cider vinegar
1/4 cup (60 ml) orange juice

Boil the beets in lightly salted water for 40 to 45 minutes, until tender. Drain and allow to cool. Peel and trim the ends, then cut into thin slices. In a saucepan mix the remaining ingredients and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and becomes clear, about 5 minutes. Add the beets to the pan and turn gently in the sauce to coat them. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 5 to 10 minutes, until the beets are heated through. Serves 6 to 8.

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Red Cabbage with Apples

A 2 lb (1 kg) red cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups or 1 liter)
2 apples, peeled and grated
1 cup (250 ml) finely chopped onion
1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup (60 ml) red wine vinegar
2 Tbs (30 ml) lemon juice
1 Tbs (15 ml) olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss lightly but thoroughly. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

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Three Pepper Salad

1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 small red onion, cut into thin slices
1/4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley leaves (whole)
1 tsp (5 ml) sesame seed oil
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Remove the tops and bottoms of the peppers, and remove and discard the seeds. Slice the peppers into matchstick sized pieces (julienne) and combine with the remaining ingredients in a bowl. Toss to combine and refrigerate for at least an hour. Keeps up to 2 days, covered and refrigerated. Serves 4 to 6.

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Bonnie's Taters

4 medium-sized potatoes, unpeeled, cut into quarters
2 green onions (scallions) sliced very thin, including the green tops
1 cup (250 ml) sour cream
3 Tbs (45 ml) butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 Slices bacon, cooked until crisp, then crumbled
1/4 cup (60 ml) grated cheese (Swiss or cheddar are good. Almost any cheese will do.)

Boil the potatoes in enough water to cover until they are done. Drain and mash with the sour cream, butter, salt and pepper. Mix in green onion and bacon. Place in a greased oven-proof dish, top with the grated cheese, and bake at 350F (180C) for 30 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

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Five Bean Salad

1 cup (250 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup (80 ml) balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 Tbs (15 ml) Dijon-style mustard
2 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 can (approx. 16 oz, 450 g) garbanzos (chick peas, ceci)
1 can (approx. 16 oz, 450 g) red kidney beans
1 can (approx. 16 oz, 450 g) black beans
1 can (approx. 16 oz, 450 g) green string beans
1 can (approx. 16 oz, 450 g) yellow wax beans
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1/2 cup (125 ml) fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

Combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor and process at high speed until emulsified. In a large colander drain and rinse the canned beans. Combine with the dressing and the onion and parsley in a large bowl, tossing to mix ingredients thoroughly. Chill for at least 2 hours. Serves 8 to 12.

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Cucumbers with Orange Sauce

3 medium sized firm cucumbers
1/2 cup (125 ml) orange juice
1 Tbs (15 ml) grated orange zest
1 tsp (5 ml) cornstarch (cornflour)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Peel the cucumbers and slice them in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a small spoon, and slice the cucumbers into 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces. Put in a pot with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until tender but firm. Meanwhile, mix the cornstarch with 2 or 3 tablespoons of the orange juice, and put this mixture along with the rest of the orange juice and the orange zest in a saucepan large enough to hold the cooked cucumbers. Heat over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and becomes translucent. Season with the salt and pepper (hint this sauce can take quite a bit of pepper and is better if it is slightly spicy). Drain the cucumbers and add them to the sauce, tossing to coat the cucumbers thoroughly. Serves 4 to 6.

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Spinach with Lemon Confit and Olives

1 Tbs (15 ml) olive oil
2 lbs (900 g) fresh spinach leaves, washed and trimmed
1/2 recipe lemon confit (recipe is in the Pantry), cut into 1/4 in (5 mm) wedges
12 Greek-style or other oil-cured black olives, halved and pitted
Grating of fresh nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large skillet heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the spinach, stirring and turning it over until it wilts, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the olives and the lemon confit and season with the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Serves 6 to 8.

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6 medium-sized boiling potatoes (about 2 lbs, 900 g) peeled and quartered
4 cups finely shredded cabbage (about 1 lb, 450 g)
4 Tbs (60 ml) butter or margarine
1 cup (250 ml) milk
6 medium-sized scallions, including 2 inches (5 cm) of the green tops, cut into thin slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 to 2 Tbs (15 to 30 ml) finely chopped fresh parsley

Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until tender but not falling apart. Drain and return them to the pan, set over the lowest heat possible, shaking occasionally until they are dry and mealy. Meanwhile, in a separate pot, boil the cabbage in lightly salted water for 10 minutes and then drain thoroughly. Melt 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the butter in a heavy 8 to 10 inch (20 to 25 cm) skillet over moderate heat, and add the cabbage, cooking for a minute or two. Cover the skillet and set aside. Mash the potatoes with a fork, potato ricer, or electric mixer. Beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) butter, and 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the milk. Add as much of the remaining milk as required to make a smooth puree that is thick enough to hold its shape. Stir in the cooked cabbage and the scallions and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with the chopped parsley on top. Serves 4 to 6.

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Oven Roasted Vegetables

Fresh, good quality root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, turnips, rutabagas (Swedes), beets, parsnips, sweet potatoes, and fennel
Several whole cloves of garlic
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Sprigs of fresh rosemary and/or thyme (or herb of your choice)

I prefer to leave the peel on the potatoes and carrots, but you may peel them if you prefer. Peel the turnips, rutabagas, beets, parsnips, and sweet potatoes. The garlic cloves may be peeled or unpeeled. Cut the vegetables into large pieces of approximately the same size, so that they will all cook at the same rate. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet or in a baking pan and drizzle them with the olive oil and sprinkle with liberal amounts of salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables to coat them on all sides. If you use beets, place them in a separate container so as not to color the rest of the vegetables. Add the sprigs of fresh herbs and bake in a 350F (180C) oven for 45 minutes to an hour, turning the vegetables occasionally, until they are fork-tender and lightly browned.

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Marinated Green Beans

3/4 pound (400 g) fresh green beans
1/4 cup (60 ml) Bermuda onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp (4 ml) salt
2 Tbs (30 ml) olive oil
3 Tbs (45 ml) lemon juice

Snap beans and break into 2 inch (5 cm) pieces, or leave whole if very small. Fill a medium sized pot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add green beans and cook for about 3 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Drain. Mix still warm beans with onion, garlic, salt and olive oil. Leave mixture at room temperature for an hour, in order to let flavors mingle. Immediately before serving, add lemon juice (otherwise the beans turn yellow). Best served the same day. Serves 4.

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