Archive for vegetables

A Salad that Everyone Likes!


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After the overindulgence of the Holiday Season, replete with roasts, gravies, mashed potatoes, not to mention sweets and booze,  I’ve been craving salad.  Although deep winter is not the best time for fresh, local produce, I’ve managed to find  a combo of  easy to source ingredients that provide a light, flavorful, fulfilling dish, and best of all, it’s a crowd pleaser.


I served this to my extended family as an accompaniment to a post-Christmas dinner in late December.  The crowd comprised kids ranging from age 10-17, most of whom are not generally known for vegetable consumption.  A vast majority went back for seconds on the salad, and in recent weeks, this has become a regular on my table.



Here’s what you need :

1 package of your favorite baby greens

1/4 of a red onion, chopped

a handful or 2 of grape tomatoes

a ripe avocado or 2, cut into bite sized chunks

1 or 2 limes

1/4-1/2 tsp salt (to taste)

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp garlic powder

2 tablespoons (or more) olive oil

Toss vegetables into salad bowl in the order listed and squeeze lime over, making sure to give a generous spritz to the avocado chunks.  (If the lime is not juicy, use a second).  Sprinkle salad with salt, pepper and garlic powder, then drizzle with oil.  Toss thoroughly and serve.

Soupe Parmentiere ala Bistrot La Minette

We are huge fans of the authentically French Bistrot La Minette and the cuisine of Chef Peter Woolsey.  We dined at the restaurant last week, and were impressed to receive, with the bill, a slip of paper containing  Chef Woolsey’s recipe for Soupe Parmentiere along with a gentle reminder to share with those in need.

This was a really adroit way of urging patrons to help others, particularly at this time of year.

Soupe Parmentiere is a traditional leek and potato soup, and may contain any number of winter root vegetables. It is named after French Army Pharmacist Antoine-Augustin Parmentiere, who was taken prisoner by the Prussians during the Seven Years’ War in the mid 1700s and offered nothing but potatoes to eat.  Although potatoes were considered nothing more than animal feed at the time, M. Parm decided that survival was preferable to starvation, so he developed a soup using the potatoes, and the rest, as they say, is history.  More on this interesting story here, thank you

Although we have the luxury of a wider variety of dishes available to us than the imprisoned M. Parmentiere did, we love potatoes, and this soup does them justice.   Here’s Chef Woolsey’s version:

Soupe Parmentiere

1/2 stick butter

2 large onions, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

6-8 medium leeks, sliced

5 turnips, peeled and roughly chopped

8-10 potatoes, peeled if desired and roughly diced

1 celery root, peeled and roughly chopped

5-6 medium parsnips, sliced

3 sprigs fresh thyme

6-8 cups vegetable stock

salt and pepper

1-2 cups light cream (optional)

1.  Melt butter in large soup pot and saute garlic and onions.  Do not brown.

2.  When onions are translucent add leeks and saute until softened.

3.  Add remaining vegetables and thyme, and cover with vegetable stock.

4.  Simmer until all vegetables are softened and cooked through, approx 45 minutes.

5.  Season with salt and pepper. Puree and add cream if desired.

Bon Appetit!

Thanksgiving Side Dish: Jack McDavid’s Butternut Squash Stuffed with Brussels Sprouts

Looking for an interesting, colorful, autumnal, vegetable dish to round out your Thanksgiving menu?  Look no further!  Jack McDavid, Chef Owner of the Down Home Diner and staunch supporter of eating local offered us this unique vegetable dish.  The presentation is dramatic and beautiful, and if you are hosting vegetarians, this can serve as their main; simply double the onion and omit the bacon.


Butternut Squash Stuffed with Brussels Sprouts

4 small butternut squash (or 2 large), halved lengthwise and seeded.

1 TBSP brown sugar

1 tsp salt

Heat oven to 350.  Sprinkle sugar and salt over squash.  Place on baking sheet and set aside.



4 cups baby brussels sprouts, cut in half lengthwise

1 cup bacon, chopped

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 Tbsp honey

Saute bacon in large skillet until almost cooked.  Add onion and saute til translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add bread crumbs, honey, and brussels sprouts.  Remove from heat–you don’t want the brussels sprouts cooking in the skillet.  Pour the brussels sprouts mixture into the squash, and bake 40 minutes until toothpick comes out of squash clean.

Indian Spiced Vegetables, Sabzi Masala

Masala Beans

Our friend Farah, she of the famous Masala Kale, which has garnered over 500 page views on this blog, is at it again.

“With so many of my friends and family eating vegetarian, I am motivated to make vegetable dishes that are interesting and delicious,” says friend, neighbor, and locally renown cook Farah Kapoor.  She adds, “Even among non-vegetarians, there is a lot of interest in local produce.  I saw some fresh okra and some lovely long beans at the Farmers’ Market last week and was inspired to create a Masala Sabzi,  (spicy vegetable) recipe.” 

Both the beans and the okra were transformed into something wonderful.  This is not to say that fresh off the farm they aren’t already pretty wonderful, but Farah’s version makes them spectacular.

She starts with fresh okra, purchased from our favorite Sunday Farmers’ Market.

Masala Okra


1 medium white onion finely diced
1 tomato
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 Clive of garlic finely chopped.
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 pound okra or long beans or green beans or haricot verts. Slice into rounds.
2 tbsp canola or olive oil
1/2 tsp red CHILLI powder (optional)
1/2 tsp garam masala (optional)


1. Start by heating the oil in a skillet.
2. Add the onions and garlic and sautee for 2 minutes.
3. Next add the cumin seeds, coriander powder and the dry spices and saute until fragrant. This might take a minute or two.
4. Add the diced tomato and let it all come together for another couple of minutes. Add salt to taste.
5. Finally add the okra or green beans to the masala paste. Cook for a few minutes until vegetables are tender.
6. Garnish your vegetables with a handful of chopped cilantro.


Farah’s Indian Kale

Our previous post promised Kale, and being women of our word, we’re here today to deliver…

How much do you love Modern Family?  Here’s my fave foodie scene, from an episode last season:

Cam: Hey Daddy!  How was the Farmers Market?
Mitchell: Well it was great, but guess what the new spinach is?
Cam: Umm, radicchio?
Mitchell: Kale.
Cam: Nooooo!

Mitchell: I know, I was just as blown away as you are.  I see kale as more of a garnish or buffet decor; I don’t see it anchoring a meal.

Sorry, Cam and Mitch, much as we love you, we disagree.  We are indebted to our dear friend, Farah Kapoor, pictured here with her handsome (and surprisingly trim, given the food that comes his way) husband.  She taught us new way to prepare kale, which we recently learned was bursting with Vitamin C.   Farah has graced these pages before.

She introduced us to Malaysian food, shared her recipes for saffron chicken, and jalapeno pakoras and has hosted us on numerous occasions.  So we are delighted to tap her again for her newly developed Indian Kale recipe.  Even my teenage daughter, who claims to loathe kale, gobbled this up, so it is definitely joining the rotation in our house.

14 ounces chopped up and washed kale
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 onion diced
2 shallots diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tbsp Garlic finishing butter (optional)
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
Salt to taste

1. To the oil add the onions garlic and shallots and fry till translucent.

2. Add the dry spices and sauté until fragrant.

3. Add kale and stock and just keep turning the kale until all the spices are distributed and the kale has wilted. If more liquid is needed add a little more water.

4. The kale needs to be wilted and the stalks a little crunchy.  This takes 5-10 minutes tops

5.  Remove from heat and add some finishing butter if you like.

6.  Garnish with a handful of chopped cilantro and fried shallots.