Easy to make and easy to eat! Warming spices and dried fruit complement the sweetness of the carrots. While the recipe make “squares”, you can bake the recipe in different pans for different results. A smaller pan will be more cakey, a bread pan will make it more of a quick bread, while muffin tins will turn out, well, muffins. You can vary the dried fruit to what you have on hand. Also, try this with grated squash or parsnips, or even celeriac. If you use whole grain flour, you will need to use the larger amount of yogurt. Try different spices, too.
1 c all purpose flour, white, whole grain, or a combination
2/3 c sugar
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t grated nutmeg
1/2 t ground ginger
6 T melted butter or oil, or a combination
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c – 3/4 c yogurt, buttermilk, milk, or alternate dairy product
1 t vanilla extract
1 c shredded carrots
1/2 c dried fruit, finely chopped if large (chop about the size of raisins)
1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9″ x 13″ x 2″ baking vessel.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices. Blend thoroughly. Add melted butter and stir to combine. Stir in beaten egg, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Add carrots and dried fruit. Stir to combine everything.
3. Transfer to prepared baking pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out “clean”, with just a crumb or two on it. If using different baking pans, the baking time will be different. Muffins, about 18 minutes, bread about 40 – 45 minutes, etc. Cool on a rack for about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This has become my favorite pickle. Contrary to its title, the vegetables are not overly salty. There is a distinct soy sauce flavor, but as the vegetables remain in the soy sauce for a short time, they are not overly saturated with saltiness. At least not to my palate. Instead of soy sauce you can use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, which will cut down on the sodium level. Or you can combine half water and half soy sauce. The vegetables undergo a brief salt/sugar brine which draws out liquid. You can drain this liquid or keep it and add the soy sauce to it. The drained soy sauce can be reused for more pickles or in cooking. The vegetables will keep for months in the refrigerator, if they last that long!
2 c root vegetables, sliced into strips or rounds
1/2 t salt
2 t sugar
soy sauce, to cover
1. Put vegetables in a jar. Add salt and sugar. Put a lid on the jar and gently shake so that the salt and sugar coat the vegetables. Let sit at room temperature anywhere from an hour to 8 hours, shaking the jar now and then to keep the vegetables coated with the brine.
2. Drain off the liquid if you like. Pour in enough soy sauce to cover the vegetables. Crumple some wax paper or freezer paper and lay on top of the vegetables, to keep them submerged. Allow to pickle at room temperature for 24 hours. If some of the vegetables pieces break the surface of the soy sauce, press them down.
3. Drain off the soy sauce. Store the pickles in the jar in or another, covered container. Keep refrigerated when not eating.
These meringue-type cookies are based on a 19th century Russian confection known as pastila. The original is quite a labor-intensive process; one recipe called for beating the mixture by hand for half an hour! These cookies bake, or rather, dry, long and slow, anywhere from 6 – 8 hours in the oven, a bit less in a dehydrator. They’re simple to make, yet still a bit tricky, or at least I found them to be so, and I’m not sure I’ve mastered them, even after making several batches. Worth the effort though, as they’re quite sweet and tasty. One is usually enough for me. If you have unsweetened applesauce on hand you can of course forgo the cooking of the apples part.
3 large apples, or 2 c applesauce
1 t lemon juice
3/4 c sugar
1/2 t almond or vanilla extract
1 t cinnamon
2 egg whites
1. Peel apples. Halve, core, and slice or chunk. Steam or bake until tender. Purée, either with a masher or in a food processor. Transfer to a large, preferably high-sided bowl (trust me on this). Stir in lemon juice, sugar, extract, and cinnamon.
2. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry or shiny. Fold into applesauce mixture. Beat at high speed for at least 5 minutes, and up to 10 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 150ºF or your oven’s lowest setting. (Mine is 170ºF. You can leave the oven door slightly ajar if you like, but I usually don’t.) Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper. Lightly grease the parchment paper. Alternatively, if you are using a dehydrator, either line trays with parchment or use a fruit roll screen. Lightly grease.
4. Drop large teaspoon amounts or scant tablespoon amounts onto prepared trays. Don’t let them touch. Bake or dehydrate (at 150ºF) for 6 – 8 hours, until the cookies are dry to the touch. I found that the dehydrator cookies took 6 hours, while the oven cookies took almost 8 hours. Allow to cool on the trays for 5 – 10 minutes before removing to wire racks to dry.
5. The cookies will be chewy at first, but will become crispy as they age. Keep in a tightly closed container.
A Sicilian speciality, from the city of Siracusa, with one difference. In Siracusa, the onions are roasted whole, whereas in this recipe the onions are sliced, with their skins still on, brushed with oil and roasted until caramelized. Just great! I always have these in the fridge now and bring them out for meals. They make a terrific cooked salad or side, and are also great on burgers or in sandwiches. There is a variation to the recipe that is also delicious. It follows the main recipe. A word of advice: make sure your knife is sharp enough to cut through the onion skins. Onion skins are slippery and one can easily cut oneself (this is from personal experience).
2 – 3 onions
2 T vegetable oil, divided, plus extra for greasing baking sheet
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T fresh chopped herb or 1 t dried herb
1 t red wine or white wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1. Preheat oven to 300ºF. Lightly oil a baking sheet or line the baking sheet with parchment or foil (if using foil, lightly oil it).
2. Cut off the ends of the onions. Keeping the onions skin intact, slice the onions crosswise into 1/2″ slices. Lay the onion slices on the baking sheet. Put the vegetable oil in a small bowl. Brush the onion slices with half the oil.
3. Bake for an hour. Remove from oven. Gently turn slices over. Brush again with remaining oil in small bowl. Return to oven and bake for another half hour. Transfer to a shallow serving dish and allow to cool. Remove onion skins and any dried-out onion rings.
4. Combine the extra-virgin olive oil, water, garlic, herb, vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Spoon over onion slices and serve.
After the first hour, when you remove the onions from the oven and flip them over, brush them lightly with some oil, then drizzle some balsamic vinegar over the slices. Crumble some dried oregano or thyme or other dried herb over them and season with salt and pepper. Return to oven and roast another half hour. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Sushi rice is a type of rice that has a sticky quality when cooked, perfect for shaping into little cylinders as a base for fish or in rolls. It is also dressed with a lightly sweetened vinegar mixture. This recipe uses regular rice, either brown or white, along with the sweetened vinegar dressing. The rice is then topped with grated roots, and sesame seeds. You can also add any number of food items to this, such as cooked meat, tofu, avocado, and/or beans to make a main course dish. Good both ways.
1 c brown or white rice
salt, for cooking rice and for dressing
3 T rice vinegar, white wine vinegar or coconut water vinegar
1 T sugar or other sweetener
1 T peeled, minced fresh ginger
3 c or so (peeled) grated root vegetables: kohlrabi, turnips, carrots, winter squash, celeriac…
1 c chopped scallions, optional
2 T sesame seeds, toasted if you like
2 T soy sauce, plus extra for serving
dark or toasted sesame oil, for serving
1. Cook rice as per package instructions or by your own method.
2. Meanwhile, combine vinegar, sugar, ginger, and salt in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until sugar dissolves or other sweetener is incorporated. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
3. When rice is done, transfer to a large serving bowl. Toss the rice with a spatula or flat spoon. While you do this, sprinkle the rice with the vinegar dressing.
4. Now, you can divide the rice among serving plates and top with the grated root(s), scallions if using, sesame seeds, and soy sauce, or you can add these ingredients to the ‘sushied’ rice and then serve.
5. Drizzle individual portions with a bit of toasted sesame oil (a little goes a long way) and have extra soy sauce available.
In this recipe, you take roasted or other ways cooked beets and/or other root vegetables and finish them in a teriyaki sauce. Teriyaki sauce is a sweetened soy sauce and rice wine (mirin) mixture that is an all-purpose marinade, basting sauce and dipping sauce. Variations abound. I’m using the one I make most often. You can use store-bought teriyaki sauce, but by making your own you can control the amount of sugar. This is relevant especially if you’re using beets, which are quite sweet when roasted. You probably won’t need to use all the sauce the recipe makes. It keeps really well in the fridge. if you don’t have mirin and are using sake or white wine, you may want the full amount of sugar.
5 or 6 medium beets
1/2 c soy sauce, or 1/4 c soy sauce and 1/4 c water, or 1/2 c Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1/4 c mirin (rice wine) or sake or sweet vermouth or white wine
1 – 2 T sugar or honey or other sweetener
2 T minced garlic
2 T peeled, minced fresh ginger
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste, optional
1 – 2 T butter or vegetable oil
chopped green onions, optional
1. Roast or cook beets according to your method. I wrap them in foil and roast in a 400ºF oven for about an hour. Let cool, then peel, or not. Trim ends and slice or dice.
2. Meanwhile combine remaining ingredients except the butter or oil, and green onions in a small saucepan. Simmer until slightly thickened and the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
3. Melt the butter in a skillet. Add the sliced beets and toss to coat. Add enough teriyaki sauce to coat the bottom of the skillet and to coat the beets. Simmer until heated through and the sauce has been absorbed by the beets and/or mostly evaporated. Sprinkle with green onions and serve.
Poutine is Canada’s, and specifically, Québec’s, culinary gift to the world. Those enterprising Québeckers were not content to put mere ketchup on their french fries. No, they had to smother them with beef gravy and top them with cheese curds. The result–Mon Dieu! As with most culinary marvels, the variations of poutine are myriad. You can add any number of foods to the basic recipe, from bacon to lobster. My version is made with baked, or oven-fried, potato slices rather than deep fried, not as good nor as authentic, but less work and less mess. By all means make deep-fried french fries if such cooking is part of your repertoire. The subs for cheese curds are mozzarella (not fresh) and haloumi, a greek cheese that is fried before serving as it holds its shape when heated.
Oven Fries (2 versions)
4 medium (Russet) potatoes
1 T vegetable oil
2 1/2 t paprika
3/4 t salt
3/4 t garlic powder, optional
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Slice potatoes into thin wedges. Place in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and gently toss to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet, spreading them out so they don’t touch. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until tender, turning once.
4 medium (Russet) potatoes
2 T or so vegetable oil
salt, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Puncture whole potatoes with a knife or fork. Wrap in foil and bake for about 40 minutes, until tender. Unwrap and allow to cool. Cut each potato into wedges and place on a baking sheet. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden and slightly crispy, 10 – 12 minutes.
3 T butter or oil
3 T all-purpose flour
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t dried thyme or other dried herb (for fresh herb, use 1 T)
2 T Worcestershire sauce or steak sauce or hoisin sauce
3 c beef or chicken broth or vegetable stock (go with mushroom stock if you can)
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Melt butter or heat oil in a saucepan. Add flour to pan and stir to incorporate and make a roux. Stir constantly for 4 – 6 minutes, until the flour has browned and is fragrant. Add garlic and thyme and cook for another minute. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and cook until nearly evaporated, about a minute longer. Add broth or stock along with some salt and pepper (if using store-bought broth or stock, check the salt content). Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the gravy has reduced some, about 20 minutes. Keep warm until ready to use.
Place fries on individual serving plates. Pour gravy over and top with cheese curds.
This is a good winter weather dish. It assembles easily with a minimum of preparation. I usually poach eggs to accompany this, though with the bacon and cheese it can be a meal in itself. If you eschew bacon, just use oil or butter to grease the baking dish. The slices of pie will be somewhat soft. Leftover pie will be more firm the next day. Top this with some ketchup, hot sauce, or salsa.
6 – 8 slices bacon or vegetable oil
4 medium (Russet) potatoes, shredded
1/2 chopped onion
2 1/2 c shredded cabbage
2 c shredded cheese
1 c sour cream or greek-style yogurt
1 t dried dill (herb or seed) or caraway seeds, optional
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. If not using bacon, grease an 8″ x 8″ baking dish or similar. If using bacon, wait until it’s cooked and use some of the bacon fat for this purpose. Or not.
2. Cook bacon until just crisp. Remove from pan to paper towels to drain. Pour off fat and use for greasing baking dish, if you like. When the bacon has drained some, crumble or chop into small pieces.
3. Combine crumbled bacon, potatoes, onion, cabbage, cheese, sour cream, herb if using, salt, and pepper. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Drizzle, if you like, with some of the reserved bacon fat or more vegetable oil.Cover tightly with foil (or, if the dish has a lid, with that).
4. Bake for an hour. Remove foil and bake for another half hour. Let stand for about 10 – 15 minutes. before serving.
Tomato and apple is not the first combination that comes to mind for pasta sauce. It works, with the apples smoothing out the acidity of the tomatoes and adding body to the tomato sauce. If you have already-prepared tomato sauce on hand, simply add the grated apple and cook as per the recipe. I tried this with apples peeled and unpeeled and liked the unpeeled version better. The apples peels need longer to cook to become softer. Your call. While you’re making the sauce, prepare your pasta of choice, using 3/4 – 1 pound for this sauce.
3 c canned tomatoes, (plum tomatoes if you can find them), undrained
4 T vegetable oil
1 c chopped onion
1 c shredded carrot
1 clove garlic, minced
2 t dried herb, such as oregano or basil
salt and pepper, to taste (check the salt content of the canned tomatoes before adding salt)
2 – 3 medium apples, or about a pound’s worth
1 c grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, plus extra for serving
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1. Purée tomatoes in a blender or food processor, or not.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, carrot, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes. If you didn’t purée the tomatoes, break them up with your stirring utensil as they cook down. Add the dried herb, some salt, and pepper. Heat to a simmer.
3. Meanwhile, peel and core apples. Coarsely shred and add to the sauce as you do so. Return sauce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the apples shreds are tender
4. When the pasta is done, drain, reserving some of the pasta water. Gently add to sauce and toss for a minute or so. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the grated cheese. Drizzle over the olive oil, toss again, and serve, extra grated cheese.
Skordalia is a Greek sauce/dip/purée/spread that is made with either mashed potatoes or soaked bread and lots of garlic and olive oil. It’s smooth, unctuous and flavorful. The following recipe is, of course, made with potatoes. It takes mashed potatoes and elevates them to pesto status. Besides a dressing for beets, try it with other cooked vegetables, or as a side to meat dishes. For a super carb hit, slather it on toasted baguette slices! You will get a smoother skordalia if you peel the potatoes, which is the more authentic method of preparation for this dish.
4 beets, trimmed
1 lb or so potatoes, peeled or not, preferably Russets, but most varieties work here
6 – 7 cloves peeled garlic, or to your preference
1/4 – 1/2 c toasted, ground or finely chopped walnuts or almonds, optional but traditional
1 c extra-virgin olive oil
3 T fresh lemon juice or red wine vinegar
salt, to taste (some pepper if you like, but it’s not traditional)
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Wrap beets in foil, place on a baking sheet and put into oven. Roast until tender, when a knife easily pierces a beet. Remove from heat, allow to cool, then peel and slice. Set aside. Or roast beets according to your own preference.
2. Meanwhile, boil potatoes in (salted) water until tender. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water. Mash until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.
3. In a blender, combine the garlic, nuts, olive oil and lemon juice. Whizz until smooth. Slowly pour into mashed potatoes, stirring until well incorporated and smooth. Season to taste with some salt (and pepper, if you wish). Alternatively, you can finely mince the garlic or make a paste of it. Stir into the mashed potatoes along with the nuts. Then slowly pour in the oil, and after, slowly pour in the lemon juice. Season to taste.
4. Set sliced beets on a serving platter and mound the skordalia alongside.
I’m coming to the conclusion that one can pickle anything. Even winter squash. The process is simple, and the result delicious! The most difficult part is cutting up and peeling, or peeling and cutting up the squash. Most pickling recipes I researched used butternut, mainly, I believe, because it peels so easily. There are multitudes of variation in winter squash pickling–raw or steamed, sweet, sour, sweet-and-sour, spicy, herbed, plain. Here’s a recipe I like making because it’s not overly sweet.
3 c or so peeled, seeded, fibers removed, diced winter squash
1 fresh or dried chile, sliced or not, seeds removed or not
1 garlic clove, optional
1 bay leaf
1/2 c vinegar–apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, red win vinegar, rice vinegar…
1/2 c water
1/2 – 1 t black peppercorns
1/2 t mustard seeds
1 t sugar
2 t kosher salt
1. Put diced squash, chile, garlic, and bay leaf in a quart or liter jar, or other glass container with a lid.
2. Combine the vinegar, water, peppercorns, mustard seeds, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and gently heat, just until the sugar and salt have dissolved. You shouldn’t have to bring it to the boil to accomplish this.
3. Pour pickling liquid into the jar to cover the squash. Leave an inch headspace. Let cool to room temperature. If the squash refuses to stay submerged, crumple some waxed or parchment paper and stuff in the headspace. Put a lid on and refrigerate for a week before eating.
This is one of those revelatory, OMG recipes. A few simple ingredients combine to create a dish of depth and complexity. The sweetness of the dates (or other dried fruit) plays off against the earthiness of the roots and the tangy yogurt sauce balances it all out. Try this with a single root or a combination. Dates, I think are best here, though dried figs and prunes are quite good. Ground sumac is a Middle Eastern spice made from dried, red sumac blossoms (yes, like the ones that grow out here). It’s becoming more readily available, check the international section of stores. There is a mixture, za’tar, that includes sumac, so you could sub that. Another good sub is a combination of lemon zest and pepper. Be warned if you get sumac–it’s delicious and addictive eating!
6 T vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 1/2 lbs diced root vegetables, peeled if necessary
1/2 dried thyme, marjoram, cilantro, or rosemary
salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 c pitted, sliced dates
1 c Greek yogurt, sour cream or crème fraîche
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 t (fresh) lemon juice
1 t ground sumac or 1/2 t lemon zest with 1/2 t ground (white) pepper
salt, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a large skillet combine the vegetable oil and smashed garlic cloves. Gently heat until the garlic turns golden. Remove skillet from heat, remove garlic (save for another use or pop into your mouth for instant garlic pleasure!). In lieu of this process, if you have garlic-infused oil, have 6 T of it at the ready.
2. Put the chopped root vegetable(s) into the skillet along with the dried herb. Toss to combine. If the skillet is oven proof, smooth the vegetable(s) and put the skillet in the oven; otherwise scrape the vegetable(s) onto a baking sheet and then place into oven.
3. Roast for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Add dates and stir again. Return to oven for about 8 – 10 minutes longer until tender. If your vegetable pieces are large you may need to roast them longer before adding the dates. When done to your satisfaction, remove from oven and transfer to a serving platter.
4. Meanwhile, combine yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, sumac or sumac substitution, and a bit of salt.
Serve alongside roasted vegetable(s).
This is a fun twist on fondues. Rather than dipping vegetables into a cheese sauce you make the sauce with root vegetables! You do add a bit of cheese to the vegetable sauce, more to create some cohesion, though you can add as much cheese as you like. This would make the vegetable fondue more of a meal in itself. You can dip bread chunks into the fondue, as well as cooked pieces of meat. lf you don’t have a fondue pot, cast iron pots retain heat for a fair amount of time and will keep the sauce warm enough. I use an enameled cast iron pot. A plug-in portable element, such as you may have seen on buffet tables is another option. As always, go with your vegetable preferences, though do try and add winter squash and/or carrot for color.
2 T vegetable oil or butter, or a combination
1 T curry powder or other spice mixture, optional
5 – 6 c peeled (if necessary), chopped root vegetables
1 c broth or stock, or milk, or water
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 c – 1 c cheese, or more, if you like: gruyère is classic, any good melting cheese is good
fresh, chopped parsley or other herb(s), for garnish, optional
1. Heat oil or melt butter in a large pot. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, for a minute, until fragrant. Add the vegetables and stir to coat with the oil and curry powder. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or shaking the pot now and then.
2. Add the liquid, bring to the boil, and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool some. Either purée in a food processor, blender or with an immersion stick, or put through a sieve or food mill.
3. Return to pot and season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and heat through until cheese has just melted. Transfer to a fondue pot if using or bring the cooking pot to the table. Garnish with fresh chopped herb, if using, and fondue!
This is quite a refreshing and bracing salad. There is no oil in the recipe: citrus juice, salt and a dash of cayenne make up the dressing. The flavor of the kohlrabi and apple come through more cleanly as a result. Serve alongside heavier or fatty meat dishes for a balancing repast.
1/2 c lime, lemon or orange juice; or a combination
1 t salt
dash of ground cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 c (peeled) diced, shredded or julienned apples
4 c peeled diced, shredded or julienned apples
2 – 3 T fresh, chopped herb(s), optional
1. Combine citrus juice, salt and cayenne pepper in a serving bowl. Stir to dissolve salt.
2. Add prepared apples and kohlrabi. Gently toss to combine. Stir in chopped, fresh herb, if using. Taste and adjust accordingly.
Green tea is quite versatile. Beyond tea, it is an ingredient in ice cream, cookies, smoothies and many other dishes. Usually these latter recipes are made with the powdered green tea called matcha. For this recipe regular green leaves are used for the poaching liquid. Serve this with ice cream (green tea ice cream is great), or sweetened Greek yogurt or whipped cream. If you have matcha on hand, whisk 2 t matcha with 1 T very hot water, cool, then fold into the yogurt or whipped cream.
4 c water
1 1/2 T green tea leaves or 4 green tea bags
3/4 c sugar
1 T fresh, chopped ginger (no need to peel)
1 t almond extract
4 firm, ripe Bosc pears, peeled, halved, and cored
2 – 3 T toasted, sliced or finely chopped almonds
1. Pour water into a pot or large skillet that will hold the pear halves in a single layer. Bring to the boil then stir in the tea leaves or bags. Turn off the heat, cover and steep for 5 minutes. Strain tea leaves or remove tea bags. Return tea to poaching vessel.
2. Add sugar, ginger, and almond extract and bring to a good simmer. Gently add pears, cut side up and poach over low heat until tender. A wooden skewer will enter the pear easily. Remove from heat and allow pears to cool in the poaching liquid.
3. Remove pears from pot or skillet, reserving some of the poaching liquid. Serve at room temperature, with a couple of tablespoons each of the poaching liquid poured over the pear halves and a dollop of ice cream, yogurt or whipped cream. Garnish with the toasted almonds.