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Archive for the ‘Vegetable’ Category


Broccolini with Toasted Almonds - Meatballs&Milkshakes

This crisp broccolini is topped with toasted almonds and breadcrumbs to give it some texture and depth of flavor from the almonds. The oils from the almonds permeate the breadcrumbs, and help to give some crunch as well. Best of all, this is a quick and healthy side that you can make in under 10 minutes.

Broccolini with Toasted Almonds

1 bunch broccolini

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 cup sliced almonds

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Blanch the broccolini in salted water for 5 minutes, until they become bright green and slightly tender. Meanwhile, toast the almonds and breadcrumbs in half the olive oil until they start to brown. Remove to a bowl. Saute the broccolini for 2 minutes in the remaining olive oil, being careful when adding the wet broccolini to the hot oil. You may want to add a little of the cooking water if it spatters too much. Remove to a plate and top with the toasted almonds and breadcrumbs.

Broccolini with Toasted Almonds - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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Butternut Squash Risotto - Meatballs&Milkshakes

This was an incredibly easy weeknight dinner after a week of long and involved meals. You can also potentially use up holiday leftovers, since I pre-roasted the squash the day before and added the mashed squash right at the end. It still has all the holiday flavors, but it’s great all winter long.

Butternut Squash Risotto

1/2 butternut squash

2 cups arborio rice

zest and juice of 1 orange

3 tablespoons fresh thyme

1/2 cup white wine

2 cups chicken stock, homemade or store-bought, warmed in the microwave or on the stove (you could substitute vegetable stock to make it vegetarian)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 shallot, minced

1 cup grated parmesan

Roast the squash in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes on a baking sheet with some of the olive oil brushed over it. It will become soft and you can scoop out the flesh. Mash up the squash well.

Meanwhile, saute the shallot and garlic in the remaining olive oil. Once they have softened, add the rice and allow to toast for a minute until they start to look a little translucent. Add the white wine and allow to cook down. Add the thyme and a little chicken stock. Continue to add stock slowly as it cooks away. It should have enough liquid to just cover, about the consistency of oatmeal.

When the rice is almost al dente, add the orange juice and zest along with the mashed squash. Stir to combine and allow to cook together for the last few minutes. Off the heat, stir in the parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Butternut Squash Risotto - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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Crispy Orange- Scented Brussels Sprouts - Meatballs&Milkshakes

I created this recipe one night this week when we had only a few minutes to cook dinner but wanted some green veggies to go with some braised chicken. The lovely crispy leaves add texture and the orange zest gives it a light, citrusy aroma. It’s going to become a holiday favorite, and you can make it tonight in 20 minutes.

Crispy Orange-Scented Brussels Sprouts

1 package brussel sprouts, bottoms sliced off and mangy leaves removed

3 tablespoons olive oil

Zest of 1 orange

Slice the brussels sprouts in 1/4 inch slices, so that you have very thin slices and strips of sprouts. Some will fall apart, and that’s fine. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until the edges of some of the leaves start to brown. Sprinkle the zest on top and stir through before serving.

Crispy Orange-Scented Brussels Sprouts - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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Gratins make anything better. A nice cheesy, crunchy crust on top of any vegetable is an improvement. I also love that you can make gratins ahead of time and finish the cooking in the oven, so you can leave the kitchen and entertain guests. And of course this makes them perfect for the holidays, when half my meal is made ahead of time so it’s no stress and I can focus on a few key things that require attention.

Parsnip Gratin

1 pound parsnips, sliced into thin discs

1/2 cup hazelnuts

1 strip bacon, cut into small batons (optional)

1 shallot, minced

2 tablespoons thyme

1 cup milk

1/2 cup grated gruyere

1/2 cup grated cheddar

2 tablespoons grated parmesan

1 slice bread, crumbled or ground into big breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons butter

If using bacon, render it in a frying pan until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the shallots to the pan and soften, about 2 minutes. Remove to a bowl and combine with the parsnips, half the hazelnuts, most of the cheddar and gruyere, milk, bacon, and the thyme. Stir together and pour into a baking dish.

Combine the parmesan, remaining gruyere and cheddar, and breadcrumbs in a separate bowl and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle over the top of the parsnips along with the remaining hazelnuts. Dot the top with little pieces of the butter.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, or until the top gets brown and crispy. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

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Well, it’s been a challenging couple of weeks on the M&M front; first the hurricane and then my computer decided to die on me. Consequently, I feel like Thanksgiving has snuck up on me. I don’t think I will be making a full Thanksgiving meal this year, however I will do a Thanksgiving-inspired menu. I might include this Angel Hair with Butternut Squash and Sage as a side dish, because there really should a pasta to make it a holiday.

This Farinata would make a great gluten-free appetizer to snack on while the rest of the meal cooks. You can change the toppings to suit your mood, but I liked the olive and cheese combination.

Eggplant Caponata is always a good appetizer as well, and this version is a little Thanksgiving-inspired, with the use of cinnamon.

We usually make a vegetarian option which tends to be a Lasagna or some Stuffed Mushrooms. I always make extra though, because invariably the meat-eaters want them too.

Butternut Squash Soup flavored with apples and sage is a fantastic way to start the meal. I can’t get enough butternut squash in the fall.

Thanksgiving requires a mashed vegetable of some sort,  so I either go with these Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Prosciutto or some Parsnip Puree.

And of course, we can’t forget the cranberry sauce. I ALWAYS make this Brandied Cranberry Sauce so I have plenty leftover. Stay tuned for some Turkey Pot Pie!

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This is a traditional Ligurian recipe made from chickpea flour, so it’s gluten-free. I particularly liked making it really thin, so it gets nice and crispy. You can change the toppings or leave them off completely, and it’s a delicious hearty snack. This is an adaptation of an original recipe from Marcella Hazan, the Julia Child of Italian cooking.

Farinata

2 1/2 cups water

1 3/4 cups chickpea flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped rosemary, fresh or dried

1/4 cup chopped gaeta olives or your favorites

2 tablespoons grated parmesan

2 tablespoons caramelized onions

Whisk together the water, chickpea flour, salt, oil, and rosemary. This mixture can be refrigerated for a few days, if you can’t use it all at once. I made 3 flatbreads from this recipe, but could have made 4.

Pour a thin layer into an oiled frying pan so that it just barely covers the bottom. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, caramelize some onions by sauteing them in a little olive oil until they start to turn light brown. Make sure to season with a little salt.

Sprinkle the onions, parmesan, and olives over the farinata, and bake for another 20 minutes, until the edges start getting brown. Remove with a spatula and cut into wedges.

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I love heirloom cherry tomatoes from the farmer’s market. They are so sweet and flavorful, and I love to make a big batch of these slow-roasted tomatoes and keep them in the fridge to toss in everything. They’re also fabulous on their own, just on a couple slices of toasted baguette. The olive oil mixes with the tomato juices, and it’s delicious.

Roasted Thyme Tomatoes

1 pint assorted heirloom cherry tomatoes (or whatever ones you can get)

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 thyme springs

salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients, making sure to coat the thyme in oil. Roast at 350 degrees for an hour. Spoon over toasted baguette slices or use in other recipes!

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