Monthly Archives: July 2015

Succotash Salad

Most of the time, I try a recipe, I have to make changes, it just doesn’t seem right to me.  This salad by Katie Lee is an exception, I made it just as it was written and it was a really happy addition to our dinner.  Not only that, it met my “is it great as a leftover” criteria.


The green beans, basil and jalapeno were mine, the corn grown locally, as were the tomatoes, but, alas, I had to use the frozen lima beans.  I thought I had ordered beans to plant, but I hadn’t and by the time I realized it I was not able to find them anywhere.

In addition to being a great salad, we used this as one of the topping for blackened salmon tacos, along with mangos, it was all that we needed.


Succotash Salad

by Katie Lee

Kosher salt
2 cups green beans (from the garden)
1 10-ounce package frozen lima beans, thawed
3 cups corn kernels (from about 4 ears) (locally grown)
1 small avocado, pitted, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (from the garden)
10 basil leaves, thinly sliced (from the garden)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey (local)
Freshly ground pepper


Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and lima beans and cook until the green beans are bright green and the lima beans have softened slightly, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water to cool. Cut the green beans into 1-inch pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the green beans, lima beans, corn, avocado, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and basil.


In a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, honey, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the vinaigrette to the salad and toss to coat.

Serves 6.


Categories: Green Beans, Kosher, Lima Beans, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment


I remember the first time I tried to make bagels…I was a senior in college and lived in a house that we kept very cold. At the time I knew nothing about the relationship between warmth, yeast and rising time. So, I made some very tasty bagel crackers.

I have avoided attempting bagels ever since.

Until now.  I happened to come across several intriguing bagel recipes over the past few months. Combined with my increased comfort in baking breads, I decided to give it a go.  And I was pleasantly surprised with the results.


They looked like bagels!  Even up close.


But even better… When cut open they had bagel texture. Perfect for some cream cheese.


This is not a recipe for those avoiding gluten.   To the contrary, I used a high-gluten dough, which is part of why the texture came out so “bagelly.”


Montreal Bagels by Marcy Goldman-Posluns in NY Times Cooking

1 ½ cups water, room temperature

2 packages dry quick-rising yeast (or 1 1/2 ounces fresh yeast)

1 teaspoon sugar

2 ½ teaspoons salt

1 whole egg (from Farmer Kim)

1 egg yolk (from Farmer Kim)

¼ cup oil

½ cup honey (local)

5 cups or more flour (I used high-gluten flour)

3 quarts water for boiling

cup honey or malt syrup (I used the honey)

Sesame or poppy seeds for sprinkling on top (I used sesame)


In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer that has a dough hook, blend together the water, yeast, sugar and salt. Stir in the whole egg, the yolk, oil and 1/2 cup honey, and mix well.Add the 5 cups flour, and mix until the dough is too stiff to mix by hand. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface (if using electric mixer, attach dough hook), andknead to form a soft, supple dough. Add a bit more flour as needed to prevent dough from getting too sticky.When the dough is smooth and elastic, place it in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap or with a plastic bag. Let the dough rest about 20 minutes. (See note.)


Punch it down, and divide into 18 equal portions.


Pour the water into a Dutch oven, along with the remaining 1/3 cup honey or malt syrup, and heat to boiling. Cover, reduce the heat, and allow to simmer while preparing the bagels.

Shape the dough portions into bagels or doughnutlike rings by elongating each portion into an 8- to 10-inch coil that is 3/4 inch thick. Fold the ends over each other, pressing with the palm of one hand and rolling back and forth gently to seal. This locks the ends together and must be done properly or the bagels will open while being boiled. Let the bagels rest 15 minutes on a towel-lined baking sheet.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring the water back to a boil and remove the lid. Have bowls of poppy seeds and sesame seeds nearby.

When the water is boiling, use a slotted spoon, and add three bagels to the water. As they rise to the surface, turn them over, and let them boil an additional minute before removing them and quickly dipping them in either bowl of the seeds. Continue boiling the bagels in batches of three until all have been boiled and seeded.


Arrange the boiled bagels on a baking sheet.


Bake on the lowest rack of oven until they are medium brown, approximately 25 minutes. Remove from the oven.


Once cooled, the bagels can be placed in a plastic bag, sealed and frozen. Or eaten and enjoyed!


If not using the dough immediately, refrigerate it after it has been kneaded. Bagel making can be resumed up to a day later. Allow the dough to return to room temperature, and continue with punching it down.

Categories: Bread, Breakfast, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | 4 Comments

Garden Bounty Israeli Couscous Salad

I love Israeli couscous, the texture is so much fun! I couldn’t wait to mix in the veggies from my garden to create a salad.


I went a little overboard though.  I had just harvested some carrots and decided to include those as well.


But they were just a bit too crunchy, the texture did not complement the rest of the salad.  I thought the crunch would be good, but it was not so pleasant.  So, I have not included the carrots in the final recipe.

What I did add that were positives, were the corn and the feta.  Oh, those were good!  IMG_0670

Lesson learned – play with your salads.  Some things will work, some won’t, but you won’t know till you try.

Garden Bounty Israeli Couscous Salad 

Adapted from Margaret Rose Shulman’s Cucumber and Israeli Couscous Salad

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil1 cup Israeli couscous6 to 8 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste

1/2 cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (from the garden)

½ pound ripe tomatoes, very finely chopped (from the garden)

¾ pound cucumbers, seeded and cut in fine dice (from the garden)

1 bunch scallions, finely chopped

kernels from 2 ears of steamed corn (from Ficner Farms)

Salt to taste

3 oz crumbled feta cheese

Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan and add the couscous. Stir until the couscous begins to color and smell toasty, 4 to 5 minutes.IMG_0661Add 2 cups water and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until the couscous is tender. Drain if any liquid remains in the pan.

Mix together all the vegetable in a large bowl.


Transfer the couscous to the bowl and toss with the lemon juice, parsley and salt to taste. Add the olive oil, toss together, taste and adjust seasonings.


Add the feta cheese and toss. Serve and enjoy!


Serves 6 – 8 as a side salad.

Categories: Cucumber, Kosher, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Stir-Fry Soba Noodles with Green Beans, Tomatoes & Eggs


Summer is progressing in the garden, tomatoes are coming in strong and so are the purple long beans. My favorite “magic” beans, they turn from deep purple to green when they are cooked! I have been growing them for over 5 years now and they still never cease to amuse me.


I grow mostly heirloom, ugly tomatoes.  This year I also planted a hybrid “Fourth of July” an early producing plant that produces lots of small, round tomatoes. So, I replaced the cherry tomatoes called for in the recipe with quartered “Fourth of July” tomatoes. They worked really well.


This stir-fry was a hit, it was delicious the first night and also worked really well cold for lunch the next day.  And as you know by now, I love having my dinner cold for lunch, so this met my criteria for a great dish.


Stir-Fry Soba Noodles with Green Beans, Tomatoes & Eggs

Slightly Adapted from Margaret Rose Shulman

10 ounces soba noodlesSalt to taste2 teaspoons sesame oil½ cup chicken or vegetable stock

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

½ teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 large eggs, beaten

1 to 2jalapeño chiles, minced (from the garden)

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon minced ginger, or 1 tsp ground ginger 

¾ pound purple beans, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (from the garden)

1 pound small tomatoes tomatoes, quartered (from the garden)

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


First cook the soba noodles. Bring 3 or 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add salt to taste. Add the noodles gradually, so that the water remains at a boil, and stir once with a long-handled spoon or pasta fork so that they don’t stick together. Wait for the water to come back up to a rolling boil — it will bubble up, so don’t fill the pot all the way — and add 1 cup of cold water. Allow the water to come back to a rolling boil, and add another cup of cold water. Allow the water to come to a boil one more time, and add a third cup of water. When the water comes to a boil again, the noodles should be cooked through. Drain and toss with the sesame oil in a bowl and set aside.IMG_0702Mix together the stock, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and ground ginger (if using) in a small bowl. Mix the minced chiles, garlic and ginger (if using whole ginger) in another bowl. Place all of the ingredients within reach of your wok.IMG_0704Heat a wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within a second or two when added to the pan. Meanwhile beat the eggs in a bowl and add salt to taste. Swirl 1 teaspoon of the oil into the wok and add the eggs, using a rubber spatula to scrape out every last bit. Tilt the wok to spread the egg into a pancake and cook until set, 30 seconds to a minute. Using a metal spatula, flip over and cook for about 5 seconds, then transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 2-inch long by 1/4-inch wide slices.

Add the remaining oil to the wok, swirl the pan, then add the garlic, ginger and chile and stir-fry for no more than 10 seconds. Add the long beans and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until they collapse a little in the wok.


Add the noodles, the stock mixture, and salt to taste, turn the heat down to medium and stir-fry for about a minute, until the liquid has evaporated.IMG_0708

Sprinkle with pepper, add the eggs , stir-fry to heat through, and serve. Enjoy!


Serves 5.


Categories: Green Beans, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | 3 Comments

Zucchini Tortilla Casserole

It has been a few years since I have had a good zucchini crop.  This year has been great so far.  Barely keeping up with using them; I see a lot of zucchini bread baking in my future.


I decided to try an adaptation of Marcela Valladolid’s Zucchini Tortilla Casserole for dinner. To be honest, it was ok for dinner – pretty good, but nothing special.  What has been really enjoyable are the leftovers! The flavors have had time to meld and it has been a real treat for lunch for the past few days.


So I am glad that it made a full tray (9″ x 13″), so that the 2 of us only took a piece of it out the first night.  From now on, I may make this a day ahead and just reheat it for its initial serving.


Zucchini Tortilla Casserole

Adapted from Marcela Valladolid

Canola oil, for frying
10 corn tortillas
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups tomato juice
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 1/2 cups chopped zucchini (from 3 large zucchini) (from the garden)
1 1/2 cup fresh corn off the cob (from 1 ear) (from Ficner’s Farm)
3 poblano chiles charred, seeded, deveined, and chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large heavy saute pan, add enough oil to come 2 inches up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil on medium-high heat. When hot, work in batches and quickly fry the tortillas for about 10 seconds on each side (they should still be pliable). Remove the tortillas from the heat and drain on a paper-towel-lined plate.


In a medium saute pan over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and add the garlic and onion. Saute until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato puree. Cook for 10 minutes and turn the heat off.


In a separate large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the zucchini and corn. Cook for 2 minutes, and then add the chopped poblano chiles. Add 1/2 cup water to the mixture and cook for 4 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with a nonstick cooking spray. Cover the bottom with about 4 tortillas. Add 1/2 cup of the tomato juice mixture on top of the tortillas. Top with 1 1/2 cups of the zucchini mixture. Add 1 cup of the cheese. Sprinkle the first layer with some salt and pepper.


Start on the second layer with the tortillas, then the tomato juice, zucchini and cheese. Again sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Repeat for a third time, to finish off a third layer.


Place the casserole into the oven until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, 15 – 25 minutes. Serve hot. and enjoy.


Serves 8.



Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Vegetarian, Zucchini | Tags: | Leave a comment

The Challah Project #7 – Flatbread Challah

The Challah Project continues… This recipe caught my eye because it was called a “flatbread” Challah.  What exactly is a flatbread challah?


I am still not sure I know what it is, but I do know how it differs from a “standard” Challah.  It is all in how the yeast is treated and how it is allowed to rise. The yeast is not bloomed, everything gets mixed together at once. The complete dough mixture is allowed to rise for hours, to over-rise. Then it is put in the refrigerator overnight.

How the dough is handled also comes into play.  This dough is rolled very flat, cut into strips and then braided into a flat braid and cooked right away.  The egg wash is added mid-cooking.


The dough rises in the oven, but not as much as a regular challah.


It was delicious!  We ripped off pieces with our Shabbat dinner and after shabbat I used it to make a breakfast egg sandwich and it was fantastic with the runny egg! Definitely a keeper.

Flatbread Challah


1½ tsp  yeast

2 tsp kosher salt

2 eggs

¼ cup honey

¼ cup margarine or butter, melted

¾ cup warm water

3-4 cups bread flour (you can also use all-purpose flour)


Mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey and melted margarine with the water in the bowl of a stand mixer that has a dough attachment.  Gradually add in the flour.  The dough will be very sticky and will not turn into a ball.  Add enough flour so that it is a dough, and not a batter though.

Cover the bowl. Loosely and put it in a warm spot to rise. In fact, you are going to let it over rise – about 3 to 4 hours. (Perfect for my night before challah habit – mix the dough after dinner, then put it in the fridge at bedtime). You will know it has over risen because as soon as you move the bowl, it will collapse in upon itself.  This is what you want.  Do not punch the dough down, just let it collapse.  Refrigerate the dough for 1-5 days in the same bowl it rose in. Just cover it loosely.


To bake, preheat the oven to 425F and prepare your baking sheet with parchment.  Take the bowl from the fridge and remove the dough by scraping it away from the sides.  Take one of the portions of dough with your hands and flatten it onto a floured surface. You are now going to roll it into a 9X14 rectangle.

Using a sharp knife cut the dough in to three strips each about 3 inches wide.  Keeping the strips flat on the work surface, gently coax them into a braid. Do not twist them, leave them flat on the table as you braid, and don’t pull them out of shape. When you get to the end, pinch the strands together, but try to keep them flat.


Place the braid on the baking sheet.  Two braids will fit on a sheet. Do not allow the braids to rise a second time, they are ready to bake immediately.  Place the baking sheet in to oven for 10 minutes. At this point, remove it from the oven, put on the egg wash and the seeds of your choice.


Return the braids to the oven for another 8-10 minutes.  This is when the bread will rise.  Remove and cool on a rack.


Serve and enjoy!  Makes 2 braids.



Categories: Bread, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | 3 Comments

Corn Gazpacho

It’s hot, I don’t want to cook, I don’t want a salad, but I have a lot of veggies on hand, even some fresh corn from a local farmer. So I pull out my blender and throw it all in…


The color doesn’t look so pretty, but the taste makes up for it.  A refreshing lunch…


Corn Gazpacho

2 cups corn kernels, cooked (about 1 1/2 – 2 ears) (from Ficner’s Farm)

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 large cucumber, diced (from the garden)

1/2 orange or red pepper, chopped

juice of 2 limes

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (from the garden)

1 cup tomato juice


Put all the ingredients in the blender and puree.

Serve chilled topped with some cooked corn kernels.


Serves 4.


Categories: Cucumber, Kosher, Recipe, Soup, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Asiago Crisps for Tomato Salad

I must fess up – I wrote this last September when the last of my tomatoes were coming in.  It just did not feel like the ‘right’ time for a tomato salad recipe, so I decided to hold it off til now, when a nice tomato salad would sound quite appealing.

Most of the time you see recipes for parmesan crisps, but I was wondering, what about Asiago crisps.  I love a good Asiago. So I grated some Asiago, mixed it with a little flour and baked it.


I kept the salad simple, just tomatoes drizzled with some pumpkin seed oil, balsamic vinegar and salt.


The result…a refreshing salad with a bit of a kick to it…


Asiago Crisps for Tomato Salad

1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese

3/4 tsp flour

2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick (from the garden)

pumpkin seed oil (or other oil of your choice)

balsamic vinegar

Kosher salt


Heat the oven to 375F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, mix together the cheese and flour.  Place in 2 piles on the parchment paper.


Pat down into a 3-inch circle.IMG_7823.JPG

Bake in the center of the oven for about 7 minutes, til lightly browned.  It will continue to cook a bit after you take it out.  Let cook on the pan for a few minutes then transfer to a paper towel.


Lay the tomatoes on a flat plate, slightly overlapping. Drizzle lightly with the oil, vinegar and salt.


Break the crisps into pieces and sprinkle on the tomatoes. Serve and enjoy!IMG_7828.JPG

Serves 2 – simply multiply for more servings.


Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Rice and Lentils with Leeks, Kale and Za’atar Tomatoes

This version of mujaddrah adds greens to the dish, making it very healthy dish. We found that adding tomatoes marinated in red wine vinegar and olive oil, then topped with za’atar, brought out a brightness to the flavor.


For lunch the next day, we ate it cold with some feta cheese – that was another good addition.  To me this was a nice dish for a vegetarian dinner, but also as a cold lunch salad. Our favorite part, hands down were the crispy fried leeks!


Rice and Lentils with Leeks, Kale and Za’atar Tomatoes

adapted from Melissa Clark One-Pot Mujadara with Leeks and Greens

1 cup brown or green lentils

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, roots trimmed

2 ¼ teaspoons salt, more as needed

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

¾ cup long-grain rice

1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground allspice

¼ teaspoon cayenne

1 bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick

4 cups trimmed and chopped kale (from the garden)

For tomatoes

2 ripe tomatoes, chopped (from the garden)

2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp red wine vinegar

1/4-1/2 tsp za’atar

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Place lentils in a large bowl and add warm tap water to cover by 1 inch. Let soak.

Meanwhile, halve leeks lengthwise; run under warm water to release any grit. Thinly slice leeks crosswise.IMG_0523

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer half the leeks to a bowl to use for garnish and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.


Stir garlic into the pot with the remaining leeks and cook for 15 seconds until fragrant. Stir in rice and sauté 2 minutes. Stir in cumin, allspice and cayenne; sauté 30 seconds.IMG_0525

Drain lentils and stir into pot. Add 4 1/4 cups water, 2 teaspoons salt, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Rinse greens in a colander and spread damp leaves over lentil mixture.IMG_0527

Cover and cook 5 minutes more, until rice and lentils are tender and greens are wilted. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.IMG_0528

Meanwhile, mix tomatoes with olive oil, red wine vinegar and sprinkle with za’atar. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside.


Serve sprinkled with reserved crispy leeks and tomatoes on the side.



Categories: Kale, Kosher, Leeks, Main Dish, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Skillet Eggplant and Kale Pizza

One of my favorite things in my garden is when  have enough eggplant to make something.  It has been a rough few years for eggplant plants, they have been attacked by bugs early on.  This year, however, has been a good one, very few bugs, so the eggplants have been able to grow.  Hopefully this is the start of my eggplant season.

It is also the tail end of my kale season. Just one more dish after this. I will miss the kale.


Pizza from scratch, skillet pizza from scratch…definitely a winner. But make a homemade sauce and top them with the eggplant and kale from my garden and we had a delicious treat. And oh so pretty!



The crust is light and airy, the eggplant roasted so a soft perfection and the kale sauteed with garlic – honestly, what is there NOT to like?

Skillet Eggplant and Kale Pizza

adapted from Martha Stewart Magazine Skillet Pizza with Eggplant and Greens


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  • 1 eggplant (or 12 ounces small eggplants), stemmed and cut lengthwise into 1-inch-thick slices (from the garden)
  • Coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, cut into 2-inch pieces (from the garden)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced and ripped
  • 3 ounces provolone, thinly sliced and ripped
  • Fresh oregano leaves (from the garden)


Dough: Stir together flour, salt, yeast, and 1 1/4 cups water in a large bowl until dough is very sticky. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand 12 to 18 hours at room temperature.


Sprinkle dough with flour. Divide in half. Divide oil between two 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillets (preferably cast iron). Swirl to coat. Add dough to each skillet; turn to coat with oil. Gently flatten dough with your hand. Cover; let rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

Sauce: Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add pepper flakes and onion. Cook, stirring, until onion is tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add tomatoes and juices. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 20 minutes.


Let cool slightly. Puree sauce in a blender, in batches (to avoid filling jar more than halfway), until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.


Toppings: Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place eggplant in a colander; season with salt. Let stand 30 minutes.


Rinse eggplant, drain, and pat dry. Arrange on a baking sheet; brush with 2 tablespoons oil. Roast, turning once, until very tender, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces.


Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add chard in batches with 1 to 2 tablespoons water. Cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Let cool.


Preheat oven to 475 degrees with rack in lower third. For each pizza, press dough until it touches edge of skillet. Ladle 3/4 cup sauce over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with 3 ounces cheese. Add 1/2 cup each chard and eggplant. Top with another 3 ounces cheese.


Bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted, about 18 minutes. Sprinkle with oregano; serve and enjoy.


Makes 2 10″ pizzas.

Categories: Eggplant, Kale, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

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