Monthly Archives: August 2015

Pasta with Tomato Pesto & Corn

To be honest, I was not expecting much when I made this dish. The thought of a tomato-based pesto intrigued me, but I did not expect the nice pesto flavor that the sauce actually had.


It had a rich texture from the nuts, a bright flavor from the basil and fresh tomatoes, a great bite from the fresh corn and just the right amount of saltiness from the cheese.


It was a good thing that the dish pleasantly surprised me, because I had a whole house full of people and made a double recipe – that’s a whole lot of corn and pasta!


A whole lot of fun items from my garden went into the pesto – tomatoes, garlic, basil and parsley. So pretty!


Pasta with Tomato Pesto & Corn

very slightly adapted from Posie Harwood’s Linguine with Red Pesto and Corn

1 lb dried linguine other thin pasta

ripe tomatoes (from the garden)

15 basil leaves (from the garden)

1 Tbsp parsley leaves (from the garden)

clove garlic (from the garden)

pinch salt

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/4 tsp black pepper

6 Tbsp olive oil

ears fresh corn (locally grown)

Parmesan, for serving (optional)


Shuck the corn and slice the kernels off of the cob.


Bring a large pot of water to boil. Score an x into the bottom of each tomato. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for about 1 minute, until their skins split. Transfer them to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Once cool, peel the skins.


Return the pot of water to boil, add salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, following the instructions on the package. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, combine the peeled tomatoes, basil, parsley, salt, garlic, almonds, pepper, and olive oil. Process until smooth.



In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the sauce and the raw corn.


Serve topped with chopped parsley or grated Parmigiano reggiano. Enjoy!


Serves 4.


Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Pasta, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Smoothie Time

We spent our vacation on the beach on Hilton Head Island, SC.  It was beautiful…


But it was also very hot, and very humid…


The last thing I wanted was a hot or heavy breakfast.  It was Smoothie Time! Our favorites were…

Pomegranate Berry Smoothies


And Mango Blueberry Smoothies


Pomegranate Berry Smoothies

1/2 cup pomegranate juice

1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt

1 cup frozen mixed berries

1 tsp almond meal – optional



Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.



Serve and enjoy!



Makes 1 Smoothie.


Mango Blueberry Smoothies

by Martha Rose Shulman

1 mango, cut up

1 cup almond milk

2 tsp honey (local)

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (locally grown)

1 tsp almond meal

2 or 3 ice cubes


Combine all of the ingredients in a blender.


Blend at high speed until smooth.IMG_0993

Serve and enjoy!


Makes 1 10-ounce or 2 8-ounce servings.


Categories: Beverage, Breakfast, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

The Challah Project #9 – Nutella Hazelnut Challah

What is NOT to love about this bread? Challah dough, nutella, toasted hazelnuts.


The Nutella is braided through the bread in each strand.IMG_0924

It was delicious, with a light texture.  The toasted nuts on the top added a nice crunch which contrasted well with the fluffy bread.As you could imagine, it made a great French toast! IMG_0947


And was a real treat when used with PB & J!

Nutella Hazelnut Challah
3/4 cups lukewarm water

3/4 Tbsp instant yeast

1/4 cup honey (local)

3/4 Tbsp kosher salt

2 large eggs, slightly beaten (raised locally)

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

4 – 5 Tbsp Nutella

1/2 cup hazelnuts

1 egg + 1 Tbsp water, whisked to make egg wash


In the bowl of a standing mixer combine water yeast and honey.  Let sit for 10 minutes, until the yeast “blooms” (bubbles).  Mix in the eggs, melted butter and salt. Add in the flour and mix on medium using the dough hook for about 10 minutes.

Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


Remove the dough from the refrigerator and shape into a ball. Do this by stretching the surface of the dough and tucking it to the bottom all around, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. This creates a taut, smooth surface. Let the dough rest for about 20 minutes.


Meanwhile toast the hazelnuts. Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat. When hot, add hazelnuts and toast, stirring continuously so the nuts don’t burn. Toast until nuts are golden brown. Roughly chop.


Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece with your hands to a long 1 1/2″ thick rope (roll back and forth with palms of hands, starting in the middle and hands move out). Flatten each rope and spread about 1 1/2 Tbsp Nutella along the center.


Fold the sides of the ropes up over the Nutella, pinching the rope closed.


Braid the dough as desired.  I did a simple 3-strand braid and wound it into a circle braid.


Cover with towel and let rise for 1-1/2 hours.


Preheat your oven to 350F.

Brush the dough with egg wash and sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.


Bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

IMG_8584 Makes 1 loaf.


Categories: Bread, Recipe | 3 Comments

Zucchini Bolognese

I was planning on actually making meatloaf for dinner, but then to our pleasant surprise, our vegetarian daughter was going to be home for dinner.  Quick change in plans. I decided to do an adaptation of Martha Rose Shulman’s Zucchini Parmesan and make a vegetarian Zucchini Bolognese.



With the abundance of tomatoes in my garden, I would normally make my own sauce, but I was pressed for time and happened to have a really good vegetarian bolognese sauce in my cupboard. So I used that. This would have to rely on my zucchinis for its home-grown element.


Except for my 6 year old, who was in an “I am going to hate whatever you make” mood, dinner was a big hit.


Zucchini Bolognese 

Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman’s Zucchini Parmesan 

2 to 2¼ pounds zucchini (from the garden)

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste

2 1/2  – 3 cups vegetarian bolognese sauce

¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan


Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment.

Trim ends off zucchini and cut in half crosswise, then into lengthwise slices, about 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick.


Season on both sides with salt and pepper and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Arrange zucchini slices on baking sheets in one layer and sprinkle with red pepper flakes.


Roast for 12 minutes, until lightly browned and easily pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 375 degrees.


To assemble the dish, oil a 2-quart gratin with olive oil. Spread 1/4 cup sauce over bottom of dish. Arrange a third of the zucchini in an even layer over tomato sauce. Spoon a third of remaining sauce over zucchini and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan.


Repeat with 2 more layers, ending with 1/4 cup Parmesan.


Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until bubbling and browned on the top and edges.


Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!


Serves 4 – 6.

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

Parmesan Zucchini Crisps

The zucchini are coming in fast and furious. Have I said that yet?

I don’t know where hey come from, I can go out in the morning and pick the plants clean and by night-time, more appear!

As predicted, zucchini breads are starting to fill my freezer (I have made 8 in the past week alone). And still, my fridge is filled with zucchini. So it is time to add zucchini side dishes whenever possible. I hit on a winner tonight – an adaptation of Ellie Krieger’s Parmesan Zucchini Crisps.  They were these delicious (I could have eaten the entire try myself).


Sorry, we ate these too quickly for me to get a picture of them on the serving plate.

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

slightly adapted from Ellie Krieger

Cooking spray
2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total), (from the garden)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (3/4-ounce)
1/4 cup Italian dry bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the oil. In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and a few turns of pepper. Dip each round into the Parmesan mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, pressing the coating on to stick, and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove with spatula. Serve immediately.



Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian, Zucchini | 1 Comment

Blueberry-Corn Quick Bread

My oldest was coming home from grad school for a visit.  That’s Arielle, my zucchini bread-baking daughter. So, obviously, I could not have zucchini bread waiting for her when she got home from the airport. Instead, I made a blueberry-corn bread.


It was kind of a cross between a corn bread and a quick bread. Especially texture-wise – it had a bit of the corn bread bite, but still the feeling of eating a super moist quick bread.  A pretty nice combination.IMG_0862

And, of course, anything with blueberries has to make you smile.


Blueberry Corn Quick Bread

Slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine

1 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp flour

1/2 cup fine cornmeal

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

1 stick butter, softened

3/4 cup turbinado sugar

2 eggs, locally raised

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup milk, locally produced

Zest of 1 lemon

1 1/4 cups blueberries


Heat the oven to 350F.  Line a 9 x 5 loaf pan with parchment paper.

In a small bowl toss the blueberries with 1 Tbsp flour until coated.  Set aside.IMG_0857

In another small bowl, whisk together 1 1/4 cup flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.IMG_0853

Beat in the eggs and vanilla.IMG_0854

Beat in the milk and lemon zest. Then add the dry ingredients, beat until combined.


Fold in the blueberries.IMG_0858

Bake for 55 – 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.IMG_0860



Makes 1 loaf.

Categories: Blueberries, Bread, Recipe | 1 Comment

Three Bean Salad

There is something about three bean salads that makes me smile.  Perhaps it is the colors…


or the texture – crunchy, yet smushy,

or the slight sweetness,

or maybe it is the memory it evokes … When I was in college, I bicycled from Allentown to Lancaster, PA (about 70 miles) on the first day of what was to be a 3 day trip. When I arrived in Lancaster, after a beautiful ride through farmland, I stopped at a store to get food for dinner before getting to my B&B.  What did I get? Amish Three Bean Salad. Yes, I ate an entire jar! My body was hungry and it made it very happy.


Regardless of whichever reason was making me smile, it was time to turn my purple beans into a three bean salad. Enjoy!

Three Bean Salad

Slightly adapted from Jeff Mauro

Kosher salt

8 ounces “green” beans, washed and cut in half (purple beans from the garden)

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp honey

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

One 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 shallot, minced

Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Set up a large bowl of ice water. Add the “green” beans to the pot and cook until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and plunge the beans into the ice water to stop the cooking. Drain the beans.

Whisk the vinegar, mustard and honey in a large bowl. Whisk in the oil until emulsified.


Add the shallots and mix well.


Add the green beans, cannellini beans and kidney beans to the bowl and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, serve and enjoy!



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

Cousin Bentzi’s Pasta & Cabbage

I have never met my cousin Bentzi; he lives in Israel and was away when I was there last year. But I have been getting to know him through his art and the cooking he shares with us through our family group on FB.  I guess cooking, and enjoying feeding people, is a family trait we share.


When he shared the recipe for his pasta and cabbage I was so excited to try it, it looked like the ultimate vegetarian comfort food. In fact, that was exactly what it was called by my vegetarian daughter. I served it with zucchini chips to add some green to this very tan dish.


But I have to fess up – my cousin makes his own pasta. Alas, I do not have a pasta machine, so I took the easy way out and searched for noodles I thought most matched what he described.  I ended up with an Amish noodle, similar to what they would use for chicken and dumplings. The texture was great. Some day I will make my own pasta, but this will have to do for now.

 Cousin Bentzi’s Pasta & Cabbage

1 lb extra wide flat noodles (I used locally made Amish noodles and they were wonderful!)

2 – 3 Tbsp canola oil

3 large onions (or as I used, 1 large and 1 jumbo), sliced thin

1 medium cabbage, sliced thin

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

In a very large skillet over medium heat, fry the onions until slightly golden.


Add the cabbage and fry until golden.  Have patience, this can take some time. I cheated and covered the pot for 5 minutes to speed the process along. Season with salt and pepper.


Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain.  Mix with the cabbage and serve hot.  Enjoy!


Serves 6 – 8.


Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Pasta, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 4 Comments

White Beans with Tomatoes & Garlic

Every time I make this simple bean and tomato dish, I am reminded of how good and how versatile it is.  It is great the first night served simply with a hearty bread.


It is a treat as a topping for fried eggs.


And, not only is it tasty, it is so healthy!  Especially when I make it with tomatoes and sage from my organic garden (I guess I have never made it clear that my garden is organic, the only additive is compost from our own bins).IMG_0780

Given that I use a variety of my heirloom tomatoes, it is also a very colorful plate.  I could eat this weekly, all I need to do is remember how much I like it and how easy it to make.

White Beans with Tomatoes & Garlic

 Slighlty adapted from Martha Rose Shulman’s Mediterranean Harvest

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 -4 fresh sage leaves, chopped (from the garden)

3 – 4 cups of chopped ripe tomatoes (from the garden)

1 or 2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (depending upon your preference and amount of tomatoes you use)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp wine, sherry or cider vinegar


Heat the oil in a wide heavy skillet over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook stirring, for 30 seconds, until fragrant.


Add the sage and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.


Add the beans, salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Stir in the vinegar. Serve hot or warm and enjoy!


Serves 4.


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

The Challah Project #8 -Millet & Flax Seed Challah

A new type of Challah and a new type of braid, and I have to say that both are probably my favorites so far.


I LOVE the challah. It is light, yet substantial.  Not really sure how it can be both, but it is. The texture is fantastic, fun to rip apart or smoosh. We had it with white beans and tomatoes and it was a perfect substrate.


I doubled the amount of millet initially called for in the recipe and am quite happy with the result.


As for the braid, it is a “high top 4 strand”. It was strange to do, I undid it three times before I realized I was doing it correctly. But what a pretty braid…


I started with a recipe from TheChallah Blog, and significantly adapted it to my style of making challah, and what I am coming to learn is my preferred texture of the dough before the first rising (I.e. – how sticky I want the dough to be).


This is a definite keeper and will cause me to always have a supply of millet and milled flax seed in the house.


Millet & Flax Seed Challah   

adapted from The Challah Blog
3/4 c warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tbsp honey (local)
2 egg, beaten and divided (from Highland Orchards)
1/4 c canola oil
1 c all-purpose flour plus a little more
1 c whole wheat flour plus a little more
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp milled flax seed
2 tbsp millet

In the bowl of a standing mixer with a dough attachment, proof the yeast in the warm water and honey.  Let rest for about 10 minutes and then add the oil.  Add the egg to the mixture. Add a heaping cup of whole wheat flour and a heaping cup of all-purpose flour.  Sprinkle in the salt, flax seed, and millet.  Mix in a stand mixer on medium until the dough holds together as a ball.  Add more flour as needed, up to a total of 3 cups, the dough should still be a little sticky.

Place in a large oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight to rise.


Heat the oven to 350F. If you have a baking stone, add it to the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Punch down the down, place in on a lightly floured board and braid as you desire.  I did a high 4-strand braid.


Make an egg wash by adding 1 Tbsp water to the beaten egg. Brush it on top of the challah.

If using one, transfer the loaf to the baking stone.  If not, place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!


Makes 1 challah.


Categories: Bread, Kosher, Recipe | 1 Comment

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