Monthly Archives: August 2016

Fasoulakia – Green Beans in Tomato Sauce with Fresh Oregano

I found this really fun cookbook – The World at Table – Jewish Food by Matthew Goodman.  It is a collection of recipes from Jewish communities around the world, some of which no longer exist, but he found people, mainly living in the US, who have brought these recipes with them.  To me, this is irresistible.

This recipe from Ioannina, Greece features my beautiful purple “green” beans.

It is a simple dish to make, what takes longest is trimming the beans. But it is packed with flavor.  The fresh oregano melds quickly with the onions, garlic and tomatoes.


I could have eaten the entire pot myself!

Fasoulakia – Green Beans in Tomato Sauce with Fresh Oregano

Adapted from The World at Table – Jewish Food by Matthew Goodman

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 lb green beans, trimmed (from the garden)

1 cup crushed tomatoes

1/2 Tbsp fresh oregano leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions abd cook, stirring often until soft and translucent.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer.

Add the beans, tomatoes and oregano.  Season with salt and pepper. Stir to mix thoroughly.

Cover the pot and lower the heat to low.  Simmer, covered for 10-15 minutes, until the beans are the desired doneness.


Serve hot and enjoy!

Serves 4 as a side dish.


Categories: Green Beans, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Pan con Tomate (Toast with Tomato)

Another of my favorite foods from our trip to Barcelona was Pan con Tomate –  sourdough bread or a baguette toasted, rubbed with garlic then spread with grated tomato.

So simple, yet so delicious. And a great use for an heirloom tomato from my garden.

I had made a simple, delicious sourdough bread the day before.  It just called out to be made into pan con tomate for breakfast!

Pan con Tomate (Toast with Tomato)

Slices of sourdough bread or baguettes

1 clove of garlic, cut in half

1 tomato, preferably heirloom (from the garden)

Sea salt (I used flaked)

Good olive oil


Toast the bread, then rub the cut side of the garlic on the warm toast.

Grate the tomato into a bowl.

Spoon or spread the tomato onto the toasts.

Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Enjoy!

Serves 2 – 3, depending upon the size of the tomato.

Categories: Breakfast, Kosher, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Tomato and Cheese Frittata

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. Nothing says summer like tomatoes.

Then there are eggs, tomatoes and cheese – a familiar trinity. Make that home-grown heirloom tomatoes with fresh eggs from Farmer Kim and it becomes a holy trinity.

Ok, enough goofy phrases, what did I make? It is called a frittata, but with the bread in this mixture, this frittata is more like a strata than a frittata. It was surprisingly filling and satifsying, either as a lunch or as a dinner combined with a good salad.

Tomato and Cheese Frittata

from The World at Table – Jewish Food by Matthew Goodman

8 eggs, lightly beaten (from Farmer Kim)

1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, seeded and chopped (from the garden)

4 slices country bread, crusts removed, soaked briefly in water and squeezed dry, then crumbled

8 oz grated muenster cheese

3 oz grated parmesan

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 375F. Butter or spray a 13″ x 9″ baking dish.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, tomatoes, bread, half of the muenster, and the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.

Bake until the frittata has set and the top is golden brown, 25 – 35 minutes.

Let cool slightly, then serve warm. Enjoy!

Serves 8.




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

Andalusian Gazpacho & Catalan Vegetable Paella

Tonight’s dinner brought me back to my trip with my daughters to Barcelona last November.  Or, should I say, MAKING tonight’s dinner brought me back to our cooking class in Barcelona. I even used the recipe for gazpacho that Emily made that night.


But tonight we served it in glasses.

As our main meal I made a vegetable paella…

Both dishes were full of beautiful vegetables and herbs from my garden.

Memories of Spain… garden vegetables… a satisfying vegetarian dinner… happiness.

Andalusian Gazpacho

from Barcelona Cooking

6 tomatoes (from the garden)

1/2 cucumber (from the garden)

1 garlic clove

1 small jalapeno pepper (from the garden)

1/2 red pepper

300 ml water

2 Tbsp sherry vinegar

1 slice bread (or 1 small homemade roll)

2 Tbsp olive oil


Grate the tomatoes and cut up all the vegetables.

Set aside a little  (1 – 2 ounces) of the cucumber, green pepper and red pepper and dice them very finely to garnish the gazpacho.

Soak the bread in the water and vinegar.

In a bowl, mix all the vegetables together and pour the soaked bread in and blend while adding olive oil to emulsify.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Garnish, serve and enjoy!

Serves 4

Catalan Vegetable Paella

from Perla Meyers

tablespoons olive oil1 small fresh green chili pepper, finely minced (from the garden)

1 large Bermuda onion, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced

1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

2 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced

1 ½ teaspoon imported paprika

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (from the garden)

1 medium-sized zucchini, trimmed and cubed (from the garden)

4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (from the garden)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 ¼ cups arborio rice

2 cups chicken stock or bouillon

Finely minced fresh parsley for garnish (from the garden)


In a large deep, 12-inch iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chili pepper, onion and bell peppers, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the onion is lightly browned.

Add the garlic, paprika, thyme, zucchini and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in the rice and chicken stock or bouillon and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is tender. Taste and correct the seasoning. Garnish with finely minced parsley.

Serve the paella hot as an accompaniment to roasted or grilled meats or as a light Sunday supper, directly from the skillet, accompanied by a well-seasoned green salad. The paella can also be served at room temperature, doused with fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of fruity olive oil.

Serves 4 – 6



Categories: Cucumber, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Soup, Tomatoes, Vegetarian, Zucchini | 1 Comment

Mirza Qasemi

After refining my kabob recipe, it was time to delve blindly into a Persian dish I have never had, little less even seen a picture for. But the ingredients are good as well as the prescribed cooking method, so I figured I would try…

It all started with eggplant from my garden.

Add in tomatoes from my garden and eggs from farmer Kim. Then, while making this I also made a whole wheat version of taftoon, a Persian flatbread.

It was intense to do both, and as the Mirza Qasemi took shape I had to ask my husband, “does this look right?” “Does this taste right?” The answer to both was “yes” so here it is Mirza Qasemi a la Andrea’s kitchen.

It was even better than I had hoped – especially since I had no idea what I was shooting for, I just used my instincts and aimed for – tasting really good. Phew! It worked!

Mirza Qasemi

5-6 small eggplants (from the garden)

4 cloves of garlic, minced

3 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

2 medium tomatoes (from the garden), cut a small “x” into the bottom of each tomato

3 Tbsp canola oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Heat the oven to 400F.  Bake the eggplant until they are soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Remove the peel and cut off the stems. Chop.

Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to boil and blanch the tomatoes for 2 minutes.  Drain and let cool slightly.  Peel the tomatoes and chop.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat,  cook the garlic for 1 minute.  Add eggplant and cook for 3 – 4 minutes. Add tomatoes,salt and pepper and cook until the excess water cooks off, about 5 – 10 minutes.

Beat the eggs well with a fork and add to the eggplants.  Mix and fry for 5 minutes.

Serve with rice or flatbread. Enjoy!

Serves 4

Categories: Eggplant, Kosher, Persian, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | 5 Comments

Joojeh Kabob (Persian Chicken Kabob)…Revisited

I decided to revisit my recipe for joojeh kabob by making it more my own recipe, adding more flavors to the marinade to make it brighter (garlic and lemon).

I also wanted to show how to make it in the broiler – which is as easy as making it on the grill.  The main difference is you don’t use skewers when using the broiler (at least my big flat skewers do not fit in my oven).

Served with sumac and Persian rice, this version got the thumbs up from Persian husband and my son – who proclaimed it as “delicious!”

Joojeh Kabob

1/3 cup olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 tsp saffron

1 clove garlic, minced

1 large onion, grated

1 ½ – 2 lbs boneless chicken

4 medium tomatoes (from Highland Orchards or the garden)


Prepare marinade: mix together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, garlic, onion & saffron.

Cut the chicken into small chunks (bigger than bite-sized, maybe 2 – 3 bite sized). Pour the marinade over the chicken in a glass dish and marinate in the refrigerator, covered, overnight or for at least 2 hours.

If using the broiler, lay the chicken pieces and tomatoes out on a broiler rack.

Cook under the hot broiler on the highest rack. Cook for about 5 – 10 minutes on each side, checking after 5 minutes.

If using the barbecue, thread the chicken on metal skewers. Thread the tomatoes on a separate skewer. Cook for about 5 – 10 minutes on each side, turning frequently. 

Serve with basmati rice with sumac on the table. Enjoy!

Serves 4.


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

Tomato, Cucumber & Feta Salad

Midsummer + garden = tomato cucumber salads = heaven!

This one got the added benefit of baby red onions from the garden as well.

The onions were added as part of a greek feta dressing.

This salad makes a great side dish for a light summer dinner, such as with the zucchini kuku below.


Tomato, Cucumber & Feta Salad

Inspired by Michael Symon’s Greek Feta and Cucumber Salad

2 cups cucumbers, cut into small cubes (from the garden)

1 large heirloom tomato, cut into small cubes (from the garden)


1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (from the garden)

1 clove garlic, minced

2 baby red onions, diced

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil


Toss together the cucumbers, tomatoes and a large pinch of salt in a mesh strainer set over a bowl or the sink.

Combine the feta, oregano, garlic and onions in a separate bowl. Add the lemon juice and zest and whisk in the olive oil.

Drain off and discard any water that has released from the cucumbers and tomatoes. Toss together with the dressing. Serve and enjoy!

Serves 4


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

Zucchini Bread Waffles

“These are the best waffles ever!!” – was my 7 year old’s reaction after his first bite.  And that was after complaining that he did not want waffles for breakfast today.

I have been busy making zucchini breads – our one “must have” each summer.  Slowly filling the freezer with them.  I usually also make zucchini bread pancakes at least once, but decided to convert it to a waffle recipe this year.  Adding the crunchiness of waffles was great.  One of my favorite waffles as well!


Zucchini Bread Waffles

Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen’s Zucchini Bread Pancakes

2 large eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/4 cup buttermilk or 2 tablespoons each of milk and plain yogurt, whisked until smooth

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups shredded zucchini (from the garden)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


In a large bowl, combine eggs, olive oil, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth.

Stir in zucchini.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir dry ingredients into zucchini batter, mixing until just combined.

Preheat oven to 200°F and place a tray on a middle rack.

Heat a waffle iron and spoon 1/3 cup mixture for each waffle.  Cook til your desired doneness.

Transfer waffles to prepared pan to keep warm as well as ensure that they’re all cooked through when they’re served. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Makes 6 waffles

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

Salmon and Feta Pie

I really did not think I would be sharing this with you.  I mean, really, a salmon pie? But I couldn’t resist trying it, it did have feta in it after all. How can something with feta be bad?


Well, not only was it not bad, it was really good! Even my 7 year-old enjoyed it, and he has been very picky lately. He ate every last bite! And, to top it off, my husband had it cold for lunch the next day and told me he really enjoyed it cold, even more than he did hot.


We paired it with a Tuscan Kale Salad – with kale from my garden.  A happy dinner!


Salmon and Feta Pie

from Bumble Bee

1 pouch (5 oz.) Pink Salmon, flaked
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
4 ounce light cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs (from Farmer Kim)
1 tablespoon teaspoons chopped fresh dill or 1/2 tsp dried dill
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 green onions, chopped (from the garden)
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
1 9-inch unbaked frozen pie shell, thawed according
to package directions


Preheat oven to 375 F.

In food processor, process cottage cheese until smooth.


Add cream cheese and process until smooth.


Add eggs, dill and pepper, continuing to process until smooth.


Stir in salmon, green onions and feta cheese. Pour into pie crust.


Bake 35-40 minutes or until set.


Serve and Enjoy!


Serves 6 – 8

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Korean-style Cucumber Salad

While cucumbers are plentiful in my garden we enjoy refreshing cucumber salads  (my son just eats the cukes straight up). I was making Korean grilled chicken skewers for dinner, so of course we needed a Korean-style cucumber salad.

By the way, the dakkochi (skewered chicken) was delicious.  Click here for the recipe from Closetcooking.  I made mine under the broiler in the oven, but other than that, I used their recipe. It is a keeper!

Korean-style Cucumber Salad

adapted from

1 1/2 cups cucumbers, thinly sliced (from the garden)

1 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 Tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp sesame seeds

2 green onions, chopped (from the garden)


Place the cucumbers in a bowl.

Mix soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl.  Add to the cucumber and toss. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and toss again.

Add the green onions, mix and serve. Enjoy!

Serves 2

Note:  for a crunchier salad, serve immediately.  If you want the cucumbers to absorb more of the dressing flavor, let sit 10-15 minutes.



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

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