A perfect dinner for the first week of school -- quick, nourishing, not too heavy after a warm day, but just soupy enough for the first cooler nights. It comes together in less than half an hour and uses those zucchini you know you've got laying around. (You do want small-to-medium zukes, though, not the baseball bats.)
Napa cabbage makes a great slaw; it's both more tender and less juicy than regular cabbage, so it softens easily without making a puddle at the bottom of the bowl. We like to pair it with carrots for color and crunch. You can change the flavor of the slaw, of course, by mixing up the seasonings. Basically you want salt and acid and a little bit of fat, plus whatever herbs or spices strike your fancy. Here are three ideas:
When in doubt, roast! We were stunned at how meltingly delicious the radicchio became - it didn't entirely lose its bite, but it mellowed and sweetened and became so tender and... yum. This is also a great technique for any kind of cabbage - we've been roasting the last of the Napas out of the cooler a lot lately, too.
1 small raddichio per person
plenty of olive oil and salt
Heat the oven to 425. Cut the raddichio in half, making sure the keep the stem intact so it'll hold the leaves together. Drizzle a good bit of olive oil on a plate, and rub each half in it, making sure to coat it well. (Yes, you can be stingy with the oil, and it'll still be pretty good. But it won't be amazing, and amazing is what we're going for here.) Sprinkle with salt. Place on a baking sheet, cut side down.
Roast for 8 minutes or so and turn; roast another 5-10, depending on size, until tender. You could drizzle with balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, if you want, but we just devour them plain.
This is a tasty and visually striking combination of tangy, spicy, and sweet. You can substitute a bit here (tangerines and cranberries come to mind...) but be sure to taste and make sure the flavors balance.
This dessert couldn't be easier or more delicious. Experiment with the proportions to find a level of richness and sweetness that works for you. Mixing in a blender or food processor, or with a handheld stick blender, will make for the smoothest "pudding," but stirring with a fork will certainly also work. Whipped cream on top never hurts.
2 parts roasted winter squash puree
1 part unsalted melted butter, cream, or half-and-half
1 part honey or dark maple syrup
Pinch of salt
Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger or pie spice (optional)
Combine well and adjust ingredients to taste.
A perfect fall dish - warm, filling, and so delicious. The sweetness of the squash is offset by the richness of the sausage and ricotta, the slight crunch of carrots and celery, and little bursts of tart cranberries. Make it with acorn or other smallish squash and give each person a half for a whole meal, or use a big butternut and serve alongside roast chicken and Brussels sprouts or a kale salad. The filling also makes an excellent gluten-free substitute for stuffing, come Thanksgiving!
This is a delicious, simple use for fennel and a great dish for a potluck! Add pasta and leftover diced chicken to make it a meal, or serve as a side along with a burger or pork chop. Like leeks, fennel tends to get dirt in between its layers. We usually slice it in half, then peel off the first few leaves and rinse, then slice them thinly. You can also quarter it and run under water to clean, then slice. Larger bulbs will have a slightly woody core that you may want to remove and either slice separately or discard.
Makes about 4 cups
1 medium fennel bulb (reserve a few fronds for garnish)
2-3 tomatoes (a mixture of colors looks nice)
1 small handful basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Slice the fennel as thinly as you can. Chop the tomato into small, bite-sized pieces. Stack the leaves of basil and cut into strips. Toss together with a few good pinches of salt and a dash or two of lemon juice and olive oil. Let stand for 10 minutes or so to draw the juices out of the tomatoes, then toss again. Add cooked pasta, diced cooked meat, white beans or chickpeas, if desired. Garnish with fennel fronds, and enjoy!
Brined pickles are easy to make, delicious, and good for you. The fermentation process increases vitamins and healthful enzymes, and they're probiotic, too!
Cucumbers with dill are the most traditional pickle in the US, but nearly any vegetable and herb mixture will work. (Ripe tomatoes are too soft, and I wouldn't try raw potatoes, but we've had good success with every other veggie we've tried so far.)
This is more of a method than a recipe, as you’ll see. We have some variation of this a few nights a week. If you don’t want meat, you can use your favorite substitute - creamy beans are a nice one. Some folks prefer to chop everything ahead of time, which is especially important if you don’t have a lot of experience with cooking. I find it faster to chop as I go, but I’ve done this a lot and have a good sense of how long each part will take and how well-done my family likes each of their vegetables. Try to keep everything about the same size to ensure even cooking. With each veggie addition, cook until they’re close but not quite done.
This is Jeremy's favorite way to do broccoli. It's adapted from a Cook's Illustrated recipe, which called for sugar and salt - we like our version better.
Other Good Places to Find Recipes
WTF is this vegetable?
Eating What We Grow (PDF)
Cookbooks We Like
Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Chez Panisse Vegetables
Flatbreads and Flavors
The Art of Simple Food
Feeding the Whole Family
Storage Guidelines for Fruits & Vegetables (PDF)
The Zen of Food Preservation (PDF)
101 Jam Recipes