Baking is science and I don't like formulas, but cooking is art and anything goes...and the simpler the better. It's all about less time at the stove and more time at the table. With a forty year passion for food I'm excited to share what I do in the kitchen nearly every day.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Roast Sweet Potatoes, Scallions, and Almonds


A single simple ingredient can be the difference between an ordinary and not so ordinary dish, and in this case, it’s toasted almonds.

Cut some sweet potatoes into one-inch chunks, toss with some olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast at 400 for about thirty minutes.  When they’re barely fork tender, stir in some chopped scallions and roast for another ten minutes.

While that’s cooking, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Once hot, cover the bottom of the pan with a handful of slivered or sliced almonds. Shake, flip, and stir until nicely toasted, about two minutes.  But keep an eye on them, there’s a short window between toasted and burnt.

Toss the potatoes, scallions, and almonds together in a large bowl then salt to taste.

Happy Fall!

Monday, September 20, 2021

Tahini Beans with Crispy Lentils

Summer is nearly over but the beans keep coming, and while this dish takes a bit of prep, it’s one of my new favorites. The cumin and honey spiced tahini alone would be enough to get excited about, and then add the crispy garlic and shallot lentils…wow!

Cut a pound of green beans into one-inch lengths then simmer in salted water for a couple of minutes. Immediately douse with cold water to cool, drain, then set aside.

Boil a third of a cup of beluga lentils until just tender, about 12 minutes. Run under cold water for a minute to cool, drain, then set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together a quarter cup each of tahini and extra virgin olive oil, the juice of one lemon, a tablespoon of honey, a teaspoon of ground cumin, and salt to taste. If necessary, stir in a tablespoon or two of water achieve a runny consistency.

Now you’re ready to start cooking. Toss the beans with some olive oil in a large pan over heavy heat. Once you start to see some searing, slide them into the bowl with the tahini and mix until coated well.

Turn the heat down to medium, add some more oil to the pan, then sauté a large sliced shallot and a few cloves of sliced garlic. After a minute, stir in the drained lentils, turn the heat up to medium-high and cook for another three to four minutes stirring often.

Spread the crispy lentils over the beans and serve.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Leek and Tomato Salad

This one is really about the blanched leeks, once prepped and stored in the fridge, I ended up eating them way more often than I would have. They were great for salads, omelets, enchiladas, on a bagel with cream cheese, or sautéed with some mushrooms and garlic on top of some grilled lamb. So if you’re going to go for it, prep three or four, they will last for days.

Another benefit of blanching, you don’t have to worry about cleaning them. Cut off the dark upper third of each leek and save for a soup or stew, then cut off the root end and discard. 

Cut the leeks down the middle the long way, then into 1/8 to ¼ inch slices. Once you’ve cut up all of your leeks, slide them into a pot of boiling salted water, turn down the heat and simmer for about two minutes. Remove immediately and plunge them into an ice bath. Drain and store.

And we can’t not mention that it’s still tomato season, the blanched leeks along with a lemon vinaigrette make for a delicately flavorful salad.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Frisee, Corn, and Potato Salad


What I love about this salad is the way the frisee wilts a bit when you toss it with the hot corn.  And then with a shallot Dijon vinaigrette…late summer perfection!

To make the vinaigrette, add a small minced shallot to a clean jar followed by a tablespoon of Dijon, a few heavy grinds of black pepper, three tablespoons of red wine vinegar, and six of extra virgin olive oil.  Shake it well, then salt to taste.

Cube or wedge some white or red potatoes into half inch pieces then lightly boil in extra salty water until barely fork tender.  Immediately strain and douse with cold water to keep them from cooking anymore.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, sauté a couple shucked corn and three finely chopped cloves of garlic for three to four minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Wash and cut your frisee into bite size pieces. Then, in a large bowl, toss it together with the potatoes and warm corn right out of the hot pan.  Stir in the dressing and serve.

If you add a piece of salmon or chicken on top, douse that with some of the dressing as well.