Squash, Fennel and Taleggio Galette

25 02 2017

I looked in my refrigerator and found a Kabocha squash and a head of fennel and got inspired. This is a classic French style galette, meaning an open-form tart. It is easy to make with store bought puff pastry. The texture and flavor combinations are sublime particularly topped off with the creamy Taleggio. It serves 4.


1 small squash or pumpkin

5 tbsp. olive oil (you can use flavored oils as well like rosemary olive oil)

1 tsp mace, ground

2 small fennel bulbs

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp fennel pollen or fennel seeds, crushed

1 lb baby spinach

1 tbsp. unsalted butter

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tsp milk (for an egg wash)

1/2 lb Taleggio cheese, sliced

1 box puff pastry

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Winter Squash Polenta with a Wild Mushroom Ragout

20 10 2010
My husband kept asking me to come up with some good polenta recipes. So I finally completed his request. This dish used up two winter squashes I had from my Mom’s garden. You can use Butternut, Acorn, Delicata or any other winter squash. Also, you can use any selection of wild mushrooms you like. This can be prepared ahead. Make the polenta and put in the baking dish and then refrigerate. Bake before serving. Saute the mushrooms ahead. Then add in the stock and cream before serving.

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Kale and Butternut Squash Strata

29 09 2010
A strata is a type of bread pudding like casserole. It is a one dish meal made with bread cubes soaked in eggs and milk (like french toast) and then baked with assorted vegetables. In this case, I used fall flavors of kale, chard and butternut squash. It almost was like a stuffing casserole. I served it to guests who found it delicious. My complete menu was Tarragon Zucchini soup followed by the Strata and a nice green salad with a Sherry shallot vinaigrette. I finished the meal with a peach and blueberry crisp. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Squash Orange Muffins

4 08 2010
Guess what? More summer squash from my Mom’s garden.  Not only did she send me with the squash but also with this recipe to try. It was a big hit. Kids eating squash – can’t get any better than that. It makes about 16 muffins

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Yellow Summer Squash and Corn Bisque

2 08 2010
Oh, the fun of using up random summer vegetables from a garden. I found myself with the dilemma of lots of yellow summer squash which normally does not appeal to two teenage boys. I have found a trick though in disguising vegetables. If you puree them, nobody knows what they are. So my son who swears he hates zucchini and squash ate a big bowl of this soup before I announced the main ingredient was squash. This soup is tasty and easy to make.

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Baked Polenta with Kabocha Pumpkin, Greens, and Sage

26 03 2010

I love making polenta. It is easy and so versatile. If you make a big casserole of polenta, it can be made ahead and serves lots of guests. You really can’t go wrong. I had pumpkin and swiss chard and spinach to use up in my refrigerator so I came up with this dish. You could also use butternut squash and any braising greens you like. I added in a smoked gouda at the end which gave it quite a nice smoky flavor. My husband said it reminded him a little of bacon. Of course, if you want a milder flavor so that you can taste more of the sage, use shredded mozzarella instead. I wanted to feature EVOO’s Sage and Mushroom oil in this dish but I think the smoked cheese was too strong for it. I did roast the pumpkin in that oil and it gave off a great aroma. So I think I can refine this dish by taking out the smoky flavor and accenting more with the sage which goes so beautifully with winter squash. Read the rest of this entry »

Vegetable Pot Pie

17 03 2010
pot pieWhenever I look in my refrigerator and find a plethora of vegetables, I know it is time to make a vegetable pot pie. Use your favorite savory pie crust recipe. I use my recipe I learned in Paris. It is one I teach in my cooking classes because it is hard to describe the process to make it on paper. Making pastry is truly getting the feel for it. This recipe for Pot Pie is a little unusual because I add saffron to the sauce. It adds a little gourmet touch over the basic white sauce found in most pot pies. The other night, I experimented with throwing in some of the cooked vegetables from a Moroccan stew and they add a whole new dimension of flavor. Also, I did not have any fresh mushrooms so I soaked some dried shiitake and sliced them. I added some of the soaking mushroom broth to the sauce instead in addition to vegetable stock and omitted the cream. So the moral of the story is to experiment when making a pot pie. Any filling goes so look in your pantry and refrigerator and see what you can come up with. Please report back if you have a great success story.
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Moroccan Vegetable Stew with Quinoa

14 03 2010
I love the flavors of Morocco, particularly a good tagine served over couscous. I saw this idea to use quinoa instead of couscous and I thought that would be great for people who are gluten-free. I discovered quinoa makes a perfect substitute. Remember, when making a stew, you can substitute any vegetables you have on hand. This stew also would have been good with some garbanzo beans in it. You can make it less spicy and then add harissa in, (a Moroccan chili paste), to your own liking. Read the rest of this entry »

Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

10 03 2010
Wow, last night I made this fantastic soup! I looked in my refrigerator and found a butternut squash and some overripe pears. This recipe used them up beautifully. I could really taste the lovely combination of the sweet pears and the creamy butternut.
Before I made the soup though, I quickly threw together a Vegetable Stock (see recipes). I kept throwing in things like the peelings of the butternut squash as I was preparing to make the soup. I really think the key to a good soup is the stock. If you have to buy commercial stock, then use less stock and dilute it with water. Commercial stock is thicker than homemade.

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Variation to the Maple-Ginger Roasted Vegetables

25 02 2010

Another variation to the Maple-Roasted Vegetable recipe is to  omit the pecans, ginger, syrup and nutmeg and toss the vegetables with olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander and 1/4 tsp cayenne. Roast for 55 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tender and browned. Toss the roasted vegetables with some feta cheese and 1 cup of pomegranate seeds. Sound pretty huh?