Saturday, November 22, 2014

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

For this recipe, I started with my basic recipe for Roasted Potatoes and Onions and added some fresh rosemary in place of the parsley, to give the dish a deeper and more earthy accent.

This is one of my favorite side dishes for fall and winter - or anytime!


1 pound red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes
1 small or medium yellow onion, cut vertically into 6 or 8 wedges, depending on size
1 scant tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves, to taste*
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss the potato cubes with the olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Arrange the potato mixture in a single layer in a deep baking dish or roasting pan.

Cover with foil, and roast for 15 minutes. Uncover and stir.

Return to oven and roast uncovered, stirring occasionally, for another 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and golden.

-- 2-3 servings

* Note: Use a level teaspoon of chopped rosemary for a subtle herbal flavor. For a more assertive herbal taste, use a heaping teaspoon, or more as desired.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saffron-Parmesan Risotto

For this risotto, I started with my vegan recipe for Saffron Risotto and added some Parmesan cheese to make it more authentically Italian.

I love both versions. Which do you prefer?


4 cups (1 quart) vegetable broth
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

In a large saucepan, heat the broth over medium heat almost to a boil. Reduce the heat to low or medium-low, and keep the broth at a slow simmer.

In a separate large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium to medium-low heat. Add the onion, and saute for 4-6 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Do not let the onion burn.

Add the rice to the onion mixture, and saute for a minute or two, until all the rice is coated.

Add the wine and the saffron to the rice mixture, and saute over medium heat until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Add the hot vegetable broth to the rice mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly each time until most of the liquid is absorbed before adding more.

Repeat until the rice is tender and creamy, but still slightly firm in the middle (al dente). The process will take at least 20-35 minutes. You may not need to add all of the broth, or you may need to add some water or more broth to achieve the desired consistency. The finished risotto should not be runny, but should also not be stiff.

Stir in the Parmesan, along with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, for another minute or two to blend all the flavors.

Sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.

-- 3-4 servings

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Lemon

This is my latest variation for roasted Brussels sprouts. Here, garlic lends a deep, earthy flavor, while a splash of fresh lemon juice brightens it up. The combination is delightful.


12 ounces fresh Brussels sprouts
1 (medium to large) clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 lemon, cut into 6-8 wedges

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rinse the Brussels sprouts, trim the ends, and remove any of the outermost leaves that are yellow or discolored. Cut each sprout in half lengthwise.

In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients, and let sit for 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Pour the Brussels sprout mixture into a baking dish or roasting pan, and arrange the sprouts in a single layer.

Cover with foil and roast for 10 minutes.

Remove and discard the foil.

Stir the sprouts.

Return the sprouts to the oven and continue roasting, uncovered, for another 10-20 minutes, or longer as needed, stirring once or twice, until the sprouts are nicely golden on the outside and tender inside.

Squeeze one of the lemon wedges over the roasted sprouts.

Serve with the remaining lemon wedges for garnish and sprinkling, as desired.

-- 3-4 servings

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Prunes Stuffed with Almonds

Prunes are dried plums, and fruits and nuts are a great combination.

In this recipe, I stuff each pitted prune with a whole roasted almond. The tender, sweet prune and the crisp almond combine in a delightful contrast of flavors and textures, especially if you pop the whole thing in your mouth at once.

This recipe does not list quantities, so you can make as many or as few as you need for any occasion. Just use one whole almond for each pitted prune.


Pitted prunes (dried plums)
Roasted whole almonds

Cut each prune lengthwise along one side to "butterfly ".

Stuff each prune with a whole almond, and then lightly press to partially close the prune.

Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. For best flavor, serve at room temperature.