Easy Pumpkin Pie by Sweetie Pie

Serves 10

1/2 recipe Basic Pie Crust (recipe below) or 1 store-bought pie crust
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup pareve whipping cream or soymilk or coconut milk
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon baking powder

For the Basic Pie Crust (makes enough for 2 shells)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted margarine or shortening, cut into small cubes 1/4 cup ice water, or more as needed

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Flour a work surface well and press the dough into a disk. Roll evenly in all directions with a rolling pin until you have a round crust that is 10-inches in diameter.

Line a 9-inch pie plate with a piecrust and crimp the edges. Prick the bottom of the crust in a few places with a fork then bake the shell for 15 minutes, or until it is lightly golden. Remove from the oven to a wire rack and cool completely. Turn off oven.

In in a large bowl mash pumpkin, melted margarine, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon and almond extracts. Stir in the pareve whipping cream and eggs one at a time, beating well after adding each. Stir in the flour and salt and baking powder, and beat well.

Pour the filling into the prebaked piecrust and refrigerate for 1 hour, this will allow the pie to puff higher when you bake it.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the pie for 40-45 minutes, until the pie is firm when jiggled and lightly browned on top.

For the Basic Pie Crust:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the margarine with a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture is crumbly with pea-size pieces. (Or pulse in a food processor.) Gradually add the ice water, mixing gently until you can form the dough into a ball. The ball should stick together but still be crumbly. Do not knead the dough! Cut the ball in half and wrap up each half in plastic. Chill for 30 minutes or freeze up to three months.

Roasted Sweet and Savory Sweet Potatoes


Serves 6

6 medium-size sweet potatoes
8 tablespoons margarine or ¼ cup coconut oil
2 shallots, chopped
1-1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
¼ cup orange juice
½ teaspoon dried rosemary crumbled
For the Creamy Topping:
4 tablespoons margarine
3 tablespoons orange jucie
1/2 pound Tofutti cream cheese
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375F.
Wash sweet potatoes then cut slices into them about 2/3 down (not all the way through so it slices off). Place potatoes into baking pan and set aside.  

In a sauté pan, melt margarine and add shallots, hazelnuts, salt and pepper to taste. Sauté until shallots are translucent then add orange juice and rosemary and sauté for about 2 minutes, allowing everything to blend.   Remove from heat and pour over potatoes.

Cover tightly with tin foil and bake until potatoes are soft (when a fork is inserted easily, about 40-65 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes). Take potatoes out of oven and set aside.

To the same pan that you sautéed the nuts, add margarine and melt over medium heat. Add orange juice and allow it to blend. Slowly add in cream cheese and stir it gently into the mixture. Add cinnamon to taste and cook for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and pour mixture evenly over potatoes. Serve warm

Roasted Potatoes Infused with Rosemary and Oregano

Serves 4

1-1/2 pounds baby potatoes, halved
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 large sprigs fresh oregano
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to the oven 450°F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes with the garlic, oregano, rosemary, olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and spread them out on the baking sheet so they’re evenly spaced. Roast, tossing halfway through, until the potatoes are deep golden brown and tender, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly and season to taste with more salt and pepper before serving.

Romaine, Arugula, Fennel, and Avocado Salad

Serves 6

5 cups chopped romaine
2 cups arugula
½ fennel bulb, sliced thin
¼ cup fresh mint, diced
1 avocado, cut in 1-inch pieces
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup toasted hazelnuts

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad: On a large platter scatter the lettuce. Top with fennel, mint, avocado chunks, pomegranate seeds, and toasted nuts.

For the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk Dijon, honey, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly drizzle in olive oil until emulsified and incorporated.

Pour desired amount of dressing over salad. Toss and serve.

Hanukah Standing Rib Roast

Serves 10

Use vegetables or root vegetables or potatoes on the bottom of the roast in this recipe. I often use baby potatoes and cipollini onions.

1 (7 – 8 pound) standing rib roast
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup beef stock
1 cup red wine
¼ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
2 teaspoons fresh, chopped thyme
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 425F.
On a roasting pan, place onions, carrots, and celery. Cover with beef stock and wine. Place beef on top of vegetables, bone-side down.

In a small dish, mix olive oil, garlic and onion powder, paprika, pepper, salt, parsley, rosemary, thyme and thinly sliced garlic. With your hands, evenly coat the meat with the spices

Place roast in oven for 25 minutes. Do not open the oven, but turn down the heat to 300F. Cook for approximately 2 ½ hours for rare (130F). Remove from oven, cover and allow meat to rest for 15 minutes.

Remove vegetables from roasting pan and skim fat. Place liquid in a small saucepan over medium heat, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve meat with vegetables and sauce poured on top.

Green Beans with Cipollini Onions and Wild Mushrooms

Serves 8 – 10

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound cipollini onions, peeled (halved if large)
2 pounds green beans, stem ends trimmed
6 tablespoons unsalted margarine, divided
8 ounces wild mushrooms chopped
1/3 cup minced shallots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, without moving, until golden brown (reduce heat if they get too dark too fast). Care­fully turn onions over and let cook until dark golden on both sides and softened inside, about 30 minutes total. Set aside.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook beans until bright green and tender, 6 to 10 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Add 2 tbsp. margarine, stirring just until melted.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a medium frying pan over high heat. Add mushrooms; reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms release all their liquid and start to brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Add remaining 4 tbsp. margarine to pan. When margarine has melted and begins to sizzle, add shallots, thyme, salt, pepper, and reserved caramelized onions. Cook, stirring gently, until shallots have softened. Add broth and bring to a simmer.
Meanwhile, rewarm beans and transfer to a large platter. Pour mushroom mixture over center of beans.

Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Serves 12

6 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
1/4 cup melted margarine plus 3 tablespoons cut into pieces and more for greasing dish
1/2 cup pareve whipping cream
About 1 teaspoon kosher salt
About 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet until very tender when pierced, 1 1/4 hours.
Cut sweet potatoes in half and let cool a bit. Scoop out flesh and beat half of them at a time in a stand mixer, using paddle attachment on medium speed, until very smooth, about 3 minutes.
In a large bowl, stir together sweet potatoes, melted margarine, pareve cream, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Taste and add more salt and pepper if you like. Grease a 3-qt. baking dish. Add sweet potatoes and smooth surface. Top with pecans, maple syrup, and butter pieces. Cover dish with parchment paper cut to fit, then foil.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until pecans are crunchy, 20 minutes more.

Pumpkin Parfaits

Serves 12

Two 15-ounce cans pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 cups tofutti cream cheese
2-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 cups pareve (non-dairy) whipping cream
1-1/2 cups crushed chocolate wafer cookies (6 ounces)

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the pumpkin puree with the pumpkin pie spice, salt, 2 cups of the tofutti cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups of the confectioners’ sugar until thick.

In another large bowl, beat the non-dairy cream with the remaining 2 cups of Tofutti cream cheese and 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form.
Spoon half of the pumpkin mixture into 12 glasses and top with half of the cream mixture and half of the crushed wafers. Repeat the layering once more. Refrigerate the parfaits until well-chilled, at least 1 hour, before serving.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Lemon, Thyme and Pistachios


Serves 6

1-1/4 pound Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons margarine
1/3 cup finely chopped shallot (from 1 large shallot)
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup pareve sour cream
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup shelled salted pistachios, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped

Trim the bases and separate the leaves of the Brussels sprouts by hand. Melt the margarine in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and shallots, stirring occasionally until just tender and browned in spots, 5 to 8 minutes.
Stir in the lemon zest and thyme. Add the sour cream and stir to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve garnished with the pistachios.

Roasted Fall Vegetables with Lentils and Fall Spices

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Emma Star Jensen

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Emma Star Jensen

Serves 6

Warm Indian flavors make this an ideal nice recipe that is comforting, filling and full of flavor.

7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 jalapeno, optional, seeded and chopped
1 large celery stalk, diced
2 small carrots, diced
1 large onion, half finely chopped, half cut into 1-in. chunks
4 1/2 teaspoons garam masala, divided
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided
1 cup green lentils, rinsed
About 3 cups vegetable broth
About 1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon honey
1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs.), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1- to 1 1/2-in. chunks
1/2 pound small brussels sprouts, sliced or shredded
1/4 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 425°. In a 5- to 6-qt. pot, heat 3 tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Add chile, celery, carrots, and chopped onion and cook, stirring often, until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add 2 tsp. garam masala and cook, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add thyme and 1 tsp. mustard; cook 1 minute.

Stir in lentils, 3 cups broth, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until lentils are just tender, about 40 minutes, checking occasionally and adding more broth if needed so they’re covered in liquid.

Meanwhile, in a 9- by 13-in. baking dish, whisk together honey; 1/2 tsp. salt; and remaining 4 tbsp. oil, 2 1/2 tsp. garam masala, and 1 tsp. mustard. Add squash and toss until well coated. Roast squash 15 minutes. Stir in onion chunks and brussel sprouts and cook until vegetables are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 15 to 20 more minutes.

Drain any excess liquid from lentils. Stir in orange juice and transfer lentils to a shallow bowl. Spoon roasted vegetables on top, and season to taste with more salt.

Creamy Fall Squash Soup with Crunchy Topping

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Emma Star Jensen

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Emma Star Jensen

Serves 6
Almond milk adds depth of flavor to a standard squash soup. The toppings give it great crunch. It can be pareve or dairy.

1/4 cup olive oil
5 cups butternut squash chunks (1-in. pieces; use a 2 3/4-lb. squash or 1 1/2 lbs. chunks)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped ripe Bartlett pear
About 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 qt. vegetable broth
½ cup soymilk
½ cup non-dairy creamer, pareve whipping cream or almond milk (or for dairy version, use whole milk)
1/3 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
Crunchy Toppings:
3 radishes, sliced and cut into matchsticks
3 green onions, cut into 1 1/2-in. slivers
1/3 cup roasted, salted hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese, dairy version only
1/2 jalapeño chile, seeded (if you like) and diced

Make soup: Heat oil in a wide 5- to 6-qt. pot over medium-high heat. Add squash, yellow onion, pear, salt, and pepper. Sauté until squash starts to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add broth, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add soymilk, creamer and almond butter to broth mixture. With an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Return soup to pot and cover.

Make topping: In a medium bowl, gently toss together radishes, green onions, pumpkin seeds, feta (dairy version only), and chile.

Reheat soup just to a simmer, if needed. Stir in lime juice and brown sugar, and add more salt to taste if you like. Ladle into bowls and serve with topping.

Fall Salad with Vinaigrette

Credit: Tyler Florence

Credit: Tyler Florence

Serves 10

Tyler Florence one of my favorite celebrity chefs is all the rage in Northern California. He lives in Marin county and runs two restaurants and his recipes are featured everywhere. Having just spent a few days in Sonoma Wine Country, I was inspired to recreate one of his great salads. His version calls for sherry vinegar and a few different artisan lettuce varieties but my GKC spin makes it a bit more accessible. Please forgive me Tyler, I love your recipes!

3/4 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper
1 head of red leaf lettuce, leaves torn
2 heads of Treviso or radicchio, cored and leaves torn
2 cups arugula
2 Fuyu persimmons, cored and very thinly sliced crosswise on a mandoline
1 Pink Lady apple, cored and very thinly sliced on a mandoline
1 medium fennel bulb, cored and very thinly sliced on a mandoline
Edible flowers

In a medium bowl, whisk the vinegar with the mustard, honey and thyme. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season the dressing with kosher salt and pepper.
In a very large serving bowl, toss the lettuce, radicchio and arugula. Scatter the persimmons, apple, fennel and pecans on top and garnish with edible flowers. Pour some dressing on salad, not all of it, and toss. Serve the salad, passing more dressing at the table.

Salad can be prepared on a platter for a nice presentation.

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Muffins


I saw these on Sallysbakingaddiction.com and had to try them.
These 130 calorie chocolate muffins taste like dessert. Lightly flavored with pumpkin, spices, and maple – you’ll be happy to jump out of bed to bite into one this fall.

3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 large egg whites
2/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (for pareve use Tofutti sour cream – more calories though)
2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray. If using cupcake liners, spray those lightly with nonstick spray. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, brown sugar, maple syrup, egg whites, greek yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk them all together until smooth, with no yogurt lumps remaining.
Sift the flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together into a large bowl. Slowly stir in the wet ingredients, being careful not to overmix. Fold in the mini chocolate chips. The batter will be a little chunky and extremely, extremely thick.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups – fill them all the way to the top if you can. If desired, sprinkle a few more mini chocolate chips on top before baking. Bake for 5 minutes. Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the temperature down to 375F and continue to bake for 13 more minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of one muffin. If it comes out clean, they are done. If not, bake for only 2 more minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Muffins stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months.

Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


Serves 8

2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
15-ounce can pumpkin puree (pure pumpkin pack)

For the Frosting:
3 ounces Tofutti cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon soymilk

Preheat oven to 350 F and spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, and beat at low speed until combined and the batter is smooth.
Spread batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, in a mixer, beat the Tofutti cream cheese until smooth. Add in the sugar and soymilk and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread over cooled cake. Dust lightly with cinnamon, if desired.

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars (Vegan, Gluten-Free)


Makes 16 bars
My friend Devorah sent me these Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars, gluten-free and vegan!

1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups oats
1 cups light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (reduce/increase to taste)
1 teaspoon cinnamon (reduce/increase to taste)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Optional: Add raisins, nuts, chocolate/white/peanut butter chips to the mixture. I’d suggest starting with 1/3 to 1/2 c and going from there based on taste preference.

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a foil-lined 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch pan.

Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir by hand. Spread batter (it will be pretty moist) into prepared pan.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. The bars may still look underdone, but that’s ok because they will continue to set up as they cool. Allow to cool very well before slicing. Store extras in the refrigerator or freeze.

Sweet and Savory Champagne-Braised Brick Roast

This technique and recipe can be used on any roast or on ribs. The dry rub gives a smoky depth of flavor and the Champagne makes it sweet and tender.
Serves 8

Dry Rub:
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 (4- to 5-pound) brick roast, Delmonico roast, brisket, or beef ribs, about 7 to 9 pounds bone-in

1 cup Champagne, sparkling white wine, or Prosecco
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, non-fish variety
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 275°.

Make the dry rub: In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, pepper,
salt, espresso powder, allspice, and chili powder. Rub all over the meat, coating all sides.
Place in a roasting pan (for ribs, place in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets) and
let sit, covered, in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

For the glaze: Place the glaze ingredients in a small pot and cook over medium heat until just hot. Remove meat from the refrigerator. Pour the glaze over the meat. Cover the pan with
heavy-duty aluminum foil and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours (2 1/2 to 3 hours for ribs), or until tender.
Remove from the oven. Pour the liquid from roasting pan into a saucepan. Bring to
a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and let it cook until the liquid reduces by half and is
slightly thickened, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Preheat the broiler.

Brush the glaze on the roast or ribs. Set under the broiler until the glaze caramelizes
and forms a crust, 1 to 2 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn! Serve with
remaining glaze. (Alternatively, serve the roast or ribs with the glaze on the side and
skip the broiling step).

Make Ahead
Can be prepared 2 days ahead of time. Store, covered in the refrigerator or freeze
up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator. Rewarm, covered, in a warming drawer or 300° oven.

Coconut and Macadamia Nut Biscotti


I love dunkable biscotti because, since they are usually made with oil, they can be a breakfast treat or a late-night snack. I officially give you permission to eat cookies in the morning. This one is especially good because it uses decadent macadamia nuts. You can substitute another type if you prefer, but I love the combination with coconut. This cookie base is a great one for any kind of add-in, so change up any of the ingredients as you like: you can substitute or add lemon zest or orange zest, different types of chips, or other dried fruits. It comes out great every time—plus they freeze well.

Makes 2 dozen

1 egg plus 1 egg white
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
2/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Whisk egg, egg white, and oil in a large bowl. Add sugar, white chocolate chips, nuts, coconut, vanilla, and salt; mix well. Set aside.

Combine flour and baking powder in a small bowl; gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture. Stir until combined. Cover and chill dough in the freezer for 20 minutes, or in the refrigerator for an hour or up to overnight (the dough should be chilled before shaping so it isn’t too sticky).

Preheat oven to 325°∆F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats. Divide dough in three equal parts. Flour a board or the counter and your hands. Form each piece of dough into a log about 1 inch thick and 3 inches wide. Press down a little so that the top is all level. Place on prepared sheets.

Bake 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes, and then cut logs into diagonal slices. Turn slices on their sides, and return baking sheets to oven. Bake an additional 10 minutes.

Cool 2 minutes before removing to wire racks.

Make Ahead
Can be prepared 2 days ahead of time. Store, covered, or freeze up to 3 months.
Serve at room temperature.

Fresh Mixed Green Salad with Herbed Avocado Dressing


Serves 4

Herbed Avocado
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
2 large avocados, pitted
½ preserved lemon, seeds removed, finely chopped
¾ cup Tofutti sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped mixed fresh herbs (I use cilantro, parsley, tarragon
and/or mint but use what you like)

Lemon Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons light agave syrup (nectar)
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon olive oil

Salad And Assembly
3 heads of baby romaine, red leaf, or Little Gem lettuces, leave
2 cups arugula or radicchio
½ cup edible flowers (such as nasturtiums, bachelor’s buttons, and/or
½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
Flaky sea salt
½ cup finely chopped unsalted, roasted pistachios

Herbed Avocado
Combine shallot, vinegar, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and let sit 20 minutes to lightly pickle.
Using a spoon, scoop avocado flesh into a food processor; discard skins. Purée until smooth. Add preserved lemon, Tofutti sour cream, oil, and shallot along with pickling liquid; season with salt and pulse to combine.

Transfer avocado mixture to a medium bowl and stir in herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and/or more lemon juice, if needed.

Do Ahead: Herbed avocado can be made 1 day ahead. Cover, pressing plastic wrap directly onto surface, and chill.

Lemon Vinaigrette
Whisk lemon juice and agave in a medium bowl; season with salt. Whisk in oil, then olive oil. Taste vinaigrette and adjust seasoning with more salt if needed.
Do Ahead: Vinaigrette can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Salad And Assembly
Toss lettuces, arugula, and edible flowers in a large bowl to combine. Drizzle about half of lemon vinaigrette over and toss to coat. Season salad with salt.
Spoon 2 dollops of herbed avocado onto each plate and loosely mound salad over top. Scatter pistachios over and around salad and drizzle with remaining lemon vinaigrette.

Hanger Steaks with Shallot Red Wine Sauce

Serves 6

3 lbs. hanger steak, about ¾-inch thick (or other grilling type steak)
5 tablespoons margarine
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
¾ cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar

Season steaks with salt and pepper. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the margarine. Add steaks and cook over high heat, turning once until medium rare, about 10 minutes total cooking time. Remove steaks from heat.

In the same saucepan, add 2 more tablespoons margarine and the olive oil. Add the shallots and coook over medium heat until shallots are softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add red wine, vinegar and sugar and simmer until reduced by ½, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining tablespoon margarine. Season with a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper.

Slice steaks and serve with sauce

Kale Minestrone with Basil Drizzle

Serves 8

3 sprigs oregano
3 sprigs rosemary
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces pastrami, chopped (optional)
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces baby Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed, cut into ½” pieces
½ bunch Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into 1”

Basil drizzle
2 garlic cloves
1 cup fresh basil leaves
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Kosher salt

Make the soup:
Tie oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves together with kitchen twine.
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium. Add chopped pastrami, if using and cook, stirring often, until browned around the edges, about 5
minutes. Add onion, leek, carrots, celery, garlic, and red pepper
flakes; season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until onion is
translucent and carrots are tender, 10–12 minutes. Add tomato
paste and cook, stirring to coat, until slightly darkened, about 3

Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you go, then herb
bundle, and 6 cups water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add potatoes, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender and flavors have melded, 20–25 minutes. Add kale and beans; cook until kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Discard herb bundle.

Do Ahead: Soup can be made 2 days ahead (or 2 months if frozen).
Let cool; transfer to airtight containers and chill.
Basil Drizzle And Assembly

Pulse garlic and basil in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in oil, and lemon zest; season with salt. Serve soup topped with basil drizzle.

Chicken with Roasted Figs

Food Stylist: Randy Mon

Food Stylist: Randy Mon

Serves 4, can be doubled

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon corn starch
¼ cup honey
1 chicken, cut in 1/8’s
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
¾ teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large shallots, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
10 figs, stems trimmed, halved

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, whisk ¼ cup water, vinegar, and cornstarch. Whisk in honey and set aside. Sprinkle chicken on both sides with ¾ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.

In a large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Brown chicken, skin side down for about 8 minutes. Turn over and brown on the other side for 3 more minutes. Transfer chicken to plate and set aside.

Discard all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pan and return it to moderate heat. Add shallots and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garli and cook 1 more minute. Add cornstarch mixture, oregano, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook until mixture bubbles, about 2 minutes and is slightly thickened. Return chicken to pan, skin side up and add figs to pan too. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, until figs are soft and chicken is cooked through.

Serve chicken with sauce, figs and a sprinkle of fresh oregano or parsley.

Red Pepper, Corn and Black Bean Chowder

Serves 4, can be doubled

This is a cross-between a tortilla soup, black bean soup and a corn chowder. It’s smoky and warm and very comforting.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 roasted red peppers, or 1 cup jarred roasted red pepper
2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
½ teaspoon chile in adobe sauce*
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn kernals
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
Garnish, tofutti sour cream, lime, and cilantro, optional

In a soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add roasted pepper, chicken stock and chile in adobe sauce. Turn off heat. With an immersion blender, puree until smooth.

Return to heat and add black beans and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in corn and kosher salt. Serve with a dollop of Tofutti sour cream, some lime juice and a piece of lime and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.

*Chile in adobe sauce is available in a can, made by Roland with an OU. If you cannot find it in your local supermarket, substitute it with ½ teaspoon S’riracha sauce and ½ teaspoon chili powder.