Savory Baked Apples
2/3 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup uncooked brown rice
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup apple cider
4 large Honeycrisp apples, cored
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
1 (4-ounce) link sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/3 cup finely chopped carrot
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
3 tablespoons minced green onions
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Bring broth to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 50 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes.
3. Combine cranberries and cider in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH 1 minute. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add mixture to rice.
4. Using a small spoon, carefully scoop out centers of apples, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick shell, and chop apple flesh. Brush the inside of apples with 1 tablespoon butter. Place apples on a baking sheet, and bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until just tender.
5. Preheat broiler to high.
6. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage, and sauté 5 minutes, stirring to crumble. Remove from pan; drain. Wipe skillet, and melt remaining butter in pan. Add chopped apple, yellow onion, and next 3 ingredients (through pepper); sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add sausage, onion mixture, walnuts, and next 3 ingredients (through sage) to rice; toss. Divide rice mixture evenly among apples; top with cheese. Broil for 5 minutes or until golden.
Beet-and-Goat Cheese Crostini
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 red beets or golden beets, cubed
24 (1/4-inch-thick) baguette slices
1 (4-ounce) package goat cheese, softened
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Garnish: micro greens, thinly shredded beet greens, or fresh parsley
1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Roast beets for 25 minutes. Cube.
3. Combine 3 tablespoons oil and next 4 ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle over beets, and gently stir. Set aside.
4. Brush remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil on baguette slices. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown.
5. Spread toasted baguette slices with goat cheese. Remove reserved beets from marinade with a slotted spoon, and arrange over goat cheese. Sprinkle with walnuts; garnish, if desired.
6 small round zucchini
Half an eggplant
1 slice of bread
Salt and ground pepper
1 can crushed tomatoes or 6 tomatoes
Directions Pre-heat your oven to 360°F (180°C).
1. Wash all vegetables, cut the tops off the zucchini and scoop out the center of the squash. Take care not to cut through the outer skin of the zucchini. You can use a melon baller to scoop out the zucchini, but a small spoon will also work. Roughly chop the scooped zucchini flesh for the filling.
2. Dice the eggplant and tomatoes. Peel and slice the onions. Crush the slice of bread to make crumbs. Chop the basil and add to vegetables. Gather everything in a large bowl and season with olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Fill zucchini with the vegetable mix, put the hat back on top and place zucchini in a baking dish.
4. Line the bottom of the dish with crushed tomatoes, olive oil and chopped basil.
5. Bake for 45 minutes at 360°F (180°C). Check to see if the zucchini is cooked. The flesh of the squash should pierce easily with a knife and become slightly translucent.
6. This step is optional: Turn on the oven broiler. Take the tops off the zucchinis and set aside. Sprinkle grated cheese on the tops of the zucchini and broil just until the cheese begins to brown. Put the hats back on top and serve warm. Enjoy!
Variants If you’re looking for something a bit more hearty, you can add diced bacon to the filling. Reduce the amount of eggplant. For a meaty version: use ground beef, sausage meat or ground turkey. Just lower the amounts of eggplant and tomato. Add a bit more spices.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
6 sweet hickory-smoked bacon slices (raw)
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
8 ounces uncooked mini penne (tube-shaped pasta)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and pepper. Place squash on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt mixture. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Increase oven temperature to 450°.
Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Combine squash mixture, bacon, and shallots; set aside.
Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well.
Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add provolone, stirring until cheese melts. Add pasta to cheese mixture, tossing well to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray; top with squash mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.
COLLARD GREENS WITH CORNMEAL DUMPLINGS
For the collards:
1½ pounds (2 bunches) collard greens
3 cups Smoked Ham and Chicken Stock
1 small onion, chopped
1 small piece Turkish bay leaf
1 teaspoon sugar or agave nectar
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dumplings:
Vegetable oil spray
6 ounces (1¼ cups) Anson Mills Antebellum Coarse Yellow Cornmeal
2.5 ounces (½ cup) unbleached all-purpose flour or an equal amount by weight of Anson Mills Colonial Style Fine Cloth-Bolted Pastry Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup whole milk
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Prepare the collards: Fill a clean sink with cold water. Plunge the collards into the water and agitate them by swirling them about by their stems. Transfer the greens to a large colander. Drain the sink and refill it, and wash the collards again. Shake the collards free of excess water and let them drain in the colander for a few minutes.
Stack several leaves on top of each other with the stems pointing in the same direction and trim the stems even with the leaves. Discard the stems. Loosely roll the collards lengthwise into a cigar. Beginning at the leaf end, cut the cigar crosswise into strips 3 inches wide, narrowing the width to 1 inch as you near the stem ends. Turn the strips 90 degrees and cut the strips crosswise into halves or thirds to create big rectangular pieces. Repeat with the remaining collards. You should have well over a pound of cleaned, trimmed collards or about 5½ quarts, loosely packed. Set the collards aside.
Bring the stock to a simmer in a large, wide saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bay leaf, sugar, and pepper flakes, if using. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer to infuse flavors, about 10 minutes.
Add the collards to the simmering stock, cover the pot, and let the greens cook down, turning them from time to time with tongs, until the leaves are uniformly wilted and stems are tender with creamy centers, 15 to 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and vinegar. Cover to keep warm.
Make the dumplings: While the stock simmers, fill a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid (one that accommodates a steamer insert or collapsible steamer basket) with 1 to 2 inches of water, making sure that the bottom of the steamer is not submerged. Cover the saucepan and set it on a burner, but do not turn on the heat. Spray the steamer insert with vegetable oil spray and set it aside.
Turn the cornmeal into a medium mixing bowl. Turn the pastry flour and baking powder into a small bowl and stir to combine. Combine the milk, butter, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the butter has melted, pour the boiling mixture over the cornmeal and stir with a rubber spatula to moisten. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.
While the collards cook, bring the water in the saucepan to a boil over high heat. Gently fold the pastry flour mixture into the cornmeal mush with a rubber spatula. Do not overwork. With moistened hands, lightly shape the dough into golf ball–sized dumplings, rolling the dough between your palms, and place them one by one in the steamer basket. You should have 12 dumplings. Uncover the saucepan and lower the steamer insert over the boiling water. Immediately replace the lid and lower the heat to medium-high. Steam the dumplings, without peeking, for 15 minutes. When you uncover the saucepan, the dumplings should be puffy, slightly shiny, and firm to the touch (fig. 7.1). They may also be stuck together, but they’ll separate easily.
To serve, spoon the collard greens and a generous amount of their pot into 6 shallow bowls. Place 2 dumplings in each bowl. Pass the Tabasco at the table. This is a superb side dish with pork chops or roast chicken, or simply attended by a pot of beans.
Creamy Leek topped Potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
3 bacon, chopped
2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 leeks, sliced into thin rounds
1 tbsp plain flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 tbsp sour cream or heavy cream
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the bacon for 2 mins. Add the chicken, then cook with the bacon for a further 2-3 mins, until the pieces begin to turn golden. Tip in the leeks and cook gently for 10 mins until wilted and tender.
Stir through the flour and gradually add the stock, stirring constantly. Add the wholegrain mustard and sour cream/heavy cream, stir again, then simmer gently for 5 mins until the sauce is slightly thickened and creamy. Serve on top of baked potatoes.
Baked Egg and Kale Cups
2 cups baby kale
4 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 Tablespoons heavy cream (or milk or none if you want to make it Paleo)
4 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 4 (1-cup) ramekins with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet. You could do this in a muffin tin, too. Add 1/2 cup kale to each ramekin. Drizzle the kale with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Crack two eggs into each ramekin. Top each egg with one tablespoon heavy cream. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on how runny you like your eggs. Season with salt and pepper.
White Bean Soup
Don’t be intimidated by the lengthy ingredient list — this recipe is prepared with ingredients you may already have in your pantry. With more than 20 rave reviews, it’s a staple for any season. (Williams-Sonoma)
A handheld immersion blender makes fast work of pureeing this white bean soup. The blender is also used to whip up a batch of roasted red bell pepper tapenade, which is spread on crostini and served alongside the soup.
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup chopped pancetta
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cans (each 15 oz.) cannellini beans, drained
5 cups chicken broth
3/4 tsp. finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 baguette slices, each 4 inches long and 1/2 inch thick
1 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers
2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp. sherry vinegar
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. honey
In a 3 1/2-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the cannellini beans, broth and thyme and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and black pepper. Keep the soup warm.
Meanwhile, brush the baguette slices on both sides with olive oil and season lightly with salt. Heat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat. Toast the bread, turning once, until nicely grill-marked, about 2 minutes per side. Set aside.
In the blending cup of an immersion blender, chop the roasted red bell peppers. Stir in 1/2 tsp. salt, the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil, the parsley, vinegar, red pepper flakes, honey and black pepper. Top the baguette slices with the roasted red bell pepper tapenade, dividing evenly. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and serve immediately with the crostini. Serves 6.
Frittata with Spinach, Potatoes, and Leeks
1 teaspoon butter
2 cups thinly sliced leek (about 2 large)
10 ounces fresh spinach
1/3 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 large eggs
4 large egg whites
2 cups cooked, peeled red potato (about 3/4 pound)
1 1/2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded provolone cheese
Preheat oven to 350°.
Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leek; sauté 4 minutes. Add spinach; sauté 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Place mixture in a colander, pressing until barely moist.
Combine milk, basil, salt, pepper, eggs, and egg whites; stir well with a whisk. Add leek mixture and potato. Pour into a 10-inch round ceramic baking dish or pie plate coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and top with cheese. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until center is set.
Preheat broiler. Broil frittata 4 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into wedges.
Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Honey Crisp Apples
1 ¼ lb sharp white cheddar cheese
12 slices bacon
8 slices rye bread
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp
½ cup Dijon mustard
1 Honey Crisp apple, peeled and sliced really thin on a mandolin
Cut the cheese into slices about ¼ inch thick.
Cook the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium heat until brown and crispy on both sides. When the bacon is done, transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels and reserve.
Spread each piece of bread with a thin, even layer of butter. Spread the OTHER side of each piece of bread with Dijon. Lay the bread down on a baking sheet with the Dijon side facing up. Yes, I know it will be a little messy. Accept it and move on. This is the reality of grilled cheese. The mess is worth it!
Place an even layer of cheese on each piece of bread. Lay 3 bacon slices each on 4 pieces of the cheese-lined bread. Top the bacon with an even layer of apple slices (these are the bottoms, the ones with just cheese are the tops—together they make a pair!).
Preheat a griddle or nonstick sauté pan to medium. You will most likely have to work in batches, so also preheat the oven to 200°F to keep the finished sandwiches warm. Place pairs of tops and bottoms (not yet sandwiched together) on the griddle or in the nonstick pan and cook until the buttered side gets brown and crusty and the cheese begins to melt, 5 to 7 minutes. When the cheese is nice and melty, flip the top onto the bottom so the cheese is on the inside. Give each sandwich a press, flip it over, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more. Keep the finished sandwiches in the oven and repeat the process with the remaining tops and bottoms.
Cut the sandwiches in half on the bias and serve hot.
Creamed Broccoli with Parmesan
Active time:20 min
Start to finish:30 min
Broccoli seems like something new in this rich, satisfyingly chunky side dish, dolled up with parmesan and lemon juice. View more of our favorite recipes from this issue.
1 bunch broccoli (1 1/4 lb)
1 cup heavy cream
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons grated parmesan
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Peel broccoli stems, then coarsely chop stems and florets. Cook broccoli in boiling salted water (1 1/2 tsp salt for 4 qt water) until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain in a colander and run under cold water to stop cooking.
Simmer cream, garlic, nutmeg, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper in a medium saucepan, uncovered, until slightly thickened and reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 5 minutes.
Add broccoli and simmer, mashing with a potato masher, until coarsely mashed and heated through, about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in parmesan and lemon juice.
Cooks’ note: Broccoli can be boiled 1 day ahead and chilled.
Kale, White Bean, and Butternut Squash Soup
• 1 (2 1/2- to 3-pound) rotisserie chicken
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large onion, chopped
• Kosher salt
• 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
• 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 6 sprig) fresh thyme
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 medium (about 1 pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• 1 bunch(es) (about 1 pound) kale, stems and large ribs discarded, leaves chopped
• 1 can(s) (15-ounce) low-sodium white beans, rinsed
1. Remove and discard the skin from the rotisserie chicken. Shred the meat into a bowl and set aside. Place the carcass and bones in a medium pot. Add 8 cups water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes. Add the celery, garlic, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly golden brown around the edges, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
3. Strain the chicken mixture into the vegetable mixture and discard the bones. Add the squash and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the kale, beans, and shredded chicken. Cook, stirring, until the kale is just tender, about 3 minutes. Discard the thyme sprigs before serving.
Stuffed Cabbage with Basil White Wine Cream Sauce
Preparing the Cabbage:
Core as much of the cabbage possible before the actual steaming. Do not remove the outer leaves. Steam the whole cabbage in a large pot with approximately three inches of water. As the leaves soften, remove them one at a time to a large platter. Steaming the whole cabbage should take about thirty minutes. Cabbage leaves should be softened but not mushy. When cabbage has cooled enough to handle, use a paring knife and pare the thick base of the cabbage leaf. Set aside the tough outer leaves of the cabbage.
1lb. of ground turkey, I like to brown mine up a little beforehand
1/2 cup grated asiago cheese
1/4 cup of grated parmesan or romano cheese
1/2 chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 diced red pepper
10 oz of cooked brown rice
Salt and pepper
Grated lemon zest, fresh parsley and basil
Basil White Wine Cream Sauce
Saute 2 shallots in 1 tablespoon of butter, deglaze with a healthy splash of white wine, then add to that 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth and equal amounts of cream and whisk. Snip fresh basil into the sauce and let it reduce down until thickened, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Stuff each cabbage leaf and then fold them over like a burrito, place rolls seam side down in a baking dish that has some chicken broth on the bottom and a small amount of the sauce, drizzle cabbage rolls with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika, grated parmesan, salt and pepper. Cover loosely with foil and bake around 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
Note: If cream is not your thing, you can make a bechamel with lowfat milk instead, but don’t forget the wine!
Apple Pecan Stuffed Squash
2 acorn squash (about 1 1/2 lb. each), rinsed
1/2 cup apple cider
2 teaspoons canola or olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Gala or Honeycrisp Apple (1 lb. total), cored and chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced sage
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
salt, to taste
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons brown sugar
optional ad in: 8 ounces cooked and crumbled turkey sausage
Cut each squash in half; scoop out seeds. Place each half, cavity side down, in a 9- by 13-inch baking pan. Pour apple cider in the bottom of the pan, cover the pan with foil and bake in a 350° F oven until tender when pierced, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons canola or olive oil. Add onion, apples, golden raisins, cranberries, cinnamon, sage and thyme; stir often until apples are tender when pierced, 8 to 10 minutes. If desired, add 8 ounces cooked and crumbled turkey sausage. Season to taste with salt. Stir in pecans.
Uncover squash and turn halves upright. Brush edges and inside with the remaining apple cider in the bottom of the pan; fill equally with apple mixture. Drizzle equally with maple syrup. Sprinkle edges with brown sugar and bake, uncovered, until filling is slightly browned on top, about 15 minutes longer.
*I like to use leave the skin on for extra color, but you do not have to do that. If desired, peel the apples.