Summer Slaw- Red cabbage slaw is my favorite. I shred a small fresh cabbage into a large bowl. Toss in 3 thinly sliced scallion ends, 2 tbsp. Boar’s Head Pepperhouse mayonnaise, 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, a handful of sesame seeds, 1/2 tbsp. Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp. celery salt. Check for tanginess, I like it more vinaigry than mayonnaisey. Toss well to coat the cabbage. Put in a plastic container, cover, refrigerate until ready to serve as a summer side.
Gary’s Glorious Guacamole- Finely chop following: 2 tbs. cilantro, 3-4 tsp. white or red onion, 3-4 tsp. jalapeno or serrano peppers, 1/2 tsp. garlic. Make a paste in a medium sized bowl with half of these ingredients, and a little kosher salt by mashing with a spoon or pestle. Dice 2 ripe avocados, Haas the best. If not soft enough, put them in a paper bag overnight. Mash one avocado into the paste, but fold the other in diced chunks with 1 diced, cored, seeded tomato, and the rest of the chopped ingredients. Squeeze 3 tbs. fresh lime juice over the top and fold in. Sub dash of cardamom for cilantro. – Dos Caminos derived.
Alison’s Awesome Asparagus- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use thick stalks of fresh asparagus, rinse and dry. Cut off ends and peel stalks. Place on cookie sheet, not touching. Sprinkle olive oil, kosher salt, and shaved asiago or fontina cheese over the stalks. Roast until cheese bubbles and brown-15 min.
Zucchinetti- Cut 3 small zucchinis into long thin spaghetti-like strips. Sautee in a little olive oil until soft. Stir in favorite tomato sauce and serve with grated romano/parmesan sprinkled on top. Rich, filling, good. Lunch for two. Supper for one.
Veggie Chili- In a large stock pot, brown these chopped veggies in olive oil: 1 small red onion, 2 zucchinis, 1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper, couple jalapeno/hot peppers. Add 3 small cans each black beans, kidney beans. Stir. Add 1 large can whole tomatoes, stir. Add 1 pint hot salsa, chunky with corn is best. Season with 2-4 tsps. cumin, 1-2+ tsps. cayenne. Adjust as you like. Bring to boil, then simmer uncovered until thickens. Simmer covered until ready to eat. Serves 8 ish.
Baked (sorta) Beans- Leftover hot dogs from barbecue. What about hot dogs & beans? No baked beans in the house. Took a large can of red kidney beans and put it in a small saucepan. Added 2 tbs. Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbs. each ketchup, mustard, 3 tbs. maple syrup, 1/2 cup white wine, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1/2 tsp. each cayenne, garlic powder. Stir. Cover and bring to slow boil. Simmer 1/2 hour covered then 1 hour uncovered or until thick. Serves 2 for supper. 4 as side dish.
Anne’s Spanakopita (Spinach Pie)- 16 sheets phyllo 12×15″, 1/4 cup butter, 1 very large onion chopped, 4 lbs. fresh baby spinach, rinsed and dried in a towel. 3 eggs, 8 oz. Feta cheese, 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped, 2 tbs. dill weed, salt/pepper to taste. 3/4 cup melted butter in saucepan ready for brushing. Carol’s Italian variation- 4 oz. Feta with 4 tbs. ricotta cheese, sub. garlic powder, basil for dill. Let pastry warm to room temp., saute onion in 1/4 c. butter in a large pot until golden, 5 min. Add spinach in batches, covering pot to help it steam. Remove from heat. Beat eggs lightly and add to spinach. With a wooden spoon stir in cheese(s), spices. Brush 13×9 glass baking dish with some melted butter. Layer 8 phyllo leaves one at a time, brushing each with melted butter. Spread evenly with all spinach mixture, add 8 more phyllo leaves, brushing each again with butter. Bake at 350, 35 minutes until top crust is puffy, golden. Serves 8 or refrigerate leftover squares.
Summer Soup- Peel and slice 4 large zucchinis. Put in saucepan with 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth and bring to gentle boil. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Take off heat and let cool. Add basil, pepper, hot pepper, a dash of ginger to taste. Place cooled mixture into blender with 1 can Rao’s tomatoes and pulse until smooth; check seasoning. Put in containter to refrigerate for a few hours. Serve topped with plain yogurt and chopped zucchini garnish. Light supper for 2.
Cucumber Salad- A variation on Gary’s Horn & Hardart staple. Thinly slice: 6 pickle cukes, 1/2 large red onion in bowl. Dress with 3/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tsp. each: oregano, basil, celery salt, black pepper. Proportions can vary to your taste, could use some fresh basil instead of dried. Chill.
Roasted Beet Salad- GemQueen’s fave. Roasted beets, goat cheese, pistachios from Molly Birnbaum.
Pure Brussels- I looked at about every food/recipe blog, searching for different ways to make Brussel Sprouts. Cheesey sauced casseroles, balsamic roasts, most attempted to mask the taste of the little cabbages. In the end, Dr.Husband said he likes the way we always have them. Pure and simple. Nutty flavor, golden crunch:
Trim and clean fresh sprouts. Put in a saucepan with enough water to cover them and add lots of ground black pepper. Boil down until water is gone. Add a couple pats of butter, or olive oil and continue cooking until brown and crunchy. Scrape bits from the bottom of pan, too. Last night, I added a little white wine to be fancy. Made them mushy. Sometimes, simple is best.
Broccoli with Cheetos- Seriously. Park Avenue Winter in New York’s oft-requested addition. Don’t believe it? Here it is in Saveur magazine.