Stoplight Saute - Red, Yellow, & Greens

 












Sweet tender crisp vegetable flavors.  Yum.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed, or a couple of chopped garlic scapes
1 bunch fresh kale, rinsed and coarsely chopped, stems separated from leaves
2 red bell peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped
2-3 ears of cooked corn, kernels sliced off
Shredded Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium-low heat and saute the garlic and kale stems, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until the garlic begins to turn light brown. Add the kale leaves and the red pepper, turn heat to medium low, cover and cook, stirring, for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the leaves and stems are tender. Add the corn and heat, stirring, for another minute.

Distribute to serving plates, top with parmesan cheese, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Omelet with Spinach & Arugula












The tart crunch of arugula,  earthy spinach, and the creamy richness of eggs & buttermilk.  Yum.

Prep time:  5 minutes
Cook time:  5 minutes
Yield: 1 omelet

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach (coarsely chopped if using large leaves)
2 eggs
3 tablespoons buttermilk
3 tablespoons (or more!) shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh arugula
SaltPepper

DIRECTIONS
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small skillet or omelet pan and cook the spinach, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until spinach is just wilted.

While spinach is cooking, whisk the eggs in a large bowl, then whisk in the buttermilk.

When the spinach is ready, remove to a dish, and keep the skillet over the heat.  Pour the egg mixture into the skillet, and allow to cook without stirring for two minutes, or until the eggs are just solid, loosening around the edges with your spatula. Sprinkle the Parmesan across one half of the omelet, followed by the spinach and the arugula.  Using a spatula, gently fold the opposing side over the cheese.  Slide or lift your omelet onto a serving plate, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

An omelet like this is the perfect thing for breakfast.  Or lunch.  Or dinner...

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Beet and Arugula Salad













The sweet richness of the beets pairs beautifully with the sharp bite of arugula in this fast, simple salad.

Prep time (Not including cooking the beets!)  10 minutes
Serves:  4-6

INGREDIENTS
3 cups cooked beets cut into 1/2" chunks (about 2 large beets)
1 cup chopped fresh arugula
3 tablespoons slivered almonds
3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
In a large bowl, toss the beets, arugula, almonds, and Parmesan with the lemon juice and olive oil.  Serve, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Ginger Braised Radish & Turnip Greens













Tender-crisp spicy greens offer a refreshing counterpoint to any main course.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  5-6 Minutes
Serves:  4 as a side dish

INGREDIENTS
3 TB Olive oil
5 garlic scapes, diced, or 2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 TB fresh ginger, minced
1 bunch salad turnip greens, well washed and chopped
1 bunch radish leaves, well washed and chopped
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS
Heat the oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat and cook the garlic and ginger for 3-4 minutes, stirring, or until garlic is tan and beginning to crisp.  Add the turnip greens and the radish greens, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until greens wilt.  Remove the lid, sprinkle with the sugar, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, for another minute or two.  Distribute to serving plates and top with Parmesan.

Photo & Recipe by Tod Dimmick

White Beans with Sautéed Onions and Arugula

Having just enjoyed this for breakfast, I can safely say this simple, satisfying dish could be tasty any time of day.

Prep time: 5 minutes (not including bean prep time!)
Cook time: 12 minutes
Serves:  2+ as a side dish

INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed, or the equivalent thinly sliced fresh garlic
1 small onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
2 cups prepared white beans (or one 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained)
1 cup fresh arugula, chopped
Salt
Pepper

DIRECTIONS
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat and sauté the onions and garlic, stirring, for 8-10 minutes or until onions are soft and slightly browned. Add the white beans and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until mixture is hot. Scoop to serving bowls or plates, top with arugula and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Another drizzle of olive oil completes the picture.

Note: I used Rancho Gordo "White Tepary" beans for this.

Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick

Bok Choi, Snow Peas & Almonds

Tender crisp peas and choi, embraced by the warm flavors of sesame and almond.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Serves:  4-6









INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 small onion, 1/4 inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
4-6 stalks bok choi, white and green parts separated and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups total)
1 pint snow peas or sugar snap peas
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Soy sauce (optional)

DIRECTIONS
In a wok or large skillet/saute pan heat the oil and onion over medium-high heat.  When onion sizzles, add the white bok choi stems and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add the bok choi leaves and the pea pods, stir, cover, and cook for 2 minutes or until peas are tender crisp.  Remove from heat.

Distribute to serving plates, sprinkling each serving with slivered almonds and, optional, drizzling with soy sauce.

Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick

Radish Fritters!

This is one of those "are you kidding me" recipes.  But try this indulgent take on the quintessential spring orb, and you'll be back for seconds.









Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  5-6 Minutes
Serves:  4 as a side dish

INGREDIENTS
1 bunch radishes (about 1 1/2 - 2 cups shredded)
2 eggs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
3-4 TB canola oil for cooking
sour cream for topping (optional)

DIRECTIONS
In a food processor equipped with the shredding disk, shred the radishes.  Whisk the eggs in a large bowl, and stir in the shredded radishes, Parmesan, flour, cumin, thyme, salt, and pepper.  The mixture should cling together with the consistency of a very thick batter or a dough.  If necessary, add a little more flour.

Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat and scoop spoonfuls of the radish mixture into the hot oil, flattening a little with the back of your spoon.  Cook for 3 minutes, turn with a spatula, and cook for another 3 minutes, or until crisp.

Top with sour cream if you like, and enjoy this entertaining episode from the Radish Channel.

Photo & Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Pinzimonio: Play with your food!

Play with your food!













Leave it to the Italians to turn produce into whimsical fun.  Pinzimonio is a raw vegetable antipasto that can be as simple or as complicated as you'd like to make it.  In this version, long skinny vegetables are bundled, ready for dipping in olive oil seasoned with lemon juice and salt.  Serve with plenty of napkins.
  
Prep time:  20 minutes
Serves  4 as an appetizer or side dish.

INGREDIENTS
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 Green Bell Pepper
2-3 Carrots, scraped, ends removed
1/2 pound long, slender green beans
1 bunch scallions, leaves separated and reserved.
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Salt

DIRECTIONS
Slice peppers and carrots into long thin spears (about 1/8 to 1/4" wide).  Bundle a variety of spears and gently tie with scallion leaves.  Assemble these packets on a tray.

Distribute the oil and lemon juice between 4 ramekins or small bowls.  Dip a bundle into the oil, sprinkle with a little salt, and crunch.

Tip:  Scallion leaves are easier to tie if you leave them out on the counter for an hour so that the leaves lose some of their water and soften.  (This is the only recipe I can think of where I recommend a vegetable less than fresh!)

Photo and recipe by  Tod Dimmick

Bruschetta with Caramelized Onions, Parmesan & Arugula

Crisp, savory toasted bread topped with tender sweet onion and pungent arugula.  Must... stop...  devouring...

Prep time:  5 minutes
Cook time:  15 minutes
Serves:  4-6 as an appetizer









INGREDIENTS
1/2 - 3/4 cup Olive oil (plain or infused)
Two large spring onions, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
8 slices whole wheat (or white) bread, cut into quarters or triangles
1/2 to 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh, crisp arugula
Salt to taste


DIRECTIONS
Heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat on your stove and caute the onion for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While onion is cooking, preheat your broiler.

Remove onion from heat when pieces are translucent and tender.

Place bread on a baking tray, and brush with olive oil.  Broil for 2-3 minutes on the second rack down from the broiler, watching carefully. When crisp on one side, remove the baking tray, flip the bread, brush again, and broil until toasts are crisp.

Remove tray from under broiler, and top each piece of toast with a bit of caramelized onion, and a generous pinch of Parmesan.  Run the tray under the broiler again for 30 seconds, or until cheese begins to melt.  Remove, top each toast with fresh arugula, and give the assembled multitude a quick grind of salt.

Serve with a dry rose wine and a view of the ocean.

Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick

Rhubarb Sauce

Many gardeners have a patch of rhubarb; quietly growing those elephantine leaves and thick red stalks. You’ll also see those stalks showing up now at farm stands. This sauce is dead simple, tart and sweet, and delicious warm or cold.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup water
3 stalks (about 1 lb) rhubarb, scrubbed and cut in to 1-inch segments.
1/3 cup Truvia baking blend (a low sugar, stevia based sweetener), or equivalent

DIRECTIONS
Heat the water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Place the rhubarb in a large bowl, pour the sugar over, and mix. Scrape into the saucepan and cover. Cook for 15 minutes or until rhubarb pieces are completely soft and the mixture is more like a thick liquid.

Important* - The stalks are edible, the leaves are not – they are toxic!

Ideas for use:
  • Ladle warm rhubarb sauce over vanilla ice cream, and all is right with the world
  • Serve in bowls with a little bit of cream stirred in.
  • Add a little rhubarb sauce to your favorite muffin mix for a delicious sweet/tart/moist kick.
  • For bread bakers, a little rhubarb sauce adds great flavor and promotes a terrific rise
  • Rhubarb is also the perfect match for strawberries in Strawberry Rhubarb Pie – stay tuned!

Arugula Lover's Quiche














Try this with that bunch of fresh arugula!  This is a crustless quiche, although you could easily add a crust.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  25 minutes
Serves:  6-8

INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, 1/4 inch dice
5 eggs
1 bunch arugula, chopped in to 1/4 inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Freshly Ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS
Preheat your oven to 350F.

Heat the olive oil in a medium (8") oven-safe skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion, stirring occasionally, until, about 8 minutes. While onion is cooking, whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl, then whisk in the arugula, milk, feta, salt and pepper.

When the onion is done, pour the egg mixture into the skillet over the onion.  Quickly stir to mix, stop stirring, and let the mixture cook for 1 minute.  Gently lift the skillet from the stovetop and place in the hot oven, and cook for 30 minutes, or until the quiche has set (the middle will be just firm). Remove from the oven, and let cool for 5 minutes. Slice, serve, and enjoy.  This quiche pairs beautifully with toasted whole wheat bread.

Tip:  If you happen to have extra arugula, you can freeze it in a sealed bag, then use the crumbly leaves for cooking veggie-intensive dishes like this in the winter.


Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick

Grilled Asparagus: Simple is good

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick










See that wasted space on your grill, next to the burgers? That's where your asparagus goes. Put these babies on when the burgers are half done, and everything will be ready at the same time.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time: 5-8 minutes
Serves:  2-4 as a side dish

INGREDIENTS
1 bunch fresh asparagus (about 1 1/2 lbs), rinsed, woody section of the stem snapped off.
3 TB Olive Oil
Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS
Preheat your grill.  Place your asparagus spears in a baking dish, drizzle with the olive oil, and turn to coat.   Arrange the asparagus in a single layer across the grill (so no precious spears are lost into the flame). Cook for about 3 minutes, turn, and cook for another 3 minutes. (Grill heat varies widely so watch your asparagus closely).  Place spears on a serving platter and drizzle with any remaining oil from the baking dish.  Season  to taste with salt.

Yum.

Rhubarb Muffins














Rhubarb sauce lends these muffins a moist, springy texture and tangy flavor.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield:  12 muffins

INGREDIENTS
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat bran
Stevia or equivalent, and honey*
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup rhubarb sauce
1 cup milk
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
the zest from one lemon

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 400.
Whisk the flour, bran, sweetener, baking soda, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs .  Add the rhubarb sauce, milk, orange juice, oil, vanilla, and lemon zest, and whisk thoroughly. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture and stir to create a thick batter.

Distribute batter equally to lined muffin cups, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are firm and a toothpick inserted into the biggest one comes out clean.  These can be served warm, or will keep in the fridge for several days.

*Because of the many health concerns associated with refined sweeteners like sugar, my ultimate objective is to offer recipes that contain none of the stuff.  This goal presents challenges.  Sugar alternatives include chemical sweeteners (which I do not recommend), and plant based sweeteners like stevia.  I like stevia, but the myriad options all have varying "sweetness". That creates another problem, because accessible recipes need a common, easily obtainable standard, and varying amounts of a sweetener affect the liquid/dry balance.  Stevia also has a flavor that some people don't like when used exclusively as a sweetener. This is an evolving issue. At the moment, I like a balanced mixture of stevia and a sweetener like honey or maple syrup.

Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick

Hakurei Turnip & Scallion Stew













Fresh green flavors with satisfying heft from the turnips and the pasta.  Perfect for a cool spring night.  

Prep time:  5 minutes
Cook time:  25 minutes
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
5-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning* (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch hakurei turnips, greens washed and chopped, bulbs washed, thinly sliced, and kept separate
1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced, about 1 cup
1 cup dried whole wheat pasta, your favorite (or white pasta) 1 cup marinara sauce (Here's a recipe for homemade sauce)
Salt to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS
Heat the stock and the marinara sauce in a stock pot over medium high heat until it reaches a low boil.

While stock is heating, heat the oil in a saute pan or skillet over medium heat and cook the turnip bulb slices for 2 minutes, stirring.  Add the scallions and cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring, or until turnips are beginning to soften.  Remove from heat.

When the liquid reaches a low boil, cook the pasta until it is molto al dente, or slightly undercooked.  Add the chopped turnip greens, and cook for another minute or two or until the pasta is done the way you like it, and the greens are wilted.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Ladle in to serving bowls, and top with Parmesan.  

Serve with crusty bread and a glass of Chianti, and enjoy while looking out over your vineyards.

*Homemade stock has a ton of herb flavor, so you may not need to add more.  However, if you're using off the shelf stock, you might like to add Italian seasoning.

Optional:  Add diced cooked meat, like Italian sausage.


Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick


 

Braised Kale with Garlic Scapes & Onion













This gentle treatment yields sweet, tender kale.

Prep time:  5 minutes
Cook time:  15-20 minutes
Serves:  4, depending on your passion for delicious kale

INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic scapes (or 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed)
1 small onion
1 bunch kale, stems minced and separated from the leaves, leaves coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or water
Shredded Parmesan
salt to taste

DIRECTIONS
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, over medium heat, and saute the garlic, onion and minced kale stems for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add chopped kale leaves and stock, stir, and reduce heat to medium low.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, or until greens and stems are tender.

Distribute to serving plates, seasoning to taste with salt, and sprinkling with shredded Parmesan.


Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick

Carrot Raisin Bran Muffins

A couple of these for breakfast and the day looks a whole lot brighter.


Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 12 big muffins

INGREDIENTS
2 eggs, whisked
1 cup buttermilk or regular milk
1/2 cup yogurt
¼ cup canola or olive oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat bran
1 cup sugar or equivalent
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch tsp salt
1 cup shredded carrots
2/3 cup currants (Or raisins)

DIRECTIONS
Preheat your oven to 400F.  Whisk the eggs in a large bowl.  Add the milk, yogurt, and the olive oil, and whisk again. Set aside.

In another bowl mix the flour, bran, sweetener, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, and salt.  Stir the liquids into the dry ingredients until just blended into a thick dough. Do not overmix. Then stir in the shredded carrots and the currants. Spoon muffin batter into muffin cups.

Bake for 18 minutes, or until just firm.  Tip:  Don't overcook whole grain muffins (they'll dry out).

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Kartoffelpuffer (German Potato Pancakes)

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick










Simple to make, and boy are these tasty.  This shot is from the Christmas Market in Wiesbaden, Germany (2012), where  "Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus" (with applesauce) is very popular.  For atmosphere, the photo at the bottom is of the market itself.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  25 minutes
Yield:  10-12 pancakes

INGREDIENTS
3 medium organic potatoes, to yield about 2 cups when shredded
1 onion, about 2" in diameter
2 eggs
1/4 to 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
Canola oil for frying

DIRECTIONS
Using a food processor with the coarse shredding wheel, shred the potatoes and the onion. Remove as much moisture as possible from the shredded potatoes.  A colander with narrow openings is perfect for this.  Scrape the shredded potatoes into a colander in the sink, and let them sit for a few minutes.  Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl, preheat a skillet with a few tablespoons of canola oil over medium heat.

Press the potatoes against the sides to expel the water.  Scrape the potatoes into the mixing bowl, add the flour and the salt, and mix.  Scoop about 1/4 cup of the mixture into the skillet, and press into pancake shape.  Repeat to fill the skillet with pancakes, ensuring that they do not touch.  Cook without moving for 4 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom.  Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until potatoes are soft all the way through, and pancakes are nicely crisp on the outside.

Serve hot with applesauce.  Or with sour cream.  Or, yes, with ketchup (not authentic, but tasty). 

Tip:  The coarse shredding wheel creates a rustic pancake.  The fine shredding wheel, or a box grater, enables a more finely grained result. 

Stuffing Muffins















This tasty variation on classic stuffing makes great use of leftover bread. Adapted from my recipe for the Phantom Gourmet television show.


Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 12-15 muffins

INGREDIENTS
Muffin cups
1 loaf (1 ½ lbs) sliced whole wheat bread
1 ½ tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
6-8 strips bacon
1 small (pool ball size) onion, ¼ inch dice
3 stalks celery, ¼ inch dice
1 apple, cored, ¼ inch dice
2 eggs, whisked
1-2 cups chicken stock
½ cup chopped parsley

DIRECTIONS
Preheat your oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with muffin cups, or spray with cooking spray. Cut the loaf of bread into cubes about ½” across. Place bread cubes in a large bowl, sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Now cook the bacon until crisp in a large skillet over medium heat. Remove bacon strips to paper towels, pour off excess fat, and cook the onions and celery in the remaining bacon fat for 4 minutes, stirring. Add the apple and cook for another minute. Turn off heat in skillet, scrape mixture into the bowl of bread cubes, and stir. Add the eggs, 1 cup of chicken stock, the parsley, and the bacon, and stir gently to spread the moisture throughout. The mixture should be moist enough to cling together when squeezed with light pressure between your hands. If necessary, add a little more broth. Using your hands collect a baseball-size sphere of stuffing mixture, squeeze slightly so that it clings together, and place in a muffin cup. Make sure that this is the muffin shape you want, because these muffins won’t rise as they cook. Repeat until mixture is used up and other muffin cups are full (if you have extra stuffing mixture, make a few more muffins or a small loaf).

Slide muffin pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until muffins are crisp on the outside.

Serve as a side dish with your favorite oven baked meal. Roast fowl are a natural.

Variations: Add raisins, chopped apricots, toasted nuts, and other fun things to Stuffing Muffins.

Served up by Tod Dimmick

Chunky Vegetable & Kielbasa Stew














With the ingredients on hand, this stew is fast and easy.  In my test case of one family, it passed the kid test, too (probably because the chunks are large and easily identified - grin).  Bring this out on a cool, rainy day and you'll see smiles all around.

Prep time:  25 minutes
Cook time:  25 minutes
Serves:  6-8

INGREDIENTS
8-10 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups fresh cabbage (chopped into pieces about 1/2 inch across)
2 cups carrots, 1/2 inch chunks
2 cups celery, 1/2 inch chunks, leaves kept separate
3 cups thin-skin potatoes with peels, 1/2 inch chunks
2 cups cooked kielbasa, 1/4 inch sections
Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
In a large stock pot, bring your stock to a low boil over medium heat.  Add the cabbage, carrots, celery, and potatoes.  Cook at a low boil for 15 minutes or until carrots are tender and potatoes are done.  Add the kielbasa (make sure it is 'fully cooked') and heat for another minute or two.  Serve with crusty bread, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Variations:  Try adding fennel, garlic scapes, and vary the cabbage (try bok choi, or napa cabbage, etc.)  This can easily be made without the kielbasa.  Try adding white beans.  The possibilities are endless.

Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick


Chard scramble

The earthy, green flavor of chard marries perfectly with the creamy umame of scrambled eggs.  Addictive.













Prep time:  5 minutes
Cook time:  10 minutes
Serves:  2 generously

INGREDIENTS
4 eggs
4 tablespoons milk or water
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (or your favorite)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups coarsely chopped chard leaves
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the milk and the cheese.  Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the chard, stirring, for 2 minutes or until leaves are wilted.

Turn heat to medium low and pour the egg mixture over the hot chard.  Cook, stirring slowly and constantly, for 2-4 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to the consistency you like.

Serve, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Variation:  Add in a little minced jalapeno when you saute the chard.

Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick

Kale Butternut Bisque

 











Creamy rich butternut soup with flecks of deep green. This is the perfect destination for leftover winter squash.

Prep time: 15 Minutes
Cook time: 18 Minutes
Serves: 4 (6-8 as an appetizer or side dish)

INGREDIENTS
1 bunch kale
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups cooked butternut
2-3 cups chicken or turkey stock
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
Salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
Wash the kale and strip the leaves off the stems. Dice the stems, and coarsely chop the leaves (keep them separate). Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium heat, add the onion and the kale stems, and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until stems are soft. Add the leaves and the water, cover, and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until greens are soft. Add a little more water if necessary

Add the cooked squash, 2 cups stock, cumin, cayenne, salt & pepper. Process with an immersion blender, adding more stock if necessary to achieve a thick, creamy consistency. Bring to a simmer and serve.

A dollop of sour cream on top is a nice touch, along with the obligatory crusty bread.

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Nasturtium Pesto

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick









Yes, you read right.  Those flowers in the pot on your back patio can serve double duty as food.  Both the leaves and the flowers are edible.  This version was made using the leaves, as you can see from the vibrant green color.  

Important caveat: use only plants that have been raised without pesticides.

Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Yield:  about 3/4 cup pesto

INGREDIENTS
3-4 cups nasturtium leaves (and/or flowers), rinsed, dried, and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS
Add the leaves to a food processor equipped with a cutting blade.  Top with the walnuts, garlic, and salt.  These heavier ingredients will help compress those leaves to facilitate processing.  Top with half of the olive oil, and pulse into a chunky paste. Continue processing, pouring in the remainder of the olive oil in a steady stream.  The consistency should be thick and smooth, add more olive oil if necessary.

Substitution:  Pine nuts can be swapped for the walnuts.

Matching Wine and Vegetables



                                        Photo by Tod Dimmick
Delicate flavors and acids in fresh farm produce make wine matching a challenge.  Vegetables bring natural grassy, green, vegetal, earthy, mineral, floral, flavors.  Cooking adds smoky, baked notes.  But note that these “vegetable” flavors are also used to describe wines!    

Vegetable dishes also have their own unique textures (think salad versus roast carrots) and a huge range of richness (cucumbers versus eggplant Parmagiana).  A delicate, light salad brings to mind a delicate, light wine, whereas a rich baked vegetable dish might easily match with a flavorful red. And when sauces or dressings become the dominant ingredient, those flavors become the ones to match.  The basic notion is, "match like with like". 

A few tips:

Acidic or tart vegetables (like artichokes and bitter greens):  A light, similarly acidic wine will taste friendly, fuller, and even sweeter alongside.  Try a Sauvignon Blanc, a Pinot Grigio, or a Vinho Verde.


Sulfuric vegetables (onions and garlic):  Raw they are tough on wines, but cooked they mellow and sweeten, and in many dishes pair beautifully with dry whites and rosé.
 
Fresh tomatoes:  These are both sweet and tart – try a wine with balancing sweetness, like a Riesling or Gewurztraminer.


Tomato sauces:  Now we’re talking rich flavors with umame.  A mellow, dry red, like a good Merlot, Sangiovese (Chianti) or aged Bordeaux could be a great partner. 


Grilled vegetables: I have found that these flavors go really well with wines that have spent time in oak, which has its own toasty, smoky flavor.  Everything from Chardonnay to Cabernet could work – now there’s a wide range!


Hot peppers and spicy dishes:  Sweetness, and cool temperature, can be the perfect foil for spicy dishes.  This is another place for a good Riesling or Gewurztraminer.


Salty veggies:  Him, like my favorite steak fries made from local potatoes.  A dry, clean white like a Sauvignon Blanc, or a light fruity red like a Beaujolais.  Avoid reds with over 14% alcohol, because salty foods make hot wines unpleasant.
 
Cheater’s Tip:  Serve a bubbly with your veggies!  Italian Prosecco, Spanish Cava, and of course French Champagne can be found everywhere, and at every price. They are refreshing and pair well with everything from a light salad to a rich veggie casserole.  It’s a bonus that those bubbles make the whole meal feel like a celebration.  Bubbly goes with everything.  Well, almost everything.
Find more on food and wine pairing here.



Pasta with Sausage, Zucchini and Fava Beans













This hearty pasta dish offers up an irresistible melange of flavors and textures.   Cook the pasta at the same time as the rest of the ingredients.

Prep time:  10 Minutes
Cook time:  20 minutes
Serves:  4-6

INGREDIENTS
1 lb sausage links, cut into 1/4 inch slices
2 cups thin whole wheat spaghetti, or your favorite
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, 1/4 inch dice
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 small zucchini squash, about 3 cups, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
2 cups fava one or cannellini beans
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
Olive oil to dress (optional)
Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
Heat water to cook the pasta.  While water is heating, cook the sausage in a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat, stirring.  When sausage is done, remove to a separate dish and drain excess fat.

Cook the pasta when water is boiling.

Meanwhile, add the olive oil to the skillet, then the onion, garlic, and squash.  Sprinkle with the oregano and sage and cook over medium heat, stirring, until onions are translucent and squash is almost tender.  Add the beans, heat for one minute further, then remove from heat.

When pasta is done, drain, and combine in serving dish with the sausage, cooked vegetables, and parsley.  Distribute to serving plates, sprinkling with Parmesan and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.  A drizzle of good olive oil might be nice.

A good Pinot Grigio, or even a dry Italian red wine alongside, would finish the picture.

Variation:  Omit the sausage for a vegetarian dish.

Photos and recipe by Tod Dimmick

Roasted Kale

 











As a rule, roasting and greens don't usually appear in the same recipe. Most greens, under the barrage of intense dry heat, would simply disintegrate. But enter a sturdy, delectably chewy winter green like kale, and roasting has met its match.

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4 as a vegetable side dish

INGREDIENTS
3 TB Extra-virgin olive oil (or a little more if necessary)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 bunch kale, leaves stripped from the stems and chopped, stems reserved for another use
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced (or 1/2 tsp dried)
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 400F.

Mix the olive oil and garlic in a cup.

Place the chopped kale in a large bowl, and pour in the garlicky olive oil. Stir to coat, and scrape leaves into a large baking dish. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper. Put the baking dish in the oven and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until leaves are tender and edges just beginning to crisp.

Serve, maybe topping with shredded Parmesan.

Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick

Ribollita

 











Ribollita appeals to my food sensibilities.  Loaded with vegetables, its whole premise is waste-nothing (Stale bread? Chuck it in!), it's a rich stew, and of course it's Italian. Look up comfort food and the first entry should be Ribollita.


This dish made of leftovers thickens and tastes better the next day - sort of leftovers squared.

Prep time: 15 Minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves: A crowd

INGREDIENTS
3 TB olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 large carrots, scraped, 1/4 inch dice
4 stalks celery, 1/4 inch dice
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tomato, 1/4 inch dice (or one can diced tomatoes)
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp hot sauce (your favorite)
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 - 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3-4 cups whole grain or white bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
Shredded Parmesan for topping

DIRECTIONS
Heat the oil in a large stock pot and cook the garlic, onion, carrots, and celery for 5 minutes, stirring. Add the tomato sauce, tomato, stock, hot sauce, and thyme. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for an hour. Add the parsley and bread and heat for a few minutes, then serve, topping with shredded Parmesan. A swirl of olive oil is traditional.

A dry red wine is perfect alongside your bowl of Ribollita. It is also appropriate to arrange for snow outside.

Variation: Chopped bacon or diced pancetta are nice additions for the carnivorously-inclined.

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Stew of sausage, basil, potatoes, carrots, & caramelized onions













Fresh basil frames this picture with minty, pungent flavor.  This recipe is oriented towards the simplicity of a one pot meal.  For added flavor, grill the sausages separately and add to the soup with the spaghetti.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time:  30 minutes
Serves: 4-6

INGREDIENTS
Olive oil
1 pound merguez sausage (or your favorite), cut into 1/4 inch slices.
1 cup onion, 1/4 inch dice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups carrots in 1/4 inch wide slices
2 cups potatoes, 1/2 inch dice
1 tablespoon fresh Oregano, minced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
3-4 cups broth, room temperature or warm
1/2 cup dry spaghetti 
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh basil 

DIRECTIONS
Heat a medium sturdy stock pot over medium heat.  Add enough olive oil to barely coat the bottom of the pot, and cook the sausage slices and onion for 6 minutes, stirring, or until sausage is cooked and onion is soft.  Add the garlic, carrots, potatoes, oregano and rosemary and cook for 5 minutes, stirring.  Add the stock and bring to a gentle boil, and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the pasta, and cook for 6-7 minutes or until pasta is al dente and potatoes are just soft.  Stir in the basil, heat for another 30 seconds, and serve, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Summer Slaw















This cool, crunchy, savory salad makes good use of sturdy summer veggies.

Prep time:  20 minutes
Serves:  4-6

INGREDIENTS
3 scallions
2 small fennel bulbs (about 1 cup when shredded)
1/2 head arrowhead cabbage (about 2 cups when shredded)
1 Hakurei Turnip (about 1/2 cup when shredded), greens separated and coarsely chopped
4 small or 2 large carrots (about 1 cup when shredded)
1 cup chopped basil
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Freshly-ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS
Using a food processor equipped with the coarse shredding wheel, process the scallions, fennel, cabbage, turnip, and carrots.  Scrape vegetables into a serving bowl, and stir in the basil, sage, lemon juice and olive oil.   Serve, sprinkling with feta and black pepper.



Photos and recipe by Tod Dimmick

Onion Spread

Remember Onion Dip from an envelope?  Time to replace that memory with something that really tastes like onion!

Prep time:  5 minutes
Cook time:  5 minutes
Yield:  about 1 cup spread









 INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons minced onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
2-3 tablespoons minced chives
1 cup whipped cream cheese
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

DIRECTIONS
Heat the oil in a small skillet or saucepan, and saute the onion for 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes, or until onion is soft and translucent.  Stir in the chives, cream cheese, Parmesan, and salt to taste.

This spread can be served immediately (it will be warm), or chilled and served later, when your spread is thicker.

Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick

Scrambled Egg & Braised Kale Sliders













Cook's Law #1:  Always make a little extra (such as braised kale)
Cook's Law #2:  Use those leftovers to enable magic the next day.

Prep time (not counting Kale prep):  5 minutes
Cook time:  10 minutes
Serves:  4+

INGREDIENTS
5-6 eggs
1/2 cup milk or water
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or your favorite)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup braised kale, drained
Slider rolls (I use Trader Joe's 100% whole wheat dinner rolls, sliced)
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the milk and the cheese.  Drop the slider rolls in the toaster.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and heat the kale, stirring, for 2 minutes to heat it.  Turn heat to medium low and pour the egg mixture over the hot kale.  Cook, stirring slowly and constantly, for 2-4 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to the consistency you like.  Turn off heat.

Distribute slider rolls to plates,  carefully load with egg/kale mixture, and serve, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.


Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick

Hash Browns













These are so simple to make.  The (good) conundrum is that they vanish quickly.  Shred the potatoes with the peels for flavor and nutrition.

Prep time:  20 minutes
Cook time:  20 minutes
Serves:  6+ as a side dish

INGREDIENTS
1 onion, chopped into pieces small enough to fit through the food processor feeder tube.
2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into pieces small enough to fit through the food processor feeder tube.
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage (optional)
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste
3-4 tablespoons canola oil

DIRECTIONS
Using a food processor with the coarse shredding wheel, shred the potatoes, and scrape them into a colander in the sink.  Shred the onion and scrape into a mixing bowl.  Turn your attention back to the potatoes, and press them with the heel of your hand in the colander to remove some liquid.

Add the potatoes, sage, pepper, and salt to the onion in the mixing bowl and stir to mix.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add half of the potato mixture, spreading the potatoes with your spatula to maximize contact with the skillet. Cook 5 minutes or until browned on one side, then turn the potatoes over (they will cling in chunks).  Cook for another 5 or until evenly browned and crisp on the outside, tender on the inside.

Serve hot, as is, or with ketchup or sour cream.  Or ramp it up with a fried egg on top.

Photos and recipe by Tod Dimmick




Real Greek Salad

 






In Greek mythology, Prometheus deceives Zeus by giving him the choice between two offerings. One offering was skin and bones, covered with snow-white fat. The other was the edible beef, covered with unappetizing entrails. Zeus chose the pile covered with fat, and was angry to find the contents. Today some local restaurants seem to offer a similar choice, where a seductive layer of cheese in a “Greek” salad hides greenish tomatoes, soggy cucumbers, and (sacrilege) Iceberg Lettuce!

For years I thought this was what a Greek salad should be, but then happy chance brought me to the real thing. I remember it like it was yesterday. At the outdoor Greek restaurant, we were served what I thought at first was a simple platter of vegetables, resplendent with chunks of juicy tomato, cucumbers, savory onion, and crisp sweet peppers, all topped with fresh basil and Kalamata olives, and glistening with olive oil and wine vinegar. On this masterpiece reclined a wedge of feta so creamy I wanted to eat it alone. I looked around at other tables: one man carefully assembled a bite that included every ingredient. We attempted the same. It was the best Greek salad I’ve ever tasted, and since then I make them (and eat them) the same way.

Prep time:  15 minutes
Serves:  6-8 (can easily be scaled up or down)

INGREDIENTS
2 fresh tomatoes cut into bite size chunks
2 fresh green bell peppers, seeds removed, cut into bite size chunks
1 fresh cucumber, half peeled into “stripes”, split lengthwise, and cut into bite size pieces
1/2 a large sweet onion, such as Vidalia, cut into 1/4" pieces
Fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
About 25 Kalamata olives
4-5 ounces block Feta cheese, cut into chunks
Extra virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
Combine tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, onions, and basil, drizzle to taste with vinegar and olive oil, and mix. Top with olives and wedges of Feta, and salt and pepper to taste.

Devour while contemplating the origins of democracy.

Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick

Herb-Infused Olive Oil

The flavors found in herbs and garlic are soluble in oil.  Heat speeds up the process, although this can also be done cold.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  5 minutes
Yield:  2 cups infused oil








INGREDIENTS
2 cups olive oil
1 bunch fresh thyme, washed and dried
5-8 leaves fresh sage, washed and dried
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, washed and dried
3 garlic scapes, chopped (or 2 cloves garlic, chopped)
1 teaspoon peppercorns

DIRECTIONS
Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until a pinch of the herbs gently bubble when added.  Add te thyme, sage, rosemary, garlic, and peppercorns and simmer gently for 4-5 minutes or until a taste with a spoon (blow on it to cool it!) achieves the flavor intensity you like.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Pour oil into a jar with a lid.  Infused olive oil will keep on your counter for a week or more, longer in the fridge although you'll need to warm it up to pour properly.

Use infused oil for dressing pasta and pizza, and for dipping bread.

Variations:  Try a wide range of your favorite herbs.  Other mild cooking oils can also be used, such as canola or safflower.  Strongly flavored oils (peanut, sesame) present more of a challenge:  your herb flavors might get lost, or conflict with the herbs.

Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick

Penne with Tomatoes, Arugula, & Sour Cream














Another entry in the "Mac and Cheese for Adults" category.  Fast, indulgent, and tasty.  

Prep time:  5 minutes
Cook time:  15 minutes
Serves: 4-6, depending on how ravenous your guests are

INGREDIENTS
1 pound whole wheat penne
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic scapes, minced, or 2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup sliced grape tomatoes
2 cups fresh arugula, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon capers
salt to taste

DIRECTIONS
Cook your pasta per package directions.

While pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat and cook the garlic, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly tanned.  Remove from heat.

Slice the tomatoes, and rinse and dry the arugula.

Drain cooked pasta, return to its cooking pot, and stir in the garlic, tomatoes, arugula, sour cream and black pepper.  Distribute to serving plates, topping with feta cheese and sprinkling with capers and salt.

A dry rosé wine alongside would complete the picture.

Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick

Sauteed Spinach














The key here is brief exposure to heat, so that the leaves are bright green and retain some of their crisp texture.

Prep time:  5 minutes
Cook time:  5 minutes

INGREDIENTS
3 TB olive oil
2 cloves garlic, slivered
12-16 oz spinach, washed and dried.
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste

DIRECTIONS
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium high heat. Cook the garlic for 15 seconds, then add the spinach.  Cook for a minute, stirring, or until spinach is just beginning to wilt.  Remove to plates, drizzle with lemon juice, sprinklw with pepper and salt, and serve.

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick


Fromage Forte (“Strong Cheese”)

What a terrific, flavorful way to use leftover cheese.  Cheerfully inform your guests that they are eating leftovers.  They will pretend to be offended... and then reach for thirds.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS
5 pieces of bread, cut into appetizer-size pieces.  Hearty crackers could also work, although they don't need to be toasted.
1 pound leftover cheese pieces (blue, brie, cheddar, Provolone, the more the better)
1/2 cup white wine
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the broiler.  Place the bread slices on a baking tray and toast to a light brown, about 1 minute on each side. Meanwhile, using a food processor, puree the cheese, wine, garlic and black pepper.   

Spread a tablespoon or so of the cheese mixture on each toast triangle and broil for an additional minute, then serve to sighs of appreciation.  

Tip:  Fromage Forte freezes well, making this recipe a unque way to 'save' cheese long term.



Adapted from "The Complete Idiot's Guide to 5-Minute Appetizers," by Tod Dimmick

Carbonara with tomatoes, chives, & bacon













A simple, hearty dish that makes good use of fresh veggies.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  20-25 minutes
Serves:   6 at least

INGREDIENTS
1 lb whole grain pasta (your favorite shape)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chives, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
2 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt
Pepper


DIRECTIONS
Start water heating for the pasta.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon, and slice the tomatoes and chives.

Cook the pasta.  When it is al dente, reserve a cup of the pasta water and drain the rest in a colander.  Return the pasta to the cooking pot .  Add the eggs and Parmesan and stir (the hot pasta will cook the eggs).  Stir in some of the reserved pasta water and stir.  You will notice that the water will disappear.  Stir in a little at a time until a creamy sauce appears in the bottom of the pot.  Now stir in the tomatoes, chives and bacon. 

Serve, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve this with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc and all is right with the world.  Don't skimp on the freshly ground black pepper.

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Shortcake













I adapted this recipe from the recipe for Cream Biscuits in the immortal Marion Cunningham's Fannie Farmer Cookbook.  These are melt in your mouth rich, with the warm nutty taste of whole grain.  I suspect you'll find it a challenge not to eat them right away, but resist the urge.  They are even better in strawberry shortcake.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  15 minutes
Yield:  12 biscuits

INGREDIENTS
2 cups whole wheat flour (I used "white" whole wheat)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons butter, melted

DIRECTIONS
Preheat your oven to 400 on convection, 425 on regular bake.  In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Now take up a mixing spoon or rubber spatula and gradually stir in 1 cup of the heavy cream.  If the dough holds together, you can stop adding cream, but if it's still crumbly, add more until the dough holds together as a soft mass.

Scrape the dough onto a floured surface, fold it over itself several times, then flatten into a rough square about 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into 12 pieces.  Dip each piece into the melted butter and place on a baking tray, leaving 2 inches between each piece.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until biscuits are crisp and beginning to tan on the outside.

Hearty Vegetable Chowder

This hearty chowder is a meal unto itself.  It warms you from the inside out on a cool day.

Prep time:  15 minutes
Cook time:  30 minutes
Serves: 6-8

INGREDIENTS
6-8 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups carrots, 1/4 inch slices
2 cups potatoes, 1/2 inch pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, 1/4 inch dice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups coarsely chopped kale
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped escarole
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped radicchio
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
Heat the stock in a stock pot over medium high heat.  When broth comes to a low boil, add the carrots and potatoes.  Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender enough to easily pierce with a fork.

While carrots are cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium low heat, and sauté the onion, garlic, kale, escarole, and radicchio for 10 minutes, stirring.  When greens are tender, remove from heat.

When carrots and potatoes are just tender, add the greens from the skillet to the stock pot.  Heat for a minute, the turn off the heat, and distribute chowder to serving bowls, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Potatoes with Fresh Garlic and Sage













Succulent. Scrub the potatoes but no need to peel them, those skins have loads of flavor, texture and nutrition.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  10 minutes
Serves:  2-4

INGREDIENTS
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 small (pool ball size) organic new potatoes cut into 1/8" slices
1 stalk spring garlic thinly sliced (or 1 clove garlic, crushed)
4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
Pepper
Salt

DIRECTIONS
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the potatoes and the garlic and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, or until potatoes are tender.  Remove potatoes to a serving plate.

Turn heat to med high, and if necessary add a little more oil.  Fry sage for about 30 seconds, or until crisp.  Remove to a paper towel to drain and cool enough to handle (will only take a few seconds), then chop the sage leaves, sprinkle on top of the potatoes, and serve, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Sausage and Veggie Skillet Meal

This simple dish proves the assertion that comfort food can be fast, delicious, and loaded with veggies.  

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves:  4-6

INGREDIENTS
1 pound ground Italian sausage meat
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or a mixture of oregano, basil, rosemary & thyme)
2 large carrots, 1/4 inch slices (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups fresh green beans cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3-4 scallions, white and light green parts in 1/4 inch dice, dark green parts reserved for another use
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 to 2 cups corn kernels (about two ears) 
Salt
Pepper

DIRECTIONS
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the sausage, Italian seasoning, and carrots.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring, then add the scallions, green beans, and garlic.  Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring, or until the sausage is just done and the carrots and beans are beginning to turn tender.  Add the corn and cook for 3 minutes, stirring.  Season to taste with salt and pepper

Serve as is, or over pasta or rice.  A glass of rosé would also be nice.

Variation: Make it vegetarian by omitting the sausage.  You could also add mushrooms regardless of whether you're using the sausage, add them with the green beans.

Tip:  Add leftovers to chicken or vegetable stock, along with a handful of rice or pasta, for a quick and hearty soup

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Kale and rice













This hearty vegetarian entree will warm you on a cool night.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  15 minutes
Serves:  4

INGREDIENTS
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch kale, leaves coarsely chopped, stems cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 onion, 1/4 inch dice (about 2/3 cup)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup corn kernels
2-3 cups cooked whole grain rice
One ripe tomato, 1/2 inch dice, or one can (13 ounces) diced tomatoes.

DIRECTIONS
Heat the oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat.  Add the kale stems and cook, stirring for 4 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and onion, then top with the kale leaves.  Cover and cook for 4 minutes.  Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 4 minutes.  Stir in the corn, cook for a minute.  Then stir in the rice and the tomato.  Heat for another minute or two and then serve, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Kale & Caramelized Onion Egg Sandwich













Every egg sandwich should be a candidate for The Perfect Egg Sandwich.  It's a quest, sort of like for the holy grail, except better, because this grail is found again and again. 

Prep time:  5 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Yield:  one sandwich

INGREDIENTS
olive oil
A few thick slices of onion
A handful (say, 1 1/2 cups) coarsely chopped kale
one large fresh egg
one slice sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
two thick slices whole wheat bread
salt
pepper

DIRECTIONS
Saute the onion in olive oil over medium low heat for 5 minutes, turning once.  Remove to a plate, then saute the kale for 3-4 minutes or until bright green and just softening.  Remove to that plate.  Put your toast in the toaster while you fry your egg over easy (fry for approximately 4 minutes, turning when white is mostly set).  Top with cheese when you flip that egg, if you like cheese on your sandwich.  Cook for another minute, then assemble your sandwich, drizzling olive oil from the skillet over the toast.

Season with salt and pepper.

Devour, washing it down with strong black coffee.


Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

“A box without hinges, key, or lid,
Yet golden treasure inside is hid.” 
-J.R.R. Tolkein, from The Hobbit