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

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Yes, it is possible to make a loaf of 100% whole grain bread with a light crumb, chewy crust, and real flavor.

Total prep time including kneading: about 20 minutes
Unattended time: about 4 hours
Cook time: 25-35 minutes








INGREDIENTS
3 cups whole wheat flour ("white" whole wheat works well)
1/4 cup fun stuff such as flax meal, bran, oatmeal (optional)
2 1/2 TB gluten
2 1/2 TB dried milk powder (optional)
2 tsp salt or to taste
2 1/2 tsp yeast
About 2 cups lukewarm water

DIRECTIONS
Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. I use a whisk for this. Slowly mix the water in to the flour mixture, pausing a few times to incorporate the moisture before continuing (You may not need to use it all). A sturdy spatula is ideal for mixing, and a stand mixer with a bread hook is also great. Stop adding water when you have a thick, pliable dough. Turn dough out onto a countertop and, using a bench scraper, stretch and fold the dough over itself a few times. Cover with the bowl and let rest for an hour. Thereafter, at approximate 45 minute intervals, revisit that dough several times to again stretch and fold the dough over itself a few times. If a few intervals stretch into hours rather than 45 minutes, don't worry.

Then, 90 minutes before the time you want the bread to finish baking, shape the dough into the shape you like, and place on a floured baking tray for its final rise. Cover with a towel. Let rise for 25 minutes, then preheat your oven to 400 and let the dough continue to rise for another 20 minutes while the oven preheats.

Remove the towel, slash the dough as you like, and slide the baking tray into the hot oven. If you have a mister, spritz the dough a few times to assist with creation of a chewy crust. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until rapping on the loaf yields a nice "hollow sounding" thump. Different ovens have different "character." If your oven runs hot, check the bread a little earlier.

Let cool for 10 minutes, if you can wait that long.

Note: Larger volume shapes, like boules, may require longer in the ove

Another Note:  While the approach is simple, there are many variables that will affect exactly how your loaf will look coming out of the oven:  temperature, water:flour ratio, humidity, the kind of wheat, the grind of flour, the proportion of other additives, the time for each rise, etc etc!  So every loaf has a character of its own.  That is part of the fun - I hope. Remember, it will taste great!

Photo and recipe:  Tod Dimmick

Homemade Chicken Stock

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick










Don't throw out those bones! Savory, flavorful homemade stock is the base for all kinds of recipes. Soups are the most obvious, but it's also useful for adding delicious flavor to vegetable and rice dishes, for braising and poaching. This is my basic method, feel free to substitute other herbs and vegetables.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  3-4 hours
Yield:  8-12 cups stock, depending on the size of your chicken

INGREDIENTS
1 chicken carcass, with bones and skin
1 onion, quartered
1-2 carrots, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
1-2 stalks of celery, scrubbed and chopped (with leaves)
2 TB peppercorns, crushed
1 bay leaf

DIRECTIONS
Add all the ingredients to a big stock pot and fill with clean cold water to just cover the bones. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat and simmer for a few hours. Let cool, drain through a colander. Now you can discard those bones! Chill the stock overnight, and skim off the fat. That ambrosia can be used right away, or frozen in small containers for the benefit of future generations.

Irish Soda Bread













 What makes soda bread so unique?  True Irish soda bread contains no yeast, and is made only with flour, salt, buttermilk, and baking soda (and there are folks with truly passionate views on the subject). But is whole grain soda bread possible?  After several experiments, I arrived at this dense, moist, and satisfying result.  This recipe includes oats, wheat bran, and cream, ingredients that bring its authenticity into question, but I submit that the result pays homage to the soda bread legacy.  For more history and just plain fun, check out the Society for the Preservation of Irish Soda Bread.

Prep time:  5 minutes
Cook time:  35 minutes
Yield:  1 large loaf

INGREDIENTS
4 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup buttermilk powder*
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water*
1/4 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS
Preheat your oven to 350F.

In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the flour, buttermilk powder, oats, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  A whisk is the right tool for the job.  With a sturdy spatula, stir in the water and cream to create a thick dough.  Be sure to incorporate all dry material, then stop mixing.

Scrape the mixture into a greased 8x8 baking pan, and bake on the center rack for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Serve warm with butter.

*If you have buttermilk on hand, use that in place of the buttermilk powder and water

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

Potatoes Roasted with Rosemary

















Freshly dug potatoes have a flavor all their own - grocery store versions that have been sitting on the shelf are pale shadows of these babies.

The method is simple: Preheat the oven to 350F. Scrub off any earth, and slice them into wedges. Toss them in olive oil a bag or a container with a lid, and arrange them skin side down on a baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and rosemary, and bake for 30 minutes or until nicely browned and tender.

Kid Favorite Alert!

Served up by Tod Dimmick,

Minestra













I learned about this dish years ago from my friend and longtime barber Italo DeMasi of the landmark Bruno's Barber Shop in Natick.  His stories about Calabrian food invariably send me home with ideas, but it all started here.  More than just a recipe, Minestra is a manifestation of an approach to living.  That philosophy is waste nothing, and it speaks to my soul.  This version uses kale, but it could easily leverage collards, bok choi, or cabbage.  One of my favorite variations uses broccoli leaves - you know, the leaves that many people discard. 

This go-to dish shows up at least once a week at our dinner table.  It's hearty enough to serve as a main dish, although it pairs beautifully with something off the grill.  

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  15 minutes
Serves:  4 as a side dish

INGREDIENTS
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch kale, stems separated and cut into 1/4" sections, leaves coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, with liquid (or equivalent prepared dry beans)
Parmesan cheese
Salt
Pepper

DIRECTIONS
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat and cook the kale stems and garlic, stirring, for 4 minutes.  Add the kale leaves, cover, turn heat to medium-low, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the cannellini beans with their liquid, and continue to cook until kale leaves and stems reach the degree of tenderness you like.

Serve sprinkled with shredded Parmesan, salt and pepper.

A version made with broccoli florets:




Kale & Carrot Chowder

Sometimes, this chunky stew is just what the doctor ordered.  This could easily be prepared all vegetarian.

Prep time:  15 minutes
Cook time:  20 minutes
Serves:            4-6









INGREDIENTS
½ pound ground sweet Italian sausage meat
3 cups coarsely chopped kale, stems separated and ¼ inch diced
3 cups carrots, ½ inch dice
1 onion, 1/4 inch dice (about 2/3 cup)
2 tomatoes, ½ inch dice, or 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with juice
1 – 2 cups cooked brown or white rice
½ cup black beans, or your favorite
Salt
Pepper

DIRECTIONS
Heat a stock pot over medium heat and cook the sausage, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sausage is cooked.  Add the chicken stock and heat to a low boil.  Add the diced kale stems, carrots, and onion.  Cook for 5 minutes, then add the kale leaves and the tomatoes.  Cook until carrots are just tender, add the cooked rice and black beans, return to a simmer, and serve, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Variations:  Omit the sausage.  Substitute other sturdy greens for the kale.


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

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

Carrot Raisin Bran Bread


















Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time:35 minutes

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup wheat bran
1/3 cup sugar or equivalent (Stevia works well, use the amount specified to be about equal in sweetness to the sugar)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs
1 very ripe banana
1 cup milk
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 cups (about 3 carrots), shredded
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400.

Whisk the flour, bran, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs . Add the banana and mash with a fork against the side of the bowl. Add the milk, yogurt, oil, and vanilla, and whisk thoroughly. Pour the liquid mixture, along with the carrots, raisins and the nuts, if using, into the bowl with the flour mixture and stir to create a thick batter.

Spray a pie plate or small baking dish with canola oil. Scrape the batter in to the center of the dish, and spread slightly to a uniform depth. Bake for 35 minutes or until bread is firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Note: Whole grain recipes like this result in a satisfying, chewy crumb, very different (and -be prepared - more dense) than versions made with refined white flour. Once folks try whole grain treats like this, many never go back. Well, except maybe for those trips to places that serve a real baguette.

Served up 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


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


Roasted Roots

Photo:
Tod Dimmick











I've been playing with variations on this Wolfgang Puck recipe for years. It's a terrific destination root vegetables, and a perfect addition to the Thanksgiving table.


Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves: 10 to 12

INGREDIENTS
2-3 large beets
4-5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
3 small turnips, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
2 small rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
6 to 8 potatoes, scrubbed and and cut into 1” chunks
1 or 2 large parsnips, peeled, trimmed, and cut diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices
1 or 2 medium onions, trimmed, peeled and cut into 1” chunks
1 celery root, trimmed and cut into 1” chunks
1 whole head garlic, separated into cloves, unpeeled
2 or 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, sage, or thyme
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS
Heat 4 cups of water in a saucepan over medium heat. When the water reaches boiling, boil the beets for 15 minutes.

While the beets are cooking, preheat the oven to 400F. Place the beets in ice water for a minute, and slip off their skins. Slice beets into 1/5 inch slices. Put the beets and the rest of the vegetables and the herb sprigs in a large baking dish. Season well with salt and black pepper, drizzle generously with olive oil, and toss them with your hands to coat them evenly. Put the baking dish in the preheated oven and cook, stirring the vegetables occasionally, until they are tender and golden brown, about 45 minutes.

Served up 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. 

Applesauce Bran Muffins














Apple season enables a million delicious recipes, starting with these.  Eat them warm, with butter.

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

INGREDIENTS
2 eggs, whisked
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup yogurt
¼ cup olive oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1/2 cup sugar or equivalent* (*Stevia works well, read the fine print on your package for the amount that will be equivalent to the sugar)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon apple pie spice (or a mixture of cinnamon and your favorite baking spices)
pinch salt
1/2 cup toasted pecans
1/2 cup raisins

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

In another bowl mix the flour, bran, sweetener, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt.
Stir the liquids into the dry ingredients until just blended into a thick dough. Then stir in the pecans and the raisins. Using a rubber spatula, scrape muffin batter into a muffin pan (I use two small rubber spatulas, and line the muffin pan with paper muffin cups for easy cleanup). Add just enough batter to fill a muffin cup level.  Bake for 17 minutes, or until just firm.
Don't overcook whole grain muffins (they'll dry out).

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Powisset Chicken Salad















This crunchy, refreshing salad couldn't be simpler to prepare, and is perfect for a hot weather meal.  Talk about incentive to cook extra chicken the night before.

Prep time:  15 minutes
Serves:  4

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken meat, 1/2 inch dice
1 - 1 1/2 cups chopped carrot, 1/2 inch dice
1 cup arugula, chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 apple, peel on, sliced and chopped
3 tablespoons slivered almonds
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan
Juice of 1 lemon (2-3 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
Pepper

DIRECTIONS
Toss the chicken, carrot, arugula, parsley, apple, almonds and Parmesan with the lemon juice and olive oil.  Serve, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

A cool white or rosé alongside makes the picture complete.

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Sautéed Kale with Scallions and Fava Beans













This first cousin of minestra serves up creamy rich fava beans and flavorful scallions nestled in hearty kale.  Yum.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  15 minutes
Serves:  4 as a side dish

INGREDIENTS
Olive oil
1 bunch kale, stems separated and cut into 1/4" sections, leaves coarsely chopped
1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts cut into 1/4" sections (save dark green tops for another use)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 to 1 1/2 cups prepared fava beans*
Parmesan cheese
Salt
Pepper

DIRECTIONS
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat and cook the kale stems and garlic, stirring, for 4 minutes.  Add the scallions and kale leaves, cover, turn heat to medium-low, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the fava beans, and continue to cook until kale leaves and stems reach the degree of tenderness you like.

Serve sprinkled with shredded Parmesan, salt and pepper.

Variation:  Add chick peas just for the fun of it (photo below)

*To prepare fresh fava beans in the amount called for in this recipe, start with about two pounds of fava bean pods.  Remove the beans, and cook them for two minutes in salted boiling water.  Drain in a colander, and then place beans in a bowl of ice water.  Drain, and then carefully slip the outer covering off each bean (discard outer covering).  Place beans in a bowl, and they are ready to use.

Variation - substitute other prepared dry beans for the favas.


Photos and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Scallion, Zucchini & Arugula Egg Sandwich













No recipe, this is just for visual appeal.

Grilled Zucchini

 











Versatile Zucchini can be prepared in many different ways. One of the simplest, and the most tasty, is to grill slices like this. Yum.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Serves: 4 (or 2 if you really like your squash)

INGREDIENTS
2 small zucchini, washed, ends cut off, and sliced lengthwise into pieces into pieces 1/2 inch thick
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
Lay the zucchini slices in a baking pan. Mix the garlic, oil, and vinegar, pour over the zucchini, and turn the slices to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Ideally marinate for an hour or more.

Preheat the grill. Grill the slices for 4 minutes per side or until zucchini is tender.

Zucchini is perfect to prepare alongside other grilled foods to make efficient use of that grill.

Photos and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Red, White & Greens (AKA Beets and Spring Turnips)













This springtime dish is perfect for tender spring beets and turnips that don't need peeling.  Cook the bulbs first, then the greens.

Prep time:  10 Minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch young small beets, with greens
1 bunch young small spring turnips, with greens
1/4 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1-2 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
Separate the beets and turnips from their greens.  Scrub the bulbs, remove the tap root, and cut into 1/8 inch slices.  Coarsely chop and rinse the greens.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat and cook the beet slices in a single layer for 5 minutes, turning occasionally.  Add the sliced turnips and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the beets are tender when speared with a fork.  Remove to a side plate.

Add the remaining olive oil, the onion, and the garlic to the saute pan.  Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, then add the greens and cover.  Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until greens are wilted.

Arrange greens on a serving platter, and top with cooked beets and turnips.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick




Radish Club Sandwich













This one is just plain fun.  Radishes (and arugula) add a pungent crunch to the more conventional layers of turkey, bacon, and provolone.  

No recipe necessary, I think?

Pungent Salad

Sometimes what you need is a simple, crunchy, chewy salad with enough pungent flavor to add meaning to the day.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
1 bunch arugula, coarsely chopped
1 bunch parsley, coarsely chopped
1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
3 tablespoons sliced toasted almonds
one apple, 1/4 inch dice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt
pepper
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan

DIRECTIONS
Combine arugula, parsley, scallions, almonds, and diced apple in a large bowl.  Drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil, and toss to coat.  Distribute salad to serving plates, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper, and sprinking with Parmesan.

Crunch each bite and contemplate making green your favorite color.

Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick

Arugula Carbonara

Crisp, flavorful arugula dances on the palate with creamy, nutty whole wheat pasta and sweet, tender crisp peppers. 


Prep time:  15 minutes
Cook time:  15 minutes
Serves:  6+







INGREDIENTS
1/2 pound ground sausage meat (optional)
1 large sweet pepper, cut into 1/2" chunks (about 1 cup)
1 pound whole wheat pasta, your favorite shape
2 eggs
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh arugula
Olive oil for drizzling
Salt
Pepper


DIRECTIONS
Heat water for the pasta in a large pot.  While water is heating, heat a large saute pan over medium heat and cook the sausage, stirring, for 4 minutes.  Add the sweet pepper and continue cooking until the sausage is done and the pepper chunks are tender crisp, roughly another 4 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Cook the pasta as you like it.
While pasta is cooking, whisk the eggs in a small bowl.

When pasta is done, drain it in a colander, quickly return hot pasta to the pot, and toss with the eggs (the eggs will cook), then with the Parmesan, and then mix in the sausage and pepper mix from the saute pan, and the fresh arugula.

Serve, drizzling with a bit of good olive oil, and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.  This dish will pair well with a dry red wine - Cotes du Rhone, or even Chianti, would be a natural.

Variations:  to prepare without the sausage, cook the peppers until tender crisp in olive oil, and complete the rest of the recipe as above.

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Roasted Rosemary Radishes
















The roasting process mellows sharp radishes, and makes them sweeter, while still preserving some of that great crunch.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 as a side dish

INGREDIENTS
2 bunches radishes, leaves reserved for another use, roots scrubbed and cut into 1/2" pieces
Olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

METHOD
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the radishes in a bowl. Mix the garlic and olive oil, pour over the radishes, and stir to coat. Spoon radishes into a baking dish, sprinkle with the rosemary, salt and pepper. Bake until tender and slightly browned, stirring once or twice, about 30 minutes.

Served up by Tod Dimmick

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

Tagliatelle with Zucchini, Red Pepper, and Heirloom Tomato












The fresh sweet taste of summer vegetables shine through the creamy tagliatelle.  It's even better with fresh pasta.

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

INGREDIENTS
1 pound fresh tagliatelle pasta
Olive oil
2 zucchini squash, 1/2 inch dice
1 large sweet red pepper, 1/2 inch dice
1 medium onion, 1/4 inch dice (about 2/3 cup)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
one large or several small heirloom tomatoes, 1/2 inch dice
1/3 cup diced pancetta
Freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt
Pepper

DIRECTIONS
Boil water for pasta.

While water is heating, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat and saute the zucchini, sweet pepper, onion, garlic, oregano, and rosemary, stirring occationally, for 8 minutes or until squash is tender crisp.  Stir in tomatoes, and remove from heat.

When water is boiling, cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain cooked pasta in a colander, and pour in to a serving dish.  Top with the cooked vegetables, and sprinkle generously with shredded Parmesan cheese.

Serve, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.  Enjoy with a glass of rosé and a view, either real or in your mind's eye.

Variations:  You could easily omit the pancetta for a vegetarian dish.

Vegetable Stew with Greens and Carrots













On the day I made this hearty soup, the high temperature was 4 degrees.  This hearty bowl of goodness proved equal to the task.

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

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 cups brassica greens, coarsely chopped (kale, young broccoli leaves, cabbage, etc)
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups tomato sauce
4 carrots shredded with a mandolin, yielding about 2 cups.
1 cup uncooked pasta, your favorite
1/2 cup whole wheat cous cous, dry
2 packed cups fresh baby spinach leaves
3 tablespoons sliced almonds for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS
Saute greens and set aside.

Heat stock and tomato sauce to a simmer.  Add the carrots and simmer 5 minutes.  Add the pasta, and simmer 7 minutes or until beginning to soften.  Add cous cous and cook another 3 inutes, stirring.  Add the spinach, stir and cook for a minute, or until pasta and cous cous are done.

Serve with garlic toasts.

Photo and Recipe 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

Cabbage Gratin













A decadent, irresistible way to enjoy cabbage. (Lightly adapted from the Saveur recipe)

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time: 65 minutes
Serves:  6-8

INGREDIENTS
3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
9 cups shredded cabbage (about 1½ small heads)
2½ cups heavy cream
2 tsp. sweet paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¾ cup freshly shredded Parmesan
¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
¾ cup panko bread crumbs

DIRECTIONS
Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 3-qt. round or oval baking dish with 1 tbsp. butter; add cabbage and set aside.

Combine cream, paprika, sugar, and salt and pepper in a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until mixture just begins to simmer. Pour cream mixture over cabbage and stir to combine. 

In a medium bowl, toss together Parmesan, walnuts, and bread crumbs; sprinkle evenly over cabbage and dot top with remaining butter. 

Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake until cream is absorbed and cabbage is tender, about 50 minutes. Remove foil, increase heat to 400°, and continue baking until topping is browned and crisp, about 15 minutes more. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Zucchini Bran Muffins













Aside from the occasional hint of bright green in these moist, delicious muffins, you would never guess the secret ingredient.

Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
Yield:  A dozen or so muffins

INGREDIENTS
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups wheat bran
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
zest from one lemon (optional)
pinch salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup apple juice
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup shredded zucchini

DIRECTIONS
Preheat your oven to 400.

While the oven is heating, in a mixing bowl whisk the flour, bran, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt.  In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, then whisk in the apple juice, canola oil, and vanilla.  Pour the egg mixture in to the flour mixture, add the shredded zucchini, and stir to just combine.  If batter is too dry, stir in a bit more juice.

Spoon batter into muffin cups, generously filling each cup.  Slide muffin tray in to the oven and bake for 17-20 minutes or until muffins are done.

What a breakfast.


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

Baked Eggs with Potatoes, Mushrooms & Kale

Prep time:  15 minutes
Cook time:  25 minutes
Serves 4

An utterly satisfying, rustic combination of fresh ingredients.  We devoured this for dinner, although it would be great any time of day.







INGREDIENTS
About 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion sliced 1/4" thick
1 teaspoon pimenton, hot smoked paprika (optional)
1 1/2 cups mushrooms sliced 1/4" thick
4 cups kale, coarsely chopped
2 large potatoes sliced 1/4" thick (about 2 - 2 1/2 cups)
4 eggs
Salt and pepper
Freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS
Preheat your oven to 300.  Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large cast iron (or oven proof) skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sprinkle with the paprika if using.  Cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the mushrooms and the kale and cover.  Cook for 3 minutes, remove the cover and stir, and recover for another minute or two or until the kale is beginning to wilt.  Remove mixture to a bowl or plate with a slotted spoon, leaving any remaining oil in the skillet.  If necessary add a little more oil for the potatoes.  Cook the potatoes in the skillet in a single layer for 8 minutes, turning once, until browned on both sides and tender when pierced with a fork.

Spread the onion, mushroom and kale mixture over the potatoes in the skillet.  Crack the eggs evenly spaced over the vegetable mixture.  Slide the skillet in the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes or until the yolks are just set.

Bring the skillet out and serve with a spatula, seasoning to taste with salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese. 

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

Potato, Corn & Sausage Skillet Meal

Attention parents in a hurry:  this dish results directly from the urgent need to produce a tasty, kid-friendly comfort food meal on short notice and based entirely on ingredients on hand.  Do you ever find yourself in a situation like that?

With organic potatoes, no need to peel 'em, just scrub and dice.  Those peels have loads of flavor and nutrition.



Prep time:  10 minutes
Cook time:  25 minutes
Serves:  4-6

INGREDIENTS
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups potatoes, 1/4 to 1/2 inch dice
1 pound ground sausage
1/2 cup onion, 1/4 inch dice (one small onion)
1 cup corn
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary or one teaspoon dried
5 fresh sage leaves, minced or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano, or one teaspoon dried
Salt
Pepper

DIRECTIONS
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat, and cook the potatoes, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until browned outside and just soft inside when poked with a fork. Remove potatoes to a bowl and add the sausage and onion and cook, stirring, for 8-10 minutes or until sausage is cooked.  Add the corn, rosemary, sage, and oregano, along with the cooked potatoes and cook, stirring, for more 3 minutes.

Serve, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Photo and recipe by Tod Dimmick


Decadent Veggie Sausage Lasagne













It takes some time to assemble these unctuous layers, but when you see the response of your fans, er, family, you'll see that it's worth the effort.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time:  50 minutes
Serves:  8-10

INGREDIENTS
1 box (16 ounces) whole wheat lasagna noodles
Olive oil
1 large zucchini squash, 1/4 inch dice (about 3 cups)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 large onion, 1/4 inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 sweet bell peppers, 1/4 inch dice (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
1 pound sweet Italian sausage links
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh sage
1 tub (32 ounces) whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup coarsely chopped basil leaves
3-4 cups marinara sauce
1 large ripe tomato, 1/4 inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS
Heat water in a large stock pot for the lasagne noodles.  Bring the ricotta out of the fridge to warm, to make it easier to spread.

While water is heating, cook the sausage and the vegetables.  In a large saute pan over medium heat, cook the sausage for 8 minutes, turning, or until done.  Set aside to cool.  Drain excess fat and replace with a few tablespoons of olive oil.  Saute summer squash with garlic for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until squash is tender crisp, then scoop squash out to a plate or bowl.  Add the onion, peppers, rosemary and sage and, if necessary, a little more olive oil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, or until peppers are tender crisp.  Chop sausage into chunks 1/4-1/2 inch in size.

When water reaches a boil, cook the lasagna noodles for 6 minutes or until al dente.  Drain in a colander, place noodles in a mixing bowl, and toss gently with some olive oil to prevent sticking.

While pasta is cooking,  place the ricotta in a mixing bowl and stir in the basil.  Preheat the oven to 350.

Set out a large (10" x 14" or equivalent) baking dish, and spread about 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce across the bottom in a thin layer.  Arrange a layer of noodles, in parallel touching rows, across the bottom of the dish.  Sprinkle half of the zucchini evenly across the noodles, followed by half of the peppers and onions and half of the sausage.  Carefully spread half of the ricotta and basil across the vegetables. Top with 1 cup of the marinara sauce, half  of the chopped tomato, and 1/3 of the mozzarella.  Repeat this layer, starting with another layer of noodles.  Top your lasagna with a final layer of noodles.  Spread with the remaining sauce, being sure to fill in along the edges.  Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and the Parmesan.

Tent your lasagna with aluminum foil (do your best to not touch the surface with the foil) and slide in to the oven on the center rack.  Cook for 45 minutes, or until bubbling and the cheese is melted.

Serve with a tossed salad and a good Chianti.

Variation:  Omit the sausage for a vegetarian dish.


Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick





Cherry Tomato Carbonara














Is "exotic comfort food" an oxymoron?

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

INGREDIENTS
1 lb whole grain pasta (your favorite shape)
1/2 lb ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 large egg, whisked
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
3 TB shredded Parmesan (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
Cook the ground beef, onions and garlic in a saute pan or skillet over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the beef is almost cooked through.  Add the tomatoes and cook for another minute or until beef is done.  Set aside and keep warm.

Cook the pasta, drain , and return to the cooking pot or place in a large bowl.  Quickly add the egg and stir (the hot pasta will cook the egg).  Stir in the ground beef mixture, along with the basil and Parmesan. 

Serve, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.  Add a glass of dry red wine, or a chilled rose, for a midweek celebration of cherry tomato season.

Notes:  For visual appeal, place the eggy pasta on a serving platter and top with the ground beef, then the basil, then the Parmesan.

For a vegetarian dish, omit the ground beef and cook the onion and garlic in 3 TB olive oil.  Add a little more Parmesan for protein and flavor.

Photo and Recipe by Tod Dimmick

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