Roasted Mushroom and Swiss Chard Lasagna
FOR THE MUSHROOMS
1 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, chanterelle, portobello and shiitake
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine salt, or more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
FOR THE CHARD
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced paper-thin
1 pound Swiss chard, well washed and trimmed of tough stems, and sliced crosswise into ribbons
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE
1 clove garlic, lightly crushed
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Two 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes, with their juices
5 large fresh basil leaves
FOR THE LASAGNA
1 pound Fresh Egg Pasta for Lasagna (see related recipe)
One 8-ounce ball whole-milk mozzarella, cut into small cubes
2 cups well-drained fresh, whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
4 ounces Italian fontina cheese, shredded
Extra-virgin olive oil, for the baking dish
Salt, for the pasta cooking water
For the mushrooms: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the mushrooms with the oil in a large bowl, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread them out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast (middle rack) for 15 minutes, then toss with a spatula. Roast for 10 minutes more or until they are tender and browned. Transfer the mushrooms to the bowl and toss with the minced parsley. Store, covered, in the refrigerator, until you are ready to assemble the lasagna.
For the chard: Heat the oil and garlic in a large, high-sided skillet set on medium-low heat. Cook 3 minutes, until the garlic is softened and fragrant but not browned. Add the chard by the handful, using tongs to coat it with the oil. Cover and cook, stirring from time to time, for 15 minutes, or until the greens are wilted. Uncover and season with the salt. Cook 5 minutes more, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the greens to a bowl to cool. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the lasagna.
For the tomato sauce: Warm the garlic in the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Press down on the garlic with a wooden spoon or spatula to release the garlic flavor. Cook for 2 minutes, until it sizzles, but don’t let it brown. Carefully pour in the tomatoes and their juice (the oil will spatter). Season with 1 teaspoon salt and raise the heat to medium-high. Bring the sauce to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook gently, stirring now and again, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the oil is pooling on the surface.
Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. If not using right away, transfer the sauce to a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months. Reheat the sauce to a simmer before assembling the lasagna.
For the lasagna: Spread a clean tablecloth on a table or clean flat surface near the stove. Have ready the uncooked pasta, tomato sauce, chard, mushrooms and cheeses.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch lasagna or baking dish (or 2 smaller baking dishes) with the olive oil.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat and salt generously (as in, 3 or 4 pinches of salt). Set a large bowl of ice water near the stove for briefly immersing the parboiled lasagna noodles.
Carefully drop in 4 or 5 lasagna noodles at a time, taking care not to crowd the pot. Boil for about 1 minute; the noodles cook quickly and should be slightly underdone. Use a large skimmer to transfer them to the ice-water bath. Swish them around, then use the skimmer to transfer them to the tablecloth, where you will spread them out flat.
To assemble the lasagna, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange a single layer of lasagna noodles over the sauce. Spread half the chard over the noodles and dot with half the mozzarella and 1/2 cup ricotta. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Make a second layer of sauce and noodles. Spread half the roasted mushrooms over the pasta, then dot with 1/2 cup ricotta and sprinkle with half the Fontina and 1 tablespoon Parm.
Make a third layer of sauce and noodles. Spread the remaining greens over the pasta and dot with the remaining mozzarella and 1/2 cup of the ricotta. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parm. Cover with a fourth layer of sauce and noodles. Then spread the remaining mushrooms on top and dot with the rest of the ricotta. Top with the remaining Fontina and 1 tablespoon Parm.
Make one more layer of sauce and noodles. Spread a final layer of sauce over them and sprinkle the remaining Parm on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake (middle rack) for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 minutes more, until it is bubbling inside and browned on top. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Sautéed Chard with Tomatoes
Total time: 15 minutes
8oz (240gr) chard Swiss chard
2 cloves garlic
handful fresh basil leaves
2 tsp olive oil
Wash the chard and trim any bad bits.
Stack the leaves together and fold over, the long way. Slice into thin strips, about 1/2" (1cm) using both leaves and stems.
Roughly chop tomato.
Tear large basil leaves.
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic, chard stems and stir-fry over medium heat 3 minutes.
Add the leaves, basil and tomato. Stir and turn until the leaves wilt and it all fits into the skillet.
Reduce heat to low and cook until all is tender, another 5 - 6 minutes, stirring frequently.
Broccoli Salad With Pesto, Apples & Walnuts
PREP TIME 10 minutes
SERVES about 3 (or more as a small side)
1 1/3 cups tightly packed, cleaned and dried basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled (the newer/fresher, the better)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts, divided into 2/3 cup and 1/3 cup (raw)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 small head of broccoli
1 large Honeycrisp apple (or similar), rinsed but not peeled
Make the pesto: In a food processor, combine basil, garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and 2/3 cup walnuts. Pulse until everything is the size of small grains, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed. Then, run the motor as you stream in the oil until a smooth, creamy pesto forms. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed with more salt and lemon juice to balance—it should be very flavorful and zingy. Add to a large bowl.
Take your head of broccoli and cut off the florets with about 2-inches of stem attached to each, then slice them as thinly as you can until you have about 3 heaping cups of thinly sliced broccoli and pieces. It’s fine if some stalk gets in there, but it should be mostly floret/stem (and the stuff that falls off the florets as you’re slicing). Add the 3 heaping cups of broccoli to the bowl with the pesto, and give it a stir to coat.
Slice the apple into 1/4-inch thick half-moon pieces (avoiding the seeds and stem), as if you’re making apple slices for a snack (but much thinner). Then, cut those in half horizontally so you have twice as many, half-as-tall slices. Add those to the bowl, along with the remaining 1/3 cup crushed walnuts. Stir all to combine and serve immediately, or cover and keep in fridge up to 3 days.
Mom’s Banana Pear Bread
1 C mashed bananas & pears
1 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
3/4 C sugar
1/4 C cooking oil
1 T vanilla
1 t cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour 2 9x5 loaf pans. In small bowl blend bananas and pears In a large bowl, mix together eggs, banana mixture, sugar, cooking oil and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and a bit of salt. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until it’s well moistened but not too well mixed. Spoon batter into the loaf pans, filling about 2/3 of the way full bake for 50-55 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted near the center comes back out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan before taking a butter knife and loosening the edges of the bread from the pan. Turn out bread onto a wire baker's rack and cover with a dry towel until completely cooled.
Grilled Portobello & Peach Burgers Makes 6 burgers
6 portobello mushrooms 6 peaches 6 sweet potatoes 6 burger buns of your choice (If you don’t eat gluten, we have a quick gluten-free bun recipe on the blog.) 100 g fresh pea sprouts 5 small roman tomatoes, sliced 5 small spring onions, sliced fresh thyme olive oil salt & pepper
4 tbsp olive oil 2 fresh rosemary sprigs 1 tbsp fresh thyme 2 garlic cloves 1/2 lemon salt & pepper
4 avocados 5 small Roma tomatoes 1 garlic clove 1/4 cup parsley 1/2 lemon 1 tbsp olive oil
Preparation: Clean the portobello mushrooms by carefully removing dirt from the caps with a kitchen towel or cloth; you can use a little water if needed. Pat dry. Cut the peaches in halves and remove the pits.
Making the sweet potato fries: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the sweet potatoes in 1-inch thick, 5-inch long sticks. Put them on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil, salt and thyme over them and put in the oven. The fries need around 30 minutes before they are ready, but you need to stir after 15 minutes.
Making the marinade: Pour olive oil in a small bowl. Add one chopped rosemary sprig, chopped thyme, mashed garlic, freshly squeezed lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Stir around. Use the other rosemary sprig to brush the mushrooms and peaches with the marinade. When the grill is ready, grill the portobello and peaches for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, while you use the rosemary stick to brush the marinade over them one more time.
Making the guacamole: Chop avocados, tomatoes and parsley roughly. Add them to a small bowl with mashed garlic. Squeeze lemon juice over it, and mash everything with a fork. It’s okay if it stays a little chunky.
Assembling the burger: Slice the buns in halves. Let them get some color on the grill. When done, place a big dollop of guacamole on the bottom bun, and add pea sprouts, tomatoes, spring onion, one portobello mushroom and two peach halves. Add the top of the bun, and insert a stick to hold it all together. Enjoy!
BASIL PESTO BROCCOLI
prep time 10 minutes
cook time 10 minutes
total time 20 minutes
2 pounds broccoli or broccolini, ends trimmed
3/4 cup homemade pesto
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Grated parmesan or pecorino for garnish
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (chopped walnuts work also)
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Bring 1 to 1-1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
Place your steamer in the pan.
Place the broccoli on the steamer.
Cover the lid tightly.
Let the broccoli steam for 2-5 minutes, or until fork tender and bright green.
Remove from heat and drain in a colander.
In a small bowl, combine pesto with olive oil.
Place the broccoli in a large mixing bowl.
Drizzle the pesto over the broccoli and gently toss.
Arrange the broccoli on a platter and dust with grated parmesan or percorino cheese.
FOR THE PESTO
Combine the basil leaves, Parmesan cheese, nuts, and garlic in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse until the leaves are minced finely.
Add the olive oil and pulse to blend, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Transfer the pesto to an airtight container and cover with a thin layer of olive oil to keep it from browning.
Orange Braised Rainbow Chard
Cook Times: 20 mins
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 bunch rainbow chard, washed, dried and chopped
juice from 1/2 an orange
Heat a large sautee pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Slowly caramelize the onions, about 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally.
When the onions are golden brown and caramelized, add the rainbow chard. Toss with the onions. Cook until the chard just begins to soften, about 2-4 minutes. Add the juice from the orange. Toss, and cook another 2 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve warm.
Easy Skillet Peach-Basil Cobbler
FOR THE CRUST:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
FOR THE FILLING:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 lbs peaches (about 6-7 large peaches), ripe but firm
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
To make the crust, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and use your fingers to squeeze/rub the butter into the dry ingredients until clumps form. Place the bowl in your refrigerator while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to a 10-inch cast iron skillet and place it in your oven to melt.
Meanwhile, slice the peaches into wedges, discarding the pits. Add the peach wedges to a large bowl along with the remaining filling ingredients, tossing to coat.
Carefully remove the cast iron skillet from your oven and swirl it gently to coat the sides in the melted butter. Add the peaches, spreading them out evenly (your skillet will be full). Top with the crust mixture.
Bake the cobbler in your pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is browned and the filling is bubbling. Remove and set aside to cool.
You can serve the cobbler warm or at room temperature. Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or Greek yogurt, if desired.<