Garlic

Simple Sautéed Bok Choy

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 2 medium size bunches or 1 large bunch of bok choy, cleaned ends trimmed and cut on the bias into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce (use tamari for gluten free)

  • 1 tablespoon of water

  • ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • ¼ cup roasted almonds

  • Salt (optional)

PREPARATION:

  1. In a large frying pan with a tight fitting lid, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. 

  2. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not brown, about 30 seconds.

  3. Add the bok choy, and using tongs, fold it into the garlic-ginger mixture until coated, about 1 minute.

  4. Add the soy sauce and water, cover and cook until steam accumulates, about 1 minute.

  5. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are just wilted, the stalks are just fork tender but still crisp, and most of the water has evaporated, about 2 minutes.

  6. Turn off the heat, stir in the sesame oil, and season with salt if desired.

  7. Serve it over rice with the almonds sprinkled on top.

Acorn Squash Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 acorn squash (peeled, seeded and cut into large cubes)

  • 1 onion (diced)

  • 2 carrots (sliced)

  • chili flakes (to taste)

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 5 cups water (plus more if needed)

  • creme fraiche (to serve)

  • chives (minced, to serve)

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

  • extra-virgin olive oil

PREPARATION:

  1. In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat, add about 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the squash, onion, carrot, chili flakes, nutmeg, and season with a generous pinch of salt. Cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables have broken down a bit and are soft. 

  2. Add the garlic and cook for one minute longer. Add the water and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes more. 

  3. Blend the soup until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasoning. 

  4. Serve with a drizzle of good olive oil, a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkle of chives.

Kale Salad With Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

  • 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 1 cup dried cranberries

  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • juice and zest of half a lemon

  • 1/8 tsp. salt

  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper

  • 1 bunch kale, very thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds

  • (optional) 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese

PREPARATION:

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and saute for at least 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Then add cranberries, red wine vinegar, honey and lemon juice and zest, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

  2. In a large bowl, toss the kale with olive oil and an extra pinch of salt, and massage kale with your fingers for 1 minute until tender. Add in the cranberry/shallot mixture and almonds, and toss to combine. Serve topped with crumbled cheese if desired.

Stuffed Pumpkin

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pumpkin, about 3 pounds

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

  • 1/4 pound cheese, such as Gruyère, Emmenthal, cheddar, or a combination, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

  • 2-4 garlic cloves (to taste), split, germ removed, and coarsely chopped

  • 4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped

  • About 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives or sliced scallions

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

  • About 1/3 cup heavy cream

  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

PREPARATION:

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment, or find a Dutch oven with a diameter that's just a tiny bit larger than your pumpkin. If you bake the pumpkin in a casserole, it will keep its shape, but it might stick to the casserole, so you'll have to serve it from the pot—which is an appealingly homey way to serve it. If you bake it on a baking sheet, you can present it freestanding, but maneuvering a heavy stuffed pumpkin with a softened shell isn't so easy. However, since I love the way the unencumbered pumpkin looks in the center of the table, I've always taken my chances with the baked-on-a-sheet method, and so far, I've been lucky.

  2. Using a very sturdy knife—and caution—cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin (think Halloween Jack-o-Lantern). It's easiest to work your knife around the top of the pumpkin at a 45-degree angle. You want to cut off enough of the top to make it easy for you to work inside the pumpkin. Clear away the seeds and strings from the cap and from inside the pumpkin. Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper, and put it on the baking sheet or in the pot.

  3. Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, and herbs together in a bowl. Season with pepper—you probably have enough salt from the bacon and cheese, but taste to be sure—and pack the mix into the pumpkin. The pumpkin should be well filled—you might have a little too much filling, or you might need to add to it. Stir the cream with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper and pour it into the pumpkin. Again, you might have too much or too little—you don't want the ingredients to swim in cream, but you do want them nicely moistened. (It's hard to go wrong here.)

  4. Put the cap in place and bake the pumpkin for about 2 hours—check after 90 minutes—or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. Because the pumpkin will have exuded liquid, I like to remove the cap during the last 20 minutes or so, so that the liquid can bake away and the top of the stuffing can brown a little.

  5. When the pumpkin is ready, carefully, very carefully—it's heavy, hot, and wobbly—bring it to the table or transfer it to a platter that you'll bring to the table.

    Serving:You have a choice—you can either spoon out portions of the filling, making sure to get a generous amount of pumpkin into the spoonful, or you can dig into the pumpkin with a big spoon, pull the pumpkin meat into the filling, and then mix everything up. I'm a fan of the pull-and-mix option. Served in hearty portions followed by a salad, the pumpkin is a perfect cold-weather main course; served in generous spoonfuls, it's just right alongside the Thanksgiving turkey.

    Storing: It's really best to eat this as soon as it's ready. However, if you've got leftovers, you can scoop them out of the pumpkin, mix them up, cover, and chill them; reheat them the next day.

Lemon & Dill Chicken

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (1-1¼ pounds)

  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, or canola oil, divided

  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

  • 2 teaspoons flour

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

PREPARATION:

  1. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1½ teaspoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear until well browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil.

  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1½ teaspoons oil to the pan. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk broth, flour, 1 tablespoon dill and lemon juice in a measuring cup and add to pan. Cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.

  3. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan; reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter. Season sauce with salt and pepper and spoon over the chicken. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill.