A new twist to an old slaw

This wasn’t fancy, but in addition to adding a little sparkle to last night’s dinner, we all had a delicious serving of raw broccoli. Raw broccoli—not my favorite way to enjoy a vegetable, but this is lovely! It’s light, fresh, and lemony, with the seeds adding a wonderful nutty depth.

Lemony brocolli slaw sm IMG_0075

Lemony Broccoli Slaw with Sunflower Seeds

  • 1 12-oz bag broccoli slaw
  • 1/3 c. mayonnaise
  • juice of one juicy lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar (or less, to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • dash of garlic powder
  • a grind of fresh pepper
  • 1/4 c. raw sunflower seeds

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and lemon juice, stir in the sugar until dissolved. In a larger bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Serve with an extra sprinkle of sunflower seeds.


What’s on your matzo pizza?

For favorite Passover recipes from my kitchen, please get the book Essential Passover from Scratch: Recipes and Stories from My Mother’s Kitchen

I used last night’s left overs and created this gourmet lunch of a matzo pizza topped with lemon asparagus and matzo meal baked chicken.

Gourmet Matzo Pizza

  • 1 sheet matzo
  • 2 Tbs. (approx) tomato or pizza sauce
  • 2 stalks asparagus (of other vegetable), cut into pieces
  • 1 baked chicken thigh, sliced
  • 1/4 c. shredded cheese

Spread the sauce evenly over the matzo, then top with asparagus and chicken. Sprinkle on the cheese. Microwave on high for 1 minute.

Braised Chard with (giant) Raisins and Pine Nuts

This chard was so colorful it was a joy to eat, and the combination of sweet with the peppery was wonderful.

Braised Swiss Chard with Onions, Raisins and Pine Nuts

  • 3-4 large leaves of Swiss Chard, thinly slice the stalks, chop the leaves
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted
  • balsamic vinegar, a drizzle
  • black pepper, coarsely ground
  • salt to taste

Brown the onions in the hot olive oil, stirring in the stalks when the onions are almost how you like them. Add the chopped leaves along with the raisins. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the pine nuts and drizzle on a little balsamic vinegar. Eat. Enjoy.

I’m making my first product endorsement tonight for these giant organic raisins. Since I’ve started buying these (at Meijers, or from the company’s web site), I can’t go back to regular raisins.

These raisins are huge and have an intense flavor.

The raisin on the left is a regular raisin (golden because it's the only regular raisin I have in the pantry). The giant on the right is a Sunview raisin. (photo enlarged to show detail)

Tiny Pastas with Cauliflower, Peas and Fancy Cheese

Break the cauliflower into very small florets, and pick out a couple of similarly sized pasta shapes.

Jennie brought this incredible assortment of gourmet-looking cheeses as a starter course for our dinner party. She arranged them on a round wooden board and—this is the best part—she labeled them all! We all had so much fun trying some new cheeses. When I went to make my usual pasta sauce a few days later, I mixed in a left-over chunk of a soft looking cheese, blending it in with the cheddar. The cheese is called “fromager d’Affinois” and is a bit similar to brie, but made with more butter fat. Yum.

This is more-or-less the same recipe as Mixed Pasta Shapes with Vegetables, but without the tomato and substituting in about 3/4 c. of the fromager d’Affinois.

Greener Greens

I love sauteed greens: kale, chard, bok choy. My children willingly eat broccoli, but that gets tiresome, so tonight I mixed them all together in a lovely green-on-green blend. This is a mixture of broccoli, ribbons of kale and chard, bok choy, sliced green onion and left over green beans. A symphony of green.

Start with a small amount of olive oil, press in a clove of garlic, add all of the vegies and stir them around in the pan until the broccoli and beans are just tender. Season with salt and pepper.

5 o’clock Chili

With the added broccoli and carrots this chili is a complete meal in a bowl.

It’ 5:30 and I have a big pot of chili on the stove that I started at 5:00. I couldn’t be more pleased with my decision NOT to drive to the grocery store in search of something interesting for dinner. Instead, I lay on the living room couch, calling out dinner suggestions to Max, and we voted on chili. Granted, this is not the soak-the-beans-the-night-before, simmer-all-day, perfect-for-a-Sunday-supper chili, but the taste I just had of it is delicious. I used canned beans, and feeling in need of some extra protein (this could absolutely be made without any meat), I defrosted and chopped up three burgers. Vegetables are plentiful in this recipe, so it’s really a meal in a bowl. My pot of chili will be good to eat at 6:00; perfectly delicious by 6:30.

5 O’clock Chili

1. Saute the following, in a little olive oil, for about 5 minutes:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 c. chopped broccoli, using both stems and florets
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped

2. Stir in the ground meat, let brown for another 5 minutes

3. While the meat is browning, get out your coffee grinder and grind up some cumin seeds, if you have them.

4. Add the following to the pot:

  • 1 28-oz + 1 15-oz can tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 15-oz cans kidney and/or black beans (I used 2 cans kidney; 1 can black)
  • 2 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1-2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 Tbs salt (to taste)

5. Cover and simmer 30-60 minutes.

Serve with shredded cheese, chopped onion, sour cream and spoil the kids with some oyster crackers.

I learned this trick from Rae Spooner, while making gallons of chili in the temple kitchen for the annual mitzvah day donation to the mens shelter. For intense cumin flavor, grind cumin seeds in your coffee grinder. (You'll want to wipe the grinder out quite thoroughly before making the next day's coffee.)

Lunch: a Mélange of leftovers

Try it—you'll like it!

My daughter Molly requested that I write a post about this “recipe,” which is one of our favorite ways to create a bowl of lunch. It calls to mind stories I’ve heard about my husband’s grandfather, Lloyd, who used to take leftovers for lunch, made from the previous night’s dinner foods, all poured together inside a mason jar. Lloyd worked in a bakery and he’d set the big mason jar—heaped full of leftover mashed potatoes, meat, green bean casserole, and whatnot—on top of the bakery oven to warm. Apparently it drove Mrs. Lloyd a little crazy watching all of her lovingly prepared dishes spooned all together into one lump.

Along those lines, today for lunch I took the little bit of left-over mixed vegetables from last night, topped them with a dab of leftover spaghetti from last Wednesday’s pasta night along with the remains of the baked chicken that we had from Yom Kippur. Delicious. This would be at least $12.50 at a fancy restaurant, and they’d have a fancy name for it, too.

Molly’s favorite is leftover rice, mixed with vegetables and just a bit of chopped up meat. We call that one “not-fried rice.”

Make it a fruit PLATTER!

Throw away the plastic containers and make it pretty!

The next time you volunteer to take fruit to the pot luck, please do me a favor and take 5 minutes to plate the fruit with some deliberate care into a tiny work of art.

  1. Pick an unusual-shaped platter. I like this little oval server.
  2. PLACE the fruit onto the platter—do not DUMP it out.
  3. Place each strawberry, one at a time, green side up.
  4. Take a moment to appreciate your masterpiece before it is quickly consumed.

Potted Lamb with Red Wine, Garlic and Mushrooms

This is the last of the box of lamb I bought several months ago. The shoulder blade chops wouldn’t be tender if merely grilled, so I did what my grandmother would do, throwing them in a pan, adding some liquid for flavor and let them cook in the juice.

Potted Lamb with Red Wine, Garlic and Mushrooms

  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 lamb shoulder blade chops
  • 8 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 lb. mushrooms, halved
  • seasoned salt

Liberally season the lamb with seasoned salt. In a large, deep pan that has a lid, heat the olive oil until very hot and then add the chops and garlic. After you have browned both sides of the lamb—about 6 minutes per side—squeeze on the lemon juice, pour on the wine, and immediately cover the pan. Reduce to medium and let cook for 10-15 more minutes.

We had enough left over that I will trim it up and make a lamb stew on Friday.

Zucchini Part 3: Zephyr Zucchini

Buy the tiniest zucchini you can find. Serve them whole, on a bed of onions and mushrooms.

I had to look up the name of this type of zucchini. It is my favorite because of its delicate flavor and bicolor cuteness. I couldn’t bear the thought of cutting into these tiny squash, so tonight I cooked them whole, steaming them in the pan over a pan of vidalia onions and mushroom halves.

Saute mushroom halves, a clove of pressed garlic, and onion slices in a little olive oil and butter. When the onions just begin to soften, and the mushrooms have released some juice, place the zephyrs on top, season with salt and pepper, cover and let cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes. Check them along the way by poking with a knife to see if the squash are cooked. You don’t want to over-cook these. They are best when just tender.