Lemony Potatoes and Sweet Peppers

Take advantage of fall (or spring) baby new potatoes, smother them with sweet bell pepper strips and a tangy lemon butter sauce, to make this dish a perfect side for just about anything.

1 lb. baby potatoes- Yukon, red bliss, purple or fingerling

1 sweet bell pepper – red, yellow or orange, seeded and sliced into strips

1 T olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

½ C chicken or vegetable broth

1 T fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 T butter, chilled

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 t sea salt and pepper, to taste

Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the potatoes and reduce heat. Simmer potatoes until barely tender, about 5 minutes. Drain potatoes, cool, and halve lengthwise. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic, and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add potatoes, cut sides down, and cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in stock. Add sliced bell peppers. Cook until liquid is reduced by a third, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add thyme and butter, and stir until butter has melted. Stir in lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Garnish with more thyme leaves or parsley. Serves 4-6.


Roasted Garlic Compound Butter

1 large (or 2 small) bulb of garlic

2 t olive oil

½ C (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

¼ C parsley, finely chopped

½ t sea salt

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Slice off the top of the head of the bulbs of garlic, drizzle well with olive oil and wrap each head individually in foil. Roast 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of the bulb. Carefully unwrap the bulb after 45 minutes of cooking to check how dark and caramelized it is and remove or continue cooking, depending on how browned you prefer.

Cool the garlic enough to handle, then remove each clove from the papery skin. Plump cloves will squeeze out of the skin easily, but more caramelized cloves may need to be scooped out with a spoon. Mash the garlic into a paste; one large head should yield one generous tablespoon of paste.

In a bowl, whip the softened butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add 1-2 tablespoons of roasted garlic paste (depending on how strong a flavor you like), add the finely chopped parsley and salt. Mix thoroughly. Store in an airtight container or place the butter on a large piece of plastic wrap and roll into a log shape, refrigerated for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer up to 3 months.

Use compound butter on steamed or grilled vegetables, fish or steak; serve it with fresh bread, dinner rolls, on a cheese board or on top of baked potatoes.


Kale and Roasted Squash with Chipotle-Yogurt Dressing

1 large bunch Lacinato kale (about 1lb.)

1 lb. winter squash – Delicata, dumpling, butternut, Red Kuri, Green Kuri

¼ C olive oil

1 t ground cumin

Sea salt

¼ C pumpkin seeds or pepitas

3 oz. crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese

Dressing

1 C plain yogurt

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 T almond butter (can substitute tahini)

½ – 1 T chipotle in adobo sauce, minced

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 t sweet paprika

Sea salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut open and seed the squash (peel if using butternut, but the others do not need peeling), and cut into 1-inch pieces. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with ¼ cup of olive oil, cumin and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bake for about 30 minutes, until tender and just browned in spots; remove from the oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, in a small food processor or in a medium bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients; the chipotle peppers are quite hot, so adjust the amount to your liking.  Season with salt and pepper.

Wash, pat dry and strip the ribs from the kale. Discard the ribs, stack and cut the kale into thin strips to produce ribbons; transfer the cut kale to a large mixing bowl and mix well with half the dressing. Let the kale sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to marinate and soften. (You can also mix the kale and dressing in a large resealable plastic bag, turning the bag over several times to accelerate the marinating.)

Before serving add the cooked squash cubes, and toss again, adding more dressing if necessary. Top the salad with crumbled goat cheese or blue cheese and pumpkin seeds. Serves 4-6. (Make Ahead: the dressing can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)


Roasted Squash with Spiced Buttered Pistachios and Lemon Yogurt

1 winter squash (about 2 pounds), preferably kabocha, red kuri or acorn

2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 t sea salt, or more as needed
½ t freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (may substitute vegan butter, such as Earth Balance) ½ C raw shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
½ t ground cumin
½ t ground turmeric

1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 to 2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


1 C full-fat Greek yogurt (may substitute low- or non-fat Greek yogurt or your favorite nondairy yogurt)

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with the rack in the middle.

Using a large, sharp knife, stab the squash in the middle and carefully work the knife down to cut the squash in half, going through the stem. Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp, and discard or reserve for another use. Cut the squash halves into 1 1/2- inch wedges, leaving the peel on.

On a large, rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the squash with the olive oil. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper and roast for 40 to 50 minutes, until the squash is very tender and golden brown with caramelized bits.

Meanwhile, in a small pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter has browned and started to foam, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the pistachios, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and pinch of red pepper flakes, if using. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, taste, and add more salt, if needed.

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Spread the yogurt sauce over a large serving platter or bowl. Arrange the squash on the sauce and spoon the buttered pistachios over everything. Sprinkle with another pinch of red pepper flakes, if desired, and serve. Serves 4-6.


Pea Shoots and Sugar Snap Peas with Preserved Lemon Goat Cheese Cream

½ lb sugar snap peas

4 C pea shoots, densely packed

4 oz soft goat cheese

¼ C crème fraiche

1 T preserved lemon, seeds and pulp removed, chopped

Dressing

2 T lemon juice

4 T olive oil

Sea salt and pepper

1 t honey (optional)

¼ C fresh basil, chiffonade

1 T fresh chives, snipped

Bring a pot of water to a boil, drop the snap peas into the pot and blanch for 90 seconds. Remove them with a slotted spoon and immerse in ice water. Drain well and set aside.

Using an electric mixer, whip the goat cheese for 1-2 minutes, until very creamy. Add the crème fraiche and whip again on low, until well incorporated. Fold in the chopped preserved lemons with a spatula. Set aside. (You can cover and refrigerate this for up to a week.)

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients, season with salt and pepper to taste. If you find the dressing too tart, add 1 teaspoon of honey. When you are ready to assemble the salad, gently toss the pea shoots and the sugar snap peas with 2 tablespoons of dressing. Add the basil and chives and toss again gently. Add more dressing if desired, or serve additional dressing on the side. Run a thick smear of the goat cheese cream along each plate and arrange some of the salad on top. Serve immediately. Serves 4.