Kabocha Wheatberry Salad




An Autumnal combination — you get the sweetness, nuttiness, crunch, and the tahini in the dressing brings it all together. Kabocha is Japan’s pumpkin — slightly flattened and green dappled with white. Its flavor is similar to pumpkin, but sweeter. If you can’t find kabocha squash, substitute acorn or delicata. With its assertive creaminess and mild saltiness, the French feta, made from sheep’s milk, is particularly good in this dish, but you can definitely substitute your favorite feta. This recipe was adapted from the blog honestlyyum.com by Adrienne for a class Brookside November 18 2015. 

1 kabocha squash
½# shiitake mushrooms
1/4 C olive oil
1 C of wheatberries, cooked
1/3 C hazelnuts
2 large handfuls of baby arugula or kale
French feta

1 T tahini
1 T honey
juice of 1 large lemon
1 T apple cider vinegar
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil (more as needed)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven 400 degrees. Halve kabocha across its equator and scoop out seeds; using a large chef’s knife, cut squash into wedges. Toss wedges with half the olive oil and lightly season with sea salt and black pepper. Roast squash 25-30 minutes until tender. Remove and discard stems from shiitake; slice tops into strips. Toss in extra virgin olive oil and lightly season with sea salt and black pepper. Roast in the 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes until they begin to get dark and crispy around the edges. (You can also roast the shiitake and squash together, just remember to remove the shiitake before the squash).Toast the hazelnuts in a small pan over medium heat. Keep the hazelnuts moving to prevent them from burning. When you begin to smell their fragrance, remove them from the pan. Cool and chop roughly.

Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk tahini and honey; add lemon juice and vinegar and incorporate well; slowly add olive oil and continue whisking until the ingredients are emulsified and the dressing is smooth; if the dressing is too thick, add more olive oil to achieve the right consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble the salad, arrange the squash wedges on a plate. Combine the arugula, hazelnuts, shiitake mushrooms, and wheatberries in a bowl and toss with dressing. Place the salad between the wedges and top with several cubes of French feta; drizzle with additional olive oil.

Shiitake and Kale Lasagna with Chèvre & Sun-dried Tomatoes




This satisfying vegetarian lasagna can easily be changed up to include ground beef, turkey or chicken in the sauce. Ricotta cheese can be substituted for the chèvre.

1 (1 lb-9ounce) jar pasta sauce or 3 C fresh made
8 ounces rice lasagna noodles
11 ounces chèvre (goat) cheese, plain or herbed
1 C marinated sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
1 T olive oilkale
1 bunch lacinato kale, leaves washed, stripped from the ribs and chopped
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and roughly chopped
2 C cheddar cheese, shredded

Prepare the lasagna noodles: follow the package directions, boil the noodles until still slightly firm to the bite, 8-10 minutes, depending on the kind of pasta you choose. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking.

Tikyana brand pasta available at many DC-area supermarkets

Tikyana brand pasta available at many DC-area supermarkets

Preheat the oven to 350̊F.

Prepare the chèvre filling: combine the cheese and the chopped sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl. Mix well.

Prepare the vegetables: heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the kale and mushrooms and sauté quickly until the kale wilts, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and season with a bit of sea salt.

Assemble the lasagna: line the bottom of a 9×13 pyrex dish with 1 cup of the tomato sauce. Arrange a single layer of lasagna noodles on the sauce, then carefully spread the chevre mixture on top. Top with another layer of noodles, then spread the vegetables evenly on them. Top with another layer of noodles, then pour the remaining pasta sauce on top, spreading evenly. Top with the grated cheddar. Cover with foil and bake 30-45 minutes, until bubbling hot. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serves 6-8.

Pumpkin, Shiitake and Chestnut Soup

These are three ingredients that just seem to belong together, like the Three Little Pigs.  Each brings something deep and comforting and their flavors play off each other beautifully.  Add to that marsala and a touch of maple syrup and you have a great fall soup. We used a dry marsala, so the soup definitely benefitted from the maple syrup at the end.  If you use a sweet marsala, you may find you don’t need it at all.  If you don’t have marsala, try a medium-dry sherry instead.  You want something that has a nutmeg-y flavor. Read More

Cajun Chicken Stroganoff

Photo courtesy main.kitchendaily.com

This comes together fast and is packed with flavor.  Not too spicy to serve even to those who stay away from the heat.  Carb-watchers can sub out cooked spaghetti squash for the egg noodles.  Just put two halves of a spaghetti squash in the microwave and nuke for 10 minutes.  Discard the seeds, and scoop out the spaghetti-like flesh. Read More