Mashed Butternut Squash, A Simple Thanksgiving Accompaniment

Thanksgiving side dishes can be a challenge for the host who wants to serve an impressive meal. It’s tempting to get carried away and choose something too complicated when a simple dish, such as a straightforward mashed butternut squash, can make a Thanksgiving dinner elegant. Sometimes the too-complicated culprits are regional specialties such as the […]

3 Italian Zucchini Recipes for a Bumper Crop

If you’ve ever grown your own zucchini, then you know how prolific the plant’s fruit can grow — so plentiful you can’t give them away. There are many uses for this versatile summer vegetable overshadowed of late because of the faddishness of other vegetables. Don’t ignore the noble zucchini only because it’s so familiar. What […]

Spring is for Snap Peas–in an Italian Style

In Italian this preparation is called mangiatutto con pancetta e pomodoro which are snap peas cooked with pancetta and tomatoes.  This recipe is a specialty of the area around Rome and to the south in the region of Lazio where in the springtime new snap peas are picked young and eaten raw.  Mangiatutto means eat […]

Sicilian Frittedda: A Riot of Tender Spring Flavors

In the springtime in Sicily a simply named dish reveals an explosion of flavor that belies its satisfying complexity. It is a dish special with spring vegetables — fava, peas, scallions and artichokes — and called frittedda (or fritedda). In western Sicily, where frittedda was born, it is served as a grape ‘u pitittu, a […]

Go Green With 3 Bright, Simple Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving is surely a time for gastronomic excess, but at the same time, unless your children are adult cooks as mine are and the work is joyfully parceled out, the task of cooking Thanksgiving dinner can become burdensome and stressful. But dinner, especially the Thanksgiving sides, shouldn’t be stressful. When I was a kid, I […]

4 Antipasti To Capture Bell Peppers’ Peak Of Perfection

Eating seasonally has been the rule of thumb for cooks for millennia. But if you were to read the food blogosphere, you would think that it was just discovered. And now that we are in the early fall, there are certain foods you can tell are in season because they’re inexpensive and abundant at the […]

4 Quick Tricks Banish Boring Summer Salads

The grill is blasting away, people are licking their chops, and you’re asking yourself, “what sides?” A great approach is a salad, of course. But why stop at merely one salad? And too often that salad is one of the heavy mayonnaise-based standbys, macaroni salad or potato salad. An approach I love is four salads, […]

Delicious Dishes You Can Make With Frozen Vegetables

The name of the game these days seems to be fresh.  Fresh everything.  However, I’m sure a Bostonian digging out of 7 feet of snow is not thinking fresh.  They’re probably thinking “what can I make that’s in the freezer since I can’t get the car out of the snow bank.”  One of the two […]

Making Cabbage Cool Again

Cabbage is the Rodney Dangerfield of vegetables: It doesn’t get any respect. It gets a bad rap. Cabbage never gets mentioned as one of the hip vegetables like kale. It’s not a super-vegetable like broccoli rabe. It’s not an adorable vegetable like baby Brussels sprouts. It’s not a “cool” vegetable. It’s stodgy and old-fashioned. I […]

Eggplant and Tomatoes for a Summer Salad

There’s something about those summer vegetables especially tomatoes and eggplant that just beckon to be prepared over and over in endless variety of cooked dishes, side dishes, salads, appetizers, or any which way. I  lean towards an Italian style when preparing them and in this rendition I serve it as an antipasto usually al fresco […]

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