Tzatziki Cucumber Salad

IMG_0863.jpg

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Fresh, cool, crunchy, creamy, and delicious Tzatziki, which is basically a Greek cucumber salad made with thick, strained yogurt, and seasoned with dill and garlic. Uh, yum, right? If you’ve ever had tzatziki, you know what I’m talking about!

It’s funny because I’ve known about tzatziki for a long time, enjoying it at restaurants and such, that wonderful Greek yogurt sauce dip wonder. I’ve seen several cucumber salad recipes around this summer on some of my favorite recipe sites like foodgawker; German cucumber salads, normal cucumber salads, and others. It got me hungry, so I decided to make my own. And let me tell you, I got right on it because zero cooking or baking in a recipe is a wonderful thing when the summer here in Florence has been between 90-106°F / 32-41°C since June.

I noticed most of the recipes I came across used sour cream, but I used plain greek yogurt because it’s more nutritious. Once I found a nice balance between the flavors, I wrote down the recipe and decided to share it with you guys! Then I recalled that tzatziki has very similar flavors, and although I’ve never made it nor even looked up a recipe, my curiosity got the best of me to see just how similar they would be. What do you know, I basically made tzatziki and didn’t even know it! So much for making an original recipe, haha!

So what I’m sharing with you today is my accidental take on tzatziki, similarly enough to be called so, but not THE original. If you make the changes listed below, however, you can have yourself a delicious and authentic Greek tzatziki!

What are the differences from a traditional tzatziki and the one you see below?

  • The cucumber is usually grated and drained (either by squeezing or letting sit in cheese cloth over a bowl overnight) instead of sliced. I also use more cucumber to make a creamy salad rather than a dip that features cucumber. if you want to make real tzatziki, use a half of a large cucumber or a smallish one.

  • Traditional would have more yogurt so again, more of a sauce or dip rather than a salad. For real tzatziki, double the yogurt to 1 1/2 cups / 340g.

  • For the acidic element, I used lemon juice, but vinegar of some sort is usually called for. I’ve read in Greece they most often use red wine vinegar.

  • I added more fresh dill! Because I love dill. If you think about it, this is like a creamy dill pickle dip. It has the cucumbers, the garlic, the dill….no wonder I like it so well! For original tzatziki, use about 1 Tbsp chopped.

If you eliminate the cucumbers (or shred them like the traditional way), it makes an excellent and much healthier alternative to most veggie dips. I might even like it better than Ranch!


Tzatziki Cucumber Salad

Serves about 2

IMG_0852.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup / 170g plain greek yogurt or vegan yogurt

  • generous 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill

  • 2 tsp / 10g lemon juice

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, or 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1 large cucumber, chopped with skin/seeds removed as desired

  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling, optional

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl combine yogurt, dill, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

  2. If serving immediately, add cucumber and stir to coat; drizzle with olive oil. Otherwise, refrigerate until ready to serve, adding cucumber and drizzling with oil at the last minute.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • For optimal creaminess, I would use full fat greek yogurt. If you are vegan or dairy-free, use a thick/Greek dairy-free yogurt alternative!

  • In an ideal world the dressing would be made a day ahead of time and the cucumber added just before serving. This helps the flavors meld together and cuts the sharpness of the garlic a bit, without the cucumber sitting in the dressing for a day and losing its liquid. However, this makes a great last minute dish and it tastes just fine if eaten right away!

vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, veggie dip, cucumber, garlic, fresh dill, Greek yogurt, Ranch substitute
Side dish, lunch, sauces and condiments
Greek
Yield: 2
Author:

Tzatziki Cucumber Salad

Creamy salad form of the classic Tzatziki sauce: Cucumbers, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and fresh dill.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: total time: 10 M

ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup / 170g plain greek yogurt or vegan yogurt
  • generous 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tsp / 10g lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large cucumber, chopped with skin/seeds removed as desired
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling, optional

instructions:

How to cook Tzatziki Cucumber Salad

  1. In a medium bowl combine yogurt, dill, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  2. If serving immediately, add cucumber and stir to coat; drizzle with olive oil. Otherwise, refrigerate until ready to serve, adding cucumber and drizzling with oil at the last minute.

NOTES:

For optimal creaminess, I would use full fat greek yogurt. If you are vegan or dairy-free, use a thick/Greek dairy-free yogurt alternative! In an ideal world the dressing would be made a day ahead of time and the cucumber added just before serving. This helps the flavors meld together and cuts the sharpness of the garlic a bit, without the cucumber sitting in the dressing for a day and losing its liquid. However, this makes a great last minute dish and it tastes just fine if eaten right away!

Calories

123.72

Fat (grams)

7.21

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.05

Carbs (grams)

5.89

Fiber (grams)

0.61

Net carbs

5.28

Sugar (grams)

3.78

Protein (grams)

9.30

Sodium (milligrams)

181.86

Cholesterol (grams)

4.25
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator
IMG_0856.jpg

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta

IMG_1023.jpg

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

July pasta month is over and I find I still have pasta dishes I want to share with you! Like this Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta with toasted walnuts.

Several years ago I went through a phase where I wanted everything roasted red pepper. I’m not sure if that was an actual thing in the culinary world, or it just happened to be the first time that roasted red pepper really came to my attention, and thus started noticing and wanting all things roasted red pepper. Pastas and dips, sandwiches and wraps, and anything you could incorporate roasted red peppers into. That smoky, sweet flavor you get from grilling the red peppers was this elusive, elegant flavor profile because I didn’t know how it was made.

Then I found a recipe for roasted red pepper sauce, made it, and was floored by how NOT elusive it is. It’s so attainable. I even grilled my own peppers instead of going for the much easier option of buying a jar of roasted red peppers at the store. And you know what? Even grilling the peppers and peeling off the blackened skin wasn’t nearly as hard as I imagined it all to be. Sometimes those mountains we build in our heads are much more scalable than we make them out to be, even if that’s just learning how to make a dish you really like, as in this example, harhar. Or you come to realize it’s WAY more difficult than you ever imagined, and you were right to wait. Aha!

This was not meant to turn into a inspirational post, back to food.

It’s been a while since I’ve eaten roasted red pepper anything, definitely not much of a thing here in Italy. But I decided, while being inspired and eating so much pasta in the month of July, to make my own little twist of a roasted red pepper sauce. And it turned out really great! Amazing! Delizioso! As I stated above, however, it’s really not rocket science to make, so I should probably calm down. Adding goat cheese and toasted walnuts are no new pairing to goat cheese, but remain such a good combination. Never had nuts on your pasta? At least not that you’re aware of? Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! Unless you have a nut allergy, then please don’t. (You’ve probably eaten basil pesto on pasta, yes? Pesto is made from pine nuts traditionally, and often walnuts when pine nuts are not available or too expensive. See? You love nuts on pasta and didn’t even know!)

The great thing is, the roasted red pepper sauce actually makes enough for two meals, and freezes well. The next time you want roasted red pepper pasta, just thaw the sauce and boil the pasta. So easy peasy.

For extra easy-ness, you can buy a jar of roasted red peppers or grill them yourself, completely up to you.

Are you vegan or dairy-free? Simply omit the goat cheese or substitute a vegan-friendly cheese!


Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta

IMG_1026.jpg

Serves about 6

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz / 500g spaghetti

  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil

  • 1/2 onion, diced

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 16 oz / 454g jar roasted red peppers, drained and sliced

  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme

  • 1/2 tsp / 1g chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp / 1g turmeric

  • 1 tsp / 5g balsamic vinegar

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 3 oz / 85g fresh goat cheese, cut into pieces, optional

  • 1/3 cup / 30g walnuts, chopped and toasted, optional

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat, adding salt just before water boils. Cook pasta according to instructions on package. Drain pasta and return to pan, reserving a generous 1 cup / 237g of pasta water.

  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

  3. Add sliced peppers, thyme, chili powder, turmeric, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Cook until peppers are heated through.

  4. Transfer all of the pepper mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.

  5. Pour half of the roasted red pepper sauce over the pasta and add a bit of the pasta water. Add goat cheese and toss until pasta is well coated and cheese has melted, adding more pasta water to thin out sauce as desired.

  6. Plate pasta and top with toasted walnuts.

  7. Refrigerate remaining half of sauce for up to 2-3 days or freeze.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • To roast red peppers yourself, place whole on a heated grill or near an open flame, turning occasionally, until all sides are blistered and start to blacken. You can also roast them on a lined baking sheet in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or very carefully over a gas burner. Once done, place in covered pot, bowl, or re-sealable plastic, anything you can close, to let the peppers steam for about 20-30 minutes. This helps the skin to slip off easily. Then remove stems and seeds, and slice. Proceed as in recipe.

  • If you don’t have fresh thyme available, substitute about a scant teaspoon of dried.

  • Add more chili powder, cayenne, or hot spice of choice for a spicier kick!

  • If you’re in a pinch you don’t have to toast the walnuts, although you miss out on that tasty flavor that comes out of the nut only by toasting. But it will still be delicious!

  • Omit goat cheese or replace with suitable substitute to make vegan and dairy-free.

roasted red pepper, red pepper, thyme, turmeric, garlic, onion, goat cheese, toasted walnuts, pasta, recipe, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free
Yield: 6 servings
Author:

Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta

Pasta in a smoky, sweet, roasted red pepper sauce with goat cheese and toasted walnuts.
prep time: 30 Mcook time: total time: 30 M

ingredients:

  • 16 oz / 500g spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 16 oz / 454g jar roasted red peppers, drained and sliced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme
  • 1/2 tsp / 1g chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp / 1g turmeric
  • 1 tsp / 5g balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 oz / 85g fresh goat cheese, cut into pieces, optional
  • 1/3 cup / 30g walnuts, chopped and toasted, optional

instructions:

How to cook Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Pasta

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat, adding salt just before water boils. Cook pasta according to instructions on package. Drain pasta and return to pan, reserving a generous 1 cup / 237g of pasta water.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Add sliced peppers, thyme, chili powder, turmeric, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Cook until peppers are heated through.
  4. Transfer all of the pepper mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.
  5. Pour half of the roasted red pepper sauce over the pasta and add a bit of the pasta water. Add goat cheese and toss until pasta is well coated and cheese has melted, adding more pasta water to thin out sauce as desired.
  6. Plate pasta and top with toasted walnuts.
  7. Refrigerate remaining half of sauce for up to 2-3 days or freeze.

NOTES:

To roast red peppers yourself, place whole on a heated grill or near an open flame, turning occasionally, until all sides are blistered and start to blacken. You can also roast them on a lined baking sheet in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or very carefully over a gas burner. Once done, place in covered pot, bowl, or re-sealable plastic, anything you can close, to let the peppers steam for about 20-30 minutes. This helps the skin to slip off easily. Then remove stems and seeds, and slice. Proceed as in recipe. If you don’t have fresh thyme available, substitute about a scant teaspoon of dried. Add more chili powder, cayenne, or hot spice of choice for a spicier kick! If you’re in a pinch you don’t have to toast the walnuts, although you miss out on that tasty flavor that comes out of the nut only by toasting. But it will still be delicious! Omit goat cheese or replace with suitable substitute to make vegan and dairy-free.

Calories

240.54

Fat (grams)

10.29

Sat. Fat (grams)

2.79

Carbs (grams)

29.36

Fiber (grams)

2.01

Net carbs

27.40

Sugar (grams)

2.96

Protein (grams)

8.35

Sodium (milligrams)

121.89

Cholesterol (grams)

6.52
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 6 servings using half of the prepared sauce and includes goat cheese and walnuts.
Created using The Recipes Generator
Now we’re being more honest about a real portion size! :)

Now we’re being more honest about a real portion size! :)


Garlic, Oil, and Pepper Pasta - Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino

IMG_1090.jpg

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Aglio, olio, peperoncino is a pasta found often throughout Tuscany, and even more often on my table for lunch. It originally hails from Napoli but has become beloved throughout Italy.

It’s simple, so simple, with the classic version requiring just 4 ingredients: spaghetti, garlic, olive oil, and a hot pepper. It’s great to whip up in a pinch because it’s quick and the ingredients are those you probably have in your pantry. It can be on the table in about as long as it takes to boil and cook pasta, plus 2 minutes for mixing. Because of its simplicity, as many Italian dishes are, attention to the quality and freshness of your ingredients will really make this dish shine. (Especially with that olive oil, nice and shiny. :)

There are many slight variations, but they hardly vary more than an ingredient or two. Some use fresh hot peppers, some use chili flakes; some versions call for bread crumbs, others a bit of fresh parsley added at the end, some say to mince the garlic, others slice. Based on these variances, you can always decide to play a bit to find exactly how you like to eat your aglio, olio, e peperoncino pasta.

The version that follows I learned from my husband, the fresh pasta expert. We usually use fresh hot peppers, but will also use chili flakes if we don’t feel like running to the store. It’s pretty close to the classic recipe, with one exception. We add a bit of grated Parmigiano Reggiano and it catapults the pasta to the next level. OH YES, cheese!

A note about using fresh peppers: I’m not actually sure what kind of peppers I use here in Italy. At the supermarket there are usually bell peppers “peperoni” and hot peppers “peperoncini” with no indication what variety they might be. Bell peppers come in red and green, but not always at the same time, and the hot peppers are usually red OR green, depending on the season. I suppose they’re jalapeños or a similar variety because they’re spicy but not overly so. Apparently Italians are not pepper connoisseurs, you certainly won’t find jalapeño, habanero, serrano, and other pepper types readily available year round! If I were writing this recipe in Italian I would just put “peperoncino,” and everyone would know to get the only kind of peperoncino available from the store. In English recipes we are used to being told more specifics, and writing “1 hot pepper” would not be as helpful. So I wrote jalapeño on the recipe, but just be aware that you can play around with the kind you use if you want, especially if you try a jalapeño and decide you want spicier, like serrano!

Recipe from my husband


Garlic, Oil, and Pepper Pasta - Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino

Serves about 6

IMG_1093.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 500g / 16 oz spaghetti

  • 84g / 6 Tbsp olive oil

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 1 small red jalapeño pepper

  • generous 1/4 cup /30g grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Bring water to boil in a large pot over high heat. Just before boiling, add some salt.

  2. While water is heating up, mince the garlic and dice the pepper. Add the oil, garlic, and pepper to a small pot or pan.

  3. When the water boils add spaghetti and cook according to instructions on package. Meanwhile, place the small pan of oil over low heat.

  4. Simmer oil for 5-8 minutes; remove from heat when garlic is fragrant and starts to appear to dry with barely golden edges.

  5. When pasta is done cooking, drain, reserving about 1/2 cup / 120g of pasta water.

  6. Return drained pasta to the pot and immediately add oil mixture, reserved pasta water, and cheese. Working quickly, use two forks to mix and toss spaghetti until oil, cheese, and water have coated the pasta in a light, creamy sauce. Serve immediately.


Jenny’s Notes:

  • These measurements are approximate, we never measure when making this, but this is pretty close to our normal. So if you decide you want to use 5 cloves garlic and 2 jalapeños, that’s fine, too, because this is not an overly precise recipe!

  • For less heat, remove the seeds of the pepper before dicing. If using chili flakes, don’t simmer them in the oil but add to the pasta with the cheese at the end.

  • Look for parmigiano reggiano, which is the best. It can only be called so if it is made and aged in the designated area in Italy according to their regulations. Even if you are a world-class parmesan maker but make it in Wisconsin, it cannot legally be called parmigiano reggiano. This pasta is also delicious with other sharp, aged Italian cheeses. I like a mixture of aged pecorino and parmigiano.

  • Keep a close eye on the simmering oil, the garlic goes quickly from perfectly cooked (barely golden) to burnt (anything golden or beyond.) Even if you happen to burn your garlic, it only takes a few minutes to start the oil, garlic, and pepper over again and could still be ready before the pasta even finishes cooking.

  • One of the great things about making this is that even if you add too much pasta water, it will eventually evaporate out while mixing. One of the first times I ever made this solo, I added way too much and had a good inch or so sitting in the bottom of my pan. I had already added the oil and cheese and it was too late to dump the extra out. So I tossed and mixed for several minutes, and what do you know, the water eventually evaporated and mixed in, and I ended up with a wonderfully creamy and cheesy sauce.

aglio, olio, peperoncino, garlic, olive oil, hot pepper, spaghetti, Napoli, pasta, Italian pasta dish,
Italian
Yield: 6
Author:

Garlic, Oil, and Pepper Pasta - Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino

A simple and classic pasta dish served throughout Italy with plenty of garlic, olive oil, spicy pepper, and a bit of parmigiano reggiano.
prep time: 25 Mcook time: total time: 25 M

ingredients:

  • 500g / 16 oz spaghetti
  • 84g / 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small red jalapeño pepper
  • generous 1/4 cup /30g grated parmesan cheese

instructions:

How to cook Garlic, Oil, and Pepper Pasta - Aglio, Olio, e Peperoncino

  1. Bring water to boil in a large pot over high heat. Just before boiling, add some salt.
  2. While water is heating up, mince the garlic and dice the pepper. Add the oil, garlic, and pepper to a small pot or pan.
  3. When the water boils add spaghetti and cook according to instructions on package. Meanwhile, place the small pan of oil over low heat.
  4. Simmer oil for 5-8 minutes; remove from heat when garlic is fragrant and starts to appear to dry with barely golden edges.
  5. When pasta is done cooking, drain, reserving about 1/2 cup / 120g of pasta water.
  6. Return drained pasta to the pot and immediately add oil mixture, reserved pasta water, and cheese. Working quickly, use two forks to mix and toss spaghetti until oil, cheese, and water have coated the pasta in a light, creamy sauce. Serve immediately.

NOTES:

These measurements are approximate, we never measure when making this, but this is pretty close to our normal. So if you decide you want to use 5 cloves garlic and 2 jalapeños, that’s fine, too, because this is not an overly precise recipe! For less heat, remove the seeds of the pepper before dicing. If using chili flakes, don’t simmer them in the oil but add to the pasta with the cheese at the end. Look for parmigiano reggiano, which is the best. It can only be called so if it is made and aged in the designated area in Italy according to their regulations. Even if you are a world-class parmesan maker but make it in Wisconsin, it cannot legally be called parmigiano reggiano. This pasta is also delicious with other sharp, aged Italian cheeses. I like a mixture of aged pecorino and parmigiano. Keep a close eye on the simmering oil, the garlic goes quickly from perfectly cooked (barely golden) to burnt (anything golden or beyond.) Even if you happen to burn your garlic, it only takes a few minutes to start the oil, garlic, and pepper over again and could still be ready before the pasta even finishes cooking.

Calories

257.59

Fat (grams)

15.37

Sat. Fat (grams)

2.72

Carbs (grams)

24.37

Fiber (grams)

1.09

Net carbs

23.28

Sugar (grams)

0.94

Protein (grams)

5.56

Sodium (milligrams)

94.52

Cholesterol (grams)

4.30
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator
IMG_1100.jpg

Spinach Artichoke Pasta

IMG_0921.jpg

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Welcome back to pasta month on Jennyblogs!

So far we’ve seen a Thai-inspired pasta, an Italian pasta, and today an American pasta. One of the biggest differences between these cuisines is the amount of cheese used. We Americans really like our cheese! Italian cuisine uses quite a bit of cheese in certain dishes, but it’s usually a seasoned, more pungent cheese (hello, beautiful parmigiano!) used as a finishing touch. Aside from pizza, of course, but even then, their pizzas or not nearly as cheese-blanketed as an American pizza can be!

From that you’ve learned that today’s pasta is going to be cheesy…even if you’ve already learned that my posts are usually cheesy….

You’ve heard of spinach and artichoke dip? That rich, creamy, decadent dip usually found at parties served with little pieces of toast? That one you say you aren’t going to eat because it’s so high-fat, but you just can’t help yourself and end up splurging anyway? Today we’re going to make a Spinach and Artichoke PASTA. As much as I love spinach and artichoke dip, I think this pasta is even better. Plus, there is no sour cream, mayonnaise, or cream cheese involved! It’s still cheesy of course, but you can largely control how much or how little cheese you add, and the same goes for the veggies, in particularly the spinach.

For as much as I love the precision and science behind baking, I’m really coming around to cooking and how versatile it can be!

I mentioned that this Spinach Artichoke Pasta is delicious, right? I made an 8x8in pan once for lunch and my husband and I ate the WHOLE THING in one sitting. I listed the servings as 3-4 for an 8x8in / 20x20cm pan, but don’t be surprised if it becomes only 2 servings! Especially if there are men or growing children involved. Or, just double the recipe and put it in a 9x13in / 23x33cm pan. Problem solved!

Short on time? You can make this ahead of time, store in the fridge, and broil the pasta about 10 minutes before serving, OR you can serve this straight out of the pan and skip the broiling. Sprinkle the cheese on top and voila, you just saved yourself a step.

Recipe adapted from Dam* Delicious (and yes, I just censored that.)


Spinach Artichoke Pasta

Serves 3-4

IMG_0913.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz / 250g (half package) penne or your choice of short pasta (my favorite are the shells for this!)

  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil

  • 1/2 large onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 Tbsp / 15g all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup / 60g water, or chicken or vegetable broth

  • 1 cup / 237g milk

  • about 5 oz / 150g fresh spinach, chopped

  • 7 oz / 200g frozen or canned cooked artichoke hearts, drained/thawed and chopped

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, or a few grates of fresh, if available

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • about 2 oz / 57g fontal or other semi-soft cheese, shredded

  • about 2 oz / 57g parmesan cheese, shredded or grated

Directions:

Ungreased 8x8in / 20x20cm pan, if you’re making this ahead of time (see step 8. and 9.)

IMG_0917.jpg
  1. Place a large pot of water over high heat, adding salt just before it boils. Cook the pasta al dente according to directions on package; drain.

  2. While you’re boiling the water and cooking the pasta, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes or so, until the onion is translucent and garlic fragrant.

  3. Add flour and stir, it will absorb all the liquid. Cook 1-2 minutes, until flour is toasted.

  4. Slowly add in the water, stirring constantly to make a thick paste (roux), then slowly stir in milk.

  5. Bring to a simmer to thicken the sauce; add spinach, artichokes, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until spinach has wilted and artichokes are heated through, about 2 minutes.

  6. Remove from heat and add a generous half of the fontal and generous half of the parmesan, stir until melted.

  7. Add the cooked pasta and stir to coat.

  8. If serving right away, spoon onto plates and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

  9. If serving later, transfer pasta to prepared baking dish, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and refrigerate. When ready to eat, place oven rack near top and broil pasta for a few minutes, or until cheese is melty and starts to turn golden.



Jenny’s Notes:

  • Instead of fresh spinach you can also use frozen spinach, defrosted, drained, and chopped. Or you can use beet greens, arugula, or other cookable green of choice.

  • If you are watching your fat intake, feel free to reduce the cheese and use low-fat milk. On the other hand, if you love cheesy pasta and could care less about the fat, double the cheese!

  • Double this recipe and put in a 9x13in / 23x33cm pan!

  • If making ahead more than a few hours, I suggest boiling the pasta by 1-2 minutes less than indicated time, as it can become mushy sitting in the sauce. You may also need to add a bit more liquid (water, broth, or milk) to the sauce to compensate for the bit the pasta absorbs.

  • If you don’t know what to do with the other half can of artichokes, I suggest 1) making this dish twice within a few days, 2) doubling the recipe, or 3) using frozen artichokes or cooking them yourself so you don’t have to worry about the half can. I usually end up going for option 1, honestly, because making this once just isn’t enough.

American
Yield: 3-4 servings
Author:

Spinach Artichoke Pasta

Pasta in a cheesy, creamy sauce with spinach and artichokes, playing off the flavors of the beloved spinach and artichoke dip.
prep time: 50 Mcook time: 10 Mtotal time: 60 M

ingredients:

  • 4 oz / 250g (half package) penne or your choice of short pasta
  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp / 15g all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup / 60g water, or chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup / 237g milk
  • about 5 oz / 150g fresh spinach, chopped
  • 7 oz / 200g frozen or canned cooked artichoke hearts, drained/thawed and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, or a few grates of fresh, if available
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • about 2 oz / 57g fontal or other semi-soft cheese, shredded
  • about 2 oz / 57g parmesan cheese, shredded or grated

instructions:

How to cook Spinach Artichoke Pasta

  1. Ungreased 8x8in / 20x20cm pan, if you’re making this ahead of time (see steps 9. and 10.)
  2. Place a large pot of water over high heat, adding salt just before it boils. Cook the pasta al dente according to directions on package; drain.
  3. While you’re boiling the water and cooking the pasta, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes or so, until the onion is translucent and garlic fragrant.
  4. Add flour and stir, it will absorb all the liquid. Cook 1-2 minutes, until flour is toasted.
  5. Slowly add in the water, stirring constantly to make a thick paste (roux), then slowly stir in milk.
  6. Bring to a simmer to thicken the sauce; add spinach, artichokes, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until spinach has wilted and artichokes are heated through, about 2 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and add a generous half of the fontal and generous half of the parmesan, stir until melted.
  8. Add the cooked pasta and stir to coat.
  9. If serving right away, spoon onto plates and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  10. If serving later, transfer pasta to prepared baking dish, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and refrigerate. When ready to eat, place oven rack near top and broil pasta for a few minutes, or until cheese is melty and starts to turn golden.

NOTES:

Instead of fresh spinach you can also use frozen spinach, defrosted, drained, and chopped. Or you can use beet greens, arugula, or other cookable green of choice. If you are watching your fat intake, feel free to reduce the cheese and use low-fat milk. On the other hand, if you love cheesy pasta and could care less about the fat, double the cheese! Double this recipe and put in a 9x13in / 23x33cm pan! If making ahead more than a few hours, I suggest boiling the pasta by 1-2 minutes less than indicated time, as it can become mushy sitting in the sauce. You may also need to add a bit more liquid (water, broth, or milk) to the sauce to compensate for the bit the pasta absorbs. If you don’t know what to do with the other half can of artichokes, I suggest 1) making this dish twice within a few days, 2) doubling the recipe, or 3) using frozen artichokes or cooking them yourself so you don’t have to worry about the half can. I usually end up going for option 1, honestly, because making this once just isn’t enough.

Calories

488.68

Fat (grams)

23.74

Sat. Fat (grams)

8.73

Carbs (grams)

47.45

Fiber (grams)

6.94

Net carbs

40.51

Sugar (grams)

2.65

Protein (grams)

23.43

Sodium (milligrams)

668.13

Cholesterol (grams)

38.81
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 3 servings using water (not broth) and 2% milk.
Created using The Recipes Generator
IMG_0932.jpg

Spaghetti with Tuna - Spaghetti al Tonno

IMG_0896.jpg

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Spaghetti with tuna; It’s like spaghetti, but instead of meatballs you add tuna to the tomato sauce!

Now, that might sound kinda weird at first to my American friends, just like Italians think we’re weird for putting meatballs on our spaghetti in the first place. But let me tell you. It’s really delicious and I find it strangely comforting. Italian comfort food.

If you haven’t noticed, July is pasta month here at Jennyblogs! What, you couldn’t tell from the 1 other pasta recipe I’ve posted so far this month that this whole month is going to be pasta? I’m so offended. (I’m just kidding you guyssss.) But now you know! So be sure to stay tuned (you can sign up for updates) for the rest of the month where I will share with you various recipes, some Italian, some American, and last week was Thai inspired! Everyone should have some quick and delicious pasta recipes in their repertoire that don’t need store-bought sauce! Homemade is always better, if you can manage it. That way you control exactly what goes into your and your loved ones bodies. No more excess sugar, preservatives, and high levels of salt and fat that can be hidden away in the store-bought jars of sauce.

Today, a recipe for Italian spaghetti al tonno, or spaghetti with tuna. Homemade sauce and all this can be on your table in less than 45 minutes!

Recipe by my husband, the pasta master


Spaghetti with Tuna - Spaghetti al Tonno

Serves 6-8

IMG_0899.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. / 500g spaghetti

  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil

  • 1/2 onion, chopped

  • 3 tomatoes, diced

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 Tbsp / 14g tomato paste

  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g ground turmeric

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 5 oz / 148g can of tuna, drained

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pot of water over high heat, adding salt just before it boils. Cook pasta al dente according to directions and drain.

  2. Meanwhile, while the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until just fragrant and translucent, about 1-2 minutes.

  3. Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are pretty well broken down. If the sauce becomes too thick or starts to stick, add a bit of water.

  4. Add the garlic, tomato paste, turmeric, salt and pepper, and a small chunk of tuna*; simmer for another few minutes.

  5. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, toss and stir to coat pasta. At this point you can either add the rest of the tuna and stir, or plate the pasta and add the tuna on top.

  6. Serve and eat!


Jenny’s Notes:

  • As with any pasta recipe, you don’t have to use spaghetti or the type called for. Use your favorite kind or whatever you think would go best with the sauce you’re making.

  • If you prefer a stronger tuna taste, you can use the liquid from the tuna can instead of water to keep the sauce from getting too thick while simmering. It doesn’t matter if it is packed in water or oil.

  • Add just a bit of tuna to flavor the sauce instead of the whole can because it doesn’t need to be cooked. The rest will be added in at the end.

  • In a pinch you can use a 15oz can of diced tomatoes instead of fresh.

Italian
Yield: 6-8 servings
Author:

Spaghetti with Tuna - Spaghetti al Tonno

A classic Italian pasta dish with spaghetti, homemade tomato sauce, and tuna.
prep time: 25 Mcook time: 15 Mtotal time: 40 M

ingredients:

  • 1 lb. / 500g spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp / 14g tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp / 2.5g ground turmeric
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 5 oz / 148g can of tuna, drained

instructions:

How to cook Spaghetti with Tuna - Spaghetti al Tonno

  1. Heat a large pot of water over high heat, adding salt just before it boils. Cook pasta al dente according to directions and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, while the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until just fragrant and translucent, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until they are pretty well broken down. If the sauce becomes too thick or starts to stick, add a bit of water.
  4. Add the garlic, tomato paste, turmeric, salt and pepper, and a small chunk of tuna*; simmer for another few minutes.
  5. Add the cooked pasta to the sauce, toss and stir to coat pasta. At this point you can either add the rest of the tuna and stir, or plate the pasta and add the tuna on top.
  6. Serve and eat!

NOTES:

As with any pasta recipe, you don’t have to use spaghetti or the type called for. Use your favorite kind or whatever you think would go best with the sauce you’re making. If you prefer a stronger tuna taste, you can use the liquid from the tuna can instead of water to keep the sauce from getting too thick while simmering. It doesn’t matter if it is packed in water or oil. Add just a bit of tuna to flavor the sauce instead of the whole can because it doesn’t need to be cooked. The rest will be added in at the end. In a pinch you can use a 15oz can of diced tomatoes instead of fresh.

Calories

216.63

Fat (grams)

6.08

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.62

Carbs (grams)

29.31

Fiber (grams)

2.14

Net carbs

27.17

Sugar (grams)

3.19

Protein (grams)

11.05

Sodium (milligrams)

151.14

Cholesterol (grams)

10.36
Nutritional Information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator
IMG_0897.jpg

Simple Thai Noodles

IMG_0875.jpg

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Some nights you get caught unprepared and need something quick to whip up for dinner. Or maybe that’s every night? I know Sunday food prepping is all the rage, and it’s a really great idea…if you’re only feeding yourself or a small family, and not taking into account the unexpected that happens. Even if you’re the most organized person cooking just for yourself, those nights are going to spring up on you when you want something quick and easy, delicious, and you have all the ingredients on hand. This recipe for Simple Thai Noodles falls in that category.

Sesame oil might not be in everyone’s pantry, but if you invest in a bottle, it can last you months, depending on how often you make Asian or other dishes that often call for sesame oil. It really is worth it, if you try and substitute another oil it won’t be the same. It lends such a nutty depth to dishes!

I actually have several versions of lo mein, Thai noodles, fried rice, etc. and even a couple more waiting to be tried that all have in common varying quantities and varieties of green onion, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, peanuts or peanut butter, and a sweet and a spicy element. Each with their merits, and the occasions for which I like to make them. If you can’t tell, I love Asian dishes, whether they’re authentic or simply inspired by Asian flavors.

This pasta is kept in my repertoire for its simplicity while still retaining all the delicious flavors, and now you can make it too, whether you’re in a pinch for a quick dinner, or not! No one said you have to make it only when in a pinch. :)

Recipe adapted from A Small Snippet


Simple Thai Noodles

Serves 6-8

IMG_0878.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz / 500g linguine or spaghetti

  • 2 Tbsp / 28g olive oil, or oil of choice

  • 1/4 cup / 54g sesame oil

  • about 1 Tbsp / 5g red pepper flakes

  • 3 Tbsp / 63g honey

  • 3 Tbsp / 45g soy sauce

  • cilantro, chopped peanuts, chopped green onions, julienned carrots, sesame seeds, or your choice of toppings

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, adding salt just before it boils. Cook pasta according to directions on box; drain, and return to pot.

  2. While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the oils, red pepper flakes, honey, and soy sauce in a small bowl.

  3. When the pasta is done and drained, add the sauce to the noodles and toss to coat well.

  4. Serve immediately, adding toppings of choice.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • You can adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to suit your spicy preference. 1 Tbsp, as in the recipe, results in reasonably spicy, but not overwhelming. Also, you could use a spicy oil if you have some on hand instead of the red pepper flakes.

  • For a stronger sesame taste, use all sesame oil instead of olive oil. (6 Tbsp / 84g total of sesame oil.)

  • Feel free to add veggies or a protein, if you desire. For veggies, chop small and sauté in a pan with a bit of oil for a few minutes or until tender, toss in when you add the sauce. Cook your protein and slice as desired, add at the end on top of plates of pasta or mix in with sauce.

  • I’ll be honest with you, this usually serves 4, max…

Thai
Yield: 6-8 servings
Author:

Simple Thai Noodles

The simplest Thai noodles for a quick and easy dinner using ingredients already in your pantry.
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 15 Mtotal time: 25 M

ingredients:

  • 16 oz / 500g linguine or spaghetti
  • 2 Tbsp / 28g olive oil, or oil of choice
  • 1/4 cup / 54g sesame oil
  • about 1 Tbsp / 5g red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp / 63g honey
  • 3 Tbsp / 45g soy sauce
  • cilantro, chopped peanuts, chopped green onions, julienned carrots, sesame seeds, or your choice of toppings

instructions:

How to cook Simple Thai Noodles

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, adding salt just before it boils. Cook pasta according to directions on box; drain, and return to pot.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the oils, red pepper flakes, honey, and soy sauce in a small bowl.
  3. When the pasta is done and drained, add the sauce to the noodles and toss to coat well.
  4. Serve immediately, adding toppings of choice.

NOTES:

You can adjust the amount of red pepper flakes to suit your spicy preference. 1 Tbsp, as in the recipe, results in reasonably spicy, but not overwhelming. Also, you could use a spicy oil if you have some on hand instead of the red pepper flakes. For a stronger sesame taste, use all sesame oil instead of olive oil. (6 Tbsp / 84g total of sesame oil.) Feel free to add veggies or a protein, if you desire. For veggies, chop small and sauté in a pan with a bit of oil for a few minutes or until tender, toss in when you add the sauce. Cook your protein and slice as desired, add at the end on top of plates of pasta or mix in with sauce. I’ll be honest with you, this usually serves 4, max…

Calories

294.66

Fat (grams)

14.65

Sat. Fat (grams)

2.10

Carbs (grams)

36.05

Fiber (grams)

2.12

Net carbs

33.93

Sugar (grams)

9.54

Protein (grams)

5.69

Sodium (milligrams)

418.72

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Calculated with green onion, carrots, and cilantro as toppings. Nutritional info is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator
IMG_0876.jpg

Butternut Squash Risotto

IMG_2738.JPG

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

I’m bacckkkkk! Did you forget I had a blog? I almost did, too. I didn’t mean to, but I took a three month hiatus from the blog. We’ll call it the extended Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s vacation. Happy all of those things, to you and yours.

So what year is it? Where are we? Ah yes, the brand new sparkling 2019. I think we all struggle this time of year with writing the old year for the first few weeks; “2018” instead of “2019,” but this time around I have been nailing the year and messing up the month. The other day I wrote November 2019. Nope. November was so two months ago. It’s January, Jenny. January.

You know what else comes around every January? Clean-eating resolutions, diets, and cleanses. While those are all fine and good, oh wait, cleanses are not. Why are they still around? Why are we still doing them? I mean, I’m not doing any cleanses, but I see enough people on social media doing them, touting them, and then encouraging their followers to do them, that it makes me worry. It’s not as much the actual cleanse itself that worries me, but the claims of what they can do. Body-reset, toxin flushing, hormone-balancing goodness. I know, people are gullible. I’m gullible. There is a reason the Bible calls us sheep. (It’s not a compliment, you should either be highly offended or humbled.) We go astray easily, following the crowd or “flock.” Even on silly things like cleanses. And you know what, on the surface they seem to work, which is why people probably want to try them. You feel better, you lose weight, and you think you’re doing great stuff for you bod, right? No. Wrong. Not factual.

Reasons Why a Cleanse is Not Necessary:

  1. Your body has a built in toxin flusher and cleanser. It’s called your liver. (Yay science!)

  2. Any weight you lose will probably be gained back once you start eating normally again. If you do a cleanse for more than a couple of days, especially strict ones like the “Master Cleanse,” your body is not going to be getting the calories and nutrients it needs and you will be losing fat, along with water, muscle and bone. Yum.

  3. There are a lot better ways out there to “feel good” about what you are doing for your body that are real, and not mostly just in your head or temporary. And well, a whole lot easier than starving yourself. Why don’t you try a new kind of exercise, drinking more water, eating more fruits and veggies, buying more organic, start budgeting, switching over to natural cleaning products, trying out essential oils, starting to take a prebiotic/probiotic, or a hot bath? Any of these things that maybe you could improve upon, would do you a lot more good in the long run.

Don’t take it from me, however, because I could be leading you astray just as much as the pro-cleanse people. Check out this article from Healthline.com, or this article from webmd, which is narrowing in specifically on the Master Cleanse diet. We all trust Webmd, right? Ah the site that tells us what may be wrong with us, along with 137 other ailments we didn’t know we might be suffering from. You can also just google “are cleanses safe,” and filter through the load of advice from medical websites and personal opinion yourself.

The bottom line is, I want you to be informed and use your critical thinking skills. Is a cleanse all they are hyped up to be? No, I think the real advice from doctors points in the opposite direction. But, even once you see a cleanse for what it is, and are still curious to try it, I think you should feel free to do that. Just be sure not to make a habit of it. ;) Then I hope you feel free to continue to feed your body the nutrition it needs, REAL food. Like this Butternut Squash Risotto recipe I’m about to show you. *Cue transition from Jenny’s soap box to recipe….*


Butternut Squash Risotto

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

  • 10 oz / 300g butternut squash, seeded, peeled and chopped small (or you could just say half of a small squash)

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 7 oz / 200g arborio rice

  • 1 pint / 500ml vegetable broth

  • about 3 oz / 100g spinach, chopped or whole

Directions:

IMG_2737.JPG
  1. In a large pan over medium-low heat, add the oil and garlic and simmer until fragrant, about a minute.

  2. Add the squash, onion, and bell pepper and cook until squash begins to soften.

  3. Add the rice and stir around to toast, about 1-2 minutes.

  4. Add stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. If the rice starts to cook dry, add more water or stock as needed.

  5. Once the rice is cooked, the squash is tender, and the liquid is mostly absorbed (but not all!), add the spinach and stir until wilted.

  6. Serve immediately.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • Risotto is a fairly quick, delicious, and versatile dish, great for colder months. Feel free to add or subtract vegetables to your liking. Any type of squash you like could be used, even pumpkin! (The fresh kind you have to peel and cube, not the puréed and canned kind, silly.)

  • If you like to ahem, cook with wine, and sometimes add it to your food even, feel free to add about 1/2 cup of red or white wine or dry white vermouth (or more or less depending on how winey you’re feeling.) Add it in between steps 3 and 4, after you’ve toasted the rice and before the stock. Allow the wine to evaporate and absorb into the rice before continuing with stock.

  • When you’re in a pinch and don’t have risotto or arborio rice, you really could use any kind. Just keep an eye on the cooking instructions for the kind of rice you are using so you will have an idea how long it will take.

  • If reheating leftovers, I would recommend adding in a touch more water or broth. The longer risotto sits the more liquid it will absorb, and may end up a bit dry.

Italian American
Yield: 2-4
Author:

Butternut Squash Risotto

Creamy delicious risotto featuring squash, bell peppers, and spinach, made with or without wine as you wish.
prep time: 50 Mcook time: total time: 50 M

ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 10 oz / 300g butternut squash, seeded, peeled and chopped small (or you could just say half of a small squash)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 7 oz / 200g arborio rice
  • 1 pint / 500ml vegetable broth
  • about 3 oz / 100g spinach, chopped or whole

instructions:

How to cook Butternut Squash Risotto

  1. In a large pan over medium-low heat, add the oil and garlic and simmer until fragrant, about a minute.
  2. Add the squash, onion, and bell pepper and cook until squash begins to soften.
  3. Add the rice and stir around to toast, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. If the rice starts to cook dry, add more water or stock as needed.
  5. Once the rice is cooked, the squash is tender, and the liquid is mostly absorbed (but not all!), add the spinach and stir until wilted.
  6. Serve immediately.

NOTES:

Risotto is a fairly quick, delicious, and versatile dish, great for colder months. Feel free to add or subtract vegetables to your liking. Any type of squash you like could be used, even pumpkin! (The fresh kind you have to peel and cube, not the puréed and canned kind, silly.) If you like to ahem, cook with wine, and sometimes add it to your food even, feel free to add about 1/2 cup of red or white wine or dry white vermouth (or more or less depending on how winey you’re feeling.) Add it in between steps 3 and 4, after you’ve toasted the rice and before the stock. Allow the wine to evaporate and absorb into the rice before continuing with stock. When you’re in a pinch and don’t have risotto or arborio rice, you really could use any kind. Just keep an eye on the cooking instructions for the kind of rice you are using so you will have an idea how long it will take. If reheating leftovers, I would recommend adding in a touch more water or broth. The longer risotto sits the more liquid it will absorb, and may end up a bit dry.

Calories

380.32

Fat (grams)

14.84

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.12

Carbs (grams)

58.29

Fiber (grams)

7.41

Net carbs

50.88

Sugar (grams)

9.25

Protein (grams)

7.08

Sodium (milligrams)

748.43

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 2 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Leek and Morel Mushroom Phyllo Pies

IMG_4874.JPG

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

It's Maaayyyyyyy!  And you know what that means.  MOREL MUSHROOM HUNTING!  And eating.  Duh.  Can I confess something, though?  I know, I know, it's my family's favorite way to eat morels, but I have never much cared for them battered and pan fried.  I will hunt for hours in the woods for them just for the fun of it, but probably will pass if they're fried.  

I've hunted for morel mushrooms with my family for as long as I can remember, but apparently it's not as common outside of the mitten and non-Michiganders sometimes think we're crazy.  (Except for you, Madeline, you're in the morel club now!  And you know all our "secret" spots. Shh. don't tell.)  So in case you're wondering what it might look like to hunt morels, I've provided ample photos.  There are two main types, that I know of anyway, black and white.  The season for blacks is just before the white, usually end of April to mid May, and the whites start mid May to the end of May, depending on the weather.  After you pick the mushrooms it's best to soak them in salt water for a bit to clean them and evict any bugs.  After the soaking my mom would always throw out the water, ya know with all the mushroom spores in it, all over our woods in the hope that they would grow.  That never happened.  In a different area of the woods, however, my brother JohnPaul once discovered that there were some white morels growing!  Every year after that, we would stake out all the white morels in that area, putting marker sticks by them as we waited to see how big they would get, adding canned goods next to the 'shrooms at the end for size reference in photos.  Ok so we're a little weird.  

Last year I decided to take the 'shrooms into my own hands.  We found TONS in a place I won't tell you, so I had extras to experiment with.  And these phyllo pies, my friends, turned out to be an absolutely delightful way to eat morels.  This recipe is all about the filling, the delicious, flavorful, aromatic filling.  Phyllo plays an important part, of course, it is the vessel that transports all these lovely mushrooms, leeks, and cheese to your mouth, but I'm going to tell you to buy phyllo from the store.  I've never made phyllo and don't have plans to.  Ain't nobody got time for that!  I think it's pretty universally respected that, phyllo dough is something you buy.  To you die hards out there that make it at home, my hat is off to you.  In the meantime, I'm going to stroll over to my freezer and pull out some phyllo.  Whew, hard work.  

Recipe adapted from Drizzle and Dip


Leek and Morel Mushroom Phyllo Pies

IMG_4871.JPG

Makes about 12 pies

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced

  • 3 medium store-bought or about 12 wild leeks (about 3 cups / 270g), finely chopped

  • 1 shallot or 1/2 small onion, diced

  • 4 Tbsp / 56g butter

  • about 5 cups / 375g chopped morel mushrooms

  • 1/4 cup / 60g milk

  • 1/2 cup / 65g grated parmesan cheese

  • phyllo pastry sheets, about 8, thawed

  • melted butter or olive oil for brushing phyllo dough

Directions:

Oven 350°F / 177°C.  Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.  

How to fold the phyllo pies

How to fold the phyllo pies

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil.

  2. Add garlic, leeks, and onion and sauté until tender onions are translucent and garlic fragrant.

  3. Add butter and mushrooms and cook until the liquid that is released from the mushrooms has mostly evaporated, then add milk and cook until the mixture is thick, just a few minutes. 

  4. Remove from the heat and add cheese, mixing just until melted.  Allow to cool slightly while you prepare the phyllo dough.

  5. Remove the phyllo pastry from the plastic, unroll, and set aside the first two sheets to work with; cover the remaining sheets with a slightly damp cloth to prevent them from drying out and becoming brittle.  

  6. Working quickly so the sheets don't dry out, brush the top side of one sheet with a bit of butter or oil and lay the second sheet on top.  Cut the layered sheets lengthwise in thirds, so you will know have 3 long strips. 

  7. Now for the fun "flipping" part.  See photo above for reference. Working with the first strip, spoon a small amount of the filling in the corner.  Take that corner and fold it down until the tip reaches the opposite side; the filling should now be covered.  Next flip it straight down, the top should be level again.  Fold again, taking the filled corner to the opposite side.  The dough should be kept taught through all this, but not so taught it rips.  Continue flipping/folding until the end of the strip.  Use a dab of butter or oil to stick the end of the strip to the pie.  Place on the pan, tucked side down, and repeat until all the filling or all the phyllo pastry has been used up.  Wrap any remaining phyllo tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until next use.

  8. Brush the tops of the pies with butter or oil and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden.       

Jenny's Notes:

  1. Don't have morels? Use any kind of mushroom you like! Likewise, you can also use any good melting cheese you prefer: gruyere, cheddar, asiago, raclette, etc. etc.

  2. If you prefer smaller pies, cut the phyllo dough into 4 strips lengthwise instead of 3.

Yield: 12 servings
Author:

Leek and Morel Mushroom Phyllo Pies

Flaky phyllo hand pies stuffed with a leek, morel mushroom, and cheese filling.
prep time: 1 H & 15 Mcook time: 25 Mtotal time: 1 H & 40 M

ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 medium store-bought or about 12 wild leeks (about 3 cups / 270g), finely chopped
  • 1 shallot or 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 4 Tbsp / 56g butter
  • about 5 cups / 375g chopped morel mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup / 60g milk
  • 1/2 cup / 65g grated parmesan cheese
  • phyllo pastry sheets, about 8, thawed
  • melted butter or olive oil for brushing phyllo dough

instructions:

How to cook Leek and Morel Mushroom Phyllo Pies

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil.
  2. Add garlic, leeks, and onion and sauté until tender onions are translucent and garlic fragrant.
  3. Add butter and mushrooms and cook until the liquid that is released from the mushrooms has mostly evaporated, then add milk and cook until the mixture is thick, just a few minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and add cheese, mixing just until melted. Allow to cool slightly while you prepare the phyllo dough.
  5. Remove the phyllo pastry from the plastic, unroll, and set aside the first two sheets to work with; cover the remaining sheets with a slightly damp cloth to prevent them from drying out and becoming brittle.
  6. Working quickly so the sheets don't dry out, brush the top side of one sheet with a bit of butter or oil and lay the second sheet on top. Cut the layered sheets lengthwise in thirds, so you will know have 3 long strips.
  7. Now for the fun "flipping" part. See photo above for reference. Working with the first strip, spoon a small amount of the filling in the corner. Take that corner and fold it down until the tip reaches the opposite side; the filling should now be covered. Next flip it straight down, the top should be level again. Fold again, taking the filled corner to the opposite side. The dough should be kept taught through all this, but not so taught it rips. Continue flipping/folding until the end of the strip. Use a dab of butter or oil to stick the end of the strip to the pie. Place on the pan, tucked side down, and repeat until all the filling or all the phyllo pastry has been used up. Wrap any remaining phyllo tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until next use.
  8. Brush the tops of the pies with butter or oil and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden.

NOTES:

Don't have morels? Use any kind of mushroom you like! Likewise, you can also use any good melting cheese you prefer: gruyere, cheddar, asiago, raclette, etc. etc. If you prefer smaller pies, cut the phyllo dough into 4 strips lengthwise instead of 3.

Calories

149.38

Fat (grams)

10.50

Sat. Fat (grams)

3.92

Carbs (grams)

9.61

Fiber (grams)

1.67

Net carbs

8.15

Sugar (grams)

0.86

Protein (grams)

3.75

Sodium (milligrams)

175.10

Cholesterol (grams)

15.09
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator
IMG_4873.JPG

Have you ever gone morel mushroom hunting?  Tell me about your adventures in the comments below! :)

Pappa al Pomodoro

IMG_4924.jpg

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

I remember clearly the first time I ate Pappa al Pomodoro.  It was DELICIOUS, and at the time I had absolutely no idea what it was.  I had recently arrived in Italy for the second time in my life, and my friends took me to a local pizzeria.  The owner, who knew my friends by sight, brought us each a little plate of this red...mush...with olive oil drizzled on top.  I took one bite, might have closed my eyes and had a Ratatouille moment, then wasted no time in devouring the rest. The flavors seemed such ordinary everyday ingredients, but each took their turn on the tongue, twirling and waltzing together in such harmony as to become a dish not quickly forgotten, and leaving the palate wanting more.  One of my friends can't have gluten, and asked if any of us wanted her mush.  "Really, there's gluten in this?  That stinks, I'm sorry you can't try it...I'll TAKE IT."  Actually, the rest of us probably split it, I don't really remember.  

After this first encounter, I needed to know what that magical substance was.  What is it called?  What are the ingredients? How do you make it?  I'll save you all my searching and wondering: Pappa al pomodoro has a base of bread, tomatoes, and broth, and where there are tomatoes there is usually basil, and round it out with some garlic and good extra virgin olive oil.  That's it!  And I bet, you probably have all or most of those ingredients on hand.  

Pappa al Pomodoro is a traditional Tuscan "poor" dish, and once I knew what it was, saw it everywhere on restaurant menus around Florence.  It's normally eaten as a primo piatto, or first course, but I like to make it the MAIN course.  At home, of course, away from the overly inquisitive eyes of the Italians.  The genius of it is, it uses stale bread, reducing food waste.  Hence it being a "poor" dish, in which the Tuscans back in the day found tasty ways to recycle every food bit. 

If you've been to Tuscany and tried Pappa al Pomodoro, hopefully this recipe will bring a bit of its exuberance back into your life.  If you've never tried it, give this recipe a go for a taste of Tuscany!  Because the ingredients are simple and each flavor really shines through, I recommend being a little extra picky on the quality and freshness of ingredients you use.  (But, I'll give you some cheats, see "Jenny's Notes" below.)

Pro tip:  As you're pronouncing "pappa" really lay on those p's.  If you say it too quickly, your Italian friends or Italian wanna-be friends might think you're talking about the Pope, whom they call "Papa."  And a tomato Pope, at that, because, ya know, pomodoro means "tomato."  :)

Recipe adapted from the cookbook "Toscana in Cucina The Flavours of Tuscany."  Click on the link to the right for more delicious Tuscan dishes, with recipes in both English and Italian!  


Pappa al Pomodoro

Serves about 4

Ingredients:

IMG_4931.jpg
  • 6 Tbsp / 84g olive oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

  • 1 lb. / 500g ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped

  • 1 pint / 1 liter vegetable broth

  • 10 oz / 300g stale, crusted white bread, sliced thinly

  • several basil leaves, plus more for the garnish

  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Sauté the garlic and oil in a large pan over medium-low heat, until sizzling and fragrant, ensuring it doesn't burn.  Add a bit of crushed red pepper, then the tomatoes and basil.  

  2. Bring to a simmer; after a few minutes add the broth.  

  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add the bread.  

  4. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

  5. Remove the pan from the heat and leave covered for about an hour.  

  6. When ready to serve, stir gently and drizzle with olive oil, dust with pepper, and top with a basil leaf or two.  

Buon appetito! 

*Wine Pairing from Toscana in Cucina: Muraccio - Parrina DOC Rosso - La Parrina, Albinia (Grosseto) 

Jenny's Notes:

  • I know the bread description is a little vague, but you probably won't find the 1 kg hunk of unsalted Tuscan bread in your local grocery store in the States. You want a bread with a nice crust, if possible. You could look for a good ciabatta, or, that bread labeled "Italian" at the grocery store could always make do.

  • You could also use chicken or beef broth, but vegetable seems to be most commonly called for in the Italian recipes I've seen.

  • This freezes well for quick meals, simply bring to room temperature and heat before serving!

  • I do confess I've made this once very much modifying the freshness rule, and to my surprise it didn't turn out half shabby. Just promise me one thing. Make this the real way before going for the modified version. What follows is for emergency situations only. ;)

  1. 1/2 tsp garlic powder instead of garlic cloves

2. 16 oz jar tomato sauce instead of 1 lb. tomatoes (I've used sauces with grilled eggplant and even olives added to them for a satisfying twist.)

3. Plain ol' water instead of broth. You'll probably need to add extra salt and pepper, though.

Italian
Yield: 4-6 servings
Author:

Pappa al Pomodoro

A classic Tuscan "poor man's" dish that utilizes stale bread, tomatoes, basil, and a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serve as a main dish or side.
prep time: 25 Mcook time: 15 Mtotal time: 40 M

ingredients:

  • 6 Tbsp / 84g olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 lb. / 500g ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pint / 1 liter vegetable broth
  • 10 oz / 300g stale, crusted white bread, sliced thinly
  • several basil leaves, plus more for the garnish
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • salt and pepper, to taste

instructions:

How to cook Pappa al Pomodoro

  1. Sauté the garlic and oil in a large pan over medium-low heat, until sizzling and fragrant, ensuring it doesn't burn. Add a bit of crushed red pepper, then the tomatoes and basil.
  2. Bring to a simmer; after a few minutes add the broth.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then add the bread.
  4. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat and leave covered for about an hour.
  6. When ready to serve, stir gently and drizzle with olive oil, dust with pepper, and top with a basil leaf or two.

NOTES:

I know the bread description is a little vague, but you probably won't find the 1 kg hunk of unsalted Tuscan bread in your local grocery store in the States. You want a bread with a nice crust, if possible. You could look for a good ciabatta, or, that bread labeled "Italian" at the grocery store could always make do. You could also use chicken or beef broth, but vegetable seems to be most commonly called for in the Italian recipes I've seen. This freezes well for quick meals, simply bring to room temperature and heat before serving!

Calories

456.41

Fat (grams)

27.38

Sat. Fat (grams)

4.01

Carbs (grams)

45.34

Fiber (grams)

3.71

Net carbs

41.63

Sugar (grams)

8.94

Protein (grams)

8.48

Sodium (milligrams)

1153.02

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Nutritional information is approximate; based on 4 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator
IMG_4928.jpg

Pinwheels 3 Ways: Avocado Veggie, Buffalo Chicken, and Thanksgiving

From top to bottom: Thanksgiving, Veggie, Buffalo Chicken

From top to bottom: Thanksgiving, Veggie, Buffalo Chicken

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Or veggie rolls, veggie wraps, or veggie roll-ups, (but that just makes me think of fruit roll-ups, blech! No offense to my fruit roll-up loving friends.  Actually, every once in a blue moon I see a fruit roll up and think, hey, that sounds good right about now.  Then I walk on.  That's the end of the story.)  Or you could just call these tortilla/veggie/cream cheese concoctions for what they are; delicious.  That would be fine.  And the truth.  

They make for a great snack or appetizer, or lunch even if you forgot just how many pinwheels you popped in your mouth.  They're also very portable, quick, and simple to make, which make them ideal for parties, potlucks, lunch at the office, you name it.  

The formula is very easy to get the hang of, think tortillas, cream cheese, and condiments/spices!  The tortilla is your playground and the cream cheese is your best friend, so get creative!  Put all those flavor combinations you dreamt up while watching Food Network, The Great British Bake-Off, and Chef's Table to work in these tortillas.  Might be more manageable than that fried parmesan cheese bowl filled with pickled cabbage, grilled chicken, diced red peppers, fresh cilantro, lemon garlic aioli swiped across the plate and turmeric sprinkled over top.  But, hey, you could totally manage to put all that in a tortilla.  You might be on to something.  

To get you started, I give you three recipes: Fresh Veggie, Buffalo Chicken, and Turkey Cranberry a.k.a. Thanksgiving.  


Avocado Veggie Pinwheels

Makes about 18 pinwheels

Ingredients: 

Hmm, these photos could use improving upon…

Hmm, these photos could use improving upon…

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas

  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened

  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots, or about 1-2 small carrots

  • 1/3 chopped spinach or broccoli

  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp dill weed

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1/2 cup guacamole

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, carrots, spinach, green onions, garlic powder, dill weed, and salt and pepper.  

  2. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges.  Spread a thick layer of guacamole over cream cheese mixture.  Roll up tightly.  

  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices.  Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.  

pinwheels, roll ups, veggie rolls, veggie wraps, avocado, buffalo chicken pinwheels, Thanksgiving pinwheels, vegetable wraps, cranberry sauce, appetizer, finger food, snack
American
Yield: 32
Author:

Avocado Veggie Pinwheels

Tortillas slathered with seasoned cream cheese, avocado, and veggies, rolled up and sliced.
prep time: 25 Mcook time: total time: 25 M

ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots, or about 1-2 small carrots
  • 1/3 chopped spinach or broccoli
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dill weed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup guacamole

instructions:

How to cook Avocado Veggie Pinwheels

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, carrots, spinach, green onions, garlic powder, dill weed, and salt and pepper.
  2. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges. Spread a thick layer of guacamole over cream cheese mixture. Roll up tightly.
  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices. Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.

NOTES:

All quantities are very approximate. You could double basically any ingredient you want to have more filling, less filling, more flavor, less flavor. The tortilla is your playground.

Calories

54.07

Fat (grams)

3.37

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.62

Carbs (grams)

4.58

Fiber (grams)

0.50

Net carbs

4.17

Sugar (grams)

0.42

Protein (grams)

1.15

Sodium (milligrams)

79.99

Cholesterol (grams)

7.10
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

Makes about 18 pinwheels

Ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas

  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened

  • 1/3 cup / 80g Frank's hot sauce

  • 1/2 cup cooked chopped or shredded chicken

  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled, optional

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, hot sauce, chicken, green onion, and blue cheese.

  2. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges.  Roll up tightly.  

  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices.  Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.   

pinwheel, veggie roll up, veggie wrap, buffalo chicken, blue cheese, buffalo chicken wrap, buffalo chicken pinwheel, canned chicken
American
Yield: 32
Author:

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

Tortillas slathered in Frank's hot sauce and cream cheese with chicken, rolled, and sliced for bite size hot wing pinwheels.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: total time: 15 M

ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup / 80g Frank's hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup cooked chopped or shredded chicken
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled, optional

instructions:

How to cook Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, hot sauce, chicken, green onion, and blue cheese.
  2. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges. Roll up tightly.
  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices. Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.

NOTES:

All quantities are very approximate. You could double basically any ingredient you want to have more filling, less filling, more flavor, less flavor. I often use canned chicken for the buffalo chicken. Pinwheels aren't exactly a showcase of your cooking/baking skills, anyway, so I like to keep things chop, chop. (Literally) Don't have Frank's hot sauce? Go get some. You will thank me as your life is changed forever.

Calories

57.68

Fat (grams)

3.45

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.82

Carbs (grams)

3.93

Fiber (grams)

0.21

Net carbs

3.91

Sugar (grams)

0.31

Protein (grams)

2.23

Sodium (milligrams)

133.17

Cholesterol (grams)

11.06
Nutritional information is approximate. Includes the blue cheese.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Thanksgiving Pinwheels

Makes about 18 Pinwheels

Ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas

  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce

  • 8 oz sliced deli turkey (or leftover Turkey, hey!)

  • 1/3 cup chopped spinach, optional

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl mix together cream cheese, cranberry sauce, and spinach.  Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges.  

  2. Layer turkey slices over cream cheese mixture.  Roll up tightly.  

  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices.  Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.  

pinwheels, veggie roll ups, Thanksgiving, cream cheese, Thanksgiving pinwheel, Thanksgiving wrap, turkey, cranberry sauce, spinach
American
Yield: 32
Author:

Thanksgiving Pinwheels

Tortilla spread with cream cheese, cranberry sauce, and turkey, rolled and sliced for a nostalgic bite-sized taste of Thanksgiving.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: total time: 15 M

ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
  • 8 oz sliced deli turkey (or leftover Turkey, hey!)
  • 1/3 cup chopped spinach, optional

instructions:

How to cook Thanksgiving Pinwheels

  1. In a medium bowl mix together cream cheese, cranberry sauce, and spinach. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges.
  2. Layer turkey slices over cream cheese mixture. Roll up tightly.
  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices. Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.

NOTES:

All quantities are very approximate. You could double basically any ingredient you want to have more filling, less filling, more flavor, less flavor. Like I said, the tortilla is your playground. I like the spinach, it gives it a nice punch of color. It also makes the roll versatile for Christmas, beautiful red and green!

Calories

61.73

Fat (grams)

3.08

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.56

Carbs (grams)

6.19

Fiber (grams)

0.31

Net carbs

6.07

Sugar (grams)

1.93

Protein (grams)

1.98

Sodium (milligrams)

138.33

Cholesterol (grams)

11.00
Nutritional information is approximate. Includes spinach.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Jenny's Notes:

  • All quantities are very approximate.  You could double basically any ingredient you want to have more filling, less filling, more flavor, less flavor.  Like I said, the tortilla is your playground.  

  • I like the spinach in the Thanksgiving roll, it gives it a nice punch of color.  It also makes the roll versatile for Christmas, beautiful red and green! 

  • Speaking of the Thanksgiving roll, you could probably make a much more legitimate roll by using all Thanksgiving leftovers in a roll...gravy instead of cream cheese...nah that'd be gross.  

  • I usually use canned chicken for the buffalo chicken.  Pinwheels aren't exactly a showcase of your cooking/baking skills, anyway, so I like to keep things chop, chop.  (Literally) 

  • Don't have Frank's hot sauce?  Go get some.  You will thank me as your life is changed forever.  


Refrigerator Dill Pickles

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Summertime calls for watermelon, lemonade, ice cream, swimming, and cook outs.  And every quintessential cookout will have something to cook outside, usually meat and vegetables in some form.  (I know we're all thinking hamburgers, bratwursts, and hotdogs, but hey, there are some other weird traditions out there, too.)  And if you're cooking out, you're going to need buns and condiments.  And the best condiment award goes to....pickles!!

Not only does it have the best taste (opinion), but it stands alone.  As in, if you eat a pickle, no one will think twice.  But if we see you munching on a romaine lettuce leaf or slurping on a spoonful of ketchup, well, you might get some stares.  Of course, this is coming from someone who doesn't like hamburgers and once ate a romaine sandwich.  As in, onion, ketchup, mustard, and pickles sandwiched between to Romaine lettuce leaves.  Mmmmm.  Yeah, it was weird.  But I was so hungry, and hamburgers were the only option, I rather enjoyed it.  That's now on the worldwide webs.  Maybe I should change my heading to be: "Jenny, the girl who eats condiments like a main dish." Don't worry I won't, only you, my seven followers, are now privy to this information.  Haha.  

Back to pickles.  Now that we have remembered how great pickles are, did you know they are super easy to make at home?  Yes they are, and now you know that too.  Boil some water, throw some ingredients in a jar, chop up some cucumbers, stick them in the fridge, and voila!  Pickles.  

Recipe adapted from my mama


Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Makes about 24 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups / 830g water

  • 1 1/4 cups / 296g white vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp / 12g sugar

  • 1 Tbsp / 17g salt

  • 1 tsp / 2g turmeric, optional

  • 4 cups or about 2-3 large cucumbers, cut into slices, spears, or shape of choice

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 2 heads fresh dill

  • 1 tsp red chili flakes, mustard seeds, or celery seeds, optional

Directions:

  1. Stir together water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan.  Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. 

  2. In a large glass jar or container, 4-quart or larger, arrange garlic, dill, cucumbers, and any spices you choose to use.  Pour the cooled liquid over the cucumbers, discarding or saving any leftover for another use.  Top with lid, sealing well, and refrigerate.  

  3. They will start to taste pickley the next day, but for optimum flavor refrigerate at least 3 days before consuming.  

Jenny's Notes:

  • I recommend making this recipe once as is to get an idea of the flavor profile, then play around to make it your own!

    1) If you like more bread & butter or sweet style pickles, up the sugar

    2) If you love dill, use more dill

    3) Add sliced onions or bell peppers

    4) Add more red pepper flakes or other hot pepper for more spice

    5) Really, add whatever suits your fancy. The garden is your playground.

  • The turmeric is for color, not so much flavor, to get that idyllic yellow pickle.  However, if you could care less about having a yellow pickle or don’t enjoy turmeric, leave it out!  I for one don't think the turmeric is very obvious in this recipe, but it's detectable if you really think about it.  

dill pickles, refrigerator pickles
American
Yield: 24
Author:

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Classic dill pickles made in your refrigerator in just 3 days.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: 10 Mtotal time: 25 M

ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups / 830g water
  • 1 1/4 cups / 296g white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp / 12g sugar
  • 1 Tbsp / 17g salt
  • 1 tsp / 2g turmeric, optional
  • 4 cups or about 2-3 large cucumbers, cut into slices, spears, or shape of choice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 heads fresh dill

instructions:

How to cook Refrigerator Dill Pickles

  1. Stir together water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  2. In a large glass jar or container, 4-quart or larger, arrange garlic, dill, cucumbers, and any spices you choose to use. Pour the cooled liquid over the cucumbers, discarding or saving any leftover for another use. Top with lid, sealing well, and refrigerate.
  3. They will start to taste pickley the next day, but for optimum flavor refrigerate at least 3 days before consuming.

NOTES:

I recommend making this recipe once as is to get an idea of the flavor profile, then play around to make it your own! 1) If you like more bread & butter or sweet style pickles, up the sugar 2) If you love dill, use more dill 3) Add sliced onions or bell peppers 4) Add more red pepper flakes or other hot pepper for more spice 5) Really, add whatever suits your fancy. The garden is your playground. The turmeric is for color, not so much flavor, to get that idyllic yellow pickle. However, if you could care less about having a yellow pickle or don’t enjoy turmeric, leave it out! I for one don't think the turmeric is very obvious in this recipe, but it's detectable if you really think about it.

Calories

10.04

Fat (grams)

0.04

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.01

Carbs (grams)

1.91

Fiber (grams)

0.20

Net carbs

1.72

Sugar (grams)

1.09

Protein (grams)

0.25

Sodium (milligrams)

276.95

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Tourte Milanese

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Tourte Milanese, also known as Tourte Milanaise.  No, the second version does not include mayonnaise.  Part of the family en croute, or encased in dough.  Who doesn't want to eat food, soup, and anything edible wrapped in flaky, buttery dough?  In this case, roasted peppers, herbed scrambled eggs, cheese, spinach, and meat.  

You will feel quite accomplished pulling this out of the oven, and taking your first bite into the explosion of hot, flaky layers, melty cheese, herbs, sweet peppers, smoky meat, and garlicky spinach.  It may look intimidating, but you can adjust this recipe to how much time and effort you want to put into it.  For example, you can make your own puff pastry, or you can pick it up at the store.  You could roast your own peppers, or buy a jar of already roasted peppers.  Of course, I enjoy making everything as home-made and from scratch as possible...clearly don't have kids yet.  I recommend reading through the recipe once or twice and taking a peek at my notes at the bottom to make your game plan.  For example, puff pastry can easily be a two day recipe, so you'll want to make that a day ahead, or way ahead, and freeze it until you have the urge to make a recipe like this.  

Want some inspiration?  Watch this fun video of Julia Child and Michel Richard making Puff Pastry and Tourte Milanese!


Tourte Milanese

Serves 8-12

Ingredients:

For the Crust

  • 1 lb. / 450g puff pastry, home-made or store bought

  • Egg wash made from 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water

For the Eggs

  • 10 eggs

  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives or green onion

  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or basil

  • 2 tsp snipped fresh tarragon or fresh or dried oregano

  • salt and ground pepper, to taste

  • 3 Tbsp / 42g butter

For the Rest of the Filling

  • 6 large red bell peppers (or use a 16oz jar or two of roasted red peppers)

  • 1 1/2 lbs / 680g spinach

  • 1 Tbsp / 14g olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp / 14g butter

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

  • 8 oz / 225g Swiss cheese

  • 8 oz / 225g smoked turkey or ham

Directions:

Generously grease an 8in / 20cm springform pan.  

Make the Crust

  1. Cut off 1/4 of the puff pastry, cover, and set aside.  

  2. Roll out the remaining pastry to 1/4" thick round.  Be sure to roll it thin enough so it will have a chance to be baked all the way through in the oven.  It should be big enough to cover the bottom and sides of your springform pan with an overhang.  Carefully press into pan, being sure to press all the way into the corners.  Cover and refrigerate.

  3. Roll out the remaining 1/4 of puff pastry until it is 1/4" thick.  Cut out an 8 in / 20cm circle, using an 8 in / 20cm pie plate or cake tin as a template.  Place on a plate or baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate.  

Make the Eggs

  1. Whisk eggs, herbs, salt and pepper together.  Melt butter in a skillet over low heat and pour in eggs.  Gently stir, continuously moving the setting eggs towards the center and allowing runny eggs to reach the bottom of the pan.  When the whole mixture has started to thicken, but still a bit runny, remove from heat and pour onto a plate. Cover and refrigerate and until ready to use.  

Roast the Peppers

Skip this step if you bought roasted red peppers.  

Method 1: Place peppers over an open flame on your stove top until blackened.  Flip and allow second side to roast.  Repeat until all peppers have been roasted.  

Method 2: Place all peppers onto a tinfoil lined sheet pan.  Place under broiler in your oven, checking every few minutes, until peppers are blackened.  Turn peppers over and roast second side.  

Once peppers have been roasted, place in an airtight container or ziploc bag for about 20 minutes to steam.  

Remove peppers and rub the skin off.  Cut out the stems and slice from top to bottom, laying them flat.  Remove seeds and trim away any inside veins.  

Place peppers on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess liquid, cover, and refrigerate.  

Blanch and Sauté the Spinach

  1. Bring a large amount of salted water to a boil.  Add spinach and blanch for 1 minute.  Drain in a colander and rinse in cold water to stop it from cooking.  Press the spinach to remove excess liquid.  

  2. Place oil, butter, and garlic in a large frying pan over medium heat.  When garlic starts to sizzle, add blanched spinach and sauté for 3 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Remove from heat and transfer spinach to a plate lined with paper towels.  Cover and refrigerate until needed.  

Assemble the Tourte

Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.  

Remove the pastry lined pan from the fridge, along with your eggs, peppers, spinach, cheese, and turkey/ham.  Layer your ingredients in this order, laying them flat and spreading to the edge:

  1. Half of eggs

  2. Half of spinach

  3. Half of turkey/ham

  4. Half of cheese

  5. All the peppers

  6. Other half of cheese

  7. Other half of turkey/ham

  8. Other half of spinach

  9. Other half of eggs

Trim the pastry overhang to within 1 in / 2.5cm of the pan.  Brush the inner side with egg wash and fold over filling.  Brush the other side with more egg wash. 

Remove the round pastry top from fridge, re-rolling if it has shrunk any.  Place over the folded edges of the tourte, pressing down to seal it.  Brush with more egg wash.  Cut a vent in the center of the dough, or use a knife to trace a design.  Or, you can cut out shapes form the puff pastry scraps and decorate the top.  Brush shapes with more egg wash.  Chill assembled tourte in fridge for 30 minutes prior to baking.  

Place tourte on a tinfoil lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes - 1 hour 30 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and a deep golden brown.  

Cool for 30 minutes before releasing from pan and serving.

Can be assembled a day ahead.  Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.  To reheat, place in an oven preheated to 350°F / 177°C for 20-30 minutes. 

Jenny's Notes:

The recipe above is pretty traditional, however, it can easily be adjusted to your tastes.  

No soggy bottoms here!

No soggy bottoms here!

  • Before layering in the filling, I suggest sprinkling the bottom with a grated hard cheese, such as parmesan, or bread crumbs, to avoid the soggy-bottom syndrome. I did a combo of cheese and bread crumbs.

  • For the herbed scrambled eggs, chives, parsley, and tarragon combo is more traditional, but I prefer green onion, basil, and oregano. To be completely honest I've never had tarragon, but from what I've read I can't say I have a real desire to.

  • Feel free to use whichever color peppers you like! I roasted multi-colored mini sweet peppers. The white from the eggs (ish), green from the spinach, and red from the peppers is supposed to resemble the colors of the Italian flag, but hey. I'm just making Italy more colorful than it already it is.

  • 1 1/2 lbs of spinach may seem outrageous, but it really cooks down. I have used a scant pound before when that’s all I had, but the spinach is surprisingly delicious and I wouldn’t modify the recipe down if I had a choice.

  • Play around with cheeses! You'll want softer cheeses, ones that melt well. Think cheddar, gruyere, havarti, gouda, brie...I opted for half Swiss and half dill havarti. Two beautiful melting cheeses.

  • I pulled the tourte out of the oven after 1 hour 10 minutes, but it could have used more time to bake the pastry all the way through. It can be difficult to tell as your only clue is the color of the pastry.

Tourte Milanese, Julia Child, Michel Richard, spinach, roasted red peppers, en croute, scrambled eggs, cheese, puff pastry,turkey, Italian flag
breakfast, dinner
Italian, French
Yield: 8-12 Servings
Author:

Tourte Milanese

Layers of turkey, cheese, spinach, roasted red peppers, and eggs encased in flaky puff pastry.
prep time: 1 H & 35 Mcook time: 1 H & 30 Mtotal time: 2 H & 65 M

ingredients:

For the Crust
  • 1 lb. / 450g puff pastry, home-made or store bought
  • Egg wash made from 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water
For the Eggs
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives or green onion
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or basil
  • 2 tsp snipped fresh tarragon or fresh or dried oregano
  • salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbsp / 42g butter
For the Rest of the Filling
  • 6 large red bell peppers (or a 16oz jar or two of roasted red peppers)
  • 1 1/2 lbs / 680g spinach
  • 1 Tbsp / 14g olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp / 14g butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 8 oz / 225g Swiss cheese
  • 8 oz / 225g smoked turkey or ham

instructions:

How to cook Tourte Milanese

Make the Crust
  1. Generously grease an 8in / 20cm springform pan.
  2. Cut off 1/4 of the puff pastry, cover, and set aside.
  3. Roll out the remaining pastry to 1/4" thick round. Be sure to roll it thin enough so it will have a chance to be baked all the way through in the oven. It should be big enough to cover the bottom and sides of your springform pan with an overhang. Carefully press into pan, being sure to press all the way into the corners. Cover and refrigerate.
  4. Roll out the remaining 1/4 of puff pastry until it is 1/4" thick. Cut out an 8 in / 20cm circle, using an 8 in / 20cm pie plate or cake tin as a template. Place on a plate or baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate.
Make the Eggs
  1. Whisk eggs, herbs, salt and pepper together. Melt butter in a skillet over low heat and pour in eggs. Gently stir, continuously moving the setting eggs towards the center and allowing runny eggs to reach the bottom of the pan. When the whole mixture has started to thicken, but still a bit runny, remove from heat and pour onto a plate. Cover and refrigerate and until ready to use.
Roast the Peppers
  1. Skip this step if you bought roasted red peppers.
  2. Method 1: Place peppers over an open flame on your stove top until blackened. Flip and allow second side to roast. Repeat until all peppers have been roasted.
  3. Method 2: Place all peppers onto a tinfoil lined sheet pan. Place under broiler in your oven, checking every few minutes, until peppers are blackened. Turn peppers over and roast second side.
  4. Once peppers have been roasted, place in an airtight container or ziploc bag for about 20 minutes to steam.
  5. Remove peppers and rub the skin off. Cut out the stems and slice from top to bottom, laying them flat. Remove seeds and trim away any inside veins.
  6. Place peppers on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess liquid, cover, and refrigerate.
Blanch and Sauté the Spinach
  1. Bring a large amount of salted water to a boil. Add spinach and blanch for 1 minute. Drain in a colander and rinse in cold water to stop it from cooking. Press the spinach to remove excess liquid.
  2. Place oil, butter, and garlic in a large frying pan over medium heat. When garlic starts to sizzle, add blanched spinach and sauté for 3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from heat and transfer spinach to a plate lined with paper towels. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Assemble the Tourte
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.
  2. Remove the pastry lined pan from the fridge, along with your eggs, peppers, spinach, cheese, and turkey/ham. Layer your ingredients in this order, laying them flat and spreading to the edge:
  3. Half of eggs
  4. Half of spinach
  5. Half of turkey/ham
  6. Half of cheese
  7. All the peppers
  8. Other half of cheese
  9. Other half of turkey/ham
  10. Other half of spinach
  11. Other half of eggs
  12. Trim the pastry overhang to within 1 in / 2.5cm of the pan. Brush the inner side with egg wash and fold over filling. Brush the other side with more egg wash.
  13. Remove the round pastry top from fridge, re-rolling if it has shrunk any. Place over the folded edges of the tourte, pressing down to seal it. Brush with more egg wash. Cut a vent in the center of the dough, or use a knife to trace a design. Or, you can cut out shapes form the puff pastry scraps and decorate the top. Brush shapes with more egg wash. Chill assembled tourte in fridge for 30 minutes prior to baking.
  14. Place tourte on a tinfoil lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes - 1 hour 30 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and a deep golden brown.
  15. Cool for 30 minutes before releasing from pan and serving.
  16. Can be assembled a day ahead. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. To reheat, place in an oven preheated to 350°F / 177°C for 20-30 minutes.

NOTES:

Before layering in the filling, I suggest sprinkling the bottom with a grated hard cheese, such as parmesan, or bread crumbs, to avoid the soggy-bottom syndrome. I did a combo of cheese and bread crumbs. For the herbed scrambled eggs, chives, parsley, and tarragon combo is more traditional, but I prefer green onion, basil, and oregano. To be completely honest I've never had tarragon, but from what I've read I can't say I have a real desire to. Feel free to use whichever color peppers you like! I roasted multi-colored mini sweet peppers. The white from the eggs (ish), green from the spinach, and red from the peppers is supposed to resemble the colors of the Italian flag, but hey. I'm just making Italy more colorful than it already it is. 1 1/2 lbs of spinach may seem like a lot, but it really cooks down. Play around with cheeses! You'll want softer cheeses, ones that melt well. Think cheddar, gruyere, havarti, gouda, brie...I opted for half Swiss and half dill havarti. Two beautiful melting cheeses. I pulled the tourte from the oven after 1 hour 10 minutes, but it could have used more time to bake the pastry all the way through. It can be difficult to tell as your only clue is the color of the pastry.

Calories

653.54

Fat (grams)

44.19

Sat. Fat (grams)

13.43

Carbs (grams)

38.20

Fiber (grams)

4.08

Net carbs

34.12

Sugar (grams)

5.94

Protein (grams)

27.68

Sodium (milligrams)

762.57

Cholesterol (grams)

308.66
Nutritional information is approximate and based on 8 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Ratatouille

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Rat patootie.  Ratatouille.  Only one of my favorite Pixar films AND one of my favorite foods.  A cartoon that takes place in Paris, is all about cooking, French accents, chefs, crispy baguettes....ah yes.  Never fails to make me hungry for cheese, saffron (although let's be honest, I've never actually had saffron that I am aware of, even though I bought some in Florence for a steal - UPDATE: as of 2018 I’ve now had saffron and learned how to tell if it’s real!) bread, and maybe some wine.  From the day I first saw it, in the theatre in New York City with my mom back in 2008, I wanted to make ratatouille.  I didn't know what it was before the movie, but Pixar animation made it look delicious.  

After some research and googling, I soon learned that there were many different versions of ratatouille, originally a hearty peasant dish from the region of Provence, France.  (Remember Igor's flashback to his mother's cooking and country home when he firsts tastes the ratatouille?) One source likened it to stew in America.  What kind of stew you ask?  This is exactly the point, as every region and cook in America has their own version of stew, and it can vary widely.  Apparently this is also true of ratatouille.  

After making this many times over the years, I came down to two favorite recipes.  

One involved sautéing the eggplant first for 10 minutes with the spices, then adding it to the bottom of the baking dish. The remaining vegetables were then layered over the eggplant, with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese between each layer of vegetables.

The second involved spreading a seasoned tomato sauce in the bottom of the baking dish and then alternating the vegetables around the dish in a pretty spiral, like it’s served in the film.

I could never decide which version I wanted to make, so finally I combined the two for the best of both worlds.  I omitted sautéing the eggplant, kept the tomato sauce on the bottom, and kept the cheese and the pretty spiral.

That combination is what follows.


Ratatouille

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

IMG_4690.JPG
  • 1 1/2 cups / 355g tomato purée or sauce (unseasoned)

  • 1/2  onion, finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tsp fresh oregano or 1/4 tsp dried

  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

  • 2 Tbsp / 28g olive oil

  • 8 oz / 240g mushrooms, thinly sliced

  • 1 medium eggplant

  • 1 medium zucchini

  • 1 medium yellow squash

  • 1 bell pepper, optional

  • 1 cup / 110g shredded parmesan cheese

  • fresh or dried thyme

  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Oven 375°F / 177°C.  Ungreased oval baking dish, about 10in / 25cm long, or 9x13in / 23x33cm pan. 

  1. Add tomato purée to a small bowl.  Stir in onion, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon of oil, salt, and pepper.  Spread in the bottom of the baking dish.

  2. Layer sliced mushrooms over tomato sauce.

  3. Using a mandolin or chopping by hand, slice eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and bell pepper into 1/4 inch slices.

  4. Working in concentric circles, alternate and arrange the vegetables over the mushrooms.  You may have a small handful of misfit vegetables left over.  Save for another use (stir fry!) or lift a layer of your vegetables in the pan and sneak the excess underneath where the eye can't see. 

  5. Drizzle vegetables with remaining tablespoon of oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle cheese evenly over top.  Sprinkle thyme over cheese. 

  6. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until tomato sauce is bubbling around edges of the pan and vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife.  

  7. Eat as is, or served over quinoa, rice, couscous, or with some crusty French bread!

Jenny's Notes:

  • 1 6oz can / 170g tomato paste mixed with 3/4 cup / 170g water can be substituted for the tomato purée.

  • Sometimes I omit the red pepper flakes and use a spicy oil in place of the plain olive oil.

  • If you want to save time assembling the vegetables you can layer them instead of alternating and making circles.  i.e. layer all the eggplant slices, then squash, zucchini, etc.  

  • You could add an extra layer of cheese between the mushrooms and vegetables.  

  • Feel free to add or substitute vegetables! 

Hello, World!

ratatouille, Pixar Ratatouille, thyme, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, vegetables, healthy, gluten-free, parmesan cheese, tomato, mushrooms, peasant dish
Lunch, Dinner, Side Dish
French
Yield: 4-6 servings
Author:

Ratatouille

A classic French peasant dish made famous by the Pixar animated film "Ratatouille." This version has a tomato base, plenty of eggplant, zucchini, squash, and mushrooms, with thyme and parmesan cheese. Naturally gluten-free.
prep time: 40 Mcook time: 55 Mtotal time: 95 M

ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups / 355g tomato purée or sauce (unseasoned)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano or 1/4 tsp dried
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp / 28g olive oil
  • 8 oz / 240g mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium yellow squash
  • 1 bell pepper, optional
  • 1 cup / 110g shredded parmesan cheese
  • fresh or dried thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste

instructions:

How to cook Ratatouille

  1. Oven 375°F / 177°C. Ungreased oval baking dish, about 10in / 25cm long, or 9x13in / 23x33cm pan.
  2. Add tomato purée to a small bowl. Stir in onion, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon of oil, salt, and pepper. Spread in the bottom of the baking dish.
  3. Layer sliced mushrooms over tomato sauce.
  4. Using a mandolin or chopping by hand, slice eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and bell pepper into 1/4 inch slices.
  5. Working in concentric circles, alternate and arrange the vegetables over the mushrooms. You may have a small handful of misfit vegetables left over. Save for another use (stir fry!) or lift a layer of your vegetables in the pan and sneak the excess underneath where the eye can't see.
  6. Drizzle vegetables with remaining tablespoon of oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle cheese evenly over top. Sprinkle thyme over cheese.
  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until tomato sauce is bubbling around edges of the pan and vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife.
  8. Eat as is, or served over quinoa, rice, couscous, or with some crusty French bread!

NOTES:

1 6oz can / 170g tomato paste mixed with 3/4 cup / 170g water can be substituted for the tomato purée. Sometimes I omit the red pepper flakes and use a spicy oil in place of the plain olive oil. If you want to save time assembling the vegetables you can layer them instead of alternating and making circles. i.e. layer all the eggplant slices, then squash, zucchini, etc. You could add an extra layer of cheese between the mushrooms and vegetables. Feel free to add or substitute vegetables!

Calories

319.11

Fat (grams)

15.92

Sat. Fat (grams)

6.00

Carbs (grams)

33.75

Fiber (grams)

9.15

Net carbs

24.60

Sugar (grams)

15.12

Protein (grams)

16.35

Sodium (milligrams)

571.85

Cholesterol (grams)

19.80
Nutritional information is approximate and based on 4 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator
IMG_4693.JPG