Orecchiette with Creamy Herb Ricotta Sauce, Grilled Zucchini Pepper Salad

by Jennifer

This dinner was yummy, even though the yellow plate doesn’t do it justice eye appeal-wise.  Get the salad started first as it can sit for a bit (and gets better with the sitting).  For parents of young kids, two of my three (the third is pretty selective, but he did eat some) had huge helpings of the pasta and loved it.  Serves 4 adults.

Orecchiette with Creamy Herb Ricotta Sauce

  • 1 lb orecchiette
  • 3/4 cup fresh whole milk ricotta
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs – I used about half chives, and half a mix of oregano, sage and thyme
  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil;  cook pasta until al dente according to package directions.  Before draining the pasta, reserve 1/2 cup cooking water.

In a large bowl combine ricotta through black pepper.

Stir in pasta and reserved cooking water, mixing well, then serve hot.

Grilled Zucchini Pepper Salad – from Gourmet magazine

  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 lbs zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4”-thick slices
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into four pieces each
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp packed light brown sugar
  • 2 TBS chopped basil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare grill for medium to medium-high cooking.  Toss zucchini and peppers with 2 TBS oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Grill vegetables 3 – 4 minutes per side, until just tender and grill marks appear.  Transfer peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes.  Peel peppers and cut into 1” pieces;  slice zucchini into 1” pieces as well.

In a medium bowl whisk together remaining 2 TBS oil, vinegar, brown sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.

Add vegetables and basil, mixing well to coat, and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Angel Hair Pasta with No-cook Tomato and Basil Sauce

By Ira,

I make this every summer when the tomatoes are at their peak. It’s very important to use the best tomatoes you can find and a good quality salt. With so few ingredients, it makes a big difference to the overall taste of the dish. All you need to do is combine the chopped tomatoes with basil, garlic, and olive oil, then stir in the angel hair pasta and top it with Parmesan cheese. Very easy and delicious.

Serves 4-6

  • 5 large tomatoes or 7 medium ones
  • 2 handfuls sliced basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Maldon sea salt or Himalayan salt preferably, or sea salt
  • freshly grounded black pepper
  • 1 pound angel hair pasta
  • Parmesan cheese to serve

Note that I like to have a generous amount of tomatoes with my pasta. If you prefer less sauce, use 4 large tomatoes.

Start by boiling the water for the pasta. Add 1 tablespoon salt before adding the pasta.  Note that it only takes 2 minutes for the angel hair pasta to cook, so add the pasta to the water when your sauce is ready.

In a large bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Be generous with the salt. Taste and add more accordingly. Stir and set aside until pasta cooks.

Add the angel hair pasta to the tomato mixture and mix well. Serve with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Lemon Gnocchi with Spinach and Peas

by Jennifer

I’m going to come clean:  this recipe is supposed to serve 4 and tonight it really only served 2 and a bit.  Adapted from Gourmet magazine, it’s simple to make and delicious, but one of my children declared he liked it “except for the sauce”, and another decided she doesn’t like lemon;  the third gamely ate a couple gnocchi and called it a day.  Though I seem to recall that when I last made this dish, before kids, my husband and I ate the entire thing that time, too…..

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, not defrosted
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 5 oz. baby spinach
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 lb. dried potato gnocchi
  • generous 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano

While you’re waiting for a large pot of salted water to come to a boil, simmer the peas, cream, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.

After 5 minutes, add the spinach in batches, tossing gently just until all the spinach wilts.  Meanwhile cook the gnocchi until al dente (they should all be floating on top), reserve some cooking water, and drain.

Remove pan with spinach from the heat, stir in the lemon zest and juice,

then add the gnocchi and cheese, stirring to combine.  Add some reserved cooking water to thin the sauce if desired.

Grilled Cheesy Polenta with Quick Tomato Sauce, Grilled Caesar Salad

by Jennifer

The polenta needs to be made ahead, with time to cool;  you can do this up to a day before you plan to serve it.  You can grill the polenta and romaine while the sauce is simmering.  The polenta serves 6 – 8;  the salad serves 6.

Grilled Cheesy Polenta with Quick Tomato Sauce

For polenta:

  • 6 cups water
  • 3 cups coarse cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 lb. cold mozzarella, cubed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves, chopped

For Quick Tomato Sauce, from A Fresh Taste of Italy by Michele Scicolone:

  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, undrained
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • pinch dried oregano
  • pinch dried basil or 6 leaves fresh basil, torn into pieces

For polenta:

Coat a 13” x 9” pan with cooking spray.  Bring water to a boil in a large pot.

Slowly whisk in cornmeal and salt, lower the temperature to medium, and cook, whisking,

for 5 minutes, or until it’s very thick.

Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.

Pour polenta into the pan, let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until solid.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat for 5 minutes, then remove from heat.  Prepare grill.  Cut polenta into 6 – 8 squares.  Brush each square with garlic oil, then place garlic-oil side down on grill and

grill for 8 minutes, or until there are grill marks and the crust is golden.  Brush top side with garlic oil before flipping polenta over and grilling second side for another 8 minutes.  Serve hot topped with Quick Tomato Sauce.

For tomato sauce:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat;  add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant.

Add tomatoes and their juices, salt, pepper, and dried herbs (if using fresh basil, wait until the sauce is done to add).

Cook, gently crushing the tomatoes and stirring occasionally for about 20 – 25 minutes, or until thick.

Grilled Caesar Salad – adapted from Gourmet magazine

  • 2 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 of a baguette or loaf of French bread, sliced (supposed to be 1/2” thick slices, I think I managed 1” slices at best)
  • 1 large egg
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 3 hearts of romaine
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Prepare grill.

In a blender or small processor, chop garlic, then add anchovy paste, olive oil, salt and pepper, blending well.

Brush bread slices, both sides, with this dressing, then grill bread, about 1 – 2 minutes per side, until toasted.  Slice bread in half or quarters and set aside.

Add egg and lemon juice to dressing and blend for 2 – 3 minutes, or until emulsified.

Slice romaine hearts in half lengthwise, then grill, cut side down, for 2 minutes,

or just until grill marks appear.  Slice romaine hearts cross-wise into wide strips.

Toss together romaine, croutons and cheese;  add dressing and toss well.

Shrimp Scampi with Preserved Lemon and Fennel on Polenta, Romaine Salad with Anchovies and Parmesan

by Jennifer

This recipe, adapted from Bon Appetit, serves 4 – 6.  Serve with Romaine Salad with Anchovies and Parmesan.


  • 4 1/2 8-oz. bottles clam juice
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups polenta (coarse cornmeal)
  • 3/4 tsp hot sauce
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Shrimp Scampi:

  • 3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 lbs. large shrimp, cleaned
  • coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bulb fennel, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped, seeded tomato
  • 1/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 TBS chopped preserved lemon
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
For the polenta:
Combine clam juice, water and cream in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Slowly add the cornmeal, whisking, and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, for 15 minutes.
Whisk in hot sauce, salt and pepper to taste, then remove from burner, cover, and keep warm until scampi is finished.  (Add a little water before serving if it gets too thick.)

For shrimp scampi:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add shrimp, season with coarse salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring once, for about 2 minutes, or until the shrimp begin to turn opaque.  Transfer shrimp to a plate.

Add the fennel through garlic to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is tender, about 4 minutes.

Add cream, bring to a boil, and

stir in shrimp, tossing to coat, just until the shrimp is cooked through, about 1 minute.  Divide polenta among plates and top with scampi.

Leek and Mascarpone Cheese Risotto, Grilled Asparagus

by Jennifer

This risotto, adapted from Cooking Light, is wonderful, requires a little forethought.  You make the broth first, so either leave enough time beforehand, or make it up to a day before.  The easiest way to wash leeks is to chop them first, then rinse them well with cool water in a colander.  I served the risotto with grilled asparagus:  prepare your grill, take one bunch of asparagus – about a pound or so – and toss it with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill for about 5 minutes or so, turning once, until lightly charred but still crisp-tender.  Serves 4 – 6.

  • 8 cups water
  • 6 large leeks, chopped, divided
  • 2 cups parsley, chopped, divided
  • 1 cup basil, chopped, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 onion, cut into small chunks
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into 1” pieces
  • pinch saffron threads
  • 2 TBS unsalted butter
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 TBS chopped preserved lemon OR zest from one lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Combine water, 2 cups chopped leeks, 1 cup parsley, 1/2 cup basil, and salt through celery in a large pot, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, lower heat to a simmer and let broth simmer for about 35 minutes.

Drain broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium-sized pot, discarding solids.  If you felt like measuring it (I did not), you should have about 5 1/2 cups broth.

Add a pinch of saffron to the pot and keep the pot on low heat.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add remaining leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.  Add wine and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed.

Add 2 cups of hot broth and cook, stirring frequently,

until liquid is almost absorbed.

Repeat with another 2 cups of broth.  Add remaining broth, and when liquid is almost absorbed,

add remaining parsley, basil, mascarpone cheese, Parmesan cheese, preserved lemon or lemon zest, salt and pepper, stirring well until cheeses melt.

Serve immediately.

Tofu Steaks with Tomato-Olive Sauce over Whole Wheat Penne, Cauliflower with Capers

by Jennifer

Tofu is not just for Asian cooking!  The sauce can be made up to a day ahead.  After cooking the cauliflower in the skillet, wipe it clean and use it to pan-fry the tofu.  This dinner serves 4.

Tofu Steaks with Tomato-Olive Sauce over Whole Wheat Penne – adapted from Cooking Light

  • 13.25 oz. package whole wheat penne
  • 3 TBS olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 14 oz. package extra-firm tofu, pressed if you like, sliced into 4 equal portions and patted very dry

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.

In a large skillet, heat 1 TBS olive oil over medium heat, then add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes and let sauce simmer for 10 minutes.

Add olives and let cook for another minute or two.

Remove from heat and add parsley and black pepper.  If you’re not making the sauce ahead and would like to only use one skillet, transfer sauce to a smaller pot to keep warm and rinse out pan to use for the cauliflower and then the tofu.

Cook penne according to package directions until al dente;  drain.  Meanwhile, heat 2 TBS olive oil over medium heat in the skillet until it shimmers.

Add tofu and cook, turning once, until both sides are golden brown, about 4 minutes or so per side.  Divide penne among 4 plates, top with a slice of tofu, and top that with sauce.

Cauliflower with Capers – adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 lemon, sliced in half cross-wise
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 TBS chopped parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp capers, drained
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Fill a large pot about half-way full of water, add 1/2 lemon, and bring to a boil.

Cook cauliflower in boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain and discard lemon half.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then cook the cauliflower for 6 minutes, until crisp-tender and slightly charred in places.

Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

Transfer cauliflower and garlic to a bowl and add the juice of the remaining lemon half, parsley, capers and salt, tossing well.

Broiled Sea Scallops, Meyer Lemon Risotto, and Broccoli with Toasted Garlic Crumbs

by Jennifer

You can marinate the sea scallops while you make the garlic crumbs for the broccoli, and the risotto.  When the risotto is almost ready, you can steam the broccoli and broil the scallops.  Feel free to grill them instead;  our propane tank was on empty!

Serves 4 – 6 adults.

Broiled Sea Scallops

  • 2 lbs. sea scallops
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine scallops, olive oil and garlic in a bowl;  refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, for 20 – 60 minutes.  Preheat broiler and spray broiler pan with cooking spray.

Arrange scallops on pan and season with salt and pepper.

Broil scallops a couple inches away from the heat source until cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Meyer Lemon Risotto – from www.simplyrecipes.com

My brother, knowing of my recent Meyer lemon obsession, forwarded me this recipe and it’s outstanding.  Seriously.  Outstanding.  The original recipe suggests toasted pine nuts or freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving, neither of which I used, but I don’t think the risotto lacked any flavor without them.  Substitute regular lemons if you can’t find Meyer lemons, but add 2 TBS lemon juice instead of 3.

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 TBS kosher salt
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 – 2 Meyer lemons, enough to make 1 TBS lemon zest plus extra (about 1/2 TBS) for garnish, and 3 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh oregano plus another TBS for garnish

Combine the water and kosher salt in a medium-size pot and bring to a boil;  reduce heat to simmer and cover until you’re ready to use it.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan/skillet over medium heat;  add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Stir in the rice and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 – 4 minutes.

Add the wine and cook, stirring, until the rice absorbs the liquid.

(When you pull your spatula through the rice, the pan underneath should be dry for a moment.)

Start to add the hot salted water, a large ladleful at a time, continuing to stir the rice.  (You’re supposed to stir risotto constantly, but there’s too much multi-tasking to do, so I added a ladleful, stirred, ran off to do something else for a minute or two, ran back and stirred again, and it turned out wonderfully.)  When the liquid has been absorbed, add another ladleful of water, stir, and continue, until most of the water has been used;  taste the rice to check if it’s creamy yet a little al dente, a little bit chewy.

If so, add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and oregano (and black pepper, if you’d like).  (If not, add a little more water and keep cooking.)  To serve, sprinkle with more lemon zest and remaining oregano.

Broccoli with Toasted Garlic Crumbs – adapted from Gourmet magazine

  • 1 1/2 lbs. broccoli, cut into florets
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup panko
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest

Prepare broccoli for steaming.

Heat the oil in a 10” skillet over medium-low heat;  add the garlic and cook, stirring occassionally, for 5 minutes, or until the garlic is lightly golden.

Add the panko, salt and pepper, and cook on medium heat for a few minutes, until the panko turns golden.

Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest.

Steam the broccoli for 5 minutes or until crisp-tender;  remove from steamer, and toss with the garlic crumbs (or for easier serving/clean-up, layer the broccoli and crumbs on a serving dish).

Quinoa Cakes with Eggplant-Tomato Ragu and Smoked Mozzarella, Caesar Salad

by Jennifer

My husband is not crazy about eggplant (and yet, I still continue to cook with it, go figure), but he loved this dish.  You can make both the quinoa cakes and the ragu ahead of time (up to a day, covered and chilled).   Serves 4.

Quinoa Cakes with Eggplant-Tomato Ragu and Smoked Mozzarella – adapted from Gourmet magazine

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 egg
  • 5 – 6 TBS olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 lb. eggplant, cut into 1/2” cubes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 TBS chopped parsley
  • 1/4 lb. smoked mozzarella, diced

To make the quinoa cakes, bring the water and salt to a boil, add the quinoa, cover and lower heat to a simmer (medium-low);

cook quinoa for 20 – 25 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and let cool 5 – 10 minutes;

stir in the egg until well-combined.  Cover a baking sheet with plastic wrap and brush wrap with a little olive oil;  brush a 1 cup dry-ingredient measure with olive oil.

Using a spatula fill the cup 2/3 full, packing gently;

invert cake onto the plastic wrap and make three more cakes, brushing the cup with oil in between.

Gently pat down the cakes until they are 4″ in diameter.  Chill in the fridge at least 15 minutes (longer, cover loosely with plastic wrap).

While the quinoa is cooking and you’re making the cakes, toss the eggplant with 1 tsp salt in a colander set in the sink, and let it sit for 30 minutes.  Using your hands, squeeze out any liquid from the eggplant,

then pat it dry in a clean kitchen towel.

Heat 3 TBS oil in a large skillet over medium heat;  cook the eggplant, onion, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, until the onion is begins to get tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and water, stir, cover, and lower heat to a simmer;  cook for 10 minutes.

You can cool the ragu at this point, and chill it, covered, up to a day, or you can set it aside until the cakes are cooked.

To cook the quinoa cakes, heat 2 TBS olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat (I transfered the ragu to a medium-size pot and refrigerated it until it was dinner time);  transfer the cakes to the pan using a wide spatula coated with cooking spray.  Cook 4 – 5 minutes per side, adding 1 – 2 TBS oil as needed after flipping to the other side.

When the cakes are ready, add the parsley and half the mozzarella to the ragu, stirring just until the mozzarella begins to soften.  Plate the cakes, divide the ragu on top each cake, and top with the remaining mozzarella.

Caesar Salad

This recipe does not contain eggs, and is lower in fat than most.  I made this recipe at the end of Passover, hence no croutons, but it would be even more delicious with some good store-bought or home-made croutons.

  • 1 large head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces, washed and dried
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 2 TBS fat-free plain yogurt
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Whisk together (or process in a mini-processor) the garlic through pepper.

Toss with lettuce, then add in cheese and toss again.  If using croutons, toss them in last.

Ricotta Gnocchi with Garlic Oil and Oregano; Escarole with Pine Nuts

by Jennifer

Do NOT be fazed by making Ricotta Gnocchi during the week, IF you’ve made the gnocchi and frozen them ahead of time, which I did.  If you have an hour on a weekend, you can make and freeze gnocchi for during the week.  Serve them with your favorite sauce, or with the garlic oil and oregano.  My son declared, “Mom, this is really delicious”…hopefully you will agree.

Ricotta Gnocchi – adapted from A Fresh Taste of Italy by Michele Scicolone

For some unexplained reason my children do not like lasagne, but they do like gnocchi.  Remember that homemade ricotta I made a few weeks ago?  This is one of my favorite ways to use whatever’s remaining, and it’s great to do ahead.  It takes about an hour (less if you have a helper and can make an assembly line), and you can freeze them for up to a month.   You could serve this with Quick Tomato Sauce, or as I did tonight, with extra-virgin olive oil, garlic and chopped fresh oregano (don’t forget, either way, more freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on top).

This serves 4 adults or, in our case, 2 adults and 3 kids.

  •  1 lb. fresh (homemade!) ricotta
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • about 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
  • freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

To make the gnocchi:  Combine the ricotta and cheese in a large bowl.  Add the flour and mix well;  the mixture with be crumbly.

Using a fork, stir in the 2 eggs.  Begin to bring the dough together into a ball and knead, first in the bowl, then on a lightly floured surface,

kneading until you have a smooth ball, about 5 minutes.  Divide the dough into 8 equal portions.

Working with 1 portion at a time, roll out a rope about 1/2” thick;  cut the rope into about 3/4” pieces.

Dip a fork in flour and use your thumb to roll each piece over the back side of the tines so that one side of each gnocchi has the imprint of the tines, and the other side is concave from your thumb.

Place the gnocchi on a dishcloth-lined baking sheet that’s been dusted with flour, making sure the gnocchi don’t touch.  You can cook them when you’re finished making them, or you can freeze them;  once frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe plastic bag.

To cook them (if frozen, do not defrost), bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Simmer the gnocchi in 2 – 3 batches, dropping in a few at a time so they don’t stick, and stirring gently when they’re in.  When they rise to the surface, let them cook for another minute and then transfer them, using a slotted spoon, to a warmed serving dish.

Combine the oil and garlic cloves in a microwave-safe container;  heat in the microwave on HIGH for 1 minute, and set aside.

When the gnocchi are cooked, remove the garlic cloves and toss the oil and oregano with the gnocchi.  Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Escarole with Pine Nuts – adapted from Gourmet magazine

The original recipe said it served 4 – 6, but honestly, it was so delicious and cooked down so much, it really would serve 3 hungry people.  Next time I’m doubling it.

  •  1 1/2 – 2 lbs. escarole, outer leaves removed, roughly chopped, rinsed well
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 TBS pine nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil;

boil the escarole for 10 minutes, drain.

Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat.  Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring, until they turn light golden, about 1 minute.

Add the garlic and red pepper;  cook, stirring, until the garlic and pine nuts are golden, about 2 minutes.

Add the escarole and toss well to coat and heat through;  when any remaining water from the escarole has evaporated, season with salt and pepper and serve.