Perfect pumpkin: Pumpkin and green lentil tagine

November 6, 2013

Pumpkin Tagine

A couple of weeks ago when I walked by a huge pile of sugar pumpkins at the grocery, I couldn’t help myself. I picked one up. In the back of my mind I had this tagine on my mind – green lentils, chunks of pumpkin, spicy harissa paste. Luckily these little pumpkins keep for a while, so it was my sole Halloween decoration for a week or so, before I gutted it and made it dinner.

Sugar pumpkins have a similar texture to butternut squash, which would work just as well for this recipe. I expected the recipe to turn out super spicy due to the harissa, but when I started cooking I realized only a minuscule amount was called for. Of course, I fixed that! (more…)

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Carrots with Taleggio Cheese

November 14, 2012

Carrots with Taleggio Cheese

How do I describe these carrots? Savory. Cheesy. Souffle-like speckled with bits of orange. My months-long obsession with this picture didn’t set me up only to let me down. This recipe is one that exceeded my expectations and brought a hush over the Thanksgiving dinner table as everyone dug in.

Let’s back up a moment. What is taleggio cheese? It’s an Italian cheese made from cow’s milk that is soft. While its rind looks and smells a bit funky, the inside yields a mild-yet-still-full flavor. The fat content, at 48%, tells you how happy this is going to make your taste buds. Those Northern Italians know what they’re doing.

The recipe is quite simple, though the fact that you will need to chop a lot of carrots and cook them two ways adds on a bit of time. If you’re making these for Thanksgiving (they also make a great steak-dinner side), I would suggest prepping the night before by at least slicing the carrots and grating the cheese. (more…)

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Wild Rice with Shaved Brussels Sprouts

November 6, 2012

Wild Rice with Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Many moons ago, I made a wild rice stuffing for my turkey that was delicious. However, this post is not about that. It’s about the leftover box of wild rice I’ve had sitting in my cupboard for those many moons (7 years!). While rice going bad isn’t something that I had ever really thought of, I was kind of surprised when I opened it and no weird odors or growths appeared. Then I moved onward with my plans to make a delectable rice laced with crisp green veggie slivers.

California wild rice is black, with a somewhat nutty, somewhat earthy flavor, and a texture that is the epitome of “toothsome”. And it’s fuss-free. “Add water to pot with rice. Boil. Drain.” are pretty much the instructions on the box. As a girl who often burned pots of rice dry, I can get on board with these directions. (more…)

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