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Photos, Recipes & CookTales For Those Who Enjoy Cooking

Category Archives: vegetable


Serves 2

A CookTale

In our kitchen, Rack of Lamb has it all. Simple to prepare, delicious, as elegant as a food can be, and it goes with almost everything one can think of. Last evening we combined it with two Vegetables prepared with a middle eastern influence. Highly seasoned Roasted Eggplant and Carrots that were marinated in red wine vinegar, EVOO, honey and toasted Cumin seeds. Pretty fancy for a mid-week dinner.

INGREDIENTS For the Rack of Lamb

1 Full Rack of Lamb (bones frenched)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
1 TB of EVOO
2 TB of Pomegranate Molasses


1. Season the Lamb & set aside.

2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

3. Heat a cast iron pan to high, add the EVOO.
Add the Rack, fat side down & cook for about 7 minutes until the fat has formed a crust. Turn & cook for another 2 minutes.

4. Brush the crusted side with the Pomegranate Molasses.

5. Place the pan in the oven & roast for 5 minutes, the internal temperature should be 120 degrees. No more for rare Lamb.

6. Remove and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing the chops apart. Two to three chops per person are the suggested serving.

INGREDIENTS For the Carrots
This adaptation from “Simple Family Meals” by Mario Batali

8 oz of Baby Carrots (cleaned & trimmed)
1/3 C of Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 C of EVOO
1-1/2 TB of Honey
1 Garlic Clove (minced)
1 TB of Cumin Seeds (toasted)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper


1. In 4 quarts of boiling water, add 1 tsp of Salt, the Carrots & simmer until just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain & add to a large bowl.

2. In a small bowl, combine the Vinegar, Garlic, EVOO, Honey & Cumin Seeds & Salt to taste.

3. Add the sauce to the still warm Carrots & gently toss until well mixed. Cover with plastic wrap & & refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.

4. Thirty minutes before serving, remove from the fridge to allow the Carrots to return to room temperature. Season to taste & plate.

INGREDIENTS For the Eggplant

2 Italian Eggplants
2 TB of EVOO
Balsamic Glaze
1 tsp of Aleppo Pepper Flakes (available online)
Kosher Salt & black Pepper


1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

1. Deep score the Eggplant 1″ apart, carefully avoiding cutting too deeply. They mustn’t separate.

2. Add the EVOO, the Balsamic Glaze, Aleppo Pepper & Salt & Pepper.

3. Roast for about 15 minutes until well softened.

Serves 2

A CookTale

We can only find these great Japanese Turnips at our Farmers Market. They alone are worth the vsit, though we always seem to come home with our arms filled with the freshest, just-picked seasonal vegetables.


1 or 2 bunches of small Japanese Turnips,
their Leaves retained
2 TB of Olive Oil (more if required)
2 Garlic Cloves sliced
Salt & fresh Black Pepper
A pinch of Red Pepper Flakes


1. Thoroughly wash & scrub clean the Turnips. Carefully wash away any sand or grit on the Leaves.

2. Snip the Turnips, leaving about an inch of the stem attached, & cut the Leaves into 2-inch pieces. Place the Turnips & the Leaves in separate bowls.

3, In a soup or pasta pot, add the Turnips & enough water to cover. Parboil for about 4 minutes or until the point of a knife can easily penetrate them.

4. Remove & drain them in cold water. Place them in a bowl.

5. Heat a deep sided pan to medium, add 1 TB of Olive Oil, 1 sliced Garlic Clove & a pinch of the Red Pepper Flakes.

6. When the Garlic has lightly browned, add the dampened Leaves & saute until wilted & tender.
if they begin to look dry add a few ounces of water & saute for another minute. Remove to a bowl.

7. Add the other 1 TB of Olive Oil & the remaining Garlic to the same heated pan. When the Garlic has lightly browned, add the Turnips & saute them, tossing occasionally until they are tender. Return the Leaves to the pan & toss it all together.
Adding the extra TB of EVOO to the finished dish is suggested.



Serves 2


12 oz fresh Green Beans
2 TB freshly made Bread Crumbs
2 TB of Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 TB of crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
1-1/2 TB of EVOO
Salt & fresh Pepper to taste


1. Parboil 12oz of Green Beans for 5 minutes.

2. Drain, blot dry & add EVOO. Toss & add Parmesan Bread Crumbs & crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese.

3. Roast in a 450 oven until they’re caramelized & slightly charred. About 15 minutes or to taste.

Serves 2

A CookTale

It’s fun being inventive, though I admit it’s a far cry from being a well-trained cook. As an amateur I believe there’s a place for both, and that’s in the finished plate. Case in point was last evening’s dinner. Two very basic ingredients taken to another level. Classically trained chefs, please forgive me.

INGREDIENTS For Green Beans With Parmesan Bread Crumbs & Gorgonzola Cheese

12 oz fresh Green Beans (stemmed)
2 TB freshly made Bread Crumbs
2 TB Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 TB crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese
1-1/2 TB of EVOO
Salt & fresh Black Pepper to taste


1. Parboil 12oz of Beans for 5 minutes.

2. Drain, blot dry & add the EVOO. Toss & add Parmesan Bread Crumbs & crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese.

3. Roast in a 450 oven until caramelized & slightly charred. About 15 minutes or to taste.

4. Plate & serve.

INGREDIENTS For Pomegranate Molasses Marinated Lamb Chops

2 Loin Lamb Chops 8 oz each
2 TB Pomegranate Molasses
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
1 TB of EVOO


1. Season the Chops & marinate them with Pomegranate Molasses. Set aside for 30 minutes or more.

2. Heat a non-stick grill pan to high. Add the Chops & pan grill for 2-1/2 minutes a side. Do not overcook the

3. Plate with the roasted Green Beans for an easy & delicious combination.


Serves 6

A CookTale

A wonderful dish prepared by Cathie from “Mastering the Fine Art of Cooking” by Julia Childs. It tasted as mouth watering as the photo looks. And it was a perfect partner to the Lamb Stew.


2 lb starchy Potatoes
1 clove unpeeled Garlic
4 TB Butter (if you omit the cheese, 6TB)
1 tp Salt
1/8 tp Pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) grated Swiss Cheese
1 cup boiling Milk or Cream


1. Preheat oven to 425F. Peel the Potatoes & slice them 1/8 inch thick. Place in cold water. Drain until ready to use.

2. Rub the baking dish with cut Garlic. Smear the dish with 1 tablespoon of the Butter.

3) Drain the Potatoes & dry them in a towel. Spread half of them in the bottom of the dish. Divide over them half the Salt, Pepper, Cheese, & Butter.

4) Arrange the remaining Potatoes over the first layer & season. Spread on the rest of the Cheese & divide the Butter over it. Pour on the boiling Milk.

5) Set the baking dish in upper third of preheated oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the Potatoes are tender, the Milk is absorbed, & the top is a golden brown.


Serces 2

A CookTale

In our kitchen Swordfish is a staple. We love the meatiness, the flavor of the sea, and the way it responds when grilled in a sizzling pan. I sound like a broken record when I once again say, do not overcook it! The addition of sauteed Broccoli Rabe with lots of slices of Garlic and a pinch of Red Pepper Flakes, makes a hearty dinner. The side dish of fried Zucchini Blossoms rounds it all out. Making every dinner worth recalling with a smile the next morning is my goal.

RECIPE Swordfish


3/4 of a pound of at least 1 inch thick top grade Swordfish
Sea or Kosher Salt enough for a generous sprinkling
1 tsp of Lemon Pepper+ 1 tsp of Black Pepper
1 tsp of any semi-hot dried Chile
1 TB of EVOO + 1TB for the grill pan
1 TB of fresh Lemon Juice


1. Add the Salt, Pepper, Lemon Pepper, Chile Pepper & EVOO to the Swordfish.
2. Heat a cast iron grill pan to smoking. Add the 1 TB EVOO
3. Add the Swordfish. Pan grill for 2 minutes on 1 side, 1 minute on the other side. You are looking for sear marks. The fish will be rare. For medium rare add 45 seconds a side. (A word to the wise, any further cooking will result in a brick of fish entirely dried out.)
4. Remove & prepare to assemble the plates.

RECIPE The Puttanesca Sauce


1 tsp of Garlic or more, finely chopped
2 Cans of flat Anchovies chopped & their oil
1 Large Onion chopped
1 Fresh hot Chili Pepper or Red Pepper Flakes to taste
1 28 ounce can of Italian Plum tomatoes, if available
San Marzano Tomatoes always preferred
2 tsp of black Pepper
2 tsp of chopped fresh Oregano or 1 tsp of dried
2 TBS of Flat Leaf Parsley finely chopped
1 TBS of Capers drained & rinsed
12 Gaeta Oil Cured or Kalamata Black Olives pitted & cut in quarters

METHOD The Puttanesca Sauce

1. Heat Olive Oil & the Oilin the Anchovy can in a large deep skillet till medium high & saute the Anchovies until melted. Add the chopped Garlic & saute till golden.

2. Saute diced Onion for a few minutes until transparent & tender.
3. Add Tomatoes & their juices, smashing the Tomatoes by squeezing them through your fingers as you apply them to the skillet.
4. Add Chili or Red Pepper Flakes, Pepper, Oregano, Parsley, & rinsed Capers.
5. Cook uncovered at a simmer for 20 minutesor
until the flavors merge. Use your judgment.
6. Add chopped Olives & cook for an additional 5 minutes.
7. Taste & adjust seasonings as desired.

RECIPE For The Broccoli Rabe


1 lb of Broccoli Rabe.
2 Garlic cloves sliced.
Red Pepper flakes (to taste)
2 TB of EVOO
1/4 Cup of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese


1. Wash Broccoli Rabe, trim the stems, remove & save large leaves
2. Steam for 6 minutes, flush in cold water and drain.
3. Cut into small pieces & set aside.
3. Add the EVOO to a deep sided frying pan, when rippling hot saute Garlic & Red Pepper flakes, do not let them burn. Add the Broccoli Rabe. Toss it all together & cook until the mixture is softened to taste. Add a few ounces of water if the pan gets too dry. Set aside.

Serves 2

A CookTale

The Lamb Chops were from The Smokehouse of the Catskills. The Mushrooms from Wilbank Mushroom Farm. The Mint from our Garden. Put them all together and you have dinner.
Marinating the uncooked Lamb Chops in a dilution of Pomegranate Molasses and water adds to their flavor as well as providing attractive grill marks to the meat. Years ago I learned about the benefit of combining Pomegranate Molasses with Lamb Chops. I highly recommended this as a marinade, and be sure to dilute it, as in full strength it’s extremely rich and thick. The Mushrooms were simply sauteed in EVOO and Butter.

INGREDIENTS For Lamb Chops & Marinade

2 Loin Lamb Chops (each 8 ounces & 1-1/4″ thick)
Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
1/4 Cup of Pomegranate Molasses (available online & in specialty stores)
1 Ounce of Water


1. Whisk together the Pomegranate Molasses & Water.
2. Season the Lamb Chops, place in a deep dish & coat
with the diluted Pomegranate Molasses.
3. Marinate for 1 hour or as long as overnight in the fridge.
4. Heat a grill pan to high, add a TB of Olive Oil & add the chops.
5. Grill for 1-1/2 minutes & turn diagonally for another 1 minute. Turn the chops & repeat. The Lamb will have cooked for a total of 5 minutes. It will be charred on the outside & pink in the middle, as it should be.

RECIPE Mint Pesto

A CookTale

As an alternative to good old Basil Pesto, give Mint a try. It even works in combination with Basil. As you know the flavor of Mint in conjuction with other herbs add brightness. There are 25 types of Mint. Any one of the available types works.
Here is the version used in last evening’s dinner.


1/2 Cup of Pine Nuts (toasted)
2 Garlic Cloves (peeled)
2 TB of Parmesan Cheese (grated)
1 Small Jalapeno Pepper
1/2 tsp of Salt 1/2 tsp of Pepper
2 Cups of Mint Leaves
2 TB of fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup of EVOO


1. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a food processor. Using the on/off button process until the mixture is smooth.
2. Add the Mint Leaves & the Lemon Juice, process until smooth. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. Add the EVOO gradually & process until the Mint Pesto is creamy & smooth.

RECIPE Shiitake & Oyster Mushroom Saute


8 Ounces of the Mushrooms
2 Garlic Cloves minced
1 tB of EVOO + 1 TB of Butter
Salt & Black Pepper


1. Stem the Shiitakes & slice the Oysters.
2. Heat a saute pan to high, & add the Garlic.
3. Add the Mushrooms & saute until lightly browned, & look ready to serve. They will be delicious.