Winter Recipes

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Oven Roasted Tomato Risotto Recipe Recipe

The summer weather in the Bay Area hasn't been so great this year, and on top of that, an infestation of gophers in our garden forced us to grow fewer tomatoes in small planters this year. Not only are there fewer varieties, but because of the lack of heat the plants have not been all that prolific. I gathered a couple of handfuls of the few ripe cherry tomatoes I could find and I was determined to do something special with them.

To start, I slowly roasted them in the oven. I could have stopped there and just served them in a salad, but I opted to make my husband's favorite comfort food: risotto. Risotto is extraordinarily versatile (I've developed multiple variations) and perfect for any occasion. For this version, I used Carnaroli rice, which holds its shape better than Arborio rice. For a bit more texture, I mixed in melon-seed macaroni (similar rice-shaped pasta). The combination has a creamy mouthfeel, so no heavy cream is necessary. I colored the dish with sharp yellow Cheddar cheese and served it to all the vegetarians in the house. I think it ended up being a perfect send off for the fruits of our labor.


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Broccoli Puree (Mashed Broccoli) Recipe

Mashed potatoes are my guilty pleasure. I've flavored them in the past with garlic, pesto, plaintains, olives and purple sweet potatoes, just to name a few. This time, I used broccoli. It complements the flavor and gives a beautiful color to the purée.

My favorite way to make this dish is to simply mash them using a potato masher, then add milk, cream and lots of butter. It might not be the healthiest approach, but it's certainly the most delicious for creamy mashed potatoes


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Lentil Pasta Soup Recipe Recipe

Lentil Pasta Soup Recipe

02.18.11 by Jackie

My father-in-law, like my husband Lulu, is a vegetarian. One of his favorite meals is kali dal. Because of this, we often have leftover cooked black lentils. As usual, we still had some left last night, so I decided that this time it would not go to waste.

Lentils are packed with protein, so today I created a complete meal by adding pastina pasta and a few vegetables. For more contrast in color, you could add some greens such as spinach. I stuck to carrots, celery and leeks. The result is a delicious, spicy lentil pasta soup.


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How to Cook Swiss Chard: Vegetable Gratin Recipe Recipe

Swiss chard, called blette in French, is a very common winter vegetable.  One of the best way to fight the cold weather winter brings (I'm in Paris right now and it's freezing, literally) is to make a vegetable gratin, and swiss chard makes an excellent gratin.

The preparation is ultra simple. Swiss chard is chopped, sautéed with onions, covered with cheesy white sauce, then baked until golden. It's as easy as 1-2-3. Happy holidays, everyone! Keep warm!


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Tomato Risotto Recipe Recipe

Tomato Risotto Recipe

12.21.10 by Jackie

This version of tomato risotto has a decidedly Indian sensibility. I flavored the rice with tomato chutney as I recently did with an Indian-inspired asparagus pie. The flavors from the chutney are so bold that no other spices and very little salt are needed. I just added chopped sun-dried tomatoes as garnish.

Making risotto takes a little bit of practice to begin with, but once you've worked on your fundamentals, you can start to use the basic recipe and create dozens of different variations. I've stuffed artichokes with risotto, paired pistachio pesto with celery risotto, stuffed it in zucchini flowers, made a roasted beet and ricotta cheese version, and also a rather unconventional risotto with bamboo; the list of adaptations is truly endless.


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