Artichoke tapenade with rosemary oil

Have you been asked to bring appetizers to Thanksgiving? Want to move beyond a pre-made vegetable-and-dip plate from the grocery store? Feel that hummus, however delicious, isn’t quite special enough? Worried that bringing good cheese for 15 will break the bank?

Here’s the plan: run to the store for canned artichokes, olives, capers, and lemon. Heat some oil and infuse with rosemary. Then whirl everything together in the food processor to make this glorious, earthy, herby artichoke dip. Put in a couple of pretty bowls, bring a few baguettes, and your job is done. Everyone will love you for it.

Continue reading “Artichoke tapenade with rosemary oil”

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Shakshouka

Shakshouka: what is there not to love?

This egg-and-tomato dish nails the sweet spot between interesting (goodbye, bland weekend fry-ups; hello, cumin and za’atar) and quick (because one shouldn’t have to work too hard for the first meal of the day). It can be weekend brunch or weeknight dinner. It can be a survivor meal: so long as you have a can of tomatoes, eggs, an onion, cumin, and pepper flakes, you’re good to go. But you can also do it up: add red peppers, greens, cheese, and more spices. It bursts with umami, thanks to the tomatoes. It involves runny egg yolks—or not, if that’s not your thing. Its dregs beg to be sopped up with good bread or toasted pita. It can be scaled down to serve just one or up to serve a crowd.

Try this just once–and then watch it become part of your repertoire. Continue reading “Shakshouka”

Squash toasts with goat’s cheese and caramelized onions

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It is (still) winter–indeed, still February. Winter squash season has been going strong for five months. In October, it was exciting. Turning on the oven! In November, I still happily tossed roasted squash into salads and soups. In December, I stirred it into a big chickpea curry, served with cardamom-scented rice.

But now, in February, the act is getting old. Turn on the oven, again?

And yet for this recipe, you’ll want to. Crumble some goat’s cheese (or feta, or ricotta) onto a thick, crusty piece of bread. Turn on that oven. Roast squash, then pile on top of bread along with sweet caramelized onions. Sprinkle with mint to brighten things up, and call it dinner. Continue reading “Squash toasts with goat’s cheese and caramelized onions”