It’s just beginning to feel real Wintry here in NYC. It happens that way each year, where one day, it just gets cold and we begin to hunker down for the Winter ahead. We roast squash and make soup and need to wear socks to bed. It’s a new season and we learn how to submit to it.
In terms of cooking, the warmer and heartier the better. I’ve been making soups like crazy and roasting a whole kabocha squash each week. Some people feel daunted by the produce limitations, but I’ve learned some things over the years to help inspire cold-weather cooking. Besides beans, lentils, etc, I always have preserved tomatoes on hand: canned, chopped, fire-roasted or whatever you like. It’s the simplest thing to keep around that can make cold, Winter nights a little better. I use them in soups, make a quick tomato sauce, a savory braise - the options are endless. We may not have fresh tomatoes, but we wouldn’t want to eat them this time of year anyway. It’s time for baking, braising, roasting - all the warm things in life.
Savory Tomato & Parmesan Crumble (Gluten-free) Serves 8
-This recipe, at its base, is a simple crumble. I used romesco and cannellinni beans, but you could use any veggies or herbs you have on hand and need to get rid of! A few notes, too: you can use all cornmeal instead of cornmeal/corn flour to keep it simple.
- 26 oz. Pomi Chopped Tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 2 teaspoon tamari
- 2 teaspoons sumac
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 small romanesco, chopped into about 1 inch pieces
- 1 (15 oz.) can of cannellinni beans, drained
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 1/3 cup basil, sliced thin or chiffonade
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 4 sprigs marjoram
- 1 1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup corn flour
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 5 sprigs thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk chopped tomatoes together with cornstarch, lemon juice + zest, tamarin, sumac, salt and red pepper flakes. Then, stir in romesco, beans, garlic, shallot and herbs until well combined. Add to 9x9 or similar sized baking dish and set aside.
In another mixing bowl, stir together oats, almond meal, cornmeal and flour, parmesan, thyme and salt. Mix until well combined, then add chilled butter cubes, Using your hands, work together dough - breaking down butter - until mixture looks and feels like oatmeal cookie dough. Add olive oil, and mix in well with your hands, making sure to get all the flour bits at the bottom.
Add crumble evenly over top tomato filling. Bake for exactly 30 minutes or until tomato is bubbling up around the sides and topping is golden browned. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
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It has been quite a heavy month and I’m still (still...) reeling from it all. I’m not ready to talk about it all yet (or here), but I’m looking forward to having a reason to make lots of pies this week. I took a nod from Ashlae of OhLadycakes and have listed some lovely places who need your help, donations or volunteering in the sidebar. (Also there's another great list here)
For now though, I leave you with a comfort food recipe perfect for Thanksgiving and beyond. Hope it brings you some warmth & pleasure this Thanksgiving.
ROASTED KABOCHA WITH WILD MUSHROOMS, QUINOA & LEMON THYME (Serves 2-4) Gluten-free, Vegan
- 4 cups cubed kabocha squash
- 5 sprigs lemon thyme, divided
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 5 shallots, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups mushrooms, mixed & roughly chopped (I used maitake, chanterelle & cremini)
- 4 sprigs marjoram, de-stemmed
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- Micro tatsoi, to top
- Sea salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a foil-lined baking sheet, add cubed kabocha, 2-3 sprigs lemon thyme and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper, then bake for 30-35 minutes of until browned and tender.
While kabocha bakes, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. Add shallots and garlic, stirring often for 5-7 minutes until they begin to break down. Then, add mushrooms (depending on the size of your pan, you might need to do it in two batches) in an even layer making sure they make contact with the pan. Cook until they begin to brown then flip mushrooms to evenly cook. Continue until all mushrooms are cooked.
Then, bring all mushrooms back to the pan over medium high heat, add juice of half the lemon, remaining lemon thyme leaves, marjoram and cooked quinoa. Stir to coat mixture evenly. Cook until herbs begin to wilt and become fragrant. Salt to taste, then remove from heat.
In a serving bowl or platter, layer kabocha and mushrooms/quinoa mixture, then top with the juice of the last lemon half. Top with micro tatsoi then season with flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve warm or room temperature.
: MORE THANKSGIVING IDEAS IN A PINCH:
Last Thursday, I spent the entire day surrounded by people I love while doing the things I enjoy. I prepped, shopped, styled and cooked my heart out, somewhat seamlessly, thanks to insane amounts of listmaking and feverishly re-reading my "hosting tips" post. Everything turned out, my pie-anxiety finally subsided and we feasted on a huge meal followed by too many cocktails.
SALTED CARAMEL APPLE ROSE PIE (Gluten-free) Serves 6
To make crust:
- 2/3 cup brown rice flour
- 1/3 cup oat flour
- 1/4 cup sorghum flour
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon xanthum gum
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold & cubed
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
1. In a large food processor, add flours, powdered sugar, xanthum gum and salt. Pulse a few times until well combined. Carefully add in 1 egg and cold, cubed butter. Pulse until the mixture comes away and forms a dough. Use your hands to form a disk, dust with tapioca starch and wrap in syran wrap. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Once your crust is chilled, roll out your dough between two pieces of parchment paper, making sure to flour EVERYTHING well. I used brown rice flour and sorghum. Roll out to about 10 inches or so, adding more flour if your dough gets sticky. Peel off the top parchment layer, put your (GREASED) pie plate face down on the dough. Hold the pie plate and one hand under the parchment (use help if you have it!) and flip the pie plate right side up, making sure to keep the pie as flat and intact as possible. I did this in one go, so the method worked well for me! Use whatever works for you.
3. Peel off the last sheet of parchment and fit your dough to the pan, using your hands to press into the pan. Choose your favorite pie crust design, I did a "pinch" design, shown visually here, along with other ideas.
To make caramel:
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (maldon)
Combine sugar and water over medium low heat in a medium saucepan until sugar dissolves. Add unsalted butter and bring mixture to a low boil. Let dissolve and keep at a low boil until mixture darkens to a copper color.
(Note: this may take a while, don't turn up the heat! If it's too hot, it will burn and be ruined. Be patient)
Once the mixture reaches it's golden color, remove from heat and slowly pour in heavy cream. The caramel will steam, so be careful -- it's hot. Bring saucepan back to the stove over very low heat and stir in sea salt. After 5 minutes, remove from heat and let cool for at least 30 minutes. (This recipe will make a large amount of caramel, you might have some leftover, but I made extra so I could drizzle on each pie slice upon serving. Plus, if you have leftover apples, you have yourself an indulgent snack.)
To make filling:
6-7 apples, sliced paper thin (I used a mix of granny smith and honeycrisp)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2/3 cup turbinado sugar
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
Using a mandolin, slice your apples into paper thing slices and add to a large mixing bowl. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon and mix very carefully with your hands. Add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Mix again with your hands making sure not to damage your apples (we're making roses here!).
To assemble roses: Lay out about 4-5 apple slices in a line. Once you lay one down, overlap the next one about 1/2 inch and continue doing so for each slice you add (overlapping each just slightly). Then, you will roll up the line of apple slices tightly making sure to carefully keep the "rose" in-tact. Place each rose in your pie and continue until filled! This process takes patience, but it's not hard. Just go slow, and experiment with adding different sizes or colors :)
As soon as you fill your crust with apple roses, drizzle caramel over top and garnish with a pinch of sea salt. Chill the entire pie in the freezer for 25 minutes or so, before baking. While you wait, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Once pie is chilled, add to 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and apples are tender. Be sure to drizzle more caramel over top once pie is cooled and again before serving ;) Serve a la mode or with fresh whipped cream (or both).
CHERRY AND MIXED BERRY OAT WALNUT CRUMBLE (Gluten-free) Serves 6-8
- 12 oz. raspberries
- 10 oz. sweet cherry (fresh, or frozen and thawed)
- 12 oz. blackberry
- 2 teaspoons flour (I used sorghum)
- 4 teaspoons tapioca starch
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt + cinnamon
Add all berries and sweet cherries to a large colander and rinse well. Let drain for at least 25 minutes. Once drained, add fruit to a large mixing bowl. Stir in tapioca starch and flour first, making sure to fold in and coat the mixture well. Then mix in sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Immediately add to a cast-iron skillet and set aside.
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 cup oat flour
- 1/3 cup turbinado sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- Pinch of sea salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, frozen & grated or chilled and cubed
In another large mixing bowl, whisk together all flours well, then add sugars, spices, and salt. Combine well making sure everything is evenly distributed. Add walnuts and grate in frozen stick of butter (if you use chilled butter, cut in butter to the mixture and mix well). Use your hands to mix the topping until butter is evenly distributed and mixture is crumbly. Top your fruit filling with the crumble evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then up the heat to 375 for 10-12 minutes or until topping is browned and fruit is bubbling. Serve warm!