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’s always so bittersweet - the end of Summer. I love when the temperatures start to fall and it becomes a little breezier with just the faint reminder of Fall. Things get a little cozier, slower, meals are now cooked vs. assembled. I love Summer produce, but the heat is a lot for me, so I'm always grateful when the humidity starts to let up and I can actually breathe again. But with transition comes loss, and I will miss the full, abundant markets where I have the very specific anxiety of needing to cook with every, single seasonal fruit. One last tomato recipe (while I spend my weekends preserving them), is this simple baked eggs. It’s almost a non-recipe, only requiring a very quick and painless assembly (the only kind of Summer cooking). I still have the remnants of Summer on my counters (lbs of tomatoes, plums), so (luckily) I still have a few more go arounds before it’s all over.
HERBED BAKED EGGS WITH CHERRY TOMATOES & FETA (serves 2) gluten-free
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3-4 chives, sliced thin
- 3-4 sprigs of lemon thyme, de-stemmed and minced
- 3 sprigs of parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/2 small spring or red onion, thinly sliced
- About 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 4 large eggs
- 1 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
- Flaky sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Feta, to serve
- Parsley sprigs, to serve
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare two small baking dishes or ramekins by drizzling a teaspoon of olive oil in each to coat the bottom. Once vegetables & ingredients are prepped, divide garlic, chives, thyme, parsley, onion and tomato every between two dishes. Crack two eggs over top per ramekin, then sprinkle with feta, flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Add ramekins to a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until whites have set and yolks are still soft. Top with with parsley leaves and extra feta, then serve immediately.
In New York, it's been a cold, cold winter this year with no end in sight. Just a few days ago it snowed again, just 24 hours after the "first day of Spring." While I've been subsisting off brothy, meaty soups (obviously comforting in freezing temps), I'm searching for something a little brighter. This soup is just hearty enough for a cold night, but has the freshness of Springtime – or more specifically, Spring weather - is hopefully just around the corner.
If you've never cooked with celery root (or celeriac) – this is your time. It's a root vegetable with the essence of Spring. I know it appears pretty gnarly on the surface, but once you shed its knobby skin, it has such a light, fragrant celery taste that anyone would love. Enjoy this soup warm with good, crusty bread.
CELERY ROOT & PINK LADY APPLE SOUP WITH YOGURT, TOASTED HAZELNUTS & MICROGREENS (Gluten-free, grain-free, vegan opt.)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 leek, cut into half-moons
- 1 small sweet onion, roughly chopped
- 2-3 pink lady or honey crisp apples, peeled & diced
- 1 3/4 lb. celeriac, peeled and diced (about 4 cups chopped)
- 1 medium parsnip, peeled and diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 3-4 sprigs of thyme
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk, or about 1/2 can
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Greek yogurt, to serve
- Microgreens, to serve
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat with olive oil. Add garlic, onion, leek, apple, celery root and parsnip. Sauté for 8-10 minutes, or until onions and leeks begin to soften. Stir in bay leaves, thyme, nutmeg, broth and coconut milk. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer over low heat until celery root, apples & parsnips are completely softened. Season as you go with sea salt and freshly cracked white pepper.
In the meantime, add hazelnuts to a small baking sheet. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until your kitchen smells nutty and hazelnut skins begin to flake off. Set aside to cool. Once hazelnuts are cool enough to touch, rub them between your hands to remove skins (this step can be skipped, but the hazelnut skins will flake off easily and no one wants that in their soup!). Once most of the skins are removed, roughly chop and set aside.
Once soup is soft, use a hand blender or actual blender to puree soup until smooth. Season each bowl with flaky sea salt, white pepper and hazelnuts. Then top with a dollop of yogurt and a handful of microgreens. Serve immediately.