Arsip Tag: baked

my old-school baked ziti – smitten kitchen

The night before I went to the hospital to have this little nugget, in one last burst of frenetic nesting — a tornado of focused, effective energy I sorely miss in these early months — I decided to do something so practical, I’m still patting myself on the back for it: I made a big volume of lazy baked ziti and divide it into three dishes, two that went into the freezer. I have not been this productive or effective since.

making the gravy
add some greens

I’ve said this before, but there’s honestly very little reason you need to cook in New York City. You can get everything and anything you want, even healthier fare, delivered hot, often at a reasonable price with no advanced planning. So, if you’re going to be crazy like me and cook, you’ve got to have another reason to do it. Previously, I’d made the argument that a really great reason to do so is out of inherent persnicketiness; to pick the dish nobody else makes the way you like it and set out to master it at home, so you can eat what you want most of all. But upon coming home from the hospital with this easily-reheated, unequivocally comforting and loved by the whole family dish in the freezer, I found a new reason: normalcy. Sure, we’d upended my son’s life with an invader, sure, nothing would ever be exactly the same again, but there we were, sitting at the same table with the same people at 6 p.m. a few days after she was born, eating the same food we had a few days before she was born, and it kind of felt like we might just pull this whole thing off. (And we did again! Like, two months later, oof.)

half in
cheese, then more cheese

For someone with a lot of opinions about baked ziti — down with baked ricotta! down with jarred sauce! — it’s rather rude that I’ve never shared the version I make when I actually make it. It’s spectacularly simple and lazy, just like me most nights, and it makes what always feels like a truckload, if a truckload = definitely three dinners for three nights for three people, and then some. It’s not hideously rich, nor is it abstemious. It’s quite flexible, should you choose to opt out of meat and add more vegetables. And while I still have not come around to the idea of baking ricotta into a pasta dish — the texture, it gets weird, I just can’t — I absolutely adore having a great big dollop on the side, cold, fresh and slightly rich, the way it was always meant to be.*

old-school baked ziti
old-school baked ziti

But enough about the practicality, the texture, the greens and all the feels, let’s talk about what really matters: how are the corners? Tell me about the edges! And the answer is: I will not. I do not share them, so don’t even ask.

old-school baked ziti

* Psst: Go ahead and buy the big tub because when I had no choice but to, I found a fun way to use the rest, coming up next.

One year ago: Better Chicken Pot Pies
Two years ago: Frico Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Three years ago: Spaghetti with Broccoli Cream Pesto and Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Four years ago: Apple Pie Cookies
Five years ago: Mushroom Lasagna
Six years ago: Quiche Lorraine
Seven years ago: Black and White Cookies, Summer’s Last Hurrah Panzanella
Eight years ago: Peanut Butter Brownies and Arroz Con Pollo
Nine years ago: Lemon Cake

My Old-School Baked Ziti

A few notes: To make this without meat, as I’m not personally into meat substitutes, I would use a pound or so of sliced mushrooms instead to make this vegetarian. To freeze, you can freeze this unbaked and once defrosted, bake it in the oven as directed. You could also freeze it after baking, and just defrost and rewarm it, but that leads to softer noodles because they get warmed/cooked an extra time. Finally, if you really really like those crispy edges (I do!), I find if you use a round or oval dish and ziti noodles (with straight ends) vs. penne noodles (which usually have angled ends), it especially leaves jagged edges, more prone to crisping. It also helps to just pour the pasta mix into the dish, not press it into the corners.

Glug of olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped small
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground beef or Italian sausage, casings removed
28-ounce can whole tomatoes with juices, chopped by you, or crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 pound pasta, cooked al dente and drained
3/4 pound mozzarella, coarsely grated
2/3 cup finely grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
1/4 pound (4 ounces) baby spinach or a few handfuls of another green, cut into thin ribbons
To serve: Dollops of your favorite ricotta and slivers of basil leaves, if desired

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cook pasta until quite al dente, or 2 minutes less than the suggested cooking time. (Please. It will keep cooking in the sauce, then in the oven and mushy pasta makes me sad.) Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, then drain pasta.

Heat large sauté pan — if yours is ovenproof, you can even use it as you final baking vessel — over medium heat. Coat with glug of olive oil, and heat oil. Add meat and cook with onion, garlic, oregano, pepper flakes, and salt over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until meat is browned; stirring frequently. If you’re using plain ground beef versus sausage meat, you’re going to really want to season this well. Don’t be shy with the salt and pepper.

Add crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste. If it’s become quite thick, stir in reserved pasta water. Add spinach and cook until wilted, just another minute. Stir in drained pasta and heat together for one minute.

Pour half of pasta mixture into a 9×13-inch baking dish, lasagna pan, or other 3-quart baking vessel (or divide among smaller ones, if you’d like to freeze some off). Sprinkle with half of each cheese. Pour remaining pasta and sauce over, and finish with remaining cheese. Bake in heated oven for 30 minutes.

If you wish, you can run the dish under your broiler for a minute or two for an extra-bronzed lid right before serving.

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baked potatoes with wild mushroom ragù – smitten kitchen

Prior to last week, I only liked baked potatoes two ways and the first was so weird, I usually had the decency to keep it to myself. Many years ago, I had an internship a couple blocks from a lunch place with a baked potato sub-menu, full of odd and awesome topping combinations. My favorite involved a marinated tomato-pepper salad, avocado, cheese and — yesss — ranch dressing and it was amazing and wonderful and stop looking at me like that because I have missed and longed for it since. The second way I like baked potatoes is equally troublesome, the classic with “the works” involving heaps of cheese, butter, sour cream, bacon, chives and blood pressure medication. I no longer eat them the first way because the sandwich shop is 250 miles from here and also it has since closed; I usually resist eating them the second way because if I’m going to have all of the fat and calories of a golden, glistening and salted pile of French fries, I’d rather have them in said French fry format.

what else you'll need
cook the mushrooms down

But last Monday, me, my 3 month-old and 73 month-old fell for some gorgeous 18 hour-old oyster mushrooms at the Greenmarket and, on a hunt to do something special with them, I came across a recipe for a baked potato with mushroom ragù in Food & Wine that sounded delicious and a little fancy and I had to.

wild mushroom ragù
slit the potatoes
fluff with fork

The recipe was about 15 ways a headache — 4 pounds of mushrooms and adding onions near the end to a dry pan were among my grievances — that I was too sleep-deprived to see coming, but the results made a fine and a little luxurious weeknight meal with crumbled goat cheese and a bonus broccoli roast on the side. I’ve adjusted the steps and volumes to something that would have worked better the first time, which will come in hand the next time, which will be soon, because jacket weather calls for jacket potatoes, don’t you think?

piling on the mushrooms
baked potatoes with wild mushroom ragù

Baked potato iterations, previously Twice-Baked Potatoes with Kale and Baked Potato Soup

One year ago: Homemade Harissa
Two years ago: Lazy Pizza Dough + Favorite Margherita Pizza
Three years ago: Apple Mosaic Tart with Salted Caramel
Four years ago: Cumin Seed Roasted Cauliflower with Yogurt
Five years ago: Cauliflower and Parmesan Cake
Six years ago: Apple Cider Doughnuts
Seven years ago: My Family’s Noodle Kugel and Meatballs and Spaghetti
Eight years ago: Gluten-Free Chocolate Financiers
Nine years ago: Wild Mushroom and Stilton Galette

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Maple Pudding Cake
1.5 Years Ago: Baked Eggs with Spinach and Mushrooms
2.5 Years Ago: Bee Sting Cake
3.5 Years Ago: Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Rabe
4.5 Years Ago: Heavenly Chocolate Cake Roll

Baked Potatoes with Wild Mushroom Ragù
Adapted a little generously from Food & Wine

4 baking potatoes (about 2 pounds)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms, wild are wonderful, but sliced cremini or white mushrooms will also work
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup white wine or vermouth, or 1/4 cup sherry or marsala (optional)
1/2 cup vegetable or beef broth, plus a splash or two extra if needed
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
4 ounce-log soft goat cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives or flat-leaf parsley, to finish

Heat oven to 425°F. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork and rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place on rack and bake for 1 hour, or until tender in center when pierce with a skewer.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, melt the 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened, about 8 minutes. Turn heat to high, add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms brown, then release their juices and cook them off, about 10 minutes. Add wine, if using, scrape up any bits stuck to pan. Cook until evaporated. Add broth and thyme and bring to a simmer. Stir in final tablespoon of butter until melted. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Slit the potatoes and fluff the insides with a fork. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper, a few goat cheese crumbles, a ladleful of the mushrooms and chives. Serve with extra mushrooms and goat cheese on the side.

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baked alaska + smitten kitchen turns 10!

baked alaska + smitten kitchen turns 10!…

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crusty baked cauliflower and farro – smitten kitchen

The original recipe has you saute the cauliflower in 2 parts with 3 tablespoons of olive oil each for 5 to 6 minutes to get the florets lightly browned and tender. I got away with using less oil but it never really got tender and I’m fairly convinced that roasting would be more hands-off and get a better flavor, so I’m suggesting this as an alternative below. I’d be hesitant to boil or steam, although it is faster, because the extra liquid wouldn’t be welcome here.

  • 1 cup (210 grams) dried farro
  • 3 cups water or broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pound (1 to 1 1/8 kgs) head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 tablespoons capers (brine-packed), drained
  • 2 large or 3 regular cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 cups (6 ounces or 170 grams) coarsely grated, lightly packed Italian Fontina (Val d’Aosta variety, if you can find it) (buy about 8 ounces with rind)
  • 1/2 cup (125 grams) ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup (25 grams) panko (plain Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
  • 1/3 cup (30 grams) finely grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

Cook farro: Rinse and drain farro. There are many, many ways to cook farro and any of them work here. You can follow the package directions on any farro you buy for best results.

On the stove: If you plan to cook this on the stove and want to save time, you can presoak the grains overnight in their 3 cups of liquid and they should then cook in only 10 minutes of simmering. Otherwise, simmer the farro in water or broth for about 30 minutes, until quite tender. Drain any excess liquid. Transfer farro to large bowl.

In a rice-cooker: I cook mine on the quick setting and have been very happy with the results. Drain any excess liquid once the farro is tender. Transfer farro to large bowl.

Meanwhile, parcook cauliflower:

In the oven: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush a large baking sheet with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread florets in one layer, drizzle with 1 more tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 20 minutes until lightly browned and crisp-tender (they will finish baking with the farro). Reduce heat to 400 degrees.

One the stove: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add half the cauliflower and cook, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned and tender, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add to bowl with farro. Repeat with more olive oil and second half of cauliflower, then add to bowl. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Assemble casserole: Add the sage, capers, garlic, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to cauliflower and farro and stir to combine. Stir in fontina. Transfer half of the mixture to an oiled 10-inch ovenproof frying pan or equivalent baking dish. Dollop rounded tablespoons of ricotta all over. Sprinkle remaining cauliflower and farro over the ricotta, leaving the pockets of it undisturbed.

In a small dish, combine panko with pecorino, parlsey and 1 tablespoon olive oil until evenly mixed. Sprinkle over cauliflower and farro.

Bake casserole: For 20 minutes, until browned and crusty on top. Dig in.

Do ahead: Farro can be cooked up to 3 days in advance, kept in an airtight container in fridge. Cauliflower can be cooked 2 days in advance. Casserole can be assembled and baked a day later, easily, although the crumbs might lose their crisp from absorbing the moisture below if not added right before baking. Casserole keeps for several days in fridge and longer in freezer.

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baked buffalo wings – smitten kitchen

My friend Art Bovino is obsessed with Buffalo wings. (I can hear you saying “SAME,” by the way.) He’s so obsessed that he spent a lot of time in Buffalo over the last couple years learning everything he could about them so he could write a book, and ended up having so much to say, he wrote two. The first, Buffalo Everything, came out last August and it’s a guide to eating in the city, takes us to bars, old-school Polish and Italian-American eateries, Burmese restaurants and newer farm-to-table cafes. The second, The Buffalo New York Cookbook, came out a few months later and teaches us how to make all of the food he fell in love with at home, from beef on weck, chicken finger subs, sponge candy, Tom & Jerrys, frozen custard, and, of course, all of the Buffalo wings you could ever dream of. He talks to the restaurants that lay a claim to creating them and others that just made them more famous or delicious. He talks to the masters. He learns the rules. He learns technique. He learns niche trivia (did you know that the “flats” of wings actually have more meat than the “drumettes?” I didn’t either!) And while not everyone agrees on everything, they all agree on this: baked Buffalo wings are a pale and unacceptable imitation of the real thing.

Meh, I say. You just haven’t made great ones. These are.

toss with salt and baking powderready to dry out overnightblue cheese saucebutter and hot sauce

Look, I’m not saying they’re as quick. Roasting always takes longer than frying, and these take the prep a step further, too. In a technique beloved by both my friend Art Bovino and The Food Lab’s J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, the day before you want to make your wings, you toss them in a mixture of salt (forming a dry brine that locks in moisture) and baking powder (which creates more deeply browned wings and a craggy surface that makes the sauce cling beautifully, reminiscent of deep-fried wings) and spread them out in the fridge overnight (to dry the surface, so they crisp up faster when they roast) and then, before you’re ready to eat them, blast them in the oven at high heat for about 50 minutes.

crispy oven wings
roll it in the saucw

What emerges is truly glorious: browned, crispy, craggy-surfaced, well-seasoned wings that spice-averse children will eat like the best chicken nuggets, ever, and that adults will toss in that butter-hot sauce mixture that makes them magical. Blue cheese dressing, thick enough for dipping, is not optional in my household, and neither are a heap of chopped vegetables (for balance, but also extinguishing tastebuds when you overdo it on the Frank’s RedHot). Despite the overnight wait, these are so easy to make, so delicious and so much less over-the-top than the originals, we’ve made it a regular thing and exactly nobody is unhappy about this.

oven buffalo wings
oven buffalo wings


One year ago: Banana-Oat Weeknday Pancakes
Two years ago: An Easier Way To Make Cookies
Three years ago: Leek, Ham, Cheese and Egg Bake and Spaghetti Pie with Pecorino and Black Pepper
Four years ago: Fried Egg Salad and Caramelized Onion and Gruyere Biscuits
Five years ago: Homemade Dulce de Leche and Cheese Blintz
Six years ago: Intensely Chocolate Sables and Pasta with White Beans and Garlic-Rosemary Oil
Seven years ago: Potato Chip Cookies
Eight years ago: Chocolate Peanut Spread (Peanutella)
Nine years ago: Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions and Ricotta Muffins
Ten years ago: Bittersweet Chocolate and Pear Cake and Chicken Milanese + An Escarole Salad
Eleven years ago: Leek and Swiss Chard Tart and Key Lime Cheesecake
Twelve years ago: Icebox Cake

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Minimalist Barbecue Sauce
1.5 Years Ago: German Chocolate Cake + A Wedding Cake
2.5 Years Ago: Blackberry Cheesecake Galette and Eggplant with Yogurt and Tomato Relish
3.5 Years Ago: Tomato and Fried Provolone Sandwich
4.5 Years Ago: Grilled Peach Splits and Summer Squash Gratin with Salsa Verde

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baked brie with balsamic red onions – smitten kitchen

Despite my deep affection for cheese, to the point that one of my favorite things to do on a New York City weekend is to dip into Murray’s and treat us to something crumbly or aged or rich and runny, I don’t love cheese plates. It feels really good to get this off my chest. At first, it was just a budget issue; I still feel the sticker shock from the first time I tried to put together one of those cute boards with five or six different wedges on them, plus the crackers, breads, pickles, dried fruit, toasted almonds, olives, cured meats, and all of the other minimum requirements of our latter-day horns of plenty. But I was also put off by the waste. Even though so much went unfinished, the leftovers were unsalvageable, as fingers, forks, knives, and crumbs got into everything (a particularly shuddering thought in the age of Covid). Instead, when people come over, or what I remember of it, I prefer to focus on one or two decadent, attention-grabbing things and nothing grabs attention on a cold winter day like warm, runny cheese.

NEW: Watch me make this baked brie on YouTube!

make a flaky galette doughwilt onions in butterbalsamic jammy red onionsassembly, not cutebrush with egg washready to bake

Baked brie was all the entertaining rage in the 1970s and 80s. Nothing was more glamorous but accessible, an imported cheese that everyone knew and could pronounce. But as Americans got more sophisticated about imported cheese — manchego! Humboldt Fog! — in a crushing fall from grace, brie became the opposite of chic. And this is where my interest piqued — dated and unhip, you say? Where can I sign up?

baked brie with balsamic red onions

Thus, this is baked brie, my way. First, I use my easy galette dough for a flaky pastry that tastes a million times better than most frozen puffed pastry and requires no extra grocery store trip. I’ve never been a fan of the sweet compotes and fruity jams usually paired with brie, but I love a thin layer sweet-sour jammy red onions under and over the cheese — here, softened in butter, then wilted down further with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar. A paper-thin slick of smooth Dijon mustard offsets the sweetness, a sprinkling of thyme gives it an herbal element, a scattering of sesame seeds on top adds a little extra crackle, or you can skip all three and it’s still delicious. Brie — and yes, even commercial, grocery store brie works well here — is attainably-priced and even the basic stuff warms up beautifully, so no need to splurge here. Plus, it often comes in 8-ounce rounds, absolutely perfect for our tiny, at-home New Years celebrations this week to send 2020 packing.

baked brie with balsamic red onions

The Year In Smitten Kitchen

Best of 2020 on Smitten Kitchen

I love looking up which recipes you cooked the most each year, and could anything be more apt for 2020 than an Ultimate Banana Bread? In a year with so much none of us liked, a bright spot for me was the way the simplicity of our Covid pantries nudged me towards simpler, core recipes in previous years I foolishly dismissed as not interesting enough. You know what’s interesting? Crispy crumbled potatoes, schmaltzy roast chicken, and what I hope will be the last classic vegetable lasagna you’ll ever need. And speaking of pantries, I wrote about how I “organize” (spoiler: it’s not) my SK pantry over here and while not a recipe, it was one of the most-read posts this year. You can view all top 16 recipes from this page or individually below.


Previously: Best of 2019, Best of 2018 (Savory, Sweet), Best of 2017 (Savory, Sweet), Best of 2016 (Savory, Sweet).

Happy New Year, friends. Thank you for spending some of your time with me.



6 months ago: Dulce de Leche Chocoflan
1 year ago: Banana Toffee Cake
2 year ago: Baklava Babka
3 years ago: Dutch Apple Pie
4 years ago: Homemade Irish Cream
5 years ago: Eggnog Waffles
6 years ago: Jelly Doughnuts and Endives with Orange and Almonds
7 years ago: Linzer Torte and Breakfast Slab Pie
8 years ago: Cashew Butter Balls
9 years ago: Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce
10 years ago: Iced Oatmeal Cookies and Broiled Mussels
11 years ago: Vanilla Roasted Pears and Creamed Mushrooms on Chive-Butter Toast
12 years ago: Cranberry-Vanilla Coffee Cake and Seven-Layer Cookies
13 years ago: Espresso-Chocolate Shortbread Cookies and Peanut Butter Cookies
14 years ago: Boozy Baked French Toast and Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti

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baked feta with tomatoes and chickpeas – smitten kitchen

baked feta with tomatoes and chickpeas – smitten kitchen

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Listen, this will surprise nobody at all, but I am not trendy. I am deeply uncool and I prefer it this way. It puts expectations right where they belong — low; no, lower, please. But I am not immune to TikTok. I, um, love TikTok, it’s my favorite time suck. Through it, I’ve learned so much about even more ways I can be uncool. Side parts! Laugh-cry emojis! It’s a whole thing. So is this baked feta, which is a spin on a baked pasta that’s been going viral the last few weeks. It began with a recipe developed by Finnish food blogger Jenni Häyrinen called “Uunifetapasta,” which translates to oven-baked feta pasta. It’s an older recipe (2019 is “old” in TikTok) but it caught on again because tomatoes and feta are timeless. I like that it uses cherry tomatoes, which are obviously not as great in the winter as they are in the summer, but are surprisingly good year-round when roasted. You’ll see.

what you'll needready to bake

Now please don’t get upset, we all have our things, I just don’t really love feta with pasta, unless it’s a pasta salad, or sometimes orzo. I think it’s absolutely perfect, however, with beans, especially chickpeas, which hold up well to this heartier preparation. As a person who is always in need of lunch inspiration that’s not whatever my kids didn’t finish, this was perfect for yesterday, a day I grabbed the ingredients in the morning — our grocery store was suspiciously low on feta and cherry tomatoes I’m absolutely here for it — and we scooped it throughout the afternoon onto focaccia (this, halved and baked thin in a 9×13-inch pan), so grateful for the fresh idea.

baked feta with tomatoes and chickpeasbaked feta with tomatoes and chickpeas

The recipe is incredibly flexible — you could add some thin onion slices instead of in addition to the garlic; you could use more chili pepper or less; you could use a softer chèvre instead of feta; you can roast the tomatoes longer, until they’re saucier. You could add rice or farro instead of pasta or chickpeas. You could halve your tomatoes so they break down more — I did this with half of them, but the original recipe calls for them intact. I suspect that some will balk at the 1/2 cup of olive oil but I encourage you to use it to create the confit effect that carries that most flavor through the ingredients. I hope it inspires you, too.

baked feta with tomatoes and chickpeas



6 months ago: Whole Lemon Meringue Pie Bars
1 year ago: New Classic Wedding Cake + How-To
2 years ago: Bodega-Style Egg-and-Cheese Sandwich
3 year ago: Stromboli and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
4 years ago: Guacamole and Broccoli Pizza
5 years ago: Banana Puddings with Vanilla Bean Wafers and Taco Torte
6 years ago: Charred Cauliflower Quesadillas and Chocolate Oat Crumble
7 years ago: Garlicky Party Bread with Herbs and Cheese and Fennel and Blood Orange Salad
8 years ago: Egg Salad with Pickled Celery and Coarse Dijon and Salted Caramel Brownies
9 years ago: Cheddar, Beer, and Mustard Pull-Apart Bread
10 years ago: Roast Chicken with Dijon Sauce and Mushroom and Farro Soup and Meatball Subs with Caramelized Onions
11 years ago: Mixed Citrus Salad with Feta and Mint and Edna Mae’s Sour Cream Pancakes and New York Deli Rye Bread
12 years ago: Flaky Blood Orange Tart and Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad
13 years ago: Rigatoni with Eggplant Puree and Matzo Ball Soup and Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares
14 years ago: Miniature Soft Pretzels and Sour Cream Bran Muffins

Baked Feta with Tomatoes and Chickpeas

  • 8-ounce (225-gram) block feta
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pints (3 to 4 cups) cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 a red chili pepper, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs (parsley, cilantro, mint, dill, basil, or rosemary, or a mix)
  • Flatbread or toasted pita wedges (gluten-free, if needed), for serving
Heat oven to 400°F.

Place feta in the middle of a 9×13-inch or other 3-quart baking dish. Pour olive oil over it and around the pan. Add tomatoes to the olive oil. Sprinkle tomatoes with garlic, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few grinds of black pepper and toss to coat with oil. Scatter chili pepper over feta.

Roast for 15 minutes, until tomatoes begin to release some juices. Add chickpeas to tomatoes around the feta, plus more salt and pepper, stirring to coat them with the oil. Return pan to the oven and roast for another 10 minutes or until tomatoes are as juicy as you’d like them to be.

Transfer the dish to the broiler part of your oven, or crank the oven heat as high as it goes. Broil for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the tomatoes and feta take on a little color.

To serve/eat, you can stir the softened feta into the tomato-chickpea mixture or you can do as I did, and leave it intact in the center, spooning some with each serving of the chickpeas and tomatoes. Scatter with herbs.


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baked farro with summer vegetables – smitten kitchen

Farro cooking times can vary. Written here is for what’s most common in stores near me, semi-pearled. The package should give you an indication of cooking time, which roughly matches the time in the oven, plus another 10 minutes. I.e. a package that says it will take 30 minutes to cook will take 30 to 40 to bake. If yours says 45 or 50 minutes, expect the oven portion to take longer here. If you’re using 5-minute farro, you might find you need less water and, of course, less cooking time. In some cases, the farro needs more water to cook; I give you an indicator in the recipe just in case.

  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kernels cut from 2 ears of corn (about 2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) zucchini or other summer squash (about 4 medium), quartered lengthwise and sliced thin
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium/large roma tomatoes (about 1 pound), diced (about 2 1/3 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 cup (210 grams) uncooked (semi-pearled) farro (see Note)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, diced
  • 2/3 cup (2 ounces) parmesan cheese, finely grated
If you have an ovenproof 11-inch or 4-quart pan with a lid, use it here. If not, use a large (11- to 12-inch) sauté pan for the stove portion and transfer it to a 3- to 4-quart baking dish for the oven part.

On the stove, heat pan to medium-high. Once hot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Let the oil warm and add corn. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and many grinds of black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn is lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Tip corn into a large bowl.

Return the pan to medium-high heat and warm 2 more tablespoons olive oil. Add half of zucchini and 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper to taste, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is tender and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add to bowl with corn and repeat with more olive oil, salt, pepper, and second half of zucchini. This is a good time to…

Heat your oven to 375°F.

Reduce heat to medium and add another drizzle of olive oil. Add onion, 1 teaspoon salt, red pepper flakes, and cook until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, and oregano and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes soften and begin to form a sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine, if using, and cook until the wine has reduced and the sauce is fairly thick, about 3 minutes more. Return the corn and zucchini to pan the and cook with the sauce for 2 minutes. Add basil and stir to combine.

Add farro, water, and 1 more teaspoon of salt and stir to combine. If you need to transfer this to an ovenproof dish, do it now. Stir in diced mozzarella and half of parmesan. Sprinkle remaining parmesan on top, and cover with a lid or tightly with foil and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until farro is cooked. Cooked farro should be tender but a little chewy. If the pan is dry and your farro still seems undercooked, add another 1/4 to 1/2 cup water and return it to the oven until it reaches the right texture.

Transfer dish to your broiler, or to the hottest part of your oven (and crank the heat) and cook until browned and crisp on top, about 3 to 5 minutes under a broiler or 5 to 7 in the oven. Serve warm.

Do ahead: Leftovers will keep for 5 to 7 days in the fridge. Rewarm in a 350-degree oven. This dish should also freeze well.

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baked brie with garlic butter mushrooms – smitten kitchen

Welcome to the decadent meal I dream about every late December, when I want even simple foods to feel festive. Yes, I am seriously making the argument that baked brie should be a dinner dish. Or, if not dinner, maybe a luxe part of it, so perfect for this blustery, celebratory time of year. For dinner you might eat this with a big green salad and a cup of soup. You might set this out as a side dish with a big roast. You might put it out as part of a party spread too, an oasis of savory among all of the cookies and molten cakes.

We start with the Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms in the archives, the ones that I describe as giving mushrooms the “escargot” treatment which to say that they’re cooked in a not-insignificant amount of butter and garlic, then finished with lemon juice and a shower of parsley until they’re complex and wildly more delicious than it would seem so few ingredients could be. But why stop there? Once you nestle in a small brie (or camembert) at the end and let it warm up in the oven, there’s no looking back: you’re probably going to end up scooping it again and again onto toasted baguette slices and entirely forgetting to eat dinner — there really are no rules right now and I say we lean into it.

baked brie with roasted mushrooms-6


Smitten Kitchen Keepers, my third cookbook, has been out for exactly six weeks today and nothing makes me happier than seeing how many of you are already cooking from it. I know it’s been quiet around here while I’ve hopped around Washington D.C, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Toronto, Denver, Boulder, and even Spartanburg, South Carolina. Busy season continues in the new year with book tour stops in Minneapolis (next week!), 92nd Street Y (in NYC), then Austin, Houston, California, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Vancouver, oh and I just added a March date in Columbus, Ohio! All book tour stops and ticketing details are on this page, and I keep it updated as we add new dates. I hope we get to finally hang out. You know what else is going to be really fun? When I get to start cooking all of the recipe ideas I had bottled up when I was on the road this winter. I can’t wait.



6 months ago: Summer Ricotta with Grilled Vegetables
1 year ago: Russian Napoleon
2 years ago: Small-Batch Eggnog and Baked Brie with Balsamic Red Onions
3 years ago: Unstuffed Mushroom Casserole and Banana Toffee Cake
4 years ago: Baklava Babka and Cosmopolitan
5 years ago: Dutch Apple Pie and Salted Butter Chocolate Chunk Shortbread
6 years ago: Pimento Cheese Potato Bites
7 years ago: The Browniest Cookies, Gingerbread Layer Cake and Feta Tapenade Tarte Soleil
8 years ago: Deep Dark Gingerbread Waffles, Fairytale of New York and Roasted Grape and Olive Crostini
9 years ago: Breakfast Slab Pie, Gingerbread Snacking Cake and Rum Campari Punch
10 years ago: Fromage Fort
11 years ago: Cinnamon Brown Sugar Breakfast Puffs and Scallion Meatballs with Soy Ginger Glaze
12 years ago: Spicy Gingerbread Cookies, Crescent Jam and Cheese Cookies and Milk Punch
13 years ago: How to Host Brunch and Still Sleep In, Spinach and Cheese Strata, Pear Bread, Parmesan Cream Crackers, Walnut Pesto, and Spicy Caramel Popcorn
14 years ago: Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake, Seven-Layer/Rainbow Cookies, Grasshopper Brownies, Braised Beef Short Ribs, Sugar and Spiced Candied Nuts
15 years ago: Robert Linxe’s Chocolate Truffles and Caramel Cake
16 years ago: Parmesan Black Pepper Biscotti


baked brie with roasted mushrooms-8

Baked Brie with Garlic Butter Mushrooms

  • 1 pound mushrooms, any kind, here I’m using cremini and oyster
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (I’m using Diamond, use half of other brands)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 8-ounce wheel of brie (or camembert)
  • A few sprigs of thyme (optional)
  • Toasted baguette slices
    Heat oven to 450°F. In a 2-quart baking dish, toss mushrooms with capers, garlic, oil, salt and many grinds of pepper. Dot with butter and roast, turning over once, until mushrooms are more deeply browned and a bubbly garlic sauce begins to form below, 15 minutes. While the mushrooms roast, trim the top off your brie with a sharp knife — it’s totally edible but this makes it easier to dip into when warm. Make space in the center of the mushrooms and nestle in the brie and top with thyme, if using. Return to oven for 10 minutes, until brie is warm and loose, adding more minutes if needed. Squeeze lemon juice and scatter parsley over mushrooms. Arrange baguette slices around the brie and mushrooms. Place a small spoon the brie and a larger spoon in the mushrooms. Serve immediately, swooping brie and scooping mushrooms and their juices on the toasty bread.


  • I usually use cremini mushrooms but I had a few oyster mushrooms too, and tore them in, and you should use whatever you have around.
  • You didn’t ask but my favorite place to buy cremini, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms in NYC is the Bulich Mushroom stand at the Union Square Greenmarket. They’re usually on the north end on Wednesdays and Saturday. The prices are reasonable and the quality impeccable each time.
  • Yes, there are capers in here and you’re about to tell me you hate capers and ask what else you can use — I’d use anchovies. If you’re about to tell me you don’t like anchovies either, I’m going to suggest that you might just not like briny things and that’s okay, you can skip it. Nobody has ever complained about mushrooms merely roasted in garlic butter. But I insist that the capers add an amazing nuance here.
  • The mushroom portion of this dish is adapted from the late Gourmet Magazine. You can also find the garlic butter roasted mushrooms in the archives here.

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