Arsip Tag: warm

warm butternut squash and chickpea salad – smitten kitchen

I’ve confessed again and again that I’m just not the kind of person who likes to eat things repeatedly. What’s bad for, I don’t know, using up leftovers, however, is good for having the kind of site that updates three times a week with new recipes. So I’d say it all evens out. But every so often, actually — way too rarely, rarely — I hit on something that I cannot stop eating. For weeks, months. And now, we’re over a year and I’m telling you, if I had a butternut squash at home right now, we’d already have dinner made.

peeled butternut squash

I’ve mentioned this salad before but I realize that this is one of those recipes I’m going to refresh as often as I can get away with. The second I had these ingredients together — lemon, tahini, butternut squash, garlic, chickpeas — I couldn’t believe it was the first time. They were made to be together, and in the times that I’ve had them apart in other recipes, I always know what they’re missing.

butternut squash

The recipe comes from Molly Wizenberg of Orangette, who adapted it from a cookbook from the UK’s Moro restaurant, but I always forget that part because it’s somehow a quintessential Orangette recipe to me. Molly’s first book comes out this spring and to say that I’m just looking forward to reading it — and making more where has this recipe been my whole life-level favorites like this — might be the understatement of all understatements. To hold me over until it comes out, though, I know exactly what I’ll be eating.

One year ago: Rigatoni with Eggplant Puree
Two years ago: Icebox Cake

Warm Butternut and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing
Adapted from Orangette, who adapted it from Casa Moro

Yield: 4 servings

For salad:
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoons ground allspice (I skip this)
2 tablespoons olive oil
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 of a medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

For tahini dressing:
1 medium garlic clove, finely minced with a pinch of salt
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a large bowl, combine the butternut squash, garlic, allspice, olive oil, and a few pinches of salt. Toss the squash pieces until evenly coated. Roast them on a baking sheet for 25 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and cool.

Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic and lemon juice. Add the tahini, and whisk to blend. Add the water and olive oil, whisk well, and taste for seasoning. The sauce should have plenty of nutty tahini flavor, but also a little kick of lemon. You will probably need to add more water to thin it out.

To assemble the salad, combine the squash, chickpeas, onion, and cilantro or parsley in a mixing bowl. Either add the tahini dressing to taste, and toss carefully, or you could serve the salad with the dressing on the side. Serve immediately.

Do ahead: Molly says this salad, lightly dressed, keeps beautifully in the fridge, that you should hold a little of the dressing on the side and that it can be reheated in the microwave. I, for one, have never had any leftovers.

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warm mushroom salad with hazelnuts – smitten kitchen

So, this is a tale of two salads. No wait, three. Okay, this is the tale of three salads. The first one crossed our table at brunch with my mother and the little pilot two weeks ago (you might remember that our last brunch together resulting in us obsessing over monkey bread; who knew brunch could be such a source of inspiration?) at one of my favorite local restaurants: warm mushroom, softly cooked, chestnuts cooked in brown butter, bacon lardons and a port reduction. We haven’t stopped talking about it since.

torn wild mushrooms

So, when I was looking for a salad to make for our accidental dinner party last weekend that did not hinge entirely on out-of-season always-going-bad-too-fast never-tasting-as-good-as-they-should salad greens and spied on a warm mushroom salad in the always-amazing Sunday Suppers at Lucques, I had a good feeling about it.

chives, shallots, hazelnuts, mushrooms

It involved a whole lot of things. Two pounds of wild mushrooms, toasted and skinned hazelnuts, shallots cut in two ways, a ton of a fresh herbs, sherry vinegar, delicate mache and an obscure percorino, and a very careful cooking and plating process. Our friends cleaned every speck of salad off the serving platter. It was a clear home run.


And yet, it bugged me. Hey, I love some obscure pecorinos and fancy wild mushrooms as much as the next person with taste buds, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that — at least for the kind of cooking I prefer to embrace at home — I could make this with more reliable, humble ingredients, like brown mushrooms. So the next night, I did. Out of mache, I used arugula, but many greens would do. Out of sherry vinegar, I used a white wine vinegar. Out of almost every herb, and appalled by the post-blizzard pick of them at the store, I skipped them. And we enjoyed it just as much — possibly even more, because I had gotten the flavor I wanted without having relegate it to “special occasions” because we’d nearly broken the bank for it.

toasted, chopped hazelnuts

So, below is a warm mushroom salad you can make humble or fancy. It could a Saturday night showpiece or it could be be a Thursday night dinner with a poached egg on top and hunk of crusty bread on the side. I think we know which one I vote for.

warm mushroom salad

One year ago: Crispy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Two years ago: Alex’s Chicken and Mushroom Marsala

Warm Mushroom Salad with Hazelnuts and Pecorino
Adapted generously from Sunday Suppers at Lucques

1/2 cup hazelnuts
2 tablespoons finely diced shallots
3 tablespoons sherry or a white wine vinegar
9 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds mushrooms (cremini or a mix of wild mushrooms), cleaned and sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 ounces salad greens such as frisé, arugula or a mix of your choice
A 1 cup mix of fresh herbs (optional) such as chives, tarragon
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or a couple pinches of dried
1/4 cup sliced shallots
1/4 pound pecorino (Goin loves di Grotta, and we did too, but Romano would also work) or Parmesan-Reggiano or another hard, sharp cheese

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Toast the hazelnuts on a baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes, rolling them around once or twice to make sure they toast evenly. Rub nuts in a dish towel to remove skins then let cool. Chop the hazelnuts coarsely.

Whisk the shallots, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a bowl and let sit for five minutes (this will soften and almost pickle the shallots), before whisking in 5 tablespoons olive oil.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter until the butter foams. Add half the mushrooms, half the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Sauté the mushrooms for about 5 minutes, until they’re softened but not limp (your cooking time will depend on the type of mushrooms you used).

Transfer mushrooms to a plate then repeat with the second half. When they are cooked, return the first half of the mushrooms to the pan then toss in sliced shallots, cooking for an additional 2 minutes.

Spread salad greens on a plate. Sprinkle fresh herbs on top, if using. Spoon hot mushrooms over the salad greens. Pour three-quarters of the vinaigrette in the sauté pan and swirl it in the pan until heated. Season it with 1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour over salad and toss carefully. Adjust to taste — you may need more salt, pepper, vinaigrette or even more sherry vinegar.

Use a vegetable peeler to shave cheese over the salad. Sprinkle with hazelnuts. Serve immediately.

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warm, crisp and a little melty salad croutons – smitten kitchen

Several years ago, my job required that I occasionally fly here and there for conferences and, oh, they were not fun. I know that many conferences today are wonderful events where wonderful people meet and expand their professional horizons but those for me were all about windowless conference rooms, buzzing fluorescent lights, and all hopes that I would be able to “get out!” and “see a new city!” dashed when I realized I would, in fact, need to file articles from my hotel room that night. On the lowest of these trips, I found myself gazing at a painfully unappetizing room service menu and came across an item called a “fried cheese collage” and this, I am sad to say, was the last straw.

two goat cheeses

“What is WRONG with this world?” I grumpily, nay, hangrily told my husband over the phone. “Fried cheese? Why does cheese need to be breaded and fried? Isn’t cheese lovely without breading? Without frying?”

grated and smashed

Well, it turns out, I do. I need to fry cheese. Flash forward many years and a more charmed career later, and I was invited a couple weekends ago to a brunch gathering of well-dressed people with websites (okay, that wasn’t the focus, just something I noted; related: I have no idea why they let me in) and well, I actually had to leave really early because we had other plans for the day but I did get to sit down for the salad course. Plates of salad were passed around, each topped with what I assumed was a seared scallop but turned out to be so, so much better. It was, in fact, a Panko-crusted round of goat cheese that had been fried to a crisp edge and melted, oozy center. Fried cheese. Fried. Cheese.


dredging station

I had to make it, as soon as humanly possible and when I went on my fridge-cleaning bender before our current vacation and found a dated log of goat cheese and, well, not a whole lot else in the fridge to use up, I found my chance. But that’s the brilliance of this crouton. You could take anything you had around — aging salad greens, some languishing rings of pickled shallot from a different recipe and the saddest hyperbright cherry tomatoes you ever did see — and with the addition of this golden, crunchy, warm topping, turn it into salad nirvana.

cheese has been fried

If you’ll allow me to digress further, let me tell you why I think this is so important. I don’t think you need anyone’s help making peak-season, farm-fresh produce, gleaming with dewy, organic newness taste good. It just does. Shaved thinly or chopped roasted whole with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a showering of coarse sea salt later, dinner is served, and heavenly so. But where I live, most of the months of the year are not, in fact, the growing season. By January, it’s mostly bagged lettuce mixes and when, in April, my longing for a tomato is so intense that I’m willing to wing it with those aforementioned cherry hyperbrights, and these, my friends, take some good cooking, some good recipes, to make sing. A little melty crouton magic could be just that thing, the trick you keep in your back pocket to zip out for a Mother’s Day brunch, dinner party or a better-than-expected lunch when the thought of another sad little off-season, flavorless salad is too much to bear.

warm, crisp and a little melty crouton

One year ago: Leek Toasts with Blue Cheese
Two years ago: Oatmeal Pancakes
Three years ago: Endive and Celery Salad with Fennel Vinaigrette, Rhubarb Cobbler and Broccoli Slaw
Four years ago: Martha’s Macaroni and Cheese and Crispy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies
Five years ago: Corniest Corn Muffins, Pineapple Upside-Down Cake and Pickled Garlicky Red Peppers

Warm, Crisp and A Little Melty Goat Cheese Salad Croutons
Adapted from Jewels of New York via Cup of Jo

Guys, when I get a recipe from someone and it works exactly as it is supposed to with no drama or adaptations needed the very first time, I am overjoyed. It is a very good day, and this was one of these. But did I fiddle? Of course I fiddled. I fiddled only enough to adjust the cheeses to amounts that were more easily purchased (i.e. most goat cheese comes in 4 ounce logs, that kind of thing), using a little more soft cheese and a little less of the firm stuff. The result is a softer crouton that melts more easily. We didn’t mind.

Usage: I already made my argument for why I think this could perk up even the saddest excuse for a salad you could summon from the depths of your fridge (or, mid-winter produce aisle). Now, since it is indeed spring out there, imagine it on this salad (minus the parmesan) or this one (minus the feta) or atop grilled ramps, or gently wilted spinach, or… you name it.

Makes 4 croutons

4 ounces goat milk Gouda, coarsely grated*
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, softened
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 large egg
1/4 cup Panko** breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon coarse or sea salt
Olive oil, for frying
Freshly ground black pepper

Mash together cheeses in a bowl, mixing until combined. Form the mixture into four balls then smoosh each slightly into thick patties. Arrange three small dishes for dredging stations: Place the flour in the first one, beat the egg lightly in the second, and mix the breadcrumbs and salt in the last one. Heat a healthy slick of olive oil (the original recipe suggested 3 tablespoons; in a tiny skillet, I used closer to 2) in a small skillet over medium heat. Once hot, fry each patty until golden and crispy, about two minutes per side. It’s going to get melty (I’m not sorry) and seem pesky to flip once warm. I found using two forks made this easy-peasy. Briefly pause the crouton on paper towels to drain excess oil, before landing it on top of your salad of choice, then finish the whole thing with freshly ground black pepper. Repeat with remaining croutons. Eat at once.

* Gouda, a Dutch cheese, is traditionally made with cow’s milk. You can buy it young (smooth, semi-firm and mild flavored), or aged (harder, darker, stronger-flavored with crunchy flecks), smoked, light, and even more ways. However, if you can find the goat milk gouda suggested here, perfect for goat cheese-phobes, it’s really amazing in these croutons, absolutely worth swinging by a cheese shop or grocery store with a great cheese counter for. (It’s also sold online from a variety of stores.) If you cannot get it, you could replace the gouda with another semi-firm cheese good for grating and melting, like a young cow’s milk gouda, gruyere, etc.

** If you can’t find or don’t want to buy Panko, here’s how I fake it: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Tear one to two slices of soft, crustless white bread into 1-inch pieces and pulse them in the food processor until coarsely ground. This will make a generous half cup. Transfer crumbs to a rimmed baking sheet and bake until just barely golden brown and dry, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool. Use.

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spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette – smitten kitchen

Happy Pie For Breakfast Day, friends! Do you see what I did there? I made it official, which means that you need not feel any regret that you may have innocently come upon a lonely wedge of leftover pie in the fridge this morning, and before you knew it, before you could responsibly hash out the pros and cons of setting your day to the tune of pie, and not, say, a muesli, fresh fruit and herbal tea detox, you in fact did have pie for breakfast and it was wonderful. You need not feel any regret because it’s a holiday, and it was important that you joined in the celebration. You were only doing your part. (Gobble, gobble.)

baby spinach
sliced button mushrooms

And now that we got that out of the way, I bet you could go for a salad. No, not a Salad of Thanksgiving Repentance; that would be rather dull. It might include wheat germ, and it’s too soon for all of that. I firmly believe that on the road from total overindulgence to the kind of mood that leads to my gym being jam-packed with Resolutes on January 1st, there should be some in-between. A salad, yes, one with several whole and wholesome ingredients, but also one that you look forward to eating because it in fact tastes amazing. And for that, I nominate this one. It comes with a warm bacon vinaigrette and old-school vibe. It’s not even a little sorry.

thick, thick bacon

Before I took off to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Vancouver, Washington DC, Toronto and Chicago on the whirlwind last few weeks of the book tour during which I have missed you all terribly, I went on a serious spinach salad bender, surprising nobody more than myself. If you’d offered me this salad any time in the last 15 years, I’d have pushed it away without regret. For a while there, spinach salads were both ubiquitous and terrible, the classic flavors co-opted with everything from raspberry vinaigrette to honey-drenched walnuts better suited for an ice cream sundae topping. But as will always happen, after a long break, I started craving the old-school version, the one you might have found on a steakhouse menu up until a while ago, and I think it’s fairly well established how warmly I feel about steakhouse classic salads. This one belongs back among their ranks.

thick bacon, diced small
crisping bacon into bits
sizzling vinaigrette, cold saald

A bright pile of baby spinach leaves is scattered with wispy slivers of red onion, thinly sliced white mushrooms (please, no fancy mushrooms here), coins of hard-cooked egg and then the piece de resistance, tiny bits of bacon rendered in a pan until crisp and salty and perfect, and its smoky renderings whisked with a pinch of Dijon and red wine vinaigrette in a skillet to make a quick, hot dressing that you pour over the salad, gently wilting the onion, spinach and mushrooms and leaving you wondering why you don’t make this every week of the year. You should. There’s still time.

spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette

Book Tour: To say that the last few weeks of book tour-ing and meeting so many wonderful people have been incredible would be the understatement of the century. They’ve been mindblowing, overwhelming, humbling and maybe a tiny bit exhausting, but a good exhausting. One I’d do again in a heartbeat. Which is awesome, as it’s not over yet. Boston I know both the Tuesday and Wednesday events are sold out (boo!) but both include details about how you can stop by a bit later for a signing, even if you couldn’t get tickets. I hope I will get to see everyone that missed out. Darien, I can’t wait to see your beautiful library on Thursday. Texas, I will be counting down the second until I can finally get to Book People on Friday in Austin and Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston on Saturday. [All Book Tour Details, here.]

One year ago: Sweet Potato and Marshmallow Biscuits
Two years ago: Upside-Down Cranberry Cake
Three years ago: Moroccan-Spiced Spaghetti Squash
Four years ago: Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Garlic Chips
Five years ago: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Sauteed Apples, Roasted Stuffed Onions and Simplest Apple Tart
Six years ago: Not Your Mama’s Coleslaw and Indian-Spiced Vegetable Fritters

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Adapted from several places, but my favorite version is Alton Brown’s

To hard-boil eggs, well, there are a million approaches out there (see this comment section if you don’t believe me). Mine is to cover a large egg with cold water and put it on the stove and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, set a timer to exactly 9 or 10 minutes, and reduce the heat to medium. Once it’s done, I often plunge it in icy water so that it will stop cooking immediately and also chill quickly. At 9 minutes, large eggs will be a little tender in the center, as you can see in the top photo. At 10, it will be a fully-cooked (but not overcooked) egg.

If you’re freaked out by raw red onion, you can actually add it to the dressing in the skillet for the last 10 seconds to soften it and remove more of the bite, and pour the onions and dressing over the salad together.

Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 spinach salad enthusiasts

4 ounces baby spinach
2 large white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 small or medium red onion, very thinly sliced
1 large egg, hard-boiled (see above), chilled, peeled and thinly sliced
4 pieces thick-sliced bacon (about 4 ounces), finely diced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey or sugar
1/2 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place spinach in a large, wide salad serving bowl. Scatter with mushrooms, red onion (see above for a different, mellower way to add the onions) and coins of hard-boiled egg. In a large skillet, fry bacon bits over medium-high heat until they’re brown and crisp and have rendered their fat. Use a slotted spoon to scoop them out of the skillet and spread them on a piece of paper towel briefly before sprinkling them over the salad. Pour out all but two tablespoons of hot bacon fat from the skillet. Reheat over medium and quickly whisk in the red wine vinegar, honey and Dijon. Pour over entire salad and season salt and pepper. Toss gently and serve hot. Repeat tomorrow night.

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warm lentil and potato salad – smitten kitchen

You don’t have to look at me like that. I know, I know how you and most people feel about lentils. About how they’re mealy and brown and generally lackluster, like health food putty; about how you’ll eat them, sure, but only if you must. And how if I were trying to convince you that lentils are something that you will very much love if only you could try them this way, my way, that this yellow-and-muddy-purple-brown speckled thing up top, despite the ambitious efforts of the bright green parsley chop scattered over it, is not going to be the thing to pull it off.

what you'll need
lentils cooking with bay, thyme and shallot

But I wish it would. This warm lentil salad is a perfect mid-winter everything — a gorgeous pack-for-work lunch to keep you on this side of your Resolution karma, a perfect side dish to a roast, chops or sausage, and my new favorite thing to break a softly-cooked egg over. The creamy golden potatoes nestle among the perfect discs of thyme-scented lentils and the entire salad zings with finely chopped cornichon, capers and minced shallot that’s been lightly pickled in red wine vinegar, and a good grassy/fruity olive oil. It lightly crunches when you take a bite.


pickled capers
shallots in red wine vinegar
ugly food tastes better
golden fingerlings, drained
cooked lentils
flat-leaf parsley

It’s secret, and what I feel is the secret of all great lentil salads, is in the lentils themselves: they’re tiny. If you’ve thus far eaten only mushy lentil salads, I dare say you’ve been using the wrong ones. While the falling-apart varieties have their uses (soups, patties, stews and dals), when it comes to salad, most of the tiny varieties — and especially dark green lentils de puy, greenish-brown lenticchie, even black lentils — stay intact, maintaining their namesake lens shape even when cooked until tender. If tapioca pearls are the caviar of the pudding world, these are unquestionably the caviar of the salad universe. And if the prospect of eating caviar salad for lunch this week doesn’t charm you, well, you’re probably not married to a Russian I think this one could convert you.

warm lentil and potato salad

New thing: As promised in last week’s chat, there’s finally a vegan category on this site. It’s only about half-populated; if you have a favorite recipe on the site that’s also vegan, please holler if I’ve missed it. (FWIW, I tend to skip salads for this and the vegetarian category, as most just are.) [Vegan Recipes on Smitten Kitchen] [Vegetarian Recipes on Smitten Kitchen]

One year ago: Intensely Chocolate Sables
Two years ago: Potato Chip Cookies
Three years ago: Chocolate-Peanut Spread (Peanutella)
Four years ago: Intensely Almond Cake + Cranberry Syrup
Five years ago: Clementine Cake and Mushroom Bourguignon
Six years ago: Chicken Caesar Salad and Fried Chicken
Seven years ago: Grapefruit Yogurt Cake

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad with a Garlicky Mustard Vinaigrette
Adapted from a few David Tanis recipes

If you can find tiny dark green French lentilles de Puy or Italian lenticcie Castelluccio, you’ll be glad you did; they’re minerally, nutty and not starchy at all — nothing like your average “for your health!” lentil mush soup. I tend to grab two bags or boxes whenever I find them, and keep them in the coolest, darkest place I can find in my steam-heated sauna of an apartment. I’ve also ordered the French lentils online before from here, though I actually brought these inexpensive lentils — and the capers and olive oil, used here — back from Castroni, the greatest food store in Rome, last summer.

Before you ask, Can you put kale in this too? Of course you can.

Makes 4 lunch servings, 6 servings as a side dish

2 large shallots, 1 halved, 1 finely diced,
4 sprigs of thyme
1 small bay leaf
1 cup dry small green lentils (see Note up top for varieties)
1 small bay leaf
Salt and pepper
1 pound fingerling potatoes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced or smashed to a paste (I use less)
1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of your favorite olive oil
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed if salted, drained if brined, and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons cornichons or other sour gherkins, roughly chopped
1 to 2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Cook lentils: Pick over and rinse lentils. Place them in a small/medium saucepan with the halved shallot, thyme branches, bay leaf, some salt and 4 cups of water. Simmer the lentils over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until firm-tender. Drain (discarding shallot, thyme and bay leaf) and keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook potatoes: In a separate saucepan, cover potatoes with 1 to 2 inches cold water. Set timer for 15 minutes, then bring potatoes to a simmer. When the timer rings, they should be easily pierced with a toothpick or knife. Drain and keep warm.

Make the dressing: Place the chopped shallot and red wine vinegar in the bottom of a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Whisk in minced garlic, dijon, a pinch of salt, a few grinds of black pepper and olive oil. Stir in chopped capers, cornichon and scallions.

Assemble salad: Slice potatoes into 1/2-inch segments and place in serving bowl. Add lentils, dressing and all but 1 tablespoon parsley and combine. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed. Scatter salad with remaining parsley.

Serve alone, with a soft-cooked egg on top, or as a side to a larger roast, chop or sausages. Reheat as needed. If you plan to make this at the outset of several meals and would like to eat it warm, I’d keep the dressing separate, warming only the lentils and potatoes and stirring in the cold dressing to taste.

Keeps in fridge for up to 5 days.

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