Category Archives: Vegetables

Baked Eggplant Parmigiana with Eggplant “Meatballs”

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well…… Here in the Northeast the weather is getting a little cooler and we are trying to hold on to the Summer as much as we can while Fall creeps in so we are trying to continue with our “Summer activities” and still go to the farm stands and outdoor markets as much as we can.

Bob and I went to a farm stand last weekend for some fresh vegetables pretending in our head that is was still July and not October and I found the most wonderful eggplants. (sorry I cut the eggplant before I took a picture).

I also found great zucchini, & tomatoes but as soon as I saw the nice shiny eggplants, I knew I wanted to make eggplant meatballs. I think I posted this recipe many years ago but it was time to re-post.

Along with the meatballs will be the tried and true eggplant parmigiana but this time instead of the traditional fry, I am baking the eggplant slices for an updated version.

Sometimes standing and frying a lot of eggplant slices at once is back breaking so I decided to try the baked version to make life a little easier.

(Here is the link to the traditional recipe for fryinghttps://dishingwithdiane.com/2015/08/22/eggplant-parmigiana/

So let’s get started on the updated recipe…..

Baked Eggplant Parmigiana

Ingredients:

  • Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 2 large eggplants -sliced to ½ inch rounds
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups of Italian seasoned or plain panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup of finely grated Pecorino Romano (Locatelli) cheese
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil or ¼ cup fresh
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 49 oz of fresh marinara sauce or store-bought jarred sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Cooking spray (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees…. Brush 2 baking sheets with extra virgin olive oil: set aside.

Set up a breading station …. In a bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tbsp. of water to thin it out.

In a second bowl – combine breadcrumbs, ¼ cup grated cheese, salt and pepper, basil and oregano.

Dip the eggplant rounds in the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture (pressing crumbs down with fingers if needed to cover evenly).

Place on the baking sheets…. Bake until golden on the bottom, 10-20 minutes. Then carefully flip each slice and continue baking until golden on the other side, an additional 10-20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

In a 9 X 13 baking dish, spread just enough marinara sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Arrange a layer of eggplant in the dish, cover with sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese, then layer shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, grated cheese and top with mozzarella.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the mozzarella is melted, 15- 30 minutes. (Optional — broil for 2 minutes to get the cheese a little golden, but watch carefully because it can burn easily).

Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.

I chose to make my eggplant parmigiana in an individual serving dish for this meal ….

I hope you try the baked version of eggplant parmigiana and enjoy every bite.

Now on to the next recipe …. Eggplant meatballs (updated version)

Eggplant Meatballs

I served this with farfalle pasta (another favorite of mine).

(recipe courtesy of by Lynette Marie by way of Allrecipes – 2016)

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups cubed eggplant, with peel (I peeled the eggplant)
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • ½ cup grated cheese (recipe called for Parmesan, I used Locatelli)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (recipe called for 1 cup)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup dried bread crumbs

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet (I used a silicon mat, parchment paper can also be used). 

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Pour in olive oil and sauté garlic just until lightly browned.

Mix in the eggplant and water. Reduce heat to low and cover skillet. Allow eggplant to steam until soft, about 20 minutes.

COVER AND STEAM

Place steamed eggplant in a large bowl to cool.

AFTER 20 MINUTES, NICE AND SOFT

Mix the cheese, parsley, eggs and bread crumbs into the eggplant. Stir with a wooden spoon or your hands until ingredients are thoroughly combined and mixture can be rolled into balls. Add more bread crumbs as needed to make the mixture workable.

ADD INGREDIENTS TOGETHER

Refrigerate mixture for 15 minutes, then roll into balls or form into patties.

Place eggplant balls on prepared baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.

I add the cooked eggplant balls to remaining sauce and then serve immediately.

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I hope you give both of these recipes a try and please let me know what you think of them.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

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Fusilli with Cauliflower & Roasted Chickpeas

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to OCTOBER!

This year is just flying by. I can’t believe it is October already. I guess I better start digging in the archives for some pumpkin recipes….

Well, once October sets in and the chill is in the air, I either bake or make stews and casseroles.

I will definitely bake this weekend but last night Bob and I had another tried and true recipe- Mom’s cauliflower with macaroni and roasted chickpeas.

A simple dish that was once considered a peasant meal and now gaining popularity in many restaurants. I have made this in the past with tri-colored cauliflower in a garlic and anchovy sauce (see pic below), which is also very tasty.

But tonight, I decided on the traditional recipe. Simple ingredients of the best quality is a winning combination. Plus, this meal doesn’t take that long to come together so it’s a great weeknight meal when you don’t have that much time to prepare.

I hope you try this “Italian peasant dish” and enjoy!

Fusilli with Cauliflower and Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients

1 (28 oz) can of peeled tomatoes- diced

1/3 cup of olive oil

3 cloves of minced garlic

1/2 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken broth

1 head of cauliflower- broken into florets

1/4 cup fresh parsley

1/2 cup (or more) grated cheese

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. oregano

torn basil leaves

Salt & pepper

red pepper chili flakes (optional)

1 lb fusilli or pasta of your choice

Directions:

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes, basil leaves and the cauliflower- mix to combine….

Add the broth, reduce the heat and cover to steam the cauliflower. Cooked covered for 20 minutes, and then uncovered for 10 minutes to thicken the sauce….. That is it, simple and delicious.

Cook penne in salted boiling water- drain and add to the skillet along with the parsley, salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano. Cook for 1 minute and then add grated cheese.

I roasted a can of drained chick peas in a little olive oil on a low flame with salt, pepper and red chili flakes for some heat ( this addition is optional) and added the chick peas to the pasta right before serving.

I hope you give this recipe a try. Have fun cooking !

Until my next post, make every day a celebration !

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to follow DishingwithDiane.com either on facebook or sign up for emails directly from the web page.

And share this post with your family and friends.

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Spinach Croquettes

HI Everyone,

It seems that Fall brings out the need in me to eat comfort foods as if I am preparing to hibernate for the winter and I start pulling out some of my Mother’s tried and true recipes that I remember from childhood.

My Mom was so clever with her meal plans and could take the same simple ingredients and make so many different meals that you never got tired or bored with any dinner she prepared.

Take a simple ingredient like ground beef for instance. Mom made fabulous meatballs, meatloaf with a perfect blend of spices and a sweet glaze, excellent hamburgers and my all time favorite was spinach croquettes.

A simple mix of onions, eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese and ground beef with chopped spinach and stuffed with fresh mozzarella. It was delicious.

As the weather gets cooler, I crave some of my Mom’s Fall dishes, so tonight I decided to make Moms “spinach croquettes”.

I paired the croquettes with a salad of mixed greens and sliced pears, some chopped walnuts, grape tomatoes, fennel slices (LOVE that licorice flavor of fennel and it’s good for digestion too) and dressed the salad with a nice fruity olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Simple and delicious.

This was a very comforting and delicious meal for us. My recipes for the spinach croquettes and basic salad dressing are below.

I hope you try this dish sometime this Fall and please let me know what you think.

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Spinach Croquettes

Ingredients:

(1 ½ – 2 lbs.) Ground turkey or beef, or combination beef/pork

1 small onion, diced (shallots can be substituted)

Seasoned breadcrumbs

Grated cheese

Salt & Pepper

No salt organic seasoning (Kirkland brand from Costco is the best) – optional

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 tbsp fresh parsley

Fresh mozzarella, diced in small cubes

1 egg, lightly beaten for the meat mixture

10 oz pkg chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained*

(* To drain spinach completely—after the package is thawed, place spinach in a dish towel and ring the towel out and release all the liquid)

Cooks Note: you can use fresh spinach (approx. 2 fresh bunches) if you prefer. DIRECTIONS BELOW.

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For the Breading:

3 eggs lightly beaten

Cornflake or panko breadcrumbs

1/4 cup milk

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil for the baking sheet

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Directions:

In a large bowl, mix seasoned breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, garlic, onion, no-salt seasoning, salt, and pepper ……

Cooks Note: if you are using fresh spinach, you must follow this step before continuing. * wash and drain the spinach…. *heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add a few cloves of garlic and cook for 1 minutes, then ADD spinach *Season with salt and pepper and saute until the spinach wilts. * Transfer to a colander and with the back of a large serving spoon, push down on the spinach and release the excess moisture. * transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for 10 minutes to cool…..Once this step is completed, continue with directions.

ADD ground meat to the dry ingredients in step 1 and ADD, Worcestershire sauce, and 1 slightly beaten egg. Add the drained spinach and gently mix the meat and seasonings –do not overwork the meat.

Make ¼ cup size meatballs and put a small cube of mozzarella inside, close and form into an oval croquette shape…complete forming all croquettes before the next step….  OR if you don’t want to stuff each croquette, toss meat mixture with 2 cups of shredded mozzarella before forming croquettes.

In a breading tray mix 3 slightly beaten eggs with ¼ cup milk (add additional salt and pepper if desired),

2nd breading tray, mix cornflake or panko crumbs (add additional grated cheese & parsley if desired)

Dip the croquettes in breadcrumbs, egg mixture and then back to breadcrumbs and place on a cookie sheet drizzled with olive oil. Let croquettes sit for 5 minutes.

Broil for 10 minutes, flip and broil for 5-7 minutes longer until golden brown

(Optional: light fry in a sauté pan before the broiler to get a crispier breadcrumb……I usually do this step).

Serve as is or with your favorite barbecue sauce of brown gravy. Enjoy!

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Basic Salad Dressing

To make the salad dressing, combine

  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • Fine sea salt

In a screw top jar. Close the jar tightly and shake well to combine all ingredients.

Cooks Note: Whenever I add delicate fruit that can oxidize (such as pears or apples or even fennel) to a salad, I place juice from half a lemon in the salad bowl and toss to coat in the lemon juice. This prevents oxidation or browning and makes your salad look so much better.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

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Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I Love hearing from you.

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Zucchini Flowers – Two Ways…

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well.

Sorry for the delay in posting these recipes, very busy week……

Bob and I have been enjoying the zucchini flowers this week, both fried and prepared as a quiche and it really feels like Summer to us now.

Below are the two recipes I used so you can enjoy the zucchini flowers as well.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

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Zucchini Blossom Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 4- 6 eggs depending on the size
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 TBSP flour
  • 1/3 cup minced onions or shallots
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces shredded, mozzarella
  • 2 medium zucchini- washed and diced
  • 10 fried zucchini flowers
  • COOKS NOTE: fresh zucchini flowers can be used if you prefer – wash, stamen removed and check for any insects.

I make my quiche crustless but a crust can be used- personal preference …

  • 1- 9-inch unbaked frozen “deep Dish” pie shell

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Directions:

Hand whip eggs, half-and-half, and flour in a medium-mixing bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients.

Pour into a veggie sprayed pie pan or quiche dish OR , if using, an unbaked 9-inch, deep-dish piecrust.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until top is golden brown.

6-8 servings

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Fried Zucchini Blossoms

  • Ingredients:
  • approx. 1/2 lb. (12-14) – fresh Zucchini Flowers
  • dark ale preferred or any beer you have on hand
  • All-purpose Flour or OO tipo flour
  • salt and pepper
  • Oil For Frying (I prefer olive oil)

Directions:

  1. Rinse the zucchini flowers well under cool water and remove the inner stamen…. Be careful there might be insects especially bees inside the petals. Once rinsed well and cleaned, drain on paper towels. Any water will cause splatters once in the hot oil.
  2. In a small bowl add 2 cups of flour and a pinch of salt & pepper.
  3. Add enough beer to the flour, whisking until smooth to make a consistency of heavy cream.
  4. Heat the frying oil in a heavy bottomed skillet. Test if the oil is hot by adding a few drops of batter and see if it sizzles.
  5. Dip the zucchini flowers into the batter until lightly coated, letting the excess batter drip off.
  6. Carefully lower the zucchini flowers into the hot oil away from you to avoid splatters. Do this in batches and don’t overcrowd the skillet (that will reduce the temperature of your oil).
  7. Fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oil using tongs and set aside to drain on a plate topped with a few layers of kitchen paper or a cooling rack.
  9. I sprinkle with a little finely grated cheese (personal choice, this is optional) or a sprinkle of salt.
  10. Repeat the process with the remaining zucchini flowers until they are all fried.
  11. Serve immediately & enjoy

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I hope these recipes are helpful. The snake squash (Cucuzza) recipes will be posted next week.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Thank you for visiting my blog and like and share this post to your friends and ask them to join DishingwithDiane.com.

Once you join you’ll never miss a post and please continue to sent me your comments. I Love hearing from you.

Stay well,

Diane

Cauliflower Rice Veggie Stir Fry & Black Bean Stuffed Peppers …

Hi Everyone,

This recipe is dedicated to one of my health care providers – Michael C. who always brightens my day whenever we have the opportunity to speak.

Hope you are all well…

Today I wanted to share with you a new recipe for stuffed peppers. I know that I have posted recipes for traditional stuffed peppers with ground meat and a lighter version with beans, rice and cheese (the links for those recipes will be at the end of the post); but today I have another new version – “Stuffed Peppers with Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry”, veggies and black beans.

Cauliflower rice has become so popular in the last couple of years and I have made Cauliflower Tots and General Tso’s Cauliflower in the past (find recipes in search box) but I am always experimenting to create new recipes, and this recipe can be listed under “vegetarian and heart healthy”.

I recently placed an Instacart order from Costco and noticed that they were selling a Cauliflower stir fry (Tattooed chef brand) with veggies (peppers, peas & corn) included so I thought I would give it a try. My original idea was to just add some scrambled eggs and some lite soy sauce to make fried rice.

Then I bought the most beautiful organic bell peppers and the idea quickly changed to cauliflower stir fry stuffed peppers. I added some black beans for protein and a new recipe was born. I made a large batch of filling and used the extra for a side dish for another night during the week.

Follow the recipe below with step-by-step instructions and happy cooking…

(Don’t forget previous stuffed pepper recipes are listed below).

Cauliflower Rice Veggie Stir Fry with Black Beans Stuffed Peppers

Let’s Get Started ……….

INGREDIENTS:

2 bags of frozen cauliflower stir fry (from freezer to skillet)- no need to thaw & this package has veggies included.

You can add any combination of extra vegetables that you like, just cut them small to fit in the pepper cavity.

COOKS NOTE: you can also rice fresh cauliflower florets in the food processor

6 bell peppers

1 medium yellow onion

3-4 cloves of garlic

1 can (14 oz.) of low sodium black beans – rinsed & drained

1 can (14 oz.) of no salt added tomato sauce

1 can of cherry tomatoes with juice (optional)

COOKS NOTE: the canned tomatoes can be purchased at an Italian pork store or online at Eataly

1 tbsp. tomato paste

Oregano- 4 fresh sprigs or ¾ Tbsp. ground (remember to rub ground spices through your fingertips when adding to a dish to release the oils and flavor).

½ cup grated cheese (I use Locatelli Romano)

Garlic powder – ½ tsp

Fresh basil chiffonade

Mozzarella cheese

Olive oil – 3 Tbsp.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Prepare the peppers by cleaning them well and then cutting the tops off and scooping out the ribs and seeds.

Dice the pepper tops into small dice and set aside.

I par boil the peppers for 7-10 minutes in boiling water- (do not make them too soft, they will still be cooked in the oven). Drain the peppers and set aside.

In a large skillet or sauté pan, add 2 tbsp. of olive oil on medium heat until hot. Add the garlic and sauté until lightly golden.

,

Add the onions and sauté for a 3-4 minutes more…. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder & sauté for another minute.

Add the diced peppers and cook for 4-5 minutes until the peppers soften.

Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste and the can of cherry tomatoes (if using).

Mix well, and bring to a simmer stirring occasionally for approx… 10 minutes.

Add the black beans, oregano and basil and mix well.

Add the frozen cauliflower stir fry and heat through for approx. 5-8 minutes. (use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the cauliflower).

Remove from the heat and stir in the grated cheese and taste for seasoning- more salt, pepper or spices might be needed to your taste.

Meanwhile spray a 9 X 13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Spread a thin layer of the cooked filling on the bottom of the pan (this will give the peppers a base so they don’t flop over).

COOKS NOTE: IF peppers fall over — before filling slice a small amount of pepper off the bumpy bottoms to make them stand up.

Place a small amount of mozzarella cheese in the bottom of each pepper.

Now with a large spoon fill the hollow peppers and pack as much filling as you can and top with some grated cheese. (Any extra stuffing can be added to the baking dish).

Now top the peppers with additional mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350 uncovered for 15 minutes until the peppers are cooked through and the cheese is melted.

COOKS NOTE -If you want a crispy cheese topping, pop in the broiler for 1-2 minutes but watch the pan so the cheese doesn’t burn.

To serve, garnish with a little extra grated cheese and the extra filling can be served on the side or saved for another side dish for another meal… Enjoy

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Previous stuffed pepper recipes…..

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2015/09/20/stuffed-peppers/

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2017/09/08/stuffed-peppers-with-rice-and-beans/

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” DishingwithDiane.com  .

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

New ways with Cauliflower (repost)

Hi Everyone.

I have been receiving some comments asking for different recipes for cauliflower and I had posted two a few years ago for….

General Tso’s cauliflower

along with

Cauliflower Tater Tots

I decided to repost these recipes and the post includes step-by-step instructions with photos.

Click on the link below to open the original post and enter the world of new ideas with Cauliflower… Enjoy.

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2017/02/03/try-some-cauliflower/

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Baked Cod and Cold Broccoli Salad

Hi Everyone,

I hope this weekend finds you all well.

I made another quick meal that I wanted to share with my members. I posted this to my personal Facebook page and received a lot of requests for the recipe so I wanted to share with all of you. It is simple and healthy and a break from pasta, beef or chicken.

I made a baked cod in butter sauce with blistered tomatoes garnished with lemon, scallions and parsley. And as a side dish I made an Italian style COLD broccoli salad with garlic and lemon. Two quick dishes to make one great meal.

I tweaked this recipe from the author Katya at the Littlebroken.com website a few years ago. Her original recipe called for 4 tbsp of butter and I cut that down and she used 1/4 tsp sugar which I eliminated and I added some dry herbs and white wine. I always tweak recipes to my liking.

So here is my version of Cod with Tomatoes and Herb Butter….

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. of fresh Cod cut into 6 oz portions
  • 1 medium shallot- finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves – minced
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes- cut in half
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 3 tbsp of freshly chopped herbs (basil, parsley, chives) for garnish
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 ½ lemons – 1 full lemon for juice / ½ sliced for garnish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small saucepan heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 4-5 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally

Add the cherry tomatoes, chicken stock, and red pepper flakes (if using). Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until tomatoes break down and release their juices. Add white wine and simmer a minute or two longer until the liquid has almost evaporated.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and add in the butter and fresh herbs. The butter will make a velvety and thick sauce. Cover and keep warm while the cod bakes.

Drizzle the bottom of a casserole dish with the 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil. (Choose a dish where the cod will fit in a single layer with some room around each piece).

Pat the cod dry and place in the casserole dish in a single layer. Season with salt, pepper and dried oregano to taste. Drizzle the top lightly with the remaining ½ tbsp. of olive oil and the juice of 1 lemon.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 12-18 minutes or until easily flaked. (Baking time depends on the thickness of the cod).

Remove from the oven and evenly spread the tomato butter mixture over the cod. Cover again with aluminum foil and let in stand at room temperature for 1-2 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Garnish with additional chopped herbs and serve immediately.

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Now for the side dish… The beauty of cold Broccoli Salad is that it can be made ahead of time. I usually make this is the morning so the lemon & garlic have time to flavor the broccoli.

This salad is a staple for our Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner on Christmas Eve.

Cold Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 large heads of broccoli crowns
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat the broccoli)
  • 2-3 larges cloves of garlic- chopped or thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (preferably from Italy)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooks Note:

  1. whole broccoli can also be used too- just peel and slice the stalks into bite size pieces
  2. adding kalamata olives is also an option
  3. if you prefer, you can also sauté the garlic in the olive oil for an infused garlic flavor and pour over the broccoli once it cools. I do this step when I have extra time.

Directions:

Cut the broccoli crowns into bite size pieces

I steam the broccoli for approx. 6 minutes until a knife can be inserted easily and they are tender. I think this keeps a nice green color ( Boiling is another option if you prefer).

Once the broccoli is cooked put it in a large bowl and while still warm, add the lemon juice and toss well.

Add the olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and toss well to cover the broccoli with all the flavors.

Can be served warm or cold, but I usually chill this is the refrigerator and take it out 10-15 minutes before serving.

Cooks Note: can also be made with cauliflower or Romanesque.

I hope you try one or both of these simple dishes and enjoy. Leave me a note in the comments as to what you think of the recipes and include your pics of these dishes. Stay well.

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Grandma’s Fried Zucchini Flowers

Photo Jul 19, 3 00 55 PM (1)

Click on the photo to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to the original size.

Hi Everyone, 

Hope all is well and for my members in the northeast, I hope you are handling the heatwave and my thoughts and prayers go out to my members in Texas who are dealing with the hurricane. My prayers for all.

Today’s post is about a traditional Italian summer favorite, Zucchini Flowers. Some of you may remember my first post about zucchini flowers in July 2018 (I will repost the original link at the bottom of the page). 

I have been posting this dish on my personal email quite a bit this summer and I have been asked to reprint the recipe once again.

Many people are unaware of this favorite Italian delicacy and for Italians everywhere, it is the beginning of the summer garden harvest.

When I used to entertain guests and serve this appetizer with a creamy ricotta and lemon/basil dip, people were shocked that the zucchini flowers were edible. They are delicious!

The first time I posted about this delicacy, I included the batter that I had been using for many years which included beer as part of the batter ingredients. Well, a week ago, a very generous neighbor gifted me some zucchini blossoms and I wanted to fry them immediately because they are best on the day they are picked and I didn’t have any beer in the house so I went old school and prepared them grandma’s way. 

Grandma used a simple batter of AP flour, club soda, salt & pepper, and baking powder that I wanted to share with you.

Whisk all the ingredients together very well, and coat the flowers lightly and fry to a golden brown. It’s as simple as that.

This batter brought back memories of grandma running out to the garden in the early morning when the flowers are open (and you can see if there are insects inside) to collect the blossoms to make either plain fried zucchini flowers or she would add them to scrambled eggs for breakfast.

Every bite was a culinary treat.

Absolutely delicious.

Always a summer treat. Grandma picked the male flowers (long skinny stems). The female blossoms have a small zucchini attached and keep those on the vine until fully grown and ripe.

Photo Jul 04, 10 54 26 PM (1)

(The dip is whipped ricotta with a drop of lemon juice, lemon zest, and some chopped fresh basil).

I really hope you try this recipe and enjoy every bite.

So here is the recipe for Grandma’s Zucchini Flowers….very simple and delicious…

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of flowers ( approx 30 flowers)
  • 2-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 24 oz. club Soda
  • olive oil

Directions:

  • Wash flowers under cold running water, drain and dry the flowers and remove the stamens inside, then remove the sepals on the outer leaves- be careful and watch for insects (mostly bees) inside the petals.
  • Cook’s Note: if the flowers are too wet, they will splatter once they hit the hot oil. Be Careful…
  • Dry the flowers on paper towels or on a tea towel and prepare the batter.
  • Heat 1-1/2 inch of olive oil in a skillet. Dip the flower in the batter and let excess drip off. Fry for 1-2 minutes per side turning once until golden brown. (crispy not soggy).
  • Remove with a slotted spoon & transfer to a paper towel-lined cookie sheet to drain excess oil.
  • You can sprinkle with sea salt or grated cheese and serve with ricotta dip.

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 There are many other recipes with leftover blossoms. 

For example, I add some diced and fried blossoms with some sauteed zucchini, cheese, sauteed onions, and a few eggs to make a wonderful summer quiche or add some fried flowers to a pizza. Both delicious treats.

Photo Jul 12, 8 23 27 PM

Below is my original post from July 18, 2018, with a little more detail and a recipe for stuffed zucchini flowers…..enjoy

Click on the link to open

https://dishingwithdiane.com/2018/07/18/summer-delight-fried-zucchini-flowers/2018 original post

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

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I Love hearing from you.

Photo Jul 08, 4 55 59 PM ZUCCHINI FLOWERS

 

Spinach Croquettes…

Photo Nov 07, 7 42 25 PM SPINACH CROQUETTES WITH SPINACH RAVIOLI

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Hi Everyone, 

I hope all is well and everyone is adjusting to the end of Daylight savings time and darkness at 5pm. I am personally not a fan. Add that to the cold weather and I am ready to stay in my home until the Spring. 

When the weather gets cold, all I want to do is make comfort meals, but there are just so many soups and stews you can make. I pulled an old recipe from my files that was one of my favorites when I was growing up and I have fond memories of making these spinach croquettes with my mother. I think it was her take on mini-meatloaf.

When I was younger I hated to eat sauteed greens, spinach, broccoli rabe, escarole, you name it. My mother would slowly incorporate these vegetables in other foods to make it more appetizing for me and this is one of those recipes.

You can use any ground meat of your choice although I have never made it with ground chicken. I usually make them with either ground beef or turkey. Lamb might be interesting. The ground meat is mixed with spinach, onions, and seasonings and either stuffed with a mozzarella cube or mixed with shredded mozzarella, breaded and broiled.

A winning combination.

I usually prepare this dish with spinach ravioli and a small salad, either a mixed green salad or a tomato salad with a basic oil & vinegar vinaigrette.

(In the photo, I have a slice of olive bread from the famous Madonia Bakery on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, NY. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Arthur Avenue- please don’t leave without buying the bread- beyond fabulous).

I hope you review the recipe and give it a try. Let me know if you do and send a photo.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I Love hearing from you.

 All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

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Spinach Croquettes

Ingredients:

(1 ½ – 2 lbs.) Ground turkey or beef, or combination beef/pork

1 small onion, diced (shallots can be substituted)

Seasoned breadcrumbs

Grated cheese

Salt & Pepper

No salt organic seasoning (Kirkland brand is the best) – optional

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 tbsp fresh parsley

Fresh mozzarella, diced in small cubes

1 egg, lightly beaten for the meat mixture

¼ cup milk

10 oz pkg chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained*

(* To drain spinach completely—after the package is thawed, place spinach in a dish towel and ring the towel out and release all the liquid)

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For the Breading:

2 tbsp olive oil

3 eggs lightly beaten

Cornflake or panko breadcrumbs

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Directions

In a large bowl, mix seasoned breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, garlic, onion, no-salt seasoning, salt, and pepper ……

ADD ground meat, Worcestershire sauce, and 1 slightly beaten egg. Add the drained spinach and gently mix the meat and seasonings –do not overwork the meat

Make ¼ cup size meatballs and put a small cube of mozzarella inside, close and form into an oval croquette shape…complete forming all croquettes before the next step….  or toss meat mixture with 2 cups of shredded mozzarella before forming croquettes.

In a breading tray mix 3 slightly beaten eggs with ¼ cup milk (add additional salt and pepper if desired), 2nd breading tray, mix cornflake or panko crumbs (and additional grated cheese & parsley if desired)

Dip the croquettes in breadcrumbs, egg mixture and then back to breadcrumbs and place on a cookie sheet drizzled with olive oil. Let croquettes sit for 5 minutes.

Broil for 10 minutes, flip and broil for 5-7 minutes longer until golden brown

(Optional: light fry in a sauté pan before the broiler to get a crispier breadcrumb……I usually do this step).

 

 

“Engagement Chicken”

 

Photo Sep 03, 12 00 17 AM ENGAGEMENT CHICKEN

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Hi Everyone,

I hope you are well. 

I haven’t been cooking much lately since I came home from the hospital but Bob was craving a roasted chicken and I did manage to prepare that using a new recipe and it was absolutely Fabulous!

So I have to share it.

I keep reading about “engagement chicken”. If you are not familiar with the story,  here is an excerpt from an article I read in The Daily Meal by Carlton Jared Lockett.

“The recipe was developed by Kim Bonnell, who gave it to co-worker Kathy Suder to prepare for her boyfriend. Soon afterward, the couple was engaged. The recipe was so spot-on that it became a hit in their office. Three other colleagues tried this secret weapon, and marriage proposals soon followed. Even Howard Stern’s wife used the recipe to win his heart. Some say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach — maybe this recipe will win your beau’s eternal affections”.

 Cute, right? It is even what Meghan Markle made Prince Harry for dinner before he proposed. I wasn’t looking for another marriage proposal but I had to try this chicken recipe. When I saw how easy it was, I was ready to cook.

I used the recipe courtesy of Ina Garten and added a few side dishes, mustard & brown sugar-glazed carrots ( I make this every year for Thanksgiving) and smashed Yukon gold potatoes.

It was a quick and delicious meal.

(PS- I didn’t get a marriage proposal but Bob did say that he loved the chicken. And loved that I made it for him even when I didn’t feel well. That is what you do after 34 years together, you take care of each other.)

I hope you give all of these recipes a try and enjoy them as much as we did.

They could be a nice addition to your Thanksgiving table.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

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Engagement Roast Chicken

Prep Time:5 min ***Cook Time:1 hr. 35 min***Level: Intermediate***Serves:3 Courtesy of Ina Garten…

Ingredients

  • 1 (4 to 5 pound) roasting chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 whole head garlic, cut in 1/2 crosswise
  • Good olive oil
  • 2 Spanish onions, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove and discard the chicken giblets. Pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Cut the lemons in quarters, place 2 quarters in the chicken along with the garlic and reserve the rest of the lemons. Brush the outside of the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle the chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the chicken in a small (11 by 14-inch) roasting pan. (If the pan is too large, the onions will burn.) Place the reserved lemons and the sliced onions in a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Pour the mixture around the chicken in the pan.

Roast the chicken for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and a thigh. Remove the chicken to a platter, cover with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes while you prepare the sauce, leaving the lemons and onions in the pan.

Place the pan on top of the stove and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits. Add the stock and sprinkle on the flour, stirring constantly for a minute, until the sauce thickens. Add any juices that collect under the chicken. Carve the chicken onto a platter and serve with the lemons, onions, and warm sauce.

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Carrots Glazed with Mustard and Brown Sugar

Brown sugar caramelized with butter and Dijon mustard creates a sweet-hot glaze for carrots. A sprinkling of fresh chives adds a colorful finish.

Ingredients:

  • Salt, to taste
  • 8 large carrots, peeled and sliced on the
     diagonal
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh chives or flat-leaf Italian
     parsley

Directions:

Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water, add the carrots and cook until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Return the carrots to the pan and set over medium heat. Add the butter, mustard and brown sugar, season with salt and pepper, and stir gently to coat. Cook, stirring constantly until the carrots are evenly glazed. Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and sprinkle with the chives. Serve hot.

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GARLIC SMASHED POTATOES

courtesy of Damn Delicious

These potatoes are incredibly tender on the inside yet amazingly crisp on the outside!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 24 ounces Dutch yellow baby potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly  ground black pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large pot of boiling water, cook potatoes until tender, about 15-20 minutes; drain well.
  3. Place potatoes onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a potato masher or fork, carefully smash the potatoes until flattened but still in one piece. Top with olive oil, garlic, and thyme.
  4. Place into oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp.
  5. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Let’s Dish.


Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I Love hearing from you. 

 All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my photos without prior written permission. Thank you!