Braised Fennel

from Simply Recipes, serves 4 as a side


  • 2 large onions, halved then sliced lengthwise (root to tip) in 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 2 large fennel bulbs, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice


1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large, uncovered, wide pan on medium high heat. Add the sliced fennel and onions and stir to coat. Stir occasionally. After about 10 minutes, sprinkle the onions and fennel with salt. Lower the temperature to medium. You want to strike a balance between allowing the pan to get hot enough so that some caramelization (when the natural sugars in the onion and fennel start to brown) and keeping the pot from getting so hot that the onions and fennel dry out. If it becomes an issue, you can add a couple tablespoons of water to the pan to help the onions and fennel to keep from drying out too much.

2. Stir occasionally, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Note that the browned bits are the tastiest parts. Cook for another 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how much of a hurry you're in, and how caramelized you want your mixture to be. The longer you cook, the more caramelized and browned. Taste test along the way to see if the cooking has been sufficient for your taste. By the way, the onions and fennel will have plenty of flavor without having to be completely cooked down and browned all over.

3. When ready to serve, remove from heat and toss in the freshly grated Parmesan cheese, the chopped parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice if necessary.


Chestnut Pumpkin Soup

from Martha Stewart, serves 10


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 8 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken or vegetable stock, plus more if needed
  • 4 pounds roasted Seminole squash/pumpkin cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 large waxy potatoes, such as Yukon gold (about 3 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound peeled roasted chestnuts
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Up to 2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions; cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the stock, pumpkin, potatoes, and chestnuts; simmer over medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly.

  2. In batches, process mixture in a food processor until smooth (if soup is too thick, gradually add more stock). Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, stir in cream to taste, and garnish with pumpkin seeds, if desired.

Roasted Sweet Pepper Salad

from, serves 4


  • 4 small sweet peppers, any color
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 anchovy fillets packed in olive oil, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 can (15 ounces) small white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup packed spicy baby greens, such as watercress or arugula


1. Char bell peppers over the flames of a gas burner, turning with tongs until blackened and blistered, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, broil them 2 or 3 inches from heat source.) Transfer peppers to a bowl, cover with a plate, and let stand until cool. Scrape off skins with a paring knife and wipe flesh clean with a paper towel. Keeping stems intact, cut peppers in half lengthwise, then remove and discard seeds. Arrange on a platter and season with salt and pepper.

2. Whisk together anchovies, garlic, vinegar, oil, and parsley in a medium bowl. Add beans and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon over peppers and top with Parmesan and greens.

Grilled Okra with Chipotle Dipping Sauce

from, serves 4-6


1 pound finger-sized okra
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 chipotle in adobo, roughly chopped (seeds removed, if desired)
1 tablespoon adobo sauce from the can of chipotles
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt


1. Heat a grill to high heat. If your grill grates are so wide that the okra might fall through, use a vegetable grilling pan or spear the prepared okra on skewers.
2. Prepare the okra by slicing each one down its length, stopping just short of the top. This helps the okra cook more evenly and creates more crispy bits. Toss the okra in a mixing bowl with the olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. (If needed for grilling, spear the okra on skewers, like kebabs.)
3. Combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, chipotle, adobo sauce, lime juice, and the salt in a blender or in the measuring cup of an immersion blender. Blend until thoroughly combined. Taste and add more adobo sauce, lime juice, or salt, to taste. Transfer the sauce to a small serving cup.
4. When the grill is ready, spread the okra out in a single layer over the grill (or in the grill pan). Cover and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove the cover and flip the okra to grill the other side. Continue grilling, flipping as needed, until the okra are evenly grilled on all sides, another 3 to 5 minutes (5 to 7 minutes total).
5. Transfer the grilled okra to a serving plate and serve with the chipotle sauce. Okra is best if eaten immediately, while still piping hot from the grill.

Eggplant Burgers with Glazed Shallots

from Joanne Eats Well With Others, serves 4


For the burgers

  • 1 lb eggplant 
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 oz provolone or gruyere

For the shallots

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup beer (I used Blue Moon)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp honey


For the burgers

  1. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the eggplant and boil uncovered until eggplant is soft, about 10 minutes, pushing them down as necessary so that they stay in the water. Drain and let cool. Press out as much water from the eggplant as possible. Very finely chop eggplant.
  2. In a bowl, combine the eggplant with the breadcrumbs, cheese and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in the egg.
  3. Split eggplant mixture into four patties. Cook on a grill or shallow fry in olive oil for 3 minutes on each side, turning once halfway. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
  4. When ready to serve, cover each burger with a slice of cheese. Heat in the oven on 350, or cover grill until cheese has melted, 2-3 minutes.

For the caramelized shallots

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add the shallots to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until starting to brown. Add the beer, soy sauce, mustard, and honey to the pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer until liquid thickens into more of a glaze and the shallots are cooked through, about 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Serve burgers topped with shallots.