Tag Archives: vegetable

Butter-Roasted Cabbage with Citrus and Mustard

An interesting twist that elevates humble cabbage into something special. Softened butter is rubbed on edges of a cut head and then sprinkled with a fragrant combination of citrus zest, garlic and coriander. As the wedges roast, the exterior leaves become deeply browned and crispy, while the interior remains silky, sweet and tender. A bright, citrusy dressing completes the dish.

This side dish was born out of necessity. We were a few short days away from leaving for vacation, thus trying to use up any food that might spoil before we got back home. In our auxiliary refrigerator was a half-head of savoy cabbage which prompted us to look in our copy of Milk Street’s Vegetables cookbook for an appropriate recipe.

We had every ingredient on hand except for the hazelnuts (which is omitted in the list below) and decided to make it anyway, forgoing any nuts altogether. Since the half-head was just shy of 2 pounds, we kept all of the other staples at full value. As far as the herbs, we used a combination of chives and tarragon freshly picked from the garden.

NOTES: Don’t forget to allow the butter to soften. Make sure to line the baking sheet with foil (which I forgot to do).

Butter-Roasted Cabbage with Citrus and Mustard

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 tsp. grated grapefruit OR lemon zest, plus a 1/2 cup of its juice
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. salted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces and softened
  • 2-lb. head of savoy OR napa cabbage, tough outer leaves removes, quartered
  • 2 Tbsp. whole grain mustard OR Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon OR fresh chives OR fresh flat-leaf parsley OR a combination


  1. Heat the oven to 475°F with a rack in the middle position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the coriander, garlic, zest and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  3. Using your hands and 1 tablespoon of butter per cabbage wedge, rub the butter on all sides and into the layers. Sprinkle the wedges evenly with the spice mixture, rubbing it in to adhere, reserve the bowl.
  4. Place cabbage wedges cut side down on the prepared baking sheet. Cover tightly with foil and roast until a skewer inserted into the thickest part meets little resistance, 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Uncover the baking sheet and roast until the cabbage is deeply browned on all sides, about 15 minutes more, flipping halfway through.
  6. Meanwhile in the reserved bowl, whisk together the citrus juice, mustard, honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
  7. Place wedges on a platter and drizzle each with 1 tablespoon of the sauce. Sprinkle with chopped herbs and serve with any remaining sauce on the side.


Adapted from a recipe in Milk Street’s “Vegetables” cookbook.

Braised Leeks; Two Options

In the allium family, leeks are the tallest and offer the sweet taste of onion but with an earthier, grassy herbal character, and we love them! This first Braised Leeks with Bacon and Thyme recipe hailing from Molly Stevens “All About Braising” cookbook braises the leeks slowly in chicken broth until they collapse into blessed tenderness.

As Molly describes, braising reveals all of their goodness and brings out a complexity of flavor that would be lost by boiling or steaming. They are infinitely versatile and made a perfect accompaniment to our roasted chicken dinner. Serve them hot, warm, at room temperature or even a little chilled. They’ll keep for several days in the refrigerator.

Option number two is a vegetarian dish from Milk Street. Braised Leeks with Balsamic Glaze are meltingly tender. They are poached in olive oil and water then drizzled with a tangy-sweet balsamic glaze. The vegetable retains its mild spring onion flavor with none of the raw allium pungency—a wonderful example of letting the natural flavor of an ingredient shine through!

Leeks are at their best in the fall and winter. Shop for leeks that feel solid at the base, not at all squishy. The green top portion should be dark, not dried out. Inspect the white portion to see that it’s smooth and bright, not split or slimy. Late-season leeks may have developed solid woody cores, an indication it is way past their prime, and shouldn’t be purchased.

Braised Leeks with Bacon and Thyme

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 4 to 5 lbs. medium to large leeks
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut lengthwise in half
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme (do not substitute dried)
  • 1 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 lemon


  1. Place the bacon in a medium skillet, set over medium heat, and fry, stirring often with a slotted spoon, until mostly crisp but with some softness remaining, 8-10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain, and set the skillet aside.
  2. Preheat the over to 325°F. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. (We didn’t have as many leeks so we used a 9×9 square dish.)
  3. With a large knife trim off the root end of each leek, but leave the base intact. Get rid of the heaviest green part and any tough white parts. Cut off the tops at the point where the green turns from pale and smooth to dark and leathery.
  4. Cut the leeks lengthwise in half, without cutting completely through the root end, Wash the leeks thoroughly, holding them upside down under cold running water and flaring the layers to let the water run through to remove all the sand.
  5. Shake off the excess water and place them in one layer in the prepared baking dish. Tuck the garlic halves in the dish and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Sprinkle on the thyme.
  6. Pour off as much fat from the reserved bacon skillet, without discarding the bacon drippings. Place over high heat, add the stock, and bring to a boil to deglaze the pan, scraping with a wooden spoon. Pour the hot stock over the leeks.
  7. Cover the dish tightly with foil and place on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Braise for 30 minutes.
  8. Turn the leeks over with tongs, and continue braising uncovered until the leeks are fork tender, another 15-25 minutes. Scatter the reserved bacon over the leeks and continue braising for an additional 15 minutes, or until the leeks are soft enough to be easily pierced with the tip of a knife.
  9. With tongs and a slotted spoon, transfer the leeks and bacon to a platter, and cover with foil to keep warm. Pour any remaining juices, along with those from the platter, into a skillet and reduce down to 1/4 cup. Add a generous squeeze of lemon, taste for salt and pepper, and simply pour over the leeks. Serve warm or room temperature.


Braised Leeks with Balsamic Glaze

You want to make sure not to stir the leeks too vigorously or too often when browning them. Stir gently just once or twice, without flipping them, so they color evenly. And once the water goes into the pan and the cover goes on, it’s best to simply shake the skillet, not stir its contents, so the leeks hold together.

These leeks just melted in the mouth! We omitted the sliced almonds for this meal; and next time we would cut the glaze in half. Although it was very good, we didn’t even use all of it and it was still a lot.

Braised Leeks with Basamic Glaze

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 lb. leeks, white and light green parts only, outer layers removed
  • 2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter, cut into 2 pieces
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 6 thyme sprigs, plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 3 Tbsp. sliced almonds, toasted (optional)


  1. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise. Fill a large bowl with water, submerge the leek halves and swish them around to remove the grit between the layers. Pour off the water and repeat until the leeks are clean, then pat dry. Cut the leeks on the diagonal into 2-inch sections, keeping the layers intact as much as possible.
  2. In a 12-inch skillet, combine the oil, butter and leeks, adding them to the pan cut side down. Set the pan over medium-high and cook, gently stirring only once or twice so the layers do not separate, until the leeks are lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes.
  3. Add ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper, then slowly add ⅔ cup water. Add the thyme sprigs, cover and reduce to medium-low. Cook, occasionally shaking the skillet, until a knife inserted into the leeks meets no resistance and most of the water has evaporated, about 20 minutes.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the leeks to a platter, leaving the oil in the skillet. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs. Add the vinegar and honey to the pan, then cook over medium, stirring often, until the mixture is syrupy, 2 to 4 minutes.
  5. Taste and season with salt and pepper, then pour over the leeks. Sprinkle with the chopped thyme and the almonds, if using.


Garlic-Miso Butter Mashed Potatoes

In the most recent issue of Bon Appétit Magazine, the minute I saw this recipe I knew we had to make them. Then serendipitously, while deciding our weeks menus, The Hubs came across a Braised Asian-Style Pork Shank entree which we knew would pair well with these potatoes—and we had shanks in our freezer!

But back to those potatoes. The original serves eight, so we cut it in half for just the two of us (with leftovers). After rereading the recipe numerous times, and the fact that I’ve made mashed potatoes for decades—and am pretty darn good at them—I instinctively knew there was WAY too much butter and cream, resulting in potato soup. After I made them my way, I went back to the online comments and sure enough, many disappointed reviewers noted that fact.

For example, the BA recipe called for 1 1/2 cups heavy cream which I cut back by 2/3, to only a 1/2 cup. The butter was listed as two full sticks, cut that by at least 50% and use only one stick, or less, if making the full recipe. And I always like to use ground white pepper in my potatoes, but that’s a personal preference. Ground pepper of any kind is a must.

“A couple of spoonfuls of miso adds a little extra umami and saltiness to these spuds, a subtle bridge between the roasted garlic and dairy that nobody will quite be able to put their finger on. And yes: These potatoes are actually mashed. I’m not going to stop you from pulling out a ricer or food mill if supersmooth is your thing, but I personally like a bit of texture—a few bits of intact potato remind you that you’re actually eating, you know, potatoes.” —Brad Leone

NOTE: You can either make the garlic paste ahead (Steps 1 through 3), or if you already have some in the fridge, you are way ahead of the game. You’ll save an hour and a half on dinner day.

In the end, even with my diminished amounts of butter and cream, I still found the mash too loose, especially the reheated leftovers, so consider scaling back even more… although they were indeed delicious!

The silver dish on the left holds the homemade silky garlic paste.

Garlic-Miso Butter Mashed Potatoes

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. white or yellow miso
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 lb. medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 8 spuds)
  • ½ cup heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cut ½” off top of each head of garlic to expose just the tops of the cloves inside. Place on a 12″-square piece of parchment paper or foil. Drizzle with oil and season with salt. Drizzle 1 tsp. water over.
  2. Bring edges of parchment up and over garlic and fold together to make a packet and seal. Place on a small rimmed baking sheet and bake until very tender, 60–75 minutes.
  3. Let garlic sit until cool enough to handle, then squeeze out cloves into a medium bowl. Add butter and mash together into a paste with a wooden spoon or stiff rubber spatula. Add miso and mix well. Season garlic-miso butter with salt and pepper; set aside.
  4. Peel and quarter potatoes. Place in a large pot and pour in water to cover by 1″; season generously with salt. Bring water to a boil over medium-high, then reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are very tender (a tester or paring knife should easily slide into flesh), about 20 minutes from the time water starts to simmer. Drain potatoes and let sit 5 minutes to dry out; reserve pot.
  5. Bring cream to a simmer in reserved pot over medium-high. Remove from heat and return potatoes to pot. Set aside about 3 Tbsp. garlic-miso butter for serving and add remaining garlic-miso butter to pot. Using a potato masher (or use a potato ricer or food mill if you prefer a silkier texture), smash potatoes until mostly smooth; taste and season mashed potatoes with salt.
  6. Transfer mashed potatoes to a large shallow bowl. Top with reserved garlic-miso butter and season generously with more pepper.

Do ahead: Mashed potatoes can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill potatoes and reserved garlic-miso butter separately. Reheat potatoes over medium, stirring often and adding 1 tablespoon milk at a time to thin if needed.


Recipe loosely adapted from Brad Leone for Bon Appétit

Warm Artichoke-and-Feta Dip

This is one of the easiest appetizers to make, thanks Trisha Yearwood! Instead of canned artichokes, we used the marinated jarred version, and we sprinkled some paprika on top for a touch of color and even more depth of flavor.

To lighten our load on the day of the party, the dish was made and put in a small casserole dish covered with foil, then refrigerated overnight. About an hour before it went into a 350° oven, it sat on the countertop to warm up. Make sure to uncover the dish before popping it in the oven.

Artichoke-and-Feta Dip

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • One 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
  • 5 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2-oz. jarred roasted red peppers, drained and diced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • Paprika for topping, optional
  • Sea salt pita chips, for dipping 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the artichoke hearts, feta, mayonnaise, Parmesan, red pepper and garlic until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle paprika on top, if desired.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a small casserole or glass pie plate and bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  4. To serve, place the dish on a larger platter and surround with pita chips.


Adapted from a recipe by Trisha Yearwood

Roasted Fennel with Orange-Honey Dressing

Fennel is a love it or hate it vegetable because of the intense anise flavors. But roasting the bulbous veggie helps mellow the licorice notes and turns its fibrous texture luxuriously creamy. For this roasted fennel, Cook’s Illustrated (CI) began by cutting the bulbs into wedges, which had two benefits: It provided good surface area for browning, and the attached core kept the pieces intact.

Covering the pieces with foil for most of the cooking time allowed them to steam and turn creamy; then remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of roasting so that they can turn golden and deliciously caramelized. Toss the wedges with salted water before covering them, which provides moisture for steaming and helps get seasoning between the layers.

Arranging the pieces on the long sides of a rimmed baking sheet ensures that all the pieces get equal exposure to the heat and browned evenly. However, the original recipe did not specify what size rimmed baking sheet and we used the smaller quarter sheet pan instead of a half sheet pan. Because of that, we think it took much longer for the liquid to evaporate, thus much longer for the fennel wedges to brown. In fact, we even put them under the broiler at the end for a minute or so.

The tart dressing made with orange juice and honey is the perfect complement to the sweet fennel. WOW, we practically swooned when eating it! And it was a great side dish to complement our Sear Roasted Salmon entrée, but I changed the number of servings from 4-6 to 3-4; we almost finished it off between the two of us.

CI Note: Look for fennel bulbs that measure 3½ to 4 inches in diameter and weigh around 1 pound with the stalks (12 to 14 ounces without); trim the bases very lightly so that the bulbs remain intact.

Roasted Fennel with Orange-Honey Dressing

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed of stalks (but save some fronds for garnish), bases lightly trimmed
  • 2 Tbsp. fronds chopped coarse, stalks discarded
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp. pepper


  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 ½ tsp. white wine vinegar
  • ⅛ tsp. grated orange zest plus 1 tablespoon juice
  • Pinch kosher salt


  1. FOR THE FENNEL: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray rimmed baking sheet with vegetable oil spray.
  2. Cut each fennel bulb lengthwise through core into 8 wedges (do not remove core). Whisk water and salt in large bowl until salt is dissolved. Add fennel wedges to bowl and toss gently to coat. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with pepper, and toss gently to coat.
  3. Arrange fennel wedges cut side down along 2 longer sides of prepared sheet. Drizzle any water in bowl evenly over fennel wedges. Cover sheet tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the foil from the sheet and continue to roast until side of fennel touching the sheet is browned, 5 to 8 minutes longer (this may take even longer than that), rotating sheet halfway through roasting.
  5. Flip each fennel wedge to second cut side. Continue to roast until second side is browned, 3 to 5 minutes (or more) longer. Transfer to serving dish.
  6. FOR THE DRESSING: While fennel roasts, whisk all ingredients together in small bowl.
  7. Whisk dressing to recombine when ready to use. Drizzle dressing over fennel, sprinkle with fennel fronds, and serve.


Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated