What can I say? The white bean craze continues! This meal hits all those hearty seasonal spots, with its delicious, vegetarian goodness. Mushroom and White Bean Stuffed Squash By Holly Rodricks Makes 4 servings. Ingredients: 2 Acorn Squash, halved and seeded (Other, similarly-sized squash such as Carnival or Sweet Dumpling can be substituted.) Olive Oil 1-2 tbsp. Salted Butter 1/4 cup Red Onion, diced 1 clove Garlic, finely minced 1/2 lb. Baby Bella Mushrooms 1 cup White Beans, rinsed and drained 1 tsp. Whole Grain Mustard 1/8 tsp. White Pepper 1/2 Parmesan Cheese, grated Salt and Pepper to taste Instructions: Preheat oven to 375º. Lightly coat interior and exterior of all 4 Squash halves in olive oil. Sprinkle all over with Salt and Pepper. Set aside. In a frying pan, over medium heat, melt Butter. Add Onions and cook gently until partially translucent. Add Garlic and sauté until aromatic, 1-2 minutes. Add Mushrooms, White Beans, Mustard, White Pepper, and Salt to taste. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Lay Squash, hollow-side up on rimmed baking sheet. Stuff with sautéed mixture and sprinkle generously with grated Parmesan. Bake for approximately 60 minutes, or until Squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Serve hot, with a side of roasted winter vegetables!
My favorite part about this recipe (other than it’s crispy-creaminess, of course!) is that the stovetop portion can be done ahead of time, saving the final broiling for right before you eat. It’s a perfect compliment to holiday main courses such as roasted turkey or chicken. Also, save that delicious cream that’s left over and drizzle it over roasted potatoes or freshly cooked greens or to fold into mashed potatoes. Creamy Braised Potatoes and Fennel By Holly Rodricks (Inspired by Food52.) Makes 4 servings. Ingredients: 3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5-2″ chunks 2 Fennel Bulbs, with tough/bruised outer layers removed, trimmed and cut lengthwise into wedges about 1.5” wide, leaving core intact to hold wedges together 2 cups Cream 1 cup Chicken Stock 1 Bay Leaf 4 large sprigs fresh Thyme (or 1/2 tsp. dried Thyme) 1/2 tsp. dried Orange Zest (or fresh zest of 1 Orange, if available) 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Cheese, finely grated 3 tbsp. Olive Oil Salt and Pepper to taste Instructions: In a medium bowl, combine Cream and Chicken Stock and set aside. In a 4 quart pan, combine Potatoes, Fennel wedges, and Bay Leaf. Season generously with Salt and Pepper. Pour Cream mixture over vegetables until just covered and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until Potatoes and Fennel are tender and cooked through. While vegetables are cooking, toss Thyme, Orange Zest, and Cheese together in small bowl until evenly mixed, and set aside. A few minutes before Potatoes and Fennel are cooked, preheat oven broiler to medium high and generously coat the bottom of a casserole or gratin dish with olive oil. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked vegetables to prepared dish. Some Cream mixture will carry over, which is a good thing! Add more Salt and Pepper to taste, as necessary. Then drizzle Potatoes and Fennel with a little more Olive Oil and add Cheese mixture. Toss all ingredients together until evenly coated. Spread out in a single layer in dish and place under broiler, approximately 6 inches away. Brown for 3-5 minutes, until potatoes and fennel are crispy around the edges, or longer as suits your preference. Serve hot! *Image courtesy of: https://food52.com/recipes/14606-crispy-cream-braised-potatoes-and-fennel.
Summer Minestrone Soup By Emily Burrichter Makes 4-6 servings. Ingredients: 6 cups Water 1 6 oz. can Tomato Paste 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning or 1 tsp. dried Oregano 1 Onion, chopped 1 bulb Garlic (6-8 cloves), minced 1 medium Zucchini or Yellow Squash, chopped 1/2 bunch greens of choice (Chard, Kale or Spinach), stems removed and cut or ton into small pieces 1 15 oz. can Kidney Beans 1 cup Penne or Rotini 1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese 2 tbsp. fresh Basil, chopped (Optional) Salt and Pepper to taste Instructions: In a stock pot, bring Water to boil and and Tomato Paste and Italian Seasoning. Add Onion, Garlic, Zucchini, and Greens to pot. Boil for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add Kidney Beans and Pasta. A couple of minutes before Pasta is done cooking, when it’s al dente, turn off heat and add Parmesan Cheese, Fresh Basil, and Salt and Pepper to taste.