This delicious fall and winter squash salad takes two of my favorites; butternut and acorn, and pairs them with bacon, pomegranates, cranberry goat cheese, dates, pecans, arugula greens, basil and a spiced cumin-date dressing. Back in my days on the old format of Foodtoktv I went live to shared and older version.Since then, I have made a few revisions to amp it up further.
It’s hearty enough to be a meal on its own over arugula but it’s also a wonderful harvest side dish. You can easily adapt this and use your favorite squash, take it vegan or meat free as you prefer.
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 small butternut acorn, peeled, seeded, and cubed
½ to 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon freeze dried or fresh herbs
4 slices of pre-cooked bacon (optional)
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cayenne, less if sensitive to spice
6 cups loose-packed spring mix greens (optional)
1 diced sweet red or green pepper
1/2 cup diced onion
2 ounces goat cheese, torn into smaller pieces
6 Medjool dates, pitted and diced (2 for the dressing and 4 to top the salad)
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
¼ cup pistachios or pecans, crushed and toasted
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes
Cider Date Dressing (makes extra)
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 of the 6 Medjool dates, pitted
½ garlic clove (optional-dried is fine)
⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
black pepper, to taste
3 to 5 tablespoons water, as needed to blend
Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the squash cubes, chopped bacon, diced pepper and onions on the sheet and drizzle with olive oil and pinches of sea salt and pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.
Toss to coat and spread evenly on the baking sheet.
Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender and browned around the edges.
In a small bowl, stir together the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, herbs and cayenne. Set aside.
Make the Cider Date Dressing:
In a blender, combine olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, 2 dates, garlic (optional- powder is fine), cumin, salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons of water.
Add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of water as needed to blend.
Add more vinegar or lemon to taste
You want this to be just thick enough to coat the warm veg.
Remove the butternut squash from the oven, scrap and add to a bowl
Add the remaining 4 chopped dates
While warm, toss with the spice mixture.
Serving as a side dish:
Drizzle 1/3-1/4 of the dressing and gently toss
Top with pomegranates, fresh basil, goat cheese and nuts. (Check out my gluten free and carb friendly recipe for homemade granola and use that as a crunchy spiced garnish)
Add another drizzle of the dressing
Serve warm to room temp.
Serving as a salad
Layer the arugula on a platter or plate and top with some of the roasted squash.
Drizzle with ⅓ of the dressing,
add the goat cheese, dates, basil, pomegranates, and nuts.
Drizzle with more dressing as desired and serve on the side.Add a spritz of lemon
When Paul asked me to start shifting away from processed foods, and refined sugars and add more plant-based meals into our diet to help with his recently diagnosed sugar issues. I took to the challenge of trying new recipes and creating others that would appeal to me and him. This recipe for a homemade granola is one of them I found. Based on a version by Nigella Lawson, I amped up the flavors a bit for our tastes. My next version is to go for a savory version.
Makes: enough to fill 6 cup jar or air-tight container. It should keep for a good few months if it lasts that long which it won’t. It’s oddly addictive.
3 cups quick-cooking oats (not instant)
2-3 heaping teaspoons ground ginger
3 heaping teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup natural skin-on almonds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
⅓ cup brown flaxseed
½ cup sliced almonds (optionally here you can add a different nut of your preference)
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 Tablespoons of chia seeds
½ cup extra virgin olive oil (I also will use coconut or walnut oil)
I’m a fan of blending savory and sweet notes in dishes. and when visiting restaurants I often select dishes based on the potential combination of textures and flavors. I came across this dish for a vegetarian Tofu Napoleon at Jimmy’s Hideaway in Provincetown, One of my favorite places to eat. The Jimmy’s version is a layered dish is gluten free with layers of marinated & grilled Asparagus, Crimini Mushrooms, Gruyere Cheese Topped with Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto. It’s a huge portion and tasted as good the next day!
Now when I take a something and decide I want to recreate it – I will often amp it up a bit and in this case the idea of marrying it with some kind of compote or jam struck a chord. So I dug into my recipes and “re-lived” this version for Savory Sweet Cherry Tomato “Jam”. On my version I also swapped out the gruyere and added a layer of seared brie and polenta along with the grilled vegetables.
Savory Sweet Cherry Tomato “Jam”
1 ½ -2 pounds cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 medium thinsliced red onion
1/4 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cut diced dates or dried cherries (optional)
1/4 cup water
4 cloves garlic peeled and left whole
1 -2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1-2 teaspoons Herbs De Provence (you can substitute crushed rosemary or thyme)
1 teaspoon salt
Olive oil or Bacon fat
To a cold saucepan add some olive oil or bacon fat
Add the red pepper flakes, sliced onions and turn on medium heat and saute 3 min
Add the tomatoes, sugar, apple cider vinegar, water, garlic and herbs, salt and pepper ( if using the dried fruit add it here too).
Bringto a simmer.
Cover and reduce heat to low. The mixture will be very liquidy for about 10-15 minutes, but stir occasionally
Continue simmering the jam, stirring every few minutes,until it has reduced down to a thick, slightly sticky, and sweet consistency.depending on your pan this could take 20 – 40 minutes
Once it resembles a chunky loose jam. Remove the garlic. Taste.
Add any more herbs, salt or pepper. You can also add some honey if you want it more sweet. (Remember as this cools the flavor will be more muted so you want to plan for this)
Allow the mixture to cool before storing it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
I changed up the recipe a bit but overall its very similar to the original. The author creates his own savory spice seasoning blend used in several of the books recipes and I’m a fan of that alone! But make it the day prior as it needs a day to meld the flavors. I’ve included them both below.
4 cups Vegetable Broth
1 red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1½ tablespoons curry powder (start with 1 tablespoon- you can add more later depending on how warm you like it)
2 teaspoons date sugar syrup
1 teaspoon Savory Spice Blend (see below)
1 head cauliflower, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons lemon zest. Reserve the juice for the end –(original version used a blended peeled lemon but it wasn’t worth the effort in my opinion)
1 plum tomato, finely chopped, for garnish or
1 medium diced apple
In a large pot, heat 1 cup of the broth over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the juice of 1/2 lemon
Purée the soup in a food processor or with an immersion blender, working in batches if necessary.
Stir in the lemon zest
taste and adjust; more curry? Add some now, more lemon juice? Or other seasonings as desired.
Ladle into bowls and serve hot, garnished with chopped tomato or apples. Sprinkle fresh herbs or additional nutritional yeast.
If it is too “spiced” add a dollop of greek yogurt or dairy free sour cream to help balance the heat.
“How Not To Die” Savory Spice Blend
MAKES: ABOUT ½ cup for your cabinet
Great replacement for salt!
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast*
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons dry mustard (mustard powder)
2 teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon celery seeds
Combine all the ingredients in a spice grinder or blender to mix well and pulverize the dried herbs and spices. Transfer the blend to a shaker bottle or jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a cool, dry place.
This cookie is very similar to one I loved growing up in an Italian -American household called Anginettes, but different. The base of this recipe for Ricotta Glazed Cookies is as the title implies, based on Ricotta Cheese. It fit perfect for this week’s spring fresh live as it’s easy to adjust the glaze colors for any time of year and is a quick bake time and pairs great with the Tomato, Bacon & Cheese Shortcake I made during an old TIKTOK live
Ricotta Glazed Cookies
One cup of unsalted butter or margarine or 1/2 and 1/2)
2 cups of sugar
16 ounces of ricotta cheese
3 tsp of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of lemon extract
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda**
4 cups of flour
Zest of one lemon
For the glaze
Lemon juice or milk
A few drops of gel food coloring will bring these seasonal
Using an electric mixer combine butter sugar and ricotta cheese
Combine lemon zest, extract and vanilla extract with the cheese mix
In a separate bowl combine baking powder flour and salt
Add flour to the cheese mixture, mix until just combined
It should be thick enough that you can make walnut size balls if it’s too loose add some more flour
Scoop and roll onto your sheet pan
Bake on parchment lined pants, in the oven 8 to 10 minutes
When done, remove from the oven and let rest a few minutes in the pan, then place on a rack to cool
Prepare a glaze;
Blend confectioners sugar, lemon juice or milk, a pinch of salt.
Optional for the glaze could be several drops of almond extract or anise extract.
Combined until the consistency of a glaze you prefer, dip cookies upside down into the glaze then place right side up on the rack to drip dry
** When I made these on the live I left out teh baking soda and found I liked them that way.. will have to try it with next time
This is another of those handwritten treasures I found in an old recipe box while thrifting.
Yes. thats rights. I said it; Tomato, Bacon and Cheese Shortcake.
A savory take on a spring and summer classic. As many of you know I came across a early 60’s Bisquick cookbook (note: it’s been around since the 30’s) and have been having fun adapting some of the recipes. This particular one was in the book, but I add a few extras to bring it forward without damaging the classic feel. I’ve “super sized” it with a piece of fried chicken breast.
Bisquick was a staple for many of us growing up as a baking mix that allowed the home cook to come up with biscuit/cake/muffin products quickly, not needing to have leaveners etc. There are lots of recipes out there that can provide you with instructions to make your own version or you can still buy it commercially. In fact you can buy a variety of versions of it these days. In my house growing up it was a staple for pancakes waffles muffins occasionally it would get added to a cake. Enjoy!
Note – this isn’t an “everyday” treat.. but it sure is fun on a cheat day
Tomato, Bacon and Cheese Shortcake
4-6 Shortcakes or Biscuits
6-12 slices of Bacon
3 large or 5 medium ripen tomatoes
¼ cup butter or margarine
¼ cup Bisquick
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. dried mustard, if desired
2 cups milk
2 cups grated sharp cheese
3-4 minced chives or scallions
Make 6 individual Shortcakes or drop biscuits using your favorite recipe
Broil bacon, remove to paper towel to drain
Make the cheese sauce while shortcakes are baking
Melt butter over low heat.
Blend in Bisquick and seasonings.
Cook over low heat, stirring until smooth and bubbly.
Take off heat. Stir in milk.
Add back to heat, bring to boil; boil 1 min., stirring constantly.
Stir in cheese until melted
Slice ripe, medium-sized tomatoes.*
Split and butter ( or mayonnaise) both the top and bottom of the shortcakes.
Place 1-2 tomato slices on the bottom layer of the shortcake
Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Layer on 1-2 bacon slices
Spoon the cheese sauce over the bacon and tomato. Be generous! It should drip down over the bottom shortcake.
Sprinkle with minced scallions
Add the top shortcake or biscuit
Note: You can also substitute mayonnaise for butter on the shortcake or biscuit under the tomato layer. This also works with adding other proteins like leftover ham or fried chicken pieces
*the original recipe wanted peeled and sliced tomatoes, I no longer peel them.
Recipe adapted from the 1964 The Bisquick Cookbook Recipes from Betty Crocker in answer to your requests
I don’t cook with them often and when I do use them it’s usually like many people do. I put them in greens, lentils or beans.I wanted to come up with a recipe that was a little different and given it was a warm spell – not a soup. After a little researching in the vintage book collection, I came up with a variation I have to say it was pretty good.
Smoked Ham Hock Cheese Herbed Pasta
What you will need:
2 smoked pork hocks
1 large bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 cup Parmesan, grated
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp good olive oil
8 tbsp mascarpone ( more or less to your taste and texture)
1 package of linguine or any pasta of your choosing.
2 cup peas
Feel free to experiment – capers, other seasonal herbs, vegetables, even garbanzo brands could be included.
Place the hocks in a large pan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
Remove from the heat and leave until cool enough to handle.
Reserve about a cup of the stock. (you can freeze the rest for the fall when its time to make split pea or lentil soups
Remove the ham hocks from the broth, then peel off the skin and discard along with any excess fat.
Pick off all the meat and roughly shred/chop.
In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 of the chopped parsley, parmesan cheese, black and red pepper flakes, olive oil, mascarpone cheese, apple/lemon mixture, 1/2 lemon zest and reserved stock. Mix well. Thin with the remaining lemon juice. Thicken with more mascarpone or grated cheese
Fold in the ham hock pieces
You want this to be a thicken “grace”texture. Remember when you mix it into the pasta it will loosen some with the heat.
Bring a large pan of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the packet’s instructions (dont overcook the pasta).
Drain pasta (reserve 1 cup of the pasta water), returning the past to the hot pan, toss with the ham mixture. Add reserved pasta water if needed to loosen.
Garnish with the remaining parsley and lemon zest and few thin slices of apple
Serve warm.But I will say it reheat well too!
If adding other components like beans or veggies – sauté them off with pepper, garlic and olive out while the ham hocks simmer and let cool then mix into at step #6
If you aren’t into a lot of cheese – I also made it with just the grated cheese and it was just as good! Made a great side dish
This dessert is the perfect example of divine simplicity.
You can use a either homemade pizza dough, or a store-bought pizza dough as your base. There are multiple recipe versions online, including the original version I saw for “Pain de Quatre Heures” from Jacques Pepin (He has it in his Heart and Soul Cookbook) where he used hazelnuts. As somebody allergic to hazelnuts and cashews, it seemed that a perfect solution for me, was to swap them out for one of my favorite nuts; macadamia.
Since I make savory Calzones and Stromboli‘s all the time it wasn’t a huge leap for me to do a sweet version. So no matter what you call it; a sweet calzone or a sweet sandwich, either way it’s going to be a sweet ending!
This was a simple lunch my Dad used to make me on Saturdays when I would go into work with him At the New Haven Animal Shelter. He was the Director at the local Animal Shelter and I would spend weekends helping out. My Dad’s Saturday Shelter Tuna Salad is an Italian/Mediterranean inspired salad, based on the tuna packed in olive oil (instead of water), herbs and the sharpness of red wine vinegar instead of the traditional mayonnaise based tuna salad. This goes great on warm crusty breads or topped over greens even some warm from the oven Walnut, Bacon & Cheese Muffins
Dad’s Saturday Shelter Tuna Salad
3 Cans Tuna in olive oil, drain (reserve the oil is optional)
3 green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Parsley
1/4-1/2 tsp Dried Italian seasoning
Fresh or dried herbs of your choice
Crushed Red Pepper
1/4-1/2 cup Red wine vinegar
1 – 12 oz can Garbanzo Beans drained
1/2 cup diced Roasted Red Peppers (drained if jarred)
Washed and dried Arugula
1-2 hard boiled egg, peeled and diced
Hard crust style bread; italian, sourdough or rustic loaf
Optional: Fresh sliced fennel, sliced green olives, capers, chopped celery
Open and strain the tuna into a bowl. Lightly flake with a fork.
Dice the white and green parts of the green onions and sprinkle on top of the tuna (reserve 1/2 tsp for garnish)
Open, strain and rinse in cool water the garbanzo beans and add to the bowl (cannellini beans also work)
Add the diced (drained) red pepper, parsley, fresh/dried herbs of your choice, black pepper, salt and red pepper flakes.
Add the red wine vinegar
Slice the lemon in half. Make thin slices from 1/2 the lemon and juice the other 1/2 of lemon and add into the salad.
Gently mix the salad to incorporate all the ingredients.
** Chill if not being used right away This can be made up to several hours or overnight up to this step.
When ready to serve
Taste for salt.
If you like it less sharp, add a drizzle of good olive oil, more sharp? More lemon juice
Make a bed of arugula on a plate
Add a two slices of bread on the greens, drizzle the bread with Olive Oil
Scoop the salad on bread
Garnish with fresh parsley, reserved green onions and diced hard boiled eggs (optional; capers or dice up some of my Sherry’s Garden Pickles) and lay lemon slices along side.
Alternatives way to serve this:
Serve on its own or on greens, with a hunk of crusty rustic bread on the side, a chunk of asiago, ricotta insalda or pecorino romano cheese, some dried or fresh fruits figs, pears, apricots
Back when I was still collaborating with @Foodtoktv and went live for them, I did a Spring Fresh Pasta & Vegetables, loosely based on Pasta Primavera. After a minor issue with boiling the pasta ( don’t ask) it finally all came together to rave reviews.
I paired it with this Toasted Coconut Shrimp Dip from the same period in the 70’s. Since there reaction previously to my vintage Clam Dip Crostini was such a huge hit. This version is adapted from Mrs Larry Simon’s version shared in the “WHAT’S COOKIN’? In Cleveland Ohio” circa 1973
Toasted Coconut Shrimp Dip
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. curry powder
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted (Chopping optional)