Bistro Salad

This is such a simple salad that tastes amazing. Big surprise it’s from Patricia Wells’ Bistro Cookbook. You will have extra dressing.

2 bags of butter lettuce
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP sherry vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 c olive oil
Salt and pepper

Combine lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and olive oil in a small jar until well combined.

Toss with greens and serve.


Evergreen and Vanilla Soup

Another winner for Ms Patricia Wells! Who knew vanilla and tomato go so well together? It you don’t have green red or yellow will work too.

3 lb green zebra tomatoes, cored
1 vanilla bean
1/3 c best olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

In a blender combine tomatoes and olive oil. Slice vanilla bean in half and scrape out seeds and place in blender. Purée till smooth. Chill and serve.

Serves 6.

Caprese Salad


I know summer is finally here when I can eat Caprese salad everyday! So simple, so amazing – the fresher the tomatoes the better!

2 tomatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 burrata rounds, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
15 basil leaves
Olive oil
Espelette pepper

Layer tomato, basil and cheese, drizzle with oil, salt and espelette pepper.

Serves 2.

Gyro Bread


Lately I’ve been really into making my own simple breads: biscuits, pizza dough, pretzels and since I’m not a fan of store bought pita I figured I’d make my own gyro bread. It’s super easy and I doubled the batch and froze 1/2. For freezing follow directions up to rolling out the dough – wrap the dough balls in wax paper and freeze in a ziplock.

2½ tsp active Dry Yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Sugar
4 c flour
1½ c warm Water (105 – 120)
1 tbsp Olive Oil

Mix yeast and sugar with warm water. Leave aside for 10 minutes to ferment. Combine flour with salt and dissolved yeast in a large bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook. Knead for 5 minutes.

Pour olive oil over the dough and knead again to absorb the oil completely.

Cover with plastic wrap and keep in a warm place for 2 hours to rise and double in size. Knead again.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Preheat a cookie sheet or pizza stone in the oven.

Form the dough into two-inch balls and set these on a floured plate; let them rise for 15 minutes. Then place them on the floured board and flatten them out with a lightly floured rolling pin until they are about five inches around and 1/8″ thick.

Place the dough on a preheated cookie sheet in a 500-degree oven for five minutes. Turn the breads over and bake for an additional two minutes. Remove the breads from the oven and poke the tops with a fork to release the air inside. Serve hot or let them cool. Store the bread in plastic bags.


Roasted Broccolini


I love the flavor of roasted broccoli, especially the stems. I found some gorgeous Broccolini at the farmers market on Saturday and this is how I decided to pay tribute to it. I kept is simple, chopped, tossed with a little olive oil and sprinkled with espelette pepper and salt.

3 bunches of Broccolini, chopped in 1/4 inch pieces
2 tsp olive oil
Espelette pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

On a large baking sheet toss broccoli with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and Espelette pepper over the top. Roast 40 minutes until parts start to get crispy.

Serves 4.

Grilled Padrons


Today my favorite farmer was back at the Hayward Farmers Market! And he had a special treat just for me, he had set aside the first of his Padron crop just for me!!! Man do I feel special! OK, so I spend a ridiculous amount of money at his stand because his produce is that good, but how wonderful to have padrons set aside for just me 🙂

Olive oil

Toss padrons with olive oil.

Turn BBQ on high and get smocking hot. Turn down heat to medium, and roast padrons, turning a couple times. We use a veggie basket so we don’t have any casualties. Cook about 5 minutes until charred. Toss with salt & serve.

Roasted Romanesco Broccoli


This week I found the most beautiful Romanesco broccoli. I wanted to keep it simple so I just roasted it with a little olive oil and garlic.

1 head of broccoli
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 – 2 TBSP olive oil

Preheat oven to 425.

Cut broccoli into florets, toss with olive oil and garlic. Roast for 30 minutes until slightly browned, stirring several times

Serves 4.

Roasted Jersaleum Artichoke


I love the delicate flavor of Jersaleum Artichokes. And they are worth all the labor. When I buy them, i look for ones with as few nubs as possible, it makes for quicker peeling. This recipe is pulled from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan, and I just used a little less olive oil.

1 lb Jersaleum Artichoke, rinsed, peeled, and quartered
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 TBSP olive oil
4 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375.

Toss garlic, artichokes, olive and salt in a glass baking dish. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, stirring a couple times.

Serves 4.
3 WW PP per serving.

Roasted Balsamic Acorn Squadh


Fall means yummy squash! This week my favorite farmer had a couple beautiful acorn squash. After scouring recipe sites, this is what I came up with. Super easy and amazing!

2 acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
2 TBSP olive oil
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP honey
2 tsp chili flakes
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place acorn squash halves, cut side up, on rimmed baking sheet. Spray with olive oil.

Whisk oil with remaining ingredients in bowl; divide glaze among hollows of squash halves. Brush glaze over cut surfaces, leaving excess glaze in squash hollows. Bake until squash are very tender and brown, brushing cut surfaces every 15 minutes with glaze in squash hollows, about 1 hour.

4 servings
3 WW PP per serving.

Sicilian Pesto Pasta


This pasta is not for the faint of heart or typical American, including my hubby who did not like the flavor. It is adapted from my favorite cooking magazine, La Cucina Italiainia, the briny flavor was wonderful!

Fine sea salt
1 (2-ounce) can flat anchovy fillets, drained and rinsed
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons golden raisins, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes, then drained
12 capers, preferably salt-packed, rinsed, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, then rinsed again
2 tablespoons pine nuts
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound linguine

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In a small food processor combine the anchovies, garlic and parsley. Add raisins, capers and pine nuts pulse to combine. Drizzle in oil, pulsing until pesto is combined and smooth.

Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente. Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid, drain pasta and immediately return to pot. Add pesto and 3 tablespoons pasta cooking liquid. Toss to combine. Moisten with more pasta cooking liquid, if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves 2 – 4
5 WW PP per serving (4)