Slow Roasted Plum Tomatoes

Cut the tomatoes, place in a glass rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, add fresh herbs, and roast for hours .

Cut the tomatoes, place in a glass rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, add fresh herbs, and roast for hours .

The tomatoes literally melt in your mouth.

The tomatoes literally melt in your mouth.

Tomatoes on warm bread with fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil.

Tomatoes on warm bread with fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil.

 What I should be doing: I really should be raking the leaves, (I think I will leave that for Gordy).

What I am doing:   Wondering what to do with a big bowl of plum tomatoes.

New love: Oven roasted tomatoes, you can add them to just about anything.

FYI:  I wish you were here because the house smells of garlic and rosemary.

BTW: The leaves still need to be raked, Gordy where are you?


Slow Roasted Plum Tomatoes

Ingredients:

2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
handful of fresh thyme
a few spring of fresh rosemary
kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
1 pound tomatoes, any variety

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF
2. Pour olive oil into a baking dish.
3. Cut tomatoes in half and place in the baking dish.
4. Toss tomatoes with the olive oil, garlic, fresh herbs and salt and pepper.
5. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer, cut side up
6. Bake for about two hours, or until the tomatoes are soft and juicy but slightly wilted.

Cooks Notes:  I usually make a bit batch of these and freeze. During the winter I add them to stews, pasta and soups.

VEGAN CORN PUDDING WITH FRESH THYME AND ROSEMARY

When I told Gordy I was making a pudding for dinner he thought he was getting chocolate pudding.  Wait until he finds out that this recipe has no milk, no butter, no flour… and no chocolate.


Vegan Corn Pudding

Serves 6 as a side dish

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups fresh corn

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (you could use soy milk)

  • 2 tablespoon of arrowroot flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme

  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon of cayanne pepper

  • 2 tablespoon melted Earth Balance Buttery Spread

  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder

  • 2 tablespoon of corn meal

Directions:

  1. Cut corn niblets off the cob.

  2. Whisk arrowroot in 1/2 cup of almond milk.

  3. Put 2 cups of corn and almond milk in the food processor. Puree.

  4. Add salt, pepper, cayenne, melted “butter,” baking powder, and cornmeal to the food processor, and process well.

  5. Add remaining corn, thyme and rosemary to the food processor and and pulse for 5 or 6 times, just until mixed, you should still have some of the texture of the corn.

  6. Grease a 9 or 10 inch round baking dish with canola oil or coconut oil. Scrape corn mixture into dish. Bake uncovered at 350º for 30 to 40 minutes or until slightly brown around the edges.

ASPARAGUS, STRAWBERRY AND QUINOA SALAD FOR THE MONTH OF MAY

Last Saturday, my friend Deborah invited me to come with her to a Nia class.  It was a special class with live music.  I danced free style and felt free.  After class we had lunch at my house and I put together this salad with fresh Ontario asparagus, strawberries, quinoa and some seeds on top for crunch. Kind of like dancing, but in a bowl!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces (cut off the tough ends)
  • 1 cup strawberries sliced in half or quarters depending on size
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, or fresh mint, or a combination, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, you may need more
  • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt & lots of pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Rinse quinoa in a strainer and place into a medium pot. Add 1.5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover with lid, and cook for 15-17 minutes, or until fluffy and all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat, and let sit covered for 5 minutes.

2. In a large skillet sauté the leeks and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Season with lots of salt and pepper. Add in the asparagus and sauté for another 5-10 minutes or until the asparagus is just tender, but still a bit crisp. Stir in the peas and heat for a few minutes and then remove from heat.  Let cool slightly before adding the dressing.

3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and adjust to taste. Pour dressing into the cooked quinoa and veggies. Add the sliced strawberries, parsley and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Just before serving sprinkle with pumpkin seeds or any seed or nut you like.

PISTACHIO AND DRIED-FRUIT HAROSETH

I know this is really good because right now Gordy is eating this on his gluten-free waffle!

Have a  Happy Passover.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups unsalted natural pistachios
1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
1/2 cup chopped dried cherries or dried cranberries
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup sweet passover wine
1/4 cup pure pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Stir pistachios in heavy medium skillet over medium heat until lightly toasted and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Combine dates, cherries or cranberries, raisins, apricots, wine, and juice in medium bowl. Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Mix in honey, lemon juice, orange peel, and spices.
  4. Chop pistachios; mix into haroset.
  5. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chil

MY MOTHERS’S LATKES

 These are my mother’s latkes and they are the best.  Latkes are a lot of work and I could make them, but something special happens when you are an adult and your mother still cooks the traditional Jewish food you love.  These latkes are make with arthritic hands, an old food processor, and lots of love!

All during Hanukkah friends love to share their latkes techniques, do you use matzoh meal or flour, peanut or corn oil, yukon gold or baking potatoes, hand grated or food processor. Then there are the friends who share their recipes of latkes made with sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots…Me, I am a latke purist. A  latke should be made with simple ingredients, yukon gold potatos, onion, egg, salt, matzoh meal, and be fried in  lots of oil, served with homemade applesauce and sour cream.

Latkes from my  Mother’s Kitchen

Ingredients:
4 medium potatoes, cut in wedges
1 large onion, cut in wedges
3 tablespoons matzoh meal
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
vegetable oil for frying (lots)
applesauce, sour cream

Directions:

  1. Spread grated potatoes and onion on a kitchen towel and roll up jelly-roll style. Twist towel tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible. Transfer potato mixture to a bowl and stir in egg and salt.
  2. Place shredding disc of food processor into mixing container. Closely pack potato and onion wedges into feed tube.
    Process while using food pusher to press potatoes and onion onto shredding disc. Transfer to mixing bowel.
  3. Place steel cutting blade into container.
  4.  Add  matzoh meal and salt,and eggs. When necessary scrape down sides of mixing container with rubber spatula .
  5. Add shredded potatoes and onion and process for a few seconds until mixed.
  6.  In one or two 12-inch skillets, heat oil to a depth of approximately 1/4 inch.
  7. Drop potato mixture by large spoonfuls into the oil. Flatten each mound slightly and fry in batches over medium-high heat until golden brown on both sides.
  8. Drain on paper towels, changing the towels frequently as they absorb the oil.
  9. To keep the finished pancakes warm and crisp while you fry the rest (or to reheat them if they were fried in advance), place them on a rack set over a cookie sheet in a preheated 300 degree oven.
  10.  Between batches add more oil to the skillet if needed, and make sure that it is hot enough before dropping in more potato mixture.

Serve hot with applesauce and sour cream.

THIS IS MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER’S GEFILTE FISH

My grandmother Jenny Mandel nee Schwartz, came from Minsk, Russia when she was just a baby. Her mother Mary who I am named after made gefilte fish for her family on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. When Jenny was old enough to learn her mother taught her and her sisters, Sarah and Edith.

It all starts with fresh fish. According to my mother, Jenny would  pick out her fish, ten pounds of white fish and always one Pike, once home the fish were kept alive in the only bathtub in the house.  The next day newspaper would be spread around the floor and kitchen table, the fishmonger would stop by…it was time to kill the fish.  As a child my mother never took a bath and she never ate the fish! 

When Jenny was in her 80’s it was time to teach my mother Irene. From then on twice a year my mother would make the gefilte fish with her late best friend Theda Warner.  I know that they had a long fun day of cooking, chopping, cleaning and lots of good gossip!  And fortunately we don’t have to worry about the bathtub, we can buy our fish already cleaned from Nortown!

Well, my mother turned 80 this year so I guess it is time I learn to make the fish!

I hope to carry on the tradition with my grandmother’s handwritten recipe.

 My mother Irene.