Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Squash on Toast at ABC Kitchen

I recently went to lunch at one of my favourite eateries – ABC Kitchen, at one of New York City’s most beautiful stores ABC Carpet & Home.

The menu offered many seasonal dishes of which one I just could not get enough off. It was their roasted kabocha squash toast w/ fresh ricotta and apple cider vinegar”. The flavors and textures of this creation were simply divine. Thoughtfully layered with crunchy bread, salty cheese, sweet and earthy squash, topped with chili and mint – it was divinity in each bite.

I recreated this dish in my kitchen using Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s recipe and though I could not get it to taste exactly the same but it was still par excellence.

 

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You must use good quality bread and you can use any cheese from ricotta, goat cheese – I even tried it with a herbed cream cheese and it tasted so good. I would try it with butternut squash the next time around.

 

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This makes for a wonderful snack, appetizer or even a lunch dish!

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Plantain Kababs (Kachha Kela ka Kabab)

Plantains are a really wonderful source of fiber and vitamins C and A. They taste especially good when spiced up and pan-fried to make a yummy meal that can be served with pretty much anything.

 

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Peter Paniccia’s Stir Fried Hot Peppers w/ Bread Crumbs

I can’t stop raving about my favorite organic CSA farmer Peter Paniccia of Pietro’s Coop and his hot peppers. This past year, he showed me a really great way to cook these peppers.

It was so yummy that I pretty much ate the whole pan of peppers myself – don’t ask what happened to my stomach the next day! Next time I will show some restraint (or maybe not)

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Parsley Pesto

I am so spoiled by my favorite organic CSA farmer Peter Paniccia of Pietro’s Coop who brings me bushels of parsley every summer and fall. I use a lot of this parsley fresh in my everyday cooking but I also make a great pesto with it, which last me through the winter months.

The pesto is really easy to make and keeps really well in the fridge for months on end. I use it in everything from pastas, soups, sandwiches, sauces and so much more.

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Atsuko’s Potato Salad

My mother-in-law makes the best potato salad ever!

It is chock-full of vegetables and really super tasty. Here is her simple recipe.

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Parsley Oil

My friend Peter Paniccia spoils me silly with fresh vegetables from his organic garden. When he brings me parsley, he doesn’t bring it in bunches – he brings it in bushels!!

Here is a wonderful recipe for parsley oil from Yottam Ottolenghi, which can be used as a dip, a sauce, a condiment and pretty much goes with anything. I put it in sandwiches, roast veggies with it, use it in salads, pastas and so on.

It keeps for a few weeks in the fridge but once you start eating it – don’t expect it to last quite that long.

 

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Zaalouk Salad (Eggplant) at La Maison Arabe

Zaalouk is a scrumptious cooked salad made with eggplants. It is one of my favorite salad dishes in Moroccan cuisine and I was thrilled when we learned how to make it at my cooking class at La Maison Arabe in Marrakech.

Zaalouk is most delicious when eaten with warm, crispy slices bread (Khubz). Zaalouk keeps for many days in the refrigerator, tasting better as time goes by. In fact it is recommended that you make this salad a day ahead.

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