Tag Archives: appetizer

Lately…

I may have a slight obsession with vanity plates.
Lawman I’m not usually a tea drinker, but this day it seemed right.Tea Can’t wait to install these on the grill.  Cooks who say they don’t like/need fancy gadgets are lying!grilllitWas going to save this for the beach, but already started it.  Has anyone read it?
book Chesapeake Bay BridgeBay BridgeThe first of probably a hundred tomato sandwiches that will be consumed this summer.
tomato sandwiche Figs, pistachios, lavender honey and goat cheese.  You know…just an appetizer.akinator I am addicted to the app, akinator!IMG_1610 Missed this guy for the past two weeksZigsA quiet celebration
birthdayAt 48, my brother became a first-time dad!  Brooke

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butternut squash spread with tahini

squash

I made this spread with a squash that I’ve had leftover since the spring CSA ended.  The squash smells wonderful while it’s roasting in the oven as the chunks caramelize in the cinnamon and olive oil.  Try to resist eating a few chunks before making the spread!

The spread is sweet and wonderful with warm bread, chips, or crackers.  Refrigerate any leftover spread, but it tastes best when you allow it to reach room temperature again before serving…and for the love of pita, make your own chips!  

butternut squash spread with tahini (from “Jerusalem:  a cookbook“)

one large butternut squash, peeled, seeds an pulp removed, and cut into chunks (approximately 7 cups of chunks)

5 Tbsp tahini paste

1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt

1/2 tsp salt

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp black and white sesame seeds

2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tsp cinnamon

2 cloves garlic, crushed

scoop it out

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roast the squash:  line a large baking sheet with parchment (or you may use a large rectangle baking dish).  Place the chunks of squash in a single layer in your baking dish.  Drizzle olive oil over squash.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and salt.  Place in oven and bake until tender, approximately 60-70 minutes, stirring squash once during baking to allow for even roasting.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

roasted squash

Place squash in a food processor.  Add yogurt, garlic, and tahini paste.  Pulse until combined and smooth (it’s okay if it’s a bit chunky).  Spread on a serving plate and drizzle with maple syrup.  Top with sesame seeds.

spreadmore spread

white bean spread with rosemary and toasted almonds

This past weekend we decided to forego several larger, more crowded local events (Preakness, Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival, Wine in the Woods) in favor of a beautiful hour-long drive to one of our favorite vineyards (on the east coast, that is).

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vegetarian potstickers

Calling these potstickers is a bit of a stretch.  They are both fried (just a little) and steamed (mostly).  You can use potsticker or dumpling wrappers; however I prefer wonton wrappers.  They’re a bit thinner and stay a little crispy on top, even after steaming.  Don’t lay the wrappers out on the counter until the filling is ready or they will start to harden.  I don’t seal the edges in typical potsticker/dumpling fashion.  Too difficult for me.  I do something more like twisting and crimping, which creates a cute, little parcel.

These can be served with soy sauce or you can get all Momofuku and make a chive oil to drizzle on top  (I wish I had a recipe to link to, but sadly it’s only included in the cookbook).  Emeril Lagasse has a recipe here.  If you make it, add some toasted sesame seeds.  Delicious!

I like to serve them with a sweet chili  sauce by The Ginger People.

vegetarian potstickers

1 package wonton, potsticker, or dumpling wrappers

1 cup yellow split peas

1/2 cup chopped shallots

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

salt and pepper

Bring 5 cups of salted water to boil in a saucepan.  Add the split peas and lower heat to low to medium.  Cook until tender, about 20-30 minutes.  Drain.  Let cool slightly.  Process in food processor until mashed (not pureed).  Mixture will be chunky, but you may have to add a bit of water to get it mash properly.  Add 1/4 cup of water to start and see how that is.  Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat (I use Safflower, but vegetable or canola work).  Add shallot and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Turn heat down to low.  Add pea mash to the shallots and stir until thoroughly mixed.  Add parsley.  You may have to add more water at this point if the mixture seems to dry.  It should hold together if pinched.  Remove from heat.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Let cool slightly while you prepare your wonton wrappers.

Sprinkle your counter with a small amount of flour.  Lay out your wrappers.  How many will you need?  Approximately 24, give or take.  Drop a mounded teaspoonful of filling into the middle of each wrapper.  Pull up the side of each wrapper, twisting and crimping to seal.

At this point you can place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze them if you don’t want to cook them immediately.

Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet.  Place the potstickers in the skillet, close together but not touching.  Work in batches if necessary.  Cook in oil long enough to develop a golden brown crust on the bottom of each potsticker, approximately 5-7 minutes.  Add 1/3 cup water to the skillet and cover with a tight fitting lid.  Steam the potstickers until cooked, approximately 8-9 minutes. Remove from skillet and serve.

These reheat nicely in the microwave.