Pink Pickled Turnips and Cauliflower

Happy birthday, Dad (December is a big birthday month for our family)!

And Happy Hanukkah!

When I read that we would be getting turnips and beets from our final farmshare pickup, I said Awesome, I can pickle the turnips, if only we had some cauliflower… And that Monday, when I went to pick up the vegetables, surprise! We also got to take home a head of cauliflower. So now I had to make these pickles!

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Potato Gratin

Before we share a recipe with you, please join us in wishing our sister Rayna a very happy birthday!

And a happy Hanukkah to everyone!

Now, back to food:

When we were in Ireland, we had the most delicious potato gratin at a little cafe on Inishmore, the largest of a group of islands called the Aran Islands. We had to take a ferry there from where we were staying in the amazing town Doolin, and the water was rough, but this recipe was worth getting seasick on the trip back. We spent the day exploring a place much more remote than the island we live on, seeing beautiful old sites and gorgeous green views! This gratin was one of the only vegetarian things on the menu at the cafe, and one of the few things that didn’t include sausage, which is why we ordered it. After the first bite I asked them how the prepared it; I had to recreate it at home!

The beautiful prehistoric ring fort, Dún Aengus:

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Winter Squash Penne: Check Our Our Guest Post on Kosher in the Kitch!

Now that it’s November, we’ve been getting a lot of winter squash from the CSA. You may remember my zucchini overload this summer, which I turned into a pasta dish, but winter squash is a totally different vegetable (and butternut is our favorite), so we created a pasta and squash dish just for these chilly months.

Head on over to Kosher in the Kitch for our Winter Squash Penne recipe!

(You may remember them from when we shared our Kosher Pad Thai there.)

Marinated Beets

I have been making these beets every time I picked up beets from my csa, and I’m sorry for not sharing with you sooner! They are simple to make, you already have the ingredients in your pantry (I hope) and you make them one night and eat them throughout the week. I like them plain, but you can also add them to salads.

Beets are really healthy! That’s why The New York Times featured them in “Recipes for Health.” So you should make these as a healthy snack. No more potato chips for you! Okay, so maybe I shouldn’t bad-mouth potato chips; they don’t stain my hands red when I handle them! And they’re crunchy and addictive and delicious. But so are these.

Marinated Beets from The New York Times


  • 1 lb beets, scrubbed and trimmed
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, divided
  • salt to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


  1. Put the beets in a saucepan and cover with water. Add 1/4 cup of the vinegar and the salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until beets are tender.
  2. Remove from heat and add garlic to the pot. Let cool.
  3. While cooling, combine the remaining vinegar and the sugar and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  4. Without draining the pot, remove the beets from the pot, peel the skins off and cut into wedges.
  5. Stir in 1/4 cup of the beet liquid and the garlic into the vinegar and sugar mixture. Toss with the beets and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the garlic and serve, or cover and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Meatless Mondays: Swiss Chard and Ricotta Crostata

When Marc and Adele forgot their vegetables at my house, I got excited about the idea of using these farm-fresh veggies for a dish. It was basically just a lot of swiss chard and an onion. I used the onion, but had no idea what to do with the rainbow swiss chard. It sat in my fridge for about a week. Then, while watching the Food Network, I saw Anne Burrell make a really great looking crostata with swiss chard and ricotta cheese, something I always have in my fridge. I knew I had to try it!

I made some modifications to the recipe, mainly changing the crust altogether (I always have some dough in my fridge, so defrosting it was a big time saver). The mascarpone dough looked pretty great, so if you want to give it a try, go for it!

Swiss Chard and Ricotta Tart, adapted from Anne Burrell:


  • 1 recipe flaky pie or tart dough
  • Olive oil, enough to cover a saute pan
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 leek, washed and cut into half rings
  • 1 bunch of rainbow swiss chard, stems cut into 1/4 inch strips and leaves cut into 1 inch strips
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper


1. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and add the garlic cloves and pepper flakes.

2. When the garlic is browned, remove from pan and discard.

3. Add the chopped leeks, swiss chard stems, and some water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft and the water evaporates, about 15 minutes.

4. Add the leaves and season with more salt. Cook until the leaves wilt.

5. Remove from heat and add the ricotta, cayenne pepper, and egg.

6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

7. Roll out the dough and place on a baking sheet. It’s okay if the edges hang off a little bit, because you will fold them over.

8. Spoon the ricotta mixture in the middle. Fold over the edges. Brush edges with egg wash (oops, I forgot this step).

9. Bake for 35-45 minutes.

10. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Beef and Veggie Stew

As you can tell, we like making stews in our Dutch ovens. It’s not something we do much during the summer, but now that the temperature is dropping, we’re back to braising and browning and serving over rice!

I used mostly vegetables from my csa with a few other groceries that were hanging around in my fridge. Served with a simple green salad, this made for a delicious dinner for two with enough leftover for a lunch the next day. Which is the perfect kind of dinner.

Beef and Vegetable Stew


  • 1 pound beef stew meat (I don’t know what that means, I bought it at Trader Joe’s)
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 3 medium potatoes, chopped
  • 3 tiny red onions, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2-3 cups of stock or water
  • olive oil, salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Brown the beef over medium-high heat in a little bit of olive oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven.
  3. Remove beef from pot and stir in chopped onions. Let cook for 5 minutes and add garlic. Mix and add the rest of the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add half of the stock (I used vegetable stock), mixing well. Put the beef back into the pot and mix. Add more stock if it seems too dry.
  5. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  6. Put the pot in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve over rice.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread + Chipless Pumpkin Muffins

I got a pumpkin from my CSA! It’s a baby bear pumpkin, how cute is that! I had all sorts of ideas of things to do with this pumpkin, but since it was so little I had to limit the pumpkin recipes. I ended up roasting the seeds to make bizir and then getting about two cups of puree. With one cup I made this pumpkin bread and I froze the other cup with intentions to turn it into ice cream soon.

This chocolate chip pumpkin bread recipe has been in our family for ages. We have been making it at least once a year for as long as I can remember, always from fresh pumpkin. Jessica has the original copy of the recipe, which I’m pretty sure is a photocopy of a recipe that my mom used to use in her nursery school class. After going apple and pumpkin picking with her class she would always bring us a pumpkin to bake with; don’t we have the best mom!

I have memories of freezing the extras and being happily surprised a few months later to find pumpkin bread hiding among the ice cream in the back of the freezer somewhere. I think I’ll freeze some of this and then try to forget about it so I can find it later.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that the recipe is pareve? No need for adaptation here! Just make sure to use pareve chocolate chips (duh!). Because I thought I had in my freezer, but they ended up being dairy, which is why I made the muffins chipless (yeah, that’s a word).

Luckily, I just got another baby bear pumpkin from my csa! Maybe I will make pumpkin pie! And ravioli! Maybe some soup or risotto, too! I think I may be getting carried away, but for some reason the fresh stuff is so much better than the canned kind. I know it’s pure pumpkin, but why is it so orange?

Here’s a copy of our handwritten recipe for you:

Bizir Revisited

So I know I already showed you how I toast pumpkin seeds to make bizir, but the photo (that’s right, just one photo!) is ugly, so when I got a baby bear pumpkin from csa I took some better pictures for you. The technique is the same, I cleaned, rinsed and dried the seeds and then tossed them with a bit of olive oil, salt and cayenne pepper for some kick before roasting them for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. They’re a little bit harder to crack open than the ones you buy at the markets on Kings Highway, but I made them, so they’re better!

This tiny pumpkin gave me about 2 cups of puree, so get ready for some pumpkin bread and ice cream!

Ralph’s Summer Squash Pasta

When my brother-in-law Ralph found out that I was having trouble using up all of the summer squash I’ve been getting in my CSA, he told me about a delicious pasta dish he made with browned zucchini, lemon and ricotta cheese. I was intrigued. When his mother-in-law told me it was the best pasta dish she had ever eaten, I knew I had to make it for dinner as soon as my next pickup, filled with two pounds of farm-fresh summer squash, arrived. Continue reading