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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Roasted Pepper and Shallot Salad

An abundance of cheap, gorgeous peppers were the inspiration for this versatile salad. Put it on some toasted bread and call it bruschetta. Slather it on your challah and it takes the form of a first course "dip". Put it on your next steak sandwich and watch it be transformed, or, just eat it plain with a spoon like we have and enjoy the sweet, tangy, herb scented and savory flavor of this delicious salad.  Enjoy!

3 red peppers
2 yellow or orange pepper
2 green peppers
2 large shallots
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbl chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbl chopped fresh basil
1 Tbl capers, optional
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat the broiler setting on your oven and place the peppers and shallots in a pan, drizzle with a little oil and broil for about 20 minutes rotating the peppers and shallots every so often so they blacken evenly. Remove from broiler and place in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. After 25 minutes or so the peppers and shallots should be cool enough to handle. Peel the skin off the peppers and shallots and slice them into thin strips and place in a mixing bowl. Add the oil, garlic, vinegar, parsley, basil, capers and sugar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to let the flavors meld together. Serve cold or room temperature.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Asparagus Soup (Pareve or Dairy)

Remember those 8 bunches of asparagus I was telling you about? Well three of them made their way into this soup and since the August weather here is cold and rainy I thought it was the perfect time to whip out this recipe. I made it pareve and served it with some herbed dumplings but it is extra delicious with some heavy cream added at the end to make it dairy. This soup is creamy and tastes like summer especially with some gorgeous, fragrant basil added in. Summer's not over and asparagus is still abundant so there is still plenty of time to make this soup! Enjoy!


2 Tbl olive oil
1/4 cup chopped shallot ( about 1 large one)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 pounds asparagus
3 starchy potatoes such as Yukon Gold, cut into chunks
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional if making dairy)
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot and add the shallot and garlic, and saute until the shallot is translucent. While the shallots are cooking prepare the asparagus by cutting off the woody stems and discarding them and slicing the rest of the asparagus into about one inch pieces (you can reserve some of the tips for garnish if you prefer.) Add the asparagus to the pot, season with salt and pepper and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the potatoes and the stock, season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and cook for about 35 minutes. Add the basil to the soup and cook another 2 minutes. Puree with immersion blender. If adding the cream add after the soup is pureed and let it simmer another 5 minutes with the cream inside.