Roasted Beets with Avocado, Citrus, and Hazelnuts

11/2 lb [680 g] red baby beets,
1 to 2 in [2.5 to 5 cm] in diameter
4 Tbsp [60 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp water
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh orange juice, plus 2 oranges
2 Tbsp hazelnuts
1 ripe avocado, cut in 1/4-in- [6-mm-] thick slices
Flaky sea salt
Best-quality olive oil for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 400°F [200°C].

In a roasting pan, toss the beets with 2 Tbsp of the extra-virgin olive oil and the water and season with kosher salt and pepper. Roast until the beets look caramelized and feel tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 25 minutes. When cool enough to handle, slip the skins off the beets and cut into quarters.

In a medium bowl, toss the beets with the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil, the sherry vinegar, and orange juice. Season with kosher salt and pepper and let stand until the beets have absorbed the flavors of the dressing, about 30 minutes.

In a small, dry frying pan over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Lay out on a work surface and let cool. With the bottom of a heavy pan, crush the nuts.

Section one of the oranges by cutting off both ends. Set it on one end, and use a paring knife to cut away the peel and pith in strips, starting at the top and following the curves to the bottom. Then, holding the orange in one hand, carefully insert the blade of the knife between the flesh and the membrane to cut out the sections without any membrane attached. The sections should come out easily. Repeat with the remaining orange, and set aside.

Arrange the beets on a serving platter with the avocado slices, and sprinkle them with sea salt and pepper. Distribute the orange sections throughout the salad and sprinkle with the crushed toasted hazelnuts. Finish with a drizzle of best-quality olive oil. Serve immediately

Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic, Parsley, and Vinegar

1 head cauliflower, trimmed and chopped into large florets
1/3 cup [75 ml] extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves Garlic Confit (page 64)
2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 500°F [260°C].

In a medium bowl, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large cast-iron frying pan over high heat. Dump the cauliflower into the hot pan and cook until starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the cauliflower, undisturbed, until well seared, about 5 minutes longer. With a spatula, turn the cauliflower and cook on the other side until well seared, about 3 minutes longer.

Remove from the oven, add the garlic confit, parsley, red pepper flakes, and vinegar and stir to distribute the seasonings and toast the garlic slightly. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This also works with broccoli or romesco.

Sweet Patatas Bravas

2 pounds sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt (I use Morton’s)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 large garlic clove (or 2 small), minced

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Peel the sweet potatoes and chop into large (roughly 1 1/2-inch) chunks. Add to a naked, rimmed sheet tray, then toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the salt. Roast—stirring the potatoes halfway through—until they’re just tender and beginning to brown, about 24 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the tomato paste, sherry vinegar, hot sauce, and smoked paprika in a bowl.

In another bowl, mix the mayonnaise, garlic, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. (Both sauces can be prepared days in advance, then refrigerated!)

When the potatoes are done, let them hang out for about 10 minutes. Drizzle with the tomato dressing and gently toss. Transfer to a platter and zigzag with the garlicky mayo. Serve warm.

Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

1 large sweet potato (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Heat the oven: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F.
Peel and cut the sweet potato: Peel the sweet potato and cut it into 1/4-inch-thick sticks or wedges.

Coat the potato in starch: Place the sweet potato in a large zip-top plastic bag, add the cornstarch and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and shake to combine. (Alternatively, place everything in a large bowl and toss together.)

Coat the potato in oil: Add the 3 tablespoons of oil to the bag or bowl and toss vigorously to coat.

Transfer to a baking sheet: Spread the coated sweet potato wedges out into a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet.

Roast: Roast 15 minutes. Using a flat spatula or turner, flip the sweet potatoes and continue to roast until the fries are tender on the inside and crispy on the outside, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Season and serve: Sprinkle with additional salt if desired before serving.

Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

Cooking spray or butter
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 to 5 medium), peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray; set aside.

Place the cream, butter, garlic, and bay leaf in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Meanwhile, combine the thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

Evenly distribute about half of the potatoes over the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the salt and herb mixture. Add the remaining potatoes in an even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining seasoning.

Remove the bay leaf from the cream and discard. Pour the cream and garlic over the potatoes. Push down to submerge them as much as possible. The potatoes won’t be fully submerged — that’s okay. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

Bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes more. Remove the baking dish from the oven. Turn on the oven’s broiler. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the potatoes. Broil until the cheese is melted and the top is lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Let the sweet potatoes cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potatoes

3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds total), cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F.

Place the potatoes, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer the potatoes to a rimmed baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Roast for 15 minutes. Flip the potatoes over with a flat spatula and cook until browned and tender, about 10 minutes more.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Set the oven to broil. Sprinkle the potatoes with the garlic and half of the cheese and stir to coat well. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the potatoes. Broil until the cheese is soft and melted, 1 to 2 minutes.

Recipe Notes
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Whipped Sweet Poatoes with Coconut Milk and Vanilla Bean

2 to 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 to 5 medium)
1/2 cup coconut milk (or whole milk or cream)
2 to 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
Ground cinnamon, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
Chopped fresh parsley leaves or coconut flakes, for garnish (optional)

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Pierce the sweet potatoes a few times with a sharp knife. Place them on the baking sheet and roast until tender and a knife easily pricks through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Set aside to cool until cool enough to handle.

Halve the potatoes lengthwise, scoop of the flesh, and run the flesh through a potato ricer or food mill into a large bowl.

Meanwhile, combine the coconut milk, brown sugar, butter, vanilla bean paste, a few dashes of cinnamon, and a generous pinch of salt in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.

Add the warmed milk mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, into the potatoes, and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until smooth and fluffy. (You may not use all of the milk mixture.)

Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more sugar, cinnamon, or salt as needed. Serve immediately. Garnish with the parsley or coconut flakes if using.

Recipe Notes
Make ahead: This recipe can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat (or keep warm), place the bowl of potatoes over a bowl of simmering water, stirring occasionally.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Sour Cream and Balsmic Whipped Sweet Potatoes

3 to 4 pounds sweet potatoes (4 to 5 medium potatoes), baked and peeled
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Mash the still-warm sweet potatoes until smooth in a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, sour cream, vinegar, and salt. Stir to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Make ahead: The sweet potatoes can be baked up to 5 days in advance and stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Peel and mash the potatoes, then reheat over medium-low heat on the stovetop when ready to finish and serve.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Italian Roasted Potatoes

1 lb baby potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon bottled Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 dashes paprika
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped parsley leaves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Preheat the oven to 400F. Clean and rinse the baby potatoes, drain and cut into halves.

Heat up an oven-safe skillet (cast-iron preferred) and add the olive oil. Add the potatoes and cook until the surface turns crispy. Turn over the cook the skin side until nicely browned. Push the potatoes to one side and saute the garlic, follow by the Italian seasoning, salt and paprika, stir to combine well. Turn off the heat and sprinkle the cheese and parsley on top of the potatoes. Transfer the skillet into the oven, roast for 15 minutes. Add the butter cubes on top of the potatoes, serve immediately.

Cook’s Note:

This recipe used extremely small baby potatoes. If you have bigger potatoes, roast for 20 minutes or until cooked. You may also roast the potatoes right away in the oven. Just combine the olive oil, garlic, potatoes, Italian seasoning, salt and paprika with the potatoes and follow the remaining steps. Roast for 20 minutes.

Garlic Herb Cheese Bombs

2 cans (7.5 oz. each) refrigerated biscuits
4 oz. Mozzarella cheese, cut into 20 cubes
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Some fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
A tiny pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Open the biscuit cans and separate the biscuits. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Wrap the cheese bombs by placing one cube of the cheese in the center of each biscuit. Carefully wrap the biscuit dough around the cheese, pinch the biscuit to close and seal tight. Place the seam part down and arrange the biscuits so they are at least 1-inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes or until the surfface turn golden brown.

While the biscuits are baked in the oven, mix the butter, garlic powder, salt, and parsley leaves together. Set aside.

Remove the biscuits from the oven and brush with the butter mixture immediately. Serve warm.

Creamy Garlic Thyme Potatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb baby potatoes, scrubbed and cut into halves
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2/3 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons whipping cream
6 sprigs thyme
Pinch of salt or to taste
Pinch of sugar*
2 dashes cayenne pepper

Heat up a skillet (cast-iron preferred) on high heat. When the skillet is fully heated and hot, add the olive oil. Cook the potatoes, with the skin side up first, until the potatoes turn golden brown. Turn the potatoes over and cook the skin until they turn brown. Push the potatoes to one side of the skillet and add the butter and garlic. Saute the garlic for 30 seconds.

Add the chicken broth, whipping cream and thyme. Turn the heat to low and simmer the potatoes until they are cooked through, about 10 mins. Turn the potatoes while simmering. Add salt, sugar and cayenne pepper, stir to mix well. Turn off the heat and serve immediately.

* If you have Japanese mirin (sweet wine seasoning) at home, use 1 tablespoon of mirin and skip the sugar. Mirin makes this dish absolutely flavorful.

Garlic Chive Butter Roasted Potatoes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped chives
3 dashes ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (bottled)
1 1/2 lbs baby potatoes, rinsed and drained

Preheat oven to 400F.

Melt the butter in a microwave for about 30 seconds. Add the garlic, chives, black peppper, salt and 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese into the heated and melted butter, stir to mix well.

Toss the potatoes with the garlic chive butter. Stir to coat well and transfer them to an oven safe baking dish or skillet (cast-iron preferred). Cover the potatoes with aluminum foil and roast for 30 minutes.

Remove from heat, toss the potatoes well with the garlic chive butter at the bottom of the baking dish or skillet. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese evenly on top of the potatoes and serve immediately.

Garlic Herb Roasted Potatoes

1 1/2 pounds baby (small) or fingerling potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 heads garlic, top trimmed
1/2 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
1/2 lemon, cut into wedges
5-6 sprigs thymes
Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut slits on the potatoes, do not cut through (like mini Hasselback potatoes). Place the potatoes in a roasting pan and brush with the olive oil and melted butter. Add the garlic, parsley, lemon and thyme in the pan, in between the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.

Roast the potatoes for 1 hour, basting the oil mixture at 30 minute interval. Serve immediately after roasting.

Garlic Parmesan Crash Potatoes

Water, for boiling
1 teaspoon salt
2 lbs baby potatoes
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
3/4 teaspoon salt
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley (Italian parsley preferred)
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the salt. Boil the baby potatoes for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

n a bowl, combine the butter, salt, garlic and chopped parsley together. Stir to mix well. Arrange the potatoes on a baking sheet. Using the bottom of a small sauce pan or a flat bottom cup, flatten each potato. Brush the garlic butter mixture generously on top of each potato, then top with the Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges of the potatoes turn crispy and golden brown in color. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1/4 cup canola oil
2 1/4 pounds baby brussels sprouts or regular brussels sprouts halved lengthwise
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons and softened
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup Grade A pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts, coarsely chopped (6 ounces)
1 tablespoon walnut oil

Heat the canola oil in a very large skillet until shimmering. Add the brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper, then cook over high heat without stirring until they are browned, about 2 minutes. Add the unsalted butter and brown sugar and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the brown sugar is melted. Add the maple syrup and cook, stirring occasionally, until the brussels sprouts are just crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the cider vinegar. Add the chestnuts and walnut oil and cook until hot.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the brussels sprouts and chestnuts to a bowl. Boil the cooking liquid over high heat until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the brussels sprouts and serve.

Pasta with Eggplant

2 large aubergines
Olive or groundnut oil, for frying
1kg fresh tomatoes or 500g passata
2 garlic cloves
A small handful of basil
1 tsp sugar (if you need it)
500g pasta, such as spaghetti, rigatoni, casarecce, mezze maniche or penne
200g salted ricotta, grated
Salt

Peel strips of skin from the aubergines so they are striped, then cut them into 5mm slices. If you’re going to salt them, do it now; otherwise just dry them with a clean tea towel. Heat about 5cm oil in a frying pan and fry the slices, turning them halfway, until they are golden brown on both sides, then drain on kitchen paper. Set aside, near the stove so they keep warmish.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil. If using fresh tomatoes, peel by plunging them into boiling water for 1 minute, then lift them out with a slotted spoon and cool under cold water, at which point the skins should slip away. Keep the hot water for cooking the pasta later. Roughly chop the tomatoes, removing the seeds if you wish (I don’t).

Crush the garlic cloves with the back of a knife, so they split, but remain whole. Warm some more oil in a frying pan and add the garlic. Once fragrant and lightly golden, remove from the pan, add the tomatoes (or passata) and cook until they collapse into a sauce. You can pass the tomatoes through a food mill back into the pan or, if you’re happy with the texture, simply tear in most of the basil, add the sugar if you think the sauce is too sharp, and a good pinch of salt.

Bring the pan of tomato water back to the boil, add salt, stir well and add the pasta. Cook it until al dente, then drain. Mix the pasta with the sauce and a handful of ricotta. Divide between bowls, top with several slices of aubergine, plus a little more salted ricotta and a couple more basil leaves. Pass around the remaining aubergine slices and cheese, so that people can help themselves.

Paste e Ceci

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes, to taste
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (from one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup (2 ounces or 55 grams) uncooked ditalini pasta (or another small shape; I use annelini)
2 cups (275 ml) boiling water

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil (estimate 1 per serving)
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
Salt and red pepper flakes

In a medium-large heavy-bottomed pot or deep saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil until it shimmers.

Add 2 smashed cloves of garlic and cook, stirring until it becomes lightly, barely browned but very fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste, salt, and pepper and cook them with the garlic for 30 seconds or so.

Add the chickpeas, pasta, and boiling water. Stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, lower the heat, and simmer until the pasta is cooked and a lot of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning and ladle into bowls.

Make finishing oil: Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small sauce- or frying pan over medium-low heat with remaining clove of garlic, rosemary, a pinch or two of salt and pepper flakes, until sizzling; pull it off the heat as soon as the garlic is going to start taking on color. Drizzle this over bowls of pasta e ceci and eat it right away.

Pressure Cooker Potato Leek Soup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and chopped
1 small stalk celery, chopped
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 quart water
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
black pepper
minced chives for garnish

Select the sauce feature, medium heat, and preheat the cooking bowl. Heat the butter until just foaming, then add the leeks and celery. Sauce until softened but not browned, 5-7 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients except cream and stir to combine.

Select pressure cook and adjust time to 10 minutes.

When cooking has completed, remove bay leaf and thyme and blend soup until smooth. Stir in cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Served garnished with chives.

Pressure Cooker Creamy Tomato Soup

2 tablespoons (60 grams) unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 carrot, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 pounds tomatoes, cored, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped basil
3/4 cup cream or milk

Select the sauce feature and high heat to preheat the cooking bowl. heat the butter until just foaming, then add the onion and carrot. Sauce until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, thyme, and stock. Stir to combine.

Select the pressure cook soup feature and adjust cooking time to 10 minutes.

When the cooking has completed, remove and discard the thyme. Add the basil and blend soup until smooth. Stir in cream and season to taste.

Green and Wax Beans with Tomato Vinaigrette

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed
1/2 pound yellow wax beans, trimmed
1 overripe large tomato
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon kosher sea salt, plus more as needed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup thinly sliced pitted kalamata olives
1/3 cup torn fresh basil leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Drop green and wax beans into boiling water for 1 to 3 minutes or until just tender. Drain and immediately transfer to the ice bath. When cool, drain and dry with a towel and place in a large bowl.

Cut tomato in half across its equator and squeeze out seeds (use for another purpose or discard). Using the largest hole on a box grater, grate the tomato flesh. Discard skin and transfer grated flesh to a medium bowl. You should have about 1/2 cup.

Stir in vinegar and salt, then stir in olive oil and garlic. Taste and adjust vinegar and salt as needed.

Add just enough vinaigrette to coat beans, add olives, then toss well. Let sit for at least 10 minutes (and up to 4 hours) before serving. Add torn basil and serve.