Posted (Lori) in News


I’m always happy to get daikons—there are so many ways to use them.

–Slice them thinly and layer into sandwiches; smoked turkey with daikon and egg salad with daikon are two possibilities.

–Make slices a bit thicker and use them as crudités; they are great with hummus and techina

–Shred them; peel, cut into chunks and put them in food processor. Whirl for just a few seconds. Throw them into salads or eat as a side dish. One of my favorite salads is bok choy, watercress, shredded daikon with tahini-soy sauce.

Stir-Fried Bok Choy and Daikon with Crisp Tofu (Mark Bittman)

Makes: 4 servings

This has everything you want in a stir-fry: delicious bok choy, with its wonderfully creamy stems; sharp daikon radish; crusty pan-fried tofu; and a load of spice.

Tempeh, the nutty fermented soybean cake, also goes beautifully with bok choy. If you want to use it in place of the tofu, crumble it into the hot oil and stir until it’s crisp, 5 to 7 minutes.

1 head bok choy

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 block firm tofu (about 1 pound), cut into 1?4-inch slices and patted dry

1 onion, chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 or 2 fresh hot chiles (like jalapeño or Thai), seeded and minced

8 ounces daikon radish, cut into 1?4-inch coins

2 tablespoons soy sauce, or to taste

Black pepper

1. Cut the leaves from the stems of the bok choy. Trim the stems as necessary, then cut them into 1-inch pieces. Cut the leaves into wide ribbons and keep them separate from the stems.

2. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, slide in the tofu, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan. Cook until the bottoms are crisp and golden, 3 to 5 minutes; carefully  flip and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes on the other side. When the tofu slices are done, transfer them to paper towels to drain.

3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and raise the heat to medium-high. When it’s hot, add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chile and cook, stirring, for just 1 minute. Add the bok choy stems and daikon and cook, stirring occasionally, until they just lose their crunch, about 3 minutes.

4. Add the bok choy leaves and about 1?2 cup water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates and the stems and radish are fully tender, 5 to 10 minutes; add a little more water if necessary. Return the tofu to the pan, stir in the soy sauce, and sprinkle with black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot or at room temperature.



½ lb. carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1½ lbs. daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. plus ¼ cup sugar

½ cup plus 2 tbsp. white vinegar

1. In a bowl, combine the carrots, daikon, salt, and 1 tsp. sugar. Let sit until the vegetables have wilted slightly and liquid pools at the bottom of the bowl, about 30 minutes. Drain vegetables; rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Transfer vegetables to a medium bowl.

2. Whisk together the remaining sugar, the vinegar, and ½ cup warm water and pour mixture over the vegetables. Stir to combine. Set mixture aside to let marinate for at least 1 hour or refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to 4 weeks.


Note from Lori: I left out the carom seeds and the dried mango; it’s delicious without them, maybe better if you can find them)

2 tbsp. canola oil

1/2 tsp. ajwain (carom) seeds

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped

1 lb. daikon with greens, peeled and cut into ½” pieces, greens trimmed and roughly chopped

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

1/4 tsp. red chile powder, such as cayenne

1 tsp. amchur (green mango) powder

Kosher salt, to taste

Chapatis, for serving (optional)

Heat oil in a 12? skillet over medium-high heat. Cook carom seeds until they pop, 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and onion; cook until golden, 5–7 minutes. Stir in daikon and its leaves, the coriander, cumin, turmeric, and chile powder. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, and stirring occasionally, until daikon is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in amchur and salt; serve with chapatis, if you like.

Posted (Lori) in News

We’re getting lots of cauliflower this week, so I’m bumping the post:

CAULIFLOWER; scroll down for specific Romanesco info—but Romanesco can be used in any cauliflower recipe.

I’ve seen several recipes that use cauliflower as “mock mashed potatoes”—cooking it until it loses its crunch and texture and then mashing it. I find it offensive to both the cauliflower and the potato—cauliflower has its own advantages, but it’s not a potato.

It’s not easy to face down a cauliflower. It usually doesn’t break apart as easily as a head of broccoli and needs a sharp knife to cut it into bite-sized pieces, The core and leaves have to be cut away and composted, though the stems are just as good as the flowers.

Cauliflower can be boiled or steamed to soften it—but my choice is raw, cooked lightly, or roasted.

Raw, it does well in a marinade, as below, or as a crudite with any dip or dunk. If you’re not a fan of very crunchy vegetables, cook it briefly before marinating, as in the salad below. There are also instructions for roasting below. Cauliflower is also great in a gratin, often mixed with broccoli. See general gratin instructions in Recipes from America’s Small Farms, p. 25. And there’s a more complicated Cauliflower Cheese Pie on p. 74.


This recipe appeared in the NYT (David Tanis) late last fall and it became one of my favorites instantly. It uses only one pan (plus whatever you cook the chickpeas in) and is a full meal, especially if you add rice and raita. I have not included the raita recipe because it was not especially great and took a lot of work—raita is easy, just add diced vegetables (radish is perfect, cucumber is good too) to yogurt. They suggest apple, which was just ok. Add curry powder, cayenne, diced hot pepper, or hot sauce. Mix the whole thing up, allow to sit in the refrigerator and bit and serve cold.

The first time I made this recipe, I followed it exactly, using the spice seeds and individual ground spices. I found the spice was too weak overall; now I just use pre-mixed curry powder. I start with a tablespoon and keep adding until it tastes right. I also add chopped greens to the stew, at the same time as the chickpeas—and sometimes string beans as well..

3 tablespoons untoasted sesame oil or vegetable oil

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon coriander seeds

½ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon cayenne

1 2-inch piece of ginger, grated

6 small garlic cloves, minced

4 small hot red Asian chiles or Mexican chiles de árbol

1 large onion, diced, about 2 cups

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups delicata squash, unpeeled, in 1-inch slices, or butternut squash, peeled, in 1-inch cubes

1 cup parsnips, hard center core removed, in 1-inch slices or chunks

½ pound tiny potatoes, such as fingerlings, halved

2 cups small florets of cauliflower

1 cup cooked chickpeas, preferably home-cooked and the liquid reserved

Cilantro sprigs, for garnish

Steamed basmati rice (optional)

Apple raita (optional),


1. Put oil in a wide, heavy pot over medium-high heat. When oil is wavy, add cumin seeds and coriander seeds and let sizzle for about 1 minute. Add turmeric, cayenne, ginger, garlic and chiles and stir to coat.

2. Add onion and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened and lightly colored, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir to coat. Add squash, parsnips and potatoes, salt lightly, then add 3 cups chickpea cooking liquid or water, or enough to just cover vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a brisk simmer. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender but firm, about 15 minutes.

3. Add cauliflower and chickpeas and stir gently to combine. Cover and continue cooking 5 to 8 minutes more, until cauliflower is tender. Taste broth and adjust seasoning, then transfer to a wide, deep serving platter or bowl. Garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve with steamed basmati rice and apple raita, if desired.


From Martha Stewart Living

1 large head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into small florets

1/4 cup white-wine vinegar

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons brine-packed capers, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch cauliflower until just tender, about 2 minutes; work in batches if your pot is not big enough. Drain; transfer to a bowl.

Whisk together vinegar, onion, and mustard in a small bowl. Pour in oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette over warm cauliflower, and add capers and parsley. Stir to combine.

Cover, and refrigerate overnight or up to 1 day. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Roasted Cauliflower with Almonds and Kalamata Olives

5-6 cups of cauliflower florets

2 tbs olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbs lemon juice; and 1 tbs zest from an organic lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup crumbled goat or feta cheese (if desired)

¼ cup blanched or slivered almonds, toasted

¼ cup sliced kalamata (or other) olives

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Place the cauliflower florets in a large saute pan or a roasting pan. Drizzle the olive oil over the cauliflower, and season with the garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Place the saute/roasting pan in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even roasting. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the cheese. Add the almonds and olives and toss until combined. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Roasted Cabbage & Cauliflower Salad With Peanut Dressing

1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets

1 head of cabbage,thinly sliced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 (15oz) can chickpeas – or 2 cups of homemade beans, warmed

1/4 cup green onions or chives, sliced (optional)

Peanut Sauce

1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

2 Tbsp brown rice vinegar

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/3 cup cup hot water

1. Preheat over to 400 degrees.

2. Place cauliflower and cabbage onto a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and roast for 30 minutes or until cabbage and cauliflower are browned.

3. Meanwhile, mix together peanut sauce and set aside. You can add more water to thin the dressing if needed.

4. Once cauliflower and cabbage are done, let cool for a few minutes then mix cauliflower, cabbage and chickpeas together. Add more salt and pepper as needed.

5. Serve over grain of choice or greens and drizzle with peanut sauce. Garnish with green onion or chives if using.


What the Heck Is Romanesco and How Do You Cook It?

Lindsay Lowe, Parade.com

One of the more unusual vegetables we’ve come across, Romanesco appears to be part psychedelic broccoli, part alien life form.

In fact, it’s an edible flower from the family that includes broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage. It tastes very similar to cauliflower, but with a slightly nuttier, earthier flavor. You can use it as you would cauliflower in recipes, and it holds up to many different cooking methods.

“Romanesco can be served raw, lightly cooked, or cooked through,” said Mario Batali in a column for the Seattle Times last fall. “I usually sauté it slowly with garlic and lemon zest, and punctuate with red pepper flakes for zing.”

It’s also delicious steamed and lightly seasoned with olive oil and red wine vinegar.

Of course, the most fascinating part of Romanesco is its appearance. Its spiraled buds form a natural approximation of a fractal, meaning each bud in the spiral is composed of a series of smaller buds. (Remember the Fibonacci sequence from school? The spirals follow the same logarithmic pattern).

The Romanesco (sometimes called Romanesco Broccoli or Roman Cauliflower) did not always exist in nature. Many botanists believe it was the result of selective breeding by Italian farmers in the 16th century.

Romanesco is in season during from late summer to early fall, and it can often be found at local farmers’ markets, especially along the Eastern Seaboard. Just as when shopping for regular broccoli or cauliflower, look for firm, heavy heads free from discoloration or withered florets. To store in the fridge, keep in a tightly sealed bag.



1 head Romanesco, cut into bite-size pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil, or more to taste

salt to taste

2 grinds fresh black pepper

1 pinch garlic powder

1 pinch paprika

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Spread Romanesco onto the prepared baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.

Roast in the preheated oven until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.


Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.


Makes 2 servings as a main course or 4 to 6 as a side course

Romanesco is an Italian heirloom cauliflower with bright green,

fractal-like florets. It was previously found only at niche markets, but

thankfully, more farmers are growing Romanesco across the country.

If you cannot find Romanesco, any kind of cauliflower will do. When

steamed or boiled, Romanesco is silky tender and goes well with

crispy or salty embellishments and the richness of the eggs. If I had

them in the pantry, chopped anchovies would be excellent with these

flavors, as would a side of white beans fragrant with olive oil. Equally

delicious warm or cold, this can be a quick supper or lunch made a

day ahead.

–Walnuts can replace the pine nuts, and olive oil can substitute for the walnut

oil, which is sometimes difficult to find.

–To make fresh breadcrumbs, it’s preferable to use a loaf of bread that is at

least a day old. Slice off the crusts and cut the bread in to large pieces. Using

a food processor or blender, break the bread into large crumbs, taking care

to not overcrowd the processor, which could cause the bread to clump instead

of breaking down. Put the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and toast in the oven

at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes until light golden brown.

1 large Romanesco, cut into approx.. 5 irregular pieces

3 large 10-minute eggs, peeled, halved, or quartered

¾ cup/30g coarse breadcrumbs, toasted

¼ cup/30g pine nuts,lightly toasted

1 cup/35g salt-packed capers, rinsed, chopped

2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1 Tbsp walnut oil, plus more for garnish

1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for garnish

1 Tbsp sherry vinegar,plus more for garnish

Sea salt

Ground black pepper

In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket and enough water to steam, add the Romanesco and steam until just tender, 4-6 minutes.

Arrange the cooked Romanesco and eggs on a serving platter.

Combine the breadcrumbs, pine nuts, capers, parsley, thyme, walnut oil, olive oil, and vinegar in a medium bowl, season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Scatter over the Romanesco and eggs. Drizzle a little more walnut oil, olive oil, and/or vinegar over the top and serve.

Posted (Lori) in News




Andrea write: Besides all the nutritional blah blah blah about cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower being good for our health, when prepared correctly, it’s totally delicious.

Apparently, cauliflower is all the rage in the Paleo and Keto communities as well – I’ve seen this veggie prepared like rice, mashed potatoes, casseroles and soups.

I really LOVE it when it’s roasted, or pureed into a smooth and silky treat. So, that’s what we’ve got… cauliflower two ways; roasted AND pureed.

Prep time: 15 mins; Cook time: 35 mins; Total time: 50 mins

Author: Andrea Beaman

Recipe type: Local and seasonal

Cuisine: Delicious

Serves: 4 servings


1 small head Romanesco broccoli florets, plus ¼ cup cauliflower florets

Olive oil

Black pepper

1 large head cauliflower (or 4 cups of florets)

4-5 large garlic cloves, peeled

2 & ½ cups vegetable stock (water or milk of your choice)

3-4 tbsp. grass-fed butter

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tbsp. fennel seeds


Preheat oven to 375.

Chop romanesco and ¼ cup cauliflower into small florets.

Put florets into a mixing bowl and lightly coat with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper.

Place onto a baking tray and bake 30-35 minutes.

While romanesco and florets are baking, bring remaining cauliflower (4 cups), garlic, stock, butter and 1 tsp. sea salt to a boil in a soup pot.

Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes.

Pour soup ingredients into a food processor or Vitamix.

Puree until smooth and creamy.

Ladle puree into a soup bowl and top with roasted romanesco and cauliflower florets.

In a small frying pan, lightly toast fennel seeds on a low heat for 5-7 minutes (or until lightly toasted and fragrant).

Top with toasted fennel seeds.


Daniel Gritzer, Serious Eats

Radishes are usually thought of as a raw-only vegetable, but they’re delicious roasted, too, which tames their spicy flavor considerably. Here, they’re roasted until tender and bursting with juice, then tossed with melted butter and fresh herbs.

Serves 4 as a side dish

ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes   TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes


About 1 pound  radishes, without greens larger radishes halved or quartered so that all pieces are roughly the same size

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Minced fresh tarragon and parsley leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

In a medium mixing bowl, toss radishes with just enough olive oil to coat and season with salt. Arrange in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet and roast in oven, stirring occasionally, until radishes are tender and very lightly browned, about 40 minutes.

In a medium skillet, melt butter. Add radishes and toss to coat. Remove from heat and stir in just enough minced herbs to lightly coat radishes. Season with salt, if needed. Serve.


Recipe courtesy of Robin Miller, The Food Network

Total:10 minPrep: 5 min Cook: 5 min

Yield: 4 servings


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

8 cups chopped fresh bok choy

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

Salt and ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute. Add bok choy and soy sauce cook 3 to 5 minutes, until greens are wilted and stalks are crisp-tender. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.


Adapted from David Chang, Food & Wine

In Korea, cooks typically create stir-fries with just one kind of vegetable—lotus root, say, or potatoes. David Chang decided to break with tradition and stir-fry an assortment of vegetables, including Jerusalem artichokes and parsnips. Also unconventional is the maple syrup he adds to the dish; there are maple trees all around South Korea but not much maple syrup.

Note—any root vegetables can be used in ths recipe, including turnips and radishes

1/4 cup canola oil

3/4 pound Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed and sliced 1/3 inch thick

2 carrots, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

2 parsnips, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1/2 pound potatoes, slices

1 cup fresh lotus root, peeled and sliced (about 5 ounces), optional

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup soy sauce

A few drops of toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the canola oil until shimmering. Add the Jerusalem artichokes, carrots, parsnips and potatoes and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for about 20 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender.

Add the sliced lotus root to the skillet along with the maple syrup and soy sauce. Cook the vegetables over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce becomes syrupy and the vegetables are glazed, about 8 minutes. Stir the sesame oil, sesame seeds and sliced scallions into the vegetables and serve immediately.



Root vegetables stand up to boiling; mixing several of them together and then blending their flavors by mashing or pureeing them produces a dish that’s more interesting and nutritious than plain mashed potatoes. I find that my favorite results include sweet potatoes and parsnips, but I also use white potatoes, radishes, turnips, kohlrabi, onions, and beets.

1-2 onions or leeks, slices

1-2 tablespoons butter

For each serving: 4-6 ounces of peeled root vegetables, cut into even-sized pieces

Milk (almond or soy are fine), cream, sour cream, butter to taste

Salt, pepper, herbs, spices to taste

Melt the butter in a heavy pot; sauté the onions/leeks until soft. Add the root vegetables and toss to coat. Add water so that everything is covered by about 3 inches and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat, cover and simmer until all the vegetables are very soft (they may soften at different times, but it’s ok to keep simmering until your last vegetable is softened, even if some of them become mushy.

When everything is soft, drain any leftover water into a jar—DON’T THROW IT AWAY, it makes a great stock. Using a potato masher, mash everything together (or if you prefer, puree with a stick blender). Add a bit of milk, cream or butter and season to taste.

You can also thin this with stock, water, or any kind of milk or cram and serve it as a soup.

Posted (Lori) in News


This Indian/Hindu holiday is as important to many who celebrate it as Christmas and Rosh Hashana are to their observers. Diwali starts this Thursday and lasts for five days. You’ll find more information about it on these sites:




Food is a major element of the holiday, particularly desserts and snacks (many of which are made from vegetables). You’ll find many Diwali dishes here:


and here:


Lipica gave us this great recipe for korma last year; I don’t know if it’s specifically served on Diwali, but I’ve tried it and it’s fantastic.

“This is my family’s recipe for Vegetable Korma, a vegetarian Indian dish that’s endlessly adaptable. Enjoy!’
1/4 cup cashew halves or almond slices
1/4 cup boiling water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch peeled ginger root, minced
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/4-1 tsp chili powder (optional)
1 tsp garam masala (optional)
chopped vegetables (any kind you want, just make sure they’re all chopped to roughly the same size)
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream (I’ve also used coconut milk or almond milk)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (soy yogurt works well too)
Korma Directions
1) place nuts in a small bowl, pour boiling water over them, set aside
2) heat oil in a large pan over medium heat, crumble the bay leaves into the oil and sauté for 30 seconds
3) stir in the onion- cook til soft
4) stir in the garlic and ginger and all the spices, sauté for 30 seconds
5) add in all the vegetables and stir til they’re all coated with the spice blend and have softened a bit (about 5 minutes)
6) add in the tomato paste and broth, cover, reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes (stirring occasionally)
7) while the mix is simmering, add the heavy cream and yogurt to the nut/water mix, mix til smooth
8. Stir the nut/cream mixture into the pot, simmer an additional 15 minutes or until the whole dish thickens a bit.



“This is my family’s recipe for Vegetable Korma, a vegetarian Indian dish that’s endlessly adaptable. Enjoy!’


1/4 cup cashew halves or almond slices

1/4 cup boiling water

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 inch peeled ginger root, minced

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

2 bay leaves

1 large onion, diced

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp turmeric powder

1/4-1 tsp chili powder (optional)

1 tsp garam masala (optional)

chopped vegetables (any kind you want, just make sure they’re all chopped to roughly the same size)

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 cup vegetable broth

1/2 cup heavy cream (I’ve also used coconut milk or almond milk)

1/2 cup plain yogurt (soy yogurt works well too)

Korma Directions

1) place nuts in a small bowl, pour boiling water over them, set aside

2) heat oil in a large pan over medium heat, crumble the bay leaves into the oil and sauté for 30 seconds

3) stir in the onion- cook til soft

4) stir in the garlic and ginger and all the spices, sauté for 30 seconds

5) add in all the vegetables and stir til they’re all coated with the spice blend and have softened a bit (about 5 minutes)

6) add in the tomato paste and broth, cover, reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes (stirring occasionally)

7) while the mix is simmering, add the heavy cream and yogurt to the nut/water mix, mix til smooth

8. Stir the nut/cream mixture into the pot, simmer an additional 15 minutes or until the whole dish thickens a bit.


Dick Sandhaus sent this wonderful pumpkin curry and instructions on how to make your own curry powder–perfect Diwali dish. It’s from his fantastic blog, Better, Cheaper, Slower; if you haven’t checked it out yet, you should—great info on recipes, health, exercise and many other topics.


Pumpkin Curry

Whether you carve it or curry it, your pumpkin’ll be ready for Halloween and Diwali. You know, the Hindu harvest celebration also known as the Festival of Lights. The Jack-O-Lantern’s not the traditional Diwali lantern, but it’s certainly festive. And yours could be ready for tomorrow’s celebration and Halloween.

Pumpkins and squashes of every size, shape, and color are abundant and cheap in Farmers Markets everywhere. They’re in markets all over northern India and Nepal right now, too. Hiking in Nepal, we saw squash vines climbing across rooftops in every village. Where they go into curries of all types. Be like them: make your own shockingly great curry powder in a fraction of the time it takes to carve your pumpkin.


4 cups of pumpkin and/or butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cubed

1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons of grape seed or other neutral oil

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

Fresh ginger, equivalent to 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1 heaping tablespoon of curry powder

1 cup of water, milk or coconut milk

Anticipating torture by carving, your pumpkin will be surprised to learn it’s about to be curried. I used a baby pumpkin and a butternut squash. On the inside, they look and taste pretty much the same. Peel them; cut them in half; scoop out the fibers and seeds; chop into small bite-sized cubes.

Cook the onion in a big, high-sided pan over medium heat in the oil. When the onion’s soft but not brown, add the garlic, ginger and curry powder, homemade or store-bought. Stir for two minutes.

Now add the cooking liquid. I used coconut milk because I love the combination of curry and coconut. Vegetable stock, milk or water will work fine. Give it all a good stir, then add the pumpkin and/or squash. Stir for a minute, then put the lid on the pan.

Fifteen minutes later, remove the lid and inhale deeply. Good, huh? Now taste. If the pumpkin’s too firm for you, cover again and let it cook for five minutes more. Whenever it’s right for you, it’s ready. It’s sweet, it’s spicy. It’s mouth- and nose-filling. It tickles every taste bud you have. Serve as a thick stew or on a bed of couscous or farro. Yum.


Halloween Curry, Manhattan Style

Curry is a blend of spices. Which spices depends on which village you’re in. Or which household you’re in. Turmeric is always in the recipe; it gives curry its color.

In my household, I use whatever’s in the pantry. Right now, that means peppercorns, cloves, powdered ginger, powdered turmeric, fennel and cumin seeds. And a dried chile and coriander seeds from the garden. If you make your own, use whatever you have and like. If you want something a little more sweet-spicy and pumpkin pie-like, try cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. If you want to keep it mild, avoid the chili pepper and peppercorns. Make as little or as much as you like – it’ll keep for months in a sealed container. And still be Way fresher than any jar of curry powder you can buy at the market.

After you settle on your ingredients, toast the whole ones in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes. When your entire home begins to smell like an exotic spice market, add the powdered ingredients and toast for two minutes more. No oil – just keep shaking the pan gently to keep it all moving. This is a little like roasting coffee beans; you can go for lighter or darker. Personally, I keep it light to avoid bitterness.

After toasting and a few minutes of cooling, grind it all. You can use a spice grinder if you have one. Or a coffee grinder – if you’d like your next cappuccino lightly curried. Or you can use a mortar and pestle like I did. As a last resort, you can use a hammer and a cutting board. It took about three minutes to grind eight tablespoons of coarse curry powder with my old-fashion mortar and pestle.

Posted (Lori) in News


Probably half the recipes that I use regularly begin with “sauté garlic until soft and golden . . . Garlic is an indispensible ingredient, that seems to pull the best flavor out of everything it touches. There is also evidence that it has strong health benefits, and guards against cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and the common cold (as well as vampires). I thought these benefits had been accepted by the scientific community, but I just checked and found out that research is still ongoing; but it is chockful of antioxidants which promote health and deter aging.

STORING GARLIC: I find that garlic bulbs last about six months if I keep them in a well-ventilated, cool, dry place (like a mesh basket) and turn them every few weeks. Don’t leave them in plastic bags or in the refrigerator—they will turn moldy &/or start to sprout. I often find that the last bulb of garlic turns to dust a month or two before garlicscape from the next season turns up in our shares.

I don’t peel it before I store it. I’ve wondered how long the peeled cloves that you see in supermarkets last.s

USING GARLIC: The smaller you chop it, the garlic cloves, the more flavor they release. After peeling, they can be minced with a knife or crushed with the back of a heavy knife. Or—use a garlic press, a small device that turns garlic into mush.

ROASTING GARLIC: Roasting garlic improves it in many ways—it adds another layer of flavor, and lets you avoid chopping. It also makes your whole apartment smell heavenly (if you think there is garlic in heaven and if your apartment is very small).

To do, cut off the top of each clove about ¼” down—you can do it one slice, dribble a few drops of olive oil on the cut edge, and wrap loosely in foil. Put the cloves, standing up, on a cookie sheet and roast for about 45-60 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Check after 40 minutes to see if the garlic is soft; take it out when it’s very soft and squishy. To use, squeeze it out like toothpaste. It makes a great spread, as is, with nothing added.


Garlic appears in many, many recipes, but in most it’s just a flavoring and not the star. Here are a few recipes in which garlic plays a greater role.


The name means “hot bath” and the only challenging part of this incredibly flavorful recipe is keeping it warm. I sometimes serve it right off the stovetop; it’s a great snack for the cooks or for guests who hang around the kitchen. For later in the meal, I put a small oven-safe bowl on a tiny hotplate that’s used to keep coffee cups warm.

1 tbs butter

1/4 cup olive oil

4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced or crushed

2-3 anchovy filets, mashed or more to tate

splash of cream (optional)

vegetables and/or bread for dipping

Put the butter and oil in a very small saucepan over low heat. When the butter is melted add the garlic and let it cook, stirring occasionally and watching to make sure it doesn’t burn.It should simmer, but not come to a full boil It will be very fragrant and in about 5 minutes the garlic will be soft. Add the anchovies and keep stirring until they all but disappear. If you wish, add a bit a cream and stir again to combine. Serve hot, with crudités such as asparagus, celery sticks, carrots, turnips, and cauliflower, or bread (usually, people ignore the vegetables and go for the bread).


2 to 4 large garlic cloves (more to taste; authentic aioli has more like 4 to 6), peeled, cut in half, and green shoot removed

Salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)

2 free-range organic egg yolks, or 1 egg and 1 egg white (the yolks are traditional, but the whole egg and white works fine)

½ cup grapeseed oil

½ cup extra virgin olive oil


Whether or not you are using a mortar and pestle for the mayonnaise, begin by mashing the garlic and salt together in a mortar and pestle. Mash to a smooth paste. (If you don’t have a mortal and pestle, mash with a fork.)

1                  Using the mortar and pestle (for egg yolks only; this is the traditional method, and will result in a very silky, creamy aioli if you do it correctly): Add the egg yolks to the mortar and beat with the pestle until smooth. Measure the grapeseed oil into a measuring cup with a spout, and drip by drip, work the oil into the egg yolks, gently but constantly stirring in one direction with the pestle. As the mayonnaise begins to emulsify, you can start adding the oil in a steady stream, but the stream must be a thin one, and you must stir constantly but not too fast. Once you have a good emulsion, you can scrape the mixture into a bowl and continue with a whisk if it’s easier for you. It helps to rest the bowl on a damp towel shaped into a ring. Use up the grapeseed oil first, since it makes a better emulsion than olive oil, then continue with the olive oil. I find that once the egg yolks and oil are emulsified, it’s easiest to drizzle in yolks and oil are emulsified, it’s easiest to drizzle in a tablespoonful of oil while beating, stop drizzling and really beat hard to work it in, then continue with another tablespoonful. When all of the oil has been added and the mayonnaise is thick, taste and adjust salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Using a food processor: Place the egg yolks or egg and egg white in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Turn it on, and begin drizzling in the grapeseed oil, then the olive oil, in a thin stream. Some food processors have little holes in the plungers meant for controlling the flow of oil into the mayonnaise. When all of the oil has been added, stop the processor and scrape in the garlic paste. Process for a few seconds, until the paste is well blended into the mixture. Taste and adjust salt. Refrigerate until ready to use. The mayonnaise will be thinner than the mortar and pestle version.


3 tablespoons butter

5 cloves of garlic, minced

8 ounces mushrooms (any variety) chopped to any size you like

4 ounces cream cheese, slightly softened

Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a heavy pan. Add the garlic and sauté until soft and golden. Add the mushrooms and sauté until soft. Reduce the heat to low, add the cream cheese and stir until melted and evenly distributed. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve on bread, or create turnovers with puff pastry or phyllo dough.


1 pound tomatoes, chopped

1 hot pepper, seeded and finely chopped

Pinch of cumin

4 cloves

10 cloves garlic, chopped, plus 10 whole cloves

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium white onion, chopped

3 cups chicken broth

¼ cup chopped mint, parsley, celery (optional)

Place the tomatos, jalapeno, cumin, cloves and 4 of the chopped garlic cloves in a 2-quart stockpot over medium high heat. Brin to a boil and boil for 10 minuts; set aside.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion and the rest of the chopped garlic. Pour in the tomato mix and the chicken broth and stir well to combine

In a small pot, bring 1 quart of water to boil. Add the 10 whole cloves of garlic and boil for 4 minutes. Stir into the chicken broth mixture until combine. If using herbs, stir in and cook for 5 minutes more. Serve with bread.

By Senora Soledad Diaz Altamirono, El Topil, Oaxaca, Mexico; from The Great Garlic Book, Chester Aaron