Recipes · Salad · Vegetarian

my new favorite salad

I’m in love with fuyu persimmons!  I’ve been getting them in my CSA box but wasn’t sure what to do with them.  I’ve been scouring the internet for recipes.  Then I asked my sister.  She told me “just eat them”.  WHAT????  It’s really that simple?   No recipe needed, just take a bite.  Okay, so…I decided to peel and slice them into wedges and put them on a platter with prosciutto.  My friends loved it.  And now the salad…my new favorite.

Persimmon and Arugula Salad

  • Baby arugula
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Fuyu persimmons, peeled, and cut into wedges
  • Goat cheese, crumbled


  • 2 parts Olive oil
  • 1 part Balsamic vinegar
  • spoonful of Dijon mustard
  • a little bit of dried thyme, crushed by hand
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl.  Dress the salad!

Turley is the worst.  What’s wrong with all those chew toys you have?

Persimmon on Foodista

Main Dish · Pasta · Recipes · Vegetarian

butternut squash ravioli

Sunshine decided we should make ravioli with the butternut squash I roasted last week.  A very good call.

Sunshine made the pasta dough, Sondi rolled it out, and then everyone had their hands in shaping the ravioli.  I love inviting friends over to make their own dinner.  Where’s Melissa?  Probably manning the camera.

I changed up the sauce a bit for my vegetarian friend, Chik.  I’ve made this before with chicken stock and pancetta.  This time I used vegetable broth and eliminated the pancetta and it was still delicious.  I think I’ll keep to my vegetarian version from now on.  Thanks, Chik.

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Cider Cream

Ravioli filling

  • Roasted Butternut Squash
  • large scoop of mascarpone
  • large scoop of ricotta
  • snow flurry of freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • salt and pepper

Cider cream sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 5 sage leaves, chiffonade, plus more whole leaves for frying
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • olive oil, for frying the sage leaves

Puree the butternut squash.  Add the mascarpone, ricotta and parmigiano-reggiano.  Season to taste.

Make the fresh pasta, let rest for 30 minutes.

Roll out sheets of dough .  If you’re using the Kitchen Aide attachment: start on setting number one.  Fold rolled out dough into thirds, and pass through the pasta machine on the same setting, but rotate the dough 90 degrees.  Repeat.  Now you’re ready to pass through to setting number two.  Dust the dough with flour before changing to setting number three, four and five.

Now you’re ready to make the ravioli.

Using a small scooper or spoon, place ravioli filling in the middle of each cut piece of pasta.

Dab the edges with egg wash and then fold into a triangle or rectangle.

Press down around the filling to the edges of the ravioli to seal.  The ravioli can be frozen on a sheet pan and then transfered to a large ziplock bag.

For the sauce:  Saute the shallots and thyme in melted butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.

Add broth and cider, and simmer for 8 minutes.

Add cream and sage, simmer for an additional 5 minutes.  Add freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano, mix to incorporate.  Turn off heat.  Fry sage leaves in olive oil until they stop sizzling.  Drain on paper towels.

Cook pasta until it floats.  It’s fresh, so it won’t take long.  Drain and then toss into the cider cream.

Garnish with fried sage leaves and additional parmigiano-reggiano.



Greg Schroeder, owner of Amazing Grapes Wine Store

Greg says:  The “safe” choice is an Alsace Pinot Gris for its touch of sweetness and acidity, but instead, I’m really into this obscure white grape from Campania Italy called Falanghina. The producer is Terredora and we have the 2009 vintage Falanghina.   I’m not the only person who liked it either; Wine Advocate scored this beauty 90 points!
Falanghina has a surprising richness in its almost tropical expression of fruit. The aromatics that emerge in the glass add further complexity to this generous and utterly engaging white. It is unbelievably delicious, and has this great finish of pumpkin and all spice on the back palate.  This will pair with your Butternut Squash Ravioli perfectly!

Here’s Chik!  Crazy vegetarian…

Dessert · Recipes

Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin

Another French lesson from Anne Willan’s book,  The Country Cooking of France .  This time it’s an upside down caramelized apple tart.  I made this for Veronica, Joey and Sunshine, and I’m definitely going to make this one again.  It was fun making the pâte brisée old school, like Sunshine does with his pasta.  I love watching the video of him kneading the pasta dough, he has a LOT more patience than I do.  It is pasta and he is Italian, so it’s kind of in his DNA.  So….back to apples and France we go.

Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin

  • 3 pounds firm apples
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

Pâte Brisée

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 6 tablespoons butter

To make the pâte brisée:  Sift flour onto a work surface and make a well in the center.  Put egg yolk and salt in the middle of the well.

Pound butter with a rolling pin to soften and add to the well.

Work with your fingers to incorporate all of the ingredients in the well.  Using a pastry scraper, gradually draw in the flour from the sides  of the well and continue working with both hands until coarse crumbs form.

Gently press into a disc.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate.

Peel, halve and core the apples.  Melt butter in a large oven proof sauté pan.  Sprinkle with sugar, and cook over medium heat without stirring until it starts to brown.  Stir gently and continue to cook for 6-8 minutes, until deep golden brown.  Turn off heat.

Arrange apples in concentric circles with cut side standing vertically.  Pack them as tightly as possible into the sauté pan.  Return the pan to medium heat and cook apples for 8 minutes, or until the juices start to run from the apples.  Turn the heat up a little bit and continue to cook for 15-25 minutes, until caramelized to a deep golden brown.

Turn each apple halve upside down and continue to cook over medium heat for 10-20 minutes, or until more of the juice has evaporated.  Remove and cool until tepid.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out dough to a round just larger than sauté pan.  Top apples with dough.  Slice the center of the dough to create an air vent for the steam to escape.  Tuck the edges down around the apples.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until dough is firm and lightly golden.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  The tarte tatin can be made up to 12 hours ahead of time, kept in the pan and refrigerated.  To serve, heat pan on stove top to soften the caramel and loosen apples.  But who can wait?  To finish, invert tarte onto serving plate and serve with whipped cream.

Greg Schroeder, owner of Amazing Grapes Wine Store

Greg says:

Caramelized apple tarte tatin wine pairing: You’re keeping me busy with my favorite wine type – dessert wines! This dessert screams for a Sauternes and I happen to have a great one for you. The Chateau Guiraud 2003 Sauternes was #14 on the top 100 wines for 2006 as picked by the Wine Spectator and they bestowed it with 95 points as well! Very sweet and rich on the nose, with toffee, honey and spices. Full-bodied, with thick honey, spice, dried apricot and syrup flavors that last for minutes on the palate. Big botrytis bomb. Love it.

Recipes · Side Dish

a sharp knife or a strong man is required

I’ve got a sharp knife.

I’ve been thinking about my dear sweet Michael lately.  Not in a sexy way as you might assume.  I just have a butternut squash, and he has the magic recipe.  It’s Michael Chiarello I’m referring to and his recipe in The Tra Vigne Cookbook for roasted winter squash.  A sharp knife is necessary for cutting a butternut squash, if you don’t have that, well…. you know what you need.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do with my roasted butternut squash puree yet, I know it’s a little anti-climatic.  I’m thinking raviolis, or soup, or I’ll mix it into polenta.  Next time I won’t puree the squash.  I’ll serve it over pasta and add a little crumbled French feta.  Stay tuned.

Roasted Butternut Squash

  • 3 pound butternut squash
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup blasamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark unsulfured molasses

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler, halve and remove seeds.  Cut into 1″ dice.  Place in a bowl, season with salt and pepper.

Heat butter in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat.  When butter ceases to foam and turns light brown, remove from heat.  Add sage, sugar, vinegar and molasses.  Mix well and return to medium low heat for 1-2 minutes.

Pour mixture over squash, toss to coat.  Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.  Place in the oven and roast, tossing occasionally, for 1 hour.

Transfer to food processor, and puree until smooth.  Refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Grandma Sherry is up to her old tricks again…check out Paige’s fancy new outfit, compliments of Grandma of course.  Sunshine said Paige has more clothes than me now.  Fine.  I’ll go shopping.