Tag Archives: lemon

Roasted Squash Salad with Tahini and Za’atar

Some days more than others, cooking is a dance.

“I’ll be there in a minute, honey!”  I crank the oven, scrub a butternut squash, lean in toward the counter, hack the peel away.  (Some people eat it, do you?)  Losing patience, my big girl comes over to talk subtraction, negative numbers, first grade math, the number line.  The squash falls away from my knife in isosceles wedges.  I show one to the girls.

“Do you want your squash in big pieces like this or little squares like squash candy?”  You can guess the answer.  I dice the last third of the squash, sling the pan into the oven, sweep the peels and seeds into the freezer for making broth, correct math homework, give in to the baby’s demand for a cracker.

Back to the recipe.  I scoop tahini and squeeze lemon, press garlic, whisk, text with an old friend about soup, recite the memorized words from a favorite children’s book that we can’t find today.  And then, in a moment of calm, I give my full attention to the stove, stirring, for the three minutes it takes to toast pine nuts.  Success.  They don’t burn.

Sweet roasted squash and red onions, a generous drizzle of tahini dressing, those salty toasted pine nuts, a shower of za’atar.  I taste a piece of squash, then stop doing everything else.  J wanders in at that moment and I hand him the plate and two forks.  We sit down in the middle of the chaos and eat every bite.   Roasted Sqush and Onions with Tahini and Za'atar Continue reading

Caraway Cookies

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The season of holiday excess is upon us, and one of my year-round favorite indulgences gets its due at this time of year: the cookie.  Caraway CookiesThese caraway cookies are a fine specimen—not chocolate, I’ll admit, but otherwise quite good.  They have a reliable pedigree, hailing from Maida Heatter’s Cookies, where she describes the “caraway crisp” as a classic Scottish recipe.  The flavor is restrained, the caraway and lemon are fragrant but not overwhelming, and the overall effect is a very nice balance of sweet but not too sweet. Continue reading

A Winter Salad with Celery and Parmesan

There are a lot of things I like about seasonal produce.   A summer peach, a fall persimmon, a winter tangerine, the first stalk of rhubarb: each is most perfect in its own moment.

But then there are times when I stick my fingers in my ears: “la la la la la, I’m not listening!”  Like when it becomes painfully apparent that lettuce is no longer in season.  Some things I just can’t survive the winter without.This is a green salad to brighten your winter, full of lemony zing, celery crunch, and the wide-awake flavor of flat-leaf parsley.  Continue reading

Kale Caesar Salad

Have you entered this week’s cookbook giveaway yet?  You have until Monday night to enter!

In some circles the kale salad is probably passe already, but let’s just agree not to be so hip that we can’t enjoy a good thing, ok?  I was briefly missing this summer’s Grilled Kale Salad with Ricotta and Plums, but it has already been replaced in my affections by this new winter favorite.  It’s from the Skillet Cookbook, a new release from my local hipster diner, the Skillet Diner.  I go to the diner just for this kale salad.  I bought the cookbook just for this kale salad.  I love this kale salad. Continue reading

Crunchy Celery and Fennel Salad

We are welcoming some new friends to Emmy Cooks today!  They are fine folks, the discerning type who chose not only to click on a “Freshly Pressed” beet recipe, but also chose to stick around and click on over here, too.  So welcome, new friends!  Here you’ll find a community of cooks and readers and writers and old friends who are always ready to answer questions, share good advice, and trade recipes and tips.  Thank you, old friends and new friends, for being here!

In the spirit of the communal table, here’s a potluck contribution that travels well, so you can take it to parties all summer.  I was inspired to make it, I confess, when I accidentally found three heads of celery in my grocery bag instead of the one I meant to buy (don’t even ask how that happened), but the happy result was a salad so crisp and lemony that I will certainly be making it again.  It joined a host of other outstanding salads in our friends’ back yard this afternoon, where I also discovered the allure of thick slabs of roasted fennel.  Just make sure you save a fennel bulb for the salad.Remember that riotous fiesta of a Summer Crunch Salad with Feta, Mint, and Lime?  The one we had to make over and over because it was so good?  This salad is a refined Italian relation: fennel, Parmesan cheese, lemon.  You could go the distance by substituting pine nuts for the pumpkin seeds.  Either way, the key elements here are the same: celery and fennel for crunch, plenty of Parmesan shavings for salt, and enough lemon juice to make the whole thing sing. Continue reading Crunchy Celery and Fennel Salad (click for recipe)