Roasted Pear Salad with Pumpkin Seeds & Chèvre

IMG_8956A robust winter salad can break the monotony of root vegetables and mash. This roasted pear over crisp greens salad with a sprinkling of seeds makes a lovely starter. We recently served this salad to a group of sixty, and it was so simple to do for a large group, but its taste and presentation make it special.

It is shown here with a light Crème Fraîche dressing, but is also very good served with a Balsamic Maple Dressing. Continue reading

Glazed Parsnips

IMG_6204This time of year, it’s all about root vegetables.  The more of them we eat, the better we’ll be able to handle spring when it comes.  Which is not today. winter day 2014 02 24

This is how Mom used to cook parsnips, glazed in a cast iron frying pan.  It is still my favourite way to eat them.

Parsnips have a flavour that is so different from any other root veg, sweet and earthy.  They’re an old historic vegetable, used as both a sweetener and sustenance.  They add depth to mixed vegetable dishes, such as roasted roots or a good bordelaise mirepoix.

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Butternut Cottage Pie

IMG_5614The feeling of sitting down to a meal of “comfort food” is exactly that, comfort.  The senses drag up old, comfy memories, of different times and places, but all of them bring us comfort.  In our childhood home, if we ever had a roast beef or pot roast for dinner, the next day one of us kids would be sitting at the kitchen table, grinding up the leftovers, along with onions and carrots so Mom could make her Shepherd’s Pie (truly a Cottage Pie).

Move ahead 50 years, and I still love the mashed potato crust, leading through to a rich filling.   So, even though I enjoy a meat version, thought that maybe I could use my leading lady, Butternut Squash, to take on the role.  BBC Good Food suggested shallots & pecans for her supporting actors.

I invited my sister to opening night.  We swooned over the performance.  Hope you enjoy it.  I’m ready for an encore. Continue reading