Are you a lover of kale? Bread? Cheese? Mushrooms? Then you are likely to love this recipe from Jennie Perillo as much as I do. It’s basically a simplified strata of sorts, a casserole layering thin slices of rustic ciabatta bread with sautéed kale, mushrooms, and onions, and cheddar cheese, soaked with milk and egg, and then baked until bubbly and browned. It’s the ultimate kale lover’s comfort food. The recipe is from Jennie’s new cookbook, Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen, a beautiful book with photographs by Penny De Los Santos, heart warming prose, and tummy warming recipes for the home cook.
Ah the noble leek, often the bridesmaid, rarely the bride. Leeks vinaigrette is a classic French recipe that honors the leek for itself. In this recipe we first clean and prep the leeks, then boil them in water until just cooked, drain them, and marinate them for several hours (or days) in a vinaigrette with a touch of Dijon mustard. Served at room temperature, the leeks make a lovely salad or side. And given that they love a long marinating time, they’re perfect for making ahead.
Consider the leek. It’s majestic, a titan in the onion family. Mostly just the white and light green parts are eaten, though the darker green parts have plenty of flavor and can either be cooked longer to tenderize them, or used when making homemade soup stock. The challenge when cooking with leeks is that they are almost always dirty. When leeks are grown, soil is piled up around them, so that more of the leek is hidden from the sun, and therefore lighter in color and more tender. What produces a beautiful leek, a long pale body, also results in sand and dirt been lodged deep inside the leek.