The most indulgent aspect of this quiche is that it can be prepared and baked the day before. Warm it in a 300-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes right before serving.
1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Dough for a 9-inch single-crust pie
3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1 cup half-and-half
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, toss the bell pepper, onion, sweet potato and zucchini. Add the olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper; stir to coat. Spread the mixture on a rimmed baking sheet and roast 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown. Remove from the oven. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees.
Fit the dough into a pie pan, crimping the edges. Place on a baking sheet and add the roasted vegetables. Top with the cheese.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and half-and-half. Pour over the cheese and vegetables. Bake 45 minutes, or until slightly puffed and set in the middle. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 290 calories, 170 calories from fat (59 percent of total calories), 19 g fat (8 g saturated, 0 g trans fats), 160 mg cholesterol, 20 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 10 g protein, 330 mg sodium.
Squash Bisque With Roasted Corn Salsa
2 tablespoons butter
1 large red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 cups cubed butternut squash
2 carrots, diced
1 quart vegetable stock or broth
For the salsa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and ground pepper
1 cup heavy cream
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup of this mixture. Add the ginger, squash, carrots and stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
While the soup cooks, make the salsa. In a skillet over high, heat the oil. Add the corn kernels and grape tomatoes and sear until browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the reserved onions. Stir in the vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.
Working in batches, puree soup in a blender. Return it to the pan and stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with the salsa. Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 220 calories, 140 calories from fat (64 percent of total calories), 16 g fat (9 g saturated, 0 g trans fats), 50 mg cholesterol, 18 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 3 g protein, 100 mg sodium.
Bell Pepper and Apple Slaw
1 medium red bell pepper, cored and julienned
1 medium yellow bell pepper, cored and julienned
2 medium carrots, grated
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and julienned
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
Zest and juice of 1 large orange
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of red pepper flakes
In a large bowl, combine both bell peppers, the carrots, celery, apple and pomegranate seeds. In a small bowl, whisk the orange zest and juice, vinegar, salt, olive oil, mustard and red pepper flakes. Pour over the slaw mixture and toss to thoroughly coat. Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 90 calories, 35 calories from fat (39 percent of total calories), 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated, 0 trans fats), 0 cholesterol, 14 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 1 g protein, 170 mg sodium.
Cornbread Stuffing Mushrooms
We spooned savory cornbread stuffing into portobello mushroom caps for a dish that is as attractive as it is delicious.
8 large portobello mushroom caps
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 medium leek, green and white parts, sliced
1 medium carrot, grated
1 celery rib, finely diced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 cups diced cornbread
Vegetable broth, as needed
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Arrange the mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet, gill sides up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and leek and sauté until tender, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the carrot, celery, thyme and rosemary and cook until tender, about another 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and gently fold in the cornbread.
When the mushrooms are done, pour any liquid that has collected on the rimmed baking sheet into the cornbread mixture. If the mixture is dry, sprinkle in a bit of vegetable broth. Gently mix. Spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps and return to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 180 calories, 50 calories from fat (28 percent of total calories), 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated, 0 g trans fats), 25 mg cholesterol, 27 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 5 g protein, 430 mg sodium.
By MICHELE KAYAL
If you take the bird off the table, is it still Thanksgiving?
You could go with New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman’s preferred solution: get an inflatable turkey as a mock centerpiece.
“Absence of turkey can be a very positive thing,” says Bittman, whose upcoming book, VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00, is dedicated to doing with less meat.
Or you could follow the advice of professionals who have made vegetable cookery an art form. Offer vegetable and grain dishes that are rich in flavor and fat, and, if you really need an anchor for the meal, create another dish as a centerpiece.
Acorn squash stuffed with wild rice or other grains, carrots, celery, onions, nuts, dried cranberries and a tiny dice of hickory-smoked tofu make a flavorful, celebratory main dish, says Diane Morgan, author of two books on Thanksgiving and a new volume on root vegetables called Roots (Chronicle). A lasagna of sliced sugar pumpkin layered with ricotta and crumbled fried sage, she says, also offers an impressive make-ahead dish.
With the centerpiece nailed, proceed as usual. Surround that dish with all the traditional sides — stuffing, mashed potatoes, those gooey sweet potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts. You want gravy? Make it with a stock of roasted root vegetables, Morgan says, and pour it all over your potatoes.
Use as much butter, salt and cream as you normally would on Thanksgiving, knowing that those are the elements that put the “comfort” in “comfort food.”
“Fat is the operative word,” Bittman says. “You can make a really great stuffing with a lot of butter. Creamed onions, creamed spinach. Of the things people think of when they think of Thanksgiving food, only the turkey is really meat.”
In this tough world of ours, try a little tenderness. Try kale. It’s the leafy green everyone’s talking about but no one seems to eat. Often dismissed as fibrous and bitter, kale turns supple and sweet with a little hands-on participation.
At heart, a quesadilla is pretty much a Mexican grilled cheese. Take a tortilla, stuff it with something savory, add some cheese, fold it in half and toast it. It’s also pretty delicious.
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