easy

Everything Bagel Greens

This is my new favorite vegetable side, and it takes less than 5 minutes to make! You can use any type of greens you like (I used collards above) but kale or spinach or chard also work wonderfully. Everything Bagel seasoning can be found at many grocery stores now and has a mixture of garlic, salt and sesame usually. It’s delicious!

EVERYTHING BAGEL GREENS

4 handfuls raw greens (collards, kale, chard, spinach - or a mixture)

About 4 shakes of Everything Bagel seasoning (I found mine at Trader Joe’s)

Olive oil

Add a splash of olive oil to a pan on medium heat. Add the greens and a small splash of water. Add another drizzle of oil on top. Cover with a lid for about a minute. Remove lid and stir, covering again and repeating until they wilt, for 3-5 minutes. Try not to over cook them…once they are bright green and wilted they are done! Turn the heat off and add a few shakes of the Everything Bagel seasoning. remember it has salt in it, so don’t add too much. Stir to combine and serve immediately. Add more seasoning as a garnish if you wish. Serves 2 as a side.

*tip: for a richer flavor, add a bit of butter to the pan as well!

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Brown Butter Tomatoes from The New Greenmarket Cookbook

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I know I am spoiled by the produce in California, but I have to say- I do miss the New York City Greenmarket. The produce that pops up in Union Square (and in farmers’ markets all over the city) is truly spectacular, especially in late summer. Coming out of the subway at 14th Street and seeing all the farmers amidst the cityscape is so unique and exciting. While at the market, it’s common to see big city chefs shopping for their dinner menus and The New Greenmarket Cookbook tells the stories behind these chefs and recipes.

The cookbook is by my friend Gabrielle and it’s beautifully compiled with so many fresh ideas. I shot with a lot of these chefs when I was working as a food photographer in New York, so it’s really fun to have this collection of their recipes. Here’s one super simple summer recipe I tried the other day that was a total winner. I made it while visiting my parents’ little cabin up in Sonoma County, where they have an enormous garden with 50+ tomato plants growing this summer (crazy!). Such a simple idea and SO delicious. Happy cooking!

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BROWN BUTTER TOMATOES

From The New Greenmarket Cookbook by Gabrielle Langholtz and GrowNYC. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014

Recipe by Amanda Hesser, Food52.com and Provisions

2 large or 3 small ripe beefsteak tomatoes

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Coarsely ground black pepper

Baguette or other country bread, for mopping up the butter

Most locavores have more recipes for tomatoes than Eskimos have names for snow. But this preparation, which drizzles beurre noisette over tomatoes in place of the classic olive oil, will stop you in your tracks. As surprising as it is simple, it’s the kind of thing you can slap together in mere minutes for a solo snack or serve to guests on fine china.

Core the tomatoes and slice them 1⁄3-inch thick. Divide the slices among four plates (preferably warmed), overlapping the slices just a little. Place the butter in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and set over medium heat. Let the butter melt completely. It will begin bubbling. Let the butter simmer away, cooking off its water, until it begins to smell nutty and brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Swirl the pan every 30 seconds or so. When the butter turns the color of a hazelnut, remove it from the heat. Use a soup spoon to ladle it over the tomatoes. They’ll sizzle! You want to dress the tomatoes with the butter, as if you were pouring ganache over a cake—be generous!

Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper, then rush the plates to the table so everyone can taste the tomatoes while the butter is hot. Mop up the butter and tomato juices with good bread. Toast to summer!

Serves 4

Artichoke Potato Salad with Arugula

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I love a good potato salad, and I find roasting the potatoes a bit tastier, perhaps for those crunchy edges. My mom puts sweet pickles (cornichons) in her potato salad, and I thought I’d try a twist on that by adding marinated artichoke hearts. They add some vinegary tang which I like. Plus the spiciness of the arugula makes for a good combo. Happy outdoor summer dining!

This recipe was part of a fun summer BBQ menu that I put together for InStyle Magazine. Check out the whole menu HERE.

Photos and illustrations by Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast

Wine and Cheese Party Menu

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Yesterday evening Jonathan and I hosted a little wine and cheese tasting garden party for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot (the one where you are supposed to eat dairy- basically, my favorite holiday ever!). A friend brought plums from her tree and it was fun to see the early fruits of the garden, including blackberries that will arrive in a month or two.

I am no wine connoisseur, but I did some research online to find wine/cheese combinations that went well together, and then came up with simple, no-cook appetizer ideas using each cheese to pair with 5 different wines (ranging from bubbly to after-dinner port). I learned that when pairing cheese and wine, it’s best to match similarities in flavor (like a light fruity wine with a light cheese/fruit appetizer) or go for complete contrast, (like a sweet robust port paired with a pungent blue cheese like gorgonzola). It’s fun to take your time and pay attention to how the flavors dance in your mouth! I think they are best enjoyed in this order:

  1. Prosecco: spread camembert (a brie-like) cheese on a toasted piece of baguette, top with a peach slice, and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.

  2. Pinot Grigio: spread fresh whole milk ricotta cheese on a toasted piece of baguette and top with lemon zest and honey. See more details on that recipe in this post.

  3. Pinot Noir: stack a cube of watermelon, a cube of feta and a leaf of mint on a toothpick.

  4. Cabernet Sauvignon: top a slice of sharp white cheddar with a slice of crisp green apple, then sprinkle with honey and black pepper.

  5. Port: put a smear of creamy gorgonzola on a leaf of purple endive and top with a red grape or 2.

Happy summer entertaining!

xx Erin

Curly Kale and Curly Pasta (Salad)

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Pasta, Beans & Greens! Also easily made with gluten-free pasta, and can be vegan if you use a dairy-free pesto. This is a good one for entertaining because it’s easy to make ahead and great warm or at room temperature.

This post was done in collaboration with on Better Homes and Gardens.