summer caponata

July 17th, 2014


a successful vacation (by Oscar Wilde)

summer caponata

Vacation. Actually, it is more like this VACATION ! 

This year I thought I would try something new: take a vacation and NOT work. You know get out of the kitchen, enjoy the cooking of others (often), step out of my routine, and detach from my computer. So far so good. Oscar Wilde said that “moderation is a fatal thing [and] nothing succeeds like excess.” By Mr. Wilde’s standard, I have been highly successful in my vacation thus far. Read the rest of this entry »

summer vegetable tart à la Provençal

July 12th, 2013

 chef morgan 1

a good summer’s day
summer vegetable tart à la Provençal

Some days everything just seems to go right. The weather is perfect. I did not step in a gift from a neighbor’s dog nor did I walk a piece of furniture down the rue to my apartment. The children are not fighting. Beyond the domestic bliss and no more juin gloom, the little things that in France I have come to expect to test my patience actually fell into place. I felt this moment should be recorded. 

chef morgan Read the rest of this entry »

harvest minestrone with autumn vegetables and farro

November 9th, 2012

 harvest minestrone with autumn vegetables and farro   

 harvest minestrone with autumn vegetables and farro

serves 4
330 calories (per 4 ounce serving)

what you need:

1 tablespoon olive oil 
½ cup lardons (or diced pancetta)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, diced 
½ cup diced carrots (various colors) 
½ cup diced parsnips
½ cup diced onions 
½ teaspoon piment d’espelette
½ cup diced winter squash (butternut or kabocha) 

12 Crimini mushrooms, quartered 
1 can whole San Marzano tomatoes, chopped and drained
6 cups quality chicken stock (or bottled water)
1 bouquet garni (fresh Italian parsley, 1 bay leaf, fresh thyme sprigs) 
½ cup Perlato (pearled) farro
2 cups chopped Tuscan kale
kosher salt (to taste)
freshly black ground pepper (to taste)

minced fresh Italian parsley (as needed)
grated parmesan cheese (as needed) Read the rest of this entry »

time for summer: panier de crudités avec anchoïade

May 26th, 2011


panier de crudités avec anchoïade

panier de crudités avec anchoïade


This Memorial Day weekend  get a jump on summer with a Provençal panier de crudités avec anchoïade. You will feel like you are on vacation at the Côte d’Azur and that is why it is this week’s “simple pleasure. Read the rest of this entry »

vegetables first

November 24th, 2010

vegetables first

When you think of the Thanksgiving meal, vegetables do not immediately come to mind.   They are side dishes and the last thing to be eaten, if at all.   It is time to change our perspective and give vegetables their proper place in our celebration of the harvest.  This year, make vegetables a first course, a purposeful dish with importance as well as a preview of more (not the only) good things to come.

Vegetables first makes sense for several reasons.  Vegetables are good for us and their texture, flavor and colors balance the bland starchy, fatty foods to follow (i.e., the mashed potatoes, stuffing, and butter-basted turkey).    Additionally, eating a modest serving of vegetables first makes us less likely to overeat the subsequent things that are not so healthy (and if you are watching your caloric intake, this will help you keep your calorie consumption down as well).

Below are three recipes for your vegetable “first course”.   All are simple to make and if you do the prep work (the washing and cutting of the vegetables) the day before then you only have to roast the vegetables on Thanksgiving day (and at the same temperature you are roasting your turkey).

A couple of comments about the vegetables.  First, always buy vegetables with their tops on.  The tops of vegetables are the first thing to decline if the vegetables are old (which is why some markets remove the tops).  Second, do not feel committed to my vegetable suggestions but buy what is freshest in your market and take advantage of the various textures and colors of the season.  Lastly, if you cannot decide which vegetable first course to serve, make two.  It is no more work  (the vegetables are all basically roasted so you can put it all on the same baking tray) and it can make things fun.   For example, if you have 12 guests, give every other person (guests # 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11)  starter #2  with squash, mushrooms, and onions, and remaining 6 guests starter # 1 with carrots, turnips, and beets.   If you have a young child who is learning patterns at school this is a great way for them to practice their pattern skills by creating a pattern (i.e., ABABAB)  to correspond with plate assignments.

Keep the old traditions and add a few new.    I wish you and your family a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and, of course, je vous souhaite un bon appétit !


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