Vegetables, Snacks, Eggs

Morels On Toast With A Soft Boiled Egg

Morels On Toast With A Soft Boiled Egg |

Largely I consider it a boon that we live in an era where nearly all produce is available year round. I am a millennial after all. However there remain a few seasonal delicacies that aren't available on demand, and for that I'm grateful. It's an instant occasion when you have the chance to cook with an ingredient whose time is fleeting. Morels (or as I prefer, butter sponges) illustrate this little luxury best of all. They're delicate, earthy and have an affinity for butter, cream, and egg yolks. As it turns out we have a lot in common. In New England morels arrive in late April and stick around until early June. That's just enough time to enjoy them alongside gnochhi, stuffed in ravioli, and atop a pizza. Or for those times where instant gratification is in order, toast and an egg will do just fine.

Morels |
Bread |
Garlic Toast |
Morels on Toast |


  • A handful of fresh morel mushrooms, cleaned (Note the morels pictured are not sliced in half lengthwise. You should do this though.)
  • A knob of butter
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • Your favorite bread for toasting
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 egg per toast
  • Sea salt & pepper


  • Set a small saucepan of water to boil for your egg(s).
  • While you're waiting for the water to boil, prepare your toast. Toast each bread slice then rub with a split clove of garlic. Set aside.
  • When water is boiling lower egg(s) in and reduce to a simmer. Set a timer for 6 minutes. (Six minutes of cook time yields my desired consistency, like the egg you see in the top photo. For a runnier yolk shorten to five minutes or a firmer yolk seven. After seven you'll be approaching hard-boiled territory.)
  • While your egg is boiling, cook your morels. Melt butter with thyme leaves over medium heat in a small saute pan. Add morels and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  • When your timer goes off remove your egg(s) with a slotted spoon and run under cold water before removing from the shell.
  • Assemble your morels on your toast(s) and top with a split open egg.
  • Enjoy immediately.

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Snacks, Vegetables, Cheese

A Holiday Mezze Spread

Mezze Spread |
Mezze Spread |
Marinated Carrots |

Who's getting ready to host a party? I'm off duty this year but if I was it'd look like this. I've had mezze on the brain since my birthday last month. My fam and I went to one of my most favorite places in Cambridge, Sofra Bakery + Cafe, and ordered about three quarters of the menu. If you live within walking, driving, or flying distance I recommend you make a date to get your tush over there. (Pro tip: bring friends who are down to share. You're going to want it all.) Turkish, Lebanese, and Greek flavors get friendly on the menu and the results are otherworldly. I have not strolled through a bazaar with a fork but I imagine it would taste like this cafe.

Of all the feasting to be done at Sofra, the mezze plate is what really makes my heart flutter. Mezze simply means a sampling of small dishes - cheeses, spreads, salads + vegetables. A brightly hued platter of contrasting textures and flavors paired with warm bread might be my favorite way to eat. It was high time I attempted to compose my own. The brilliant mind behind Sofra, Ana Sortun, has kindly shared many of her secrets in her cookbook, Spice. The beets + yogurt and whipped feta are both renditions of Ana's recipes though I've made slight modifications to mix up flavor profiles and make prep less time-intensive.

There is nothing particularly holiday-y about this spread, except that it lends itself very well to a party. Not only can you make everything ahead, you should. The flavors will become more vibrant overnight and then you can tackle your party day to-do list (take out of fridge, let come to room temperature) with feet up and a glass of wine in hand.

PS - I gave myself an early Christmas present this week and rolled out a new word mark for the site. What do you think? The font is called 'smitten' which is appropriate because I am!

Beets + Yogurt |
Olives with Thyme + Orange |
Fried Pine Nuts |
Whipped Feta |
Marinated Carrots |
Beets + Yogurt |

Beets + Yogurt


  • 1 lb. beets
  • 8 oz. strained yogurt (labneh, yogurt cheese, or full fat Greek yogurt)
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. mint, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • olive oil + nigella seeds for garnish


  • Boil beets until easily pierced with a fork; remove from water and allow to cool (cooking time will vary based on size of your beets)
  • When beets are cool enough to handle, massage skins off under running water and discard
  • Using a box grater, finely grate beetroot (This is messy! Set you grater atop wax paper or another surface to protect your table or countertop)
  • Mix grated beets with yogurt, lemon juice, mint, honey, salt + pepper until well blended
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving
  • Serve at room temperature garnished with a drizzle of olive oil + nigella seeds


Cumin Marinated Carrots


  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. maras pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin seed
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  • Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil
  • Boil carrots until cooked through but not mushy (about 5-7 minutes)
  • While carrots are cooking use a mortar and pestle to mash garlic, maras, cumin, and salt into a paste
  • Drain carrots and place in bowl
  • Toss with garlic-spice paste, lemon juice, lemon zest, and olive oil until well coated
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving
  • Serve at room temperature


Whipped Feta with Mint + Lemon


  • 8 oz. feta (ideally sheep's milk or goat's milk)
  • 2 Tbs. half + half (milk or cream may substitute)
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 Tbs. mint, finely chopped
  • 1-2 Tbs. pine nuts


  • In a food processor blend feta, half + half, lemon zest and mint on high speed until feta is smooth and fluffy (about 1 minute)
  • Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate before serving to all flavors to meld
  • When ready to serve fry pine nuts in a skillet with a glug of olive oil over medium high heat; stir constantly so as not to burn
  • Bring feta to room temperature and top with toasted pine nuts


Warm Olives with Orange + Thyme


  • 1 cup Kalamata olives
  • 6-8 strips orange zest
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil


  • Toss olives, orange zest, thyme, and olive oil in a bowl
  • When ready to serve preheat oven to 375
  • Transfer olives to an oven-safe dish and heat until warmed through, about 10 minutes


Za'tar Flatbread


  • Dough for 1 pizza
  • 2 Tbs. za'tar spice blend
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


  • Place a pizza stone in the oven + preheat oven to 500 degrees
  • Mix za'tar spice with olive oil and salt
  • Roll out pizza dough to desired thickness on a pizza board
  • Pierce dough all over with the tines of a fork
  • Brush olive oil + spice mixture all over dough right up to the edge of the flatbread
  • Transfer dough to pizza stone and bake 6-8 minutes (until edges are browned and dough is crisp)
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool
  • Cut into thin strips for dipping
  • Store leftover flatbread in a resealable plastic bag

Sea Food, Snacks

Smoked Bluefish Pâté + Olive Oil Crackers

Smoked Bluefish Pate |
Olive Oil Crackers |

Oh, summer! Where'd you saunter off to? I blinked and now the sun sets at 7 o'clock. I'll quit my belly aching though because we've got one weekend left. Three juicy days to be precise. Where's everyone headed? I hope your plans involve beach houses and camp fires and coconut sunscreen.

To bid adieu to summer I figured we must throw a party. A party with dip. The title says pâté because 'bluefish dip' sounds a bit frightening - like a dare I definitely want to pass on. But's let's be honest, this is pretty much dip. It involves a brick of cream cheese for goodness sake! And where there is dip, must follow crackers. A couple weeks back I suppose you could say I was dissing crackers. To redeem myself I decided to make a homemade batch just the way I like them - crispy, seedy, salty, and a tad sweet. If you're not off to the beach or the woods this weekend and up for a medium-effort project to tackle, this is a fun one. 

Happy Labor Day, y'all. (And Happy Birthday Mom!)

Bluefish Pate Mise En Place |
Seed Blend |
Lemon |
Seeded Olive Oil Crackers |
Seeded Olive Oil Crackers |
Seeded Olive Oil Crackers |
Smoked Bluefish Pate |


Bluefish Pate

  • 8 oz. smoked bluefish
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup. chopped chives
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 Tbs.)
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 8 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • 1 Tbs. capers
  • 1/4 c. creme fraiche

Olive Oil Crackers

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/3 c. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. fennel seeds
  • 2 Tbs. poppy seeds
  • 2 Tbs. sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil + 2 Tbs. water for brushing



Bluefish Pâté

Makes ~2 cups
  • In a food processor blend cream cheese, chives, lemon juice, shallot, Tabasco, and capers until smooth
  • Add bluefish and pulse until well incorporated (pâté will be thick)
  • Add creme fraiche and blend until smooth
  • Serve garnished with chopped chives and a dusting of cayenne pepper

Olive Oil Crackers

Makes about 50 crackers
  • In a food processor combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder)
  • With the motor running add water and olive oil through the feed tube
  • Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times until smooth (dough will be soft) 
  • Shape into a square
  • Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes
  • While dough is chilling: mix seeds and salt in a small dish and set aside; mix 2 Tbs. each olive oil and water in a small ramekin and set aside; pre-heat oven to 450 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Unwrap chilled dough and cut square into fourths
  • Using a pasta maker, roll dough sections one by one into thin sheets (I rolled to setting 3 on a KitchenAid pasta maker attachment); alternatively roll out dough using a rolling pin
  • Lay dough sheets on a cutting board and pierce all over with the tines of a fork (to prevent bubbles)
  • With a pastry brush, brush dough all over with olive oil/water mixture
  • Sprinkle seed/salt mixture all over dough
  • Using a sharp knife cut dough into crackers (of any shape and size you desire)
  • With your hands or a thin spatula peel crackers off cutting board and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper (they won't expand too much; it's okay to place them close together)
  • Bake in a 450 degree oven for 5-7 minutes; crackers are done when the edges begin to turn golden
  • Using a spatula transfer crackers to a wire rack or plate to cool (crackers will get harder as they cool)
  • Store in a ziplock bag


Roasted Green Grape Guacamole

Roasted Green Grape Guacamole |

This weekend Tripp and I mapped out our grand calendar of upcoming summer adventures (Carolina! Maine! France!). Besides making me totally giddy, the activity put a rumble in my belly for summery fare, picnics, and parties. With a few weeks left of New England spring, testing summer recipes inside on rainy days is a substitute for the real thing I won’t turn down. Hence, guacamole.

Ah yes, guacamole: friend-maker, woe-mender, harbinger of good times. If I were someone who believed in magic, these powers might seem reasonable. But I’m a notorious skipper of horoscope sections so an alternative explanation is in order. Perhaps it’s nothing beyond the singular alchemy that is avocado + lime + salt.

I’ve long been a fan of fruit-laced guacamole (hello, mango). But last summer was the first time I enjoyed a grape-studded rendition. Plump and bright, grapes are a splendid counter to creamy, rich avocado. Throw roasted grapes into the equation and whoa, you’ve just made a dish with an ingredient ‘two-ways’ at home. I have to admit I was pretty proud of that.

Roasted Green Grape Guacamole Mise En Place |
Roasted Green Grapes |
Roasted Green Grapes |
Grapes: two ways!

Grapes: two ways!

Avocados |
Guacamole Mise En Place |
Roasted Green Grape Guacamole |


Makes 3-4 cups

  • 2 cups whole grapes (visually I think green grapes are best here but red are a fine substitute)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil + salt
  • 3 ripe Haas avocados, peeled, pitted and diced into small cubes
  • 1 cup quartered grapes
  • 1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 2 serrano chiles, finely diced (if you don't like heat, use only one or omit altogether)
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (about 1 bunch)
  • Juice of three limes
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt


Roast Grapes

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Toss 2 cups whole grapes with olive oil, season with salt, and spread on a baking sheet
  • Roast for 15 minutes; grapes will release juices and start to caramelize
  • Transfer grapes to a plate to cool
  • Roughly chop

Assemble Guacamole

  • Place avocado, roasted grapes, quartered fresh grapes, onion, chile, cilanto, lime and salt in a mixing bowl
  • Use a fork to combine until all ingredients are evenly dispersed but avocado chunks remain
  • Taste for seasoning; add more lime and salt as needed
  • Serve with tortilla chips or crudite
  • The flavors will be doubly awesome if you allow guac to sit inthe  fridge (covered) for a couple hours


Anchovy Toasts + Romesco

Anchovy Toasts + Romesco |
Roasted Red Peppers |

Sometimes when you're in the middle of blizzard #4 (roses are red, violets are blue, winter storm Neptune I'm talking 'bout you), it's time to play a little make believe. Soups, and stews, and casseroles are hearty and wintry and all that but they are also a reminder of the upcoming date you have with your shovel. Hence I figured Valentine's Day was the perfect opportunity for a little culinary 'staycation' of Spanish pinchos. Although optimally enjoyed al fresco at a European cafe with water views while seated in one of those charming French bistro chairs, our kitchen table made a fine substitute. Tip: put your spread on a tray and you've instantly got an occasion.

Ever since Tripp visited San Sebastian he's been bringing home these little silvery anchovies (boquerones in Spanish). At first I was skeptical but my oh my are they good. Bright and vinegary they're the perfect foil to smoky, nutty romesco. And anything you get to assemble with little utensils gets extra points in my book. Anchovies aren't your thing? Leave 'em off. This is a judgement free zone and even though I'm a fan I'll be the first to say they aren't necessary. The romesco is splendid all on its own. And when you tire of eating it on toast (or with a spoon) it's happy to do its thing on fish, meats, in a grilled cheese, on roasted or grilled veggies, on pasta - you name it.

The garlic probably interferes with this qualifying as a romantic Valentine's Day dish but whatves. It's red and involves smoke and fire so I'm pretty sure that counts for something.

Romesco Sauce |
Anchovy Toasts + Romesco |
Olives Mixta |
Italian Anchovies |
Anchovy Toasts + Romesco |

Anchovy Toasts + Romesco

Serves 6-8 as an appetizer


Makes about 2 cups


  • 1 cup unsalted raw almonds 
  • 3 red bell peppers (if you don't want to roast your own peppers you can substitute jarred, just be sure to drain them first)
  • 2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. olive oil


  • Roast peppers - if you have a gas stove you can roast the peppers right in your kitchen by placing them directly on the stovetop over a medium to high flame, one pepper per burner. Using metal tongs, turn frequently so peppers get nicely blackened and charred all around. The skin will sizzle and you'll see little sparks as it burns but don't worry the whole pepper won't catch fire. Continue until peppers are softened and blackened all over, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and place inside a paper bag. Seal the bag by folding the top over and let peppers sit for 10-15 minutes. This step makes the skin easier to remove. Once cool, use your hands to massage the skin off the peppers. It's okay if you don't get every bit. The blackened bits equal flavor! Cut off the end of each pepper with the stem and discard. Roughly chop peppers.
  • Toast almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat until they become slightly browned and fragrant, about 4-6 minutes; let cool. Be careful not to burn otherwise you'll get bitter flavors in your romesco.
  • Place almonds in a food processor and grind until very fine, about 1 minute.
  • Add chopped peppers, sherry vinegar, garlic, paprika, and salt and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Sauce will be thick.
  • With motor running, add olive oil in a steady stream through the feed tube.
  • Sauce is ready to serve immediately but for best results make a few hours in advance to allow flavors to develop.
  • Romesco will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week or several months in the freezer.


Anchovy Toasts


  • 1/4 lb. white anchovies cured in vinegar, at room temperature (I have not seen these at regular grocery stores but they can be found in speciality stores carrying Spanish or Italian products)
  • 1 baguette, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves
  • Romesco sauce, at room temperature


  • Preheat oven to 325
  • Slice baguette into 1/2 inch rounds and place on cookie sheet
  • Toast baguette slices until lightly browned and just firm, about 10 minutes
  • Cut garlic cloves in half and rub each toast with raw garlic
  • To serve slather each toast with romesco and top with anchovies