Fridays in Lent: Meatless One-Pot Meals

Growing up in a big Catholic Italian family, makes the season of Lent as much cultural as it is religious.  Even though I no longer practice faith from the Catholic tradition, lent and the practices around it remain.  This 40 day period begins on Ash Wednesday (which was Wednesday, February 14th this year… Hello, Valentine’s Day!) and continues until Easter.  It commemorates 40 days of prayer and fasting Jesus spent in the dessert. Most of my family members gives up something (usually chocolate, coffee, sweets, or alcohol) individually for the duration of lent.  Outside of a food-motivated Italian family, I know people who have given up gossip, social media, or…

Rosemary Roasted Fennel and Red Potatoes

This recipe is part of the main course to a 1-Hour Sicilian inspired 3-Course Valentine’s Day menu.  To see the complete menu and a detailed shopping list, visit this post!  I mentioned my love of fennel in the Sicilian Fennel Salad recipe from course one.  And guess what…. Fennel is baaaaack.  Remember when I talked about recurring flavor threads?  In this menu, fennel is one of them! (The rosemary and squeeze of lemon are too!)  This time instead of crunchy and refreshing, its roasted: caramelized, mellow, and sweet. Fennel is underused. Underrated. And under-appreciated.  Period.  It’s great in salads, roasted, or even grilled!  Treat it like a cross between an onion, celery, and kohlrabi…

Sicilian Fennel Salad

This recipe is the first course on a 1-Hour Sicilian inspired 3-Course Valentine’s Day menu.  To see the complete menu and a detailed shopping list, visit this post!  Fennel salads are classic Sicilian fare!  It must be the fresh sea air.  Or, how well fennel pairs with the island’s abundance of frutti de mare  In Sicily, there are countless variations of this dish. Restaurants and families alike put their own stamp on it.  Fennel is a constant, and its almost always citrusy. The most common variation involves sliced oranges, grapefruit, olives (usually black), and fresh herbs (usually mint). A handful of raisins can also be quite common.  The black olive and…

Roasted Vegetables with Fresh Mint and Lemon Tahini Sauce

This recipe is part of the main course to a 1-Hour Middle Eastern inspired 3-Course Valentine’s Day menu.  To see the complete menu and a detailed shopping list, visit this post!   As a child of the 80s and 90s, the notion of tahini being a regular on my white-girl-with-Italian-roots shopping list still tickles me.  I grew up with the blandest versions of casseroles, steamed and boiled veggies, lots of potatoes, ground meat in everything, and a way-too-thick bolognese sauce.  Something as simple as veggies roasted with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper never crossed my childhood plate.  This boggles my mind.  Exotic ingredients like tahini and sumac?  Forget about…

Middle Eastern Green Salad with Dukkah Olive Oil

This recipe is the first course on a 1-Hour Middle Eastern inspired 3-Course Valentine’s Day menu.  To see the complete menu and a detailed shopping list, visit this post!   My favorite salads are topped with all of the things!!  If you can barely see the greens below? Even better. Great salads follow an equation.  Its not exactly mathematics, but its still an important formula.  Salads need at least one sweet, tart, salty, and crunchy component!  THAT is the equation for the perfect salad.  This formula has limitless combinations! Once you have your sweet, tart, salty, and crunchy sorted out, you can go to town on the flavor and texture…
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