Pumpkins are in season now and there is no fall flavor I like more than butternut squash. In Farsi they are called lazy pumpkin (kadoo tanbal), which I think is hilarious. Butternut is the perfect name for this tender, sweet and nutty flavor. I simply roast it in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper. That’s it and it’s divine! With this recipe, I take the indulgence one step further to make a rich and savory soup.
The key to the amazing flavor is roasting the squash with garlic, onion and a red bell pepper, then blending all together for a smooth and creamy texture. The result is a complex, rich and silky soup with substance. I made it for Thanksgiving last year and it was a huge hit. It is naturally back on the menu again this year. Try it for your Thanksgiving celebration or all winter long- I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Note- I serve the soup with homemade crostini and a garnish of fresh thyme.
For the corstini, simply sprinkle the bread of your choice with salt, pepper and dried oregano. Drizzle with olive oil and toast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
Recipes serves around 6-8 people, double or triple ingredients for a crowd pleaser- I sure will be this upcoming holiday.
3 large butternut squash, sliced in half and seeds removed.
3 large white onions, quartered
2 red bell peppers, cut in half and seeds removed
4 cloves garlic (adjust to taste)
1/2 cup olive oil, add more if needed.
Salt and pepper
A squeeze of lemon
Slice squash in half, remove seeds, but leave skin on- it will be easier to remove once roasted.
Place vegetables on baking sheets- you’ll need 2.
Generously toss and coat with olive oil, season with salt + pepper.
Bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Roughly half way through, remove the garlic from the oven to avoid burning.
Once golden, let cool and remove flesh of squash separating from skin with a spoon.
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Taste your magical mixture and give it a small squeeze of lemon for balance.
Salt and pepper if needed.
If consistency is too thick, add a small amount of water or olive oil for desired consistency.
The soup is amazing and rich up until this point. If you want to turn the dial on the indulgence factor, add a touch of cream or half and half while blending. But remember, it’s perfectly delicious and decadent if you keep it dairy-free.
The first harvest of butternut squash in Malekan Gardens!
These flavorful muffin tin frittatas are fun, easy to make and a good solution for quick make ahead breakfast. Make your weekdays easier by making a batch over the weekend. It’s also a great way to prepare eggs for a group.
There are countless filling options. I used tomato, basil, spinach & cheddar but you can incorporate your favorites. Note- this also a good way to utilize leftover salads and veggies. Get inspired by your favorite omelettes. Either way, the end result is simple & delicious!
Other combo ideas:
-Mushrooms, peppers, onions, cheddar
-Spinach, tomato, feta
-Asparagus and cheese
-Goat cheese, spinach and tomatoes
-Spinach and ricotta
-Chive, tomato and goat cheese
-Smoked mozzarella, sun-dried tomato, basil pesto
-Onion and mushroom
-Mushroom and sausage
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
A handful of fresh basil, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup spinach, chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (adjust to taste)
2 tablespoons milk or half and half (optional)
Salt + Pepper to tastte
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Spray the muffin tin with cooking oil.
Divide veggies between greased muffin cups.
Crack eggs in a separate bowl and whisk until fluffy.
Add milk or cream and whisk until incorporated.
Season with salt + pepper.
Pour eggs over each cup and fill 3/4 of the way up.
Now add your cheese to individual cups if using.
Place muffin tin in the oven and bake until eggs are set, about 15-20 minutes.
Of course, you can never have enough egg recipes. For further inspiration check out our Scallion & Turmeric Mushroom Omelette , Elegant Egg Salad or Exquisite Hard Boiled Eggs
Forget store-bought salsa and with a few simple steps make your own tasty Salsa Fresca!
In Spanish, pico de gallo literally means the “beek of the rooster.” An internet search led me to several colorful explanations for the etymology of the term, but mostly urban legends and no definitive answer. According to Wikipedia “in Mexico it is sometimes called salsa mexicana (Mexican sauce). Because the colors of the red tomato, white onion, green chili are reminiscent of the colors of the Mexican flag, it is also sometimes called salsa bandera (flag sauce).” So there you go.
Now, let’s make some yummy flag sauce! This is a party favorite to be enjoyed as a dip with chips, and it ends up being great on tacos, nachos, burritos, grilled chicken… and so on.
4-5 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons lime juice (adjust to taste)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4-1/2 of one jalapeno, chopped (optional)
Salt + Pepper to taste
Chop tomato, onion, jalapeno, parsley and cilantro.
Combine ingredients in a bowl and add lime juice, olive, S+P.
Taste the salsa while you are mixing. Adjust lime or salt based on your personal preference.
I like to start light and add if needed.
Enjoy with tortilla chips while you’re making the meal, but leave some for the fish tacos!
This was the first time I made this and it ended up being great. I love using red cabbage for it’s beautiful color, slightly bitter and peppery flavor and many health benefit- Vitamin C, A, K and dietary fiber to name a few. It adds a nice crunch to the otherwise soft textured fish taco and marinated in a honey-lime-cumin vinaigrette it became a great addition to our fiesta!
In case you’re wondering, it’s called “Azi’s Slaw” because my beautiful sister Azadeh was a big help in the recipe testing of this dish. She has always been a dream sous chef, putting up with my colorful antics in the kitchen… Thanks, Sis!
1 whole red cabbage, cut into quarters and sliced into ribbons
For the vinaigrette-
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey (adjust to taste and add more honey if you prefer the dressing sweeter)
1/3 cup lime juice
2 garlic cloves, mashed with the side of a knife
2 teaspoons cumin (plus a pinch just because I LOVE cumin!)
1 teaspoon paprika (smoked paprika is even better if you have it)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Combine lime juice, garlic, cumin, paprika in a mixing bowl.
Slowly add olive oil as you whisk dressing together.
Adding oil slowly while whisking helps emulsify the dressing so it won’t separate (science, baby!).
Add salt + pepper to taste as you go along, adjust as needed.
Add dressing to cabbage and mix well.
Let sit for 20-30 minutes. It gets better after it sits for a while.
*It was even better the next day when we had the leftovers with chicken.