Side Dishes

baked risotto for one

Baked Risotto for One

As a solo diner, risotto has been a restaurant pleasure. Oh sure, I know how to make risotto the classic way, ladling spoonfuls of hot broth into the rice and stirring, stirring, stirring all the time. And when I feel like doing that, with music playing and a glass of wine […]

squash with lemon mint and feta

Summer Squash with Lemon, Mint, and Feta

It can be difficult to find a good side dish in a small version. It’s even harder to discover one that’s both tasty and simple to make. This summer squash with lemon, mint, and feta fits perfectly into my summer plans. It goes together quickly, can be made in the […]

tomato gratin 1200

Tomato Gratin

Tomato gratin is an old-fashioned dish – why was this ever forgotten? It can make even supermarket tomatoes taste good, but when made with dead-ripe garden tomatoes, it’s sublime. Layers of garlicky toasted bread crumbs absorb juice and provide a nice crunch. This is an unapologetically summer dish, as it […]

beet salad with feta and walnuts

Beet Salad with Feta & Walnuts

Here’s a delicious beet salad with feta & walnuts: it uses summer produce along with easy to find ingredients. It can be made up to 2 days ahead of time, so plan your work to suit your schedule. It’s delicious, it’s easy to make, and it can be served either […]

Greek potato salad

Greek Potato Salad with Feta and Roasted Peppers

When you think of potato salad, do you think of the typical mayonnaise-based same old stuff? If that doesn’t appeal, go Greek: try a potato salad without mayonnaise at all. This Greek potato salad is one of my secret weapons in the summertime: it’s simple to make, doesn’t heat up […]

Lemon Dill potato salad 1200

Lemon Dill Potato Salad

My grandmother’s answer to hot summer weather was a cold supper, and it always included a potato salad. In general, I’m very much in favor of the cooking of grandmothers, but I’ve found that I prefer a lighter version. This recipe for a lemon dill potato salad is adapted from […]

summer vegetable tian

Summer Vegetable Tian

During the Midwest summer, it’s generally hot and often humid. I simplify my cooking in the hot weather: big salads, piles of corn on the cob, bowls of cool fruit, grilled meats. I’m a big fan of lazy summer cooking. Sometimes we’ll get a burst of cooler air, and for […]

Potato Tomato Squash Tian 1200

Potato, Tomato, and Squash Tian

Old kitchen wisdom: “If it grows together, it goes together.” This potato, tomato, and squash tian – a Provençal dish – is a very tasty example, using the super fresh vegetables of summer. A tian is both a food and the vessel it’s cooked in: either a dish of vegetables baked together, […]


Ratatouille – or how to freeze summer

I’ve been meaning to write about making ratatouille for a few weeks now. I don’t mean the beautiful baked version from the cartoon movie – wonderful though that is, it’s not the one I make every year, late in tomato season, when all the ingredients are ready fresh from the […]

extra baked tomatoes

Extra Baked Tomatoes

Ah, wintertime in the Great Lakes – nothing much is growing here except the icicles hanging from the eaves. On gloomy days, there’s nothing better than a taste of summer. If you canned or froze produce, terrific. But what if you did not? Extra baked tomatoes are the answer. Extra […]

Green Bean Casserole for two

I know that many people think that cream and mushroom soup, and fried onions from a can, make a great casserole. And maybe they’re right, but it’s not the right size for a serves two feast! I adapted this from Alton Brown and from Smitten Kitchen, to whom I am […]

Roasted Mushrooms with Garlic Butter

After what seemed like an eternity of 95+ degree weather, when the high temperature dropped into the 70s, it felt quite cool! That was when I felt like using my oven again. These were everything that mushrooms should be – fragrant, delicious, sizzling – and then, alas, they were gone. […]