Posts tagged with vegetable:

Roasted Carrots with Fennel and Onions


Is it a side dish to go with the brisket or is it a work of art?

The answer is it could be both.  These roasted carrots began as beautiful bunches of orange, purple, and pale yellow organic carrots with their stems intact that I bought at the local farmer’s market.

Along with a couple of fennel bulbs and a white and purple onion they became the lovely side dish served alongside my brisket at our recent Seder.

After peeling them, and leaving the stems on as many as possible, I tossed them with some extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. 


The sliced fennel and onion wedges were also tossed with some olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper before I spread them all out on a couple rimmed baking sheets and placed them in a 425 degree oven.

After about 15 to 20 minutes toss them around a bit on the sheets to prevent sticking, switch trays from top to bottom and bottom to top, and continue roasting for another 10 to 15 minutes until they begin to caramelize.

Serve on a platter hot, warm or even room temperature.  Delicious!


Corned Beef and Cabbage with a Twist


Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!  Although we are not Irish this day will always be  one we celebrate because our oldest son was born on St. Patrick’s Day 1975 at 8:36 pm in Chicago. 

With our upcoming move on the horizon we are really looking forward to celebrating  birthdays with our sons once again since incredibly we will be living within a few hours of each after being on the opposite coast for so many years.

So in the  spirit of celebration of my first born son and St. Patrick’s Day I almost always prepare a dinner of corned beef and cabbage.

This year I decided to put a twist on this standard dish and roast the cabbage which is unimaginably delicious.  I also roasted the carrots, and made parsley potatoes to accompany the corned beef.

When the corned beef was tender after having simmered on the stove for several hours I placed it on a rack in a roasting pan, slathered it with a glaze of honey, whole grain mustard, Dijon mustard, and brown sugar. and roasted it at 350 degrees for about 20 more minutes .

It was one of the best St. Patrick’s Day dinners I’ve made, and we are looking forward to corned beef sandwiches tomorrow.

Roasted Cabbage

1 head cabbage, cored, and cut into 8 wedges.

Extra virgin olive oil

Kosher Salt to taste

Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste

Place the cabbage wedges carefully on a rimmed baking sheet, and drizzle with the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Turn the slices over carefully and season again with salt and pepper.

Roast in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes until the edges begin to caramelize. 

Carefully turn the slices over and roast another 10 to 15 minutes until they are crispy and browned at the edge, but still have a bite to them. 


Hearts of Palm Dip



Sometimes the simplest and fewest ingredients result in the tastiest dishes.  Such is the case for this Hearts of Palm Dip which I found in a Food and Wine magazine from a year ago, and made recently.

While so many of the dips and spreads that we love are filled with high fat ingredients…think sour cream, cream cheese, mayo, all kinds of cheeses… (although I use them at times the low fat versions are just not the same when it comes to flavor), I found this particular dip really satisfying and yet about as low fat as you can get.

I love hearts of palm, and will often slice them and add them to a salad.  They are tasty, high in fiber, vitamin C, calcium and iron, low in fat, and have a nice texture to them.

For those,  however who must watch their salt intake, the sodium count is rather high.

Blended with some olive oil, garlic, lime zest, and a bit of pepper it becomes this creamy, yet slightly chucky dip that goes great with plantain chips, pita chips, flatbreads, or just plain crudites.  And, it’s guilt-free eating!

Hearts of Palm Dip ( adapted from Food and Wine, March 2012)

1 large garlic clove, minced

 Salt (I prefer Kosher salt)

Two 14-ounce cans hearts of palm, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon finely grated lime zest

Freshly ground white pepper (If you don’t have it, black pepper will do)

Plantain chips, pita chips, flatbreads, or veggies for serving

Using the side of a chef’s knife, mash the garlic to a paste with a generous pinch of salt.  Scrape the paste into a food processor.  Add the hearts of palm and oil and process to a medium-fine paste.


Add the lime zest, season with salt and pepper and pulse just to blend.

Transfer the dip to a bowl and serve with plantain chips, pita chips, flatbreads, or fresh veggies.

The dip can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days.


Jazzed Up Peas, Lemon, and Pearl Onions


Over a month ago Southern Living Magazine contacted me for confirmation to print a recipe of mine in their February issue!

I was shocked, wondering what recipe they were interested in, and how it happened that they found it, and me!  Here’s the story…

About a year ago I submitted the recipe for Jazzed Up Peas, Lemon, and Pearl Onions pictured above to the Food 52 site, an online community of cooks. 

Turns out Southern Living saw it recently and liked it, and tried to find me to let me know they wanted to run it in their February issue.

I found this out one day as I was shopping for groceries and my son called with the news that Southern Living had e-mailed him that they were trying to locate me.

Apparently my son is a lot easier to locate than me!  In googling Dinner At Sheila’s they found him because on the second anniversary of my blog he was kind enough to post on his personal blog the following.

Dinner at Sheila’s

August 2, 2012

A few years ago I told my Mom that I thought she’d enjoy having a blog to share her amazing cooking skills and recipes with the world. She thought I was insane, but after a few months she agreed to give it a shot.

She quickly became obsessed with it, and just celebrated the two-year anniversary of blogging at Dinner at Sheilas which is quite an accomplishment.

As somebody who’s actually had Dinner at Sheilas for his entire life, I can tell you that her cooking is every bit as delicious as it looks. If you’re remotely interested in cooking (or eating), I highly recommend that you go check it out.

And if you like what you see, go like her Facebook page – it’ll make her day.

So my son gave  SL my email, and they contacted me, and I was more than thrilled to give them approval to run my recipe.  And yesterday I found the Feb issue on the stands…


In it on page 16 there is a Community Cookbook Feature with the following caption…

A TASTE OF WHO AND WHAT GOT THE HIGHEST RAVES IN THE SOUTHERN LIVING TEST KITCHEN.                                                        
                          THIS MONTH:  COLORFUL WINTER SIDES

And I am one of three lucky cooks whose recipe is featured. 

Here is the link to the recipe for  Jazzed Up Peas, Lemon and Pearl Onions!

Thanks to my son for being so sweet to write that post, and thanks to Southern Living for persevering!

And one more thing …I will be adding my e-mail to my blog!!!!



Pasta with Roasted Caulifower, Sage and Walnut Sauce



Okay, so you may not have been asking where has Dinner at Sheila’s been these last few weeks, but I have been asking myself that question, and there is a legitimate excuse for my absence of blogging.

We have been readying our house for its upcoming listing.  I mentioned in my Thanksgiving post that we will be moving in early summer to the west coast.  Since then things have been moving at lighting speed.

We talked the talk, and now we have to walk the walk, so my husband and I have been immersed in cleaning, de-cluttering, and reorganizing, to make sure that our beautiful home sparkles as the For Sale sign becomes the newest addition to our front landscape later this week.

It is an emotional roller coaster I’m riding as we begin the process of saying good-bye to life as we know it these past 25 years.  The reality that our home will before too long become someone else’s is hard to get my head around. But, I’m trying.

Nonetheless, I feel sad that I have not been cooking and blogging as I normally would.

Don’t get me wrong…I am excited about the move and all it brings with it…a new home in a storybook like town to make our own, an entire new area of the country to explore, and being so much closer to our sons.  These are true gifts, but this roller coaster has its ups and downs and we can’t jump off til it stops.

So the very least I thought I could do today for you and me is to post this recipe for Pasta with Roasted Caulifower, Sage and Walnut Sauce, which I contributed to the Food52 website about a year ago.

My inspiration for this sauce comes from a recipe for a Potato and Sage Gratin from the Festive Occasions Cookbook by Chuck Williams and Joyce Goldstein.

I combined this sauce which is flavored with garlic, sage, and nutmeg with roasted cauliflower, toasted walnuts and Pecorino Romano cheese and turned it into a yummy pasta dish. But, it’s good enough to stand alone as a side dish if you’re not in the mood for pasta!

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Sage and Walnut Sauce

Serves 6

1 large cauliflower, trimmed and cut into medium to large florets

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup whole milk

2 cups heavy cream, (or combination heavy cream and half-and-half)

5 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

8 fresh sage leaves, chopped fine plus a few whole leaves for garnish

1 and 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1  teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese

3/4 pound celllentani pasta, cooked al dente (or pasta of your choosing)

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Toss cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper.

3.  Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, tossing occasionally until browned and just tender, about 15 minutes.

4.  While cauliflower is roasting, bring the milk, cream, garlic and sage to a boil in a saucepan.  Lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

5.  When the cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven  and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.  Put the cauliflower in a baking dish, scraping up any browned bits.

6.  Pour the cream mixture over, cover with foil and let sit for 10 -15 minutes while you toast the walnuts in a dry skillet on top of the stove on low heat.  When cool, coarsely chop the walnuts.

7.  Bake the cauliflower, covered with foil for 20 minutes.

8.  Remove the foil, sprinkle 1/4 cup of the Pecorino Romano cheese and the chopped walnuts on top and bake, uncovered, another 10 minutes.

9.  Remove the cauliflower and set aside.

10.  Pour the cream from the gratin into a large saucepan and heat til it begins to thicken.

11.  Add the cooked pasta to the sauce.  Toss til coated.  Place in pasta bowl and top with the cauliflower mixture.

12.  Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup cheese and sage leaves.

It’s Starting To Look A Lot Like Hanukkah!


Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, began last night with the lighting of the first of eight candles over the coarse of the next eight days.

My husband and I sat down to this holiday dinner after what will be the last of many garage sales we have had over the many years in our home.

Yes, it was December 8, 2012, and we were having a garage sale!  But, it was sunny and in the mid 60’s!

As it turned out we still had plenty of yard sale worthy stuff since we, ( my husband) has been working hard at sorting through and cleaning out our large storage area in preparation for selling our home and moving.

So after a fun, successful, but tiring day I came in to fry up some latkes to go with the left-over brisket and gravy I had defrosted in the fridge the day before (thank-you), and what was remaining of the homemade applesauce my sister had brought for Rosh Hashanah which I had also frozen (thank-you).

The only thing left to do was send my exhausted husband out for some eggs which I needed for the latke batter (sorry), and within a very short time two very tired people sat down to what would be our last first night of Hanukkah in this home.


This time I tried Melissa Clark’s recipe for latkes, which came out beautifully, but I think when I make them again I would use a little less flour than called for, and a bit more onion.

It’s also the first time I ever added baking powder to the batter.  The consistency of the batter was less messy to work with, and by grating the onion with the potato it prevents the batter from darkening as fast as it might otherwise.

I will be making latkes again sometime this week to freeze for my annual Hanukkah get- together with my aerobic exericse class, and to take to our best friend’s dinner on Christmas Eve.

So I will have lots of time to tweak this recipe to my liking, and I look forward to being the taste tester as well!  Happy Hanukkah!

Garlic-Roasted Caulifower

Roasting fresh cauliflower along with fresh garlic and good olive oil will turn this boring vegetable into a colorful and richly flavored dish.  And it couldn’t be easier.

The recipe comes from the Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? cookbook by Ina Garten. 

  I substituted toasted almonds for the pine nuts, but either one would work equally well.  Your choice.  Here’s the recipe as Ina intended it.  You’ll never think cauliflower is boring again.

Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower (Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That?)

1 whole head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled

1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed and cut into large florets

4 and 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil, divided

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (or slivered, blanched almonds, toasted)

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the garlic cloves. Boil for 15 seconds.

Drain, peel, and cut off any brown parts.  Cut the largest cloves in half lengthwise.

On a sheet pan, toss the cauliflower with the garlic, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Spread the mixture out in a single layer and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, tossing twice, until the cauliflower is tender and the garlic is lightly browned.

Scrape the cauliflower into a large bowl with the garlic and pan juices.  Add the remaining 1 and 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the parsley, pine nuts, and lemon juice.  Sprinkle with another 1/2 teaspoon salt, toss well, and serve hot or warm.

Note: To toast pine nuts, place them in a dry saute pan and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, tossing often, until lightly browned.

If toasting slivered blanched almonds place them on the same pan the cauliflower was roasted in without washing the pan.  Lower the oven to 350 degrees and roast them until browned, shaking pan occasionally for about 5-7 minutes.

Couscous With Roasted Carrots, Fennel And Toasted Almonds

This is a richly flavored side dish yet chock full of healthy ingredients.  I’ve adapted this from a recipe I found on Food52.

I roasted carrots and some of the minced shallots along with the fennel. Instead of couscous alone I substituted  a blend of grains available at Trader Joe’s.  It is a combination of Israeli style couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa. 

The orange juice soaked raisins and toasted almonds give added texture to the dish while the shallots adds a sweetness and kick to what is otherwise  a basic sherry vinaigrette.

Arranging the roasted carrots and fennel on top of the finished couscous blend and garnishing with the chopped fennel fronds makes for a dish that will surely bring some sparkle to the table.

Couscous With Roasted Carrots, Fennel, And Toasted Almonds

(adapted from Couscous with Roasted Fennel and Toasted Almonds, a recipe for Food52 by Jennifer Ann)

serves 4

juice from one orange, about 1/2 cup

1/3 cup black or golden raisins

1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and cored and cut into about 16 slim wedges

3 carrots, peeled, and sliced diagonally in 1-2 inch pieces

3-4 tablespoons good quality olive oil, divided

1/4 cup almonds

1 and 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock

1 and 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend or 1and 1/4 cup couscous

1 tablespoon butter, optional

1-2 large shallots, minced

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1-2 tablespoon fennel fronds, chopped

freshly ground black pepper  to taste

generous pinch of kosher salt or sea salt to taste

1.  Soak raisins in orange juice until plump, about 1-2 hours; drain, and reserve.

2.  Toss the fennel wedges and carrot sand half of the minced shallots with two tablespoons of the olive oil, pepper and salt; spread on a baking sheet and roast in a 350 degree oven for about 12-15 minutes, until the edges begin to brown and the fennel is softening but still a bit firm to the bite.

3.  Toast the almonds on a separate pan in the oven until lightly browned; allow to cool; chop coarsely, and reserve.

4.  While the fennel, carrots and almonds are in the oven, bring the chicken stock to a boil over high heat; add 1 tablespoon (optional) butter and stir in 1 and 1/4 cup of Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend.  Bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, and let rest til all of the stock is absorbed.

5.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the shallots and sherry vinegar, then whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil; add pepper and salt to taste.

6.  Transfer the couscous blend to a serving bowl and fluff with a fork; stir in the orange-soaked raisins and some of the fennel fronds.  Toss with enough of the vinaigrette to lightly coat everything, including the bits of shallots.

7.  Top with the roasted fennel and carrots, a sprinkling of coarse salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and some chopped fennel fronds.

Serve with chicken or salmon.

Olive-Oil-Braised Carrots with Warm Spices

The Feb/Mar 2012 issue of Fine Cooking featured an article on olive-oil braised vegetables by Tamar Adler.

In the introduction she describes this simple method of preparing these delicious tender vegetables…Just drizzle vegetables with good olive oil, and some fresh herbs or other aromatics, and put them in the oven to braise in their own juices.  The prep takes only about five minutes, and since the vegetables largely braise themselves, there’s almost no effort involved.  The results are vegetables at their best—-tender, a little bit caramelized, and fully flavored from the oil and seasonings.

Vegetables prepared this way are at their best served barely warm or at room temperature which means you can prepare them early in the day or the day before, bringing them to room temperature for an hour or so before serving.

I took these carrots to my sister’s as my contribution to the wonderful meal she prepared for the Passover Seder. 

Olive-Oil Braised Carrots With Warm Spices (serves 4)  (Recipe is easily doubled)

To complement the sweetness of the carrots, add a tiny bit of nutmeg and cinnamon and scatter a few sliced garlic cloves in the baking dish.  For a meatless meal, serve these carrots along with basmati rice and spiced chickpeas.

1 and 1/2 lb. carrots ( about 10 small), peeled and halved lengthwise (if large, quartered lengthwise)

3 medium cloves garlic, sliced

1/2 cup lower-salt chicken or vegetable broth

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pinch of cayenne

Kosher salt

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Fit the carrots in a snug single layer in a shallow 9x13-inch baking dish.  Nestle the garlic slices among the carrots.

In a small bowl, whisk the broth, olive oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and drizzle over the carrots.  Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil. 

Braise the carrots in the oven until completely tender and easy to pierce with a fork, about 45 minutes.  Uncover the dish and continue to braise until the spices on top have toasted and are mahogany-brown and the carrots look a little shiny, about 15 minutes more.

Serve warm or at room temperature.  The carrots will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

The other recipes for olive-oil-braised vegetables in this article include:

olive-oil-braised red onions with bay leaves

olive-oil-braised leeks with thyme

olive-oil-braised fennel with lemon

Tamar Adler has worked as a personal chef and cooked professionally at Prune in New York City and Chez Panisse in Berkley, California.  She is the author of An Everlasting Meal:  Eating with Economy and Grace.

Rigatoni With Tomatoes, Zucchini and Pine Nut Crunch

Baked pasta is a wonderful thing.  From lasagna to tortellini or pastitsio to mac and cheese there are countless variations that are always crowd pleasers.

The combination of hearty pasta with veggies and or some kind of meat, be it turkey sausage, ground beef or lamb just to name a few, with a cheesy sauce of some kind just oozes warmth especially on a chilly night.

I adapted the above recipe from one I saw in the March 2011 issue of Bon Appetit.  Here, from the article, are a few tips to keep in mind when preparing baked pasta dishes…

1.  Baked pastas usually need to sit for 10 to 15 minutes after baking.  This lets all the gooey ingredients (like melted cheese) set up a bit, preventing things like a piece of lasagna that oozes all over the plate.

2.  The basic French sauce bechamel (made of milk and the butter-flour mixture called roux) helps bind ingredients together.  The key to a beautiful bechamel is not browning the roux.  As soon as it begins to color, yank it from the heat.  Once you’ve mastered bechamel, you can mix in cheese and macaroni for basic mac and cheese, or layer it (and your other favorite ingredients) with lasagne noodles.

3.  If creamy baked pasta dishes stand too long, they can end up a little dry- the same can be said of leftover mac and cheese.  To revive these cheesy dishes, rewarm them and stir in some cream.

Rigatoni With Tomatoes, Zucchini and Pine Nut Crunch

(adapted from Rigatoni With Eggplant and Pine Nut Crunch, Bon Appetit, March, 2011)

8 servings

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes

1 large red pepper or (1 medium red and 1 medium yellow), cut into1/2-inch squares

2 cups grape tomatoes or (1 cup grape tomatoes and 1 cup yellow cherry tomatoes)

3 large garlic cloves, divided

1/3 cup olive oil

2 cups (firmly packed) fresh basil leaves, divided

1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided or (Parmesan Cheese)

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes in juice

1  cup heavy whipping cream or (half cream and half milk)

1 pound rigatoni

1 pound whole-milk mozzarella cheese (or part-skim), cut into 1/2-inch cubes or shredded

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise. Toss zucchini and tomatoes together on baking sheet.

Using garlic press, squeeze 1 garlic clove onto vegetables.

Drizzle vegetables with oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.

Roast vegetables until tender, stirring often, 35 to 45 minutes.

Combine 2/3 cup basil, 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, pine nuts, and 1 garlic clove in mini processor.  Blend until crumbly.  Season topping with kosher salt.

Blend tomatoes with juice, cream, 1 and 1/3 cups basil, and 1 garlic clove in processor until smooth.  Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally; drain.  Return to pot.

Toss with vegetables, sauce, and 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano.

Transfer to 13x9x2-inch baking dish.  Sprinkle with mozzarella and pine nut topping.

Bake pasta until heated through, 25 to 35 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes and serve.