Archive for April, 2019

This dish from the Barefoot Contessa is a great make-ahead side dish or vegetarian and gluten-free main dish. You can omit the cheese to make it vegan. Note: The recipe uses coarse kosher salt; if you are using a finer-grain kosher salt, use the smaller amount. You can make the salad up to two days ahead, but don’t add the feta until you are ready to serve it.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lemon juice and a feta cheese with no preservatives, such as Tre Stelle.

Cook quinoa until tender and toss with lemon juice, olive oil and salt

Combine vegetables and herbs in a large bowl

Add quinoa to vegetables and herbs and add feta just before serving


1 cup (250 ml) quinoa

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

¼ cup (60 ml) good olive oil

1 cup (250 ml) thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts (5 scallions)

1 cup (250 ml) chopped fresh mint leaves (2 bunches)

1 cup (250 ml) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and medium-diced

2 cups (500 ml) cherry tomatoes, halved through the stem

2 cups (500 ml) medium-diced feta (8 ounces/227 g)


Pour 2 cups (500 ml) of water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of salt, lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, until the grains are tender and open (they’ll have little curly tails). Drain, place in a bowl and immediately add the lemon juice, olive oil and 1 (5 ml) to 1 ½ (7.5 ml) teaspoons of salt.

In a large bowl, combine the scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 ml) of salt and 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of pepper. Add the quinoa and mix well. Carefully fold in the feta and taste for seasonings. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold. Serves 8.

From the Barefoot Contessa

This tasty recipe from Bon Appetit, which features leeks, lemon, peas and mint, is a great spring dinner party dish. Brown coriander-dusted chicken thighs and set aside. Sauté leeks and garlic and add wine and lemon. Return the chicken to the pan and bake until cooked. Remove the chicken, cook the peas in the sauce and add mint. Serve the chicken with the sauce.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Check the coriander for colour and anti-caking agents. I use a wine from Frogpond Farm that has a sulfite level below 10 parts per million.

Brown chicken and set aside

Saute leeks and garlic

Add wine and lemon, return chicken to pan and bake until chicken is cooked

Add peas to sauce and heat through

Roast chicken thighs with peas, leeks and mint


6 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 2½ lb./1.13 kg total)

1 Tbsp. (15 ml) ground coriander

Kosher salt

2 Tbsp. (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

3 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced ½-inch (1.27-cm) thick

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

5 2×1-inch (2.54-cm) strips lemon zest

2 bay leaves

⅓ cup (85 ml) dry white wine

1½ cups (375 ml) low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup (250 ml) fresh (or frozen, thawed) peas

1 cup (250 ml) mint leaves, torn if large


Preheat oven to 350° F (176° C). Pat chicken thighs dry; sprinkle flesh side with coriander. Season generously all over with salt.

Heat oil in a large high-sided or cast-iron skillet over medium. Cook chicken, skin side down, undisturbed, until thighs release easily from pan, about 4 minutes. Continue to cook, scooting chicken around occasionally for even browning, until golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a plate, skin side up.

Pour out all but 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) fat from skillet and return to medium heat. Add leeks and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add lemon zest and bay leaves and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Pour in wine, scraping up any brown bits stuck to bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Cook until wine is almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Return chicken to skillet, arranging skin side up. Transfer skillet to oven; roast chicken until cooked through and juices run clear when poked with a paring knife, 15–20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.

If using fresh peas, cook in same skillet over medium heat until tender and bright green, about 3 minutes. If using frozen, cook just until warmed through, about 1 minute. Toss in mint; season with more salt if needed. Arrange vegetables and chicken in a large shallow bowl or on a platter. Serves 4-6.

From Bon Appetit

Several articles and food blogs claim that this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa is the best broccoli they’ve ever had. It’s very good; the roasting brings out great flavour from the broccoli and garlic and the lemon zest and juice, pine nuts, Parmesan and basil really dress this dish up. The recipe below calls for 4 to 5 lbs/1.8 to 2.2 kg broccoli to serve 6. That’s a lot of broccoli, so adjust accordingly.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Check the pine nuts to make sure they don’t contain a preservative. Genuine Parmesan cheese is additive-free.

Arrange broccoli on baking sheet with garlic, oil, salt and pepper

Roast until the broccoli is charred and tender

Top with lemon zest and juice, pine nuts, Parmesan and basil


4 to 5 pounds (1.8 to 2.2. kg) broccoli

4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

Good olive oil

1½ (7.5 ml) teaspoons kosher salt

½ (2.5 ml) teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons (10 ml) grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons (45 ml) pine nuts, toasted

1/3 cup (85 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons (30 ml) julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves)


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 C).

Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two (2.5 to 5 cm) of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups (2 L) of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons (75 ml) olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.

Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot. Serves 6.

From the Barefoot Contessa