When we traveled in Provence several years ago, we bought herbes de provence with the Label Rouge designation.¬† The Label Rouge program is used by the French Ministry of Agriculture to designate products that have met extremely high standards of quality.¬† We enjoyed these herbs with roasted chicken and potatoes, and a family favorite meal was born!¬† Now, when we want to be transported back to Provence and that gentler pace of life, I roast a chicken with some potatoes, carrots, and serve them with either steamed green veggies or a green salad with a lemon-dijon vinaigrette.
I have an idea in my head of what classic lasagne is like.¬† Not surprisingly, it is how I remember my mother making it.¬† But there are a lot of lasagne recipes out there.¬† I reviewed several on epicurious.com before making this one, and I got a kick out of reading the comments on the recipes.¬† This one for a Sausage Lasagne¬†was described by some recipe reviewers as a delightful departure from the norm.¬† This intrigued me, because it just about exactly how I would make lasagne if I were not consulting a recipe.
I made it a little lighter, by reducing the amount of cheese between the layers and using a pretty lean sausage, and we sure didn’t miss those extra fat grams.¬† I also used some amazing fresh rosemary & roasted garlic pasta that I had picked up at our local Italian market. We never figured out why reviewers thought it was nontraditional, but I’d make this recipe again in a heartbeat!
We have started to see signs of fall, and summer officially ended this week, so I’ve had some of our favorite fall recipes on my mind.¬† Monday night’s dinner brought an old favorite with a seriously new twist:
butternut squash soup
crostini with blue cheese compound butter
I discovered this recipe for Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons last winter when I was trying to find new ways to use the squash that we were getting in our weekly produce delivery.¬† I typically omit the cream, and we don’t miss it at all.¬† This soup is great with the gruyere croutons described in the recipe,¬†but I was inspired to pair the soup with blue cheese last year¬†after I read this recipe for Butternut Squash an Apple Soup with Melted Blue Cheese.¬† Hence, our riff on the gruyere croutons.¬†Since I typically¬†don’t have apple cider in the house, I find the first squash soup recipe¬†less complicated to make.¬† In this case, I made it the day before, and I only had to heat it up when I got home from work.
These Tuscan Kale Chips were interesting.¬† In the words of my daughter, they were “the oddest thing I’d ever served!”¬† That said, we liked them quite a bit.¬† This recipe struck me as one of the many instances where cooking and chemistry really are one and the same.¬† Even if you don’t think you like greens like kale and chard, this one is worth a try!¬† It’s one of those recipes that I’ll pull out from time to time when I want to serve something novel to guests that can also serve as a conversation piece!