Crusty White Beans & Roasted Brussels Sprouts {with greens}

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So, this dish combines crispy, roasted Brussels sprouts and crusty, creamy white beans– lots of texture and tons flavor.  The addition of the greens give the whole dish a nutritional boost while freshly grated Parmesan is just icing on the cake.  Essentially, this dish is satisfying and filling but if you simply cannot live without some sort of of meat, I think the saltiness of chopped bacon or pancetta would work fabulously here as well.

Brussels sprouts are a staple of my fall cooking and for the past few years, once this season rolls around, I tend to eat them in bulk.  Usually roasted and straight off the pan.  If you haven’t had sprouts before (um, how?), I feel this is the most delicious way to cook them.  There’s no lingering bitterness and the edges and leaves get super crispy, almost like chips, while the insides soften in the oven. So. Good.  It took me a while to give them a try but once I did, I was hooked.

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Polenta Bowl with Sautéed Greens & Soused Tomatoes

This is one of those comforting meals I rely on on those days when dinner has become an afterthought.  Hearty and filling, polenta bowls are pretty easy to throw together but can also be completely customizable because of the blank canvas it presents.  My tried and true toppings to this polenta bowl are a simple, salt and peppered bunch of sautéed kale and quick-roasted cherry tomatoes with a bit of olive oil and Italian spices.  However, this time I was inspired by a few different sources and changed up the flavors a bit.  Molly Yeh (from one of my favorite blogs, mynameisyeh.com) used pilpelchuma for her potato salad here.  This intrigued because it’s a spice I had never used before but actually had on hand…weird, I know.  Pilpelchuma is found in Libyan cuisine and thankfully at Trader Joe’s as well.  It’s a spice blend consisting of chili, garlic, cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin and caraway that I was sure would be too spicy for me, because I am a wimp.  I was pleasantly surprised!  It gives the polenta a smoky flavor with a kick of spice at the finish.  Combining pilpelchuma polenta with Tara O’Brady’s soused tomatoes, make this polenta bowl completly packed with flavor.

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A Summer-y, Hearty Grain Salad with Shishito-Cilantro Dressing

I’m new to this shishito pepper bandwagon, but now that I’m on it I don’t plan on getting off any time soon!  Shishitos are a Japanese variety of pepper that are mellow and slightly sweet, except for the occasional spicy one hiding in the bunch.  Their preparation is simple and quick. In a hot cast iron pan with a bit of olive oil, the peppers are sautéd until the skin is blistered. Sprinkled liberally with sea salt and served with a cool dip, such as this one from The Kitchn, they make the perfect snack or appetizer.  I could eat these every. single. day.

  
That being said, I had been dreaming of another way to use them and I kept going back to some sort of a dressing, sauce or dip.  So here we are.  Use to dip vegetables, dress your salads or eat right off the spoon like I did.

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Baked Tilapia with Green Beans and Broccolini

So, I have been having a love affair with Tara O’Brady’s cookbook, Seven Spoons.  I’ve been endlessly perusing her book, marking recipes that I’m dying to try and have actually made about three or four of them in the past two weeks.  In my world, that’s a lot.  With a farmers’ market bounty from this weekend that actually included green beans and broccolini, I put this recipe on my list to make this week.

While the tilapia is baking, you’re able to whip this up as a side and within 30 minutes, you have a healthy and completely yummy meal!

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