Today we have another installment from Dorie Greenspan’s newest book Everyday Dorie. As the Cook the Book Fridays group continues to finish up David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen, with the publication of Dorie’s latest in October, we plan to work in parallel and add one recipe from Dorie’s book each month until we can switch our full attention over.
Last week, Dorie visited the Boston area on her book tour. Lucky for me, I met up with Tricia and Lisa at the Harvard Book Store to hear Dorie interviewed by food writer (and long-time friend of Dorie’s) Corby Kummer, followed by a book signing and the requisite photos. It was a delight to meet Dorie again, and I’m always surprised and flattered that she recognizes and remembers me.
This week’s recipe choice from Everyday Dorie is the Roasted Squash Hummus. I love traditional hummus made with chickpeas. I’m intrigued by variations that incorporate other vegetables. I’ve made a beet hummus, which was way to sweet. Winter squash is a favorite here, so I was interested to try Dorie’s version.
First, you roast an acorn squash, not too big, not too small. I liked the technique of quartering the squash and brushing it with olive oil seasoned with salt, pepper, and a touch of cayenne before roasting flesh side down, then briefly broiling, flesh side up to slight char the squash. Once tender, the flesh is scooped out and mashed to make a purée. The base itself was quite delicious.
There are no chickpeas in this hummus, but the typical add-ins, tahini and lemon juice, are added along with a few Mediterranean surprises, za’atar (a sumac, thyme, sesame seed mixture) and pomegranate molasses.
I like all the ingredients, so I wish I could say I liked this version of hummus. Alas, I did not. Howard didn’t either. To begin with the color was off-putting, but the kicker was that the taste was weird. I’m not sure why but we just didn’t find it appealing. Oh well. I won’t hold it against Dorie or her new book. I know there are more delicious dishes in store. Onward to the next recipe!
Maybe my Cook the Book Fridays friends liked it better. You can find out by following their links here.
I’m a little late to report on my latest trials for Cook the Book Fridays. I have a reasonable excuse. I was away on a grand adventure to Mexico for a family wedding. We were staying near Cancun in Riviera Maya. It was wonderful. Other than the wedding, the highlight was visiting the ruins at Chichen Itza. We also tasted some authentic Mexican fare from the Yucatan peninsula which I’m looking forward to trying to replicate at home.
First up, I made the Comté and Ham Wafers from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen. These are a savory version of slice-and-bake cookies, one of my favorite things to have on hand for nearly instant gratification. The wafers are more cheese than flour, making them very crispy and light (though not low calorie). The ham is prosciutto that is baked until crispy and then crumbled, high-end bacon bits. I used recently dried thyme from my garden rather than fresh herbs, but I think they tasted just fine.
I sliced-and-baked one log, which we nibbled alongside the evening’s cocktails –Corpse Reviver #2 – a pre-Prohibition cocktail we discovered during last year’s trip to Florida. It’s one of our favorite house cocktails now. I thought I’d freeze and save the other log for another night, but we scarfed them up. The other log is baking in the oven now.
I loved these wafers and will make them again. The type of cheese and herbs and ham (or absence of) can easily be changed for different combinations to suit your mood.
I must have made my logs thinner than intended because the recipe gives the yield as about 55 wafers and slicing at the stated ¼-inch thickness, I got about that many from each 1¼-inch diameter log.
The other recipe I made was Tabbouleh also from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen. . I’m a big fan of tabbouleh, though the way I make it uses way more bulgur. This version is typical of authentic tabbouleh from Lebanon. It’s more of an herb salad. Chopped parsley and mint leaves are the main ingredients, accented with some chopped tomato and scallion. Just a touch of bulgur is added for some texture. The salad is moistened with some olive oil and lemon juice. Finally, a sprinkle of cinnamon and allspice give this a definite Lebanese spin. A touch of pomegranate molasses adds some extra tang. Years ago, I learned to add cinnamon and allspice to tabbouleh from our dear cooking friend Kathy, who was part Lebanese. Enjoying this salad for lunch, I thought of Kathy and how I miss her.
The tabbouleh was delicious, though I would enjoy it more in the summer. This time of year, I crave hot foods, not herbaceous salad.
You can find these recipes in David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen. The wafers are on page 45 and the tabbouleh is on page 95. I recommend them both. If you are interested in what the other members of Cook the Book Fridays have to say about these recipes, check out links to thoughts on the wafers here and the tabbouleh here.
Here are a few shots from Mexico.