2011-08-19 / Home & Garden

Star Chefs

Soupe au Pistou

2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup zucchini, julienned
2 carrots, julienned
2 onions, very thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, julienned
1 tomato, peeled, seeded and
finely chopped
1 quart water
Salt and pepper


3 garlic cloves
1 cup basil leaves, packed
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated 5 Tbsp. olive oil

In a large pan, melt butter. Add vegetables and season them well with salt and pepper. Place a round of buttered parchment over the vegetables, cover pan and cook on low heat, stirring three or four times, for 20 minutes. Add water, bring to a boil and simmer for about seven minutes. Season with salt and pepper. To make pistou:

In a food processor, blend garlic, basil and cheese. Drizzle in olive oil while machine is still running. Serve the soup with a dollop of pistou.

Roasted Potatoes with Dill

2 lbs. small red potatoes, quartered 1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. snipped fresh dill

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a baking pan toss together potatoes, oil, and salt, and roast in middle of oven, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are golden, about 25 minutes. Toss with dill

Stuffed Foccacia with Roasted Eggplant and Oregano

2 eggplants
Gray salt
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves,
finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound prepared pizza dough
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1 small bunch fresh oregano
1/2 pound mozzarella,
3 Tbsp. freshly grated
Cornmeal, for dusting

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

Slice eggplant into half-inch slices. Salt the eggplant and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes; rinse slices and pat dry. Brush them with olive oil, sprinkle with thyme, and season with pepper. Place slices on a baking sheet and roast, not turning, until brown and tender, about 30 minutes. Let cool.

Separate the dough into four rounds. Roll them out into 8 to 10-inch circles. Brush two of them with olive oil and lay half the eggplant in the middle of each. Top each with half the tomato sauce, some fresh oregano, half the mozzarella, and one tablespoon Parmesan. Top each with a round of dough and crimp the edges to make a seal (like a pie). Pierce top crust to allow steam to vent, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with remaining parmesan.

Position your oven racks to the upper most and lowest positions. Place two large baking sheets on the racks and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Carefully remove the sheets and dust them with cornmeal. Transfer the rounds to the baking sheets and brush each with some olive oil. Bake until crusts are light brown on the bottom, about 20 minutes. When slightly cool, slice like a pie into eight wedges.

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