• Large dish of colorful Ratatouille
    Vegetable

    Ratatouille – the perfect freezer meal

    When I think of Ratatouille the first thing I think about is that cute animated movie from a few years ago. The adorable rat, Remy, who dreamed of being a chef and had so much gumption that he worked until he made it happen. I never knew how much you could learn from a rat! Seriously, animated movies sometimes have great life lessons! That’s for another day though. I love that movie and the dish with its name is one of my favorites. Other than chopping a lot of vegetables, it’s pretty easy to make. This recipe makes a lot and it freezes well. One recipe makes enough for a…

  • Beans and Greens
    Featured Recipes,  Pittsburgh,  Vegetable

    Beans and Greens

    At just about any Italian restaurant in Pittsburgh, you will find “beans and greens” or Scarola e Fagioli on the menu.  This hearty dish is typically a side dish but is sometimes served as a soup, and is always served with a piece of crusty Italian bread and parmesan cheese sprinkled over top.  This classic Italian (or Italian-American) dish is a “peasant dish”. Many people will tell you that it originated in the U.S., not in Italy, but that is debatable. Beans and Greens quite possibly originated in Southern Italy, where many of Pittsburgh’s Italian residents immigrated from in the late 1800s. At that time, the ingredients would have been…

  • Garlic Scapes often found at Farmer's Market Find
    Vegetable

    Garlic Scapes

    If you’ve been to a Farmers’ Market recently you may have noticed bunches of twisted green stalks in a basket and wondered what they are.  They look a bit like a scallion but are missing the white bulb at the end. They may have a little cone-like shape close to the top.  This is a garlic scape. It is the top part of the garlic plant that is often cut off to allow all the energy to go to growing the bulb. According to “The Spruce” cutting the scape off allows more flavor to concentrate in the bulb while it continues to grow. Home gardeners and farmers know the delicious flavor…

  • Holidays,  Vegetable

    New Year’s Artichokes

    Food traditions are an important part of a family's history and even more special around the holidays. Here is a little about one of my more recently acquired food traditions - and one of my favorites!