PROVENÇAL VEGETABLE TIAN

Fletcher & Fork's Provençal Vegetable Tian, a simple roast vegetable dish, is ready to serve.
Provençal Vegetable Tian, ready to serve.

Slow-roasted, deeply caramelized vegetables star in this dish.

In this simple Provençal style dish, humble vegetables slow roast and melt into a magical melange. Tomatoes soften and slump. Onions crisp up and caramelize. Thinly sliced vegetables with a reputation for blandness (I’m talking to you, zucchini and eggplant!) soak up a luscious, garlicky herb-flecked olive oil that’s been mingling with juices from the aforementioned slumpy tomatoes. Most often, roasted vegetable dishes highlight a single veg—Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli come to mind. Here, the marriage of many creates a sum delectably greater than its parts.

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CHICKPEA AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH TAGINE WITH SAFFRON AND LIME

This week’s winter wallop, with its thick blanket of snow and subzero temperatures, brought serious cravings for a body-and-soul warming dish. Tagines are deeply spiced North African stews, traditionally slow-cooked in a clay vessel also called a tagine (the stew is named for the vessel in which it is cooked, but a Dutch oven works well as a replacement). Lamb, fish, chicken, and beef often take center stage in tagines, but the dish is endlessly adaptable. My nourishing vegetarian version is anchored by hearty chickpeas and butternut squash, and layered with warming ginger, earthy-sweet saffron, and the Moroccan spice blend ras el hanout.

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A LATE WINTER’S LUNCH

Spode flower plates + anemones + Deborah Madison’s Black Rice with Mixed Beets Salad

I fell hard for these vintage Spode plates while antiquing in Three Oaks, Michigan last fall … but in a rare move, I reined in my impetuousness and did not buy them. Thanksgiving was around the corner and another set of plates by Wedgwood—equally beautiful but decidedly autumnal in a mustard, brown, and aubergine palette—felt like the better choice. So I left with those, reminding myself that I have almost as many floral motif plates as I do striped shirts and sweaters. But I could not stop thinking of the Spode beauties, with their modern feeling, oversized florals and simple rims, each depicting a different flower.

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fletcher + fork Goes to Elawa Farm | Pan Seared Cauliflower Steaks with Caper, Orange and Sage Brown Butter Sauce

image via Elawa Farm

It was a pinch myself moment. Yesterday I taught my first class at Elawa Farm, the beloved and beautifully restored gentleman’s farm and garden in the heart of Lake Forest. Elawa’s mission is to enrich our community as a unique center for hands-on learning, and to inspire an appreciation for gardening, healthy living and historic preservation.

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Crispy Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Calabrian Chili Ricotta

Crispy Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Calabrian Chili Ricotta, fletcher and fork

Gigantic, pillowy snowflakes cartwheeled from Sunday afternoon’s sky, blanketing the landscape with a quiet that reflected my mood. Hours earlier, our Thanksgiving house guests had departed, I’d dropped our children at O’Hare for their return flights to school, and my husband had scooted off for a business trip. The house echoed with emptiness.
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In Season | Roasted Buttercup Squash and Soba Noodle Salad with Creamy Miso Ginger Dressing

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This is one of my favorite summer-into-autumn dishes, when the low-slung sun and cooler nights are teasing the coming season but the days’ warmth reminds us that summer isn’t quite ready to let go. Hardy winter squash made its first appearance at the farmers’ market today, giving me serious cravings for the creamy miso and ginger laced soba noodles, crispy carrot chips, juicy tart apples, and sweet roasted squash in this recipe. Continue reading “In Season | Roasted Buttercup Squash and Soba Noodle Salad with Creamy Miso Ginger Dressing”

Weekend Kitchen | Shrimp and Sweet Corn Risotto

Shrimp and Corn Risotto, fletcher + fork

Summer entertaining doesn’t have to be a grilling occasion. A few weekends ago we invited friends for a casual dinner on the porch, where we skipped the open flames for a light, creamy risotto. And if you want the full truth…I was dying to set the table with my hand-painted shellfish bowls. So this time I let the table setting dictate the main course, and I knew my summery shrimp and corn-studded risotto would be a match made in heaven.  Continue reading “Weekend Kitchen | Shrimp and Sweet Corn Risotto”

The Breakfast Table | Gomasio Soft-Boiled Eggs + New Tableware Feature

Seaweed Gomasio Soft Boiled Eggs, Fletcher + ForkThere was almost no greater treat when I was a kid than spending the night at my grandparents’ house. I lived for digging in their massive organic garden, listening to Danny Kaye’s magical Hans Christian Anderson recordings, and the creamy, homemade honey ice cream they churned! When breakfast time rolled around, I’d slide into the big booth in their kitchen while my “health food”- (as it was dubbed in the 70’s) loving grandmother made soft-boiled eggs seasoned with savory, nutrient-packed sea kelp served in bright fiestaware bowls.   Continue reading “The Breakfast Table | Gomasio Soft-Boiled Eggs + New Tableware Feature”