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Hummus is what you’re used to but this North African spin on the chick pea, Middle Eastern approach to a bean spread, is dynamite. It uses fava beans (canned are fine). Touches of dried chili pepper, cumin, plenty of paprika an a touch of lemon makes this a deep brownish-red, spicier hummus. It’s a nice change from the tahini (sesame seed paste) laden ones. Use this on crackers, flatbreads, or alongside grilled chicken or fish. Or eat it plain, by the spoonful – it is smooth as silk, spicy, a little hot and just outstanding.  

April in Paris quiche is more like itYounger than springtime is this quiche, with its herbs and cheese mix. Perfect with lamb’s lettuce salad. You could substitute tender, sauteed leeks for the asparagus on another day.

Rustic and yet refined, this leek-laced cream soup has bistro food written all over it. A touch of white wine is all you need in spirits, but one of testers suggested cognac, sherry or dry Vermouth –also all good flavor notes. Nothing shreiks bistro quite like a bowl of this.
Serve up some pears and blue cheese and a crusty bread to make it complete.

You can use pre-cooked lasagna or par boil regular lasagna. If you can find a more ambrosial tasting lasagna, please share it. It is lite, has an additive garlic bechamel going on, and makes use of surplus zucchini. This is sumptuous and despite the steps it takes: easy; despite the rich flavor – it is also somewhat lower fat. Using zucchini thus saves you from one more zucchini bread. Spinach can also be used in this recipe with the zucchini or instead of (steam, drain and chop it fine).  

No vinegar! That's the key to real, deli style, kosher dills. Use fresh, crisp pickles for best results. Water, coarse kosher salt or pickling salt, garlic, pickling spices and dill combine with cucumbers to produce a brine. The brine is formed when the salt draws acid from the pickles and combines with the other ingredients. 3-5 days gives you half sours, 12-20 days gives full sours. Refrigeration stops the fermentation process. You can taste them while they are fermenting and adjust spices. There is really no way to hurry them up. Double recipes as required. Just fill each jar you have until you run out of ingredients.
And leave the vinegar in the pantry...

This is the simplest, sunniest dish you can imagine. Layer on the ingredients, don’t bother stirring, slow roast and dip into Mediterranean heaven.

This rice-less side dish is as satisfying as a bowl of rice but is a nutritional ruse that can't be beat.

This is lovely to look at and handy, as it is made ahead (up to three days). It is refreshing and unique, and easy enough to serve a crowd. If you want to avoid the eggs, simply leave them out. Canned or jarred prepared beets, as well as roasted red peppers are two ways to speed up the preparation of this salad. A sweet and sour version is another variation: chopped cabbage, lettuce, apples, pears, raisins, and carrots would be the layers. You also vary it in with canned black beans and crushed tacos - almost any variety of layered things would work. The trick with this is finely chopped everything so the final result is a pretty, marinated salad.

Double or up the recipe as you need.  This is wonderful for Passover, Easter, brunches or wedding day luncheons. A Fiestaware egg dish is perfect for this.

A nice French tang in a classic vinaigrette. I crush the garlic with a mortar and pestle and use the mortar (bowl) as the vinaigrette bowl. Another neat way to make quick and fresh vinaigrette is to shake it all in a small Mason jar. What's leftover, refrigerate for more salad days ahead. Use this to marinate lamb chops but it's main purpose is to toss with green salads of any description.

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