Monday, May 22, 2017

Grilled Yellow Squash and Zucchini Pasta Salad


  • 16 ounces farfalle (bowtie) pasta
  • 1 pound yellow summer (crookneck) squash, cut into 1-in. chunks
  • 1 pound zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-in. chunks
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • About 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives


  • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender to the bite, 9 to 12 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse thoroughly under cold water until completely cool (see Notes).
  • Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for medium heat (you can hold your hand 5 in. above cooking grate only 5 to 7 seconds). Thread squash and zucchini chunks onto 10- to 12-in. metal skewers and place on a baking sheet. Brush vegetables with 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil on all sides and sprinkle with salt to taste. Transfer to grill and cook 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally, or until vegetables are very tender.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together remaining olive oil, the vinegar, and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a small bowl.
  • With a fork, push vegetables off skewers back onto baking sheet and toss them in oil left there. In a large bowl, toss together pasta, vegetables, oregano, pine nuts, and olives. Add dressing and salt and pepper to taste; toss. Serve warm or cold.

Brown Rice Congee with Shiitake Mushrooms and Greens


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1-inch piece ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms (if substituting dried, pre-soak in hot water for 20 minutes)
  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice, rinsed and drained
  • 9 cups water or vegetable stock
  • 4 ounces greens, thinly sliced (can use Chinese broccoli, broccoli raab, broccolini, bok choy, mustard greens, kale, etc.) 
  • Salt or soy sauce
  • White or black pepper
Garnishes and condiments (choose some or all):
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • Fried shallots
  • Chopped fresh cilantro 
  • Roasted or fried peanuts
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Boiled egg or century egg
  • Pickled mustard greens or Chinese cabbage 
  • Soy sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce, chile paste


  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Sauté the garlic, ginger, and mushrooms until the mushrooms are softened.
  • Add the rice and water or stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom. After 1 hour, stir in the greens.
  • Continue simmering for another 30 minutes or so until it reaches the consistency of porridge. Cook to your own preference; some people prefer it more soupy, others more thick. If a thinner consistency is desired, you can add more boiling water or stock during cooking.
  • Season to taste with salt or soy sauce and pepper. Serve hot with the garnishes and condiments of your choice.
  • Congee may be refrigerated for a few days, but the consistency will become thicker. Add more water or stock when reheating.



  • 1 red bell pepper, halved lengthwise
  • 1 Fresno chile, halved lengthwise
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 6 large leeks
  • 1 bunch collard greens (12 oz.), stems removed and leaves torn into large pieces


  • Heat the oven to 400°. On a foil-lined baking sheet, toss the bell pepper and chile halves the garlic and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and bake until the chile and garlic are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chile halves and garlic to a work surface. Flip the pepper halves and continue baking until tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a work surface and reserve the cooking oil; you should have about 1 tablespoon. Peel the peppers, chiles, and garlic, and purée in a blender with the reserved cooking oil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and the honey. Scrape the chile-garlic sauce into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  • Light a grill. Trim the leeks, reserving only the dark green tops and light green outer leaves. In a large bowl, toss the leeks with the collard greens and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the leeks and collard greens on the grill and cook, turning once, until lightly charred, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off on half the grill or remove the grill grate and rake the coals to one side. Pile the leeks and collard greens on the indirect side of the grill and close the lid. Let the greens steam until very tender, about 15 minutes. Spread the chile-garlic sauce on a large platter and then pile the greens on top.