Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Cookbook!

Friday: Indian Summer Casserole; peach & blueberry crumble

I belong to a book-swapping site. One of the things I really like about it is that sometimes, fairly randomly, I will suddenly get a book I've forgotten all about. Since we moved to Seattle and I realised how many books I already own, I've been trying to avoid buying new books. I don't apply this rule to the book swap, but it does make getting new books through it especially exciting.

My most recent book-swap acquisition is Still Life With Menu by Mollie Katzen (of the Moosewood cookbooks). It's pretty, and so far the recipes are looking good, but this was my first time actually making anything from it. My main criticism of the book is that, though it does have an emphasis on eating seasonally, it's not organized by season. In fact, I'm a little unclear as to what the organizational scheme really is.

Anyway, I basically selected this recipe because, on my initial glance at the table of contents, it was pretty clearly a "summer" recipe. I didn't quite have all the ingredients, having gone on an apparent bell pepper binge earlier in the week, but I did have extra corn, so it all worked out in the end. It's tasty as a dinner, but I liked it even better as a cold breakfast the next morning.

Indian Summer Casserole
adapted from Still Life With Menu by Mollie Katzen

  • 2 C corn kernels
  • 3 C chopped bell peppers
  • 2 green onion, diced
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 C chopped green onions
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • small handful fresh herbs - a combination of basil, oregano, and parsley
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 C chopped black olives
  • 1 small medium-hot pepper, minced (e.g. poblano)
  • 1/2 C grated cheese
  • 4 eggs (if you want to cut the fat, only use two of the yolks)
  • 1/2 C yogurt (I used low-fat)
  • paprika, just a bit
Preheat the oven to 375F and grease a medium-sized casserole. In a large pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil and saute corn, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, scallions, cumin, salt & pepper. After the vegetables look soft (about 8 minutes), remove from heat.

Stir in herbs, cayenne, olives, and medium-hot pepper. Mix cheese into veggies until it melts, and pour the mixture into your prepared pan. Beat the eggs with yogurt, and pour over the top of the veggie mixture. Dust with paprika.

Bake, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes, until browned and bubbly.

yield: 4 generous servings

The cookbook is divided into menus (something I love), and Katzen pairs the casserole with a salad (which we skipped) and a summer fruit crumble. Her crumble is basic, but the recipe works very well, and conveniently cooks in the same temperature oven as the casserole:

Peach and Blueberry Crumble
adapted from Still Life With Menu by Mollie Katzen

  • 4 peaches, chopped
  • 2 C blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp Wondra (or cornstarch, but Wondra really is a wonder!)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (optional - if your fruit is very sweet, omit it)
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • pinch salt
If your oven isn't already hot, preheat to 375F.

In an 8" square baking dish, toss the fruit with the Wondra or cornstarch and sugar (if using). Melt the butter (microwave is fast and easy) and combine with flour, brown sugar, and salt. Use your hands to mix it together and pat it into place over the fruit. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly.

Serves 4 (or 2 very greedy peach lovers)


  1. Love your blog menu concept. Great recipes, too. I remember watching Mollie Katzen on PBS back in the 1990's...

  2. Glad you're enjoying it. The "Still Life with Menu" book is actually from that show, I think.