Good Fresh Things for the New Year

Winter Squash Fritters on Crushed Edamame Spread

These fritters are based on a Sweet Potato Falafel recipe published a while back on My New Roots.  Very lovely.



  • 1 winter squash such as butternut or Hubbard (I use Burgess Buttercup from my garden)
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander, cumin and cinnamon
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1 garlic crushed garlic clove
  • Salt/pepper

Halve the squash, de-seed it and bake it upside down in a roasting tin with a quarter cup of water.  Wrap tightly with aluminum foil.  Roast in a 375F oven 30-45 minutes until soft.  Scoop the flesh from the skin and let cool for a while.

Meanwhile, finely chop a small bunch of cilantro and crush and chop the garlic.  Place in a mixing bowl with the salt and pepper along with the cup of chickpea flour.  Mix in the squash, and the juice of the lemon.  Add more chickpea flour as necessary, just enough to hold its shape.

Spoon the batter onto an oiled cookie sheet.  Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes until nicely browned and the inside is not floury.

Crushed Edamame Spread

This is fresh and green, and has brightness from lemon and herbs, and a firm bite from the edamame.  It is an effective choice in winter when you want something good and green because the edamame hold up to freezing better than any other vegetable.  This is adapted from the  book From Near and Far.

In a food processor place 1 cup of shelled and defrosted edamame,  a generous bunch of de-stemed mint, salt, pepper, and lemon.  Pulse the mixture until it is coarsely ground.  With the motor running, add 2-3 tbsp of good olive oil.


Good and fresh, and very satisfying with a glass of red wine, after a series of heavy seasonal turkey and potato (and sausage and pierogi) meals.


Paprika Dressed Vegetable Salad

This is served over whole fat organic cottage cheese, which makes this a very nice light supper as a tonic to the chronic overeating of late.  Adapted from Bar Tartine.  The paprika adds a nice warm tone and depth of flavour to the dressing.


In the bottom of a salad bowl make a dressing of 1 tbsp paprika and dry English mustard, half a tbsp of sugar, 2 tsps of red wine vinegar, the juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper and enough good olive oil to form a dressing.

Chop a series of vegetables including cucumber, red pepper, and mushrooms. Roughly chop a handful of fresh dill.

Toss the chopped vegetables and herbs into the bowl along with cherry tomatoes.  Toss the salad and serve over cottage cheese that has been seasoned with salt and pepper.

Reinforcement Salad

We bring this big crunchy salad out whenever we are having a big group.  It is based on an Italian salad described by Nancy Harmon Jenkins in A Mediterranean Diet and is used during the holiday season and is “reinforced” throughout the days by adding vegetables as needed. Her method calls for green olives which I haven’t used here.  Rather I buy a bottle of large caper berries to add the briny zip.


Chop 1 head of cauliflower and 3 sticks of celery, thinly slice 2 red peppers and 2 carrots.  Roughly chop 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley.

Make a strong vinaigrette with Dijon mustard, anchovy, red wine vinegar and lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil.   Mix all together and let rest at least one hour before serving.

Good and crunchy and serves well as a light supper with a slice of hearty bread and a glass of cold organic full fat milk.

Yoghurt and Pomegranate Syrup


I make pomegranate molasses by boiling 4 cups of pomegranate juice with 1/2 cup of sugar and the juice of 1/2 lemon until it is reduced to 1.5 cups of total liquid (at least 45 minutes on a rolling simmer).  This is essential for many middle eastern dishes and I find it easier to make it than to search out where to buy it, as it is not available at any of my usual grocery providers or specialty shops.

It is excellent poured over plain organic yoghurt.  Sprinkle over a tbsp of hemp seeds and you have a high protein breakfast full of pomegranate anti-oxidizing goodness.  Even though it is the season for pancakes, a person can’t eat those every day and get away with it.

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