Stewed Romano Beans with Tomatoes

Braising the beans lends them a beautiful texture without sacrificing any of their gorgeous color!

Ingredients:
1½ pounds Romano beans, trimmed and cut in 2- to 3-inch lengths
1 cup grated or chopped peeled tomatoes (about 3/4 pound)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Feta cheese for topping
Cooked pasta or grains, such as bulgur, quinoa, polenta or brown rice (optional)

Method:
1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a wide, lidded skillet or Dutch oven and add onion and a pinch of salt. Cook gently without browning, stirring often, until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute, until fragrant.

2. Stir in Romano beans, tomatoes and half the dill. Add ½ cup water, bring to a simmer, season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer 20 minutes, until beans are tender. Stir in remaining dill and olive oil and simmer another 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

3. Serve hot, warm or room temperature, with feta sprinkled over the top. If serving as a main dish, serve over cooked grains such as bulgur, quinoa, polenta or brown rice, or toss with pasta.

Braised Radishes with Shallots

Tender and juicy, these beautiful radishes are accented by fresh parsley and balsamic vinegar.

Ingredients:
1 bunch radishes
3 large shallots
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ cup chicken stock or water
½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Thoroughly wash radishes. On a cutting board, trim each radish top, leaving about ½-inch of the green stem for color. Slice each radish in half from top to bottom. Peel shallots and slice into thin rings.

2. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it has melted, add the shallots and cook, stirring, until they begin to brown slightly. Add the radishes, placing each cut-side down in the skillet. Let them cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes or until the bottoms just start to color.

3. Add the balsamic vinegar and the water or stock (the liquid should just come up around the sides of the radishes). Cover, lower heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes.

4. Remove the cover and continue to simmer for about 3-4 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced into a syrupy sauce. Add the parsley and sauté for about a minute, until wilted.

Baked Cinnamon-Raisin French Toast

This homey recipe from The Pioneer Woman can easily be done a day ahead and chilled until ready to bake.

Ingredients:
1 loaf cinnamon raisin bread
Butter, for greasing the baking pan
8 whole eggs
2 cups whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Topping:
8 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
½ cup flour
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup raisins

Method:
1. Cut bread into ¼-inch slices, then overlap the slices in rows in a well-buttered baking dish. Whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, then pour the mixture evenly over all the pieces of bread, soaking the bread as much as possible.

2. To make the topping, combine the butter, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and cut it all together with a pastry cutter. Stir in the raisins. Sprinkle the topping all over the casserole. Cover the pan with foil and refrigerate it for several hours or overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake the French toast for 45 minutes to 1 hour for a softer texture, or longer for a firmer, crisper texture. Cover with foil for the first 30 minute of baking, then remove it for the remaining baking time. Serve individual helpings with butter and warm syrup

Sausage & Arugula Breakfast Frittata

Spicy, tender arugula brings a pleasant bite to this baked dish with savory sausage and potato rounds.

Ingredients:
10 eggs
8 ounces breakfast sausage
½ pound fingerling or baby potatoes, washed and thinly-sliced into rounds
4 cups packed arugula
½ cup Grana-style cheese, grated
¼ cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, lightly whisk together the eggs, cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. In an ovenproof fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Toss potato rounds into the pan and sauté until tender, seasoning generously with salt and pepper Add sausage meat to pan and cook, breaking up the meat into small pieces, until nicely browned and cooked, 3-4 minutes. Add the arugula and stir just until evenly wilted, about 1 minute. Add the sausage-potato mixture to the bowl with the egg mixture.

3. Wipe the pan clean and return it to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and spread to coat the pan bottom. When the oil is hot, pour the egg mixture into the pan and smooth the top, making sure the potato slices lay flat.

4. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the frittata is set in the center and slightly puffed, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Carefully run a paring knife or sharp-bladed spatula around the inside edges to release the frittata. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

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