Candied Squash Seeds

Great for snacking, scattering over salads or serving atop soup!

Ingredients:
1½ cups winter squash seeds
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1½ tablespoons packed light brown sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-by-13-inch rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Scoop the seeds out of the squash and into a large colander. Rinse seeds thoroughly under cold running water. Use your hands to separate any lingering squash flesh from the seeds. Shake off as much water as you can, then pat dry with paper towel.

3. Stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium mixing bowl, until completely combined. Add the seeds and toss to coat. Evenly spread the seeds in a single layer on the prepared pan.

4. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the seeds are golden and crispy.

Smoked Salmon Pâté

This fresh-and-bright spread is wonderful served on this week’s Jewish rye bread—or mixed into your morning egg scramble.

Ingredients:
8 ounces smoked salmon
4 ounces F&L herbed cream cheese
4 ounces crème fraîche
Zest of 1 lemon, plus juice from ½ of the lemon
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until a pâté forms, which still has some texture to it and is not a purée.

2. Season to taste with salt and pepper, if needed, and chill until ready to serve.

Crispy Parsnip Chips

These lightly-salted baked chips are a wonderful afternoon snack.

Ingredients:
½ pound parsnips, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 300°.

2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel parsnips into long, very thin strips. Place strips in a bowl and toss with olive oil and salt. Lay parsnip strips on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until parsnip strips are crispy and golden brown. Allow strips to cool on baking sheets before removing.

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Roasted Ratatouille Toasts

A delightful spin on the classic stew, this time slathered on toasted bread as a starter!

Ingredients:
1 heirloom tomato, roughly chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes, some sliced in half, others left whole
1/2 Italian eggplant, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 zucchini or summer squash, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 sweet pepper, such as Bull’s Horn, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
⅓ cup olive oil
2½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 loaf Pomodoro bread, sliced into ½-inch-thick slices
8 ounces crème fraîche
½ cup basil, thinly sliced
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper


Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large roasting pan, toss the tomatoes, eggplant, squash or zucchini, pepper, onion and garlic with red pepper flakes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a healthy pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned and the tomatoes have released their juices. Stir the vegetables halfway through cooking.

2. Remove the vegetables from the oven and increase the temperatures to a broil. Lightly brush each slice of bread with olive oil. Place them on the upper rack of the oven and toast until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes.

3. Divide the crème fraîche among the toasts and top with a generous portion of the ratatouille. Garnish with the basil and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

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