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Finding different ways to use celery leaves besides sticking them in stock is a “chef thing”. Here is a dual recipe. Chopped, it makes a condiment to be used as you might Salsa Verde. Chopped finer in food processor you get a pesto like paste that can be used on pasta, or on slabs of cheese or smeared onto things. For pasta, try it with something like bucatini or try a whole grain noodle with a little more chew and deeper flavor. Barilla makes a “Plus” line that is made with spelt and barley, chickpeas and lentils, as well as semolina, that has a nice flavor that would go well with this recipe. Try it on fish or poultry-it would go well with turkey for instance. Use as a smear for the white meat or use on sandwiches of leftovers later.

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The pesto is on quotations because you can just toss a handful of basil and garlic into a blender and then add almonds for a quick pesto-ish mélange rather than making a full on batch of pesto. If you wanted to, you could toss in flat leaf parsley with the basil to stretch it, or you can even use pesto from a jar. You would still need to add almonds for the flavor they impart. This is here to use up the last of the season basil you might have in the garden, or in the refrigerator.

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I tend to think of this as Christmas Salad. Not because of when it is served, but because of the reds and greens of its colors and the jewel-like look of the pieces. This would be a good “company” salad as you can cut all the components except the avocado in advance. Then it is just a matter of assembling it at the last moment. This salad is a study in contrasts of colors and textures, and is fun to eat. If cutting lots of cubes seems like too much work, see Chef’s Notes for an easy variation.

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Although I usually wouldn’t use chard raw, kale salad got me wondering. If the chard is very tender and the leaves are smaller, they are perfect for this. If they are larger and thicker, and eating some raw makes your teeth feel sort of furry, wait for another time to make this. Serve this as a salad on its own or as a side to cider braised pork chops, ham steak, or sausages.

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A variation on a theme, this soup is made easier by simply roasting the squash and scooping out the flesh rather than peeling and cutting and cooking it. It is a fairly simple dish, and is smooth enough to serve in cups to be sipped if you wish, or you could add substance to it by adding shrimp and/or some rice-even easier if you have some left over in the refrigerator. This soup can be made thicker and then double as a sauce for fish or on noodles with peppers and shrimp added to them.

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This is a twist of another tuna salad recipe, which happens to use the more familiar red globe radishes. Here, black radish fills in for celery and adds a bit of contrast with its mild horseradish-like bite. You could use this tuna salad for a straight-up sandwich, but here it is paired with lettuce and tomatoes and slices of baguette for a build-your-own affair.

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This will fill the kitchen with all sorts of wonderful aromas.

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A medley of textures and flavors, this dish has a nice amount of bitter and tart to offset the sweet elements, keeping it light. This recipe would work well on the Thanksgiving table. If you do not have dates, apples work also. See Chef’s Notes.

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This recipe is for a condiment made of Corno de Toro and Hungarian peppers, but you could use other types if you wish. Use this to top sandwiches, grilled meats or fish such as swordfish or halibut, or on sausages.

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A basic pasta dish with a fresh tomato sauce, but here the squash stands in for the noodles. You want to use your widest pan for this as too much moisture-like you can get from crowding the squash-can render the squash soupy rather than into “pasta” like strands.

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This is the basic technique for spaghetti squash. Using spaghetti squash typically entails two cooking steps. The first is where the squash is actually cooked, and the next is where the “spaghetti” part gets seasoned in a secondary cooking with other ingredients. This is the technique for the primary step, where the squash is cooked and separated into the strands that give the squash its name. From here, you can do all sorts of things to season the squash. Just remember not to over-cook it, and give it lots of room in the pan and minimal moisture to keep it from getting mushy. Also, I find using an oil sprayer really helps ensure an even coat of oil without having really soggy spots or dry spots, which can affect the end results.

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ketchupThis recipe is from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Using “paste” tomatoes such as San Marzanos are ideal because of their low moisture levels. Quickly blanching the tomatoes (boiling them until the skins split then transferring them into ice water) helps to remove the skin efficiently. A quick squeeze of the peeled tomatoes can release most seeds. Processing with a food mill can help remove any skins or seeds you didn’t catch and will give the ketchup the right consistency. This homemade ketchup tastes divine and has quite a bit less sugar and salt than the store-bought kinds.

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This is a bare bones simple White Balsamic dressing for when you want the flavors of the salad to stand out.

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A light and satisfying dish that goes well with lighter flavored proteins, or pairs well with beans and light grains such as rice or quinoa.

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For this salad, a tender lettuce like Butter or Oakleaf is the perfect contrast to the dense beets and crunchy quickles. If you can’t find small red onions for your quickles, go with shallots instead. Although very simple, this salad is so satisfying with the range of textures and flavors. Also, the beets and quickles can be done days ahead, along with the dressing.

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This dish has an earthy flavor that has sweetness and complexity to it. It can serve as a side dish, a base to a stack of items, or thinned a little it can be a sauce. Formed into quenelles it elevates the lowly beet into something quite elegant. A scattering of tender fresh herbs such as tarragon, basil, or shiso is nice, and chervil seems to work quite well here.

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Not a true jam, but one of a series of “jams” made from various vegetables that are used as toppings, sauce enhancers, dips, or spreads for sandwiches. There are “real” tomato jams, and they all seem to use a 1:1 ratio of sugar to tomato. Not so here, where there is only a little sugar and some vinegar to enhance the tomato flavor. Use this for fish, flattened and bread pork chops, or poultry such as grilled or roasted chicken, or roast turkey thighs or turkey scallopine.

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Odd though it may sound, this is a salad that is served warm. It could easily become and entrée by adding a grilled pork chop or some grilled chicken. If you wish to use it for a main dish, use more carrots, bumping the carrot recipe up by 50%. Try marinating the meat in the vinegar and herbs used in whichever dressing you choose for a while before grilling it.

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Peeling the squash before cutting makes it easier. Don’t worry about getting all the peel off; a little left on is fine and looks nice. If it is easier, cut it into larger pieces, and use a very sturdy peeler such as the kind with the u-shaped handle. Save the seeds to roast; just wash well and dry, then oil and sprinkle with salt and bake 10-15 minutes at 350°F or until done. Eat as is or save and use as garnish for this dish.

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These are the potatoes that brought Chef Joel Robuchon to world notice, and they are the potatoes that brought Jean Pierre Clot fortune. He is the man who resurrected this potato from the Alps and sent it to Chef Robuchon, who proceeded to make this over-the-top version of mashed potatoes. This version is simplified from Chef Robuchon’s, as it skips using a tamis, or drum sieve, for the potatoes. Do not attempt this in a food processor or blender as it will provide you with gummy, pasty potatoes. You will need a food mill, or a ricer.

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Another salad from the Tour Du Fridge Department, or, what leftovers can be transformed into dinner? Leftover farro and lots of peppers led to this. You can use other chewy grains such as wheat berries or barley of you don’t have farro handy. Serve this as a side or part of a mezze/antipasto/appetizer spread.

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This is a simple dish with nowhere to hide for inferior ingredients, so make this with ripe flavorful tomatoes and fresh aromatic herbs. As it says, this is a great topping for fish, whether grilled, roasted, or poached. Use it with any thicker fish. Use a milder olive oil, and only enough to be noticed. Too strong and it will overpower the tomatoes, and too much will muffle all the flavors and make the salad/topping heavy.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch Tokyo turnips*, washed well and cut into ½-inch wedges
2-3 firm apples, sweet-tart, cut into ½-inch wedges, seeds removed
1 small white or yellow onion, finely diced

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This dressing would go well with a salad of arugula and frisee with pomegranate seeds and hazelnuts, or another salad with similar flavors. This dressing would also be a good sauce on chicken or grilled lamb chops, or drizzled over grilled salmon or used to dress lentils while hot.

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This dish is sweet, nutty, and “green”, with a sweet and funky base from leeks, garlic, and sage, and then is topped with a bread crumb Persillade. Both light and satisfying, if you add some cooked shelling beans and grains like barley or farro you have robust vegetable dish that can stand alone.

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This is very definitely an autumnal salad that is a study of contrasts and complements. If you can get the pomegranate seeds, do use them as the acid really adds to the whole. This salad can easily be turned into a full meal by enlarging it and adding grilled chicken or shrimp that has marinated in pomegranate juice, garlic, and mint.

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Persillade is a condiment or topping, the most basic version of which is a mixture of chopped flat leaf parsley (persil in French) and garlic. Different iterations feature vinegar, different herbs, pepper flakes or powder. Anchovy often shows up in Provençal versions. Look for it in French, Cajun, Quebecois, and other French influenced foods, as well as Greek cuisine. Adding lemon (or other citrus) zest turns it into gremolata, the traditional topping of osso bucco, which are slices of lamb shank slow cooked and topped at service with aromatic gremolata. This is a variant that includes toasted bread crumbs that add a nutty quality, as well as crunch to a dish, and mitigates the powerful flavors of garlic and lots of parsley.

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This salad is a contrast of sharp and peppery with sweet and crisp. If you are not a fan of cilantro feel free to skip it, but the minty-citrusy hard to describe flavor of cilantro leaves, in a small quantity add a nice note in the face of the more bold flavors of radicchio and arugula. This salad is a great foil for pork, duck, turkey, or chicken. If you feel the salad needs toning down a little, use the option for adding the lettuce, which will spread out the other more forthright flavors.

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The roasted tomatoes can actually done a day or two ahead. They are the sort of thing you can do if you find yourself with a surfeit, and can be used for pasta, in salads, pureed for a sauce or a soup.

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Prosciutto works just fine here as well the Serrano ham, and is much less expensive. Regular arugula can stand in for the wild, and if you don’t have Petite Basque or Manchego handy, go with buffalo mozzarella. If you wish to be authentically Spanish, use sherry vinegar for the onions and Serrano ham. Going Italian? Use balsamic vinegar and mozzarella with Prosciutto.

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