Category Archives: Appetizer

Butternut Squash Knishes

Our CSA share from Parker Farm included a huge – bigger than a six month old baby – butternut squash this past week.  One person who weighed theirs clocked it in at 12 plus pounds.  As our first squash of the season it was too good to keep stored for later.  We baked the entire squash, cut into 6 chunks as it was too large to merely cut in half, with the intent of making additional delicious meals out of the leftovers.  In lieu of a pie or a more traditional offering I decided to try my hands at making knish.

This recipe is adapted from Mostly Foodstuffs potato knish post, which includes some excellent pictures of how to form them.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Eggs (1 will be used for an egg wash)
  • 1/2 Cup Canola oil
  • 1/2 Cup Water

Filling:

  • 3 Cups of butternut squash puree (made from baked squashed)
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Salt

Directions:

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in food processor.  Beat together 1 egg, oil and water; add to the dry ingredients.  Pulse to combine, scrape down the sides of the food processor if it is not coming together.  Once dough forms into a ball, pulse for 20-30 seconds.
  2. Form the dough into a ball and let rest at room temperature, covered, for at least 1 hour.
  3. While the dough is relaxing, you can prepare the puree, seasoning to taste.
  4. Once dough is ready, preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Roll the dough into a rectangle as thin as possible, roughly 1 foot by 1 1/2 feet.  Don’t stress if there are small holes in the dough as they will be covered when it is rolled up. Distribute the filling in a thick line, 1″ in from the edge, along the long edge of the rectangle.
  5. Pull the 1″ edge of the dough snugly over the filling (the dough should be pliable and readily stretch in your hand).  Lightly seal the seam around the filling with your fingers.  Continue rolling the dough to form a thick rope.
  6. Pinch closed the ends of the rope.  Pinch the rope where you’d like the cut the first knish by lifting the end of the rope up in the air and working your fingers to pinch and squeeze the filling away from this seam.  Twist the dough around a few times until you can feel with your fingers that there is no filling in this twist of dough.  Continue pinching off knishes from the main rope.  If any pinched-off ends open, gently draw the dough over the top and pinch the ends together to re-seal.
  7. Place knishes seam side down on an oiled cookie sheet.  Gently flatten them into hockey pucks leaving at least 1/2″ of space between each knish.
  8. Brush tops with egg wash (1 egg mixed with a tablespoon of water).
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

For serving, we first ate them plain.  My husband suggested smearing the top with honey.  I raided the fridge and topped one with my arugula hazelnut pesto and grated parmesan cheese.

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Filed under Appetizer, Bakery, Breakfast

Hummus

I used to have an aversion to chick peas.  They looked odd and had a terrible name, I was certain that they must taste terrible as well.  Somewhere along the line, however, I ventured to try hummus.  Since that day, my world has been altered and chick peas are a staple in my cupboard.  This is a nice basic hummus recipe to which anything can be added to jazz up the flavor.

The key to good hummus is good tahini.  The cheapest jar around town that I found had such a bitter taste that my hummus tasted terrible.  Good tahini should have a smooth nutty taste.  It should be a bit too intense of a flavor to take a taste right off the spoon, but it shouldn’t repulse you with bitterness.  If it does, try a different brand.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can Chick peas, rinsed
  • 2 Large Garlic cloves
  • 3 Tbsp Tahini
  • 2 Tbsp, plus a splash Olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp, plus a splash Lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Toss everything into the food processor.
  2. Pulse until the texture you want.
  3. If it seems thick, add a tablespoon or two of water.  Taste and add a touch more lemon juice, tahini, or olive oil if necessary.

Enjoy! It keeps well in the fridge for a few days. Smear it on bagels, on sandwiches, use it as a veggie dip, or even grab a spoon and just eat it out of the bowl.

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“Diet busting” Decadent Spinach and Artichoke Dip

This dip is best reserved for a once in a while treat.  It’s very good, but certainly makes no pretenses about being healthy beyond containing spinach and artichokes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Chopped Spinach
  • 1 1/2 Cups Artichoke Hearts
  • 6 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/4 Cup Miracle Whip or Mayo
  • 1/3 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Garlic Powder
  • Handful Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

Directions:

  1. If using frozen spinach and/or artichokes, boil them in water until tender. Drain, pressing out excess water.
  2. Chop the artichokes up into as fine as chunks as you want.
  3. Heat the cream cheese for a minute in the microwave.
  4. Mix everything together, sprinkling the monterey jack on top.
  5. Either bake in a 350 degree oven until nice and melted or microwave until hot.

Serve with pita chips or slices of french bread and enjoy!

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Radish Dip

It is easy-peasy to make, provided you have a food processor or a powerful blender.

It looks harmless but it is deceptively addictive; proceed with caution

Ingredients:

  • 12-ish Radishes, chopped in half (more if small, less if large)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1.5 to 2 blocks of cream cheese
  • Dash of salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Wash and trim the radishes, cutting large ones into smaller chunks so pieces are nearly uniform.   Set them on paper towels to soak up excess water.  Peel the garlic.
  2. Toss radishes and garlic into food processor.  Pulse until blended.
  3. Throw in the cream cheese, salt and pepper and pulse until smooth and mixed together.

This dip is great with slices of french bread or fresh veggies.

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