Tuesday, September 17, 2013

50 Chefs for 50 Years, Deborah Madison

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Delicious Zucchini Tartines

As I continue my 50 Chefs for My 50 Years journey, I am bouncing around the years, so bear with me.  I decided for my fourth chef to do Deborah Madison, as Indian Summer sets in.  You see, she is the guru of vegetarian cuisine.  I have been a vegetarian at moments in my life, mostly college.  But now, I consider myself a lot like Deborah, a 90 percenter.  I am not ready to give up all meat, I love a rib eye on the grill way too much, to never have one again.  So with the heat of September not ready to give way to fall temps, I decided a veggie side dish would be appropriate.  The risotto and chowder and braised meats and fresh pasta are going to have to wait.  So many chefs....

Deborah's new book is called Vegetable Literacy, and it is on my Christmas list.  Her original book is Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, and for years when people were shopping for the vegetarian or healthy person on their list, I directed them to this book.  It is continuously on the list of the all-time greatest cookbooks.  The new book is getting great praise, and I was happy to find a recipe from her new book on the Williams Sonoma website.

I felt I needed to include her on my list, because she really brought vegetables to the center of the plate. And not necessarily for strict vegetarians.  It seems like so many people think of the veg as the afterthought.  Steamed broccoli (YUCK!), green bean casserole (YUCK!) and even the tired crudité tray with carrots and celery sticks.  With the emphasis for so many people going away from gluten, maybe less meat,  a vegetable book is needed more than ever.  As with many cookbooks I own, it is a great point of reference, kind of an idea book.  I am hoping the new book is going to be better about making meals my family loves.

I think Ina really did a great job highlighting veggies as well in her books, and she is on this list too, coming soon.  Ina got everyone roasting veggies in the oven, and what delicious results!   So I am tossing a piece of meat on the grill for Mr. Preppy and making these zucchini tartines from Deborah's new book as a side for him, main for me.   I changed a few things around, but these were delicious.  They would be lovely with any vegetable, banana peppers, mushrooms in the fall, even spinach and artichokes would be delicious.  Even Mr. Preppy thought so.  With many thanks to Deborah Madison for teaching us that vegetables are substantial, sustainable and delicious!

Summer Squash Tartines

1 tsp olive oil
1 or 2 summer squash, I chose zucchini, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh herbs, minced (she calls for Rosemary which I am allergic to apparently)
so I used 1 teaspoon Penzey's Tuscan Sunset
grated zest of a lemon
salt and pepper
long baguette
olive oil and garlic for the bread
1/2 cup ricotta cheese

In a nonstick fry pan sauté the zucchini in olive oil for a minute or 2, and then add a splash of water and cover to soften the zucchini.  Add the herbs, lemon zest and salt and pepper.

Brush toasted slices with olive oil and rub with garlic, I ran it through the press first. Toast the baguette slices over a grill or on a grill pan.  Top with ricotta and slices of zucchini.  Slice and serve.

Don't miss the First Chef, my Mom, and Steak in a Bag and Chocolate Ambrosia Pie
Second Chef, Chuck Williams and Cheese Soufflé
And third chef, Dinah Shore and Corn Crab Cakes with Jalepeño Tartar Sauce.

Next up....let's just say we are heading down memory lane...What are you waiting for? Get in there and cook!

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