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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Category: Main Courses

Veggie Sliders

Marc J. Sievers

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This is a two-parter!  First, the Fresh Thyme Mayo was something I created back in 2011 for a TV show Ryan and I competed on for Food Network called Bobby’s Dinner Battle: Battle Chicago where three teams of two people cooked for Bobby Flay (he was in my kitchen!) and other judges for the title of Best Home Cook of Chicago.  This Mayo was a huge hit and ultimately helped us win!  Second, Ryan and I absolutely adore hotel bars — a favorite spot of ours is Gibson’s Chicago where Ryan orders the filet mignon sliders and a vodka martini (shaken, of course).  I am always a bit envious since I have yet to come across a vegetarian version in any bar.  But now I can re-create a similar atmosphere at home, vodka martini included!

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INGREDIENTS (Makes 6 sliders)

Fresh Thyme mayo:

  • Mayonnaise – ¼ cup

  • Dijon Mustard – 1 teaspoon

  • Thyme – ½ teaspoon, finely minced, fresh

  • Lemon Zest – ½ teaspoon

  • Lemon Juice – 1 tablespoon, freshly squeezed

  • Sea Salt – 1/8 teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – 1/8 teaspoon, freshly cracked

INGREDIENTS

Veggie Sliders:

  • Cannellini Beans –1 can (15 ounces), drained and rinsed

  • Basil – 3 tablespoons, finely minced, fresh

  • Parsley – 3 tablespoons, finely minced, fresh, Italian flat-leaf variety recommended

  • Olive Oil – 3 tablespoons, divided

  • Butter – 1 tablespoon, unsalted

  • Red Onion – 1 small, ¼-inch diced

  • Thyme – 1 teaspoon, finely minced, fresh

  • Rosemary – 1 teaspoon, finely minced, fresh

  • Oregano – ¾ teaspoon, dried, lightly crushed

  • Sea Salt – ¾ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¾ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Red Pepper Flakes – ¼ teaspoon

  • Garlic – 3 cloves, finely minced

  • Dried Bread Crumbs - ⅓ cup, plus 1 tablespoon, plain variety

  • Egg – 1 extra-large, lightly beaten, at room temperature

  • Half and Half – 1 tablespoon

  • Parmesan Cheese – 3 tablespoons, freshly grated, Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended

  • Pretzel Slider Buns – 6, split

  • Gruyere Cheese – ¾ cup, freshly grated, for topping

DIRECTIONS

Fresh Thyme Mayo:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a small bowl and mix until incorporated.

Veggie Sliders:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.  Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a small bowl.  Set aside.

  2. In the bowl of a small food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the drained beans, basil, and parsley.  Pulse until the beans are almost smooth, but still have a bit of texture.  Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.

  3.  In a 10-inch sauté pan set over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the butter.  Once hot, add the red onions, thyme, rosemary, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Cook for 5-7 minutes until the onions are soft, stirring occasionally.

  4. Next, add the garlic and cook for another 60 seconds, being careful not to burn the garlic. 

  5. Scrap the onion mixture and any remaining olive oil into the bean mixture.  Add the breadcrumbs, egg, half n half, and Parmesan cheese to the same bowl.  Using a fork, combine all of the ingredients being careful not to compact the mixture. 

  6. Using a 2 ¼-inch scoop, form 6 balls by lightly rolling the mixture between the palms of your hands.  Place each ball onto the prepared half sheet pan.

  7.  Bake for 10 minutes, then using a spatula, gently flatten each ball into a patty about 1 ½-inches thick.  Then brush the tops with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the split buns, cut side down, onto the same sheet pan to toast as the patties finish baking. 

  8.  Return the half sheet pan to the oven and bake another 10-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.  

  9.  Assemble each slider with as much grated Gruyere and Fresh Thyme Mayo as desired, and serve hot. 

Tip: Aside from topping these with Gruyere cheese and my Fresh Thyme Mayo, they can be topped with caramelized onions and Roquefort cheese, Fontina and marinara sauce, or really almost any combination!  Just remember, this recipe does have heavy Italian-inspired flavors, so make sure to play up on that!

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Avocado & Sweet Corn Cakes

Marc J. Sievers

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Is it even really summer if you haven’t been eating your weight in farm-fresh corn? Beautiful ears of corn can be found at almost every farmer’s market or farm stand and my Avocado & Sweet Corn Cakes are the perfect meal for entertaining, any time of the day! Growing up in New England, crab cakes and lobstah cakes were always on the menu at seaside restaurants and were the epitome of summer.  I wanted to create my version of these crisp and versatile cakes that I could serve to Ryan for a casual Wednesday night dinner or to friends on a warm Saturday evening, like I did for our friend Eric who owns La Tuile à Loup in Paris when he was in town for a visit. These cakes are crispy on the outside and deliciously creamy on the inside and pair well with a delicately dressed arugula salad. You can start the meal with my Lime & Watermelon Wedges ( cut into cubes rather than wedges) and end the evening with my Assembled Parisian Dessert for the ultimate summer menu and easy, stress-free entertaining. Serve with a chilled, dry white wine and enjoy!

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Ingredients (serves 6)

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Lemon Zest – 2 teaspoons

  • Lemon Juice – ½ cup, freshly squeezed

  • Honey – 4 teaspoons

  • Dijon Mustard – 1 ½ teaspoons

  • Olive Oil – ½ cup

  • Sea Salt – 1 teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Arugula – 5 ounces

  • Parmigiano-Reggiano – 1 cup, large shavings, for serving

Cakes

  • Sweet Corn Kernels – 3 cups (about 4 ears)

  • Red Pepper – 1 large, ¼-inch diced

  • Haas Avocado – 1 large, peeled & pitted, ¼-inch diced

  • Shallot – 1 large, ¼-inch diced

  • Chives – ¼ cup, finely minced

  • Basil – ¼ cup, finely minced

  • Eggs – 5 extra-large, at room temperature, lightly beaten

  • English Cheddar – 6 ounces, grated

  • Flour – 1 ½ cups, all purpose

  • Sea Salt – 1 ½ teaspoons

  • Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Panko Bread Crumbs – 2 cups

  • Safflower Oil – for frying

  • Butter – unsalted, for frying

Directions

Lemon Vinaigrette

  1. Place all of the ingredients, reserving the arugula and Parmesan, into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously for about 60 seconds until the vinaigrette is well-blended.  Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.

 Cakes

  1. In a shallow dish, add the panko.  Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.

  2. Next, in a large bowl add all of the ingredients, reserving the safflower oil.  Mix until well- combined.  

  3. Using a 2 ¼-inch metal scoop (about 3 ounces), shape into 10 cakes.  As you form each cake, coat each side in panko.  Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 60 minutes or until firm.

  4. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.  Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.

  5.  In a 10-inch sauté pan set over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons each of safflower oil and butter.  Once hot, add 5 chilled cakes.  Fry for 2-4 minutes on each side, until golden browned.  Place the fried cakes onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan and put into the preheated oven to stay warm.  Repeat the same process, adding a bit more oil and butter, until all of the cakes are cooked.

 Assembly

  1. In a large bowl, add the arugula and ¾ of the lemon vinaigrette.  Toss to evenly coat all of the leaves.  Add more vinaigrette if the salad is too dry.

  2. Divide the warm cakes onto six dinner plates, top with a handful of dressed arugula, shaving of Parmesan cheese, more salt and pepper and serve.  

Tip: You can make the cakes a few hours in advance.  After coating the cakes in panko, place them onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator. Follow frying instructions when you are ready to serve.

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Jet Lag Pasta

Marc J. Sievers

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Traveling is something that I have always loved. Jet lag, not so much. Being in Chicago while still being on Paris time is not exactly my idea of fun… My Jet Lag Pasta, featuring Boursin Cheese, is the perfect easy, go-to dinner for when you are back home after a fabulous trip and you can barely keep your eyes open and need to get something on the table, fast! Whenever Ryan and I return from a vacation abroad, I make this for us- it’s creamy, warm and the ultimate comfort food, regardless of the time of the year. Think of it as a luxe version of mac and cheese! Before we leave, I make sure to have all of the ingredients on hand so everything is there and ready to go when we get back. Even if you don’t have any travel plans on the horizon anytime soon, Jet Lag Pasta is still a great dish for a quick weeknight meal. Or, you can dress things up a bit by adding fresh herbs like basil, flat-leaf Italian parsley, or dill and make it special enough for company!

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 Ingredients (serves 4)

  • Heavy Cream – 1 ½ cups

  • Boursin Cheese – 5 ounces, Garlic & Fine Herb variety

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Fusilli – 1 pound, cooked al dente

  • Parmesan Cheese – ½ cup, freshly grated, Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended

Directions

  1. In a large skillet set over medium heat, add the heavy cream. 

  2. Once it begins to simmer, add the Boursin cheese, salt and pepper.  Allow the cheese to slowly melt into the hot cream, stirring occasionally.  Once the cheese is just melted, after about 2 minutes, turn the heat to low and keep the cheese sauce hot but not bubbling. 

  3. Add the cooked hot pasta to the cheese sauce and toss to combine.  Let the pasta cook in the sauce for 1 minute, until the pasta is coated and the sauce has thickened.

  4.  Lastly, off the heat, add the Parmesan cheese, toss to combine and serve. 

Tip: You can make my Jet Lag Pasta with any shape of pasta like bucatini, capellini, bowties or even penne.  Try to time when the cheese sauce is just melted to when you strain the pasta.

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Roasted Vine Tomato French Omelette

Marc J. Sievers

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You already know how much I love serving French omelettes as my house meal- the dish that I prepare for first-time guests to my home. Do you have a house meal? If not, you might want to consider a fabulous and simple French omelette. It is the perfect backdrop for an endless variety of delicious toppings, and they are not just for breakfast! My Roasted Vine Tomato French Omelette is not only gorgeous, it is also amazingly easy as a weekday dinner or makes for an impressive presentation served in multiples on a platter for entertaining. Roasting the tomatoes releases their full depth of earthy flavor and adds a splash of color that definitely lets your guests eat with their eyes first!

Want to learn more about French omelettes? Be sure to pre-order my new cookbook, Earthy & Elegant: French Omelettes!

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Roasted Vine Tomato French Omelette

Ingredients (makes 1 omelette, multiply recipe as needed)

Tomatoes

  • Vine Tomatoes – 1 stem (plus any that fall off the vine)

  • Olive Oil – 2 tablespoons

  • Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¼ teaspoon, freshly cracked

French Omelette

  • Eggs –  2, extra-large, at room temperature

  • Sea  Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ½ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Butter  – 1 tablespoon, unsalted

  • Parmesan Cheese - 1 tablespoon, freshly grated, Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended

Directions

Tomatoes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place the stem of tomatoes onto a half sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  2. Roast for 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes are wilted but not bursting.  Set aside.

French Omelette

  1. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, salt, and pepper until the yolks and whites are fully incorporated.

  2. Place a 10-inch non-stick frying pan over high heat. Allow the pan to get very hot, but not smoking.

  3. Add the butter and swirl it around to evenly coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Once the butter is completely melted and the foam has started to subside, pour the eggs into the center of the butter (be careful to not let the butter turn brown).

  4. Allow the eggs to sit for just a 5 - 10 seconds before you begin swirling the pan over the heat, until the edges just start to cook and the center of the eggs begin to bubble.

  5. Continue the swirling motion for another 5 - 10 seconds. Once the eggs begin to set and there is just a little bit of wetness in the center, jerk the pan several times back and forth in order to fold the eggs onto itself. The finished omelette will end up in the far lip of the pan.

  6. Grasp the handle of the pan from underneath and rest the far lip of the pan (where the omelette has formed) slightly off-center onto the bottom of a dinner plate.

  7. Gently turn the pan upside down over the plate. The omelette will then drop into position.

  8. Garnish with the warm stem of tomatoes, parmesan cheese, more salt, black pepper and serve.

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Parmesan & Arugula Tartine

Marc J. Sievers

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There are few dishes more iconically French than the tartine. Think of a tartine as the chic, Parisian older sister of the open-faced sandwich. Simple and easy to make, tartines are a delicious combination of a few really good ingredients. My Parmesan & Arugula Tartine starts with a good crusty country bread that can be found in any bakery or grocery store. Start by toasting a thin slice of bread in a toaster until it is crisp and golden. Let it cool for a minute then schmear a little of my Vert Vinaigrette on top, add shavings of spicy Parmigiano-Reggiano, a few leaves of crisp arugula and finish with some fleur de sel and black pepper, et voilà! I like to serve this as chic little lunch or cut into pieces for an hors d’oeuvre (both with a glass of white wine!). However you serve this, make sure it is often!

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Fines Herbes French Omelette

Marc J. Sievers

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One of my favorite dishes to make is a classic French omelette.  In fact, it has become my house meal, what I always serve to guests the first time they visit my home.  French omelettes are easy and really fabulous when they are made with just a handful of fresh ingredients.  My Fines Herbes French Omelette lets the fresh herbs shine while tucked inside a beautifully folded simple French omelette.  It’s the perfect quick weekday meal and a great way to make use of leftover herbs.  Don’t let the technique scare you!  Getting the fold just right does take some practice, but if you take your time (and remember it’s all in the wrist!), you will be whipping up these omelettes in no time.  And I really do mean ‘no time’.  This omelette only takes 30 seconds to cook!  Who doesn’t love a 30-second meal?

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Ingredients (makes 1 omelette, multiply recipe as needed)

  • Eggs –  2, extra-large, at room temperature

  • Sea  Salt – ¼ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¼ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Dill  – ¾ teaspoon, finely minced

  • Tarragon - ¾ teaspoon, finely minced

  • Chives - ¾ teaspoon, finely minced

  • Parsley – ¾ teaspoon, finely minced, Italian flat leaf variety

  • Butter  – 1 tablespoon, unsalted

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, salt, pepper and fresh herbs until the yolks and whites are fully incorporated.

  2. Place a 10-inch non-stick frying pan over high heat. Allow the pan to get very hot, but not smoking.

  3. Add the butter and swirl it around to evenly coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Once the butter is completely melted and the foam has started to subside, pour the eggs into the center of the butter (be careful to not let the butter turn brown).

  4. Allow the eggs to sit for just a 5 - 10 seconds before you begin swirling the pan over the heat, until the edges just start to cook and the center of the eggs begin to bubble.

  5. Continue the swirling motion for another 5 - 10 seconds. Once the eggs begin to set and there is just a little bit of wetness in the center, jerk the pan several times back and forth in order to fold the eggs onto itself. The finished omelette will end up in the far lip of the pan.

  6. Grasp the handle of the pan from underneath and rest the far lip of the pan (where the omelette has formed) slightly off-center onto the bottom of a dinner plate.

  7. Gently turn the pan upside down over the plate. The omelette will then drop into position.

  8. Garnish with more salt, pepper and fresh herbs and serve.

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Asparagus with Poached Eggs

Marc J. Sievers

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Asparagus is typically thought of as a side dish, but there is no reason that this hearty veggie can’t take center stage, any day of the week! My Asparagus with Poached Eggs is a sophisticated meal for lunch, dinner or even brunch for a hungry crowd. Bright and beautiful, this recipe is perfect for spring and is one to keep in mind as you hit your local farmer’s market! The “sauce” uses Boursin cheese and when thinned down, it makes for a luxurious cream sauce.  I give it extra flavor with fresh herbs. I love to serve this with toasted brioche or baguette, a green salad with my French Bistro Vinaigrette and a crisp glass of white wine.

Perplexed by poaching eggs? Don’t be! For this recipe, I used this genius method by Justin Chapple from Food & Wine magazine. It’s quick, easy and you will be an expert egg poacher before you know it!

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Asparagus with Poached Eggs

Ingredients (serves 6)

 Poached Eggs

  •  Eggs – 12, extra large, at room temperature

  • Sea Salt – 1 teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon, freshly cracked

Asparagus 

  • Asparagus – 1 pound, ends trimmed

  • Olive Oil – 3 tablespoons

  • Sea Salt – 1 teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon, freshly cracked

Sauce

  • Boursin Cheese – 5.2 ounce package, Garlic & Fine Herbs variety recommended

  • Lemon Zest – 2 teaspoons

  • Dill – 1 ½ tablespoon, roughly chopped, fresh

  • Parsley – 2 tablespoon, roughly chopped, Italian flat leaf variety, plus more for garnish

  • Scallions – 2 tablespoons, thinly sliced, white and green parts

  • Heavy Cream – ½ cup, at room temperature

  • Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ½ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Parmesan Cheese – 2 tablespoons, freshly grated, Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended

Directions

 Asparagus & Poached Eggs

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Fill each well of a standard muffin tin with 1 tablespoon of hot tap water.  Carefully crack an egg into each well.  Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

  2.  Place the trimmed asparagus onto a half sheet pan.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes.  Then add the tray of eggs and continue cooking for another 8 minutes, until the asparagus are tender and the eggs are set.

  Sauce & Assembly

  1. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, add all of the ingredients for the sauce, except for the Parmesan cheese.  Whisk until smooth.

  2.  Spread the sauce into an even layer on a large serving platter.

  3.  Once the asparagus and eggs are done, arrange the hot asparagus onto the serving platter. 

  4.  Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove each egg from the muffin tin and place on top of the asparagus.

  5.  Garnish with Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley and more salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

Tip: I love having some smoked paprika or crushed red pepper flakes at the table. Guests can add a little extra flavor or heat!

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Dill Pickle Grilled Cheese

Marc J. Sievers

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Sometimes there is nothing that hits the spot better than a classic grilled cheese. You probably already have your go-to recipe, but my Dill Pickle Grilled Cheese has just a couple of extra ingredients that will kick lunchtime up a notch! The vinegary pickles cut through the richness of the cheese, while the dill adds so much flavor. 

And you do not need to use fancy, expensive bread! The bread I have used in this recipe is just classic white country sandwich bread.  I tested it with all kinds of artisan bread, whole wheat bread and even homemade bread but I really loved the simplicity of a childhood staple, like any simple white bread you ate growing up. For entertaining, you can serve this cut into small triangles as an hors d’oeuvre – people go crazy! 

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Dill Pickle Grilled Cheese

Ingredients (makes 1 sandwich, expand recipe as needed)

  • Bread – 2 slices, classic white sandwich bread

  • Butter – 1 tablespoon, unsalted, at room temperature

  • Colby Jack Cheese – 2 ounces, freshly grated

  • Dill Pickle Chips – ½ cup, drained

  • Sea Salt – ⅛ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ⅛ teaspoon, freshly cracked

Directions

  • Heat a panini press or a medium skillet over medium heat.  Place the bread on a cutting board and lightly brush the top of each slice with butter (don’t forget the corners!). Turn the slices over and pile one slice with ½ of the cheese, dill pickle chips, the remaining ½ of the cheese, salt and pepper.  Place the remaining slice of bread on top of the cheese and pickles, buttered side up.

  • Cook the sandwich on the panini press or in the pan for about 5 minutes total, flipping once if using a skillet, until nicely browned on the outside and melty and gooey on the inside.  Transfer the sandwich to the cutting board and let rest for 1 minute.  Serve hot!

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Store-Bought Marinara Sauce, Revamped!

Marc J. Sievers

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I love a homemade, authentic marinara, but sometimes I just want to get dinner on the table fast without sacrificing an ounce of flavor. My version of an elevated store-bought pasta sauce is a fabulous (and quick!) way to add an extra kick to a jar of marinara.  The best part is that you probably already have most of what you need in your pantry! Make sure you start with a good bottle of red wine – you can drink the rest with dinner!  Tossing in some fresh basil at the end gives the sauce a burst of flavor (the heat hitting the basil opens up a whole new world of aromas) and adds a special touch that makes it look and taste like it has been slowly simmering away on the stove all afternoon!

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Store-Bought Marinara Sauce, Revamped!

Ingredients 

  • Olive Oil – 3 tablespoons

  • Garlic – 2 cloves, finely minced

  • Red Pepper Flakes – ½ teaspoon

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ½ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Red Wine – ⅓ cup, favorite Italian variety

  • Marinara Sauce – (1) eighteen-ounce jar, favorite store-bought brand

  • Butter – 1 tablespoon, unsalted

  • Basil – ⅓ cup, roughly chopped, fresh

Directions

  1. In a large sauté pan set over medium-low heat, add the olive oil.  Once hot, add the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Cook for 30 seconds, making sure not to burn the garlic. 

  2. Add the red wine and allow it to reduce by half, about 1-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

  3. Next, add the marinara sauce and heat until just under the simmering point. 

  4. Right before serving, stir in the butter and basil.  Serve over your favorite pasta.

Tip: If you want to be extra “naughty”, add a splash of heavy cream at the end to give this revamped sauce a slightly creamier texture.  I’ve never known cream to make anything taste worse!

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Simple French Omelette

Marc J. Sievers

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Any French bistro worth its Fleur de Sel has a classic omelette on the menu, ready to be served at any time of the day or evening.  A delicious canvas for all kinds of savory toppings, the French omelette is a simple and elegant option for breakfast during the week, for lunch, brunch, dinner, or a late-night kitchen rendezvous (with a glass of champagne!). 

No need to make a special grocery run, as even the most spare of kitchens is sure to have a couple of eggs and a few basic seasonings on hand to whip up this quick and easy meal.  Don’t be nervous about presentation!  With a little practice (and a few flicks of the wrist), you will be a pro in no time.  Et Voilà, my Simple French Omelette!

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Simple French Omelette

Ingredients (makes 1 omelette, multiply recipe as needed) 

  • Eggs – 2, extra-large, at room temperature, as fresh as possible

  • Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¼ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Butter – 1 tablespoon, unsalted, at room temperature

  • Chives – 1 tablespoon, finely minced, for garnish

Directions 

  1. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, salt, and pepper until the yolks and whites are fully incorporated.

  2. Place a 10-inch non-stick frying pan over high heat. Allow the pan to get very hot, but not smoking.

  3. Add the butter and swirl it around to evenly coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Once the butter is completely melted and the foam has started to subside, pour the eggs into the center of the butter (be careful to not let the butter turn brown).

  4. Allow the eggs to sit for just a 5 - 10 seconds before you begin swirling the pan over the heat, until the edges just start to cook and the center of the eggs begin to bubble.

  5. Continue the swirling motion for another 5 - 10 seconds. Once the eggs begin to set and there is just a little bit of wetness in the center, jerk the pan several times back and forth in order to fold the eggs onto itself. The finished omelette will end up in the far lip of the pan.

  6. Grasp the handle of the pan from underneath and rest the far lip of the pan (where the omelette has formed) slightly off-center onto the bottom of a dinner plate.

  7. Gently turn the pan upside down over the plate. The omelette will then drop into position.

  8. Garnish with fresh chives and serve.

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Watch: Truffled Toast with Asparagus

Marc J. Sievers

Truffled Toast with Asparagus is one of my all-time favorite recipes in my cookbook Table for Two.  It is incredibly chic and elegant, much easier to make than it looks, and is a really unique dish that will "Wow!" your guest!  This dish incorporates flavorful asparagus with crisp delicious bread, coated with truffle oil, and topped off with egg yolks that create a luxurious sauce for the whole dish.  You need a sauté pan, a little assembly, and a couple minutes under a broiler, and you will have an over-the-top main course that is sure to impress you guest as much as it will delight their taste buds!

Series 5, Episode 3: Truffled Toast with Asparagus


Truffled Toast with Asparagus 

Ingredients (serves 2, easily expands for larger soirées)

  • Truffle Oil – 6 tablespoons

  • Challah Bread – 2 slices, cut 2-inches thick

  • Butter – 1 tablespoon, unsalted

  • Olive Oil – 1 tablespoon

  • Asparagus – 5 stalks, bottom ends trimmed and discarded, cut ¾-inch on the diagonal, tips included

  • Sea Salt – ¼ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¼ teaspoon

  • Garlic – 2 cloves, thinly sliced

  • Fontina Cheese – ½ cup, freshly grated

  • Pecorino Cheese – ¼ cup, freshly grated

  • Egg Yolks – 4 extra-large, whole, at room temperature, separated into 2 bowls

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place two individual gratin dishes (6-7 inches in diameter) onto a half sheet pan.

  2. Place a slice of bread into each dish. Make an oval-shaped well in the center of each slice by removing bread about ½-inch deep.

  3. Brush the tops of each slice with 3 tablespoons of truffle oil, allowing the oil to be absorbed in completely.

  4. Bake for 6-8 minutes, or until the tops are lightly toasted.

  5. Meanwhile, in a 10-inch sauté pan set over medium heat, add the butter and olive oil. Once hot, add the asparagus, salt, and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  6. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another 1 minute, being careful not to burn the garlic. Remove from the heat, transfer into a small bowl, and set aside.

  7. Once the bread is finished baking, remove the sheet pan from the oven, top each slice evenly with both cheeses. Gently place the eggs yolks into the well of each slice, and evenly distribute the asparagus mixture.

  8. Return to the oven and bake for just another 1-2 minutes, until the cheese is just slightly melted. The egg yolks will still be raw and runny.

  9. Garnish with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Tip: Because the egg yolks are still raw, you really want to make sure to use fresh eggs for this.  Also, because the egg yolks are still raw, the moment you cut into them, they instantly make a sauce! 

Idea: To give this dish even more truffle flavor, you can replace the sea salt with truffle salt – instant upgrade!  Truffle salt, I think, is a fabulous ingredient to keep on hand.  You can use it on almost anything savory as a finishing salt.

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Watch: Roasted Fruit Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette

Marc J. Sievers

My Roasted Fruit Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette is a fantastic combination of incredible flavors and textures and happens to come together without any real effort - my favorite kind of recipe!  Roasting fruit intensifies their flavor and is enhanced even more with my incredibly simple rosemary-infused vinaigrette.  This is one my favorite dishes from my cookbook Table for Two!  It can be served as an entree for lunch or dinner for two, or shared as a salad course for a larger group (I love double-duty recipes!).  A friend recently served the warm fruit with vanilla bean ice cream and said it was a huge hit - who knew?!

Series 5, Episode 3: Roasted Fruit Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette


Roasted Fruit with Rosemary Vinaigrette

Ingredients (serves 2 as a main course, or 4 as a salad course)

Components

  • French Feta – 5 ounces, crumbled

  • Spring Mix Greens – 3 ounces

  • Pecans – ¾ cup, whole halves

Rosemary Vinaigrette

  • Olive Oil – ¼ cup

  • Honey – ¼ cup

  • Rosemary – 1 sprig, fresh, about 4 inches

  • Whole Black Peppercorns – ¾ teaspoon

  • Balsamic Vinegar – 1 tablespoon

Roasted Fruit

  • Green Grapes – 1 cup, seedless

  • Red Grapes – 1 cup, seedless

  • Black Plums – 2, cut into quarters, pit removed

  • Peaches – 2, cut into sixths, pit removed

  • Olive Oil – 1 tablespoon

  • Sea Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¼ teaspoon, freshly cracked

Directions

Rosemary Vinaigrette

  1. In a small sauce pan set over medium heat, add the olive oil, honey, rosemary, and black peppercorns.

  2. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat, cover, and allow to sit for 20 minutes.

  3. Next, place a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Strain the warm mixture, making sure to reserve the peppercorns and rosemary in the sieve.

  4. Lastly, whisk in the balsamic vinegar until full incorporated. Set aside.

Roasted Fruit

  1. Start by pre-heating the oven to 450 degrees F.

  2. Place all of the fruit onto a half sheet pan. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

  3. Roast for 10-12 minutes, until the fruit just begins to release their juices. During the last 3 minutes, add the pecan halves to the fruit to toast.

Assembly

  1. Arrange the greens onto a platter or a serving bowl. Evenly distribute the warm fruit, pecans, and crumbled Feta. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

  2. Serve warm.

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Apple & Herb Wellington

Marc J. Sievers

When I began testing this recipe for my new cookbook Table for Two: Cooking and Entertaining for You and Your +1, the combinations of ingredients seemed endless (and they really are!).  I finally settled on a selection of fresh herbs, apple, fragrant fennel and onions.  To give it even more “body”, I added Gruyère cheese that I diced into very small cubes.  This prevented the filling from getting too heavy with melted cheese, and instead created pockets of gently melted Gruyère that added the right amount of richness to the finished dish.  Keep in mind, this recipe does make two larger portions, so I like to serve it alongside a salad dressed in my French Bistro Vinaigrette

What I love most about this recipe is that you can interchange the fresh herbs and filling and have it adapt to be season specific.  During the fall and winter, I like to use fresh sage and rosemary (a perfect vegetarian main course for the holidays!), and replace the parsnip with butternut squash.  In the spring and summer, I love using basil and chives, and replace the apple with zucchini.

Like this recipe, so many other recipes from Table for Two are adaptable to help make entertaining as easy, elegant, and as truly delicious as possible, for you and your plus one!


Apple & Herb Wellington

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • Olive Oil – 3 tablespoons

  • Fennel – ¾ cup, ½-inch diced

  • Yellow Onion – 1 medium, ½-inch diced

  • Parsnip – 1 medium, peeled, ½-inch diced

  • Pink Lady Apple – 1 medium, ½-inch diced

  • Thyme – 2 teaspoons, finely minced, fresh

  • Sea Salt – ¾ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ¾ teaspoon

  • Garlic – 2 cloves, finely minced

  • Parsley – 3 tablespoons, finely minced, Italian flat-leaf variety recommended

  • Whole Cashews – ⅓ cup, rough chopped

  • Golden Raisins - ⅓ cup

  • Parmesan Cheese – 2 tablespoons, freshly grated, Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended

  • Gruyère Cheese – 3 ounces, ¼-inch cubed

  • Frozen Puff Pastry – 1 sheet, thawed overnight in the refrigerator

  • *Egg Wash – 1 extra-large egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of water

Directions

1.     Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.  Set aside.

2.     In a medium sauté pan set over medium heat, add the olive oil.  Once hot, add the fennel, onion, parsnip, apples, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very tender, but not brown.

3.     Add the garlic and parsley and continue cooking for another 1 minute, being careful not to burn the garlic.  Transfer to a medium bowl to cool for 5 minutes.  Once cooled, stir in the cashews, raisins, and both cheeses.

4.     Next, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the thawed puff pastry dough to be roughly 12x14-inches.  Cut the dough in half creating 2 pieces measuring 12x7-inces.

5.     Divide the filling evenly onto half of each piece of dough, leaving a ½-inch border.  Brush the border with egg wash*, and fold over top the other half of each side of the dough.  Using the tines of a fork, seal the edges by of the dough by pressing the tines lightly into the dough.  Do this on all three sides or each packet.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

6.     Brush the tops with egg wash*.  Using a small knife, cut three slits on the top of each packet.

7.     Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown.

8.     Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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Pesto & Arugula Pasta Salad

Marc J. Sievers

There is something so satisfying about making a big batch of really good pasta salad.  It can be so simple, just a few tosses of fresh ingredients while the pasta is hot, and you have an easy and incredibly flavorful dish.  I will admit that pasta salads were not my favorite as a kid—they always seemed to taste bland, and like the refrigerator.  No good!  But I have since solved the flavor challenge.

This recipe actually came about from a recent trip to Hawaii.  Ryan and I were visiting our best friends for a milestone birthday.  But, the day we were flying back to Chicago, they both got stuck at work.  Before we let ourselves out of their apartment to go to the airport, knowing that they were going to be home very late, I wanted to leave them a surprise dinner in their refrigerator!

After a few minutes, I found everything I needed to create a Pesto & Arugula Pasta Salad.  Best of all, it only took 15 minutes and we were out the door and our friends had an easy and delicious dinner waiting for them.  Needless to say, they were very happy to come home after a very long day to a ready-made meal that kept perfectly well!  This is easy summer “cooking”, at its best!

Watch: Pesto & Arugula Pasta Salad


Pesto & Arugula Pasta Salad

Ingredients (serve 4-6)

  • Fusilli – 1 pound, cooked al dente

  • Pesto – 7 ounces, store-bought

  • Grape Tomatoes – 2 pints, halved

  • Parmesan Cheese – 1 cup, freshly grated, Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended

  • Baby Arugula – 2 cups, washed and dried

  • Green Onions – ½ cup, thinly sliced

  • Basil – ⅓ cup, rough chopped, fresh

  • Parsley - ⅓ cup, rough chopped, fresh, Italian Flat-Leaf variety recommended

  • Red Pepper Flakes – ½ teaspoon

  • Lemon Zest – 1 small lemon, zested

  • Sea Salt – 1½ teaspoons

  • Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon, freshly cracked

Directions

  1. After the pasta has been cooked and drained, and while it is hot, place it into a large bowl.

  2. Immediately add all of the ingredients to the hot pasta and toss until evenly mixed.

  3. Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Tip: You can make this in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Before you serve it, check to see if it needs more salt, pepper, and even another handful of fresh arugula or basil mixed in.  I have noticed that as food sits in a cold temperature, some of the flavor “disappears”.  After all, who wants bland food?! 

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

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Eggs Provençal

Marc J. Sievers

There is something so incredibly chic about enjoying a breakfast or brunch dish at dinner time—especially when having company over!  It takes people by surprise and with a sense of delight, transforming “just another dinner party” into a relaxed occasion.  With the menu change there’s usually a palpable mood-change—guests let their guard down and the dinner party goes from regular, to memorable.  The power of food always amazes me.

My Eggs Provençal is just the dish to change up your dinner party dynamic.  It is a flavorful combination of eggs, cream, cheese, and lots of fresh herbs.  I love to serve it with an arugula salad tossed in my French Bistro Vinaigrette, Roasted Savory Carrots, a crusty store-bought Baguette, and a dry Champagne or Rosé.

To enhance the chic-factor, I set my table with simple white plates, flatware, and linen napkins, scatter plenty of scentless white votive candles around the table, and use simple juice glasses filled with red or orange roses to add some drama!  Best of all, this elegant dinner comes together in well under an hour.  Happy cooking!


Eggs Provençal

Ingredients (serve 6)

  • Eggs – 12 extra-large

  • Olive Oil – 3 tablespoons

  • Yellow Onion – 1 medium, ¼-inch diced

  • Kosher Salt – 2 teaspoons, divided

  • Black Pepper – 3 teaspoons, divided

  • Garlic – 6 cloves, finely minced

  • Butter – 2 tablespoons, unsalted

  • Mozzarella Cheese– 1 cup, shredded

  • Rosemary – 2 tablespoons, fresh, finely minced

  • Thyme – 3 tablespoons, fresh, finely minced

  • Arugula – 3 cups, pre-washed

  • Parmesan Cheese – freshly grated, for garnish, Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended

Directions

  1. In a large bowl crack the eggs and whisk vigorously until the whites and yolks are completely incorporated and the mixture is a pale yellow. Set aside.

  2. In a large sauté pan set over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Once hot add onions and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of cracked black pepper. Sauté for 7 to 9 minutes or until translucent and slightly tender. Next, add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the butter to the center of the pan and melt.

  3. Next, add the shredded mozzarella to the egg mixture, then add the rosemary, thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of cracked black pepper. Whisk vigorously to thoroughly mix and immediately pour into the center of the sauté pan.

  4. Gently stir the eggs, constantly scraping the bottom and sides of the pan with a spatula. The mixture will slowly come together and begin to thicken. Remove from the heat after about 8 minutes, when the eggs are wet-looking and gooey, but no longer runny. Continue to gently stir off the heat for another minute.

  5. Next, transfer the eggs to the center of a serving platter. Garnish with arugula and big shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

  6. Serve immediately.

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A Creative Approach to Everyday Tablescapes

Marc J. Sievers

Designing tablescapes is something I have been doing for clients for years.  The word “tablescape” sometimes scares people as it conjures images of towering floral arrangements, polished gleaming silver, and layers of fine China.  While that specific image is certainly an option—glorious in its own right—the word tablescape also can refer to everyday tabletop design that have well thought out concepts and choices to help accentuate your personal style, décor, and theme of your soirée, while also showcasing your everyday dishes, glassware, flatware, linens, and other casual pieces you may have.

This May, in celebration for Mother’s Day, I was asked by WGN Chicago to showcase a Mother’s Day brunch extravaganza!  Since Spring is in full swing (most of the days!), I wanted to create a colorful table filled with flowers, texture, thoughtful touches, and an easy and elegant main dish, my Eggs Provençal from my cookbook Entertaining with Love.  In addition to shopping for the ingredients I needed to prepare brunch, I also relied on my local Trader Joe’s for the best overnight croissants (they are available in plain, almond, or chocolate!), another favorite local grocer for an edible and over-the-top gift basket, and stunning flowers, all budget-friendly!

While this tablescape, menu, and basket were each created on the theme of Mother’s Day, they would be equally as fabulous and impressive for a birthday celebration, dinner party, weeknight dinner, or any other celebration with which you want to make a statement—easily using everyday ingredients that are readily available at your local grocery store!  Have fun entertaining!

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!

 

Watch the clip below to get a video tour.

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Easter Brunch Menu

Marc J. Sievers

A well thought out menu can really make a soirée seem effortless, regardless of the time of day, theme, or occasion.  Instead of trying o make everything yourself (there is really no “knead” to make homemade baguettes!), I think a smart host/ess should always have a few tried-and-true store-bought secrets up their sleeve and at the ready.

I rely on few favorite brands that I have tested and know how to work with as ready-made components to enhance my menus and cut preparation time to a much more manageable proportion of my overall prep time.  With certain useful combos, and easy and elegant recipes, I make my guests feel welcomed, special, and most importantly I get to enjoy my own party without being on constant catering duty.  I keep flowers simple, the music light and airy, and set the table the night before.

For Easter, I love hosting a casual brunch filled with some homemade things, some store-bought things, and some easily-assembled things.  This year, Ryan and I will be spending Easter with his parent’s on their farm.  Rather than have a complicated and labor-intensive menu, we decided a brunch would be an easier idea.  Because the farm isn’t surrounded by big grocery stores and specialty food markets, I wanted to plan a menu that included things that were easy to make, had that WOW! factor, and could easily be transported from Chicago to Iowa.

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, I hope my brunch menu inspires you to host a wonderful soirée (with lots of bubbly!) filled with family and friends!  Happy Easter! 

Order a signed copy of my cookbook Entertaining with Love!


Easter Brunch Menu

French Savory Tart with Onions & Gruyere (make ahead)

Roasted Carrots with Basil & Dark Chocolate (day of)

Simple Green Salad with French Bistro Vinaigrette (make ahead)

Baguette with Salted Butter (store bought)

Chocolate Bunny Platter (store bought)

Champagne (chilled)

Fresh Orange Juice (store bought)

Sparkling Water (room temperature)

Grocery Store Flowers Turned Fabulous


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Savory Beet & Farrow Cake

Marc J. Sievers

Inspiration for new recipes really can come from anywhere.  A certain smell, a store window, a trip to a fabulous specialty foods store, and of course a restaurant!  Last year when Linda and I were out to lunch, we both ordered a vegetarian burger filled with roasted beets and nutty farrow – it was so good!  After a few tries, I came up with my Savory Beet & Farrow Cake – an elegant twist on the veggie burger we had at lunch.

Instead of making individual patties, I decided to bake it in cake form, making it elegant enough to serve at a dinner party or cut up into small squares for a cocktail party.  You can roast the vegetables and sauté the onion mixture up to three days ahead of time.  You can store them together in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Then, on the day of your soirée, continue to follow the assembly and cooking directions - et voilà!


Savory Beet & Farrow Cake

Ingredients (serves 6 as a main course or up to 12 as an hors d'oeuvre)

  • Sweet Potato – 1 large, peeled, ½-inch diced

  • Beets – 2 medium, peeled, ½-inch diced

  • Farrow – ½ cup, uncooked

  • Water - ½ cup

  • Red Onion – 1 medium, peeled, ½-inch diced

  • Sage – 1 tablespoon, finely minced, fresh

  • Garlic – 4 cloves, peeled, finely minced

  • Nutmeg – ⅛ teaspoon, freshly grated

  • Panko – 1 cup

  • Sea Salt – 1 teaspoon, divided

  • Black Pepper – ¾ teaspoon, divided

  • Butter – 1 tablespoon, unsalted

  • Olive Oil – 3 tablespoons, divided

  • Parmigiano Reggiano – ¼ cup, freshly grated

  • Gruyère – ½ cup, freshly grated

  • Eggs – 5 extra-large, at room temperature

  • Half and Half – ¼ cup

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a 9-inch round spring-form pan by buttering both the interior sides and bottom. Line the bottom with parchment paper, then butter the top of the parchment paper. Set aside.

  2. Place the sweet potatoes and beets onto a sheet pan. Toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, ¾ teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Roast for 40 minutes, turning once half way through the roasting time. Remove from the oven and set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, bring ½ cup water to a boil. Add the farrow, and cook for 18 to 20 minutes, or until tender. The farrow will still have a bite to it. Drain well and set aside.

  4. In a medium sauté pan set over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Once heated, add the onions and ¼ teaspoon of both salt and pepper. Cook until tender and translucent, stirring occasionally.

  5. Next, add the garlic, nutmeg, and sage, and continue to cook for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the roasted vegetables and cooked farrow and set aside.

  6. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and half and half. Then add both cheeses.

  7. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetable mixture and add the panko. Gently stir to mix completely.

  8. Transfer the mixture into the prepared spring form pan. Bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until set.

  9. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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Vegetarian Chili

Marc J. Sievers

I love recipes that you can make in advance of entertaining that actually taste even better after it sits for a couple of days in the refrigerator and the flavors all blend together!  My Vegetarian Chili - dubbed “I Get a Kick Out of You Chili - is from my cookbook Entertaining with Love and is a perfect example of just that.  This hearty chili is packed with fresh vegetables, black beans, and meatless ground, making it as substantial as a traditional chili made with ground beef.  You can either make this dish entirely on the stovetop, or partly in a slow cooker, whichever method you decide the end result is the same – fabulously delicious!  Best of all, you can top this chili with sour cream, fresh parsley, tortilla chips, avocado wedges, or even charred fresh jalapeños, allowing your guests to be creative and make it their own!  

This recipe is from my cookbook Entertaining with Love.


Vegetarian Chili (serves 6)

Ingredients

  • Butter – 3 tablespoons, unsalted

  • Yellow Onion – 1 large, medium diced

  • Red Onion – 1 large, medium diced

  • Fire-Roasted Tomatoes – 1 (28-ounce) can, crushed

  • Tomato Paste – 3 ounces

  • Garlic – 6 cloves, minced

  • Black Beans – 1 (15-ounce) can

  • Orange Bell Pepper – 1 large, medium diced

  • Red Bell Pepper – 1 large, medium diced

  • Hot Paprika – 1½ teaspoons

  • Cumin – ½ teaspoon

  • Crushed Red Pepper – 1 teaspoon

  • Cayenne Pepper – ¼ teaspoon

  • Chili Powder – 3 tablespoons

  • Kosher Salt – 2 teaspoon, divided

  • Black Pepper – 3 teaspoon, divided

  • Meatless Ground Beef – 12 ounces, Quorn® Grounds recommended

Directions

  1. In a Dutch oven or stock pot, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Once hot, add the diced onions and sauté for 3 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Then, add the bell peppers and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes. Next, add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.

  2. Add the beef grounds and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 5 minutes.

  3. In a small glass bowl combine all of the remaining spices: Chili Powder, Cumin, Cayenne Pepper, Hot Paprika, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 2 teaspoons of black pepper.

  4. Thoroughly drain the black beans and add to the onions and peppers. Add the can of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes. Stir all together. Bring to a gentle simmer, and then reduce the heat to low.

  5. Add the combined spices and the tomato paste. Stir to mix thoroughly.

  6. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and reduce the heat to simmer/low. At this point you can transfer the contents to a slow cooker and set to low heat. On the stove, keep covered and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. In the slow cooker set to low heat cook for 3 hours.

  7. Serve hot.

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Carrot, Leek, & Potato Soup

Marc J. Sievers

There is nothing I find more satisfying than a big bowl of warm soup this time of year!  My Carrot, Leek, & Potato Soup is filled with fresh vegetables that are cooked until just tender, then puréed into a thick and luscious soup that is perfect for a cool evening dining al fresco, a casual supper, or a weekend lunch.  In fact, this soup is so hearty that all you need to serve alongside it is a basket a crusty French bread, a green salad, and a bold red wine—the ultimate in casual yet chic comfort food!  Best of all, you can store containers filled with this fabulous soup in the freezer for those extra-chilly nights when only a bowl of piping hot stick-to-your-ribs kind of soup will do!


Carrot, Leek, & Potato Soup

Ingredients (makes 5 quarts)

  • Yellow Onion – 1 small, ½-inch dice

  • Red Onion – 1 small, ½-inch dice

  • Leeks – 7 stalks, washed, ½-inch dice, both light green and white parts

  • Carrots – 6 large, peeled, ½-inch dice

  • Yukon Gold Potato’s – 5 large, peeled, ½-inch dice

  • Red Pepper – 1 large, ½-inch dice

  • Garlic – 8 cloves, rough chopped

  • Butter – 12 tablespoons, unsalted

  • Parsley – ½ cup, rough chopped, flat leaf, plus more for garnish

  • Thyme – 2 tablespoons, rough chopped

  • Black Pepper – 2½ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Sea Salt – 2 teaspoons

  • Vegetable Stock – 10 cups

  • Half and Half – 1½ cups

  • Parmigiano-Reggiano – freshly grated, for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large heavy bottomed pan or stockpot set over medium heat, add the butter.

  2. Once the butter is hot, add the leeks, as well as both yellow and red onions, red peppers, garlic, parsley and thyme. Cover and cook for 12-14 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Next, add the vegetable stock, salt, pepper, potatoes, and carrots. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are tender.

  4. Working in small batches, transfer the soup into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, and process until coarsely puréed.

  5. Return the puréed soup back into the pot. Whisk in the half and half and re-heat over medium heat until hot.

  6. Ladle into individual serving bowls and garnish with fresh parsley and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

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