Roasted Beets*

Roasted beets have beauty and sweetness–a great combination for any meal. They are especially good in salads. They also are a good source of minerals and vitamins.


4 beets small size

3 beets medium size

1/3 C olive oil

Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 375º F.  Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Cut greens about two inches above top of beet.

Gently clean the skin in water and then dry.

Paint with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Brushing the olive oil on reduces wasted use of olive oil in the bottom of the pan.

Wrap each beet individually in foil.

For Small Beets:

Bake for about 35-40 minutes.

For Medium Beets:

Roast for 55-60 minutes.

Test for doneness by sticking knife or fork into beet. If the beets puncture easily, they are done.

Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes.

Using paper towel remove skin.

Ready to serve as vegetable or in a salad.


*This is not a roasted carmelized beet.

To boil or roast is the debate for best flavor. I have done both — boiled beets with stems on and roasted beets. I have not been able to discern a taste or texture difference between the two ways of cooking, My grandmother taught me to leave the whole beet intact before boiling. I boiled beets using her technique and I did have some bleeding.  To me, roasting is less messy, and I have barely any bleeding. Either way I get al dente, sweet flavored beets.




Pear Melon Gorgonzola Salad*



3 pears ripe

1 lemon juiced

1 C rose wine

1 t brown sugar

1/2 t cumin

1/3 C Gorgonzola cheese

1/4 C pistachios

1 cantaloupe seeded

2 limes  zested and  juiced

2 T honey

1 t Dijon mustard

1/4 C olive oil

Salt  and pepper


Serves 3-6

Cut pears in half and remove cores. Place in skillet add lemon juice, wine, brown sugar, and cumin. Simmer until tender but firm. Chill in wine sauce.

Lime Vinegarette

Whisk lime juice, zest, honey, Dijon, olive oil and salt and pepper in small bowl. Adjust seasoning  if needed.

Cut  cantaloupe in half and remove seeds then using melon baller cut 12 balls. Place a smear of wine sauce on serving dish. Place pears on wine sauce and add melon balls to cored out center of pears. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola and pistachios. Dress with lightly with  lime vinagarette. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


*Can  also be served on a bed of arugula





Spicy Green Beans Roasted


1 pound green beans 

4 garlic cloves minced

1/4 C seasoned mirin

1/4 C sweet mirin

1/4 C peanut oil

1 T sesame oil

1/4 C soy sauce

1/4 C black bean garlic sauce

2 t red pepper flakes

2 t Sichuan crushed pepper corns

2 t rooster sauce or Sriricha sauce

1/2 C dry roasted salted peanuts.*


Oven temperature 410º F

Destem, wash, and dry green beans.

Combine remaining ingredients except peanuts and pour into flat sided dish or gallon plastic bag. Marinate for 4 hours. Remove and place beans on foil lined 13″ by 18″ baking sheet. Drizzle with remaining marinade and roast for 8-10 minutes.  Toss them half way through and add additional marinade if needed. Remove and plate. Sprinkle peanuts on top and serve.


Peanuts can be deleted for people with nut allergies.




Chunky Refried Beans for Burritos, Tacos, or a Side


1/2 Serrano chili minced

1 garlic clove minced

1 T olive oil

1 can refried beans

1 can black beans washed and drained

6 T salsa verde chunky style, medium or high heat

3/4 cup Mexican cheese

6 T sour cream

1 t Mexican Seasoning- Morton and Bassett®

1/2 t garlic salt

Cayenne pepper


Heat olive oil in medium sauce pan over medium high heat. Add garlic and chili and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add black beans, refried beans, salsa verde and combine. Add sour cream, Mexican seasoning, garlic salt stirring occasionally until it begins to bubble. Lower heat to medium low and add cheese. Stir until combined. Turn on low for 10-15 minutes for flavors to meld stirring occasionally. Taste. If more heat or salt is desired add a pinch of cayenne and salt.

Serve with burritos or tacos.

We make left over cooked pork loin burritos with these beans which is a favorite. The pork loin is sliced very thin and warmed up in a salsa verde chunky with medium or high heat for 5-7 minutes. The pork picks up the tang of the salsa.

Note: These beans are great the next day as a side.






My Grandmother’s Summer Salad(Pasta)


3 cups pasta rinsed and drained*

1 cup celery diced

1/2 cup radishes large dice plus 3 for decorating

1/4 cup green onions

1/4 cup carrots diced

1/4 cup new peas

1 t parsley chopped

2 eggs hard boiled diced plus one for decorating

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

1 t Dijon or yellow mustard

Salt and pepper



*My Grandmother liked to use bows(Farafalle) or spirals(Fusilli) instead of elbow macaroni.

In small bowl combine mayonnaise, sour cream, and mustard and set aside. In serving bowl add pasta and vegetables and toss. Add the dressing and combine.  Season liberally with salt and pepper. She then dressed her finished salads with rose radishes and egg slices arranged on top and sprinkled paprika on the eggs. I use egg slices and radish slices with chopped parsley or cilantro in place of paprika for dressing up finished salad. Refrigerate a couple hours for ingredients to blend. 6 servings

Note: My Grandmother had three vegetable gardens every summer. She raised food for summer feasting with family and friends but also put away food for the winter months.



Mexican Black Beans


2 cans black beans rinsed and drained

3 T olive oil

2 shallot chopped fine

3 garlic clove minced

1 Serrano chili minced

2 cup chicken broth

3/4 t cumin

Salt and pepper

1-2 T lime juice


Place medium sauce pan on medium low heat with 2 T olive oil. Add shallot, garlic, and chili and cook until fragrant about 2-3 minutes. Add drained beans, chicken broth, lime juice, pinch of salt, and pepper. Combine ingredients and adjust taste. Cook for 20 minutes.Stirring occasionally. Remove and serve. Serves 4-5

Note: Very versatile. Can be used as  side, used in burritos, a soup,salads, or mashed and used as refried beans. We like them!

Easy Pan Fried Fresh Sweet Corn


4 large ears of fresh corn on the cob*

2 T butter

Salt and pepper


Remove husks and silk from corn. Remove corn kernels by knife from cob. Melt butter in skillet over medium low heat. Add corn and toss to coat the kernels. Stir occasionally. Corn is al dente in 1 1/2 to 2 minutes¹. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Yields 4 servings


1Fresh harvested sweet corn is sweeter and less starchy tasting. It still has its husk on and is not dried out. It pan fries very fast. The corn on the cob we’ve bought husked and plastic wrapped in a four or six pack seems to be much starchier in taste and does not pan fry fast.  It can take 4-5 minutes for this corn to lose the starchy flavor. Sugar is sometimes is needed if a sweet flavor is desired.

We always had fried sweet corn in the summer when visiting my Grandmother on her farm. As Grandchildren our job was to husk the corn. She then would turn it into our favorite side dish along with her fried catfish. The corn this summer seems sweeter and more tender than her fresh off the field sweet corn.