Ratatouille Bisque — Recipe and photo courtesy of


1 small head of garlic, roasted (easy to do…cut off top, pour on a bit of olive oil, wrap in foil and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees in the oven. I threw mine in the toaster oven.)
1 large red bell pepper, chopped and seeded
1 large yellow pepper, chopped and seeded
1 sweet onion, peeled and chopped
1 bulb fennel, fronds removed and core cut out, chopped
1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise
6 large, ripe plum tomatoes, halved
1/4 c. olive oil
1 1/2 c. tomato juice
1 1/2 c. water
1 T Balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 packet of Truvia (recipe called for 1 tsp sugar)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Toss peppers, onion and fennel in a bowl with half of the olive oil.
Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until lightly charred for 45 minutes

Toss the tomatoes with 1 T. of the oil and spread on another baking sheet and roast until charred, about 30 minutes.

Rub the eggplant halves with the remaining oil and put them cut side down on baking sheet. Roast until soft, about 20 minutes.

When the vegetables are done, remove and let cool to room temperature.
Remove the eggplant pulp from the skin by scraping out with a large spoon. Discard skins. Squeeze garlic cloves out of their skin.

Puree all of the roasted vegetables in blender or food processor in batches.
In a large, non-reactive saucepan combine vegetables with the remaining ingredients. Taste for seasonings and add more tomato juice or water to thin if needed.

(8-10 servings)
Nina Miller, Darien, for Pickles Delicatessen, 1979-1988, in Rowayton
This recipe is adapted from the old Hotel Marguery, 47th and Park Ave.,  New York City.

1/2 head green cabbage
1 head Boston lettuce
1 bunch watercress (tops only)
1/4 head iceberg lettuce.
(all the above should be crisp as possible)

1 chicken, roasted, boned and skinned
4-1/4″ slices baked ham
3-1/4′ slices swiss cheese
4 carrots
6 stalks celery
(all of the above should be julienned)

6 scallions, sliced
6 radishes, sliced

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup cocktail sauce
Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Pepper to taste

Chop everything fine, toss, add dressing, toss again.

Decorate with grated egg, cherry tomatoes, chopped parsley. Serve with a warmed croissant.

When we make it these days, we sometimes omit the ham, use turkey slices from the deli and use romaine lettuce instead of iceberg.

When mixed with the dressing, all the ingredients should barely be coated so the salad remains crisp and the taste of the ingredients comes through.


Grilled Swordfish with Mango and Avocado. Recipe and photo courtesy of Janine Vairo.

(Serves 2)

Janine Vairo, PartyStyle Box, [email protected],, 203-273-3134
Grilled Fresh Swordfish:
2 (5 to 6-ounce each) swordfish steaks
½ c. olive oil
2 T. chopped fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Prepare the grill (medium-high heat). Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, basil, and garlic in a bowl to blend. Season the lemon, basil and olive oil mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Then brush the swordfish steaks with 2 tablespoons of mixture. Grill the steaks until just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of the steaks) — creating nice grill marks on fish. Transfer the steaks to plates. Then spoon the remaining sauce over the fish and let rest. Serve with mango and avocado salsa. Squeeze fresh lemon over dish. Enjoy!

Mango and Avocado Salsa:
1 large ripe mango, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 large ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 c. fresh tomatoes, quartered
¼ c. cilantro (chopped)
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 juice of ripe lemon
1/2 juice of ripe lime
1 t. sea salt
1/2 t. black pepper (coarse)
1 t. Trader Joe’s Spicy, Smoky, Peach Salsa (optional)

While the fish cooks, combine the mango, avocado, tomatoes, olive oil, lemon and lime juice, cilantro and 1 t. kosher salt and black pepper in a bowl. Then add 1 t. spicy, smoky, peach salsa for that special “kick”. Stir to blend and set aside at room temperature until fish has finished cooking. Place fillets on dish and spoon the salsa over them to serve.

This mango and avocado salsa has a blend of fruitiness and richness. It also goes well with grilled tuna steaks, halibut and snapper — and chicken, if you just aren’t a seafood person!

(Makes 1)
Bilt Boockvar, MS, RD, Kings Food Markets,

2 egg whites
3 Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Kisses, chopped
½ banana, sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
Vegetable spray (such as Pam)

Spray small pan and pour in egg whites.  Cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side to form a crepe. Place on plate and top half with banana slices and chopped chocolate. Fold over other half to cover and then sprinkle top with cinnamon and sugar.

Wait about 1 minute until chocolate is melted.

(Makes 1)
Bilt Boockvar, MS, RD, Kings Food Markets,

1 container vanilla Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon crushed peanuts
1 tablespoon cacao powder
¼ cup pomegranate arils (fresh or frozen)

Mix yogurt, peanut butter and cacao powder until blended well. Top with pomegranate arils and crushed peanuts.


1 whole chicken
8 ounces (226.8 g) soba noodles – broken into smaller pieces (about 2 inches)
3 carrots – sliced in 1/4″ pieces
1/2 onion – diced
1 medium garlic clove – finely chopped
A pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional but gives it deeper flavor and color)
4 ounces fresh Kale
2 tablespoons chicken base (or bouillon) or to taste – I use a brand called “Better than Bouillon”
2-3 whole stems parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stockpot, add the oil and place over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they soften (about 5 minutes).

Add the garlic and the pepper flakes and cook until the garlic begins to color (about 30 seconds). Follow quickly with the tomato paste and stir to incorporate.

Add chicken and fill with enough water to cover the chicken.

Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour or until the chicken begins to fall off the bone and remove it to a separate bowl. As the soup is cooking, periodically remove the scum that collects on the top. This helps to keep it clear.

At this point, at least half the water will have evaporated so add more and flavor it (one spoonful at a time) with the chicken base or add a bouillon or two.

Add the carrots and the noodles and cook for about 5 minutes.

In the meantime, remove the chicken from the bones and break the meat into bite sized pieces into a separate bowl.

Add the kale and the chicken meat and cook for about 5 minutes more or until the noodles are tender and the kale is bright green. I love adding the kale at the end because then it still has a bite to it and the color is beautiful.

Garnish with parmesan cheese if you like.


Eggplant Caponata — Recipe and photo courtesy of

Note: if you want a clear broth, once you remove the chicken, run the soup through a fine mesh sieve.


1 lb. pasta – use your favorite (gluten-free or not)
1 medium eggplant – medium diced
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup tomato paste (or a heaping spoonful)
1/4 of a small onion – medium dice
1 medium garlic clove – finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil – or enough to generously cover the bottom of the pan
1/4 cup capers – rinsed
1/4 cup kalamata olives

Cut eggplant into 1/2″ rings and then into 1/4″ cubes – or just don’t worry about the exact size of the rings and cubes and just cut them into a medium dice. And yes, leave the skin on. It adds color and nutrients and keeps the eggplant from turning to mush!

Place a large saute pan over med/hight heat and add the oil (or just enough to cover the bottom of the pan). Now here’s the tricky part. In order for the eggplant to not get oil logged, the oil has to be hot (but not smoking) before you add the eggplant. So go ahead, crank up the heat and add the eggplant. Stir occasionally…just enough to give all the pieces a turn to be on the bottom on the pan close to the heat.
When the eggplant has softened a bit, (about 5 minutes or so) add the onions and cook for another 5 minutes of so. Stir occasionally but not too often.

Add the tomatoes and stir occasionally. Cook for another 5 minutes or so. You can add the chopped garlic at this point.

Now the eggplant is almost cooked SO LOWER THE HEAT. Taste it just to make sure it’s almost cooked through. Now make a space in the pan for a heaping spoonful of the tomato paste. Add it and spread it around the surface and cook for a moment or two and get ready to add some much needed liquid.

Add the broth and stir to dissolve the tomato paste. See it make a beautiful colored rich broth. Now you can crank up the heat again.

Add the olives and capers and let the sauce reduce a bit and blend with all these great flavors.

In the meantime, you would have cooked the pasta according to package directions. Make sure to cook it al dente which means slightly undercooked (especially since it going to be added to the pan) with a little bite to it. Move all the eggplant and stuff to the side of the pan (this is why you need a large one) add the pasta and toss it with the liquid part of the sauce (which should remain on the other side of the pan). This will really blend the pasta with the sauce. Season the pasta and toss until well blended.

Transfer the pasta to a platter and top with the remaining ingredients.

Note: if you feel uncomfortable doing all this in one pan you can add the pasta to a bowl and toss with the liquid part of the sauce in the bowl and then transfer to a platter or individual plates and THEN top with the remaining sauce. The reason for this is that you want to distribute enough sauce with each serving without it getting lost in the pasta.

(Makes 1)
Bilt Boockvar, MS, RD, Kings Food Markets,

1 whole wheat tortilla (La Tortilla Factory)
¾ cup mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
1 tablespoon sliced almonds

Lay tortilla on flat surface and top with berries. Toast for 2 minutes in toaster oven.

Drizzle with chocolate syrup and top with sliced almonds. Slice into 6 pieces.