Butternut squash soup with brown butter and nutmeg crème

Winter squash is an amazingly delicious and versatile fruit, but it’s never better than in soups. Here butternut squash is slowly simmered until tender, then puréed until silky-smooth. It gives us an incredibly light soup, yet it’s also rich-tasting and creamy thanks to the texture of the squash.

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Linguini fini with braised leeks and fresh goat cheese-cured olive caviar

Leeks, like all members of the onion family, have the wonderful attribute of acquiring a sweet, delicate flavor when cooked… especially when gently cooked, as in this pasta. Here the leeks are braised along with red onions to create the most succulent base for the linguini. The garnish of the creamy, slightly tangy fresh goat cheese and the salty cured olives brings a marvelous contrast to all that sweetness.

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Yukon Gold potato-leek soup with parsley pesto crostini

Potatoes and leeks: a classic combination that’s impossible not to love! It also makes for one of the most universally loved soups.

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Leek tart with cured olives and aged Gruyère
Making savory tarts requires a bit of patience and an unhurried stint in the kitchen, but they are well worth the effort. To me tarts are a sophisticated comfort food that’s totally irresistible and one that I love spending time crafting.

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Butternut squash and leek latkes with pan-roasted cumin

I came up with this recipe for a Hanukkah feature I wrote in the 2010 holiday issue of Rockland Magazine.

Of course, the potato latke is de rigueur on any Hanukkah menu, but why not serve latkes with other seasonal ingredients, I wondered? That’s when sweet, delicate butternut squash came to mind… and this recipe was born.

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