Carrot and Mustard Rillettes

Serves 4.

Note: Both the rillettes and the spread can be made up to two days ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator. From “Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook,” by Dorie Greenspan. “For the mustard, use strong fresh mustard and use both smooth and grainy,” Greenspan writes. “Try to get French Dijon mustard — its flavor is best in this dish.”

Rillettes:

• 1 lb. carrots, peeled, trimmed

• Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

• 1/2 tsp. ground cumin

• 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds, chopped or crushed

• 2 oz. Comté or other nutty firm cheese, cut into small cubes

• 2 1/2 tbsp. grainy Dijon mustard, preferably French

• 2 1/2 tsp. smooth Dijon mustard, preferably French

• 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Spread:

• 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds, optional

• 1/4 c. mayonnaise

• 2 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt

• 2 tsp. smooth Dijon mustard, preferably French

• 1 tsp. grainy Dijon mustard, preferably French

• Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

For serving:

• Bread, sliced (such as rye, baguette, country bread or multigrain)

• Fresh cilantro leaves, optional

• Extra-virgin olive oil, optional

Directions

For the rillettes: Cut the carrots in half the long way, then cut each half in half similarly (so that you have 4 long pieces per carrot), and slice each piece crosswise about 1/2-inch thick. (If your carrots are slender, you can just cut them lengthwise in half and slice them.) Season the carrots with a little salt and pepper and put them in a steamer basket over (or in) a saucepan of simmering water.

Cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the carrots are crisp-tender — they should retain some of their crunch and be only a bit firmer than the cheese. Spoon the carrots into a bowl and season with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, a few turns of the pepper mill, the cumin and the caraway seeds. Let stand for 30 minutes.

Mix the cheese, both mustards and the olive oil into the carrots. Let the rillettes “ripen” at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 hours, before tasting for seasoning and serving. (If you want to keep the rillettes for up to 2 days, cover and refrigerate.)

For the spread: If you’re using the mustard seeds, toss them into a small dry skillet and heat until they’re toasted, about 2 minutes. Turn the seeds out into a bowl, add the mayonnaise, yogurt and both mustards and stir to blend. Taste and season with salt and pepper if you think the spread needs it. (You can use the spread now, or cover and refrigerate it for up to 2 days.)

To assemble: Lightly toast the bread and cover the slices with the spread. Top with the rillettes and, if you like, scatter over some cilantro. Drizzle over a little olive oil — or don’t — and, if the slices of bread are large, cut into smaller pieces. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 228 Fat 17 g Sodium 595 mg

Carbohydrates 11 g Saturated fat 5 g Total sugars 5 g

Protein 6 g Cholesterol 22 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Pizza Beans

Serves 8.

Note: From “Smitten Kitchen Every Day,” by Deb Perelman, who writes: “I like to think of this as a vegetable-rich (but not overwhelming, should you be trying to entice the hesitant) baked ziti where the ziti is replaced by giant beans.” Look for the gigante beans sold as fagioli corona or gigante/gigandes bean at an Italian or Greek grocery store.

• 2 tbsp. olive oil

• 1 large onion, chopped

• 2 ribs celery, diced

• 1 large or 2 regular carrots, diced

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes

• 2 large garlic cloves, minced

• 1/4 c. dry white or red wine, optional

• 4 oz. curly kale leaves, chopped or torn

• 2 1/4 c. crushed tomatoes (28-oz. or 800-gram can minus 1 cup; reserve the rest for another use)

• 1 lb. cooked firm-tender giant white beans

• Up to 3/4 c. vegetable broth

• 1/2 lb. mozzarella, coarsely grated

• 1/3 c. grated Parmesan

• 2 tbsp. roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, optional

Directions

To prepare the beans and vegetables: Heat the oven to 475 degrees. In a 2 1/2- to 3-quart (ideally oven-safe) deep sauté pan, braiser or shallow Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium-high. Add the onion, celery and carrots.

Season well with salt and black or red pepper. Cook, sautéing, until the vegetables brown lightly, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more. Add the wine, if using, to scrape up any stuck bits, then simmer until it disappears, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the kale, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until collapsed, then add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the cooked beans, and, if the mixture looks too dry or thick (canned tomatoes range quite a bit in juiciness), add up to 3/4 cup broth, 1/4 cup at a time. Simmer the mixture together over medium for about 10 minutes, adjusting the seasonings as needed.

If your pan isn’t ovenproof, transfer the mixture to a 3-quart baking dish. If it is, well, carry on.

To bake: Sprinkle the beans first with the mozzarella, then the Parmesan, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned on top. If you’re impatient and want a deeper color, you can run it under the broiler. Finish with parsley, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 361 Fat 11 g Sodium 412 mg

Carbohydrates 45 g Saturated fat 5 g Total sugars 6 g

Protein 22 g Cholesterol 25 mg Dietary fiber 11 g