Butternut Squash Glazed Tart

An inventive lighter twist on the standard dense pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving:
Everyone worked so super hard on the November Issue of Food and Wine magazine, (which is still on newsstands now, so go pick it up!) and as I’m deciding what to cook for Thanksgiving, this is one dish I’m definitely going to make.

The tart is a crispy, sweet, light version of dessert. Something to replace the heavy, dense, regular pumpkin pie, that by the end of thanksgiving, is hard to even make room for. This elegant puff pastry is quick to make. You’ll be surprised at how delicious butternut squash is for dessert. Look for a squash with a long neck.

From Food and Wine magazine, November 2012.
By Grace Parisi.
Click here to get the original recipe. 

  • ACTIVE: 45 MIN

One 1-pound neck of butternut squash—peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces all-butter puff pastry, chilled
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons apricot preserves, melted
2 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans

1) Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and butter the paper. Brush the squash with the melted butter and sprinkle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar. Roast for about 45 minutes, flipping the squash slices halfway through, or until softened. Let cool.

2) Meanwhile, roll out the pastry to a 14-by-6-inch rectangle and transfer it to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Prick the pastry all over with a fork and refrigerate until firm, about 5 minutes. Top with another sheet of parchment paper and a flat cookie sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is lightly golden on the bottom but not set. Remove the top cookie sheet and parchment and bake for 10 minutes longer, until the pastry is golden and crisp. Let cool.

3) Blend the cream cheese with the cinnamon and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of sugar and spread it on the pastry. Arrange the squash slices on top. Brush with the apricot preserves and sprinkle with pecans. Cut into slices and serve.


Photograph for Food and Wine, by Christina Holmes
Food Styling by Simon Andrews
Prop Styling by Kristine Trevino


Books I recommend: Jose Garces “The Latin Road Home”

Cookbooks pile up around my room, were they wafers, taunt and crackling, there would be enough to feed several large extended families.

Some of the books are solid, heavy, and affirming. Some are paperbacks, flimsy with pages lost. “Curl up with a good book” has long been my ointment, my medicine cabinet cure-all, for life’s daily maladies, like the departing of seasons, endless thumping rain, a dark grey Sunday. The feel of the paper, the weight of the book, the photos. Nothing destroys the crush for a new beau more than finding out he owns a Kindle.

Chef/restauranteur Jose Garces has a new cookbook, The Latin Road Home and it’s on the top of my book pile right now. Part food tour, part memoir, it’s informative, but accessible, and it reads like a travelogue with recipes. The more you read, the more you can’t put it down. I took it home on the subway, and by East Broadway, I had 3 strangers asking me what was the book, where could they get it, and the man in front of me who was carrying 2 lbs of shrimp asked me if I could give him a recipe from the book, for something he could possibly make at home that very night. (Shrimp Ceviche!)

The book centers around 5 Latin food cultures that influenced the course of Chef Jose’s life, and these 5 countries make up the chapters: Equador, his ancestral home. (While Jose was raised in North-West Chicago, his parents were both born in Equador). The second chapter is Spain, where he worked, then Cuba, where his wife is from, and finally Mexico and Peru, that was the inspiration for some of his restaurants.

Each of these chapters offers 4 complete dinner menus.
Some of the dishes included in the book are…

Equador: Equdorian Hot Sauce, Fried Pork, Avocado Salad, and Figs in Honey Syrup with Goats Cheese. Spain: Almond Gazpacho with Smoked Trout, Saffron Aioli, Canapes with Duck Confit and Serrano Ham. Cuba: Lobster in Spicy Tomato Sauce, Fried Stuffed Chiles, Guava and Cream Cheese turnovers. Mexico: Spicy Margarita, Octopus ceviché with Avocado, Chipotle Chicken Nachos. Peru: Red Chile Butter, Rosemary Mint Chimichurri, stewed Duck with Potatoes Peas and Chiles, Peruvian Doughnuts.


Jose’s book is beautifully shot by photographer Jason Varney and prop styled by Heather Chontos.

Jason got to travel to Ecuador with Jose and his wife and children. They spent the first few days shooting in the Quito markets, and Jose reunited with many of his family members at a dinner he hosted in Quito, where Jason had the pleasure of shooting portraits of Jose’s family tree. Next they traveled a few hours into the Andes and stayed at an eco-touism site called Hacienda Zuleta (on the book’s cover). They shot all the recipes a few weeks later at Jose’s Cira Centre restaurant JG Domestic while it was still under construction, they set up a make-shift studio and shot the nearly 100 recipe/process images over 8 days. In terms of propping, Heather decided to keep the palette muted but introducing pops of Latin colors- aquas, pinks, yellows. She hand-painted surfaces, and hand-tore linens. They wanted things to feel distressed and rustic to play up the history and rustic vibe of the food. The wrinkles in the fabric were important, they felt it gave a texture and movement that was needed to convey the rustic Latin feel.


(Pictured above, second from top). Recipe courtesy of Jose Garces, from his new cookbook “The Latin Road Home”. Cooking Note: To approximate the Cubano at home, follow the recipe to make the absolute key ingredient: the marinated, moist, and deeply flavorful roast pork. Note: plan for several hours of marinating time; you’ll end up with enough pork for a second round of sandwiches or the main component of another meal. Makes 4 sandwiches. 

2 tablespoons  + 1 tablespoon of Kosher Salt
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of ground mustard
2 lb boneless pork shoulder, tied in an even roll
1/2 cup of Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon of Ground Mace
2 tablespoons freshly ground Pepper
1 tablespoon Spanish Smoked Sweet Paprika

4 (6-inch) light crisp-crusted bakery rolls
2 tablespoons of Dijon Mustard
3/4 lb best quality domestic Ham (unglazed), thinly sliced
1/4 lb Swisss or Gruyere Cheese, thinly sliced
1 large Dill Pickle, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons of Unsalted Butter

TO CURE THE PORK: Combine 2 tablespoons of the salt with the sugar and ground mustard. Rub the mixture all over the meat, cover, and set it in the refrigerator to cure for 6 hours. Place a rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

TO ROAST THE PORK: Rinse it under cold running water to remove the seasoning. Pat dry with paper towels. Combine the Dijon mustard, mace, black pepper, paprika, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of salt. Rub the mixture all over the meat. Set the pork in a roasting pan, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and roast in center rack at 325 degrees. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees, about 45 minutes. Allow the meat to cool completely before slicing.

TO MAKE THE SANDWICHES: Neat a sandwich press or griddle to medium-high. Split the bread lengthwise and pull it open. Spread the mustard on 1 side of each roll and layer on the roast pork, ham, cheese, and pickles. Spread the butter all over the outside of the sandwiches and griddle until the cheese is melted and the meats are warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes. (Alternatively, wrap the sandwich in foil and toast in a 350 degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes.) Slice each in half on the diagonal and serve.


To purchase the book, Jose Garces The Latin Road Home: Savoring the foods of Equador, Mexico and Peru, click here.

To read the NPR interview where Garces discusses his latest cookbook. Click here.

Photos from top: Chiles for his recipe for Equadorian Hot Sauce, Cuban Sandwich (Cubano), Spanish Octopus with Potato Confit, (Bottom) Chef Jose Garces eating a Warm Hominy Salad.

Note about my blog: Did you know there are more pictures that are showing on this post? To see entire galley, click on one picture and it will take you to the galley. From there you can keep tapping on the photo to work your way through the galley.


PHOTOGRAPHS BY JASON VARNEY: Jason is a food & travel photographer that grew up in the woods, but now calls The City of Brotherly Love home. When he’s not taming his Welsh Terrier pup, Jase appreciates stiff drinks & long exposures. He is based in New York, and Philadelphia. Check out his work here. And his blog here.

STYLED BY HEATHER CHONTOS: Heather is an artist, prop stylist and wannabe cowgirl, who lives in Bozeman, Montana with her two daughters, a giant St. Bernard, four chickens, and three ducks. Heather travels between both coasts for work, but when at home, hosts big dinner parties in Bozeman where they draw all over the table together and make crazy art whilst eating. Heather now works mainly through her little design consultancy Milk Farm RoadCheck out her work hereAnd her blog here. 


Wood-Smoked Turkey (Josh Vogel)

This story was a joy to design. It appears in the current November, Thanksgiving Issue of Food and Wine magazine, on newsstands now. I also got the opportunity to taste the Wood-Smoked Turkey, (from Josh Vogel, above) which the F&W kitchen tested one lunch time, and it was wonderful. It’s flavorful and moist, the smoking makes the skin a beautiful, inky black, and not your usual crispy blonde skin. This turkey is dark and mahogany in color, and has a rich smokey taste.

Josh Vogel, is a woodworker in upstate NY, who with his partner Kelly Zaneto, has a holistic or ‘nose-to-tail’ approach to his timber. He makes large sculptures, then cooking utensils with the leftovers, and then with the scraps from these, he fuels his outdoor oven. Nothing goes to waste. His cutting boards as well as his spoons, have no glue and no joints, their just single pieces of wood.


To get the recipe for Wood-Smoked Turkey which would be a wonderful option for Thanksgiving, check out the recipe at Food and Wine.com here.

To purchase Josh Vogel‘s hand made wooden products, which include wooden boards, cutting board oils, spoons and cooking utensils, click here. 

Race to the newsstand and pick up this November Thanksgiving Issue of Food and Wine magazine right now. To subscribe, click here.


Photographs for Food and Wine magazine by Fredrika Stjärne
Styling Alison Attenborough
Original text that appears in the magazine, Daniel Gritzer.

Charlene’s Spicy Ketchup

A few Summers ago, Charlene Benson found herself up in a log cabin in Big Indian with two 6-year-olds, and one of them wouldn’t stop talking.

It was raining, and didn’t look like it was going to stop anytime soon. She had a few jam jars, but not many, and a large bushel of tomatoes that she had rash-purchased at the market.

Ketchup would be something she could make that would require a lot of reduction. Which would work with the scant few jars she had, and give the kids an activity, besides, she reasoned, there was something very satisfying about a big pot of warm tomatoes simmering on a stove.

Charlene is one of my mentors, a creative tour-de-force; (a slayer of visual dragons!) She was the first person to hire me on magazines in the US (Yes, you can blame her!) and now she also grows vegetables from her wondrous garden in Williamsburg. Shiny purple eggplants and taut, irregular heirlooms. Figs, Peppers and the odd Peach. The tomatoes she uses in her ketchup are Plum, and San Marzano. “The San Marzano,” Charlene says… Are frankly horrible eaten raw, but great in my sauce.”

Last Saturday, Charlene, her husband Brant, and I got together with the Andrea Gentl and Marty Hyers (from the photo duo; Gentl and Hyers) to shoot for the day. Despite warnings of a tornado, some ultimately heavy downpours… the sun, and the ketchup—came out wonderfully fine.

Here is her recipe.

Charlene’s doesn’t use exact measurements. If the sauce needs more sweetener, she’ll add more maple syrup, if it’s not spicy enough, she’ll add another pepper. Note: The spiciness will mellow out in time (as it’s stored) with the influence of the vinegar. You need to taste frequently though, to get it to where the taste works best for you.

Take 35 Plum, Roma or San Marzano tomatoes. Cut in half and de-seed into a sieve, draining the juice into a bowl. Place cut tomatoes face down on an ungreased cookie sheet, with 12 whole Cayenne Peppers, (or other small hot peppers), a peeled whole head of Garlic and a loose handful of Basil and Oregano leaves (fresh only). Roast in a convection oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, or a regular oven at 425 for 30 minutes or until the skins puff up and turn black. (See picture.) While the tomatoes are roasting, cut up 4 Onions (can be white, red, or standard brown, whatever you have), 4 Red Bell Peppers (Capsicum) 2 Poblano Chilli’s and 4 cloves of Garlic, into inch size pieces. (This should come to about 7 cups in total).  Place in a large heavy based pot or dutch oven on the stove top. Add 5 cups of Distilled White Pickling Vinegar, 5 Clove sprigs, 1 Bay Leaf, 1 tablespoon of Mustard Seed, 1 tablespoon of Celery Seed, 2 tablespoons of Salt, 1 teaspoon of White Pepper, large grind of Black Pepper. Stir, and put on Medium heat to gently warm. When tomatoes are done roasting, remove from oven and gently with tongs, peel the skins off the tomatoes. Put the entire contents of the cookie sheets into the pot. Bring entire mixture to the boil, reduce untill you have a soft rolling boil, and leave for 2 and a half hours, or until the contents of the pot have been reduced by half. Add 1 cup of Raisins, and 1 cup of Maple Syrup. Taste. Add seasoning or more sweetener, or more spicy pepper if you desire. Use an immersion blender to puree. Simmer another 2 more hours. The sauce will be a very dark red. Pour into 8 oz jars. Process according to canning directions. (See link in ‘Notes’ below). Makes 12 x 8oz jars of ketchup.

Notes: You can use the tomato ‘juice’ from the de-seeded tomatoes later to water the ketchup down, if you so desire, or, put it in a Bloody Mary. When she was a child in Pennsylvania, Charlene and her brothers used to fight over who would get to drink the tomato juice first. Charlene uses Cayenne and Poblano Peppers because that’s what she has in her garden, but you could use Banana Peppers, Scotch Bonnets, Jalapeno, even, whatever you have. For the roasting of the tomatoes, we used a total of 3 cookie sheets for this recipe. For standard info on canning, click here.


PHOTOGRAPHS: GENTL & HYERS: So thrilled and flattered to have Andrea Gentl and Marty Hyers shoot for my blog. True masters in the craft of photography (and great people to hang out with too!). Saturday was an incredible day, blistering sun one minute, torrential rain the next, one of those pinch-me moments you have where you just realize you’re so lucky to know such incredible people, and be able to contribute (even just a tiny bit) to creating something beautiful, with something so simple as the humble tomato. Thanks so much Marty and Andrea!

To check out their work, click here.
To check out Andrea’s blog “Hungry Ghost Food and Travel”, click here.
Concept, Art Direction & text: Dimity Jones.

Much love and thanks to Charlene and Brant x


Captions: 1) Charlene in her Williamsburg, Brooklyn garden, 2) A mix of Peppers, Onions, Garlic and Plum Tomatoes, 3) Charlene collecting Tomatoes and Peppers, 4) Tomatoes are sliced in half, de-seeded and placed face down on a cookie sheet with Cayenne Peppers, Garlic and fresh Basil and Oregano 5) The kitchen 6) Garlic, Basil and Tomato 7) Fresh out of the oven 8) Pulling the skins off, the skins, the tomato juice. 9) Charlene and Brant’s storage pantry; which contains Figs in syrup, Fig vinegar, Peaches in Lemon Honey syrup, pickled Cucumbers, 9, 10, 11) A Sunnyside-up Egg fried in Goose Fat (runny in the middle, and crispy on the edges) with Polish Rye Bread, Unsalted Butter, fresh Oregano leaves and the Spicy Ketchup.

Three to One: Basil Pesto

THREE TO ONE: A lot of people ask me why I called my blog “Three to One”. It was based on the idea that there are a lot of recipes on the web and that if you search something simple, like ‘chocolate cake’, for instance, you’ll get a barrage of well meaning and possibly amazing ideas, but how do you know which is the best? How do you know which one will taste great? And which one do you try without wasting money and time on ingredients and cooking? What if someone were to test and take all of those, and reduce them down to just one? Since it seemed (to me) recipes seemed to take usually three different tacts. I wanted to create a site that was taking the three tacts, and reducing them to one. Thus was born, Three to One… 

My garden has 3 plants of Basil that I’ve attempted to keep alive this past Summer. (Try as I might, I’m not a great gardener!) But now is the time to make pesto, so I stripped most of them down, took off the leaves and brought them inside. After research and testing a bunch of recipes from the web, I’ve found the basic, fool proof, no-fuss, Basic Pesto recipe combination. (And it takes just 5 minutes!) Shift it up as you will… add fresh Mint leaves, Lemon zest or Lemon juice, or even crushed Red Pepper, for instance. 

The basic pesto breakdown is this: 

2 cups of loosely packed fresh Basil leaves.
2 medium cloves of Garlic.
1 quarter cup of barely toasted (so they are creamy not nutty or bronzed) pine nuts.
1 half cup of finely grated good Parmigiano Reggiano.
2/3 of a cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
One very big pinch of Kosher Salt.
A grind of freshly ground Pepper.

Put in a food processor. Blend.

Place in fridge to eat in the upcoming week or freeze in portion sized containers. Pour over pasta in the dead of Winter to remind you of Summer. A lot of cooks suggested not putting in the Parmesan in before freezing, but my time is limited and I want to be able to just take it out of the freezer, heat it, and just pour it over pasta and serve. (Who knows if I’ll even have good Parmesan in the house to add when I take it out of the freezer?)


(Photo Dimity Jones)

Nosa Ria Spanish Market. A New store, San Francisco.

Nosa Ria Spanish Market

The journey began on foot. A 110 kilometer walking trip on the Camino del Santiago solidified a life-long love of all things Spanish. Manuel, a native of Galicia, Spain and Krista, an American, both realized on that trip that they were ready for change in their lives, and that change was to be Nosa Ria, a newly opened Spanish market in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood.

The couple wanted their store to be more than a purveyor of goods, “we wanted it to be about hospitality, and educating people about Spanish products,” says Krista. Generous samples of cheese are offered; a picture of black-footed Iberian pigs (the source of jamón Ibérico) is displayed on the counter. And the couple is happy to dole out advice on everything from Spanish recipes to advice on where to visit in Spain. “We see ourselves as ambassadors for all things Spanish,” says Krista.

The shop is relatively small, but well stocked with everything from the finest 5J (Cinco Jotas) jamón Iberico (carved off the leg) to Cola Cao, a chocolate drink that Manuel assures me all kids grow up drinking in Spain. In the Spanish tradition of canned gourmet seafood, they offer mejillones en escabeche (marinated mussels), sardinillas (tiny tender sardines), and pulpo (the octopus that is Nosa Ria’s logo).

Located on a heavily trafficked corner of Hayes Valley, the shop manages to feel intimate and homey. Manuel laughs, “My friend came in and said, ‘you’re just doing exactly what you do at home.’ This doesn’t feel like work to us, it makes us happy to share the things that we love.”

Nosa Ria.
500 Laguna (corner of Fell), San Francisco
Open Tuesday-Saturday 11-7; Sunday 11-5.

Nosa Ria is one of the only places in SF that sells authentic products imported from Spain. To check it out, and get directions to the store, click here:


Text and research Samantha Jones
Photographs by Colin Clark.
To check out Colin’s work, click here.

Summer Series (Vol. 4) New York

What some of my favorite people saw, ate, and photographed, this past Summer…

The fourth (and final) volume:


I met photographer Randy Harris in New Hampshire last year, when we were both on assignment to shoot a bunch of gi-normous pumpkins for Martha Stewart Living. He called me at the beginning of August to tip me off that he’d been asked by Chef Heather Carlucci (from Print Restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen, NY) to shoot the second “Pig Mountain” Festival. Randy is a phenomenal photographer. I’m so thrilled and privileged to present this volume.

What is “Pig Mountain”?  It is a pig roast and veggie festival to bring economic stimulation to the Sullivan County in New York and support the local farmers. Ten chefs (Yes, 10!) and their sous chefs, came together to cook for three days. They dug pits, roasted and smoked pigs, and prepped side dishes. Each chef prepared their pig however they wanted, and they also got the opportunity to offer 3-4 vegetarian side dishes, to go with their pork dish. For some, it was the first time that they’d ever worked with these other chefs before, so it was a great opportunity to meet and work closely with industry colleagues and get the opportunity to exchange ideas.

Mildred’s Lane, J. Morgan Puitt’s artist retreat was offered up as a location to house the chefs. (This place is a wonderful, inspiring retreat.) And then between 850 and 1000 people attended the pig event. A mixture of locals, homeowners in the region, and lots of food lovers. The month before, Heather spoke about this event on Martha Stewart Radio and was surprised to find a lot of people came to the event after hearing her speak.

There were a lot of people involved in putting this together. (It takes a village after all!) Most of the location work was done by Heather’s Pig Mountain partner in crime: Matthew, who built the pits, and then there were about 30 other people worked super-hard to make this happen, including Print Restaurant who donated cooks as well as funds. The pigs came from Stone and Thistle and Finger Lakes farms and were mainly cooked in the pits. Two were done in the smoker. The pits took about 24+ hours of cooking before unearthing. The smoker took about 6 hours.


Jake Klein, Morrell Wine Bar
Balinese whole roasted pig with creamy coconut casava and pineapple achar

Anthony Sasso, Casa Mono
Old San Juan Style Pork
Two salsas: cuba libre reduction and red habanero vinegar
Tostones Bravas with Smoked Tomato Vin
Grilled Beans with homemade Harissa

Lee Anne Wong, Foodnetwork
Mi-so Happy Pig, Wasabi Aioli, Crispy Onions
Charcoal grilled Eggplant and Daikon, Goma Sesame Sauce, Scallions, Chili
Watermelon, Cucumber, Asian Pear Salad, Yuzu Vinaigrette, Shiso, Masago arare

George McKirdy, Astor Bake Shop
Caribbean Roast Pork, Pigeon Peas with Green Banana Dumplings, Yuca con Mojo,
Peach Pineapple Salsa

Peter Schott, the Inn at Woodloch
Pecan smoked whole hog sausage
BBQ potato salad
Vinegar slaw
Braised Collard and Kale Greens
Pickles and chive biscuits

Ryan Tate, All Good Things
Pork belly Tostadas with pickled Gooseberries, roasted Radishes and Lime Creme Fraiche
Grilled corn on the cob with Sesame Chipotle Aioli
Black Eyed Pea Salad, lemon-sumac dressing
Grilled puntarelle with pit roasted sweet onions

Heather Carlucci, Print Restaurant.
Tandoori Roast Pig with roasted carrot raita, tomato chutney,
Marieke Fenugreek Gouda and Pig Roasted Onions on Sullivan Street Ciabatta


PHOTOGRAPHS BY RANDY HARRIS: Randy is a New York based photographer. He grew up in Leominster, MA, the birthplace of Johhny Appleseed. Randy worked for his dad as a Tool and Die maker. He loves to work with his hands and is not afraid to get dirty. His enthusium is endless. His clients include New York Times, New York magazine, Vanity Fair and Bon Appétit. Check out his work here. 

HEATHER CARLUCCI: is the pastry chef emeritus at Print Restaurant in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. Heather opened Lassi, a phenomenally popular Indian take-out place in the West Village but due a lowly landlord, had to close. She is currently negotiating to re-open it. In her down time she listens to vinyl and hangs out with her daughter. To read more, check out her blog, here. To check out Print Restaurant click here. 

This is the last of the Summer Series!
To see previous Vol. 1 Colorado, click here.
Vol. 2. California, click here
Vol. 3. Michigan, click here. 
Thank you to everyone who contributed! Amazing Summer!