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Get Ready for Life-Changing Buttered Panko!

Hearty and comforting are words that are often associated with heavy recipes that will pack on the pounds; although I have never heard anyone say they found a salad hearty or comforting and really meant it. We are going to push the envelope because that does not have to be the case. I prefer to think of “hearty and comforting” as descriptors of recipes that bring me nostalgic memories and all the warm and fuzzy feelings! 

In this edition, I will bring you my best food memories that have been on constant repeat for years in my household. These four recipes will certainly satisfy you on all comfort levels and leave you feeling content. We have the ultimate appetizer that could make an amazing lunch. For those salad lovers, I am rethinking “hearty” with a salad that has life-changing buttered panko! For the pasta lover, try buttermilk for that comforting twist. And last, but certainly not least, try a scone that hits all the sweet notes of a cake but can be eaten any time of the day!

Roasted Carrot, Burrata, Cashew & Honey Toast 

  • 4 carrots (washed and trimmed)
  • Olive oil
  • ½ cup raw cashews, shelled and chopped
  • 4 sourdough slices
  • 2 balls burrata
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Sprinkle of flake salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice 4 carrots in half lengthwise and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Roast in oven for 15 to 20 minutes until tender and ends are crispy. While the carrots are roasting, toast cashews in a skillet on medium high for about 1 minute. Do not walk away, they can burn quickly! Slice your sourdough loaf into long slices, brush with olive oil and toast. To assemble, smear ½ burrata ball on each slice of sourdough, place 1 carrot (2 halves) on each piece of toast. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle on cashews and parsley. Lastly, garnish with a sprinkling of flake salt.

Buttered Panko, Caper & Pine Nut Butter Lettuce Salad 

  • 2 heads butter lettuce, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup panko
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces manchego cheese, shaved
  • ½ cup capers, drained
  • ¼ cup chives, minced
  • Freshly ground pepper


  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients for the dressing until emulsified and set aside. In a non-stick skillet, over medium heat, melt butter and add panko and nuts. Stir often until golden brown. Arrange the butter lettuce and manchego on a platter and add capers. Sprinkle on chives. Top with fresh-ground pepper. When ready to serve, drizzle dressing and sprinkle the panko and pine nut mixture on top to avoid panko getting soggy. 

Pistachio, Pea & Buttermilk Pasta with Toasted Breadcrumbs 

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + more for drizzle
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 12 ounces peas, thawed
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 mint sprig
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked (save ½ cup pasta water)
  • ½ cup Parmesan, finely grated, plus more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup pistachios, toasted & chopped
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs (toasted with a little butter)

Heat butter and oil in a medium heavy pot over medium and add green onions, peas and garlic. Stir occasionally, until onions are slightly wilted, about 5 minutes. Toss in mint and parsley and season with salt to taste. Add the buttermilk and bring to a simmer. Discard mint. Add cooked pasta and parmesan. Cook briefly, while stirring. Add the pasta water and toss until the sauce coats the pasta. Top with pepper, pistachios, breadcrumbs, parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil. 

Southern Cream Cheese Scones

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick of butter, cubed + 1 tablespoon for greasing the skillet
  • ¼ cup cream cheese, cold and diced
  • 1 cup heavy cream + 1 tablespoon for brushing

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place a cast iron skillet coated with a tablespoon of butter in the oven. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter and cream cheese. Add heavy cream and mix until the dough forms a ball. Add more flour if it’s too sticky. On a floured surface, roll the dough to 3/4″ thickness. Using a round cookie cutter, cut as many scones as possible. Place the scones quickly and tightly into the preheated skillet. Brush with heavy cream and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the tops are golden.

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