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Potatoes, Pistachios and Pumpkin Seeds

After a great costume party with my cooking club this weekend, we decided to keep things simple Monday night with appetizers and wine. We had a small group this week, and it was wonderfully cozy and laid back as we puttered about the kitchen, stretching our dining into a 3-hour graze.

We started with mounds of tender French bread dipped in copious amounts of fruity olive oil, balsamic vinegar and an assortment of herbs.

Jon presented us with another of his amazing inventions: Roasted Mozzarella Potato Slices with Pistachio Portabella Cream. It was a truly crazy ensemble of flavors, but boy oh boy was it ever good!! The potatoes were crispy and salty and the cream, oh my, it was fabulous. I don’t even like mushrooms and I ate every last bit!

I made mini Zucchini Tarts with puff pastry, pesto and roasted zucchini topped with toasted Parmesan. Mmm, I love those savory little morsels!

Jenny dazzled us with not one, but THREE kinds of roasted pumpkin seeds: Salted, Worcestershire, and Cinnamon and Sugar. Mercy – they were all scrumptious and toasted to perfection.

In keeping with my newly established tradition, I now present two more of my beloved cooking cohorts: Toby and Cameron. Toby makes the most fabulous soups and is my fellow World War II history addict. (Foyle’s War, anyone?) Cameron is our resident meat master, and with a bit of smoke and his own special rubs and sauces can turn any meat (even SPAM!) into perfection. Cameron just returned from South Africa and very soon I’ll be featuring a fabulous South African dinner he made with his awesome girlfriend, Robin.

I sure am blessed with a lot of wonderful cooks in my life. Who are some of your favorite people to cook with?

Jon’s Roasted Potato Slices with Portabella Pistachio Cream

3 small Yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/8″ thick
olive oil
salt and pepper
mustard powder
Several slices mozzarella cheese, cut to fit potato slice
olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 baby portabella mushroom, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbsp tomato paste
salt to taste
1/4 cup pistachios
1 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp dried basil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400
  2. Slice 3 small potatoes 1/8″ thick
  3. Toss potato slices with oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and mustard powder.
  4. Spread evenly on cookie sheet and bake until crispy (approximately 20 minutes)
  5. For Sauce:
  6. Heat olive oil in saucepan and saute onion and mushroom until onion is transparent.
  7. Add garlic, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, and salt, and saute 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
  8. Add pistachios to food processor and chop finely. Add onion/mushroom mixture and yogurt and blend until smooth.
  9. Just before potatoes are done, place a slice of mozzarella cheese on each potato slice and bake until cheese melts and begins to brown.
  10. As they come out of the oven spoon some of the yogurt sauce over top and sprinkle with dried basil.

Krista’s Mini Zucchini Pesto Tarts
(Makes 12)

1/2 package puff pastry sheets, thawed and cut into 12 squares
1/2 jar pesto (sun-dried tomato is my favorite, but olive tapenade works well too)
1 baby zucchini, sliced thinly
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place puff pastry squares on cookie sheet and top with layer of pesto.
  3. Toss zucchini slices with olive oil, salt and pepper, and arrange on top of pesto, about 4 slices per square.
  4. Sprinkle each square with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until pastry has puffed and cheese is golden.
  6. Serve warm.

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Meeta - oh my word! i am hungry now!

Tweets that mention Potatoes, Pistachios and Pumpkin Seeds Β» Rambling Tart -- - […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jamie Schler, MeetaWFLH. MeetaWFLH said: looking good! RT @ramblingtart: Potatoes, Pistachios and Pumpkin Seeds #food […]

mlleparadis - ok where do i begin? cameron is so cute! (and he cooks too) too bad we both are “otherwise engaged”.

the zucchini tart looking so croustillant and croquant – yeah! (so glad puff pastry has returned to my t. joes freezer aisle) – and those potatoes you raved about? sign me up!

which i could have been in a’dam w/ you french toasting. yum.

and apple cranberry galette……? oh my!

i’ve been away for awhile again but now you see, i’m so catching up!

Jamie - Really great recipes and I am always so jealous of these posts. I wish I had a group of fabulous friends to cook and eat together. It is beautiful. And the food is always stunning!

bellini - You sure do have plenty of wonderful people in your life. My favourite person to cook with of course is my daughter…too bad she is so far away now:(

Nicole - I love cooking with my husband, although he usually shoos me away and also with my kids who both love to cook too. Looks like you had a great meal (the potatoes-wow!), perfect food for a stormy night! πŸ™‚

RamblingTart - Such an odd hodge-podge, eh Meeta? But it sure was yummy! πŸ™‚

RamblingTart - Aww, so fun to have you here all caught up, dear Paradis! I’m always so happy to see you. πŸ™‚

RamblingTart - Thank you, Jamie! I do treasure them so much. πŸ™‚ They always brighten my week with their friendship and delicious concoctions. πŸ™‚

RamblingTart - Oh, Val, I can imagine you miss her very much indeed. I’m so glad you reach out to the rest of us and make us feel loved and important. πŸ™‚ You’re lovely that way. πŸ™‚

RamblingTart - Aren’t those taters fabulous, Nicole?! πŸ™‚ Mmmm! How lovely that your whole family loves to cook! You must have great times together. πŸ™‚

Zita - Those roasted potato slices are fabulous!!! I’m gonna make them!

Sharon Secor - Krista, I think that’s so funny that you don’t like (and admit to it) mushrooms. As such a food guru, I assumed you liked just about everything…and I don’t like them either πŸ™‚

Heather - these recipes look divine!! i love the idea of a supper group and you guys look like you have so much fun. your halloween costume is awesome! im going to try these potato slices tomorrow. and that cranberry galette. i hope i can make it turn out as beautiful as yours.
hugs dear!

Anna Johnston - Yep. Good friends, good food.., best things in life huh.

A Canadian Foodie - My favourite person to cook with is my friend Maria, currently ill with cancer.

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