De Ma Cuisine

Toasting Archive



May 2015



Customizable Panzanella Salad

Written by , Posted in Beans, Beef, Bread, Cheese, Condiments, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Eggs, Fish, Fruit, Gluten Free, Grains, Herbs, Legumes, Low Carb, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Nuts, Pork, Poultry, Quick and Easy, Quinoa, Salads, Sides, Toasting, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian


There are so many things that this salad can be. It can be vegan, paleo, low-carb, gluten-free, high-protein… It all depends on what you add to it.


I made some baguettes a few weeks ago that I wasn’t thrilled with. They’re prefect for croutons though. If you prefer to avoid bread, quinoa or tofu would be great bread replacers. Or, if you’re eating gluten-free, your best gluten-free bread will be just perfect.


To make up the bulk of this salad, I opened this week’s Abundant Harvest Organics box then pulled a few things from the produce drawer. But this is where there are so many ways you can make this salad your own.

Beyond tons of veggie options, here are a few ways you could adapt this dish:

Protein a Plenty: Add beans, quinoa (instead of or alongside the bread), tofu, hard boiled eggs, meat (tuna, beef, chicken, turkey, pork), nuts, cheese.

Paleo: Add eggs, meat, and nuts instead of the bread.

Vegan: Leave as is, or add quinoa or tofu.

Gluten-Free: Use your favorite gluten-free bread, or swap out the bread for quinoa.

All the Veggies: I used nopales, onion, carrot, green beans, radish, and summer squash. You could also add: snap peas, greens, tomatoes, bell peppers, corn, eggplant, cucumber… or any other veggies that are in season and you think would taste great.


I love the combination of a really good quality olive oil like Bari’s along with balsamic vinegar. But, a mixture of red wine vinegar and lemon juice, or balsamic and lemon juice would also be great. Customize it to make it your own!


Riiiiiight before serving add the bread. Or to really avoid soggy bread, put the bread on the plate and top it with salad, letting the dressing soak in slowly. The lesson I learned today: only add as much bread as you’re going to eat. The leftovers will get way soggy (#freetofail).


This is one of my favorite ways to welcome summer. But, come fall or winter, just trade the summer veggies for some roasted winter ones and you’ve got a winner all year round.

Happy Eating!

Customizable Panzanella Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4

Customizable Panzanella Salad


  • 3-4 C stale bread (any kind - or could sub 2-3 C quinoa or tofu), cubed
  • 1 t olive oil
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 C balsamic or red wine vinegar (or half vinegar half lemon juice)*
  • 1 1/2 t dijon mustard
  • pinch cayenne (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 2 T to 1/4 C olive oil*
  • 3-4 T fresh herbs (basil, parsley, chives, oregano, thyme), chopped
  • 4-6 C any of the following (cubed, chopped, grated, or torn): summer squash, nopales, snap peas, green beans, greens, radishes, tomatoes, bell peppers, corn, eggplant, cucumbers, red onions, nuts, hard boiled eggs, nuts, chicken, beef, tuna, pork, mozzarella, parmesan, cannellini beans, garbonzo beans)


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Toss bread with 1 t olive oil, salt, and pepper, Place on a baking sheet, bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for about 5 minutes more (or until they're golden and toasty).
  2. Whisk balsamic vinegar through pepper. Stream in oil as you whisk. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  3. Toss salad contents (except bread, if using quinoa or tofu, add it now) with dressing. Add bread just before serving.



May 2014



Simple Summer Salad

Written by , Posted in Bread, Cheese, Condiments, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, Nuts, Quick and Easy, Salads, Toasting, Vegetables, Vegetarian


It. Is. Hot.

Weather like this calls for a celebration of all things summer… even if it is only May.

We’re picnicking in our yard, enjoying fresh veggies dipped in homemade hummus, and barbecuing sausage to savor while we watch the Red Sox game.

I don’t really like hot weather, but this sure is fun.

Don’t remind me that I said that in October when it’s still 100 degrees… Actually, I may be over it already… Oh wait, there’s salad, and stone fruit, and watermelon season is soon. I’ll just have to keep repeating those things to myself.


Salad. Crispy, crunchy, wonderful salad.

My salad spinner just plum rolled off the counter and smashed the other week. I have to wash and dry the lettuce by hand. It has become a chore. But, I get to eat salads like this as a result of my hard work, sooooo yeah.

Can I say “plum rolled off the counter”?


You can totally make your own croutons. It’s so easy. I had the oven on anyways (why did I pick the week when it’s one million degrees outside?!). I was working on some dried tomatoes, for a later post. That’s why the oven temp is low. I thought about changing it, and you can, but these turned out great. If you up the temp, decrease the cooking time. Obvious.

Old bread makes great croutons. Not like moldy bread. Like stale bread. If you freeze it, not only do you get to open the freezer and enjoy a blast of cold air on a hot day, but if you want to rub a clove of garlic over the bread, it’s much easier.

Garlic plus olive oil plus salt equals some darn good croutons.


Raw squash is not Tim’s favorite. But, if it’s sliced thin like this he’s cool with it.


Almonds for crunch and protein.


A beautiful new cutting board makes for an excellent salad making station.

Peas add a delicate reminder of spring to this salad. I used frozen, but fresh would be even better (although then there’s no freezer action, so up to you).


I prefer to make my salad dressing from scratch. This one is a simple vinaigrette. There are also some herbs and garlic, and a bit of dijon mustard to help it emulsify. And salt, always need a bit of salt.


Table for two. (Side note: I totally love the new kitchen island that Tim made for me. Just gotta brag about my sweet man sometimes.)

Happy Eating!

Simple Summer Salad
Recipe Type: Main, Salad, Quick and Easy
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 2-3
A quick and easy salad that’s perfect for those hot summer days.
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2-3 slices stale bread (frozen is best, for garlic)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 3-4 C lettuce, torn
  • 1/4 C peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 20-30 almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 C squash, thinly sliced
  • parmesan cheese, grated
  • dressing: 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 t dijon mustard
  • 1 t fresh savory, chopped
  • 1 T fresh or 1/2 t dried basil, chopped or crushed
  • 1 t fresh or 1/4 t dried oregano, chopped or crushed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 3 T olive oil
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 250F.
  2. Rub a clove of garlic onto the slices of frozen bread. Cut bread into cubes. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until bread is crispy, turning once or twice. Let stand and cool.
  3. Whisk together balsamic vinegar through pepper. Slowly stream in olive oil, whisking as you do, creating an emulsion. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. Assemble lettuce, peas, almonds, squash, cheese, and croutons. Top with dressing.




April 2014



Caesar Soup

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Bread, Cheese, Fruit, Herbs, Lunch, Meat, Pork, Sides, Soups, Toasting, Vegetables


I have to confess something to you. A bowl of caesar salad in my vicinity will not last long. I have a hard time sharing it… I will, but I might rather eat the whole bowl by myself.

Enough about my caesar sharing issues.

Are you like me, and kinda stuck with the idea that lettuce can only be used in a salad or on a sandwich? Let’s break that mold.

How about a nice bowl of lettuce soup… Um, it’s way better than it sounds… and than the color might make you think (sorry, now we know, lettuce makes for a brown soup).


We all know that a good caesar salad dressing has tons of garlic. (Ahem, this is true of most of my favorite foods.) I mean, it’s good for you, and it tastes so gooooooood. Why not?!


Apple and basil are not part of a traditional caesar. Oh well. They go well in this recipe, so let’s ignore tradition for a moment.



Then the lettuce is wilted in. Just like that. Kinda fun. We usually want lettuce to be crisp, cold, and fresh. Most people turn their noses up at wilty lettuce. Snobs. (Hey, me too. Who wants a bowl of wilty salad… unless it’s meant to be wilted! Then we’re singing a different tune.)


You know that loaf of bread that is now stale and is not acceptable for peanut butter and jam? Good. Let’s rip it apart and toast it up. It’s seasoned with a little bit of olive oil, some salt, and pepper. Crunchy is good here, so don’t under toast.

No one wants soggy croutons.

Because they’re totally going into the soup. Yep. We’re doing this. The soup was blended and strained so it’s creamy and smooth. Then it is topped with that bacon you’ve been snacking on, those croutons you can’t stop eating, and the parmesan cheese you keep sneaking tastes of. (Oh, just me? Cool.) Plus, don’t forget about adding a drizzle of your favorite olive oil.


And just like that, it’s ready.

Creamy and dreamy, with a bit of zip.

Boom, bang, done did. (What?!) Let’s eat!


Happy Eating!

Caesar Soup
Recipe Type: Soup, Lunch, Side, Main, Quick and Easy, Foodie
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 37 mins
Total time: 52 mins
Serves: 2
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 1/2 t dried basil
  • 1 stalk green garlic, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, diced
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1 t dijon mustard
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 6 C lettuce, washed and torn
  • 4 C vegetable stock
  • 2 C bread, torn
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 2 T mayonnaise
  • olive oil, for topping
  • parmesan cheese, grated, for topping
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. Cook bacon and drain on a paper towel lined plate.
  3. Heat a soup pot. Add oil. When oil is hot, add apple, basil, green garlic, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add dijon and balsamic vinegar, and cook 1 minute.
  5. Add lettuce and wilt down for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  6. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  7. Toss bread with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes, turning once.
  8. Remove soup from heat. Add lemon juice and mayo. Blend with a hand blender or regular blender (regular: remove the plug from the lid and cover hole with a clean towel). Strain, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  9. Serve topped with croutons, a drizzle of olive oil, bacon, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese (add the croutons immediately before serving).




March 2014



Crostini with Sausage and Braised Greens

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Braising, Bread, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Lunch, Meat, Pork, Sandwiches, Sausage, Sides, Snacks, Toasting, Vegetables


I may have a new favorite way to eat greens.

For a second, forget about what I know you must be anticipating as amazingness in the crostini. Ok. Done? Just for a moment… Because we need to talk about greens.

Not too long ago I talked about bitter greens and offered a few suggestions for their unbittering. I mentioned, but didn’t go into detail about braising. But, now that I’ve tried it, I may never go back to any other way of cooking greens. (Ok, that maaaaay be a bit dramatic…)

Braised greens are simply amazing.



Llano Seco sent me a ham hock. I just had to try braising the greens with it. Oooooh boy! What a fun treat. If you can find one, I’d totally recommend it. It will be worth it. If you can’t, vegetarian is wonderful as well. I’ve made braised greens both ways. I’ve enjoyed them all immensely.

The greens braised for about two hours. I’ve tried them after shorter amounts of time and they’re great too. So if you don’t have a lot of time, don’t worry about it. But, if you’ve got a few hours to spare, try it. (And by a few hours I mean a tiny bit of time to get the ingredients into a pot, then just one eyeball on the pot every so often.) The result is tender, flavorful, AWESOME greens.

They’re not only perfect to top our little crostini, but this big batch can be frozen and later added to soups, rice dishes, or used to top some Paris Potatoes.


Now we can talk about the crostini.

Sorry. Wait. I need to interrupt myself again to tell you that I made these, then I stood beside the photography table and devoured them. I just couldn’t stop.

Interruption over.

So there was a ham hock in the greens. Then there’s some Llano Seco Italian Sausage that’s chopped up and heated in a few tablespoons of the braising liquid. You could really just end there with the greens and sausage. Pile it all on some rice or potatoes and call it dinner.

But, I didn’t do that.


I wanted some little toasts. So I sliced up a baguette, drizzled it with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt and pepper. They toasted up in the oven for a few minutes.


They were topped with some of the greens, and a few pieces of sausage. And then… a squeeze of lemon. One of my favorite ways to finish a dish.


If you can, share with friends. They will be glad you did.


Happy Eating!

Crostini with Sausage and Braised Greens
Recipe Type: Side, Snack, Sandwich, Toast, Meat, Sausage, Greens, Vegetables, Pork, Braising
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Serves: 4-5
  • Braised Greens: 2 T olive oil
  • 2 C celery, chopped
  • 1 radish, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 7 C vegetable stock
  • 1 ham hock
  • 8-9 C greens (mixture of any: chard, kale, collards, spinach…), roughly chopped
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 T white vinegar
  • Crostini: 10-20 slices of baguette
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 clove garlic (optional)
  • 3-4 T braising liquid
  • 2-3 Italian sausages, halved and chopped
  • lemon wedges, for serving
  1. Heat a soup pot. Add oil. Add celery, radish, garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add ham hock and cook for 2 minutes. Add greens and vinegar and cook for 2 minutes more.
  3. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1-2 hours, stirring every once in a while.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  5. Drizzle baguette slices with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until crispy. Rub with a clove of garlic if desired.
  6. Add 3-4 T of the braising liquid to a skillet and add the sausage. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until heated through.
  7. Top each slice of toasted baguette with some greens (try to avoid too much braising liquid so they don’t get soggy), a few pieces of sausage, and a squeeze of lemon.
  8. Serve immediately.




March 2014



BLT Salad

Written by , Posted in Condiments, Fruit, Inspired By, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Pork, Salads, Toasting, Vegetables



You’re welcome. I’ll just say it. I mean, if I were you, I’d be thanking me for this post. Because, when it comes to bacon and croutons, I can’t get enough. 😉

For example, today, after I’d finished taking pictures, I ate the salad right out of the bowl. All of it. Didn’t share. After dumping the bowl in the sink (in hopes that the dishes fairy will come while I’m typing this for you), I stood at fridge with the dressing whisk and serving spoon to make sure I got any remaining dressing off of them, while eating the leftover bacon and croutons (that are meant for something else). I continued to stand there eating bacon and croutons even after the dressing was gone.


I did not give up bacon for Lent. Fact. You might not have been wondering.

I have bacon planned for 3 more meals in the next 7 days. It’s been a while since we’ve had bacon.

I’m so distracted by the photos of croutons and bacon that are on the other screen.


And then there’s that dressing. It’s really just a few things that I think you have in your fridge and pantry right now: mayo, yogurt, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic. Oh the garlic… Garlic is good for you.


You will want to choose a sturdy lettuce. It will be less likely to get soggy. If you don’t, that’s cool too. Just dress the salad right before serving and make sure there are no leftovers.


You may want to take a moment, after you consume this salad, to give thanks for bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and bread… seriously. This is good stuff. Also, being thankful is important. Sooooo, yeah.


The dishes fairy has not yet arrived.

Happy Eating!

BLT Salad
Recipe Type: Salad, Main, Meat, Bread
Author: Rachel Oberg – De Ma Cuisine
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
It’s like you chopped up your BLT and poured dressing over it.
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 C bread, torn into crouton sized pieces
  • olive oil
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • dressing: 1 T mayo
  • 2 T Greek (or plain) yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic (optional), minced
  • 1/4 t dijon mustard
  • 1/2 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 T balsamic vinegar
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salad: 2-4 C lettuce, torn
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  1. Cook bacon. Drain and let cool on paper towel lined plate. Crumble.
  2. Toss bread with a splash of olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Bake at 350F for about 10-15 minutes, or until crispy.
  3. Whisk mayo through pepper. Whisk while streaming in olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  4. Top lettuce with tomato, bacon, croutons, and dressing. Toss to combine. Serve immediately.
If cooking bacon in the oven, heat to 350F, place bacon on a cooling rack on a baking sheet (so it won’t sit in its grease). Bake for about 25-35 minutes, or until cooked to desired crispiness. Baking in the oven increases cooking time.