Crusty Baked Potatoes with Whipped Feta
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
Grated zest of 1 large lemon
1 tablespoon coarse fleur de sel or sea salt
4 large (8- to 10-ounce) Idaho baking potatoes
Good olive oil
Whipped Feta (see recipe)
Chopped fresh chives
6 ounces Greek feta, crumbled
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup good olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.
- Place the rosemary, thyme, lemon zest, and fleur de sel in the bowl of a mini food processor and pulse 10 to 12 times, until finely chopped but not puréed. Spread the mixture in a shallow bowl or plate.
- Scrub the potatoes, dry them well, and pierce them all over with the tines of a fork. Place the potatoes on the prepared sheet pan and rub them all over with olive oil. Roll each potato in the salt and herb mixture and put them back on the sheet pan. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until tender. Slit the top of each potato, squeeze the ends together to open the potato, and top with a generous scoop of whipped feta. Sprinkle with chives and serve hot with extra whipped feta on the side.
- Place the feta and cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse until the cheeses are mixed. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and process until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables
2 red peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch wide strips
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 summer squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cremini mushrooms, halved
1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon dried Italian herb mix or herbs de Provence
1 pound penne pasta
3 cups marinara sauce (store bought or homemade)
1 cup grated fontina cheese
1/2 cup grated smoked mozzarella
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/3 cup for topping
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- On a baking sheet, toss the peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onions with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and dried herbs. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain in a colander.
- In a large bowl, toss the drained pasta with the roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, cheeses, peas, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.
Instant Pot Pumpkin Cheesecake
24 gingersnap cookies (about 5.7 ounces)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup whipped cream
a 6-quart Instant Pot®; a 7-inch springform pan
- For the cheesecake: Put the cookies and a pinch of salt in a food processor and pulse until the cookies are broken down into fine crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until completely combined. The texture will be similar to wet sand. Press firmly into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 7-inch springform pan. Put the crust in the freezer while you make the filling.
- Wipe out the bowl of the food processor and add the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, vanilla, nutmeg, eggs, 3/4 cup of the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the cinnamon. Process until completely smooth, opening the lid and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Pour the mixture over the crust.
- Tear off a piece of aluminum foil about 1 1/2 feet long and put the springform pan in the center. Wrap the foil around the pan, folding down the sides as needed so the top of the pan isn’t covered. The aluminum foil should only be on the outside of the pan. Tear off a second piece of aluminum foil about 2 feet long and lay the foil in front of you with one of the longer sides closest to you. Folding it toward you (the long way), fold the foil in half once then fold once again to create a foil sling for the cheesecake.
- Pour 2 cups water in the bottom of a 6-quart Instant Pot® and insert the machine’s trivet. Put the springform pan in the center of the foil sling, then pick up both sides of the sling, bringing them up the sides of the pan. Carefully lower the pan onto the trivet. Fold down the foil sling as needed so that it fits in the pot but does not touch the cheesecake. Follow the manufacturer’s guide for locking the lid and preparing to cook. Set to pressure cook on high for 35 minutes.
- After the pressure-cook cycle is complete, turn off the heat and let the steam release naturally for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, follow the manufacturer’s guide for steam release and allow any residual steam to air out. Being careful of any remaining steam, unlock and remove the lid and carefully use the foil sling to lift out the pan and set it over a cooling rack. Remove the foil from around the pan, then use paper towels to blot off any excess liquid from the top and sides of the cheesecake. Use a small offset spatula or the tip of a paring knife to loosen the sides of the cheesecake from the pan. Allow to sit at room temperature until mostly cooled, about 1 hour. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely set, at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
- Once fully chilled, remove the plastic wrap from the cheesecake and use a small offset spatula or the tip of a paring knife to again loosen the sides of the cheesecake from the pan. Remove the outer ring and set the cheesecake on a serving dish. Spread the whipped cream over the top. Whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Dust the cinnamon sugar over the top of the cheesecake before slicing.