We Went Off

I was deep in dreamland on Saturday morning at 6:00 when the dog woke me up with her howling, but still, my first thought was Why am I so happy? And then: Holy s*%t did we rock dinner last night! Does that ever happen to you? When you are so pleased with the food you prepared for someone that the high lasts a solid weekend long? That’s what the past two days have been like for us — We grilled a feast for Andy’s parents on Friday and clearly, haven’t stopped patting ourselves on our backs for it yet. Andy was in charge of the leg of lamb (Abby: “It’s like steak, only better!”) which he cooked to perfection (not surprising, as you may remember, his report card indicated he aced Grilling) and I took care of the accessories: a wild rice salad, bright green fava beans smashed on crostinis, and a new take on Swiss chard. A chard that was so successful that the next day, Andy turned to me on the sidelines of Phoebe’s last soccer game and asked “Our defense is awesome today, no?” and then “What did you do to the chard last night?” I’m telling you, it will be hard to shake this one.

Grilled Leg of Lamb

In a small bowl, add 1/4 cup country style Dijon mustard, 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, and 3 sprigs of rosemary, destemmed and roughly chopped. Whisk together and spread all over butterflied leg of lamb. (This one was 2 1/4 pounds.) Add salt and pepper and let sit for about an hour. Grill over medium-hot coals (Important: Do not put over high heat; mustard will get charred.) about 5 minutes a side for medium.

I could eat this entire platter.

Fava Bean Crostini

Remove fava beans from pods. (I had about four handfuls of pods.) Boil beans in water for about 2 minutes, then immediately plunge in ice bath. Remove each bean from its casing and add to a medium bowl. Add a tablespoon olive oil, frehsly grated Parm (wished I had Pecorino) a small squeeze of lemon, 1 sprig of mint (chopped) salt and pepper. Mash together until it’s the consistency you see above. You want it to be a little chunky. Spread on top of baguette toasts.

Sauteed Chard with Horseradish

Add about 2 tablespoons olive oil to skillet over medium-low heat. Add 1/2 small onion (chopped), salt and pepper, and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add one bunch of chard (washed, destemmed) and sautee until it wilts, about one minute, chopping with kitchen scissors as you go. Stir in 1 teaspoon horseradish, and a tiny drizzle of white balsamic vinegar and serve.

Wild Rice Salad with Feta and Dried Cranberries

Prepare 1 1/2 cups wild rice according to package directions. Toss with crumbled feta, a handful of chopped walnuts, handful of dried cranberries, snipped chives, and a light vinaigrette, such as the DALS all-purpose one.

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burning question: how much Dijon mustard does your family go through in a week? I feel like it’s an unsung hero in your recipes. And what’s the difference between country style and just good old “pardon me” (that’s dijon m’s codename in our house, because we’re fossils and remember those commercials)?


True story: bought frozen fava beans a YEAR ago thinking it was the kind of thing I SHOULD learn how to cook. Needless to say, they turned into a rock solid mass in the freezer until today when I saw that crostini recipe. Pulled them out, thawed out the giant block and made the puree with my 4 year-old. ( you have to understand , this is not the kind of thing I do!) it is sooo good and this was with FROZEN beans. As usual, DALS is the best!!!


Laughing, I TOTALLY know what you are talking about in terms of thinking about totally rocking dinner the night before. I am STILL on my high from the dinner I made this past Saturday night for a birthday celebration – it totally rocked and even my husband is still talking about how it was the best thing I had ever made (Ina Garten’s baked jumbo shrimp scampi). Amazing what a good meal can do for your tummy….AND your confidence 😉 Yours looks amazing – great job!


Oh, I’m always so intimidated by lamb (not sure why), but by husband is also a grill master. I’ll have to give him this recipe to try, maybe he will master the lamb so I won’t have to!


I don’t care for horseradish, but feel like it’s integral to that chard dish. Anything else you would suggest to brighten it up but not add that heat?

This is a beautiful menu for guests. Completely going to copy. THanks!


Sounds amazing! We rocked our Saturday night dinner with guests last weekend, although it was really simple. Steamed lobster (DH steams them with fresh tarragon from my garden and other stuff he won’t tell me), two different kinds of melted butter (one had some sherry cooked in it yum!), corn on the cob and a cole slaw that we played with the dressing on it so it wasn’t very mayonaise-y. And of course chardonnay!

judith russo

I love your newsletter and make many tasty dinners. I would love to win the market tote. Jane’s designs are stunning

gigi bergman

I read your news letter1 I would love to win the Jane Marvel tote bag! This looks amazing!


we made this entire menu this weekend and it was FANTASTIC. and even better, it was totally forgiving for eating-with-kids (ie, things were equally good lukewarm/room temp as hot-off-the-grill)… Thank you!!


Ms. Jenny and Mr. Andy: I am long-overdue in telling you how instrumental this blog has been to my sanity, meal-planning, cooking enjoyment, and overall zest for life. I work from home and have to resist the urge to check the site every morning, lest I get lost for 6 hours (this has happened). I know I’m commenting on an older post, but I really, really hope you’ll see this. We did a week-night version of this lamb (yogurt-marinated grilled loin chops) and the chard with horseradish (we had kale on hand, so we used that instead of chard), and I just wanted to tell you that it was an absolute swoon-fest all up in here tonight. I do not exaggerate. We swooned. We moaned. This dinner knocked our socks off. We love you. Keep it up, and THANK YOU!

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Artus Fray

Wild Rice Salad with Feta and Dried Cranberries: I use walnuts in all green salads together with a handful of pomegranate, but I haven’t tried with feta. Instead of vinaigrette you can use olive oil and believe the it will be great. I’ll try it.
Great recipes!