Winter Squash Gratin with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts

-Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

-Peel, seed and cut 1 winter squash into 1-inch cubes.

-Place the squash cubes on a baking tray and toss with the following:

2 TBS olive oil

A sprinkle of sea salt

Some pepper

-Roast until just tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally for about 35 minutes.

-Meanwhile, melt 3 TBS butter in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat.

-Add the following:

2 sliced leeks

1 TBS chopped sage

salt and pepper

-Sauté until tender but not brown, about 10 minutes.

-Coat an 11x7-inch baking dish with 1 TBS butter.

-Spread half the leek mixture over the bottom of the baking dish and then when finished roasting, spread half of the squash over the leeks.

-Crumble up a 5.5-ounce log of chevre goat cheese and sprinkle half over the leeks/squash in the baking dish.

-Repeat layering of leeks/squash/goat cheese.

-Pour 1 cup of heavy cream over the gratin.

-Sprinkle with ½ cup toasted chopped hazelnuts.

-Bake uncovered until gratin is heated through and cream is bubbling, about 30 minutes.

Tomato and Goat-Cheese Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

-In a blender, combine the following:

½ cup packed fresh basil leaves

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

2 TBS white-wine vinegar

1 TBS water

-Blend until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.

-Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

-Slice 1 pound tomatoes into ½ inch thick slices.

-Cut 3 ounces fresh goat chevre into thin slices by running a knife under hot water and wiping clean after each slice.

-Arrange tomatoes and goat cheese in overlapping circles on a serving plate; drizzle with dressing to taste.

-Serve garnished with basil leaves and fancy salt.

The Best Fennel Dish Ever, AKA Caramelized Fennel with Honey, Lemon Zest and Chevre

-Cut the fronds and bottom off of 2 bulbs of fennel.

-Stand them on end and slice each bulb into very thin slices the long way.

-Heat 2 TBS of butter in a cast iron skillet, then put the fennel slices in a single layer into the pan.

-If there isn’t enough room, use 2 pans or make 2 batches.

-Brown the fennel about 5 minutes per side over medium heat.

-Don’t turn them until they are very brown on one side.

-After you finish browning the fennel, put it in a bowl.

-Add 2 TBS of honey and 1-2 TBS sherry to the pan and deglaze the pan for 2 minutes stirring often.

-Pour the honey syrup over the fennel.

-Press 1 clove of fresh garlic, then add it to the fennel with a pinch of salt and gently toss.

-Spread the fennel out in a single layer on a large serving plate.

-Zest most of one lemon over top of the fennel.

-Crumble about ¼ cup of chevre cheese over top of the fennel.