Joni Woolf: More ‘Fresh Tastes’

Published 2:18 pm Thursday, April 19, 2018

The cookbook given me recently by Publisher/Editor of the ATR, Beth Alston, “Fresh Tastes From a Well Seasoned Kitchen,” is a breath of fresh air, filled with healthy and appetizing recipes for every occasion. The author, Lee Clayton Roper, has won awards for her earlier publication, “A Well Seasoned Kitchen.” In that book, she drew from the cooking skills and methods of her mother and grandmother, and their influence on her life. In this new book, her recipes and methods were perfected in her own kitchen, and influenced by people and places she has known as an adult. They may be a bit more sophisticated; they are surely healthier. Fortunately, they are uncomplicated. And they offer a wider variety of vegetables and seasonings than earlier recipes might have. Last week we featured her Indonesian Brown Rice Salad; today we offer two breakfast items that are simple to make and a joy to serve. This new cookbook went to the top of the stack of cookbooks that I refer to regularly and I am already making a grocery list for future recipe testing!

Toasted Bagels with Egg Salad and Smoked Salmon
4 large eggs
2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 green onions, chopped (white part and some of the green)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Paprika, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 bagels, sliced in half (whole wheat or poppy seed)
3 to 4 ounces smoked salmon
In a large saucepan, place eggs in one layer and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and leave eggs in hot water another 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and run eggs under cold water until cooled. Remove shells. Chop eggs and place in medium mixing bowl; stir in mayonnaise, mustard, onions and chives. Season to taste with paprika, salt and pepper. Adjust the mayonnaise and mustard, if necessary. Lightly toast the bagel halves, then spread egg salad mixture on each half. Top with slices of salmon and serve. Serves 2 to 4. Recipe can be doubled or tripled easily.

Pesto, Sausage and Parmesan Cheese Strata (for 2, can be doubled or tripled easily)
2 slices whole wheat bread (or 1 multigrain or plain English muffin)
2 cooked turkey or chicken sausage links (Jimmy Dean brand words well)
2 tablespoons (about 4) chopped green onions
4 large egg whites
¼ cup milk (skim or whole)
1 ½ tablespoons whipped cream cheese
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon prepared pesto*
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously oil two small individual gratin dishes or 2 large ramekins. Cut bread into ½-inch small squares, place on a baking sheet and toast until just lightly brown. Heat sausages for 45 seconds in the microwave and then slice into small rounds. Arrange bread cubes on bottoms of prepared dishes; top with sausage slices and green onions. In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites, milk, cream cheese, mayonnaise, pesto, mustard and 2 teaspoons Parmesan cheese until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Pour evenly over bread mixture, pushing down bread cubes to make sure they are soaked. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of remaining Parmesan cheese over the top of each dish. Bake 15 minutes or until cooked through, puffy and slightly brown on top. To make ahead, prepare, cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before baking.
*Author’s note: For this dish, I like to use Spinach Basil Pesto; the recipe can be found on our website You can also use your own favorite recipe, or purchase fresh, refrigerated pesto (not the shelf stable jarred stuff).

This is a delightful cookbook, filled with recipes for all the seasons of your year. The lovely photographs are an added attraction, making you want to hurry to the kitchen and put together one of these tempting recipes right now. Check it out on the above website.

Joni Woolf, a writer and editor, now lives in Schley County, having moved from her home in Macon several years ago. Contact her at