Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Summer Peppers

Yesterday I woke up to a thin layer of snow on the ground, it was long gone by the time today's sleet and drizzle started. And it all makes me miss summer. In August my Dad stopped at the neighbor's farm stand and bought a large laundry basket of red peppers. Mom called and invited us over to help. Growing up, her mother and grandmother would roast peppers, both hot and sweet, on their gas stoves and spend the whole day canning them. Both mom and I have electric stoves, but Dad thought the grill might work.
It did.
So we roasted our peppers outside. My forearms turned pink for lack of long tongs to turn them with. Once black, they were packed into bags to steam before Mom and Brad scrapped the blackened skin and seeds away. Dad watched, drank wine, and offered suggestions. A large laundry basket of peppers becomes a good sized bowl of roasted peppers, and Brad and I left that evening before they had all made their trip through the pressure canner. But we were forgiven and given 5 jars of bright red to get us through the winter. So yesterday it snowed, and then got slushy and officially became winter, and I cleaned out the refrigerator and found a half used jar on the shelf. I made corn soup from an icy bag of kernels found in the very back of the freezer and the sad, limply forgotten scallions in the crisper became scallion cream biscuits. They were both lovely, and the soup was especially warming thanks to the roasted red peppers I stirred in right before serving.

Corn and Roasted Red Pepper Soup
(Adjust measurements to fit what you have, I'm just guessing at them anyway.)

2 and 1/2 cups frozen corn
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 potato, peeled and cut into medium dice
4 cups broth (I used both veggie and chicken)
1/2 cup cream or milk
2 tbl butter

Saute onion in 1 tbl butter until translucent.
Add corn and saute for a few minutes.
Add potato and stock.
Cover and simmer briskly until potato is tender.
Use an immersion blender to puree until only slightly chunky.
Add milk or cream as desired to enrich.
Before serving, stir in roasted red peppers.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A New Start

So, it’s been a while… Since July 2nd to be exact… Shortly after my last post a tiny parasitic being took control over my brain and body and things got a bit blurry. I was certain of a few things though:

1. I needed a nap.

2. Vegetables are horrible and the work of the devil.

3. I needed another nap.

4. The garden and the blog would have to wait.

Amidst all that sleeping, queasiness, and eating only white foods with no odor, a few minor miracles occurred.

I rallied long enough to make a perfect raspberry tart with vanilla pastry cream.

Mom, Dad, Brad and I roasted and canned a laundry basket of red peppers.

My New York friends stopped by and worked for their dinner.

These grew,

and these,

and way too many of these.

And this...

Now that the garden is frosted and gone (except for the beats, turnips, Swiss chard, an exuberant bunch of oregano and a solitary artichoke) and the parasite in my belly has changed first into a squirming baby kicking away at my internal organs, I’m finally hungry again. So I thought I should resume posting--more cooking and less gardening as the ground begins to freeze--but still tasty things to share. And a baby by mid-March, just in time for the next round of planting.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


This spring I had irises, daffodils, tulips, peonies and roses blooming in rapid succession. There were bouquets in each room of the house, and I could tell where I was standing by scent. I am beginning to forget that flowers were once an extravagance. My first spring in New York City, on the way home from a late night in Manhattan, we came upon a corner market that was selling daffodils for $3 a bunch. I don’t remember how many we bought, but I do remember sitting on the couch in front of a vase packed with their luminous yellow and clean scent. It made me feel rich, joyful. Now I pick fist full of flowers and have more than I need; they smell thick and new and so sweet it almost hurts. The spring flowers are gone, the pea blossoms have long ago turned to pods, but this past week was hot and wet and the garden is beginning to bloom again. The spinach bolted, sending up tiny flowers on fuzzed spikes, so we pulled up the plants and picked all the leaves. They were dusty with pollen and I made spanikopita. The heirloom and mesclun mixes have also gone to seed. They are thin and wispy in their rows and I hope that if I let them be they will re-seed and grow--a second harvest in the fall. Our green beans and soybeans have small white flowers that give way to furry pods, miniature versions of what we will pick next month. But the standouts are the squash blossoms. They only last a day and turn our hills to piles of fire--deep pumpkin orange for the zucchini and butter yellow for the cucumbers. Once a fair number of the zucchinis start growing I will pick the new blossoms and make tacos and soup from them. Only the really rich can afford to eat flowers.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Twice now I have run from the house to chase deer out of the garden. The last time I got very close--her eyes were more stupid than startled as I shouted and clapped my hands. She had a bit of green lettuce hanging from her mouth, and I chased her through the garden twice before she took to the sidewalk and other less noisy yards. I try to look big and make as much noise as possible when I fuss at the deer, but they don't take it to heart. We have fenced in the tomatoes to protect them, although I doubt that it will trouble the deer much. They are solid and hungry and I think it may take more than chicken wire and tin pans to change their minds.

It has been raining daily for what feels like weeks and Mom warns me that I need to check the cabbages because this is the kind of weather that makes them split. Apparently if they split they must be eaten right away. I'm not quite sure I see the worry of this but her voice was very serious as she said it, so twice a day I check my cabbages for cracks. This also gives me a chance to pick the cabbage worms from them and the broccoli. Twice now I have watched a wasp wiggle its way out of the heart of a cabbage with a worm in its mandibles, and each time it has made me happy that we have chosen worm holes over pesticides. The garden needs weeding but the constant rain has made it too muddy, so I pull what I can from the sides. I had forgotten about this weather--days that start hot before the sun even rises. Walking feels like moving through warm damp velvet, and then out of nowhere the sky goes black and it rains like a bucket being emptied. It's shocking how quickly the warm air peels open to cool shards of rain. This is when you open windows on the lee side of the house and sit on the porch tracking the storm's progress by the nearing and then receding lighting and thunder. When I was little we would put on bathing suits and play in the street until the thunder and lightening were almost simultaneous and the storm was directly overhead. Then our parents would make use retreat to the safety of our house and the lightening rod on the roof. Then it is over, the storm gone as quickly as it came. The garden ticks and glows green as the sun returns, the corn straitens up and it all grows, grows.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Berry Picking

We have mulberry trees at the edges of our yard and I have spent the last few days on a ladder. They aren’t our trees--the trunks touch down in the neighbor’s ground--but the branches lean across into our yard and I seem to be the only person interested. I only feel concern about stealing from the birds that have built their nest in the top branches. Sometimes I pick the berries one by one, other times I hold my basket under a branch and trouble the clustered berries with my fingers until they fall. Mulberries are good at falling. When they are ripe they tumble away from your hand just as you reach for them. Sometimes I am masterful and twist perfectly, picking just one berry without shaking the branch and knocking them all to the ground. Other times I hear the plink of lost berries falling against my ladder. I work from the bottom up, first standing in the grass and staining my feet on the fallen berries. I always think I’ve picked all the ripe ones on a branch, but when I climb the ladder and look down, I see whole handfuls that I’ve missed. Berry picking can’t be rushed so there is plenty of time to think, considering the jam making potential of the berries, nonsense thoughts about silk worms and paper scrolls, humming a horrible country song that was on the radio when I was in high school.... It doesn’t much matter. My head is hidden in the branches and this makes me think that no one can see me, that I have disappeared from the world and all that matters is fingers to berry, berry to basket. I will save some of the berries from the jam making and bake this cake to welcome Brad home.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The limits of kindness

We have more lettuce that anyone could possibly eat and all the radishes have gone woody. The radishes are my fault--I didn’t have the heart to thin or pick. And it's not just radishes I can barely bring myself to harvest. We spent so much time planting and watering and weeding and waiting that when I go to the garden to pick lettuce for a salad and everything looks so lovely and lush, I find myself picking one leaf at a time, looking for the plants that seem most able to survive the trauma; it takes forever. Radishes were especially difficult because they were the first green leaves to pop up at the start of spring... I got attached. And you don’t quite know what they look like under the soil. It’s so sad to pull up a radish and find yourself with a tiny little root that needed more time. Of course, if I had thinned them as I should have, they would have grown much larger and I wouldn’t have had to worry. In the end they were so woody that handfuls of them had to be pulled and tossed on the compost heap.

Our peas are blooming and green pods are beginning to dangle from the vines.
They have only made it a third of the way up our overly ambitious trellis, but the plants look great twining around the strings, their bottom leaves going brown as they direct all their energy into flowers and seeds. I’ve been checking our cabbages for worms every day. They are hard to spot--lovely little green things, perfectly matching the leaves and nothing moving but their jaws as they nibble. They are soft and often still chewing when I picked them off the cabbages and put them in the bird feeder.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The neighbors wonder...

We coo and photograph the garden like new parents.

I have fallen in love with an ant colony that lives in the pea patch, in the evenings I give them the crumbs from my after work snack and ignore Brad when he wonders it they are nibbling the roots of our plants. They are red and vicious looking, the bullies of this bit of ground, busy piling crumbs of earth on the low leaves of my peas.

I squat with my chin on my knees, watching and drifting, pulling the occasional weed. I always thought it would be lovely to be tiny and live in the garden, making my home under a mushroom.

This past weekend our garden partners came over and we put top soil on the half of the garden that the plumbers had turned to clay. Then we planted the rest of our seeds and some plants from the farmers' market. Now all we have to do is wait...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I haven’t written in weeks but I have a very good excuse. I’ve been busy making pizza. Many pizzas, and I've stopped using my Dad's dough… Mom is the Italian one but it has always been Dad who is the pizza maker. Growing up he made lovely, square, thick crusted pies that I eventually learned were what other people call Sicilian style. I should point out that my mother’s family isn’t Sicilian, I know next to nothing about where they came from in Italy, but my grandmother has made sure that I know that we aren’t Sicilian. When I was in college he started using a pizza stone to make smaller round pizzas, same dough recipe but rolled out thinner to make a crispier crust. I’ve used my dad’s recipe for years; it’s a good dough, but has to be made the same day as the pizza and it needs to rise, and rest, and rise again. This means that dinner can be very, very late. Recently I saw this recipe from the New York Times.They also have a great video (I want her job!). This dough must be made at least a day before you bake the pizzas, but it can wait in your refrigerator for a week, and even then it bakes up perfectly--chewy and yeasty and far, far better that my old crust. I press out the dough on parchment paper because it makes it so much easier to slide them into the oven.
My new favorite version is something that my Dad’s family in France makes: Cut bacon into bits, cook till just beginning to brown, add sliced onions to the pan and sauté until the onions and bacon are brown. Mix equal parts sour cream and cottage cheese and spread on the pizza dough, sprinkle on onions and bacon. Slide onto a heated pizza stone to bake.
If you are very lucky my dad will make this for you on a day that he has foraged morels from the woods behind the house and he will top the pizza with them…

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sometimes it rains and when the weather clears you see that you have a puddle in your yard. This is a good thing. Sometimes it hasn’t rained and you have a puddle in your yard and you think cool, a puddle with no rain, that’s interesting. But then you start to wonder where this puddle came from. This mysterious puddle right outside your bathroom window… Wait, the pieces are coming together… no rain, puddle, bathroom, the shower drain was a bit slow this morning… dear crap! Puddle of sewage in the side yard!! Brad called the landlord, the landlord called the plumbers, the plumbers dug a trench diagonally through my garden. This trench also went from corner to corner of the back yard, sparing the giant maple tree but turning most of our grass to mud. The plumbers put down grass seed and straw before they left so the view out the kitchen window is a bit barnyard. But I’m not really worried about the yard; it’s the garden that I’m fretting over. The peas, lettuce, onions, and radishes we had already planted were spared, but a good half of the garden is a churned up mess. Everyone had been telling us how great the soil is in our back yard, and they were right, when we dug up our garden last fall we turned over this beautiful rich dark brown crumbly loam, soft, sweet smelling and perfect for growing. All this soil is now packed around our new sewer pipe at the bottom of a 4-foot deep trench. We will be planting corn, cucumbers, and tomatoes in greasy black clay that smells cold and dead. This was not exactly the plan. We spent last Saturday with our garden partners, Andrew and Adrianne planting cabbage, broccoli, beets and turnips in the bit of the garden the plumbers hadn’t touched and trying to figure out what to do with the rest. Get a couple of truckloads of old horse manure and till it into the clay? Cover the clay with leaves, compost and whatever organic matter we can find and plant in that? Just poke the seeds into the clay and hope for the best? I’m focusing on the bright side--the peas look good, the cabbage plants are in the ground, and the toilet works.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter in Cleveland

Easter in Cleveland means lamb (which I hate) and dry biscotti and fiadone (which I love). It use to also mean the whole family squeezed around the table eating my grandmother’s ravioli, but we have gotten older and it’s harder for us all to make it to the table, anyway Grandma Argie doesn’t cook much any more. This Easter my mom made the biscotti, usually they are dry little lumps of dough that must be covered in icing and dipped in coffee before they can be swallowed, but mom cheated and added a cup of sour cream to the dough and lemon juice to the icing and they were unexpectedly moist and lovely, nearly a miracle. I considered attempting the ravioli but instead made the fiadone while Grandma Argie watched. We quickly discovered that we had nothing to zest the orange and lemon with and I had to resort to using some weird cheese grater from the 1950’s but that was to be expected, making fiadone never goes as planned. It’s a finicky recipe; every time it has passed from generation to generation something has been added or left out. Did we always use lemon and orange zest, should we double the crust—last year there was extra filling and we had to throw it out, where are the pans we usually use, these are the wrong size. In all the hard-to-read hand written recipes the ricotta is measured in pounds but no one ever has a scale and after some discussion we usually demand that the men in the living room tell us how many cups are in a pound and they laugh at us. Then we must beat the egg yolks longer than anyone thinks is reasonable while remembering to not over beat the whites, the kitchen must be cleared while the fiadones bake because the slightest jar fill make them fall, and opening the oven to see how they are doing before they are done baking? Don’t even think of it. Making the fiadone isn’t easy, but the reward… sitting at the table and watching everyone taste, consider, remember, look at the piece in their hand then nod and say, “It came good this year.” I’m including my version of the recipe but I make no promises, as Uncle Dennis said this Easter, “It’s got a good flavor but it’s so flat, didn’t you beat the eggs?”

(makes enough for 2 pies, sometimes more…)

Preheat oven to 350°

3 eggs
2 tbls sugar
4 tbls oil
1 ½ cups flour plus more to make a soft dough
1 tsp baking powder

Beat eggs with sugar until sugar dissolves, then beat in oil. Mix the baking powder with the flour and then add to the egg mixture. Stir and add additional flour as needed until very soft dough is formed. Cover and let rest while you make the filling.

2 lbs ricotta
6 eggs, separated
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ tbls melted butter, cooled
Rind and juice of an orange and a lemon

Beat egg yolks until lemon colored. Add sugar, butter, rind and juices to the yolks and beat until all the sugar is dissolved.

In a separate bowl beat the ricotta on high speed until it is smooth and creamy. Add it to the yolk mixture.

In yet another bowl beat the egg whites until they begin to hold their shape but aren’t still. Fold them into the yolk mixture.

Divide dough in half and roll each half out thin, stretching the dough as you roll it. Line the pie pans and let the edges hang. Fill each pan with half the filling and trim and tuck under the edges of the crust. Put into oven and turn heat down to 325°. Bake for an hour, no peaking or jumping, don’t let the fiadone brown.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Eating like a rabbit...

We've spent a lot of time in our garden, and we have many tiny green leaves, but we have at least a month before anything is ready to eat. But it's spring and it feels wrong to buy my leafy greens from the store, so I turned to the yard. I've been told that the pilgrims planted dandelions as salad greens, and I like the thought of them crossing the ocean with a bag of dandelion fluff. You have to catch the plants before they flower, and pick them from a yard that is free of chemicals, but they are a lovely sour/bitter spring green. Brad and I used a trowel to pop the plants from our yard, and they do make a lovely popping sound when the root lets go of the soil and you end up with the whole plant in your hand. Two nights ago we had a dinner of bread, cheese (munster gerome, yum) and wilted dandelion salad. Last night we ate orecchiette with dandelions, ricotta, and pine nuts. Spring, spring, spring!

Wilted Dandelion Salad

Pick a colander full of unflowered dandelion greens, cut off roots.

Wash well to remove grit, pick out anything that isn't dandelion, dry and put in serving dish.

Melt 2 spoonfuls of bacon grease in a small fry pan, (What? You don't save bacon grease in a small jar in your fridge? Fine, use olive oil.)

Sauté 3 large crushed garlic cloves in bacon grease until tan, pour over greens, toss, salt and pepper and serve.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cutting a rabbit into peices...

Did you know that the part of a rabbit between the front and back legs is called its saddle? Yep, you don't eat rabbit breast or rabbit back, you eat saddle of rabbit. To me, staring at the cutting board with a knife in my hand, it looks like the rabbit has a back but the cook book clearly says, "Cut the rabbit into eight serving pieces: chop the saddle in half and separate the back legs into two pieces each: leave the front legs whole." This rabbit is already cut in two pieces, it came that way, and I wonder if this helps or hurts my ability to create "eight serving pieces.” I'm making Sunday dinner for Mom, Dad, and Brad and it's spring so the menu is casseroled rabbit with thyme and mustard, creamed cabbage and mashed potatoes. I considered braised carrots but decided that irony isn't tasteful. After risking my finger tips a few times I called Brad in--he got the cleaver out. We ended up with the required 8 pieces without damaging any fingers--then I a cut a chunk out of my thumb while slicing cabbage....

I used a Mark Bittman recipe for dessert.

Vanilla Pots de Crème

2 cups heavy cream, light cream, or half-and-half
2 vanilla beans or 1teaspoon vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar

1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Pour cream into small saucepan. Split vanilla beans in half lengthwise and scrape seeds into cream. Put pod in cream, too. Heat cream until steam rises. Cover pan, turn off heat and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. If using vanilla extract, just heat cream and let it cool while you proceed.

2. Beat yolks and sugar together until light. Pour about a quarter of the cream (remove vanilla bean pod) into this mixture, then pour sugar-egg mixture into cream and stir. If you are using vanilla extract, add it now and stir. Pour mixture into 4 6-ounce ramekins and place ramekins in a baking dish; fill dish with water halfway up the side of ramekins. Cover with foil.

3. Bake 30 to 45 minutes, or until center is barely set. (Heavy cream sets fastest; half-and-half more slowly.) Chill, then serve.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The garden

It’s spring in Ohio and I had forgotten how sudden and lovely and tremulous the change is. The air turns warm before the plants start to poke their heads up, and there are days when I can’t quite believe that the trees will ever be green again. The birds are taking it on faith and making a great deal of noise about their return from the south. Our feeder has been taken over by grackles who squawk and spill the seed. One of the women I work with says you know it’s spring when you start seeing dead skunks at the side of the road. I can smell them sometimes when I leave for work in the morning, and I know they’ve woken up from winter hungry and have been checking our trashcans for early morning snacks. Last weekend, even though things were just beginning to turn green, we spent Sunday in the garden. We are sharing our garden, the work and the bounty, with our friends Andrew and Adrianne. They’ve had a garden before and it’s nice to have some experience to rely on, although I can’t say I ever imagined that I’d be asking Andrew for advice on mulch and cucumbers trellises. I grew up with him, and most of my memories involve his sudden movements and then giving me “two for flinching.” We ordered our seeds months ago from heirloomseeds.com and I have been poring over the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed catalog. We ordered way too much, but it all sounded so good. We are also going to buy heirloom tomato and pepper plants from a local nursery, but that’s still a few weeks away. For now, we’ve planted 4 kinds of lettuce, 3 kinds of radishes, 2 kinds of Swiss chard and peas.

How the Garden Grows:
Heirloom Salad Blend
Mesclun Mix
Key Lime Lettuce
Black Seed Simpson Lettuce
Rainbow Swiss Chard
Swiss Chard
Early Frosty Pea
Borettana Yellow Onion
French Breakfast Radish
Long Scarlet Cincinnati Radish
Red Globe Radish
Golden Globe Turnip
Kentucky Wonder Bush Bean
Choggia Beet
Golden Detroit Beet
Golden Bantam Corn
Muncher Cucumber
Boston Pickling Cucumber
Butternut Squash
Golden Scallop Squash

On following the recipe...

I have always felt that weekends should include one special dinner: a dish that requires a fair amount of kitchen time and a lovely dessert, or a restaurant with friends. This past Saturday Brad was working on music, so I decided to linger in the kitchen. I had a recipe for Almond Olive Oil Cake from seriouseats and some pork chops. I have a bad habit of starting a recipe and then changing things that "sound wrong.” Then, when my cake falls or rice burns or it just turns out bad, I don't know if it was the recipe or me. I'm trying to break myself of this, so I followed the cake recipe to the letter... ok, except for the 1/2 cup orange juice. I didn't have any, so I used lemon juice and honey... but that hardly counts. Now, I had no recipe for the pork chops, just potatoes and turnips that needed eating and an apple in the fruit bowl. The main dish turned out perfect--molasses brined pork chops with thyme, sautéed apple, mashed potatoes and turnips, and arugala fresh from the farmers’ market. Dessert was another matter. The almond cake looked and smelled lovely, and I managed to make the brown butter icing without scorching anything. Everything seemed perfect, but the bottom of the cake was salty, way, way too salty.... I have no idea what I did. I'll try the cake again, reduce the salt, taste the batter as I go, but it reminded me that some times things work out best if you just make it up as you go along.

No Recipe Pork Chop Dinner

Pork chops


Brine chops (I used 2 cups water, 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup molasses)

Peel turnips and potatoes and cut into chunks (pick the potato to turnip ratio that you prefer). Put in a pan with tight fitting lid and add water until chunks are half covered. Bring to a boil, throw in a chunk of butter, cover and lower to a simmer. Cook until potatoes and turnips are soft and mashable, this should take about 15-20 minutes. Mash--if things seem watery, cook with the lid off to thicken. Taste, add salt, pepper, butter as you see fit. Keep warm while you make the pork chops.

Heat a frying pan on medium high and brown chops on all side. Place them on an oven-safe dish and put them in a 350° oven to finish cooking. Add peeled and sliced apple to pan, sprinkle with thyme and sauté until they begin to color. Deglaze pan with vermouth and simmer until apples are tender but still hold their shape. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

Pick a pretty plate, lean the pork chop against the mashed potatoes and turnips, spoon the apples over the pork, green salad on the side. Perfect.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Onion Rolls

Brad wanted onion rolls. Well, actually he mentioned in passing that he would like a roast beef sandwich on a soft roll like he use to get in New York. He was very specific about the roll. It's possible he was thinking of going to the grocery store and purchasing some rolls. I doubt that he thought I would spend the day making them for him. I figure that since he tolerates my kitchen bossiness, I should make the things he likes. After much discussion about the differences between onion, kaiser, and hard rolls, I found this recipe online. They turned out absolutely amazing. In my version of the recipe, I've increased the salt and reduced the sugar, which is something I usually do to any bread recipe. I will also make less of the onion topping next time--I love the way it tastes, but at a certain point physics comes into play and there is no way to balance 2 cups of soft wet onions on top of 14 rolls....

Onion Rolls

* 3 T. dry yeast
* 1 1/2 cup water (100°F.)
* 1 tsp. sugar
* 6 cups bread flour
* 6 T. canola oil
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 T. salt
* 3 large eggs
* 1 cups chopped onion
* 1 large egg, beaten
* 3 T. black poppy seeds

Oven Temp: 400°F.; change to 375°F. when rolls go into the oven.

Grease two cookie sheets with oil.

Yield: 14 rolls

Dissolve yeast in water, add 1 tsp. sugar and let the mixture sit for 1 minute to become creamy.

Put flour, 3 T. oil, sugar, salt, and 3 eggs in the work-bowl of a food processor fitted with the plastic blade. With the motor running, add the yeast/water mixture. Continue kneading in the processor until the dough is smooth and elastic, the texture of your earlobe. Grease a large bowl with 1 T. oil; put the dough in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until the dough is doubled in size.

Meanwhile, heat 2 T. oil with 2 T. water in a small saucepan. Add the chopped onions, and cook slowly for 2 minutes until the onions are just beginning to appear translucent. Cover the pan, and remove it from the heat. By the time the rolls are ready to bake, the onions will be perfect.

Punch down the dough; divide into 14 pieces. Form smooth balls of dough and place on greased cookie sheets. With your fist, make indentations first in one direction, then turned 90°. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and let rise 20 min. With your fist, make the indentations again; fill the indentations with the cooked onions; brush with beaten egg; sprinkle with seeds.

Place rolls in oven and put a shallow pan with cold water on the bottom rack of the oven; turn the temperature down to 375°F. Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes, rotate them midway through the baking. Cool 15-20 minutes on a rack before serving.