favorite recipes of 2009For the past two years I’ve had fun picking my favorite recipes of the year. I picked one recipe per month month when I did The Best Recipes of 2007 and The Best Recipes of 2008, but this year I had good intentions of narrowing it down to a top ten list. I looked through the monthly archives, picking a few recipes that I remembered fondly, and when I was done saving bookmarks, I had 39 favorites! It was nice to notice how many of the recipes I picked had a personal connection where the recipe or cookbook had been recommended by a reader or another blogger. I’m not going to try to sneak all 39 recipes into this list, but I think I’ll mention a few others after my top ten list.

I’m not trying to rank the ten recipes, but let’s start with the Spicy Red Lentil and Chickpea Stew recipe (pictured above) that I got from a reader named Paula. I love red lentils and chickpeas, and I thought this was a perfect use of those two ingredients.

When my friend Tom from Culinary Types sent me a great cookbook called From Asparagus to Zucchini, A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce, the first recipe I tried was this Napa Cabbage and Red Cabbage Salad with Fresh Herbs and Peanuts, and it turned out to be a complete winner!

This Southwestern Bean Salad with Black Beans, Black-Eyed Peas, Peppers, and Cilantro was something I came up with after I ran into an old friend at a party and she described her favorite salad to me.

When I saw a recipe for chickpea soup on The Pink Peppercorn, I knew I would like it, and adapted the recipe a little to make my version of Garbanzo Bean (Chickpea) Soup with Garlic, Sumac, Olive Oil, and Lemon.

It was my friend Trudy who told me about brussels sprouts roasted with pecans, and when I mentioned it on Twitter, Sean from Hedonia added the idea of tossing the cooked sprouts with some gorgonzola cheese to create the Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Gorgonzola Cheese I recommended for a Thanksgiving side dish. I loved this so much I gobbled it up when I tested the recipe, and have been making it ever since.

This Spaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin that I made with some of my garden produce was inspired by a slightly different spaghetti squash gratin I found at Daily Unadventures in Cooking. I’ve noticed a lot of other bloggers are making variations of this dish too.

It may have been mostly the two little gratin dishes I bought at a thrift store that inspired me to make Tuscan Baked Eggs with Tomatoes, Red Onion, Garlic, Parmesan, and Herbs, but the recipe was adapted from one I saw in Fine Cooking Magazine.

A reader named Robin sent me this recipe for Strawberry Spinach Salad with Almonds and Dill. Not only did I love the recipe, but it’s also being featured in an iPhone application of strawberry recipes, produced by the California Strawberry Association and scheduled to launch January 26.

This recipe for Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling was adapted from one I saw in California Sol Food, a great cookbook I got as a gift from Alice Q. Foodie when I met her in San Diego in 2008.

Finally, these Grilled Salmon Packets with Tomatoes, Olives, Garlic, Thyme, and Saffron was another find from Fine Cooking, a magazine where I always find good ideas.

Ten More Honorable Mentions from 2009:

~I finally made Zucchini Carpaccio (Raw Zucchini Salad) with Lemon, Herbs, and Goat Cheese, and although I’ve seen recipes for this in many places, it was the one from Sidewalk Shoes that gave me the nudge!

~A lunch I shared at Old Jerusalem Restaurant with Lydia from The Perfect Pantry inspired me to make Tomato, Cucumber, and Radish Salad with Yogurt and Tahini Dressing. I could eat this salad every day in the summer!

~When I bought a big bag of vidalia onions my friend Pat was selling for a fundraiser, one of the good things I came up with was Marinated and Roasted Vidalia Onion Rings with Parmesan.

~I saw the recipe for Roasted Broccoli and Shrimp on many different blogs, but it got adapted into Spicy Roasted Green Beans and Shrimp when I made it myself.

~You don’t have to hear anything more than Spicy Cilantro Peanut Slaw to know that I’d like this salad, inspired by one I saw on The Kitchn.

~Another Fine Cooking find was these Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers with Yogurt Sauce that I liked so much I ate them several days in a row!

~These Meat, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups were something I created when my garden produced a lot of big zucchinis all at once.

~It was chard, also from the garden, that inspired Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Garlic, Chard, and Pecorino-Romano Cheese.

~I experimented for weeks to come up with a Bread Machine Whole Wheat Bread Recipe with Bulgur Wheat, Oats, Bran, and Flax Seed Meal, and this one was the happy result.

~Finally, when a reader named Lori sent me a recipe for Fattoush (Lebanese “Crumbled Bread” Salad with Sumac and Pita Chips), it was something something I made over and over and I fell madly in love with the spice called Sumac.

What Have I Missed?

I confessed I had 39 recipes picked as “favorites” so you know I haven’t mentioned all the recipe ideas I loved this year. Choosing favorites is so hard, but if you’re a regular reader and I missed one of the recipes that you liked most, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Share This: