Heirloom Tomato Slices with Lemon Basil

Heirloom Tomato Slices with Lemon Basil

Heirloom Tomato Slices with Lemon Basil

2 pound heirloom tomatoes in different sizes, colors and textures

very good olive oil for drizzling

salt and pepper

2 tablespoon lemon basil leaves left whole

 

Choose a great variety of tomatoes for this recipe. Variable tastes and textures will add a lot of interest to this salad. Start by slicing the tomatoes between ¼ and ½ inch thick. Again vary the thicknesses slightly to get a more interesting texture. Very small tomatoes may be halved or quartered. There is no “right way”. Arrange the slices attractively on a platter. Season them generously with salt and pepper, drizzle the olive oil over the top. Be generous because the oil combines with the juices to make a delicious dressing. Tuck the whole lemon basil in attractively here and there over the top of the tomatoes. Let this stand at room temperature at least 20 minutes.

Peach Tart with Basil and Mascarpone  

Peach Tart with Basil and Mascarpone  

Peach Tart with Basil and Mascarpone

1 C. mascarpone cheese

1/4 cream (possibly a bit more)

½ C. basil chiffonade (leaves rolled and cut into very thin ribbons) plus more sprigs for garnish

¾ C. sugar

1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons fine yellow cornmeal

1/4‑teaspoon salt

1 large egg yolk

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1/2‑teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

4 large peaches

 

Prepare Filling::  Using a hand mixer or whisk whip together the mascarpone cheese, cream, and 1/4‑C. sugar. Add the cream a little at a time. You are looking for a sour cream consistency, very smooth with no lumps. Mix in 1/4‑C. basil chiffonade at the very end until just incorporated. Refrigerate filling, covered, until you are ready to assemble the tart.

 

Make Tart Shell: Whisk together the flour with the cornmeal, and salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl mix egg yolk, cream, and vanilla. In a 3rd bowl cream the butter and 1/4 C. sugar together using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix them together on medium speed until they form a pale and fluffy paste, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk mixture and mix them together on medium-low speed until well combined. Working in 3 additions, add flour mixture to the bowl until just combined. I find these additions easier to work with using a wooden spoon so as not to over mix the dough. Working on a piece of plastic wrap shape the dough into an oblong shape that is roughly the size of your tart tin (13 3/4‑by‑4 1/4‑by-1-inch). Add an additional piece of plastic on top and roll a rolling pin over the top to form a smooth flat piece of dough about 1/4‑inch thick. Close up the plastic wrap and move dough to the refrigerator. Refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes, before using. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and peel off the top layer of plastic wrap. Invert the dough into the tart tin. It does not matter if it breaks or does not fit perfectly. Because you can press dough together and finish the shaping in the tart tin. The type with a removable bottom works best. Trim edges of dough flush with pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Bake about 18 minutes until golden and crisp. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

 

Make the Peaches: Peel the peaches. This can be accomplished easily if you blanch the peaches first. This will loosen their skin and the task is not nearly as messy as it would be with a knife.

Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl large enough for all the peaches. With a paring knife, lightly score an X onto the bottom of each peach. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Carefully drop the peaches into the water for 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, move the peaches into to an ice-water bath to stop the cooking. Once the peaches have cooled, the skin should peel off easily. You may need to get it started with a paring knife, but most of the skin can be removed with your hands. Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Cut each half into 4 or 5 evenly sized wedges. Stir together the peach wedges, remaining 1/4‑C. sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and remaining 1/4‑C. basil in a medium sized saucepan with a lid, set over medium heat. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, until the peaches have softened, become a uniform color and released their juices, about 6 minutes. Let the peaches cool completely in the syrup.

If necessary, right before assembling remove the peaches using a slotted spoon and continue to cook the juices until they have thickened to a syrup.

 

Assemble the Tart: Spoon mascarpone filling into tart shell. Top with the peaches in an attractive manner, spooning the thickened juices over the top. Garnish with more basil sprigs or leaves.

Zucchini “Linguine” with Pistachios and Mint

Zucchini “Linguine” with Pistachios and Mint

Zucchini “Linguine” with Pistachios and Mint

1 pound zucchini or yellow summer squash

2 tablespoon shallots, minced

2 tablespoon olive oil

juice of one lemon

2 teaspoon lemon zest

salt and pepper, to taste

parmesan cheese, to taste

½ C. pistachios, chopped

2 tablespoon mint leaves, chopped

 

Getting the long thin “linguini” like strands of zucchini is vital to the success of this recipe. The thin threads are served raw and the acid in the dressing cooks the “pasta”. You may use a peeler with a julienne blade, or also a mandoline. If you have good knife skills you may even use a chef’s knife. Whatever process you use just make sure the strands are as long and thin as you can reasonably achieve. To make the dressing mix the shallots, olive oil, lemon juice and zest together with some salt and pepper. Shake or whisk well to emulsify. Pour this mixture over the zucchini threads and toss well. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Shave long thin strips of Parmesan cheese over the zucchini, followed by the pistachios and mint. Serve immediately.

Mango Smoothie with Chili and Lime

Mango Smoothie with Chili and Lime

Mango Smoothie with Chili and Lime

 

1 ripe mango, peeled, cut in pieces, about 1 1/2 cups

1 cup peeled, chopped fresh pineapple

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 red jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely chopped

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons peeled and finely grated fresh ginger with juice

1 cup ice cubes or frozen coconut water cubes

 

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve cold.

Peach and Rhubarb Jam

Peach and Rhubarb Jam

Peach and Rhubarb Jam

 

5 C. peeled, pitted, and chopped peaches (about 8 medium peaches)

4 C. trimmed and diced rhubarb, in 1/3-inch (9 mm) dice

5 C. granulated sugar, or a little less to taste

24 lemon seeds, tied in cheesecloth or placed in a tea strainer (from 3 lemons)

 

In a large bowl, combine the peaches, rhubarb, and sugar and stir well. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 12 hours, stirring occasionally, to draw out the peach juice and dissolve the sugar. Transfer the mixture to a heavy 8-quart (8-l) pot over medium heat. Add the lemon seeds and bring to a boil, stirring often and skimming any surface foam. Adjust the heat to maintain a steady but gentle boil and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the fruit from sticking to the bottom of the pot, until the mixture thickens to a jam consistency and registers 220°F (105°C) on an instant-read thermometer, 45 to 60 minutes. While the jam is cooking, fill a large pot or canner, fitted with a rack, with enough water to cover the jars. Over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and place the clean, empty canning jars in the water for 10 minutes to sterilize them. When the jam is ready, use canning tongs to carefully remove the jars and drain any water inside. Alternatively, you can heat your jars in the dishwasher, however, you will still need the hot water bath ready for canning the jam. Remove the cheesecloth or tea strainer with the lemon seeds from the jam. Spoon the hot jam into the jars, filling to within 1/2 inch (12 mm) of the top. Wipe the rim clean with a towel dipped in hot water. Top the jars with the lids and twist on the screw bands. Set the jars, not touching one another, in the boiling water on the rack in the pot or canner. Make sure the water covers the jars by at least 1 inch (25 mm). Boil for 20 minutes, then turn off the heat and use tongs to transfer the jars to a rack to cool completely. When the jars are completely cool, press on the center of each lid. If the lid remains concave, the seal is good. Store the jars in a cool pantry for up to 1 year. If a lid failed the seal test, that simply means you get immediate gratification and should store the jar in the refrigerator and consume the jam within 3 weeks.

Tomatoes Stuffed with White Beans

Tomatoes Stuffed with White Beans

Tomatoes Stuffed with White Beans

4 large tomatoes

Small handful of chopped parsley

Small handful of chopped basil

2 T. balsamic vinegar

1 T. capers

1 large clove garlic (it’s going to stay raw, so don’t go overboard)

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

 

Slice the tops off each of the tomatoes and use a spoon (I use a grapefruit spoon) to dig out the core and seeds. If the core isn’t too tough, chop it up and put it, along with the rest of the tomato guts, in a medium bowl. Set the tomato ‘shells’ aside.  Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and toss until everything is coated. Spoon the filling into the tomato shells. There is will extra filling, which you can serve on the side

Chicken with Baked Rhubarb

Chicken with Baked Rhubarb

Chicken with Baked Rhubarb

 

1 organic or free-range chicken, cut into 8 pieces

Salt and freshly ground pepper

11 oz rhubarb

1/4 C. raw organic sugar

 

Preheat the oven to 400F. Put the chicken pieces in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Cut the rhubarb into pieces and mix it with the sugar in a bowl. Take the chicken out of the oven, place the rhubarb under the chicken, put it back in the oven, and roast for 15 minutes more.

Fried Eggs with Ramps and Bacon

Fried Eggs with Ramps and Bacon

Fried Eggs with Ramps and Bacon

4 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces

8 ramps, aka wild leeks, trimmed and cleaned

2 eggs

salt and pepper to taste

chili pepper flakes to taste

 

Cook the bacon in a pan over medium heat until crispy, about 8-10 minutes, and set aside reserving the grease in the pan. Add the ramps and sauté until tender and slightly golden brown, about 3-4 minutes, and set aside with the bacon. Crack the eggs in the pan and cook until the whites are set and the bottom is slightly golden brown, about 2-4 minutes. Serve the eggs with the bacon and sautéed ramps on the side and season everything with salt, pepper and chili pepper flakes to taste.

Blackberry Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette

Blackberry Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette

Blackberry Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette

1 serving lettuce greens

3 slices prosciutto (torn)

1 ounce goats cheese (crumbled)

1 handful blackberries

3 blackberries

1 T. olive oil

1 T. balsamic vinegar

1 T. honey

salt and pepper to taste

 

Assemble the salad with the lettuce, prosciutto, goat cheese and blackberries. Mash the blackberries in a small bowl and remove any large chunks. Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey into the mashed blackberries. Pour the dressing onto the salad and top with salt and pepper to taste.

Mango Caprese Salad

Mango Caprese Salad

Mango Caprese Salad

1 mango (peeled, stoned and sliced)

1 handful basil leaves

1 fresh mozzarella (sliced)

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 T. balsamic vinegar

 

Arrange salad and dress with balsamic vinaigrette

Watermelon & Blackberry Fruit Salad

Watermelon & Blackberry Fruit Salad

Watermelon & Blackberry Fruit Salad

 

3 C. cubed watermelon

1 1/2 C. blackberries

2 T. chopped mint leaves

1 Lime

 

Take a large bowl and add watermelon cubes, blackberries, and mint leaves. Gently combine. Take your lime, slice it in half, then squeeze the juice from both halves over your fruit. Gently toss and serve.

Hard Candy Lollipops with Edible Flowers

Hard Candy Lollipops with Edible Flowers

Hard Candy Lollipops with Edible Flowers

– Medium heavy bottom saucepan

– Candy thermometer

– 2″ flat round hard candy lollipop mold

– Lollipop sticks

– Nonstick cooking spray

– Pyrex 2 C. measuring cup

– Pastry brush

– Cookie sheet or marble slab

– Parchment paper

– Edible flowers to fit inside the 2″D flat candy mold

 

– 1 C. of granulated sugar

– 1/3 C. of corn syrup

– ½ C. of water

– 2 tsp. of flavoring oil if using

 

Prepare your molds by lightly spraying them with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare either a marble slab or an upside-down cookie sheet (air underneath the sheet will help the candy to cool faster), by covering with parchment paper and spraying with nonstick cooking spray. Place molds on a cookie sheet or marble slab. Combine sugar and water in a medium heavy bottom saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Once boiling, stop stirring as soon as the syrup starts to boil and insert a candy thermometer. Allow to boil, without stirring, until candy reaches 250°F (121°C). If you plan to add food coloring, add it at this point and allow the liquid to continue boiling.  Once the candy reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit (known as hard crack stage), remove it from heat, add flavoring of your choice and pour into the Pyrex measuring cup. Allow liquid to sit until it stops bubbling completely. This will prevent bubbles from forming in your poured lollipops. Working quickly, pour a scant amount of hard candy liquid into each mold, enough just to cover the bottom. Place an edible flower FACE DOWN on the liquid in each mold. Add a lollipop stick to each mold and continue pouring to fill each mold. If liquid becomes too thick to easily pour, simply reheat in the microwave on high for about 15 seconds and continue filling the molds. NOTE: The flower is placed face down so that the correct side of the flower will be on the front side of the completed lollipop. Allow to cool completely and remove from mold once hardened. Store Lollipops individually wrapped, in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to a month.

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

When fresh rhubarb is not available, frozen can be used in its place. Also, keep in mind, rhubarb stalks range in color, from a light green to a stunning red. The lighter stalks will create a less vivid red syrup. Adding a few cranberries during the cooking process will enhance the color of the simple syrup.

 

4 cups fresh Rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups Water

1 1/2 cups organic granulated Sugar

 

Add the water, sugar and rhubarb to a heavy bottom pot. On medium heat bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, cooking until rhubarb has softened and is breaking apart. Set mixture aside until it has cooled. Using a fine mesh strainer, reserve the syrup. Allow mixture to strain naturally without pushing down on the rhubarb. Doing so will leave sediments in the syrup.  Store in refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. Reserve the cooked rhubarb to be used in cakes, muffins, breads, as well as to top ice-cream.

Rhubarb & Strawberry Vodka & Cocktails

Rhubarb & Strawberry Vodka & Cocktails

Rhubarb & Strawberry Vodka

 

4 C. rhubarb  (the pale pink, thin-stemmed kind), cut into short lengths

8-12 ripe strawberries, halved

1.5 C. Granulated sugar

2 thin slices fresh ginger

2 pints vodka

Optional, vanilla bean, halved

 

Put all the ingredients in a large clip top mason jar and shake well to dissolve the sugar. Leave in a cool place and shake 2-3 times a week for 3-4 weeks until the liquid is a rich pink color. Set a large sieve over a large bowl and line the sieve with muslin. Strain the vodka though the sieve, then transfer to a jug and pour carefully into clean, dry bottles. Seal and label the bottles. The vodka is now ready to drink, or will keep in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. Serve over ice or neat in chilled shot glasses or make into a long drink topped with soda or fizz, adding half a strawberry just before serving.

 

Rhubarb & Strawberry Martini

2 oz. Rhubarb & Strawberry Vodka

1 oz. Triple Sec

1 oz. Lemonade

4 Crushed Strawberries

Squeeze of Lemon Juice

 

Shake all ingredients together and pour into martini glass.  Garnish with strawberry if you like.

 

Sunburnt Greyhound

 

304 Mint Leaves

2 oz. Rhubarb & Strawberry Vodka

6oz. Grapefruit Juice

Juice of half a Lime

 

Add ingredients to muddler and muddle the mint. Shake with ice and pour into glass.

Berries with Citrus Syrup

Berries with Citrus Syrup

Berries with Citrus Syrup

1 lb. mixed red berries, such as raspberries, strawberries, and redcurrants

4 1/2oz caster sugar

zest of 1 lemon, cut into strips

1 T. orange juice

handful of mint leaves

 

Place the mixed berries in a serving dish and set aside. Mix the sugar with 120ml (4fl oz) water in a heavy-based saucepan. Heat slowly until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally, then increase the heat, and boil for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool, then add the lemon zest and orange juice. Drizzle the syrup over the berries, then add the mint leaves. Leave to macerate for 10 minutes, before serving. GOOD WITH Whipped cream or ice cream. PREPARE AHEAD The dish can be made up to 1 hour in advance.

Raspberry Vinaigrette

Raspberry Vinaigrette

Raspberry Vinaigrette

1/2 C. fresh or frozen raspberries

4 T. Apple Cider or Rice Vinegar

1 small shallot, chopped very fine (about 2 T.)

1/3 C. Avocado or Olive Oil

1-2 T. Honey, taste

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

 

In a blender combine all raspberry vinaigrette Ingredients except oil until well blended. While blender Is running slowly stream In oil until well blended. Remove from blender and strain to remove

raspberry seeds (can skip with Vitamix, typically). Adjust honey to desired sweetness and season dressing with salt and pepper if needed.

Creamed Cucumbers

Creamed Cucumbers

Creamed Cucumbers

2 med. cucumbers

1/2 c. sweet cream

1/3 c. vinegar

2 T., sugar

1 med. (sweet) onion thinly sliced

Salt, Pepper, Dill or other seasonings to taste.

 

Peel and slice cucumbers and onions. Soak in saltwater for 1/2 hour. Drain, rinse, and squeeze out excess water. Mix other ingredients. Pour over cucumbers.

Pear, Lemon & Mint Smoothie

Pear, Lemon & Mint Smoothie

Pear, Lemon & Mint Smoothie

 

2 Ripe Anjou Pears

½ C. packed Mint Leaves

1 ½ T. Mint or Simple Syrup

4 T. Lemon Juice

2 C. Water

2 ½ C. Ice Cubes.

 

Peel and core pears.  Add everything to blender and puree until smooth.  Drink immediately; pears will oxidize and turn an ugly gray.

Mojo Marinade

Mojo Marinade

Mojo Marinade

5 garlic cloves minced

1 jalapeño very finely minced

1 handful fresh cilantro leaves about 3 T. finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt adjust as desired

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper adjust as desired

2 limes juiced

1 orange juiced

2 T. white vinegar

1/2 C. olive oil

 

In a large bowl, combine the very finely minced garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, salt and pepper. Using a mortar and pestle or your hands, mash together and crush to make a paste. Scrape into a jar and then add the orange and lime juices, vinegar and oil. Shake really well to combine thoroughly. Use as a marinade for beef or chicken. Enjoy!

Fermented Mushrooms

Fermented Mushrooms

Fermented Mushrooms

1 or 2 8oz packages of mushrooms (I used about 1 and a half packages of sliced mushrooms)

Fresh thyme (a couple sprigs, depending on your taste)

Fresh marjoram (a couple sprigs, depending on your taste)

Smashed garlic (2 or 3 heads, depending on your tastes)

1 T. sea salt

1/4 teaspoon whey, sauerkraut juice, or culture starter

Filtered water

 

Place all of the ingredients into a quart sized mason jar.  Smash the mushrooms and other goodies down into the jar to get as many in there as you can. Add filtered water to cover, leaving an inch of head space at the top. Weigh down your mushrooms because they like to float! Set on your counter for 3 to 5 days.

Move to your refrigerator. Tamara and Kelly recommend adding them to morning eggs and to salads. I think they would be great on an antipasti platter, or taken along on a picnic.

Canning Steak Sauce

Canning Steak Sauce

Canning Steak Sauce

1 C. ketchup (homemade)

1/2 C. onion, coarsely chopped

1 large clove garlic

1/4 C. water

1/4 C. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 C. lemon juice (bottled)

1/4 C. white vinegar

2 T. soy sauce

2 T. brown sugar

1 T. prepared mustard

 

Cooking: Combine all ingredients in saucepan and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until it reaches a good consistency, stirring occasionally. Strain to remove onion and garlic. Filling the jars:  On a dishtowel place your hot jars. Using your funnel in each jar ladle the mixture into the jars leaving 1/2” headspace.  Remove air bubbles and refill to the proper headspace if necessary. Taking a clean paper towel wet it with warm water and wipe the rims of the jars removing any food particles that would interfere with a good seal. Using your magic wand to extract the lids from the hot water and place them on the now cleaned rims. Add your rings to the tops of each of the jars and turn to seal just “finger tight”.   Processing: Make sure your rack is on the bottom of the canner and place the jars in the water bath making sure that the water covers each of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add hot water to the canner if it doesn’t measure up. Cover the pot and turn up the heat under the canner and wait for the water to start boiling. Once the water has come to a boil start your timer for 15 minutes. When complete turn off the heat and remove the cover and let the jars sit for another few minutes. Remove the jars and place them back on the dishtowel in a place that they will sit overnight to cool. Do not touch or move them till the next morning. Sealing: Some time in the next hour your jars will be making a “pinging” or “popping” noise. That is the glass cooling and the reaction of the lids being sucked into the jar for proper sealing. Some recipes may take overnight to seal. Check your lids and reprocess any jars that did not seal.

Rootbeer Jelly

Rootbeer Jelly

Rootbeer Jelly

4 1/4 C. rootbeer soda

4 1/2 C. sugar

1 pkg. or 6 T. powdered pectin

2 T. bottled lemon juice

1/4 tsp. butter

 

Combine the root beer soda and lemon juice in a large stock pot. Sprinkle the powdered pectin on top of the juice mixture and use a whisk to mix it together. Stirring constantly, heat until boiling. Boil for one minute. Add the butter and return to a boil. Add the sugar to the pot all at one time (measure it and have it ready ahead of time). Stir until sugar is dissolved. Return to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Remove any foam with a metal spoon. Ladle the jelly into hot sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space, and process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Remove jars from canner and set the jars on the counter on a kitchen towel to cool.

Pickled Sweet Peppers

Pickled Sweet Peppers

Pickled Sweet Peppers

1 pound small sweet peppers, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)

3 large shallots, sliced into rings

1 1⁄2 C. white wine vinegar

1⁄2 C. water

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1⁄4 C. plus 1 T. sugar

1 T. plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

 

Divide peppers and shallot evenly between jars. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar, 1⁄2 C. water, garlic, sugar, salt, and red pepper to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; discard garlic. Divide vinegar mixture evenly between jars. Seal jars, and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate 24 hours or up to 1 month.

Salted Margarita Bites Cookies

Salted Margarita Bites Cookies

Salted Margarita Bites Cookies

1 pouch Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix

1 T. slightly packed grated fresh lime peel

1/3 C. butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon coarse (kosher or sea) salt

 

In large bowl, stir together cookie mix and lime peel until blended. Add butter, egg and lime juice. Beat with electric mixer on medium-low speed until blended and soft dough forms. On 17-inch piece plastic wrap, shape dough into 12-inch log. Wrap tightly; freeze at least 30 minutes or until firm enough to slice. Heat oven to 375°F. Unwrap dough; cut into %-inch slices. On ungreased cookie sheets, place slices 2 inches apart, reshaping if necessary; lightly sprinkle with salt. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until pale brown on bottom. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely before storing in airtight container. If desired, garnish cookies with freshly grated lime peel just before serving.

Rhubarb & Orange Slump

Rhubarb & Orange Slump

Rhubarb & Orange Slump

6 C. rhubarb, chopped into 1” slices

zest and juice 2 medium orange

3/4 C. granulated sugar

1 2/3 C.  self-rising flour

6 T. butter, cut into pieces

2/3 C. milk

 

2 T. flaked almond

Mascarpone or crème fraîche, to serve

 

Heat oven to 350. Place the rhubarb in a pan with the orange juice and 2/4 C. of the sugar. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then cover and cook for a few mins until the rhubarb is softened but still holding its shape, about 5 mins. Tip into a 1.5 quart gratin dish.

 

Put the flour, orange zest and remaining sugar in a bowl, add the butter, then rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the milk to make a soft dough. Drop 8 spoonfuls of mixture over the rhubarb and scatter with the almonds. Bake for 25-30 mins until the topping is crisp and golden. Serve warm with mascarpone or crème fraîche.

Marinated Heirloom Tomato and Nectarine Salad with Garden Herbs

Marinated Heirloom Tomato and Nectarine Salad with Garden Herbs

Marinated Heirloom Tomato and Nectarine Salad with Garden Herbs

¼ C. EVOO

3 T. Shelled, Roasted Pistachios

2 T. Balsamic Vinegar or White Balsamic Vinegar

2 tsp. Honey

12 Basil Leaves, roughly chopped

2 Springs Fresh Thyme, chopped

1 clove Garlic, grated

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Kosher Salt

2 1.1 C. Cherry Tomatoes, halved

2 Nectarines, cut into wedges

2 balls Burrata Cheese, roughly torn

2 T. snipped fresh Chives for serving

Flaky Sea Salt for serving

 

In a food processor, combine the olive oil, pistachios, vinegar, honey, basil, thyme, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and pulse until finely ground, about 1 minute. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes and nectarines. Add the pistachio puree, tossing to coat. Let marinate at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes or covered with plastic wrap overnight in the fridge. To serve, divide the salad evenly among six bowls and top each with some torn burrata, chives, and a pinch of flaky salt.

Zucchini Bites with Goat Cheese and Thyme

Zucchini Bites with Goat Cheese and Thyme

Zucchini Bites with Goat Cheese and Thyme

4 small or 2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into very thin ribbons

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

6 ounces goat cheese (or ricotta if you prefer)

1 T. fresh thyme, plus more for serving

2 teaspoons honey, plus more for serving

Zest of ½ lemon

¼ C. sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped

¼ C. fresh basil leaves, chopped

10 thin slices prosciutto, sliced in half lengthwise

 

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, toss the zucchini ribbons with olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper.  In a small bowl, stir together the goat cheese, thyme, honey, lemon zest, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.  Working with one at a time, lay out a zucchini ribbon on a clean work surface. Spoon 1 T. of the cheese mixture onto one end and roll up the ribbon. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around the zucchini to secure. Place the rolls seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining zucchini ribbons. Bake until the prosciutto is crisp, 20-25 minutes.  They will ooze a bit, this is ok!  Let them set up on the baking sheet for 6 or so minutes before sprinkling with thresh thyme and drizzled with honey.

Small Batch Strawberry Rhubarb Jam with Rose Flower Water

Small Batch Strawberry Rhubarb Jam with Rose Flower Water

Small Batch Strawberry Rhubarb Jam with Rose Flower Water

1 pound strawberries

1 pound rhubarb stalks

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons rose flower water

 

Wash the strawberries and rhubarb well. Hull the berries and dice them into small pieces. Chop the rhubarb into segments approximately 1/2 inch in size. Place the chopped fruit in a glass or ceramic bowl and cover with sugar. Stir to combine and cover. Let the fruit sit for at least an hour, until the juices are flowing. I often pop the bowl into the refrigerator at this point and cook the jam the following day. When you’re ready to cook the jam, prepare a small boiling water bath canner and three half pint jars and bring it to a boil. Place three new canning jar lids in a small pot and bring them to a bare simmer. Pour the fruit and all the liquid into your jam pot and place it over high heat. For these small batches, I like to use a 12-inch, stainless steel skillet, but any low, wide, non-reactive pan will do. Bring the fruit to a rapid boil and stir regularly. Over high heat, this jam should take 8 to 12 minutes to cook. It is done when it is quite thick. You can tell that it’s ready when you draw your spoon or spatula through the jam, and it doesn’t immediately rush in to fill that space. It will also make a vigorous sizzling noise when stirred when it is finished. When the jam appears to be finished, stir in the rose flower water. Stir until it is incorporated and cook for an additional 30 seconds. The flower water is added at this point so you don’t evaporate all the fragrance during cooking. Remove the jam from the heat and funnel it into the prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes (start your timer when the water returns to a boil, not the moment the jars go into the water bath). When time is up, remove jars from canner and set them to cool on a folded kitchen towel. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the rings and test the seals by grasping the edges of the lid and lifting the jar an inch or so from the countertop. If the lid holds fast, the jars are sealed. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and eaten promptly.

Snap Peas with Green Garlic Confit and Dill Vinaigrette

Snap Peas with Green Garlic Confit and Dill Vinaigrette

Snap Peas with Green Garlic Confit and Dill Vinaigrette

2 stalks of green garlic, trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise

1 C. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 C. fresh lemon juice

1/4 C. chopped dill

Kosher salt

Pepper

1 1/2 pounds sugar snap peas, trimmed, some chopped and some left whole

6 white button mushrooms, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced lengthwise

1/4 C. torn mint or small mint leaves

 

In a small saucepan, combine the green garlic and olive oil and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat until the garlic is very tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool completely. Strain the oil into a small bowl; transfer the green garlic to a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice and dill and slowly whisk in the reserved oil until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, toss the snap peas with 3/4 C. of the vinaigrette. Transfer to a platter and scatter the mushrooms on top. Garnish with the mint and serve with the remaining vinaigrette.

Pickling Dandelion Roots

Pickling Dandelion Roots

Pickling Dandelion Roots

The sunny flowerheads may be long gone, but the roots that remain are loaded with nutrients and flavor. Pickled dandelion roots are a tasty addition to soups and salads in fall. And here’s another break—this recipe also uses refrigeration to pickle instead of heat.

 

generous handful dandelion roots, washed and chopped

3 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons powdered ginger root

¼ C. tamari

3 ½ C. apple cider vinegar

 

Place clean roots, ginger root powder and tamari in a 1-quart mason jar. Pour the vinegar over all. Place a piece of wax paper over the mouth of the jar (this prevents rusting) and screw down the lid. Place in the refrigerator for 3 weeks before using.  Add to salads.

 

A different Version

 

3 C. white vinegar, one C. water, 2 T. of pickling salt, and a 1/2 C. sugar

 

Put it in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. At the same time that I am doing this, I am sterilizing my jars and lids by letting them sit in boiling water for 10-15 minutes (I start heating the pot of water long before this though, since my huge pot takes forever to boil!)

 

Once the jars are sterilized, and before I pack in the dandelion roots, I fill them with these spices: (sorry I’m not very exact with the measurements, I just eyeball everything.

 

a couple whole cloves of garlic, a pinch of celery seed, 6 to 8 peppercorns, a pinch of cayenne or red chile pepper flakes, a pinch of mustard seeds, and some dill (preferably fresh)

 

So in the spices go, then the roots (which you really got to pack in there!), then the pickling brine. Fill up the jars to about a 1/4 inch from the rim, give the rims a quick wipe down (spices stuck to the rim can cause the lid to not seal properly), and throw on the lids…

 

Now that all of the hard stuff is over, you’re ready to let your jars sit in boiling water for a final 20 minutes or so…. and YAY, YOU’R DONE! … (after you remove them, don’t forget to let them sit on your counter overnight to give the lids a chance to “pop”, or seal)

Simple Tomato-Basil Jam

Simple Tomato-Basil Jam

Simple Tomato-Basil Jam

5 pounds or approximately 12 cups of tomatoes

1 tablespoon sea salt

3 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup basil, chopped

 

Wash and slice cherry tomatoes, or chop large tomatoes. Toss and massage with salt. Let sit for 30 minutes to let juices from tomato flow out. Sterilize your jars and lids in hot water while you wait.

Discard the juice, and dump strained tomatoes into a large, wide, shallow pan. Add sugar and lemon juice. Simmer with lid off on medium-low heat. Check and stir occasionally. Once tomatoes start to thicken, watch and stir more often that it doesn’t burn. When it’s thick to your liking, anywhere to between a syrup or jam consistency (I like mine thicker), remove from heat and stir in the basil. Spoon into sterilized jars, wiping brims of any jam residue before applying lids and rings. Process in water bath for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool. You will hear the lids pop as they seal vacuum tight. Any jars that don’t seal properly can be stored in the fridge and used first. The rest will last a year or more stored in a dark cool place.

Dandelion Jelly

Dandelion Jelly

Dandelion Jelly

2 c. dandelion flowers (harvested from pesticide free location)

4 c. sugar

1 pkg. or 6 T. powdered pectin

2 T. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. butter

 

Rinse dandelions in a colander and remove stems by snipping them off with a pair of kitchen scissors. Place dandelions in a bowl and cover them with 4 C. of boiling water. You are essentially going to make “dandelion tea.”  After the water cools off, place the bowl of water and dandelions in the refrigerator until the next day. It was two days until I got back to mine, but it was just fine. The next day, run the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the pieces of dandelion. You should end up with a clear liquid. If not, try pouring it through the strainer again. Measure the tea, adding a little water if necessary to get exactly 4 C. of liquid. Pour liquid into a large stock pot. Stir in lemon juice. Sprinkle the pectin on top of the juice and use a whisk to mix it together. Stirring constantly, heat until boiling. Boil for one minute. Add the pinch of butter and return to a boil. Add the sugar to the pot all at one time (measure it and have it ready ahead of time). Stir until sugar is dissolved. Return to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Remove any foam with a metal spoon. Ladle the jelly into hot sterilized jars, leaving ¼ inch head space, and process in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner and place on a towel on the kitchen counter to cool. Lids will make a pinging noise when they seal. If a jar does not seal, place it in the refrigerator and eat in the next couple of weeks. Cooled sealed jars can be stored in the pantry for several years.

Green Tomato Jam

Green Tomato Jam

Green Tomato Jam

4 pounds green tomatoes (2 1/2 pounds net)

4 1/3 C. superfine sugar

Juice (and zest) of two small lemons

 

Rinse tomatoes in cold water. Dry them with towel. Cut in wedges and remove juice, seeds and the white center parts. Dice tomatoes. In a bowl, combine the tomato pieces, sugar and lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap and let macerate overnight. The next day, pour this mixture into a preserving pan (large bottomed large surface area copper pot/pan). Bring to a boil and on low heat cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour back into the bowl. cover with plastic wrap and again refrigerate overnight. The third day, bring the mixture to a boil, skim if necessary and continue cooking in low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the set and cook a bit more if needed. Put the jam into jars immediately and seal (or for small batches, just refrigerate).

Canning Stewed Rhubarb

Canning Stewed Rhubarb

Canning Stewed Rhubarb

12 C. Sliced Rhubarb

1 ½ C. Sugar

 

In a large pot combine the rhubarb and sugar, mixing well. Cover and let stand until juice begins to release from the fruit. While the fruit stands, get the boiling water canner going and get jars, lids, and rings ready. Once some water has started to release from the rhubarb, bring it to a gentle boil, stirring to prevent scorching. Ladle the stewed rhubarb into hot jars leaving 1/2″ headspace. Clean rims; put on lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for elevation.

 

Notes: Scale the recipe up or down by figuring 1/2 C. sugar for every 4 C. of chopped rhubarb

 

These beautiful jars are a simple addition to many meals in winter:

 

  • Use as a pancake / waffle topping instead of syrups
  • Mix in with oatmeal and other hot cereals for a flavorful, fruity punch
  • Top ice cream, poundcake, or sweet shortcake biscuits for an easy dessert
  • Dumplings! Put a jar or two into a pot and heat, add dumpling batter and cook until the dumplings are cooked and fluffy.
  • Stir into homemade yogurt
  • Pour a jar or two into the bottom of a pie plate and top with oats and melted butter for a crisp-style dessert.
Pressure Canning Chicken Stock

Pressure Canning Chicken Stock

Pressure Canning Chicken Stock

1 3- to 4-lb chicken, cut into pieces

16 C. water

2 stalks celery

2 medium onions, quartered

1 T. salt

10 peppercorns

2 bay leaves

4 Ball®  (32 oz) quart or 8 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

 

Half recipe

1/2  3- to 4-lb chicken, cut into pieces

8 C. water

1 stalks celery

1 medium onions, quartered

1-1/2 T. salt

5 peppercorns

1 bay leaves

2 Ball®  (32 oz) quart or 4 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

 

*You must process at least 2 quart jars or 4 pint jars in the pressure canner at one time to ensure safe processing.*

 

Prepare pressure canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil.  Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside Combine chicken and water in a large sauce-pot. Bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove from heat. Skim off foam. Remove chicken from stock, reserving chicken for another use. Strain stock through a sieve or several layers of cheesecloth. Allow stock to cool until fat solidifies. Skim off fat. Heat stock to a boil. Ladle hot chicken stock into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight. Process filled jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts, adjusting for altitude, according to your pressure canners directions. Turn off heat: cool canner to zero pressure. Let stand 5 more minutes before removing the lid. Cool jars in canner 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Red Plum Jam

Red Plum Jam

Red Plum Jam

5 C. red plums about 2 pounds

3 C. sugar

3/4 C. water

 

3 pint canning jars

3 lid and ring sets

Water bath canner

Canning tool set

 

Prepare jars according to the water bath canning directions. Chop plums into small-ish pieces. Leave them larger if you like your jam a little more chunky. Combine chopped plums, sugar, and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil slowly, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. Turn up the heat and bring to jelly stage quickly. (220°) As jam thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from heat. If foam as formed on top, skim it off. Ladle hot jam into jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Finish jars and process jam according to water bath canning instructions for 15 minutes. Notes: Jams and Jellies must be made in small batches, or the finished product will not set up.

Spicy Pickled Swiss Chard Stems

Spicy Pickled Swiss Chard Stems

Spicy Pickled Swiss Chard Stems

One large bunch of rainbow chard stems, cleaned and cut to fit into mason jar, about 3/4 inch from the lip

1/2 C. rice wine vinegar

3/4 C. distilled white vinegar

1/4 C. sugar or 3 T. maple syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 T. sriracha

1/4 teaspoon celery seed, divided

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, divided

1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds, divided

2 cloves garlic, divided

 

Add each half of the celery seed, peppercorns, mustard seeds, and garlic to each jar. (If just making one jar, this can all go together.) Pack chard stems tightly into jars. Bring vinegars, sugar (or maple syrup), salt, and sriracha to a boil, in a small saucepan until sugar and salt is dissolved. Then pour over chard stems. Let sit until cool, then put lids on and refrigerate. Wait two days before eating for flavors fully develop. Will last 1 month in refrigerator.

Easy French Apple Jam

Easy French Apple Jam

Easy French Apple Jam

about 6 apples (I mixed Granny Smith and Honeycrisp)

2 1/2 C. sugar

5 cardamom pods crushed (use a rolling pin or heavy spoon to gently crack open the pods)

juice of 2 lemons divided

2 T. pectin powder this is totally optional, the jam will set without it

 

Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the juice of 1 lemon. Peel, core, and quarter the apples and add them to the lemon water as you work. Remove the apples from the water (discard the water) and finely dice them. Add the apples to a heavy bottomed pot, along with the sugar, cardamom pods, (and any seeds that have escaped) the pectin (if using) and the juice of the other lemon. Stir well, and then bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered and stirring often, for about 30-40 minutes until thickened. About halfway through the cooking I used my stick blender to blend the jam just a bit, but I left lots of apple chunks intact. This is optional and depends on what texture you want your jam to have, and how large or small you chopped your apples in the first place. If you do this, be extra careful not to splatter yourself, the jam is very hot. Ladle the finished jam into clean (sterilized) jars, cover tightly, and let cool before refrigerating. See note below for preserving options.

 

Make it your own

 

  • To can this jam you can follow the instructions from the Ball® website: Ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat and remove cover. Let jars cool 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner, do not retighten bands if loose. Cool 12 hours. Check seals. Label and store jars.
  • Add a few cranberries for a fresh flavor or mix the apples with pears.
  • Double or triple the cardamom for a delicious spread to serve with cheese and crackers.
Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jelly

Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jelly

Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jelly

2 and 1/2 pounds rhubarb washed, trimmed, and sliced

1/2 C. water

7 C. granulated sugar

2 T. lemon juice

seeds of 1 vanilla bean

2 pouches 3 ounces each of liquid pectin

 

Puree the rhubarb in your Vitamix blender or food processor, along with the water to get it started. You may need to do this in 2 batches. Put the rhubarb puree into a clean jelly or nut bag, and let it hang over a large bowl to allow the juice to drip out. Don’t press or squeeze the bag aggressively or the pulp may come through and this will make your jelly cloudy. I do squeeze it a little bit, though, to move it along. It can help to have a jelly strainer, which is made for this purpose. You want to end up with 3 1/2 C. liquid. Put the rhubarb juice in a large stainless steel pot or saucepan. Stir in the sugar, the lemon juice, and the vanilla bean seeds. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring almost constantly. Once the mixture has reached a full rolling boil, let it fully boil for 3 minutes. It may foam up so stay right by it. Stirring is ok. After 3 minutes, stir in the pectin, and bring it back to a full, rolling boil. Boil 1 minute. Again it may foam up so be careful. Take the jelly off the heat and skim off any foam that is on the surface. Fill your sterilized jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. If you care canning: Wipe down the rims of the jars to remove any spilled jelly, then attach the lids and screw them, but don’t over-tighten. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner. If you aren’t canning: Let cool and then cap and refrigerate.