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Category: Appetizers & Snacks

Mascarpone-Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Mascarpone-Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Mascarpone-Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Raspberry Vinaigrette

 

¹⁄³ cup fresh raspberries

¹⁄³ cup chopped shallots

¼ cup raspberry vinegar

½ cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¹⁄³ cup mascarpone cheese

1 tsp. minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

½ tsp. minced fresh thyme

12 fresh squash blossoms, pistils removed

Vegetable oil, for frying

½ cup all-purpose flour

 

Beer Batter

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 cup dark Mexican beer

 

Combine the raspberries, shallots, and vinegar in a blender or food processor, and process to form a coarse puree. With the machine running, gradually add the olive oil. Season the vinaigrette with salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside.  Mix the mascarpone, chipotle chiles and sauce, and thyme in a small bowl. Season the filling to taste with salt and pepper. Place the filling in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch tip. Pipe the filling into each squash blossom and twist the blossom at the top to enclose it. Place a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and add enough vegetable oil to reach one third of the way up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil to 350°F. Dust the squash blossoms in the flour and then dip them into the beer batter. Working in batches, fry the squash blossoms for 3 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Transfer them to paper towels to drain. Arrange the squash blossoms on a platter, drizzle with the raspberry vinaigrette, and serve. Prep Beer Batter: Mix the flour, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually add the beer while whisking. Set the batter aside and let it rest for 15 minutes before using. Tip: No pastry bag? No worries. Put the filling in a plastic bag and cut a 1/4-inch hole in one of the corners.

Ricotta (or cottage cheese) with Tomatoes, Lemon, and Mint

Ricotta (or cottage cheese) with Tomatoes, Lemon, and Mint

Ricotta (or cottage cheese) with Tomatoes, Lemon, and Mint

 

1 large garlic clove, finely chopped

1 T. fresh lemon juice

½ pint grape tomatoes

½ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. dried mint

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup ricotta or cottage cheese

 

Combine the chopped garlic and lemon juice in a medium bowl; let them hang out while you prep the tomatoes. (The lemon juice will tame the garlic’s bite.) Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and add them to the bowl. Stir in the salt, mint, and olive oil and let it sit for a minute or two. Divide the cheese between two bowls and spoon the tomato mixture on top.

Herbed Lemon Cheese

Herbed Lemon Cheese

Herbed Lemon Cheese

 

1 quart whole or 2% milk

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

¾ tsp. minced fresh chives

½ tsp. minced Italian parsley

¼ tsp. minced fresh thyme

1 clove garlic, grated

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Gently heat the milk to 180ºF. Add the lemon juice and stir slowly until the milk separates into curds and whey. Ladle into a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh sieve set over a large bowl. Gather the corners of the cheesecloth together over the curds and tie with butcher’s twine. Let the curds drain in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours, or until the desired consistency. Transfer the cheese to a medium bowl, stir in the chives, parsley, thyme, and garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper. Form the cheese into a wheel and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Radish Butter

Radish Butter

Radish Butter

 

2 bunches large red radishes (around 20) grated on the large holes of a box grater

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 T. finely diced red onion

1 large clove garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

 

After grating the radish, pat with paper toweling to dry it a bit. In a large sauté pan, cook the onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes to soften. Add the radish and sauté over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the mixture softens and becomes a bit gooey. This will probably take 20 to 30 minutes.

Generously season with salt and add a little pepper. (I used 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper) Use your judgement Cool and refrigerate for about an hour before serving on crackers, little toasts or cucumbers.

Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings

Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings

Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings

 

12 wings

1/2 stick butter

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp salt

juice from 1/2 lemon

1 tsp garlic salt

parsley

 

Melt together butter,  Parmesan, salt, lemon juice and garlic salt in microwavable bowl for 1 minute (cover with Glad Press ‘n Seal to keep it from splattering). Toss wings in butter sauce. Place wings into air fryer

Sprinkle with additional garlic salt. Heat in Air Fryer at 350  for 11 min. Open Air Fryer and turn all wings and rotate them in the fryer. Heat in Air Fryer at 400 for 10 min more. Sprinkle with parsley.

Fried Squash Blossoms with Mint and Goat Cheese

Fried Squash Blossoms with Mint and Goat Cheese

Fried Squash Blossoms with Mint and Goat Cheese

 

For the blossoms:

 

14 to 16 large zucchini squash blossoms

3/4 cup/6 ounces fresh soft goat cheese or whole-milk ricotta

1/2 cup/4 ounces mascarpone or crème fraîche

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1 to 2 T. fresh chopped mint and basil, plus more for garnish

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

 

For the Batter and Frying:

 

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

About 1/2 cup chilled seltzer or other unflavored sparkling water

About 3/4 cup vegetable oil, for frying

Optional: fresh tomato sauce, for serving

 

Carefully open each blossom and remove stamen; set aside. Combine goat cheese (or ricotta) with mascarpone (or crème fraîche) and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Stir in mint and basil and season with salt and pepper. Gently stuff blossoms with cheese-herb mixture, twisting end of blossom to close. NOTE: You might have some cheese mixture leftover; if so, stir into a pasta sauce or spread on toast and eat with tomatoes. Make batter by combining flour, cornstarch, and baking powder with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Whisk in beaten egg and sparkling water, adding a bit at a time, until batter is well-combined and is the consistency of heavy cream or a loose pancake batter. Pour oil to about a half inch into a large (10-inch) heavy skillet and heat to about 365° (or until oil begins to shimmer but not smoke; add a bit of batter to test oil. The batter should bubble and float). Fry blossoms, in two batches, if necessary, turning over once until golden, about 2 minutes total time. Place on a paper-towel-lined cooling rack or plate. Sprinkle while hot with a bit of Parmesan or salt, such as Maldon or other finishing salt. If serving with sauce, spoon some fresh tomato sauce on bottom of plate and top with squash blossoms. Eat at once.  Notes: To prepare blossoms, gently open the blossom (they might tear, but that’s OK) and pull out stamen. Rinse gently and place in a paper towel-lined colander. Pat dry.

Fritto Misto of Fiddleheads, Ramps and Asparagus with Meyer Lemon Aioli

Fritto Misto of Fiddleheads, Ramps and Asparagus with Meyer Lemon Aioli

Fritto Misto of Fiddleheads, Ramps and Asparagus with Meyer Lemon Aioli

 

1 large or 2 small garlic cloves

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Finely grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon

2 T. fresh Meyer lemon juice

4 quarts peanut or vegetable oil

3 C. unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup cake flour

1 large egg

2 C. buttermilk

1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 to 2 pounds mixed fiddleheads, ramps (or green onions) and asparagus, cleaned and patted dry

 

Place the oil in a 6- to 8-quart pot and heat it to 375°F. Sift together the all-purpose and cake flours and place them in a wide bowl or on a platter. Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, salt, and pepper in a large shallow bowl. While the oil is healing, prepare the vegetables, making sure that they are dry before coating. To avoid gluey fingers, use one hand for wet dipping and the other for dry. Working with a few pieces of the vegetables at a time, dip them into the buttermilk mixture, coating them well. Lift them out, letting the excess buttermilk drip off, then drop them into the flour mixture, working quickly to coat them evenly with the flour. Shake off any excess flour and lay the vegetables in a single layer on a large parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Continue until all die vegetables are coated. When the oil is hot, carefully add the vegetables to the pot but do not overcrowd. Fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Give the vegetables a stir as they fry, turning any that are browning unevenly. Using a slotted spoon or flat strainer, remove the vegetables and place on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Hold in a warm place while frying the rest of the vegetables. Be sure to bring the oil back up to temperature before adding the next batch. Serve warm with the Meyer Lemon Aioli.   Note: Coating 20-25 minutes ahead of time makes the coating adhere better when frying.

 

Meyer Lemon Aioli

 

½ C. EVOO

½ C. Olive Oil

1 lg. Garlic Clove

1 tsp. Salt

1 Egg

1 Egg Yolk

Zest from Meyer Lemon

2 T. fresh Meyer Lemon Juice

 

Combine the extra virgin olive oil and the pure olive oil in a measuring cup with a spout. Place the garlic and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the garlic is finely minced and beginning to liquefy. Add the whole egg and egg yolk. Process for 30 seconds. With the machine running, slowly begin to drizzle in the oil. As the mixture thickens, the oil can be added a little more quickly. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice and process briefly to mix in. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. If the aioli is too stiff, add water in ½ tsp. increments to thin.

Tahini Fruit Drip

Tahini Fruit Drip

Tahini Fruit Drip

 

1 cup plain 2 percent Greek yogurt

3 T. tahini

3 T. honey

Coarse salt

Ground cinnamon

Sliced fruit, such as apples, bananas, strawberries, and mango, for serving

 

Stir together yogurt, tahini, honey, a pinch of coarse salt, and a large pinch of cinnamon. Serve with sliced fruit.

Morels And Brick Cheese on Rye, With Ramp Leaf Aioli

Morels And Brick Cheese on Rye, With Ramp Leaf Aioli

Morels And Brick Cheese on Rye, With Ramp Leaf Aioli

2 slices caraway rye bread sliced 1/2 inch

Room temperature unsalted butter as needed

1.5 ounces fresh whole morel mushrooms rinsed, cleaned, and inspected for debris on the inside.

Kosher salt and pepper

1 T. Lard other animal fat, or high heat cooking oil such as grapeseed

1.5 ounces brick cheese sliced

1 tsp. chopped fresh ramp bulbs

1 recipe ramp leaf aioli follows

 

Spread each side of bread with butter. Place the bread buttered side down in the cast iron pan. Arrange the cheese slices on the bread and cook on low-medium heat, until the bread is nicely toasted and the cheese is melting. In a separate pan, heat the lard or grapeseed oil until lightly smoking, add the morels and cook over medium high heat until brown and caramelized, about 4-5 minutes. Add a tsp. of butter to the pan, then add the ramps. When the morels are totally cooked, season with salt and pepper. Allow the morels to drain on a paper towel briefly to shed excess oil if needed. Place the morels on top of the cheese on one slice of bread, top each with some of the ramps from the pan, then add a T. of the ramp leaf aioli. Place the other slice of bread on top of the slice with the morels and sauce. Press the sandwich lightly to make it stick together.

 

 

Ramp Leaf Aioli

 

1 ounce fresh wild garlic leaves about 10 large leaves

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

1 cup mayonnaise preferably homemade

1 tsp. champagne vinegar

 

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the wild garlic leaves and cook for 5 seconds, until just wilted. Immediately refresh the ramp leaves in an ice bath to preserve their color. Squeeze the leaves dry in a towel, then mince finely. Puree the leaves in a highspeed blender or a food processor with the mayonnaise.  Afterwards, pass the sauce through the chinois or mesh strainer to remove any stringy leaf particles and give it a velvety texture (optional). Stir in the champagne vinegar, season to taste with salt and pepper and reserve until needed.

Fritto Misto of Ramps, Asparagus, Fiddleheads with Citrus Mint Aioli

Fritto Misto of Ramps, Asparagus, Fiddleheads with Citrus Mint Aioli

Fritto Misto of Ramps, Asparagus, Fiddleheads with Citrus Mint Aioli

4 C. canola oil

2 C. all-purpose flour

¼ cup cornstarch

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

Zest of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 lime

½- 1 cup ice cold club soda, diluted with 2 T. lemon juice

1 ½ to 2 pounds mixed fiddleheads, ramps (or green onions) and asparagus, cleaned and dried

Maldon salt, to season

Citrus Mint Aioli, to serve (recipe follows)

 

Place the oil in a 6- to 8-quart pot and heat it to 375ËšF. In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and baking powder. Add salt and citrus zest and mix well. Slowly add in water or club soda until the consistency is like a loose pancake batter. Once the oil has come to temperature, working with a few pieces of the vegetables at a time, dip them into the batter, coating them well and letting the excess drip off, before adding to hot oil. Working in batches, place vegetables in oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pot and fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables and place on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with maldon salt. Hold in a warm place while frying the rest of the vegetables. Be sure to bring the oil back up to temperature before adding the next batch. Serve warm with the citrus mint aioli.

 

Citrus Mint Aioli

 

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

¼ cup fresh mint, chopped

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Juice and zest of 1 lime

½ cup canola oil

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

 

Place garlic, salt, egg and egg yolk in a blender and blend until smooth. Add mint and combine. Slowly stream in half the oil and then add citrus juice and zest and then continue to add the rest of the oil until thick and emulsified. Adjust with salt, if needed. Serve with fritto misto.

Wild Foraged Black Trumpet Mushroom Spread

Wild Foraged Black Trumpet Mushroom Spread

Wild Foraged Black Trumpet Mushroom Spread

1 T. Ghee or butter

2 T. Garlic Scapes or shallots

1/2 cup coarsely chopped Black Trumpet Mushrooms (cleaned)

8 ounce Cream Cheese (organic, cultured)

1 pinch Sea Salt to taste

1 pinch White Pepper to taste

 

In a skillet over medium/low heat, sauté garlic scapes in ghee until soft. Add in black trumpet mushrooms continue sautéing until mushrooms are cooked through and any liquid is evaporated. Reduce heat to low, add cream cheese (cut or scooped into roughly 1 T. sized chunks). Stirring constantly until the cream cheese is melted and mixed thoroughly. Transfer to a an air tight jar or container and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours prior to allow the flavors to come together. Remove dip from at the refrigerator roughly 30 minutes prior to serving to allow it to warm to room temperature. Serve with crackers, toasted bread or raw vegetables. Notes: Use 1 ounce dried Black Trumpets that have been reconstituted in warm water in place of the fresh.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Mushrooms with Burrata

Roasted Butternut Squash and Mushrooms with Burrata

Roasted Butternut Squash and Mushrooms with Burrata

 

2 T. unsalted butter, plus more if needed

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

5 cup 1-inch cubes butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds)

 

2 T. unsalted butter, plus more if needed

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

5 cup 1-inch cubes butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds)

6 T. unsalted butter

1 T. minced fresh sage

2 T. balsamic vinegar

2 T. unsalted butter, plus 1/2 T. if needed

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

3 1/2 cup mushrooms, any variety, preferably wild

2 cup shallots, thinly sliced

12 ounce (3 balls) burrata

 

Baking Directions: Preheat the oven to 400º F. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat and add the butter and the olive oil. When the butter foams, add the squash and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until caramelized and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Slide the pan into the oven and roast until a deeper brown on the edges, about 20 minutes. For the vinaigrette: Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter, and when it foams, brown the sage for just a minute, and then pour in the vinegar and let it reduce by half. Don’t stir or touch it. Just keep it at a simmer, gently reducing until thickened. When it’s the consistency of a light syrup, add the salt. Turn off the heat but leave the pan on the stove while you sauté the mushrooms. Heat a medium sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat and add the 2 T. butter and 2 T. olive oil. When the butter foams, add the mushrooms and sauté until they begin to release their water, about 8 minutes. Add the shallots to the pan and sauté until brown, 3 to 4 minutes, tossing so they cook evenly. Season with salt and pepper and add another 1/2 T. of butter if they look dry. Divide the squash and the mushrooms evenly among 6 plates. Tear the burrata into pieces, scattering them over the vegetables. Drizzle with the vinaigrette.

Crispy Lemon Parmesan Zucchini Chips with Basil Aioli

Crispy Lemon Parmesan Zucchini Chips with Basil Aioli

Crispy Lemon Parmesan Zucchini Chips with Basil Aioli

 

2 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1/2 C. flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 C. panko breadcrumbs

1/2 C. parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated

1 T. lemon zest

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 C. mayonnaise

1/4 C. basil

 

Dredge the zucchini slices in flour, dip them in the egg, and coat them in the mixture of the breadcrumb, parmesan, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Fry the coated zucchini slices in oil until lightly golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side or place them on a wire rack on a baking pan, spray lightly with oil and bake in a preheated 425F/220C oven until lightly golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Puree the mayonnaise and basil and serve with the zucchini chips.

Pan-Fried Feta with Thyme and Greek Marinated Olives

Pan-Fried Feta with Thyme and Greek Marinated Olives

Pan-Fried Feta with Thyme and Greek Marinated Olives

 

Greek Marinated Olives

1/2 C. extra-virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves

4 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 tsp. dried fennel seeds

Zest of 1 lemon, peeled in strips with a vegetable peeler

2 C. mixed olives (I like kalamata and green olives)

Crushed red pepper flakes

 

1 large egg, beaten

1/3 C. panko bread crumbs

1 (10- to 12-ounce) block feta cheese

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

2 sprigs fresh thyme

Freshly ground black pepper

Crushed red pepper flakes

Grilled naan, heirloom tomatoes, and fresh basil leaves, for serving

 

Marinate the olives. In a small saucepan, combine the olive oil, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and fennel. Bring the oil to a simmer over medium-low heat, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the lemon zest and olives. Season with red pepper flakes. (The olives can be prepared up to 1 week in advance and stored in a glass jar in the fridge.) Make the feta. Pour the beaten egg into a shallow medium bowl. Put the panko in a separate shallow medium bowl. Dip the block of feta in the egg, coating all sides completely, then remove and allow any excess egg to drip off. Place the block of feta in the panko, pressing the crumbs gently to adhere. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium. When it shimmers, add the feta and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden. Transfer the feta to a serving platter and garnish with fresh thyme, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Serve warm, with the marinated olives, naan, and tomatoes alongside.

Zucchini Garlic Bites

Zucchini Garlic Bites

Zucchini Garlic Bites

1 C. zucchini grated and drained well

1 egg

1/3 C. breadcrumbs

1/4 C. Parmesan cheese grated fine

1 clove garlic grated fine

2 T. fresh chives chopped

1 T. fresh parsley chopped

1 tsp. fresh basil chopped

1 tsp. fresh oregano chopped

pinch of salt and pepper

tomato sauce for dipping

 

Preheat oven to 400ËšF. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil or non-stick spray. Set aside. Use a box grater to grate the zucchini into a clean towel. Roll up the towel and twist to wring out the moisture. Grate the garlic using the small holes on the box grater. In a medium bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Shape a T. of the mixture into your hands, pat into small balls, and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes in the preheated oven until golden. Serve warm with marinara sauce.

Red Pepper Triangles with Italian Relish

Red Pepper Triangles with Italian Relish

Red Pepper Triangles with Italian Relish

 

5 red bell peppers

2 T. olive oil

Coarse salt and ground pepper

2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into thin strips

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup chopped, pitted Kalamata olives

1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest plus

1 T. juice

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Cut tops and bottoms from peppers, then half lengthwise. Use a chef’s knife to remove ribs and seeds. Cut peppers into rectangular planks, each about 3 inches long and 2 inches wide, then cut diagonally into 24 triangles. On prepared sheet, toss bell pepper with 1 T. oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange skin-side down in a single layer and bake until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes; set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine prosciutto, parsley, olives, remaining T. oil, lemon zest and juice, and red-pepper flakes. Top each pepper triangle with relish. Note:  Make sure to take the peppers out of the oven before they get too soft. They should still be firm enough to hold the toppings. To store, refrigerate roasted peppers and relish separately, up to one day.

French Onion Tart

French Onion Tart

French Onion Tart

 

Pastry

2 C. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 T. sugar

12 T. cold unsalted butter, diced (1 1/2 sticks)

1/2 C. ice water

 

Onion Topping

1 C. gruyere cheese, shredded (4 oz)

1 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced

2 tsp. fresh chives, minced

1 1/4 lb. sweet onions, (about 3 medium onions)

1 T. heavy cream

3 T. unsalted butter, diced

1 tsp. kosher salt

 

Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Roll the dough between two sheets of lightly floured wax paper, slightly larger than 10 x 14 inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges. Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the onions. Sprinkle the rolled pastry with the cheese right to the edges. Sprinkle with thyme and chives. Peel, halve, and very thinly slice the onions into half-moons, keeping the moons intact. Place the onion half-moons on the pastry in diagonal lines, just barely overlapping and brush lightly with cream. Dot with the butter and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 40 mins or until the tart is golden and browned. Cover the edges with foil if the tart is getting too brown during baking. Let cool slightly and cut into squares to serve. Serve warm or at room temperature. Recipe Notes: The dough comes together in minutes in your food processor and can be made well in advance and frozen until you’re ready to use it.

There’s no pre-cooking of the onions on the stove like many onion tarts require. They’re simply sliced thin and arranged over a sprinkling of grated cheese and herbs and baked until golden brown and caramelized. The tart can be sliced into squares, strips, or wedges, but no matter how you slice it (yes I went there), it’s just plain delicious. Tart can be served right out of the oven or at room temperature, which makes it ideal for parties.

 

Cheese in a Jar

Cheese in a Jar

Cheese in a Jar

Throughout the Mediterranean, cheesemakers have traditionally preserved their fresh cheeses in jars of olive oil, often with the addition of wild herb branches. It is a glorious snack to make at home. After only a few days in a flavorful marinade, it’s ready to eat with a good crusty loaf or with Real Garlic Toast. Make sure to get a little herby oil in each bite. Cheese in a jar is handy to take on a picnic too—and just as nice for an indoor picnic at the kitchen table.

 

1/2 pound fresh goat cheese log or mild feta

A few thyme branches

A few rosemary sprigs

A bay leaf

2 garlic cloves, halved

A few black peppercorns

About 1 C. olive oil

 

Slice the cheese into 2-inch chunks. Carefully layer the cheese in a clean jar or glass bowl, adding the thyme branches, rosemary sprigs, bay leaf, garlic, and peppercorns as you go. Pour over enough olive oil to cover. Seal tightly and refrigerate for at least several days before serving. This keeps, refrigerated, for up to 1 month.

Cheese Apple and Nut Butter Roll Ups

Cheese Apple and Nut Butter Roll Ups

Cheese Apple and Nut Butter Roll Ups

 

4 thin slices (1/4 lb.) swiss or muenster cheese, at room temperature

1/2 large apple (3 oz) thinly sliced

1 T. macadamia nut butter or 2 tsp. unsweetened peanut butter

 

Place the cheese on a cutting board. Arrange the apple slices in a horizontal row 1″ from the narrow end of each cheese slice, roll up, and drizzle or spread with the nut butter. Secure with toothpicks.

 

Makes 4 servings

Calories: 143,

Fat 11g

Fiber 1g

Baked Feta with Chickpeas and Greens

Baked Feta with Chickpeas and Greens

Baked Feta with Chickpeas and Greens

 

2 T. olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 tsp. cumin seeds (optional)

1 large or 2 small bunches kale (about 8 ounces total), stems removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces, washed, and shaken dry (there should be a little water still clinging to the leaves)

3 cups Simple Tomato Sauce

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 T. fresh lemon juice, plus additional wedges for serving

Kosher salt

1 (12-ounce) block feta, cut into ½-inch-thick slices

Freshly ground black pepper

Warm pitas or crusty baguette slices, for serving

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Heat a 14-inch oven-safe skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil’s hot, add the cumin seeds (if you’re using them) and let them sizzle gently for a minute or two. Add the kale in batches, letting each handful shrink and wilt before adding the next. When the last of the kale has wilted, add the tomato sauce, chickpeas, lemon juice, and ½ cup water. Give everything a stir and let it come to a simmer. Taste the sauce for salt and add a little if needed. (Whether it needs it will depend on how salty your tomato sauce is, but keep in mind that the feta is salty, too.) Nestle the feta slices into the sauce and give them a few good grinds of black pepper. Slide the skillet into the oven and bake until the feta has softened, about 15 minutes. Drizzle a little olive oil over the whole thing and serve with warm bread and lemon wedges.

Pepperoni Bread

Pepperoni Bread

Pepperoni Bread

 

13.8 ounces package refrigerated pizza dough

6 ounces sliced pepperoni

8 ounces sliced provolone cheese

3 T. butter

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and prepare a rimmed baking sheet by spraying it with cooking spray.

Remove the pizza dough from the canister and roll it out onto a lightly floured surface or parchment so that it measures into a rectangle about 10 X 15 – inches. Beginning at one of the longer ends, place the pepperoni in an overlapping layer down the length of the dough. Tear a few of the provolone slices in half and place over the pepperoni. Pull the dough up from under the pepperoni and roll it over the cheese so that it sticks to the dough beyond the pepperoni. Repeat adding the pepperoni and cheese and rolling until you have completely rolled the dough. Place the roll seam side down onto the prepared rimmed baking sheet. You may have to curve it so that it fits. In a microwavable-safe bowl, melt the butter for about 30 seconds. Mix in the garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Brush completely over the Pepperoni Bread. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove to a large cutting board to set for about 3 – 5 minutes before cutting to serve.

Blood Orange Ricotta Toast

Blood Orange Ricotta Toast

Blood Orange Ricotta Toast

 

2 blood oranges

2/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 1-inch thick slices brioche bread

2 T. melted butter

Honey

Flaky sea salt

 

Cut off the top and bottom of each blood orange just until the pulp is exposed. Stand the blood orange up on one of the flat ends. Working from top to bottom, cut away the peel and pith, following the curve of the fruit. Cut the fruit into slices and set aside. In a small food processor, blitz together ricotta and vanilla until mostly smooth. You can also just mix them together in a bowl, but it won’t be as smooth. Warm a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the brioche with melted butter. Place brioche in the skillet, and cook until golden and charred in spots on each side (about 1 to 2 minutes per side). To assemble, top each slice of toast with an even layer of ricotta. Arrange blood orange slices on top of the ricotta, then finish with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of sea salt. Enjoy immediately!

Shrimp Fritters with Chili-Lime Dipping Sauce

Shrimp Fritters with Chili-Lime Dipping Sauce

Shrimp Fritters with Chili-Lime Dipping Sauce

 

3 red Fresno, or jalapeno chiles

1 red bell pepper

1 T. firmly packed brown sugar

1 T. champagne vinegar

3/4 tsp. salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 cup canola oil

Juice of 1 lime

 

Canola oil, for deep-frying

156 pounds peeled and deveined shrimp, chopped

1 small yellow onion, finely minced

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely minced

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 large eggs

5 T. seltzer

5 T. freshly squeezed lime juice

1 T. Salt

Pepper

1 ½ C. Pastry Flour

 

TO MAKE THE DIPPING SAUCE, place the chiles and the bell pepper in a dry cast-iron frying pan over high heat. Cook, turning as needed, for about 15 minutes, or until the skin is blackened and blistered on all sides. Or, blacken and blister the chiles and pepper under a preheated broiler, watching carefully to avoid burning the flesh. Transfer the blackened chiles and pepper to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove from the bowl and let cool to room temperature. Peel the bell pepper, cut in half, and discard the seeds. Reserve half of the pepper for another use. Peel the chiles but do not seed. Chop the chiles and pepper coarsely. In a blender, combine chopped chiles and pepper, sugar, vinegar, salt, and a few grinds of pepper and process until smooth. With the blender running, add the oil slowly, about 1 T. at a time, and process until emulsified. Then add the lime juice and process until blended. Taste and adjust the seasoning. TO MAKE THE FRITTERS, pour the oil to a depth of 3 to 3½ inches into a deep fryer or deep, heavy-bottomed pot and heat to 375°F. While the oil is heating, in a bowl, combine the shrimp, onion, bell pepper, cilantro, eggs, seltzer, lime juice, salt, and a few grinds of pepper and stir until well combined. Add the flour and mix well. When the oil is ready, work in batches, cooking 6 to 8 fritters at a time, to avoid crowding. To form each fritter, drop 1 T. of the batter into the hot oil. Fry the fritters for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Keep warm while you fry the remaining fritters. Serve immediately on a platter or individual plates with the dipping sauce on the side.

Zucchini Quesadilla

Zucchini Quesadilla

Zucchini Quesadilla

 

4 T. olive oil

1 onion, coarsely chopped

Salt

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium zucchini (about 1 lb.), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise

1 cup frozen corn kernels (4 ounces)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas

2 C. grated pepper jack cheese

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 3 T. oil over medium heat. Add onion and 1 tsp. salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute more. Add zucchini and frozen corn kernels; cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is soft and corn is tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro, if using. Brush one side of all tortillas with remaining T. oil; lay 2 tortillas, oiled side down, on a baking sheet. Place half of the filling on each, and sprinkle with half the cheese. Place remaining 2 tortillas on top, oiled side up; press down gently with a spatula to seal. Bake until cheese has melted and tortillas are golden brown, turning once, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool slightly. To serve, slice each quesadilla into wedges.

Herbed Ricotta Dip

Herbed Ricotta Dip

Herbed Ricotta Dip

 

2 cups ricotta cheese

1 clove garlic

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus more to drizzle over dip when served

1 tsp. coarse salt

1/2 tsp. white pepper

1/2 lemon (zest of) and 1 tbsp of the juice

1 bunch fresh herbs (such as oregano, thyme, basil, dill, chives, garlic chives, mint etc.) or 1 heaping tbsp dried herbs (Italian mix or Herbs de Provence)

1-2 cured anchovy fillet (optional)*

1-2 preserved lemon rinds, thin strip(s) (optional)*

 

Mince the garlic and finely chop the fresh herbs. If using anchovy and/or preserved lemon rind, press into a paste using a small fork or pestle and mortar.

Place the ricotta in a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix and taste to assess flavor. Adjust herbs, olive oil, seasoning to taste, transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with a bit of olive oil before serving.  *These two ingredients if mashed into a paste and folded into the dip add umami depth and really boost the flavor base of the dip. Feel free to increase the quantities to taste.

 

Other optional ingredients: sun dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, smoked paprika, olive tapenade, grated Parmesan or Pecorino.

 

Yield: 6 servings

Calories:  218

Fat: 15g

Fiber: 1g

Herb Whipped Cream Cheese

Herb Whipped Cream Cheese

Herb Whipped Cream Cheese

 

8 oz [230 g] cream cheese, at room temperature

2 T. milk

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 T. chopped fresh basil leaves

2 T. chopped fresh chives

1 T. chopped fresh dill

1 tsp. grated lemon zest

 

Place the cream cheese, milk, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Process until the mixture is whipped and creamy, about 30 seconds. Add the basil, chives, dill, and lemon zest and pulse to combine.

 

ROASTED GARLIC AND HERB: Replace the lemon zest with several cloves of smashed roasted garlic.

 

MAPLE CINNAMON: Replace 1 Tbsp of the milk with maple syrup and add 1/4 tsp of cinnamon in place of the lemon zest and herbs.

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

 

3/4 cup flour

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1 T. Italian seasoning

pinch of salt (my addition, optional)

pinch of red pepper flakes (my addition, optional)

3/4 cup whole milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup cubed pepperoni

1/2 cup pizza sauce

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24-cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, salt and red pepper flakes (if using), whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan, and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes. Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin C.. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, microwave the pizza sauce until warmed through. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.  NOTE: All my batter did not fit into the 24-mini muffin pan. I made a full size muffin with the leftover batter. Some pans are larger than others so you may not have an issue.

Mushroom and Ricotta Bruschetta

Mushroom and Ricotta Bruschetta

Mushroom and Ricotta Bruschetta

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 egg

1 lemon, zested

½ tsp. salt

1 pinch freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste

4 slices French bread, toasted

1 T. olive oil

1 T. butter

1 T. olive oil

16 large white mushrooms, sliced

¼ cup green onions, chopped

¼ cup Marsala wine

½ cup chicken broth

2 tsp. lemon juice

2 T. chopped Italian parsley

1 T. butter

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Mix ricotta, egg, lemon zest, 1/2 tsp. salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes in a bowl until smooth. Place toasted bread slices on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1 T. olive oil and evenly divide ricotta mixture atop 4 bread slices. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is browned, about 12 minutes. Heat butter and 1 T. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook and stir mushrooms in mixture until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add green onions; cook and stir until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir marsala wine into mixture and cook until reduced by half, about 1 minute.  Reduce heat to medium-low. Add chicken stock and lemon juice to skillet; cook until liquid has evaporated. Reduce heat to low. Stir in parsley and butter. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.  Spoon mushroom mixture equally atop 4 slices of ricotta-topped bread slices.

Cachapas – Fresh Corncakes with Cheese

Cachapas – Fresh Corncakes with Cheese

Cachapas – Fresh Corncakes with Cheese

 

3 C. corn kernels (from fresh ears or thawed frozen)

1/4 C. masa harina (available on the international aisle of most grocers)

salt & pepper

1/2 C. shredded queso mano or mozzarella

vegetable oil, for frying

 

Grind the corn kernels to a smooth pulp, along with the salt and pepper. Add in the masa harina. Note: You can use a food processor or a blender for this step. If you use a blender, you’ll need a tamper or long spoon to push the corn into the blade (not while the blender is running, of course!). Once the mixture is smooth, preheat a griddle or large frying pan over medium heat. Add on some oil, then spoon the batter onto the pan. With the back of your spoon, press the batter into a rough circle. Cook the cachapas for 3-5 minutes. Flip and cook for 3-5 more minutes, pressing the mixture flat if desired. Sprinkle with mozarella and let melt. If necessary, keep warm in the oven until all cachapas are cooked. Fold in half and enjoy!

Nepalese Vegetable Momos

Nepalese Vegetable Momos

Nepalese Vegetable Momos

 

1.5 C. all-purpose flour maida

1 T. cooking oil

Salt as per taste

1/2 C. water or as required to knead a smooth elastic dough

Ingredients for the momos stuffing

2/3 C. cabbage finely chopped

2/3 C. carrot finely chopped

1/2 C. capsicum finely chopped

1/2 C. onion finely chopped

2 T. spring onion finely chopped

1 tsp. grated ginger

1 tsp. grated garlic

1 T. vinegar

1 tsp. black pepper powder

Salt as per taste

1 tsp. any cooking oil of your choice

 

Mix all the ingredients of dough and knead to make a smooth dough. Cover it with a wet cloth and keep aside. In a pan heat oil, add ginger, garlic, and onion. Sauté for around 30 seconds and then add all the remaining vegetables. Add salt, pepper, vinegar and stir fry till the moisture evaporates. Switch off the gas and keep the stuffing aside till it reaches room temperature. Make same sized, small balls of dough. Keep them covered under a wet cloth. Take one dough ball at a time; flatten it by pressing between your palms. Dust with some dry flour and roll it into a thin disc with the help of a rolling board and pin. Now put around 3/4 T. stuffing in the middle of a disc. Lift the edges from all sides and start pleating to bring them to the center. Pinch them together to join at the center. Make momos from the remaining balls in a similar way. Now grease the surface of your steamer’s plate. Place the momos on it and steam for around 20 minutes or till they become translucent. Serve hot with momos chutney! Or savory dipping sauce.

 

Savory Dipping Sauce

 

1 C. distilled white vinegar

1 C. sugar

¼ C. soy sauce

1 C. ketchup

1 tsp. cornstarch

 

Place the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and ketchup in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. 2 Combine the cornstarch and 1 T. of water in a small bowl and whisk together with a fork. Stir into the sauce, then bring the sauce to a boil over high heat and boil until thickened, about 1 minute. Serve alongside the momos. Any extra sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before serving.

 

Yield: 12 dumplings

1 dumpling

Calories: 80

Fat: 2g

Fiber: 1g

Mushroom, Grape & Blue Cheese Tartines

Mushroom, Grape & Blue Cheese Tartines

Mushroom, Grape & Blue Cheese Tartines

Don’t slice the endive in advance because the cut surfaces will oxidize and discolor. Wait until the tartines are under the broiler before slicing, and toss with the vinegar right away, as the acid slightly slows discoloration.

 

10- to 12-ounce baguette, halved crosswise and split in half lengthwise

4 T. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 medium garlic clove, peeled and halved

10 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 cup small seedless red grapes

1 T. plus 2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar, divided

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

2 ounces cream blue cheese, crumbled (½ cup)

1 medium head endive

 

Heat the broiler with a rack about 6 inches from the element. Pull out some of the interior crumb from each piece of baguette, slightly hollowing out the centers and creating boat shapes. Place the bread cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush with 3 T. of the oil, then rub with the cut sides of the garlic clove; discard the garlic. In a medium bowl, toss together the mushrooms, grapes, the 1 T. vinegar, the remaining 1 T. oil and ½ tsp. each salt and pepper. Divide the mixture evenly among the baguettes; reserve the bowl. Broil until the edges of the bread are toasted, the grapes begin to burst and the mushrooms begin to brown, about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, trim the endive and thinly slice it on the diagonal. In the reserved bowl, toss the endive with the remaining 2 tsp. vinegar; set aside. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and sprinkle the tartines with the cheese, dividing it evenly. Continue to broil until the cheese is melted, about 1 minute. Remove from the oven, then top with the endive.

Pumpkin Pie Seeds

Pumpkin Pie Seeds

Pumpkin Pie Seeds

Simmer the seeds a few days in advance and leave to soak in their brine, ready to strain and bake when the time comes (see Storage Tip).

 

4 C. (1 L) of water

1 cup (250 mL) of brown sugar

¼ cup (60 mL) of Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce

2 T. (30 mL) of salt

2 T. (30 mL) of ground ginger

1 T. (15 mL) of ground allspice

1 T. (15 mL) of cinnamon

1 T. (15 mL) of nutmeg

1 tsp. (5 mL) of ground cloves

4 C. (1 L) of unsalted raw pumpkin seeds

 

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Turn on your convection fan if you have one. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and lightly oil the paper or foil. Measure everything except the pumpkin seeds into a small saucepan and bring to a slow, steady simmer for a few minutes. Stir in the pumpkin seeds and simmer for a few minutes so they soften. Turn off the heat and rest long enough for the flavors to absorb, at least 15 minutes. Strain the seeds, reserving the reusable liquid. Spread them evenly on the prepared pan. Bake, without stirring, until lightly crisped and browned, 15 to 20 minutes. As they cool, they’ll crisp further. STORAGE TIP Room Temperature: Cool the seeds, tightly seal in a zip-top bag and store for up to 10 days.

Artichoke Soufflés

Artichoke Soufflés

Artichoke Soufflés

4 Eggs

¼ tsp. hot pepper sauce

¼ C. flour

Pinch freshly ground nutmeg

1½ C. milk

1 can (14 ounces) artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped

1 C. grated fontina cheese

1 C. grated cheddar cheese

½ C. chopped green onion or chives

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease eight ½-C. ramekins. Whisk together the eggs and hot pepper sauce in a large bowl until blended. Add the flour and nutmeg and mix well. Whisk in the milk, then stir in the artichoke hearts, cheeses, and green onion. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins, filling them to about ¼ inch below the rim. Set the ramekins on a baking sheet and bake until puffed and nicely browned, 45 to 50 minutes. Serve immediately.

Mini Basil Parmesan Cheesecakes with Tomato Jam

Mini Basil Parmesan Cheesecakes with Tomato Jam

Mini Basil Parmesan Cheesecakes with Tomato Jam

 

1 1/4 cup cracker crumbs

4 tablespoons salted butter, melted

1 egg white

16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup tomato jam

fresh basil leaves, for garnish

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, butter and egg white until combined. Press 1/2 tablespoon of the crumb mixture into each well of a mini cheesecake pan. (If you don’t have a cheesecake pan, you can use a muffin pan lined with cupcake liners.) Transfer to pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to 300 degrees. Add the cream cheese, parmesan, basil, sugar, eggs and salt to a blender.

Puree the ingredients until smooth. Fill each well of the pan halfway with the cheese mixture. Return the pan back to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are dry but the centers are still a little jiggly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer the pan to the refrigerator and chill for 8 hours or overnight. Remover the cheesecakes from the pan by running a knife around the edges and pushing up on the bottom. Transfer to a serving platter or plate. Top with tomato jam and garnish with basil. Serve immediately.

“Persinnamon“ Crisps

“Persinnamon“ Crisps

“Persinnamon“ Crisps

This recipe couldn’t be simpler. I enjoy adding salty-sweet fruit crisps to picnic spreads because they’re unexpected and round out a menu nicely. Bags of greasy potato chips—sure, people expect that. But a homemade persimmon chip? Not so much. This is the type of DIY recipe that is absolutely worth doing. It’s so easy: just a little slicing and a quick sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, and the oven takes it from there. I call for Fuyu persimmons here, as they are firmer and less astringent than Hachiya persimmons, and better suited to recipes like this. They’re also much more readily available. You can swap out the persimmons for apples or pears (“pearcinnamon” chips?) and proceed right along with the recipe. Makes about 4 servings

 

11/2 tsp. sugar

11/2 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

4 Fuyu persimmons (not too ripe)

Juice of 1/2 lemon

 

Preheat the oven to 250°F [120°C] and spray two baking sheets lightly with nonstick cooking spray (or use a silicone baking mat). Combine the sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Remove the green leaves from the persimmons and slice them very thin (with a mandoline, if you’ve got it); no need to peel them. Try to keep the slices at a thickness of less than 1/8 in [4 mm]. Toss these slices with the salty cinnamon-sugar mixture and the lemon juice. Lay the seasoned persimmon slices on the baking sheets in a single layer. Bake for 45 minutes, flip, and continue baking until golden brown and crisped, about 30 minutes more. Transfer the persimmon chips to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Crostini with Peaches, Ricotta, Prosciutto, Honey and Basil

Crostini with Peaches, Ricotta, Prosciutto, Honey and Basil

Crostini with Peaches, Ricotta, Prosciutto, Honey and Basil

 

1 large baguette

2-3 peaches, depending in their size; sliced thinly

about 1/2 cup ricotta, depending on how large your bread is

4oz prosciutto

honey for drizzling

chopped fresh basil for topping

lemon; optional to squeeze over top of the crostini

 

Slice the baguette on an angle to cut about 1/2 inch slices.  Drizzle both sides with olive oil.

Place on a grill and grill both sides until both sides have slight grill marks.  Allow to cool.  Scoop some ricotta onto each slice. Top with a small piece of the prosciutto. Then top that with a slice of the peach. Drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with chopped basil. Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice; optional.

Everything but the Bagel Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Everything but the Bagel Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Everything but the Bagel Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

I 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds

1 tablespoon dried minced onion

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

Seeds from 1 large pumpkin, rinsed and dried

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

 

Preheat the oven to 3 75 ° F. Mix the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, minced onion, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and sea salt together in a small bowl. Place the pumpkin seeds in a medium-size bowl, drizzle with the olive oil, toss to coat, then add the spice mixture and toss again.   Spread the seeds out on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast until golden brown, 10 to 20 minutes. Don’t worry if they aren’t crunchy right out of the oven.  They will crisp up more as they cool on the baking sheet.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature

Blue Beetroot Foldovers

Blue Beetroot Foldovers

Blue Beetroot Foldovers

 

2 Beets, medium

4 Dates, dried pitted and finely chopped

1 T. Lemon juice, fresh

1/4 C. Pumpkin seeds

2 T. Greek yogurt

½ package | 50 g Crumbled Danish Blue Cheese

1/4 C. / 60 ml pumpkin seeds, toasted; parsley or cilantro chopped finely for garnish (optional)

 

Boil beets in a large saucepan of salted water until tender; remove from heat, rinse with cold water and peel when cool enough to handle.  Using a mandolin or a sharp knife cut beets into very thin 1/8” slices. Place on paper towels to absorb excess moisture.  Combine remaining ingredients and stir to combine; set aside or refrigerate until ready to assemble.. Scoop a heaping tsp. of the Crumbled Danish Blue filling onto half of a beet slice and fold the other half over. Secure with toothpick if they don’t remain closed on their own. Place on a serving dish and garnish with pumpkin seeds and parsley or cilantro if desired.

Wild Mushrooms and Lardo on Rye

Wild Mushrooms and Lardo on Rye

Wild Mushrooms and Lardo on Rye

1 pound (454 g) mixed wild mushrooms: porcini, chanterelle, morel, boletus, etc. (substitute with any selection of cultivated and/or wild mushrooms)

2 T. (30 ml) butter

3 T. (45 ml) olive oil, divided

1/4 cup (60 ml) finely chopped shallots

1 T. (15 ml) fresh thyme leaves

Salt and pepper

½ cup (120 ml) dry white wine

1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream

4 toasted slices of rye bread

2 C. (480 ml) grated Fontina cheese (or substitute with mozzarella or old cheddar)

4 ounces (114 g) Italian lardo (from Valle d’Aosta, if possible), cut into thin strips

Italian parsley, chopped finely, for garnish

 

Clean mushrooms with damp cloth, trim woody ends of stems, and slice. Add butter and 1 T. (15 ml) of olive oil to a large skillet on medium heat. Add mushrooms, making sure the skillet is not overcrowded. Leave mushrooms to cook for 3-5 minutes or until bottoms are browned. Flip mushrooms and add shallots, thyme leaves, salt, and pepper to skillet. Cook for another 7-10 minutes, flipping once. Once moisture has evaporated, add dry white wine to skillet and reduce by at least half. Add heavy cream and continue cooking, stirring periodically. Drizzle toast with remaining olive oil. Broil 1 side of bread until golden. Flip over. Divide grated Fontina between slices of toast. Add cheese and broil again until cheese is melted and golden. Remove toast from oven and top each piece with sautéed mushrooms and paper-thin slices of lardo. Garnish with finely chopped Italian parsley.