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Category: Condiments & Extras

Chunky Rose Petal Pesto

Chunky Rose Petal Pesto

Chunky Rose Petal Pesto


​Two cups fresh basil

One cup rose Petals

4 peeled garlic cloves

1 cup toasted walnuts

1 cup of olive oil

1 Teaspoon rosewater

1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

1/4 cup of freshly grated Romano Cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


Combine everything in the food processor – but hold back 1/4 cup of the rose petals. Give it a few short whirs (pulses) so it has a chunky texture. Remove into a bowl. Mince your remaining rose petals finely.

Blend minced petals into your pesto. Leave a few for garnishing.

Peach-Saffron Preserves

Peach-Saffron Preserves

Peach-Saffron Preserves


3 lb. peaches pitted and quartered

3/4 cup sugar or more to taste

4 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp. saffron threads be sure to use good quality saffron

Pinch salt

1/8 tsp. cinnamon


Combine peaches, sugar, lemon juice, saffron threads and salt in a large sauce pot. Sliced peaches in a large stockpot. Cook over medium heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 30 minutes. Taste the mixture; add additional sugar to taste, if desired. Some peaches will be less sweet than others and require more sweetening, however don’t add too much sugar or you’ll overpower the subtle saffron flavor. Sliced peaches cooked down. Remove from heat and process the mixture through a food mill. Be sure to turn the handle in both directions so that you get the most of out your fruit. Processing cooked peaches through a food mill. Return the mixture to the sauce pot and add cinnamon. Bring to a boil and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Milled peaches cooking down into preserves. Allow preserves to cool and transfer to jars or a container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. Adding jars of preserves to hot water bath. If you’d like to process your preserves in jars for a longer shelf life, follow the boiling water method instructions and process for 10 minutes

Pickled Onions, Yucatan Style

Pickled Onions, Yucatan Style

Pickled Onions, Yucatan Style


1 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

1 Cup Sugar

1 Bay Leaf

1 T. Yellow Mustard Seeds

3 Garlic Cloves, Peeled and Thinly Sliced

1 tsp. Coarse Sea Salt

2 Medium Red Onions, Thinly Sliced into Rings


In a medium sized saucepan put all of the ingredients except the onions and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes until the consistency is a little syrupy. Pour the hot mixture over the sliced onions. Cool completely to room temperature and place in a glass jar with a lid and refrigerate. Onions will keep, refrigerated, for at least a month.

Lavender Jelly

Lavender Jelly

Lavender Jelly

Use this between layers of cake. Spread on toast, use it in frosting mix for cupcakes. Try a tsp. or two in your afternoon tea.


4 T. dried lavender flowers

4 T. powdered pectin

3 C. apple juice

2 T. fresh lemon juice

3 C. brown sugar


Tie up lavender flowers in double thickness of cheesecloth, securing with string. Combine pectin and apple juice in a saucepan and stir to dissolve the pectin. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Add lemon juice and sugar, stir, then add the lavender cheesecloth bag. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove bag of lavender and discard. Strain hot jelly through cheesecloth into sterilized jars and seal (I use 2-piece jelly lids, kept hot in boiling water but some people prefer the old method of sealing with paraffin).

Lemon Verbena Jelly

Lemon Verbena Jelly

Lemon Verbena Jelly


3 C. apple juice

1 cup fresh lemon verbena leaves

2 T. fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar

1 package powdered pectin

4 C. sugar

1/2 tsp. butter

1 fresh herb leaf for each jar

2 – 3 drops green food coloring (optional)


In saucepan, make herb infusion with juice and herb by bringing juice to a boil and adding the verbena leaves. Boil for about 10 seconds, then let cool completely. Strain and discard leaves. You’ll need 1 1/2 C. of herb infusion liquid.  Combine the herb infusion with lemon juice (or vinegar), food coloring and pectin. Bring to a rolling boil. Mix in sugar and bring to a full rolling boil again. Boil hard for one minute. Add butter, stir. If any foam remains, skim off and discard. Pour into hot sterilized jars with optional leaf in each jar. Wipe jar edges with damp cloth, then screw on hot jar lids, tightening moderately but don’t over-tighten. Turn jars upside down to seal, for about 30 seconds. Turn upright and let cool on dishtowel. Store in a dark, cool place.

Fermented Pineapple Salsa

Fermented Pineapple Salsa

Fermented Pineapple Salsa

2 C. chopped pineapple roughly 1/2 a pineapple

1* jalapeno pepper finely chopped

2 green onions thinly sliced

Sea Salt to taste

Black Pepper to taste

2 T. whey or liquid from another fermented veggie


Combine all ingredients in a small jar. Cover with cheesecloth or cotton fabric. Allow to ferment at room temperature for 8-12 hours. Chill in the refrigerator prior to serving at least 2 hours or up to a week.

Notes: 1 jalapeño pepper will make this salsa a little spicy, I would classify it as medium heat. If you want a mild salsa, I’d suggest starting out with 1/4 or 1/2 a jalapeño pepper to start out with and make sure you remove all the white membrane/seeds. If you love super-spicy foods then I’d recommend adding 2 jalapeños. For a salsa with no heat at all, substitute sweet red or green pepper.

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickled Green Tomatoes


A couple lb. of hard green tomatoes

½ cup pickling and canning salt

4 or 5 garlic cloves, crushed

Extra virgin olive oil

1 T. fennel seeds and/or chiles to taste


Core the tough stem-end of the tomatoes and cut them into easy-to-eat sized slices, about ½-inch thick. Mix tomato slices, garlic, any spices, and the salt in a bowl. Layer salted slices in a non-reactive container (a large ceramic crock, glass jar, or deep bowl). Place a round of parchment on top and press it down onto slices. Put a flat plate about the diameter of the container on top of the parchment. Weight the plate with something heavy (a gallon paint can, a pail of rocks, etc). Put the crock(s) in a cool place for two weeks (we use our unheated garage), covered with plastic trash bags. After the two-week ferment, the pickles will have flattened some. Rinse in a colander and remove the garlic. Pack the rinsed tomatoes in sterilized jars and cover with olive oil, use a clean chopstick to remove any air bubbles, and make sure everything is submerged in oil. They are ready to eat right away. Refrigerate for up to 3 months (we’ve had them last closer to a year).

Candied Sunflower Seeds

Candied Sunflower Seeds

Candied Sunflower Seeds


Sunflower seeds contain healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. At Sunflower Diner, chef Hayette Bouras dresses them up with sugar and spice to add as a crunchy accent to salads.


5 C. organic sunflower seeds

½ cup organic cane sugar

¼ cup organic agave nectar

1 T. organic cinnamon

½ tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. organic cayenne pepper


Preheat the oven to 350°. Combine sunflower seeds, sugar, salt, cayenne, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Add agave and mix to coat seeds well. Spread onto a greased sheet pan and bake for 12–15 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir in the pan every couple of minutes while cooling to prevent clumping.

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.

Black Currant Sun Jelly

Black Currant Sun Jelly

Black Currant Sun Jelly


9 ounces black currants

9 ounces superfine sugar


Puree the currants in a food mill using the finest disc. If the puree has seeds, strain it through a fine mesh sieve to remove them. Stir in the sugar. Divide among 3 4-ounce jars, cover with parchment, and secure the parchment with butcher’s twine. Place the jars outside in the sun all day, or until jelled.  Makes about 1 ½ C.. Keeps for months tightly sealed in the refrigerator.

Rose and Basil Pesto

Rose and Basil Pesto

Rose and Basil Pesto


2 C. fresh basil

1 cup fragrant rose petals

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup pine nuts (or pistachios or walnuts)

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. food grade rose water

1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (don’t substitute bottled juice)

1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1/4 cup Romano cheese, freshly grated

Salt, optional


Peel and coarsely chop garlic, then add rose petals, basil, nuts and olive oil in food processor. Pulse blend until everything is well pulverized. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. This can be stored for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Roasted Garlic–Herb Sauce

Roasted Garlic–Herb Sauce

Roasted Garlic–Herb Sauce


1 head garlic, separated into cloves, unpeeled

2 cups (packed) fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves with tender stems

1 cup (packed) fresh mint leaves

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (from about ½ large lemon)

4 tsp. fresh lemon juice (from about ½ large lemon)

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

¾ tsp. kosher salt


Heat a medium, heavy (preferably cast-iron) skillet over medium heat. Roast the garlic cloves, stirring occasionally, until the skins have darkened on all sides and the insides are soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool. Peel away the garlic skins and discard; transfer the cloves to a blender. Add the parsley, mint, oil, lemon zest and juice, red pepper flakes, and kosher salt. Blend until a pesto-like sauce forms. Store the sauce in a jar or other airtight container and keep in the refrigerator, where it will last for at least a week, often longer.

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.

Charred Asparagus End Pesto

Charred Asparagus End Pesto

Charred Asparagus End Pesto


1/4 C. plus 1 T. extra virgin olive oil

1-to 2-inch ends cut from the bottom of 1 bunch of asparagus

1 C. loosely packed fresh shiso or basil leaves

1/1 C. pine nuts, toasted

1 garlic clove, minced

1/j C. finely grated pecorino Romano cheese

1 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice


This recipe is for the ends of middle-of-the-road asparagus: If the ends are extremely woody, they’re best saved for stock. And if the ends don’t seem very woody at all, you might just want to peel the ends of your stalks instead and save those peelings for tempura)! This is a thick pesto, meant for tossing with hot pasta or smearing on sandwiches. I also think it would make an excellent dip (maybe mixed with softened cream cheese). Thin it out with additional olive oil to use it as dressing. Shiso is a Japanese herb in the mint family; I think of it as basil’s Asian cousin (basil is also the best substitute should you not be able to find shiso). Look for shiso in the produce section of Asian grocery stores or at your local farmers market. Since it can sometimes be hard to find, I opt to grow my own supply. If you can find shiso leaves,. they’ll quickly grow roots when their stems are placed in a glass of water on a windowsill. After they do, plant them. I’ve also grown shiso from seeds procured online and from small plants found at my local farmers market— both options work well.  In a medium-size heavy skillet, heat 1 T. of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus ends to the hot pan, and let them cook, undisturbed, until the side touching the pan chars, 3 to 5 minutes. Move them around a bit to expose another side to the heat, and let them cook, undisturbed, until they are charred on all sides and can be easily pierced with a knife, another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool slightly. Using a knife, finely chop the asparagus ends. This is important: If you try to skip this step, the food processor will shred the cooked ends and you’ll have stringy pesto. Add the chopped asparagus ends, shiso, pine nuts, and garlic to a mini food processor and pulse to process all ingredients, scraping down the bowl a couple of times as needed. Then add the cheese and lemon juice and pulse a few more times. Finally, add the rest of the olive oil and process again until smooth. The pesto is at its best when used immediately, so the basil doesn’t discolor, but can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Raspberry Mango Salsa

Raspberry Mango Salsa

Raspberry Mango Salsa


1 pint red raspberries

Meat of 2 mangoes, cut into chunks

½ C jícama, julienned

½ C red onion, minced

2 red fresno chiles, minced

Juice of 2 limes

2 T. fresh-squeezed orange juice

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 tsp. brown sugar

½ tsp. mild New Mexico red chile powder

½ tsp. table salt


Mix all ingredients together, let blend for 2 hours. • This tropical salsa is an unexpected addition to grilled fish, poultry and pork.

Pickled Spruce Tips

Pickled Spruce Tips

Pickled Spruce Tips

for each half-pint (250ml) jar:


6 whole black peppercorns

1 bay leaf

1 slice of fresh lemon

1 tsp. sea salt

1 heaping cup (250ml) of spruce tips


for the brine (enough for 1 jar):


¼ cup (60ml) white wine vinegar

¼ cup (60ml) filtered or distilled water


Into each very clean and well-rinsed half-pint (1 cup/250ml) jar, place 6 peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, 1 slice of lemon cut in half. and 1 tsp. salt. Hold the lemon slice and bay leaf against the side of the jar if you’d like them to show on the outside.  Clean the spruce tips of their brown husks (a bit of a sticky job) and pack them into the jars up to ½ inch (1 cm) from the tops of the jars. Pack them in quite firmly. Put the the vinegar and filtered water into a small saucepan and heat just until boiling. Pour the hot brine over the spruce tips and salt until it is also ½ inch (1cm) from the top of the jar. The spruce tips will turn from bright green to olive green as the brine hits them.  Put the new snap lids for the jars into a pot of simmering water for 5 minutes to soften them. Wipe the top rims of the jars with a clean cloth. Seal the jars with the snap lids and metal screw rings until finger tight.  Lay a clean dishcloth in the bottom of a saucepan that is taller than the jars (the dishcloth keeps the jars from bouncing around in the pot once the water is boiling.) Set the jars onto the dishcloth and fill the saucepan with hot tap water up to the bottom of the metal screw rings. Cover the saucepan with a lid and bring the water to a full boil. Once it boils, turn the heat down a bit to keep the water boiling without boiling over. Start timing for 10 minutes. Process the jars for 10 minutes, then remove them carefully, using a pot holder or jar clamp, to a clean dishtowel laid out on the counter. Leave the jars undisturbed until they are cool. The metal lids should have sealed and suctioned down. If the lids are still bowed slightly upward, then the jars haven’t sealed and should be stored in the fridge and consumed within six months (leave them to age for one month before using). The spruce tips will all have floated to the top of the jars once cool. Give each jar a shake and they will disperse evenly again.  If sealed, the pickled spruce tips will last for several years in a cool, dark place. Leave the jars for a week before using them, so the brine has had time to fully flavor the spruce tips.

Mint Jelly

Mint Jelly

Mint Jelly


Sage or Rosemary could be done the same way


2 pounds granny smith Apples, coarsely chopped

6 cup (1.5l) water

5 1/2 cup (1.2kg) white sugar, approximately

1 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves

Food coloring, optional


Combine apple and water in large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, about 1 hour or until apple is pulpy. Strain mixture through a fine cloth into large bowl. Stand 3 hours or overnight until liquid stops dripping. Do not squeeze cloth; discard pulp. Measure apple liquid; allow 1 cup sugar for each cup of liquid. Return apple liquid and sugar to same pan. Stir over high heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly, uncovered, without stirring, about 30 minutes or until jelly jells when tested. Pour jelly into a large heatproof jug. Stir in a little of the food coloring. Stand until jelly is lukewarm, but not set. Meanwhile, drop mint into small saucepan of boiling water for 2 seconds; drain. Rinse under cold water; drain, pat dry with absorbent paper. Chop mint finely; stir into lukewarm jelly. Pour jelly into hot sterilized jars; seal immediately. Label and date jars when cold.

Quick Caramelized Spruce Tip Syrup

Quick Caramelized Spruce Tip Syrup

Quick Caramelized Spruce Tip Syrup

This is not true mugolio, but it only takes a few minutes to make, instead of a month. Use it to flavor ice cream, panna cotta, cheesecake, a mousse, Italian meringue, there’s plenty of possibilities. One of my favorites is the way the French serve their fresh cheese-with a little drizzle on top.


4 packed C. spruce tips

2 C. sugar

2 C. water



Grind the spruce tips and sugar in a food processor, then mix with the water, bring to a rolling boil, turn off the heat and allow to sit overnight. The next day, strain the syrup, then return it to the pan, cooking until it takes on a light amber color and the consistency resembles warm honey. Transfer the syrup to labeled, dated container and refrigerate until needed. If the syrup becomes very thick when it’s cold, thin it with a bit of cold water until it reaches your desired consistency.

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.

Wild Ramp Pesto

Wild Ramp Pesto

Wild Ramp Pesto

1 bunch (about 6 ounces) ramps

½ cup walnuts (toasted in a skillet for 5 minutes until golden)

½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

½ tsp. kosher salt to taste

⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil (or ½ cup—you kind of have to eyeball it)

Squirt of lemon juice

½ cup flat-leaf parsley (optional)


Wash ramps throughly and cut off the leaves of the ramps.  Chop the ramp leaves and walnuts just a bit and put them in your food processor. (Optional: add parsley.) Add most of the cheese (save a sprinkle for serving) plus salt. Pouring the olive oil in slowly, process contents until they combine and look, well … pesto-y. Taste for seasoning and add a good squirt of lemon juice. Served as a side with warm pita and bulgur with butternut squash and chard

Pink Grapefruit & Elderflower Marmalade

Pink Grapefruit & Elderflower Marmalade

Pink Grapefruit & Elderflower Marmalade


2 pounds, 4 ounces pink grapefruits

1 pound, 2 ounces lemons

6½ cups granulated sugar

6 T. elderflower syrup


Cut the grapefruits and lemons and squeeze in half out the juice and seeds. Tie the seeds, and any extra membrane that has come away during squeezing, in a double thickness of cheesecloth. Either by hand or using the shredding attachment of a food processor, thinly slice the grapefruit and lemon peel, with its pith, into shreds. Put the grapefruit and lemon juice and peel, cheesecloth bag and 7½ cups water in a preserving pan and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently 1½ to 2 hours until the peel is soft and the liquid reduced by about half. Remove the cheesecloth bag from the pan and let cool 5 minutes before squeezing it well and allowing the juices to run back into the pan. Discard the bag. Add the sugar to the pan and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly about 15 minutes, or until setting point is reached. Test for a set either with a candy thermometer (it should read 221°F) or put a tsp. of the marmalade onto a cold saucer and let cool a few minutes. If it wrinkles when you push it with your finger, then it is ready to use. Meanwhile, sterilize enough jars so that they are ready to use. Remove the pan from the heat and skim with a slotted spoon to remove any scum. Stir in the elderflower cordial. Let cool 15 minutes (this will help to prevent the peel from rising in the jars). Ladle the marmalade into the warmed, sterilized jars and cover immediately with sterilized lids. Label and store in a cool, dry, dark place. Refrigerate after opening.

Meyer Lemon Marmalade

Meyer Lemon Marmalade

Meyer Lemon Marmalade


6 Meyer lemons {1 1/2 pounds}

4 cups water

4 cups sugar


Cut the lemons crosswise and remove seeds. Place the seeds in a cheesecloth bag, or tea infuser and set aside. Quarter each lemon half and thinly slice the lemons into strips. Place the lemons, 4 cups of water and the bag/infuser of seeds in a nonreactive heavy pot and let mixture stand, covered, at room temperature 24 hours. Once the mixture has sat for 24 hours, bring a boiling-water canner, 3/4 full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling. When you are ready to make the marmalade, {after the lemon mixture has sat for 24 hours}, discard the lemon seeds and bring the lemon mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, until your mixture is reduced to about 4 cups {about 45 minutes to an hour}. Stir in sugar and boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally and skimming off any foam, until a tsp. of mixture dropped on a cold plate gels, about 15 minutes. Carefully ladle hot marmalade immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids and screw bands on. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. {Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.} Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 5 min. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary}. Yields {5} 1/2 pints.

Smoked Red Pepper Sauce

Smoked Red Pepper Sauce

Smoked Red Pepper Sauce


4 grilled red bell peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped

1/2 small red onion, coarsely chopped

4 cloves roasted garlic, peeled

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 T. honey

1 T. Dijon mustard

1 T. chipotle puree

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup canola oil or olive oil


Combine peppers, onion, garlic, vinegar, honey, mustard, chipotle and salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the oil and blend until emulsified. Strain sauce into a bowl. Cook’s Note: This classic sauce is great on grilled veggies, chicken, fish and steak.

Won Ton Dipping Sauce

Won Ton Dipping Sauce

Won Ton Dipping Sauce


1 large onion, cut in chunks

4-6 medium-to-hot, fresh red peppers, such as serrano or jalapeno, seeds removed

4 cloves garlic, peeled

4 T. oil

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 cup rice vinegar or white wine vinegar

3 T. brown sugar


Combine onion, peppers and garlic in food processor and chop to a medium-fine consistency. Heat oil in skillet on low heat and add the vegetables from the food processor. Stir, continuing to cook on low heat until the oil takes on the color of the peppers. You’ll notice as you stir that the peppers will change colors, darkening a bit and the fragrance will be less onion, and more of a tasty-smelling blend. In a bowl, pour the vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. Taste the mixture, it should be salty, slightly sweet and a bit sour. If too sour, add some more sugar. Mix, then add the mixture from the skillet. Serve warm or at room temperature with freshly steamed or fried won tons. Makes about 2 1/4 C..

Clementine Cointreau Curd

Clementine Cointreau Curd

Clementine Cointreau Curd


Try this curd atop currant scones, tucked into pastry shells, or sandwiched between layers of poppy-seed cake. Yield: 3 half-pints


5 clementines

4 eggs

1¼ C. superfine sugar

10 T. unsalted butter, chilled

2 T. Cointreau


Wash and dry the clementines, then zest them, taking care to avoid removing any pith along with the zest. Juice the fruits and strain the juice through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any membranes or seeds. Set the zest and juice aside. Place the eggs in a medium-sized metal bowl and beat lightly to incorporate the whites into the yolks. Fill a medium saucepan with about 2 inches of water and place it over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer. Place the egg bowl on top of the pan to form a double boiler, and add the sugar, butter, Cointreau, juice, and zest. Whisk gently until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until it thickens and coats the back of the spoon, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the curd from the heat. Transfer the curd to heat-proof jars. Allow to come to room temperature, then cover with lids and store in the refrigerator. Consume within two weeks. *Variation: To make this curd without alcohol, replace the Cointreau with orange juice. You can also substitute mandarin oranges for clementines.

Roasted Lemon Vinaigrette

Roasted Lemon Vinaigrette

Roasted Lemon Vinaigrette


¼ Cup Roasted Lemon Juice (instructions in recipe below)

2 T. White Balsamic Vinegar

3 Roasted Garlic Cloves

2 Shallots, Peeled

1 T. Dijon Mustard

1 Cup EVOO

1tsp. coarse Sea Salt

½tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper


To make Roasted Lemon Juice:  Preheat broiler. Place lemons, cut side up, in a small, non-aluminum baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, about 6 inches below the heat, until very soft, about 20 minutes. The tops will darken and caramelize. Let cool in the baking dish. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade add the lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, shallots, mustard, salt and pepper. Process until the ingredients are pureed. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube and continue to process until completely emulsified. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Quick Pickled Fennel

Quick Pickled Fennel

Quick Pickled Fennel

Fennel for pickling should be free of blemishes and soft spots; choose bulbs that are firm, small, and bright white in color. This pickled fennel cannot be processed for long-term storage.


3/4 C. seasoned rice vinegar

1/4 C. water

1 (1‑inch) strip orange zest

1 garlic clove, peeled and halved

1/4 tsp. fennel seeds

1/8 tsp. black peppercorns

1/8 tsp. yellow mustard seeds

1 fennel bulb, stalks discarded, bulb halved, cored, and cut crosswise into 1/4‑inch-thick slices


Bring vinegar, water, garlic, turmeric, peppercorns, and mustard seeds to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring vinegar, water, zest, garlic, fennel seeds, peppercorns, and mustard seeds to boil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, place one 1‑pint jar under hot running water until heated through, about 1 minute; dry thoroughly. Pack fennel into hot jar. Using funnel and ladle, pour hot brine over fennel to cover. Let jar cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Cover jar with lid and refrigerate for at least 2 1/2 hours before serving. (Pickled fennel can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks; fennel will soften significantly after 3 weeks.) This cannot be processed for long term storage.

Peach Jam with Ginger & Turmeric

Peach Jam with Ginger & Turmeric

Peach Jam with Ginger & Turmeric


6 ripe ripe peaches

1/2 C. sugar

Juice of half a lemon

1 T.  ginger

1 pinch of salt

1T. turmeric powder


Cut the peaches into quarters and remove the skin and seeds. Cut the root in half and put in a saucepan with all ingredients except turmeric powder. Cook over medium heat until boiling and then lower the candle to almost a minimum and cook for 30 minutes. Stir at a time with a wooden spoon, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the casserole. If foaming, remove it carefully using a foamer. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and pass through the blender or food processor to leave it with a smooth texture. Add the turmeric powder and stir so that it is fully incorporated into the jam. You can try the sugar in case you want to pour more, but remember that only when it’s cold is the jam you know how sweet it has been. You can put a little in the fridge and see how it goes. Meanwhile, allow the jam to cool completely at room temperature before putting it in a glass lid jar and putting it in the refrigerator. If you need to put more sugar in it, add it with a little lemon juice and cook the jam for another 20 minutes. It’s a beautiful color. Keep in mind that it’s hard to stop eating this jam and be generous and share it with your friends when you make it. It’s a good gift.

Apple Scrap Vinegar

Apple Scrap Vinegar

Apple Scrap Vinegar

Stockpile the cores and peels in the freezer until you have enough.


2-3 T. Sugar

2-3 C. filtered or non-chlorinated Water

1 lb. apple cores & peels (peels only if from organically grown apples)



Use 1 T. of the sugar per C. of water. Dissolve the sugar in the water. It is important to use non-chlorinated or filtered water because chlorine could prevent the fermentation process that is essential to making vinegar. Put the apple scraps into a ceramic, glass, or stainless-steel bowl, pot, or crock and pour the sugar water over them. Use enough of the liquid to cover the apples, but don’t worry if they float a bit. Cover with a clean dish towel and let sit at room temperature for 1 week. Every day, stir the ingredients vigorously at least once (more is better). Once fermentation begins, the liquid will froth up when you stir it. The liquid should have started to turn a darker color after one week of steeping and stirring. Strain out the fruit. Keep the liquid at room temperature, stirring once or more each day, for 2 weeks to 1 month. Its smell will shift from lightly alcoholic to vinegary and sour. The bacteria that create vinegar from alcohol require oxygen to do so. That’s why it’s important not to cover the liquid with anything airtight during the process. (FYI, all vinegar starts out as alcohol—it’s what the bacteria that make vinegar eat.) Once the vinegar tastes as strong as you’d like it, transfer it to bottles and screw on covers or cork. The vinegar is fine to use for salad dressings, marinades, and sauces anytime it tastes good to you. But if you want to use your homemade vinegar for safe pickling and canning, it needs to have at least 4.5 percent acetic acid, just like commercial brands do.

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.

Butternut Squash, Ginger & Citrus Jam

Butternut Squash, Ginger & Citrus Jam

Butternut Squash, Ginger & Citrus Jam


3 pounds, 5 ounces butternut squash, peeled and seeded

3½ ounces (about ¾ cup) ginger root, peeled and finely sliced into small pieces

grated zest and juice of 3 lemons

grated zest and juice of 4 oranges

grated zest and juice of 1 lime

1 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

4 cups granulated sugar


Grate the butternut squash, either by hand or in a food processor. Put all the ingredients, except the sugar, in a preserving pan. Add 4 ¼ cups water and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer about 20 minutes until the squash is soft. Stir from time to time to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the sugar to the pan and stir until completely dissolved. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly about 30 minutes until no excess liquid remains and the mixture is thick. Stir from time to

time. The jam is ready when a wooden spoon drawn across the bottom of the pan reveals the bottom

cleanly. (There is no need to test for a set.) Meanwhile, sterilize enough jars so that they are ready to use. Ladle the jam into the warmed, sterilized jars. Cover immediately with sterilized lids. Label and store

in a cool, dry, dark place. Refrigerate after opening. Makes 6 cups.

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

Craveable Croutons

Craveable Croutons

Craveable Croutons


½ 1 ½-lb. loaf sourdough bread, cut into ¾-inch cubes

¼ cup plus 2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 ¼ tsp. granulated garlic

1 ¼ tsp. paprika

½ tsp. Mexican oregano

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Toss together the bread, oil, granulated garlic, paprika, Mexican oregano, pepper, and cayenne in a large bowl, making sure that the bread cubes are evenly coated. Season generously with salt. Arrange the croutons in a single layer on a baking tray and bake for 22 to 24 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Let cool.


Makes enough croutons for several large salads. These are the best croutons ever, even if I do say so myself. They are crisp and infinitely more flavorful than the ones that come in a box, and they’re equally enjoyable with or without a coating of salad dressing. I have to hide them from my husband, or he will eat them all before they ever see a leaf of lettuce. They’re perfect for Caesar salad, and they also make a fantastic soup garnish (I especially like them in tomato soup). Use artisan-style sourdough bread, the kind with a crisp crust, irregular crumb, and tangy flavor; either fresh or day-old is fine. Cut the crust off the bread if you like, but I don’t bother. Dried Mexican oregano, which has a unique floral character, can be found at some gourmet grocers and (usually for less than a dollar) at any Mexican market. If you can’t find it, you can substitute common oregano in this particular recipe. For the best browning, use a heavy baking tray, like the aluminum sheet pans used in restaurants, and be sure not to overcrowd the pan. Croutons keep well for a couple of weeks in a tightly sealed container in the pantry. For parmesan croutons, simply add a handful or two of finely grated Parmegiano-Reggiano when tossing the bread cubes with the oil and spices.

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.




Harissa is potent, so just a dollop adds a jolt of bright, spicy flavor to everything from soups and stews to sautéed vegetables and fried eggs. If you can’t find Aleppo pepper, substitute 3/4 tsp. paprika plus 1/2 tsp. finely chopped red pepper flakes.


6 T. extra-virgin olive oil

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 T. paprika

1 T. ground coriander

1 T. ground dried Aleppo pepper

1 tsp. ground cumin

3/4 tsp. caraway seeds

1/2 tsp. salt


Combine ingredients in bowl and microwave until bubbling and very fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring halfway through microwaving; let cool to room temperature. (Harissa can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.)

Ricotta with Pesto Swirl Dip

Ricotta with Pesto Swirl Dip

Ricotta with Pesto Swirl Dip

Creamy ricotta with a pinwheel pattern of fresh basil pesto invites you to dive in with vegetables or Seedy Crackers. Pesto freezes well. It’s a good idea to make a big batch when basil is plentiful in summer and early fall.


2 big bunches fresh basil

4 garlic cloves

¼ C. Pine Nuts

1 oz. Parmigiano- Reggiano or Pecorino

½ C. olive oil, plus more for serving

1 lb/450 g ricotta


Assemble, prepare, and measure ingredients. Pick basil leaves from stalks and discard stalks. Poach garlic by immersing whole unpeeled cloves in a small pot of cold water; bringing to a boil over medium-high heat, draining, and repeating once. Slip off skins. Heat pine nuts in a small Salt and pepper skillet over medium heat just until golden and aromatic. Grate cheese.  In a blender or food processor, combine three-quarters of the basil leaves with poached garlic cloves, pine nuts, and olive oil. Transfer to a bowl and stir in cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Smooth ricotta in an even layer over a serving plate. Swirl in pesto to make a pinwheel pattern. Scatter remaining basil leaves over top and drizzle with some olive oil. Season with more salt and pepper.

Traditional Chimichurri

Traditional Chimichurri

1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 large garlic cloves, minced (2 1/2 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons oregano leaves

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (or a small red chili, finely chopped)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


In a food processor, combine the parsley, vinegar, garlic, oregano and crushed red pepper. Process until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and pour the olive oil over the mixture. Let stand for at least 20 minutes.

Cocktail Syrups

Cocktail Syrups

Cocktail Syrups


Fennel-Orange Cocktail Syrup


4 cups sugar

2 tablespoons grated orange zest, plus 1 cup fresh juice (from 4 oranges)

1/4 cup fennel seeds

8 star-anise pods

Orange peel, cut into long strips, for bottling (optional)


Combine sugar, orange juice, fennel seeds, star anise, and 3 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, stirring until sugar is dissolved (if it begins to boil, reduce heat — boiling will make the syrup cloudy). Remove from heat; stir in orange zest. Let steep 1 hour. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large liquid-measuring cup; discard solids. Refrigerate until completely cool, 1 hour. Pour into gift bottles, adding orange peel, if desired. Syrup can be stored in bottles, refrigerated, up to 1 month.



Hibiscus Ginger Syrup


4 cups sugar

24 whole cloves (1 teaspoon)

1 cup julienned fresh ginger (from a 4-ounce piece)

1 ounce dried hibiscus leaves (about 3/4 cup)


Combine sugar, cloves, ginger, and 4 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, stirring until sugar is dissolved (if it begins to boil, reduce heat — boiling will make the syrup cloudy). Remove from heat; let steep 10 minutes. Stir in hibiscus leaves; let steep another 35 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large liquid-measuring cup; discard solids. Refrigerate until completely cool, 1 hour. Pour into gift bottles. Syrup can be stored in bottles, refrigerated, up to 1 month.



Spicy Cinnamon Syrup

4 cups sugar

24 cardamom pods, crushed (1 tablespoon)

4 cinnamon sticks

2 vanilla beans, halved crosswise

Pinch of cayenne pepper


Combine sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan. Split vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape out seeds; add seeds and beans to sugar mixture with 4 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, stirring until sugar is dissolved (if it begins to boil, reduce heat — boiling will make the syrup cloudy). Remove from heat; add cayenne. Let steep 1 hour.  Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large liquid-measuring cup; discard cardamom pods but reserve cinnamon sticks and vanilla beans. Refrigerate until completely cool, 1 hour. Pour into gift bottles; divide reserved vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks among bottles. Syrup can be stored in bottles, refrigerated, up to 1 month.



Ginger Simple Syrup


1 cup sugar

1 piece (about 10 inches long and 4 ounces; or use several small pieces) peeled fresh ginger, cut into very thin rounds


Put sugar and 1 cup water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add ginger; bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, and let stand 30 minutes. Pour syrup through a fine sieve into an airtight container; discard ginger.  Refrigerate for up to a month.

Apple Core Syrup

Apple Core Syrup

Apple Core Syrup


Cores from 5 to 7 apples, no need to remove the seeds (peels if you have them)

1 C. granulated sugar

1/2 C. lightly packed light or dark brown sugar


To make the syrup: Place the cores (and peels, if using), the granulated sugar, and the brown sugar in a medium-size saucepan with 1 C. water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat, and allow the mixture to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cores are softened and the syrup smells fragrant, 20 to 30 minutes.  Strain out the cores and return the syrup to the pan to keep it warm with the residual heat until you’re ready to eat. If you’d like it to be thicker, bring it back up to a boil, then reduce the heat, and allow the mixture to simmer until it is reduced and thickened to your liking.