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Herby Poached Egg on A Spring Onion & Chèvre Tartlet

Herby Poached Egg on A Spring Onion & Chèvre Tartlet

Herby Poached Egg on A Spring Onion & Chèvre Tartlet

 

1 sheet quality puff pastry dough

1 pound leeks or spring onions or a combination, well-rinsed

3 T. unsalted butter

⅔ C. heavy cream

2 T. fresh tarragon, chopped, divided

2 T. fresh parsley, chopped, divided

2 T. fresh chives, chopped Kosher or sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces chèvre (goat cheese), crumbled

4 large fresh farm eggs, plus 1 for egg wash

2 T. milk for egg wash

Water

1 T. white vinegar

 

Remove puff pastry from freezer so it can soften slightly while you cook the onions. Thinly slice the white and light green parts of the leeks or spring onions. Melt butter in a large sauté pan, add leeks or onions and cook over low-medium heat, stirring often, 30–40 minutes or until soft and golden. Add cream, 1 T. each chopped fresh herbs (reserving remainder for garnish). Season with salt and pepper. Stir and simmer over low heat, 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside (or refrigerate up to 1 day). Preheat oven to 425°. Roll out puff pastry sheet on a floured surface to ¼-inch thickness. Cut into 4 equal rounds using a large biscuit cutter or 4-inch inverted bowl. Place puff pastry rounds onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Prick each pastry with a fork to prevent uneven cooking. Whisk 1 egg with milk to create an egg wash, and brush lightly onto pastry. Divide onion mixture onto pastry rounds and top each with goat cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. (If pastry rises unevenly during cooking, push down gently with a fork while still warm.) Set aside in a warm place. Fill large saucepan with water, add white vinegar and bring to a simmer. Crack eggs into four individual dishes, taking care not to break the yolk. Slide eggs, 1 at a time, into simmering water. Gently cook each egg until desired doneness, or about 4 minutes for a slightly runny yolk. Remove with a slotted spoon and pat dry. To serve, place each egg atop a warm onion tart, sprinkle with remaining chopped herbs and enjoy.

Stir-Fried Beef with Cilantro

Stir-Fried Beef with Cilantro

Stir-Fried Beef with Cilantro

 

1 T. Asian chili Paste

2 T. Vegetable Oil

1 lb. Sirloin, cut into ¼” slices

¼ C. fresh cilantro, chopped plus ½ C. fresh cilantro leaves

1 tsp. Naam Pla

 

Stir together paste with ½ C. water. Heat wok or heavy bottom skillet over high heat until drop of water evaporates immediately. Add 1 T. oil and heat until almost smoking, then stir fry half meat until browned; transfer to a bowl. Repeat with second half of beef. Return all beef and juices to wok. Add chile paste water and ¼ C. chopped Cilantro and stir fry until liquid is reduced to a quarter cup. Remove from heat, stir in Naam Pla and top with cilantro leaves for garnish.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp

Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp

Prosciutto-Wrapped Shrimp

 

1 small log (4 ounces) goat cheese

1 tsp. chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon

1 tsp. chopped fresh chervil

1 garlic clove, minced

Salt and pepper, to taste

12 large shrimp, peeled, tail-on and butterflied

12 thin slices of prosciutto

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

Drizzle of White Truffle Oil

 

In a small mixing bowl, blend the goat cheese, herbs and garlic together. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Press one T. of the filling in the butterfly-cut of each shrimp. Wrap each shrimp tightly with one piece of prosciutto. In a sauté pan heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the stuffed shrimp and sear for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until the shrimp cook through. Remove the shrimp from the pan and place on a large serving plate. Drizzle the shrimp with truffle oil and serve warm.

Grilled Mushrooms with Rosemary-Lemon Basting Butter & Variations

Grilled Mushrooms with Rosemary-Lemon Basting Butter & Variations

Grilled Mushrooms with Rosemary-Lemon Basting Butter & Variations

 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon pepper, divided

1 pound white, cremini, shiitake, portobello, oyster, maitake, and/or king oyster mushrooms, at least 2 inches wide

½ teaspoon vegetable oil

¼ teaspoon table salt

 

Use any mix of mushrooms you like, as long as the caps measure at least 2 inches in diameter. A grill basket is helpful here but not essential. These mushrooms make a great accompaniment to other grilled foods. The parcooked mushrooms can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

 

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add soy sauce, rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, and ½ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is simmering and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover to keep warm until ready to use. Trim tough ends of stems on white and cremini mushrooms and cut in half. Remove stems from shiitake mushrooms. Remove stems from portobello mushrooms and halve caps if smaller than 4 inches; quarter if larger. Trim oyster and maitake mushrooms and tear into 2- to 2½-inch pieces. Trim stems on king oyster mushrooms and slice crosswise ¾ inch thick. Combine mushrooms and ½ cup water in bowl. Cover and microwave for 1 minute. Stir well; re-cover; and microwave until mushrooms have reduced in size by about one-third and liquid has increased to almost 1 cup, about 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes to finish cooking. Drain well. Dry bowl and return mushrooms to bowl. Let stand at room temperature while preparing grill. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter three-quarters filled with charcoal briquettes (about 4½ quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high; cover; and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s). Clean and oil cooking grate. Toss mushrooms with oil, salt, and remaining ½ teaspoon pepper. Arrange mushrooms on hotter side of grill. Cook (covered if using gas), flipping mushrooms every 2 minutes, until well browned on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes. Carefully brush mushrooms with half of basting butter and continue to cook until butter is sizzling and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer to bowl with remaining basting butter and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

 

Garlic-Parsley Basting Butter

 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon pepper

 

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add Worcestershire, parsley, garlic, and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is simmering and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover to keep warm until ready to use.

 

 

Ginger-Miso Basting Butter

 

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon white miso

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon pepper

 

Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Add miso, soy sauce, ginger, and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is simmering and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover to keep warm until ready to use.

Pork Chops with Cider, Horseradish & Dill

Pork Chops with Cider, Horseradish & Dill

Pork Chops with Cider, Horseradish & Dill

 

½ cup (120 ml) cider vinegar

½ cup (120 ml) hard or pressed apple cider

2 tablespoons (30 grams) freshly grated or prepared horseradish

½ teaspoon table salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper

 

4 bone-in loin pork chops, ½ inch thick (1½ pounds/680 grams total), preferably at room temperature

Table salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

 

Cooked together, these flavors are my happy place: tangy, sweet, and salty with a mellow, clearing bite.

Whisk the glaze ingredients together in a small dish and set aside. Trim any excess fat around chops until it is but a thin ribbon, no more than ⅛ inch thick. Pat the chops dry with a paper towel, and generously season them with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until the oil starts to smoke. Add the pork chops to the skillet, and cook them until they are well browned, about 3 minutes. Turn the chops and cook 1 minute longer; then transfer chops to a plate and pour off any fat in skillet. Pour glaze mixture into the emptied skillet. Bring it to a simmer and cook until mixture thickens enough so your spatula leaves a trail when scraped across the pan, about 2 to 4 minutes. Return the chops and any accumulated juices from their plate to skillet; turn to coat both sides with glaze. Cook them over medium heat in the glaze until the center of the chops registers 140 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Transfer the chops to a serving platter and pour the glaze from the pan over them. Sprinkle with dill and eat immediately

Garlic Mustard & Olive Oil Bread Dip

Garlic Mustard & Olive Oil Bread Dip

Garlic Mustard & Olive Oil Bread Dip

 

2 cup of leaves Garlic Mustard (and blossoms if available)

1 cup of olive oil (and 3 extra tablespoons)

2 tablespoon of lemon juice

1 tsp. of sea salt

3-4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese (or more if you’d like!)

1 clove garlic (optional if you want it extra garlicky)

Directions

 

Place all your ingredients and half a cup of olive in a food processor. Whirr (blend) to a fine texture, then add another half cup of oil. Pulse till well mixed. Pour into a large, clean jar. Pour over your three tablespoons of additional olive oil to seal off any air from getting into your mixture – keeping it fresher longer. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Just remember you’ll need to let warm to room temperature first – otherwise it will be a bit waxy.

Spiced Lavender Scented Citrus Salad

Spiced Lavender Scented Citrus Salad

Spiced Lavender Scented Citrus Salad

 

¼ cup sugar (I used turbinado raw sugar)

½ cup water

1 star anise

3 whole cloves

3 whole allspice

⅛ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

Lavender leaves and flowers (optional)

3 cups assorted citrus fruit (I used pink grapefruit, grapefruit and navel oranges)

 

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Add the star anise, whole cloves, whole allspice, dried red pepper flakes and lavender leaves if available.  Boil for 2 minutes, watching carefully so as not to burn.  Remove from heat and let cool.  Peel the citrus fruit, removing all the pith and seeds.  Cut into bite-size pieces and place in a glass bowl; pour spiced syrup over all, stir to mix. Cover tightly and refrigerate for several hours.  Serve in a clear bowl to show off the pretty colors.  Garnish with fresh lavender flowers.

What to do with Celery Leaves

What to do with Celery Leaves

What to do with Celery Leaves

 

Celery leaves are actually quite tasty and incredibly versatile.

 

Add celery leaves to salads: My aunt likes to cut up the leaves and add them to her green salads. I had never tried it myself until I went to her house for lunch one day. I was surprised to find that it can be a delicious addition to change up and add a burst of flavor to your raw greens. (I think that it especially pairs up well with salads with apple slices.) I think the best leaves for salads are the lighter green, younger leaves, but that is a matter or taste, of course.

 

Add celery leaves and stalk pieces to stocks and bone broths: I like to freeze some of the leaves, and the small, ugly stalk bits I cut from my snacking pieces, so I can have them handy whenever I make stock or bone broth. Celery is probably my favorite vegetable for adding to stocks and broths. Not only is it incredibly healthy, adding its vitamins and antioxidants to your already healthy broths, but it also adds delicious flavor. I also often blend celery leaves and stalk pieces, along with onions, into soups with an immersion blender to give them great flavor and a thicker consistency. (That was a tip I learned from another one of my aunts.)

 

Chop celery leaves and use them as an herb. Celery leaves make a great replacement for fresh parsley in many recipes. You can chop the fresh leaves and add them to salsa and homemade salad dressings, for example. You can also dry the leaves and crumble them, using them as you would dried parsley.

Make pesto sauce with celery leaves.

 

Make celery powder with leftover leaves and ugly stalk pieces. This is actually probably my favorite use of leftover celery leaves and bits and pieces. It’s simple enough to dehydrate the leftover pieces and grind them into a fine powder once they are fully dry. The nice thing about celery powder is that it doesn’t take up much space at all and it keeps very well. I like to add it to soups, sauces, and all sorts of other dishes to add flavor and nutrients.

 

Make celery salt. Celery salt is just a modified use of celery powder. It is often made with ground celery seed that is mixed with salt. Don’t have celery seeds? You can also make a wonderful celery salt using the leaves and other not-so-pretty celery bits. Celery salt is often asked for in recipes, but I like to use it in place of regular sauce in all sorts of recipes to add extra nutrients and flavor!

 

Save for chickens or compost. If you don’t want to use the celery leaves yourself, don’t throw them away! When I’m short on time (and my freezer is full, and I have an abundance of celery powder on hand already), I throw them to my hens and they seem to love them. You can also add them to your compost bin.

 

Celery Powder

 

Wash and dry celery leaves and other celery bits and pieces. (To reduce drying time, consider chopping stalks into smaller pieces.) Fully dry leaves and stalk pieces in a dehydrator or at the lowest heat and convection setting of your oven. (Check occasionally and remove dry, brittle pieces, leaving the rest of the celery pieces to continue drying until brittle.) Once they are fully dry, grind up the celery leaves and stalk pieces until you obtain a fine powder. Celery leaves can be easily pulverized with a mortar and pestle. If using stalk bits, though, I find it much easier to use a spice grinder of coffee grinder.   Store the homemade celery powder in a well-sealed container to keep moisture out, preferably out of direct sunlight.

 

 

Celery Salt

 

2 Tbsp celery powder

2 Tbsp salt

 

Mix together celery powder and salt. Store in a well closed container in a cool, dark place.

Lemongrass Lemonade

Lemongrass Lemonade

Lemongrass Lemonade

 

1 cup granulated sugar

2 stalks lemongrass, bruised lightly with the side of a knife and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

3 cups water

1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 large lemons)

1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)

Pinch salt

2 cups ice

1 lemon, thinly sliced

2 stalks lemongrass, cut into 4 swizzle sticks (optional)

 

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, lemongrass pieces, and water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 min. Remove the syrup from the heat; let it sit for about an hour. Strain it into a glass pitcher. Just before serving, add the lemon juice, lime juice, and salt. Stir well and add the ice. Serve in tall glasses with more ice. Garnish with the lemon slices and the lemongrass swizzle sticks.

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.

Summer Solstice Herby Honey Cookies

Summer Solstice Herby Honey Cookies

Summer Solstice Herby Honey Cookies

 

1 & 3/4 cups of flour

¾ cup softened butter

¼ cup honey

¼ cup brown or cane sugar

1 teaspoon minced thyme

1 teaspoon lavender buds

1 teaspoon minced rosemary

1 teaspoon minced sage

a few crushed cardamom seeds

pinch of salt

 

NOTE: I used more like a tablespoon of each herb in my cookies, but this might be too herbaceous for some, so adjust accordingly. And I also added 3/4 cup oatmeal to another batch of cookies and cut back on the flour. Feel free to experiment or use whatever cookie recipe you like…after all it’s not the cookie that matters as much as the spirit!

 

Icing:

 

3 teaspoons milk

1 cup icing sugar

a wee bit of grated lemon rind. (I also added lavender buds to the second batch of icing)

Coloring. I used a combination of golden beet juice, St. John’s Tincture and a pinch of turmeric powder, but of course, you could use a store-bought natural food dye.

 

Combine your milk and icing sugar. Slowing add in your coloring and mix until you find the desired color/consistency

 

Preheat Oven to 300 F. Beat flour, sugar and soft butter together until creamy. Slowly drizzle in honey while beating until mixture pulls together. Add minced herbs and petals, mix well through the dough. Divide into four balls and chill for an hour or so. Roll out and cut into round shapes. Add flour as needed.

Bake at 300 for 10-15 minutes. Let cool. Decorate using the flowers and herbs of the sun: petals of calendula, lawn daisies or ox-eye daisies (not store bought daisy chrysanthemums), St. John’s Wort, rose, or sprigs of rosemary, thyme and sage.

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.

Spaghetti with Green Tomato Pesto

Spaghetti with Green Tomato Pesto

Spaghetti with Green Tomato Pesto

 

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves

1/4 cup arugula, washed and spun dry

5 green tomatoes, chopped

2 clove garlic, chopped

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 T.

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound spaghetti

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for garnish

 

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 2 T. salt. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the mint, basil, parsley, arugula, 1 clove of garlic, Parmigiano and olive oil and pulse to form a chunky purée. Season aggressively with salt and pepper and set aside. In a sauté pan add 2 T. of olive oil. Add chopped tomatoes and garlic, cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add full ladle of pesto into pan. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until just al dente. Drain the pasta and add to pan with tomatoes and pesto. Add some of the pasta water and toss to coat. Top with sprinkle with the Parmigiano and serve immediately.

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.

Just Barely Basil Buttermilk Dressing

Just Barely Basil Buttermilk Dressing

Just Barely Basil Buttermilk Dressing

 

1/2 C. roughly chopped (1/2 to 1 inch) basil stems (a few errant leaves are fine, too)

1/2 C. buttermilk

1 medium-size garlic clove, grated on a Microplane or very finely minced

2 T. mayonnaise

2 T. plain Greek yogurt

Fine-grain sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Combine the basil stems and buttermilk in a small bowl and let steep, covered, in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours. Strain and discard the basil stems. Combine 1/4 C. of the infused buttermilk, the garlic, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, a pinch of sea salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a small bowl or glass jar. Shake to combine. Season to taste and thin with extra buttermilk if desired. This dressing will keep up to 3 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

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.

Foil Barbecued Shrimp

Foil Barbecued Shrimp

Foil Barbecued Shrimp

 

2 pounds shrimp, shelled and deveined

1/2 cup snipped parsley

3/4 tsp. curry powder

6 T. butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. salt

Dash of pepper

 

In a saucepan melt butter, stir in parsley, curry powder, garlic, salt and pepper. Add shrimp; stir to coat. Divide shrimp mixture equally among 6 (18 x 12−inch) pieces of heavy-duty foil. Fold foil around shrimp, sealing the edges well. Grill shrimp over hot coals about 8 minutes. Turn and grill until done, 7 to 8 minutes more. Serve in foil packages, if desired.

Butter Lettuce Salad with Citrus Honey Vinaigrette

Butter Lettuce Salad with Citrus Honey Vinaigrette

Butter Lettuce Salad with Citrus Honey Vinaigrette

 

For the Dressing

2 1/2 T. lemon juice plus the zest of one lemon (zest before juicing)

2 T. lime juice plus the zest of 1 lime (zest before juicing)

1 T. honey

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

Sea salt (I recommend Maldon) or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 T. canola oil

For the Salad

3 heads butter lettuce (also called Bibb, Boston or living lettuce)

1/2 cup fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped

 

Make the Dressing: Whisk lemon juice and zest, lime juice and zest, honey, and Dijon in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly, to emulsify the dressing. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Set aside. Make the Salad: Cut the root end off the lettuces and gently wash and dry the leaves. I like to rinse leaves separately, under the tap, and spin them dry in my salad spinner. Tear the larger leaves into smaller pieces. Pile leaves into a large bowl. Sprinkle in the tarragon and toss it gently with the lettuce. Just before serving, toss the salad with just enough dressing to coat. Serve immediately.

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.

Herb-Filled Peppers on Warm Crusty Bread

Herb-Filled Peppers on Warm Crusty Bread

Herb-Filled Peppers on Warm Crusty Bread

 

2 large Bell Peppers, cut in half, seeds and membrane removed

5oz. Broad Beans in pods, shelled

40g Butter

2 cloves of garlic, minced

60g onion, minced

2 handfuls of Sorrel, finely chopped

½ bunch Cilantro

30g chervil

30g basil

30g chives

2 T. Olive Oil

Baguette

Parmesan

Fluer de Sel

 

To skin the broad beans, plunge them into lightly salted boiling water for 3 minutes, then refresh in cold water, and drain. Remove and discard the skins. Chop the beans finely and set aside. To assemble the filling, melt the butter in a sauté pan over low heat. When the butter starts to foam, add the garlic and onion and. after a few minutes the broad beans. When these ingredients have softened slightly, add the sorrel, the coriander, chervil, basil and chives, and stir to distribute the ingredients evenly. Season to taste with salt, then set aside to cool on a plate. To make the peppers easy to peel, blister their skins evenly beneath a hot grill, turning them with a skewer. Wrap them briefly in a cold damp kitchen towel, then peel them. Spoon the filling into the peppers and transfer them to a shallow roasting pan smeared with the olive oil. Bake in a preheated 200’C (400°F, Gas Mark 6) oven. When – after about 20 minutes the filling is cooked, remove the peppers from the oven and turn it off.  Cut the bread in half lengthways, then across, to make 4 rectangles about 13cm (5inches) long. Put the peppers on top and return them, in the roasting pan. to the warm oven for 30 minutes, leaving the door of the oven wide open. Just before serving, adjust the seasoning and scalier with shavings of Parmesan. Offer the peppers with a mesclun salad

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.

Spellbinding Sweet Woodruff Prosperity Cake for May Day Eve

Spellbinding Sweet Woodruff Prosperity Cake for May Day Eve

Spellbinding Sweet Woodruff Prosperity Cake for May Day Eve

Sweet Woodruff is a common ground cover garden plant, and while it is native to Europe it has naturalized in many of our forests. Leaves and flowers should be harvested just before and during blooming, but they must dried or at least wilted before using to capture their flavor/aroma. The stems are bitter, so make sure you just use leaves and blossoms.

 

By baking this magical Sweet Woodruff cake we can combine our magical powers together and cast a powerful blessing to enrich us, one and all and make our hearts merry. And here’s a little prosperity spell to say over your cake, while you’re making it, while it’s baking or just before you serve it. Abracadabra!

 

Money, money come to me

In abundance three times three

May I be enriched in the best of ways

Harming none on its way

This I accept, so mote it be

Bring me money three times three!

 

1 cup & 2 tsp. of DRIED Sweet Woodruff leaves and flowers (no stems!)

4 large egg yolks

4 large egg whites, at room temperature

3/4 cup organic cane sugar (or whatever sugar you like)

2 tablespoons cold water

8 tablespoons melted butter

3/4 cup of wholewheat, or spelt, or all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tsp. lemon zest

2 cups light cream

Powdered icing sugar for dusting

 

Three days before making your cake: Take your dried sweet woodruff and place in your cream. Stir well. Cover and allow to sit in a warm place for 24hrs. Then transfer to fridge. After two days, strain the plant material from the cream. Line a 8 X 8 inch square pan with sheets of parchment paper. Leave a generous amount sticking out from the sides. These will be your “handles” when you take the cake out of the pan. Heat Oven to 325°F. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar and water together until creamy and the sugar is dissolved. 5 to 6 minutes. Drizzle in the melted butter into the egg yolk mixture and mix well. Add in the flour, lemon zest, salt and two tsp. of dried woodruff (crumbled into a powder) then blend until fully combined. Add the milk or cream and mix them in gently. Whisk the egg whites on high speed until the egg whites hold stiff peaks. Add the egg whites to the yolk mixture and flour mixture. Stir VERY gently with a large spoon just a dozen or so times, leaving large clumps of egg whites in the batter. Do not overmix! Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the edges are set, the top is a warm brown, and the center is still a wee bit wobbly. 50 to 55 minutes. Leave the cake in the pan at room temperature until completely cooled. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Best left overnight. Dust with icing sugar and serve!

Minty Brain Tonic Tea

Minty Brain Tonic Tea

Minty Brain Tonic Tea

 

Enjoy a cup of this brain tonic tea the next time you need to study. With its nervous system and cardiovascular system benefits, it’s sure to support healthy brain function and help you make the most of your next study session!

 

 

2 T. spearmint (Mentha spicata) leaf

1 T. holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) leaf

2 tsp. sage (Salvia officinalis) leaf

 

Bring water to a boil in a kettle or pot. While the water is heating, place your herbs in a pint-sized glass canning jar. As soon as your water comes to a boil, remove it from heat. When it stops boiling, pour hot water over the herbs. Cover the jar with a lid to prevent volatile oils from escaping with the steam. Steep for 5-20 minutes. The longer you let it steep, the stronger it will taste! Filter the herbs using a tea strainer into another clean pint-sized glass canning jar. Press down on the herb(s) with a spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Sweeten as desired, and drink 1-2 C. of tea 20-30 minutes before studying to stimulate the senses and increase blood flow to the brain!

Cilantro Rice

Cilantro Rice

Cilantro Rice

 

White long grain rice

1/2 cup olive oil

1 T. salt

2 tsp. sugar

¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro

¼ cup fresh chopped parsley

2 T. fresh squeezed lime juice

 

Cook rice and mix in oil. Add remaining ingredients just before serving so cilantro does not wilt.

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.

Kofta-Style Chicken Stuffed Peppers with Yogurt Mint Sauce

Kofta-Style Chicken Stuffed Peppers with Yogurt Mint Sauce

Kofta-Style Chicken Stuffed Peppers with Yogurt Mint Sauce

 

1/2 cup whole-grain bulgur

1 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium chopped yellow onion

4 large cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground coriander

3/4 tsp. red chili flakes

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 lb. ground chicken

2 medium diced tomatoes (or one 15-oz can diced tomatoes, drained well)

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

6 medium red, yellow, or green bell peppers

For the yogurt sauce:

1 1/2 C. non- or low-fat plain Greek yogurt

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice, from 1 lemon

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint

3/4 tsp. kosher salt

 

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a medium saucepan bring 1 1/4 C. water to a boil. Add the bulgur and stir. Reduce the heat to medium low so it simmers. Cover the pan and cook until tender, about 12 minutes. Set aside. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat add the olive oil. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, chili flakes, salt, chicken, and tomatoes. Cook just until the chicken is done, breaking it up like taco meat, about 7 minutes. Stir in the cilantro, mint, and cooked bulgur. Remove from heat. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and pull out the seeds and membranes. Set the peppers upright in a baking pan large enough to accommodate them. Divide the filling among the peppers. Set the tops on the peppers. Bake until the peppers are tender and slightly shriveled, but still firm, 30 to 35 minutes.  In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, mint, and kosher salt. Serve peppers warm with yogurt sauce on the side.

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.

Lemon Lavender Sweet Rolls with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting

Lemon Lavender Sweet Rolls with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting

Lemon Lavender Sweet Rolls with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting

 

¼ cups warm water (about 110°F)

2¼ tsp. active dry yeast

1 cup granulated sugar, divided

3 large eggs

½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature

1½ tsp. sea salt, divided

4½ cups all-purpose flour, divided

8 T. melted unsalted butter, divided

2 T. lemon zest

½ tsp. ground cardamom

1 T. dried culinary lavender

Lemon Mascarpone Frosting (recipe below)

 

Lemon Mascarpone Frosting

 

¾ cups mascarpone cheese

1½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1½ tsp. lemon zest

3 T. fresh lemon juice

3 T. milk

 

In a small bowl, whisk together warm water and yeast. When yeast is dissolved, whisk in ½ tsp. granulated sugar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, until mixture foams up. Meanwhile, in the bowl of standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk eggs to combine; add buttermilk and whisk to combine. Add in yeast mixture, ¼ cup sugar, and 1¼ tsp. sea salt. Remove bowl from mixer and add about 2 cups flour and 6 T. melted butter. Stir with a rubber spatula until evenly moistened and combined. Add 2 more cups of flour, return bowl to the mixer, switch to the dough hook attachment, and knead with dough hook at low speed for 5 minutes. Touch the dough; if it is sticky, continue to run the mixer on low speed for up to five minutes more and add more flour, a T. at a time, until the dough is soft and moist, but no longer sticks to your fingers. The dough will pull away from the sides of the bowl, but stick to the bottom. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface; knead by hand about 1 minute to ensure that dough is uniform. If it sticks to your work surface, knead in more flour, a T. at a time, until it no longer sticks and all the flour is kneaded in. Spray a plastic mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray and place the ball of dough into the bowl. Spray the top of the dough with cooking spray then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Set the bowl in a warm, draft-free area until it has doubled in volume, about 2 hours. Brush the bottom and sides of a 13×9-inch baking pan with 1 T. of melted butter. Turn the dough ball out onto a work surface and pat it into a rectangular shape. Roll the dough into a 16×12-inch rectangle. Brush the dough with the remaining 1 T. of melted butter, leaving about ½-inch of dough unbuttered at the top edge. Combine remaining ¾ cup sugar, lemon zest, cardamom, and ¼ tsp. sea salt in a small mixing bowl and mix together with your fingers, rubbing between your fingers to get the oils out of the lemon zest and release the flavor. Sprinkle evenly over the buttered surface, leaving about ¾-inch uncovered on the top edge. Sprinkle evenly with lavender. Gently press everything into the dough, then roll into a tight cylinder. Pinch the seam of the dough to seal it, then stretch the roll to about 18 inches length and adjust the roll to make sure the thickness is uniform all the way down. Slice into 12 even rounds. Place buns, cut side down, into your buttered 13×9-inch baking pan. There should be some space between the rolls. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and set it in a warm, draft-free area until the rolls get puffy and press against each other, about 1½ hours. Meanwhile, adjust your oven rack to its lowest position, place a baking or pizza stone on the rack (optional), and heat the oven to 350°F. Place your baking pan on the pizza stone (or directly onto the rack). Bake until rolls are golden brown on top, about 25-30 minutes. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. When the rolls are still warm, spread Lemon Mascarpone Frosting on the top of the rolls. Serve warm. Lemon Mascarpone Frosting While the rolls are cooling, make the glaze. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the mascarpone cheese with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 1 minute. When the mascarpone is lump-free, gradually add in confectioners’ sugar with the mixer on low speed. Add the lemon zest, turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat until creamy. Turn the mixer back to low, and slowly add the lemon juice and milk, beating until the frosting is uniform. It should be somewhat thin, but not runny.

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.

Kuku Sabzi (Persian Herb Frittata)

Kuku Sabzi (Persian Herb Frittata)

Kuku Sabzi (Persian Herb Frittata)

 

Kuku sabzi can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature – making it the perfect make ahead dish and picnic favorite!

 

4 T. extra-virgin olive oil

5 oz chopped baby spinach (about 4 cups)

3 cups thinly sliced green onions

3 cups finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

2 cups finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 cup finely chopped fresh dill leaves and tender stems

12 large eggs

2 T. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. kosher salt

1 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

 

Fresh mint leaves, for garnish (optional) Preheat the oven to 375°F [190°C] and set an oven rack in the middle position. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and green onions and cook until softened and wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool for 10 minutes. Add the cilantro, parsley, and dill and stir to combine. In another bowl, whisk the eggs until lightly beaten. Add the flour, salt, turmeric, and pepper and whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the herbs and stir until combined. Add the remaining 3 Tbsp of oil to a 9 in [23 cm] square pan and tilt the pan to coat the bottom and sides. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and transfer to the oven. Bake until the eggs are just set, about 30 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into 16 squares. Serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with mint leaves before serving, if desired. Store, refrigerated, in a Stasher bag or an airtight container for up to 3 days.

 

To fry the kuku instead of baking::  Preheat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat in a 12 inch skillet. When the oil begins to ripple, pour half of the kuku mixture into the pan, lower heat to medium and cook until the kuku is set on the bottom and beginning to set on the top. Use the flat end of a spatula to divide the kuku into wedges. Flip one wedge at at time and continue to cook until the kuku is fully set and there is no raw egg in the middle. Move the cooked kuku onto a plate and repeat with the other half of the batter, adding more olive oil before you add the batter.

Salmon Baked in Cream with Sweet Bay, Thyme, and Dill

Salmon Baked in Cream with Sweet Bay, Thyme, and Dill

Salmon Baked in Cream with Sweet Bay, Thyme, and Dill

 

4 (6-ounce) wild-caught salmon fillets

4 bay leaves

1 C. heavy cream

2 T. chopped fresh thyme leaves

2 T. chopped fresh dill

 

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Place the salmon fillets in a single layer in a small baking dish or gratin dish. Top each fillet with a bay leaf. Pour the heavy cream over the salmon and sprinkle with the thyme and dill. Bake until the fish flakes easily when pierced with a fork and the cream thickens, about 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and serve, spooning warm cream and herbs over the fish.

So This is Christmas Cocktail

So This is Christmas Cocktail

So This is Christmas Cocktail

 

1/2 ounce Rosemary Simple Syrup (see below)

1/2 ounce pomegranate juice

1 tsp. pomegranate seeds

Champagne, for topping glass

Rosemary sprig, for garnish

 

Rosemary Simple Syrup:

1/2 C. water

1/2 C. sugar

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

2 cardamom pods

2 small fresh rosemary sprigs

 

 

In a champagne flute or highball glass, combine the rosemary syrup, pomegranate juice, and pomegranate seeds. Top off the glass with champagne and add a rosemary sprig for garnish.

 

Rosemary Simple Syrup: Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Strain, transfer to a lidded jar and refrigerate; the syrup will keep for up to 2 weeks.

 

Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 11mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 48g

 

Slowcooker Branzino with Olives, Goji Berries and Mint Salad

Slowcooker Branzino with Olives, Goji Berries and Mint Salad

Slowcooker Branzino with Olives, Goji Berries and Mint Salad

 

8 skin-on branzino fillets, 4 oz each

6 T. extra-virgin olive oil

4 T. pitted black olives

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 T. red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

10 oz watercress or baby kale

1 C. packed, fresh mint leaves

¼ C. dried goji berries or ¼ C. dried cherries

 

Place 4 branzino fillets in the bottom of the slow cooker. Drizzle with 1 T. oil and sprinkle with 2 T. olives and oregano. Top with remaining fillets and drizzle with 1 T. oil and the remaining 2 T. olives. Cover slow cooker and cook on low until fish flakes when pressed with a fork, 1–1½ hours.  While the branzino cooks, prepare the salad. In a bowl, whisk together remaining 4 T. olive oil, vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Add watercress, mint, and goji berries, and toss until greens are evenly coated. Divide salad between four plates and top each with 2 branzino fillets. Serve immediately.

 

4 servings

Calories: 249

Fat: 14g

Fiber: 1g

Ricotta Gnocchi with Parsley Pesto

Ricotta Gnocchi with Parsley Pesto

Ricotta Gnocchi with Parsley Pesto

1 pound fresh ricotta, about 2 C., drained well

Salt and pepper

3 or 4 T. grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

2 eggs, beaten

¼ to ½ cup all-purpose flour, as needed

Fine semolina flour or rice flour, for dusting

3 C. flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems

1 small garlic clove, minced

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 T. unsalted butter

¼ cup toasted pistachios, roughly chopped for garnish

 

Put ricotta in a large mixing bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Whisk in Parmesan and taste. The mixture should be well seasoned. Add eggs and mix well, then sprinkle in 1/4 cup flour and stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate. You should have a soft, rather sticky dough. Dump dough onto a clean work surface. Add a little more flour if necessary and pat very lightly to form a soft mass. Test the dough: Bring a saucepan of well-salted water to a boil. Take 1 T. of dough and drop into water. Dough should sink to the bottom, then rise to the surface. Let simmer 1 minute, then remove and taste. If the dumpling keeps its shape, continue to Step 3. If it falls apart, add a little more flour to the dough, but carefully: If you add too much, the gnocchi will be stodgy. Dust dough lightly with semolina, then cut it into 4 equal parts. Dust work surface with semolina. With your hands flat, gently roll each piece into a rope about 3/4-inch in diameter and 12 inches long. Keep sprinkling semolina on dough to keep it from sticking to the counter or your hands. Using scissors or a sharp, thin-bladed knife, cut each log into 12 pieces. Dust bottom of a baking sheet with semolina. Transfer gnocchi with a spatula to baking sheet, leaving space between them so they are not touching. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 hour (or leave in a cool room). To make the parsley pesto, put parsley, garlic, olive oil and butter in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse briefly, then blend to a rough purée. Taste and season with salt and pepper. You should have about 1 cup pesto, more than you need for this recipe. Leftover pesto can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to a month. Place a large pot of well-salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add gnocchi, working in batches, if necessary. When they bob to the surface, let them cook for about 2 minutes and lift them from the pot with a slotted spoon or spider, transferring gnocchi to a large, wide skillet. Add 4 to 6 T. pesto and 1/2 cup pasta cooking water to skillet and swirl pan to coat gnocchi. Serve gnocchi in warmed individual shallow soup bowls or a deep, wide platter. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and dust with Parmesan. Pass more grated Parmesan separately.

Green Shakshuka

Green Shakshuka

Green Shakshuka

 

2 T. olive oil

1/2 medium onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

9 ounces brussels sprouts, shaved or finely sliced

1 zucchini, grated

1 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

2 C. packed baby spinach

5 large eggs

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 large avocado, for garnish

 

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent. Add the garlic and cook an additional minute. Add the shaved brussels sprouts and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. When the brussels sprouts have softened, add the zucchini and spices and stir for another minute. Add the baby spinach and stir until it just starts to wilt, then turn the heat to low. Flatten the mixture with a spatula and create 5 small wells, then crack the eggs into each well. Cook until the eggs are done to your liking. You can also add a lid to steam and cook the eggs faster. Sprinkle the fresh cilantro on top and garnish with sliced avocado.

Italian Sweet-and-Sour Pork Chops

Italian Sweet-and-Sour Pork Chops

Italian Sweet-and-Sour Pork Chops

 

Don’t forget to tent the chops with foil after removing them from the pan to ensure they stay warm while you make the sauce. And don’t add the butter all at once when finishing the sauce. Incorporating one piece at a time creates a glossy, lightly thickened consistency.

 

Four 8-ounce bone-in center-cut pork chops, each about 1 inch thick, patted dry

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

2 T. grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided

3 medium shallots, chopped

2 T. honey

â…” cup red wine vinegar

3 T. salted butter, cut into 6 pieces

1 cup lightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

 

Using a paring knife, make a couple vertical cuts in the silver skin that encircles the meat on each chop; try to cut through the silver skin without cutting into the meat. Season the chops on both sides with 1 tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper. In a 12-inch skillet over medium, heat 1 T. of oil until barely smoking. Add the chops and cook until well browned on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook until the centers reach 135°F, another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a large plate and tent with foil. Return the empty pan to medium, add the shallots and cook, stirring, until browned and slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the honey and cook, stirring, until slightly darkened, about 30 seconds. Add the vinegar and simmer over medium-high until reduced to ½ cup, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the butter 1 piece at a time, making sure it’s almost fully incorporated before adding another. If the sauce breaks, add a few drops of water while swirling the pan until the sauce is once again shiny and emulsified. Off heat, stir in half the parsley. Return the chops and any accumulated juices to the skillet and turn to coat. Season to taste, then sprinkle with the remaining parsley.

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.

Pan-Roasted Little Tomatoes with Basil Ribbons

Pan-Roasted Little Tomatoes with Basil Ribbons

Pan-Roasted Little Tomatoes with Basil Ribbons

 

1 lb. grape or cherry tomatoes

1 garlic clove

Small handful basil leaves

1 T. butter

1 T. olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Assemble, prepare, and measure ingredients. Halve tomatoes. Mince garlic. Stack basil leaves and slice into thin ribbons.  In a heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium heat, melt butter with olive oil for about 2 minutes, or until a foam forms. Add tomatoes and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Stir for about 30 seconds, then turn down heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, or until tomatoes have given off most of their liquid and caramelized slightly. Transfer warm tomatoes to a serving bowl, scatter basil ribbons over top, and serve immediately with a generous spoonful of pan juices.