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Blueberry Lemon Basil Jam

Blueberry Lemon Basil Jam

Blueberry Lemon Basil Jam

3 pounds of blueberries, stems removed

1 1/2 C. of sugar

2 T. of lemon juice

Zest of 2 lemons

3/4 C. of water

10 basil leaves

1 T. of powdered pectin


To start, stick a small plate into your refrigerator to chill. This is used to test the jam constancy later on. In a great big bowl, you’re going to mix up the blueberries with the sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Allow to sit for a bit. While it’s sitting, get your jars together and start preparing them. Prepare your jars for canning – I use a ball canning kit so I just followed the directions on the insert. I used two mason jars and 2 old small jelly jars I’d been saving for the photos. (seen in photo) Four Mason jars should work sufficiently for you. Depending on your canning equipment on hand, you might need to purchase a canning kit to properly prepare your jars for canning. In a small piece of cheese cloth, lay the basil leaves on top and smash, and slice them up a bit so they release their full flavor. Tie the cheesecloth closed with some kitchen twine or string. In a medium pot on medium heat on the stove, add the blueberry mixture and the basil cheesecloth package with the water. Heat the mixture to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, mash the berries up so they are no longer chunky. You can use whatever you want to mash them, I just used the back of a spoon. You want the mixture to be much smoother. Don’t hesitate to smash that bag of basil down into the blueberry either, just to get some more of that flavor in. Boil the entire mixture for about 20 minutes or so. Be sure and stir it up frequently so it doesn’t stick and it’s evenly cooked. At the end of 20 minutes, use a spoon to skim off the foam that collects on top. Remove as much as you can. It all has to go. Reduce your heat to a low simmer (make sure it’s still bubbling) and continue skimming off the foam and stirring often until the jam thickens. If you don’t stir often enough, and the jam begins to thicken, you will burn the jam. To get to the properly thickened stage, it took me to about the 45 minute mark but can take more than an hour to accomplish. Stir in the pectin at this point and stir well. You can now test the jam with the plate we put in the refrigerator. Grab the plate and plop a small spoonful onto the plate and then stick it back into the refrigerator for about a minute. Remove and tilt the plate a bit to the side. If the jam runs, it’s not ready. It should stay right where it is. If it’s not ready, continue cooking and stirring and add a little more pectin if needed, but often if you just give it a bit more time it will thicken and gel. When the jam is finally ready, remove the cheesecloth filled with the basil with a slotted spoon. You can throw this all away. Using a ladle with a spout, ladle the jam into your jam jars leaving about a 1/4 inch of room between the jam and the top of the jar. Screw on the lids (be careful jars are VERY hot). Submerge them in rapidly boiling water for an additional 5 minutes. When they are done, remove them from the water and listen for the audible sound which will let you know they are sealed. It’s a weird kind of pop sound with a little metal ring to it and sometimes isn’t very loud. Allow the jam to sit for at least 24 hours before using.

Pan-Fried Lemongrass Chicken

Pan-Fried Lemongrass Chicken

Pan-Fried Lemongrass Chicken


5 pieces of chicken thighs, boneless

2 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped (approximately 1 cup)

5 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

chopped cilantro (optional, for garnish)


In a ziploc bag, combine chicken, chopped lemongrass, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and pepper. [Note: To make things easy, I chopped up the lemongrass in a food processor.] Add cayenne pepper if you want this to be spicy. Seal and shake ziploc bag to evenly disperse marinade with the chicken. Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but preferably for 2 hours. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Place chicken on the pan and cook for 7 minutes per side, or until each side is nicely browned and the internal temperature of the thighs is 165ËšF (75ËšC). Slice into strips and serve over a bowl of steamed white rice sprinkled with sesame seeds. Garnish with chopped cilantro.  Notes: Make sure to marinate the chicken. The key to this recipe, and the key to achieving tender, juicy chicken thighs every single time is the lemongrass marinade. You need to make sure that the chicken sits in the marinade for at least 1 hour (personally, I prefer 2 hours). So yes, although this is the perfect weeknight meal because it takes less than 25 minutes to prep and cook, you do need to think ahead about the time you need to allow the chicken to marinate.  When preparing lemongrass, only use the middle part of the stalk where the flavor is (the green part). Discard about 1 inch from the bottom and two inches from the top (there’s no flavor in these parts).

Berry-Basil Limeade Jam

Berry-Basil Limeade Jam

Berry-Basil Limeade Jam

8 C. fresh strawberries, hulled

1 package (1-3/4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin

1/3 C. lime juice

1 tsp. butter

7 C. sugar

1/4 C. minced fresh basil

4 tsp. grated lime zest


Rinse nine 1-C. plastic or freezer-safe containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly. In a small bowl, thoroughly crush strawberries, 1 C. at a time, to measure exactly 5 C.; transfer to a 6-qt. stockpot. Stir in pectin, lime juice and butter. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar; return to a full rolling boil. Boil and stir 1 minute. Immediately stir in basil and lime zest. Immediately fill all containers to within 1/2 in. of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks or freeze up to 12 months. Thaw frozen jam in refrigerator before serving. Yield: 8-1/2 C..

New Mex Migas

New Mex Migas

New Mex Migas

2 T. unsalted butter

â…“ C. chopped green onion (green parts only)

¼ C. chopped roasted and peeled green chile (or more to taste)

8 large eggs (beaten until smooth)

salt (to taste)

4 ounce tortilla chips (about 2 3/4 C.) preferably stale

2 C. grated cotija cheese (divided)

½ C. cooked black beans

¼ C. Mexican sour cream (plus more to taste)

1¼ C. coarsely chopped cilantro


Melt the butter over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add the green onions and cook until they wilt slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the green chile and cook until fragrant, another minute or two. Add the beaten eggs and let sit until they just begin to set, about 1 minute. Salt lightly, sprinkle the tortilla chips over top of the eggs and stir, folding the unset egg over the chips. Cook quickly (to keep the chips from softening), stirring until the eggs are almost set, then stir in half of the cotija cheese. When the eggs are set to your taste, an additional 2 to 3 minutes, divide the mixture evenly among 4 to 6 heated plates, or serve it family style on a large platter. Spoon over the black beans, then the remaining cheese, sour cream and the cilantro. Serve immediately.

Grilled Seafood Packet – Shrimp & Clams with White Wine, Herbs, and Garlic Toast

Grilled Seafood Packet – Shrimp & Clams with White Wine, Herbs, and Garlic Toast

Grilled Seafood Packet – Shrimp & Clams with White Wine, Herbs, and Garlic Toast

1 lb. Cockles or Clams

1 lb. Shrimp (deveined)

2 tsp. Fresh Parsley (chopped)

2 tsp. Fresh Basil (chopped)

2 tsp. Fresh Oregano (chopped)

2 whole Plum Tomatoes (deseeded and small dice)

4 cloves Garlic (3 cloves minced and 1 left whole)

1 whole Shallot (thinly sliced)

1/2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

1 tsp. Kosher Salt

1/2 C. White Wine

2 tsp. Unsalted Butter (each tsp. diced into 6 pieces-12pieces total)

As Needed Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 slices French Baguette

2 wedges Lemon


Soak the clams in water for 20 minutes to wash out the sand. After the clams have soaked lift them out of the water into a bowl and set aside. Combine the chopped parsley, basil, and oregano in a small bowl and set aside. In a larger bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, 3 minced garlic cloves, sliced shallots, and half of the herb mix. Reserve the rest of the herb mix for garnishing. Stir until everything is evenly distributed and set aside. Rip 4 two-feet long sheets of aluminum foil. Lay one sheet of foil horizontally and another on top of that sheet vertically so that the two sheets are perpendicular to each other and form a plus sign. Repeat with the other 2 sheets of foil. Pull up the edges of the foil pouches so that they form a bowl shape. Preheat your grill on high heat. Divide the clams and shrimp between the two foil pouches. Sprinkle half of the crushed red pepper flakes (1/4 tsp) in one pouch and sprinkle the other half (1/4 tsp) into the other pouch. Repeat this step with the kosher salt. 1/2 tsp. in one pouch and 1/2 tsp. in the other. Then pour half of the white wine into one pouch and the other half in the second pouch. Dot each pouch with 6 pieces of butter on top. Close the pouches by pulling up the edges of the foil into a bundle and folding them over until they’re sealed. Once your grill has heated, place the pouches onto the grill for about 10 minutes until most of the clam shells have opened. Then reduce the heat to low and finish cooking the pouches in indirect heat for 5 minutes to allow the shrimp to finish cooking. When the seafood has cooked, remove the pouches from the grill and set aside. Heating your grill back on high, brush the slices of French baguette with olive oil on both sides. Place the slices on the grill until they have toasted and slightly browned. Remove the bread from the grill and rub both sides with the whole garlic clove. Open the pouches and serve with the toasted garlic bread and lemon wedges. Enjoy! Notes: This recipe can serve 2 as a main dish or 3-4 as a side

Cheesy Green Mish-Mash Soup

Cheesy Green Mish-Mash Soup

Cheesy Green Mish-Mash Soup

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3 T. coconut oil, ghee or butter

6 C. roughly chopped green vegetables

4 C. vegetable stock or basic chicken stock

1 C. of rocket/arugula or watercress

1 C. roughly chopped coriander, basil or flat leaf parsley leaves

pinch of salt

juice of 1 lemon

1/2 C. crumbed sharp cheddar


In a large saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in the coconut oil. Add the green vegetables and stir for a minute, then pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the rocket, herbs and salt. Turn off the heat and puree until smooth using a blender, or transfer to a blender and pulse. Whisk in the lemon juice and stir through the cheese. Serve hot.

IQS Green Minx Dressing

IQS Green Minx Dressing

IQS Green Minx Dressing


1 large avocado

1 large handful of fresh cilantro, including stalks (or you can use parsley, chives, or basil, or a combo)

1 large handful of chopped lettuce

1 small zucchini

2 cloves garlic

2 T. apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp. each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Process all the ingredients in a blender or use an immersion blender and a large mixing bowl. Thin, if required, with a little water.  If you use avocado, this will keep for 3–4 days in the fridge, or it can be frozen for 1–2 months in a freezer-proof airtight continuer, as long as the dressing is totally puréed (lumps make the dressing icy). To use, simply thaw in your refrigerator or in a bowl of cold water. Whisk to bring everything back together and serve cold!

Lemonade with Lemon Balm and Lemon Verbena

Lemonade with Lemon Balm and Lemon Verbena

Lemonade with Lemon Balm and Lemon Verbena

Although you can experiment using all sorts of different fresh herbs, this combination makes for a relaxing tonic, as both lemon balm and lemon verbena are known for their calming properties.

6 fresh lemon balm leaves

4 fresh lemon verbena leaves

Juice of 4 lemons, plus 1 thinly sliced lemon

4 C. water Honey or organic dry sugar to taste

Pinch of salt

Combine all of the ingredients except the lemon slices in a blender, starting with a modest amount of sweetener. Blend until the herbs are pulverized, about 5 seconds, then taste and adjust the sweetness. Chill for an hour, or serve immediately over ice, garnished with a slice of lemon. The lemonade is best drunk within two days.

Zucchini-and-Pepper Gratin with Herbs and Cheese

Zucchini-and-Pepper Gratin with Herbs and Cheese

Zucchini-and-Pepper Gratin with Herbs and Cheese

3 large zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds), 1 finely diced

Kosher salt

1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 small onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp. tomato paste

1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced

1 medium yellow bell pepper, finely diced

1 large tomato-peeled, seeded and finely diced

Piment d’Espclcttc (see Note)

1 T. chopped mint

1 T. chopped oregano

1 T. chopped basil

2 ounces freshly grated Sbrinz cheese or Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 2/3 cup)


Cut the 2 whole zucchini into twelve 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices each and season with salt. Transfer to a rack and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Meanwhile, heat 2 T. of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the red and yellow peppers along with the diced zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add the diced tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and piment d’Espelette. Stir in the mint, oregano and basil. Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat the remaining 2 T. of olive oil in a large skillet. Season the zucchini slices with salt and piment d’Espelette, add them to the skillet and cook over high heat, turning once, until browned in spots, about 4 minutes. Arrange the zucchini in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish in a single layer and spoon the pepper mixture on top. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake in the upper third of the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot or warm. Note: Piment d’Espelette is a spicy ground red pepper from the Basque region of France. It’s available at specialty food stores.

Clove Pink Panna Cotta

Clove Pink Panna Cotta

Clove Pink Panna Cotta

1 T. Powdered Gelatin

2 ½ C. Whole Milk

¾ C. Heavy Whipping Cream

1/3 C. Honey

2 T. powdered clove pink or rose petals

2 T. sugar

1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice Pinch of salt

Handful clove pink petals for garnish, optional


In a small bowl, combine gelatin with 3 T. warm water. Set aside for 10 minutes. In a saucepan, combine milk and cream and heat over medium-high heat until bubbles form around the inside of the pan. Stir in gelatin mixture and set aside to cool. When milk mixture is cool, whisk in honey, pink petals, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Pour milk-gelatin mixture into a medium bowl and set over a larger bowl of ice. Gently stir until it starts to thicken. Pour into 6 small serving bowls or ramekins, cover, and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours or overnight. Serve chilled and garnish each bowl with clove pink petals if using.

Fresh Heirloom Tomato Soup with Cream

Fresh Heirloom Tomato Soup with Cream

Fresh Heirloom Tomato Soup with Cream

Good tasting extra virgin olive oil

3 medium onions, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 large cloves garlic, minced

Pinch hot red pepper flakes

1 generous T. tomato paste

2-1/2 to 3 C. chicken broth (homemade preferred, but low sodium canned works, too)

Big handful fresh basil leaves, torn

15 medium or 10 large delicious ripe tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped (do capture their juices for the soup)

1 C. heavy cream (for serving)

Crusty bread with herb butter, for serving, optional


Generously film the bottom of a 12-quart pot with olive oil. Set over medium high heat.  When warm, add onions and about 1/4 tsp.  each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions start to color. Stir in the garlic, red pepper, and tomato paste. Cook 1 minute. Add broth, basil, and tomatoes. Bring to a lively simmer, cover the pot, and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until tomatoes are softened and soup tastes fresh, but mellow. Adjust seasonings to taste. Once soup has cooled, puree two-thirds in a blender or food processor. Rewarm or serve close to room temperature. The all-important finish is stirring a generous T. of cream into each bowl.

Edamame and Cherry Tomato Salad with Mint, Dill, and Feta Cheese

Edamame and Cherry Tomato Salad with Mint, Dill, and Feta Cheese

Edamame and Cherry Tomato Salad with Mint, Dill, and Feta Cheese

1 pound frozen shelled edamame (soybeans)

12 cherry tomatoes cut into quarters

2 green onions, finely sliced

1/4 C. minced fresh mint

2 T. minced fresh dill

2 T. red wine vinegar

1 T. extra virgin olive oil

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled


Cook soybeans in medium pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Run under cold water to cool. Drain well and refrigerate until chilled, about 20 minutes. Toss soybeans with remaining ingredients in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve salad on chilled plates; garnish with fresh mint sprigs and dill.

Sparkling Watermelon & Lemon Verbena Drink

Sparkling Watermelon & Lemon Verbena Drink

Sparkling Watermelon & Lemon Verbena


1 C. superfine sugar

3/4 C. cold water

1/2 C. packed fresh lemon verbena leaves, plus more for garnish


6 C. seedless watermelon, diced, plus small slices for garnish

1 (75O-ml) bottle Prosecco or seltzer water

Juice of 1 lime


Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a quick boil. Remove from the heat and add the lemon verbena leaves. Let cool completely, then strain through fine-mesh strainer and refrigerate. In a blender, puree the watermelon. Strain the watermelon puree, reserving the juice. Mix the watermelon juice with the Prosecco, lime juice, and 1/2 C. of the syrup (add more if desired). Serve well chilled, garnishing each glass with a thin slice of watermelon and some lemon verbena leaves.

Charred Green Beans with Lemon Verbena Pesto

Charred Green Beans with Lemon Verbena Pesto

Charred Green Beans with Lemon Verbena Pesto

1 1/2 pounds slender green beans

2 tsp. olive oil


1 C. fresh lemon verbena leaves (substitute fresh lemon balm leaves)

2 garlic cloves

1/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 C. pine nuts or English walnuts

1/2 C. olive oil

Fine kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Prepare a hot fire in your grill. Toss the beans with olive oil and place in a perforated grill basket or wok set on a baking sheet. For the Lemon Verbena Pesto, combine the lemon verbena, garlic, cheese, and nuts in a food processor and pulse to puree. Slowly add the olive oil with the processor running until the mixture thickens and emulsifies, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The pesto will keep in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days or it may be frozen for up to 3 months. Place the grill wok or basket directly over the fire and stir-grill tossing the beans with wooden paddles or grill spatulas until crisp-tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer the grilled beans to a large bowl and toss with about 1/4 C. of the Lemon Verbena Pesto or to taste.

Lemon Verbena Sugar Cookies

Lemon Verbena Sugar Cookies

Lemon Verbena Sugar Cookies

2 1/2 C. flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

2 T. fresh lemon verbena, chopped (I take out the mid-rib of each leaf before chopping it.)

1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest

1 C. softened butter

1 1/2 C. sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

Extra sugar for rolling


Combine dry ingredients, leaves and zest. Set aside. Beat butter; add sugar, eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Add half flour mixture, beat. Stir in remaining flour mixture with wooden spoon. Make rounded tsp. full of dough into rounded shapes, roll in extra sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes until edges lightly browned. Cool.

Roasted Halibut with Chervil Sauce

Roasted Halibut with Chervil Sauce

Roasted Halibut with Chervil Sauce

3/4 C. loosely packed chervil sprigs (1/2 oz.)

2 T. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 tsp. freshly ground coriander

1 green onion, roughly chopped

1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil

1 T. lemon juice

1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

2 pounds skinned halibut fillets, cut into 6 equal portions


1 C. dry white wine

2 T. finely chopped shallots

1 tsp. lemon juice

6 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 C. loosely packed chervil sprigs, plus sprigs and chive flowers for garnish

About 1/2 tsp. kosher salt


Preheat oven to 325°. Blend marinade ingredients until very smooth. Pour into a bowl, add fish, and gently turn to coat. Rinse blender and dry. Arrange fillets on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until they flake slightly when gently pressed, the last bit of translucence is fading from their centers, and a bit of liquid collects around them, 12 to 14 minutes. Meanwhile, make sauce: Put wine, shallots, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until reduced by half, about 4 minutes, then whisk in butter, 1 T. at a time. Pour into a blender and whirl briefly, then add 3/4 C. chervil and pulse until finely chopped. Pour sauce into 6 shallow bowls. Top with fish, add salt to taste, and garnish with chervil and flowers.

Roasted Vegetables with Angelica Fig Glaze

Roasted Vegetables with Angelica Fig Glaze

Roasted Vegetables with Angelica Fig Glaze

1 small butternut squash, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 beets, cut into wedges

2 onions, quartered

2 C. mini or fingerling potatoes or potato wedges

3 T. melted extra-virgin coconut oil or avocado oil

Sea salt

1 red pepper, halved and seeded

3 T. chopped fresh rosemary

6 cloves garlic

1/3 C. Angelica Fig Glaze

1/4 C. chopped fresh angelica leaves, optional


Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine squash, carrots, beets, onions, and potatoes. Toss to coat with oil and salt to taste. Spread the vegetables in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Place the two pepper halves, cut side down, on one of the baking sheets. Roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Stir the vegetables and turn the peppers over. Roast for another 10 minutes. Stir rosemary and garlic into one sheet of vegetables and stir the vegetables on the other sheet. Roast for another 20 to 30 minutes or until vegetables are browned and tender. Peel and cut the roasted peppers into strips and combine with the mixed vegetables in a large bowl. Add Angelica Fig Glaze and toss to mix. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with angelica if using.

Angelica Fig Glaze

Angelica Fig Glaze

Angelica Fig Glaze


1 C. water

¼ C. white wine vinegar

1/2 C. sugar

1/2 C. coarsely chopped fresh or candied angelica stems

1/2 C. coarsely chopped fresh figs


In a medium saucepan, bring water and vinegar to a boil. Stir in sugar, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Add angelica stems and simmer for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift and discard angelica. Stir in figs and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until figs soften. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Prosciutto Rolls with Arugula, Fennel and Mint

Prosciutto Rolls with Arugula, Fennel and Mint

Prosciutto Rolls with Arugula, Fennel and Mint

8 slices prosciutto

Extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Finely grated zest from one lemon

2 C. (packed) arugula leaves

2 medium fennel bulbs, cores and fronds removed, bulb. halved lengthwise, each half thinly sliced lengthwise

4 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler

16 medium-large mint leaves


For a smaller roll, halve the prosciutto slices lengthwise, so you will have 16 strips, each about 1 inch wide. Place one strip of prosciutto on a work surface, with a short end closest to you. Lightly brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with black pepper and a pinch of lemon zest. Lay 4 to 6 arugula leaves, horizontally, at the base. Place a few shards of fennel and Parmesan over the arugula. Top with a mint leaf. Roll up from the base, wrapping the prosciutto tightly around the vegetables, and continue to roll, placing 1 or 2 additional arugula leaves in the fold as you roll up. Place the roll seam side down on a platter. Repeat with remaining ingredients. The rolls may be prepared up to four hours in advance. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let them stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Before serving, lightly spritz with olive oil or lemon juice, if desired. Ingredient variations: Baby spinach, sweet pepper, goat cheese, melon, mozzarella, figs, brie, rosemary, shredded radicchio, pear, manchego cheese, parsley

White Chili with Spicy Oregano

White Chili with Spicy Oregano

White Chili with Spicy Oregano

4 chicken breast halves (about 1 ½ pounds)

2 tsp. cumin

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 T. olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ C. diced red bell pepper

2 C. chicken broth

2 (14-ounce) cans great Northern beans, drained

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained

2 T. canned, chopped jalapeno pepper

3 T. coarsely chopped hot and spicy oregano

1 tsp. sugar

Hot and spicy oregano sprigs


Cut chicken into ¾ inch cubes; toss with cumin and black pepper and set aside. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add chicken; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth, beans, and jalapeno peppers, stirring well. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to low and cook 15 minutes. Add oregano and sugar, stirring well. Cook 5 additional minutes. Ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with oregano sprigs.

Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs

Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs

Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs

2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (4 to 6 thighs)

Olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 medium lemon, thinly sliced

5 to 6 fresh (lemon) thyme sprigs


Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F. Drizzle the chicken thighs with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Place the thighs skin-side down in a single layer in a large, cold cast iron skillet. Place the skillet over medium heat. and cook undisturbed for 14 to 15 minutes. When a lot of the fat has rendered out and the skin is crispy and brown, flip the thighs so they are skin-side up. Scatter the lemon slices and thyme sprigs over the chicken. Roast in the oven until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, 13 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately. NOTES: Batch cooking: Depending on the size of your cast iron skillet, you might want to brown the chicken in batches so as not to crowd the pan. If you do this, reduce the time on the second batch, as the pan will already be hot. Then you can transfer the thighs to a baking dish to finish in the oven.

Peach and Thyme Polenta Tart

Peach and Thyme Polenta Tart

Peach and Thyme Polenta Tart


Polenta Pastry Shell

1 C. all-purpose flour

1/2 C. polenta (cornmeal)

1/4 C. white sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

2/3 C. butter (11 T.), chilled and diced

1 egg, beaten



1 C. heavy whipping cream

10 fresh thyme sprigs

1 lemon

3 egg yolks

1/4 C. sugar

Pinch of salt

2 large firm-ripe peaches, pitted and cut into very thin slices


5 fresh thyme sprigs

2 T. cornmeal

1 T. sugar


Mix the flour, polenta, salt and sugar. Using your fingers or a food processor, work the flour mixture into the butter until the texture is coarse and crumbly, like small peas. Mix in the egg. Mix lightly until smooth, then form into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the yellow peel from the lemon, trying to avoid the white pith. Bring the cream to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Add the thyme sprigs and lemon peel. Cover and steep for 30 minutes. Heat oven to 400°F. When the dough has chilled, work into a greased 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Let it rest for a few minutes, then bake for about 8 minutes or just until golden. Let cool. Lower the oven heat to 325°F. Strain the cream and discard the thyme and lemon peel. Whisk in the egg yolks, sugar and pinch of salt. Take the remaining 5 sprigs of thyme, and using your index finger and thumb, peel off the tiny leaves. Mix with the cornmeal and sugar. Add a splash of water and mix until loose and crumbly. Starting from the center, arrange the peach slices in an overlapping pattern in the baked tart shell. Pour the prepared custard over them and sprinkle the top with the cornmeal and thyme mixture. Bake at 325°F for about 35-40 minutes or until the peaches are tender and custard is set and slightly browned. Let cool and set for at least an hour before slicing.

Citrus Salad with Lemongrass Syrup

Citrus Salad with Lemongrass Syrup

Citrus Salad with Lemongrass Syrup

1/2 pink or red grapefruit per person, segmented, juice reserved

1/2 oroblanco per person, segmented, juice reserved

1/2 navel orange per person, segmented, juice reserved

1/2 C. honey

2 stalks lemongrass, white part only, cut into 2-inch pieces and bruised

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Zest of 1 lime

Mint leaves for garnish


Combine the citrus segments in a bowl. Cover and chill. In a small saucepan, mix 1/2 C. reserved citrus juice (top off with water if necessary) with honey, lemongrass, and vanilla pod and seeds. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and simmer until honey is dissolved. Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes. Strain. Divide citrus segments among serving dishes. Drizzle with syrup and garnish with lime zest and mint.

Caramelized Fennel on Herbed Polenta

Caramelized Fennel on Herbed Polenta

Caramelized Fennel on Herbed Polenta

2 to 3 cups / 450 to 675 ml vegetable broth or water, as needed

1/2 cup / 85 g organic, non-GMO polenta

fine sea salt

1 large fennel bulb

knob of ghee or clarified butter

2 tablespoons raw fennel seeds

1/2 tablespoon pure maple syrup, or to taste

1/4 cup / 5g chopped mixed herbs, such as dill, chives, parsley

1/4 cup / 27 g grated Pecorino Romano cheese

cold-pressed olive oil

herb flowers for garnish


Heat the vegetable broth in a large saucepan until simmering. Slowly pour in the polenta in a steady stream, whisking all the while to prevent clumping. Add a few pinches of salt. Stir constantly for a couple minutes; then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring every 5 minutes or so, for 30 to 45 minutes (read the label on your polenta for cooking time approximations). If the polenta becomes too thick, add more broth or water and whisk until smooth The polenta is cooked when you rub a small amount of it between your fingers and it is no longer gritty, but instead creamy and smooth. While the polenta is cooking, cut the fennel bulb into thin vertical slices (from the top to the base). Heat the ghee in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Working in batches, add the fennel slices to the skillet, making sure that they all come into contact with the surface of the skillet (not overlapping). Sprinkle with sea salt. Do not stir or move the fennel until it is golden on the bottom, 5 to 7 minutes. When all the pieces have browned, flip them onto the uncooked sides. When the underside has also browned, add a sprinkling of fennel seeds and the maple syrup, and let cook for 1 minute. Toss to coat, transfer the fennel to a plate. Season with more salt if needed. Add the chopped herbs and grated cheese to the polenta and give it a final stir. Whisk in a little more broth or water if necessary. To serve, scoop a portion of polenta onto a plate, then arrange the caramelized fennel on top. Add a drizzle of olive oil. Garnish with herb flowers if available.




1 T. coconut oil, ghee, or butter

1 T. herbes de Provence spice blend; or if you don’t have this on hand, use:

  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel

2 C. sliced leeks

3 C. fresh cilantro, chopped

2 C. bone broth, meat stock, or vegetable stock—the more flavorful your bone broth, the fewer spices you need in this soup

1 carrot, sliced

2 zucchini, sliced

1 tsp. sea salt

Black pepper, to taste


Put the coconut oil, spices, and leeks into a saucepan and sauté on low heat for 2-3 minutes. Add cilantro and sauté on low for 2 more minutes; remove from the heat and set aside. In a separate saucepan, add the bone broth and carrots and simmer for 5 minutes or until the carrots are soft. Add the zucchini slices and simmer for 1 minute. Add the broth, zucchini, and carrots to the saucepan with the coconut oil, leeks, spices, and cilantro. With your immersion blender (or in your food processor with the S-blade), blend the vegetables up until smooth. The soup is now ready to serve. Season with sea salt and pepper. Thermos soup instructions: To make this as a thermos soup, sauté the coconut oil and spices in one saucepan; add the bone broth and sliced vegetables into your blender or food processor with the S-blade and blend into a smooth puree. Add the vegetable puree to the saucepan with the coconut oil and spices; bring to a boil, mixing well. Remove from heat and pour into your thermos. Your vegetables will be cooked in the broth in your thermos and ready to eat at your next meal. Season with sea salt and pepper.

Cannellini Beans and Potatoes with Dandelion Greens and Parsley

Cannellini Beans and Potatoes with Dandelion Greens and Parsley

Cannellini Beans and Potatoes with Dandelion Greens and Parsley

1/2 cup dried cannellini beans (to make about 1 1/2 cups cooked)

1 pound young potatoes, red or white, cut into 1-inch cubes with the skins

2  cups chopped dandelion greens, in 1- to 2-inch pieces

2  cups chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

3  garlic cloves, sliced

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon paprika, plus more for garnish

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

Edible flowers (such as calendula, comfrey, rose, violet, chive blossom, and/or lilac), for garnish (optional)


Soak the beans overnight in enough water to cover by 8 inches. Strain the beans and combine them in a saucepan with enough water to cover by 2 to 3 inches. Bring to a boil, skim off any foam, reduce the heat, and cover: simmer over low heat, stirring often, until the beans are tender, 45 to 75 minutes. Set aside to cool in the cooking water. Combine the potatoes, dandelion greens, parsley, garlic, oil, water, paprika, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer, covered, stirring often, for 30 minutes. Strain the beans from their cooking water and add to the pan, along with the lemon juice. Simmer, uncovered, stirring almost continually, for 5 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with paprika and edible wildflowers, if desired.

Baked Ricotta

Baked Ricotta

Baked Ricotta

1 pound (about 2 cups) whole-milk ricotta cheese

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried

1   tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried

2  teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary’ or 1 teaspoon dried

1-2 tablespoons chopped garlic (2-4 cloves)

Zest of 1 lemon, finely’ grated

1/4 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 egg, lightly’ beaten

Ground paprika, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 375°F (19O°C). Use a drizzle of oil to grease a 2-cup baking dish. Combine the ricotta with the oregano, thyme, rosemary, garlic, lemon zest, sun-dried tomatoes (if using), and a few grinds of pepper. Mix well and season generously7 with salt (I usually start with 1/4 teaspoon). Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top with paprika and a drizzle of oil. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top puffs up slightly and the mixture is hot and bubbling. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. The ricotta has to be well drained; if it is too liquid, the finished product will be soupy. Most ricotta comes strained, but if the ricotta you have has any’ liquid on top, pour it off rather than mixing it in.

Lavender Fizz

Lavender Fizz

Lavender Fizz

7 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup raw honey

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

4 tablespoons fresh or dried lavender flowers

1 lemon, sliced into ¼-inch rounds

Combine the water, honey, vinegar, lavender, and lemon in a clean half-gallon mason jar, cover with a lid, and shake well until all the honey has dissolved. Set the mixture aside to ferment, covered, at room temperature for 2 days. After 2 days, strain out the lavender and lemon. Transfer the liquid into glass or plastic bottles with tight-fitting lids, leaving about V2 inch of headroom in each bottle. (The lids need to be tight fitting to contain the carbonation that is going to develop. If the lids do not fit tightly, the carbonation will escape from the bottles, leaving you with a still delicious yet noncarbonated beverage.)  Set the bottles aside in a cool, dark place to ferment for 3 days. Then open one of the bottles to taste it. If the soda is still not carbonated, put the lid back on and let the bottles continue fermenting. Taste regularly. The length of time needed to produce carbonation will vary7 depending on the temperature and the activity of the yeasts in your fizz.               Once the soda reaches the desired carbonation, transfer the bottles to the refrigerator. The cold temperature will slow the fermentation process and keep the carbonation level as it is.  Sometimes a bit of mold can form on the surface of the soda during the fermentation process. This is just surface mold, and the soda is still good; simply remove the mold and proceed

Herbal Balsamic Vinaigrette

Herbal Balsamic Vinaigrette

Herbal Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon raw honey

2 tablespoons chopped chives or chive blossoms

2 tablespoons fresh oregano

2 tablespoons fresh tarragon

2 tablespoons fresh thyme

1-2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Combine the oil, vinegar, mustard, and honey with the chives, oregano, tarragon, thyme, garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more vinegar or mustard if you like dressing with a more pungent flavor. Store in the refrigerator, where the dressing will keep for 2 to 3 weeks.

Chive Blossom Vinegar and Vinaigrette

Chive Blossom Vinegar and Vinaigrette

Chive Blossom Vinegar and Vinaigrette

1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar (or champagne vinegar)

Fresh chives with blossoms

For the Vinaigrette:

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup chive blossom vinegar

1/2 teaspoon grainy Dijon or a honey Dijon

1/2 teaspoon sugar, optional

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Optional: fresh snipped chives

Steps to Make It

Gather the ingredients.


Cut the blossoms off of the chive stems just below the flower head. Rinse gently and let them dry. Pack the chive blossoms loosely in a 1-pint jar, filling it about 3/4 full.  Pour the vinegar over the blossoms until the jar is very full. Put a cover on (not metal) the jar, label it with the date, and set in a cool, dark place for ten days to 2 weeks. If you don’t have plastic covers for your jars or a jar with a glass lid, use a metal screw band and screw it over a small square of wax paper or parchment paper. Strain the vinegar, discard the chive blossoms and transfer the vinegar to a clean bottle or jar.  Store the strained vinegar for up to 6 months in a dark, cool place or in the refrigerator.


Chive Blossom Vinaigrette

In a jar or bottle, combine 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil with 1/4 cup chive blossom vinegar. Add 1/2 teaspoon of a grainy or honey Dijon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar, if desired, and a dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Shake well. Store chive blossom vinaigrette for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. The vinaigrette makes about 8 servings of 2 tablespoons each.

Crab Salad with Shallot Dressing

Crab Salad with Shallot Dressing

PNW Crab Salad with Shallot Dressing

2 pounds fresh, cooked crabmeat

12 cups mixed salad greens (see note)

1 cup fresh, whole tarragon leaves

10 tender celery ribs

3 firm, medium-size shallots

1 firm, small cloves garlic, pressed

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

3/4 cup olive oil


Flake crabmeat and mound in the middle of a large salad bowl. Wash the salad greens and spin dry. Set aside. Remove the leaves of the tarragon from the stems, wash, pat dry and set aside. Wash, trim and cut the celery ribs in half lengthwise. Cut crosswise into thin slices. Place the greens, tarragon and celery around the crab in the salad bowl. To make the dressing, peel and mince the shallots, add pressed garlic. Place them in a small bowl and mix in the lemon juice, sugar and poppy seeds. Drizzle this mixture over the salad greens and lightly toss the greens and crab together. Then drizzle on the olive oil and toss again. Serve salad on individual plates; accompany with warm sourdough bread. Note: Use a combination of butter or red leaf lettuce, curly endive, watercress or small leaf exotic greens.


Yield: 10 servings

Calories: 272

Fat: 18g

Fiber: 1g

Lemon Crème Brulee with Lavender and Honey

Lemon Crème Brulee with Lavender and Honey

Lemon Crème Brulee with Lavender and Honey

2 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons honey

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped lemon zest (from 3 medium lemons)

2 tablespoons fresh lavender flowers (or 4 teaspoons dried)

â…› teaspoon salt

3 yolks

1 egg

¼ cup granulated sugar, plus additional for caramelizing


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. In a heavy saucepan, combine the cream, honey, lemon zest, lavender, and salt. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat, cover, and remove from the heat. Steep 10 minutes and taste the cream to determine if the lemon and lavender flavors are balanced and to your liking. When they are, strain the mixture, discard the zest and lavender, and return the cream to the pot. If it has cooled completely, warm the cream over medium heat until it is hot, but not boiling.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the yolks and egg together with the sugar until smooth. Slowly add some of the warm cream to the yolks, about ½ cup at a time, whisking constantly to keep the eggs from curdling. After adding 1 cup of cream, pour the tempered yolk mixture back into the pan with the remaining cream. Add the vanilla and strain the mixture into another container to cool in an ice bath for baking later or divide it between 6 (4-ounce) ramekins or glass custard cups. Arrange the dishes in a deep baking pan and fill the pan with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes. Put the baking pan in the oven and bake until the custard is set around edges and slightly jiggly in the center, about 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the custards to cool before covering with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator to cool completely, 3 hours to overnight. Bet before serving, sprinkle the top of each custard with a thin, even coating of sugar. Place the dishes under a preheated broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sugar melts, or use a hand-held blowtorch to caramelize the sugar.

Lemon–Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Shelling Peas and Green Garlic

Lemon–Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Shelling Peas and Green Garlic

Lemon–Goat Cheese Gnocchi with Shelling Peas and Green Garlic

8 ounces slightly soft, mild fresh goat cheese, at room temperature|

8 ounces cream cheese (preferably without stabilizers), at room temperature

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (from 2 small lemons)

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 eggs

1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling the dough

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 small stalks green garlic, thinly sliced on the diagonal, or 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

¼ cup dry white wine or vermouth

3 cups freshly shelled green peas

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh chives, cut into ½-inch lengths


In a large bowl, combine the cheeses, zest, salt, and eggs. Mix with a rubber spatula until smooth and add ¾ cup of the flour. Combine well and gently mix in the remaining flour to form a moist, slightly sticky dough. Do not over- mix or your gnocchi will be heavy. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Lightly flour a baking sheet or large platter and set aside. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, form it into a ball, and cut the ball into quarters. Roll each quarter into a ½-inch-thick rope. Use a sharp knife to cut the ropes into ½-inch gnocchi and put them on the baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining dough pieces; you should get about 84. Lightly dust the gnocchi with flour. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Boil the gnocchi in batches of 15 to 20; they will take about 3 minutes to cook. They’re done when they float—wait a few seconds before using a slotted spoon to remove the gnocchi to a baking sheet to cool. (They will be delicate when warm but will become sturdier as they cool.) Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. The cooked gnocchi will keep in the refrigerator for 24 hours. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until the liquid in the skillet has reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the gnocchi, peas, butter, and ½ cup of the reserved gnocchi cooking liquid to the skillet. Cook until the ingredients are warmed through and the sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon juice, tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine. Divide the gnocchi between 6 or 8 bowls. Garnish with the chives and serve immediately.

Chive Blossom Vinegar

Chive Blossom Vinegar

Chive Blossom Vinegar

Harvest healthy chive blossoms by snipping off the blossoms.  If you have some extra chive blossoms, don’t throw them away! Separate the blossoms into flowerets and sprinkle them over a salad or use them as a garnish.


2 cups chive blossoms enough to fill a pint jar

1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar or champagne, rice, or distilled white


Rinse the chive blossoms in water and spread them out on a clean kitchen towel to dry. In a small saucepan, warm vinegar over medium low heat to a simmer (not boiling). Turn off heat. Loosely pack chive blossoms into a clean glass pint jar. Carefully pour warm vinegar over chive blossoms leaving about a 1-inch space at the top of the jar. Cover the jar and store in a dark, cool location for 3-4 days. Once the vinegar has infused and turned a lovely shade of purple, strain out the blossoms and store vinegar in a clean glass jar or bottle. Compost the spent chive blossoms.

Elderflower Panna Cotta with Gooseberry Compote

Elderflower Panna Cotta with Gooseberry Compote

Elderflower Panna Cotta with Gooseberry Compote


A delicately wobbly, creamy panna cotta is such a simple but sophisticated dish. Infused with the scent of elderflowers and partnered with a sharp gooseberry compote, it makes a stunning summer dessert. You can use fresh elderflowers during their short season in May, but otherwise elderflower liqueur works fine. Leave out the elderflower altogether and this is a great recipe for a plain panna cotta, with a little tang from the yogurt.

1/3 C. whole milk

1 C. heavy cream

1 T. T. superfine sugar (or 1 1/2 tsp. if you’re using elderflower liqueur)

3 to 4 large heads of elderflower, or 2 T. elderflower liqueur

1 1/2 tsp. plain gelatin

2/3 C. plain yogurt


1 pound gooseberries, topped and tailed

1/4 C. superfine sugar

A few sprigs of elderflower (optional)


Combine the milk, cream, and sugar in a saucepan. Tie up the elderflower heads in a piece of cheesecloth and add to the pan, or stir in the elderflower cordial. Scald the liquid – bring just to a simmer, but don’t let it bubble. If you’re using elderflower heads, let stand for half an hour to infuse, then remove the elderflower. Soak the gelatin in cold water for 5 to 10 minutes, until softened. If you left the cream mixture to infuse for half an hour, reheat it almost to boiling – if you have used liqueur, the cream should still be hot enough. Add the gelatin to the hot cream mixture and stir until dissolved. Let cool to room temperature, stirring from time to time. Once cooled, stir in the yogurt until thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture into four 1/2-cup molds, such as ramekins, and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, until set. Meanwhile, make the compote. Put the gooseberries in a pan with the sugar and V4 C. water. Tie up the elderflower sprigs, if using, in a piece of cheesecloth and add to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until the gooseberries are soft. Let cool completely, then remove the elderflower sprigs and chill the compote. To turn out the panna cottas, dip each mold very briefly in hot water – literally just a few seconds – then turn upside down onto a serving plate and give it a shake; if necessary, run a knife around the edge. Serve with the gooseberry compote.

Chicken in Lettuce Cups with Crispy Pine Nuts and Lime

Chicken in Lettuce Cups with Crispy Pine Nuts and Lime

Chicken in Lettuce Cups with Crispy Pine Nuts and Lime

2 T. coconut aminos

1 T. fresh lime juice, plus more as needed, and lime wedges for serving

2 tsp. fish sauce, plus more as needed

3 T. toasted sesame oil

1 large celery stalk, finely diced

2 T. pine nuts

2 green onions, white and light green parts only, sliced, plus more for garnish

5 oz [140 g] shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

1 lb. [455 g] ground chicken thigh meat

Kosher salt

¼ C. [10 g] thinly sliced fresh basil

12 inner leaves iceberg or butter lettuce, trimmed and chilled

Black sesame seeds for garnish


In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut aminos, lime juice, and fish sauce. In a large wok or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 T. of the sesame oil. Add the celery and pine nuts and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, or until the pine nuts are just starting to brown. Add the green onions and mushrooms, and cook until the mushrooms start to soften, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl, and return the pan to the stove. When the pan is very hot, add the remaining 1 T. sesame oil. Add the chicken and a generous pinch of salt. Stir constantly, breaking up the meat with your spatula, until it’s barely cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, return the vegetable mixture to the pan, and pour in the coconut aminos mixture. Stir to coat. Taste, adding salt, fish sauce, or lime juice as needed. Stir in the chopped basil. Place a generous scoop of the chicken mixture inside each lettuce cup. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and sesame seeds. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

Melon and Lemon Verbena with Prosecco

Melon and Lemon Verbena with Prosecco

Melon and Lemon Verbena with Prosecco


¾ C. sugar

¼ C. lemon verbena leaves

1 small ripe cantaloupe

Prosecco or other sparkling wine (for serving)


Bring sugar, lemon verbena, and 1½ C. water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer 10 minutes. Let cool. Strain syrup into a pitcher; discard solids. Meanwhile, halve cantaloupe and remove seeds. Scoop flesh into a blender and purée until smooth. Stir into syrup and chill melon mixture until cold and foam has settled, 1–2 hours. To serve, fill 8 glasses a third of the way full with melon mixture (you’ll have some leftover); gently top off with Prosecco. Do Ahead: Melon mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

Herbed Cucumber Bites

Herbed Cucumber Bites

Herbed Cucumber Bites


1 C. soft goat cheese

3 T. chopped marjoram

1 T. freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice

2 peeled cucumbers, sliced crosswise into 1-inch rounds (about 8 rounds per cucumber)

12 radishes, each cut into 4 slices

16 fresh herb tips (oregano, marjoram, savory, or thyme)


In a small bowl, combine cheese, marjoram, and lime juice. To assemble bites, spread 2 tsp. of the cheese mixture on a cucumber. Arrange 3 slices of radish over cheese. Spread 1 tsp. of cheese on top of a radish slice and top with an herb tip. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Pan Seared Scallops with Citrus Sauce

Pan Seared Scallops with Citrus Sauce

Pan Seared Scallops with Citrus Sauce


6 T. olive oil

2 T. orange juice plus 1 T. zest

1 T. lime juice

1 small shallot – finely chopped

1 T. chopped Lemon Verbena or Cilantro

â…› tsp. chili flakes or aleppo chili pepper

2–4 portions of scallops or fish (try to find large “dry” scallops)

1–2 T. olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Optional- 2-4 portions Green beans or substitute asparagus


In a small bowl, mix dressing ingredients together and set aside. If steaming green beans, set them inside a steamer basket inside a pot, with a little water. Bring to a boil, cover, steam 2 – 3 minutes, or until bright green and just tender. Uncover. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until smoking. Season the oil with salt and pepper. Add the patted dry scallops (or fish) and sear for 1-2 minutes until golden. Turn over. If cooking a thick piece of fish, finish in a warm oven. Spoon flavorful dressing over the scallops and green beans.