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Chive Corn Pudding

Chive Corn Pudding

Chive Corn Pudding

 

2 ears corn, husks and silks removed; or 2 cups frozen corn thawed

2 cups 1-percent milk

2 T. low-fat sour cream

2 eggs

2 T. flour

1 T. sugar

2 T. minced chives

1/2 cup low-fat cheddar cheese

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If using fresh corn, use a sharp knife to scrape the corn from the cob.  Combine the corn with the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Spray a casserole dish with nonstick spray. Pour the corn pudding into the casserole dish.  Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes until pudding is set and tester put in the center comes out clean.

Black Currant Sun Jelly

Black Currant Sun Jelly

Black Currant Sun Jelly

 

9 ounces black currants

9 ounces superfine sugar

 

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

Rose and Basil Pesto

Rose and Basil Pesto

Rose and Basil Pesto

 

2 C. fresh basil

1 cup fragrant rose petals

3 cloves garlic

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

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp. food grade rose water

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

1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1/4 cup Romano cheese, freshly grated

Salt, optional

 

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

Stuffed Tomatoes with Marigold Blossoms

Stuffed Tomatoes with Marigold Blossoms

Stuffed Tomatoes with Marigold Blossoms

Marigolds and Tomatoes are great buddies in the garden.  They like similar growing conditions, and marigolds deter tomato worms in the soil.

12 Roma or cherry tomatoes, cut in half, seeds scooped out

1 small (4 oz.) package cream cheese, room temp.

1 sprig (about 4 inches long) Sweet Basil, stem removed

1/2 cup pecan halves

Petals from 2 French marigolds

In small food processor, put the pecans, marigold petals and basil and pulse-process until the material is chopped fine. Put in small bowl and combine with the cream cheese, then stuff each tomato half, rounding up like with deviled eggs. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 24 hours before serving.

Tropical-Fruit Salad with Coconut Crunch

Tropical-Fruit Salad with Coconut Crunch

Tropical-Fruit Salad with Coconut Crunch

 

1 large egg white

2 T. clover or orange-blossom honey

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla paste or extract

1 tsp. grated Meyer-lemon zest, plus 2 T. fresh juice

1 T. poppy seeds

Pinch of kosher salt

2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 quart strawberries, halved lengthwise if large

2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and cut lengthwise into 1-inch-thick fingers

1 small papaya, peeled, halved, seeded, and cut lengthwise into 1-inch-thick fingers

1 small pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch-thick fingers

 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk egg white with honey, vanilla, lemon zest and juice, poppy seeds, and salt until foamy and thoroughly combined. Stir in coconut to evenly coat; spread on a rimmed baking sheet in a thin layer. Bake, stirring a few times, until golden in places, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely (mixture will crisp as it cools). Rub between your fingers, breaking up any clumps, until crumbled. Arrange fruits on a platter; sprinkle with coconut crunch to serve. Fruits can be loosely covered with plastic, without coconut crunch, and refrigerated up to 8 hours. Coconut crunch can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Shoepeg Corn Salad

Shoepeg Corn Salad

Shoepeg Corn Salad

 

½ cup mayonnaise

3 small green onions, thinly sliced

2 T. white wine vinegar

2 T. minced pickled jalapeno peppers

2 T. minced fresh parsley

1 T. light olive oil

salt and ground black pepper to taste

2 (11 ounce) cans shoepeg corn, rinsed and drained

1 cup halved grape tomatoes

 

Whisk mayonnaise, green onions, vinegar, jalapeno peppers, parsley, and olive oil together in a bowl until smooth; season with salt and pepper.  Gently stir corn and tomatoes into the dressing to coat. Transfer salad to a serving dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours.

Mango Miso Salmon with Asparagus and Quick-Pickled Mango

Mango Miso Salmon with Asparagus and Quick-Pickled Mango

Mango Miso Salmon with Asparagus and Quick-Pickled Mango

3 mangoes, peeled and pitted (divided use)

1/2 cup white miso paste

1 cup plus 2 T. mirin (divided use)

3/4 cup cooking sake (divided use)

2 T. soy sauce

Four 6- to 7-ounce salmon fillets (or pieces of salmon belly), skin on

2 T. unseasoned rice wine vinegar

2 bunches asparagus, about 60 stalks total, tough ends trimmed

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

3 T. canola oil

1 T. unsalted butter

 

Roughly dice 2 mangoes and add them to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth; you should have nearly 1 cup of puree. In a medium bowl, combine miso paste, 1/2 cup mirin, 2/3 cup mango puree, 1/2 cup sake and soy sauce. Whisk until thoroughly combined and smooth. Transfer half the marinade to a separate bowl and add 2 T. mirin and remaining mango puree (you should have about 1/4 cup), stirring until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator. Place the salmon in a medium-size glass dish and cover with the remaining marinade. Cover with plastic wrap, transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for 24 hours, turning once. Transfer the reserved marinade to a medium saucepot and heat over medium, uncovered. Cook until reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover pan and set aside. Dice remaining mango. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup sake, rice wine vinegar and 1/2 cup mirin, stirring to combine. Stir in the diced mango. Let sit for 15 minutes, then drain, discarding liquid. Remove salmon from refrigerator and blot excess marinade. Place fish in a clean dish until ready to cook. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Toss the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper to lightly coat the stalks and place on a foil-lined sheet pan large enough to fit them all in a single layer. Transfer to the oven and roast for 10 to 15 minutes or until slightly crispy. Remove and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Place a cold nonstick pan on medium heat, then immediately add the canola oil and butter. As soon as the butter has melted, add the fish. Cook, skin-side down, until skin is lightly browned and easily releases from the pan, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip fillets and cook on flesh side, 3 minutes more, until lightly browned and cooked through. If all four fillets do not fit comfortably in the pan, cook two at a time, then transfer to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm while you cook the other two. While the salmon is cooking, reheat the saucepot of reserved sauce over low. Evenly distribute the asparagus among four dinner plates. Place a salmon fillet on each plate, top with 2 to 3 T. of the sauce and garnish with the diced, quick-pickled mango. Serves 4.

Dandelion Lemonade

Dandelion Lemonade

Dandelion Lemonade

 

1 C. Dandelion Blossoms

3 C. Water

2 Lemons, zest and Juice

¾ C. Sugar

 

Pull Petals off dandelion and put in a bowl with 1 C. of water overnight.  The next day, strain into a pan and add remaining ingredients.  Stir while heating until sugar dissolves.  Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and pour into a clean bottle or jar.  Refrigerate until cold, then enjoy.  (For a larger batch, use 2 quarts blossoms, 4-6 lemons, sweeten to taste, in a gallon jar.  Dandelion blossoms steeped as tea can help relieve headaches, menstrual cramps, backaches, stomach aches and even depression.

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.

Two Bean and Corn Salad

Two Bean and Corn Salad

Two Bean and Corn Salad

 

1⁄3 cup olive oil

2 T. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 (15 1/2 ounce) can great northern beans, rinsed, drained

1 (15 1/2 ounce) can black beans, rinsed, drained

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 C. frozen corn kernels, thawed

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup chopped red onion

1⁄3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 small jalapeno chiles, seeded, chopped

 

Whisk oil, vinegar, and cumin in large bowl to blend. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Season salad with salt and pepper. Let stand at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours, tossing occasionally.

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.

Peaches with Lemon & Saffron

Peaches with Lemon & Saffron

Peaches with Lemon & Saffron

 

4 Peaches

1 Lemon

2 oz Butter

1 pinch Saffron

2 T. Agave

4 T. EVOO

2 oz Almonds

Vanilla Ice Cream for serving

 

​Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over low heat and add 6 segments of each stoned peach with its skin into the pan alongside 6 segments of the lemon with the seeds removed. Place the Saffron thread in a small bowl of water until the color has diffused throughout. Once the thread has diffused, place the mixture into the sauté pan along with the agave syrup.  Cover the pan and let simmer gently for 20 – 30 mins, do not move around in order to preserve the skin of the peaches. When the fruit is tender but still holding form, remove from the head, and drizzle some of the EVOO along with toasted almonds.  Finally, place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top to complement the warm dessert.

Summer Nasturtium Soup

Summer Nasturtium Soup

Summer Nasturtium Soup

 

1 head of cos/romaine lettuce

1 oz. nasturtium flowers and leaves

1 oz. butter

1 stick celery chopped

1 small onion chopped

1 clove garlic minced

1 pint vegetable or chicken stock

1 potato peeled and chopped

3 1/2 fl. oz. almond milk or other milk of choice

Salt and pepper to taste

Extra flowers and petals chopped finely to garnish

 

Chop the lettuce and nasturtiums and set aside. Melt butter in a pan and cook the onion and celery for 5 minutes then add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the chopped lettuce, nasturtiums, potato and stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Whiz with a stick blender and add the milk and seasoning.

Serve either hot or cold and garnished with finely chopped nasturtium flowers and petals on top.

Sloppy Cowboys

Sloppy Cowboys

Sloppy Cowboys

 

2 lbs. lean ground beef

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/3 tsp. garlic powder

0.7-oz. pkg. Italian salad dressing mix

1 T. red wine vinegar

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/3 C. catsup

sandwich buns

1/2 lb. provolone cheese, sliced

 

Brown beef in a large skillet over medium heat; drain. Add remaining ingredients except buns and cheese and mix well. Reduce heat to low; simmer until heated through and slightly thickened. Serve on buns, topped with a slice of provolone cheese. Serves 6 to 8.

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.

Pan-Seared Halibut with Bell Pepper Relish

Pan-Seared Halibut with Bell Pepper Relish

Pan-Seared Halibut with Bell Pepper Relish

 

1 ½ T. olive oil, divided

4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 T. chopped shallots

1 tsp. minced fresh garlic

1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper

½ cup chopped plum tomato

1 T. sherry vinegar

½ tsp. smoked paprika

1 T. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

 

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 1/4 tsp. oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle halibut evenly with salt and black pepper. Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Carefully remove fish from pan, and keep warm.  Add remaining 2 1/4 tsp. oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots and garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add bell pepper and next 3 ingredients (through paprika); sauté 3 minutes or until bell pepper is tender. Stir in parsley. Serve relish with fish.

Vanilla Vodka Lemonade

Vanilla Vodka Lemonade

Vanilla Vodka Lemonade

 

1 1/3 C. Sugar

1 C. Water

8 Lemons

1 C. (or more) Vanilla Vodka

1 L Bottle Club Soda

5 large Sprigs Fresh Mint, more for garnishing glasses

 

First you will need to make a simple syrup mixture: place the water and sugar in a small pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved—about 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and chill. Now cut all of the lemons in half and juice them over a bowl large enough to hold all the juice. Mix the juice with the simple syrup mixture and vanilla vodka in large pitcher (or 2 carafes). Slowly pour in the club soda—you may not want to use all of the soda so taste it after you’ve added about 2/3 of the soda . You can also add more vanilla vodka if you want it a little more boozy and vanilla-y. Add the mint sprigs to the pitchers. Pour the lemonade drink over a glass of ice and add a sprig of mint. Salut!

Blackberry Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette

Blackberry Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette

Blackberry Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette

1 serving lettuce greens

3 slices prosciutto (torn)

1 ounce goats cheese (crumbled)

1 handful blackberries

3 blackberries

1 T. olive oil

1 T. balsamic vinegar

1 T. honey

salt and pepper to taste

 

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

Berries with Citrus Syrup

Berries with Citrus Syrup

Berries with Citrus Syrup

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

4 1/2oz caster sugar

zest of 1 lemon, cut into strips

1 T. orange juice

handful of mint leaves

 

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

Marinated Heirloom Tomato and Nectarine Salad with Garden Herbs

Marinated Heirloom Tomato and Nectarine Salad with Garden Herbs

Marinated Heirloom Tomato and Nectarine Salad with Garden Herbs

¼ C. EVOO

3 T. Shelled, Roasted Pistachios

2 T. Balsamic Vinegar or White Balsamic Vinegar

2 tsp. Honey

12 Basil Leaves, roughly chopped

2 Springs Fresh Thyme, chopped

1 clove Garlic, grated

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Kosher Salt

2 1.1 C. Cherry Tomatoes, halved

2 Nectarines, cut into wedges

2 balls Burrata Cheese, roughly torn

2 T. snipped fresh Chives for serving

Flaky Sea Salt for serving

 

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

Vanilla Vodka Lemonade

Vanilla Vodka Lemonade

Vanilla Vodka Lemonade

1 & 1/3 C. sugar

1 C. water

8 lemons

1+ C. vanilla vodka

1 liter bottle of club soda

5 large sprigs of fresh mint & more for garnish

 

First you will need to make a simple syrup mixture: place the water and sugar in a small pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is completely dissolved—about 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and chill. Now cut all of the lemons in half and juice them over a bowl large enough to hold all the juice. Mix the juice with the simple syrup mixture and vanilla vodka in large pitcher (or 2 carafes). Slowly pour in the club soda—you may not want to use all of the soda so taste it after you’ve added about 2/3 of the soda . You can also add more vanilla vodka if you want it a little more boozy and vanilla-y. Add the mint sprigs to the pitchers. Pour the lemonade drink over a glass of ice and add a sprig of mint. Salut!

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.

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.

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.

Pea Shoot and Stone Fruit Salad with Brie and Walnuts

Pea Shoot and Stone Fruit Salad with Brie and Walnuts

Pea Shoot and Stone Fruit Salad with Brie and Walnuts

4-6 ounces organic pea shoots

1 pluot, cut into thin wedges

1 green plum, cut into thin wedges

1 nectarine, cut into thin wedges

2-4 ounces brie, cut into thin wedges (use more or less according to your preference)

½ C. fresh walnuts, roughly chopped or crushed

2 T. honey wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar mixed with a little honey)

2 T. best quality extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, optional

 

Divide the pea shoots between four salad plates. Top with a few slices of each of the stone fruits and brie. Sprinkle with the fresh walnuts and drizzle with a little vinegar and oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, if desired.

Panfried Corn with Tomatoes

Panfried Corn with Tomatoes

Panfried Corn with Tomatoes

6 ears corn, shucked and silked

2 very ripe tomatoes

2 T. vegetable oil

1 onion, finely diced

Kosher salt

2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced

1 T. unsalted butter

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

 

If you have a gas stovetop, turn a burner to high. If not, heat a grill or grill pan to high. Put the corn over the fire to char, turning occasionally, until blackened in spots. When the corn is cool enough to handle, cut off the kernels and reserve. Hold a cob over a large dish and use the dull edge of the knife blade to scrape off any remaining pulp and the corn’s juices. Repeat with the remaining cobs. Reserve the juices and pulp; discard the cobs. Cut the tomatoes in half through their equators. If they are so ripe that they’re wobbly, squeeze them by hand over a bowl to release all the juices, seeds, and fruity pulp. If they are too stiff to squeeze, grate the cut sides against the large holes of a box grater set over a bowl. Reserve the juicy stuff; discard the skins. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until almost translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the corn pulp and juices and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring, until thickened and starting to stick to the skillet, about 1 minute. Add the tomato pulp and juices and 1/2 C. water. Cook, stirring and scraping up bits from the skillet. Once the liquid is simmering, add the butter and cayenne. Stir until the butter melts. Add the reserved corn kernels and stir until heated through. Serve hot.

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

 

Filling

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.

Star- Spangled Popover Pancake

Star- Spangled Popover Pancake

Star- Spangled Popover Pancake

 

4 egg whites

1 egg

1 C. 1% low-fat milk

1 C. all-purpose flour

2 tsp. unsalted butter or margarine, melted

1/4 tsp. salt

3 T. apricot or peach preserves

2 T. lemon juice

1 T. packed light brown sugar

3 nectarines, sliced

1 C. sliced strawberries

1 C. blueberries

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Coat a 12″ cast-iron skillet with no-stick spray. Place the skillet in the oven for 5 minutes. Place the egg whites and egg in a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined. Add the milk, flour, butter or margarine, and salt. Mix well. Remove the skillet from the oven and pour in the batter. Return to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed. (The pancake will collapse when removed from the oven.) In a medium saucepan, combine the preserves, lemon juice, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the nectarines; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the strawberries and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the blueberries. Pour the fruit on top of the pancake and cut into 4 wedges. Serve warm. To make individual popover pancakes, use a cast-iron 8-C. muffin pan in place of the skillet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed. Arrange 2 popovers on each plate and top with the warm fruit.

One Pan Dump and Bake Summer Pasta with Corn, Zucchini, Tomato & Chicken

One Pan Dump and Bake Summer Pasta with Corn, Zucchini, Tomato & Chicken

One Pan Dump and Bake Summer Pasta with Corn, Zucchini, Tomato & Chicken

2 cups diced, cooked chicken

1 cup halved grape tomatoes (can substitute with a can of undrained diced tomatoes)

1 small zucchini (about 1 cup), diced

½ cup corn kernels (fresh, canned, or frozen is fine)

12 ounces (about 3 cups) uncooked uncooked penne pasta

3 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

8 ounces about 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

½ cup chopped or torn fresh basil leaves, divided

2 teaspoons minced garlic

½ teaspoon salt

 

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.  In the prepared dish (or in a separate bowl), stir together cooked chicken, tomatoes, zucchini, corn, uncooked pasta, chicken broth, 1 ½ cups of mozzarella cheese, about half of the basil leaves, minced garlic, and salt. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover; stir. At this point you should check the pasta to make sure that it is al dente (firm but just about finished cooking). If it’s still too hard, cover the dish and return to the oven until pasta is al dente. Then move on to the next step.  Sprinkle remaining ½ cup of mozzarella over the top. Bake uncovered for 5-10 more minutes (or until cheese is melted and pasta is tender). Garnish with remaining basil leaves just before serving.

Sweet Cherry Lemonade

Sweet Cherry Lemonade

Sweet Cherry Lemonade

 

1 pound pitted fresh or frozen Bing cherries

3/4 C. sugar

1 C. water

 

1 1/2 C. sugar

8 C. cold water, divided

1 1/2 C. freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 10 lemons

2 lemons, thinly sliced and seeded, for garnish

 

Combine the cherries, sugar, and water in a saucepan, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing against the solids to extract as much syrup as possible. Pour into a bottle and chill well before using. Combine the sugar and 1 C. of the water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Add the lemon juice and the remaining 7 C. water to the cooled sugar water and mix well. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, until well chilled. Serve the chilled lemonade over ice in tall glasses. Invite guests to sweeten it to their liking with the Sweet Cherry Syrup.

Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams

 

4 ounces orange juice

1 ounce half and half

1/2 ounce sugar, or simple syrup

1 dash grenadine syrup

 

Blend all ingredients with ice and pour into a 12 ounce glass.  Garnish with an orange slice and cherry.

Note:  To make simple syrup – In a medium saucepan, cook 2 C. of sugar in 1 C. of water over high heat, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar.  Bring mixture to a full boil.  Remove from heat and cool.  It may be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Rhubarb Upside-Down Brown Sugar Cake with Strawberries and Crème Fraiche

Rhubarb Upside-Down Brown Sugar Cake with Strawberries and Crème Fraiche

Rhubarb Upside-Down Brown Sugar Cake with Strawberries and Crème Fraiche.

About 1¼ to 1½ pounds rhubarb trimmed and rinsed

¾ cup sugar (1/2-cup for rhubarb, ¼ cup for caramelizing)

1½ T. unsalted butter

 

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

Pinch of fine sea salt

3 large eggs room temperature

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

1½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

8 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

 

Left over rhubarb syrup

Strawberry jam

 

2 cups of Strawberries, hulled and cut in half.

8 oz. Crème Fraiche

First make the Rhubarb Topping:

 

If your rhubarb is not young and thin, peel it.  Cut the stalks into 1 inch lengths and toss them with ½ cup sugar and set aside for 30 minutes. Drain the rhubarb and reserve the syrup to make the glaze. Butter a 9 inch round cake pan with sides at least 1½ high. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat then stir in the sugar. When the sugar has melted and is JUST changing color add the rhubarb. Stir sparingly for about 3 minutes or until the sugar is slightly caramelized. Scrape the rhubarb and syrup into the cake pan and leave to cool. Next, make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl. In a large bowl whisk the eggs and brown sugar together until thick and smooth. Whisk in the zest and vanilla. Pour in the butter in 3 additions. Whisk well. Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions whisking gently. Scrape the batter into the pan over the rhubarb and put the pan onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake the cake for about 25 minutes, rotating it after 12 minutes. Bake until it is golden brown, springy to the touch and just beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let rest for about 2 minutes, then run a table knife around the sides of the cake Place the serving plate over the cake and turn the cake over onto the platter. Wait for a minute then lift off the pan. Finally, make the Glaze: Bring the reserved rhubarb syrup to a boil then reduce to a simmer until it reduces and becomes syrupy. Add a few spoonfuls of strawberry jam and stir well. Gently spoon the glaze over the top of the cake.  To serve the cake, add strawberries to the cake plate, dollop with Crème Fraiche and serve.

Watermelon Fries with Coconut Lime Dip

Watermelon Fries with Coconut Lime Dip

Watermelon Fries with Coconut Lime Dip

1 watermelon rind removed and cut into long fry-like shapes

2 tsp. Tajin Classic Seasoning

1 C. coconut yogurt

Zest and juice of 1 lime

1 T. coconut sugar or to taste

 

In a bowl, combine yogurt, lime juice and zest and coconut sugar. Set aside. On a plate, scatter watermelon fries and sprinkle Tajin classic seasoning. Serve with dip and enjoy!

Watermelon Pops

Watermelon Pops

Watermelon Pops

5 cups chopped fresh watermelon; seeds removed

1 teaspoon mint-infused oil or extract

1 teaspoon orange-infused oil or extract

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup sugar

 

Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pour into molds and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight. Freeze up to 3 months. Store in the molds or release, wrap well in waxed paper, and store in a marked sealable plastic bag.

Kentucky Style Southern Sweet Tea

Kentucky Style Southern Sweet Tea

Kentucky Style Southern Sweet Tea

6 to 8 tea bags

6 cups water

1 cup sugar

2 to 3 oranges, sliced

Sprigs of mint

 

In a large pot, add the tea bags and water. Bring to a rolling boil, remove from the heat, and let steep 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags. Pour the liquid into a gallon jug and add cold water to fill. Add the sugar (you can add more if you want sweeter tea). Add the oranges and mint and stir. Pour over ice and enjoy.

Berry Delicious Salad

Berry Delicious Salad

Berry Delicious Salad

2 T. canola oil

1/4 C. sliced fresh strawberries

1 1/2 T. raspberry or red wine vinegar

1 1/2 tsp. sugar substitute or honey

1/4 tsp. fines herbes or dried thyme

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

6 C. mixed baby salad greens

1 C. sliced fresh strawberries

1/4 C. crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese or blue cheese

1/4 C. chopped toasted pecans

 

To make dressing: put all of the ingredients in a mini blender jar, and blend until smooth. Chill until ready to serve. To make salad: place 1/4 of the salad greens on each of four salad plates. Top the greens with 1/4 of the berries, cheese, and pecans. Drizzle a T. of dressing over each salad and serve immediately.

Rhubarb Iced Tea

Rhubarb Iced Tea

Rhubarb Iced Tea

 

10 stalks rhubarb

3 1/2 cups sugar

4 tea bags Earl Grey tea

2 star anise

1 vanilla bean

extra sugar (to taste)

lots of ice cubes

 

Wash the rhubarb and cut the stalks into sections. Place on low heat with the sugar in 4 cups water. Simmer for 2 hours on low heat until a syrup develops. Leave to fully cool. In the meantime, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Cut the vanilla bean open lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and add them to the water with the bean. Also add the star anise. Lastly, add the tea bags. Brew on low heat for 10 minutes and remove the tea bags. Allow the tea to cool. Put in the refrigerator to fully cool. Before serving, first pour the rhubarb syrup into an attractive glass pitcher. Add the tea and stir. Add extra sugar to taste. Serve with lots of ice cubes.

Peachy Pork with Pomegranate Molasses and Charred Onion Sheet Pan Supper

Peachy Pork with Pomegranate Molasses and Charred Onion Sheet Pan Supper

Peachy Pork with Pomegranate Molasses and Charred Onion Sheet Pan Supper

2 bone-in pork or veal chops (1 1/2 inches thick)

1 medium red onion, sliced 1/2-inch thick and separated into individual rings

1 T. plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed

1 tsp. finely ground black pepper, plus more as needed

8 ounces peaches or nectarines (about one large peach or nectarine), pitted and cut into thick wedges

Pomegranate molasses, for serving

Chopped fresh basil, for serving

 

Heat the oven to 475 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the chops and onions with the 1 T. olive oil and salt and pepper. Arrange the chops and onions on a rimmed baking sheet, keeping the meat on one side and the onions on the other, and leaving space for adding the peaches later. Roast for 8 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the peaches with the remaining 1 tsp. olive oil, and sprinkle them with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Turn the oven to broil. Add the peaches to the cleared space on the baking sheet, and broil until everything is lightly charred and the chops are just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. (If your chops are thinner than 1 1/2 inches, pull them from the broiler when they are cooked through, and then return the baking sheet to the broiler to finish the onions and peaches.) Divide the chops, onions and peaches among individual serving plates, drizzle them with pomegranate molasses to taste, and sprinkle with chopped basil. Note: If you want to double the recipe, use two sheet pans, and make sure to rotate them so they both have time directly under the broiler.

Baked Mushrooms

Baked Mushrooms

Baked Mushrooms

 

8 large flat mushrooms, such as portabellos, wiped and stalks removed

1 bunch spring onions, sliced

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

A few sprigs fresh thyme leaves

8oz. Taleggio Cheese

Fresh rocket (arugula)

Juice of 1 lemon

olive oil

 

Preheat the oven to 200°C, 400°F, Gas Mark 6. Lay the mushrooms on a large baking tray and sprinkle with the onions, garlic and thyme. Slice the Taleggio thinly and use to top the mushrooms. Combine the breadcrumbs with the parsley in a bowl and sprinkle over. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until breadcrumbs are brown and the mushrooms are cooked through. Serve with a rocket salad dressed with lemon juice and oil. Alternatively, serve the baked mushrooms on toasted ciabatta.