Cinnamon Basil Grilled Plums and Sichuan Pepper Ice Cream & Toasted Quinoa Spiced Crumble

July 31st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

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Serves 6-8 , makes 1 quart

Ingredients

2 tablespoons fresh cinnamon basil, chopped fine
2-3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons  Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
1 teaspoon pink salt
2 pounds red flesh plums, halved
½ cup of honey or cinnamon basil syrup  ( Field Apothecary)
2 cups heavy cream
Toasted Quinoa Spiced Crumble

Directions

On a large plate place the plums flesh side up.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the cinnamon basil sugar, (only) 1 teaspoon of the Sichuan peppercorns, and the salt and mix well.  Sprinkle the mixture all over the tops of the plums and let sit for about 20 minutes.  Heat the grill to a high heat.  Place the plums flesh side down on a clean grill and cook until slightly charred and tender.  About 2 minutes.  Take off grill and place back on the plate with the sugar etc.  Allow to cool.   In a blender, combine the plums and all the scrapings from the plate with the honey or syrup and blend until totally smooth.  There will be pieces of skin but this adds beautiful color.  Add the heavy cream and blend again until well combined.  Refrigerate mixture until well chilled.  Process in an ice cream maker according to directions or just freeze, the creamy texture of the plums allows for a creamy ice cream simply in the freezer!  Serve with a little Toasted Quinoa Spiced Crumble on top.

Toasted Quinoa Spiced Crumble

Makes ½ cup

Ingredients

½ cup almonds, chopped fine
¼ cup black quinoa
½ teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, cracked fine
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
½ tablespoon almond oil

Direcitons

Pre-heat oven to 325˚ F.  In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients until well mixed and all nuts and seeds are coated.  Place the nut and seed mixture on a lined baking sheet making sure to lie out evenly.  Bake for about 15 minutes or until slightly browned.  Allow to cool completely. Alternatively, toast the quinoa in a saute pan and add almonds and sichuan peppers. Add honey and almond oil, stir and take off heat.  Place on wax paper to solidify.


Holy Basil Nectarine Sparkler

July 19th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

1 ripe nectarine
½ cup water
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons holy basil laves
¼ cup elderflower liquor
Cava
Basil Sugared Nectarines*

Directions

Make a simple syrup but thicker like a puree syrup with the nectarines water and honey, let cool.  Blend with fresh basil, lime juice and zest, strain and chill.  In a champagne flute add ½ ounce elderflower liquor and ½ ounce nectarine stuff, fill with a cava. Garnish with a sugared nectarine wedge.

*Basil Sugared Nectarine Wedges- Mix 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar with 2 teaspoons holy basil, chopped superfine and a dash of lime juice.  Gently roll a few nectarine wedges in the sugar mixture until well coated.

Soy Nut Pesto

February 16th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 ½ c pesto.

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted soy nuts
2-3 cups chopped fresh basil leaves

¼ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt


Directions

Mix all ingredients with an immersion blender, blender or food processor until smooth.

Hand Pounded Pesto with Pecorino

May 1st, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink


Pesto, simply translated means pounded. It is one of the Lingurian regions most prized ingredients and traditionally hand pounded. Today many use food processors or blenders but you can still find devoted traditionalists who hand pound it proving that the taste is still superior with this method due to the increase of released essential oils from not only the basil but the garlic and pine nuts as well. The oils are more readily released when pounded versus cut or chopped. Traditionally a large wooden pestle is used and a marble or granite mortar for the pounding process. (They say the granite on many of the mortars still around is the same granite that Michael Angelo used to carve and sculpt with)

Ingredients

Coarse salt
Garlic (they say the garlic in this region is sweeter as well due to the ocean air influence)
Genovese basil leaves-small deep green and sweet leaves, not too pungent and always young
Pine nuts-from the Lingurian region as well, they claim the taste is sweeter and nuttier and also has a higher oil content than pine nuts in the east or south
Extra virgin olive oil-of course with the local region’s olives which have a milder sweeter flavor than other Italian olive oil
Pecorino, grated finely and sliced
Parmesan Reggiano, grated finely

Baguette

Directions

There are several different paths to get to the final product. We have read about and seen many different ways but the way in which we say most was the following method and order.

The pesto is pounded slowly, first by combining the garlic with the coarse salt until a paste if formed adding a little bit of salt at a time. Next the leaves of the basil are added which are small on the Genovese plant and thus a few at a time are incorporated little by little pounding and mashing until the paste begins to turn green and the basil is broken apart. Pine nuts are added next again crushing and pounding until they are smashed into a paste and all oils are released. The pounding process is slow and methodical and each step has a finished product before moving on to the next step. The extra virgin olive oil is added next and once the cheeses are added no more pounding can be done so when the olive oil stage comes the desired consistency of the paste must be completed before adding cheese. Add the cheese and stir with the pestle.

Slice the baguette and toast in the oven. Spread pesto on toasts and top with sliced pecorino.

Rhubarb Ginger Soda

May 1st, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink


Ingredients

Ginger-Rhubarb Syrup
Basil Syrup
Rhubarb Bitters (optional)
Seltzer

Directions

Pour seltzer into glass and top with both syrups. Add a few dashes of bitters.

*Ginger-Rhubarb Syrup-To make the rhubarb syrup place ½ cup fresh rhubarb chopped, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 3-5 minutes. Strain and cool.

*Basil Syrup- Combine 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup basil leaves and stems and 1 tablespoon lemon zest in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to low and simmer for about 5 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool and strain.

Fresh Strawberry Black Pepper-Balsamic Cocktail

May 1st, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

strawberry

Ingredients

1 ½ ounce gin
1 ounce fresh strawberry puree
1 ounce lemon juice
¼ ounce basil syrup*
1/2  ounce Sweet Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar*
Rose sparkling wine
Black Pepper Dried Strawberry (recipe follows)

Directions

Place the gin, strawberry puree, lemon juice, basil syrup and shrub in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Strain onto an old fashioned champagne glass or coupe and fill with rose.  Garnish the side of the glass with a Black Pepper Dried Strawberry.

*Basil Syrup- Combine 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup basil leaves and stems and 1 tablespoon lemon zest in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature to low and simmer for about 5 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool and strain.

*Sweet Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar- In a medium sauce pan, combine  ½ cup water, ½ cup sugar, 1 -2 handfuls of basil stems and  leaves, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 2 smashed strawberries, 1 tablespoon black peppercorns (crushed coarsely) and 1 cup balsamic vinegar.  Bring the mixture to a boil and allow to boil gently for about 10 minutes. The mixture should reduce by about one fourth.  Turn off the heat and allow to cool completely.  Strain and chill.


Black Pepper Dried Strawberries
Makes 1 cup dried fruit

Ingredients

3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
2 cups strawberries, de-stemmed and sliced thin

Directions

Preheat oven to 225°F. Mix sugar, vinegar and black pepper in a bowl .  Arrange strawberries on a lined baking sheet and sprinkle sugar mixture on the strawberries on both sides.  Place in oven for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until dried through. Store in an airtight container up to 4 weeks.

Herbs & Thanksgiving

November 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Thanksgiving is a time we all get together and celebrate family and friends over food. There is not a better partner for Thanksgiving than fresh herbs.  More people consume fresh herbs on Thanksgiving than any other holiday all year round.  The average household who may never use a fresh herb typically uses three or four varieties on this holiday.  For us, here at Ger-Nis, we love that Thanksgiving precipitates this situation which leads us into this herb frenzy!  Fresh herbs allow us to increase the flavor profile of dishes without adding salt or fat.  These healthy leaves & twigs give us more flavor and depth to almost any dish.  Fresh herbs pairings are getting more and more creative as the world gets smaller so we want to teach you a few secrets and flavors to make this Thanksgiving on to remember! This week’s featured recipes are bound to  inspire your upcoming feasts with our tantalizing herbal ideas for this warm and fuzzy holiday where our friends and family come together in celebrating bounty.  So go a little extra herb crazy this year with some of these simple and herb-tastic ideas.  We have pulled some of our favorite herbal Thanksgiving recipes for you; everything from drinks to desserts!

Enjoy and remember if you have any herbal questions, email us at ask@ger-nis.com


The Drinks

Concord Grape Thyme Bandit

Cranberry Pear Thyme Champagne Cocktail

Hot Cranberry Bay Leaf Cider

The Rosemary Crantini

The Pumpkin In the Rye


The Apps

Herbed Almonds

Herbed Goat Cheese

Parmesan Tomato Herb Straws

Pickled Shrimp & Fennel

Blue Cheese & Pear Crostini with Warm Rosemary Honey

Fall Stuffed Mushrooms


The Sauces, Glazes & Gravy

Cilantro Jalapeño Cranberry Sauce

Orange Thyme Cranberry Sauce

Apple Ginger Cranberry Sauce

Chipoltle Herb Glaze

Maple Ginger Glaze

Rosemary Plum (Prune) Red Wine Glaze

Apple Cider Gravy With Ginger Apple Bits

Dark Cherry Port Gravy

Green Chili Gravy


The Baked Goods

Cranberry Sage Walnut Rolls

Rosemary Foccacia

Cheddar & Chive Apple Puffs

Parmesan Thyme Biscuits

Quick Herb Rolls

Parsley Chive Butter


The Vegetables

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Apples & Mint

Creamy Parsnip Apple Soup

Pumpkin Maple Soup with Autumn Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Olive Oil Roasted Vegetables with Rosemary

Roasted Gold Beet Cauliflower Lentil Salad with Roseamry

Maple Roasted Carrots

Spaghetti Squash with Parsley Pesto

Spicy Goat Cheese & Lentil Salad


The Carbs

Fresh Herb Farro Tart

Roasted Herbal Potatoes

Parsnip Apple Mash

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

Apple Herb Stuffing

Wild Mushroom Herbed Bread Pudding

Salt Baked Potatoes with autumn Pest


The Dessert

Pumpkin Tart with Maple Sage Crust and Fried Sage Leaves

Cranberry Tart with Maple Sage Crust

Thai Basil Chili Tofu Satay with Mild Peanut Sauce

October 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 pound firm tofu, cubed
Wooden skewers, presoaked
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves of garlic, grated
2 tablespoons fresh thai basil, chopped fine
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 3 limes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Mild Peanut Sauce (recipe follows)

Directions

Mix the ginger, garlic, thai basil, lime juice and zest, and soy sauce together in a bowl until well combined. Place the tofu in the marinade and marinade for about 20 minutes. Thread the tofu on the skewer into a row of cubes. Grill until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside or about 2 minutes per side. Brushing with the marinade as desired. Serve with Mild Peanut Sauce.

Mild Peanut Sauce

Makes 1½ cups

Ingredients

¾ cups creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon lemon grass bulb, chopped superfine
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 2 limes
¼ cup tamari
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup very hot water

Directions

Whisk together all ingredients until smooth and creamy adjust spiciness by adding more sambal. Adjust saltiness by adding more tamari.

Ginger-Lime Basil Coolers

October 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes One Pitcher

Ingredients

2 chunks of fresh ginger the size of a small sized hand each
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup sugar
3-4 lime juiced
2 liters seltzer water
2 cups water

Directions

Wash and scrub ginger well, remove skin by scraping ginger with a spoon, not worrying too much about getting peel off. Chop ginger up into small chunks, lime chopping an onion roughly. In a medium sauce pan place ginger, basil leaves and 2 cups water and bring to a boil, let simmer for about 15 minutes. Take off burner and let rest until room temperature. Strain and discard ginger basil pulp. Add 1 cup of sugar and place back on burner, bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to simmer about 5 minutes. Cool mixture completely.

In a pitcher combine ginger basil syrup and lime juice and 1-2 liters seltzer water, until desired sweetness and taste. Chill & serve over ice.

Prebuggiun per la Pasqualina (Spinach & Herb Fresh Pasta Pie)

August 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

Lingurian Pasta (3 cups flour, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, made into a pliable dough)
Linguarian Prebuggiun Mixture
1 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped
4 borage leaves (optional)
3 cups spinach, chopped
¼ cup pecorino Romano, grated fine
½ cup fresh ricotta
Salt/pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 large egg

Directions

In a large pot of boiling water blanch all herbs and leaves and drain of all water using a cheese cloth. Chop all the blanched herbs up fine and place in a large bowl. Gently mix in the parmesan and ricotta sprinkle with salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix. Roll out the dough and place in a greased pie plate. Place the mixture in the dough in the pie plate evenly and make a whole in the middle and crack and egg, cover the top with more dough and connect the bottom layer to the top sealing the edges, like a giant ravioli in a pie tin. Bake in a preheated 375° oven for about 20 -30 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool before cutting and serving. Cut and serve like a pie!

Pansotti with Walnut Sauce (using Prebuggiun filling)

August 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

1 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped
4 borage leaves (optional)
3 cups spinach, chopped
¼ cup pecorino Romano, grated fine
½ cup fresh ricotta
Salt/pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
½ cup walnuts, chopped fine
½ cup heavy cream
Ger-Nis Fresh Pasta

Directions

In a large pot of boiling water blanch all herbs and leaves and drain of all water using a cheese cloth. Chop all the blanched herbs up fine and place in a large bowl. Gently mix in the parmesan and ricotta sprinkle with salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix. Lay out pasta on a floured work surface, preferably wood and cut the pasta into circles. Place a spoonful of the mixture in the middle of the pasta and roll dough over forming a half moon shape, pressing firmly to close (make sure the pasta is closed on the sides). Place in a large pan of boiling and salted water and cook for about 3-5 minutes or until all pansotti are floating. In a blender mix together the oil, garlic, and walnuts, blend until smooth and add heavy cream and season with salt and pepper. After the pansotti are cooked take them out of the water and discard the pasta water keeping about ¼ cup reserved. Place the pansotti back in the empty pan and pour the walnut sauce over heating on a medium heat. Add a little pasta water to loosen the mixture and serve!

Summer Squash Soup with Mint Pesto

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
2 medium zucchini, chopped
2 patty pan squash, chopped
1 yellow zucchini, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups onion broth or light vegetable stock
½ cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
½ cup olive oil
½ tablespoon red chili flakes
½ teaspoon salt

Directions

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and butter on a medium high heat, add the shallots and the onions and cook until translucent. Add the squash and chives and cook for about 5 minutes or until semi soft. Season with salt and add vegetable stock and cook on medium for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly and blend until smooth using a blender or a hand held mixer. In the meantime in a blender combine the fresh herbs, garlic, and olive oil and blend until smooth, season with chili flakes and salt and drizzle on top of the soup.

Sauteed Baby and Thai Eggplants with Basil and Peppers

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

Sesame oil
Canola oil
1 red chili, deseeded and chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 red pepper, cut into 2 inch thin strips
1 orange pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow pepper, cut into thin strips
8 eggplant (small baby and thai style) halved
2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon tamari sauce
2 tablespoons mirin sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup fresh thai basil leaves
Green onions, sliced thin
Peanuts

Directions

In a large sauté pan or work heat oil until hot, add the chili garlic and ginger and sauté a few minutes. Next add the peppers and sauté a few more minutes. Add the baby eggplants and sauté about 5 minutes or more until soft and tender. Add the hoisin, tamari, mirin and lime juice and stir and cook another few minutes. Add the basil leaves, stir and take off heat. Serve over rice with green onions and chopped peanuts for garnish.

Grilled White Eggplant with Peanut Sauce and Cilantro Red Pepper Relish

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 small white eggplants (about 1 pound each) cut into ½ inch thick slices the long way
Sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 shallot, chopped fine
2 red chilis, deseeded and chopped fine
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 tablespoon peanut butter
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons yuzi rice vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
Cilantro Red Pepper Relish (recipe follows)

Directions

Lay the eggplant down on a large baking sheet and season with salt. Set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the garlic, shallot, chilies, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, zest, peanut butter, tamari, vinegar and lice juice. Pour the mixture over the eggplant and flip brushing it all over the eggplant. Grill the eggplant on a hot grill for about 3 minutes per side or until browned and grilled nicely. Serve with Cilantro Pepper Relish.

Cilantro Red Pepper Relish

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

3 red bell peppers, deseeded and chopped small
2 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
1 shallot, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon lemongrass bulb, chopped fine
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 teaspoon red chili, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh thai basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
1 tablespoon yuzu rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Mix together all ingredients in a small bowl and let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

Crenshaw & Basil Frozen Ice

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

2 cups crenshaw melon, cubed in 1 inch cubes and frozen solid overnight (or other melon)
1 cup simple syrup (infused with basil a plus)
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped fine

Directions

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and icy. Be careful not to over blend as the frozen honey dew will melt quickly. Make sure you chop the basil fine before placing in blender to avoid needing to over blend. Serve immediately, garnish with a basil leaf.

Basil Lime Sodas & Herbal Melon Ice Cubes

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 soda

Ingredients

Herbal melon ice cubes
Juice of 1 lime
2 ounces basil lime syrup
Soda water
Melon ball ice cubes

Directions

Squeeze the juice of 1 lime into a large glass filled with herbal melon ice cubes. Place 2 ounces of the basil lime syrup inside and fill with soda water and stir. Add more syrup for added sweetness. Garnish with a basil leaf.

Basil Lime Syrup

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon lime zest
Juice of 3 limes
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
½ cup fresh basil leaves

Directions

Combine the lime zest, lime juice, sugar, water and basil leaves in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and strain.

Herbal Melon Ice Cubes

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

2 cups melon of choice
½ cup basil lime syrup
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped fine

Directions

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour in cube trays and freeze.

Lemony Pesto Verde

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
1 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh red chili, chopped fine (optional)
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients and let stand for ten minutes before serving.

Herb Butter

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup butter

Ingredients

½ cup butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
1 shallot, chopped superfine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons of each of the following fresh herb leaves, chopped:
Tarragon, parsley, basil, chives, lemon thyme
1 teaspoon maldon salt

Directions

In a small mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix well until a smooth butter paste is formed, making sure all the ingredients are well incorporated. Place the mixed butter on a small sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll into a tight log. Place in refrigerator to solidify.

Linguica Sausage, Chicken, Lobster & Steamer Clams in Herb Butter & Lemony Pesto

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 9

Ingredients

Olive oil
2 cloves, garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon red chili pepper, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 pound baby potatoes, whole
1 pound linguica sausage, sliced into 1 inch thick pieces.
3 ears of corn cobs, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch strips
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 dozen littleneck clams, scrubbed
1 dozen steamer clams, scrubber
1 small lobster
2 cups white wine
Salt & pepper
Herb Butter (recipe follows)
Lemony Pesto (recipe follows)

Directions

In a large heavy bottom soup pan heat the oil to medium high and sauté the garlic, chili and onions until semi translucent or about 3 minutes. Turn heat to low and layer all the rest of the items in the pan in the following order: potatoes, sausage, corn, chicken, tomatoes, littlenecks, steamers and then lay the lobster down on top of all of the steamers. Pour about two cups of wine over the mixture and season with salt and pepper. Cover and turn up heat to medium and cook for about 20 minutes. Steam should be trying to escape out the pan. Turn down a bit lower and cook for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender all the way through and all the clams are opened. Take the pan off the heat and place a few large dollops of herb butter in the top of the pan over the lobster. And let stand for a few minutes. Remove the lobster and cut it up. To serve first mix the clambake up after the lobster has been removed and the herb butter placed on top. Spoon the mixture in a large flat shaped bowl and place a bit of lobster on top. Drizzle the lemony pesto on top and serve!

Herb Butter
Makes 1 cup butter

Ingredients

½ cup butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
1 shallot, chopped superfine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons of each of the following fresh herb leaves, chopped:
Tarragon, parsley, basil, chives, lemon thyme
1 teaspoon maldon salt

Directions

In a small mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients and mix well until a smooth butter paste is formed, making sure all the ingredients are well incorporated. Place the mixed butter on a small sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll into a tight log. Place in refrigerator to solidify.

Lemony Pesto Verde
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
1 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh red chili, chopped fine (optional)
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
1 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients and let stand for ten minutes before serving.

Mango Shrimp Summer Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 12 rolls

Ingredients

12 rice paper wrappers
1 head boston lettuce leaves, white parts removed
2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
½ cup scallions, chopped fine
½ cup semi ripe mango, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
24 medium sized shrimp, shelled, poached and tails removed
½ cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
¼ cup fresh thai basil leaves
Peanuts (optional)
Sweet chili sauce (recipe follows)

Directions

In a large bowl of warm water, dip the rice paper wrappers for about 7-10 seconds. Take out and shake off excess water and lay flat on a kitchen towel. Place one wrapper down and arrange lettuce leaves on top, place a few of the carrots, bell peppers, scallions and mangoes atop and then add a few fresh herbs. Place two cooked shrimp in the wrap. Wrap the roll up like a present but rolling. Serve garnished with peanuts and sweet chili sauce.

Sweet Chili Sauce
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

½ rice wine vinegar
¼ cup roasted red pepper puree
2 teaspoons garlic, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon red chili paste
1 tablespoon lime juice
4 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Salt

Directions

In a mixing bowl whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Season with salt to taste.

Parmesan Tomato Herb Straws

August 10th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Makes about 24 straws

Ingredients

1 package puff pastry (one large sheet)
Flour
1 egg beaten
½ cup sundried tomato, chopped superfine
1 tablespoon basil, chopped superfine
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
Maldon salt

Directions

On a floured surface roll out the puff pastry and brush with the beaten egg until the dough is moist. Sprinkle over the dough the tomato, basil and parmesan, evenly. Fold the dough over in half and roll out again, pressing all the ingredients into the dough. Cut dough into long strips about ¼ inch thick, and twist into spirals, place eon a lines baking sheet and refrigerate before baking about 20-30 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 400° F and bake until golden brown of about 10-15 minutes, turning once. Take out of the oven and sprinkle with maldon salt.

Herbal Ouzo Lemonade

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes one pitcher of lemonade

Ingredients

½ cup fresh tarragon leaves, 1 tablespoon reserved
½ cup fresh mint leaves, 1 tablespoon reserved
½ cup fresh thai basil leaves, 1 tablespoon reserved
1⁄3 cup water
1⁄3 cup sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup simple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1½ cups ouzo
Ice

Directions

In a medium sauce pan place the fresh herbs (leave the reserved herbs aside), water and sugar, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool and blend in a blender. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and reserve syrup for later. In the mean time, in a blender, place 1 cup syrup, 1½ cups ouzo, 1 cup lemon juice, one tablespoon lemon zest, and 3 tablespoons of the reserved herbs and fill with ice. Blend until smooth and slushy. Place in a glass and drizzle the herbal syrup over the top, garnish with a fresh herb leaf of choice!

Lemon Preserves

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 ½ cups

Ingredients

3 lemons, de-seeded, and chopped whole, peels included
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Directions

Place all ingredients (except basil) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 45 minutes or until totally soft and thick. Take off heat and add basil. Cool.

Arugula, Tomato & Lemon Preserves on Ciabatta

August 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

Ciabatta bread
Arugula leaves
Tomato slices
Goat cheese
Salt & pepper
Lemon preserves (recipe follows)
Olive oil

Directions

Place arugula leaves on both side of the bread and place a tomato on one side and a tablespoon of lemon preserves on the other. Place a dollop of goat cheese on and season with salt and pepper, place the bread slices together and cook in a panini press, making sure to grease the outside of the bread with oil for crispiness.

Lemon Preserves
Makes 2 ½ cups

Ingredients

3 lemons, de-seeded, and chopped whole, peels included
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Directions

Place all ingredients (except basil) in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low for about 45 minutes or until totally soft and thick. Take off heat and add basil. Cool.

Chilled Tomato Soup

August 8th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

8-10 medium heirloom tomatoes, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 tablespoons heavy cream
6 large basil leaves
Garden caviar (recipe follows)

Directions

Puree all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Push mixture through sieve to remove seeds and stems. Chill for at least 3 hours. Before serving, take 1 tablespoon of cream and gently pour it on top of the soup and add one large basil leaf to the top of each soup, gently spoon some of the garden caviar on top of the basil leaf for garnish.

Garden Caviar
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 small carrot, peeled and chopped superfine
½ medium green zucchini, chopped superfine
1 tablespoon yellow onion, chopped superfine
2 tablespoons red peppers, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon fresh red chili, chopped superfine (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped superfine
1 tablespoon fresh mint chopped superfine
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

Directions

In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well, let stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.

Hand Pounded Pesto

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Pesto, simply translated means pounded. It is one of the Lingurian regions most prized ingredients and traditionally hand pounded. Today many use food processors or blenders but you can still find devoted traditionalists who hand pound it proving that the taste is still superior with this method due to the increase of released essential oils from not only the basil but the garlic and pine nuts as well. The oils are more readily released when pounded versus cut or chopped. Traditionally a large wooden pestle is used and a marble or granite mortar for the pounding process. (They say the granite on many of the mortars still around is the same granite that Michael Angelo used to carve and sculpt with)

Ingredients

Coarse salt
Garlic (they say the garlic in this region is sweeter as well due to the ocean air influence)
Genovese basil leaves-small deep green and sweet leaves, not too pungent and always young
Pine nuts-from the Lingurian region as well, they claim the taste is sweeter and nuttier and also has a higher oil content than pine nuts in the east or south
Extra virgin olive oil-of course with the local region’s olives which have a milder sweeter flavor than other Italian olive oil
Pecorino, grated finely
Parmesan Reggiano, grated finely

Directions

There are several different paths to get to the final product. We have read about and seen many different ways but the way in which we say most was the following method and order.

The pesto is pounded slowly, first by combining the garlic with the coarse salt until a paste if formed adding a little bit of salt at a time. Next the leaves of the basil are added which are small on the Genovese plant and thus a few at a time are incorporated little by little pounding and mashing until the paste begins to turn green and the basil is broken apart. Pine nuts are added next again crushing and pounding until they are smashed into a paste and all oils are released. The pounding process is slow and methodical and each step has a finished product before moving on to the next step. The extra virgin olive oil is added next and once the cheeses are added no more pounding can be done so when the olive oil stage comes the desired consistency of the paste must be completed before adding cheese. Add the cheese and stir with the pestle.

Herbal Lemony Iced Tea (Italian Style with Prosecco)

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 pitcher

Ingredients

1 cup basil leaves
1 cup parsley leaves
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
½ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 lemon sliced in rings
1 bottle prosecco

Directions

In a medium sauce pan add basil, parsley, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 8 minutes. Turn off heat cool and blend, strain. Add the lemon zest and juice and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Mix with a bottle or two of prosecco.

Italian Antipasti Plate

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 10

Ingredients

2 red bell peppers, roasted & peeled
2 yellow bell peppers, roasted & peeled
2 medium red onions, quartered and roasted
9 cloves garlic, roasted
20 cherry tomatoes yellow and red, roasted lightly
2 cans artichoke hearts, halved
1 cup back brine cured olives
½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
½ cup fresh basil leaves, halved
¼ cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon lemon zest
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Maldon salt
Crusty Italian Bread

Directions

Arrange all the vegetables on a platter, top with olives. In a small bowl whisk together herbs, lemon juice and zest, chili flakes, and olive oil. Drizzle a top the antipasto and season with salt! Serve over crusty bread.

Fresh Herb Pappardelle with Summer Beans, Tomatoes & Fresh Herbs

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

¼ cup each basil, parsley, mint, tarragon, marjoram, chopped
Plus an additional 1 tablespoon of each for the sprinkle
Olive oil
Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups fresh summer shelling beans, shelled and cooked until tender
1 small fennel bulb sliced thin
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (plus 1 tablespoon reserved for garnish)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (plus 1 tablespoon reserved for garnish)
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Fresh Herb Pasta sheets cut into pappardelle
Salt/pepper
Pecorino cheese for garnish

Directions

Mix pecorino, lemon zest and ¼ fresh herbs together and set aside. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes, sauté for a few minutes. Add the shelled beans and cook for a few minutes. Add fresh herbs and fennel and sauté a few more minutes. Add tomatoes and cook another few minutes. Add wine; simmer 1 minute, scraping up any browned bits. Continue to cook until tomatoes soften, about 3-5 minutes, add lemon juice at the end and mix well. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Cook Fresh pappardelle in boiling water until desired consistency (about 3 minutes) and mix together with sauce and serve garnished with pecorino and fresh herbs.

Pan Fried Zucchini Cakes with Feta and Dill topped with Cherry Tomato Salad and Greek Yogurt Dip

August 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes about 25 small cakes

Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc

Ingredients

4 zucchini (about 1 ½ pounds)
5 or 6 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped fine
9 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped fine
1 cup all purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs, beaten
2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil

For tomato salad

1 pint cherry tomatoes, chopped medium
Good-quality extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Handful of fresh basil, chopped fine

For Greek yogurt dip

1 cup Greek yogurt
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
¼ teaspoon lemon peel, grated
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped fine

Directions

Coarsely grate the zucchini using a box grater, food processor or mandolin slicer. Transfer to a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave to drain in the sink for about 30 minutes to get rid of the excess water.

Put the chopped scallions in a bowl and crumble in the feta. Add the dill and flour and season well with salt and pepper. Gradually add the beaten egg and mix thoroughly before adding in the drained zucchini.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and drop heaped spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan (an ice cream scoop works well here), flattening them with the back of a spoon. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden, then transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Serve with dollop of Greek or natural yogurt, either hot from the pan or at room temperature.

For tomato salad

Place chopped cherry tomatoes in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss in the chopped basil and toss to coat evenly. Let sit for at least 1 hour.

For yogurt dip

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until mixed completely. Chill until ready to serve.

Heirloom Tomato & Watermelon Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette

August 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

8-12 heirloom tomatoes, various varieties
8-12 pieces seedless watermelon sliced ½ inch thick and in wedges
2 cups feta cheese, sliced in sticks or wedges
12 fresh basil leaves, chifonade
White balsamic vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Baby arugula (garnish)

Directions

On individual serving plates create a stacked salad using the heirloom tomatoes, watermelon and feta. Sprinkle basil chifonade all over and drizzle the white balsamic vinaigrette over the top Garnish with baby arugula.

White Balsamic Vinaigrette
Makes 2 cups dressing

Ingredients

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup blended oil (canola based)
½ shallot, minced
Salt and pepper to taste (about ½ teaspoon of each)

Directions

In a medium bowl whisk together ingredients until well incorporated and emulsified, season with salt and pepper to taste.

*Recipes property of Polo Dobkins

Thai Coconut Scallop Ceviche

July 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

2 pounds of Nantucket Bay Scallops
2 teaspoons salt
Juice and zest of 3 limes
½ cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon lemon grass bulb, chopped into a paste
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped into a paste
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped into a paste
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 or 2 red thai chilis, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh thai basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
Chopped peanut for garnish (optional)

Directions

Place the scallops in a bowl and season with salt. In another mixing bowl mix the lime juice, coconut milk, hoisin and all the garlic, ginger lemon grass and sugar until well mixed. Add the thai chilis, bell pepper and mix well. Marinate refrigerated about 30-45 minutes. Take out or the refrigerator and add the fresh herbs, let stand for 10 minutes and serve garnished with peanuts!

Heirloom Tomato & Mozzarella Salad

July 19th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

with Basil Oil Drizzle & Anchovies
Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic
½ cup plus extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Squeeze of lemon (optional)
6-8 tomatoes, sliced or wedged
6-8 pieces fresh mozzarella cheese (equivalent to the tomato size)
10-12 anchovies, whole of halved
Maldon sea salt

Directions

In a blender, combine basil leaves, garlic, oil and salt and blend until a very smooth oil exists. Squeeze some lemon in it if desired and either strain through a fine mesh sieve or leave with bits of basil; this is a preference issue only. Set aside. On a large plat arrange tomatoes and mozzarella in an artistic design. Place a few anchovies around the plate as well and season with some Maldon salt. Drizzle the basil oil over the plated tomatoes and mozzarella.

Silver-Dollar Walnut Cakes with Berry Compote and Lemon Ricotta

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

For the Pancake Mix

1½ cups buckwheat flour
1½ tablespoons agave nectar
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1¼ cups almond milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup chopped walnuts
Cooking spray

For the Berry Compote

½ pint blueberries
½ pint strawberries sliced
½ pint raspberries
1 tablespoon orange marmalade
2 tablespoons water

For the Lemon Ricotta

½ cup skim ricotta
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
1 tablespoon mint, chopped

Directions

In a small sauce pan, add berries, water and marmalade. Cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until it thickens. Mix together ingredients for the ricotta & store in fridge till its time to serve.

Preheat griddle over medium heat. Mix dry pancake ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix together wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to dry. Fold together. Measure out cakes with a small ladle or ice cream scoop to a sprayed griddle. Cook each for about 3 minutes per side, and store cooked cakes in a warm oven (200°) until all are cooked.

Place cakes on plate (3 for a full serving of whole grains). Top with compote and a dollop of ricotta mixture.

Turn leftovers into a trifle by alternating cake, compote, ricotta in a tall glass container. Top with any extra compote. Cover with plastic wrap and place a small plate on top to weigh down. Place in fridge for at least 1 hour. Turn upside down over plate and remove bowl. Slice like a cake and serve.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Ricotta, Olives, and Herbs

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 5-7 people

Ingredients

1 cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large red onion, sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup pitted green olive (ideally calabrese or something equally briny)
Red wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil (ideally Frantoia or Montevertine)
Black pepper

Directions

Place ricotta cheese in mixing bowl and whisk with about a ¼ cup of olive oil until cheese is smooth. Season lightly with kosher salt and black pepper. Place Heirloom and Cherry tomatoes on plate and season with generous amount of sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, and a dash of red wine vinegar (important to get a little vinegar on each tomato). In a separate mixing bowl, toss together onions, herbs, and olives, and season with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread evenly over tomatoes. Place healthy dollops of ricotta on top of entire salad and drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with final pinch of sea salt.

Recipe courtesy of John Adler, franny’s

Tomato Basil Frittata Cups

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

6 eggs
¼ cup of your preference of milk (dairy, soy, rice, or almond… unsweetened and plain)
½ pint of grape tomatoes, halved
1 handful of basil, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
¼ cup parmesan
Salt & pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
Cooking spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a small skillet brown garlic and tomatoes for about 4 minutes. Set aside and let cool, then mix in chopped herbs. In a large mixing bowl, whip eggs, milk and salt & pepper till frothy. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Fill each muffin hole ¾ the way up with egg mixture, then dollop in a spoonful of tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 25 minutes or util a toothpick comes out clean. To store, plane cooled frittatas in a ziplock bag and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Reheat each one in the microwave for 35 seconds.

Herbs de Provence

July 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

One of the best dried herb mixes!  Wonderful on grilled meats and fish and breads. A fresh version is also a heavenly additive to your summer culinary repertoire.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh summer savory, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh lavender flowers
2 tablespoons dried fennel seeds
1 tablespoon salt

Directions

With a mortar and pestle grind up all the herbs and flowers and seeds until a chopped herb paste is made.  Use this on grilled fish or chicken or vegetables!

Tomato Macaroons with Lemon Olive Oil Savory Buttercream

July 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 dozen macaroons

For the outer shells…

1 cup powdered sugar
½ cup almonds, finely ground (grind in spice grinder or use almond flour)
3 egg whites (stored at room temperature for 6 hours prior)
Pinch of salt
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons tomato powder (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon dried basil

For the lemon olive oil cream

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 cups powdered sugar
1 stick butter, room temperature

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 300°F. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper and take out some cookie cutters the size of the macaroons you wish to make as well as pastry piping bags and tips. Take the cookie cutters and trace a shape with a pen of the macaroons to make templates for size. In a mixing bowl combine almonds, tomato powder, dried basil and powdered sugar. (The ratio for the powder sugar and the almond meal or flour changes the consistency, the more almond meal the more grainy and dense the more powdered sugar the lighter the density, play and mix and match according to your tastes). In a stand mixer or kitchen aid with a whisk attachment, mix the egg whites on a medium low speed until foamy. Turn the speed up and add in the Take the bowl attachment off the kitchen aid or stand mixer and gently fold in the almond, and powdered sugar mixture, trying not to over mix, but mixing just enough to create a lava like flowing thick meringue-ish looking batter. The batter should be heavy enough so that peaks do not form but that the heaviness pushes the meringue down. To test your batter on a plate or counter by seeing if it indeed condenses down as opposed to holding its shape. If peaks are present, give it another few turns by hand until they go away. Place the mixture in a piping bag with a plain tip. Pipe out the patterns or templates you traced carefully. Let the macaroons sit for about 10-12 minutes so as the macaroons harden a little and then place them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a few minutes and then place them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a few minutes and then gently remove from parchment paper before they stick, allow to cool fully before filling.

For the lemon buttermilk cream

In a mixing bowl or mixer whip together softened butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest, olive oil and lemon juice. Mix until full incorporated, soft and creamy.

To assemble the macaroons spoon a small amount of the filling on one side (flat side) of one macaroon shell, making sure it is in the center. Place another macaroon shell on top (flat side to flat side).

Tomato Powder

Ingredients

1 can tomato paste

Directions

Preheat oven to 250°F. On a piece of parchment paper on a baking tray spread the past evenly and flat and thin all over the parchment paper. Place in the oven and bake for about 2½ hours. Peel it off the paper and flip over and place back in the oven for another 30 minutes to an hour until fully dry. Allow to cool completely. Pulverize in a spice grinder until powdery.

Strawberry Basil Cream Macaroons with Sugar Fried Basil Leaves

July 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 dozen macaroons

Ingredients

For the outer shells…

¾ cup powdered sugar
¾ cup almonds, finely ground (grind in spice grinder or use almond flour)
3 egg whites (stored at room temperature for 6 hours prior)
Pinch of salt
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons condensed strawberry puree

For the basil cream

1 cup basil leaves
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
1½ cups butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 300°F. Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper and take out some cookie cutters the size of the macaroons you wish to make as well as pastry piping bags and tips. Take the cookie cutters and trace a shape with a pen of the macaroons to make templates for size. In a mixing bowl combine almonds and powdered sugar. (The ratio for the powder sugar and the almond meal or flour changes the consistency, the more almond meal the more grainy and dense the more powdered sugar the lighter the density, play and mix and match according to your tastes). In a stand mixer or kitchen aid with a whisk attachment, mix the egg whites on a medium low speed until foamy. Turn the speed up and add in the sugar slowly until egg whites have a glossy meringue texture and look. Be very careful NOT TO OVERBEAT. Pour the strawberry puree in the mixer for 2-3 quick turns or until the puree is mixed in some. Take the bowl attachment off the kitchen aid or stand mixer and gently fold in the almond and powdered sugar mixture, trying not to over mix, but mixing just enough to create a lava like flowing thick meringue-ish looking batter. The batter should be heavy enough so that peaks do not form but that the heaviness pushes the meringue down. To test your batter on a plate or counter by seeing if it indeed condenses down as opposed to holding its shape. If peaks are present, give it another few turns by hand until they go away. Place the mixture in a piping bag with a plain tip. Pipe out the patters or templates you traced carefully. Let the macaroons sit for about 10-12 minutes so as the macaroons harden a little and then place them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool a few minutes and then gently remove from parchment paper before they stick, allow to cool fully before filling.

For the basil butter cream

In a medium sauce pan combine basil leaves, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue to let cook on low for about 4 more minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend. Strain the mixture and discard the basil leaves. Place the mixture back on the burner and bring to a boil and cook until reduce to half and is very thick, stirring constantly for about approximately 4 minutes. Cool. In a mixing bowl or mixer whip together softened butter, powdered sugar, and basil syrup. Mix until full incorporated, soft and creamy.

For sugar fried basil leaves

In a little bit of almond oil in a small frying pan on high heat, fry basil leaves a few at a time until crisp but still green. Take of heat and place on paper towels, sprinkle with sugar while warm on both sides.

To assemble the macaroons spoon a small amount of the filling on one side (flat side) of one macaroon shell, making sure it is in the center. Place a sugar fried basil leaf on top of the filling and then place another macaroon shell on top (flat side to flat side).

Herbal Lemony Iced Tea (Italian Style with Prosecco)

July 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 pitcher

Ingredients

1 cup basil leaves
1 cup parsley leaves
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
½ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 lemon sliced in rings
1 bottle prosecco

Directions

In a medium sauce pan add basil, parsley, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 8 minutes. Turn off heat, cool and blend, strain. Add the lemon zest and juice and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Mix with a bottle or two of prosecco.

Italian Antipasti Plate

July 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 10

Ingredients

2 red bell peppers, roasted & peeled
2 yellow bell peppers, roasted & peeled
2 medium red onions, quartered and roasted
9 cloves garlic, roasted
20 cherry tomatoes yellow and red, roasted lightly
2 cans artichoke hearts, halved
1 cup black brine cured olives
½ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
½ cup fresh basil leaves, halved
¼ cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon lemon zest
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Maldon salt
Crusty Italian Bread

Directions

Arrange all the vegetables on a platter, top with olives. In a small bowl whisk together herbs, lemon juice and zest, chili flakes, and olive oil. Drizzle a top the antipasto and season with salt! Serve over crusty bread.

Kelp Noodles Pad Thai and Almond Sauce

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

Pad Thai mixture

1 carrot, julienne
1 red pepper, filled, julienne
½ red cabbage, thinly sliced or mandolin
¼ cup snow peas, cut thinly on diagonal
1 spring onion, sliced thin
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons tamari
1 shallot, sliced thin
1 small red chili, minced
2 tablespoons coconut nectar
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 cup mung bean sprouts
½ cup kelp noodles, soak in hot water 10 minutes
10 leaves of basil, chiffonade
1 small handful cilantro, roughly chopped
10 mint leaves, chiffonade

Sauce for kelp noodles

½ tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon tamari
½ teaspoon of sesame oil

The almond ginger sauce

3 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon coconut nectar
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoon tamari
½ cm ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
A pinch of cayenne

Directions

Take Phad Thai ingredients except the kelp noodles, put in a medium size bowl and mix, set aside.
Mix all together in a bowl almond butter, tamari and sesame oil. Once mixed together put the drained kelp noodles in the bowl of sauce and massage thoroughly with hands. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Take part the almond sauce blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.
Take the pad thai mixture and the kelp noodles with it’s sauce and mix together, put a good amount on a plate drizzle almond sauce around and over pad thai.

Garnish with mint, chiffonade, cilantro leaves and finely chopped almonds.

© Kristin Slaby All rights reserved

Pasta Basil Pine Nut Pesto over Zucchini

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup (sauce)

Ingredients

3 fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
½ cup of spinach
5 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons flax oil
4 tablespoons white miso
½ tablespoon garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt, use less at first
½ cup pine nuts

Directions

Put the basil and salt in the food processor. Pulse a few times to begin chopping the basil leaves.
Once the basil is chopped fine add the olive oil, flax oil, lemon juice, miso and gralic. Process.
Add the pine nuts and process until the desired consistency is achieved. Do not over process the mixture will become to oily.
The texture should be creamy with a tiny specks of pine nuts through out.
Store in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze the pesto in ice cube trays.

Notes: try replacing the pine nuts with walnuts or brazil nuts

Zucchini Pasta

Ingredients

1 Zucchini

Directions

Take the zucchini, cut the ends off and place it in a spiralizer and spiralize.
Or you can use a vegetable peeler or a mandoline to make noodles.
Place the desired amount of “pasta” on your plate, add the pesto basil sauce and serve.

© Kristin Slaby All rights reserved

Sweet Corn and Crab Cappellacci with Soppresatta, Red Peppers, Zucchini & Basil

July 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

020

4-6 Servings

Ingredients

For the filling

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ medium white or yellow onion, thinly sliced (about ¾ cup)
3 ears sweet yellow corn, kernels removed from their cobs
1 cup jumbo lump crab meat, pickled over very well for shells
¾ cup mascarpone
Zest of 1 lemon, freshly grated
Pinch of pimento d’espelette pepper
Salt

For the pasta dough

2 large eggs plus 6 yolks
14 ounces all-purpose or Italian OO flour
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Pinch salt

For the Sauce

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 zucchini, diced (green parts only)
Pinch espelette pepper
¾ cup spicy soppressata, cut into small cubes
2 red bell peppers, charred on a grill or gas burner, skins and seeds/ribs removed, and cut into strips
Reserved cooked corn kernels
1 cup fresh Italian basil leaves, gently torn
Zucchini blossoms, cut in half, stems and pistils removed

Directions

For the filling

In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the onions in olive oil, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add all but a few tablespoons of the corn and continue cooking until it is tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt.

In a food processor, purée the corn and onion mixture. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the mascarpone, crab, lemon zest and espelette. Adjust seasoning. Place the mixture in a pining bag and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the pasta dough

Lightly beat the eggs and egg yolks in a large bowl. Add the extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Add in the flour little by little, mixing together with a fork until the dough is not too sticky to handle. The dough should still be a rough, shaggy mass.

Turn the dough out onto the work surface and knead by hand, adding more of the flour, as necessary until the dough is smooth, elastic and not sticky. Wrap in plastic or store in a Ziploc bag to rest for 20 minutes.

Cut the dough from the ball into pieces and flatten into disks. Work with one disk at a time and keep the rest covered with plastic or under a kitchen towel so they do not dry out. Run the disk through the rollers of the pasta machine, starting at the widest setting. Fold the dough in half or in thirds and press down to seal. If the dough feels sticky sprinkle it with flour, but brush off the excess. Feed the open side of the pasta through the rollers and repeat a few times. Continue to dust the dough with flour and brush it off if the dough feels tacky.

Advance the pasta machine to the next thinnest setting. Without folding anymore, put the pasta sheet through the next setting. Continue advancing the rollers to the next thinnest setting, rolling the pasta sheet one time through each setting without folding, until the dough is thin enough so that you can see your hand through it.

Place the sheet of pasta on a lightly floured work surface. Cut out circles of dough from the sheet using a fluted biscuit cutter or a juice glass, approximately 3 inches in diameter. Pipe a blob for the filling in the center of each circle and then fold over the dough to form a half-moon shape. Press the dough together to seal. Bring the ends of the half moons together and press to seal them. Place the finished cappelletti on a well-floured sheet tray covered with a clean towel until ready to cook. Repeat the process with all the disks of dough.

For the sauce

In a large wide skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the diced zucchini, season with salt and espelette, and cook over medium heat until just tender. Add the reserved corn kernels, diced soppressata and red peppers and warm through.

Cook the cappellacci in abundant boiling salted water until they float to the surface. Strain from the water and add to the pan with the soppressata and peppers. Add some of the pasta cooking water and toss together to make a creamy sauce. Gently tear the basil leaves and add to the skillet along with the zucchini blossoms. Adjust the seasoning. Spoon the pasta onto warmed bowls or plates.

Summer Squash Soup with Basil-Mint Pistou

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium shallot, chopped fine
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
2 medium zucchini, chopped
2 patty pan squash, chopped
1 yellow zucchini, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups onion broth or light vegetable stock
½ cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic
½ cup olive oil
½ red chili flakes
½ teaspoon salt

Directions

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil and butter on a medium high heat, add the shallots and the onions and cook until translucent. Add the squash and chives and cook for about 5 minutes or until semi soft. Season with salt and add vegetable stock and cook on medium for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly and blend until smooth using a blender or a hand held mixer. In the meantime in a blender combine the fresh herbs, garlic, and olive oil and blend until smooth, season with chili flakes and salt and drizzle on top of the soup.

Fresh Herbed Almonds

June 27th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 cups whole blanched almonds
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon maldon salt

Directions

In a medium skillet heat oil on medium high heat. Add chili flakes and lemon zest and when hot add almonds and sauté for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add fresh herbs and mix well cooking another 2 minutes. Add fresh herbs, sauté for one minute and take off heat. Sprinkle with maldon salt and serve!

Cava melon Sangria

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 pitcher

Ingredients

1 cup honeydew melon, balled
1 cup cantaloupe, balled
½ cup galia melon, balled
½ cup basil, chopped
½ cup mint, chopped
¼ cup honey
Juice and zest of one lemon, lime and orange
2 bottles cava or an effervescent white wine

Directions

Muddle basil, mint, honey, zest and juice and combine with wine and melons. Let stand in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes until cold before serving.

Red Basil Peach Syrup

June 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

½ cup red basil leaves
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1 ripe peach, chopped

Directions

Combine the basil, sugar, water and peaches in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for about five minutes. Take off heat, cool and blend until smooth.

Spicy Roasted Red Pepper Basil Calzone

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4-6 calzones

Ingredients

1 Ger-Nis Calzone Dough Recipe
2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, deseeded and chopped
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 fresh red chili pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup fresh basil leaves
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine (or water)
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a medium sauté pan heat olive oil to a medium high heat and sauté garlic, onions and fresh chili for about 3-5 minutes or until the onions begin to caramelize and get brownish tips. Add the spices, chili flakes, oregano and salt and sauté for another few seconds. Add the basil and spinach leaves and sauté about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and white wine and stir well keeping on a medium high heat and cook until a liquid is absorbed or cooked off. Take off heat and place in a small mixing bowl and add in the fresh ricotta cheese. Mix well.

Roll out the calzone dough into 4 to 6 circles. Place about ¼-½ cup on one side of the circle close to the center. Fold on half over the ricotta making sure that the sides of the dough are touching, forming a half circle. Start from one end and roll the side of the dough closed using a twist motion. Place the calzones on a baking sheet (greased or lined with parchment paper) in the oven for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Basic Marinara

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2 cups of sauce

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
9 medium tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup garlic, chopped fine
1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
1 carrot, chopped fine
1 red pepper, chopped fine
1 green pepper, chopped fine
½ cup red wine
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
½ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine
½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine

Directions

Sauté garlic, onions, carrots, and chili flakes in olive oil on medium heat until soft. Place all remaining ingredients except ½ cup oregano in a large pot and bring to a boil. Place on low and simmer for about 45 minutes stirring regularly until all tomatoes are broken down. With a handheld food processor blend all ingredients in the pot until totally smooth and all ingredients are well blended. Skins are included in the sauce because they give a very rustic look and texture and provide a quick, easy sauce. Cook blended sauce on low for another 10 minutes adding more salt to taste. When finished , add remaining fresh oregano. Boil sauce on a low boil uncovered for another 10-20 minutes or until you reach desired thickness. Add remaining chopped oregano at end.

Cabbage & Bean Salad with Spicy Pesto Vinaigrette

June 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

036

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 cup red cabbage, shredded
½ cup carrots, grated
1 red pepper, sliced thin
1 orange pepper, sliced thin
1 cup sliced radishes
1 cup baby greens
1 red chili pepper (fresh) and chopped
2 cups cannellini beans
¼ cup champagne vinegar
Juice and zest of one lemon
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon basil sauce or pesto
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Place all vegetable sin a big salad bowl. Whisk together remaining ingredients (dressing) until smooth and toss over salad.

Basil Sauce

June 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 cup basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup olive oil

Directions

Mix the ingredients up in a blender until smooth.

Whole-Wheat Pesto Mozzarella Panini

June 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

038

Serves 6

Ingredients

Whole-wheat bread
Fresh mozzarella slices
Tomato slices
Salt
Basil sauce (recipe follows)
Olive oil

Directions

Place basil sauce on each side of the bread slices and on the basil sauce place sliced mozzarella and tomato, season with a little salt.

Combine the slices to form a sandwich and brunch the top side with olive oil. In a panini pan or cast iron pan on high heat, place the olive oil side of the sandwich down on the pan. Using the heavy panini press top press down to flatten. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes or until browned and toasty.

Basil Sauce

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 cup basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup olive oil

Directions

Mix the ingredients up in a blender until smooth.

Herbed Gremolata

May 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately ½ cup

Ingredients

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
3 tablespoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon maldon salt
½ teaspoon red chili flakes

Directions

In a small mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well.

Basil Ice Cream

May 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients

2 cups whole milk
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
½ cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
Salt

Directions

In a medium sauce pan combine milk, sugar and basil leaves and bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes allowing basil to infuse, take off heat and allow to cool. Transfer mixture to a blender and blend until very smooth in texture. Transfer back to the saucepan and heat to medium again, whisk in egg yolks making sure that the mixture stays smooth and creamy and that it does not boil. Take off heat add a pinch of salt and whisk in heavy cream until combined. Chill the mixture for a few hours in the refrigerator and then follow the instructions for your ice cream maker.

Garden Tomato, Bacon and Basil Ice Cream Sandwiches

May 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 6 sandwiches

Ingredients

2 tomatoes on the vine, sliced about ¼ inch thick
Basil ice cream (recipe follows)
6 bacon slices, cooked

Directions

On a baking sheet lines with parchment paper, freeze the tomato slices. Place a spoonful or two of the basil ice cream on top of a tomato slice and smash down gently until it covers the bottom tomato. Place a slice of bacon over the ice cream and cover with another frozen tomato slice, gently and push down. Freeze again for a short time and allow to thaw a few minutes before serving. (omitting the bacon is a great way to enjoy these sandwiches too).

Basil Ice Cream

Makes 4 cups

Ingredients

2 cups whole milk
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
½ cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
Salt

Directions

In a medium sauce pan combine milk, sugar and basil leaves and bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes allowing basil to infuse, take off heat and allow to cool. Transfer mixture to a blender and blend until very smooth in texture. Transfer back to the saucepan and heat to medium again, whisk in egg yolks making sure that the mixture stays smooth and creamy and that it does not boil. Take off heat add a pinch of salt and whisk in heavy cream until combined. Chill the mixture for a few hours in the refrigerator and then follow the instructions for your ice cream maker.

Spring Garlic Bread Sticks

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 24 bread sticks

Ingredients

Basic Pizza Dough (Ger-Nis)
1 cup spring garlic, chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup parmesan, grated
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
Maldon salt (flake sea salt)

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Prepare 1 batch of Ger-Nis Pizza Dough. In a blender add the spring garlic, extra virgin olive oil, fresh herbs, parmesan and red chili flakes. Blend until smooth. Shape the pizza dough in 24 long thin sticks (5 inches long and about ½ inch thick). Twist the breadsticks holding each side and twisting in opposite directions. Lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush with the garlic mixture well and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Take out of oven and sprinkle immediately with the Maldon salt.

Italian Wedding Soup with Spring Greens

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

For chicken pesto meatballs

1 pound ground chicken
1 cups fresh basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fien
½ cup pine nuts, chopped
8-9 cloves garlic, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 egg

For the soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, chopped fien
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
6 cups chicken stock
2 carrots, chopped small
2 celery ribs, chopped small
1 fennel head, chopped small
Parmesan rind
1 cup Ditalini pasta, or other small-shaped pasta
3 cups baby spinach
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

Directions

For chicken pesto meatballs

In a large bowl, using your hands to combine ground chicken, basil, parsley, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili flakes until mixed well. Add the egg, and gently bind together. Roll about a tablespoon of mixture at a time into 1-inch balls and set aside.

For the soup

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook onions until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and red chili flakes, cook 1 minute more. Add chicken stock, carrots, celery, fennel, and parmesan rind. Increase heat and bring to a boil, drop in chicken meatballs, lower heat to a simmer and cook, 15 minutes. Add pasta and continue to cook until vegetables are tender, meatballs are cooked through, and pasta is cooked, about 7 minutes. Add spinach and cook, 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Spring Vegetable Minestrone with Herb Pesto

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Ingredients

For spring vegetable minestrone

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
6 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
3 carrots, chopped medium
3 celery ribs, chopped medium
5 asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup fresh English peas
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups arugula leaves, chopped

For the herb pesto

1 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

For the soup

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook onions until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add vegetable stock, thyme, carrots, celery, asparagus, and green beans. Season with salt. Increase heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are almost soft, about 20 minutes. Add peas, beans and tomatoes and cook 10 minutes more. Add arugula and cook just until wilted. Serve soup drizzled with herb pesto.

For the herb pesto

Place all ingredients, except olive oil, in blender. Stream in olive oil while blending and combine.

Spring Herbal Osso Bucco & Herbed Gremolata

May 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4-6

This lovely & lively dish is perfect for a chilly spring day, perfectly fresh yet warming with loads of fresh herbs and spring vegetables.

Ingredients

4-6 cross-cut veal shanks (osso bucco tied with kitchen string)
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped fine
¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 sprigs onions, whites and green parts, chopped fine
1 medium carrot, chopped fine
1 small fennel bulb, cut in half and sliced thin
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh chives, chopped fine
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken or onion broth
3 plum tomatoes, chopped medium
1 cup fresh peas
Herbed Germolata (recipe follows)

Directions

Tie the veal shanks up with the kitchen twine so that the shanks stay together. In a small mixing bowl mix the flour and mint and season with salt. Dredge the osso buco in the flour until they are all coated. In a large dutch oven or le creuset bring the oil to a medium high heat. Brown the osso buco on all side or about 2 minutes on each. Take out of the pan and set aside. Sauté the garlic, onions and lemon zest for a few minutes or until translucent. Add the carrots and the fennel and sauté a few more minutes. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne and add the herbs. Mix well and continue to sauté a few more minutes. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne and add the herbs. Mix well and continue to sauté. Add the wine and stir well removing any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock and the tomatoes and stir well. Add the veal shanks to the pot and cover with the vegetables and juice. Turn the burner to low and cook for about 30 minutes. Add the peas and cook another 5 minutes. Take off heat and serve on its own, with pasta, polenta or rice and topped with the herbed gremolata.

Herbed Gremolata

Makes approximately ½ cup

Ingredients

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
3 tablespoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon maldon salt
½ teaspoon red chili flakes

Directions

In a small mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix well.

Fruit, Herb & Nut Parfaits

May 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tablespoon fresh lemon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped fine
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Greek yogurt, plain or vanilla flavor
½ cup blackberries
½ cup strawberries, cut in half and hulled
¼ cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds

Directions

In a small saucepan combine the fresh herbs, honey and vanilla extract and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the honey is infused with the herbs flavor. Place the yogurt in a bowl or a glass and place some berries on top. Next sprinkle some almonds and pumpkin seeds and top with a few flax seeds. Drizzle the infused honey over the entire parfait while the honey is still warm, not hot.

Carrot Orange Mint Sodas

May 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4 sodas


Ingredients


¼ cup mint leaves, chopped fine
2 cups orange juice
¼ cup honey (optional)
4-6 carrots (medium sized)
Ice
Seltzer water


Directions


Mix together chopped basil leaves, orange juice and honey and set aside. Juice the carrots and mix juice together with the orange and basil mixture. Dived the mixed juice between four classes and fill glasses with ice, place a bit of the seltzer water on to fill and serve, garnish with a basil leaf.

Strawberry Basil Fizzy

May 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 pitcher

Ingredients

½ cup fresh strawberries, chopped fine
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
½ cup sugar, chopped fine
½ cup water
Zest of 1 lime or lemon
Juice of 1 lime or lemon
2 cups ice
Seltzer water

Directions

In a small saucepan combine strawberries, basil sugar and water and bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for about 3-4 minutes. Let cool. Place in a blender and blend until smooth. Place puree into a pitcher and add zest and juice of lime or lemon, 2 cups of ice and fill with seltzer water. Mix well and serve garnished with a strawberry or lime or lemon wedge.

Herbal Spring Rolls

May 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 12 rolls

Ingredients

12 rice paper wrappers
1 head boston lettuce leaves, white parts removed
2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
½ cup scallions, chopped fine
½ cup semi ripe mango, cut into 1-inch matchsticks
½ cup fresh mint leaves
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
¼ cup fresh thai basil leaves
Peanuts (optional)
Sweet chili sauce (recipe follows)

Directions

In a large bowl of warm water, dip the rice paper wrappers for about 7-10 seconds. Take out and shake off excess water and lay flat on a kitchen towel. Place one wrapper down and arrange lettuce leaves on top, place a few of the carrots, bell peppers, scallions and mangoes atop and then add a few fresh herbs. Wrap the roll up like a present but rolling. Serve garnished with peanuts and sweet chili sauce.

Sweet Chili Sauce

Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

½ rice wine vinegar
¼ cup roasted red pepper puree
2 teaspoons garlic, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped superfine
1 teaspoon red chili paste
1 tablespoon lime juice
4 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Salt

Directions

In a mixing bowl whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Season with salt to taste.

Salt Baked Baby Potatoes with Spring Herb Pesto

May 17th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

1 pound baby bliss potatoes
3 tablespoons spring garlic stem, chopped
2 cups fresh basil leaves
¼ cup cashews
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup parmesan, grated
4 cups kosher salt, extra for seasoning

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Pour 4 cups of salt into a baking dish. Evenly spread the potatoes pressing them into the salt. Roast in oven for about 20 minutes or until fork tender.

In a food processor, put your garlic and cashews, pulse two or three times. Add in basil and while blending slowly pour in your olive oil. Then add in parmesan and season to taste.

When potatoes are done, let them rest for 5 minutes. Brush off any excess salt, slice into quarters and toss with pesto.

Note: The salt can be reused up to 3 times.

Recipe Property of Brendan McDermott

Blackberry-Basil Buckwheat Flax Crepes with Basil Sweet Cream

April 28th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

2 cups blackberries
½ cup turbinado sugar
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
2 cups 2% milk
1 tablespoon sugar in the raw
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ cup buckwheat flour
¾ cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon golden flaxseeds
3 eggs
Basil Sweet Cream (recipe follows)

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl mix the sugar, basil and blackberries and let stand. Whisk together all ingredients until a smooth batter is formed. Batter will be much thinner than pancake batter. Place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until coled before making crepes. Lightly grease a non-stick griddle pan and place over high heat. Making sure pan is very hot, pour batter to form a 7 inch circle. When crepe is cooked on one side, about 15 to 30 seconds, flip and cook on opposite side. Repeat until all batter is used. Place a few spoonfuls of the blackberry mixture on the center of a crepe and fold over into a square or just a roll up. Drizzle some basil sweet cream over the top of the creme.

Basil Sweet Cream

Makes 1 cup

INGREDIENTS

½ cup creme fraiche
½ cup 2% milk
1 tablespoon blackberry juice from the sugared blackberries
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine

DIRECTIONS

Whisk together all ingredients until a smooth cream is formed. Can be made thicker or thinner by adding less or more milk.

Sweet Herbal Mimosas (Lemon Thyme Orange & Basil Tangerine)

April 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 mimosa

Ingredients

1 ounce herbal syrup (lemon thyme or basil), recipe follows
2 ounces fresh juice (orange or tangerine)
4-6 ounces champagne, prosecco or cava

Directions

In a champagne class combine the herbal syrup and the citrus juice and fill glass with champagne, cava or prosecco.

Herbal Simple Syrup

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 cup sugar (any type of sugar will work)
1 cup water
1 cup fresh herbs leaves & stems

Directions

Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for approximately 5-10 minutes depending on how potent you wish the syrup to be.

Wild Ramp-Basil Pesto & Whole Wheat Paperadelle

April 26th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

¼ pound of wild ramps, cleaned and ends trimmed and chopped
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, stems removed
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup toasted walnuts
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound whole wheat paperadelle cooked

DIRECTIONS

In a blender place the ramps, basil, lemon zest, lemon juice and pulse a few times until it gets chopped up pretty fine. Add the walnuts and pulse a few more times. With the blender running pour the olive oil through the top slowly until the pesto reaches desired consistency. More for a “looser” pesto & less for a “chunkier” version. Toss together with whole wheat papperadelle.

Spring Pea Risotto with Prosciutto and Basil & Mint Butter

April 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For the pea risotto

5 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, chopped fine
1½ cups Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
5 slices of prosciutto cut in small pieces
1 cup fresh peas, blanched
1 cup parmesan cheese
Salt
Freshly ground pepper

For the basil & mint butter

2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cloves garlic
1 shallot, chopped superfine
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 cup basil leaves
¼ cup mint leaves
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt

DIRECTIONS

For the pea risotto

In a medium sized saucepot heat chicken broth until warm and simmer while making risotto. In a separate medium saucepot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook shallot until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add prosciutto and cook until crispy. Add rice and cook and stir for 1 minute. Next, add 1 cup liquid, reduce liquid and then add another ½ cup liquid every 7 minutes or so until rice is almost cooked through, about 20. Add peas and cook 5 minutes more. Remove from heat, and finish with cheese, and basil & mint butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

For the basil & mint butter

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and use to finish risotto.

Italian Wedding Soup with Spring Greens and Italian Herb Gremolata

April 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For chicken pesto meatballs

1 pound ground chicken
1 cup fresh basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
½ cup pine nuts, chopped
8-9 cloves garlic, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved for sauce)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 egg

For the soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
6 cups chicken stock
2 carrots, chopped small
2 celery ribs, chopped small
1 fennel head, chopped small
Parmesan rind
3 cups baby spinach
1 cup Ditalini pasta, or other small-shaped pasta
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
Italian Herb Gremolata, recipe follows

DIRECTIONS

For chicken pesto meatballs

In a large bowl, using your hands to combine ground chicken, basil, parsley, pine nuts, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili flakes until mixed well. Add the egg, and gently bind together. Form into 1-inch balls. Roll about a tablespoon of the mixture into balls and set aside.

For the soup

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook onions until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and red chili flakes, cook 1 minute more. Add chicken stock, carrots, celery fennel, and parmesan rind. Increase heat and bring to a boil, drop in chicken meatballs, lower heat to a simmer and cook, 15 minutes. Add pasta and continue to cook till vegetables are tender, meatballs are cooked through, and pasta is cooked, about 7 minutes. Add spinach and cook, 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper and serve drizzled with mixed herb gremolata.

Italian Herb Gremolata

Makes approximately ½ cup

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh marjoram, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped superfine
3 tablespoons lemon zest

Spring Vegetable Minestrone with Herb Pesto

April 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

For spring vegetable minestrone

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
6 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
3 carrots, chopped medium
3 celery ribs, chopped medium
5 asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup fresh English peas
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rined
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups arugula leaves, chopped

For the herb pesto

1 cup fresh parsley leaves
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

For the soup

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add olive oil. Cook onions until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add vegetable stock, carrots, celery, asparagus and green beans. Season with salt. Increase heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are almost soft, about 20 minutes. Add peas, beans, and tomatoes and cook 10 minutes more. Add arugula and cook just until wilted. Serve soup drizzled with herb pesto.

For the herb pesto

Place all ingredients, except olive oil, in blender. Stream in olive oil while blending and combine.

Detox Shots

April 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes one shot

Beet Basil Shot

½ cup fresh beets, 1 cup fresh basil leaves, ¼ cup orange juice

Grapefruit Parsley & Lemon-Thyme

¼ cup grapefruit juice, ½ cup fresh parsley leaves, ½ cup fresh lemon-thyme leaves

Lemon Ginger Mint

¼ cup lemon juice, ½ inch chunk fresh ginger, ½ cup mint

Cucumber Parsley Mint

½ cucumber, ½ cup fresh parsley, ½ cup fresh mint

Tomato Oregano Parsley

½ tomato, ¼ cup fresh oregano, 1 cup fresh parsley

Red Basil Cinnamon Lip Gloss (Brown Tint)

April 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon shea butter
1 tablespoon pumpkin seed oil
1 tablespoon beeswax
½ tablespoon Vitamin E oil
1 cinnamon stick
¼ cup fresh cinnamon basil

DIRECTIONS

Wrap basil with kitchen twine or in cheese cloth for easy removal. Heat up ingredients in small saucepan, and let simmer for 7 to 10 minutes, infusing ingredients. Discard basil, and fill it into jars. Let harden.

Beet Basil Shot

April 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

½ cup fresh beets, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup orange juice

DIRECTIONS

Press the beets and basil through a juicer. Mix beet and basil juice with orange juice in a small glass.

Fresh Fruit with Coconut & Herbal Honey

April 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

½ cup fresh strawberries, sliced
½ cup fresh blackberries
1 red grapefruit, pitted and segmented
1 orange, pitted and segmented
½ cup toasted coconut, shavings
Herbal infused honey (recipe follows)

DIRECTIONS

Place all the fruit in a mixing bowl, and gently toss together with coconut shavings. Place in two serving bowls. Drizzle herbal infused honey on fresh fruit.

Herbal Infused Honey

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon mint, chopped
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon thyme, chopped

DIRECTIONS

In a saucepan on medium low, add honey and warm. Add mint, basil, and lemon thyme. Reduce temperature and allow honey to infuse for about 4-5 minutes on a low simmer. Take out herbs and discard them.

Dandelion Parsley Lime Kiwi Smoothie

April 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 2-10 ounce smoothies

INGREDIENTS

1 cup dandelion greens, chopped
1 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
1 cup water
1 cup ice
1 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

Spicy Italian Sausage

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 9 sausages

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds pork butt, cubed into ½-inch cubes
½ pound pork fat, chunk bacon or fatback
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Casings, of your choice

DIRECTIONS

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl very well and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Using the finest blade of the meat grinder, grind the mixture following grinder instructions. If you are making or using the meat without the casing go right to that step. If you are making links put the mixture back in the mixing bowl and place in the freezer for a little while. In the meantime soak the casings in warm water and rinse a few times. Get out your sausage stuffer and slip the casing onto the stuffing tube, making sure you leave about 6 inches off the end of the tube, this is the part that you will need to tie the sausages off. Remove the meat from the freezer and stuff it into the stuffer, if all the meat does not fit leave what will not fit in a bowl in the refrigerator. Turn the stuffer on and begin the process, air will be the first thing to emerge. As the meat begins to slide out use one hand to maneuver the speed of the sausage output. Let the sausage emerge into one long coil, the links will be tied later in the process. When the sausage is done, turn off the machine and tie up the ends, you can use kitchen twine. To make the links, pinch a section together, then spin the links and turn them opposite from each other several times, repeat this moving down the entire main link. Make sure both ends are tied off. Hang the links up so you can review for air bubbles, using a sterilized pin or sewing needle, pop each section that has an air bubble with the pin and the link should move flat and the air bubble should be resolved. Hang the links for about an hour and then refrigerate them covered in the refrigerator overnight, use them or freeze them in about a week.

Sundried Tomato & Herb Chicken Sausage Pizzas

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 3 10-inch pizzas

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds boneless & skinless chicken breasts, cubed
½ pound pork fat, cubed (optional)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ medium yellow onion, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
½ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped fine
2 tablespoons salt
Casings, of your choice
Canola or olive oil
Pizza Dough (recipe follows)
Fresh Tomato or Pizza Sauce (recipe follows)
Cheese, of choice
Fresh baby spinach or arugula

DIRECTIONS

Mix all the sausage ingredients in a large bowl, and refrigerate, about 2 hours. Using the finest blade on your meat grinder, grind all of the ingredients, following the instructions. Once the mixture is ground, place in the freezer. Meanwhile, soak the casings in warm water, and rinse a few times. Using your sausage stuffer, slip the casing onto the stuffing tube, making sure you leave about 6 inches off the end of the tube – this is where you will need to tie the sausage off later. Remove the meat from the freezer, and place it in the body of the sausage stuffing machine. If all the meat does not fit (you must acquit, just kidding), place the rest back in the refrigerator until you are ready for more. Turn the machine on, and begin the process – air will be the first thing to emerge. As the meat begins to slide out, use one hand to maneuver the speed of the sausage output. Let the sausage emerge into one long coil – the links will be tied later in the process. When the sausage is done, turn off the machine, and tie up the ends – you can kitchen twine. To make individual links, pinch a section together, then spin the links, and turn them opposite from each other several times, repeat this moving down the entire main link. Hang the links up so you can review for air bubbles. Using a sterilized pin or sewing needle, pop each section that has an air bubble with the pin, and the link should move flat and the air bubble should be released. Hang the links for about an hour, and then refrigerate them covered in the refrigerator overnight. Use them or freeze them within about a week (in other words, use it, or lose it).

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place the sausages on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 4-5 minutes turning once or until browned. Remove from oven and slice into 1 inch slices for pizza topping.

Place already rolled out pizza dough on a baking sheet and top with pizza sauce, cheese of choice, spinach or arugula and sliced sausage. Place in oven and bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes.

Pizza Dough

Makes 3 (10 inch) pizzas

INGREDIENTS

1 cup warm water
1 packet active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
2½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Dried herbs (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl gently mix the warm water, yeast and honey until frothy and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Let stand for 1 minute for activation of the yeast. In a separate large mixing bowl combine the flour and salt and any optional dried herbs: oregano, basil, etc. Mix well. Slowly combine the yeast mixture to the flour mixture mixing well until a soft dough forms. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead until very smooth and elastic adding more flour if needed. Knead for about 8-10 minutes. In a lightly oiled bowl, preferably ceramic or stainless steel, place dough covered with greased plastic wrap. Place bowl in a warm, draft free location for about 1-2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. Flatten the dough to desired size shape and thickness – thin, thick, or regular.

Fresh Tomato or Pizza Sauce

Makes approximately 2 cups

INGREDIENTS

6 medium tomatoes, chopped
8-10 cloves garlic, chopped
½ medium yellow onion, chopped
½ cup red wine
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1½ cup fresh oregano, chopped (reserve ½ cup)
1 cup fresh basil, chopped

DIRECTIONS

In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, add tomatoes, garlic, onions, red wine, red chili flakes, dried oregano, salt, pepper and fresh herbs and bring to a boil. Place on low simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring regularly until all tomatoes are broken down. With a hand held food processor blend all ingredients in the pot until smooth and all ingredients are well blended. Skins are included in the sauce as they give a very rustic look and texture. Cook blended sauce on low for another 20 minutes, until thick and reduced. Season with more salt (if needed) and finish with remaining fresh oregano.

Cucumber and Onion Salad

April 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

2 long regular or English cucumbers
2 Vidalia or other sweet onions
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
A pinch of fresh black pepper or crushed red pepper
¼ cup chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, mint, basil, or tarragon

DIRECTIONS

Slice the cucumbers and onions as thin as you can. Mix the sugar, vinegar, and pepper together and pour over the cucumbers and onions. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Chill. Just before serving, add the chopped herbs and toss together. Serve quickly (the vinegar will make the herbs lose their bright color fairly soon).

Recipe property of Emile Casey

Foaming Invigorating Ginger Basil Lime Bath

April 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Ingredients

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 cup fresh basil leaves
½ cup shaves plain soap
1 tablespoon almond oil

Directions

Prepare a piece of cheesecloth by cutting it into a 12 X 12 inch square and set aside. Crumble up all herbs, releasing the oils. Lay the cheese cloth out flat, and pile the ingredients into the center. Tie the pouch with the kitchen twine, and toss it into your bath!

Garlic Herb Bread (kid friendly)

April 20th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes one baguette

Ingredients

¼ cup basil
¼ cup fresh parsley
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons melted butter
¼ cup olive oil
Salt
Baguette, sliced
Parmesan cheese

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 350° F. In a blender combine the basil, parsley, garlic and chop. Add the melted butter oil and salt and blend until smooth. With a pastry brush, brush the bread with the herb mixture, making sure to get all over the entire side of the slice. Place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with a little parmesan. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Dried Strawberry Basil Buttermilk Biscuits

April 19th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 6 biscuits

Ingredients

3 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons orange zest
3 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed
3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, sliced into thin strips
½ cup sweet vanilla dried strawberries

Directions

Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl, and gently mix. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or a fork until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. (Or pulse several times in a food processor.) Combine the cream, zest, orange juice and basil in a measuring cup. Make a well in the center of the flour, and pour the cream mixture into the well. Mix with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened and just combined; it should look shaggy and still feel a little dry. Gently knead by hand five or six times to create a loose ball.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into an 8-inch square, ¾ to 1 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment, cover with plastic, and chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Cut the dough into even shapes of your choice- circles, squares, triangles and spread them about 2 inches apart from each other on the baking sheet. Bake until the biscuits are medium golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.

Nissa’s Lasagna

April 19th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes one large lasagna

Ingredients

Olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 medium yellow, onions, chopped small
2 medium carrots, chopped small
2 medium green zucchini, chopped small
1 cup broccoli florets, cut super small
4 medium tomatoes, chopped small
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved)
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved)
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved)
¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine (2 tablespoons reserved)
1 cup tomato sauce
½ cup red wine
Salt/pepper
Lasagna noodles (cooked or fresh)
4 cups fresh spinach
1 ½ cups feta cheese, crumbled
1 ½ cups Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
2 cups fresh mozzarella

Directions

In a large soup pot, over medium high heat, add oil. Cook onions and garlic until soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add carrots and cook for a few more minutes. Add the zucchini, broccoli and tomatoes and reduce heat to a medium simmer. Add the fresh herbs (making sure to reserve some for the end). Add the tomato sauce and red wine, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool a bit before assembling lasagna.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a large casserole dish, place a layer of lasagna noodles (cooked or fresh) down first, then spread a little sauce over the noodle. Add a layer of fresh spinach and then a layer of sauce, followed by a little bit of each cheese. Repeat the layers until the dish is filled. The top layer should end in a noodle covered with sauce and cheese, mostly the pecorino in order to make it nice and crusty.

Place lasagna in the oven and bake for about 45-60 minutes or until the top is crusty brown. Allow the lasagna to sit and rest about 20 minutes before serving.

Wild Ramp-Basil Pesto & Whole Wheat Pappardelle

April 19th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

¼ pound of wild ramps, cleaned, ends trimmed and chopped
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup toasted walnuts
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt
1 pound whole wheat pappardelle, cooked

Directions

In a blender place the ramps, basil, lemon zest, lemon juice and pulse a few times until it gets chopped up pretty fine. Add the walnuts and pulse a few more times. With the blender running pour the olive oil through the top slowly until the pesto reaches desired consistency. More for a “looser” pesto & less for a “chunkier” version. Season with salt and toss together with whole wheat pappardelle.

Apéritif de Lillet Cannelle Basilic

April 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

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Makes 1 cocktail


Ingredients


1 ounce cucumber infused gin
2 ounces lillet blanc
½ ounce blood orange juice
½ ounce cinnamon basil syrup
Garnish with cucumbers marinated in cinnamon basil and lillet blanc
Cinnamon basil leaves for garnish



Directions


In a shaker filled with ice, combine gin, lillet, blood orange juice and cinamon basil syrup. Shake well and strain into a lowball glass filled with ice or a martini-style glass. Garnish with a lillet-soaked cucumber and cinnamon basil leaf.


Cinnamon Basil Syrup

Makes 1 cup syrup


Ingredients


½ cup to 2 cups sugar
½ cup to 2 cups water
½ cup fresh cinnamon basil leaves


Directions


Place water, sugar and cinnamon basil leaves in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for a few more minutes. Take off heat and allow to cool. Strain out basil leaves. Bottle and refrigerate.

Green Garlic Pesto

April 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately 1 cup

Ingredients

¼ pound of fresh green garlic, dark tips trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, stems removed
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
¼ cup pecorino romano cheese, finely grated
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions

In a blender place the green garlic, basil, lemon zest, lemon juice and pulse a few times until it gets chopped up pretty fine. Add the pine nuts and romano cheese and pulse a few more times. With the blender running pour the olive oil through the top slowly until the pesto reached desired consistency. More for a “looser” pesto & less for a “chunkier” version.

Wild Ramp-Basil Pesto

April 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately 1 cup

Ingredients

¼ pound of wild ramps, cleaned and ends trimmed and chopped
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, stems removed
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup toasted walnuts
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt

Directions

In a blender place the ramps, basil, lemon zest, lemon juice and pulse a few times until it gets chopped up pretty fine. Add the walnuts and pulse a few more times. With the blender running pour the olive oil through the top slowly until the pesto reaches desired consistency. More for a “looser” pesto & less for a “chunkier” version. Season with salt to taste.

Half-the-Pasta Lasagna

March 31st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

1 small Italian eggplant
½ package of lasagna noodles (whole wheat if available)
1 egg
1 cup skim ricotta
1 cup kalamata olives, chopped
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, leaves chopped
Salt & pepper
6 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
¼ cup parmesan cheese
2 cups tomato sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven at 375ËšF. Slice eggplant lengthwise and brush with olive oil, salt & pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles for 4-5 minutes. Noodles should be undercooked. Drain and rinse with cold water to shock.

In a medium sized bowl, beat egg and add in ricotta, kalamata olives, garlic, chopped basil, parsley and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and combine.

Take a loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Layer lasagna as follows: A spoonful of sauce followed by one layer of noodles, ricotta mixture, eggplant slices, mozzarella slices, and a spoonful of tomato
Repeat until finished and top with parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Cover loaf pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Take out of oven, remove foil and continue to bake for 5-10 or until browned on top.

Remove from pan by lifting parchment. Slice into 4 equal slices and serve over a spoonful of sauce.

Tip: Use sauce sparingly, otherwise lasagna can become watery.

Recipe courtesy of Robin Simpson

Grilled Fresh Mozzarella Cheese with Basil Pesto

March 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 4

Ingredients

8 slices of country white bread
Basil pesto, recipe follows
8 slices of homemade mozzarella, sliced in 3” rounds
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

To assemble sandwich, smear insides of bread slices with pesto. Arrange a layer of mozzarella slices over the top and then place another piece of bread on top to make the sandwich. In a large skillet, over medium heat add olive oil and place sandwiches on the hot skillet. If using a skillet, place another heavy skillet over the top to form a “press”. Turn after 2 to 3 minutes and replace weight. The sandwich is ready when golden brown and mozzarella has melted around the edges.

Basil Pesto

Makes 1 ½ cups pesto

Ingredients

4 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup pine nuts, toasted
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2-3 cups fresh basil leaves
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
â…” cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon
Salt/pepper

Directions

Mix all ingredients with a hand held mixer or food processor until smooth.

Tangerine Basil Soda

March 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 large pitcher

Ingredients

For tangerine basil syrup
1 cup basil leaves
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon tangerine zest

For soda
2 cups tangerine juice
2 cups soda water
Ice

Directions

For tangerine basil syrup
In a small saucepan over medium heat, place all 4 ingredients and warm through until sugar is dissolved. Strain and set aside to cool.

For soda
In a large pitcher, combine tangerine basil syrup with tangerine juice. Top with soda water and serve over ice.

Strawberry-Basil Galette

February 24th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 large galette

Ingredients

For the pastry
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cups (1¾ sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons orange liqueur

For the filling:
6 cups strawberries, stems removed and cut in half
½ cup sugar
¼ cup Cointreau
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced thin

Directions

Mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until combined well. Using your hands (or a food processor), add butter, and crumble into the flour until the crust mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the egg yolk and the tequila, and mix together gently until dough is moist. Form dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile mix together strawberries, sugar, Cointreau, orange juice and zest, and the basil leaves. Let soak for at least an hour. Strain and set aside, reserving liquid.

Preheat oven 375°F.

Roll out dough on a floured surface until it forms a large circle about 16-inches in diameter. Place rolled dough on a large, thick, greased cookie sheet with sides or, better yet, a large, greased cast iron pan. Place strained berries in a big pile in the center of the dough. Fold dough up all around the pile of berries leaving a big hole at the top like a shallow volcano. Pour a little of the reserved berry liquid in the hole and reserve a little for the end. Bake for about 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown and crispy. Drizzle finished tart with the remainder of the juice from the berries.

Shrimp with Sweet Basil, Purple Eggplant and Peppers

February 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons soy sauce
A 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped fine
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
1 purple eggplant, cubed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup water
1 small chili, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1½ tablespoons black soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1½ tablespoons water
¼ cup basil leaves, torn

DIRECTIONS

In a small bowl, combine mirin, soy sauce, and ginger. Add shrimp, and marinate 15 to 20 minutes.

In a large deep skillet or wok over high heat, add 1½ tablespoons oil. Add shrimp, and cook for 3 minutes or until shrimp has changed to light pink color. Remove shrimp, and set aside on plate. Clean out pan.

In the same pan, add remaining oil. Add eggplant and red peppers, and cook, 5 minutes. Add ½ cup water, and cover pan to steam vegetables slightly. Remove lid, and add chili and garlic. Stir until fragrant, 1 minute. Add fish sauce, black soy sauce, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Add cooked shrimp and basil and mix. Serve immediately.

Beef Pho

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

For the broth

2 medium onions, chopped large
A 1-inch piece of galangal, peeled and chopped
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
3-5 pounds of good beef bones, preferably leg and knuckle
1 pound beef chuck, cubed
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
3 star anise
1 cardamom pod, shell removed
3 cloves
10 cups water
2 tablespoons salt
¼ cup tamari
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup raw sugar

For the noodle bowls

2 pounds rice noodles, cooked
2 pounds London broil or flank steak sliced thin and cooked in the broth for about 1 minute.
Pho vegetables: thinly sliced red onions, thinly sliced scallions, thinly sliced chili peppers, bean sprouts, shredded carrots, lime wedges, and sliced bell peppers (optional)
Pho herbs: fresh mint leaves, fresh Thai basil leaves, fresh cilantro leaves, fresh red basil leaves
Hoisin Sauce
Siracha hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to broil. Place the onions, galangal, ginger, beef bones and beef and spices on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until all is heavily charred, no black, but charred on the edges. Place all charred ingredients into a large soup pan and add the salt, fish sauce, tamari and raw sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer at a low gentle boil for about 30-45 minutes. Making sure you spoon away the “scum” that rises to the top of the soup ban from the bones. Strain and place broth back in the soup pan and bring to a rolling gentle low boil again.

To assemble the bowl, place the cooked rice noodles in the bottom of a large noodle bowl. Place the raw beef into the pot of boiling stock and cook for 1 minute. Remove and place atop the noodles, ladle broth over the noodles and beef and garnish with desired pho vegetables and pho herbs and season with hoisin and siracha.

Chicken Pho

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serve 6-8

INGREDIENTS

For the broth

2 medium onions, chopped large
A 1-inch section of galangal, peeled and chopped
A 2-inch section of ginger, peeled and chopped
3-5 pounds of chicken pieces, wings and other bones
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
3 star anise
1 cardamom pod, shell removed
3 cloves
10 cups water
2 tablespoons salt
¼ cup tamari
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup raw sugar

For the noodle bowls

2 pounds rice noodles, cooked
2 chicken breasts, poached in the broth and shredded with fingers and set aside
Pho vegetables: thinly sliced red onions, thinly sliced scallions, thinly sliced chili peppers sliced thin, bean sprouts, shredded carrots, lime wedges, and sliced bell peppers (optional)
Pho herbs: fresh mint leaves, fresh Thai basil leaves, fresh cilantro leaves, fresh red basil leaves
Hoisin sauce
Siracha hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to broil. Place the onions, galangal, ginger, chicken bones and spices on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until all is heavily charred, no black, but charred on the edges. Place all charred ingredients into a large soup pan and add the salt, fish sauce, tamari and raw sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer at a low gentle boil for about 30-45 minutes. Making sure you spoon away the “scum” that rises to the top of the soup ban from the chicken. Strain and place broth back in the soup pan and bring to a rolling gentle low boil again.

To assemble the bowl, place the cooked rice noodles in the bottom of a large noodle bowl. Place the shredded chicken into the pot of boiling stock to reheat, for about 10 seconds only. Remove and place atop the noodles, ladle broth over the noodles and chicken and garnish with desired pho vegetables and pho herbs and season with hoisin and siracha.

Tofu Vegetable Pho

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

For the broth

2 medium onions, chopped large
3 cloves garlic
1 shallot, chopped large
A 1-inch piece of galangal, peeled and chopped
A 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
2 small carrots, cut into large pieces
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
3 star anise
1 cardamom pod, shell removed
3 cloves
10 cups water
¼ cup dried shitakes
2 tablespoons salt
¼ cup tamari
¼ cup raw sugar

For the noodle bowls

2 pounds rice noodles, cooked
2 pounds of tofu, cut into bit sized squares, seasoned with tamari and fried
Pho vegetables: thinly sliced red onions, thinly sliced scallions, thinly sliced chili peppers, bean sprouts, shredded carrots, lime wedges, and sliced bell peppers (optional)
Pho herbs: fresh mint leaves, fresh Thai basil leaves, fresh cilantro leaves, fresh red basil leaves
Hoisin Sauce
Siracha hot sauce

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to broil. Place the onions, shallots, carrots, galangal, ginger, and spices on a lined baking sheet and place in the oven under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until all is heavily charred, no black, but charred on the edges. Place all charred ingredients into a large soup pan and add the dried shitakes, salt, tamari and raw sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer at a low gentle boil for about 30-45 minutes. Strain and place broth back in the soup pan and bring to a rolling gentle low boil again.

To assemble the bowl, place the cooked rice noodles in the bottom of a large noodle bowl. Place the fried tofu on top of the noodles and ladle broth over the noodles and garnish with desired pho vegetables and pho herbs and season with hoisin and siracha.

Fresh Herb Farro Tart

February 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes 1 tart, serves 6 to 8 people

INGREDIENTS

1 cup farro
2 tablespoons butter, plus more for greasing pie dish
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ of a red onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup of each of the following fresh herbs: parsley, basil, and chives, chopped
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3 cups ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
Parsley and basil leaves, for decorating tart

DIRECTIONS

Cook farro until tender, following package instructions, about 30 to 40 minutes. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a glass pie dish by greasing it with butter.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add butter and oil. Cook red onion and garlic until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add fresh herbs, and remove from heat. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix parmesan, ricotta cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg. Add onion herb mixture and cooked farro, and combine thoroughly. Pour into glass pie dish. Arrange fresh herb leaves on top. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until set. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Salmon, Baby Bok Choy, Sake, Herbs and Citrus

February 2nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 1-2

INGREDIENTS

1-2 servings salmon filet (we recommend wild caught)
Salt
Pepper
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons sake
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 baby bok Choy, chopped
5-6 shitake mushrooms, whole
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 teaspoon lemon grass
1 teaspoon ginger, peeled chopped
½ tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon fresh Thai basil leaves, chopped

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350ËšF.

Place salmon filet, skin side down on a large sheet of heavy duty foil, season with salt and pepper. Top with all remaining ingredients. Fold the aluminum foil edges over like a burrito, then fold each side about a half inch in again and repeat until you have a tight little packet. Place packet on lines baking sheet.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through. Serve.

Seafood Spaghetti with Herbed Lemon Cream Sauce

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, plus 1 additional tablespoon of butter
5 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 shallots, chopped fine
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon chili flakes
3 squid bodies (calamari) cleaned and sliced into thin rings
½ pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
½ pound baby scallops
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine, stems removed
¼ cup fresh chives, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh basil or red basil, chopped fine
½ cup white wine
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup heavy cream
Salt/pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a large heavy bottom skillet, heat olive oil and butter on a medium high heat. Add the garlic, shallots, lemon zest and chili flakes. Sauté for a few minutes until garlic and shallots just start to brown. Add the calamari, shrimp and scallops. Season with salt. Sauté a few minutes until just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and sauté about 1 minute. Add the wine and lemon juice next and turn to medium low. Allow liquid to reduce by about half. Add the cherry tomatoes and allow to cook about two minutes or until the tomatoes are just soft. Add the heavy cream, turn burner to low and season with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta according to pasta directions. Mix the spaghetti and the sauce and serve!

Winter Minestrone

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 red onion, chopped medium
3 stalks of celery, chopped small
2 medium carrots, chopped small
1 medium red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped small
1 medium yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped small
1 (28-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
½ cup fresh basil, chopped fine
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh oregano, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups hot water
1 cup vegetable stock
1 bunch of dinosaur kale, chopped
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup small fresh macaroni (¾ cup dried)
½ cup parmesan, freshly grated
Parmesan rind (optional)
Salt/ pepper

DIRECTIONS

Cook garlic, onions, celery, carrots, and peppers in oil in a wide 7-to 9-quart heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally until vegetables are very tender and begin to stick to bottom of pot, about 45 minutes total.

Push vegetables to one side of the pot. Add stewed tomatoes to cleared area and cook, stirring constantly, until it starts to caramelize, about 2 minutes. Stir into vegetables and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. (Tomatoes may stick to pot, but don’t let them burn.) Bring to a simmer. Stir in kale and parmesan rind. Simmer, covered, until greens are tender, about 40 minutes.

Coarsely chop herbs, and stir into soup along with beans. Simmer, partially covered, 10 minutes.
Discard rind. Season soup with salt and pepper.

Peruvian Pisco Sour (Peru)

January 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Many of our products this time of year are coming from Peru including the mangoes, in light of this we thought we would add a little mango & basil to our pisco sours and top it off with some ginger bitters!

Makes one drink

INGREDIENTS

1½ ounces pisco
½ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce lime juice
1 ounce mango puree, recipe below
½ ounce basil syrup, recipe below
1 egg white
Ginger, clove, black pepper bitters

DIRECTIONS

Shake all the ingredients in a shaker and strain into a martini style glass. Add a few dashes of ginger clove black pepper bitters.

Mango Puree

Makes 1 cup

INGREDIENTS

1 to 2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
Water

DIRECTIONS

Place mangoes in blender and blend until smooth. If too thick, add water to make a thinner consistency.

Basil Syrup

Makes 1 cup

INGREDIENTS

½ cup water
½ cup sugar
½ cup basil

DIRECTIONS

In a medium sauce pan place all ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer, let simmer for about 5 minutes. Let cool and strain.

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