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Fava Bean & Blood Orange Salad with Ricotta Salata

April 27, 2013

Fava Bean & Blood Orange Salad with Ricotta Salata

Spring is a time of transition–Fava beans, along with calcots, ramps & fiddleheads, are some of my favorite in-between spring crops. The hearty fava’s season is a bit longer, and they’re more available across climates and geographies than some of the others, and they pair well with a variety of other foods, and can be really enjoyed both hot and cold.

Blood oranges have a late season this year, so I’m still enjoying them here in California. This is a really straight forward but delicious and loved dish, which serves 3-4 as a side.

Fava Bean & Blood Orange Salad Recipe

1-2lb fresh fava beans, whole
1 medium blood orange, peeled with a knife
1 tbsp (Spanish! buttery!) olive oil
Ricotta salata (or bits of fresh goat cheese, farmer’s cheese, sheep’s feta or shaved pecorino romano)
lots of salt & fresh cracked pepper

Pop the beans out of their pods, and bring water to boil. Boil the beans for about 1 minute, until the color has brightened a bit. Strain, and dunk immediately into a cold water or ice water bath. Once cooled, strain again and begin peeling the beans out of their membrane. You can do this part ahead, stopping at any junction and resuming later. Cut the blood orange into diced chunks. Toss all the ingredients together, topping with shaved ricotta salata (which I clearly managed to get in the photo…) or other cheese as mentioned above.

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Blanched Vegetable Salad with Lemon Ricotta and Shallot Vinaigrette

January 16, 2013
Blanched Vegetable Salad Blanched Vegetable Salad with Shallot Vinaigrettewith Shallot Vinaigrette

Blanched Vegetable Salad Blanched Vegetable Salad with Shallot Vinaigrettewith Shallot Vinaigrette

Blanched Vegetable Salad with Lemon-Ricotta and Shallot Vinaigrette Recipe

Serves 4

4 leaves butter leaf lettuce, washed
1 watermelon radish, sliced thin with a mandolin
1/2 C snap peas, trimmed and blanched in salted hot water for 30 seconds-1 min
2 C broccoli and cauliflower in even, small pieces, blanched in salted hot water for 1 minute
1/2 C ricotta cheese, fresh
Zest of 1 lemon
1 shallot, finely diced
2 tsp djon mustard
1 T olive oil
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 tsp fresh dill or tarragon, chopped finely (or 1/2 tsp dry and soaked in the lemon juice for a few minutes)
salt & pepper to taste

Set the ricotta out to room temperature. Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, and mustard together, and add the fresh herbs and shallot, along with salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Leave to sit for 5-10 minutes (or store up to three days in refrigerator).

Once you have prepared all of the vegetables (the snap peas, broccoli, and cauliflower not only need to be cut to an appropriate size, but also should be blanched for 30-60 seconds in salted, boiling water), assemble by placing lettuce at one end of plate, or off center on a round plate, and arranging the blanched vegetables from there.

Use a spoon to drizzle dressing over the blanched vegetables, then mix the ricotta with a bit of salt and the lemon zest. Top the salad with a quenelle of ricotta, and a few slices of watermelon radish.

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Thanksgiving: Cooking Live Crab with Fennel and Celery Salad

November 22, 2012
Stack of Steamed Fresh Live Crabs

Stack of Steamed Fresh Live Crabs

We had planned to visit Captain Barry’s Fresh to pick up some crab on Thanksgiving morning as a project and tasty dinner, but also to have a bit of Thanksgiving fare with the crew; there had been an accident the night before and while Thanksgiving was cancelled, we hope all will be well soon. They were still selling crab this morning, so we decided it would be a great, light departure from the gut-stuffing realities of turkey day. We loaded up the dog and headed down to the dock.

butter cubes

Red Dutch Cast Iron Enamel Sautee Pan with Melting Butter

We brought home three lively critters, about 2 lbs each, and got our pots boiling. Being a total sissy, I didn’t want to kill and clean them raw, so we dunked them right into the boiling water for 15 minutes each (since they were so large). Afterwards, I cleaned them using this method, and stacked them up on our table with some melted butter, a fresh fennel-celery salad, and a bottle of champagne.

Fennel and Celery Salad

Fresh Fennel and Celery Salad Recipe

Serves 2-4

1 small or 1/2 large head fennel, sliced thinly on a mandolin
2-3 stalks celery, sliced thinly on a mandolin
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Mix all ingredients together and serve. This holds up very well over night, but is best dressed freshly for maximum crunch.

 

Stack of Fresh Cleaned Dungeness Crab Legs

How to Cook Live Crab

Prepare large pots of boiling water; when boiling, add the live crab. Cover most of the way and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the crab and let it cool a bit, then use this crab cleaning method to prepare for the table. Serve with drawn butter; use a cast iron based pan (in my case, a vintage dutch enameled pan) to keep the butter warm for longer, tableside.

appetizers one-pan recipes Recipes snacks vegan vegetarian

Roasted Crispy Chickpeas with Bangkok Spice

August 1, 2012

One of my all time favorite upscale bar snacks, these crispy, fluffy, roasted chickpeas are versitile and delicious. You can serve them by themselves as a snack or on a salad to add a substantial note to it, such as the Arugula Pistachio Salad. These are also known as garbanzo beans–so, roasted crispy garbanzo beans with bangkok spice.

Roasted Crispy Chickpeas Recipe
Feel free to make a double or triple batch. This is a great snack for 2-4.

1 can or 15 oz cooked chickpeas
1 T olive oil
Salt
Bangkok spice or Cajun seasoning (or similar)

Preheat oven to 400. Drain and rinse the chickpeas well. Dry them between paper towels, lightly smashing each one to break it open. If you have a cast iron pan, add the olive oil and mix the chickpeas into it. If you don’t, use a heavy bottomed baking pan or pie pan. Add the salt and spices, mixing well. Bake for 35-45 minutes, agitating/stirring every 10 minutes for maximum crispiness.

 

appetizers Recipes salad dressings salads Spring Summer vegetarian

Magical Arugula Salad with Pistachio Dust

August 1, 2012

 

I’ve served this arugula salad with pistachios countless times over the last month. For a catering event I headed, for friends at dinner time, for family at dinnertime, for lunch with a friend, while visiting Calistoga, and others. It’s a hit 100% of the time and it’s very filling.

Arugula Salad with Pistachio Dust Recipe

For four

8-10 cups baby or wild arugula
3 oz parmigiano reggiano, freshly grated
1/2 C raw hulled pistachios, ground in coffee grinder or mashed with mallette into dust, crumbs, and chunks
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
salt
fresh cracked pepper

Whisk the lemon juice with olive oil–use 2x more olive oil than lemon juice. Add garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss arugula in the dressing. Toss arugula in parmasean, then in pistachio. Serve!

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Backyard Feast: Fava Beans and Pecorino, Rosewater Fruit Salad

May 21, 2012
Backyard feast with pecorino and fava beans, rosewater fruit salad, mexican chia crackers, and raw macadamia nut cheese rolled in pistachios

Backyard feast with pecorino and fava beans, rosewater fruit salad, mexican chia crackers, and raw macadamia nut cheese rolled in pistachios

Fava Beans with Pecorino

 

Rosewater Red Fruit Salad

The weather has been wonderful lately, a real treat compared to last year’s never ending “winter” in SF. We’ve been enjoying our backyard and sat out around 3:30pm yesterday to have a little backyard feast after a rough day of household tasks (and, admittedly, the diligent avoidance of all things Bay to Breakers, and the decision to not leave our own property, which has become an annual tradition on the day Bay to Breakers is held; we cannot get that drunk anymore, we are too old). Oh, and to observe the solar eclipse, which made some really neat patterns on our front door and cast an interesting level of clear, bright light onto the whole Golden Gate Park area.

I offered up a civilized bottle of vinho verde, raw macadamia nut cheese rolled in pistachios, raw “Mexican” chia crackers, raw sugar snap peas, rose water fruit salad with raw cashew cream sauce and delicious fava beans with pecorino.

 

breakfast & brunch main courses one-pan recipes Recipes Spring vegetables & hot greens vegetarian

Coconut Cabbage and Eggs

May 14, 2012
Coconut cabbage and eggs with spring peas, almonds, and herbs

Coconut cabbage and eggs with spring peas, almonds, and herbs

Coconut cabbage and eggs with spring peas, almonds, and herbs

I was craving some vegetables this morning and remembered I had a beautiful Wakefield cabbage in the fridge–I unpacked it from my CSA box from Eatwell Farms last Thursday and noticed how soft and supple its leaves were, and its unusual pear shape. I don’t think I’ve had this variety before–it’s a pale, bearess lime type of green with a pointed top. The green garlic and eggs in this recipe are also from Eatwell.

The bowl in the photos above is my favorite at the moment, for everything from a meal of strawberries & cashew cream to soup to salad and beyond. It’s from Art & Manufacture on Etsy, and she shipped super quickly!

Coconut Cabbage and Eggs Recipe with Green Garlic
Serves 1-2

3-4 large cabbage leaves (tender Wakefield if you can find it), sliced very thinly
1 stalk green garlic or 2 scallions or 1 spring onion, sliced thinly
1/4 C fresh English peas, shelled (I bought 5 lbs from Mariquita Farms recently!)
1/3 C coconut milk or Spicy Lemon Coconut Sauce
2 eggs, whisked
10 almonds
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
Optional: 1/2 Jalapeno or other hot, small pepper chopped finely

Heat a pan to low heat and add 1-2 tsp olive oil. Add the green garlic (or scallion/spring onion) and cook until beginning to lose shape, a few minutes. Turn the heat to medium high and add the cabbage, stir, and add a generous pinch of sea salt. Cook 2-3 minutes until cabbage begins to wilt.

Add the coconut milk, peas,  and the pepper if using, and cook until cabbage is totally wilted, about 4 minutes. It will still have texture. Reduce heat to medium and add the scrambled eggs.

Chop the almonds (mine were soaked and sprouted) while the eggs cook, stirring the egg and cabbage mixture occasionally. When eggs are cooked, it is finished. Top with parsley and lightly mix, and finally the almonds.

 

appetizers breakfast & brunch one-pan recipes Recipes snacks vegetables & hot greens vegetarian

Asparagus with Spring Onions, Orange Zest, and Parmesan

May 1, 2012
Asparagus with Spring Onions, Orange Zest, and Parmesan

Asparagus with Spring Onions, Orange Zest, and Parmesan

Asparagus with Spring Onions, Orange Zest, and Parmesan

A wonderful, quick appetizer served communally–the kind of thing you whip together in 5 minutes flat to hold you over for dinner a few hours later, as you wrap up the workday or settle in for the evening. Also great at brunch!

Asparagus with Spring Onions, Orange Zest, and Parmesan Recipe

1 lb asparagus
1 large red spring onion or two smaller ones*, sliced fairly thin in rings
zest of 1 orange
parmesan, shaved
olive oil
salt & pepper

Peel the bottom 2/3rds of your asparagus lightly with a vegetable peeler. This can be done a day in advance if the asparagus is then kept in plastic.

In a skillet at medium high heat, warm about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the asparagus, tossing to coat. Put a lid loosely on top and reduce heat to medium, allowing to cook until color has brightened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove lid and add onions, tossing. Raise heat slightly and cook 2 more minutes, until onions are softened. Add orange zest, tossing quickly. Place on a platter and within 1 minute, add parmesan shavings. Serve warm.

*When unavailable, you can substitute shallots, but do add to the pan a bit earlier or pre-soak the sliced shallots in water for 20-30 minutes to remove some of the abrasiveness.

appetizers dinner one-pan recipes salad dressings salads soups Spring vegan vegetables & hot greens vegetarian

Green Garlic Soup & Fennel Barley Salad with Roast Radishes

May 1, 2012
Green Garlic Soup

Green Garlic Soup

Fennel Barley Salad with Roast Radishes

Paired with a quick asparagus appetizer, this Green Garlic Soup and Fennel-Barley Salad made a wonderful vegetarian 3-course meal. I made this for an old roommate who came to visit last night; were stuffed but happy and feeling good. Our fourth course was chocolate-covered honey cake with sliced mango.

Green Garlic Soup Recipe
Serves 4

~1lb green garlic, sliced roughly
2 T butter or olive oil
1/2 C dry sherry
1 large turnip, roasted or boiled
3-4 cups spinach
8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
salt & pepper

In a soup pan, warm the oil or butter over medium high heat. Add the green garlic, cooking until nearly tender and beginning to color.  Add the sherry and cook 3-4 minutes until no brash smell remains. Add salt, and the broth, and bring to a simmer. Add the turnip and the spinach, cooking 1-2 minutes more. Puree in a high powered blender or by another method, being sure to go in batches if needed to avoid a mess. Adjust the seasoning, adding some sherry or wine vinegar if needed. Serve with delicious croutons and garlic chives on top.

 

Fennel Barley Salad Recipe (with roast radishes and flageolet beans)
Serves 3

1.5 C cooked pearled barley
1/2 head fennel, sliced very thinly
1 C flageolet beans, cooked, or other salad bean
9-12 stem on mix of easter egg radishes, french radishes, or petite turnips, roasted whole and sliced in half
3-4 C mixed tender salad greens
3-4 T Fennel Citrus Dijon Salad Dressing
2 T olive oil

On high heat, fry the cooked barley in olive oil until grains separate easily and everything is warm. Add the fennel for 1 minute, then turn the heat off and add the radish mixture and beans to the pan. Toss well. In a large bowl, dress the salad greens generously in dressing. Add the warm barley mixture and toss. Serve!

 

Fennel-Citrus Dijon Salad Dressing Recipe

1 T dijon
1/4 C fennel fronds
Juice of 1/2 large orange
Zest of 1/2 an orange
1 T honey
1 T olive or sunflower oil
2 T apple cider vinegar

Blend all ingredients very well. Stores for up to a week in the refrigerator.

appetizers breakfast & brunch lunch Recipes salads savory baked meals Spring vegan vegetables & hot greens vegetarian

Roasted Spring Root Vegetables

April 20, 2012
Roasted Spring Root Vegetables: Baby Carrots, Turnips, Easter Egg Radishes, Golden Beets, Rutabaga

Roasted Spring Root Vegetables: Baby Carrots, Turnips, Easter Egg Radishes, Golden Beets, Rutabaga

Roasted Spring Root Vegetables: Baby Carrots, Turnips, Easter Egg Radishes, Golden Beets, Rutabaga

A beautiful and simple lunch or light dinner, these roasted spring root vegetables are pleasing to the eye and are the perfect summary of the spring bounty that is now my CSA/farm shipment.

Simply find the best spring veggies you can, cut them in fairly even sizes, toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper (or add some herbs de provence if you like), and roast them 25-40 minutes at 400 degrees on some foil (for easy clean up). Save them cold to toss into salads for the coming days or feast on them then; serve them as an appetizer with friends over on a large platter and cocktail forks. It’s a pleaser.

Use things like: Baby Carrots, Turnips, Easter Egg Radishes, Golden Beets, Chiogga Beets, Rutabaga, Celery Root

Leave the stems on (they are edible! and save those radish & turnip greens for a sautee, a quiche, or a pesto) but trim off any broken or decrepit parts of the stem and use a vegetable sponge to scrub the dirt from the tops and sides. Don’t peel the carrots, just scrub the dirt off. You can also roast everything whole and slice them in half afterwards for brighter centers, but you may need to separate a few trays by size of the objects to ensure even cooking.