Friday, August 5, 2011



These little soybeans are a healthy snack just lightly steamed and tossed in sea salt. The furry pods can be discarded after retrieving the edamame beans. The firmness is a wonderful and unique distinction that is a nice textural element in a salad or for snacking. 


Brown Turkey Figs
Brown Turkey Figs are sweet, and work well with salty flavors. Wrap them with shaved prosciutto, a few micro greens and good balsamic vinegar. 


Mixed Micro Greens
These delicate little sprouts have a fresh green flavor and are great for adding to a salad or garnishing any main. When dressing these try and dress as lightly as possible to avoid wilting. 


Sweet peppers
Let’s make a Sweet Pepper Sofrito! A Sofrito summed up is a sweet pepper, tomato, onion, garlic, spice and herb relish that adds huge flavor to so many things. Once you’ve assembled it, it can stay in your refrigerator for a week and be used to top eggs, mix with potato hash, add to stewed legumes (whatever your favorite bean may be), anywhere you see fit. The simple idea to keep in mind when making this recipe is to cook down the ingredients slowly, which allows the liquid to slowly cook out of the peppers, onions, and tomatoes and gently stew.   

3 sweet medium peppers diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 medium onion diced
¼ teaspoon toasted ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon lime juice
1teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro

In a nonreactive medium saucepot slowly heat the olive oil.  Add the peppers, the garlic, and the onions and slowly sauté. Cook this down over low heat until just before browning. Add the ground cumin and toast for two additional minutes. Add the tomatoes and a small pinch of salt (this will help break down the tomatoes). Once these ingredients have reach a thick and non-watery consistency, add the lime, oregano, and the cilantro. Season. Serve cold or warm. 


Heirloom Tomatoes
Try these sliced with a sharp knife and served with a dill pickle vinaigrette and bacon bits.

Dill Pickle Vinaigrette
3 tablespoons minced dill pickles
3 tablespoons dill pickle juice
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon chopped thyme
½ cup olive oil
Mix all ingredients and stir well before using. 


Mountain Rose Potatoes
Smooth in consistency with red skins and a pink interior I love to simply blanch these until soft through and lightly press them into a medium-hit cast-iron skillet with clarified butter. When browned off slowly, these potatoes become delicious and crisp and work well next to a grilled steak. Cut and blanch these and toss with the Dill Pickle Vinaigrette and add bacon crumbles for an easy summer potato salad.


Italian Eggplant
Light char the whole eggplant on a medium-heat grill, removing the stalk, pureeing with olive oil and salt. This very basic technique creates a smooth consistency of wonderful smoky spread or dip that is fantastic and simple. Try it on a crusty baguette with roasted tomatoes, good mozzarella, and arugula.


Sweet Red Onions
Quickly pickling these red onions after julienning gives you a versatile condiment/ingredient that keeps for a couple of weeks stored in the refrigerator.

Basic Pickling Brine
2 cups cider vinegar
1/8 cup kosher salt
1 Quarts water
2 cloves of garlic
Small bunch of thyme

Bring these ingredients to a boil (making sure all salt has dissolved) and strain out the garlic and thyme. Add one teaspoon of Basic Pickling Spice.

Basic Pickling Spice
5 Tablespoons Mustard Seeds (whole)
5 whole allspice berries
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
3 bay leaves
 2 Teaspoons whole black peppercorns

Pour the hot brine solution over the cut red onions to cover and allow to cool before covering and refrigerating.  Pickling these onions gives you a nice way to balance rich flavors with a well-rounded acidic one.   


Ruffled Lettuce
Beautiful and crisp with a good balance of leafy-green and water.  This lettuce is often best used as the base of a great summer salad. These box ingredients are so perfect because they are grown and picked at just the right time. Summer salads rely mostly on the freshness of the product and therefore can be wonderful with minimal prep time or technique. It may sound like an overused chef comment, but great ingredients really do make good food easy.
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