Friday, August 29, 2014

RECIPE: Roasted Corn with Manchego and Lime

Difficulty Level: Intermediate


  • 6 ears of sweet yellow corn, unhusked
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 cup finely grated Manchego cheese
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced chives
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
Manchego cheese is sold at better supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.
  • Preheat oven to 450°. Roast unhusked corn on a baking sheet, turning occasionally, until heated through and crisp-tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Shuck corn and cut kernels from cobs. Discard cobs.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add corn kernels and sauté until heated through and light-golden in spots, 3-5 minutes. Add butter; stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer corn to a large wide bowl or deep platter; sprinkle jalapeño and crushed red pepper flakes over. Squeeze lime wedges over; sprinkle with cheese, chives, and lime zest.

RECIPE: Dill Potato Salad

Difficultly level: Easy


1.5 lbs potatoes
1/2 cup mayonnaise (preferably homemade)
1 red onion
1 TBS dijon mustard
1-2 TBS white wine vinegar
Bunch of fresh dill
Salt and pepper


1. Dice potatoes into equal, bite sized pieces

2. Add potatoes to boiling water and cook until tender

3. Drain, and allow potatoes to cool

4. Dice the red onion and chop dill

5. Mix remaining ingredients in with cooled potatoes


RECIPE: Zucchini Agrodolce

Difficulty level: EASY

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

2 small garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small red onion, finely sliced, soaked in ice water

1 pound zucchini, julienned

1 cup  toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

2/3 cup  toasted coconut flakes

3 dates, pitted and chopped

to serve: micro greens or chopped herbs

Combine the vinegar, honey, garlic, and sea salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until it comes together, remove from heat, and let cool for a few minutes. Whisk in the olive oil. 

Drain the onions, and pat dry. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini and onion together, pour over the vinegar mixture, toss well, then taste and add more salt to taste. Set aside for a few minutes. Alternately, you can move it to the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.

Before serving, toss the zucchini mixture with the walnuts, coconut flakes, and dates, then finish with a generous sprinkling of herbs or micro greens.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

RECIPE: Orzo, Green Bean, and Fennel Salad with Dill Pesto

Yield: Makes 6 servings
Difficulty Level:

8 ounces green beans, trimmed
8 ounces orzo (1 1/4 cups)
2/3 cup (packed) chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups 1/3-inch cubes unpeeled English hothouse cucumber (about 8 ounces)
3/4 cup diced fresh fennel bulb


Cook green beans in large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer beans to plate. Add orzo to same boiling water. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally; drain.

Blend dill, oil, vinegar, and lemon juice in mini processor until almost smooth to make pesto. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Cut beans crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in large bowl. Add orzo, cucumber, and fennel; mix in pesto dressing. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.

RECIPE: Fermented Sauerkraut

Difficulty Level: Easy

2 heads of Cabbage
Approximately 2 TBS Salt
1 TBS Caraway seeds (optional)


1.      Clean all your equipment -- e.g. a knife to shred the cabbage or a Julienne slicer to get it thinner. You can ferment it in a vegetable fermenter or a crock, just need something that will release the extra pressure as it ferments!

2.      Chop, grate or shred cabbage

3.      Transfer cabbage to a big mixing bowl as you go and sprinkle with salt. Periodically massage and squeeze the cabbage with your hands. At first, it may not seem like enough salt, but gradually, the cabbage will become watery and limp.

4.      Once the Cabbage has become limp and releases its juices, transfer it to a sauerkraut crock or vegetable fermenter, sprinkling the caraway seeds in as you go. Pack cabbage down as tightly as you can.

5.      Once the cabbage is submerged in its brine, cover loosely and allow to sit at room temperature, undisturbed for at least a week and up to 2 months, testing the sauerkraut as every few days until its done to your liking.

6.      Transfer to the refrigerator where it will keep for a few months.

RECIPE: Heirloom Tomato and Bulgur Salad

Serves 4 to 6

Difficulty Level: Easy


• 1 pound heirloom tomatoes, cored and chopped, juices reserved

• 1 cup uncooked bulgur

• 1/2 pound green beans, thinly sliced on the bias

• 15 pieces sundried tomatoes in extra-virgin olive oil, thinly sliced, plus 1 tablespoon oil from the jar

• 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


In a large, nonreactive bowl, stir together heirloom tomatoes and bulgur, and then cover and set aside at room temperature until bulgur is tender, about 3 hours. Stir in green beans, sundried tomatoes and oil, and salt. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Friday, August 15, 2014

RECIPE: Asian Bitter Melon Stir Fry

Difficulty Level: Easy


Bitter Melon
2 cloves chopped garlic
2TBS Oil
1 TBS Fish Sauce

1. Cut the bitter melon lengthwise and scoop out seeds

2. Slice the melon into small bite sized pieces

3. In a large wok or frying pan heat up oil and then add the melon

4. Cook the melon over high heat for about 10 minutes, being sure to stir every minute or so and to add more oil if necessary

5. Add the chopped garlic and allow it to brown

6. Cook for another 5 more minutes or until the melon is slightly browned and cooked through. Remove from heat and toss in the fish oil.

7. Enjoy!

RECIPE: No-Cook Tomato Sauce

Difficulty Level: Easy 

Makes 6 to 7 cups, enough for 8 to 10 servings

Let the tomatoes do the talking with this raw version of a spaghetti-night essential. Use this sauce over hot pasta, raw vegetable ribbons or poached fish or poultry. You can season it to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper or red pepper flakes if you like.


• 1 large clove garlic, minced

• 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

• 3 pounds fresh tomatoes

• 1 teaspoon honey

• 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves


In a cup, combine garlic and vinegar; set aside. Remove stem end of each tomato. Cut tomatoes in half and use your fingers to scrape the seeds into a bowl. Set seeds aside.

Place half the tomatoes in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not liquefied. Transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining tomatoes and honey, oregano, and garlic and vinegar mixture to the food processor and repeat. Stir into the sauce in the bowl. If the sauce seems too thick, strain the reserved seed mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and use some of the tomato liquid to thin the sauce.

The sauce will keep refrigerated for a few days.

RECIPE: Miso Garlic Eggplant

Difficulty Level: EASY

1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)

3 tablespoons yellow miso (soybean paste)

2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger

1 teaspoon dark sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 Japanese eggplants, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 1 pound)

Cooking spray

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 6 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Arrange eggplant slices on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Spread mirin mixture evenly over the eggplant slices, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Broil 8 minutes or until topping is golden. Place eggplant slices on a platter, and sprinkle with onions.

Friday, August 8, 2014

RECIPE: Plum Tarts with Honey & Black Pepper

Difficulty Level: Easy

 Servings: 6

 Time: 10 minutes active, 40 minutes total


 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions

 1 pound plums, apricots or peaches (or a combination), pitted and cut into 1/2-inch wedges

 1/4 cup sugar

 Freshly ground black pepper

 Flaky sea salt


 1. Preheat oven to 425°. Cut pastry into 6 four-inch squares. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and prick all over with a fork (to keep from puffing up during baking).

 2. Top with fruit wedges, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle with sugar; season with a few grinds of pepper.

 3. Bake tarts, rotating pan halfway through until edges of pastry are puffed and golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with salt just before serving.

 *Tarts can be baked 4 hours ahead. Keep at room temperature.

RECIPE: Risotto with Tomatoes and Corn

Difficulty Level: Intermediate


2  good-size ears sweet corn

7  cups well-seasoned vegetable stock or chicken stock

2  tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½  cup minced onion

  Salt to taste

2  garlic cloves, minced

1 ½  cups arborio rice

1  pound tomatoes, grated or peeled, seeded and diced

  Pinch of sugar

  Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

½  cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc

2 to 3  tablespoons slivered fresh basil, or a mix of basil, chives, and parsley

¼ to ½  cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 to 2 ounces)


1. Remove corn kernels from cobs and set aside the kernels. Simmer the cobs in stock for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from stock and discard. Make sure your stock is well seasoned. Bring back to a simmer over low heat, with a ladle nearby or in the pot.

2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy skillet or a wide, heavy saucepan. Add onion and a generous pinch of salt, and cook gently until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and rice and cook, stirring, until grains of rice are separate and beginning to crackle, a minute or two. Stir in tomatoes, sugar and salt to taste and cook, stirring, until tomatoes have cooked down slightly, 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Add wine and stir until it has evaporated and has been absorbed by the rice. Begin adding simmering stock, a couple of ladlefuls (about 1/2 cup) at a time. Stock should just cover the rice and should be bubbling, not too slowly but not too quickly. Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of the stock and continue to cook in this fashion, adding more stock and stirring when rice is almost dry. You do not have to stir continually, but stir often and vigorously. After 10 minutes, add corn and continue for another 10 to 15 minutes. When rice is just tender all the way through but still chewy (al dente), in 20 to 25 minutes, it is done. Taste now and adjust seasoning.

4. Add another ladleful of stock to rice. Stir in basil (or basil, parsley and chives) and Parmesan and remove from heat. The mix should be creamy (add more stock if it isn’t). Serve right away in wide soup bowls or on plates, spreading the risotto in a thin layer rather than a mound.

RECIPE: Blueberry-Cucumber Smoothie

Difficulty level: Easy 

Blended cucumbers thicken a lightly sweet smoothie for a low-cal breakfast or a refreshing afternoon snack.

2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks (about 2 cups)

1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

1 cup frozen blueberries

1-2 Tbs honey or agave nectar

1 Tbs lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.

Friday, August 1, 2014

RECIPE: Italian Kale Soup

Level: Easy

1 bunch kale
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
2 medium carrots
1 medium zucchini 
1 can chopped tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
1 tbs butter or olive oil
1 Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
2 bay leafs
1 tsp of basil
1 tsp of oregano

1.     Prepare vegetables by dicing onions, pressing the garlic and chopping zucchini, carrots and kale into bite-sized portions

2.     In a stockpot or Dutch oven, brown onions and garlic in butter or olive oil

3.     Once fragrant, add chopped carrots and zucchini

4.     Once the carrots and zucchini have had a chance to brown, add the stock, chopped tomatoes, Parmesan cheese rind (optional), kale and spices. The kale will seem like a lot, but do not worry, it cooks down

5.     Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until carrots are tender.

RECIPE: Three Cheese Summer Tomato Tart

Difficulty Level: Easy

Servings: 4 as entree, 8 as appetizer

2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/8-inch slices
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
3 Tbs. mayonnaise
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbs. finely chopped basil
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Parchment paper


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Lay out the tomato slices on paper towels. Cover with more paper towels and allow tomatoes to drain for approximately 30 minutes (this is crucial not to have a watery tart).

3. Meanwhile, remove the puff pastry from the freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes.

4. Unfold the puff pastry onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, pinching to close any holes in the seams. Using a fork, prick the dough all over to prevent it from puffing up during baking.

5. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise over the entire dough. Sprinkle evenly with cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Arrange the tomato slices in a single layer over the cheeses. Season generously with salt & pepper. Sprinkle a generous amount of Parmesan on top and garnish with chopped basil.

6. Bake for 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Remove the pastry from the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Cut into 9 squares & serve immediately.

RECIPE: Basic vinaigrette for the perfect summer salad

Difficulty level: Easy

1/4 cup white-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Pinch of sugar (or honey, brown sugar, agave...)

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Optional: minced garlic, shallot or fresh herbs. Substitute different vinegars or lemon juice. Add Parmesan or blue cheeses.

Combine ingredients and shake in a jar!