Archive | Condiments

Ramp and Pea Pesto



Makes approximately 2 cups

This pesto is delicious brushed on grilled corn on the cob, as a crostini topping, served over vegetables or fish or spread across pizza dough.

1 tablespoon plus ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, or to taste, divided
2½ cups ramps, root ends trimmed, bulbs, slender stems and leaves cut into ½-inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas, cooked according to package, or fresh, blanched briefly in boiling water
½ cup coarsely chopped Marcona almonds
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

To make the ramps: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook ramps, stirring frequently, until wilted, about 2–3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, as the ramps are cooling, cook the peas. Remove from heat, drain and set aside to cool.

To make the pesto: Process the ramps, peas, remaining ⅓ cup oil, almonds and lemon juice in a food processor until desired texture is achieved. Spoon the pesto into a decorative bowl and fold in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings with additional oil, and lemon juice, if desired.

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Bourbon-Fig Jam

A jar of bourbon-fig jam ready to complement any cheese platter. Photo by Jullianne Plunkette

A jar of bourbon-fig jam ready to complement any cheese platter.
Photo by Jullianne Plunkette

With dried rather than fresh figs, this sweet jam can be made in any season. If available, use dried Turkish figs instead of Mission figs for a jam that is nearly identical in color to the bourbon added to the recipe. Darker Mission figs will make the jam not only darker but also sweeter, so reduce the amount of sugar you add if Mission figs are your only option.

Yield: Approximately 1½ cups

6 ounces dried figs (preferably Turkish)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ cup straight bourbon
Combine all ingredients except the bourbon in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer about 10–12 minutes or until the mixture thickens and turns rosy-gold in color, roughly the same color as the straight bourbon. Remove from the heat, cool slightly and blend until smooth using either a stick blender or food processor. Spoon into glass jars and refrigerate. The jam will keep for several weeks.

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pumpkin dipThis dip takes its name from the variety of pumpkin used. Cinderella is an heirloom that is a beautiful deep burnt orange color with a flattened, squished pumpkin shape. This dip is very similar to guacamole! It was a fun recipe I developed for a wedding once in which the only nonlocal ingredients were olive oil, spices and salt. I needed a vegan dip that utilized only things from that farm’s September harvest. I like to use one pumpkin for the dip and another one to serve it in.

Yields about 2 cups of dip

  • ½ of a medium-sized Cinderella pumpkin (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded and cut into 3-inch cubes
  • 1 small Cinderella pumpkin, hollowed out, ready to fill
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cumin
  • ½ teaspoon or several grinds fresh pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar (I like sherry, maple or apple cider varieties best for this recipe)
  • Pita bread for dipping

Sprinkle the pumpkin with salt and roast in the oven until very tender; let come to room temperature. Put pumpkin, garlic, salt, cumin, pepper and vinegar in food processor to purée. Use a bit of water to get a nice consistency for dip. Check seasonings, and then fill into hollowed pumpkin. Serve with fresh pita bread or tortilla chips.

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