Archive | Spring 2012 – Issue 13

Chard Quiche

Recipe from the St. Helena Montessori Middle School kitchen. Chef Grant Showley and the school kids created this recipe specifically for the purpose of using all the chard that they had grown in their garden.

Yield: One 9-inch quiche


  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • ¾ cup chilled water


  • 1 large Bermuda or other mild onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, washed and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • 4 tablespoons Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups milk or cream

Special tools needed: 9-inch flan ring or pie pan with removable base


Sift the flour with the salt and baking powder into a bowl. Blend the shortening and butter into the dry mixture using only your fingertips or a pastry cutter. Do not blend in completely—the mixture should still have pea-sized pieces of the butter and shortening. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Beat the egg yolk (reserve the egg white for later use) and the water together. … Read More

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Grilled Quail Salad with Roasted Mushrooms and Honey-Coffee Vinaigrette

Yield: 6 servings


  • 2 to 3 tablespoons brewed espresso or double-strength regular coffee
  • ¼ cup aged Spanish sherry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 6 partially boned or bone-in quail, cleaned Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
  • Grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 4 to 6 cups frisée or curly endive or escarole chicory leaves, white and light green parts only
  • 2 cups wild or cultivated arugula or watercress, tough stems removed
  • About 1 tablespoon coffee beans, crushed, or cocoa nibs, for garnish


In a small bowl, whisk together the espresso, vinegar, honey, shallot, salt and pepper until the honey is well incorporated and the salt is fully dissolved. Gradually whisk in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream and continue to whisk until well emulsified. Reserve until needed.

Mix together … Read More

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Italian Stuffed Artichokes

A few years ago, I picked 35 artichokes from my garden and prepared this first course for Easter lunch. The freshly torn bread absorbs the vinegar, olive oil and seasonings to make a light, flavorful stuffing. The coarser the bread, the better. Preparing these a day ahead gives plenty of time for the seasonings to blend and for the cook to be relaxed on the day that they are served.

Yield: 4 servings


  • 4 medium to large artichokes
  • 1 cup water, plus additional for steaming
  • 4 cups fresh breadcrumbs from a coarse country bread such as ciabatta or a rustic baguette
  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley (about 1 bunch)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea or kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Cut off the stem flush with the base and cut off the top one-third (the prickly leaf ends) of each artichoke. Pour water to a depth of about 3 inches into a large pot or deep pan, place a steaming rack in the bottom of the pot or pan and bring the water to … Read More

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Chicken with Sherry and Morels

Yield: 4 main course servings

This is a poor man’s version of the very elegant French regional dish, chicken with vin jaune/Chateau Chalon. You can make it with dried, fresh, or canned morels.


  • 8 chicken thighs with bone in and skin on (you can use any chicken parts or even a whole chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups dry sherry Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • At least 1 cup dried morels, but more if you’ve got them (see note)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


Heat the butter in a large heavy casserole with a fitted lid over a medium heat. Add the chicken and lightly brown all over, about 20 minutes. Add the sherry, salt and pepper, and the dried morels (if you use fresh, add them later: I will tell you when). Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to low, and cover. Gently boil the chicken in the sherry for about 40 minutes, until it is very tender. If using fresh, frozen or canned morels, add them in the last 20 minutes or so of cooking. Remove the chicken and keep warm. You will probably have about 2 cups of sauce (sherry and … Read More

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Morel Mania

By Eugenia Bone


I have traveled all over the country in order to pick morel mushrooms. If I ever did the math, I would probably find out I was paying a lot more by hunting them than if I just bought them from a store. But then I’d miss out on the profound pleasures of the quiet hunt and the lusty pleasure of a stocked pantry.


Morels, which are the fruiting bodies of various species of fungi in the Morchella genus, are native to temperate forests—forests that endure a winter snow–across the northern hemisphere (though introduced morels grow in the southern hemisphere as well). They flush in the spring under dead trees, dying trees, and living trees. But people have found them growing in the weirdest places, like landscaping woodchips, fireplaces, even in cracks in a sheetrock wall. If you ask a mycologist where morels grow, he’ll tell you, “Wherever they want.”


My first morel hunt was with the New York Mycological Society, my local mushroom club. The club hunts an abandoned apple orchard that looks like one gigantic tick-infested bramble patch. Lots of people turn out for the foray, so not only is it arduous to find the morels, … Read More

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A Whole New Compost

A Whole New Compost

By Kirsten Jones Neff

Photo: Courtesy of Upper Valley Disposal Service

I am standing on a ridge above the Napa Valley, soaking up a million-dollar view. Perched halfway up the eastern hills, above the Silverado Trail and Calistoga, I am surrounded by rows of prime vineyards and gorgeous wine estates, gazing south over the valley floor, St. Helena, Yountville and Napa. On this clear day, Mt. Diablo looks as if I could reach out and touch it. And … I am at the dump.

Clover Flat Landfill is the tidiest and most beautiful dump I have ever seen. I am up here visiting with Christy Abreu, the public education director for Upper Valley Disposal Service (UVDS). Abreu’s family has run the disposal service for almost five decades, and she has made a career out of facing the environmental challenges of our time head on. Her college thesis project was to set up a campus-wide recycling program for the entire St. Mary’s College in Moraga, and in 1990 she came back to the family business to spearhead public education and outreach about the necessity and successes of UVDS’s environmentally sustainable practices and programs.

Calistoga, served by UVDS, … Read More

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Eat Local Guide Spring 2012

Eat Local Guide

Restaurants, cafés and seafood bars selected because of their emphasis on using local, seasonal ingredients.


Beth’s Community Kitchen

Home to Beth’s famous “Heavenly Little Cookies” and an array of other irresistible baked goods including “the flakiest croissants this side of Paris” and pecan tarts. Also offering lunch and dinner specials for take away. Try our “chicken in a cloud.” Serving breakfast, lunch & dinner daily except Tu. 34 Miller Ave., Mill Valley; 415.383.3991;


Cibo (pronounced “Chee–bo”) = food. We hold a simplistic vision for how food should be purchased, prepared and enjoyed. Cibo serves breakfast, lunch and weekend dinners, using ingredients sourced locally and seasonally in Marin. Enjoy the housemade specialties and Blue Bottle coffee inside our historic space or dine outside at the café tables. Serving breakfast & lunch daily 7am–5pm; extended summer hours F–Su until 9pm. 1201 Bridgeway, Sausalito; 415.331.2426;

El Paseo

The romantic, ivy covered restaurant centrally located in downtown Mill Valley dates back to 1948. Partners Sammy Hagar and Tyler Florence have transformed the iconic space into “El Paseo—House of Chops.” With Executive Chef Preston Clark at the helm, the menu focuses on chop house classics featuring locally sourced … Read More

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Tips of the Trade

Tips of the Trade

By David and Monica Stevens

Because we work in the wine industry and are surrounded by wine and wine professionals every day, we take for granted that generally wine-savvy people and “foodies” understand wine terminology and possess a more-than-basic understanding of how to properly cellar and serve wine. So, our regular feature for edible Marin & Wine Country usually tells the stories of the people behind the many wonderful and unique wines being produced in our area.

But during a recent dinner conversation with friends including Gibson Thomas, the publisher and editor of edible Marin & Wine Country, we learned that “tips of the trade” in these critical areas might not be as widely known as they should. More than a few times during the evening Gibson said to us, “You should tell our readers that!” So, here you go!

Proper Wine Storage

The two greatest enemies of stored wine are heat and light.

If wine is subjected to high temperatures for an extended period, or to inconsistencies or spikes in temperature, the wine can expand—causing the cork to pop up a bit underneath the capsule and push some of the wine out through the … Read More

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It’s Spring Cleaning Time

It’s Spring Cleaning Time

Photos: Sean Dagen Photography,

Many cultures around the world practice the ancient ritual of a spring clean. The tradition signifies the clearing out of the old, especially in regions with cold, dark and wet winters, and making way for the new. Most of us associate a spring clean with our living spaces, but an increasing number of people are marking the beginning of spring as an opportunity to cleanse their internal bodies, as well.

After the heavier foods that we tend to gravitate towards during the winter months, not to mention a holiday season that kicks off with Thanksgiving and continues through Valentine’s Day, by spring our digestive systems and livers can surely use a break. Proponents of internal cleanses say they promote healthy body weight, clear skin and well-being, reverse signs of aging, boost the immune system, increase energy, reduce allergies, improve endocrine functions, regulate blood pressure, combat viruses and help to alleviate symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome in women.

There are many types of cleanses to choose from—from raw food only, to juices, to the so-called “master cleanse” that prescribes days of ingesting only a mixture of water, maple syrup, lemon juice and cayenne … Read More

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