Tag Archives | Spring 2012 Recipes



Photo by Derek Punaro | Dreamstime.com

By Ryan Thornburg, Executive Chef
and owner of Thornburg & Company

1 bunch of ramps
½ cup pine nuts (toasted)
½ cup olive oil
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Sea salt
A squirt of lemon

Wash and cut off the leaves of the ramps. Blanch the ramp leaves in boiling water, and remove to an ice bath.

Remove ramp leaves from water and squeeze out excess water. Chop the ramps and pine nuts just a bit and put them in the food processor. Add Parmigiano cheese and a dash of salt and pepper.

Pouring the olive oil in slowly, process contents until they combine.

Add lemon and taste for seasoning.

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Photo by Derek Punaro | Dreamstime.com

By Ryan Thornburg, Executive Chef
and owner of Thornburg & Company

1 cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup sugar
½ cup honey
1 cup water
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dried hot chili flake
1 bay leaf
2 pounds ramps, cleaned and trimmed
Kosher salt for blanching
1 tablespoon salt for the pickling liquid

Trim the ends off the ramps and cut down the leaves, leaving about ¼ inch of green, saving the green ends for another purpose. Wash the ramps under cool running water.

Blanch the ramps quickly by dropping them in a large pot of salted, boiling water for 30 seconds. Then shock them in ice water. Drain the ramps well and place them in a jar.

Combine the vinegar, salt, sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf, mustard seeds, coriander, peppercorns, chili flakes and fennel seeds.

Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the ramps in the jar and let cool, sealing tight and transferring to the refrigerator.

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Photo by Machel Spence | SpencePhotography.com

By Ryan Thornburg, Executive Chef
and owner of Thornburg & Company

Kosher salt
2 pounds fiddlehead ferns, trimmed and washed
¼ pound pancetta, cut into small dice
6 tablespoons brown butter
Salt and pepper
½ lemon
1 tablespoon capers

Blanching the fiddleheads takes away the bitter flavor: Have a medium bowl half-filled with ice water ready as you bring a large pot containing 2 quarts water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Cook the fiddleheads for 1 minute, drain in a colander and then submerge in the ice water until completely cool. Then drain well in a colander and wrap the fiddleheads in a clean kitchen towel to dry.

Place the diced pancetta in a medium skillet and sauté on low heat until crispy and fat has been rendered. Drain on paper towel and reserve.

Lightly brown the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the fiddleheads and toss gently, adding ½ teaspoon salt and the pepper. Heat for a minute or 2 until they are warm. Remove from heat and add squeezed lemon and capers. Sprinkle with crispy pancetta and serve.

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Photo by Machel Spence | SpencePhotography.com

By Ryan Thornburg, Executive Chef
and owner of Thornburg & Company

6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 pound bread, preferably baguette, ½-inch cubed
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into ½-inch pieces
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large shallot, finely diced
½ pound morel mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped
4 large eggs
⅓ cup finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons sage leaves, chopped
2 cups freshly grated Gruyère cheese

Preheat oven to 350° and lightly grease an 8-by-12-inch baking or gratin dish.

Combine the garlic, cream and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then remove from the heat and set aside to steep for about 5 minutes.

Lay bread on a large baking sheet to dry out slightly. Pour the milk through a strainer into a bowl, discarding the garlic, and let it sit while you prepare the vegetables.

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lightly salt the water and add the asparagus pieces; cook about 3 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp but still tender. Drain and plunge in … Read More

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Making this dish helps remove an invasive plant while whipping up a wonderful meal.

½ cup olive oil
A large handful of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata)
1 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Handful of sweet cicely

Throw the garlic mustard, sweet cicely, sunflower seeds and olive oil into a blender. Add Parmesan cheese, serve with pasta or rice or other whole grain.

Harvesting garlic mustard: This plant is an exotic invasive, so contrary to the information above about sustainable harvesting, you should take out the entire plant including the roots early in the season before it has a chance to flower.

Young first leaves are best for pesto (and for salads or as a steamed green). Use only the leaves for this recipe. Do not leave or compost the roots—they can re-establish themselves if left on the ground! (Look for more information at www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Plants.Folder/Garlic% 20Mustard.html

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From Simply in Season, expanded edition
by Mary Beth Lind & Cathleen Hockman-Wert
(Copyright 2009 by Herald Press, Harrisonburg, VA 22802)

4 cups finely chopped rhubarb
2 cups finely chopped sorrel or sliced strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup water
1½ cups flour (may substitute part oat bran)
1½ cups rolled oats
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup butter
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup walnuts or other nuts, chopped (optional)

Combine rhubarb, sorrel, sugar, orange peel and vanilla in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium- high heat, then reduce to medium and cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Dissolve cornstarch in water. Add to rhubarb mixture and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Set aside.

Mix together remaining ingredients until crumbly.

Place about 3½ cups of this crumb mixture into greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan and press to make an even layer. Pour in rhubarb/sorrel mixture and spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over top. Bake in preheated oven at 350° for 30–40 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.

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Photography by David Johnson

Adapted from Edible, A Celebration of Local Foods (John Wiley & Sons, 2010)

When these lamb chops come off the grill, you might just be tempted to call them “lollichops”— they smell and look so tempting, you’ll want to eat them out of hand right off the bone. During grilling, the marinade creates a slightly crusty, mildly sweet and incredibly delicious coating that will entice everyone—even people who think they don’t like lamb. If you prefer to keep the lamb rack whole, to be cut into chops after grilling, just increase the cooking time accordingly.

¼ cup unsweetened coconut milk
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons mint tea leaves, or fresh mint, chopped
2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed, or dried thyme
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 rack of lamb, Frenched, cut into single chops (8–9 chops)

In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, maple syrup, garlic, mint, rosemary, pepper and salt. In a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, spread the mixture evenly. Add the lamb chops in a single layer, rubbing the surfaces of each chop with the marinade. Cover the pan with foil … Read More

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Bowl by Todd Pletcher Pottery – Photography by David Johnson

This is a salad that can change through the year as new items come into season. For instance, you might replace the mint with fresh dill and add colorful squares of chopped red pepper when they arrive this summer.

6 cups cooked rice, cooled
¼ cup chopped garlic scapes
¼ cup chopped chives
1 cup artichoke hearts, cut into small pieces
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
⅓ cup chopped fresh mint
½ cup dried apricots (chopped) or golden raisins
⅔ cup olive oil
½ cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped

Place rice in a large salad bowl along with garlic scapes, chives, artichoke hearts, parsley, mint, and apricots or raisins. Toss. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, minced garlic and finely chopped parsley.

Pour a small amount of this vinaigrette over the rice mixture and then slowly add more as desired. Serve on a bed of lettuce.

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Photography by David Johnson



You don’t need tabbeh (a beautifully carved wooden mold for making maamoul at home) to make maamoul, but the molds are traditionally used to give the cookies their distinctive shapes and ornate designs. Circular molds are traditionally used for date maamoul and oblong for nut maamoul. Some bakers shape maamoul by hand or use the tines of a fork or a metal pincher to decorate the cookies. Other bakers make a simple bar cookie variation on maamoul (maamoul madd) with a layer of filling between shortbread crusts.

You can make maamoul dough with all-purpose flour, but many recipes call for the addition or substitution of semolina (a coarse flour made from durum wheat, a hard or high-protein wheat) or farina (a coarse flour made from soft wheat). Helen Elia uses a mix of semolina and farina in her maamoul. Heba Said makes her maamoul with cake flour, which she finds makes the dough very tender.

Some recipes use a small amount of yeast in the dough. Instant yeast, which I used in these recipes, does not need to be dissolved in liquid prior to mixing with other ingredients. If you do … Read More

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This is a variation of the signature starter dish at a favorite restaurant in Chicago, Blackbird. With hash browns under greens, bacon bits and a poached egg on top, then a touch of light vinaigrette make this almost a complete breakfast-style salad. Using a regular poached egg makes this a great lunch, but it is also a perfect starter salad for a sit-down dinner. When doing the latter, I more often use a poached quail egg and reduce contents proportionally. Either way, it is worth the effort. Courtesy of Loren Shaum. Enjoy!

For the nest:

2 Russet potatoes, shredded and squeezed in paper towels to remove moisture.
1 egg white whisked with 1 tablespoon water
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil spray

For the eggs:

1 egg (chicken or quail) for each serving
4 cups water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

For the vinaigrette:

Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, crushed into paste
1/8 cup Champagne vinegar
½ cup or to taste extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Honey to taste

For the salad:

4 cups light lettuce greens (Oak lettuce, Romaine, Bibb lettuce, spinach, etc.), chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch green onions, finely … Read More

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