Archive | Condiments


Serves: 10 (¼ cup serving)
3 ripe avocados, diced (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 vine-ripe tomatoes, seeded, diced
2 tablespoons red onion, diced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
¼ teaspoon sea salt

In medium bowl, combine diced avocado and lemon juice to prevent browning.

Add remaining ingredients and lightly mash with fork to a chunky consistency.

Calories per serving: 80
Calorie equivalent: 2 fats

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Makes 6 half-pint jars

8 cups strawberries, washed and hulled
5 cups sugar
½ teaspoon unsalted butter
5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Cut large strawberries in half (small strawberries can stay whole) and place in a large stainless steel pot. Stir in the sugar and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and add the butter. Lower heat to medium-low and gently boil the jam for about 40 minutes until thickened and soft jam-like consistency.

Stir in the balsamic vinegar.

To prepare half-pint jars and lids: Heat the jars and lids in water until almost boiling; keep hot. Simmer lids in a small pan of water to soften the seal. Remove the jars and fill with the hot jam, leaving ½- to ¾-inch headspace. With a damp paper towel, wipe the rims of the jars and place a lid and band on each jar. Tighten until finger tight. Place in a water bath on a rack and add boiling water to cover jars by 3 inches. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Gently boil jars for 10 minutes. Remove the cover, allow the jars to sit for 5 minutes, then remove the jars from … Read More

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When I start to eat raw food after a detox, this dress­ing is a “must have.” It’s based on a recipe from Truth Calkins.

                        1 large bunch organic cilantro

                        1 organic yellow onion

                        1 organic jalapeño pepper

                        7 ounces organic gluten-free tamari

                        4 ounces organic flaxseed oil

                        4 ounces olive oil

                        7 ounces apple cider vinegar

                        1 teaspoon marine phytoplankton

                        1 teaspoon ashitaba

                        1 teaspoon chlorella (single-cell green algae)

                        4 squirts superionic water

                        I squirt stevia (sugar substitute)

Cut jalapeño pepper, cilantro and onion into chunks. Put in blender. Add tamari, flaxseed oil, olive oil, apple cider vinegar. Then add marine phytoplankton, ashitaba, chlorella, superionic and stevia. Blend well.

It makes a lot and it lasts a long time kept in refriger­ator. Shake well before drinking.

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Lemon Curd

This is an untraditional way of making lemon curd, but it works well and is nearly foolproof as long as you keep stirring and don’t let it boil. Lemon curd is delicious on plain cookies, crackers, toast or English muffins. You can make a double batch and use it as a filling for lemontart or lemon meringue pie. You can swirl it into sour cream as a cheesecake topping. That is, if you can resist simply eating it with a spoon…

• ¾ to 1 cup sugar, depending on how tart or sweet you like it
• 6 tablespoons butter, softened
• 2 large eggs
• 2 large egg yolks
• ⅔ cup fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Cream sugar and butter together with an electric mixer until smooth, then add eggs and egg yolks and beat again.

Mix in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled, but don’t worry—it will come back together when heated. Put the mixture in a medium saucepan and heat over moderately low heat, stirring constantly. Do not let the mixture boil.

Cook until thickened—when the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. This will take about 10 to … Read More

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Pickled Avocados

Pickling a fruit is a time-honored way to preserve it for future enjoyment. I’ve experimented with pickling avocados in the refrigerator and they turn out salty and vinegary with a garlic hit as well as a small kick from the chile. It’s an excellent way to take advantage of those opportunities when a neighbor gives you extra avocados or you find them on sale in the market.

2 or 3 ripe (but not too ripe) avocados

½ cup red wine vinegar

⅓ cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons sugar

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

1 or 2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and sliced thinly

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine all ingredients except for the avocados. Bring to a boil for about 2 minutes, stirring to make sure sugar and salt are dissolved. Cool mixture to room temperature. When the pickling liquid is cool, peel and pit avocados. You can make large chunks or slices according to preference.

Put the avocado into a shallow dish and pour the pickling liquid over it. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. The avocados are ready to eat the next day and can last a long time in … Read More

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Notes: Sprouted garbanzo beans are available from Ojai’s Farmer Market. Anna’s recipe for the humus is also on her website, Her various recipes for risotto appear throughout her three cookbooks. This one is from her latest, The New Vegetarian Epicure. Jeri Oshima operates Four Worlds catering service: 805-646-9660. The green beans are as simple to make as they sound. Bariani Olive Oil, is available in Ojai at Westridge Market & Rainbow Bridge.

Hummus is a favorite appetizer at my house. A generous bowl of hummus served with pita triangles, a plate of crudités, a bowl of olives and some nice wine can take care of everyone for a long while as you cook dinner. And remember – all of this stuff makes great picnic food, too.

  • 1/2 lb. sprouted garbanzo beans
  • salt
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 4-6 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • pinch of piment d’esplette, or hot paprika
  • optional garnish: 2 Tbs. virgin olive oil

Put the garbanzos in a stainless steel pot with about 3 cups water and half a teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, skim the foam off the top, then turn down the heat and simmer for … Read More

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Strawberry Jam in a Day
From Elizabeth Del Negro and Cheryl Palmer

Along the way, 75 miles up Highway 101 to Helmut Klauer’s Classic Organic farm, we spoke of local food and how lucky we are to eat fresh from the farm, to have friends who drop by with homemade bread and to know the Ojai winemakers. We mused that the reach of local food goes beyond our little food community in Ventura County. From Ojai, the 100-mile “local” extends through Santa Barbara and down to Los Angeles—lucky for us, since our valley is too hot for growing strawberries in summer, and lucky for them we have heirloom tomatoes in June.

Makes approximately 5 pints

8 cups of ripe strawberries picked that day, washed and hulled (do not use old, overly ripe berries)
3–4 cups organic sugar (to taste)
1 box Pomona’s Universal Pectin
(4 teaspoons calcium water, 4 teaspoons pectin powder)
2 lemons
For canning you will need:
Large canner
5 glass pint jars with lids and rings
Jar grabber and lid magnet
Tea towels
Ladle and large spoon
Jar funnel

Step one:

Prepare jars. Wash and sterilize jars. Bring lids to a boil and let stand in hot … Read More

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From Robin Goldstein*

Dukkah is a crumbly nut and spice blend from Egypt. It’s really good on roasted veggies and potatoes but also great sprinkled on soups and in salads. This version is made with pistachios, but you can substitute other nutssuch as hazelnuts or walnuts.

Yields about 1 cup.
½ cup pistachios
¼ cup coriander seeds
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried mint leaves
1 teaspoon salt

Heat a heavy skillet over high heat, add the pistachios and dry-toast until slightly browned and fragrant, being careful that they don’t burn. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Repeat the procedure with each of the seeds and the peppercorns. Allow each ingredient to cool completely.

Place the nuts and seeds, along with the mint and salt, into a mortar and pound until the mixture is crushed, or pulse in a coffee grinder to a coarse consistency.

Do not allow the mixture to become a paste. Store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 1 month.

* Robin Goldstein is a professional chef. Contact her at 805-284-4264 or

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By Melinda Palacio
for Roberto at Babita’s Restaurant and for Eddie

Roberto knows the tricky fruit is best
used in jam. He doesn’t listen to
culinary norms, but tries it
in a port sauce on a rack of lamb.

The fruit looks like a lemon gone wrong,
to be a sweet pear.

Its name squeezes member and embryo:
Not too pretty to a foreign ear,
but music to my native tongue.

I stick my finger into sweet paste,
taste brilliance paired with manchego

An ounce of quince and a second
of sweetness to forgive
the sorrows of a lost home.

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This recipe will serve about 12 hungry people. My friend, Steve, is a purist and blends his aioli by hand, but a food processor will do the job as well. Make as many batches as needed for your fete.

One head of garlic, cloves peeled
Two egg yolks, at room temperature
One “big fat pinch” of coarse salt
One liter of olive oil, at room temperature

Purée garlic and salt in a food processor, or by hand with a mortar and pestle. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl until light or smooth, and add the puréed garlic. Blend into a smooth paste.

While still blending, either by hand or in a food processor, pour the oil very slowly into the mixture in a steady stream, blending constantly. Continue blending until you obtain a thick, shiny, firm sauce — a minute or so. It is best to have all the ingredients at room temperature. If the aioli separates, stop adding oil and mix until the ingredients come together. Use within a day.

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