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FENNEL-Y POTATOES

Yield 8 servings
¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
4 ounces fennel fronds, thickest stems removed, rinsed and drained well
2 ounces spinach, stemmed, washed thoroughly to remove all grit and drained well
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 pounds new potatoes or fingerlings
2 tablespoons kalamata olives, drained well and roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread walnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast until aromatic and golden, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

Combine nuts, fennel fronds, spinach, cheese, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice in food processor and purée. (You might need to do this in a couple batches, depending on the size of the food processor bowl.) Add a touch more olive oil if needed to achieve a smooth consistency.

Stir in yogurt and season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.

Thin out with a bit of water if needed to achieve a good pouring consistency.

Boil potatoes in a pot of well-salted water until a knife inserted into the fattest potato meets … Read More

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RADISH AND CARROT TOP PESTO TOASTS

This garlicky pesto makes an almost instant appetizer that will keep diners guessing at the greens. You can also use the pesto slathered on bread, or as a topping for pasta, pizza or a winter soup. Note that three cloves of garlic give a pronounced garlic flavor to the spread.

Makes 24 toasts
¼ cup walnuts
¼ cup pecans
1–3 cloves garlic (to taste) diced
1 cup carrot tops, lightly chopped
1 cup radish tops, lightly chopped
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup grated Asiago cheese
¼ cup olive oil, plus more for topping bread slices
Salt and pepper to taste
French baguette (or rustic loaf )
Preheat oven to 350°.

Place nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until fragrant, to bring out their flavor. Let nuts cool briefly before coarsely chopping them with garlic in the food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until desired consistency (I prefer to retain some texture). Spoon the pesto into a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut baguette in ½-inch-thick slices and place on a cookie tray. Brush lightly with olive oil. Broil for 2 minutes. Remove toasts from oven and … Read More

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GREEN BEANS WITH WALNUT BROWN BUTTER

Serves 6 to 8
6 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1½ pound green beans, trimmed
½ cup unsalted butter
⅓ cup toasted walnuts
Salt and pepper, to taste

Place a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add the water and salt. Bring to a low boil. Add the trimmed green beans and reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the green beans are crisp tender. Drain and return to the Dutch oven.

While green beans cook, place butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter turns a nutty brown. Strain mixture in a fine sieve to remove solids, or gently spoon oil from the pan, leaving solids. Add walnuts to browned butter. Pour over green beans and toss.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve.

Serves 6… Read More

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Balsamic Roasted Figs with Vegetables

When you are tired of eating fresh figs, try cooking them for a savory side dish. The earthy flavors of the figs pair very well with the sweet acidity of the
balsamic vinegar.

Serves 8
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced shallots
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup parsnips, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces*
1 cup sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces 1 inch wide by 2
inches long
Salt and pepper
2–3 sprigs thyme, plus some for garnishing
2–3 sprigs rosemary, plus some for garnishing
8 fresh figs, halved
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400°.

*Cut the thick ends of the parsnips in half so that all of the vegetables are roughly the same size (1 inch wide by 2 inches long). Pour olive oil into a medium-size roasting pan; add shallots, garlic, parsnips, sweet potatoes, salt, pepper and herb sprigs. Gently toss to coat with olive oil.

Cover with foil and roast in oven 20 minutes. Remove foil, stir, add figs and balsamic and roast an additional 15 minutes, approximately. Remove when vegetables are tender; pull out herb sprigs and discard. Taste and adjust seasonings, and garnish with additional thyme and chopped rosemary leaves.… Read More

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VEGAN NUT AND SEED PATÉ

This recipe comes courtesy of Patagonia’s chef  Tracy On.

Makes 3 cups
2 cups leeks, cleaned and sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 cups roasted, unsalted pistachios
½ cup sprouted watermelon seeds
¾ cup flat Italian leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos

Sauté the first three ingredients until leeks are soft and tender. Cool slightly. In a food processor fitted with a blade, combine vegetables and remaining ingredients. Pulse until mixture becomes similar in consistency to cookie dough. The paté can be molded and served with a light salad or as a spread with crackers or crudité… Read More

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GRILLED STREET CORN

Serves 4

4 ears corn
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Chili powder
1 lime cut into wedges

Remove the husks and silk from the corn but don’t break off the stalk end of the cob, so you have a handle.

Mix mayonnaise, sour cream and cilantro together and reserve.

Grill the corn on a hot grill or on a cast-iron grill pan until slightly charred on all sides.

While corn is still warm, slather each ear with the mayonnaise mixture, squeeze lime juice over the corn and cover with Parmesan.

Dust with the chili powder, as desired, and serve with lime wedges.… Read More

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BEETS WITH ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER

Garcia advises cooks to roast red beets separately from all other beets, as they will stain the lighter-colored varieties.

Serves 4–6 as a salad

2 pounds beets, cleaned and trimmed
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons oil
1 pint water
2 large navel oranges, chilled
3 tablespoons green onion, white and green parts,
thinly sliced on a bias
2 tablespoons whole tarragon leaves
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
1–2 tablespoons orange blossom water, to taste
½ tablespoon sugar
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup walnut halves, toasted

Preheat oven to 350°.

Toss beets, salt and oil together in medium mixing bowl. Put beets in a high-sided roasting pan and add enough water to cover beets halfway.

Cover roasting pan with aluminum foil. Bake beets until fork tender. Smaller beets will take about 30 to 45 minutes; larger beets, about 60 minutes. Allow to cool 5 to 10 minutes.

Use a clean kitchen towel, or your hands, to rub the skin off the beets. Cut each beet into 4 wedges. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 30 minutes. While the beets are chilling, cut rind from the oranges to expose the flesh. Using a sharp … Read More

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Garlic Mashed Potatoes

It is easy to infuse a gentle garlic flavor into mashed potatoes. Just add a couple of fresh garlic cloves to the potato pot and then mash the cloves with the potatoes before serving.

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut in 2-inch cubes

2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into quarters

1/2 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt

5 tablespoons whole milk

2 tablespoons butter

Kosher salt or fine sea salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

Place the potato cubes along with the fresh garlic pieces in a medium saucepan, cover with water and add ½ teaspoon salt. Over medium-high heat bring the potatoes to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, 15–20 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain the potatoes completely, return them to the pan and immediately add the whole milk and the butter. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or a hand mixer until you achieve the consistency you desire. (Do not over-beat or potatoes will get gluey.) Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm. … Read More

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Braised Red Cabbage and Beets with Lavender

2 cups onion, cut into long strips

¼ cup olive oil

4 cups red cabbage, cut into strips

1 cup shredded beets

¼ cup maple syrup

½ cup red wine vinegar

Sprig of rosemary or 1 teaspoon rosemary

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon thyme

¼ teaspoon lavender flowers

½ cup orange juice

½ cup red wine

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Slice the onions and set aside. Slice the cabbage and place in a bowl, along with the grated beets. Saute onions in the olive oil over low heat for about 15 minutes, or until completely limp and translucent. Toss the cabbage and beets with the maple syrup and vinegar, set aside for 30 minutes. Add to the onions and cook for another 15 minutes.  Add the rosemary, bay leaf, thyme, lavender, orange juice and red wine, turn the heat up to medium and cook another 15 minutes, until the liquid is syrupy and the cabbage is tender. Stir occasionally and then more often towards the end. Remove rosemary sprig and bay leaf. Add salt and pepper and drizzle with a little more olive oil, if you’d like.… Read More

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VERDURA: Greens

INGREDIENTS

2 bunches greens, such as spinach or chard, washed thoroughly
2 Tbs. salt
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tsp. red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS

Place greens while still wet in a large saucepan. Sprinkle with salt. Place over high heat and cover. Cook until greens are thoroughly wilted. Drain and reserve. May be cooked up to 4 hours in advance.

Place olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a sauté pan. Place over medium heat. Cook until garlic is golden. Add greens and stir to coat with olive oil. Heat until greens are heated through. Serve alongside any main dish or as an appetizer.

Serves 8.… Read More

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