Tag Archives | Summer 2009 Recipes


10 new potatoes, about 2 pounds, sliced 1/4 inch thick
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
4 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
1/2 cup shallots, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup packed chervil leaves, chopped (parsley can be used instead)

You will need: a steamer and a
pot, measuring cups and spoons,
medium-sized bowl
Place your steamer basket in the
bottom of a pot and add water just to
the level of the bottom of the steamer
basket. Keep in mind that you may
need to add more water partway
through cooking the potatoes.

Scrub but do not peel them. Slice
each potato in half lengthwise, then
cut into 1/4-inch slices. Place the
unpeeled garlic, bay leaves and
potato slices immediately into the
steamer basket and cook until tender
but not falling apart. This may take
30 to 45 minutes. Remember to add
more water if needed.

While the potatoes are cooking,
mince the shallots and chop the

To make the dressing: Begin by
combing the salt, pepper, shallots,
garlic, mustard and vinegar in a small
bowl. Stir in the olive oil.

To assemble: Place the warm… Read More

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Yield: about 2 cups

This is an American twist on a traditional Croatian recipe. Kajmak—a
type of clotted cream made by simmering unpasteurized milk—is
traditionally served plain on dense, dark breads such as rye or
pumpernickel. But equally smooth, rich and creamy and much easier
to make is this recipe for imitation kajmak. Best of all, it’s perfect for
“doctoring-up” with your favorite flavors.

8 ounces cream cheese, cut into quarters
8 ounces unsalted butter, cut into quarters
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mixed, chopped fresh herbs (such as basil, parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme, tarragon, lavender, marjoram, etc.)
1 clove garlic, finely minced (optional)
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Bring the cream cheese and the butter to room temperature and
place in a medium bowl along with the salt. Using a hand mixer or
a fork, whip until well blended. The spread should be light, smooth
and fluffy.

Add the herbs, garlic, salt and pepper and stir together until well
blended. Serve with thin baguette slices or crackers.

Cook’s notes: The basic cream cheese and butter mixture can be
transformed into a variety of flavors. Add some chopped olives, sundried
tomatoes and capers. Or stir in … Read More

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Serves 8 hungry people as a topping, side dish or a sauce

“What grows together goes together.” That catchy phrase describes
why a version of this recipe is found throughout the entire
Mediterranean region. And that’s why it’s the perfect dish to make
after a summer Sunday trip to the Ojai Farmers’ Market or after a
raid on your own, or a friend’s, veggie garden.

2 medium eggplant, diced (about 2-1/2 pounds)
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 small zucchini, diced
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4–6 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (about 2 pounds)
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 cup basil, chopped

Place the eggplant in a colander, sprinkle with salt and let rest for
15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over
medium heat and add the onion, peppers and garlic. Sauté until
the onion is translucent and the peppers begin to soften, about 7

Rinse and drain the eggplant and pat dry with paper towels. Add
the eggplant and continue to sauté until the eggplant … Read More

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5 quarts whole goat milk
1 cup cultured buttermilk
2 tablespoons diluted rennet*

Warm milk to 80°. Stir in buttermilk
and mix well.

Add 2 tablespoons of diluted
rennet mixture. Stir well and cover.

Let set at room temperature for
8–12 hours.

Cheese is ready to drain when it
looks like thickened yogurt. Curds
may have a thin layer of whey
floating on top.

Use a muslin cheesecloth or cotton
pillowcase cloth to drain the curds.

Line a large bowl or pan with the
cloth. Pour curds into the center of
cloth. Hang to drain for 6–8 hours.

When dripping has stopped,
cheese is ready. It should be the
consistency of cream cheese.

*(Dilution = 3 drops of
liquid rennet into 1 cup
of cool water. Rennet
can be purchased from

  • To speed up draining, scrap
    the sides of the bag towards
    the center several times
    during the draining process.
  • Cheese is soft and mild.
    It can be seasoned with a
    variety of fresh herbs or
  • Cheese keeps well,
    refrigerated, for 2 weeks.
  • Use heavy freezer bags,
    remove excess air before
    sealing. Freeze unseasoned
    in one-pound packages.
  • Keeps well frozen for up
    to 6 months. Do not
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Try experimenting with different honey flavors in this recipe. You’ll be amazed at the subtle differences in taste.

16 egg yolks
1-1/2 cups of local honey
2 quarts organic half and half
1 pint organic cream
2 teaspoons lemon rind (no pith)
2 tablespoons preserved lemon, chopped fine
1 cup honey

You’ll also need:
3 large bowls, one larger than the others, preferably nonreactive
A chinois or large sieve
4- to 6-quart durable container with lid
An electric ice cream maker

First, set up the largest bowl
with ice water, placing the
second bowl on top of it. Have
the chinois or sieve close by.

Place the separated egg
yolks in the third large,
nonreactive bowl. Add the
1- 1/2 cups of honey and mix
well. Place a towel or rubber
mat under the bowl to keep
it steady during tempering.

In a large saucepan, heat the
half and half, cream and lemon
rind until hot to the touch, but
not boiling. Remove from heat.

With a large ladle, temper the
hot cream into the egg mixture
one ladle at a time with your left
hand. Quickly beat the mixture
with a whisk with your right
hand. Repeat this … Read More

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From Karen Evenden

For a new twist on your favorite recipes, try
adding a pinch of culinary lavender. The slightly
floral and gentle flavor of the variety known as
Provence will almost always provide a welcome
background flavor to dishes that feature citrus
as well as berries and stone fruits. Hint: Use
an herb mill or mortar and pestle to break up
dry lavender to release its flavor and aroma.

A word of caution: Use only lavender that has
been identified as “culinary lavender.” There are
more than 200 varieties of lavender and many
of them have an intense perfume, medicinal,
bitter or soapy taste.


2 cups lavender simple syrup (recipe follows)
1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
5 cups water
Lavender sprigs for garnish (optional)

In a 2-quart pitcher, combine the simple
syrup, the lemon juice and the water. Pour
into glasses that have been filled with ice cubes.


2 cups sugar
2 cups water
¼ cup culinary lavender buds

Combine the sugar and the water in a small
saucepan and bring to a boil. Continue to
boil for a few minutes, or until all the sugar
has dissolved. Remove from the heat and
stir … Read More

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From Randy Graham

I like to think I’m a good cook.
But when it comes to speaking
foreign languages, I know my
limitations. More than once
I’ve made a fool of myself by
mispronouncing the dishes I
bring to our dining table. Take
the word gnocchi, for instance.
Gnocchi is a small potato
dumpling originating in Italy. I
know that. I also know how to
prepare it. But the first time I
did and proudly brought plates
to the table announcing, “Your
yon-kee is served,” my wife and
son laughed out loud. I tried
again, this time pronouncing
it “ga-noh-kee.” More laughter.

Our son, Robert, who had been
working at an upscale restaurant
in Northern California, stopped
laughing long enough to teach me
to accurately pronounce gnocchi.
I now say “NOH-kee,” which
is close enough. Robert has my
passion for cooking. One day, at
our new home in Ojai, he and
I experimented with various
gnocchi sauces until we got one
just right. Here’s what we created:


14 ounces dried porcini mushrooms (re-hydrated)
14 ounces dried oyster mushrooms (re-hydrated)
4 tablespoons sweet butter
1 cup white wine
3 cups heavy cream
½ teaspoon … Read More

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From Candice Erickson

2 ounces pineapple vodka
Splash of triple sec
¼ cup fresh-cut pineapple, half an inch thick
4–5 large leaves of fresh basil
3 lemon wedges, quartered
Splash of pineapple juice

Put fresh pineapple and basil into a martini shaker and muddle
together; crushing the basil to opens up its color and flavor. Fill
shaker with ice and add the rest of the ingredients, squeezing
the lemon wedges and dropping them in for the shake.

Vigorously shake and strain into a martini glass. The cocktail
should appear green and taste delicious! Pineapple and basil
make a very complementary pair—the herbaceous spice of
the basil combined with the tropical sweetness of pineapple.

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From The Oaks at Ojai

This is a perfect foil for all of those summer cherry tomatoes and
herbs—the fresh mint is absolutely necessary; dried dill will do if
fresh is not available (reduce it to 2 teaspoons). It is also a highprotein
salad for a hot summer’s day and can be used for an entrée
when it is too hot to cook!

1½ cups shelled edamame (soybeans), approx. ½ pound
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1½ tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces (¼ cup) Feta cheese, crumbled
Pinch of black pepper
Mixed greens or butter lettuce

Steam the soybeans about five minutes or until crisp
tender. Drain and chill while preparing other ingredients.

Add everything together once the soybeans have cooled
and toss gently to avoid damaging the tomatoes. Serve
over mixed greens or in a butter lettuce leaf “cup.”

6 servings, ½ cup each

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