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gluten-free

Spring Greens & Herb Fritters

TIME: 30 MINUTES, SERVES: 6+
Adapted from Market Cooking by David Tanis

David Tanis’s original recipe calls for fennel fronds and spinach, which are also seasonal Spring veggies, and delicious in fritter-form. For this gluten-free version, I had an excess of pea shoots after our weekend farmers’ markets, and a bunch of dill and parsley. Truly, any combination of herbs and greens is delicious mixed with sharp cheese, egg, and then lightly fried. These are made with almond flour, but feel free to substitute equal amounts of bread crumbs.

INGREDIENTS

1 lb. mixed herbs and greens (I used pea shoots, dill, & parsley)
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup packed Parmesan, Pecorino, or other sharp cheese
1 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. sumac (opt.)
1 tsp. lemon zest
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Avocado oil, or other high-heat oil for frying

METHOD

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

  2. Add the herbs and greens and blanch for a minute to wilt. Transfer to a colander and rinse under cold water. Squeeze dry and finely chop. You should have about 1 cup of packed greens.

  3. Transfer chopped greens to a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients, minus the frying oil. Form into 2-inch diameter patties. If you don’t intend to serve all of them at once, save the mixture in the fridge for future frying.

  4. Pour the oil in a large, heavy-bottom pan to coat. Working in batches, fry the patties, turning once until golden, about 3 minutes on each side.

  5. Remove from heat and place on a paper towel. Serve warm alongside a mixture of crème fraîche, lemon zest and salt.

Scrambled Eggs & Nettles

TIME: 15 MINUTES; SERVES: 2

Stinging Nettles have to be my favorite Spring green.You most likely have seen them if you’ve walked through a wet or wooded area in April—maybe you’ve even had the pleasure of brushing up against one unknowingly!

Nettles are considered a “nutritive” herb—meaning they are incredibly nourishing and chock full of necessary vitamins & minerals. They are especially high in iron, magnesium and calcium, which are deficient in most American diets. They contain anti-inflammatory properties, and aid in both male and female reproductive, hormonal & urinary function. They are common in herbal tea blends & tinctures, however, they are also delicious substituted for spinach or delicate cooking greens in a variety of dishes—such as this simple breakfast!

If you know of a healthy nettle patch, handle with gloves and harvest the crowns with snips. Make sure to harvest before they go to seed, because they become difficult to digest. If you are unable to find them in the wild or at the market, substitute spinach or arugula. The stinging hairs dissolve when cooked, dried, or blended.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 pound Stinging Nettles (or substitute spinach, arugula, or other delicate cooking green)
1 bulb green garlic, 1 clove garlic, or 1 tbls. shallot, minced
4 eggs
A splash of heavy cream, or water
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 - 2 tbls. butter or ghee

METHOD

1. Remove the stinging nettle leaves from the stems with gloves.

2. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk. Add the salt, pepper, and splash of cream or water.

3. Heat 1 tbls. butter or ghee in a non-stick skillet.

3. When melted, add the green garlic (or garlic clove/shallot) and cook until fragrant.

4. Add the greens with a pinch of salt, and cook until wilted.

5. Move the greens and garlic to the side of the pan, and add another tbls. of butter to the empty side. Swirl to coat.

6. Pour the scrambled eggs into the empty portion of the pan—do not mix with the greens. Gently stir the eggs constantly with a wooden or rubber spatula to form fine curds. When the eggs are almost cooked through but still slightly wet, stir in the greens and remove from the heat. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

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Scrambled Eggs & Nettles with avocado, 2 salsas, and sauerkraut—a nourishing and filling breakfast!

Scrambled Eggs & Nettles with avocado, 2 salsas, and sauerkraut—a nourishing and filling breakfast!

Radicchio Salad with Lemon-Anchovy Dressing

TIME: 15 MINUTES; SERVES: 4

Salty anchovies, capers, and sharp cheese cut the bitterness of radicchio. Double the salad dressing because you’ll want to drown everything in it. This salad is delicious the following day, especially with leftover roast chicken or pork chops.

INGREDIENTS

1 small head radicchio, cored & chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 large handful arugula or Italian parsley leaves, or a mix
1/4 cup shaved hard, sharp cheese (Parmesan, Pecorino, Ricotta Salata…)
Vinaigrette
1 lemon, juiced
1 garlic clove, minced or grated
3 - 4 salt-packed anchovies, cleaned and minced into a paste (if blending, leave whole)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 - 2 tbls. sherry or red wine vinegar
1 tsp. capers, drained and chopped
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Mix together the vinaigrette ingredients, minus the salt. You can either whisk by hand, or blend with an immersion blender. If blending, stir in the capers at the end. Taste, and then add the salt at the very end, since the anchovies, capers, and cheese are already very salty.

  2. Place the radicchio and parsley/arugula leaves in a large, shallow salad bowl. Drizzle with half the vinaigrette and mix gently.

  3. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and scatter the shaved cheese over top.

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Mushroom-Gruyere Quiche with Almond Crust

TIME: 1 HOUR; SERVES: 6 - 8
Crust recipe adapted from ‘Dishing up the Dirt’

This is a variation of our Spring Quiche with Peas & Green Garlic, but isn’t dependent on Spring ingredients. If kale isn’t in season, use Swiss chard or other dark leafy greens. I used crimini mushrooms, but the royal trumpets from Woodland Jewel Mushrooms are my absolute favorite—grab a quart from our farm stand, a dozen pastured eggs, a few seasonal veggies and whip this up in under an hour!

INGREDIENTS

Crust
2 cups almond meal
2 - 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbls. fresh thyme, minced, or 1 tsp. dried
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
~1 1/2 tbls. water
Quiche 
1 tbls. ghee, butter, or olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms of choice, wiped clean & sliced
1/2 bunch kale or leafy green, de-stemmed and finely chopped
3 scallions, trimmed; white and green parts chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
A splash sherry vinegar
1/2 cup whole milk, half & half, or heavy cream
4 large eggs
1 cup Gruyere, Parmesan, or sharp cheddar, finely grated
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Grease a 10-inch tart pan, cast iron skillet, or 9-inch pie pan with oil or butter.

  3. In a mixing bowl, stir together the almond meal, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Pour in the olive oil and stir to thoroughly combine. Add the water, a little at a time, until the dough holds together.

  4. Press the dough into the prepared pan to evenly cover the bottom and at least 1 inch up the sides. Bake until the crust is slightly golden and firm to the touch, about 15 minutes.

  5. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the ghee/butter/oil to coat the pan. Cook the shallots, garlic, and mushrooms with a dash of salt, until softened. Add the kale and the sherry vinegar. If it seems too dry, add a tbls. of water or stock (but the moisture from the kale and mushrooms should be sufficient—you don’t want it to become soggy). Remove from heat.

  6. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk/cream, cheese, salt and pepper.

  7. Once the crust has finished baking, spread the veggie mixture on top. Pour in the egg mixture. Sprinkle on the scallions and bake for 30 minutes, or until the center is firm to the touch and cooked through.

  8. Let the quiche cool for 10 minutes before slicing with a sharp knife. Serve warm or cold.

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Cauliflower "Cake"

TIME: 1 HOUR, 15 MINS; SERVES: 6 - 8
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s, Plenty More

After making cauliflower purée from half of a large cauliflower head, I was searching for a dish to use the remaining half. Flipping through Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Plenty More, I found his recipe for Cauliflower Cake. Substituting almond flour for all-purpose makes it low-carb & gluten-free, and the addition of different spices and herbs produces a really lovely, vegetarian entrée.

I expected a very dense cake from the almond flour, but the quantity of eggs and baking powder produced a light, yet satisfying crumb—delicious paired with an arugula salad & simple vinaigrette. This cake is arguably better the following day, which makes it perfect for a quick lunch on the go.

INGREDIENTS

1 small cauliflower head, or half of a larger head, broken into florets
3 tbls. butter or ghee
2 large shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
1/8 tsp. black mustard seeds
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
7 large eggs
1 cup almond flour
1 1/2 cup aged, sharp cheddar or Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tbls. capers, chopped
2 tbls. sesame seeds
1 tbls. nigella seeds
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Bring a saucepan of generously salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and cook until tender, about 10 - 15 minutes. Drain and set aside in a colander to dry.

  3. Slice 4 rounds from the center of the shallots, and chop the rest. Add the butter to a heavy-bottom pan and heat over medium-low heat until frothy. Add the chopped shallots, garlic, fennel & mustard seeds, and a sprinkle of salt. Cook until browned & fragrant, stirring often. Remove from heat and cool.

  4. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the parsley, almond flour, baking powder, cheese, shallot mixture, turmeric, ~1 tsp. salt, and lots of fresh ground pepper. Mix until smooth before gently folding in the cauliflower florets.

  5. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan with butter. Trace the pan on parchment paper, and cut a circle to line the bottom. Mix the sesame & nigella seeds together, and sift them around the bottom and sides of the pan to coat.

  6. Pour in the cauliflower mixture and arrange the shallot slices on top. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  7. Remove and let cool for 15 - 20 minutes. Slide a knife around the edges to loosen. To remove from the pan, flip onto a plate, discard the parchment paper, and flip back over onto a serving platter.

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Coconut Yogurt

TIME: 10 minutes (plus time to culture) SERVES: 1 PINT

Coconut yogurt is a satisfying treat if you have a lactose intolerance, or are trying to minimize carbs. It is very rich, so I recommend eating just a couple spoonfuls at a time—it makes a great probiotic-filled snack, or topping for Chocolate-Avocado Pudding.

*Unlike the effervescent coconut yogurt from New Earth Superfoods or GT Dave’s CocoYo, this is mild & creamy—similar to Greek yogurt.

INGREDIENTS

1 can full-fat coconut milk (I’ve found the “Classic” Native Forest brand produces a better result than the “Simple”—I assume this is due to the guar gum)
2 probiotic capsules (I use this one because it is available in the refrigerated section of my grocery store.) Avoid probiotic pills, because they need to be crushed instead of opened & emptied

METHOD

  1. If your coconut milk has separated, pour into a bowl and mix thoroughly until emulsified and creamy. This is easier at room temperature.

  2. Open the probiotic capsules, empty them into the coconut milk and stir thoroughly.

  3. Cover loosely with a small plate or clean dish towl, and let sit at room temperature in a warm, dark place for a few days, until slightly soured and thickened, stirring once or twice per day.

  4. Transfer to the fridge with a tight fitting lid to further thicken.

  5. After it has cooled, it will be incredibly thick and ready to eat! You can then add your favorite flavorings, or enjoy as is.

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Chicken Soup with Lemon & Spinach

TIME: 4 HOURS; SERVES: ~6

This whole-chicken method is super flavorful and relatively quick—perfect if you have an old stew bird lying around. I’ll put the soup on to simmer around lunch, and by dinner, all I need to do is add the greens and lemon!

INGREDIENTS

1, 3 - 4 lb. whole chicken, or chicken parts
1 large yellow onion, unpeeled & quartered
1 entire head of garlic, unpeeled & cut crosswise
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 - 4 large carrots, roughly chopped
Handful parsley, leaves (finely chopped) and stems
1 tbls. peppercorns
Kosher salt
2 bay leaves
Splash of apple cider vinegar
Water, to cover
1 lemon, quartered
2 - 3 scallions, white and green parts trimmed & sliced
2 cups spinach
1 medium zucchini, sliced with a vegetable peeler into long, wide strips

METHOD

  1. Remove the chicken or chicken parts from the fridge an hour before cooking and sprinkle with kosher salt.

  2. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, place the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, parsley stems, peppercorns, bay leaf, apple cider vinegar, and 1 tbls. of kosher salt. If using a whole chicken, separate the breasts (this makes early removal from the soup much easier).

  3. Add the chicken or chicken parts and enough water to cover, about 3 quarts.

  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for about 25 minutes, until the breasts are cooked through.

  5. Remove the breasts and let cool. Remove the skin and shred the meat. Set aside.

  6. Continue cooking the soup over low for another 3 hours or so.

  7. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before straining through a colander over another pot or large bowl. Separate the dark meat from the carcass and add to the reserved breast meat.

  8. Bring the stock back to a boil, and add the zucchini, spinach, scallions, and parsley leaves. Cook for a couple minutes until the greens and zucchini are bright green. Turn off the heat and add the reserved chicken meat. Add the lemon wedges, squeezing the juice into the soup. Season to taste.

  9. Ladle into bowls. I like to top with a dollop of crème fraîche, but it is delicious on its own.

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Creamy Coconut-Broccolini Soup

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 4 - 6

This dairy-free soup is delicious in both the Spring or Fall—however, the natural sweetness of broccolini and spinach really shine after a touch of frost. In our Southeastern region of Pennsylvania, broccoli has a very short Spring growing window, since the weather quickly becomes too hot. This is one reason we choose to grow “flowering broccoli” or broccolini—the heads mature faster, and you harvest more than once off each plant.

The tender broccolini stems are especially delicious. If substituting large broccoli heads, make sure to peel the stalks before chopping, because they can be tough and fibrous. If you don’t have spinach, substitute arugula, mizuna, or other tender green—or forego the greens altogether and add more herbs!

*By swapping vegetable broth for chicken, this soup can easily be made vegan.

INGREDIENTS

4 tbls. unrefined coconut oil
1/2 tsp. each: fennel seed, black mustard seed, cumin seed, coriander seed
A dash cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 shallot or small yellow/white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 - 8 scallions or 2 leeks, trimmed & chopped
2 pounds broccolini, or 2 large heads broccoli, chopped
4 cups baby spinach
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1, 14-oz can full-fat coconut milk
1 quart chicken bone broth (or veggie broth, or water)
Juice from 1/2 lime, plus slices for serving
1 tbls. fish sauce (opt.)
Greek yogurt or crème fraîche, for serving (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Heat coconut oil in a heavy bottom soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat.

  2. Add the spices and let sizzle for a minute until fragrant.

  3. Add the alliums (onion, shallot, scallion, leek, garlic…) and broccolini. Cook, stirring often to avoid burning, until the broccolini is bright green and the alliums softened. If the seeds start to burn, add a little broth or water.

  4. Add the stock and bring to a boil.

  5. Turn the heat down to medium-low again, and add the herbs, greens, and coconut milk. Simmer until the broccolini is tender and the greens are wilted.

  6. Remove from the heat. Let cool slightly, then carefully transfer in batches to a high-powered blender, or use an immersion blender.

  7. Return to the pot and add the fish sauce and lime juice to taste. Adjust seasonings.

  8. Ladle into bowls and garnish with optional Greek yogurt or crème fraîche. Serve with extra lime slices.

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Smashed Persian Cucumbers with Sesame & Ginger

TIME: 20 MINUTES, SERVES: 4
Adapted from Bon Appetit

Persian cucumbers have become very popular among our customers and chefs. Their small size and thin skins make them perfect for easy snacking or quick prep. They are surprisingly sweet and crunchy, while still retaining a refreshing, cucumber flavor.

Smashing cucumbers (my new alt. rock band name) is fun! It is also a great way to involve kids in the kitchen. But it’s not just about fun and games—the craggy edges have more surface area for seasonings, packing every mouthful full of flavor.

INGREDIENTS

5 - 6 small, Persian cucumbers
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
2 scallions, trimmed, white and green parts sliced
2 tbls. rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted (a mix of white and black are nice)
Chili oil, to taste (look for a brand without additives or MSG—just chilies and oil preferably—or make your own!)

METHOD

  1. Tear cucumbers into bite size pieces.

  2. Place the cucumbers plus 1 tsp. kosher salt in a colander, and let drain for 10 minutes.

  3. Place sesame seeds in a small pan and toast until they start to pop, about 3 - 5 minutes. Stir to avoid burning, and remove from heat.

  4. Transfer the cucumbers to a medium bowl and add rice wine vinegar and grated ginger. Toss to coat and adjust seasoning.

  5. Transfer cucumbers to a serving dish, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and drizzle with chili oil.

Cauliflower Steaks & Purée with Pistachio-Caper Relish

TIME: 45; MINUTES SERVES: 2 - 4
Adapted from Ottolenghi & Bon Appetit

This dish is surprisingly simple, and incredibly impressive as a vegetarian entrée or side dish—a wonderful option if you are wanting to whip up a fancy, plant-based dinner. The caramelized cauliflower steaks are beautiful plated over the purée, and the relish is the perfect mix of salt, fat, acid & crunch.

Yotam Ottolenghi knows how to transform the humble cauliflower into a centerpiece. His original recipe calls for anchovies and egg yolk in the purée, and walnuts in place of pistachios. As always, feel free to adjust to your liking.

INGREDIENTS

Relish
1/3 cup raw pistachios, shelled
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbls. capers, drained
1/2 t. crushed red pepper flakes or 1/2 hot pepper, seeded and minced
3 tbls. parsley, chopped
1 tbls. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 small shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, grated
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1 medium head cauliflower
1 clove garlic, grated
1 - 2 tbls. lemon juice
2 tbls. olive oil or butter/ghee, plus 1 tbls. for frying
2+ tbls. water or cream
1 salt-packed anchovy filet, rinsed & cleaned (opt.)
3 - 4 strips lemon zest
1/2 tsp. each za’atar and nigella seeds (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. Spread pistachios on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant & golden brown, 5 - 7 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop & set aside. Increase oven temperature to 425°F.

  3. Heat olive oil and capers in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until capers are golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Pour oil and capers into a small bowl to cool.

  4. When the caper-oil mixture is slightly cooled, mix in pistachios, chili (flakes or fresh), parsley, vinegar, shallot, garlic, and lemon zest. Season with salt and black pepper. Set relish aside. *This can be made a few hours, or up to a day in advance.

  5. For the cauliflower: Remove the tough outer leaves from cauliflower, leaving any tender inner leaves. Trim stem to create a flat base (careful not to over-trim—you’ll need a base to hold the steaks together), and rinse if dirty. Cut cauliflower in half from top to bottom, creating two lobes. From the cut-edge of each lobe, slice a 1-inch “steak” (the stem should hold the florets together), resulting in 2 similar-sized steaks. Very coarsely chop remaining florets & leaves.

  6. Boil enough salted water to cover the florets in a large saucepan, and cook until very tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and purée in a food processor with garlic, lemon juice, 2 tbls. olive oil or butter/ghee, water or cream (to thin), and optional anchovy until very smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides a couple times. Season with salt and more lemon if necessary, and set aside.

  7. Heat 1 tbls. butter/ghee in a large, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower steaks and lemon zest (tucking the strips into the lobes to avoid burning). Cook until steaks are deep golden brown. Flip over and season with salt.

  8. Transfer skillet to the oven and roast until cauliflower stems are fork-tender, about 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove cauliflower and sprinkle with optional nigella seed & za’atar. If the steaks are not softened at this point, add a couple tbls. water and return pan to oven for another 5 - 7 minutes.

  9. To serve, spoon cauliflower purée onto a platter and arrange steaks on top. Spoon relish over and sprinkle with salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with extra lemon wedges.

Braised Greens with Tomatoes & Leeks

TIME: 1 HOUR; SERVES: 6 - 8
Adapted from Bon Appetit

This dish is the perfect companion to crispy chicken on a frigid Fall evening (ideally after a light frost when the greens get shocked into sweetness). In late September, when I’m sick of canning tomatoes, I’ll toss the last couple harvests into my chest freezer. This has become my preferred preserving method, because when I take them out to thaw, the skins easily slip off, releasing their liquid and further concentrating their flavor. I used a variety called Jaune Flamme in this recipe— a small, bright orange heirloom that is exceptionally sweet, but still packs a tangy punch. Smoky paprika and melting leeks make this a substantial dish on its own, particularly if sprinkled with pine nuts and crumbled goat cheese.

INGREDIENTS

2 tbls. high-heat oil or bacon grease
2 bunches hardy greens (kale, dandelion, collards, etc.), stems removed or finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large leek, cut in half lengthwise and rinsed clean, chopped into half moons
3 cloves garlic, peeled & slivered
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
2+ tsp. red wine or sherry vinegar
1 1/2 cups bone broth (chicken, pork, or veggie)
1/2 cup stewed or roasted tomatoes, cooked down
Salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
Pine nuts & goat cheese, to serve (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Heat oil or bacon grease in a large, heavy bottom pan over medium heat.

  2. when the pan is hot enough to sizzle water, add the onions, leek, and garlic. Cook until softened, about 7 - 10 minutes.

  3. Add the tomatoes & paprika, and cook for another 5 minutes, watching carefully to avoid burning. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Add the broth & vinegar, and bring to a boil.

  5. Add the greens in batches. Stir to incorporate, and simmer until tender, 20 - 30 minutes, partially uncovered. Season again to taste, and garnish.

Topped with pine nuts and Turmeric-Ginger Sauerkraut

Topped with pine nuts and Turmeric-Ginger Sauerkraut

Zucchini Noodles with Walnut Pesto

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 2

Zucchini noodles, or ‘Zoodles’, have become somewhat of a mascot within the low-carb food community. I have a tendency to approach most food trends with a level of skepticism. Food marketing generally operates from a profit-forward standard, rather than nutritional or ecological. So when a fancy new super food promising “antioxidant-rich!” “sugar-free!” or “healthy!” pops up, I have three main standards on whether it’s worth investigating: 1. Can I grow this? 2. If not, can it be purchased locally? 3. If so, is it grown or raised organically/responsibly?

“Zoodles” pass through all these hoops for me. Even though I wouldn’t label summer squash a nutrition powerhouse, it is yummy and we do grow it. Zoodles have become a gluten-free answer to that slurpy, noodly craving that can hit without warning.

Granted, I’ll eat grilled or roasted zucchini any day alongside a rich pesto dip, but this is a fun way to mix it up. Zoodles can also shine in a light, savory broth, or with a cream-based sauce. I purchased a 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer, and even though it takes up a fair amount of kitchen space and is a little bulky, it’s so easy to use and clean, I have no hesitation busting it out.

I use the word “pesto” very loosely in this recipe. Feel free to make it dairy-free by cutting out the optional Parmesan, or substitute different nuts, seeds, or herbs.

INGREDIENTS

Zoodles
1 large zucchini or 2 medium (Even though the smaller squash generally taste better, I’ve found the larger ones easier to “spiralize")
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. high heat oil, bacon grease, or butter/ghee
(Dairy-free) Walnut “Pesto”
2 cups packed Italian basil (I use the whole plant: leaves, tender stems, flowers, etc.). You can substitute parsley or arugula for some or all of the basil.
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1/2 cup walnuts or favorite nut (pine nuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
Juice from 1 lemon, to taste
1 - 2 tbls. water to thin, if necessary
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (opt.)

METHOD

  1. For the pesto, put all ingredients except water into a food processor and process until very smooth. If not using Parmesan, it is important to use a generous amount of salt—start with less and add to taste after blending. If it’s too thick, add a tbls. at a time of water. You will need to use enough oil to coat the noodles in a smooth sauce.

  2. If you don’t have a spiralizer, use a mandolin with a julienne blade or a vegetable peeler to make long ribbons. You can even julienne by hand if you’re confident in your knife skills.

  3. Sprinkle the zoodles with salt and let sit for a few minutes in a colander.

  4. Heat cooking fat in a large skillet. Sear the zoodles in a single layer. Do not stir, rather let them slightly brown on one side and then flip over. It is very important they don’t crowd the pan so that they sear quickly. Crowding results in soggy, overcooked zoodles. Transfer to a wide serving dish.

  5. Top with the pesto and mix very gently to incorporate. Serve topped with roasted cherry tomatoes and chicken, or alongside a few slices of bacon and crumbled goat cheese

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Chocolate-Sesame Banana Bread

TIME: 1.5 HOURS; SERVES: 1, 9 X 5 INCH LOAF PAN
Adapted from Camille Becerra’s recipe in ‘Cherry Bombe’

This gluten-free banana "bread" and I have a love-hate relationship: I adored it so much that I started eating a fat slice slathered in crème fraîche every morning for breakfast. I soon realized I was justifying eating cake for breakfast, and sadly ended our love affair. But I’ll whip up a loaf every now and then when I’m feeling fancy.

The original recipe is not gluten-free, and is made with ginger & coconut instead of chocolate & tahini. Feel free to adjust the ingredients to make your dream banana cake bread.

I wouldn't categorize this under "seasonal recipes", except for the fact that our local grocery outlet gets weekly shipments of over-ripe bananas and I feel obligated to divert some of them from the waste stream.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup tahini
1/3 cup sesame seeds
4 bananas: 3 mashed, 1 cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup cane sugar, rapadura or coconut sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plain, whole-fat yogurt
1 cup gluten-free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup cacao nibs (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  2. Grease a 9 × 5-inch loaf pan with butter or oil and coat with the sesame seeds. I do this by pouring the seeds in and swirling them around as I would flour a cake pan.

  3. Mix the 3 mashed bananas, tahini, sugar, eggs, and yogurt together in a large bowl.

  4. In another bowl, combine the gluten-free flour, salt, baking soda, cocoa powder, and optional cacao nibs. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir to incorporate.

  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and garnish with the remaining halved banana on top, like an off-set yin yang.

  6. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for 50 - 60 minutes more, or until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

  7. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before slicing. The loaf will keep at room temperature, wrapped in beeswax wrap for up to 3 days.

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Coconut-Cauliflower Soup with Ginger-Scallion Relish

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 6
Adapted from NYT Cooking

The ginger-scallion relish is the shining star in this recipe. This dairy-free, creamy cauliflower soup is a staple in my kitchen, and can be dressed up or down in a variety of ways. The combination of coconut, lime, cilantro, scallion & ginger can’t be beat, and the cauliflower provides a lighter, dairy-free base for the flavors to meld.

INGREDIENTS

3 tbls. unrefined coconut oil
1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer peel removed, inner portion slit to release flavor
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and finely minced or gated, about 3 tbls.
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 can full-fat coconut milk, or 1 small can coconut cream
A few dashes fish sauce (opt.)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
4 - 6 scallions, trimmed, green & white parts thinly sliced
3 tbls. cilantro, chopped
2 tbls. sherry vinegar
2 limes, zest & juice
1/3 - 1/2 cup oil (neutral or olive)

METHOD

  1. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion, lemongrass, half the ginger, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. 

  2. Stir in the cauliflower and garlic, then add the stock. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the cauliflower is very tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining ginger with the scallions, cilantro, vinegar, lime zest and juice, and oil. Whisk together and season with optional fish sauce and salt. Adjust seasonings and set aside.

  4. Remove the lemongrass stalk from the soup. Working in batches in a high-powered blender, purée the soup until very smooth. Add the coconut milk/cream & additional stock or water to thin if necessary. Season to taste with salt, pepper and optional fish sauce.

  5. Serve the soup topped with the ginger-scallion relish.

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Daikon Radish Pickles

TIME: 15 MINUTES (plus overnight marinating); SERVES: 2 CUPS

This quick-pickle “brine” can be used for a variety of different veggies: radish, cucumber, kohlrabi, celery, etc.. You can make more or less brine depending on the amount of veggies you wish to pickle.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups daikon radish (or a mix of veggies), sliced into bite-size lengths, but thin enough to soak in the marinade (I like a long, rectangular shape, or half moon)
~1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
~1 cup water
1/4 cup tamari, Nama Shoyu or soy sauce
1 tbls. mirin or Chinese Shaoxing wine (opt.)
A few dashes fish sauce
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp. gochugaru or crushed red pepper flakes

METHOD

  1. Place the sliced daikon radish in a large ziplock bag or a shallow pan/bowl. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

  2. Combine half of the water plus all ingredients for the marinade in a separate bowl. Pour over the daikon. You want the majority of the radish to be touching the marinade. If you need more liquid, add the other 1/2 cup of water.

  3. Let sit overnight in the fridge. Mix every few hours to incorporate the marinade on all sides. Pickles will keep for a couple weeks.

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Easy Celeriac Slaw

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 4 - 6
Adapted from Ina Garten

If you want to go full-blown Parisian, you can make homemade Remoulade, which is basically Aioli with added Cornichons and herbs. This is a quicker version, but no less delicious. As a grower, I have much appreciation for the humble celeriac plant. They are the first seeds we sow in March and typically take 8 months to mature before ready for harvest. I love this dish as an alternative to cabbage slaw, especially with pork chops or roast chicken. It is delicious alongside poached eggs, a simple green salad, and a few slivers of sharp cheese.

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds celeriac, 1 large or 2 smaller
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Juice from 1 large lemon, about 3 tbls.
3/4 cup homemade mayonnaise or crème fraîche
2 tbls. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar (opt.)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Finely chopped cornichons or small sour pickles to taste (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Using a sharp paring knife, peel the celeriac: cut off the top to make a flat surface, then cut down along the sides, following the contour and removing as little flesh as possible. Then cut into thin matchsticks, or grate in a food processor fitted with the coarsest grating blade. Place the celeriac in a large bowl, sprinkle with the kosher salt and 2 tbls. of lemon juice, and allow to sit for about 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise or crème fraîche, mustard, remaining 1 tbls. lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Add enough dressing to moisten the slaw, without drowning it. If you have leftover sauce, reserve it for use in another dish. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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Spiced Tomato Chutney

TIME: 1.5 HOURS (not including canning); SERVES: ~3 PINTS
Adapted from David Tanis

I sometimes double this recipe during Summer when tomatoes are abundant, and I find make time to can a big batch for holiday presents. This chutney has become a necessary condiment for any coconut-milk based curry, or dish that needs a little 'flare'.

INGREDIENTS

3 pounds ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup ginger, peeled, slivered
1/4 cup garlic, slivered
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
4 - 6 small, dried hot chili peppers
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (opt., depending on your heat tolerance)
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
12 - 15 black peppercorns
1 tsp. black mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seed
1 tsp. fennel seed
1 tsp. nigella seeds (opt.)
1 tsp. kosher salt

METHOD

  1. In a small pan, toast the seeds over medium-low heat until fragrant, stirring often to avoid burning. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate.   

  2. Put everything together in a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring until the mixture has thickened to a jam consistently, about 1 hour.

  3. If you are canning, ladle into sterilized jars and continue the canning process, processing for 20 minutes in a hot water bath. If you are refrigerating or freezing, let cool and transfer into containers.

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Turmeric-Cauliflower with Smashed Garlic & Herbs

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 5 - 6
Adapted from Alison Roman

I make a version of this dish at least once a week when cauliflower is in season. The herbs add a fresh, grassy flavor that compliment the more pungent garlic & spices, and the cauliflower takes on a beautiful golden hue from the turmeric. Don’t fret if some of your cauliflower slices crumble apart—they become the highly sought-after crispy bits.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium head cauliflower
6 - 8 cloves garlic (depending on size), smashed
3 tbls. olive oil, plus more for serving
1 tsp. each fennel & cumin seed
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp. ground turmeric
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup mixed herbs: parsley, cilantro, dill, mint; roughly chopped
1 - 2 oz. feta cheese (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Heat oven to 425°F.

  2. Slice cauliflower from top to bottom into 1/2 inch thick slices, including the core and inner leaves.

  3. Place cauliflower and garlic on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with fennel & cumin seed, turmeric and crushed red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Roast until cauliflower has turned a deep golden brown and is slightly crispy, 25 to 30 minutes. Flip the larger “steaks”, stir the smaller bits around and continue to roast until completely browned, another 8 - 10 minutes.

  5. Remove from heat and top with herbs, optional feta, and a drizzle of olive oil.

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Roasted Cauliflower with Almonds, Lemon & Parsley

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 5 - 6, as a side dish
Adapted from NYT Cooking

Peeking through the leaves of a cauliflower plant in October and finding its white, creamy center is one of the best Fall surprises a grower can experience. Toasted nuts, lemon & herbs haven’t failed me yet, and they surely do justice to a beautiful head of long-awaited cauliflower.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium head cauliflower, florets & tender inner leaves chopped
3 tbls. olive oil
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
A pinch crushed red pepper flakes (opt.)
1/2 cup almonds
2 tbls. Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/2 lemon, juice & zest, plus more to taste
2 tbls. capers or chopped green olives (opt.)
1 - 2 oz. feta (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Heat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower & leaves with olive oil, salt, pepper & optional crushed red pepper flakes. Spread evenly onto a large baking sheet and roast until crisp and golden, about 25 minutes (the really crispy bits are the best), stirring & rotating the pan halfway to ensure even browning.

  2. Meanwhile, toast the almonds in a skillet over medium-low heat, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes to avoid burning. Remove from heat, roughly chop, and set aside.

  3. Once the cauliflower is roasted, toss it in a large, shallow bowl with half the almonds and 1 tbls. parsley. Mix in capers/olives and feta if using. Top with remaining almonds, parsley, lemon juice & zest, and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt to taste.

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Roasted Broccolini & Potato Soup

TIME: 30 - 45 MINUTES; SERVES: 4 - 6
Adapted from NTY Cooking

This soup is particularly delicious in the late Fall, after the broccolini has been frost-kissed to bring out its natural sweetness. Further roasting increases the caramelized flavor, and creamy potatoes add the right amount of substance without overdoing the dairy. *For a low-carb option, you can substitute cauliflower for potatoes.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup high-heat oil
2 bunches broccolini (~2 pounds), or 2 large heads broccoli
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbls. butter/ghee
1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
3 - 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound potatoes, sliced (peeled or unpeeled), or cauliflower florets.
1 quart stock or water, more as needed for desired consistency
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1 1/2 tbls. lemon juice
Grated Parmesan cheese, to serve
Parsley, chopped, to serve
Olive oil, to serve

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

  2. Toss broccolini with 2 tbls. high-heat oil & 1 tsp. kosher salt. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. If using broccoli heads, cut into florets, & peel/chop the stalks. Roast until a little crispy and browned, but not entirely soft, about 15 minutes.

  3. In a large soup pot, heat butter/ghee & 2 tbls. oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and garlic, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook until softened, about 4 minutes.

  4. Add potato or cauliflower to the pot with stock or water, and remaining salt if needed. Bring to a simmer, cover pot and cook until potato/cauliflower is just tender, (10 - 15 minutes for potatoes, 5 - 10 minutes for cauliflower). Add broccolini, cover again and cook another 5 - 10 minutes.

  5. Add lemon zest and purée soup with an immersion or standing blender, leaving some small chunks for texture. You may need to add more stock or a bit of milk/cream if too thick. Stir in lemon juice. Finish with grated Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, & parsley.

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