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keto

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.

Kale Salad with Shallot-Sumac Vinaigrette

TIME: 20 MINUTES, SERVES: 6

This take on kale salad, with the addition of toasted pumpkin seeds and avocado, can be a substantial meal in its own. I like the combination of Lacinato and Curly Green Kale, for a mix of texture and color.

Sumac, the dried, ground fruit from the Sumac plant, has a tangy, citrus flavor. Common in Middle Eastern cuisine, it is delicious in dressings, marinades, salads, and sprinkled over a variety of dishes. The combination of sumac, lemon, shallot, and garlic is addictive—double the dressing and keep it in your fridge for easy salad prep.

INGREDIENTS

2 bunches kale; leaves stripped from stems and finely chopped.
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
A large pinch of sea salt
1 avocado, diced
Vinaigrette
1 shallot, minced
1 small garlic clove, minced or grated
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sumac
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. Dijon mustard

METHOD

  1. Place the shallot, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt in a small bowl. Let sit for about 10 minutes.

  2. Sprinkle a large pinch of salt over the finely chopped kale. Massage for about 30 seconds, or until slightly softened.

  3. Toast the pumpkin seeds over low heat in a small skillet. Stir gently when they start to sizzle, and remove from heat when they begin to brown.

  4. Whisk the shallot mixture with the olive oil, sumac, black pepper, and Dijon mustard. Taste, and adjust seasonings. If it is too tart, add a bit of honey or jam to mellow out the acidity.

  5. Pour several tbls. of dressing over the kale and massage until coated, or until the kale has softened to your liking.

  6. Top with the diced avocado and toasted pumpkin seeds. Pour a few more tbls. of dressing over to taste, or keep on the side for folks to dress separately. You will have extra dressing—store in the fridge for up to a couple weeks, but let it come to room temperature before using since the oil will solidify. This salad tastes even better the next day, after it has soaked up the vinaigrette.

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Roasted Zucchini with Whole Garlic, Lemon & Fried Sage Leaves

TIME: 45 MINUTES, SERVES: 4

The impetus for this recipe was having to thin our sage plants in the greenhouse. I’ve never been one to cook much with fresh sage, but when I had a handful of the most tender, baby leaves, I knew I had to figure something out! Now, I am so glad we decided to grow this herb because I immediately fell in love with the delicate, crispy addition of fried sage leaves to just about any dish.

When the season is in full swing, and the zucchini need harvesting every 2 days, this meal is perfect for a quick, no-fuss dinner. Especially if you have a couple pounds of bone-in chicken thighs to roast—nestle them together and bake all at once.

INGREDIENTS

4 medium-sized zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then quartered (or cut into thirds to make similar sized spears)
2 heads garlic, cut in half crosswise (to expose the center of each clove)
2 lemons, quartered
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbls. avocado oil or high-heat oil
Fried Sage Leaves
1 bunch fresh sage leaves
2 tbls. avocado oil or high-heat oil

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Toss the first 6 ingredients together on a large sheet pan to coat, being mindful as to not dislodge the garlic cloves from the heads. Before placing the sheet pan in the oven, arrange the garlic heads cut-side down on the pan.

  3. Roast for 30 minutes or so, until the garlic cloves have softened and the zucchini & lemons are tender and browned.

  4. While the veggies are roasting, heat the remaining 2 tbls. of high-heat oil in a wide saucepan or frying pan. When the oil is hot, drop the sage leaves in, careful not overcrowd them (you may have to do several batches). Fry for a few minutes until browned and crispy. Keep a close eye on them because this can happen quickly! Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon or spatula and place on a paper towel to cool.

  5. When the veggies are ready for serving, sprinkle the crispy sage over top.

    *If serving alongside roast chicken, scatter the veggies around 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and roast at 325°F for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken registers at 160-165°F.

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Gingery Kale & Mushrooms with Coconut-Fried Eggs

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 4

I made this recipe in the Spring from last season’s frozen and thawed tomatoes, but if you make it in the Fall, you have the possibility of sourcing fresh Kneehigh Farm ginger and turmeric as well! I particularly like curly green kale here, but Swiss chard or hardy spinach would be delicious as well. Substitute the coconut-fried eggs for a nice piece of fish and you’ve got a nourishing, simple dinner that’s on the table in 30 minutes.

INGREDIENTS

4 - 5 small heirloom or plum tomatoes, or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbls. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, slivered
1-inch piece ginger, peeled & minced
1/4-inch piece turmeric, peeled & minced
2 dried hot chili peppers, minced (seeds included) or 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
2 tbls. coconut oil
1 bunch curly green kale (or other hardy green), chopped
2 cups crimini or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 lime, juiced
1 tbls. Nama Shoyu or soy sauce
1 tsp. fish sauce (opt.)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Salt & fresh ground black pepper to taste
Coconut-Fried Eggs
1 tbls. coconut oil
2 tbls. unsweetened, shredded coconut
4 eggs

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet, toss with 2 tbls. olive oil and salt. Roast for 15 minutes until slightly blistered.

  2. In a large, heavy-bottom pan, heat 2 tbls. coconut oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, red chili flakes, and a dash of salt. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant.

  3. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened.

  4. Add the kale, cover, and cook until softened. If it becomes dry or starts to burn, add a little water. Cook until the greens are almost tender, then add the lime juice, soy sauce, and fish sauce.

  5. Add the roasted tomatoes with their juices and gently stir. Remove from heat and sprinkle cilantro on top.

  6. Coconut-fried eggs: In a separate pan, heat 1 tbls. coconut oil over medium-low heat.

  7. When the oil is hot, sprinkle the shredded coconut into the pan and quickly crack the eggs over it.

  8. Cover with a lid and fry until the whites are cooked through, but the yolk is still slightly runny. The edges should be crisp.

  9. Top each serving of greens with a fried egg and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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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Creamy Cauliflower Purée

TIME: 20 MINS; SERVES: 6

I’ll choose cauliflower purée over mashed potatoes any day. When boiled and puréed, cauliflower takes on a lighter, creamier texture than potatoes, and will never become a gluey mass, even when reheated. The butter and cream produces a super rich, silky texture, but this can also be made vegan with high-quality olive oil. You can boil the cauliflower in homemade stock for extra flavor.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium head cauliflower, chopped into florets
3 - 5 tbls. unsalted butter or ghee
1/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk, plus more to thin
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Bring a medium pot of generously salted water or stock to boil.

  2. Add the cauliflower florets to the boiling water/stock and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes, or until very tender.

  3. Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor with the butter, and purée, adding the cream (or stock) a little at a time to achieve your desired texture.

  4. Add the salt & pepper to taste. Blend until very smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.

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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.

Roasted Salmon & Romanesco with Cilantro-Lime Dressing

TIME: 40 MINUTES, SERVES: 6

This simple sheet-pan dinner is especially delicious in the Fall when Romanesco is at its best (and before the cilantro freezes). Feel free to substitute cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or even sweet potatoes (adjusting the oven time accordingly).

I’ve only recently introduced seafood to my kitchen. For a long time, I’ve been ignorant to best fishing practices and so opted out of being a consumer since the industry felt so overwhelming. Sustainably harvested Sockeye salmon has become one of my favorite options. Its oily, deep red flesh is high in essential omega-3s and has a strong flavor that holds up well to roasting or grilling.

* If you eat a lot of seafood, I recommend checking out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch for information on sustainable options. It’s important, like with any food or farming industry, to know your sources and be willing to financially support businesses that maintain our planet’s health.

INGREDIENTS
2 pounds skin-on salmon filets, cut into 6 equal servings
~6 cups romanesco, chopped into florets (1 - 2 large heads)
6 garlic cloves, peeled & smashed
2 tbls. refined avocado oil, or high-heat oil
1 tsp. cumin seed
Kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes or 1/2 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tsp. lime zest
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 avocado (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  2. Set aside the salmon filets on a plate and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

  3. On a large baking sheet, toss the romanesco with the garlic cloves, oil, cumin seed, salt & pepper to thoroughly coat. Spread in a single layer (use 2 sheets if necessary) and roast for 20 minutes, until slightly browned. Remove from oven and stir.

  4. Nestle the salmon filets into the veggies. Roast for another 10 minutes, until the salmon is cooked through and easily flakes, but is still slightly pink (120 degrees).

  5. While the salmon is roasting, whisk together the crushed red pepper or jalapeno slices, lime juice & zest, cilantro, olive oil, and salt to taste. If adding avocado, blend everything in either a food processor, immersion, or standing blender. If it is too thick, thin with a little water, and adjust to taste. If too sour, add some honey.

  6. To plate, place veggies and one filet on each dish and drizzle with dressing.

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Ginger-Cinnamon Hazelnut Butter

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 3/4 CUP
Adapted from the ‘Minimalist Baker’

If you have a high-quality food processor or blender, you can make your own nut butters in a matter of minutes. Another bonus is that you can add or subtract any spices or flavorings you wish, and use any kind of nut or seed.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup raw hazelnuts
1/2 tsp. Ceylon cinnamon
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
A dash of salt
A sprinkle of chili powder (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 12 minutes, until dark brown—but not burnt—and fragrant.

  2. Remove from oven and let cool slightly—the skins slip off more easily if cool. Transfer to a large kitchen towel, fold over the nuts, and roll them around to remove most of the skins. Fewer skins will produce a creamier nut butter.

  3. Place skinned hazelnuts in a food processor. Purée until a butter begins to form, scraping down the sides as needed.

  4. Once it is creamy and smooth, add the ground cinnamon, ginger, chili powder, and salt. Purée again until mixed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

  5. Transfer to a jar and store in the refrigerator.

Roasted Nut or Seed Milk

TIME: 20 - 30 MINUTES (not including soaking time); SERVES: 3 1/2 CUPS
Adapted from Julia Turshen’s, ‘Small Victories‘

Even if you don’t have a lactose allergy, this “milk” is delicious in both hot or iced drinks. You can use any nut or seed you prefer, but like Julia Turshen, I’m a big fan of hazelnuts. Feel free to add different flavorings as well: a bit of cinnamon, a splash of vanilla, and some of your favorite sweetener makes a yummy Horchata-esque beverage, or a delicious base for chai and coffee drinks. Roasted and pressed nut milks are traditional in many cultures; I encourage you to experiment with nuts/seeds that can be grown locally & organically in your region.

*Rather than purchasing roasted nuts, look for raw nuts that have been kept in cool temperatures—a rancid, roasted nut is one of the worst kitchen surprises.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup raw nuts or seeds of choice (hazelnut, almond, pumpkin, etc.)

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Spread the nuts/seeds on a baking sheet and roast until browned—but not burnt—and fragrant, about 12 minutes (8 minutes for seeds). If you hear them popping, give them a quick stir.

  3. Transfer toasted nuts/seeds to a quart jar and add enough water to cover by at least 1” (the nuts will soak up the liquid). Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

  4. Drain the nuts/seeds and discard the liquid. Place in a blender with 4 cups fresh, cold water and process on high until smooth, about 30 seconds.

  5. Drain the nuts/seeds in a “nut milk bag” or cheese bag over a bowl. (Pro-tip: tie and let hang from your kitchen faucet—it can take a while to strain). Squeeze out the remaining liquid by twisting the bag from the top down. Compost the leftover nutmeat or spread outside for the squirrels.

  6. Add optional seasonings at this point. Keep in a quart jar in the fridge, and drink either warmed or iced. Shake well before use.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pressed Hazelnut Milk

Pressed Hazelnut Milk

Roasted Hazelnuts

Roasted Hazelnuts

Cinnamon-Hazelnut Latte

Cinnamon-Hazelnut Latte

Turmeric-Brined Eggs with Star Anise & Cinnamon

TIME: 15 MINUTES (not including boiling eggs and overnight brining); SERVES: 1 QUART (~8 eggs)

Living in Pennsylvania, I’ve become very familiar with the classic PA Dutch dish, “Beet Pickled Eggs”. The fuchsia hue is gorgeous, and got me thinking of other ingredients I could use to color boiled eggs, which of course brought me to: turmeric!

Adding a small cinnamon stick and star anise pod kicks up this brine’s game. I love to serve these sprinkled with “everything seasoning” for a fun appetizer, or make pickled-deviled eggs with turmeric mayo.

INGREDIENTS

~8 “9 minute” boiled eggs (or however many you can squish in a jar comfortably)
1 cup distilled white vinegar
2 cups filtered water
2 tbls. kosher salt
2 tbls. black peppercorns
1 small cinnamon stick
2 star anise pods
1 tsp. ground turmeric or 1 tbls. peeled, fresh grated turmeric

METHOD

  1. Peel the boiled eggs and set aside.

  2. Mix remaining ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from heat and let cool completely.

  3. Place eggs in a quart jar, and cover with the brine. Let sit in the fridge overnight, shaking every so often.

  4. After you serve the eggs, you can use the brine again to pickle veggies or another batch of eggs.


Recycled brine for Daikon radish, carrot & celery pickles.

Recycled brine for Daikon radish, carrot & celery pickles.

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

Spicy Pork Meatballs & Zucchini Ribbons in Broth

TIME: 20 MINUTES; SERVES: 4 - 6

During the summer months, we barter vegetables for pastured pork from our neighbors. All their offerings are phenomenal, but one of my favorites is their “Country Sausage”, which consists of 3 simple ingredients: pork, salt & pepper. Ground pork works wonderfully in these tender, poached meatballs, however, feel free to substitute ground dark meat turkey or chicken.

This soup comes together in less than 30 minutes, for when you’re needing a a nourishing, hot meal ASAP.

INGREDIENTS

1 zucchini
6 cups broth of choice (chicken, pork, veggie…)
Meatballs
1 lb. ground pork (or ground dark meat turkey/chicken)
1/2 tsp. hot chili paste or spicy harissa (or crushed red chili flakes)
2 tbls. shallots or scallions, minced
1 tsp. black garlic paste or 1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
2 tbls. cilantro
2 tbls. parsley
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric (opt.)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste (check to see if meat is seasoned first)

Cilantro, scallion and chili oil, to serve (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Slice the zucchini into long ribbons with a vegetable peeler or mandolin. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

  2. Mix the meatball ingredients together and form into 12 meatballs.

  3. Bring broth to a boil. If you need to add salt or acid (lemon, sherry vinegar), do so at this point.

  4. Add the meatballs so they are submerged in the liquid. Let simmer for about 7 minutes, until cooked through. Turn the heat off and add the zucchini ribbons. Let sit for a couple minutes before serving.

  5. Ladle into bowls. Top with additional cilantro, scallion, and a drizzle of chili oil.

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