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lemon

Roasted Beets with Preserved Lemon & Tahini-Yogurt

TIME: 40 - 60 MINUTES, SERVES: 4
Adapted from Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi

Beets are a crop we try to have available to our customers each week. They are sweet, earthy and powerful, and the tops are some of my favorite cooking greens as well. They are delicious paired with tangy, rich, and slightly bitter flavors (think goat cheese, radicchio, lemon…) There are many ways to prepare beets—my absolute favorite is roasting. For this reason, we like harvesting the medium-sized roots—those which can be quartered and transformed into beautiful, caramelized wedges with just a blast of high heat, a little oil and salt. I roast multiple pans at a time and keep them in the fridge to marinate and eat over salads throughout the week. Feel free to double this recipe—it’s even better served cold the next day.

INGREDIENTS


2+ lbs. beets, washed, trimmed and quartered. For larger beets, chop into similar-sized chunks
2 tbls. olive oil
2 tsp. cumin seed
1/2 preserved lemon, skin and flesh finely chopped
2+ tbls. lemon juice
1 tbls. tahini
1/2 c. Greek yogurt
High quality olive oil, for garnish
1/2 c. walnuts (opt.)
1/2 c. dill or parsley (opt.)
Sumac, for garnish (opt.)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F

  2. Toss beets with oil, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 30 - 40 minutes, depending on size, until tender.

  3. Toast cumin seeds in a small, heavy bottom skillet, stirring to avoid burning.

  4. When the beets are slightly cooled, toss them with the cumin seeds, preserved lemon, 1 tbls. of lemon juice, 1/4 c. of herbs (if using) and optional walnuts. Then transfer to a serving platter.

  5. Mix tahini into the yogurt with the remaining 1 tbls. lemon juice and salt, to taste. Dot this over the beets in 4 - 5 places and stir slightly (fully mixing together will create a pink, potato salad-esque mess).

  6. Sprinkle with remaining herbs and optional sumac, and drizzle with olive oil.

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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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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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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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Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes, with Lemon Curd & Cream

TIME: 1 HOUR (not including cooling time); SERVES: 12 MUFFINS
Adapted from Christina Tosi’s ‘Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins’ in the Cherry Bombe cookbook

This recipe is a little more involved than I typically tend towards (and definitely not gluten or sugar-free), but worth the extra steps! If you don’t want to overdue it, skip the lemon curd filling and the whipped topping, and you’ll still have the best, most-lemony poppy seed muffins ever.

My sister is the pastry chef, not me. (I use a ziplock with the corner cut out as a piping bag.) You will, however, benefit from an electric hand mixer or stand-up mixer. Having to whip egg whites and cream butter & sugar by hand makes these already involved cupcakes a little too daunting.

*Note: If you don’t have access to Meyer lemons, other varieties are fine, you just may need to purchase a few extra because they can yield less juice. Stray away from bottled lemon juice—you will need the zest and pulp as well, so fresh lemons are a necessity here.

INGREDIENTS

Cupcakes
4 (Meyer) lemons, zest and flesh
3 large egg whites
6 tbls. unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup buttermilk or crème fraîche
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (I’ve made these with gluten-free flour—they require a little more baking time)
1 tbls. poppy seeds
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Lemon Curd (makes 1 cup)
2 large egg yolks
2 large whole eggs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (~5 lemons)
5 tbls. unsalted butter, diced
Pinch of salt
Whipped Lemon-Cream Topping
1 cup heavy whipping cream
~1/2 cup lemon curd, or to taste

METHOD

  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.

  2. Zest the lemons and set aside. Cut off the top and bottom of each lemon. Holding each lemon upright, use a paring knife to slice down the sides, removing the white pith until only the fruit is left. Run a paring knife along each segment to extract the flesh from the membrane, making sure to remove any seeds. Do this over a bowl to collect all the juice. Cut the segments into slivers if they haven’t already broken apart, and add to the bowl along with the zest. Set aside.

  3. Using either a hand mixer or standing mixer, whip the egg whites until medium-firm peaks form. Set aside.

  4. Cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low, add the egg yolks and buttermilk/crème fraîche. Mix until combined.

  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds. Add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture, alternating with the lemons until incorporated.

  6. Add half the egg whites and mix to combine. Add the other half and gently fold, careful not to over mix.

  7. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely. These can be made a day in advance.

  8. For the lemon curd: Mix all ingredients together in a heavy bottom saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until the butter melts and the curd becomes thick. Do not overcook.

  9. Immediately remove from the stove and strain through a mesh sieve, pressing down with a rubber spatula. Let cool completely. Curd can be made up to 3 days in advance.

  10. Assembly: Once you are ready to assemble the cupcakes, cut out a hole from the center of each cupcake with a serrated knife.

  11. Spoon half the lemon curd into a sturdy plastic bag, or piping bag, and cut a small hole in the bottom corner. Squeeze enough curd into each hole to almost fill. If you don’t have enough, you can add more from the reserved curd, just know you’ll have less to add to the whipped cream topping.

  12. Cut the bottom off each cupcake plug that was removed. Replace the flattened plug on top of the lemon curd.

  13. For the whipped lemon-cream: Just before serving, whip the cream until stiff, but careful not to over mix because you will make butter!

  14. Fold in the remaining lemon curd. Avoid adding too much, or the cream will become wet and heavy.

  15. Using a different sturdy plastic bag, spoon the whipped topping in and cut a hole in the bottom corner—a pastry tip is nice here. Pipe on top, concealing the plug.

  16. Refrigerate If not serving immediately. Pass around fresh raspberries or blueberries for a nice touch.

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 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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