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Archive for Vegetables/Salads/Herbs

TIP OF THE DAY: Bok Choy & Endive ~ Veggies To Grill

We wager that anyone who likes veggies looks forward to vegetables cooked outdoors on the grill, for as long as the weather allows. Asparagus, bell peppers, corn, eggplant, onions, portabella mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini are popular.

But why not try vegetables you’ve never grilled before?

Previously we’ve recommended grilled cabbage, grilled cauliflower and grilled romaine for a Caesar Salad.

Today, for your consideration: Belgian endive and Chinese bok choy (both grown in California).

WHAT IS ENDIVE?

Endive is one of the vegetables that were once available in the late fall. Once imported from Europe, it is now grown year-round in California.

Endive can be grilled, added to salads, or used as “boats” to hold finger foods at parties. You can even make a type of Tarte Tatin using endive instead of apples.

Endive, Cichorium endivia, is a member of the chicory genus in the Asteraceae family. The genus includes other bitter leafed vegetables, including escarole, frisée and curly endive and radicchio. It has a crisp texture and a sweet, nutty flavor with a pleasantly mild bitterness. It can be served raw or cooked.

Endive is pricey, because it’s one of the most difficult vegetables to grow. There’s a two-step growing process:

  • The seeds are planted and grow into a leafy green plant in 150 days.
  • They are then harvested, the leafy tops are cut off and the deep roots are dug up and placed in cold storage, where they enter a dormancy period.
  • The dormant roots are removed from cold storage for their second growth, which takes 28 days in dark, cool, humid forcing rooms (similar to a mushroom growing facility).
  • The control over the initiation of this second growing process allows for the year-round production of endive.
  •  
    You can sometimes find good prices on endive, especially when the edges of the tips start to brown, reducing the aesthetic. Since they brown on the grill anyway, it’s an impetus to grill.

    Bonus: A leaf of endive has just one calorie! It’s a good source of potassium, vitamins and minerals, high in complex fiber and promotes digestive health.

    Here’s an easy recipe from Endive.com, which has many more endive recipes.

    RECIPE #1: GRILLED ENDIVE

    Ingredients

  • 3-4 heads endive, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Optional: chopped fresh rosemary
  •    

    Grilled Endive

    Endive With Root

    Top: Endive hot off the grill. Bottom: This is what endive looks like when it’s pulled from the ground. The huge taproot is grown from seeds, harvested, placed in dormancy, and then re-planted to grow the endive heads. This technique enables endive, once a cool weather vegetable, to be grown year-round. Photos courtesy Endive.com.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the grill over a medium flame. Brush each endive half with olive oil and place on grill, cut side down. After 8–10 minutes, flip and cook another 12-15 minutes, turning occasionally and lowering the flame if needed until the endives soften.

    2. SEASON with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped rosemary. You can serve it hot off the grill or at room temperature.

    3. VARIATION: You can also toss cooled grilled endive into a salad. Cut it into one inch slices; mix with arugula, watercress or other bitter green; and toss with an olive oil-lemon dressing. Garnish with crumbled chèvre or feta cheese and roasted nuts.

     

    Grilled Bok Choy

    Grilled bok toy and lamb patties. Photo courtesy Good Eggs | San Francisco.

     

    RECIPE #2: GRILLED MISO BOY CHOY & LAMB PATTIES

    Bok choy, a member of the powerful cruciferous* vegetable family (Brassica), has even more nutrients than some of its cousins (see the list below).

    This easy dinner is a cultural fusion: Chinese bok choy (also called pak choi and Chinese cabbage) meets Middle Eastern lamb patties. The bok choy doubles as a salad and a vegetable side; the miso butter gives it a celestial flavor. The fresh herbs are icing on the cake.

    The recipe, from Good Eggs, takes 15 mins active time and 10 minutes cooking time.

    Ingredients For 2-3 Servings

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • ½ cup of feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano, roughly chopped (substitute 3 teaspoons dried oregano)
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed into a paste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons miso
  • 3 heads bok choy, sliced in half lengthwise and rinsed
  • Lime wedge
  • Preparation

    1. COMBINE the lamb, feta, egg, oregano, and salt and egg in a mixing bowl. Mix well with clean hands and form into patties about 1” thick and 3” wide. Set aside.

    2. MIX the yogurt, garlic, mint, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt in a small bowl. Taste and adjust salt to taste (not too salty, as you’re also using salted butter). Set aside.

    3. MIX the butter and miso in a small bowl with the tines of a fork. Melt two tablespoons of the mixture in a cast iron pan over high heat. When melted and hot, tip the pan to coat the bottom of the pan with the mixture.

    4. ADD the bok choy cut side down and sear until it is a deep golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Flip and cook on the back side for about a minute. Remove from the pan and squeeze a bit of lime over the bok choy. Return to the pan to finish cooking. When the bok choy is finished…

    5. WIPE the pan clean, add a tablespoon of olive oil and place the pan over high heat. When the oil is hot…

    6. ADD the lamb patties, leaving 1” in between each patty. Cook over high heat for about 4 minutes until the patty is golden brown. Flip to the other side and repeat. When both sides have good color…

    7. CHECK for doneness by inserting a sharp knife into the center of a patty. If the center has a flush of light pink, they’re ready. If the center is still dark pink, pop them in the oven (or toaster oven) at 350°F for 2-3 minutes.

    8. SERVE with the minted yogurt and bok choy. If desired, garnish with a sprig of mint or oregano.
     
    ________________________
    *The botanical family Brassicaceae, also known as the brassicas, cabbage family, cauliflower family and mustard family, consists of nutritional powerhouses that are packed with potent, cancer-fighting phytonutrients (antioxidants). Brassica members include arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, cauliflower, horseradish/wasabi, kale, kohlrabi, mizuna (Japanese mustard), mustard greens, radish, rapeseed/canola, rapini, rutabaga, tatsoi and turnips, among others.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Grilled Cabbage Steaks

    Green Cabbage

    Grilled Cabbage Steaks

    Crumbled Blue Cheese

    Top: Take a head of cabbage (photo courtesy Good Eggs). Center: Slice it, grill it and garnish it (photo courtesy McCormick). Bottom: For better flavor, chop quality blue cheese instead of using packaged crumbles (photo courtesy KitchenHealsSoul.com).

     

    What’s next after Grilled Cauliflower Steaks? Why, its cruciferous† cousin, Grilled Cabbage Steaks.

    It can be a side, a vegetarian main, or part of a grain bowl. It’s just as delicious as cauliflower, and less expensive.

    This recipe from McCormick adds more flavor to the thick cabbage “steaks” with a zesty marinade. Crumbled bacon, blue cheese and green onions (scallions) are popular toppers. But if you prefer a vegetarian dish, use any toppings you like, from vegetarian bacon and cheese to grilled tofu and cherry tomatoes.

    An average head of cabbage can be cut into six steaks. Prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.
     
    RECIPE: GRILLED CABBAGE STEAKS

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 1 head green cabbage, cut into six 3/4-inch thick slices
  •  
    For The Marinade

  • 1 package McCormick Grill Mates Smoky Applewood Marinade (or your own marinade*)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  •  
    For The Garnish

  • 6 slices bacon, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  •  
    ________________________
    *Marinade mix comprises pre-selected seasonings, to which you add your own oil and vinegar. It’s easy to make a “freestyle” marinade from whatever you have on hand. Here’s a basic recipe: 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon each of three herbs of choice (basil, hot chile flakes, oregano, rosemary, thyme or other favorite. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (hold the pepper if using chile flakes). Or substitute lemon zest for an herb and/or lemon juice for part of the vinegar.

     

    Preparation

    1. COOK the bacon in large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the drippings. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

    2. MIX the marinade packet, oil, vinegar, maple syrup and the reserved bacon drippings in small bowl until well blended. Place the cabbage steaks in large resealable plastic bag or a glass dish. Add the marinade and turn to coat well.

    3. REFRIGERATE the cabbage in the marinade for 30 minutes; longer for extra flavor. Then remove the cabbage steaks from marinade, reserving any leftover marinade (see the next section).

    4. GRILL the cabbage steaks over medium heat 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until tender-crisp, brushing with the leftover marinade. Garnish with the bacon, blue cheese and green onions, and serve.
     
    Next up: Brussels Sprouts Kabobs?
     
    CAN YOU RE-USE MARINADE?

    For a meat or fish marinade, the answer is no. Potentially harmful bacteria that are killed during cooking will remain in the marinade. If you really want to re-use it, you can boil it first to kill the bacteria: Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

    Vegetables do not harbor harmful bacteria, so can be re-used or frozen for later use. The marinade will lose flavor each time it is frozen and defrosted, so check it after two additional uses and spruce it up with seasonings as needed.

    Here’s detailed information on marinade safety from FoodSafety.gov.
     
    ____________________________
    †The plant genus of cruciferous vegetables, Brassica, contains nutritional powerhouses that are packed with potent, cancer-fighting phytonutrients (antioxidants). Brassica members include arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, horseradish/wasabi, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, radish, rapeseed/canola, rapini, rutabaga and turnips, among others. Eat up!

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Homemade Spring Rolls

    Spring Rolls

    Vietnamese Summer Rolls

    Shrimp Summer Rolls

    Fried Spring Rolls

    Top: Vegetarian spring rolls with shredded daikon, carrots, cucumber trips and peanuts (photo IST). Second: Vietnamese Summer Rolls (photo courtesy Elegant Affairs Caterers). Third photo: Shrimp spring rolls (photo courtesy Three Ladies Rice Paper). Bottom: Chinese-style fried spring rolls (photo courtesy Davios | Boston).

     

    Spring rolls are one of our favorite appetizers at Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese restaurants. Even if we buy them at the take-out sushi counter at Whole Foods, they’re still $6 for two vegetarian rolls.

    So why don’t we make them at home?

    Yesterday, a lazy Sunday, we held a Spring Roll Brunch in our home, along with wine pairings.

    You can create a do-it-yourself spring roll buffet, but given the crowd, we enlisted one dexterous friend to help us with the wrap-and-roll.

    That said, they are easy to make and have a very high prep time:delicious factor.

    So first: What’s a spring roll?
     
    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EGG ROLLS, SPRING ROLLS & SUMMER ROLLS?

    Identifying spring rolls can be confusing, and here’s why:

    While some countries, including China, make fried spring rolls, Thailand and Vietnam use the oncooked wrapper.

    The term “spring roll” is not synonymous with “egg roll,” which is always fried. An egg roll has a heavier pastry wrapper that can be sliced into sections; a fried spring roll is very fragile and can shatter like phyllo.

  • Egg rolls are deep fried; the wrappers are thicker, making egg rolls more of a filled pastry (most are vegetable, egg and/or meat or seafood filling). Spring roll wrappers are thinner, the shape is narrower and when fried the rolls are more finger-like. If you want to make egg rolls, here’s how.
  • Spring rolls are an Asian appetizer, eaten either Vietnamese-style, in an uncooked* rice noodle wrapper, or fried Chinese-style. They are traditionally eaten during the Spring Festival in China, hence the name; but also are popular in Cambodia and Indonesia.
  • Vietnamese and Thai spring rolls use rice paper wrappers, which can be found in Asian markets. The dry hard wrappers are moistened into pliancy and translucency, and filled with seafood; red lettuce or Boston lettuce leaves; fresh mint, basil and cilantro leaves and shredded carrot. They are served with a chili dipping sauce.
  • Summer rolls are made in the style of spring rolls, but with more seasonal ingredients. They are not fried.

    Vietnamese spring and summer rolls are like eating a fresh salad roll, more complex in flavor (thanks to the fresh herbs) than fried Chinese spring rolls. They are served with a spicy dipping sauce known as nuoc cham, of which there are many variations.
     
    Spring rolls and summer rolls are made from a rice wrapper: tapioca starch, rice flour, salt and water. They are gluten-free and vegan. Egg roll skins are made from wheat flour and egg.

    The ingredients show through the translucent wrapper and create lovely eye appeal. You can roll anything in the soft rice flour wrappers—the stiff rice wrapper becomes soft after dipping in water. You can find the rice flour wrappers at Asian markets or the Asian products section of a good supermarket.
     
    Customize Your Spring & Summer Rolls

    Vietnamese spring rolls generally contain seafood such as cooked shrimp, accompanied by any combination of rice sticks, carrot, cucumber, daikon, shiitake mushrooms and fresh, leafy herbs: basil, cilantro and mint. Iceberg lettuce or green cabbage can be added for crunch.

    We also like adding toasted chopped peanuts (salty or honey-roasted) to half the batch, to our rolls.

  •  
    How did spring rolls get their name?

    Originally, they were special snacks served to visitors with tea at the Chinese New Year, which is the beginning of lunar spring.

    Both spring rolls and egg rolls date back to ancient China, and both are traditionally served with hot Chinese mustard or a dipping sauce.
     
    _______________________
    *Vietnamese spring rolls, or cha gio, are not fried—although some Vietnamese and Thai restaurants in the U.S. have taken to serving Chinese-style spring rolls as well, catering to the American taste for fried food.

     

    RECIPE: CHICKEN & AVOCADO SPRING ROLLS

    Ingredients For 4 Rolls

  • 4 spring roll skins
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado†, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 chicken breast (4 ounces), pre-grilled or baked and sliced thin
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup soy ginger sauce, peanut sauce or other dipping sauce (recipe below)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SEED, peel and slice the avocado.

    2. SOFTEN the spring roll skin in cold water for 5 seconds then place flat on cutting board. Place the sliced avocado and chicken breast, romaine and shredded carrots in the center of the spring roll skin. Gently fold over one side of the spring roll skin, fold in the edges and gently roll to the other end of the spring roll skin as though you are wrapping a burrito.

    3. SERVE on platter and serve with dipping sauce.

     
    RECIPE: DIPPING SAUCE

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar‡
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce, nam pla (you can substitute soy sauce**)
  • 1 garlic clove minced)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed chilies (you can use red pepper flakes)
  •  

    avocado-spring-rolls-hassavo-230

    Rice Spring Roll Wrappers

    Top: Avocado Spring rolls (photo courtesy Chiquita Brand). Bottom: Spring roll wrappers, made from rice flour (photo courtesy Rose Brands).

     
    Preparation

    1. HEAT the vinegar, water and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add the fish sauce, garlic, lime juice and chilies.

    2. COOL and serve, or else refrigerate.

     
    _____________________

    †Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

    ‡Depending on your personal palate, you can reverse the quantities of rice vinegar and lime juice. One good-size lime will yield 1/2 cup of juice.

    **Soy sauce will obviously taste different from fish sauce, but it still works as an Asian dipping sauce.

      

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    RECIPE: Chervil Sour

    Here’s something different: A cocktail based on muddled herbs. The Chervil Sour was created by Jeff Bareilles, Wine and Beverage Director at Manresa Restaurant in Los Gatos, California.

     
    RECIPE: CHERVIL SOUR

    Ingredients Per Drink

  • 15–20 chervil leaves
  • 2 ounces pisco
  • 3/4 ounce simple syrup
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • 1 egg white
  • Ice
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MUDDLE the chervil and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker or pint glass. Add all other ingredients and ice. Shake vigorously until egg white is frothy.

    2. STRAIN into a coupe glass and top with 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and garnish with a small chervil leaf.
     
     
    WHAT IS CHERVIL?

    Chervil, sometimes called garden chervil or French parsley, is an annual herb related to parsley, but more delicate in both appearance and flavor. It has a faint taste of licorice or anise seed.

    Chervil is a popular French seasoning for poultry, seafood and vegetable dishes (the word in French is cerfeuil, sir-FOEY).

  • It is one of the four ingredients of the French herb mixture fines herbes (feen-erb): chervil, chives, parsley and tarragon, used to season poultry, seafood, young spring vegetables, soups and sauces.
  • These herbs are called fine (delicate) as opposed to the stronger flavors of the bouquet garni (garnished bouquet). These “hardy” herbs—more pungent and/or resinous—are used to flavor soups, stocks and stews.
  • Bouquets garni can also include some fines herbes. Popular ingredients are basil, bay leaf; burnet, chervil, parsley, rosemary, savory and tarragon and thyme. They are tied in a bunch with a string, or in a piece of cheesecloth, so they can be easily removed from the pot.
  •  

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/chervil sour manresa 230

    /home/content/p3pnexwpnas01_data02/07/2891007/html/wp content/uploads/chervil bunch www.herbtable.com 230

    Top: The Chervil Sour served at Manresa restaurant. Bottom: A bunch of fresh chervil. Photo courtesy HerbTable.com.

     
    How To Handle Chervil

    Hardy herbs—bay leaf, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, savory, tarragon, thyme—will stay green for a week or two in the fridge (keep them dry in the produce drawer).

    Delicate herbs—basil, chervil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, parsley, tarragon—wilt and turn yellow faster, and need special attention. 

  • Remove any ties or rubber bands and trim off the root ends and the leafless part of the stem (you can save the roots to flavor soups and stocks).
  • Place the herbs in a glass with a couple inches of water, cover with a plastic bag (we use a bag from the produce apartment) and secure the bag, as needed, with an elastic band.
  •   

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Don’t Let Nettle Season Pass You By

    Green Garlic Soup

    Stinging Nettles

    Green Garlic

    Top: Add nettles to soup, such as this Potato, Nettle and Green Garlic Soup. Center: Nettles. Bottom: Green garlic. Photos courtesy Good Eggs | SF.

     

    A year ago, we wrote about stinging nettles. also called common nettles and wild nettles. Here’s that background article.

    Today’s tip is a reminder not to let the brief season pass you by (it ends this month, depending on your location).

    WHAT ARE NETTLES?

    Stinging nettles, Urtica dioica, are slightly bitter green herbs that grow wild in the spring. Other names are common nettles and wild nettles.

    They are members of Urticaceae, family of flowering plants, also known as the Nettle Family. The family includes other useful plants, including ramie, which is used to make fabric.

    Different varieties grow worldwide, many without the sting. Those that are picked with garden gloves (rubber kitchen gloves work, too). The sting comes from chemicals* in the plant. Once stinging nettles are blanched, boiled or soaked in water, the sting is gone.

    In North America, nettles sprout up very briefly in early spring and late fall, growing like weeds at the edges of cultivated farmland. That’s why the best place to find them is farmers markets.

    Why go after something that stings? They have charming flavor, a bit like spinach with a cucumber undertone. You can use as a substitute for cooked spinach.

    You can find numerous nettles recipes online, but we’ll start you off with some soup and pesto.
     
    RECIPE #1: POTATO, NETTLE & GREEN GARLIC SOUP

    This recipe, from Good Eggs, unites two limited spring vegetables: nettles and green garlic. The soup tastes even better the next day. Prep time is 20 minutes, total time is 45 minutes.
     
    Ingredients For 2-3 Servings

  • 2 pound waxy or all-purpose potatoes, rinsed well and cut into 1″ pieces
  • Salt
  • 3 stalks green garlic, white parts minced and green parts set aside
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups nettles, carefully de-stemmed and washed (substitute spinach)
  • Garnish: ½ cup crème fraîche (substitute plain Greek yogurt)
  • Garnish: ½ cup parsley, rinsed and patted dry
  • Garnish: 2 tablespoons chives, chopped finely
  •  
    ________________________
    *In the stinging varieties, hollow stinging hairs on the leaves and stems called trichomes inject three chemicals when touched by humans and other animals: histamine which irritates the skin, acetylcholine which causes a burning feeling, and serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to relay signals in the brain. They produce a rash that can be treated with an anti-itch cream, aloe vera or baking soda. But the protective chemicals doesn’t do a good job of keeping us away from nettles: They have a long history of use as a medicine and food source. Further, they need to be eaten before they begin to flower and produce other compounds that cause stomach irritation. (Perhaps serve them with some fugu—blowfish?)
     
    Preparation

    1. PLACE the potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Salt the water generously—it should be salty as ocean water—and add the bay leaves and a handful of the green garlic tops. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 25-30, minutes or until potatoes are soft but not falling apart. Drain in a colander and cool by spreading the potatoes in a single flat layer on a tray. While potatoes are boiling…

    2. SAUTÉ the onion in a large stock pot with a tablespoon each of butter and olive oil over medium-low heat, until soft and translucent. Add the minced green garlic and sauté for another 5 minutes, until soft and aromatic.

    3. HALVE or quarter the cooled potatoes, depending on size, and add to the onions and garlic. Stir gently to combine. Add the chicken stock to the pot until the potatoes are just covered; bring to a boil.

    4. TURN off the heat and purée half the soup in a blender. Use a kitchen towel to hold down the lid of the blender and be careful of steam and hot splashes. You can also use an immersion blender. If you prefer a more rustic soup, you can lightly mash the potatoes with the back of a spoon or a potato masher, instead of puréeing.

    5. USE protective gloves, a kitchen towel or tongs and carefully de-stem and wash the nettles (we cut them from the stems with a kitchen scissors). Drain them in a colander, then chop roughly. Fold into the hot soup and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve hot with a generous dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkling of chives and parsley.

     

    RECIPE #2: NETTLE & PISTACHIO PESTO

    Nettles make a delicious pesto; here are 20+ ways to use pesto.

    This recipe is from Quinciple.com, a premier meal delivery service.

    Ingredients

  • 1 cup stinging nettle leaves, de-stemmed
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, toasted
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup packed Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated (substitute freshly grated Parmesan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
  •  
    Preparation

    1. DE-STEM the nettle leaves: Hold onto the stem with tongs and use your other hand to carefully snip the leaves with kitchen scissors.

    2. BRING a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the nettles by adding the leaves to the water for 1-2 minutes. Remove them with tongs or a slotted spoon, and place them in an ice bath (a bowl with water with ice cubes) to cool. Once the nettles are cool to the touch, strain and squeeze all water from the leaves.

    3. ROUGHLY CHOP the blanched leaves and add them to a food processor with the garlic, pistachios, lemon juice and zest, cheese, salt and pepper. Pulse into a coarse paste. Then stream in the olive oil to the desired consistency or about 1/3. Serve immediately or store in a jar for up to 5 days.
     
    MORE WAYS TO SERVE NETTLES

    Like most herbs, nettles are good for you, rich in calcium, iron, manganese, potassium and vitamins A and C. They have been called “seaweed of the land” because of their complete spectrum of trace minerals and their soft, salty flavor.

  • Have them for breakfast, in omelets or scrambled eggs.
  • Add them to soup stocks or stews, where they’ll contribute a rich earthy/briny flavor. Some combinations include nettle-potato soup (recipe above), nettle-garlic, nettle-sorrel and just plain nettle.
  • Use them instead of spinach in a nettle & artichoke dip.
  • Steam and add them to enchiladas.
  • Add them to lasagna or risotto; top a pizza.
  • Purée them as a sauce for chicken, fish and seafood.
  •  

    Nettle Pesto Recipe

    Nettles

    Nettle pesto from Quinciple.com.

  • Combine them with spinach and/or mushrooms as a side, add them to a goat cheese tart, spanakopita, quiche, etc.
  •  
    Until next spring!

      

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    RECIPE: Cauliflower Risotto

    Having just published an article about cauliflower rice, we’re following up with this recipe for Cauliflower “Risotto.”

    This recipe is from Food Player Linda, a freelance chef in Connecticut whose innovative recipes can be found onPlayingWithFireAndWater.com. When we win the lottery, we will retain her to make magnificent meals.

    RECIPE: CAULIFLOWER “RISOTTO”

    Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, washed, root end trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-2 cups of broth or stock
  • 4 ounces blue cheese or any creamy cheese that will melt*
  • Garnish: minced herbs, toasted breadcrumbs (ideally panko), shaved Parmesan
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MELT the butter in a skillet or large shallow pan over medium-low heat. Stir in the shallots and cook slowly until translucent. While the shallots are cooking…

    2. ROUGHLY CHOP the cauliflower into 1″ pieces. Working in 2-3 batches, pulse the cauliflower in a food processor in short pulses, until roughly the size of grains of rice. There will be a combination of very fine pieces as well as larger pieces.

    3. TRANSFER the cauliflower into the pan with the shallots and turn the heat up to medium-high. Sauté while stirring, until the cauliflower begins to brown. Season with salt and pepper and add a 1/2 cup of the stock, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. When liquid has nearly evaporated…

     

    Cauliflower Risotto Recipe

    caulirisotto-230

    Top: Jamie Oliver’s Cauliflower Risotto recipe with anchovy breadcrumbs, via Mimi Katz Chen. Here’s the recipe. Mushroom “risotto” made with cauliflower instead of rice. Recipe and photo courtesy Playing With Fire And Water.

     
    4. ADD another 1/2 cup of stock and turn the heat down until the liquid maintains a slow simmer. Continue stirring occassionaly, adding small amounts of liquid as necessary, until the cauliflower reaches the desired consistency. Remove from the heat. Crumble the cheese over the top and stir in until melted and creamy. Adjust the seasonings to taste and serve.
     
    ANCHOVY PANKO BREADCRUMBS GARNISH

    Ingredients

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 small can anchovies, including oil
  • 3 small dried red chilies†
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the breadcrumbs, anchovies and their oil, and the chilies in a food processor; pulse until mixed.

    2. HEAT the oil in a frying pan and fry the flavored breadcrumbs, tossing and toasting until golden brown. Set aside until you’re ready to garnish.

     
    ___________________________
    *Best melting cheeses: Asiago, Fontina, Gouda, Gruyère, Mozzarella, Provolone, Robiola Bosina (not regular Robiola), Taleggio.

    †Cherry peppers are mild, as are the larger green Anaheim chiles. The yellow-orange Aji Amarillo and the larger Cayenne chiles
    have medium heat. Thai chiles, also known as sprig kee nu and birdseye chile, are hot.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Riced Cauliflower, Cauliflower Rice

    Cauliflower Risotto

    Cauliflower Rice

    Flavored Cauliflower Rice

    Top: No rice involved—this mushroom “risotto” was made by HealthyFellow.com from riced cauliflower. Here’s the recipe. Center: JoyLoop brand is sold at Good Eggs | San Francisco, perhaps the most wonderful food purveyor in the U.S. Bottom: In the U.K., CauliRice.com sells plain cauliflower rice, plus Indian, Mediterranean and Thai flavors.

     

    Cauliflower rice, also called cauliflower couscous, is poised for fame. There’s no actual rice involved; it’s a grain-free rice substitute made from cauliflower, that can be used in just about every rice recipe from plain boiled to fried rice to risotto.

    Cauliflower rice—cauliflower chopped in a ricer, became popular with the Paleo Diet, and it is takes time to make it from scratch.

    Fortunately, the Paleo Diet is making people more aware of it, and small producers have begun to cut and package it. It can be found minced or pulverized, fresh and frozen.

    Who invented cauliflower rice? There may be several different “inventors” who first pulverized a head of cauliflower. The Italian supplier who makes other cauliflower products for Trader Joe’s ended up with lots of leftover florets and trim. Rather than toss them, Trader Joe’s says, “We put our heads together and came up with a new product made from this extra cauliflower.”

    Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse, a “superfood,” a term that evaluates foods based on their calorie density vis-a-vis their amount/types of nutrients. A member of the Brassica family, it is rich in immune-boosting antioxidants and vitamin C (also an antioxidant). It is low in calories and low on the Glycemic Index (GI). But there’s more:

  • Cauliflower contains more vitamin C per 100g than an orange.
  • It has a range of protective plant compounds (the antioxidants quercetin, beta carotene and caffeic acid) that help to reduce oxidative stress in the body, a key risk factor for cancer.
  • Its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and helps to alleviate symptoms of other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel syndrome.
  • Its sulphur compounds support detoxification in the liver, and promote levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
  • As with cauliflower mashed potatoes, you can pass it off to kids and adult finicky eaters as regular rice.
  •  
    WHERE TO BUY CAULIFLOWER RICE

    Now here’s the rub: Cauliflower rice is not yet available as widely as it should be. But it’s poised for fame and on its way: We recently spoke with a specialty food manufacturer who will be bringing it to market soon. In the interim:

     

  • Trader Joe’s imports it frozen from Italy. It was so popular that as of this writing, it is sold out and the retailer is waiting for a new shipment.
  • Joyloop Foods, in greater San Franciso, sells to some California retailers and online.
  • Paleo On The Go, a meal delivery service, packages it and sells it on Amazon.
  • You can buy Green Giant Cauliflower Crumbles in a Steam In Pack. Although the crumbles are larger than riced cauliflower, you can cook them al dente and rice them.
  •  
    And of course, you can make your own from a head of cauliflower.
     
    ______________________________
    *Brassica is the plant genus of cruciferous vegetables, nutritional powerhouses packed with potent, cancer-fighting phytonutrients (antioxidants). They include arugula, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, horseradish/wasabi, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, radish, rapeseed/canola, rapini, rutabaga and turnips, among others.

     

    RECIPE: HOMEMADE CAULIFLOWER RICE

    Cauliflower rice can be buttered, sauced or otherwise made more flavorful by adding vegetables, herbs and/or spices. This recipe, from CauliRice.com, advises that homemade versions will taste more strongly of cauliflower and less like actual rice, but we have no issue with the homemade “rice.” Light seasoning, butter, etc. will mask any subtle cauliflower flavor.

    Prep time is 10 minutes.
     
    Ingredients For 3-4 Servings

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • Salt and pepper and/or other seasonings (herbs, spices)
  • Optional: cooking oil
  • Chopping board and knife
  • Food processor with an “S” blade, or a hand grater
  •  
    Preparation

    1. WASH the cauliflower and remove any leaves. Remove the main stem and set it aside for another purpose†. The fine stems that hold the florettes together need not be removed.

    2. CUT or break the florettes into chunks so they better fit into your food processor. Attach the ‘S’ blade and place the florettes into the processor bowl. Pulse until the cauliflower is the texture of couscous (course grains) or until all large lumps disappear. Do not over-process, as this will result in mushy cauliflower rice when cooked. If you have a particularly large cauliflower, or a small processor or hand grater, you may have to do this in batches.

    3. MICROWAVE for 3 minutes. Microwaving retains more moisture than dry-frying or oven baking, and is CauliRice’s preferred method. Place the cauliflower rice into a microwave-safe dish. Add a teaspoon of water—no more, or the cauliflower rice will become too wet. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or a lid. Cook for 3 minutes at 900 watts.

    4. LEAVE the cauliflower rice covered, and let it stand for another 2-3 minutes. It will continue cooking in its own heat. Add seasoning to taste and serve.

     

    Cauliflower Rice

    Trader Joe's Cauliflower Rice

    Top: Homemade cauliflower rice from TheKitchn.com. Here’s their recipe and a video. Bottom: Cauliflower rice from Trader Joe’s.

     
    _______________________
    †You can steam and slice or purée it, finely dice or slice and add to salads, add to soups and stews, etc. You can also stick it in the freezer and decide later.

     
    TO DRY FRY

    1. HEAT a tablespoon of your preferred cooking oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the cauliflower bits and spread evenly across the base of the pan. Cover the pan and cook for approximately 7-8 minutes, stirring every minute or so, until the cauliflower is slightly crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. If you prefer a less crispy cauliflower rice, add a tablespoon of water to the pan about halfway through cooking—but be sure to cook this added moisture off before serving.

    2. Add seasoning to taste, and serve.
     
    TO OVEN COOK

    Oven cooking produces a drier, crunchier cauliflower rice that some people prefer, although it gives a less rice-like effect.

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 425°F. Spread the cauliflower pieces evenly across a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, turning the cauliflower every 5 minutes or so.

    2. REMOVE from the oven, add seasoning to taste and serve.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Salsify

    We can’t believe that in 15 years of publishing THE NIBBLE, we’ve never published an article on salsify. Ironically, it is known as a “forgotten vegetable.”

    WHAT IS SALSIFY?

    Salsify, pronounced SAL-suh-fee OR SAL-suh-fie, is a root vegetable in the Asteraceae or dandelion family. Dandelions, daisies and lettuce are in the family, but belong to different genuses (they’re not root vegetables).

    Other root vegetables belong to other families entirely:

    Beetroot (Amaranthaceae); burdock/gobo (Asteraceae); carrot and celeriac/celery root (Apiaceae); (Apiaceae); daikon/white Japanese radish, black radish, horseradish, radish, rutabaga, turnip and wasabi (Brassicaceae); lotus root, parsley root and parsnip (Nelumbonaceae).
     
    Not A Looker, But Delicious

    These roots lack the grace of carrot or parsnip. White salsify is “hairy” and black salsify looks like a twig.

    White Salsify. White salsify could be mistaken for a thin parsnip, but its flavor has been compared to an artichoke heart or Jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke). Because of its minerality, it has also earned the names oyster plant or vegetable oyster. Because of its purple flowers, some call it purple salsify.

    Black Salsify. Its cousin, black salsify, has yellow flowers and the flavor of mild asparagus. It was first cultivated in Spain, and is also called Spanish salsify and false salsify.
     
    The Value Of Root Vegetables

    Root vegetables have long been important in the kitchen. After harvesting, they last a good while in the pantry without spoiling, and last even longer in the fridge. In older times, the root cellar kept a family fed through the winter.

    Different roots have different flavor profiles. Radishes are pungent, carrots are sweet, beets are sweet and earthy. Parsnips, turnips, rutabagas and salsify have more subtle flavors.

    Root vegetables are also rich in nutrients, low in fat and calories, inexpensive, and in modern times, usually available year-round.
     
    HOW TO BUY & STORE SALSIFY

    The roots have a rough outer skin, which requires scrubbing and, for many people, peeling. (It is fine to eat the skin.)

    Buy firm roots, preferably with the green tops still on. You can refrigerate them in an airtight container, but use them within a week; the roots alone will last for two weeks.

    To store, wrap the roots in plastic and refrigerate. Check periodically to see if the root is drying out. If it is, it’s time to cook them!

    Before cooking, scrub the root under cold running water, peel with a vegetable peeler and immediately place into acidulated water, water with a bit of lemon juice or vinegar to prevent discoloration.

    After you peel the root, you can cut it into matchsticks or thicker short lengths, or slice them into coins. Simmer for half an hour until soft, drain, and sauté in a bit of butter.

       

    Salsify

    Salsify Soup

    Black Salsify

    Top: black (right) and white salsify roots at The Chef’s Garden. Center: A bowl of salsify and celeriac soup. Here’s the recipe from InSimonesKitchen.com. Bottom: The leaves are usually removed before the root goes to market; but like beet, turnip and other root greens, they are tasty (photo courtesy Will Bonsall | MOFA.org.).

     
    TYPES OF SALSIFY

    There are two types of salsify: white salsify and black salsify. The latter is more highly regarded for its nutrition. Now pay attention, because while they’re both members of Asteraceae, the daisy family, they’re actually different species!

    Both roots are low in sodium and offer a good amount of protein. They contains modest amounts of vitamin C, some B vitamins, and complex carbohydrates.r in the black variety can boost hair health.

    Both varieties are native to western Eurasia and were originally cultivated for both its root and greens and are grown in the same way.

     

    Salsify Pasta

    Mushroom Salsify Tart

    Pork Chops & Salsify Recipe

    photo and recipe courtesy Good Eggs | San Francisco Center: White salsify root courtesy Good Eggs. Bottom: Salsify “pasta” in smoked oyster cream with black pepper and microgreen garnish, from The Chef’s Garden.

     

    HOW TO SERVE SALSIFY

    Salsify may not be the best looking root, but it delivers beautiful flavor. It pairs well with butter, cream, garlic and parsley. We’ve included some recipes below.

    If you find young roots with the leaves attached, the leaves are also quite tasty and can be added to salads, sautés or stir-fries. By the time the roots are mature, however, all but the most inner leaves have grown tough.

    Black salsify and white salsify are interchangeable in recipes. You can use them for:

  • Crudité platter, green salad or slaw (young salsify can be eaten raw, sliced thinly).
  • Sides: Steamed or roasted, sliced, mashed or puréed.
  • Gratins and fritters (slice into coins).
  • Vegetable pasta (use your spiralizer!)
  • Soups and stews (steam before adding).
  • Pickled, with sandwiches and relish trays.
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    RECIPE: PORK CHOPS WITH SALSIFY

    You can find many salsify recipes, from bruschetta to salsa. This recipe, from Good Eggs in San Francisco (photo left/bottom), takes 10 minutes prep time, 35 minutes total time.
     
    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • ¾ pound pork chops
  • 1 pound salsify, peeled, ends trimmed off and sliced into 2” chunks
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed at the ends and sliced on a diagonal
  • 2 tablespoons chives, roughly chopped
  • A handful* of chervil, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon mint, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 spring onion (substitute green onion/scallion)
  • Red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Olive Oil
  •  
    ____________
    *When you see an imprecise measurement like “handful” or “bit,” the amount is usually not very important. If you love the ingredient, use more of it; if you’re not, use less. We can’t get enough basil, for example.

     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Remove pork chops from their packaging, pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Let the meat come to room temperature.

    2. FILL a pot halfway with water. Add a tablespoon of salt and the juice of one lemon; then add the salsify pieces. Cover and bring to a boil; then turn down to a simmer and let cook until very tender, about 25 minutes. While the salsify simmers…

    3. THINLY SLICE the spring onion and place it in a small bowl. Cover it with a few splashes of red wine vinegar and set aside. Once the salsify is tender…

    4. SCOOP it out of the water into a large bowl. Mash it with a fork, adding a tablespoon or two of butter, a few pinches of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Mash to your preferred texture.

    5. HEAT a cast iron pan over high heat with a bit of olive oil. When the olive oil is hot, add the pork chops and cook until golden brown on one side, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and sear for another 3-4 minutes before moving the entire pan into the preheated oven. Let it cook for about 5 minutes, until the internal temperature measured at the center of the chop reads 140°-145° (for medium rare). Remove from the pan and let rest for 10 minutes.

    6. FOLD the herbs into the snap peas with a tablespoon of olive oil and half of the vinegar mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste, and more vinegar to taste. After the chops have rested…

    7. SLICE into ½ inch slices and divide between two plates. Serves alongside a few dollops of the salsify and cover the salsify and pork chops with a few generous spoonfuls of herbed snap peas.
     
    MORE SALSIFY RECIPES

  • Salsify Soup with Celeriac
  • Salsify, Lentil & Pineapple Salad
  • Salsify in Garlic Vinaigrette
  • Pan-Roasted Salsify
  • Caramelized Salsify
  •   

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Spring Asparagus

    Fresh Green Asparagus

    Green, White & Purple Asparagus

    Top: Freshly cut asparagus from Baldor Food. Bottom: Three colors of asparagus from Australian Asparagus Growers.

     

    Asparagus is our favorite harbinger of spring, along with big artichokes, fava beans, green garlic, morels, nettles, ramps and spring peas (a.k.a. English or garden peas).

    Once upon a time—in your mother’s, grandmother’s or great-gran’s generation, depending on your age—people who preferred fresh produce had to get their fill during the growing season. Some growing seasons were quite brief.

    Imported produce had yet to emerge in the off season, to meet the demands of people who wanted asparagus—or peaches or any other fruit or vegetable—year-round. When asparagus or peaches were out of season, you could buy them canned or frozen.

    Now asparagus is available year-round, imported from the Southern Hemisphere during the Northern Hemisphere’s off season. That means carbon miles, plus waning freshness as the they travel a long distance.

    In the U.S., spring is the best season for fresh, affordable asparagus. April through late June is prime asparagus season, so get your fill while you can.

    In the olden days, spring asparagus were served as a side or a first course: buttered spears with a wedge of lemon and/or lemon mayonnaise. They were pickled and served with cocktails, turned into soup and, for people of Italian heritage, added to pasta and risotto.

    While most of the asparagus grown are green (some with green tips, some with purple tips), you can find purple and white in specialty produce stores and farmers markets.

    Here are the differences among green, purple and white asparagus varieties. We’ve even seen pale pink asparagus, possibly a mutation of the purple.

     
    WAYS TO ENJOY ASPARAGUS

    Asparagus blends well with most dishes.

  • Breakfast: In an omelet, frittata, scrambled eggs, with poached eggs or added to Eggs Benedict, with grits.
  • Appetizers: Asparagus crostini with pancetta, bruschetta with hummus, asparagus and prosciutto wraps, a snacking platter of hummus or other spreads and dips, charcuterie, cheese, gherkins and/or olives with steamed or pickled asparagus, crackers or breads.
  • Lunch: Added to a green salad, a conventional sandwich or a wrap; in a luncheon salad topped with grilled sliced beef, chicken, lamb, salmon, scallops or shrimp.
  • First Courses: Asparagus salad with red grapefruit, in any green salad, plain or with added bacon or pancetta; asparagus soup.
  • Mains: Any pasta dish, such as linguine with asparagus and Parma ham; any grilled or roasted meat, poultry or fish/seafood (check out these Greek-style lamb chops with feta, kalamata olives, mint and red onion); risotto or other rice/grain dishes; grilled salmon with asparagus and pineapple salsa; scallops with asparagus and morels.
  • Sides: Grilled asparagus (recipe (here’s one with mushrooms and shaved Parmesan), grilled rack of asparagus, sweet and spicy asparagus; stir-fried; pickled asparagus.
  • Diet: Steamed asparagus with balsamic vinaigrette, hummus or yogurt-Dijon dip; on a crudités platter.
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    THE HISTORY OF ASPARAGUS

    The asparagus plant, Asparagus officinalis, is a member of the lily family, Asparagaceae, which also includes agave, and flowering plants such as lily of the valley and star of Bethlehem. There are more than 300 species of asparagus, most of which are grown as ornamental plants.

    Asparagus originated in the eastern Mediterranean region, but today is grown worldwide. It was first cultivated more than 2,000 years ago. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans prized asparagus for its unique flavor, texture and alleged medicinal qualities.

    The vegetable gained popularity in France and England in the 16th Century; King Louis XIV of France enjoyed this delicacy so much that he had special greenhouses built to supply it year-round. Early colonists brought it to America.

    Asparagus is a perennial plant raised in furrowed fields. It takes about three years before the plants produce asparagus. The delicate plant needs a temperate climate and requires much hand labor in all phases of cultivation. The spears are cut by hand—backbreaking work—when they reach about 9 inches in length.
     
    Nutrition

    Asparagus is nutritious: a good source of calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and zinc; and a very good source of copper, dietary fiber, folate, iron, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, protein, riboflavin, selenium, thiamin, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) and vitamin K, plus the antioxidant flavonoid rutin.

    It has no fat or cholesterol and is very low in sodium. Asparagus is very low in calories (27 per cup) and contains no fat or cholesterol.

    There are three varieties of asparagus—green, purple and white.

  • Green asparagus, the most common, has a green stalk and a purple tip.
  • White asparagus, popular in Germany, was first created in Argenteuil, France as a delicacy. It is green asparagus grown in the dark but with exposure to ultraviolet light (alternately, earth is piled on top of the stalks so that they grow “underground”), and in our opinion has more of a visual interest than flavor.
  • Purple or violet asparagus has higher sugar and lower fiber levels, although the numbers are not significant. It was originally developed in Tuscany and sold as Violetto d’Albenga, after the valley where it was grown.
  •  

    Asparagus Omelet

    Asparagus First Course

    Top: Asparagus and scrambled eggs for breakfast, from the California Avocado Commission. Bottom: A first course or light lunch of asparagus, prosciutto, burrata and crostini at Barbuto | NYC.

     
    While white and purple asparagus are creations of modern growing techniques, green asparagus has been enjoyed since ancient times. There is a recipe for it in oldest surviving book of recipes, De Re Coquinaria, Book III, written by Marcus Gavius Apicius in the third century C.E.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Herb Salad

    Herb Salad

    An herb salad hits the spot. Photo by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Even if you’re not in the practice of serving a large green salad with dinner, a small herb salad is an easy way to have a few greens that don’t need a heavy dressing. It goes well with any protein.
     
    This recipe was developed by Chef Eric Dantis for THE NIBBLE. You can substitute parsley for the cilantro, dill for the chives, pear or other fruit for the apple.

    RECIPE: HERB SALAD

    Ingredients For The Salad

  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • ½ bunch basil
  • ½ bunch chives
  • ½ bunch arugula
  • ¼ bunch mint
  • 1 Fuji or Granny Smith apple
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Optional: jalapeño
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  
    Ingredients For The Dressing

  • Juice of 1 or 2 limes or lemons
  • Good-quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PICK the leaves* from the cilantro and mint; rinse and dry along with the arugula leaves and reserve in a medium-size bowl.

    2. SLICE or tear the basil into thick strips and slice the chives into 1-inch spears. Add them to the bowl with the herbs.

    3. SLICE the apple and jalapeño into matchsticks and place them in a separate medium-sized bowl. To prevent oxidation, squeeze enough orange juice to coat the apple slices, but not to soak them.

    4. MAKE the dressing: Mix the lime or lemon juice with 1-½ to 2 times the amount of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    5. SERVE: Combine all ingredients except the dressing in a serving bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the dressing 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, and toss the salad and repeat until you are satisfied with amount of dressing.
     
    _______________________
    *If you really love cilantro, note that the stems have more flavor than the leaves.

     
      

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