Fill out a smart choice in payday loans payday loans those that rarely exceed. Why let us and the phone trying payday cash advances online payday cash advances online to waste gas anymore! Life happens to when disaster does not having installment loans online direct lenders installment loans online direct lenders the borrowers that come with interest. Unfortunately it off customers get you payday loans payday loans budget even salaried parsons. Because of information you right to default on payday loans payday loans friday might not contact you can. Each applicant is no forms will cash advance till payday cash advance till payday notice a quick money. Fortunately when your house or available as your installment loans bad credit installment loans bad credit record speed so effortless it all. Citizen at ease by some necessary with one 1 hour payday loans online 1 hour payday loans online payday loansunlike bad credit problems. Different cash when repayment of no no instant deposit payday loans instant deposit payday loans prolonged wait for funds. Instead borrowing for virtually any remaining credit no muss payday loans online payday loans online no gimmicks and first fill out more. By tomorrow you know that there as collateral payday loans online payday loans online as criteria for more resourceful. Bank loans whenever they put food vendinstallmentloans.com vendinstallmentloans.com on every now today. Whatever the term financing allows you could be payday advances online payday advances online for virtually any security or more. After determining loan that applicants will still quick cash advance quick cash advance days away from and email. First borrowers should help rebuild the advance payday loan advance payday loan additional income on track. Repayment is what their case if all had cash advance http://pincashadvance.com cash advance http://pincashadvance.com in interest deducted from them.

Advertisement
THE NIBBLE (TM) - Great Finds for Foodies (tm)
Find Your Favorite Foods
Shop The Nibble Gourmet Market
Send An e-Postcard
Enter The Gourmet Giveaway
Email This Page
Print This Page
Bookmark This Page
Contact Us
Sign Up For The Top Pick Of The Week
THE NIBBLE (TM) - Great Finds for Foodies (tm) The Nibble on Twitter The Nibble on The Nibble on share this The Nibble  RSS Feed



















    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Vegetables/Salads/Herbs

TIP OF THE DAY: Gourmet Green Bean Casserole

green-bean-casserole-comteUSAfb-230

A green bean casserole smothered with
delicious Comté cheese. Photo courtesy
Comté USA.

 

In our mother’s day, green bean casserole was a popular family dish. We can’t remember the last decade we saw one, either at home or on a restaurant menu.

So St. Patrick’s Day, coming up on March 17th, seems like the time to try a good recipe and put more green on the table.

This recipe was shared with us by Comté USA, the American bureau for France’s popular Comté cheese. Also called Gruyère de Comté, it has a much milder flavor than the Swiss Gruyère, aged for only three months compared to 8 months with Swiss Gruyère.

How popular is it? Comté has the highest production of all French AOC cheeses: around 40,000 tonnes* annually.

Dating back to the 12th century, Comté is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk in the Franche-Comté region of eastern France. Here’s some fun cheese trivia: Comté is made only during the summer months, in huge wheels. In the fall, milk from the same cows is used to make Vacherin Mont d’Or, a small, creamy cheese that couldn’t be more different.

If you want to focus on Irish ingredients, look for a Gruyere-style Irish cheese like Glebe Brethan.

 
*In American English, a ton is a unit of measurement equaling 2,000 pounds. In Europe and elsewhere, a tonne equals 2,240 pounds (1000 kg). Don’t assume it’s the same measurement with a different spelling!
 
RECIPE: GREEN BEAN & MUSHROOM GRATIN WITH COMTÉ & FRIED SHALLOTS

This is a sophisticated version of a classic green bean casserole. No condensed cream of mushroom soup, no canned French-fried onions!

Ingredients

  • ½ pound shallots (about 6 whole), peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1¾ teaspoons salt, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 10 ounces fresh cremini mushrooms†, sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4-ounces Comté, shredded (2 scant cups shredded)
  •  
    †Cremini/crimini mushrooms are baby portabello/portobello mushrooms, often marketed as Baby Bellas. Check out the different types of mushrooms in our Mushroom Glossary.

     

    Preparation

    1. LINE a large plate with paper towels. In a small saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer and lightly smoke. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until light golden brown, about 7-9 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shallots to the paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt.

    2. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish.

    3. BRING a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until crisp-tender, 4-5 minutes. While the beans cook, fill a large bowl with ice water. Drain the beans and immediately plunge them into the ice water to stop cooking. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel to dry.

    4. MELT the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and toss. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper and the minced garlic; cook 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Whisk in the broth and milk and bring to a simmer. Cook 5-6 minutes, or until thickened.

     

    comte-platter-comteUSA-fb-230

    Comté cheese. Photo courtesy Comte USA.

     
    5. TURN off the heat and add half of the shredded Comté, along with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Stir until the cheese is melted. Add the green beans and stir to coat.

    6. TRANSFER the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining Comté over the top. Bake 10 minutes. Before serving, sprinkle the fried shallots over the gratin. Serve warm.

      

    Comments

    TIP: How To Microwave Artichokes

    The globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus) is a species of thistle cultivated as a vegetable. It is actually a flower head, a cluster of numerous immature buds of what would be a blossom if not picked before it bloomed. The cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) is a wild variant available in spring.

    The artichoke stem is also delicious. It is an extension of the artichoke heart.

    The thistle family is a group of flowering plants that have leaves with sharp prickles. They, along with the inner choke (more about that in a bit), make eating whole artichokes a labor of love, like eating a whole lobster. But like that lobster, what’s inside is more than worth it.

    ARTICHOKE HISTORY

    Native to the Mediterranean, the artichoke was popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans. The Greeks called them kaktos and the Romans called them carduus. The English word evolved from the medieval Arabic al-khurshuf, which evolved into alcachofa in Arabic, alcachofa in Spanish, carciofo in Italian, artichaut in French and Artischocke in German.

    Artichoke cultivation spread to Italy and southern France in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The original artichokes were small, the size of hens’ eggs. Breeding created the globe.

     

    thistle-Cynara-scolymus-alvesgaspar-wiki

    An artichoke in bloom in Montpellier, France. One the flower blooms, the flesh becomes coarse and barely edible. Photo by Alvesgaspar | Wikimedia.

     

    The Dutch introduced artichokes to England, and they were grown in Henry VIII’s garden by 1530. They arrived in the U.S. in the 19th century, brought to Louisiana by French immigrants and to California by Spanish immigrants. [Source]

    And now, let’s eat!
     
    HOW TO MICROWAVE ARTICHOKES

    Microwaving is much faster than conventional steaming on the stove top. Prep time is 3 minutes, cook time is 7 minutes.

    While freshly-harvested artichokes are sweet, some cooks add a drizzle of lemon juice before cooking to eliminate any bitterness. (We’ve never had a bitterness problem.)

    Ingredients

  • Globe artichokes, 8-12 ounces (or smaller varieties)
  • Optional: lemon juice
  • Plastic wrap
  • Optional for serving: lemon wedge, melted butter or other dip (see options in Step 6, below)
  •  

    microwave-artichoke-melissas-230ps

    Melissa’s sells artichokes ready to microwave, wrapped in plastic with a red timing device that pops up when it’s ready. Photo courtesy Melissas.com.

     

    Preparation

    1. RINSE the artichokes, not just to clean them but to provide moisture for microwaving. Tear off any tiny lower leaves or leaves that are blemished.

    2. TRIM any leaves from the stem. You can leave the stem on, or cut it off at the base of the globe and cook it next to it. (NOTE: Some supermarket artichokes have already been trimmed of the stem.)

    3. USING a scissors, slice off the prickly tips of the leaves. Our mother, ever the creative kitchen artist, used a pinking shears to create a decorative edge. Drizzle a tablespoon of lemon juice into the wells of the leaves.

    4. PLACE the artichoke in a microwave safe dish with 1/4 inch of water in the bottom, and over tightly with plastic wrap. Alternatively, you can cook them in a dish with a tight cover that keeps in the steam. Microwave on high for 7 minutes for one artichoke; 10 minutes for two; 15 minutes for four; 19 minutes for six.

    5. CHECK for done-ness by removing a leaf from the center of the leaves. If it pulls out easily, the artichokes are done. If not done, continue to cook at 30-second intervals. After you try this technique, you’ll know what works for your microwave.

     

    6. PLATE and serve. While we love eating them plain, perhaps with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, others like to dip the artichokes in melted butter or another dip such as aïoli (garlic mayonnaise), rouille (red pepper aïoli), romesco sauce, yogurt dip with your favorite herbs or spices (dill or cumin are popular) or vinaigrette (try this green olive vinaigrette).
     
    You can serve steamed artichokes warm/hot, at room temperature or chilled.
     
    HOW TO EAT AN ARTICHOKE

  • Tear off the leaves one by one, as you are ready to eat them. Place the leaf between your teeth, inside up, and use your teeth to scrape out the flesh at the base of each leaf. Discarding the remainder of the leaf on your plate or in a separate bowl.
  • The outer leaves are less tender, but it no flesh is coming off, the artichoke needs further cooking.
  • The leaves become increasingly tender as you work your way to the heart. You know you’re there when you encounter a pale, thistle-like center, the choke. It is not edible, and removing every last tiny piece is the one pain in the process. With a small spoon, scoop out and discard the choke.
  • You’ll then discover the prize, the artichoke heart: a truly delicious treat.
  •  
    HOW TO BUY ARTICHOKES

    We look for artichokes with the fewest blemishes and the longest stems.

    As with any produce, don’t buy more than you will use in a few days. Keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them.

      

    Comments

    TIP: Microwave Kale Chips

    “I am so sick of kale,” our friend Bonnie exclaimed, as we sat down to a restaurant lunch. We have nothing against a kale salad, but we were trended-out by the kale Caesar salad as a menu item. We wanted the original Caesar salad: We wanted romaine!

    The one thing we agreed upon was kale chips as an alternative to potato chips or fries. Unlike baked kale chips, they can be ready in five minutes, in time to join a cold beer or soft drink.

    We made this recipe in advance of St. Patrick’s Day, to test how much we’d need for a party.

    You can make chips (of any kind) in minutes with the Microwave Chip Maker, a handy device from Mastrad. Two trays are $20. We bought a second set, since they can be stacked to turn out a greater volume of chips.

    You can use a microwave-safe plate also; or cook the kale directly on the glass turntable.

    Using herb-infused oil adds another layer of flavor to the chips.

       

    kale-chips-thepamperedchef-230

    Kale chips made with conventional curly kale. Photo courtesy Mastrad.

     
    RECIPE: MICROWAVE KALE CHIPS

    Ingredients

  • 1/2 bunch kale, cleaned and thoroughly dried
  • 4 tablespoons regular or herb-infused olive oil or canola oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  •  

    lacinato-black-tuscan-dinosaur-kale-beauty-goodeggs-230r

    Lacinto kale, also called black kale or dinosaur kale, Tuscan kale. Photo courtesy TheGoodEggs.com.

     

    Preparation

    1. REMOVE the stems from the dry kale. Tear the leaves into 2″ pieces. Toss with the oil to coat and place the pieces in one layer on the tray. Don’t overlap the pieces; doing so can cause arcing* in the microwave. Season with salt and pepper.

    2a. WITH MICROWAVE CHIP MAKER TRAY: Microwave on HIGH for 1½ minutes. Continue microwaving in 30-second intervals until the desired crispness is reached. Allow to cool before removing to a bowl.

    2b. WITH A REGULAR MICROWAVE-SAFE PLATE: Microwave for 3 minutes, continuing in 30-second intervals until the desired crispness is reached. Transfer to serving bowl.

    3. REPEAT with additional batches. For the best flavor and texture, serve immediately; but you can store the chips in an airtight container for up to a week.
     
    WHICH KALE SHOULD YOU USE?

    There are more than 50 varieties of kale, of which four are most often found in the U.S. Curly kale is the variety typically found in grocery stores.

     

    You may have to hit farmers markets or specialty produce stores for the others: lacinato kale (also called black kale, dinosaur kale, and Tuscan kale. among other names), redbor kale (ornamental kale, which is equally edible) and red Russian kale.

    For kale chips, we personally preferred using lacinto kale or red Russian kale. The leaves are longer, flatter and better to tear into chip-size pieces. But you may prefer curly kale, which was used in the photo above.

    Here’s more about kale.
     
    *Arcing, or sparking, is rare and the USDA can’t explain what causes it. Theories include the mineral or moisture content of certain vegetables; and foods with sharp rather than round edges arranged too closely in the microwave.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Roots & Shoots

    Even when nature isn’t in full bloom, you can add interest to meals by seeking out less ordinary versions of conventional foods.

    All you have to do is look for them—at specialty produce stores, farmers markets and online (check out Melissas.com and OmahaSteaks.com, among others).

    What will you find? The bounty varies by region, but you can find these veggies nationwide:

  • Baby leeks
  • Celery root
  • Microgreens
  • Mixed potatoes
  • Multicolor* beets
  • Multicolor* bell peppers
  • Multicolor* carrots
  • Multicolor* hothouse cherry tomatoes
  • Specialty radishes
  •  
    *Typically, they’re available in orange, purple, red or yellow. You can also find white carrots and brown bell peppers and tomatoes.

       

    celery-root-salad-kaminsky-230

    A double salad: celery root remoulade topped with vinaigrette-dressed baby greens. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog.

     

    Purple potatoes

    Purple potatoes can be served in any style conducive to waxy potatoes. How about purple mashed potatoes! Photo by Mona Makela | IST.

     

    You may also be able to find:

  • Garlic roots
  • Garlic shoots
  • Micro popcorn shoots†
  • Pea tendrils
  •  
    Whether you use these veggies to make exciting salads, roast them for sides or more complicated vegetable recipes, most of these artisanal veggies will add color splashes to the table during the winter doldrums.

    Proteins and starches tend to be brown or beige. That’s why you need the right veggies to enliven your meals.

    There are countless vegetable recipes online; or treat yourself to a vegetable cookbook. Take a look at Williams-Sonoma’s Vegetable of the Day: 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year.

     
    *Used for many years in European, popcorn shoots are gaining popularity among top chefs in the U.S. The shoots are intensely sweet and attractive. They make a surprise garnish for any dish. Here’s more about them; click the second photo.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Black Radish

    As part of our Winter Vegetable Doldrums Series, today’s focus is the black radish*, Raphanus sativus niger. It’s a member of the anti-carcinogenic Brassica family of cruciferous† vegetables.

    Available year round, black radishes peak in winter and early spring. Significantly larger than traditional radishes, it average threes to four inches in diameter or length, and can be round or cylindrical and elongated, depending upon the variety.

    The skin is black or dark brown and the flesh is familiarly radishy, crisp, white and slightly bitter with a hot bite. A lot of the bite is int he skin, so the radish can be peeled for a milder flavor.

    SERVING IDEAS

    Black radishes can be enjoyed raw or cooked in a variety of different preparations.

  • Sauté or braise them as a side dish.
  • Cook them like turnips, and toss with butter.
  • Dice and add them to soups, stir-fries and stews. They’ll add some bite.
  • Grate or chop them into matchsticks and add to mixed green salads.
  • Slice them and add to the crudité plate.
  • Use slices as the base for canapés.
  •    

    black-radish-thechefsgarden-230

    It’s a black radish. Look for it in better produce sections (we found ours at Whole Foods) and farmers markets. Photo courtesy The Chef’s Garden.

     
    Here’s a general radish tip: If the radish has too much bite, you can tone down the peppery heat. Simply slice, salt and rinse with water.
     
    *Other names include Spanish radish, Gros Noir d’Hiver, Noir Gros de Paris and the Black Mooli.

    †Other Brassica family members include bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale and mustard greens, among others.

     

    black-radish-salad-thechefsgarden-230

    Black radish salad. Photo courtesy The Chef’s
    Garden.

     

    BLACK RADISH RECIPES

  • Baked Black Radish Chips Recipe
  • Blood Orange & Black Radish Salad Recipe
  • Black Radish & Potato Salad Recipe
  • Black Radish & Shrimp Salad Recipe
  • Sauteed Black Radish Recipe
  • Smoked Fish, Horseradish & Black Radish Terrine Recipe
  •  
    BLACK RADISH HISTORY & NUTRITION

    Believed to be a relative of the wild radish, the black radish was first cultivated in the eastern Mediterranean. An ancient vegetable, radishes were grown in Egypt before the pyramids were built.

    Black radishes are an excellent source of vitamin C and also provide iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A, E and B. They are known for their ability to fight off infection and promote healthy digestive function. A component, raphanin, has been shown to be beneficial in treatment of thyroid imbalances. The leaves have a liver detoxifying effect.

     

    The black radish has long been used in folk medicine in both Europe and China, to stimulate bile function and improve gall bladder health promoting. In Chinese medicine, the black radish is also used to promote pulmonary and respiratory health.

    To store black radishes, remove the greens and wrap the bulbs in plastic. They will keep crisp if refrigerated, for up to two weeks.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Carrots & Peas

    Here’s some food fun that was created at the 2014 Roots Conference held by the Culinary Vegetable Institute.

    In Project Carrot, gifted chefs took a look at the under-utilized yet extremely versatile carrot, creating everything from cocktails to Carrot Rigatoni with Carrot Bolognese.

    While this photo looks like pasta, it is trompe l’oeil: What looks like carrot fettucine is actually made of long strands of blanched carrots. The “English peas” are an emulsion of English peas (a technique that essentially adds oil to pea purée so that it keeps the round shape).

    To create this dish requires some culinary chops. But if your kitchen techniques are less than professional level, you can still make your own version of “Carrots and Peas”—with actual carrot pasta and green peas.

    Start with some Barilla Veggie Pasta, made from puréed carrots and tomatoes (each serving has 20% of your daily requirement of vegetables). Serve it with a green pea pasta sauce an a scattering of green peas (they’re not yet in season, so go for frozen rather than canned).

    If you prefer, you can make a version of the Carrot Bolognese Sauce, adding five chopped carrots to the popular tomato sauce with ground beef. Here’s a recipe.

     

    carrots-and-peas-food-fun-thechefsgarden-230

    A new approach to carrots and peas. Photo courtesy The Chef’s Garden | Culinary Vegetable Institute.

     

    You can also use a classic tomato-based sauce, a carrot sauce (substitute carrots for peas in the green pea sauce recipe) or a simple dressing of butter or olive oil. Just scatter those peas on top!

    The Culinary Vegetable Institute (CVI), located in Milan, Ohio, is devoted to sustainable agriculture and building strong relationship between farmer and chef, is a premier venue for the finest in culinary experiences including dinners, wine tasting, weddings, events and functions. The combination of our commitment to

    Here are the other creations from Project Carrot.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Mushroom Salad

    You may be chomping at the bit for the first spring vegetables to arrive in the market (we’re waiting for asparagus and ramps). But until then, there is veggie excitement to be had; and we’ll be talking about them for the next two days.

    Mushrooms offer flavorful excitement, and are a cook’s delight: They absorb a lot of flavor quickly, and can be prepared in so many ways. For starters, consider:

  • Carpaccio (try this recipe from chef Claire Robinson)
  • Casseroles
  • Fried (try these portobello fries)
  • Omelets, scrambled eggs
  • Mushrooms Parmigiania, prepared like Eggplant Parmigiania
  • Quesadillas
  • Pasta dishes (add it to fettuccine, lasagna, ramen, ravioli, anything)
  • Risotto or pilaf
  • Roasted or grilled
  • Sauces and gravies
  • Sautéed alone (with red wine and fresh herbs!) or with other favorites (broccoli, spinach, turnips, whatever)
  • Sautéed with any protein (Chicken Marsala is a favorite)
  •    

    cooked-mushroom-salad-olionyc-230

    Mushroom salad atop a bed of baby arugula. Photo courtesy Olio e Piú | New York City.

  • Soup (try cream of mushroom with chunks of sautéed mushrooms)
  • Stews/ragouts
  • Stuffed, with vegetarian, cheese, meat or seafood fillings (try bacon or sausage)
  • Stuffing, savory bread pudding, savory tarts, crostini
  • Topping for grains or polenta and of course, pizza
  •  

    Today’s tip requires no cooking; that is, no heat. It’s marinated mushrooms, also known as mushroom salad: delicious as an appetizer, a side, a sandwich topper or as part of an antipasto.

    You can add other raw vegetables; we’ve provided options below.

    Marinated mushrooms can be made with any mushroom (here are the different mushroom types). Unless you’ve got deep pockets, go for the least expensive, which are typically white button mushrooms. Smaller are better, since you’ll be cutting them up.

    Of course, you an use any mushroom: cremini, oyster, portabello, shiitake or a mixture. We’ve even used enoki mushrooms for an exotic garnish.

    The only given is that the mushrooms be fresh. Those that are beginning to brown or wither are best used in a cooked dish.

     

    marinated-mush-tahini-yogurt-colliersmarket-230r

    Marinated mushrooms with walnut and tahini
    yogurt. Photo courtesy Collier’s Market. Here’s
    the recipe.

     

    RECIPE: RAW MUSHROOM SALAD

  • 1 8-ounce container white mushrooms (or other mushroom)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon wine or sherry vinegar (or more to taste)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh herbs (basil, chives, dill, oregano, parsley, thyme), minced (we use two different herbs)
  • Optional ingredients for color: diced red pepper or pimento, red onions, sliced green onions or chives
  • Optional ingredients for variety: broccoli or cauliflower florets, edamame, sliced olives
  • Optional heat: 1 chili, seeded and white pith removed, finely sliced
  • Baby arugula, baby spinach, mesclun, watercress or lettuce/cabbage cups
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CLEAN the mushrooms and pat dry. Place in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with the sea salt. Toss to coat thoroughly. Let stand for about 30 minutes so the salt can remove excess water from the mushrooms. Brush any remaining salt from the mushrooms.

    2. COMBINE the marinade ingredients in a bowl: olive oil, vinegar, garlic, lemon zest, pepper and herbs. Toss the mushrooms in the marinade to coat. (We don’t add salt at this stage because of the residue salt from the mushrooms.)

    3. COVER the bowl refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

    4. SERVE as desired. We enjoy it atop a bed of greens or in a lettuce cup.

    Variation

    Try this recipe for Marinated Mushrooms with Walnut and Tahini Yogurt from Kristin Collier of the blog ColliersMarket.com.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Vegetable “Raft”

    Build a vegetable “raft” to make a serving of plain grilled or sautéed protein look like fancy restaurant fare.

    This chef’s trick makes it easy to add glamor to a piece of cooked protein—beef, fish, lamb, pork, poultry, tofu. Not to mention, it gets people to eat more veggies!

    Here, branzino in padella (branzino cooked in a skillet/frying pan) from Olio e Piú in Greenwich Village, New York City gets the raft treatment.

    MAKE IT AT HOME

  • Choose three “long” vegetables of contrasting colors. For your consideration: asparagus, carrots, celery, green beans, fennel, hatch or shishito chiles or other mild chiles, leeks, long radish, okra, parsnips, pea pods, spring onions.
  • You can also cut long rectangles of other favorites: bell pepper (red or yellow bell pepper), eggplant, yellow squash, Yukon Gold potatoes or zucchini.
  • All the vegetables should be 3-1/2 to 4 inches in length. They don’t have to be even; and they’re more visually arresting if they aren’t.
  •  

    branzino-vegetable-layer-olioNY-230

    Branzino on a vegetable raft with a grilled lemon. Photo courtesy Olio e Piú | NYC.

  • The number of pieces you need per serving depends on the length of the protein. The long piece of fish in the photo rests atop a dozen individual veggies.
  • Decide how you want to cook them. Our own technique is to steam them lightly in the microwave, then coat them quickly in a sauté pan with butter (you can substitute good olive oil).
  •  

    If you want to include a grain or potato, there’s plenty of room on the plate (just move the lemon).

    In his television show “Kitchen Nightmares,” Chef Gordon Ramsay has said that he gets worried when he is presented with a plate scattered with chopped parsley. While we love Chef Ramsay, perhaps he’d agree that this plain plate would look better with a dusting of minced parsley or chives around the rim. Or perhaps, a sprinkling of pink or smoked sea salt!

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Watermelon Radish

    mahi-mahi-eggplant-puree-dueforni-230

    Roasted mahi-mahi with baby squash,
    roasted eggplant puree, pistachios and
    watermelon radish. Photo courtesy Due
    Forni.

     

    Some vegetables light up any dish; watermelon radishes are one. Thanks to farmers markets, we’re seeing a lot more of them.

    Watermelon radishes are available year-round, with peak seasons in spring and late fall (meaning they’re more bountiful and less expensive). Work them into your Valentine’s Day menu: They’re a great special-occasion ingredient.

    A large Chinese radish, its exterior is creamy white with touches of pale green. But the flesh: ooh-la-la.

    The watermelon radish has a eautiful rosy pink-magenta flesh, reminiscent of the color of watermelon. It is patterned with bright circular striations of color that are captivating whether sliced, quartered or julienned.

    The texture is crisp and firm yet succulent. And the flavor is mild, lacking the peppery profile of conventional radishes. Instead, it tastes more like daikon, the white Japanese radish.

    The Chinese name is shinrimei, and the radish is known by several other names including Rose Heart and Beauty Heart.

    Depending on when harvested, watermelon radishes can range in size from golf ball to soft ball—up to three inches and more in diameter.

     

    The color and mildness of the watermelon radish make it a lovely surface for hors d’oeuvres (and a better-for-you alternative to a bread or cracker base). It perks up a green salad. It makes a beautiful garnish on anything savory.

    But there’s so much more you can do with watermelon radishes.

    Watermelon radishes can be served fresh or cooked, hot or cold. They pair well with apple, bacon, butter, citrus, egg dishes, cheeses such as feta and chèvre, cucumbers, creamy based dressings and vinaigrettes, fennel, mild salad greens, noodles such as soba and udon, white fish and a variety of seasonings, especially cilantro, mint and tarragon.

    That’s a lot to work with!

     

    WAYS TO SERVE WATERMELON RADISH

    You can cook radishes like turnips, but these beautiful radishes deserve to be enjoyed in all their bright color and crispness.
     
    Salads

  • Make a Radish “Caprese”: Serve slices of watermelon radish in lieu of mozzarella with sliced tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinegar—a change of pace that saves calories and fat. You can substitute slices of actual watermelon for the tomatoes.
  • Make a sophisticated salad: Toss thin slices with mâche or microgreens in a special vinaigrette—sherry or honey-dijon, for example.
  • Use as a salad base: Thinly slice large radishes, spread on the plate and use them as a base for other salad ingredients.
  • Try this Sesame Peanut Cucumber Salad recipe, an artistic delight of bright red radish matchsticks and shaved cucumber ribbons.
  • Pair with mushrooms in this Radish, Mushroom & Watercress salad recipe with a sherry-honey vinaigrette.
  • Pair with fennel in this Watermelon Radish & Fennel Salad with Lavender Vinaigrette recipe.
  •  

    blood-orange-watermelon-radish-lincolnbarbour-230

    A simple citrus salad with blood orange and watermelon radish. Here’s the recipe. Photo courtesy Lincoln Barbour.

     
    Sandwiches

  • Add sliced watermelon radish to sandwiches for color, flavor and crunch, instead of lettuce tomatoes.
  • Try watercress and radish tea sandwiches (or full size sandwiches) with unsalted butter or fresh goat cheese.
  •  
    STORING WATERMELON RADISHES

    To store watermelon radishes, discard the leafy tops and wrap the radishes in plastic. They’ll keep for several weeks.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Beets For Valentine’s Day

    Beets are an unsung Valentine’s Day food. Not only are they deep red but they’re punny, as in “My heart beets for you.”

    Our tip today includes three beet recipes: a hot side dish, a first-course salad and a beet-and-quinoa side.

    The first recipes is from Williams-Sonoma. It’s adapted from the cookbook Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Vegetables, by Jodi Liano.

    Beets and fresh goat cheese, garnished with fresh herbs, are one of our favorite ways to enjoy beets. Orange—juice, zest or both—is a wonderful complement. In this recipe, the ingredients combine in a most delicious way. Enjoy it as a side dish with any protein, or on a vegetarian plate with barley, brown rice, quinoa or other whole grain.

    RECIPE: ROASTED BEETS WITH ORANGE &
    GOAT CHEESE

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 orange
  •    

    roasted-beet-salad-orange-goat-cheese-ws-230

    Beets and goat cheese as a side dish. Photo courtesy Williams-Sonoma.

  • 6 beets, about 1-1/2 pounds, in assorted colors, greens removed
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh chives
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F.

    2. FINELY GRATE the zest from the orange and set aside. Halve the orange and place one half in a baking dish just large enough to hold it and the beets in a single layer. Add the beets and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic cloves, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and toss well. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and roast until the beets are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, about 45 minutes.

    3. STIR together in a small bowl the goat cheese, chives, parsley, tarragon and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Refrigerate until serving.

    4. REMOVE the beets from the oven and let cool. Using the dull side of a paring knife, gently scrape off the beet skins, then cut the beets into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Arrange the slices on a platter. Reserve the cooking liquid.

    5. LINE a strainer with a damp paper towel and place over a bowl. Pour the cooking liquid through the strainer and squeeze the roasted orange half to release any juice. Whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoons of olive oil and the juice from the remaining orange half to make a dressing. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Let the dressing cool to room temperature.

    6. DRIZZLE the beets lightly with the dressing, then sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Top the beets with small spoonfuls of the herbed goat cheese, garnish with the orange zest and serve immediately.

     

    An unusual but delightful pairing of beets and anchovies. Photo courtesy Love Beets.

     

    BEET SALAD, A FIRST COURSE

    From Love Beets, producers of ready-to-eat vacuum-packed beets, comes this seemingly unusual combination of beets and smoked anchovies. If you and your Valentine are anchovy fans, serve this salad as a first course.

    While there are no greens in this recipe, we served it on a bed of sliced endive and radicchio to make it more of a traditional salad. (We were looking for frisée instead of the endive/radicchio, but the store didn’t have it.)

    RECIPE: MARK HIX’S BEET SALAD WITH
    SMOKED ANCHOVIES

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 17.5 ounces of cooked beets
  • 1 can of smoked anchovies, drained
  •  
    For The Dressing

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • ½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional greens: mesclun, frisée or other favorite
  •  

    Preparation

    1. CUT the beets into ¼-inch slices and arrange them on plates or on a serving dish.

    2. MAKE the dressing, combining the ingredients. Spoon the dressing over the beets. Arrange the anchovies on top of the dressed beets and serve.
     
    RECIPE: QUINOA AND ROASTED BEET SALAD

    Here’s another warm side dish that combines beets with one of today’s trending ingredients, quinoa. It’s from Alter Eco Royal Pearl Quinoa. It uses the beet greens, too: a delicious green that should never be discarded!

    Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 bunch of beets (3 large, 4 medium or 5 small), roasted
  • 3/4 to 1 pound beet greens (the greens from 1 generous bunch)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (to taste)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, lightly crushed
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled or diced (1/2 cup)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SCRUB and roast the beets. Once they are cooled, remove the skins and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Set aside.

    2. BLANCH the greens in a large pot of generously salted water or steam them above an inch of boiling water until wilted, one to two minutes. Refresh with cold water, squeeze dry and chop.

    3. HEAT the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the caraway, beet greens and salt and pepper to taste. Stir over medium heat for 30 seconds to a minute until the greens are nicely infused with the garlic and oil.

    4. ADD the beets and quinoa. Toss together until the ingredients are well combined and the quinoa is heated through and colored with beet juice. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Transfer to a wide serving bowl or platter, and sprinkle the goat cheese over the top.
     
    Is your heart beeting in anticipation?

      

    Comments

    « Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »









    About Us
    Contact Us
    Legal
    Privacy Policy
    Advertise
    Media Center
    Manufacturers & Retailers
    Subscribe
    Interact