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
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

TRENDS: Restaurant Produce

Many of us who love to cook get ideas from creative restaurant chefs. It’s their job to present new and different preparations to tempt customers.

It could be as simple as produce (NB the onslaught of kale, first in restaurants, then in our homes). What’s next?

Nation’s Restaurant News polled nearly 1,300 chefs in its annual What’s Hot survey. The chefs pointed to produce that distinguishes them from their competitors and gives them cred for sourcing specialty items. Here are what they see as the top produce trends for 2015.

LOCALLY GROWN PRODUCE

Consumers like to see locally grown produce on the menu. It shows support for the community, an appreciation for seasonality and reduction of carbon miles, the extra fuel required to the transport food from farther distances. It is the top trend noted by the chefs in the survey.

 

chervil-bunch-www.herbtable.com-230

Easy for home cooks: Try chervil instead of parsley. Photo courtesy HerbTable.com.

 
ORGANIC PRODUCE

Americans have growing awareness of the desirability of organic produce—fruits and vegetables raised without artificial pesticides or fertilizers. “Organic” on a menu is well received (even when consumers don’t buy organic produce for their own kitchens); and all-organic chains such as Sweetgreen are finding success.
 

UNUSUAL HERBS

It’s time to think beyond parsley. Chefs with classical French training are turning to chervil as a garnish, Mexican restaurants are wrapping more foods in hoja santa and Japanese chefs are using kinome, leaves of the sansho/Szechuan pepper plant.

 
HEIRLOOM FRUIT

Heirloom apples, grown from seeds that are passed down from generation to generation, are making a comeback. Heirloom foods fell out of favor because they are more difficult to grow, more expensive and/or other reasons that made farmers turn to other varieties—even if those varieties are less flavorful. You can look for heirloom varieties in your local farmers market. Ask the farmer to point them out.

 
EXOTIC FRUIT

Chefs have a growing interest in fruit that’s a little out of the ordinary. It could be açaí and goji berries added to fruit beverages and fruit salads, or desserts made with Asian pear or dragon fruit.

What’s your favorite fruit or veggie trend?

  

Comments

TIP OF THE DAY: Hummus Salad

hummus-salad-chalkpointkitchen

Use hummus as the base of a salad. Photo courtesy Chalk Point Kitchen | NYC.

 

Last month we featured 20 different ways to use hummus. But we left off at least one: this hummus salad.

This appetizer concept, by Executive Chef Joe Isidori of Chalk Point Kitchen in New York City, piles crunchy veggies atop a base of hummus, served with a side of pita wedges.

First, consider the hummus. Chef Isidori makes his own, but if you’re buying yours, check out the myriad of flavored hummus—everything from roasted garlic to spicy chipotle.

Cut up your “salad”—beets, carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, olives, pickled vegetables (Chef Isidori used pickle onions, we used dilly beans), radishes, etc.—and toss it lightly in a vinaigrette. You can top the hummus with romaine or other crunchy lettuce before adding the other vegetables.

For a final flourish, top with minced fresh herbs and some optional feta cheese, and serve with toasted pita chips.

You can easily turn this into a light lunch or vegan dinner, and feel good that you’re eating healthfully, sustainably and tastily.

 
We’ve also got 20+ ways to make a hummus sandwich.

EASY VINAIGRETTE RECIPE

There’s no need to buy bottled vinaigrette. Just open a bottle of olive oil and a bottle of vineagar—two kitchen staples—measure them in a ratio of 3:1 and whisk vigorously.

Start with 3 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and a pinch of dry mustard. The latter helps the emulsion stay together and contributes a wee bit o flavor.

The magic comes when you use different oils—flavored oils, nut oils—and vinegars; substitute lemon or lime juice for some or all of the vinegar; and add other flavor dimensions such as condiments (chopped olives, mustard, relish), heat, herbs and sweetness (honey, maple syrup).

Here’s our master article on how to create great vinaigrette.

  

Comments

TIP OF THE DAY: Breakfast Salad & Dip

bagel-salad-amanda-paa-HeartbeetKitchen-230

For breakfast, bacon and egg top a salad.
Photo courtesy Amanda Paa |
HeartbeetKitchen.com.

 

The world over, what people eat for breakfast varies widely.

  • In eastern China it can include dumplings and vegetable soup with rice.
  • In Guyana it’s whitefish preserved in salt, served with fried bread dough.
  • A traditional breakfast in Japan has rice, fish, miso soup, sticky soy beans and nori (dried seaweed).
  • In South India it’s vegetable stew, served with steamed lentil-and-rice bread.
  • In Columbia it could be leftovers from the night before.
  •  
    So what’s wrong with a breakfast salad? Why not tortilla chips instead of bread?

    This recipe, from Amanda Paa of HeartbeetKitchen.com, is a salad with bacon and eggs. Food Should Taste Good’s “The Works” tortilla chips standn in for a bagel.

    If you don’t want a salad, there’s a breakfast sausage and cheese dip to enjoy with tortilla chips (scroll down).

     

    RECIPE: BREAKFAST BACON & EGG SALAD WITH “BAGEL CROUTONS”

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 4 slices cooked bacon (crumble 2 slices and keep 2 whole)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite salad dressing
  • 1 handful Food Should Taste Good “The Works” tortilla chips (or substitute, including bagel chips)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. EQUALLY DIVIDE the salad greens, bacon (1 slice crumbled and 1 slice whole per plate) tomatoes and olives between two plates.

    2. POACH the eggs: Fill a medium saucepan 2 inches deep with water and set over medium-high heat. When the water boils, turn the heat down so that the water is just simmering. Crack one egg into a small dish and slide it into the water. Quickly do the same with the second egg. Set the timer for 3-1/2 minutes (if you like a firmer yolk, cook for 4-1/2 minutes). Make sure the water stays at a simmer. When the timer goes off…

    3. USE a slotted spoon to scoop one egg out of the water. Tilt the spoon so the liquid drains completely, then place the egg on top of one of the salads. Repeat with the second egg.

    4. TOP the eggs with a sprinkle of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, then drizzle each salad with dressing (we made a balsamic vinaigrette but some people may prefer a creamy dressing).

     

    RECIPE: ROSEMARY & CHEDDAR BREAKFAST SAUSAGE DIP

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 8 ounces breakfast sausage
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 cups (9 ounces) grated cheddar cheese
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Chips (or substitute dipper)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COOK the sausage in a medium skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently and breaking it up into crumbles. When sausage has just a little pink remaining, add the onion and continue cooking until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are translucent. Using a colander, drain the meat and set it aside.

     

    Breakfast_Sausage_Dip_heartbeetkitchen-FSTG-230

    Recipe and photography courtesy of Amanda Paa | HeartbeetKitchen.com..

     

    2. POUR the milk and maple syrup into a medium sized saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Let the mixture warm until steaming, but not boiling.

    3. TOSS together the cheese, cornstarch and rosemary in a bowl. Add this to warm milk and turn the heat up slightly, constantly stirring to melt the cheese evenly.

    4. COOK for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted and smooth. Stir in the salt and garlic powder, then add the sausage. Mix well and serve immediately.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Fava Beans (& A Nice Chianti)

    fava-beans-thedeliciouslife-230

    Fresh fava beans. Photo courtesy
    TheDeliciousLife.com. Check out their
    recipe for a charming appetizer or hors
    d’oeuvre, Fava Bean Purée with Feta and
    Garlic Toasts.

     

    For those of you who recall Hannibal Lechter’s upcoming dinner at the end of The Silence Of The Lambs, you can make your own version of it 9we suggest calf’s liver). Fava beans are in season, here for their brief annual visit.

    Also known as the broad bean, faba bean, field bean and other names, Vicia faba is a member of the pea family (Fabaceae) that is native to North Africa, possibly Egypt.

    Fava is the Italian word for broad bean, and is the term most commonly used in the U.S. In the U.K. and Australia, broad bean is the common term.

    According to Wikipedia, fava beans are “among the most ancient plants in cultivation and also among the easiest to grow.” As such, they are cultivated extensively worldwide.

    Along with lentils, peas and chickpeas, they are believed to have become part of the eastern Mediterranean diet around 6000 B.C.E. or earlier. They were popular with the ancient Greeks and Romans.

     
    When very young, the pods can be eaten whole. But the beans are typically removed from the pod and then parboiled and peeled to remove the skin, which can be bitter. The young leaves can also be eaten either raw or cooked, like spinach.

    The beans, which resemble edamame and lima beans, are green with a buttery texture and an earthy flavor.

     

    WAYS TO ENJOY FAVA BEANS

    Fava beans are a wonderful addition to any meal, hot or cold. If you search online for “fava bean recipes,” you’ll find lots from which to choose. Here are some ideas for starters:

  • Appetizer: In a dip for crudités or on bruschetta with olive oil and shaved asiago or pecorino romano cheese.
  • Main: Atop linguine or angel hair pasta, with garlic and fresh herbs in a sauce of butter or olive oil (for Easter we served crab ravioli with fava beans and morels).
  • Salad: With cucumber, red onion, fresh herbs (basil, mint or tarragon) and feta cheese, in a vinaigrette.
  • Side: Sautéed in butter or olive oil; grilled in the pod, then eaten from the pod like edamame.
  • Soup: In a creamy, vivid green fava bean soup (garnish with some whole cooked fava bean).
  •  
    Another idea: Egypt’s national dish, ful medames, is a stew of fava beans with olive oil, lemon juice and garlic, usually eaten for breakfast (but you can serve it with any meal). It is a staple throughout the Middle East.

     

    fava-bean-soup-marthastewart-230

    Fava bean soup. Photo courtesy MarthaStewart.com. Here’s the recipe.

     
    If you miss the fleeting fava bean season, dried fava beans are available. But don’t let the fresh favas escape you. After all, would Hannibal Lechter eat dried fava beans?

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: The New “Dirty Dozen”

    The “dirty dozen” of produce refers to those fruits and vegetables that have the most pesticide residues. If you’re going to buy organic versus conventional produce, these are the foods to buy.

    Since agricultural practices change, The Environmental Working Group (EWG) creates an annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides to reduce your exposure to chemical pesticides.

    It ranks 48 popular fruits and vegetables by their pesticide loads. The rankings are based on lab tests done [mostly] by the USDA, which tests more than 34,000 samples of common food crops for pesticide residue.

    Rinsing and peeling conventional produce does not remove all of the chemical residue. Some plants absorb pesticides through the peel.

    Nor does washing and peeling change a food’s ranking, because the USDA lab tests produce as it is typically eaten: washed and, when applicable, peeled.

    But the EWG underscores that the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables outweigh the risks from pesticide exposure. In other words, eating conventionally-grown produce is far better than not eating enough fruits and vegetables at all.
     
    WHY SOME PRODUCE HAS TO BE “DIRTY”

    Crops differ in their hardiness—whether they’re more or less susceptible to intense heat, cold, rainfall, drought, fungus or other disease, etc.

       

    assorted-apples-USApples-230

    An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but it also has the highest amount of pesticide residue. The solution: Buy organic! Photo courtesy US Apples.

     
    In the case of bugs, some crops are more readily attacked and destroyed by the hungry little critters. So chemical pesticides are used to kill the bugs, fungus, etc. before they kill the crop.

    Organic farmers use natural pesticides and fertilizers—no chemicals. The expense of growing crops this way leads to the higher cost of organic produce.

    Some shocking statistics:

  • The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other produce.
  • A single grape sample and a sweet bell pepper sample contained 15 diffent pesticides.
  • A whopping 99% of apple samples, 98% of peaches and 97% of nectarines tested positive for at least one pesticide.
  • Single samples of cherry tomatoes, nectarines, peaches, imported snap peas and strawberries each showed 13 different pesticides.
  •  

    asparagus-twine-230

    Eat all the asparagus you like: They’re one of the most pesticide-free veggies. Photo courtesy California Asparagus Commission.

     

    THE 2015 “DIRTY DOZEN” FRUITS & VEGETABLES

    Ranked from highest (dirtiest) to lowest (cleanest of the Dirty Dozen) are some of our favorite fruits and vegetables:

  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Imported Snap Peas
  • Potatoes
  •  
    Wow!

     
    We’ve been buying organic celery for years (it’s been on the Dirty Dozen list for a long time). But we’re going to go our of our way for organic apples and strawberries, two fruits we eat almost daily.

    We’ll also buy more of the Clean Fifteen, produce with the least amount of pesticide residue.
     
    THE “CLEAN FIFTEEN” FRUITS & VEGETABLES

  • Avocados
  • Sweet Corn
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Frozen Sweet Peas
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Kiwi
  • Eggplant
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Potatoes
  •  
    As an American consumer, the choice is yours!
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Make A Layered Salad With Leftover Ham

    ham-layered-salad-mccormick-230

    Toss today’s ham and hard-boiled eggs into tomorrow’s salad. Photo and recipe courtesy McCormick.

     

    Here’s a tasty way to make tomorrow’s lunch or dinner from today’s leftover ham and hard-boiled eggs (and any peas and salad dressing, too).

    When you don’t have Easter leftovers to make this layered salad, simply substitute other ingredients.

    Check your pantry and fridge for avocado, bacon, beans, blue or other cheese, carrots, celery, cooked green beans and/or potatoes, corn, leftover chicken/turkey/steak, mushrooms, olives, pimento, seafood or tuna and layer away!

    You can also include a fruit: apple, grapes or pineapple, for example.

    If you have a glass bowl to display the pretty layers, so much the better. A straight-sided bowl like this one is especially nice. Or, this smart glass mixing bowl set from Pyrex does triple duty: mixing, serving and storing.

    Prep time is 20 minutes, and the recipe can be made in advance.

     
    RECIPE: LAYERED SALAD WITH HAM

    Ingredients

  • 4 cups mixed salad greens
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • 2 cups cubed cooked ham or turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PLACE the salad greens in the bottom of large serving bowl. Layer the tomatoes, 1 cup of cheese, peas, eggs, ham and onion over greens.

    2. MIX the mayonnaise, sour cream, dill weed and ground mustard in a medium bowl until well blended. Spread evenly over salad. Cover.

    3. REFRIGERATE for at least 1 hour or overnight until ready to serve. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup cheese just before serving.

     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Ways To Use Fresh Spring Peas

    Lovers of green peas (also called English peas and garden peas), you’re in for a treat. Spring is the season.

    It’s time to serve sides of fresh-steamed green peas and make some delicious fresh pea soup.

    But what else should you be doing with these bright green jewels? Their sweet flavor and bright color can grace your table in so many other ways.

    You can use almost any cooking method, from boiling, braising or microwaving, to sautéing, steaming and stir-frying. Add them raw to salads and pop them into your mouth as a snack.

    They take only a few minutes to cook. In fact, you need to watch them to avoid ending up with mushy peas (if this happens, make a quick pea purée; and if they’ve lost their bright hue, add a teeny drop of food color). We aim for “al dente.”

    Create recipes with these flavor accents:

  • Cured meats: bacon, chorizo, pancetta, prosciutto, smoked ham
  • Fresh herbs: basil, chervil, dill, mint, tarragon
  •    

    English-peas-3-thechefsgarden-230w

    Fresh picked and divine. Photo courtesy The Chef’s Garden.

  • The onion group: chives, garlic, green onions, leeks, ramps (spring onion), shallots; red, yellow or white onions
  • Proteins: chicken, duck, lamb, fish (especially cod and, salmon), seafood (especially scallops), tofu
  • Spring produce: asparagus, fava beans, fennel, fiddlehead ferns, Meyer lemon, morels, mustard greens
  •  
    We can’t think of anything more delicious than fresh peas with asparagus, fiddleheads, morels and ramps—or as many of these as you can get hold of—sautéed with garlic in olive oil. Garnish with a chiffonade of fresh mint.

    Don’t dally: The season is short! For inspiration, here are just ways to use the bounty of fresh peas.
     
    GREEN PEAS AT BREAKFAST

  • In an omelet
  • As a side with fried, poached or scrambled eggs
  • Atop Greek yogurt or cottage cheese
  • In a green smoothie
  •  
    GREEN PEAS AT LUNCH

  • In macaroni, potato or rice/grain salad
  • In a green salad or Greek salad*
  • Pea soup (try a spring recipe, with fresh mint)
  • Spicy fresh pea salad (recipe)
  •  
    Plus:

  • As a snack, raw
  •  
    *Romaine, bell pepper, red onion and feta, with a fresh dill garnish. Add some lemon zest to the vinaigrette.

     

    ricotta-pea-toast-chalkpointkitchen-230

    Easy, peasy: an appetizer or snack of crostini
    with ricotta and fresh peas. The recipe is below. Photo courtesy Chalk Point Kitchen |
    NYC.

     

    GREEN PEAS AT DINNER

  • Asian style: blanched or sautéed with ginger; then tossed with a soy, wasabi, ginger and garlic marinade
  • Bibb or butter lettuce salad with radish and green onion (scallion)
  • Blended half-and-half with cooked rice or other grain, topped with grated or shaved Parmesan cheese
  • Spring pea risotto, with pancetta or bacon plus garlic and onion
  • Cooked in olive oil and stock (recipe)
  • Pasta, especially with a white or olive oil sauce (add some prosciutto, bacon or a few grilled shrimp)
  • Pea & mint soup
  • Pea pesto, as a sauce or dip (recipe)
  • Pea purée as a side
  • Quickly sautéed in olive oil or steamed and tossed with butter
  •  

    RECIPE: GREEN PEA & RICOTTA TOAST

    Enjoy this for breakfast, as a first course or a snack. We chose a rustic Italian loaf with sesame seeds, but any peasant bread will do.

    Ingredients

  • Rustic bread loaf
  • Ricotta cheese (see if you can find it freshly made, at a cheese store or Italian market)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Green peas
  • Optional: lemon zest
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Garnish: baby arugula, pea shoots, microgreens or sprouts
  •  
    Preparation

    1. STEAM the peas to al dente and let cool. Combine the ricotta with salt, pepper and lemon zest to taste. Stir in peas to taste (few or many).

    2. TOAST the bread and slice as desired (depending on the diameter of the loaf, cut the toast into manageable pieces).

    3. SPREAD toast with the pea-ricotta mixture. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Garnish and serve.
     
    HOW TO BUY & STORE FRESH PEAS

    Buying Fresh Peas

    For the best flavor, choose small peas. They’re younger, sweeter and more tender than large ones. Look for medium-size pods that are firm and green, with no yellowing. Break open a pod and check the peas. They should be small, bright green and firm. Taste the peas in the pod: They should be tender and sweet.

    Freshness counts. As with corn, once picked the peas’ high sugar content begins to convert to starch. Don’t pay for mature peas. You might as well use frozen peas.

    Don’t pay extra for shelled peas. You don’t know how fresh they are; and since you aren’t shelling peas day in, day out, it’s a fun activity.
     
    Storing Fresh Peas

  • Store the pods in the crisper drawer of the fridge in a plastic storage bag. Use them within two days.
  • Once they’re shelled, the best way to store peas is to freeze them. First blanch them for a minute or two in boiling salted water and then shock them in an ice-water bath to stop the cooking and maintain ther bright color. Drain and freeze them in freezer storage bags for up to six months.
  •   

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Spinach Day

    Popeye may have enjoyed his spinach straight from the can, but for today, National Spinach Day, we can come up with 20 better suggestions.

    BREAKFAST

  • Spinach omelet or fritatta (recipe)
  • Eggs Benedict With Spinach (recipe)
  •  
    DIPS & SPREADS

  • Green Mayonnaise (Julia Child’s recipe)
  • Spinach Dip With Walnuts (recipe)
  • Spinach Pesto (substitute spinach for the basil in this recipe)
  • Warm Crab & Spinach Dip (recipe)
  • Warm Spinach & Mascarpone Dip (recipe)
  • 13 Ways To Use Spinach Dip Or Spread
  •  
    LUNCH & FIRST COURSES

  • Curried Spinach Tart (recipe)
  • Grilled Cheese With Spinach (recipes)
  • Mac & Cheese With Spinach (recipe)
  • Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie—recipe)
  •    

    spinach-mascarpone-dip-vermontcreamery-230

    A warm spinach dip, creamy with mascarpone cheese. Photo courtesy Vermont Creamery.

     

    beet-spinach-apple-salad-butterball230

    Beet, spinach and apple salad. Photo courtesy Butterball.

     

    MAINS

  • Pasta With Spinach: penne pasta with a garnish of fresh spinach leaves and cherry tomatoes (recipe), bow tie pasta with chicken and spinach (recipe) or cheese tortellini with spinach (recipe)
  • Spinach Stuffed Pork Roast (recipe)
  •  
    PIZZA

  • Feta & Spinach Pizza (recipe)
  • Spinach & Grilled Shrimp Pizza (recipe)
  •  
    SIDES

  • Wilted Spinach With Tzatziki (Greek yogurt dip—recipe)
  •  
    SALADS

  • Beet, Spinach & Apple Salad (recipe)
  • Spinach & Grapefruit Salad (recipe)
  •  

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Baby Purple Artichokes (Fiesole)

    In season now, these little artichokes are a treat for artichoke lovers and a lovely shade of vegetable for Easter dinner.

    Called fiesole (fee-YEH-so-lay) in Italian, the baby purple artichoke—the size of a large egg—belongs to the botanical genus and species, Cynara scolymus, which includes the green globe artichokes and purple globe artichokes.

    Artichokes are the immature flower heads of an herbaceous perennial thistle plant in the Compositae botanical family. The cardoon, or artichoke thistle/wild artichoke, is a different species: Cynara cardunculus. Here’s more about artichoke varieties.

    The tulip shaped baby purple artichokes have the same great flavor as their large green and purple kin and are easier to eat because they haven’t developed the fuzzy portion of on top of the choke. They are bright violet in color; the colors fade only slightly when they are cooked.

    The only thorn in the flesh is exactly that: The leaves still have sharp tips.

       

    baby-purple-artichokes-melissas-230

    Baby purple artichokes. Photo courtesy Melissas.com.

     
    Harvested young for tenderness and rich flavor, baby purple artichokes typically have intense fruity and nutty flavors and grassy tones, and are considered to be the most flavorful of all baby artichoke varieties.

    If you can’t find the artichokes locally, you can buy them from Melissas.com.

    HOW TO BUY BABY ARTICHOKES

    Look for firm, thin, compact leaves (called a tight core) that are bright without discoloration. If you squeeze the artichoke and it squeaks, it is fresh!

    Store the, unwashed in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to two weeks.

    Here’s a photo spread on how to prepare artichokes for cooking.
     
    HOW TO SERVE BABY ARTICHOKES

    Baby artichokes are easy to prepare. They may be baked, boiled, braised, marinated, poached, roasted or steamed. When slow-cooked, artichokes become tender and more flavorful, absorb the flavors with which they are cooked. [Source]

    Artichokes pair well with both fatty and high acid ingredients: anchovies, bacon, basil, butter, cheese (especially goat and feta), cream, garlic, lemon, hollandaise, mushrooms, pepper, sausage, thyme, tomatoes, vinaigrette, white wine and truffles.

    You can find many recipes online, but here are two thoughts:

  • Appetizer: Simmer in olive oil, then fry at until ther leaves open. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and serve.
  • Main: Slice in half and braise the artichokes in olive oil, white wine, garlic and herbs. Serve them with risotto.
  •  

    purple-artichoke-friedasFB-230r

    A purple globe artichoke. The variety is called “Sangria.” Photo courtesy Frieda’s.

     

    A BRIEF ARTICHOKE HISTORY

    Artichokes were first cultivated in the Mediterranean region thousands of years ago in Maghreb, the region of North Africa west of Egypt, where they still growing wild. They spread through the Mediterranean region.

    The Greek philosopher and naturalist Theophrastus (371-287 B.C.E.) wrote of artichokes being grown in Italy and Sicily.

    The Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides (40-90 C.E.), a surgeon with the Roman army of Emperor Nero, wrote about artichokes at the time of Christ.

    Ancient Greeks and Romans considered artichokes a delicacy and an aphrodisiac. In the ensuing centuries, they were grown in France and other areas of Europe.

    In America, Martha Washington’s Booke of Cookery contains a 17th-century recipe entitled “To Make Hartichoak Pie.” In the early 1800s, French immigrants settling in the Louisiana Territory planted artichokes.

     

    In 1922 Andrew Molera, a landowner in the Salinas Valley of Monterey County, California, lease land to Italian immigrant farmers and encouraged them to grow the “new” vegetable, as artichokes were fetching high prices. [Source]

    Fiesole artichokes are named for the city of Fiesole, Italy, an ancient Etruscan town located in the hills above Florence. They were initially bred from the Violetta de Provence artichoke, a purple variety native to southern France.

    As for its botanical name, Cynara scolymus: The genus name comes from the Greek kynara, artichoke. Scolymus derives from the Greek word for thistle.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Castelfranco Chicory

    Californians are so lucky. Between the great growing climate and consumer demand for the best, local farmers grow produce not often seen in other parts of the country.

    Take this Castelfranco chicory, a joy to behold. The round, slightly open lettuce* heads have pale green leaves that are speckled with burgundy red.

    Italians call it “a flower for eating.” It’s almost too pretty to eat! Castelfranco is the sweetest of the radicchio-type chicories: crunchy with an interesting, slightly bitter flavor.

    Other names for the lettuce include variegata di Castelfranco, radicchio Castelfranco and Castelfranco variegata. It’s an heirloom radicchio-type chicory from the Veneto region of Italy, where it is abundant and popular. Castelfranco is a town in the area.

    A pretty salad by itself, it can be mixed with other greens.

    The crop from which this head was picked was grown by Dirty Girl Produce, a certified organic family farm in Santa Cruz County. It’s sold at farmers markets, to restaurants and artisan food markets like Good Eggs.

     

    castelfranco-chicory-goodeggs-230

    A beautiful head of castelfranco chicory. Photo courtesy Good Eggs.

     

    And people wonder why the first thing we do when landing in California is head to the farmers markets!

     
    *Chicory is in the same botanical family as iceberg lettuce and romaine (Asteraceae), but a different genus (Cichorium versus Lactuca).

      

    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
    Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com