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Spiced Poached Fruit

Poached-Pears in PotOn a trip to the Isle of Capri I enjoyed many wonderful meals but I tried not to sample too many of the sweets that Italy has to offer. One night after dinner, the server came to us not with a sample of sweets but with a large tray of poached seasonal fruit. We could point out which fruits we wanted and she would plate them and serve us. This recipe is a close as I have come to duplicating that beautiful dessert and savoring the memories of that trip.

  • 4 Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and quartered
  • 1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 12 dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon zest or 1 tsp dried lemon peel or 1 drop of lemon essential oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice or cardamom
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 3/4 cup white dessert wine or white grape juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Combine all of the ingredients in a large heavy pot and bring to a boil over medum high heat. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the fruit is fork-tender (20-30 minutes depending on the ripeness of the fruit). Serve warm or chilled

Zucchini Rollups

Zucchini Rollups

 

This recipe is great anytime of year but it’s especially wonderful with fresh zucchini from the garden or farmers’ market. It can be made earlier in the day and served as an appetizer but it’s best when served warm from the grill or at room temperature.

 

Ingredients:

2 zucchini (6-8”)

Boursin or Alouette Cheese, herb and garlic flavored

10 basil leaves

40 baby spinach leaves (approx. 1 cup)

Olive oil

  • Slice each zucchini into 5 slices approx. ¼ inch thick, cutting off the rounded edges on either side to yield flat slices
  • Heat a stove top grill or outdoor grill to medium high. Brush the slices with olive oil on one side and place them on the grill oil side down. Brush the second side with olive oil and cook on each side for several minutes until the slices are pliable but not too soft.
  • Take each slice and on the narrow end put ½ tsp of cheese, 1 basil leaf and about 4 baby spinach leaves. Roll up and place on a serving dish. They will disappear quickly!

Adapted from Fine Cooking magazine

 

Butter Lettuce Salad w/BitterGrapefruit Dressing

Butter Lettuce Salad With Parsley and Bitter Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Adapted from Bitterman’s Field Guide to Bitters and Amari by Mark Bitterman

This is a posh version of a green salad.  It’s simple but sophisticated. The secret ingredient is the grapefruit bitters. According to Mark Bitterman, bitters are concentrated flavor extracts for seasoning while amari are concentrated flavor extracts for drinking. Although they are commonly used to make cocktails, they can be added to foods to punch up the flavor.

For the Vinaigrette whisk together these ingredients in a small bowl :

3 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp walnut or hazelnut oil

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

¼ tsp finely ground black pepper

1/8 tsp celery seed

3 Tbsp grapefruit bitters

Dash of ginger or cardamom bitters (optional)

 

For the Salad Mix together the following ingredients in a salad bowl:

1 bag butter lettuce or 1 large head butter lettuce torn into bite-size pieces

4 oz (approx 1/2 cup) microgreens or radicchio torn into bite size pieces

1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves (stems removed)

1/2 cup finely diced fennel

1 Persian cucumber, finely diced

2 Tbsp minced red onion

Just before serving, toss the vinaigrette and toss with the salad. Garnish with Maldon sea salt flakes if desired and serve.

Makes 4 servings

 

Butter Lettuce Salad With Parsley and Bitter Grapefruit Vinaigrette

Adapted from Bitterman’s Field Guide to Bitters and Amari by Mark Bitterman

This is a posh version of a green salad. The secret ingredient is the grapefruit bitters. According to Mark Bitterman, bitters are concentrated flavor extracts for seasoning. Amari are concentrated flavor extracts for drinking

 

For the Vinaigrette whisk together these ingredients in a small bowl :

3 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp walnut or hazelnut oil

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

¼ tsp finely ground black pepper

1/8 tsp celery seed

3 Tbsp grapefruit bitters

Dash of ginger or cardamom bitters (optional)

 

For the Salad Mix together the following ingredients in a salad bowl:

1 bag butter lettuce or 1 large head butter lettuce torn into bite-size pieces

4 oz (approx 1/2 cup) microgreens or radicchio torn into bite size pieces

1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves (stems removed)

1/2 cup finely diced fennel

1 Persian cucumber, finely diced

2 Tbsp minced red onion

Just before serving, toss the vinaigrette and toss with the salad. Garnish with Maldon sea salt flakes if desired and serve.

Makes 4 servings

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