When did artichokes and edamame fall out of food fashion? Probably about the time kale made it's rise...well, I'd like to bring them back and together in this cooked vegetable salad inspired by Sicily. Caponata typically is a summer-time delight made with eggplant and tomatoes. I'm still planning on doing that in a few months, but in April springy green veggies reign so I used those. This isn't as saucy as the the traditional eggplant version, but it's got all the briny, salty and sweet components. Serve warm or at room temp on sliced baguette - bring out some good cheese and wine and dinner is served! Artichokes, olives and green peppers are typically nightmare veggies to pair with wine. Anytime that happens I just go for bubbles (blanc de noir pictured)!
“Bread and Butter” Pickled Carrot Chips
March 7, 2016
Why not make tangy, sweet and spicy pickles out of carrots when cukes are out of season?!? I got these beauties from B and B Gardens (@BandBGardens) just a few miles down the road in Napa. Brent and Brenda (hence B and B!) are passionate about their produce! Feel free to use any color carrot you desire, just be aware purple carrots bleed. I canned them separately, but the yellows and oranges can hang out together just fine.
Curious about the name "bread and butter?" In the 1920s, an Illinois farmer couple was short on cash, but long on undersized cucumbers. They packed them in its notable brine and bartered them for...you guessed it...bread and butter.
Kathy’s Cranberry Salsa
January 12, 2016
I just arrived home after an entire month visiting family and friends on the east coast. A luxury, I admit, but I'm just getting my new career going after graduating culinary school in September. I had the time and it was actually cheaper (and soooo much less crowded) to travel so outside the normal holiday rush. Had a blast, but happy to be home in good ole Napa Valley, CA!
I spent a good amount of time cooking (and imbibing) with my step-mom, Kathy. She's been in my life since I was 14, and a very special connection for me since my dad passed away in 2008. She makes this cranberry salsa every holiday and it gets gobbled up every time! I altered it just a bit by using a sweeter apple (gala vs. red delicious) so that I could trim the sugar and boosted the flavor with cilantro and a chipotle pepper.
Spiced Blackberry Jam
December 21, 2015
I am back in South Jersey - the land of my birth - to hang with the family for Christmas and New Years. My mom and sister really wanted to learn to can, which I've been doing ever since I had a garden in Davis, CA. It's kind of funny that I'm teaching them to can given I'm the youngest, but there it is.
My sister eats rye toast with jam every morning and her fav is peach, but fresh peaches are right out for winter - frozen was the only way to go. My mom suggested blackberry because it's high in fiber. Straight blackberry sounded boring so I literally spiced it up with the only spice mixture I could find in my sister's house - pumpkin pie spice. It worked REALLY well! I went for honey instead of granulated sugar for both health and flavor.
December 8, 2015
Lighten up a holiday meal or lunch sandwich with this super easy slaw that allows you to use seasonal vegetables. Kohlrabi could be switched out for turnips, broccoli or cauliflower - just be sure to use all the stems on the latter two. These winter veggies are pretty bitter so the addition of carrots and apple brightens and sweetens it up.
Carolina Chow Chow
October 6, 2015
If you aren't familiar, chow chow is a type of Southern relish made to preserve the end of summer vegetables. Its history is quite blurry, however. Some say Chinese rail workers created it when they came to the US in the 1800s. Others credit it to being a copy of Indian chutneys. Whatever the story, this is a great way to use up the last of the summer veggies in your garden. Rather than include pictures of boring chopped vegetables and the brine, I thought it would be more interesting and inspirational to post pictures from my recent trip to North Carolina - enjoy!
Chef Bill’s Pimento Cheese
April 7, 2015
I scaled down this amazing recipe from one of my chef instructors at school who once ran a hotel kitchen in North Carolina. It's the real deal all right! It took me 30 minutes to make start to finish, and that included all the photos I took along the way. One serving is "Low In" carbs, sodium and cholesterol.
Split Pea-Barley Burger with Quick Pickled Onions
January 13, 2015
I came home from the holiday break and after schlepping suitcases and presents across three states, I am in serious purge mode. To that end, I'm going to do a series of 'clean out your pantry' recipes starting with this one. How many mostly filled packages of grains, lentils and dried beans do I have?! Too many! If you don't have split peas in your cupboard, sub lentils. Bonus nutrition...one burger is "High In" Vitamin A and Fiber, and it's also "Low In" fat and saturated fat.
Pumpkin Simple Syrup
October 28, 2014
Spice up Halloween with spicy pumpkin simple syrup! With this syrup, you can make treats by drizzling over ice cream or using in cookie batter, or be tricky by adding your favorite liquor for a happy Halloween indeed. Of course, I chose the latter, but to keep the mixture thick for the former just don't strain it. Pumpkin is super high in Vitamin A so no matter if you are tricking or treating, you'll be doing good for your skin, teeth and eyes.
September 30, 2014
I learned a new trick this week: roasted corn husks = smoky popcorn flavor. Yes, please add me to corn pesto! Corn husk liquid is married with roasted corn, garlic, parmesan cheese, pinenuts and EVOO to create a match made for pasta, pizza or crostini heaven. One serving is "Low In" carbs and cholesterol and a "Good Source" of phosphorous and thiamin - go corn!
Tomato Strawberry Jam
August 27, 2014
The current breakfast class I'm taking has its pros and cons. Learning how to make doughnuts from scratch, flipping a fried egg in the pan, and getting creative with smoothie flavors - all big pluses. Waking up at 3AM for service at 6:30AM - not so great. Even though I didn't get to make jam in class, I was inspired by a recent trip to the local farmers' market where I saw overflowing baskets of strawberries, tomatoes and hot peppers. Why not combine them for a sweet, savory, spicy condiment to accompany a cheese plate or spread on morning toast for a special treat? Since one serving is one tablespoon, it's not surprising this jam is low in fat, saturated fat, carbs, sodium and cholesterol (even if you have two tablespoons!).
Mushroom Onion Rillettes
November 3, 2013
I've been seeing rillettes on a lot of menus lately - perhaps I'm noticing because I'm taking an intro French class! Rillettes is traditionally made by cooking pork over a low temperature for a long time. The fat renders out of the meat and it's packed in jars for winter storage. Here I use the same technique with beautiful portobello and shiitake mushrooms and onions. In place of the natural pork fat, I packed some in butter and some in olive oil. This would be a fantastic Thanksgiving appetizer.
Blistered Sweet Peppers
July 7, 2013
Summer peppers are here in every color and heat! I've been enjoying a similar version of this dish at Bistro 33 in Davis. If you can't find shishito peppers, other mild peppers you might try are anaheim, banana, gypsy, cherry or cubanelle. They all are significantly lower on the Scoville scale than a jalapeño. An easy go-to appetizer all summer long...
June 23, 2013
Kirby cucumbers, the pickling ones, are in full season so I thought I'd try my hand at homemade pickles. They are twice 'dill-ed' with both dill seed and fresh dill, and packed with a mild vinegar-garlic-pepper brine. Perfect for snacking out of the jar or sliced on your favorite sandwich. These take a week in the fridge, but if you want faster pickles, slice them before they go in the jar. I found that the fridge was far superior to processing the jars in a hot bath. The pickles were brighter and crisper.
Hot Pepper Jelly
March 17, 2013
I was inspired to turn my Pickled Hot Peppers into jelly after a 15 mile bike ride to Winters, CA ended at a bar where I drank a cocktail with tequila, lime and jalapeño jelly. All the hot pepper jelly recipes I found added cider vinegar - exactly what pickled my peppers. I strained and pureed the hot peppers with some mild peppers, added a bit of sugar and pectin - and tequila cocktail here I come! My recipe is 2 oz tequila, 1 Tbsp jelly and 1/2 lime.
Cranberry BBQ Sauce
November 25, 2012
Sunday...you've eaten those yummy Thanksgiving leftovers for several days now. I always find the item that lingers is cranberry sauce. The can or recipe quantity is huge and a dollop here on your stuffing or sweet potatoes just doesn't make a big enough dent. If this describes your fridge today, here is an in-season condiment that's a great topping for veggie burgers and hot dogs.
Fig Olive Tapenade
September 16, 2012
Figs are literally falling from the 100+ year old trees behind my office building. I dried more than five pounds and used some to recreate a favorite dip from the grocery store. This tapenade is slightly sweet, savory, briny and fresh all in one. Serve smeared over crostini with goat cheese or Parmesan, as I did here.
Pickled Hot Peppers
July 29, 2012
You may have guessed by now that I'm crazy about pickling things. I have pickled peppers here, but this is a classic recipe that you could use to pickle any vegetable that you want to make crunchy, sour, salty and sweet. Use with a cheese plate, or on burgers and hot dogs. To can them for long-term storage, use my Honey-Ginger Grapefruit Marmalade recipe and start at step #6. Otherwise, keep in the fridge and use within 2-3 weeks.
June 17, 2012
This is a favorite condiment in my house and at Michael's softball team barbeques. It's the perfect thing to make when you have a glut of zucchini in your garden transforming pounds of veggies into a zesty, slightly sweet topping for burgers and hot dogs.
Rhubarb Pickle Chips
May 27, 2012
While I'm anxiously waiting for ripening tomatoes and peppers, I jumped on the chance to use an in-season vegetable. I wasn't inspired by the usual rhubarb treatments drowned in sugar for pies, jams and crumbles. Why not embrace the sour? Doing a bit of research I developed this recipe for pickle chips to have a tart yet slightly spicy profile that I think would be an interesting companion for burgers to a cheese platter. Note that these are what is called 'refrigerator pickles' meaning you sterilize your jars and lids, but don't process the jars after they are full. The additional heat will turn the rhubarb to mush.
March 4, 2012
Even though it's a bit more expensive, I make mustard at home. I can add all sorts of herbs and spices, make it smooth or seeded, or turn up the heat with ingredients like horseradish. This recipe is a basic, lovely version to use as a foundation - take it in any of those directions or enjoy as is. This will be spicy at first, but will mellow over a day or so.
Spicy Red Wine Cranberry Chutney
November 20, 2011
SAY NO TO THE CAN! This Thanksgiving treat your (faux) meat right. Sweet golden raisins and brown sugar marry with tart apples and cranberries then go on honeymoon with buttery shallots and fruity red wine. Spicy cinnamon, cloves and a sneaky hot pepper make it. This cranberry chutney comes together very quickly - you'll just need to find an empty burner on the stove. Spoiler alert - I tripled this recipe for gifts for my work colleagues. To make it vegan, just use a plant-oil based butter.
Summer Tomato Sauce
September 5, 2010
This is my go-to tomato sauce recipe, especially in the summer. Minimal processing means bright, fresh, juicy flavors. Just throw everything in the pot, puree and pretty quickly you have some top quality sauce to use on pasta, pizza, dipping bread and veggies - just about any place. Since I had nearly 30 lb of tomatoes to do something with, I tripled the recipe and canned it. Hopefully it'll last until next summer!
June 20, 2010
Vegetarianized.com is hitting the big time! I taped two Video Tips for Chow.com on Friday - one homemade ketchup and the other homemade hot sauce. The videographer was shocked when I said I had the ketchup recipe on Vegetarianized.com, but not the hot sauce, so here you go. Similar to Michael's comments, he said it was just as hot as your typical hot sauce, but just had a brighter, fresher taste. With four ingredients and less than 10 minutes of doing, there is no reason not to make your own. It can compliment your other favorite hot sauces or become your new favorite. My Video Tips should be up at Chow.com within three to four weeks - I'll be sure to let the world know.
Honey-Ginger Grapefruit Marmalade
June 14, 2009
Maybe this is too much to ask, but I thought I'd share a recipe to make marmalade. Marmalade is a thinner than jam, but with chunks of fruit - jelly is smooth without bits of fruit. I don't think it's that hard to make marmalade and I'm hoping after you take a look at this recipe, you'll give it a whirl. On the other hand, I have people at work returning their empty jars asking them to be refilled with my latest creation. Perhaps that is just a compliment to my marmalade and jam-making abilities or I'm crazy to think anybody in the 21st century but me is going to spend the time to make marmalade and jam themselves. In any case, I hope you enjoy watching the process and maybe one day you'll embark on your own marmalade adventure. This recipe is made with grapefruit from my dean's trees. Thanks, Nicole! Please don't forget to bring me the bounty of your garden after you have stepped down...I'll still be around to make lovely creations out of what you send my way!
March 8, 2009
Why, do you ask, am I making ketchup at home? Well, Michael goes through the stuff like water. A typical-sized ketchup bottle is considered two servings in our house. It's not that that is a problem except for the sugar content - geez! I hated to see him consume such great amounts of sugar and I thought I could probably make a cheaper, more flavorful version. So after years of researching online, testing and adjusting, I give you my personal ketchup recipe. Michael calls it "tomato chutney," but really it's just plain 'ole ketchup with some spiced-up kick.This recipe was also my first "break" into the food biz. Check me out on Chow.com.
February 22, 2009
Patatas Bravas is a very traditional and simple little tapa with crunchy fried potatoes smothered in a creamy tomato sauce. It's a bit high on the calories, fat and carbohydrates contents, but worth the splurge. Michael and I were introduced to this dish in NYC at a tapas restaurant in our neighborhood called 1492. They actually served it with three sauces and many restaurants in Spain do serve these patatas with multiple dips, but I just did the traditional tomato. Other sauces may include a garlic aioli or sweet barbecue. Salud!
“Meatballs” in Spicy Tomato Sauce
February 8, 2009
This is one of the recipes I made yesterday at my first cooking class, Vegetarian Spanish Tapas. I adopted it from a meat recipe in a book my step-mom gave me that I would assume she bought in Spain because all the measurements were metric. Skillfully overcoming that challenge with the internet, I managed to create a simple, yet tasty dish with vegetarian meatballs that actually held together well. I have seen vegetarian meatballs in the freezer section and I wouldn't hold it against you if you cheated with these, but I have to say these are pretty easy to make as long as you don't mind a bit of a mess in handling the meatball mixture and rolling them into balls. Salud!
Baked Sweet Potatoes with Vegetarian Gravy
November 16, 2008
My vegetarian (it's actually vegan) gravy is one of my most coveted recipes. I look forward to digging out this recipe each November, experimenting with different vegetables I have in the fridge or look particularly lovely at the market and, most importantly, drowning my potatoes, stuffing, bread and another other dish on my plate that gets in the way of this thick, earthy sauce. Here I've paired it with baked sweet potatoes I got from the CSA. I wanted a simple accompaniment for the gravy here, but for Thanksgiving, perhaps a sweet potato casserole would be in order. Either way, the slightly sweet sweet potato marries well with the root vegetable-based vegan gravy.
June 8, 2008
One pot, 15 minutes active time, and you are barely heating up the kitchen - a great summer condiment. Boycott the plastic bottle BBQ sauce! This is rich, thick, and smoky. Fabulous with veggie dogs or roasted/grilled portobello caps.
Winter Tomato Sauce
May 7, 2008
Your prayers, and email suggestions, are answered! This sauce is fast, vegan, cheap, versatile (suggestions for applications below),and fresh and it uses canned tomatoes . My boss gave me some bay leaves from her yard. I'm going to jar this up and give it to her to say thanks - especially since she also brought me saffron from Sardinia...I'm in foodie heaven.
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