Caramelized Onions

-Take the peels of 2 large onions (or 3-4 smaller ones).

-Cut in half through the root end of each onion.

-Cut the root end of each onion half off by cutting with your knife on either side to make a V.

-Lay the onion so that what was the root end is facing you, then thinly slice lengthwise.

-Repeat on remaining onion halves.

- Heat 2 TBS unsalted butter in a large saucepan over medium until melted and sizzling. (Using a pan that also has a wide base gives water room to evaporate, allowing the onions to caramelize rather than steam.)

-Add the sliced onions.

-Season with a ¼ tsp sea salt.

-Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook onions, stirring every few minutes to prevent them from sticking and coloring too much in any one place, until brown and caramelized, 20-25 minutes.

Let onions cool in the pan, then use or transfer to an airtight container where they will keep for up to a week.


Spicy Orechiette with Tuna, Fresh Peas and Lemon

-Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

-Cook 1 pound of Orechiette according to package directions.

-Shell ¾ of a pound of peas.

-While pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a small skillet medium heat until shimmering.

-Slice 2 cloves of fresh garlic into thin slices.

-Add the garlic and ½ tsp chili flakes and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minutes.

-Transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside.

-30 seconds before pasta is done, add peas to the boiling water.

-Drain pasta and peas, reserving ½ cup of cooking liquid.

-When pasta is cooked, return pasta to now-empty pot.

-Add 1 (5-ounce) can tuna packed in olive oil, preferably Italian, breaking it into chunky flakes as you add it.

-Add the garlic and chili oil mixture to pasta and set over high heat.

-Add reserved pasta cooking liquid along with the following:

1 TBS grated lemon zest

2 TBS lemon juice

¼ cup chopped fresh dill, cilantro or parsley

-Simmer, stirring constantly until the sauce coats the pasta and thickens.

-Season to taste with sea salt and pepper and serve immediately.


A Delicious Way to Eat the Empty Pods of Shell Peas

It always seems sad to compost empty shell-pea pods once you’ve shucked and eaten the peas. There’s still a lot of nutrients and flavor in the pods, so with a few steps you can turn the shells into a pretty green puree to use in sauces and pasta dishes.

-Blanch the pea shells by adding them to a pot of boiling water.

-Cook for 1 minute, then drain, reserving a little of the cooking liquid.

-Transfer the peas to a blender and puree shells with a little of the cooking liquid.

-Once it’s pretty smooth, you want to strain the puree right into a bowl that’s set over another bowl full of ice water. (Chilling the puree immediately preserves the bright green color, otherwise, the puree will turn brownish.)

-Here are a few suggestions for using your pea puree:

• Fold into pasta dishes

• Combine with ricotta cheese and spread onto bread as a crostini

• Use as a sauce

• Use as a garnish

• Mix into smoothies or juices

Spaghetti with Fresh Garlic

-Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.

-Meanwhile, cut the roots off of a fresh garlic head with the stem still attached.

-Cut about 3-4 inches off of the bottom of the stem, where it is most tender, then discard roots and the rest of the stem/leaves.

-Peel 1 or 2 layers off of the stem piece and cut it in half and then thin strips. Chop into small dice.

-Peel 6-8 cloves of garlic, then slice into thin slivers.

-Heat 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil in a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan over low heat.

-Add the chopped stem and slivered garlic along with 2 big pinches of sea salt; stir to coat.

-Cover and cook, stirring frequently, until wilted and softened, 7-8 minutes.

-Remove the pan from the heat.

-Add 8 ounces thin spaghetti to the boiling water and cook until just al dente, about 1 minute less than package timing.

-Set aside about ½ cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta.

-Return the sauté pan to low heat.

-Add the spaghetti and ¼ cup of the cooking water; toss well.

-Add ¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano and 2 TBS of the water; toss again.

-Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding the remaining water if the pasta seems dry.

-Serve in heated pasta bowls, sprinkled with additional Parmigiano.


Quick Pickled Fresh Onions

-Wash a quart glass mason jar with lid in hot, soapy water and rinse well.

-Combine ½ cup water with the following in a saucepan.

1.5 cups vinegar

3 TBS sea salt or kosher salt

3 TBS sugar

-Bring to a boil then cook until sugar and salt have dissolved; remove from heat and set aside.

-Slice 2 fresh onions into ¼ inch thick rings.

-Fill jar halfway with onion slices.

-Add 1 garlic scape (optional); cover with remaining onion slices, packing them with the back of a clean spoon. Leave ¾ inch of space beneath the rim.

-Pour hot liquid over onions, covering them by ¼ inch and leaving ½ inch of space beneath the rim.

-Place lid on jar and let stand until cool.

-Store in the refrigerator and serve within a week.


Fresh Onion Fritters

-Peel 2 fresh onions and cut in half.

-Then cut into ¼ inch thick half-moons.

-Separate the onions into individual slices.

-Mix the onions well with the following:

⅛ tsp red chili powder

1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger

3 TBS cilantro, chopped

1 fresh hot green chili, cut into rounds (optional)

½ tsp ground cumin

A generous pinch of ground turmeric

-Dust with 4 TBS chickpea flour (or gram flour), but do not mix it in just yet.

-About 15 minutes before eating, add a pinch of sea salt.

-Hand-mix the onions into the dry ingredients, mashing it all for about 5 minutes, or until the slices clump together.

-Put 1 cm of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.

-Meanwhile, make 12 rough patties from the onion mixture, placing them in a single layer on a board or plate as you make them, onion pieces will stick out, but that is how it should be.

-When the oil is hot, turn the heat to medium-low and add half the patties in one layer.

-Fry for 1 minute, flip, and fry for another minute.

-Flip again. Fry for another 30 seconds or so on each side until reddish-gold and crisp.

-Drain on kitchen paper.

-Make a second batch the same way.

-Serve hot with some chutney.


Garlic Scape Carbonara

-Set a pot of water to boiling on the stove.

-Add ½ pound of pasta (campanella, fettuccini or penne would be nice).

-Then stir a tsp of sea salt into the water.

-Chop 1 bunch of garlic scapes into small dice, using the whole scape except for the last 2-3 inches of the flower bud.

-Chop 4-6 strips of bacon into pieces then cook over medium heat until browned.

-Remove the bacon pieces with a slotted spoon.

-Add the chopped scapes to the same pan and cook until soft (2-3 minutes).

-Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. (Drain both the bacon and the garlic scapes on a paper towel).

-Whisk together the following:

2 large eggs

¼ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

-When the pasta is done, quickly remove it from the stove and set a different burner to low heat.

-Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot, on the burner set to low.

-Stir in the garlic scapes and bacon.

-Add the egg mixture and stir feverishly for 3-4 minutes until sauce is thick and creamy. Don't let it overcook or it will be gloppy.

-Grate ½ cup of Romano cheese.

-Sprinkle in the Romano cheese, a little at a time and stir to combine. Don't add it all at once or it won't mix throughout the pasta as well.

-Serve immediately.


Zucchini Almond Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This beautiful cake is gluten free.

-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

-Butter an 8-inch round, 2-inch deep cake pan.

-Line with parchment and butter paper.

-Whisk together the following:

1½ cups of almond flour

¼ cup plus 2 TBS potato starch

1¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp sea salt

-Set a large heatproof bowl over (not in) a pot with 1 inch barely simmering water.

-Add 3 large eggs and whisk until foamy, about 1 minute.

-Whisk in ½ cup packed brown sugar and continue to whisk until mixture is fluffy and sugar is dissolved, 3 minutes.

-Remove bowl from pot and, using a mixer, whisk on high until mixture is thick and pale, 7 to 10 minutes.

-Melt ½ stick of butter.

-Grate 2 medium or 1 large zucchini (or any summer squash) and then squeeze out most of the liquid.

-With a rubber spatula, gently fold together the following:

The melted butter

The flour mixture

The grated zucchini

1 TBS vanilla

-Pour into pan and bake until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes.

-Let cake cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Invert onto a cake platter.

For the frosting:

With mixer, beat together the following:

5 TBS room-temperature butter

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

Beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

-Add 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar and beat until combined.

-Spread on top of cake when cake is cool.

Winter Vegetable Chips

This recipe works for watermelon radishes, rutabaga, celery root, beets or carrots. As long as the vegetables are sliced thin they will crisp up pretty well. Our favorites were celery root and the watermelon radishes. We actually fried ours in home rendered lard, wow!

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds.

-Peel some of the winter vegetables mentioned above and carefully slice 1/16 inch thick with a mandolin (these have to be cut super thin to crisp up right). You want to end up with 1 baking tray’s worth.

-In a large bowl, toss beets with 2-3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.

-Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

-Stack another rimmed baking sheet on top of the baking sheet with the vegetables on it.

-Bake until edges of vegetables begin to dry out, about 20 minutes.

-Uncover and rotate sheets.

-Bake 10 to 20 minutes, removing chips as they become lightened in color.

-Transfer to a wire rack and sprinkle with more sea salt; chips will crisp up as they cool.

Winter Squash Gratin with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts

-Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

-Peel, seed and cut 1 winter squash into 1-inch cubes.

-Place the squash cubes on a baking tray and toss with the following:

2 TBS olive oil

A sprinkle of sea salt

Some pepper

-Roast until just tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally for about 35 minutes.

-Meanwhile, melt 3 TBS butter in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat.

-Add the following:

2 sliced leeks

1 TBS chopped sage

salt and pepper

-Sauté until tender but not brown, about 10 minutes.

-Coat an 11x7-inch baking dish with 1 TBS butter.

-Spread half the leek mixture over the bottom of the baking dish and then when finished roasting, spread half of the squash over the leeks.

-Crumble up a 5.5-ounce log of chevre goat cheese and sprinkle half over the leeks/squash in the baking dish.

-Repeat layering of leeks/squash/goat cheese.

-Pour 1 cup of heavy cream over the gratin.

-Sprinkle with ½ cup toasted chopped hazelnuts.

-Bake uncovered until gratin is heated through and cream is bubbling, about 30 minutes.

Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

-Hard boil 4 eggs, then peel and quarter them.

-Slice the stems off, wash and dry 1 bunch of spinach.

-Cut 8 slices thick bacon into ½ inch pieces and cook until crisp.

-Pour all of the bacon fat into a heatproof bowl and then return 3TBS of bacon fat to the pan.

-Chop 1 small sweet onion and then add to the bacon fat and cook for 3 minutes.

-Stir in 3 minced garlic scapes and cook for another 15 seconds.

-Add 3 TBS cider vinegar and then remove the skillet from the heat.  

-Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits and then pour the hot dressing over the greens.

-Add the bacon and toss until the greens are slightly wilted.

-Divide the greens on plates and top with the egg quarters.  Serve immediately.

Wilted Radishes

Salting them takes the sharp bite out of them and makes them sweet and delicious.
-Cut radishes in half, then slice into thin half moons and place them in a glass bowl.

-Sprinkle with a big pinch of salt and let stand for 15-20 minutes.

-Taste them, if they are too salty, rinse them. 

-You can use them as a garnish or in a salad. They are pretty and yummy!

Wilted Greens with Warm Bacon Dressing

-Hard boil 4 eggs, then peel and quarter them.

-Slice the stems off, wash and dry 1 bunch of spinach or 1 bunch beet greens.

-Cut 8 slices thick bacon into ½ inch pieces and cook until crisp.

-Pour all of the bacon fat into a heatproof bowl and then return 3 TBS of bacon fat to the pan.

-Stir in 1-2 minced garlic cloves and cook for another 15 seconds.

 -Add 3 TBS cider vinegar and then remove the skillet from the heat.

 -Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits and then pour the hot dressing over the greens.

 -Add the bacon and toss until the greens are slightly wilted.

-Divide the greens on plates and top with the egg quarters. Serve immediately.

Wilted Greens with Garlic and Anchovies

From a recipe by Mario Batali.

-Wash and spin dry 1 bunch beet greens and/or I bunch turnip greens and/or 1 bunch rainbow chard cut into ½ inch wide ribbons.

-Thinly slice 2 cloves of garlic.

-Heat a 10-12 inch sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot.

-Add 2 TBS olive oil, 3 rinsed anchovy fillets and the sliced garlic.

-Cook until the garlic is light brown, about 1 minute.

-Add the greens and cook stirring constantly until wilted, about 5 minutes.

-Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with ½ lemon squeezed over top and some grated Parmesan if desired.

Wild Rice and Celery Root Gratin

To make the wild rice:

-Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a saucepan.

-Add 1 cup wild rice and ½ tsp sea salt.

-Lower the heat and cover, cooking for 45-50 minutes until the rice is tender but still has a little bite.

-Drain off any excess water and let stand for 5-10 minutes and then fluff with a fork.

For the sauce:

Cook ¼ cup chopped onions in 3 TBS butter over low heat for 3 min.

-Stir in 2 TBS flour and cook for 2 min.

-Heat 1½ cups whole milk until just boiling and then add to the butter all at once.

-Cook until thickened, about 10 min.

To assemble: Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

-Lightly butter a baking dish.

-Melt 1 TBS butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.

-Add 1 celery root peeled and grated, the juice of 1 lemon and some salt and pepper.

-Cook until tender, about 5-7 min.

-Combine the rice, celery root, sauce, ½ cup grated Gruyere cheese and ¼ cup grated Parmesan.

-Turn into the buttered dish and bake for 25 minutes until firm and lightly browned.

White Kimchi

-Mix 6 cups water and 6 TBS coarse sea salt in very large bowl, stirring to dissolve salt.

-Take the outer leaves off of 1 large head of savoy cabbage and quarter it lengthwise with the root ends left intact.

-Place cabbage cut side up, in the water so that it almost covers cabbage.

-Put heavy plate atop cabbage, then top with iron skillet to weigh down to submerge cabbage in water. Set aside at room temperature 10 to 12 hours.

-Drain cabbage; discard water.

-Rinse cabbage under cold water.

-Mix the following together in the same large bowl:

4 cups water

1 TBS coarse sea salt

1 TBS sugar

1 tsp fish sauce

-Let brine stand until salt dissolves, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

-Peel, core and chop the following into matchsticks.

1 Asian pear

1 daikon radish

1 carrot

-Cut 10 chives into 1 inch strips.

-Mince 3 garlic cloves.

-Finally mince a small knob of ginger.

-Mix Asian pear, daikon, chives, garlic and ginger in medium bowl.

-Lift each cabbage leaf and distribute some radish mixture between each leaf (about 1 to 1.5 TBS).

-Nestle layered cabbage in bowl of brine as tightly as possible.

-Put heavy plate atop cabbage, then top with iron skillet to weigh down to submerge cabbage in brine. Set aside at room temperature for 24 hours.

-Then refrigerate kimchi submerged in brine for 24 hours.

-Remove weight. Cover and keep refrigerated in brine for up to 3 weeks.

-To serve, lift cabbage from brine, allowing excess brine to drip back into bowl.

-Place on work surface. Cut crosswise into 1- to 2-inch slices.

White Bean, Arugula and Tuna Salad

For the dressing, in a medium sized bowl whisk together the following:

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1 TBS white wine vinegar

A pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

-Drain a rinse 1 can of cannellini beans.

-Chop up ½ an onion.

-Finely chop ¼ bunch of flat leaf parsley.

-To the bowl of dressing, add the beans, the onion, parsley.

-Zest 1 tsp lemon zest and add that, along with ½ cup halved Sungold cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes.

-Toss gently to combine then add 2 6-ounce cans of drained and oil packed tuna (if you are using water packed tuna, add a little extra olive oil).

-Serve at room temperature or chill for 30 minutes.

-Serve on a bed of torn arugula.

White Bean and Endive Soup

You could also make this soup with rainbow chard or radicchio.

-Trim the end off of 1 endive and separate the leaves and wash them well in cool water, especially the center of the leaves where soil collects.  

-Stack the leaves and cut them crosswise into 1-inch strips.

-Dice up 4 carrots.  

-Chop up 5 cloves of garlic and 3 small zucchini.    

-Heat 1 TBS olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-low heat.

-Add the carrots and cook for 5 minutes.  

-Add the zucchini and the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.

-Add the endive and cook for another 3-5 minutes more.  

-Then add the following:

4 cups of broth

Two 15-ounce cans of cannellini or Great Northern beans

One 14-16 ounce can of diced tomatoes  

-Cover and simmer 20 minutes until endive is soft, season with salt and pepper. 

-Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

Watermelon Radish Chips

Fry the watermelon radish the same way you would fry potato chips. The watermelon radish chips are crispy with great texture, slightly bitter with a sweet finish.

-Mix together 1 tsp sea salt and ½ tsp ground cumin in a small bowl. Set aside.

-Peel 2 watermelon radishes and thinly slice them. If you have a mandolin, use it so that as the slices will be uniform and cook evenly.

-Heat 2 cups of grapeseed oil in small pot.

-When hot, toss in a handful of the sliced radish, making sure that you don’t crowd the pot.

-Fry for approximately 8-10 minutes until really brown. You’ll be tempted to take them out earlier, but you need them to crisp up.

-Place a paper towel on a plate, take the fried watermelon chips out and place in a single layer—this helps to dry and crisp them up.

-Season with the cumin salt.

-Continue until done. Season each batch separately and set aside.