Take advantage of grilling season and summer’s freshest vegetables to make a delicious pasta dish. Farm fresh veggies, grilled, and tossed with spaghetti then tossed with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese.
1 pound ripe small sweet tomatoes, halved
½ pound asparagus, trimmed, tough ends removed
1 small zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 baby eggplant, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
½ large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, quartered
½ large yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, quartered
1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 lemons, cut in half
2 large garlic cloves, skins remaining
12 ounces dried thick spaghetti
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, red pepper, yellow pepper and onion with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic powder, and a couple generous pinches of salt and pepper.
Put the vegetables on the grill in a single layer. Grill the tomatoes; skin side down, without turning until their skins have darkened and their flesh is soft. Grill the remaining vegetables, turning once, until grill-marked and tender, about 8 minutes. When cooked, add the tomatoes to a blender container. Transfer the remaining vegetables to another medium bowl and let cool briefly. Grill the lemons, cut side down only, for 5 minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice into the blender; discard the peels. Grill the garlic cloves, with skins remaining for 5 minutes. Peel and add to the blender.
When cool enough to handle, dice the zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, and onion. Cut the asparagus into 1” pieces. Cover and keep warm. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the blender with the tomatoes and garlic; process until smooth.
Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts of well-salted water to a boil in a large pot. Cook the spaghetti in the water according to the package directions for al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.
Using the sauce from the blender, toss with the pasta. If the sauce needs to be thinned, use a small amount of the reserved pasta water. Place the pasta in warmed bowls and top with the vegetables, the fresh basil and oregano, a sprinkle of cheese, and serve. Makes 4 servings.
Luscious pan-seared scallops, served over an easy baby turnip puree, with fresh oven-roasted corn, and garnished with watercress and chives.
For the turnip puree
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 shallot, minced
¼ cup of white wine
2 cups baby turnips, quartered
Freshly ground white pepper
For the lemon cream sauce
¼ cup white wine
½ shallot minced
½ cup butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup whipping cream
For the scallops:
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 large sea scallops
Freshly ground white pepper
Roasted corn planks:
2 ears of corm
1 tablespoon of thinly sliced chives
Roasted Corn planks
To prepare the puree:
Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the shallot, and sauté until it begins to just start to brown. Add the wine and simmer until the liquid is almost completely reduced. Add the turnips and simmer until the turnips are tender but not falling apart, and a knife inserts easily into a turnip. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare the corn:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Remove the husks, drizzle with the olive oil and place on a cookie sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and cool. Slice off the cob and set aside.
To prepare the lemon sauce:
In small saucepan, heat wine and shallot. Bring to a boil and reduce over medium-high heat until only 1 tablespoons of liquid remain. Reduce heat to low and whisk in butter, a few pieces at a time, until sauce is smooth and all the butter is incorporated. Whisk in cream, zest and lemon juice. Keep warm in the top of a double boiler set over hot water until serving time.
To prepare the scallops:
In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil until smoking. Season the scallops with salt and white pepper and place in the fat. When the scallops are golden brown and release easily from the pan, two to three minutes, flip them over and cook one more minute and remove the pan from the heat. Let the scallops sit in the pan off the heat for one minute.
Spoon 1⁄4 cup of the turnip puree on each of four individual plates. Top with the scallops and drizzle with the lemon cream sauce. Garnish with corn, chives and the bacon, and fresh watercress.
Fresh and delicious, it’s the perfect appetizer for spring. A delicious combination of ginger tomato jam, creamy cheese, and fried sage and garlic stuffed in a Portobello mushroom and baked to perfection.
4 large Portobello mushrooms, stems removed
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
4 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
12 sage leaves
1/2 cup Ginger Tomato Jam, recipe below
8 ounces of cream cheese
½ cup grated Fontina cheese
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Peel the mushrooms, and save the peelings. Scrape out the gills and discard the gills. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and sage. Sauté until golden, set aside on paper towels to drain. Add the mushroom peelings to the olive oil and sauté until browned. Add the cream cheese to the sautéed mushrooms; melt and mix together.
Drizzle olive oil over the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and set on a baking sheet. Spread the cream cheese into the bottom of the mushroom caps. Top with the tomato jam. Place in the oven and bake 10 for minutes. Remove and top with the grated cheese then bake for 15 more minutes. Immediately top with the fried sage and garlic. Serve warm.
Ginger Tomato Jam
1 pound fresh or canned Roma tomatoes peeled, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture has consistency of thick jam, about 1 hour. Can be make a week ahead. Keep refrigerate, bring to room temperature when ready to use.
Fresh rhubarb is one of our seasonal spring favorites, and makes a perfect sweet and sour Barbecue Sauce. Cooked with orange juice and fresh rosemary, it’s perfect brushed over pan-seared or barbecue chicken.
16 ounces rhubarb, about 4 long stems
1 tablespoon grated onion
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon fresh Rosemary
Cut the rhubarb into ½” cubes. Add to a medium sauce pan with the onion, orange juice, and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often, until the rhubarb has broken down and the sauce has thickened approximately 30-45 minutes. Whisk in the Worcestershire sauce and rosemary. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Leftover holiday ham? No problem! Make these delicious sweet and savory buttermilk biscuit sandwiches filled with homemade pineapple jam, leftover ham, and thinly sliced grilled pineapple.
1 fresh pineapple
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar, plus more
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon of whole cloves
Juice of 1 lemon
Peel the pineapple, cut in half. Set aside one half. Cut the other half into chunks. Add to a food processor and process until some small chunks remain. You should end up with about 2 cups. Put the pineapple and water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the pineapple is soft, about 35 minutes.
Add the sugars, clove, and lemon juice and stir to combine. Cook until the mixture has thickened, about 45 to 60 minutes. Spoon the jam into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Slice the remaining pineapple into thin slices. Sprinkle with white sugar. Set a grill pan over medium high heat. Brush with grapeseed oil and grill the pineapple until well-marked and soft. Set aside.
12 ounces all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, cut into small cubes
1 ounce unsalted cold butter, cut into small cubes
2 ounces cold shortening
1 cup cold low-fat buttermilk
Heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the cold butter and shortening to the dry ingredients. Using your fingertips, rub the butter and shortening into the dry goods until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the middle of the butter and dry ingredients and add the buttermilk. Stir with a large spoon until the dough just comes together. Knead the dough in the bowl until all the flour has been absorbed.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, then start folding the dough over on itself, gently kneading until the dough is soft and smooth. Press the dough into a 1-inch-thick round and use a 3-inch round cutter, cut out 6-8 biscuits. Be sure to push the cutter all the way through the dough. Make your cuts as close together, then press the scraps together and punch out as many biscuits as possible.
Place the biscuits on a parchment lined sheet pan where they they just barely touch. Bake until the biscuits are tall and light browned, about 15 to 17 minutes.
To Make the Biscuit Sandwiches:
½ pound ham, sliced thin and cut to the size of the biscuits
Split the biscuits and fill with the ham, pineapple jam, and grilled pineapple.
A southern specialty, we used a fine grind grits combined with course ground 8-row flint corn. Adding butter and cream makes these an extra-tasty grits topped with Cajun barbecue fresh sautéed shrimp.
Creamy Corn Grits
1 cup finely ground corn grits, we prefer Weisenborn
¼ cup 8-row flint course ground corn (optional, you can substitute with more fine ground grits)
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons salt
Juice of one lemon
½ cup cream
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Heat 3 cups of stock in a large sauce pan. When simmering, whisk in the corn grits. Cook stirring occasionally for 30 minutes, adding the last cup of stock in the last ten minutes. Cook until extremely thick, adding the butter, salt, lemon juice, and cream stirring to combine. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve. Serve in warm bowls topped with the shrimp and cilantro.
Cajun BBQ Shrimp
12 raw colossal shrimp, unpeeled, deveined, with heads and tails left on
¼ cup cold, unsalted butter
2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
Zest of one lemon
Devein the shrimp without peeling. Keep cold in the refrigerator.
Melt the butter over medium high heat in a large sauté pan, add the garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce, pepper, salt, creole and lemon zest. Sauté for two minutes more then add the shrimp and sauté on one side for 3-4 minute. Turn and cook until the shrimp is bright pink and cooked through. Top the creamy corn grits with the shrimp and cilantro.