Category: Vegan/Vegetarian

Herb Croutons

pea soup with homemade croutons

pea soup with homemade croutonsMake these crispy delicious Herb Croutons to add a crispy texture and salty/herby flavor to salads or soups. Try these with our Rosemary Pea Soup.

To Make Herb Croutons

Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet, large enough to hold the cubes in one layer. Drizzle half of the oil over the cubes, toss, drizzle with the remaining oil and toss again.

herb croutons
Bake preheated oven (400 degrees F) for 10 minutes or until crispy, giving a toss halfway through the cooking.

Finely chop the herbs and combine with salt. Sprinkle the herb of choice and salt over the hot cubes and toss.

herb croutons

Watch the Herb Crouton Video here.
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Herb Croutons

pea soup with homemade croutons

Make these delicious Herb Croutons to add a crispy texture and salty/herby flavor to salads or soups. Finely chop the herbs, mix with salt and toss on toasted bread cubes.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 27 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups
  • Category: Bread/Garnish

Ingredients

1 small loaf country-style bread, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced herbs
pinch of coarse salt

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet, large enough to hold the cubes in one layer. Drizzle half of the oil over the cubes, toss, drizzle with the remaining oil and toss again.

Bake preheated oven for 10 minutes or until crispy, giving a toss halfway through the cooking.

Finely chop the herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, or sage and combine with salt. Sprinkle the herb of choice and salt over the hot cubes and toss.

Cool.

Notes

For a hearty herb like rosemary, think dust when mincing for even coverage and flavor.

Rosemary Pea Soup

pea soup shooters with herb croutons

pea soup shooters with herb croutonsSpring is around the corner and that means young sweet peas are beginning poke through the dirt ready to begin their climb up the vines and ripen into tiny green beads of deliciousness. This is the time to make a delicious chilled or warm Rosemary Pea Soup.

The velvety texture and the sweetness from the leeks and peas is nicely tempered by the earthy flavor and aroma of fresh rosemary. This soup is delicious chilled or heated, but please note that the amount of salt for each style varies.

chilled soup with croutons

Cold foods require a little more salt to amp up flavor and this is done while the soup is hot. It takes a little finesse to get it right – as soon as the salt is a little too prominent for a hot mixture, stop. Chill. If you aren’t sure what temperature you want to serve the soup, season it for the hot version.

To fix an already chilled soup that isn’t properly seasoned, take a ladle or two of soup and heat, either on the stovetop or in the microwave, and add the salt necessary for the cold version. Stir to dissolve and add back to the cold soup.

Use our herb crouton to make a garnish and use finely minced rosemary, serve with a chilled Rosé, and celebrate the arrival of spring – finally!

To Make the Soup

chilled soup with croutons

Heat the oil over medium heat in a covered 7-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan. Stir in the leeks, scallions, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper, cover and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring once. If the vegetables are browning, lower the heat a little.

chilled soup with croutons

Stir in the stock, bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes more.

chilled soup with croutons

Puree the soup in batches in a food processor or blender – be careful of the steam, or in the pan with an immersion blender.

chilled soup with croutons

The texture should be smooth and velvety.

chilled soup with croutons

Place the bowl in an ice bath to cool

Serve in small cups with three croutons each for a lovely appetizer or starter course.

chilled soup with croutons

See our video on how to safely blend hot ingredients.

Watch the Rosemary Pea Soup video here.
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Rosemary Pea Soup

chilled soup with croutons

A delicious, versatile Pea Soup that can be served chilled or hot. Top with crunchy rosemary croutons and celebrate the arrival of spring and spring produce!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 quarts
  • Category: Soup/Appetizer

Ingredients

Chilled Pea and Rosemary Soup

¼ cup unsalted butter
2 cups thinly sliced leeks (whites and light greens), thoroughly rinsed and drained (about 2 leeks)
½ cup minced shallots (about 3 shallots)
½ cup diced celery (about 1 stalk)
¼ cup rosemary leaves only
1 tablespoon coarse salt*
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 cups vegetable stock or water
6 cups fresh shelled peas or 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen peas

Garnish                      

Rosemary Croutons

Instructions

For the Rosemary Pea Soup:

Heat the oil over medium heat in a covered 7-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan

Stir in the leeks, scallions, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper, cover and sweat for 5 minutes, stirring once. If the vegetables are browning, lower the heat a little.

Stir in the stock, bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes.

Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes more.

Puree the soup in batches in a food processor or blender – be careful of the steam, or in the pan with an immersion blender. The texture should be smooth and velvety.

Place the bowl in an ice bath to cool

Serve in small cups with three croutons each.

Notes

*Reduce the salt by 1 teaspoon if serving warm or hot

Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

French Toast and strawberry compote

French Toast and strawberry compoteFrench toast is a weekend event. Not that it’s difficult to make, but a little time consuming for a busy workday morning. I love this recipe for Cinnamon Raisin French Toast. Saturate the bread slices in an egg mixture for several minutes, which creates a custardy center and crisp out layer. A pat of butter on top and a drizzle of warm maple syrup and you have perfect cinnamon raisin French toast!

Beat the eggs, cream and vanilla in a small bowl.

Lay the bread on a baking sheet and pour the egg mixture over the top. Let sit for 3 minutes.

French Toast

Turn and let sit for 3 minutes more.

Melt the butter in the skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Lay the bread slices on the hot griddle and cook until golden brown, turn and cook until golden brown. Adjust heat as needed.

French Toast

Hold in a 200 degree F oven until all the toast is cooked.

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Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

French Toast and strawberry compote
  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Breakfast/Brunch

Ingredients

4 large eggs
¼ cup heavy cream or half and half
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
8 slices cinnamon raisin bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Garnish
butter and warm maple syrup

Instructions

Beat the eggs, cream and vanilla in a small bowl.

Lay the bread on a baking and pour the egg mixture over the top. Let sit for 3 minutes.

Turn and let sit for 3 minutes more.

Melt the butter in the skillet on griddle over medium-high heat. Lay the bread slices on the hot griddle and cook until golden brown, turn and cook until golden brown. Adjust heat as needed.

Hold in a 200 degree F oven, until all the toast is cooked.

Cream of Tomato Soup

cream of tomato soup

I’ve been thinking about Cream of Tomato Soup a lot lately. I haven’t had it in years and the last time was most likely Campbell’s. The occasion for making it came up with a party I was having for my daughter Margot.

cream of tomato soup

She recently became a designer for Keep Collective, a jewelry company. We invited family and friends local to me (she lives in Philadelphia) for a Saturday afternoon, including a light lunch. We had about a dozen acceptances. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to make a lovely ladies’ lunch.

Hors d’oeuvres

Scallion and Parsley Humus
Crudité
Pita Chips

cream of tomato soup

Lunch

Cream of Tomato Soup
Grilled Cheddar Cheese on Rye
Turkey Club Sandwiches

cream of tomato soup

Dessert

Triple Chocolate Brownies
Chocolate Almond Coconut Biscotti
Banana Bread Biscotti
Passion Fruit Chocolate Biscotti

cream of tomato soup

The soup and sandwiches were a big hit. It was a chilly day and everyone was oohing and awing about comfort food. I kept the soup in the crockpot on low to easily fill and refill mugs. No utensils – all finger foods!

We had a great afternoon and everyone stayed a long time. I think they departed around 7pm – always a sign of a good party when guests stay longer than expected!

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Cream of Tomato Soup

cream of tomato soup

Cream of Tomato soup was one of my favorite soups growing up. This recipe packs lots of natural tomato sweetness and goes perfectly with grilled cheese sandwiches!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 quarts
  • Category: Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, sliced
1 large celery stalk, sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 cup dry white wine
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 can (14.5) ounces fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
6 cups vegetable stock or water
1 bouquet garni (3 parsley sprigs, 20 thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves, 6 pepper corns securely wrapped in cheesecloth)
1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

Melt the butter in a 7-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat.

Once the butter foams, stir in the onion, celery, carrot, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat if the onions are browning.

Stir in the garlic and cayenne and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the wine and bring to a boil, reduce to ¼ cup.

Stir in the crushed tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, stock or water and bouquet garni.

Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes.

Remove and discard bouquet garni,

Cool off heat for 15 minutes.

Pour the soup in batches into a blender or food processor, filling the container halfway or less. Cover, remove the top insert to allow for steam to escape, but cover that hole with a folded over towel.

Place into a clean container and continue pureeing until all the soup is smooth. Stir in the heavy cream.

Reheat and serve.

Freezes well.

Notes

See our video on how to safely puree hot foods.

Roasted Spiced Carrot Purée

Roasted Spiced Carrot Puree

This recipe for Roasted Spiced Carrot Purée is delicious with our Spelt Flat Bread recipe, which makes a great snack or appetizer. Also use as a dip for pita chips. Top with crumbled feta cheese, coarsely chopped pistachio nuts and a drizzle of cilantro oil.

The spices, cumin, oregano, coriander, turmeric, smoked paprika and cayenne, each contribute to the overall depth of flavor and complement the sweet carrots nicely.

Roasted Spiced Carrot Puree

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a half sheet (13-inch by 18-inch by 1-inch) tray with foil or parchment paper.

Coarsely chop up the carrots and lay on the prepared tray with the cloves of garlic. Combine the melted coconut oil, cumin, oregano, coriander, salt, turmeric, smoked paprika and cayenne and drizzle over the carrots. Use your hands to coat thoroughly.

Roasted Spiced Carrot Puree

Pop into the oven and roast for 50 minutes. The carrots should be very tender. Cool slightly before puréeing in a food processor.  The texture should be similar to peanut butter.

Note: Avoid the blender – there’s not enough liquid to blend smoothly.

Roasted Spiced Carrot Puree

For the flatbread, spread the carrot purée over the flat bread and garnish with cilantro oil, chopped pistachios and crumbled feta cheese.

Roasted Spiced Carrot Puree

Watch the Roasted Spiced Carrot Purée here.
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Roasted Spiced Carrot Puree

Roasted Spiced Carrot Puree

A delicious carrot purée that’s wonderful spread on flatbreads or as an appetizer dip with pita chips.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup
  • Category: Appetizer

Ingredients

Roasted Spiced Carrot Purée
2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons Turkish oregano
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne
2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
6 large cloves garlic, separated with peel on

Garnish
Crumbled feta cheese
Chopped pistachios
Cilantro oil

Instructions

For the Spiced Carrot Purée

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Stir the cumin, oregano, coriander, salt, turmeric, smoked paprika and cayenne into the melted coconut oil.

Place the carrots and garlic on a baking sheet, pour the spice mix over, and toss to coat well.

Place in the preheated oven and bake 50 minutes or until fork tender; timing varies according to thickness of carrots.

Cool slightly and purée to a paste, similar in texture to peanut butter.

Serve as a dip or spread on flatbread.

Notes

See recipes for Spelt Flatbread and Cilantro Oil

Makes 3 flatbreads: use 1/3 cup carrot purée, 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese, 1/3 cup coarsely chopped pistachio nuts and drizzle each with cilantro oil. Cut into 6 or 8 squares or triangles.

Colcannon

colcannon

To celebrate St Patrick’s Day, we’re making Colcannon, an Irish potato side dish made with mashed potatoes and cabbage. It’s buttery and tasty!

Ironically, the corned beef and cabbage so ubiquitous in the States is not the traditional Irish St. Patrick’s Day dinner. Lamb is enjoyed on this day in Ireland and we have the perfect recipe for you that is delicious with this colcannon recipe: Garlic Rosemary Roasted Boneless Leg of Lamb.

Erin go bragh!

colcannon

Place the potatoes, salt and enough cold water to cover by 2 inches in a large covered saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and tilt the lid to allow some steam to escape and to prevent the potatoes from boiling over. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes – timing varies depending on the size of the potatoes. Drain.

colcannon

While the potatoes cook, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter foams, add the cabbage, scallions, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the cabbage expels water and softens, about 3 minutes.

colcannon

Mash the potatoes with the warm milk until smooth. Stir in the cabbage and scallions to combine.

Garnish with a couple of twists of the peppermill and the reserved scallion greens.

colcannon

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Colcannon

colcannon
  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Side Dish

Ingredients

2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ cup unsalted butter
3 cups finely shredded green cabbage, ¼ of a head
7 scallions thinly sliced, greens included, reserve 1 scallion with green tops for garnish
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Ground pepper (10 cranks?)
½ cup warm milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Instructions

Garnish
Strew with the sliced scallions, a pat of butter and a couple of twists of the peppermill

Place the potatoes, salt and enough cold water to cover by 2 inches in a large covered saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and tilt the lid to allow some steam to escape and to prevent the potatoes from boiling over. Cook until the potatoes are fork tender, about x minutes – timing varies depending on the size of the potatoes. Drain.

While the potatoes cook, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter foams, add the cabbage, scallions, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the cabbage expels water and softens, about 3 minutes

Mash the potatoes with the warm milk until smooth. Stir in the cabbage and scallions to combine.

Garnish with a couple of twists of the peppermill and the reserved scallion greens.

Notes

Warm the milk and butter together before adding to the potatoes to keep them hot.

Cilantro Oil

infused oil

I created this Cilantro Oil to use on a Spelt Flatbread with Roasted Spiced Carrot Purée. To make an infused oil, select the type of oil you prefer, such as a mild vegetable oil, extra-virgin olive oil, nut oils, etc. Combine the oil with herbs, spices, garlic, or a any combination. This is a delicious accent for soups, stews, flatbreads, pizza, or a dipping oil for crusty breads. Use an infused oil for a creative twist on a salad dressing or vinaigrette. Drizzle over meat, chicken or fish. Lots of options!

infused oil

This cilantro oil is quick and easy to make. Place the oil, chopped cilantro, and salt in a blender or food processor and purée. Strain for a delicate drizzle of infused oil or leave the pulp in for a stronger flavor.

infused oil

Food Safety Note

Any infused oil that contains raw ingredients has a limited shelf life – 4-5 days tops, and must be refrigerated. The herbs, spices and garlic contain bacteria, commonly anaerobic bacteria, that thrive in oxygen-free environments like an infused oil. Plus a little masking tape on the jar with the date.

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Cilantro Oil

Flavored oils are a great way to enhance a dish. Drizzle over chicken, fish, vegetables or on top of soup. Use sparingly, this cilantro oil packs lots of flavor.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 10
  • Yield: 1 cup
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Puree

Ingredients

¾ cup olive oil
2 cups roughly chopped cilantro
¼ teaspoon coarse salt

Instructions

Place the oil, cilantro and salt in the base of a food processor or blender and puree thoroughly.

Refrigerate up to 4 days.

Use at room temperature.

Notes

Strain for a refined drizzle. Keep the pulp for a stronger flavor.

 

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs with and without dairy

I googled for recipes of scrambled eggs with dairy and without. It was interesting to see how each method has die-hard fans. Does it make a difference if you use dairy nor not?

The water content of the egg white evaporates during cooking. Adding milk, especially whole or 2-percent milk, has added fat and water to keep the eggs moist.

Scrambled Eggs with and without dairy

Lack of dairy produces a scrambled egg that is a little drier and less fluffy, but with more of an eggy taste.

The difference is negligible, though. You decide what’s right for you.

See our post for an in-depth explanation on how to cook protein, which explains why we recommend cooking low and slow.

Scrambled Eggs with and without dairy

Beat the eggs well and season with salt and pepper before cooking for optimum flavor. A non-stick skillet requires less fat than a regular skilled. I prefer butter for the sweet taste it imparts, but you can easily substitute coconut oil or vegetable oil.

Watch the Scrambled Eggs without Dairy video here.

Adding a little milk or cream to your scrambled eggs makes lighter fluffier eggs. A tablespoon or two for 2 or 3 eggs is sufficient, substitute soy, almond or coconut milk, if desired. Final flavor varies.

Watch the Scrambled Eggs with Dairy video here.

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Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs with and without dairy

Scrambled eggs are delicious for any meal. For lunch place in a pita or wrap with some bacon and sliced tomatoes.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 1 portion
  • Category: Eggs

Ingredients

2 large eggs
1 1/2  tablespoons milk or cream
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
2 teaspoons butter or oil

Instructions

Beat the eggs, dairy, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl until frothy.

Heat the butter over medium heat in a skillet.

Once the butter is frothy, pour in the scrambled eggs and gently and continuously stir to create curds.

The eggs are done when all liquid disappears and the eggs are yellow and fluffy.

Notes

Substitute soy, almond or coconut milks for cow’s milk.

 

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese

Mashed Potatoes

I remember serving these Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese for Thanksgiving one year. My Aunt Irene loves sweet potatoes. After dinner, she was complimenting me and I mentioned the goat cheese. She said “oh” and frowned. I never made them that way for her again, even though she loved them until she knew about the goat cheese!

I’m not sure when or why it occurred to me to add goat cheese to sweet potatoes, but I find the natural sweetness of the potato a little overwhelming. The tartness of a little goat cheese downplays sweetness in a balanced way. A ratio of 1 pound of sweet potatoes to one ounce of goat cheese works best.

Pierce the sweet potatoes three times with a paring knife to allow the steam to escape. The potato creates its own chimney when the internal water reaches boiling point and the potato pulp bursts through the hole everywhere. These slits allow the steam to escape without the drama.

Place aluminum foil on the middle shelf and place the pierced potatoes on the foil in a preheated oven (400 degrees F). The natural sugars become a syrup and leak through the slits and onto the floor of the oven. The foil captures those juices, saving your oven.

Bake for about an hour. The potatoes are done when a fork easily slides in.

Mashed Potatoes

Let sit for 15 minutes to cool for easier handling; peel.

Use a fork to combine the sweet potato, goat cheese, salt and pepper.

Mashed Potatoes

Pair these sweet potatoes with our grilled lamb chops.

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese

Mashed Potatoes

The tartness of a little goat cheese plays down that sweetness of the potato in this recipe for Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese. I find a ratio of 1 pound of sweet potatoes to one ounce of goat cheese works best.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups
  • Category: Potatoes
  • Method: Baking

Ingredients

2 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
2 ounces plain goat cheese, room temperature
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Pierce the potatoes three times and place in preheated oven on a sheet of aluminum foil.

Bake for one hour or until a fork easily slides through the potato.

Let sit for 15 minutes to cool for easier handling then peel.

Use a fork to combine the sweet potato, goat cheese, salt and pepper.

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese

The tartness of a little goat cheese plays down that sweetness of the potato in this recipe for Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese. I find a ratio of 1 pound of sweet potatoes to one ounce of goat cheese works best.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups
  • Category: Potatoes
  • Method: Baking

Ingredients

2 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
2 ounces plain goat cheese, room temperature
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

 

Pierce the potatoes three times and place in preheated oven on a sheet of aluminum foil.

Bake for one hour or until a fork easily slides through the potato.

Let sit for 15 minutes to cool for easier handling then peel.

Use a fork to combine the sweet potato, goat cheese, salt and pepper.

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Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Goat Cheese

The tartness of a little goat cheese downplays the inherent sweetness of the sweet potato. A ratio of 1 pound of sweet potatoes to one ounce of goat cheese works best.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups
  • Category: Potatoes
  • Method: Baking

Ingredients

2 pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
2 ounces plain goat cheese, room temperature
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Pierce the potatoes three times and place in preheated oven on a sheet of aluminum foil.

Bake for one hour or until a fork easily slides through the potato.

Let sit for 15 minutes to cool for easier handling then peel.

Use a fork to combine the sweet potato, goat cheese, salt and pepper.

Guacamole

Avocado Dip

Guacamole is a Mexican condiment first made by the Aztecs. The name guacamole translates from the Aztec Nahautl vocabulary: āhuacamolli,which means avocado sauce or avocado concoction.

There are as many versions of guac, as it is affectionately called here, as there are cooks. The two key ingredients in my mind are salt for flavor and acidity, preferably lime juice, not only for flavor, but the acid prevents oxidation. Once the avocado is cut and exposed to oxygen, it turns brown. This isn’t harmful, just unattractive.

Please note that placing on top of the guac does not prevent oxidation. To preserve the dip, press plastic wrap firmly on the top.

Avocado Dip

Garlic, diced tomatoes, minced red onion and minced jalapeños are commonly used and enhance flavor and texture. I’ve also seen recipes that use mayo and sour cream, but in my opinion that only detracts from the delicious flavor, texture and color of the avocado.

Handle any chili pepper, such as jalapeño, carefully. The essential oils inside stay on your skin for a while and easily transfer to eyes or other sensitive areas. Use food handler gloves if possible. The heat comes from the membrane inside the pepper. It’s not the seeds.

Avocado Dip

Use guacamole for more than a dip. It’s great as a spread for sandwiches or place a dollop on grilled chicken. It also goes well with shellfish, such a shrimp and lobster. Tuna tartar is often paired with a little quac. There are many possibilities for this delicious “concoction!”

NOTES: Placing the pit on top of the guacamole will not prevent oxidation; only the spot covered by the pit is protected. Plastic wrap placed directly on the guacamole keeps the oxygen away and the lime juice not only acts as a flavor component, but the acidity also delays browning.

Handle any chili pepper carefully. The essential oils inside stay on your skin for a while and easily transfer to eyes or other sensitive areas. Use food handler gloves if possible.Avocado Dip

My version uses red bell pepper instead of tomatoes. Tomatoes are seasonal and most of the year unappealing. The red bell pepper provides color and crunch. Feel free to swap it out for tomatoes.

Watch the Guacamole Video Here.
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Guacamole

There are as many versions of guacamole as there are cooks. The two key ingredients In my mind are salt for flavor and acidity. I love to include onions, garlic, red bell pepper, and jalapeño, which all enhance taste and texture.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups
  • Category: Appetizer

Ingredients

2 Haas avocados
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup minced red bell pepper
¼ cup packed chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons minced jalapeño (1 small)
2 teaspoons minced clove garlic (2 small cloves)
½ teaspoon coarse salt

GARNISH

Chopped cilantro leaves and/or a little minced red bell pepper

Instructions

Slice the avocados in half length-wise and remove pits.

Scoop the flesh into a small bowl and mash gently with the back of a table fork. Make the texture smooth or chunky, as you desire.

Pour a couple of teaspoons of lime juice over the avocado and mix well – this will prevent oxidation (browning of the avocado flesh).

Stir in the pepper, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic and salt.

Let sit for 15-20 minutes to allow flavors blend, then taste and adjust seasonings as needed, maybe more lime juice for acidity and/or a little salt.

To store: cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Notes

Placing the pit on top of the guacamole will not prevent oxidation; only the spot covered by the pit is protected. Plastic wrap placed directly on the guacamole keeps the oxygen away and the lime juice not only acts as a flavor component, but the acidity also delays browning.

Handle any chili pepper carefully. The essential oils inside stay on your skin for a while and easily transfer to eyes or other sensitive areas. Use food handler gloves if possible.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/3 cup

Marinara Sauce

Red Sauce

Marinara sauce is a quick and easy red sauce with few ingredients, minimal prep and short cooking time. It’s ready, start to finish, in an hour. Before you start, put up a large pot of salted water for pasta.

This recipe makes just about one quart, which is perfect for one pound of pasta. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan.

I use a little more oil to sauté the onions and garlic because a good olive oil is an essential component of a good red sauce.

Red Sauce

A medium onion minced is about one cup and 6 medium cloves garlic add a good punch of garlic without being overwhelming. I also like a little crushed pepper flakes for heat. Fresh basil adds a complementary flavor to the tomatoes. If you don’t have any, use a teaspoon of dried basil. One 28-ounce can crushed or puréed tomatoes completes the recipe.

Sweat the onions on medium heat for five minutes to soften and release the natural water content. Stir in the garlic, pepper flakes and dried basil, if using, and cook for 30 seconds. Just long enough to release the aromatic aroma of the garlic. Stir in the tomatoes and fresh basil, if using, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

Red Sauce

The best way to dress the pasta is to put a couple of ladlefuls of sauce in the drained pasta pan and add the pasta back. Stir to combine. Serve the extra sauce and some grated Parmesan cheese on the side.

See our recipe for garlic bread, a great accompaniment for a pasta with red sauce!

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Marinara Sauce

Red Sauce

Marinara sauce is a quick and easy red sauce with few ingredients, minimal prep and short cooking time. It’s ready, start to finish, in an hour. Before you start, put up a large pot of salted water for pasta.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 quart
  • Category: Sauce

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, minced

8 cloves garlic minced

¼ teaspoon pepper flakes

1 can (28 ounces) puréed tomatoes, such as San Marzano or Red Pack

2 large sprigs fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil

Instructions

Heat the oil in a medium, covered saucepan over high heat.

Stir in the onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. If the onion starts to brown, lower the heat.

Toss in the garlic and pepper flakes; cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the tomatoes and basil, bring to a boil, cover and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes.

Discard basil.

Notes

Recipe easily doubles and freezes well.

Roasted Artichoke Hearts with Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette

Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette

Fresh artichokes are delicious but time consuming to prepare. This recipe for roasted artichoke hearts with lemon parmesan vinaigrette works well with frozen artichokes, a quick and easy alternative and thawing is not necessary. Avoid canned or jarred artichokes; they are too soft and don’t hold up well in a cooked recipe.

Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette

Use as an hors d’oeuvre or first course.

WATCH THE ROASTED ARTICHOKE VIDEO HERE:

 

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Roasted Artichoke Hearts with Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette

Lemon Parmesan Vinaigrette

Fresh artichokes are delicious, but time consuming to prepare. Frozen artichokes are a quick and easy alternative and thawing is not necessary. Avoid canned or jarred artichokes, which are too soft for additional cooking.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Roasting

Ingredients

Artichokes

8 baby artichokes or 1 16-ounce bag frozen artichoke hearts, thawed or 1 can (x ounces) canned artichokes, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
lemon-parmesan vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Lemon-Parmesan Vinaigrette

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 minced cloves garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

GARNISH                        

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

For the Artichokes:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

To use frozen artichokes, lay  on a towel or paper towel and cover with another; press gently to remove excess moisture.

Place the artichokes on a baking sheet and add the olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, toss halfway through the cooking time. The artichokes are done when the edges are slightly brown and crispy.

Pour the vinaigrette over the artichokes and toss to combine.

Serve on a warm platter or individual plates and garnish with chopped parsley.

For the Vinaigrette: Place the oil, cheese, parsley, lemon zest and juice, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper in a jar and shake to combine.

Notes

Frozen artichokes may several minutes longer than frozen.