H. Dorian is on his way and will be joining us this Labor Day weekend. Here's what to serve your guests....
California Veggie Sandwich
2 cups apple cider vinegar
½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
¼ cup kosher salt
4 cups any combination shredded carrots, sliced cucumbers, sliced red onions, and/or sliced mild fresh chiles
Dressing and Assembly
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
2 ripe avocados, halved
6 ounces fresh goat cheese
6 cups mixed lettuce leaves, ribs removed if thick
8 slices multigrain bread, toasted
½ English hothouse cucumber, thinly sliced on a diagonal
2 cups sprouts
2 heatproof 1-qt. glass jars
Bring vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and 2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Meanwhile, pack vegetables into jars. Pour brine over vegetables. Cover and chill until cool.
Do Ahead: Pickles can be made 2 weeks ahead. Keep chilled.
Dressing and Assembly
Whisk buttermilk, yogurt, lemon juice, and 3 Tbsp. oil in a large bowl until smooth; season dressing with salt and pepper.
Scoop avocados into a small bowl; add 1 Tbsp. oil and lightly mash. Season with salt and pepper. Mash goat cheese with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in another small bowl until softened and spreadable; season with salt and pepper.
Add lettuce to dressing and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Spread avocado mixture over 4 slices of bread. Arrange lettuce over and top with cucumber, sprouts, and some drained pickles. Spread remaining 4 slices of bread with goat cheese and close sandwiches.
There are a number of substitutes for buttermilk in baking. For each cup of buttermilk, you can use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to measure 1 cup. Stir, then let stand for 5 minutes. You can also use 1 cup of plain yogurt or 1-3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar plus 1 cup milk.
Corn, Radish, and Tortilla Chip Salad
4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 pound large ripe heirloom tomatoes, stemmed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
4 ears fresh corn, still in their husks
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 small radish bunches (about 16 very small radishes), cleaned and grated or julienned (about 1 1/2 cups)
About 20 salted tortilla chips (1 ounce), crushed
Soak the scallions in cold water for at least 20 minutes to crisp them up. Drain and pat dry with a clean dish towel.
While the scallions are soaking, prep the tomatoes and corn: First, slice the tomatoes into medium wedges. Sprinkle them with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and let them sit for at least 10 minutes to bring out their flavor.
Run cold water all over the corn. Microwave on HIGH until the corn is steaming hot, 6 to 8 minutes. When they are cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to cut crosswise through the husk and cob an inch or two from the wide/stem end (opposite from the end with the tassel of silk). Hold the silk end, then push the corn cob out the other end. Discard any stray silks. Cut each cob in half, then stand each half upright and cut off the kernels. (You should have 2 to 3 cups.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the pepper. Add the tomatoes and their juices, corn kernels, radishes and half the scallions, and gently toss. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if needed (keeping in mind that the tortilla chips are also salty).
Arrange the vegetables on a large platter. Sprinkle the tortilla chips and remaining scallions on the salad, and serve.
Crudités Salad with Alfalfa Sprouts
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
8 button (white) mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
Parmesan cheese, shaved into curls
2 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 bunch arugula
2 cups alfalfa sprouts
1/4 cup Classic Vinaigrette
1 pinch salt [optional]
ground pepper to taste [optional]
Make a lemon vinaigrette: in a small bowl, add the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Beat well, using a fork, until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Set aside.
Prepare the mushrooms and carrots, placing them in 2 separate bowls : Thinly slice the mushrooms; peel the carrots, then shred them using a large-holed grater. Add half of the lemon vinaigrette to each bowl, then toss to combine. Shave the Parmesan using a vegetable-peeler, then add the curls to the mushrooms. Arrange the dressed vegetables in 2 separate mounds onto each individual serving plate.
Prepare the other vegetables placing them directly on the plates : Slice the tomatoes; wash then spin-dry the arugula and alfalfa sprouts. Pour the Classic Vinaigrette over the tomatoes, arugula, and alfalfa sprouts, then season with salt and pepper.
Orange Nectarine Frozen Fool
makes 4 generous servings
2 medium nectarines (or peaches if you have them instead)
1 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed if you can manage it)
1/4 cup sugar, plus two tablespoons
2 cups heavy cream
1. Heat orange juice in a small sauce pan until steaming, and add 1/4 cup sugar (the point is just to make sure the sugar dissolves well). You can use less sugar if your nectarines and orange juice are already very sweet, or more if they are tart.
2. Add orange juice and pitted, diced nectarines to a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Taste the purée and add more sugar if you want it to be sweeter. (Salvage a too-sweet puree with a squeeze of lemon and a few tablespoons of water.)
3. Pour the nectarine and orange juice puree into a 9×13 or similarly shallow and wide pan, and store it in the freezer for about two hours. Set a timer for every half hour to check on it and stir the frozen edges into the middle of the pan.
4. When the granita is flaky and thoroughly frozen, whip your cream with two tablespoons of sugar (or more if you want it to be sweeter).
5. Layer granita in serving dishes with whipped cream and enjoy.
Cod with Tomato and Orange Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: Serves 4-6
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 cup green olives, pitted and halved
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 medium navel orange, peeled, segmented, membranes removed
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds cod fillets (or any firm white fish), cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup of fresh dill, chopped, or 1 tablespoon dried dill
1 Cook the onions: Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and sauté for 5 minutes, until softened.
2 Add the olives, orange zest, orange segments, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
3 Add the fish: Add the fish to the pan. Spoon sauce over the fish. Cover and cook for an additional 7 minutes, until the fish is just cooked through.
Sprinkle with dill to serve.
Chopped Salad with Grapes and Mint
1 heart of romaine, coarsely chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 small red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup diced cooked chicken
1/2 cup halved green grapes
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
How to Make It
In a large bowl, toss all of the ingredients together. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and serve immediately.
Creamy Carrot Tomato Soup
Dairy free option: skip the Parmesan and use coconut milk instead of cream or half and half
8 large carrots peeled and sliced (1/4 inch thick)
5 lbs of the biggest juiciest tomatoes you can find diced (or place in food processor)
3 cloves garlic minced
1 yellow onion chopped
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1/3 cup cream or half and half or coconut milk if you are dairy free
Rind of Parmesan cheese skip if you are dairy free
2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence
¼ - ½ tsp cayenne pepper depending on how much of a kick you want
Sea salt and pepper to taste
4 Tablespoon butter
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (for topping)
Packaged crispy onions
Place sliced carrots, 2T butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in large stock pot and sauté on medium heat for 10 minutes.
Add chopped onions and another tablespoon olive oil and sauté for five more minutes. Vegetables should now be soft.
Add minced garlic, sugar, Herbs de Provence and tomatoes.
Cut the rind off a Parmesan wedge, place rind in center of soup mixture. The rind will not dissolve and will be removed later.
Cover and allow to simmer for 25 minutes.
Remove rind with a large spoon and discard.
Place tomato carrot mixture in blender or use a hand blender to blend till smooth. Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to divide to blend.
Place a screen colander over large bowl.
Using a soup ladle scoop three ladlefuls of soup into screen colander, then use the back of the ladle to push soup through the screen, straining out all the skin and seeds. Do not skip this step!
Discard the solids and repeat till all soup is strained. Return strained soup to pot, add cream, cayenne pepper and remaining butter, reheat.
Salt and pepper to taste.
To serve: pour into bowls and top with Parmesan and crispy onions (the onions are not gluten free)
Nectarine Sunshine Smoothie
2 large nectarines, pitted and quartered
1 banana, cut into pieces and frozen
1 large orange, peeled and quartered
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
Place the nectarines, frozen banana chunks, orange, vanilla yogurt, orange juice, and honey into a blender, and blend until smooth.
YIELD: 5 SERVINGS
TOTAL TIME: 15 MINUTES
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
COOK TIME: 5 MINUTES
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon lime zest
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 (8.2 ounce) package 6-inch Old El Paso flour tortillas (size for tacos and fajitas)
4-5 teaspoons canola oil
1 2/3 cup Mexican blend cheese
1 ear fresh corn, kernels removed from cob
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
1 cup halved fresh grape tomatoes
cilantro, to taste
green onions, to taste
In a small bowl, mix sour cream with lime zest and lime juice. Set aside.
Heat 1/2 to 1 teaspoon oil over medium heat in skillet large enough to fit one tortilla. Place tortilla carefully into the oil, moving around slightly to coat. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese and top with a second tortilla. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute on the first side (or until golden brown), flip and continue to cook for another 30 seconds or until golden brown.
Remove from pan and place on a cutting board. Repeat process with remaining tortillas and cheese.
Cut quesadillas into wedges (I recommend six wedges per quesadilla). Spread onto a large serving platter and spoon or squeeze (see tips) lime sour cream onto the quesadilla nachos.
Sprinkle with toppings: corn kernels, queso fresco, radishes, tomatoes, cilantro, and green onions.
Orange and Nectarine Salad with Cumin-Shallot Vinaigrette
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
Ingredients for vinaigrette
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 small shallot, very finely sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
Ingredients for salad
4 Valencia oranges
1 ripe avocado
2 cups pea shoots
1/4 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, chopped
For vinaigrette: In a large bowl, combine the sea salt, pepper, cumin and vinegar. Whisk once or twice to combine. Add the shallot, stir once to coat and let it sit for 20 minutes. Pour in the olive oil and whisk until emulsified. Add the parsley and set aside.
For salad: Peel the orange and slice into rings. Slice the nectarine into rings. Halve and pit the avocado, and slice into strips. Use a spoon to gently scoop the strips from the peel, maintaining their shape. Add the pea shoots to the vinaigrette and gently toss to coat.
Arrange the slices of fruit and avocado on the plate in a ring along the outer edge of the plate, alternating between each ingredient to make a pattern.
Place a handful of the dressed pea shoots in the middle of the ring. Top with chopped pistachios. Serve and enjoy!
Ginger Carrot Radish Salad
Yield 5 cups
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari or 2 teaspoons coconut aminos
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, dark or amber
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger root, preferably grated with a rasp-style grater
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups julienne cut or shredded carrots (about 5 large)
1 cup julienne cut watermelon radishes, or any variety radish including Daikon
½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves, cut into tiny ribbons or chiffonade
Whisk vinegar, maple syrup, tamari (or coconut aminos), ginger, garlic and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in oil. Add carrots, radish and parsley and toss to coat.
Melon Nectarine Agua Fresca
One quart (1l)
1 small melon (2-pounds, 900g), peeled and seeded
2 yellow or white nectarines, pitted and sliced
2 cups (0.5L) water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar preferably an unrefined sugar (see Note)
juice of half a lime
1. Puree all the ingredients together in a blender until very smooth.
2. Pass the mixture through a mesh strainer, pressing it through with a flexible spatula. Chill the agua fresca mixture thoroughly.
Serve well-chilled over ice. Dust with red pepper powder, if desired.
Asian Lettuce Wraps
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Gluten-Free Hoisin Sauce
1/4 cup tamari or gluten-free soy sauce
2 tablespoons crunchy natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon gluten-free white miso (I used Cold Mountain Mellow White Miso)
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sriracha
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced small
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 large portabella mushroom cap, stem and gills removed, diced small
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 (8-ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and diced small
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped raw walnuts
Wraps + Garnish
1 head of bibb, butter, or iceberg lettuce, leaves removed, washed, and thoroughly dried
Cooked sushi rice (optional)
3 large carrots cut into ribbons with a vegetable peeler
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves or cilantro sprouts
2-3 tablespoons black sesame seeds
Gluten-Free Hoisin Sauce
Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a food processor fitted with the S-blade or a high-powered blender. Process until all of the ingredients are combined, but the sauce still has visible chunks of peanut in it. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper, and mushroom to the pan; stir to combine and spread the filling out in an even layer so the veggies sauté instead of steam. Cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring once or twice and spreading the filling back out evenly each time. Add the minced ginger and hoisin sauce; stir to combine and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the water chestnuts, green onions, and raw walnuts to the pan and cook until the green onions begin to wilt, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Assemble the Wraps
Layer lettuce leaves with sushi rice (if using), a heaping spoon full of filling and top with carrot ribbons, cilantro, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Lemony Hummus Sandwich with Cucumber, Radish, Sprouts, and Red Onion
Yields 4 sandwiches
For the hummus
1-1⁄3 cups dried chickpeas, or two 15-oz. cans chickpeas
6 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbs. tahini paste
2 medium garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
For the sandwich
8 slices good-quality white or wheat bread
4 cups loosely packed mesclun greens or other mild lettuce
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced crosswise
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1-1/2 cups loosely packed alfalfa sprouts
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
If using dried chickpeas, place them in a bowl or other container, add 6 to 8 cups water, cover, and refrigerate overnight. The next day, drain and rinse the chickpeas. In a medium saucepan, bring the chickpeas and about 2 quarts water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 to 1-1⁄2 hours, or until the chickpeas are tender. Remove from the heat and drain the chickpeas. If using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse under cold running water.
Set aside about 3⁄4 cup of the chickpeas. In the food processor or blender, combine the remaining chickpeas with the olive oil, lemon juice, tahini paste, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper and puree until smooth, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure the hummus is well blended and smooth. Transfer the hummus to a bowl and fold in the reserved chickpeas.
Lay the bread slices on a clean, dry counter, and spread each slice evenly with hummus, using about 1/4 cup per slice. Top four of the slices with the greens, dividing them evenly. Top the greens with cucumber slices, then with the tomatoes, and sprinkle with the salt. Top the tomatoes with equal amounts of alfalfa sprouts, shredded carrot, and onion slices. Close each sandwich with a second bread slice, hummus-side down, then cut in half and serve.