Wild Rice Salad with Diced Apples, Oranges, and Toasted Pecans

wild rice salad

Wild Rice Salad with Diced Apples, Oranges, and Toasted Pecans

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

 

Wild Rice:

4 cups water or vegetable stock

1 cup wild rice, rinsed with cold water and drained

Salad:

2 small oranges

2 large apples, such as Braeburn, Fuji, or Honeycrisp, unpeeled, cored and diced small (4 cups)

2 cups toasted pecan halves, chopped roughly

1 cup dried black currants or dried cranberries

3 stalks celery, diced small (1½ cups)

⅓ cup thinly sliced green onions (green part only)

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Vinaigrette:

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (from the oranges)

6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

 

In a large saucepan, bring the water or vegetable stock to a boil. Add the wild rice, stir and cover. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the wild rice pops open and is tender to the bite, 45 minutes. Transfer to a colander, rinse with cold water to cool, and drain well.

Cut the peel and pith off the oranges, then segment them by cutting between the dividers. Discard any seeds, but reserve the juice for the vinaigrette.

In a medium container with a tight fitting lid, combine the vinaigrette ingredients, close the lid tightly, and shake well to combine. Or, whisk to combine the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

Add the diced apple, orange segments, drained wild rice, pecans, cranberries, and green onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

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Frisee and Traviso Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette

Salad Blood Orange Evoo

Yield: 3 to 4 servings

 

1 large shallot, peeled and diced small

2 tablespoons aged sherry vinegar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 small heads of frisee, cored and leaves cut in half, lengthwise

1 head traviso, cut into 1/3 inch slices on a bias

kosher salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

8 medjool dates, pitted and quartered

3-ounces chevre, torn into small pieces

½ cup pomegranate seeds

½ cup marcona almonds

 

In a small container with a tight fitting lid, combine the shallot, sherry vinegar and olive oil, close the lid tightly, and shake well to combine. Or, whisk to combine the ingredients in a small bowl.

In a medium bowl, combine the frisee, traviso and vinaigrette. Mix together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the salad equally among plates. Equally divide the dates, chevre, pomegranate seeds and marcona almonds among the plates.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Pomegranate Seeds

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

 

1 (3½-4 pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, then cut into 1-inch cubes

½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling

2 large yellow onions, peeled and diced small (3 cups)

⅛ teaspoon crushed red chile pepper (chile flakes), or to taste

1 teaspoon yellow curry powder

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

3 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped roughly (1 tablespoon)

⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped roughly, for serving

Crème fraîche, for serving

Pomegranate seeds, for serving

 

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 475ºF.

Add the squash, salt, a few good cranks of pepper and a healthy drizzle of olive oil (enough to fully coat all the squash) to a large bowl and mix well.

Spread the seasoned squash in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan and roast, uncovered, for approximately 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes, until nicely caramelized and cooked through. Remove from the oven and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the onions, chile flakes, curry powder and thyme to a small pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent.

Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

Add the cinnamon, roasted squash and stock to the caramelized onions. Cover, increase the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and orange juice and purée with an immersion blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon the soup into bowls and garnish with chopped parsley, a dollop of crème fraîche, and some pomegranate seeds.

Roasted Golden Beet Salad with Frisée, Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts

Roasted Golden Beet Salad with Frisée, Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts

Chef Nathan Lyon Beet Salad

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Beets:

3 pounds golden beets

3½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

⅓ cup water

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Salad:

1 large head frisée, rinsed, dried, and chopped or torn into bite-size pieces

3 medium oranges

4 ounces goat cheese (chèvre) (about ½ cup)

Candied Spiced Walnuts (or pecans)

Vinaigrette:

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (from the oranges)

1 medium shallot peeled and diced small (3 tablespoons)

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, then preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Cut off the greens half an inch above the beets and reserve for later use (like, sautéed beet greens!). Scrub the beets.

Cut the peel and pith off the oranges, then segment them by cutting between the dividers (i.e. supreme). Discard any seeds, but reserve the juice for the vinaigrette.

In a roasting pan large enough to hold the beets in one layer, add the beets, then drizzle with 1½ tablespoons of olive oil, the salt and water. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, place on a sheet pan and roast in the oven for approximately 50 minutes to an hour, or until the beets are easily pierced with the tip of a knife. Remove from the oven, remove the foil and allow to cool.

When the beets are cool enough to handle, using a not-so-important hand cloth, wipe the beet skins off and discard them. Know this, though: even in your sweetest of dreams, you will most likely never wash the red stains out of that hand cloth.

Cut the beets into wedges, place them in a bowl, then combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a cup and drizzle over the beets. Fold to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a medium container with a tight fitting lid, combine the vinaigrette ingredients, close the lid tightly, and shake well to combine. Or, whisk to combine the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

Gently toss the frisée and orange segments with your hands, then dress with half the vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper and additional vinaigrette to tasteDivide the salad among plates, then garnish with the beets, candied walnuts, and goat cheese, divided equally.

Tzatziki: Chilled Cucumber Yogurt Dip

There’s nothing like a cool dip on a hot summer day!

tzatziki

Tzatziki: Chilled Cucumber Yogurt Dip

Yield: 4 servings

 

1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt

2 small cucumbers (English, Japanese, or Persian), peeled, seeded and diced small

1 small garlic clove, peeled and grated on a Microplane

1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish

1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint

1½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

¾ teaspoon red wine vinegar

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.  Garnish with dill.

Serve with grilled meat, pita crisps and/or freshly cut vegetables such as carrots, celery, bell peppers and cucumbers.

Flank Steak Wakame Crepe Tacos

flank-steak-wakame-crepes-with-wakame-avocado-puree

Flank Steak Wakame Crepe Tacos

(Give your tacos a boost of wakame, a highly nutritious superfood!)

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Crêpes
Yield: 10 (7-inch) crepes + 1 practice crepe J (first one is always chalked up to practice)

¾-ounce dried wakame
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1½ cup water
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
¼ cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Place the wakame in a blender and blend on high to turn into a fine powder. Remove 3½ teaspoons for this recipe. Set the remaining wakame powder aside. (You will be using it later.)

2. Place the eggs and olive oil in a large bowl and whisk until the eggs are mixed.

3. Add the water and whisk until well combined.

4. Add the flours, salt and pepper and whisk until well combined.

5. Add the wakame powder and whisk until just combined.

6. Place a crêpe pan or small nonstick sauté pan over medium-low heat.

7. Once hot, measure approximately ¼ cup batter (you can use a 2-ounce ladle for this), and pour into the center of the pan.

8. Quickly rotate and tilt the pan to spread the batter evenly, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

9. Cook for 1 minute 30 seconds, then flip the crêpe over with a plastic spatula. The crêpe should be cooked, maybe even very lightly golden brown in colored, but not dry or crispy.

10. Cook the second side for approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool. Once the crepes are room temperature, it is fine to stack them.

Flank Steak
1½ pounds flank steak
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
¼ of a small head of red cabbage, sliced thinly
3 scallions, sliced thinly on a bias
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
¼ cup picked fresh cilantro leaves
sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce), to taste
1 avocado, sliced

1. Pat the steak dry with a paper towel. Pierce, in rows, both sides of the steak with a fork.  Cut the steak into four equal-sized pieces, cutting with the grain. Season all pieces/sides with the salt and pepper. Cut the steak into four equal-sized pieces, cutting with the grain.

2. Place a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add grapeseed oil and heat until the oil just begins to smoke. Lay steak in pan and cook, flipping once every minute, until well caramelized. Use your digital thermometer to achieve the perfect medium-rare, 125 to no more than 130 degrees Fahrenheit. The total cooking time will be 5-9 minutes, depending upon the thickness of the steak.

3. Remove steak from pan and let rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes.

4. Cut cooked steak pieces in thin slices against the grain.

5. To assemble, lay a crepe down. Top with some purple cabbage and scallions. Lay a few steak slices on top and some avocado. Sprinkle over some sesame seeds and a drizzle of sriracha. Garnish with some cilantro leaves. Fold up and enjoy!

Photo: Ronald Tsang

P.S. This recipe was recently featured in an issue of Clean Eating Magazine!

Spaghetti with Spicy Sausage Marinara

Keep things hot and spicy this Winter!

spaghetti-with-spicy-sausage-marinara

Spaghetti with Spicy Sausage Marinara

Yield: Serves 4

 

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ pound spicy Italian pork sausage

2 large yellow onions, peeled and diced small (3 cups)

12 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped roughly (¼ cup)

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained, preferably fire-roasted

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano

2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped finely

1 dried bay leaf

¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

⅛ teaspoon crushed red chile pepper (chile flakes), or to taste

½ teaspoon ground fennel seed

¾ pound spaghetti

¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, not pre-grated

¼ cup flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves

 

For the pasta, bring a small pot of water to a rolling boil.

Add the olive oil, sausage, and onions to a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent, breaking up the sausage into small pieces with the back of a wooden spoon as it cooks.

Add the garlic, stir and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes more.

Add the remaining ingredients and continue cooking, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, reducing the heat to low and stirring more often as the sauce thickens.

Once thick, remove the bay leaf and, season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the pasta, once the water has come to a rolling boil, add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Stir the penne into the boiling salted water and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente (almost done, or “to the tooth”). Drain (do not rinse), reserving 1/3 cup of the pasta water. Toss pasta with spicy marinara sauce, adding some of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce, if needed.

Divide onto plates and top with the freshly grated cheese and parsley.