Honey Vanilla Ricotta with Fresh Berries

It’s summer! Make use of your stash of berries with this simple and super quick dessert. Sure to be a crowd pleaser (for kids and adults)… Enjoy! Recipe is below (and in my cookbook, Great Food Starts Fresh, page 110) AND you can also watch me make this on my youtube page. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quJvHnOrIlE

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 12.57.01 PM.png

Fresh Fruit with Honey Vanilla Whipped Ricotta

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Fruit: (feel free to make your own berry combo!)

2 cups fresh sweet cherries, halved and pits removed

2 pints strawberries, hulled and quartered

1 pint blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or a combination

5 large fresh mint leaves, chopped finely (2 tablespoons) plus 4 large whole mint leaves for garnish

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Vanilla Whipped Ricotta:

1 (16-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta cheese, drained

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

⅓ cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons honey, preferably orange blossom

 

In a medium bowl, toss to combine the fruit salad ingredients.

Put the ricotta, vanilla extract, confectioners’ sugar, and honey in the bowl of a food processor or mixer. Process or whip until smooth. Refrigerate until it’s time for dessert.

To serve, divide the fruit into bowls, top with a generous spoonful of the Honey Whipped Vanilla Ricotta and garnish with a mint leaf.

Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad with Currants, Pine Nuts and Fresh Herbs

From start to finish this dish will take you around 10 minutes. Not only is it quick and easy, it’s versatile. Eat it as it’s own dish or use it as a bed for grilled fish, chicken or lamb. Enjoy it for lunch or throw it together for dinner. And did I mention it’s gluten free and vegetarian? (Make it vegan by omitting the cheese.) Fast, simple and delicious. No matter how you slice it, this one is a winner!

Cauliflower Salad

Cauliflower “Couscous” Salad with Currants, Pine Nuts and Fresh Herbs

Yield: 2 to 3 servings

1 small head of cauliflower, approximately 1½ pounds, cored and florets cut into medium-sized pieces

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1 small shallot, peeled and diced small (3 tablespoons)

2/3 packed cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley

½ packed cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup toasted pine nuts

¼ cup dried currants

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)

1/3 packed cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, not pre-grated

Place cauliflower chunks in a food processor. Blend until cauliflower has broken down into couscous sized pieces. You should have approximately 3 cups.

Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat until very hot and almost smoking, approximately 1-2 minutes.

Transfer cauliflower from food processor into the hot sauté pan. Add salt and pepper. Stir.

Cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is heated through and lightly cooked, approximately 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and transfer cauliflower to a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Add shallot, parsley, cilantro, pine nuts and currants. Stir to combine.

Add lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir to combine.

Add cheese and stir to combine.

Season to taste with salt, pepper and additional lemon as needed.

Divide into bowls and serve.

People Magazine

If there was ever a week to buy People Magazine, or to flip through the pages as you wait in the check out line of your local grocery store, this is the week! The February 2 issue (J Lo on the cover) page 81. You’ll find my Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad recipe. It’s quick and easy to make and darn right tasty. So, grab a People, people! And if you are looking for more delicious recipes, try my cookbook, Great Food Starts Fresh, which you can purchase at www.chefnathanlyon.com

2015/01/img_6895.png

Quick and Easy Drop Shortcakes

When it comes to quick and easy desserts, this one takes the cake (see what I did there?!). How quick and easy, you ask? Well, it takes about 30 seconds to make your dough – which, by the way,  you do in a food processor. Yup, easy. And then 20 to 25 minutes to bake. Sounds like a quick and easy winner dessert (or, let’s face it – breakfast) to me!

P.S. Watch me make this recipe on YouTube!

Quick and Easy Drop Shortcake Recipe Quick and Easy Drop Shortcakes

Yield: 8 shortcakes

2 ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided

2 teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

8 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

¾ cup buttermilk

1 whole egg

Grapeseed oil, for greasing measuring cup

Place an oven rack on the middle position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place flour, ¼ cup sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.

Add butter and pulse until dough resembles coarse meal.

Whisk together buttermilk and egg in a small bowl. Turn on food processor and stream into dry ingredients. (Set bowl aside – do not wash yet!) Let food processor run for approximately 20 to 30 seconds. A dough ball will form and it should get whipped around the food processor, kneading the dough.

Measure dough into a greased 1/3 measuring cup and drop dough on a parchment lined sheet pan.

Remember that small bowl that you whisked the egg and buttermilk in? Brush the tops of the shortcakes with any remaining liquid left in the bowl and then evenly top biscuits with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until shortcake is golden brown on top. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool before eating.

Quick and Sweet Pickled Shallots

Pickled shallots are just one of those things that add a special “something” to your dish. Whether it be a burger or a salad, it’s that extra punch of flavor that can turn a great dish into an awesome one. And, with a recipe like this, you can have said awesomeness in a flash!

Quick and Sweet Pickled ShallotsQuick and Sweet Pickled Shallots

Yield: ½ pound of pickled shallots

¾ cup water

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ pound shallots, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch slices

1¼ cup distilled white vinegar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Place shallots in a medium bowl.

Heat water and sugar together in a small sauce pot until sugar is melted. Pour over shallots and add vinegar and salt. Mix together.

Cover, refrigerate and let sit, the longer the better. I usually wait at least 4 hours before I find the flavor of the shallots to be pickled, but I’ll admit I have thrown them on a burger after only 1 hour of waiting!

Store, sealed, in the refrigerator. They should last at least 1 – 2 months, but many more, like your other opened pickle jars in the refrigerator.