Quick Pickled Pearl Onions
As an unconventional accompaniment to his juicy grilled chicken, Thomas Keller likes to serve pickled pearl onions, which add a sweet, tart bite. The vinegary mixture is great for pickling other vegetables, like baby carrots and Kirby cucumbers.
16 white pearl onions (about 1 cup), root ends trimmed and scored with an X
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
In a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the pearl onions until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again. Transfer the onions to a glass bowl.
Meanwhile, in another medium saucepan, bring the water and vinegar to a boil with the sugar, mustard seeds, coriander seeds and peppercorns. Boil until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Pour the liquid over the onions and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days. Drain before serving.
Make Ahead: The drained pickled onions can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Tomato Fennel Salad
Here's a great recipe using your fennel.
1 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes
1 small fennel bulb
2 tbsp good olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Core the tomatoes and cut into wedges. Remove the top of the fennel (save some fronds for garnish) and slice the bulb very thinly crosswise with a knife or on a mandoline.
Toss the tomatoes and fennel in a bowl with the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Garnish with 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds, season to taste, and serve.
Creamy Feta Dressing
This is a wonderful dressing. If you have fresh mint in the garden, use it here. Makes about 1 cup.
1/3 cup feta cheese, finely crumbled
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup oil
2 TB cider vinegar
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
3 TB yogurt
1 TB mayonnaise
fresh black pepper
fresh minced or dry herbs: mint, dill, chives, parsley
Blend together vinegar, garlic, yogurt, mayo, salt, pepper, & herbs. Blend in the oil in a drizzle until emulsified, then stir in feta. Keeps 1 week in refrigerator.
Caramelized Onion, Sweet Pepper, Spinach, Feta Pizza
I made this pizza last night and it was fantastic.
1 onion, sliced
several cloves of garlic
1 sweet pepper
1 shallot if you have it, minced
1/2 container Marinated feta
crushed red pepper
Preheat the oven to 425F.
Stretch your pizza dough with well floured hands and place on baking sheet, let rest.
Heat a skillet, and add oilve oil to coat. Add the onions and cover and simmer first on medium for around 5 minutes. Then add the peppers (frozen is fine) and cook on medium til the water evaporates from them. Then let onions and peppers simmer together a while to very soft and starting to color a bit. Add youur shallots (if using) and garlic and saute a bit more til these soften but don't brown, and then remove to a plate.
In same skillet, toss in a bit more oil, some water, and the chopped kale and saute the kale til it softens. Steam will help achieve this and might take 5 mins. Then turn off.
Build pizza. Start with a smear of olive oil on the crust. Then spread the pepper mixture around. Then the crumble the feta between fingers and spread over crust. Then the kale. Then drizzle half the oil from the feta container and the yummy sundried tomato bits around. Next give your pizza a good sprinkling of oregano, crushed red pepper, and a bit of salt.
Bake for 10-15 mins until bottom is nicely baked and top comes together. Remove to a rack, slice and enjoy.
Beans with Tomatoes, Shallots, and Olives
You can't go wrong with beans, onions, and tomatoes! The briefly pickled shallots add a great element to this dish. Dare I say that some feta cheese in this recipe would be amazing?
12 ounces beans
1 shallot, sliced crosswise into rings (can sub an onion if you don't have a shallot)
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
10 Kalamata or other black olives, pitted
1 small clove garlic
1 tomato, cut up into chunks
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
Several basil leaves
Bring plenty of water to a boil in a pot. While the water is heating, tip and tail the beans unless they are very tender and fresh, in which case you can leave the tips on.
While the water is heating, toss the sliced shallot in the vinegar. Pit the olives and chop them with the garlic.
When the water comes to a boil, add 1tbsp salt, then the beans. Cook until they are tender-firm, about 5 minutes. The timing will depend on the bean- how big, how old, so you just have to keep tasting them to get it right. Drain the beans and turn them onto a towel to dry.
Put the beans in a large bowl, and toss them with the olives and garlic, then taste for salt and season with pepper. Pull the shallots out of the vinegar, add the oil to the vinegar, and whisk them together. Pour the dressing over the beans, then scatter the shallots over the top. Add the tomatoes and basil; stir to combine. This can be served hot or at room temperature.
Tomato-Watermelon Salad with Feta and Toasted Almonds
This recipe comes from Epicurious.com and got great reviews.
4 cups 1 1/4-inch chunks seedless watermelon (about 3 pounds)
1.5 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored, cut into 1 1/4-inch chunks (about 3 cups)
1.5 teaspoon (or more) fleur de sel or coarse kosher salt
2.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1.5 tablespoons chopped assorted fresh herbs (such as dill, basil, and mint)
3 cups fresh arugula leaves or small watercress sprigs
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 5 ounces)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
Combine melon and tomatoes in large bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon fleur de sel and toss to blend; let stand 15 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons oil, vinegar, and herbs to melon mixture. Season to taste with pepper and more salt, if desired.
Toss arugula in medium bowl with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Divide arugula among plates. Top with melon salad; sprinkle with feta cheese and toasted almonds and serve.
Black Currant Jam – davidlebovitz.com
Black currants are great for jam-making and they thicken and jell beautifully. You might want to cook this jam, leaving it a bit on the runny side, since as it sits it will thicken up more than other jams. Lanzers sent me this recipe but it's the same exact recipe I tried last week when I had some samples. I've been enjoying this beautifully colored jam on my toast in the mornings. Makes two jars (about 2 cups, 500g)
2 cups (250g) fresh black currants (stemmed)
¾ cup (180ml) water
1 ¼ (250g) cup sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
In a nonreactive pot, bring the black currants and the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes, until the black currants are softened.
Add the sugar and the lemon juice and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the jam reaches the jelling point.
- If using a thermometer, it should read about 220ºF (104ºC).
- Or if you want to do the freezer test, put a small plate in the freezer. When the jam looks thickened, turn off the heat and put a teaspoon of the jam on the plate and stick it back in the freezer for about 5 minutes. When you take it out, it’s done if you nudge your finger into it and it holds its shape. If not, continue cooking it, and retesting the jam, until it’s the right consistency.
When ready, scrape into clean jars, cover, and turn the jars over until cool.
Storage: I store my jam in the refrigerator and eat it within a few months. If you want to can it, you can find instructions online although since it’s only a couple of jars, you are likely going to use them quickly.
Black Currant Bars
This recipe is also courteous of Lanzers Fruit Farm. They said it's absolutely delicious!
12 ounces fresh or frozen Black Currants, thawed
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup water
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the Black Currants, white sugar, and water. Cook, stirring occasionally until all of the Black Currants have popped, and the mixture is thick, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix, melted butter, and eggs. Stir in the oats, brown sugar, ginger and cinnamon. Set aside about 1 1/2 cups of the mixture, and spread the rest into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pack down to form a solid crust, getting it as even as possible. Spread the cooled Black Currant mixture over the crust. Pinch off pieces of the remaining mixture and place evenly over the Black Currant layer.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is lightly browned. Cool in the pan for 1 hour before slicing into bars.
Savory Wild Blueberry Pizza
I thought this sounded amazing even though it's more of a focaccia than a pizza. What could be better than blueberries and feta cheese together??
1 pizza dough
For the Topping:
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons thyme, freshly minced
8 sprigs of thyme
1/2 large onion
3/4 cup fresh, or frozen wild blueberries
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Prepare your pizza dough.
Pre-heat the oven to 425° and begin to put the ingredients on the dough. To do this you will first, brush the dough with 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil, and then sprinkle with the minced thyme.
Next, cut the onion into small wedges and push the onion wedges into the dough all over the pizza. Top with the blueberries and bake 20 to 30 minutes until the dough is cooked, and the top is lightly browned. Brush lightly with olive oil before serving.