Monthly Archives: September 2009

Ravioli with Fig Balsamic Reduction, Pumpkin Seeds and Brown Butter

Ingredients:

  • 16-24 oz  Ravioli (homemade or purchased, best with cheese or vegetarian ravioli)
  • 6 TB          Butter (unsalted, high quality)
  • 3 TB          Lucini Fig Infused Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp    Salt
  • 1/4 tsp    Black Pepper (fresh, ground)
  • 1/3 C        Pumpkin Seeds (roasted – pine nuts, walnuts and even pecans work well)
  • 1/4 C        Lucini Parmigiano Reggiano (fresh, grated)

Preparation:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the ravioli and cook 4 to 5 minutes, until tender but still firm, stirring occasionally.  Drain ravioli onto a large serving platter.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan cook the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the foam subsides, and the butter begins to turn a golden brown, about 3 minutes, turn off the heat and allow to cool for about 1 minute.  Stir in the salt and pepper.

Reduce the fig balsamic in a skillet over medium heat.  Do not let the balsamic bubble wildly, as it will reduce too quickly and lose its liquidity.  Remove when it thickens by half.

Transfer the ravioli to the pan saucepan with the brown butter, sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and Parmesan and toss.  Add to serving bowls, then finish with the reduced fig balsamic.

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Roasted Broccoli

Broccoli has more vitamin C than an orange and as much calcium as a glass of milk.  Just one medium spear has three times more fiber than a slice of wheat bran bread.  And broccoli is one of the richest sources of vitamin A in the produce section.  Broccoli is also rich in isothiocyanates — chemicals shown to stimulate the body’s production of its own cancer-fighting substances – “phase two enzymes.”

This simple recipe will have even broccoli-haters reaching for a second helping – it is so much tastier than boiled broccoli!

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450°F.  Using a peeler, remove the tough outer layer of the broccoli stalks.  Cut the broccoli lengthwise keeping the stalk and broccoli florets intact.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to coat and roast until nicely caramelized, about 15 minutes.  Remove the broccoli from the oven, turn pieces over and then drizzle the garlic infused oil and parmesan over the broccoli. Roast until the broccoli begins to brown and the parmesan melts, about 6 minutes longer.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

Couscous with Dried Fruit

Similar to rice, couscous is as versatile as the dish it is served with or can be easily spiced to suit any recipe.  This couscous recipe makes a great side dish for chicken and fish dishes and also works well as a base for vegetarian stews and other entrees.  I use a wide variety of dried fruits, including: raisins, cranberries, apricots, prunes and figs.

Couscous is a great source of protein, fiber, niacin, selenium, and B vitamins.  It is made by rolling and shaping moistened semolina wheat and then coating it with finely ground wheat flour.  Once coated, the wheat is formed into small finished pellets of couscous and sieved.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Bring the stock to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add the dried fruit and couscous.  Cover the pan tightly with a lid, remove from the heat, and allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Add the olive oil and vinegar and stir well with a fork – couscous should be light and fluffy, not gummy.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Braised Red Cabbage

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Ingredients:

  • 1             Red Cabbage (outer leaves and core removed, chopped coarsely)
  • 2 TB       Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper (fresh, ground)
  • 1              Onion (sweet, sliced thin)
  • 2              Apples (sweet, chopped coarsely)
  • 1/4 tsp  Allspice (ground)
  • 2 tsp       Fennel Seeds
  • 1/2 C     Lucini Cherry Infused Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 LB   Bacon (smoked, high quality, cut into thin strips, optional – can substitute 2 tsp Smoked Paprika)

Preparation:

Pour the olive oil into a saucepan, heat on medium high, then add the bacon (or smoked paprika) and fennel seeds.  Cook until golden then add the onion and continue to cook, with the lid on, for a few more minutes until golden and sticky.  Add the apple, followed by the cabbage chunks, salt and pepper and the vinegar.  Stir everything together well.  Put the lid back on and continue to cook on a low heat for an hour, checking and stirring every so often.

  • 1 red cabbage, sliced 1/4 inches thick
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 2 sweet apples, quartered and sliced thin
  • 6 allspice berries, lightly crushed, wrapped in cheesecloth and tied
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup molasses or cane syrup (the cane syrup is lighter in color)

Green Beans

anvilGreen beans are often served at Rosh Hashanah.  The word for green beans in Aramaic is derived from the Hebrew word rubiyah – “to grow”, so green beans are said to bring growth in the new year.   I added cherry tomatoes, as they tend to be finishing their season when the new year arrives.  The tasty vinaigrette is what makes this dish stand out – the infused oil and vinegar are each out-of-this-world and combine to make a delightful sauce for the vegetables.  Makes a great side dish with this brisket recipe and spinach-pomegranate salad.

Ingredients:

  • 2 LB    Green Beans (any stems removed)

     

  • 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes (stemmed, cleaned well)

     

  • 10       Basil leaves

     

  • 2 TB   Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil

     

  • Salt

     

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Emulsify the fig balsamic vinaigrette, garlic infused olive oil, mustard and 1/4 tsp salt (optional) to make a vinaigrette.

Place the basil leaves on the bottom of a baking dish and top each leaf with 2-3 tomatoes, a pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp olive oil.   Bake until the tomatoes are tender, but not collapsed, about 30-45 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt generously.  Cut the green beans in half, blanch them in the boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes.  Remove from pot and allow to cool.

When you are ready to serve the dish, heat 1 TB olive oil in a large frying pan then add the beans and saute, just until hot.  Plate the beans, remove the tomatoes from the baking pan with a slotted spoon and carefully place them atop the green beans.  Drizzle the vegetables with the vinaigrette and serve.

Spicy Chicken with Cucumber Sauce

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On the grill

This simple recipe balances the tangy heat of the Lucini chili-infused olive oil with the creamy, delicate flavor of Lucini’s award-winning cucumber vinaigrette.  The fresh mint looks great and adds a wonderful aromatic dimension to the dish.  This preparation works equally well with grilled turkey breast – just double the amounts of the other ingredients and taste for salt and paprika after the turkey breast has cooled.

Ingredients:

  • 4              Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 1 TB        Lucini Chili-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp  Salt (sea salt is best)
  • 1/4 tsp  Black Pepper (fresh, ground)
  • 1/4 tsp  Smoked Paprika
  • 1/8 tsp  Turmeric (optional)
  • 3/4 C      Lucini Cucumber Vinaigrette
  • 6               Mint leaves (fresh, large, minced)
  • 1/2           Lime (cut into 4 wedges, optional)

Preparation:

Combine the chili-infused oil, salt, pepper, paprika and turmeric.  Coat the chicken with this sauce, cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.  In separate small bowl, combine the cucumber vinaigrette and mint, mix well and refrigerate until serving.  When ready to eat, grill or broil the chicken 6″ from heat for 4-5 minutes on each side until lightly browned and cooked through.  Serve with the cucumber/mint sauce and lime wedges (if using).

Spinach and Pomegranate Salad

This simple and colorful dish will look and taste great on your Rosh Hashanah table and matches well with these recipes for brisket and green beans.  The pomegranate, turmeric and olive oil provide a  powerful antioxidant combination.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C     Lucini Pinot Noir Vinegar
  • 1              Onion (sweet, small, thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 tsp  Paprika (smoked or sweet, optional)
  • 1/4 tsp  Turmeric (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp  Sea Salt (kosher salt will work in a pinch)
  • 1/2 tsp  Black Pepper (fresh, ground)
  • 1/2 C      Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 TB        Lucini Garlic Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 C           fresh Spinach (baby spinach or chopped large)
  • 1 C           Walnuts (chopped coarsely)
  • 1/2 C      Pomegranate seeds
  • 2              Eggs (hard boiled, sliced, optional)

Preparation:

In a small skillet over low heat, toast the walnuts until fragrant – 5-7 minutes.  Allow the walnuts to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, onion, paprika, turmeric, salt and pepper.  In a slow, steady stream, whisk in the oils until emulsified. Adjust the ingredients to fit your taste.

Coat the spinach with the vinaigrette, mixing well for even distribution.  Sprinkle with the toasted nuts and pomegranate seeds, then toss again, making sure the pomegranate and nuts don’t collect at the bottom of your bowl.  Garnish with the egg slices, if using.