Category Archives: seasonal

Tortino con gli Asparagi – Asparagus Flan

Ingredients:

  • 1 LB  Asparagus (fresh)
  • 2  Eggs
  • .5 C   Milk (whole or 2% – use high quality milk as it is a key ingredient)
  • 2 TB  Lucini Organic Stravvechio Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 TB  Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus enough to oil your small pan)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Nutmeg (just a pinch)
  • Breadcrumbs to line the pan

Preparation:

Wash the asparagus spears and trim away the fibrous white section at the bottom with a peeler, then boil in lightly salted water for about 10 minutes, or until they soften but retain some crispness. Remove them to a plate, and, as soon as they’re cool enough to handle cut them into inch-long lengths, setting the tips aside.

Preheat your oven to 375.  Liberally oil a small pan and then coat the insides with the breadcrumbs.

Beat the milk, eggs, nutmeg, oil and grated cheese in a bowl. Pour the mixture into the pan and add the asparagus stalks (they’ll float).  Bake the mixture for about 10 minutes, then add the tips, sprinkling them over the top, and bake for another 20 minutes, or until it has firmed up throughout.  Cool in the pan and then serve warm.

Broccoli Rabe – Broccoli Rapa Strascinati

This Broccoli Rabe preparation is a traditional Italian Christmas side dish.  It is quick & easy to prepare, tasty and colorful.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Blanch the rabe in lightly salted boiling water for five minutes.  Drain well and squeeze lightly to dry.   Sauté the garlic in the oil for 1 minute then add the rabe and salt to cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.  Season with the lemon juice, chili-infused oil and anchovies (if you are using them) for the final 2 minutes.  Add lemon juice, chili-infused oil, salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Mon Petit Chou Soup

How to make a big batch of green, healthy, starch free, gluten free, sugar free, low fat vegan soup for the cold season.

Ingredients:

  • 6 LB        Brussels Sprouts (ends removed, halved)
  • 1              Green Bell Pepper (seeded, chopped large)
  • 1              Red Onion (chopped, large)
  • 6              Garlic cloves (halved)
  • 1 1/2 C   Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 C   Lentils (preferably brown)
  • 4oz          Savory (fresh, cut off stem, chopped rough)
  • 4oz          Thyme (fresh, leaves removed from stem)
  • 4oz          Rosemary (fresh, leaves removed from stem)
  • 1 bunch  Italian flat-leaf Parsley (stems removed)
  • 1 QT         vegan Stock (if available – if not substitute water)
  • 3 QT         Water
  • 1 TB          Black Pepper (fresh, cracked)
  • 2 TB         Sea Salt
  • Chili Pepper (optional, fresh, dried)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 450.  Toss the Brussels in a large roasting pan with 1/2 cup of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil and roast until slightly browned – about 30 min.

Heat 1/4 cup of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil in large stock pot on high heat.  Add the garlic, onion and bell pepper and cook until just soft.  Add the herbs and parsley (you can substitute any other fresh herbs you choose, but dried herbs will be overpowering) and stir well.  Add the roasted Brussels Sprouts, approx 2 tbs sea salt and 1 tbs cracked pepper.  Stir well.  Add the lentils, stock and water.  Stir again.  Add the chili pepper (if desired).

Bring to a rapid boil.  Cover and reduce the heat to simmer.  Cook for approximately 35 min (stirring often) until the sprouts are very soft (upon test).  Taste, and adjust for seasoning, if necessary.

Use immersion blender to process into a smooth soup.  Allow to cool to a safe-to-eat temperature, then serve warm.

Pumpkin Ricotta Mousse with Fig Balsamic Reduction

This quick recipe is a nice change from Pumpkin Pie (and great when the size of crowd doesn’t justify a full pie).  I make the pumpkin mousse the night before, then pull the ramekins out to get to room temperature when I serve dinner, quickly make the fig balsamic reduction and serve.  If you are feeling adventurous, finish each portion with a few drops of olive oil and a pinch of flaky sea salt.

This site seems to have a nice selection of other Thanksgiving recipes.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Combine the pumpkin, 1 cup of the ricotta, olive oil,  cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and sugar in a medium saucepan.  Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes, then allow to cool.

Mix the remaining ricotta and vanilla and then mix well with the cooled pumpkin mixture until smooth (I use an immersion blender).  Spoon the pumpkin mixture into ramekins.  (This part of the recipe can be completed the day before – just cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerate).

In a small pan, heat the fig balsamic and allspice over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes, until just before solidifying.  Carefully drizzle each ramekin with the fig balsamic reduction.

Oyster Casserole

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Spread olive oil evenly over the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish.

Whisk together the eggs, cream, milk, lemon oil, scallions, parsley, and black pepper in a medium bowl.   Gently stir in the oysters and crushed crackers.

Pour into baking dish and bake until the custard is set and top is golden, 20 to 30 minutes.

Deviled Eggs

This is a fun halloween party recipe if you “dress up” your eggs.  Roasted pepper  mouths, chive mustaches and beards, and pine nut mouths are my favorite!

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Using a fork, mash up the egg yolks and add mustard, mayonnaise, onion, chili oil, paprika, turmeric and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon egg yolk mixture into the egg white halves.  Sprinkle with paprika.

Halloween Stew (Beef Stew served in a Pumpkin)

Ingredients:

  • 1              Pumpkin (8-10 inches in diameter)
  • 1/2 C     Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1             Onion (large, chopped small)
  • 2             Garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1             Bell Pepper (chopped small)
  • 1 LB       Stewing Beef (chopped – 1 inch cubes)
  • 1/2 jar  Lucini Organic Tuscan Plum Tomatoes
  • 2 C         Beef Stock (chicken or vegetable will also work)
  • 3             Sweet Potatoes (peeled, 1 inch cubes)
  • 2            White Potatoes (peeled, 1 inch cubes)
  • 1/2 LB  Dried Apricots (chopped large, about 1 Cup)
  • 1 C          Corn (fresh kernels are best, but frozen will work in this recipe)

Preparation:

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.  Cut a lid out of the top of the pumpkin and reserve.  Clean all  of the seeds and stringy fibers from the inside of the pumpkin (reserve seeds for roasting).

Brush the inside of the pumpkin with 2-3 TB of olive oil and sprinkle with cumin, paprka, salt, and pepper.  Place the lid on the pumpkin or cover opening with foil.  Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven for an hour.

While the pumpkin is baking, prepare the stew.  Heat a large pot over medium heat.  Sauté the onions, green pepper, and garlic in 1/3 cup of the olive oil until golden and soft.  Raise the heat to medium-high and add the beef, browning on all sides.   Add the tomatoes, stock, potatoes and apricots, cover and lower heat to a simmer – cook for 45 minutes.

Taste for seasoning, and season with salt and pepper.  Add more stock if stew seems too thick, then stir in the corn.

Carefully pour stew into the pumpkin, replace top, and return to the oven for 30 minutes more.

Serve stew from the pumpkin bowl. When you transfer the pumpkin to a platter, do so very carefully and be sure to support the bottom of the pumpkin.