Category Archives: seasonal

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

People tend to think of roasted pumpkin seeds as bland bird food, but these are a flavor-full healthy snack.  Fun to prepare with the innards of your Halloween pumpkin!

Ingredients:

The tasty finished product!

The tasty finished product!

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 275.  Rinse the pumpkin seeds under cold water cleaning out any pulp and strings.  Combine the olive oil, salt, paprika, cherry-infused balsamic and pumpkin seeds.  Mix thoroughly and place in shallow baking dish or sheet (i use a baking sheet with an anti-stick mat).  Bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally so the seeds achieve an even color (the sugars and pectin in the cherry-infused balsamic give the seeds this great color).

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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.

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.

anvil

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.

Corn Relish

The corn at my farmers market this summer has been outstanding and this is another great way to use this beautiful vegetable.

corelish

Ingredients:

Preparation:

In a saucepan, bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil, stirring often to dissolve the sugar.  Simmer for 10 minutes, until mixture is reduced to 3/4 cup.  Reserve liquid in a bowl.  Heat the olive oil in the saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion, jalapeño, paprika, turmeric and salt.  Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, until the jalapeño softens.   Add the corn and cook 3 minutes longer.  Add the vinegar mixture and the basil to the corn and simmer for 5 minutes.  Refrigerate for 20 minutes.  Remove from fridge, add the garlic oil and mix well.

Caponata – Eggplant recipe

This is a simple recipe that takes great advantage of fresh eggplant.  It has complex flavor and will be sure to wow any party or get together!

caponata

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan (medium heat).  Saute the onions, pine nuts, raisins and hot pepper for 4 to 5 minutes until the onions have softened, but have not turned dark gold.  Add the eggplant and cinnamon and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the tomato sauce and bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low and simmer until the tomatoes are broken down, about 6-8 minutes.  Remove from the heat and add the chili infused oil and cherry balsamic.  Taste the caponata and adjust flavor with salt, pepper, cherry vinegar and chili infused oil.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

  • 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, chopped in 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons currants
  • 1 tablespoon hot chili flakes, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (to yield 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1/4 cup basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Corn and Smoked Fish Chowder

I love corn chowder, but the addition of smoked fish and tasty Lucini infused oils really makes this chowder unique.  This recipe is another great way to use the wonderful corn appearing at local markets right now.  My favorite purveyor of smoked fish is Russ & Daughters – appetizing on the Lower East Side of Manhattan since 1914 – but any great local smoked fish will work well here.  I like to use a fresh green herb as a garnish and find dill balances up will with smoked fish.

 

I used dill as a garnish

I used dill as a garnish

 

 

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Remove the cream and allow to reach room temperature.  Add the cornstarch to the cream and stir well.  Bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan and then add the cream and allow to simmer slowly until it reduces by two-thirds – 12-20 minutes.  Add the basil and chili oils and mix until well distributed.

Heat 2 TB of the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes – the onions should not brown.  Add the corn and potatoes and stir well as you cook the vegetables for 3 more minutes.  Strain the cream into your vegetable mixture.  Simmer until the potatoes are tender – 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the chopped smoked fish, season to taste with salt and pepper, add a chopped herb garnish, and serve.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried green tomatoes are a great way to show off the deep flavor of Lucini olive oils.  The last time I made them I was in North Carolina, so I added a tablespoon of Cheerwine to the milk and found that the tomatoes had an added sweetness that balanced well with the salted crust.  I have seen many recipes recommend avoiding olive oil for frying, but it actually makes the best frying oil.  When heated, olive oil is actually a very stable fat, working well at frying temperatures, in part due to the plentiful anti-oxidizing agents such as phenols and vitamin E.  Its high smoking point (over 400º F) is safely above the ideal temperature for frying food (350º F).

Ingredients:

  • 2 C          Lucini Extra Virgin Olive Oilold
  • 4              Green Tomatoes (sliced 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick)
  • 1 C           Milk
  • 1 TB        Cheerwine (LUC Cherry if you’re not in the Carolinas)
  • 1 C           Flour
  • 1/2 tsp  Salt
  • 1/2 tsp  Ground Pepper
  • 1 C           Corn meal
  • 1 tsp       Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp  Salt
  • 1/2 tsp  Ground Pepper
  • 2              Eggs (beaten lightly)

Preparation:

In a small bowl, mix the milk and cherry vinegar.  In another, combine the flour with 1/2 tsp  salt and pepper.  Mix the corn meal, paprika, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper in a third bowl, and the beat the eggs well in a fourth.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Dip each tomato slice in the milk to coat, then in the flour mixture. Dip the floured tomato slice into the egg, and then into the corn meal and make sure the slice is completely coated. Place the coated tomato slices in the hot oil, and fry until golden brown on each side, about 3 to 5 minutes per side.