Tag Archives: savory

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.



  • 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)


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.


Maple Chicken recipe – Vermont

Maple Chicken is a traditional chicken preparation in Vermont.  Of course, maple syrup is the culinary pride of the state and I find it pairs well with chicken and pork.  The combination of maple syrup and balsamic vinegar may seem like it will be too sweet, but here the balsamic actually cuts the bright, sugary syrup, adding a sour note to the sauce.  Sometimes I use the balsamic in more traditional savory sauces and gravy and there it contributes more sweetness.

I love paring this dish with broccoli rabe, because its slight bitterness makes a nice counterpoint to the sweet maple sauce, and mushrooms for their earthy, umami quality.

Ready to eat

Ready to eat



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wash and dry the chicken parts well, then season with the salt, pepper and, if using,  paprika/cayenne pepper.  Allow the chicken to sit for 10 minutes.  While the chicken sits, make the sauce by heating the maple syrup over medium flame for 1 minute and then add the balsamic.  Simmer until the syrup ‘melts’ and the sauce has an even color.

Place the chicken in a well-oiled baking dish and then top with half of the sauce.  Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes, until the internal temperature of the breast is 160 degrees.  Drizzle the chicken with the lemon oil, turn down the temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 10 more minutes – the chicken should have a deep brown color, but not black.  Remove from the oven, top with the remaining sauce and serve.

Italian Comfort in a Jar

This yummy bean recipe is  from Art Smith’s blog:

Makes 8-12 servings

2 pounds Tuscan beans, soaked in water overnight in the refrigerator
10 Roma tomatoes
¼ pound pancetta, diced
2 small onions, diced
2 quarts chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (I prefer Lucini brand)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Drain the beans and rinse. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cut an X on the ends of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into the water in batches, if necessary. After 40 seconds, remove and plunge into an ice-water bath. Leave in the ice water for 40 seconds and drain. The skins should peel right off. Cut the tomatoes in half, lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Place a large Dutch oven over high heat, toss in the pancetta, and render until it begins to turn brown and crispy, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain off some of the fat and toss in the onions, sautéing for 4 minutes or until the onions begin to look translucent. Reduce the heat to medium and add the beans, sautéing for about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 2½ hours. When the beans are done, add the basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately or let cool, then ladle into jars and refrigerate for later use. They will keep for up to three days.

Olive Oil Poached Trout

This is one of the simplest recipes I know and it really shows off the flavor of a great Extra Virgin Olive Oil and fresh Trout.  Because the olive oil is only heated to 115º for a short period of time, the tocopherols and other healthful agents in the oil are not damaged, so I strain the remain oil, mix it with Lucini Savory Fig Balsamico, and have a great dipping sauce for bread.

Be careful in choosing your pan for this dish – it should be large enough so the fillets to fit and you will be able to get your spatula in and remove the fillets comfortably.  However, you do not want too much room, as the fillets must be fully submerged in the oil.  This accounts for the range (1 to 2 cups) in the amount of oil used.  For poaching to work correctly, the oil must completely cover the other ingredients in the pan.  Arctic Char works as a replacement for the trout.


  • 1 LB    fresh Trout (filleted, cut into 4 pieces)
  • 1-2 C  LUC Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2     small Carrot (use 6  1/8 inch thick slices)
  • 1          small Shallot, diced
  • 4         Thyme sprigs (single ‘branches’ of Thyme, not multiple branched ‘trees’)
  • 4         small Bay Leaves
  • Salt, ground or crushed fine
  • Pepper, ground fine
  • 1/4    Lemon


Place the remaining olive oil in to a small pot and add the carrot, shallot, thyme and bay leaves.   Place a thermometer in the oil and heat to 115º.  Trim the trout fillets and submerge them in the oil carefully, so the trout does not rest on the other ingredients.  Poach for 7-8 minutes until the fish is just firm to touch.  Remove the fish and pat dry.  Season your fillets with salt and pepper, drizzle each with 1/2 tsp of the poaching oil and fresh lemon juice.  That’s it; you’re ready to serve!

I like to serve this dish with something green – a nice salad, braised celery and escarole are all great options.  Supremes of blood orange with a drizzle of Basil-Infused or Lemon-Infused Extra Virgin also look wonderful on the plate.

Cinco de Mayo Savory Pie

This pie is very easy to make, but bursting with Mexican flavor.  It is a wonderful entree, but can also be served as an appetizer at room temperature with Margaritas at a Cinco de Mayo bash.  The chorizo and cheese are optional for those looking to avoid pork or extra fat and anyone looking for a spicy treat can leave in the jalapeno seeds and/or double the chili powder.


  • 1 LB       Ground Beef (ground poultry, particularly Turkey, will work as well)
  • 2 TB      Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 C     Red Onion, chopped
  • 3             Bay Leaves
  • 1/4 LB  Chorizo (optional)
  • 1/2 C     fresh Mushrooms (Shiitake, wild or Cremini, optional)
  • 2             Poblano peppers, chopped
  • 3             Jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp      fresh Thyme
  • 2 tsp      fresh Oregano (dried will work as well)
  • 2 tsp      Chili Powder
  • 3/4 tsp  Salt
  • 1/8 tsp  Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp  Hot Sauce
  • 1 C         Lucini Spicy Tuscan Tomato Sauce
  • 1/4 C     Cheddar, grated
  • 1/4 C     Queso Fresco, grated
  • 1             Pie Shell
  • Lucini Fiery Chili Infuse Extra Virgin Olive Oil (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Brown pie shell in oven until just golden – about 8 minutes.

Over medium heat, saute onions, beef, garlic, bay leaves and mushrooms and chorizo (if used) until beef is brown.  Drain any excess oil.  Add salt, spices, hot sauce and peppers; mix for 1 minute.  Add tomato sauce and cook for 5 more minutes.

Spoon mixture into pie shell and bake for 25 minutes.  Top with cheese and bake for 5 more minutes until cheese is fully melted.   Allow pie to cool 10-15 minutes before serving. For a decadent finish, top each piece with a splash of Lucini Fiery Chili Olive Oil.

Beef Brisket


I love serving this brisket dish for Rosh Hashanah and other holiday meals and it goes great with this salad and braised red cabbage or these green beans.  None of the steps are complicated and the low and slow roast allows time to socialize with your guests.  Do keep an eye on the brisket as overcooking eventually leads to dried out meat.

The recipe was inspired by one found in Art Smith’s Back to the Table, which I first followed for Thanksgiving 2001.  There are many great recipes in this book and I cannot recommend it (and his other books) more highly – I refer to some of the recipes so often it has started falling apart!  His love of food and recognition of the important place it holds in all of our lives is inspirational.

A splash of Lucini Fig Infused Balsamic or Lucini Cherry Infused Balsamic and a 1/2 cup of dried fruit added just before serving brings  a brightness that balances well with the robust umami of the beef and the red wine.


  • 3-4   lb     Beef Brisket
  • 1       Tb     Salt
  • 1       tsp    Pepper
  • 2       tsp    Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2  tsp    Brown Sugar
  • 1       tsp    Chili powder
  • 2       Tb    Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1                 large Onion, large dice
  • 1                 Carrot, thick slices
  • 1                 Celery stalk, thick slices
  • 5                Garlic cloves
  • 1/2  C       dry Red wine
  • 2       C       Stock (Beef is best, but chicken and mushroom work well; homemade HIGHLY recommended)
  • 3                 Bay leaves
  • 1/2  C       Shittake Mushrooms (large chop, stems removed)
  • 4       tsp   Arrowroot dissolved in water (about 1 Tb)
  • Lucini Fig Infused Balsamic or Lucini Cherry Infused Balsamic (optional)



Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Combine salt, pepper, paprika and chili powder.   Season the brisket evenly with this mixture and allow to sit for 30 minutes (I do 15 minutes refrigerated, then 15 minutes at room temperature out of the reach of meat-loving children or pets).

Heat a large, non-stick, oven-safe cooking vessel over medium-high heat.   Add olive oil and brown the brisket on both sides (about 3 minutes per side, but definitely browned, not gray).  Remove brisket to a plate.  Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute until the onions become translucent and the carrots begin to soften.

Add red wine and deglaze the pan – dissolving all the browned beef and veggie tastiness off the bottom of the pan and into the wine (about 5 minutes).  Add bay leaves and stock and bring to boil.  Place your browned brisket on top of the vegetables; cover and place in oven.

Bake for about 2 hours at 300F – remove when the meat is tender when prodded with a fork.   Allow the brisket and to rest for 10-15 minutes.  Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and set aside.

While the meat rests, add the mushrooms to the liquid in the pan and bring to a boil.  Reduce for 5 minutes.  Turn temperature down to low and add arrowroot slurry.  Stir immediately and thoroughly until you achieve gravy consistency.

Carve the brisket across the grain.  I serve this with the gravy, vegetables from the pan, mashed potatoes and braised red cabbage.  For an added dimension of flavor, add a splash of  Lucini Fig Infused Balsamic or Lucini Cherry Infused Balsamic on top of the brisket just before serving.