Category Archives: 1 Recipe of the Week

Recipe of the Week

Baby Avocados with Orange and Olives

Baby Avocados with Orange and Olives

Between 1934 and 1935 Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas spent 7 months traveling through the United States. In Toklas’s “Food in the United States” chapter she refers to the trip as, “an experience and adventure, which nothing that might follow would ever equal.”

Of California she wrote, “California was unequalled. Sun and a fertile soil breed generosity and gentleness, amiability and appreciation. It was abundantly satisfying. In Pasadena amongst olive and orange groves we saw our first avocado trees and their fruit offered for salt stacked in great pyramids, almost as common as tomatoes would be later in the season.”

2 oranges
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup parsley, minced
1 tablespoon thyme
3 tablespoons chopped olives
salt and white pepper
6 to 8 baby Hass avocados
3 tablespoons olive oil

Zest the oranges into a small bowl, making sure to stop when you start to see the white pith.

Supreme the oranges. Cut off each end of the orange and set upright on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice off the pith, following the contours of the fruit, moving from top to bottom, cutting as little of the flesh away as possible. Repeat with the other orange.

Roughly chop the orange flesh and add it to the bowl with the zest. Add the garlic, parsley, thyme, and olives and season generously with salt and white pepper. Toss to combine.

Halve the avocados lengthwise, remove the pits, and fill each cavity with about 1 tablespoons of orange mixture. Arrange them on a platter, drizzle generously with olive oil, and serve.

Serves 6 to 8

Recipe of the Week

Wild Mushroom Galette

wild mushroom galette

Wild Mushroom Galette

In medieval England mushrooms were considered excrementa terrae, or excrement of the earth, because of their mysterious growth and the fact that they lack visible roots. Modern European cultivation of the mushroom goes back to 1600, when French agriculturalist Olivier de Serres suggested a method in his work Le Théâtre d’agriculture et mesnage des champs (The Theater of Agriculture and Tending for the Fields), the textbook for French agriculture of the 17th century. A standby in French homes, a galette is a sweet or savory flat, freeform tart. 

For the dough:
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1/3 cup ice water
1 cup flour
¼ cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 to 8 pieces

For the filling:
1 pound assorted mushrooms – shiitake, oyster, porcini or Portobello
3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup onion, diced
1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
salt and pepper

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Stir the buttermilk and 1/3 ice water together in a small bowl and set aside.

Put the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir with a fork to mix. Drop the butter pieces into the bowl and using fingers work the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.

Sprinkle the cold buttermilk mixture over the dough, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork to distribute evenly. Gather the dough together and chill.

Put the dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 1/8-inch think circle and transfer to the baking sheet.

Meanwhile, wipe the mushrooms and thinly slice. Heat the oil in a wide skillet of medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 4 minutes. Raise the heat, add the mushrooms and sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the herbs and season with vinegar, salt and pepper.

Spread ¾ of the cheese over the dough, then the mushroom mixture, then top with the remaining cheese. Dip a pastry brush in water, giving the edges of the crust a light coating and bake for about 35 minutes, or until golden and cheese is bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6

Recipe of the Week

Dates Stuffed with Mascarpone, Pistachios and Pomegranate Seeds

Dates

Dates Stuffed with Mascarpone, Pistachios and Pomegranate Seeds

Hades fell head over heels over Persephone, and she was tricked into eating pomegranate seeds so she’d have to spend a portion of each year as his queen in the underworld. A deceitful maneuver, yet some would see an element of dark romance in the story. Some say that a pomegranate was the original forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.

12 Medjool dates
1 tablespoon pistachios, toasted and chopped
seeds from ½ pomegranate
2 tablespoons mascarpone
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon or orange zest

Remove the pits of the dates by slitting each open, keeping the date whole. Mix the pistachios, salt and pomegranate seeds with the mascarpone and the lemon or orange zest. Make sure you leave at least two tablespoons of pomegranate seeds for garnish. Using a teaspoon, carefully stuff each date with a little of the mixture. Place on a platter and garnish with pomegranate seeds before serving.

Serves 6