Tag Archives: appetizer

Austrian Potato Salad

austrian potato salad

Austrian Potato Salad

Native to South America, potatoes made their way to Europe via the Spanish colonists in the 16th century. Their cultivation in Austria began in the mid 18th century, eventually yielding the local yellow, waxy Kipfler potato that is used in Austrian potato salads. It is very similar to our fingerling potatoes. Potato salad typically accompanies Wiener Schnitzel in Vienna.

2 pounds fingerling potatoes
¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Wash the potatoes and bring them to a boil in plenty of salted water.

Meanwhile, mix the oil and vinegar with salt, pepper, sugar, finely chopped herbs and mustard. Set aside.

When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and, while still warm, peel and cut into slices. Place slices into a bowl.

Finely chop the red onion and add to the potatoes. Fold in the oil dressing, mixing well. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6 to 8

(recipe by Robin Trento)

Matcha Green Tea Cake with Chocolate Chips

matcha cake

Matcha Green Tea Cake with Chocolate Chips

First used in China, green tea was brought to Japan in the 12th century by Myoan Eisai, a Buddhist priest. By the 13th century, samurai warriors had adopted Zen Buddhism and began preparing and drinking this powdered green tea, called matcha, laying the foundations of the Japanese tea ceremony. Baking was a cooking technique introduced by Portuguese missionaries in the 15th century.

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ tablespoons powdered green tea (matcha)
1 cup sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 cup plain whole yogurt
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350º F. Butter and flour a 10-inch cake pan.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and matcha and set aside.

In a large bowl beat together the sugar, oil and eggs until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes before turning out of the pans. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Serves 12

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Currants and Pine Nuts

IMG_3684

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Currants and Pine Nuts

The word chard comes from the 14th century French word carde. A popular French vegetable, it is considered the queen of vegetables in Nice and is grown abundantly around the Rhone valley.

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves, garlic minced
½ small red onion, diced
2 bunches Swiss chard, stems and center ribs cut out and chopped together, leaves coarsely chopped separately
½ cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
¼ cup currants or golden raisins
salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and onion cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chard stems and the white wine. Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the chard leaves and raisins and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Finally, stir in lemon juice and pine nuts. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve.

Serves 4 to 6

Crisp Celery Salad

crisp celery salad

Crisp Celery Salad

The celery we’re familiar with today is a descendant of wild celery, which was highly valued by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks as food and as medicine. Records show it was cultivated in pharaonic Egypt over 3000 years ago.

For the salad:
1 medium celery root, about 1 pound
10 large celery stalks, thinly sliced on a diagonal
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
½ cup parsley

For the vinaigrette:
2 anchovies
2 small garlic cloves
salt
juice from one lemon
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ cup olive oil
pepper

Peel and halve the celery root. Cut into matchstick-size pieces. Place in a large bowl and add the sliced celery stalks, and shallot. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.

Prepare the dressing. In a mortar and pestle, mash the anchovy, garlic and a pinch of salt to form a paste. Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir to break up the anchovy paste. Beat in the mustard. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season to taste with the pepper.

Drizzle the vinaigrette over the vegetables. Add the parsley and toss to combine.

Serves 6

* Add chopped apples for a little sweetness.