What's Tasty at Sigona's Farmers Market

July 25, 2012

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Melons

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Melons

Summertime is melon time, so grab a sweet-smelling honeydew or cantaloupe from Sigona’s today and get ready for an explosion of sugary flavors!

Sweet Local Orange flesh Honeydew with a Drizzle of Reduced Balsamic

I really like this 2 minute recipe on a hot day. It’s quick, easy and refreshing. I really like to serve the melon chilled.

Ingredients

  • ½ orange flesh honeydew cut into wedges
  • ¼ cup balsamic
  • 3 sprigs of mint

Directions

  • Slice melon wedges and arrange on a plate
  • In a medium size sauce pan, gently reduce balsamic over medium-low heat by half (This takes several minutes or less.)
  • Remove from heat and cool
  • Drizzle over melon
  • With scissors, cut very thin strips of mint over the melons
  • Garnish with remaining mint and serve

Local Melon Red Wine

This little desert reminds me so much of my grandfather. He made his wine with a blend of 90% Lodi old vine zinfandel and 10 % Muscat. There was always fruit after dinner. This is one of the simple ways we enjoyed fresh fruit.

Ingredients

  • Any type of in-season local melon cut into cubes
    • If you want to get fancy, scoop out balls with a melon baller
  • Wine in a glass. We have two wines in particular that go very well and remind me of my grandfather:
    • Regio Zinfandel: A wonderful old-vine Zin from, you guessed it, Lodi. This wine is priced right for everyday drinking and has nice fruity notes with mild tannins.
    • Rare Red: A 4 blend of Tempranillo, Petite Sirah, Cabenet and Petite Verdot. It’s light and fruity but has body.

Directions

  • Pour your desired wine into a glass
  • Add choice of fruit
  • Enjoy!

Prosciutto and Melon Salad with a Drizzle of Balsamic Syrup

Not only will this salad taste amazing, but the reduction of the balsamic will have your house smelling amazing. Recipe adapted from Food Network.

Ingredients

  • 12 wedges of fresh honeydew melon, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 thin slices of Prosciutto di Parma
  • 4 cups of wild arugula, washed, stemmed and patted dry
  • Drizzle of Sigona’s Chilean Koroneiki extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounce pieces of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup reduced balsamic, recipe follows

Directions

Season the melon with salt and pepper. Wrap two pieces of prosciutto around each wedge of melon. In a mixing bowl, toss the greens with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Mound the greens in the center of four plates. Arrange three prosciutto wrapped melon around each mound of greens. Shave the cheese over the greens. Drizzle each salad with the reduce balsamic.

  • Reduced balsamic
  • 3 cups balsamic vinegar

In a medium-saucepan, over medium heat, add the balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, for up to 30 minutes or until syrup-like consistency. Remove from the heat and cool completely. Yield: about 1/4 cup

Cantaloupe, Prosciutto and Arugula Salad with Peach Balsamic

This is one of my personal favorite summer salads that I make all the time. It pairs perfectly with the peach balsamic. Recipe adapted from Food Network.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Sigona’s peach balsamic
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Sigona’s Arbequina olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, chives and parsley
  • 1 cantaloupe, peeled seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 8 thin slices prosciutto, cut into thin strips
  • 10 ounces wild arugula, washed and spun dry
  • 1 cup roughly chopped toasted sprouted gourmet almonds (On sale right now at Sigona’s)

Directions

In a mixing bowl combine the peach balsamic, shallot, mustard, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. While continuing to whisk the mixture, add Sigona’s Arbequina olive oil in a slow and steady stream.

Combine the Arbequina olive oil in a measuring cup. While continuously whisking the vinegar mixture, add the oil in a slow, steady stream, until completely emulsified. Whisk in the fresh herbs and set aside as you prepare the salad.

In a large bowl, combine the cantaloupe, red onion, prosciutto, wild arugula and sprouted gourmet almonds. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette and season lightly with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine; all ingredients should be well coated with the vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

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July 11, 2012

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Local Stone Fruit

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Stone Fruit

One of life’s great pleasures is biting into a ripe, fresh and sweet piece of stone fruit. Whether it’s a peach, plum, apricot, nectarine or additional hybrid, local stone fruits are wonderful whether eaten out of hand or in a crisp salad.

Out of Hand

OK, so maybe this isn’t exactly a recipe, but we bet you can’t resist the temptation of holding a delicious piece of stone fruit in your hand without chomping down into it to enjoy those sweet, succulent flavors. Nothing beats eating fresh stone fruit right out of hand.

Ingredients

  • Sigona’s stone fruits from Sweet Home Farms
    • Peaches
    • Nectarines
    • Plums
    • Apricots

Directions

  • Select your stone fruit of choice
  • Raise to mouth
  • Bite into the best-tasting fruit in the entire Bay Area
  • Enjoy!

Honey Vanilla Fromage Blanc

I love this quick and simple recipe, especially on warm summer days. The raspberry topping is the perfect complement to Sweet Home Farms’ delectable stone fruits. Recipe adapted from Food Network.

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces fromage blanc
  • 2 TBL heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup Honey Hole Wild Apricot or Blackberry Honey
  • 4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
  • Vanilla seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean

Assemble Using:

  • Sigona’s fresh stone fruits, including Diamond Ray nectarines, Ice Princess and Snow Princess peaches and Santa Rosa plums
  • Berries such as raspberries and strawberries
  • Citrus fruit such as oranges, cut in segments
  • Raspberry Sauce

Directions:

  • Stir the fromage blanc, cream, honey, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and vanilla seeds together in a medium bowl.
  • Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • To assemble, spoon the fromage blanc mixture into shallow bowls. Place the fruit artfully on top and drizzle the dessert with raspberry sauce.
  • Serve with extra raspberry sauce on the side.

Raspberry Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 basket of raspberries rinsed
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 2 tsp. Honey Hole Wild Apricot Honey

Raspberry Sauce Directions:

  • Place the ingredients for the raspberry sauce in a blender
  • Blend until smooth use as a topping

Carmelo’s Simple Stone Fruit Salad

Simple, delicious and incredibly good for you. No wonder this basic stone fruit salad has become one of my most favorite dishes!

Ingredients:

  • One of the following stone fruits:
    • Diamond Ray nectarines
    • Ice Princess peaches
    • Snow Princess peaches
    • Santa Rosa Plums
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 2 tsp. lime juice
  • A sprinkling of raspberries

Directions:

  • Slice the stone fruit and mix with all ingredients except raspberries
  • Plate and top with raspberries

Peach, Plum or Apricot Raw Stone Fruit Cobbler

Nothing beats a refreshing and sweet cobbler, especially when stone fruits are perfectly in season as they are right now. This healthy treat is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.  Recipe courtesy of About.com.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds (5-6 cups) of Sweet Home Ranch’s peaches, plums, nectarines or apricots pitted and cut into 1” chunks
  • 2 TBL of Honey Hole Wild Honey
  • ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup walnut pieces
  • ½ cup pecan pieces
  • 5 large medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon powder
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg or mace
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  • Gently toss the fruit with the agave and vanilla extract. Divide the fruit amongst 4 dessert glasses and set aside.
  • Place the remaining ingredients (coconut, walnuts, pecans, dates, almond extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt) in a food processor and pulse the mixture until it is coarsely ground but still has texture.
  • Divide the mixture between the 4 berry dishes, scattering evenly over the top to form a thick crust.
  • The crisp can be served immediately or chilled.
  • Serves 4

July 3, 2012

Sigona’s Fresh Press Olive Oil of the Month: July 2012

Sigona’s Fresh Press Olive Oil of the Month: July 2012

July means sunny skies, celebrating our independence on the 4th and summer barbeques with friends and family. And what barbeque would be complete without a piece of mouth-watering, extra-virgin-olive-oil drizzled bread adorning your plate?

That’s why we’re excited to let you know that our fresh pressed extra virgin olive oils from the southern hemisphere have just arrived in the store. The first oil we’re going to feature is Empeltre from Chile. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to drink a salad, taste a sample the next time you’re in the store – just be careful of that peppery goodness on the back end.

Sigona’s July 2012 Olive Oil of the Month

Empeltre (from Chile)

This oil:

  • Is like eating a salad
  • Boast notes of celery, fresh lettuce and additional vegetables
  • Delivers a jolt of throat-closing pepper on the back end
  • Packs a robust polyphenol count of 398

Try this recipe from Veronica Foods

Super Robust Olio Nuovo Empeltre EVOO Focaccia with Rosemary & Caramelized Shallots

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups all purpose, unbleached flour
  • 2 cups lukewarm water; filtered if possible
  • 1 cup cooled, unseasoned, mashed russet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup + 1/3 cup + more for drizzling of Sigona’s fresh pressed Empeltre EVOO
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 medium shallots thinly sliced
  • 1 package active dried yeast, or 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves rough chopped
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Sea salt to taste

Directions:

If making the dough in your bread machine, follow its instructions for the order of adding ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, sugar and yeast. Allow the yeast to bloom for about 5 minutes. Add 1/3 cup of olive oil, mashed potatoes and sea salt. Mix to combine.

breadWith the mixer running on the lowest speed, begin to add the flour, cup by cup, until the dough has come together and becomes elastic and just slightly tacky. Reserve any leftover flour for rolling the dough out.

Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for one hour.

On a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment, gently push the dough to the edges, using fingertips to stretch it and make dimpled indentations. Cover and allow the dough to rise for another hour in a warm place.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Distribute the thinly slices shallots and rosemary evenly over the focaccia. Drizzle with the remaining 1/3 cup of Sigona’s fresh pressed Empeltre EVOO. Add a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper and sea salt.

Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes until golden brown. While still hot out of the oven, drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil to taste. Serve warm and enjoy.

Click here for more great recipes!

June 26, 2012

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Local Corn

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Local Corn

Fresh-picked corn lends itself to a corn-a-copia of delights…sorry, couldn’t resist! Whether on the cob or shaved off and stirred into a dish, don’t miss out on one of summer’s sweetest foods.

Grilled Corn Salad with Lime, Red Chili and Cotija

Grilled Corn Salad

Grilled Corn Salad with Lime, Red Chili and Cotija. Recipe and photo courtesy of The Food Network.

I absolutely love grilled corn in a number of dishes. What I love about this one most is that it’s all done on the grill! No mess to clean up in the kitchen. Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay of The Food Network.

Ingredients

  • 8 ears fresh corn, silks removed, husk on, soaked in cold water 30 minutes
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil, such as Arbequina
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 TBL ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated cotija cheese
  • 1/4 cup Queso Fresco, for garnish

Directions: Heat grill to high. Grill corn until charred on all sides, 10 or so minutes. Take off the grill and remove the kernels with a sharp knife. While you are cutting the corn, put a cast iron skillet on the grill to heat.

Add the corn and the remaining ingredients to the hot pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until creamy and heated through.

Sprinkle with crumbled Queso Fresco once the dish is plated.

Green Beans with Roasted Corn and Green Onions

green beans corn and tomato

Green Beans with Roasted Corn and Green Onions. Photo and recipe courtesy of The Food Network.

The simplicity of this dish makes for an easy weeknight side or potluck dish for your next summer get-together. Recipe adapted from Guy Fieri of The Food Network.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh green beans, such as Blue Lake beans, ends cut
  • 2 corn on the cob
  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil, such as Arbequina
  • 1 red onion, large, cut in 1/8-inch rounds
  • 1/4 cup white wine, such as chardonnay
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 TBL butter
  • 1/4 cup diced, seeded Roma tomatoes
  • 3 TBL grated Sigona’s Bio Parmesan cheese

Directions: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and blanch for 3 minutes. Remove from water and put into an ice water bath. Drain.

Heat grill or gas burners. Place cleaned corn on the cob on the grill or burner. Turn corn and lightly brown all the way around. Let cool and slice the kernels off the cob.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add oil, after 45 seconds add onions and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, add green beans, corn, and garlic. Sauté for 4 minutes, deglaze with wine, season with salt and pepper, and butter.

Garnish with Roma tomatoes and Parmesan.

Fresh Corn Salad with Black Beans, Tomato and Cilantro

corn cilantro salad

Corn Cilantro Salad

Delicious with tortilla chips or as a salsa to top grilled Tilapia, local halibut or white seabass this salad is always a hit. Courtesy of Laura H., a Sigona’s fan. Serves about 4.

Ingredients:

  • Juice from 2 limes, about 4 TBLs
  • 4 TBLs olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • A 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Kernels cut from 1-2 ears of white corn (about 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes (use an assortment of halved cherry tomatoes or use 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped)
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • Half a bell pepper, seeded and diced (look for an orange one to add color to the dish)
  • 3 TBLs minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced (add more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin (or to taste)
  • Optional: top with diced or sliced avocado when ready to serve.

Directions: In a bowl whisk together lime juice, oil, garlic and salt to taste. Stir in remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Let salad stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to let flavors develop. Laura recommends making it the night before.

Corn Ice Cream

This recipe comes from Frontera Grill in Chicago, one of the nation’s best known Mexican restaurants, owned and operated by Rick Bayless who’s widely respected as one of our countries premier chef’s and an expert of Mexican cuisine. Makes about a quart.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 (1.5) cups corn kernels
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 (.5) cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 (.5) tsp vanilla
  • 1 pinch of ground cinnamon

Puree the corn with the half-and-half until as smooth as possible. Push the puree through a sieve or strainer to remove big chunks. Put corn puree, sugar and yolk in top of a double boiler and whisk together, cooking and stirring until thickened and starting to steam, about 180ºF. Do not boil. Remove from the heat and cool. Stir in cream, vanilla and cinnamon. Chill until cold and then churn in an ice cream maker according to directions.

Sautéed Corn with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil

A summer staple in my house that is incredibly easy to throw together and a great side dish to grilled meat or fish. Serves 4. Adapted from “Joy of Cooking.”

Ingredients:

  • 2 ears of corn, shucked
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (use a variety of tomatoes for added color)
  • A few leaves of basil, sliced thin (use scissors to snip)
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 TBL butter
  • 1 TBL cream, optional

Cut the corn from the cob. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the corn kernels and cook for 1 min. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for another minutes until juices start to run. Stir in salt, pepper, basil, and cream. Serve.

Keep it on the cob.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

For an impressive presentation, peel back the husk – don’t remove it – to remove the silk. Pull the peeled husk down to the bottom, creating a handle. Take one of the outer husk leaves off and trim it to a thin strip. Use the strip to tie the peeled back husks together with a bow.

Heat grill to medium heat, oil the grates and place the ears directly on the grates. Turn several times as the corn cooks. Keep it on the grill for about 10 minutes or until the husks are charred and are beginning to peel. Serve corn immediately along with butter, salt and pepper. You can also use spiced or herbed butters. Recipes follow.

Boiled Corn on the Cob

  • Use about 1 quart of water per ear of corn
  • Salt

Directions: Bring salted water to a boil. Add the corn and cook for 2-4 minutes. Remove corn using tongs and shake off the extra water. Serve with butter, salt and pepper.

Not-So-Plain Corn on the Cob

Following are a few fancy butter spreads that add fantastic flavor to corn on the cob. Each ingredient combination is enough for about 4 ears of corn.

Herb’s Favorite

  • 3 TBL butter, softened
  • 1 ½ TBL of fresh herbs, such as a combination of parsley, basil, tarragon, chives, sage and chervil

Directions: Combine all ingredients, blending well. Store in a covered airtight container in the refrigerator.

Honey Butter

  • 3 TBL butter, softened
  • 1 TBL Honey Hole Honey Co. honey or organic Agave nectar

Directions: Combine all ingredients, blending well. Store in a covered airtight container in the refrigerator.

Chili Butter – Or – Chili-Lime Butter

  • 2 TBL butter, softened
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • For chili-lime butter, add grated peel of ½ of one lime. Add more if desired.

Directions: Combine all ingredients, blending well. Store in a covered airtight container in the refrigerator.

Lemon & Dill Butter

  • 3 TBL butter, softened
  • 1 tsp fresh dill weed or ½ tsp dried
  • Grated peel of 1/2 lemon
  • Pinch of white pepper

Directions: Combine all ingredients, blending well. Store in a covered airtight container in the refrigerator.

June 25, 2012

Beef Potstickers made with Open Source grass-fed beef

Beef Potstickers

Grass-fed Beef Potstickers by Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering in San Carlos, Calif.

Recipe courtesy of Luisa Ormonde, a local private chef and caterer. Luisa says, “I made these this morning for a client and will make them again for myself! I found the dough very easy to work with, *but if you are intimidated just use premade pot sticker wraps/round wonton wraps instead. Enjoy!” Makes approx. 25-30 potstickers.

For dough (*see note above)

  • 1 3/4 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup boiling-hot water

For filling

  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef (such as local Open Source beef, found at Sigona’s)
  • 3 TBL soy sauce
  • 3 TBL Asian sesame oil
  • 1 TBL peanut oil
  • 2 TBL minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp black bean garlic sauce
  • 1 TBL organic sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green garlic chives (6 oz) (Cook’s note: find flowering garlic chives (jiu cai in Mandarin) at a local Asian market or use regular chives minced with a little garlic)

For panfrying

  • 1 TBL peanut oil
  • 1/3 cup warm water

Make dough: Put 1 3/4 cups flour in a large bowl, then add boiling-hot water, stirring with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. When just cool enough to handle, turn out dough (including any loose flour) onto a work surface and knead, incorporating some of remaining 1/4 cup flour if dough is sticky, until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Form into a ball and cover with clean towel. Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes.

Make filling while dough stands: Stir together beef, soy sauce, oils, ginger and bean paste in a medium bowl, then stir in chives.

Form and fry dumplings: Divide dough in half. On lightly floured parchment paper, roll out one half until thin with rolling pin. With a 3 inch round biscuit cutter, cut as many circles as you can out of the dough (you can reroll the scraps but form into a ball and let rest again before rolling). Place a level tablespoon of filling in center of each round, then brush or dab halfway around edge with a little water and fold in half, pressing edges together to seal then crimp. Place each dumpling, sealed edge up, on a wax/parchment paper-lined tray. Make more dumplings in same manner with remaining dough.

For panfrying: Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat until hot, then remove from heat and arrange dumplings in a tight circular pattern standing up in oil (they should touch one another). Cook, uncovered, over moderate heat until oil sizzles, then drizzle warm water (1/3 cup) over pot stickers and cook, covered, until bottoms are browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons more water if skillet looks dry before bottoms are browned.

Remove lid and cook, shaking skillet to loosen pot stickers, until steam dissipates, 1 to 2 minutes. Invert a large plate with a rim over skillet. Using pot holders, hold plate and skillet together and invert skillet. Remove skillet and serve pot stickers warm.

Cooks’ note: Dumplings can be formed 4 hours ahead. Chill in 1 layer, not touching, on wax-paper-lined tray, loosely but completely covered with plastic wrap.

June 13, 2012

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Local Halibut

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Local Halibut

Halibut has a snow-white flesh, firm texture (sometimes called the steak of seafood) and a mild flavor so easily takes on the flavors of other ingredients with which it’s cooked. It’s also naturally lean, packed with fatty Omega-3s to help break down cholesterol and is nutrient-dense. This is a delicious fish and we know  you’ll enjoy the recipes!

Fish Tacos with Cabbage-Jalapeño Slaw

This is absolutely my favorite way to eat local halibut. It’s simple, healthy and delicious. For this recipe I’ve done a quick job on the marinade and not taken the time to let marinate. All the flavors come together just about the same, especially when you’re in a hurry. Recipe adapted from Food Network’s Anne Burrell. Serves 4.

My favorite dish of summer: Fish Tacos with Cabbage-Jalapeno Slaw. Recipe adapted from Food Network’s Anne Burrell. Photo from Food Network.

Fish:

  • 1 pound local halibut or white seabass
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 tsp Spanish paprika (also known as pimenton)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup Sigona’s Fresh Press Arbequina extra virgin olive oil (it has a fruity-buttery flavor)
  • Kosher salt

Slaw:

  • 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 3 green onions, sliced thinly on the bias
  • 1 jalapeño, minced, optional
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 TBL Honey Hole Honey Co. honey, either the wild apricot or blackberry honey
  • 1/8 cup Sigona’s Fresh Press Arbequina extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt

For serving:

  • 8 flour or corn tortillas
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted and flesh sliced

Fish: Cut the fish into strips. Combine the fish with the lime zest and juice, paprika, garlic, oil and salt, to taste, in a medium bowl. Let sit at least 20 minutes. This can be done a day ahead, covered and refrigerated.

Cabbage: Combine the cabbage, carrots, green onions, and jalapeño, if using, in a medium bowl.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, honey and oil. Add to the cabbage mixture and toss until well dressed. Season with salt, to taste. If using within a couple of hours let it sit at room temperature, if making this ahead, refrigerate until ready to use.

To cook and assemble: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap the tortillas in foil.

Put the fish strips on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Put the fish and tortillas in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

While the fish is in the oven, taste the cabbage for seasoning and adjust, if needed.

Remove the fish and tortillas from the oven. Put some fish in the center of a tortilla, top with a couple of avocado slices and finish with some of the cabbage slaw. Repeat with remaining ingredients and serve.

Carmelo’s Halibut in a Parchment Pocket with and Ginger, Green Onions and Jalapeno

This dish practically prepares and cleans up itself! Throwing ingredients in a parchment pocket is one of my favorite ways to prepare summer dishes, plus baking in parchment melds all the ingredients together making for a flavor-packed dish. Serves 6. – Carmelo Sigona

  • 6 portions (about 5-6 oz. each) local Halibut
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger (2 inches), peeled and julienned
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, peeled and crushed (do not cut – should be removed before eating)
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 small-medium jalapeño, julienned (remove the seeds to lower heat intensity or leave out the jalapeno completely)
  • 1/4 cup Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • Gluten-free soy sauce, for drizzling, such as organic Tamari by San-J
  • 6 17-inch long sheets of parchment paper
  • 6 lime wedges (for serving)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400F. Place a piece of halibut in the center of each sheet of parchment. Season lightly with sea salt.

Top each piece of halibut with an even amount of ginger, cilantro, garlic, green onion and jalapeño (if using). Drizzle each with a little of the olive oil and a little soy sauce.

To make the packets, bring the long ends of the parchment together and fold down at least three times to touch the top of the ingredients, making a seam. Fold or twist the ends up to meet the ingredients. Secure with a bit of string if the packet needs help staying folded shut.

Place the packets on a baking sheet (you may need more than one baking sheet) and bake at 400 for 13-15 minutes or until the packets are puffed up and fish is cooked through.

Serve each packet with lime wedges. Be sure to inform your guests to remove the garlic clove before eating and also advise them to use caution when opening the packets – the steam that escapes can be very hot!

Pan-fried Halibut with Mango Salsa

Pan-fried Halibut with Mango Salsa. Recipe and photo courtesy of the food blog Teczcape – An Escape to Food.

Another nice summer dish, do you think so? It’s simply divine when you use local, fresh-caught halibut and fresh fruits for the salsa. Recipe and photo courtesy of the food blog Teczcape – An Escape to Food. Serves 2-3.

Homemade Mango Salsa:

  • 2 Mango, cut into small cubes
  • 2-3 kiwis, cut into small pieces
  • 10+ some water chestnuts, cut into small cubes
  • handful of cilantro leaves, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • Fresh-squeezed lime juice from 1 lime

Directions: Just mix all the ingredients and set aside in fridge.

Pan-fried Halibut with Mango Salsa:

  • 2 fresh local halibut fillets
  • salt and pepper
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil, for sautéing
  • mango salsa prepared earlier

Directions:

1. Dab dry the fillets and season with some salt and pepper

2. Heat some olive oil in sauté pan at low-medium heat. Pan-fry one side of the halibut for about 5-6mins (Note: DO NOT turn the fillet while sautéing one side.)

3. After 5-6mins, turn the fillet over and pan-fry for another 4-5mins

4. While pan-frying the other side, spoon the mango salsa on the already cooked top-side. Use a aluminum foil to cover top-side of fillet that is topped over with salsa, while pan-frying the other side.

Note: The salsa need not be cooked. Covering with the foil circulates the heat of frying within the fillets while frying and warms the mango salsa simultaneously, so that the entire dish – fish and salsa – is served warm. The flavors also meld a bit more.

5. Serve immediately

Lazy Cioppino, a San Francisco Seafood Stew                       

Recipe and photo courtesy of Zest Bakery (a gluten-free hotspot) in San Carlos. The Zest crew notes, “Cioppino is a classic San Francisco stew featuring fresh shellfish and fish. I’ve always loved lightness of this tomato-based soup, and it’s probably the easiest soup I’ve ever made and the easiest soup to eat.” Total time: 40 mins. Serves: 6-8.

Lazy Cioppino, a San Francisco Seafood Stew. Recipe and photo courtesy of Zest Bakery in San Carlos.

Ingredients

  • 3 TBL olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small (or 1/2 large) fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand, juices reserved
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
  • 1 pound skinless local halibut (or local white seabass) cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded
  • 1 pound large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (or frozen king crab legs, thawed)
  • For serving: a gluten-free baguette – find them at Zest Bakery in San Carlos!

Directions: Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, fennel, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and fennel are soft, about 12 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes with juices, wine, clam juice, and 1 cup water. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring often, until flavors meld, about 15 minutes. Stir in fish, mussels, and shrimp and bring to a simmer.

Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Cook until mussels open and seafood is cooked through, about 5 minutes (discard mussels that do not open). Serve with toasted bread.

Note: try one of Zest Bakery’s baguettes (they’re gluten-free!) toasted it with a little garlic, olive oil, and parsley salt. YUM.

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Local White Seabass

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Local White Seabass

The Monterey Bay Aquarium has noted that local wild, line-caught white seabass is a “Best Choice” sustainable seafood choice, meaning it’s abundant, well managed and fished or farmed in environmentally friendly way. It’s a better choice than Chilean seabass, which is often a victim of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Eating-wise, local white seabass is a meaty fish (striped bass, on the other hand, is a soft fish). It has more oil than halibut so it’s more moist; plus it’s more forgiving…it’s likely to still be tender and juicy if overcooked. We hope you enjoy the variety of recipes!

Grilled Miso-Marinated White Seabass

Grilled Miso-Marinated Sea Bass. Photo and recipe courtesy of local food blogger Jean Pope of Lemons and Anchovies.

Grilling gives the fish a little crust that sears in the juices and makes for a nice, flavorful and delicious fish. Serve this with a flavor-infused rice or cous cous. Recipe courtesy of local food blogger Jean Pope of Lemons and Anchovies. Serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • Two large white seabass fillets
  • 3 TBL miso paste
  •  Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 TBL rice vinegar
  • 2 TBL kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
  • 6 TBL oil

Directions: To prepare the fish, combine all the ingredients above from the miso paste to the oil and marinate the fish for at least a couple of hours.  Grill on both sides according to your preferred doneness.

Seared Local White Seabass with a Parsnip-Carrot Puree

Local fish served with pureed veggies seems to be all the rage at local restaurants this time of year, and it’s a simple dish I’ve recreated at home many times. I love adding wine to my purees as it adds another nice dimension with a little citrus twist. Serves 2. – Carmelo Sigona

Puree:

  • 2 parsnips, peeled and evenly chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and evenly chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine, such as a citrusy sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio (or use chicken/veggie stock)
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

White Seabass:

  • 2 white seabass fillets (about 5-6 oz. ea.)
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest (from about half a lemon)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil

Directions: bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the carrots and parsnips and cook until fork tender. Drain and puree in a food processor or blender along with the wine, olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the puree back in the pan and keep warm.

Preheat non-stick sauté pan on medium high heat for at least 1 minute. Season the white seabass with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the olive oil to the pan and then add the fish. Let it sear on one side, without moving, for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Repeat on the other side. Cover and allow the fish to finish cooking through, about 2 minutes more.

Serve fish atop the pureed veggies.

Carmelo’s Go-To Verblanc Sauce

This sauce is easy to make and goes deliciously with white seabass or other white-flesh fish. It’s my go to for any fish, whether it be local wild king salmon, local halibut or local white seabass. Oh, my mouth waters just thinking about it! Simple drizzle the sauce over grilled, baked or pan-seared fish. Makes enough for 2 servings. – Carmelo Sigona

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 2 TBL cup lemon juice
  • 2 TBL capers
  • 1 chopped parsley
  • 1 TBL cold butter, cubed

Directions: to a small sauté pan over medium high heat, add the wine and lemon juice. Reduce by half and add the capers and the cold butter. Turn the flame to medium low, stir constantly. The sauce will start to emulsify itself as the liquid from the butter steams out so the sauce will thicken naturally. Stir in the parsley as the sauce finishes then drizzle over prepared fish and enjoy.

Steamed White Seabass with Tomato Confit

Steamed White Seabass with Tomato Confit. Recipe and photo courtesy of Michael Gardiner of San Diego Food & Travel.

Recipe courtesy of Michael Gardiner of San Diego Food & Travel who notes he prefers “food prepared simply but with care using marvelous ingredients at the height of freshness.” Michael originally made this dish with halibut but says you can’t go wrong with either fish. Serves 4.

For the Tomato Confit:

  • 12 Roma tomatoes
  • 1/4 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

For the White Seabass:

  • 4 fillets of white seabass, about 1/4 lb
    each (Halibut would work too)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large spinach leaves

For the Garnish:

  • Sigona’s Traditional Balsamic
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • Steamed baby zucchini (optional)
  • Finishing salt (such as Himalayan or Hawaiian)

Tomato Confit: Bring a kettle of water to a boil.  Meanwhile, score the tomatoes on the end opposite the stem. Place the tomatoes in a large bowl and pour the boiling water over the tomatoes. Let them sit until the skin peels easily – about fifteen to twenty seconds. Drain tomatoes and cover with ice. Peel when cool and cut into quarters. Place in a small saucepan with thyme, oil, salt and pepper.  Bring to an ever-so-brief boil over high heat, then reduce a simmer. Simmer until they have completely lost their texture (for about one hour).

Fish: Bring about three inches of water to a boil in a pot to which you can fit a steamer basket. Briefly rinse the fillets under running water. Dry them, season them with kosher salt and pepper and place the fillets over a piece of spinach in the basket of a steamer. When the water in the pot reaches a rolling boil place the basket over the pot and steam the fish for ten minutes or until they just flake.

Plating: Place a white seabass fillet on each plate, topped with some of the tomato confit.  Sprinkle some finishing salt on top of the tomato confit.  Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and balsamic around the plate to be incorporated with each bite of the fish. Serve with steamed baby zucchini (optional).

White Seabass with Coconut, Lime, & Lemongrass Curry Sauce

The white seabass goes deliciously with the curry broth, which has flavors of lemongrass, coconut, and lime. Plus, it’s surprisingly light, refreshing, and not soupy in the slightest. Recipe courtesy of Heather Wetzel of the food blog Chik n’ Pastry. Serves 4.

White Seabass with Coconut, Lime, & Lemongrass Curry Sauce. Recipe and photo courtesy of Heather Wetzel of the food blog Chik n’ Pastry.

Sauce:

  • 1 TBL butter
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, thinly sliced
  • 1-inch knob ginger, roughly peeled & thinly sliced
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (optional; see lime juice*)
  • 1 TBL curry powder, such as Madras
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can canned coconut milk (do NOT use light here)
  • 4 cilantro sprigs
  • sea salt, or kosher salt, to taste
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 TBL fresh lime juice (*or more if not using kaffir leaves – use 1 TBL for each leaf)

White Seabass:

  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil, such as Arbequina
  • 4 (7 oz. ea.) white seabass fillets, 1 1/2 inches thick, skin on
  • salt and pepper

Veggie side :

  • 1/2 stick butter (can omit or add less)
  • fine sea salt
  • 4 heads of baby boy choy, divided in half
  • kosher salt

Starch:

  • 7-8 oz. vermicelli style noodles

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 F. Start a large pot of salted water and butter to boiling. This will be for the baby bok choy.

To make the broth for the fish, melt butter in a separate medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, and curry and sweat until tender and with no color, about 5-6 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the coconut milk and cilantro and simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Strain through fine strainer and set aside, keeping warm. Stir in 1 TBL lime juice.

Put 2 TBL of oil in one large (oven-safe) skillet, or if using large fillets, divide it into 2 skillets. Place over high heat until hot. Season white seabass on both sides with salt & pepper. Place in skillet (skin side down) and sauté until golden brown and crusted on the bottom, about 2 1/2 minutes. Turn and sear on the other side for 30 seconds. Put pans in the oven and roast until a metal skewer can be easily inserted in the fish and the fish is cooked through, about 6-7 minutes.

To the pot of boiling water and butter, add bok choy and cook until crisp and tender, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a sheet pan in the fridge to “shock” and stop cooking, retaining the bright green color. SAVE THE WATER and bring it back up to boil.

While the fish are roasting and the boy choy is in the fridge, add the noodles to the boiling water and remove the pot from the heat. Let sit for a few minutes until noodles are soft. Drain.

To plate, add a small mound of noodles to the bottom of a large bowl. Place fish on top and 2 halves of bok choy around. Pour 1/4 of broth over the fish. Squeeze a little lime juice on top (~1 TBL for all 4 bowls). Voila!! Serve and enjoy.

June 12, 2012

Fresh Cherry Cobbler with Pasta Frolla and Mascarpone Ice Cream

Fresh Cherry Cobbler with Mascarpone Ice Cream

Fresh Cherry Cobbler with Mascarpone Ice Cream. Recipe and photo courtesy of Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering in San Carlos.

A dish perfect to celebrate the local cherry season! Recipe and photo courtesy of Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering in San Carlos. Luisa says, “I love traditional cherry cobbler but wanted to give it an Italian twist! Here is my version with a Pasta Frolla crust (Italian-style Shortbread), a brandy and cinnamon laced cherry filling and a homemade mascarpone ice cream.”

Mascarpone Ice Cream (makes about 1 quart):

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks (we recommend local Wattle & Comb pastured eggs, sold only at Sigona’s!)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Pasta Frolla:

  • 1 whole egg (we recommend local Wattle & Comb pastured eggs — if using the PeeWee eggs, increase to one more)
  • 1 egg yolk (we recommend local Wattle & Comb pastured eggs)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 TBL (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

Fresh Cherry Filling:

  • 1 lb. fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 TBL unsalted butter, melted
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 TBL cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • splash of brandy

For the mascarpone ice cream: In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until fluffy and lighter in color. Set aside. Combine the milk and cream in a medium saucepan and just bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

While beating the egg yolk mixture, pour in a small spoonful of the hot milk mixture and continue to beat. Repeat process with a larger spoonful, while beating, then repeat. Next, scoop all the egg yolk mixture into the hot milk mixture. Return heat to medium-low. Cook about 8-10 minutes longer, stirring frequently with a spatula to scrape all corners of the bottom of the pot. Do not let boil. The custard should be just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, but have no lumps.

Chill the custard 4 hours or overnight. Blend in the mascarpone and vanilla until smooth in texture. Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions to churn into ice cream. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for 2 hours to firm up.

For the pasta frolla*: In a food processor or standing mixer, pulse ingredients until a ball forms. In a mixer, use the paddle attachment to mix ingredients until a ball forms. Wrap dough in parchment paper. Flatten and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Open up parchment paper to reveal dough, dust with flour and flip over. Lightly dust top of dough with flour, and roll dough about ¼-inch thick (this might make more than you need for the cobbler so it’s a great time to make cookies with the scraps!)

To complete: Preheat the oven to 350°.

Pour cherry mixture into a 1-quart casserole dish. Top it with pasta frolla dough. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and cherries are bubbly.

Serve with mascarpone ice cream and garnish with powdered sugar, cinnamon, fresh cherry (or lemon twist).

*Pasta frolla by hand: Work all ingredients in a bowl with your hands, smashing butter pieces with the tips of your fingers. When the dough starts coming together, transfer to a work surface, and knead for 30 seconds. Wrap dough in parchment paper. Flatten and refrigerate for 1 hour.

May 30, 2012

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s featuring Cherries

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s featuring Cherries

Cherries are delicious eaten on their own, but they add new level of flavor to savory dishes and grilled meats, such as pork. One of our customers even replaces tomatoes with cherries in their homemade salsa! Remember, cherries have pits in the middle so be careful when biting into them.

Smoked Turkey and Cherry Salad with a Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette

This salad recipe, inspired by this one on the California Cherry Advisory Board website, is a great way to use fresh cherries and our cherry balsamic. Serves 4.

For the salad:

  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, medium-chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup diced green onion, some green included
  • 2 small mandarins, oranges or tangerines, segmented (all skin and membranes removed)
  • 1 cup smoked turkey, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2/3 cup California Bing cherries, washed, halved & pitted

For the balsamic vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup Sigona’s Fresh Press extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Cherry balsamic
  • 1 TBL stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tsp honey or organic Agave nectar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions: Toss all salad ingredients together, except cherries, in a large bowl.

Add all the vinaigrette ingredients, except the EVOO, in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Slowly drizzle in the EVOO and whisk quickly to emulsify the mixture.

Reserving 1 TBL, drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. Add the cherries to the reserved vinaigrette and toss to coat.

Arrange salad on individual plates, sprinkle with cherries and serve immediately.

 

Balsamic-Drizzled Summer Stone Fruit over Creamy Gelato

Stone fruits are just coming into season, and though I prefer to eat them out of hand, they’re delicious when roasted, drizzled with balsamic (especially an infused balsamic) and served over ice cream or gelato. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 12+ cherries, halved with the pit removed
  • 2 other stone fruits, such as peaches, apricots, plums or nectarines, quartered with the pit removed
  • 1/2 cup Sigona’s cherry balsamic
  • 1 pint of Vanilla Bean gelato (we recommend Gelato Massimo; it’s made in Watsonville!)
  • 4 mint leaves, for garnish (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare fruits as directed.

Place fruits in a baking dish and drizzle with Sigona’s cherry balsamic. Roast fruit for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, scoop gelato into four dessert bowls. Place equal amounts of roasted fruit in the bowls and drizzle with more balsamic (leftovers from the baking dish and/or a drizzle of more from the bottle). Place a mint leaf in each bowl (optional) and serve immediately.

 

Local, Wild King Salmon Alaskan Salmon with Roasted Cherries and Pistachios

Wild King Salmon with Roasted Cherries and Pistachios. Recipe and photo courtesy of Danielle Krupa, owner and founder of Wellness Made Natural, LLC.

Cherries and local, wild salmon seem to have made a pact to come into season around the same time. The two paired together make for an outstanding flavor combination! Recipe and photo courtesy of Danielle Krupa, owner and founder of Wellness Made Natural, LLC.  Danielle says, “I can’t stress enough the importance of using a cherry pitter for this recipe.  Unless of course you like having pink fingers and high frustration levels.” Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 pound (about 3 cups) cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chopped oregano
  • 4 (4-6 oz.) wild king salmon fillets
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, toss together cherries, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, agave nectar, thyme and oregano. Arrange salmon skin-side down on a large parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Scatter cherry mixture over and around salmon and bake 12-15 minutes.  Switch oven to broil and cook an additional 3 minutes until salmon is just cooked through and cherries are juicy and caramelized, (you want the thickest part of the fish to reach an internal temperature of 131 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). Remove the salmon from the oven and allow to rest, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Drizzle arugula with remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper; divide among 4 plates.  Top greens with salmon fillet and 1/4 of the cherries.  Make sure to spoon out some of the cooking juice and drizzle over salmon.  Sprinkle 1/4 of the pistachios over each dish and serve.

Raw Cherry Pie

Raw Cherry Pie recipe and photos courtesy of Monika Soria Caruso of Windy City Vegan.

Sometimes baking things is just too much work! Why not opt for a raw cherry pie – not only does it save you time and keep your kitchen cool, but keeping the ingredients raw maintains the integrity of  the ingredient’s nutrients, such as the beta carotene in cherries. Did you know cherries contain 19 times more beta carotene than blueberries and strawberries? Recipe and photos courtesy of food blogger Monika Soria Caruso Windy City Vegan and Chew on This.

Crust:

  • 2/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup sweet sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup alt milk, preferably unsweetened
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt

Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups pitted cherries (do not drain!)
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 2 scant TBL kudzu starch
  • 1/4 cup cold filtered water
  • optional: agave, sweeten to taste

Go ahead and have a slice or two! Photo courtesy of Monika Soria Caruso of Windy City Vegan.

Directions: Lightly grease your pie or tart pan (standard size for a round pie, or 8″ square) and set aside. Combine all of the crust ingredients in a large bowl and stir vigorously until completely mixed. The dough will resemble wet sand. If you need to soften your coconut oil, do so using a warm water bath or double boiler method. Do not place the oil over direct heat. Turn the dough out into your pan and pat it into place. Transfer the pan to your refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Combine the cherries and strawberries in a small bowl and set aside. In a small cup, combine the kudzu and water and stir to make a slurry. In a small saucepan, slowly heat the slurry until it begins to thicken. If you are keeping this recipe 100% raw, use your sense of touch to ensure the slurry remains lukewarm (or use a candy thermometer to keep it just under 115 degrees F). It will take 10-15 minutes to start to thicken. If you aren’t opposed to heating the starch briefly, then raise the temperature until the slurry is not quite at a simmer – it will thicken almost instantly. Allow the slurry to cool to room temperature, then combine with the fruit. Transfer the bowl to the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours and it will thicken nicely.

After a 2+ hours have passed, pour the pie filling into the crust. Continue to refrigerate for at least another hour before serving. This is best if eaten within 48 hours – after that the filling will begin to seep into the crust.

May 16, 2012

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s featuring Artichokes

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s featuring Artichokes

If you’re encountering artichokes for the first time, these jumbo gems may seem a bit intimidating, but don’t let the thorns fool you. Artichokes are great and absolutely fun to eat! You can steam them, stuff them and make them into soups.

The Basics

For easy eating, cut off the top of the artichoke leaves to remove the thorns.

Working with Artichokes

  1. Wash under cold water
  2. Remove lower, small and discolored leaves
  3. Remove stems if attached
  4. Cut off the top 1/4 of the artichoke and trim any thorns
  5. Keep the trimmed artichokes in acidulated water (one tablespoon lemon juice per quart of water) until time to cook.
  6. Cook as desired but not in aluminum or cast iron pots.
  7. Eat the tender portion at the bottom of each leaf, the heart, and even the soft interior leaves. The fuzzy interior choke is inedible.

Simple Steamed Artichokes

Place trimmed and prepped artichokes on a rack an inch or two above boiling water seasoned with 1/2 teaspoon each of olive oil, lemon juice and peppercorns. Cover and steam 25-45 minutes, until tender and leaves pull apart easily.

Alternately, place artichokes in microwave safe bowl with 1/4 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon each of olive oil, lemon juice and peppercorns, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high 6-7 minutes. Let stand covered for 5 minutes more.

Grilled Artichokes

  1. Prep artichokes by removing the smaller or discolored leaves. Remove the stems, cut of 1/4 of the top of the artichoke and, using scissors, trim the thorns from each leaf.

    Artichokes on the grill at Pezzini Farms in Castroville.

  2. Steam or boil artichokes for 15-25 minutes or until tender and leaves pull off easily.
  3. Slice cooked artichokes in half lengthwise and use a spoon or melon baller to remove the fuzzy choke and first few inner layers in the center.
  4. Brush each half with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Place artichokes, with cut side down first, on a hot grill for 5-7 minutes. Turn and grill an additional 5-7 minutes more. Look for nice grill marks on both sides.
  6. Serve with lemon wedges and your dip of choice (butter, aioli or marinara)

 

When I dip, you dip, we dip!

Here are a couple artichoke dips we know you’ll love.

Low-Cal Dill Dip

From the California Artichoke Advisory Board

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup reduced calorie mayo
  • 2 TBL green onion, minced
  • 3 TBL capers, drained and chopped
  • 3/4 tsp dried dill

Directions: Stir all ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

The Best Dip: Good Ol’ Butter

Most ‘choke fans love to simply tip a steamed artichoke leaf in butter, and we agree with the California Artichoke Advisory Board on this one…adding a little something to the butter makes it even better!

To your butter, try mixing a little garlic powder, lemon juice, parsley or powdered Ranch dressing mix into melted butter!

Sigona’s Marinara

John Sigona says, “I love dipping artichokes in Sigona’s Old World Marinara – been doing it for years – delicious! Plus, our marinara as a dip with artichokes has less calories than mayo or aioli so it’s a healthier alternative.”

Garlic-Chive Aioli

  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 TBL diced fresh chives
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • A pinch of white pepper (or more, to taste)
  • A pinch of cayenne powder (or more, to taste)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions: Mix all the ingredients for the aioli in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Lemon-Thyme Aioli

Courtesy of Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering.

  • 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch sugar

Directions: Mix all the ingredients for the aioli in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

 

Pan Fried Baby Artichokes with Mint and Lemon

Recipe and photo courtesy of Turntable Kitchen. Follow the link below for cooking instructions.

  • Pan Fried Baby Artichokes with Mint and Lemon. Recipe and photo courtesy of Turntable Kitchen.

    1 dozen baby artichokes, trimmed and sliced in half, length-wise (see these tips for trimming baby artichokes in Saveur Magazine)

  • zest from 1/2 Meyer lemon
  • 3-4 anchovy fillets
  • salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped mint, plus more for garnish
  • olive oil
  • juice from 1/2 lemon

Directions: find the directions on the Turntable Kitchen website.

Grandma Pauline’s Traditional Sicilian Stuffed Artichokes

This artichoke recipe evokes vivid memories of my childhood when our extended family would visit my grandmother Pauline, my mom’s mom, and gather around the table set with a huge platter of these stuffed artichokes. Everyone would sit together and reach in to pluck off a leaf – it really brought the family together. Artichokes take a while longer to cook when prepared this way, but each petal bursts with layers of flavor so it’s worth it! Stuffs four large artichokes. – John Sigona, Jr.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large artichokes (slice off the top 1 inch of the entire artichoke, use scissors to cut the tips off of each leaf and then slice off the stem/bottom so it sits up straight)
  • 1-1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup Sigona’s fresh press extra virgin olive oil (we recommend our Spanish Arbequina)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 of one onion, diced
  • 1.5 oz. anchovies, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon

Directions:  In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onions and work for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Stir in the anchovies and melt into the oil. Cook for about 2 minutes.

Add in the breadcrumbs and reduce heat to low. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to bring the mix together. Turn off the burner and then stir in Parmesan. Set mixture aside.

Fit a large pot with a steamer basket and fill with about an inch of water and the juice of 1 lemon. Cover and bring the water to a low boil so it creates steam.

To stuff the artichokes, start at the crown and peel back a petal to make a little pocket. Fill the pocket with a small spoonful of the breadcrumb mix – remember you have 4 artichokes to stuff so measure spoonfuls accordingly. Move to the next petal; repeat until the entire artichoke is stuffed.

Set stuffed artichokes upright on steamer basket and steam until a leaf pulls out easily. Begin checking at about 35 minutes. When done, place on serving dish alongside an empty bowl to dump used leaves.

Artichoke Frittata

Frittatas are simple dishes that take just minutes to prepare and are great for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. They’re different from a quiche in that they do not have a crust. Using egg whites makes for a healthier option, and you can add in as many veggies as you like. For this one, we’re just using artichokes, but if you’re looking to add something, we suggest mushrooms. Serves 4. – Carmelo Sigona

Ingredients:

  • 3 large artichokes
  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 eggs, such as our pastured eggs from Wattle & Comb (you can do 4 whole eggs and 4 egg whites, if desired), lightly beaten with a splash of milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar

Directions: Par (or trim) down the artichokes to the cups – this means peel off all the leaves and cut out the fuzzy choke so all you’re left with is the heart.

Cook the heart of the artichokes in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes. Remove and cool. Then chop into smaller 1-2 inch pieces.

Season and sauté the shallots in olive oil for a couple minutes. Add the garlic and diced artichokes. Stir constantly for several minutes to let all the flavors come together.

Remove from heat and incorporate the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Working quickly, pour egg and artichoke mix into a lightly greased pie or frittata dish. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake at 325F for about 30 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temp.

Grilled Baby Artichokes with Lemon-Thyme Aioli

This recipe, submitted by our friend Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering in San Carlos, is simply mouthwatering. The presentation is pretty snazzy, too! Original post here. Serves 4.

For the artichokes:

  • Grilled Baby Artichokes with Lemon-Thyme Aioli. Recipe and photo courtesy of Luisa Ormonde of Luisa’s Catering.

    1 lemon, halved

  • 12 fresh baby artichokes
  • 1/2 cup (Sigona’s Fresh Press) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed and minced
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the aioli:

  • 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch sugar

Directions: Mix all the ingredients for the aioli in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Squeeze juice from lemon into bowl of cold water. Cut stem off 1 artichoke, leaving about 1 inch. Snap off bottom 3 rows of leaves. Cut off tip of artichoke. Halve artichoke lengthwise. Scrape out choke. Place in lemon water. Repeat with remaining artichokes.

Steam the artichokes until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Drain; pat dry.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Mix oil and garlic in small bowl. Skewer artichokes and brush artichokes with some of garlic oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Grill until tender and charred in spots, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer artichokes to platter.

Serve artichokes warm or at room temperature, offering lemon thyme aioli alongside.

Carmelo’s Creamy Fettuccine with Garlic & Artichokes

This is a recipe I throw together often during artichoke season. The earthy, nutty flavor of the artichokes adds a hearty characteristic to this creamy, lemony comfort dish. – Carmelo Sigona

Ingredients:

  • 1 package fresh Saporito Fine Pasta (found at Sigona’s)
  • 2 large artichokes
  • 1/4 cup Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 TBL heavy cream
  • 2 TBL butter
  • 2 tsp lemon zest (from about 1 small lemon)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Par (or trim) down the artichokes to the cups – this means peel off all the leaves and cut out the fuzzy choke so all you’re left with is the heart.

Cook the heart and stems of the artichokes in boiling water for about 10-15 minutes. Remove and cool. Then rough chop into pieces.

In the meantime, boil the pasta according to package directions. Time the pasta so that it’s cooked to al dente and is ready to go from being drained into the artichoke mix (see direction below).

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil and chopped garlic cloves over medium heat, stirring as to not burn the garlic. Add the wine and reduce by half.  Add the chopped artichoke hearts and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cream and butter. Cook for 1 minute or until butter is melted.

Stir in cooked and drained pasta and then turn off the heat. Gently mix in lemon zest and the parmigiano reggiano cheese. Serve warm.

Grilled Artichokes, Roasted Striped Beets with Rainbow Radishes

Try any variety of beet with this recipe, the striped Chioggia beet makes for a fancy presentation! Recipe and photo courtesy of food blogger Mary Platis of California Greek Girl. Serves 4.

Grilled Artichokes, Roasted Striped Beets with Rainbow Radishes. Recipe and photo courtesy of food blogger Mary of California Greek Girl.

Ingredients:

  • 4 beets, roasted
  • 4 small artichokes, cooked and cleaned
  • 2-3 radishes, cut in half (look for colorful “Easter Egg” radishes. Regular red radishes work too)
  • 2 TBL (Sigona’s Fresh Press) olive oil
  • 1 tsp (Sigona’s traditional) balsamic
  • 2-3 leaves of  parsley, finely chopped
  • wooden kabob skewers (soak in water for at least 10 minutes before skewering food and placing on bbq)

Directions: Wrap the unpeeled beets in foil and roast in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until soft. Peel while still warm, and slice into quarters. Set aside.

Place artichokes in a pot of boiling water, and cook for 35-45 minutes until knife can be pierced easily in the stem.

Peel away all the leaves, remove the center, being careful not to break the artichoke. Trim all around any rough outer leaves. Cut in half and set aside.

Wash and cut radishes in half.

Skewer the cooked beets, radish, and cooked artichoke. Lightly oil the BBQ and cook the skewers for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Sprinkle with fresh parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Serve warm.

 

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