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

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 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.

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.

 

A Pair for the Palate: Savory Goat Cheese with Fig or Pear

A Pair for the Palate: Savory Goat Cheese with Fig or Pear

Spread a little stuffed goat cheese and top with a slice of fresh fig or pear for an additional pop of flavor.

Figs and goat cheese. Figs stuffed with goat cheese and drizzled with honey, for good measure. How about a pear and goat cheese topped green salad? Goat cheese and any fruit for that matter. Can it get any better?

If you love that savory tang of goat cheese paired with the mellow sweetness of fresh or dried fruit, then you’re in for a treat!

Next week, May 23-29, we’re offering a free 4 oz. package of Coach Farm fresh goat cheese stuffed with either figs or pears with your coupon when you spend $30 or more!

Whether on its own, spread on a baguette or paired up with a glass of red or white wine, Coach Farm creamy, spreadable goat cheese with fig or pear is a simple yet luscious treat that’s even better when it’s free.

Make sure to get your free cheese next week then try these goat cheese recipes:

Strawberry Salad with Walnuts & Coach Farm Goat Cheese with Fig

Recipe adapted from Coach Farm. Serves 4.

Fig Balsamic vinaigrette:

  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press Spanish Hojiblanca olive oil
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s fig balsamic
  • 1 tsp finely minced shallot
  • salt to taste

Stuffed goat cheese is delicious when crumbled and sprinkled on a green salad with fresh fruit and nuts.

For salad:

  • 6 cups mesclun or wild arugula (also known as rocket arugula)
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 3 ounces Coach Farm goat cheese with fig, crumbled
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Arrange greens on plates. Top with berries, drizzle with dressing and top with walnuts and crumbled goat cheese. Season with freshly ground pepper.

Coach Farm Goat Cheese Pizza with Pear and Arugula

Recipe adapted from Coach Farm. Serves 2-4.

Ingredients:

  • 1x 12″ Pizza Shell (store bought or make your own)
  • 4 oz. Coach Farm goat cheese with pear, thinly sliced
  • Ripe pears cut in 8 wedges, marinated and grilled
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press Spanish Hojiblanca olive oil
  • 1 cup Baby Arugula
  • 3 TBL Sigona’s traditional balsamic

Directions:

Lay cheese out on a partially baked pizza shell. Top will pear wedges and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake in a hot oven until the crust is fully cooked and the cheese is melted.

Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan or pot, reduce the balsamic over medium-high heat until thicker and syrup-like. Remove from heat, cool at least 5 minutes then toss with the arugula.

Top baked pizza with the arugula and balsamic mixture. Slice and serve.

May 2, 2012

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s featuring Broccolette

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s featuring Broccolette

Aww, the luxury of a quick, healthy vegetable. Broccolette is perfect for a weeknight side dish, plus, it’s all-edible so enjoy the whole thing from stem to top. If necessary, trim about 1/4-1/2 inch from the bottom if the end doesn’t have a fresh cut. Make sure to rinse and dry well before using.

Simple Garlic Sautéed Broccolette

I put the finishing touches on this dish as everyone was about to sit down to Easter dinner. Blanching the broccolette and putting it in an ice bath earlier in the day provides even more sanity for the cook come crunch time. Serves 2. – Carmelo Sigona

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch broccolette (ends trimmed 1/4-1/2 inch if needed)
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • A pinch or two of red pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced

Directions: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccolette to blanch for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and the sliced garlic. Cook for a minute or two, stirring, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Drain the broccolette, pat dry** and add to the sauté pan. Turn heat to medium-high, season, and cook for a minute or two. Turn off heat and serve.

**Cook’s note: Broccolette can be prepared to this point and placed in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, drain and set aside or refrigerate, if waiting 30 minutes or more. Then, just before meal time, pop the cooled broccolette in the sauté pan and follow directions until reheated.

 

Roasted Salmon with Lemon, Garlic & Capers with a side of Parmesan & Lemon Roasted Broccolette

This is a delicious, summery dinner that is full of nutrition and flavor. Recipe and photos courtesy of food and beauty blogger Arantha of Gourmet Beauty. Serves 2. Serve with Parmesan Lemon Roasted Broccolette (recipe follows).

Roasted Salmon with Lemon, Garlic & Capers with Parmesan & Lemon Roasted Broccolette. Recipe courtesy of food and beauty blogger Arantha of Gourmet Beauty.

For the salmon:

  • 2 (6 oz.)  salmon fillets or steaks (or 1 10-12 oz. filet)
  • (Sigona’s Fresh Press) olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4-5 lemon slices
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 tsp. capers, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • A mix of sea salt, pepper. lemon pepper, garlic salt

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • Line a baking pan with aluminum foil.  Place the fillets on the foil and brush with olive oil.
  • Season with diced garlic, sea salt, pepper, lemon pepper and garlic salt. As much or as little you like.
  • Sprinkle a teaspoon of capers on each fillet then top each piece with 2 lemon slices.
  • Mix the lemon juice and white wine together. Evenly spoon the mixture over each piece of salmon.
  • Optional 1: wrap each fillet in foil, sealing in all the juices.  It makes for very moist salmon.
  • Option 2: Place the pan, uncovered, in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until done.
  • Serve with a side of roasted broccolette, recipe below, and brown rice.

For the Parmesan & Lemon Roasted Broccolette

Recipe and photos courtesy of food and beauty blogger Arantha of Gourmet Beauty. Serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 1/2 bunch broccolette (about 6-8 oz.), rinsed and dried very well
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • zest from 1/2 lemon
  • red pepper flakes
  • A mix of sea salt, pepper, lemon pepper, garlic salt
  • grated parmigiano reggiano

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • Place broccolette in a large freezer bag. Add in the olive oil and garlic, and then add salt, pepper, lemon pepper, red pepper flakes and garlic salt to taste. Seal the bag then shake it well to evenly coat the broccolette.
  • Remove from the bag and place broccolette on an unlined baking sheet.  Separate each piece so they aren’t touching. If overcrowded, they won’t roast as well.
  • Roast for about 10 minutes, or until it pierces easily with a fork and some of the heads are turning a bit crispy and brown.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle the parmigiano reggiano evenly over the broccolette.  Return to the oven for 1 minute to let the cheese melt.
  • Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving dish. Pour lemon juice over the top, lightly toss to coat, then sprinkle with the lemon zest.

Broccolette with Asian Orange Dressing

The citrusy-Asian flavor of this dish pairs well with fish, pork or a grain-based meal. Top the finished dish with roasted, chopped cashews and orange segments. Adapted from Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini by Elizabeth Schneider. Serves 4-6 as a side.

Ingredients:

  • 3 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil, such Sigona’s Fresh Press Arbosanna from California (or substitute corn oil)
  • 1 TBL Asian (dark) sesame oil
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s 12-year-aged traditional balsamic
  • 1 TBL Shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)
  • 3/4 TBL grated orange zest
  • 2 TBL fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp. grated ginger, optional
  • 2 small spring onions, chopped
  • 1 lb. broccolette (about 2 bunches), rinsed and dried
  • Optional: roasted, chopped cashews
  • Optional: 4-6 orange segments

Directions: combine oils, balsamic, soy, zest, juice and ginger (if using) in a food processor and whirl to blend. Add the onion and blend until smooth. Continue processing until fairly pale and creamy, not just until pureed.

Set broccolette on a steamer rack over boiling water. Cover and steam until crunchy-tender, about 3-5 minutes.

Remove from steamer and arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle the dressing over the top and serve hot or warm. Top with roasted, chopped cashews and orange segments if desired.

Broccolette & Charred Lemon Flatbread Pizza with Roasted Garlic Spread

This pizza sounds perfect for a springtime lunch or appetizer. Recipe and photos courtesy of Sara and Hugh Forte of Sprouted Kitchen. Add or take away toppings as desired, as Sara says, “I am giving general amounts for the toppings, but pizza should most definitely be made to your preference, so I suggest winging it.” Serves 2 as entree, 4 as an appetizer.

Broccolette & Charred Lemon Flatbread Pizza with Roasted Garlic Spread. Recipe and photos courtesy of Sara and Hugh Forte of Sprouted Kitchen.

For the pizza:

  • Fresh pizza dough for one pizza (Either make your own or use fresh, store-bought dough)
  • 1 small bunch broccolette
  • 1 small Meyer or regular lemon
  • 2 TBL finely chopped shallot
  • 6-8 oz. soft goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmigiano reggiano
  • (Sigona’s Fresh Press) extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Sea salt and pepper, for topping

Roasted garlic spread:

  • 3 TBL (Sigona’s Fresh Press) extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 head roasted garlic (directions below)

Directions: Prepare crust according to instructions. Preheat the oven to 500′.

Steam the broccolette for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove and rinse with cold water. Give it a rough chop and set aside.

Cut the lemon into slices as thin as possible with a serrated knife or mandolin. Remove any seeds.

To make the roasted garlic paste, put the olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of the head into the oil and smush fiercely with a fork to create a paste. You can also use a food processor for smoother consistency.

Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle a bit of cornmeal or flour on a cookie sheet and transfer the dough to the cookie sheet. Evenly spread the garlic paste, add on the desired amount of broccolette, shallots, goat cheese, lemon slices and the grated parmigiano reggiano. Drizzle with olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and put it in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 12-15 minutes until brown spots start to show on top. Remove, slice and enjoy warm. Top with more parmigiano reggiano if desired.

How to prepare roasted garlic: Peel away the outer layers of skin from an entire bulb of garlic, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Cut off 1/4 inch of the top of the bulb.

Place the bulb in a cup of a muffin pan then drizzle with oil. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed. Set aside until cool to the touch.

 

Orzo with Prosciutto, Broccolette, Zucchini and Peas

Recipe from Earthbound Farm, the company from which we get our broccolette. The salad is good at any temperature, making it fantastic fare for your first spring picnic. Serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups orzo
  • 2 bunches broccolette, trimmed and cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/4” thick pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup shelled fresh English peas
  • 8 oz. diced prosciutto
  • 2/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano

Directions: Bring a large pot of well-salted water (at least 4 quarts) to a boil. Add the orzo and stir for 30 seconds. Cook for three minutes. Add the broccolette and cook, covered, until the broccolette is crisp-tender and the orzo is al dente (7-8 mins).

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it just begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the zucchini and raise heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring, until the zucchini is just crisp-tender, about 3 mins. Add the peas, prosciutto and stock, and cook until the peas are crisp-tender, about 2-3 mins.

Drain pasta and broccolette, then add it to the skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is very hot, about 2 mins. Add the mint and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve warm or at room temperature with grated parmigiano reggiano.

April 27, 2012

Sautéed Fava Beans with Herb Grilled King Salmon

Sautéed Fava Beans with Herb Grilled King Salmon

It’s local King salmon season in our neck of the woods, with the season opening for all May 1. We’ll have fresh, wild, line-caught king salmon in our stores starting May 2, courtesy of our friend and local fisherman Dave Kubo. Look for King salmon steaks or fillets. A side of sautéed Fava beans goes wonderfully with grilled salmon.

Sautéed Fava Beans

We’re letting you call the shots with this recipe. Just eyeball what you think you may need for as many people as you plan to feed.

  • As many fresh fava beans as you like (1 lb. in-shell fava beans serves about 1-2 people), shelled and prepared as follows
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • *Cook’s Note: sauté a little shallot or red onion with the garlic for more flavor. You can also top the beans with a little lemon zest.

Directions: To prepare the beans, first prepare an ice bath in a medium bowl. Set aside. Bring a few cups of water to a boil and add shelled fava beans for 4-5 minutes. Drain and plunge boiled beans into the ice bath. Once cool to the touch, drain. To remove the outer skin from the bean, gently pinch the bean and slide out of the skin. Discard the skin.

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the prepared beans and sauté for 5-8 minutes until soft, but not too soft. Season with salt and pepper, serve warm. See cook’s note for adding more flavor.

Herb Grilled King Salmon

  • 3 TBL chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dill weed, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 lemon, sliced in 4 rounds
  • 4 wild king salmon steaks, 1 inch thick

Directions: Combine parsley, dill weed and lemon juice. Rub evenly on both sides of salmon. Grease 4 sheets of foil large enough to wrap fish. Place 1 lemon slice on top of each steak and wrap fish in foil. Cook in covered grill over medium high, direct heat 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily.

Serve with a generous spoonful of the sautéed fava beans on the side.

April 18, 2012

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s featuring Asparagus

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s featuring Asparagus

My one caution about asparagus is not to overcook it, and that’s a pretty universal sentiment. Even going back to Rome, the Emperor Augustus is said to have dispatched orders “to be done in less time than it takes to cook asparagus.”

Grilled Asparagus

Try grilling asparagus to concentrate the taste and add an intense smoky flavor. It’s super simple.

What to do:

  • Toss the asparagus with Sigona’s Fresh Press olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Grill or roast it in a 450º oven until tender and a little bit of charring scars the tips. Keep an eye on it – it’s pretty fast!
  • Take it out and drizzle with more olive oil, if you like, or squeeze on a little fresh lemon juice.
  • Optional: top grilled asparagus with creamy goat cheese for a restaurant-worthy side dish.

Quinoa Salad with Arugula, Asparagus and Avocado

Quinoa Salad with Arugula, Asparagus and Avocado. Recipe and photo courtesy of Amy Sherman of Cooking with Amy.

I love how this recipe uses the flavors of spring! It’s green color makes for a fresh side dish or filling lunch-size salad. Courtesy of San Fran-based food blogger Amy Sherman of Cooking with Amy. Makes 2-4 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained (Look for it in our bulk section)
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 asparagus spears, shaved thin (use a vegetable peeler)
  • 1 handful fresh baby arugula, roughly chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 TBL lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • 2 TBL extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 TBL fresh dill, chopped (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions: In a medium saucepan combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 12- 15 minutes or until liquid is completely absorbed. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, make the dressing by whisking together lemon juice and oil. Add avocado, shaved asparagus, green onion and arugula to the dressing.

Transfer quinoa to a medium bowl and allow to cool. Add quinoa to dressing and arugula mixture; toss with fresh dill and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

Savory Grilled Chicken Breasts with Farro and Asparagus

This “full meal deal” recipe is fantastic for a spring dinner. Fresh asparagus, flavor-packed farro and a quick & easy savory grilled chicken breast is sure to impress any guest. Check out our how-to video for this dish then find the recipe below.

Farro

If making this entire meal, we suggest you start the farro first as it takes the longest to prepare. This recipe will yield about 9 or 10 half-cup servings and is satisfying as a leftover, served hot (as we are with this recipe) or cold as a great accompaniment to a salad.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Farro (Umbrian Farro — look for the Bartolini label)
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock (or broth)
  • 1 1/2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 a yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 a large stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1/2 a large carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 “Red” Fresno chili pepper, de-veined, seeded and very finely diced

Directions: In a large pot heat olive oil. Add diced onion, celery carrot and Fresno pepper and season with salt & pepper. Cook several minutes, working this mixture closely with a wooden spoon. Add the farro and work into the mixture for about a minute.

Next add chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Cover and reduce heat to a low simmer until tender (about 12-15 minutes). Liquid should all be absorbed and the farro should be loose and not stuck together. Serve and enjoy.

Savory Grilled Chicken Breasts

We recommend starting the chicken second so all the dishes finish at the same time.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 large sprigs Rosemary, stripped, chopped and pressed
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s Fresh extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions: Pre-heat stovetop grill to medium high temperature. Cut the two chicken breasts lengthwise as evenly as possible. Remove all the needle-like leaves from the rosemary sprigs.

Chop and press rosemary leaves with your knife to let the highly aromatic oils be released. This will add a great flavor to the chicken breasts.

Add olive oil, salt & pepper and rosemary to the chicken breasts and work into the meat with your hands.

Place the chicken breasts on hot grill for about 2 1/2- 3 minutes on each side. Remove and serve.

Asparagus

No one likes mushy asparagus so be sure not to overcook the spears. It’ll help if you prepare this last.

What you need:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. fresh, local asparagus
  • Large pot of boiling water

Directions: Cut off and discard about 1 1/2 inches of the bottom of the asparagus. Just before you’re ready to sit down for dinner, place asparagus in a pot of rapidly boiling water for about 2 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

Cook’s note: The asparagus will continue to cook once it is out of the pot. This is why I serve immediately. If I plan to use it later, I’ll place it in an ice bath to instantly stop the cooking. I like to eat asparagus firm to be able to taste the sweet, fresh flavor of fresh local asparagus.

 

Asparagus for Any Dish

Once you have prepared asparagus on hand, you can use it in a number of ways. Plus, it’ll keep in the fridge for 4-5 days, so prepare a bunch or two at the beginning of the week so you’re able to grab & go.

What to do:

  • Boil asparagus for a couple of minutes then immediately submerge into an ice bath. This stops the cooking immediately, leaves the nutrients in, keeps the beautiful green color in the asparagus and helps prevent overcooking to the mushy state…nobody like mushy asparagus!

Asparagus prepared this way can be used in salads, future meals, healthy snacks and for the meal at hand. Here are a couple simple ways to prepare cooked asparagus for any dish.

Fresh Asparagus Salad with a Sweet Balsamic Reduction

Asparagus goes well with the flavors of Dijon mustard. If you look up vinaigrette for anything with asparagus, you can bet Dijon will be a star ingredients. Asparagus and balsamic also play well together so this is guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 2-3 TBL Sigona’s traditional balsamic, 12-year-aged
  • 1/2 TBL Dijon mustard
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh basil leaf, julienned
  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil (we suggest our California Arbequina)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted (bake in a single layer at 350F for 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned)

Directions: Boil asparagus for a couple of minutes then immediately submerge into an ice bath. Once cool, remove asparagus and dry with a paper towel. Then cut into thirds, diagonally, and place on a serving platter.

While the asparagus cools, pour balsamic into a small sauté pan over medium-low heat and cook to reduce by half. This can happen quickly, so keep an eye on it. Once reduced, pour it into a small mixing bowl.

To the balsamic add Dijon, basil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Then, while whisking, add the olive oil to emulsify the mixture.

Drizzle the balsamic mixture over the asparagus, toss to coat, and then sprinkle with the toasted almonds.

Pasta with Asparagus, Pancetta and Pine Nuts

Pasta with asparagus, pancetta and pinenuts. Photo and recipe (adapted) from Cooking Light.

It’s asparagus season and we also have in some fantastic new olive oils that make a nice match. Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. uncooked or fresh pasta (such as cavatappi or another spiral shape)
  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 TBL pine nuts (toast them for more flavor, see back)
  • 2 oz. pancetta, diced
  • Juice of 1 lemon (save the peel and grate a bit on top of the finished dish)
  • 2 tsp. Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 3 TBL)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, add asparagus to pan during last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain. Sprinkle pasta mixture with garlic; return to pan, and toss well.
  3. Arrange pine nuts in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 3 minutes or until golden and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Place in a small bowl.
  4. Increase oven temperature to 475°.
  5. Arrange pancetta on jelly-roll pan. Bake at 475° for 6 minutes or until crisp.
  6. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with pine nuts, pancetta, cheese and lemon zest.

 

Baked Asparagus

This is a quick and easy recipe you can use with asparagus this week. Be sure to check the coupon in the e-newsletter to see how you can get your ingredients for free!

What to do:

  • Rub the asparagus with Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350◦ for 7-8 minutes. At the last minute, sprinkle a little parmesan over it. Remove it from the oven, and to finish it, drizzle a little balsamic over it.
  • Serve warm.
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