What's Tasty at Sigona's Farmers Market

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.

April 4, 2012

Bonus Recipes Featuring Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar

Bonus Recipes Featuring Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar

Absolutely one of the best white cheddars we have in our store, the Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar is aged at least 24 months before its made available, making it deliciously creamy with both savory and sweet notes. The Barber family have been in the cheese-making business at Maryland Farm in Somerset, England, since 1833. Get a FREE WEDGE April 4-10, 2012 with your coupon.

Butter Lettuce, Cherimoya, Coppa & Barber’s Cheddar Salad with a Summery Vinaigrette

The delicate flavors of butter lettuce and cherimoya are balanced here with flavorful Choppa and the Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar. Topped with a lovely olive oil and peach balsamic vinaigrette, this makes a great side or brunch salad. Enjoy!

Salad:

  • Heart of butter leaf lettuce
  • 1 small-medium cherimoya, *peeled, cubed and seeded (it’s easier to remove the seeds after it’s cut)
  • 3 slices (about 1.5 oz.) Coppa (an air dried, very thinly sliced pork) or substitute Braesaola, diced
  • A bit of Barber’s 1833 Vintage Cheddar, shaved or crumbled (about 1 oz. per serving; more or less as desired) get it FREE!
  • Fresh chives, minced

*Cook’s note: Scoop out the flesh of a halved cherimoya as you would a halved avocado. Use a large spoon and scoop along the line where the peel meets the fruit. Then dice the two removed fruit halves into cubes and remove the seeds.

Vinaigrette:

Mix together in a small bowl a 2:1 ratio of the following:

  • Sigona’s Fresh Press Hojiblanca olive oil from Spain (our April olive oil of the month)
  • Sigona’s Summertime Peach Balsamic

Directions: Slice or tear the butter lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Drizzle about 3/4ths of the vinaigrette over the top and toss to mix well.

Split the lettuce among two plates then layer on the cherimoya cubes (seeds removed), Coppa and cheddar. Top the plates with a final drizzle of the remaining vinaigrette and top with minced chives.

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 (get it FREE!)

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.

Rachael Ray’s Turkey Burgers with Cheddar, Poached Pears and Pepper Relish

Don’t make us twist your arm; the poached pear on this burger, topped with melted cheese, will keep you coming back for more. Try it with either our Sweet Red Pepper Relish or jalapeno jelly and you won’t regret it! Serves 6. For a picture of the finished burger, visit Rachael Ray’s official website.

Ingredients:

  • Sigona's sweet red pepper relish2 lbs. ground turkey breast
  • 4 green onions, white parts only, finely chopped
  • 2 TBL Dijon mustard
  • Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 TBL fresh thyme, chopped (fresh makes a difference)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large Bartlett pear, firm but ripe, cut lengthwise into six 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups shredded white cheddar, such as Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar (get it FREE!)
  • Sigona’s Red Pepper Relish OR jalapeño jelly (at least 6 TBL)
  • 6 extra-large English muffins, split and toasted (Sourdough is nice)

Directions: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the turkey, green onions, mustard, lemon peel and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Shape into six 3/4 inch-thick patties.

In a small nonstick skillet, add the pear slices, wine, lemon juice and enough water to just cover the pear. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the pear is softened, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pear slices to a plate.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil, one turn of the pan, over medium heat. Add the turkey patties and cook, turning once, for 12 minutes. Top with the cheese and pear slices, tent the pan with foil and cook until the cheese is melted, 2 minutes.

Spread 1 tablespoon pepper relish/jelly on each English muffin bottom; top with a patty and an English muffin top.

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s for Passover and Easter

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s for Passover and Easter

When it comes to food, this time of year is one of the most meaningful and festive as the next week marks one of the most widely observed times of the religious year for Christian and Jewish families. Our Sigona family knows more about the Easter foods and traditions, but two things are common to both feasts:  food and family.

Easter recipes from Sigona’s Family & Friends

Grandma Pauline’s Traditional Sicilian Stuffed Artichokes

John Sigona, Jr.

Family recipe from John Sigona, Jr., co-owner

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
  • 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.

Gloria’s Mama’s Capirotada – A Mexican Bread Pudding

Gloria Gandolfo

Family recipe from Gloria Gandolfo (part of the Sigona’s family for more than 25 years).

My mother has made this bread pudding at Easter for as long as I can remember, and it’s something our family looks forward to each year. To make it unique and festive, she dots the top with Easter-colored food coloring. This traditional Mexican dessert is flavorful, rich, sweet and comforting, and is best served warm. – Gloria Gandolfo

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups day-old French bread (be sure it’s not sourdough), sliced and cubed
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 3 cones of piloncillo (or 2 cups brown sugar)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp anise seeds
  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup raisins, soaked in warm water to soften
  • 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (or Queso Fresco, crumbled) Note: my mother usually sprinkles a bit more cheese on top when the pudding is done baking, so add an extra 1/4 cup of cheese if you plan do to the same.
  • 1 TBL orange zest
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup sherry

Note: Some recipes call for apples. If using, peel, core and chop 2 large sweet apples, such as Fujis.

Directions: In a large bowl, combine almonds, raisins, zests and 1/2 cup cheese (and apples, if using). Stir in cloves and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add in the bread and work until just golden. Then add in the fruit mixture and remove from heat.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine water, anise seeds, piloncillo (or brown sugar) and cinnamon stick. Boil gently until the liquid becomes syrupy, about 6 minutes.

Prepare a large baking dish by rubbing bottom and sides liberally with butter. Pour half of the bread mixture into the baking dish and top with half of the syrup mix. Repeat with the remaining bread and syrup.

Bake for 35 minutes 350 degrees.

While the pudding is baking, beat egg yolks in a medium bowl until foamy and smooth. Whisk in the milk, salt and sherry until smooth. Pour over partially cooked bread and bake for another 25-35 minutes or until top is golden. Sprinkle on more cheese if desired. Serve warm.

Grandpa John Sigona Sr.’s Easter Gnocchi

Carmelo Sigona

Family recipe from Carmelo Sigona, co-owner

I’ve got to say my father started me cooking at a very early age. I remember some of the first meals I cooked for the family were enjoyed and I got the kudos. Thus began my enthusiasm for experimenting with cooking.

I’ve been cooking potato gnocchi for some time, but only this Easter have I asked my father for his recipe.

Now, with my father at 87 years old, my conversation starts with him saying, “Carmelo you’ve got to feel the dough. Do you know what I mean?”

I smile and say, “Yes, dad, continue.”

We’ll I’ve decided to morph my dad’s scant directions with a few tips I’ve learned along the way to present to you a very simple, easy gnocchi recipe. – Carmelo Sigona

First, a few tips:

  • Potato selection: I love Yukon gold potatoes for their consistency and sweetness but almost any kind of potatoes will do.
  • Boiling potatoes: Boil them with skin on; this will keep the potatoes from absorbing too much water. Also don’t overcook: just until fork tender. You don’t want waterlogged and soggy potatoes.
  • Peeling potatoes: Peel the potatoes warm and keep them warm when working them.
  • Preparing potatoes: Use a potato ricer or strainer to keep the potatoes light and airy.
  • Making the dough: When working the dough, add just enough flour to bind the mixture. Don’t overwork the dough. You want your gnocchi light.
  • Cooking gnocchi: When cooking, have your water boiling gently. A high-rolling boil will destroy these tender morsels.

OK, now the recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 potatoes, boiled, drained, peeled and riced/strained as suggested above.
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Directions: Combine ingredients in a bowl and gently mix with your hands (dust your hands with flour to help with mixing). Next, flour your counter top and hands and dump the combined ingredients onto the floured counter. Divide dough into small portions.

Roll out each portion with your hands until you have achieved the “snakes,” about ½ inch thick.

Once these are rolled out, cut into about 1/2 inch pieces.

You’ll notice some gnocchi have a ridged design – this is done by rolling the gnocchi over the backside of a fork prongs. You don’t have to roll the gnocchi over the backside of the fork to achieve the ridges; it’s not necessary, but it’s a nice touch if you wish. To do so, lightly roll over the backside of a fork on each gnocchi to imprint those little ridges.

In a large pot of gently boiling water, put small batches of gnocchi into the water for 30-45 seconds until it comes to the top (similar to how you know ravioli is cooked).

Drain and set aside.

Enjoying gnocchi

Now there’s a couple of ways to go from this point.

I like to have my sauce warm and ready to add the cooked gnocchi right in. I like to use a creamy Gorgonzola, using one of our may Gorgonzolas from Italy, or a butter and sage sauce, my two favorites. You can also use a basic marinara sauce. Just ready and place the gnocchi right into the sauce.

You can also place gnocchi into an ice bath to stop the cooking, drain and set aside for when you are ready to put into a sauce and serve.

Either way once you plate the gnocchi top with a little extra Parmigiano Reggiano and serve.

Paul Sigona

Paul Sigona’s Baby Artichoke Sauté

As luck would have it, Easter and the peak of local artichoke season is about the same time of year. I made this baby artichoke sauté for Easter once years ago and now it’s the dish everyone expects me to bring to the feast. It’s simple, but the garlic and olive oil add depth of flavor. – Paul Sigona, co-owner

What you do: Choose the smallest baby artichokes you can find. Trim them down until you reach the smooth, tender leaves. Cut in half and sauté in olive oil and minced garlic until browned and warmed through. They will have a firm and somewhat crispy texture.

The real secret here is not parboiling the small artichokes. The texture you’ll experience is similar to the grilled artichokes you’ll find in Sicily. It’s that easy. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Passover Recipes from Sigona’s Family & Friends

Special thanks go out to Sigona’s shoppers Helen Steinberg and Mrs. Ella Potash, from the Redwood City Jewish Center (www.jewishredwoodcity.com), for sharing these recipes.

Beautiful blossoms are a sure sign of spring.

Beet, Fennel & Jicama Slaw

Now that it’s getting warmer the beets and fennel are great. Doesn’t this salad sound fantastically fresh and delicious!

For the salad, gather even amounts of:

  • Raw red beets
  • Jicama
  • Fennel

For the dressing, you’ll need:

  • Fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press EVOO
  • Salt & pepper

Directions: Julienne even amounts of raw red beet, jicama and fennel. Place the beets in a bowl of cold water before mixing with the other vegetables so that they don’t color the other vegetables.

Make a dressing with 4 to 1 ratio of olive oil to lemon juice. Season with salt. Mix salad and serve chilled.

Traditional Charoset

A little history: Before the main course at a family Passover, the family — along with friends and others who join them — retell the story of liberation from slavery in Egypt and they use special foods help tell the story. One of these is Charoset, a mixture of fruit and nuts. It symbolizes the mortar the Hebrew slaves were forced to make to build in ancient Egypt.

When most American Jewish families sit down to their family Seder, the Charoset is a mixture of apples, nuts and wine, while other Jewish ethnicities favor different ingredients. For example, Sephardic Jews, those who come from Spanish, Arabic or Mediterranean lands, often use what’s popular in their own countries, such as dates or figs, pomegranates, pine nuts or even coconut.

Ingredients:

  • 5 large Red Delicious apples, cored, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet wine

Directions: Combine the apples with the walnuts. Slowly add the wine. Mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • One (1) 3 pound Rocky Jr. whole bird chicken, quartered
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 5 carrots
  • 1 sweet potato
  • Water to cover
  • 2 tablespoons salt

Directions: Peel all vegetables. Slice carrots and chunk potatoes. Place chicken and vegetables in 6-quart pot. Add salt and water to cover. Bring to boil. Lower flame and simmer an additional 1 1/4 hours.

Passover Sponge Cake

Ingredients:

  • 7 eggs, separated
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 cup potato starch, sifted twice
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

Directions: Begin by separating the seven eggs and placing the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another. Add the 1 whole egg to the yolks and set aside.

Beat the egg whites until stiff, gradually adding sugar. Set aside.

Beat yolks in their bowl. Add lemon juice. Gently fold yolks into whites. Gradually fold potato starch into batter.

Pour into ungreased tube pan and bake at 350F for about 70 minutes. Remove from oven and invert cake to cool.

Modern Potato Pancakes (Latkes)

Who says you always have to peel potatoes! These potato pancakes are different because you don’t have to peel the potatoes; you just prepare them in the blender, so it’s easy too! Recipe courtesy of Helen Steinberg.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw baking potatoes, unpeeled (2 large potatoes)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 – 1 cup matzo meal
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Cooking oil for browning

Directions: Cut potatoes into the shape of French fries, placing the cuts in a bowl of water as you go. Drain and dry very well.

Put ingredients in the blender in the following order: diced onion, eggs, drained and dried potatoes, seasonings and then meal. Cover and turn on blender, stopping after all potatoes are ground up (about 1/2 minute). If mixture is too loose, add another cut of potato and add to the mixture. Drain off excess liquid.

Drop by tablespoonfuls into hot oil and brown on both sides. The latkes may be placed under the broiler for a few minutes to drain off excess oil. Serve with applesauce or sour cream.

Cook’s note: If preparing these any other time besides Passover, adjust recipe as follows: 1 TBL flour or matzo meal, plus a pinch of baking powder if desired.

Helen’s Green Apple Applesauce

There’s little to no sugar in this recipe, which makes it more figure friendly. Variation on Theme (similar to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony): you may also add cooked plums, peaches, pears, cherries or apricots to apple mixture. Either cook separately or together. Recipe courtesy of Helen Steinberg.

Ingredients:

  • 12 green apples, unpeeled*
  • A pinch of sugar (or Stevia or organic agave syrup)
  • A pinch of cinnamon, optional, to taste
  • Water to cover apples

*Cook’s Note: If you do not have a Foley Mill, you’ll have to peel the apples and puree them in a blender.

Directions: Core and dice apples. Place in a big soup pot with sugar and cinnamon. Cover with water and bring to a boil. When soft, drain and process in a Foley Mill to an applesauce consistency.

March 21, 2012

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s featuring Spectacular Cheeses

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s featuring Spectacular Cheeses

We have some incredible cheeses on sale this week at Sigona’s…savings this extreme don’t come around too often, so hurry in to try these cheeses today! The following are recipes for a few of our super-sale cheeses – including one you can get for free next week, March 28-April 3, 2012 – to get you started. These prices are available for a limited time.

le Petit d’Affinois Serving Suggestions (on sale for $3.99 9.5 oz., reg. $12.99 9.5 oz.)

le Petit d'Affinois cheese at Sigona'sBake, wrap, slice, cook? Are you thinking, “I don’t have time for all that!” Well, you’re in luck. Simply arrange a round of this creamy, rich and buttery le Petit d’Affinois on a platter and top/decorate with some of these suggestions:

  • Top with sun-dried tomato puree and serve with wedges of red bell peppers, kalamata olives and sliced baguettes
  • Prepare slices of Brie and drizzle them with preserves or honey
  • Feel free to experiment with chutneys, jellies or marmalades and serve with crackers. Use holiday colors (jalapeno jelly, red pepper relish, blueberry chutney, etc.) to wow the crowd on the big day
  • Mixed dried fruits and nuts
  • Brie always pairs nicely with seasonal fruits, such as berries.

Village (Greek) Salad with Epiros Greek Feta (get it free with your coupon)

Village Greek Salad_photo by Peter Minaki

Village Greek Salad with Epiros Greek Feta. Recipe and photo courtesy of Peter Minaki of http://www.kalofagas.ca.

Oh yes! There is nothing more delicious than a large Greek salad topped with Feta and oregano! If the picture isn’t enough to make your mouth water, read through the list of ingredients and you will be in no time. Absolutely delicious! Get a 7 oz. container of Epiros Greek Feta FREE next week (March 28-April 3, 2012) with your coupon. Recipe courtesy of Peter Minaki of the food blog Kalofagas, Greek Food and Beyond. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes, rinsed & cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 cucumber, washed and sliced
  • 2 sweet banana peppers, sliced, OR 1/2 sliced & seeded bell pepper (color of your choice)
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 Kalamata olives (find them at the Sigona’s olive bar!)
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • Epiros Greek Feta, served in cubes, batons or slabs (get a free 7 oz. container with your coupon March 28 – April 3, 2012!)
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp. dried Greek oregano
  • Garnish of capers or purslane (optional)

Directions: Add your tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, onions and olives together in a large bowl and sprinkle with some sea salt and mix well to combine. Drizzle in some olive oil and sprinkle in about 3/4 of the dried oregano, stir to combine.

Either leave in the large bowl or scoop out onto 4 salad plates. Top with Feta, drizzle on a bit more olive oil on the Feta and sprinkle with a little more oregano. Garnish with capers or purslane, if desired. Serve with good crusty bread.

Stilton and Walnut Quesadillas with Apple Fig Salsa (on sale for $9.99 lb., reg. $19.99 lb.)

Stilton and Walnut Quesadillas with Apple Fig Salsa

Stilton and Walnut Quesadillas with Apple Fig Salsa. Recipe and photo via Stilton Cheese.

Why not try this instead of a plain ol’ toasted cheese next time you’re seeking a quick comfort dish? Cheese and apple is a classic combo, and with the addition of walnuts and figs, this dish sparkles while balancing the bold flavor of Stilton. Adapted from Stilton Cheese. Serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. crumbled Stilton Blue
  • 2 oz. California walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • Half a large Golden Delicious apple, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • 2 oz. dried Calimyrna figs
  • 1 TBL fresh lemon juice
  • Four 6 – 7 inch tortillas (flour or other)
  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 390F

2. In a bowl stir together apple, figs, and lemon juice to form the salsa.

3. Put 2 tortillas on a baking sheet and brush with some oil. Turn tortillas over. Sprinkle tortillas with walnuts and Stilton and cover with remaining 2 tortillas, pressing gently.

4. Brush tops with remaining oil and bake in middle of oven until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

5. Cut into wedges and top each wedge with a spoonful of the salsa.

Eggplant Rolls with Prosciutto & Pecorino Gran Cru (on sale for $9.99 lb., reg. $19.99 lb.)

Eggplant rolls with prosciutto and pecorino cheese

Eggplant Rolls with Prosciutto and Pecorino Gran Cru. Recipe and photo via Academia Barilla.

Pecorino Gran Cru has a strong flavor that pairs well with the prosciutto and infuses the eggplant, adding depth of flavor. These rolls are well suited for a light lunch or as Hors’devours. Recipe adapted from Academia Barilla. Serves 4 (about 3-4 rolls each).

Ingredients:

  • 1 large, long eggplant, about 21 oz
  • 12 slices prosciutto
  • 3 oz. Pecorino Gran Cru, grated (on sale this week at Sigona’s!)
  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 12-14 fresh chives (as long as possible, for tying around eggplant rolls)
  • Salt, to taste

Cook’s tip: Watch this how-to video from Academia Barilla for step-by-step instructions.

Directions: Thinly slice the eggplants lengthwise into 12 long pieces. Brush both sides with olive oil, and then grill for no longer than 2 minutes, turning once, on a pre-heated grill.

While the eggplant slices are still hot off the grill, sprinkle one side of each with grated Pecorino. Top with a slice of prosciutto and then carefully roll them together, using chives to wrap around, tie and secure each roll. This adds a final touch of flavor and a“wow” factor.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Baber’s White Cheddar Serving Suggestions (on sale for $9.99 lb., reg. $16.99 lb.)

Baber's aged White Cheddar at Sigona'sThis isn’t just any white cheddar! Baber’s has been aged one year, making for a nice and complex, mature cheddar that is incredibly diverse.

  • Put it out as a great table cheese
  • Slice some and pack it along with a refreshing apple for a mid-afternoon snack
  • Make flavorful mac ‘n cheese
  • Croque Monsieurs, anyone?
  • Kick back for the evening and pair Baber’s with a nice glass of chilled, white wine

Kohlrabi Gratin with BioParmesan & Cheddar Cheese (on sale for $9.99 lb.,  reg. $16.99 lb.)

Kohlrabi gratin with Bio Parm and Cheddar

Kohlrabi Gratin with Bio Parm and White Cheddar. Photos and recipe courtesy of Jessica Metzler of Meal-A-Day.

Looking for a warm, comforting side dish other than regular potatoes au gratin? This dish combines a few other root vegetables as well as a combination of nutty parmesan and creamy white cheddar that’s sure to satisfy. Serve with maple balsamic glazed ham. Recipe courtesy of Jessica Metzler, author of the vegetarian food blog Meal-A-Day.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 small Kohlrabies (smaller ones are more tender)
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 small potatoes (such as Yukon Gold)
  • Breadcrumbs (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 -2 cups combo of shredded white cheddar and parmesan (such as Baber’s White Cheddar – on sale this week – and our outstanding BioParm —  also on sale this week!)
  • 1 cup milk or soy milk, warmed
  • 2 TBL butter, plus more to grease baking dish (or use other method to do so)
  • 2 TBL flour
  • salt & pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×9 baking dish and sprinkle some bread crumbs over the bottom of the dish.

Prepare vegetables by washing and peeling. Cut the woody base and leafy tops off the kohlrabi (you can save the leafy bits and eat them like spinach, if they’re fresh). Peel with a paring knife until no veins are visible. Peel carrots and potatoes. Slice all vegetables thinly with either a food processor or mandolin. Parboil vegetables for about 7 min., or until just tender. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt 2 TBL of butter in a pan then whisk in 2 TBL of flour to start a roux. Cook for a few minutes and allow to brown slightly. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of warm milk or soy milk. Whisk continuously over low-med heat until the sauce thickens. Stir in the cheese until it melts.

Place parboiled vegetables in a large bowl and pour cheese sauce over top. Add salt & pepper and gently stir to combine. Pour mixture into baking dish and top with bread crumbs. Bake for 30-45 min. When the bread crumbs are browned and the cheese is bubbly, it’s done.

 

Caprese Salad with Mozzarella di Bufala Pomella (on sale for $2.99 8oz.,  reg. $ 12.99 8 oz.)

Caprese salad with Mozzarella di Bufala Pomella

Caprese salad with Mozzarella di Bufala Pomella.

A caprese salad is one of the best ways to enjoy the three star ingredients: tomato, mozzarella and basil. The Mozzarella di Bufala is made with buffalo milk, creating a creamy, sweet and delicate cheese that’s not to miss.

What you’ll need:

  • Basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • An assortment of large tomatoes, sliced
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Mozzarella di Bufala Pomella (on sale this week at Sigona’s!)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Sigona’s traditional balsamic, optional

Directions: Slice the tomatoes first, lightly salt and let them rest for a few minutes to bring out the intense tomato flavor. Slice the mozzarella into slices similar in size to the tomato slices.

On a long, thin serving platter, lay a tomato slice at one end, followed by a basil leaf and then a slice of the mozzarella. Continue the pattern until the ingredients are gone. Drizzle the display with olive oil and a little sprinkle of pepper to taste. For garnish, roll a few basil leaves up and slice little shavings using scissors and a drizzle of balsamic, optional. Serve at room temperature.

 

Bonus Recipes featuring Sigona’s Dark Maple Balsamic

Bonus Recipes featuring Sigona’s Dark Maple Balsamic

From ham to Brussels sprouts to pot stickers, our Dark Maple Balsamic is guaranteed to tickle your taste buds. This balsamic is a first-of-its-kind and is made using real, 100% pure maple produced by a small family farm in Vermont. Try out some of these recipes below and make sure you take advantage of our super sale! Get a 200 ml. bottle for just $4.99 (Reg. $7.99) March 28 – April 3. A sale just in time for Easter menu planning.

Maple-Balsamic Glazed Pork Chops

Sigona's Dark Maple Balsamic on super sale March 28 - April 3, 2012. This dish is simple for any night of the week, yet impressive enough to be served for Sunday dinner. Delicious! Recipe courtesy of Rachel Bradley-Gomez of Au Jardin Potager. Serves 4

Pork Chops

  • 8 boneless pork chops, 1/2-inch thick, trimmed
  • 1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press olive oil (we suggest a robust oil)
  • 3 TBL finely sliced shallots
  • 1/3 cup Sigona’s Dark Maple Balsamic

Directions: Pat pork chops dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with sea & and pepper. In a nonstick, 12 inch skillet, heat the olive oil over med-high heat. Cook chops for 4 minutes on one side, turn over and cook 3 minutes the other. Transfer to platter and keep warm with a tent of aluminum foil.

Increase heat to high and stir the shallot into the pan juices. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the balsamic, scrap up any brown bits from the pan, and cook down for an additional 2-4 minutes or until reduced so it’s at a syrup-like consistency. Adjust seasoning with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

To serve, ladle the pan sauce over the pork chops.

 

Carmelo’s Buckwheat Pancakes with a Dark Maple-Olive Oil Syrup

Buckwheat is a fantastic alternative for those who are gluten intolerant or are seeking a healthier alternative to from-the-box pancake mixes. I simply love mixing our Dark Maple Balsamic with our Arbequina olive oil because the olive oil is mild and buttery in flavor so there is no need to add on extra butter. It’s a two-for-one! Serves 4-6.

Pancakes:

  • 2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 2 1/2 TBL brown sugar (or raw sugar or honey)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs (try our pastured Wattle & Comb eggs!)
  • 2 cups low-fat buttermilk or milk (buttermilk makes for a richer flavor)
  • 2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press olive oil OR melted butter

Balsamic Syrup:

Whisk well together equal parts:

  • Sigona’s Fresh Press Arbequina Olive Oil
  • Sigona’s Dark Maple Balsamic

Adjust flavor by adding more of one or the other to achieve best flavor.

Optional:

  • Fresh, in-season berries
  • Very thinly sliced apple

Directions: Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl then create a crater in the middle of the mix.

In a smaller bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the crater made in the dry ingredients and stir together to mix.

Preheat your skillet to optimum pancake-cooking temperature. If desired, add some cooking spray or oil. Pour about a 1/3 cup of the mix onto the skillet or griddle at a time. Cook on one side until tiny bubbles appear, then flip the pancake and cook until evenly browned on both sides and cooked through.

Serve with the Dark Maple Balsamic-Olive Oil syrup. Add on fresh berries for a sweet treat.

 

Maple & Pineapple Glazed Ham

Perfect for Easter, don’t you think? Find both the Dark Maple Balsamic and the Right Brain Kitchens’ Pineapple Upside Down Jam ONLY at Sigona’s. Recipe courtesy of our own Joseph Loewinsohn. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar Pineapple Upside Down Jam (from Right Brain Kitchens, sold ONLY at Sigona’s)
  • Sigona’s Dark Maple Balsamic
  • 1 ham, size, style and cut are your choice

Directions: Mix together, a little at a time, a combination of the Dark Maple Balsamic and the Pineapple Upside Down Jam until you get the flavor you desire for the amount you need.

Score the fatty side of ham in a crisscross fashion and place in a baking dish, fatty side up. Use a pastry brush or simply, and gently, top the ham with the jam mix, using a pastry brush to ensure the mix makes it well in between the scoring lines.

Bake ham according to size or any included instructions. During the final 30 minutes of cooking, glaze every 5-7 minutes using a bulb baster to draw up the excess liquid/glaze in the pan. If you think the glaze will get too brown before the ham is done, simply tent the ham in foil for the remainder of the cooking time (but continue to baste).

If using a pre-cooked ham, simply glaze ham every 7-10 minutes until it’s hot throughout and the glaze gets sticky.

Cook’s Note: If you want to serve extra maple-pineapple mix alongside the ham, mix together more maple balsamic and pineapple jam, reduce the combination in a sauté pan for a few minutes, and serve warm.

 

Brussels Sprouts with Dark Maple Balsamic TWO WAYS

Brussels Sprouts roasted with Dark Maple Balsamic. Photo and recipe courtesy of food blogger Caroline of After Dinner Dance.

Brussels Sprouts roasted with Dark Maple Balsamic

This recipe, courtesy of Caroline, author of the food blog After Dinner Dance, is simple, healthy and delicious. Roasting the Brussels sprouts with the balsamic makes for a richer, more caramelized flavor. Serves 2-4 as a side.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 TBL Sigona’s Dark Maple Balsamic
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1)      Preheat oven to 400F.

2)      Cut the ends off of your Brussels sprouts and remove a few of the outer leaves.

3)      Chop your Brussels sprouts in half and place them on a baking sheet or pan.

4)      Combine the olive oil and balsamic, then drizzle evenly over your Brussels sprouts. Season with salt and pepper.

5)      Toss your Brussels sprouts to coat them with the glaze.

6)      Roast Brussels sprouts in oven for 35 minutes, flipping halfway through.

7)      Adjust seasoning as needed and serve warm.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts Drizzled with Dark Maple Balsamic

This recipe, courtesy of our very own Joseph Loewinsohn, calls for the Sigona’s Dark Maple Balsamic to be drizzled on at the end, bringing out a more prominent maple and balsamic flavor. Pairs famously with maple balsamic glazed ham. Serves 4 as a side.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
  • 1 – 1 1/2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil (a mild cultivar, such as Mission or Sweet Barnea)
  • At least 1/2 cup low- or no-salt stock OR water (may need more, see below)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 TBL Sigona’s Dark Maple Balsamic (more or less depending on preference)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Trim the bottom of each sprout and remove a few outer leaves. Slice them in half and place them in a skillet, cut side down, with a splash of either very mild olive oil (such as Mission or Sweet Barnea, rather than a bold oil that would overpower the flavor of the Brussels sprouts) and cook over medium high heat, cut side down, until the sprouts get some color (4-5 mins).

Flip them all over and immediately de-glaze the pan with a generous splash of no-salt stock or water, cover and simmer for 10 min or until the sprouts are fork tender (most of the stock/water should be absorbed). If not for tender when moisture is absorbed, add in a little more stock or water and continue simmering.

Pour into a serving dish, drizzle with a little more olive oil or toss in a pad of butter (optional), drizzle with Sigona’s Dark Maple Balsamic and then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

 

Maple-Sesame Pot Sticker Dipping Sauce

Whether you’ve made your own or picked some up at the store, pot stickers are always best served with a sauce for dipping. Sweet and tangy, this simple recipe is a Sigona’s favorite.

What you need:

  • Sigona’s roasted sesame oil
  • Sigona’s Dark Maple Balsamic
  • Optional: red chili flakes

What to do: In a small bowl, mix together 1 TBL roasted sesame oil and 1 TBL Dark Maple Balsamic. Give it a taste, add more of one ingredient if necessary to adjust flavor. Add in a shake or two of red chili flakes to give it a little heat. Serve with warm pot stickers.

March 7, 2012

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s: Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s: Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

We can’t let St. Patrick’s Day go by without offering a few traditional Irish recipes! Here’s a complete menu, from bread to entrée to dessert. Enjoy!

Mrs. O’Callaghan’s Soda Bread

Peter, our wine and beer specialist, has an Irish heritage and said without hesitation that we should include a recipe for Soda Bread. The next day, I had a copy of the March 2010 issue of Bon Appetit on my desk with a note saying this recipe for Mrs. O’Callaghan’s Soda Bread is a must – so here it is! Recipe from Bon Appetit, March 2010. Makes 1 loaf.

*Mrs. O’Callaghan makes this bread in a rectangular pan.

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled margarine or butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. salt (optional, to take away from the sweetness of the bread)

Directions: Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray heavy baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk both flours, sugar, and baking soda in medium bowl to blend. Add margarine and cut in until margarine is reduced to pea-size pieces. Add buttermilk; stir until shaggy dough forms. Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until dough comes together, about 10 turns. Shape dough into 9-inch round (the round should be about 1 inch high). Place dough on prepared baking sheet. Cut large X, 1/2 inch deep, in top of dough, almost all the way to the edges of the round.

Bake bread in center of oven until deep brown and bottom sounds hollow when firmly tapped (a bamboo skewer inserted into the center of the bread should emerge clean without any stickiness or moistness), about 55-60 minutes. Transfer bread to rack and cool completely.

Corned Beef Dinner

We’ve included a recipe for Corned Beef to go with your Soda Bread. Everyone has their own recipe for corned beef, using a different brine mix or vegetables, but we like this one best. We’re recommending you find a recipe for your own brine/marinade or find a brisket at the butcher’s that has already been marinating. Feel free to tweak as you wish and have a great St. Patrick’s Day celebration! Serves 6.

  • Brined beef brisket (fresh, 4 to 5 pounds), fat trimmed off
    • (remember, we’re leaving the brisket brine part up to you – some recipes ask that the brisket has been in a brine for three or more days — most recommend 7 days — so plan ahead!)
  • 3 medium carrots , peeled and sliced in half and then quartered
  • 2 medium rutabagas, peeled and diced into chunks (about 2” pieces)
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and diced into chunks (about 1.5” pieces)
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, washed and quartered
  • 1 green cabbage, cut into 6-8 wedges
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed (optional – we’re Sicilian…we have to put a little garlic in everything!)
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 Bay leaf

Directions: Rinse brined brisket and pat dry. In a large deep pot or Dutch oven, add the beef, carrots, cloves, garlic (if desired) and bay leaf, and add cold water until beef is covered. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 2 1/2 – 3 hours until beef is nearly tender (depends on the size of the brisket you use).

Note: You can either use this time to enjoy a good Irish beer and relax, mix up a batch of dough for the Soda Bread, follow a rainbow to search for a pot o’ gold, find people who aren’t wearing green and give them a pinch (not too hard!) or, if you haven’t done so already, prepare the rest of the vegetables as noted above.

When beef is cooked and tender (where it looks about like it could come apart easily) Remove the brisket and cover with foil to help keep it warm. Sometimes I heat the oven to about 200°F and pop the covered brisket in to keep it warm.

Skim any fat off the top of the broth and add in all remaining vegetables except the cabbage. Bring mixture to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes and then gently add in the cabbage wedges. Cover and simmer for 10 more minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Serve the corned beef in a shallow bowl alongside some horseradish and/or a grainy mustard. Don’t forget the Soda Bread!

St. Patrick’s Day Murphy’s Stout Brownies

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, Peter also suggests these brownies as a “must try.” Adapted from Tate’s Bake Shop in New York state, the original recipe called for Guinness, but we’re swapping that for Murphy’s. Yield: 16 brownies.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 12 oz. high quality milk chocolate, chopped
  • 6 TBL salted butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/4 cup Murphy’s Draught Style Stout — on special at Sigona’s!
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • Optional: top with Bailey’s Whipped Cream (recipe follows)

Directions: Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Butter and line with parchment paper a 9-inch square pan. Set aside.

Melt milk chocolate and butter together until just melted, either in the microwave or in a small pot. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk together and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar together, using a whisk attachment, until light and fluffy.

Beat in chocolate mixture until smooth. Scrape down bowl.

Stir in flour mixture and mix, scraping down side of the bowl.

Stir in Murphy’s until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle the top evenly with dark chocolate chips.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out almost clean. NOTE: Do not cover, bake, but bake a bit longer than a normal brownine.

Remove from oven and let cool in the pan. Cut into squares and serve.

Top ‘em with a little Bailey’s Whipped Cream: in a large mixing bowl, beat 2 cups heavy cream and 2 TBL sugar together using a whisk attachment. When just staring to stiffen, pour in 1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream and continue to mix until soft peaks form. Serve a dollop on top of each plated brownie.

February 8, 2012

Eating (local) Greens is a Special Treat

Eating (local) Greens is a Special Treat

By Carmelo Sigona

“Eating greens is a special treat” may seem more appropriate for Bambi’s buddy Thumper the rabbit to say rather than a human, but eating local greens really is a special treat!

Of course, there’s more to greens than lettuces and spinach. We like it when customers start thinking outside they typical-greens box and ask us for information about choices such as broccoli rabe, Lacinato kale and curly mustard greens.

Following is a little info on each of the three mentioned above. They’re all packed with nutrients and flavor and are versatile enough to quench any culinary curiosity. Which is your favorite?

Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli Rabe

When it comes to broccoli rabe, also known as Rapini or broccoli raab, get ready for a pungent taste. One resource even describes the pungency as an “assertive wallop.” Broccoli rabe is the king of bitter greens, and, as such, is a much sought-after green that’s popular among Sicilians, Italians and Chinese. It’s in these cultures that a bitter punch is a high ranking palate pleaser.

Don’t let the broccoli part of this green’s name fool you; this veggie is more related to a turnip than regular broccoli. In Italian, the word “broccoli” means little sprouts, and in Italy the word is used to describe things such as sprouts on cabbages or cauliflower that have gone to seed in the field.

There are tons of ways to fix this green. When I bring home a few bunches, I remove about an inch of the lower stems,  blanch them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, drain and then quickly get them in an ice bath. After they’ve cooled, I drain them well, pat them dry with a cloth towel and store in the fridge to use for quick, easy meals during the week. For those who have not developed a taste for bitter greens, remember this tip: blanching first takes some of the bitterness out. Also partnering with less potent ingredients, such as pasta or polenta or even a mild, white fish, could make these greens a favorite.

For a quick veggie I just sauté the pre-prepped broccoli rabe with olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes. They’re more tough than the leaves, but are juicy and tender when sautéed longer than the leaves. Broccoli rabe leaves cook quickly so be careful not to overcook.

I’ll then mix the sauté with a disproportionately small amount of brown rice pasta (my preference) or whole wheat pasta (stir in a bit of the pasta water so it’s not too dry). Don’t forget to grate a fresh Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on top, if you so wish.

Lacinato Kale

Lacinato Kale

Also known as dinosaur kale, black kale or Tuscan kale, Lacinato kale is another of my favorite greens. It’s very versatile and makes for hearty, tasty and…wait for it…easy dishes.

Lacinato kale has dark greenish-blue leaves with bumpy texture makes it easily identifiable compared to other smoother kale varieties. The leaves of Lacinato kale are easy to strip from the thick, white stalks and their cabbage-like earthy flavor is great in soups or even raw in salads. Kale, as with all dark, leafy greens, is packed with nutrients, phytonutrients and vitamins, such as vitamins K, C and A, which can help maintain healthy teeth and bones. Sicilians and Italians alike are particularly fond of this variety of kale – you’ll often see it featured in recipes along with cannellini beans and ham – a classic Italian comfort dish.

Some say Lacinato kale must be cooked before used in dishes, but I don’t agree. Raw kale salads are becoming more common these days as the green adds a distinct, rich, bitter bite that can’t be acquired with just any regular lettuce or other leafy green.  They work well when the leaves are chiffonade into thin, delicate treats.

Kale stems tend to be a bit tough and are typically removed prior to eating or cooking. However, if the stems are thin and tender, you can simply trim off the lower portion cook them with the leaves, if preparing a stew or another cooked dish.

Curly Mustard

Curly Mustard

Curly Mustard

Most mustard greens have a slight bitter taste…. that’s one of the attractions for those who love bitter greens, but could do without the “assertive wallop.”

Curly mustard greens have a firmer texture and different flavor… when fresh picked they have a slight bitter/sweet flavor. There are two common types of mustard greens, the curly and the Chinese mustard, or flat leaf. The curly, as its name indicates, has a frilly edge and is more popular by Italians, Sicilians and in the South. The Chinese mustard has a flat leaf and is more commonly cooked, steamed or used in stir-fries.

The wild mustard is by far my favorite…well, it’s a Sicilian favorite. At least in my family. It’s no surprise they’re a treat in my family; my mother and her mother learned to cook in Louisiana after emigrating from Sicily.

When my brothers and sister and I were children, my father would head out in the early spring to seek out these plentiful gems – he’d return with sacks full! They still grow out in the wild and you can find them growing just about anywhere if you look closely. My father always had luck in the hills of John Mclaren park in San Francisco.

This green does take some time to strip from its lower stem, but must be done before eating as the stem is a bit tough. The leaves, upper tender stems and little flowers on top are the edible parts.

Serving options are endless…oh let me count the ways! Typically, in households using wild mustard greens, you’ll find them literally served by the platter. Mustard greens are best served simply: blanched, and sautéed with EVOO and garlic. As an option, you can toss with a little pasta.

A Special Treat for the Body

Overall, greens are so low in calories per cup and are packed with vitamins and nutrients such as Vitamins A, C and K as well as potassium and iron. Another benefit, beta-carotene, helps improve immune-system functions, folic acid, calcium and magnesium, which support bone health. Find more nutrition info in this week’s Health Tip article on greens by Dr. Husbands.

A general rule thumb noted in most nutrition posts and healthy cookbooks is that the darker the green, the more loaded it is with nutritional benefits, so be sure to check out our recipes for Lacinato kale, broccoli rabe and curly mustard greens. We also listed several produce tips for these greens on our blog, so give those a read too!

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s Featuring Greens

In the Kitchen with Sigona’s featuring Greens 

Greens are loaded with beneficial nutrients and vitamins, making a quick and healthy side or entrée. Here are a few suggestions for broccoli rabe, Lacinato kale and curly mustard greens to get you started.

Orecchiette al Forno (with Broccoli Rabe)

This dish, made with Orecchiette pasta (“little ears,” perfect for scooping up chunky sauces), savory crumbles of spicy pork sausage and lightly bitter broccoli rabe, doesn’t have the heavy sauces or molten layers of cheese of many baked pastas, just a touch of ricotta and drizzle of olive oil to pull all the components together. It’s hearty but not heavy. Serve with a flurry of grated Pecorino. Recipe courtesy of Kate Gubiotti of the Scarpetta Dolcetto food blog. Serves 4.

Photo and recipe courtesy of Kate Gubiotti of Scarpetta Dolcetto food blog.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. dried orecchiette pasta
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 lb. broccoli rabe, washed well and stems removed
  • 3/4 lb. spicy Italian-style pork or chicken sausage (fresh)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • red pepper flakes
  • 6 oz. fresh ricotta
  • Pecorino-Romano cheese

Directions:  Put on a large pot of very well-salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until very al dente, about 9-10 minutes, according to package directions. With a slotted spoon or sieve, transfer to a rimmed baking sheet to cool; drizzle with olive oil to keep from sticking. Bring the water back up to a boil and blanch the broccoli rabe for 1-2 minutes. Drain over a colander; roughly chop the greens.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, brown the sausage, breaking up into crumbles with a wooden spoon. Add the sausage to the empty pasta pot; drain off the rendered fat and discard. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and over medium heat, cook the garlic for 2 minutes. Add the rosemary, red pepper flakes and the greens. Season with salt, toss to combine and take off the heat. Add the greens and pasta to the pasta pot and gently mix to combine. Add the ricotta, a healthy grating of Pecorino, a bit of salt, and mix again.

Butter a shallow baking dish and transfer the pasta mixture. Grate Pecorino over top. Bake, loosely covered with foil, for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes more. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with additional Pecorino, if desired.

Local Lacinato Kale, Winter Squash and Cannellini Soup

 I love adding a few dashes of Tabasco, a nod to my mother’s family who landed in New Orleans after leaving Sicily. You can also add cooked pancetta, but I left it out to keep it on the healthy side. Serves 6.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press olive oil, plus another 1 1/2 TBL or more, divided, for finishing
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale, stems and veins removed (*see tip below), roughly chopped into strips
  • 8 cups chicken stock/broth
  • 1 1/2 lb. Butternut squash (or other winter squash), peeled & diced to small cubes (about 2 c.)
  • 1 can of Cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained
  • A dash or more, to taste, of Tabasco
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for garnish and added flavor

*Cook’s note: Lacinato Kale is not broad-leafed so it’s smaller and more difficult to cut out the stem and veins. An easy way to so this is with your hands: hold the stem at the base where leaf begins. With your other hand, hold the stem between your thumb and index finger knuckle, apply pressure and pull up, stripping the leaf from the stem. Discard stems.

Directions: In a large soup pot, heat 1 1/2 TBL olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, squash and celery. Season with salt and pepper, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 7 minutes.

Pour in the stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and add in the kale and beans. Cover and cook about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, season with salt, pepper and Tabasco, to taste. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over individual servings (this brings out the flavor of the oil) and top with grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Allow diners to add more Tabasco, if desired.

Sautéed Broccoli Rabe with Cannellini Beans

Greens and Cannellini beans are a classic combination. I love cannellini beans with kale or broccoli rabe. While I prefer to leave it out, you can add turkey or top with a poached egg; we suggest the Wattle & Comb pastured eggs, available only at Sigona’s.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, sliced
  • Pinch red chili flakes
  • 2 tsp Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 of one 15 oz can Cannellini beans, about 1/4 cup
  • Salt & pepper

Directions: What really works best to temper the bitterness and still have vibrant-green greens is to boil broccoli rabe for 2.5 minutes. Begin by placing broccoli rabe in a large pot of salted, boiling water and cook for 2 1/2 minutes. Remove from boiling water and place immediately in large ice bath. Drain well. Dry with cloth towel.

In a large skillet, add olive oil, red pepper flakes and garlic for 2 minutes on medium heat. Turn heat to medium high and add broccoli rabe and beans. Work well, stirring, until all flavors are melded well, about 3 minutes. Season and serve.

Winter Kale Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Recipe courtesy of Aggie Goodman of the Aggie’s Kitchen food blog. Aggie says, “Lacinato kale has pretty much opened up a whole new world of kale salad for me. It’s not as tough, and has a better, slightly sweeter flavor to it. It makes a great swap for fresh spinach in any salad in my opinion. This salad is super simple to put together and will be sure to brighten up any winter day.”

Photo and recipe courtesy of Aggie Goodman of Aggie’s Kitchen food blog.

For the salad:

  • 1 bunch of Lacinato kale, stems removed and leaves cut into strips
  • handful of dried cranberries
  • handful of toasted walnuts, chopped
  • handful of crumbled goat cheese

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 Meyer lemon, juiced (in season now!)
  • zest from 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1/2 orange, juiced (try our pesticide-free navels from Pleasant Oak Ranch in Springville, CA)
  • zest from orange
  • 1 TBL honey (try our Honey Hole Honey Co. wild sage honey)
  • pinch salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil

Directions: Prepare salad in large plate or bowl by combining kale, cranberries, walnuts and goat cheese.

In a jar or other container, combine juices of Meyer lemon and orange, zest, honey, salt, pepper and olive oil. Shake vigorously until thoroughly blended. Spoon over salad and gently toss to combine.

Note: Store vinaigrette in container in refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Lacinato Kale Sautéed with Ham and Cannellini Beans

This is my go-to Lacinato kale recipe. Easy, quick and nutritious. See my serving suggestions in the cook’s note. – Carmelo Sigona

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • salt & pepper
  • Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 can cannellini beans, with liquid (about 1 cup)
  • few ounces ham, diced
  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale, leaves stripped from stems, leaves chopped, stems discarded
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth

In a sauté pan, over medium-high heat, sauté 1/2 yellow onion, seasoned with salt & pepper, in olive oil 2-3 minutes with a pinch of red pepper flakes. Dice a few ounces of ham and add it along with 1/2 can of cannellini beans with liquid to the oil. Work all ingredients together for a couple of minutes, this really marries the flavors together.

Work the chopped kale into the mixture and cook, stirring, for another 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover turn up the heat to let the greens absorb some of the juices, mix well and serve.

Cook’s Note: I like this for a complete meal topped with a poached Wattle & Comb pastured egg or as a side veggie.

 

Sri Lankan Mustard Greens

Recipe courtesy of Nupur of the food blog One Hot Stove. Nupur says, “the resulting greens were absolutely flavorful without being bitter or harsh in the least. I served the Sri Lankan mustard greens with eggs cooked in a Sri Lankan coconut milk sauce and some steamed rice, for a wonderful Sri-Lankan themed Sunday night dinner.”

Photo and recipe courtesy of Nupur of the food blog One Hot Stove.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch curly mustard greens, shredded (sliced very thin)
  • 8-10 curry leaves (We’ll have the curry leaves in our store later this week)
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half then sliced
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press olive oil
  • 2-3 fresh, hot chilies (your preference), cut into thirds (use more or less chilies depending on heat level preferred)
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 TBL grated coconut (fresh or dried, unsweetened)
  • 2 TBL water (may not need)

Directions: In a large skillet, heat a couple of teaspoons of oil on medium heat. Add onion, curry leaves and fresh chilies. Sauté for 4-5 minutes or until the edges of the onion start to brown.

Add the shredded greens, turmeric and salt to taste. Stir around and mix well until the greens start to wilt.

Lower the heat, cover the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the greens are cooked and tender. If the greens aren’t creating enough steam to steam-cook, add a couple of tablespoons of water to the pan.

Remove from heat and stir in the coconut. Serve as is as a side or as noted above.

February 7, 2012

Now at Sigona’s: Local PeeWee Pastured Eggs

Now at Sigona’s: Local PeeWee Pastured Eggs

They’re here, but you have to be quick! These little gems are flying off the shelves, right along with their larger counter parts. We’re talking about the new PeeWee pastured eggs from Wattle & Comb, delivered fresh from Pescadero.

You’re familiar with the fantastic flavor, nutrients and health benefits of our Wattle & Comb pastured eggs (available only at Sigona’s), and we’re happy to announce that new hens have been added to the flock as of late last summer, with more arriving in November. Wattle & Comb is now 700 layers strong, with 400 yet to start laying.

These new, young hens, called pullets, lay smaller eggs when they are first mature enough to produce. Wattle & Comb calls these pullet eggs PeeWees. These smaller eggs are not usually found in stores, and Wattle & Comb founder Janina Pawlowski is particularly fond of how they’re perfectly sized and packaged for kids!

“When my children were little it was always a challenge in the grocery store because the cutest packages always contained the unhealthiest food,” said Pawlowski. “The eggs are a gift to mothers so they can encourage their child to eat healthy and have the support of the cute label, the maze inside, and most of all the adorable little egg just perfect for a child – or child at heart!”

Pastured eggs in general have richer yolks and perkier whites. Chefs and “eggsperts” consider that a chicken lays her best eggs up to around 31 weeks of age, meaning that the first smallest eggs are the tastiest and richest in flavor. They have a smaller yolk and a perkier white that gives them excellent “soufflé-ability.” Their yolks also make for incredible (and more bite-sized) deviled eggs!

Wattle & Comb hens are raised on a pasture where they are allowed to roam and eat from the land, just as nature intended. It’s better for the hen, better for the egg and better for you! All Wattle & Comb hens are heritage breeds, meaning the breeds haven’t been cross-bred for more than 50 years, similar to the definition of heirloom produce. Pawlowski chose the following breeds: Ameracauna (blue eggs), Buff Orpington (brown eggs), Plymouth Barred Rock (brown eggs), Rhode Island Red (brown eggs) and Danish Brown Leghorns (brown eggs).

Use the Wattle & Comb PeeWees for these recipes!

Chocolate Soufflé Cake

PeeWee eggs make for fluffier soufflé – something every home chef desires! Recipe courtesy of Laura Stec of Laura Stec Innovative Cuisine. Yields 16 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 3 sticks, plus 6 TBL butter
  • 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 13 egg whites
  • 9 egg yolks from Wattle & Comb PeeWee pastured eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 oz. Grand Marnier
  • butter and flour for preparing the pan
  • Fresh strawberries (optional)

See cook’s note for serving suggestions.

Directions: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly flour and butter a 13 X 9-inch pan. Melt the butter and the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Do not overheat. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and Grand Marnier. Add chocolate and butter mixture to the egg mixture. Make sure the chocolate/butter is not too hot or it can start scrambling the eggs.

In a medium size bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Fold the whites into the chocolate/egg mixture, mixing lightly, but until completely combined. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake one hour.

Cook’s Note: I use a round cookie cutter to cut out circles from the finished soufflé. Then I top with fresh strawberries, whipped cream and serve individually plated for a lovely dessert. And what of all the leftover cake from around the cutouts? Yum! That certainly is put to excellent use too!

 

Lacinato Kale, Egg & Feta Bake

The PeeWee eggs are the perfect size for this dish-for-one. It’s  a lovely, healthy yet filling meal that’s just the thing for an evening in alone or a quite breakfast. Recipe courtesy of Gina of the food blog Running to the Kitchen. Serves 1.

Ingredients:

  • Lacinato Kale & Feta Egg Bake. Recipe and photos courtesy of Gina Matsoukas of the food blog Running to the Kitchen

    1/2 Sweet Mayan onion, Chopped

  • 1 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, Minced
  • 6 Large Lacinato Kale leaves (stems removed), washed, trimmed, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes OR 1/4-1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 4 TBL Sigona’s Old World marinara, divided
  • 1/3 cups crumbled Feta, divided
  • 2 Wattle & Comb Pastured PeeWee-sized eggs

Directions: Preheat oven to 375ºF.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil and sauté onions and mushrooms for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for 1-2 more minutes, until onions are softened.

Add kale and red pepper flakes (or Tabasco) and sauté another 2-3 minutes until kale is wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spray an oven-safe, personal-sized ramekin with cooking spray and spoon half of the sauce into the bottom. Next, add half the kale and onion mixture, then top with half the feta, the remaining sauce, and then the remainder of the kale mixture.

Carefully Crack the eggs on the top in various positions. Sprinkle remaining feta on top of that.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until eggs are fully cooked but still runny. Serve warm with crusty bread.

Quick and easy recipe for “free” calcium supplements

“Did you know, eggshells are mostly composed of calcium, but they also contain at least 27 trace micro-elements? PeeWee shells are harder, and although most people don’t know this, the calcium from the shell is very healthy and shouldn’t be thrown away. I’ve made calcium powder from the shells, then added it to yogurt and saved money by not buying calcium supplements.” – Janina Pawlowski

How To:

  1. Save up the eggshells you get from Wattle & Comb or any non-medicated, pastured hen.
  2. Boil the shells in water for 10 minutes to make sure you kill off any bacteria – especially if you collect them in a bowl for a week.
  3. Let the shells dry
  4. Grind the shells in a clean coffee grinder or blender into a fine powder.
  5. Store the calcium in a jar away from light.

Usage tips: One half teaspoon of powder contains approximately 400 mg of calcium. This form is more available to the body than commercial calcium supplements which are usually made of limestone or coral. For more information, check out this article by RawHealthForce.

Sigona’s February 2012 olive oil of the month

Sigona’s February 2012 olive oil of the month

Cobrançosa

from Portugal

This oil…

  • is beautifully floral, herbaceous and fantastically fresh
  • comes from the most coveted of all indigenous Portuguese varietals
  • presents a robust, fruity flavor up front, followed by a well-balanced middle featuring flavors of ripe olive and a hint of herbs; it finishes with a slight, fleeting pepper sensation on the back end
  • boasts a 355 polyphenol count; polyphenols have beneficial effects on cholesterol, blood pressure and coronary disease risk

Try this recipe: Spinach & Basil Pesto With Cobrançosa Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

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