Archive for August, 2012

by Sarah Steimer

I normally chop up all my chard stems and throw them into whatever recipe I’m making, but I’m sure there are instances when that doesn’t work. For those times, pickle them!

  • Swiss chard stems, chopped
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup onion, sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1 small sprig dill

Add chard stems and onions to a small jelly jar — I went with a small jar in this instance because even a full bunch of chard won’t yield many stems.

Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, Sriracha and dill until the sugar has disintegrated. Pour over the chard stems and onions, covering everything (add water if it doesn’t cover completely.

Refrigerate for a few days.

Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit

* Lickety Split is our August guide that features recipes for quick pickles, or pickles you can make in minutes and store in the fridge. See all of our Lickety Split pickle recipes here.

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by Caitlin Saniga

For crispy/crunchy nuggets, leave the chicken in the oil for longer than you might feel comfortable doing. The nuggets will turn golden brown when they’re ready, but if you leave them about a minute longer, they’ll get extra crispy.

  • 14 ounces canola oil for frying
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 8 chicken tenderloins, cut into bite-size pieces

In a large stockpot, heat the oil  to 375 degrees over medium-high heat. While the oil is warming up, combine the flour, sugar, salt, pepper and paprika in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal it and shake to combine. Add the chicken, seal and shake to coat thoroughly. Use a slotted spoon to tap off extra flour mixture and transfer the chicken nuggets to a clean plate.

Prepare a cooling rack by lining it with a stack of two or three paper towels. Set it next to the stove.

When the oil is ready, place 10-12 nuggets in the oil and allow them to cook about 4-6 minutes, depending on size. They should be golden brown when they’re ready.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the nuggets to the cooling rack. Continue this process until all of the nuggets are cooked.

Serve hot with ranch dressing or another favorite dipping sauce.

Recipe adapted from: TastyKitchen.com

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by Caitlin Saniga

Pouring the boiling liquid over the raw beets keeps them crisp.

  • 1 1/2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 whole peppercorns
  • 5 or 6 medium beets, peeled and sliced into 1/8″-thick rounds

Serve pickled beets in place of dill pickle spears. They add nice color and new flavors to the classic.

Combine the ginger, vinegars, water, sugar, salt and peppercorns in a small pan over medium heat and stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, pack the beets into a pint-size jar up to about 1/2-inch from the top. Pour the boiling liquid with the ginger and peppercorns over the beets and screw on the lid. Allow the jar to sit at room temperature for about an hour before placing it in the fridge. The beets will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 1 pint jar.

* Lickety Split is our August guide that features recipes for quick pickles, or pickles you can make in minutes and store in the fridge. See all of our Lickety Split pickle recipes here.

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by Sarah Steimer

I love gnocchi, but it can be pretty heavy in its traditional potato-flour form. This ricotta version is a lighter alternative for summer.

  • 2 1/2 cups ricotta
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • Pasta sauce
  • Parmesan

In a bowl, combine the ricotta, egg and 1 cup of the flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until everything begins to stick. Begin kneading the dough with your hands and add the rest of the flour little by little, only until there is enough so the dough is smooth and elastic but not overly sticky.

Some gnocchi recipes call for you to roll each piece with the tongs of a fork to give it ridges. That’s a big, fat waste of time, if you ask me. Gnocchi does not need to be difficult! Especially not this recipe (three ingredients? Yes, please).

Roll the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Separate the dough into eight pieces. Roll out each piece into a long, even rope. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1/2-inch segments and set aside. Repeat until all the dough is rolled and cut.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the gnocchi all at once. Stir often and cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the pieces float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Serve with the pasta sauce of your choice and Parmesan cheese.

Makes 3-4 servings.

Recipe adapted from : Katherine Martinelli

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by Caitlin Saniga

I made this galette when my mom came to visit for a few days. This was our first dish with heirloom tomatoes of the summer, and we were thrilled with it, having it for lunch and then for a snack after a day of sightseeing on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I wish I could cook for Mom every day.


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons cold lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons ice water


  • 1 disk savory galette dough
  • 3 medium heirloom tomatoes, any color
  • 1/2 small onion, cut into thin rings
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 ounces mild cheddar cheese, cut into thin slices + 1 ounce grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Maybe this goes without saying, but it’s always a nice reminder. If you want the dough to be flaky and light, knead it as little as possible.  The ingredients should be just barely combined for the best results.

To prepare the dough, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, pepper, and salt with a fork in a large bowl. Scatter the cubed butter over top. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter until the butter is in small pea-sized pieces.

Drizzle the lemon juice and water over the butter-flour mixture and combine using fork. The dough will come together just barely. Gently pat the dough into a ball and then a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and set it on the counter.

Slice the tomatoes. Remove the seeds with your fingers or a knife, and place them on paper towels to soak up some of the juice. Sprinkle with salt.

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Set the disk onto the floured surface and gently hit it a few times with the rolling pin to flatten it. Roll it into a 12-inch circle, flipping it over one time, and re-flouring the pin as necessary to prevent it from sticking. Hang the dough over the rolling pin to transfer it to the parchment-lined baking sheet.

In a small bowl, combine Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar using a fork or whisk. Pour onto the dough and spread into a roughly 10-inch circle.

Pat the tomatoes dry with paper towels and arrange them, alternating with slices of cheese in a spiral on top of the dough. Top with onion rings, sprinkle with the shredded cheese.

Fold the 2-inch edge of dough over top of the filling, making a few pinches as you go. Brush the egg wash on the dough.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack, along with the parchment paper, and cool for 15 minutes. Top with green onions.

Cut into slices and serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat the galette, place it on a baking sheet and heat at 350 degrees for about 4 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe adapted from: 20 Something Cupcakes

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by Sarah Steimer

You really do have to like horseradish for this recipe – which I love. The beans stay really crisp and the horseradish and peppercorns give them a nice zip.

  •  1 large handful of yellow wax beans or green beans
  • 2 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 dill sprigs
  • 1 tarragon sprig
  • 1 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 6 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

Trim the stem ends of the beans and pack them into a 16-ounce jar, trimmed ends facing up. Add the garlic, dill, tarragon, peppercorns and horseradish to the jar.

I’ve just been snacking on these beans straight from the fridge. They’re great just with a simple lunchtime sandwich.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt, sugar and water. Whisk until the salt and sugar have dissolved.

Pour the liquid into the jar to cover the beans. If the beans are not covered, add some water to cover.

Let rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.

Recipe adapted from: Food & Wine

* Lickety Split is our August guide that features recipes for quick pickles, or pickles you can make in minutes and store in the fridge. See all of our Lickety Split pickle recipes here.

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by Caitlin Saniga

Muhammara, a traditionally spicy red pepper dip, originated in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. This is my take on muhammara, and I imagine it’s a bit more mild than the classic, which often includes jalapenos. I served mine on roasted garlic Triscuits, but crusty bread, pita or toast works, too.

  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and chopped (See the video below for more specific instructions.)
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red chili flakes, for garnish

Place the red pepper, walnuts, olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, cumin and cayenne in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are well combined. Adjust the olive oil, if needed, for a smoother consistency. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with red pepper flakes.

Serve immediately, or store chilled in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Makes 2 servings.

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by Sarah Steimer

This is a very simple recipe, but sometimes it’s good to have a quick standby — especially for lunch. Plus, I’ve had a few people tell me they’re never quite sure of what to do with kale so I wanted to share something that is easy on the taste buds but still really healthy.

  • 2-3 large leaves of kale
  • water
  • olive oil
  • 2 small soft corn tortillas
  • 4 tablespoons or so of crumbled feta cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Rinse the kale and finely chop. Toss the kale in a small sauté pan over medium- low heat with salt and pepper, adding a few tablespoons of water as you go so the kale may wilt. Remove the kale from the pan and set aside.

While the pan is still hot, add enough olive oil to coat the pan. The heat should still be medium-low. Wipe one side of one of the tortillas in the oiled pan and set the tortilla aside. Place the other tortilla in the pan and top with half of the feta cheese, the kale and then the rest of the feta. Place the oiled tortilla on top, oiled side up.

Let the bottom tortilla crisp and brown, about 3-4 minutes. Pick the quesadilla up with a spatula and flip over. This is a little easier if you lean the pan on an angle when you flip it. Cook for another 3-4 minutes or until this opposite side is browned and crisp.

Remove from the pan and cut into four pieces. Serve with fresh salsa or guacamole.

Makes one serving.

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by Caitlin Saniga

These peaches seemed to bring about some pretty strong opinions. When I brought the jar out on the porch to take a photo and told my curious neighbors what was inside, each of them let out a loud “yuck.” But when I told my mom and my friend Meg about my latest pickling creation, both of them requested the recipe. So try them for yourself! They’re not completely sweet, and not completely savory — a bit sour too. Try them over chicken or ice cream or in a salad.

  • 6 peaches
  • 1 vanilla bean (split and seeded)
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon

Pickled peaches are the star of this quick and simple salad. Rip up some Romain lettuce and top with a few peach slices, some toasted pecans and a sprinkling of crumbled feta.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the peaches, let them cook for about 15 seconds, and then quickly remove them with a slotted spoon. Allow the peaches to cool for about 3 minutes, then peel, halve, pit and slice them.

In a large sauce pot, add the vanilla bean (seeds and pod), wine, vinegar, honey, raw sugar and lemon, and bring to a boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the peaches and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes after the liquid returns to a boil.

Using a slotted spoon, split up the peaches among 3 clean, pint-size canning jars. Pour the boiling syrup over the peaches and fill to 1/4 inch below the rim of the jar. Seal with lids and place in the fridge. Peaches should keep for up to a month in the fridge.

Makes 3 pint jars of peaches.

Recipe adapted from: PBS.org

* Lickety Split is our August guide that features recipes for quick pickles, or pickles you can make in minutes and store in the fridge. See all of our Lickety Split pickle recipes here.

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by Sarah Steimer

I’ll admit I didn’t grill this. I took the easy way out (because I didn’t feel like powering up the grill for lunch) and just popped the kale under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Do keep an eye on it, though. It crisps up quickly. Also – this dish has some of the best textures in all the land.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 medium plum, halved, pitted, thinly sliced
  • 6 medium curly kale leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh ricotta

Whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme and honey. Season with the salt and pepper. Toss the plums in the oil and vinegar mixture to coat and set aside.

Brush the kale leaves with olive oil and season with salt. Grill the kale over medium-high heat OR take my short cut and put the kale on a metal pan and pop in the broiler. If grilling, be sure to turn after a few minutes. Either method only takes a few minutes to darken and crisp the kale, to keep a careful eye on the leaves.

Once the kale has a moment to cool, remove the large stems if you did not do so before. Toss the kale in the oil-vinegar dressing.

Place the ricotta on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Top with the kale, plums and drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Makes one serving.

Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit

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