THIS WEEK'S RECIPES
We are very excited to be able to provide four unique recipes this week:
- Escarole with Dilly Yogurt, Toasty Bread and Radishes by Chelsea Heller
- Shell Pasta with Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Spinach Pesto and Almonds by Chelsea Heller
- Mushroom and Shallot Crostini by Liz Lewis
- Vanilla Pound Cake with Yogurt Glaze by Liz Lewis
GRILLED OR SEARED ESCAROLE WITH DILLY YOGURT, TOASTY BREAD AND RADISHES
Escarole is part of the chicory family, which means it’s born into this world bitter and unlikeable, but if you give it just a little tiny bit of support, it can be truly lovable. The secret ingredient in this recipe is a shallot vinaigrette This vinaigrette is like escarole’s confidence boosting bff. Really, shallot vinaigrette is everyone’s favorite wingman. It’ll laugh at your bitter jokes and make you seem way funnier than you are. Dilly yogurt is a cooling, bright, herbaceous balance to the punchy, spicy, bitter components in the salad. It makes sure everyone else in the salad plays nice together. Anyhow, read on for how to turn a bitter leafy green and spicy root vegetable into your new favorite dinner salad of the week!
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 2 teaspoon Salt
- 2 teaspoon Sugar
- ½ cup Red Wine Vinegar (or Sherry, or Champagne, or even Lemon Juice)
- 1 cup Olive Oil
As soon as your shallot is finely diced, you’ll want to get it in a bowl with the salt, sugar and vinegar. Don’t add your olive oil just yet. You want to macerate the shallot in the vinegar, salt and sugar so that it releases it’s allium-y gasses and tastes clean and bright. You also want to dissolve the sugar and salt in the vinegar so they don’t remain suspended in their granular form in the olive oil. After about 10 minute of maceration, you can whisk in your olive oil.
- 1 cup Yogurt
- 1 small bunch of finely Chopped Dill
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- Lemon Zest of 1 lemon
- Lemon Juice of ½ a lemon
Mix everything in a bowl
Slice the bread as thin as you can. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat with enough olive oil to coat the bottom and then some. Sear the bread on either side until it’s golden and crispy. Season with salt to taste.
If you have a mandoline, that’s best for slicing radishes. If you don’t have a mandoline, you should get one! If you get one and you’ve never used one before, please be VERY careful and don’t slice your fingers off! Once you slice your radishes thin, place them in cold or icy water. This will make sure they’re nice and crunchy and will also mellow out their spice a little bit.
Once all these components are prepped, you can sear the escarole. To prep, cut the very bottom of the root end off, leaving the core as intact as possible. Pull off the larger, tougher outer leaves, and cut through the core so that you have 4 wedges
Toss leaves and quarters in a large bowl with olive oil and salt. If you’re lucky enough to have a grill on hand, make sure it’s pretty rip-roaring hot, as you want a quick sear, not a low and slow kind-of cook. If you don’t have access to a grill you can use a cast iron skillet or another heavy-bottomed pan. Again, you’ll want to make sure the skillet is very hot before you start cooking. You want to cook it enough to get some nice color and char on parts of the leaves, but if you cook it too much, it’ll walt down to nothing. Once it’s seared, toss back in it’s bowl and dress with Shallot Vinaigrette. Taste to make sure that the salt and sugar are in balance.
Spoon the dilly yogurt on the bottom of a plate and pile your escarole on top. Garnish with radishes and toasty bread and if you have some good hard cheese on hand peel some of it on top!
SHELL PASTA WITH OVEN ROASTED CHERRY TOMATOES, SPINACH PESTO AND ALMONDS
The beautiful thing about oven roasting cherry tomatoes is that it concentrates their sweetness, acidity and umami without diluting the rest of the dish with tomato water. It takes a little while, so be sure to get started on that project early.
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and toss in a bowl with olive oil and salt. Place cut-side up in a baking sheet and into a 350* oven for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how your oven is calibrated.
The pesto is easy to whip up, and it’s nice if you use it super fresh so that there’s less time for the green to oxidize. Although it WILL last in your fridge for a few days. You can substitute any nut or seed for the almonds, and any green for spinach, for that matter!
- ½ a pound of spinach
- ½ cup water
- Zest and Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup almonds
- ⅓ cup olive oil
Use a blender or food processor to blend everything but the olive oil until it’s smooth. Drizzle in the olive oil last, just until everything is just combined. The more you agitate olive oil, the more bitter it becomes, so be easy on the go button!
When cooking pasta, be sure to salt the water generously, enough so that it tastes like the ocean. Cook according to the instructions on the bag. When you strain your pasta, save about ½ a cup of the starchy water to use to make your sauce more cohesive.
Toss your cooked pasta with the pesto, cherry tomatoes and some leftover chopped almonds if you still have some! If you have any cheese on hand, this pasta will play nicely with anything from a scoop of fresh ricotta or goat cheese to an aged sheep's milk cheese peeled or grated on top. Definitely make enough to have leftovers, as it'll be great as a cold pasta salad!
MUSHROOM AND SHALLOT CROSTINI:
VANILLA POUND CAKE WITH YOGURT GLAZE
Prepare the vanilla cake mix with the pound cake preparation: https://poppikit.