Vegetable Carpaccio



If you don’t own a culinary mandolin, use a vegetable peeler to get the paper-thin slices this recipe calls for. The inspiration for this salad comes from beef carpaccio, a classic dish of rare/raw sliced beef dressed in lemon juice, olive oil, capers and Parmesan cheese. The root vegetable version was invented by Chef Andy Hollyday of Selden Standard, named Restaurant of the Year 2016 by Hour Detroit magazine. It’s perfect for what’s coming in season right now — baby beets, beautiful radishes of every color, sweet turnips, colored carrots. The carpaccio certainly made an impression in March 2016 at several different demo venues.

A selection of seasonal vegetables that could include:

1 small fennel, shaved thin
1 small red or gold beet, peeled and shaved thin
3 medium sized heirloom carrots, shaved thin
6 small radish, washed and shaved into thin coins or 2 small turnips
1 small celery root, peeled and shaved thin

¼ C capers in brine, drained
¼ C cup fresh herb of choice, chopped – chives, tarragon, parsley or basil work well
3oz. Parmesan Reggiano, shaved thin
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Lemon Vinaigrette

Zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 2 T)
1 shallot, minced fine
1 T champagne or white wine vinegar
½ C extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

To make the vinaigrette combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl or a mini-prep food processor, season with salt and pepper and whisk together. In another bowl add the shaved vegetables and enough vinaigrette to generously coat. If there is any vinaigrette remaining reserve for another use. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and allow to marinate for 10-30 minutes, mixing once or twice. After 10 minutes, taste the salad again for seasoning. Distribute onto a large platter or on individual plates. Garnish with shaved Parmesan, capers, herbs of choice, and a twist of freshly ground black pepper. Serves 4-6.


Savory Crustless Popovers

3 eggs
2/3 C half and half
½ C plain lowfat yogurt
1 T unsalted butter, melted
1/3 C flour
½ t salt
4 oz. mild cheddar, shredded
2 T each fresh parsley and chives, finely chopped (or other herbs of your choice)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk together the eggs, half and half, yogurt and butter. Add the flour and salt, stir in the cheddar and herbs. Fill greased ramekins or mini-muffin tins until 3/4 full, and bake for 20 minutes, or until set, puffy and lightly brown on top. Let popovers cool at least 10 minutes before unmolding (they will fall slightly, this is normal!). Gently invert to unmold. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 12 standard muffins.

Winter Fruit Salad in Ginger Lime Syrup

Winter Fruit Salad- Pers-Pears-Pom


A beautiful delicious fruit salad that packs a punch of vitamin C. Danielle likes her persimmons peeled while Adrienne doesn’t mind the peel. We know these sisters don’t always agree…


1 red pear
1 Asian pear
1 grapefruit
2 oranges (blood oranges if available)
3 clementines
1 C pomegranate arils
Freshly chopped mint

Ginger Lime Syrup
¼ C maple syrup
2 T fresh squeezed lime juice
1 (3-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and sliced

Make the syrup: put the maple syrup along with 1 T water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger, bring it to a simmer, turn off the heat and let the ginger steep at least 15 minutes, or up to several hours. Stir in the lime juice, remove the ginger pieces. If not using right away, syrup can be stored in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.


Segment the citrus (grapefruit and oranges): trim off the top and bottom of each fruit, cut off al the skin and pith, and then use a sharp paring knife to slice between the membranes to remove each wedge the flesh. Put the segments in a large mixing bowl with any remaining juices. Add the clementine sections (these might be a little hard to segment.) Slice thinly the persimmon and pears and add them to the bowl. Pour the cooled syrup over the fruit and gently toss to coat. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and mint. Serves 6.

Roasted Eggplant Spread with Pomegranate




Adapted from one of our favorite cookbook authors, Yotam Ottolenghi’s, Ottolenghi: the Cookbook. Pomegranate molasses is available locally at Yekta’s on Rockville Pike and at Thomas Market  in Wheaton. There are several Persian markets in the Virginia suburbs that also carry it.

1 medium eggplant
2/3 C Greek yogurt (whole milk or low fat)
2 T olive oil
1-2 T pomegranate molasses
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
Sea salt to taste
pomegranate arils

PomegranateRoast the eggplant: make 2 or 3 slits in the eggplant (to help release steam) and place directly under the broiler. Broil until eggplant is very soft and cooked, about 10-15 minutes. The skins will burn and peel and may burst; turn the eggplant over once during the cooking to ensure it chars on both sides. Remove from oven, place in a colander over a bowl to allow the eggplant to cool and drain off bitter juices. Once cool, carefully remove the skin and scrape all the flesh you can and transfer to a separate bowl. Stir in the yogurt, oil, pomegranate molasses, lemon, garlic and some salt. Whisk well with a fork – you want the spread to be thick like a dip, not a sauce. Taste and adjust for the right balance of flavor – it should be sweetly sharp and very flavorful. If it’s too sharp, add olive oil or more yogurt. Garnish with pomegranate arils and serve with warm pita wedges or chips. Serves 4-6 as an appetizer.

Fennel Slaw with Persimmons and Lime Vinaigrette

persimmon-jicama-salad(Note: you don’t want your persimmons too ripe or they won’t hold their shape when you slice them.)

2 large fennel bulbs
1 medium carrot
½ seedless cucumber
1 bunch scallions (about 6)
1 jalapeno or 2 serrano peppers
2 persimmons (Fuyu), peeled if desired
3-4 T cilantro, chopped
Sea salt and pepper

Lime Vinaigrette

Zest and juice of 1 large lime
1 T shallot, finely chopped
1 t Dijon mustard
¼ t sea salt
½ C olive oil (more if dressing is too acidic)



Peel any discolored or fibrous areas off the outside of the fennel. Cut in half and remove cores. Using a mandoline, finely slice the fennel. Peel (if desired) and cut in half the cucumber. Use the mandoline to slice the cucumber. Shred or julienne the carrot. Finely slice the scallions. Cut the jalapeno in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and stem, then finely slice across to make thin half-moons.

Remove the stems from the persimmons, cut in half from pole to pole. Using the mandoline, finely slice across the halves, revealing the internal pattern.

In a small bowl or mini-prep, whisk together the lime juice and zest, shallot and mustard. Add the olive oil in a stream and whisk to thicken. Adjust for salt. Toss the slaw ingredients with the vinaigrette and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serves 6-8.


Cranberry & Fig Chutney with Walnuts





A perfect accompaniment for all of the holiday cooking ahead, this side dish is a new spin on an old favorite. Don’t overcook it, you want it luscious and thick, not sticky.

12 ounces fresh cranberries
¼ C onion, minced
1 C light brown sugar
½ C orange juice
½ C apple cider vinegar
¼ C raisins
8 dried black mission figs, cut into eighths
1 T fresh ginger, finely minced
½ t ground cinnamon
½ t red pepper flakes
1/3 C walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Add all the ingredients, with the exception of the chopped walnuts, to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to bring the mix to a simmer, and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chutney thickens some. Remove from the heat, stir in the nuts and let cool slightly before serving. Serves 12-15.




Freekeh Pilaf




Freekeh is the young, green wheat that has been cracked and toasted. It’s a healthy, whole grain and can be substituted for bulgur. This recipe was inspired by Ottolenghi, the great Isreali chef who has several terrific restuarants in the UK. It was demoed by Danielle as part of our “50 Shades of Grain” series in October and November 2015.

 1 large onion, thinly slice
2 T olive oil
2/3 C freekeh
1 C vegetable broth
1/8 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground allspice
1 C Greek yogurt
2 t fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ garlic clove, minced
1 T each – fresh chopped parsley, mint and/or cilantro
2 T pine nuts, toasted (can substitute sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, walnuts or pecans)

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based pot and add the sliced onion. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft and brown, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, rinse the freekeh in cold water to remove any film or residue. Add the freekeh, cinnamon and allspice to the onions, followed by the broth. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce the heat to a bare minimum and leave to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave it covered for another 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff to allow steam out and the pilaf to cool down a bit.

While the pilaf is cooling, mix together the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and a bit of salt. Taste and adjust for more lemon or salt. When the pilaf has released it’s steam and cooled a bit, add the chopped herbs and nuts. Stir well, taste and adjust for salt. Serve with a generous dollop of yogurt on top and a trickle of olive oil, if desired. Serves 2-4.