Winter wake up!
Let’s perk up the tired tastes of winter!
Florida and Texas grapefruit come to the market from October and continue through February.
We immediately think grapefruit at breakfast time, but let’s bring grapefruit to the dinner table to tart up your winter meals.
Grapefruit Avocado Salad
2 grapefruits, peeled and sectioned
2 avocados, peeled and sliced
3 green onions, chopped
1 bunch of spinach or watercress
½ cup cashew nuts
Zest of ½ grapefruit
Juice of ½ grapefruit
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Verde olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Gently toss the grapefruit and avocado sections and green onions together with the dressing. Place the spinach or watercress in a salad bowl or on a serving platter. Top with the grapefruit and avocado. Sprinkle with cashew nuts.
Open any cooking magazine or seasonal cookbook and every one has an article about getting their grill on with tried and true recipes for hamburgers, chicken and steak. Perhaps with a small tweak on a combination usually trendy but a little predictable for my liking – I am looking for the unexpected and tasty.
I would like to focus on the summer bounty - think vegetables and fruits of the season.
Picture this polenta recipe topped with grilled eggplant, Walla Walla onions bell peppers and tomatoes splashed with some good balsamic vinegar and the fabulous Verde Olive Oil.
8 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups coarsely ground corn meal or polenta
¼ cup crème fraiche
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup rated parmesan Reggiano
Freshly cracked black pepper
Verde extra virgin olive oil
Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Gradually whisk in cornmeal in a slow steady stream. Continue to whisk until polenta is thick and smooth. Stir in butter, crème fraiche. Remove from heat and fold in Parmesan and pepper. Pour into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and spread evenly. Cover and chill. Cut polenta into triangles, brush with olive oil. Grill on both sides until golden brown.
Add a sprig of rosemary and a few garlic cloves into the water bring to boil. Remove from heat and let steep for awhile. Remove the rosemary and garlic and continue with the recipe.
A “fool” is a popular English dessert which dates to the 16th century. Elizabeth David, the acclaimed food writer described “a fool” as simple and childlike.
Though simple, the presentation is very pretty – beautiful layers of ruby colored rhubarb and fluffy white whipping cream or custard served in a stemmed wine or dessert glass. I put a modern twist on it and substituted Greek yogurt sweetened with honey.
1 pound of rhubarb stalks
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
Juice of ½ orange
Wash and trim the rhubarb. Cut into 1 inch pieces and put into a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the sugar, lemon and juice cover and cook gently for 5-7 minutes. This makes 2 cups of cooked rhubarb.
2 cups Greek yogurt
Zest of one orange
1 tablespoon honey (or more to taste)
Spoon layers of rhubarb and yogurt into stemmed glasses.
Smoked Gouda and Caramelized Onion Quesadilla
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large Walla Walla onion
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 2 cups grated smoked Gouda cheese
- 6 flour tortillas
- Freshly ground black pepper
Warm oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, brown sugar, and vinegar and cook until golden brown. Remove from heat and cool.
Sprinkle cheese over half of each tortilla. Spoon onion mixture equally over the cheese. Season with black pepper.
Bring a large skillet to medium high heat and cook tortillas in batches until brown spots appear and cheese is melted.
Place on a baking sheet and keep warm in oven.
Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad
1 head butter lettuce, torn into bite - size pieces
2 Fuyu persimmons, cut into wedges
1 avocado, cut into chunks
¼ cup hazelnut pieces (optional)
1 teaspoon minced orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.
Use the tender inner leaves of the lettuce and place into a large salad bowl. Add the persimmons and avocado and the vinaigrette, gently toss.
Cut the pomegranate into half and gently remove the membrane to free the seeds.
Sprinkle salad with the pomegranate seeds and add hazelnuts if desired.
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