Friday, May 6, 2011

It's In the Bag!

I'm raising the white flag and surrendering!  I promised Cinco de Mayo yesterday, but never delivered...I'm sure by now you've drowned your sorrows in Margaritas.
My life is a bit complicated right now; having just finished my manuscript, I'm now technically "unemployed" but life goes on here at Chez Phillips and Dr. C and I are leaving for a month in Italy on Wednesday....I'm just a bit behind.

 Today, I taught the Farmer's Market Bag class at Great News; again Specialty Produce has put together an amazing bag full of fresh produce from local farms.  Today we had Freckles lettuce (yes, it does have freckles) arugula, baby gold turnips, baby rainbow carrots, Oro Bianco grapefruit, baby purple artichokes, cremini mushrooms, and Be Wise Farms strawberries.  If you bought a bag this week, I've got a few nice recipes for you to try with the produce; if you were in class, these recipes will enhance the recipes that you received in class.

Here's a peak at the dishes we made in class:
Salad with arugula, freckles lettuce, carrots, garlic, pondhopper cheese, and cashews.

Individual Strawberry Rhubarb Crumbles

The Strawberries we had today would make an amazing parfait for Mother's Day.  This recipe is really almost too simple, but the results are spectacular (I love that!)

Balsamic Strawberries with Ricotta Creme
Serves 4
2 cups whole milk ricotta 
3 tablespoons orange blossom honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 cups strawberries, hulled, and quartered
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoons good quality Balsamic vinegar (no $5 bottles for this please)

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the ricotta, honey and the cream.  
  2. Spoon the mixture into 4 parfait or martini glasses.  
  3. In another bowl toss together the sugar and the strawberries.  
  4. Spoon over the ricotta and drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and serve chilled.   

Brulee Grapefruit
Serves 4
Two Oro Blanco grapefruit, halved
1/2 cup raw sugar
Preheat the broiler for 10 minutes.  Arrange the grapefruit on a baking sheet, cut side up and sprinkle each 
evenly with the sugar.  Broil until the sugar is bubbling, and golden brown. Allow the grapefruit to rest for 5 minutes before serving.  

Baby Artichoke Salad with Lemon and Parmigiano Reggiano
Serves 4

4 baby artichokes, stems trimmed, and tough leaves removed from the bottom
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
ground black pepper
1/2 cup shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

 Quarter the artichokes, and dip into 1/4 cup of lemon juice mixed with 4 cups of water to retard discoloration.  Steam the artichokes for 5 minutes, until tender.  Drain the artichokes, and cool. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon, oil and pepper.  Toss the artichokes with the dressing, add the Parmigiano and toss again.  Serve the salad at room temperature.  

 I hope you all have a great weekend, and if you are celebrating Mother's Day, Happy Mothers' Day to you all.  
 I'll be back on Monday with an update on whether we are packed and ready to go.  I'm hoping we come back from this trip and decide to buy flat in Spello.


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