6 posts from month 03/2016

Browned Artichoke Pasta Salad

  Spring is here! And that means fresh artichokes everywhere I go from the grocery store to the farmer's markets.  The best fresh artichoke is one that is young and tender and a lighter green color versus the darker green with the larges outer leaves.  And the good news with those is there is less of a prickly center to remove, too. But get what you can find and this pasta recipe will help you deliver all the best flavor through blanching and then sautéing the artichoke hearts in ... Continue Reading

Prosciutto Egg Cups – Easter Brunch

These prosciutto egg cups are actually simple to make but they really lend an elegant look to any brunch buffet and is the perfect addition to my Easter Brunch menu.  I am going to serve this along with a walnut pesto to really make them extra special.  I am also serving a Caprese Salad that is my own twist on a traditional Caprese Salad because I add thinly sliced red onions, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and chopped pistachios for crunch. This recipe can be found in my cookbook, The ... Continue Reading

Walnut Basil Pesto

Walnut basil pesto is a wonderful twist on a classic pine nut pesto.  And if you live in Northern California, like me, then Walnuts are actually a local product and all the more reason to use them. But even if you don't, they are available year-round in any grocery store anywhere and are a healthy way to jazz up your pesto sauce.  They actually give the pesto a heartier profile and more texture and are less expensive than pine nuts.  Win-win.  But don't just take my word on it, try it!  I ... Continue Reading

Spinach & Beet Salad with Port Reduction & Crispy Shallots

Spinach  and roasted beet salad is a delicious and classic combination.  And here's my little take on how to amp it up a bit and make it even more delicious; by adding in a sweet reduction of port wine and a crunch from crispy fried shallots. The best part is you can make several steps ahead of time and have them on hand and ready for when you want to assemble and serve this salad; which makes it perfect for entertaining with ease.  I start with the port reduction because that can keep in ... Continue Reading

Creamy Crab Dip with a Kick

This creamy crab dip is different than other crab dips out there.  It has plenty of fresh crab in it, and that's the star of the dish, but it also has a complexity and layers of flavors from a variety of freshly roasted peppers.  I used a blend that ranges from mild to medium hot to get the most in terms of different flavors and colors.  I think it should have a building heat that doesn't overpower the crab itself.  But feel free to change it up and use any peppers that you like.  And if ... Continue Reading

Fresh Fruit Salad with Lemon-Honey Dressing

This fruit salad is especially scrumptious during berry season but I make all year round and is from my cookbook, The Savory Gourmet. I adjust the amount of honey and lemon I use based on the natural sweetness of the fruit available to me.  So a little more honey in the winter and a little less in the summer.  But what I really love about this dish is how colorful it is and how just those little extra touches of the crème fraiche with the tangy sweetness of the dressing really makes this ... Continue Reading