RECIPES - Open House 2009

Italian Hummus

1 crusty baguette, sliced
1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
3 tbsp sesame tahini paste
2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
3 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbsp winter savory
1 lemon
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Optional Garnishes

Coarsely chopped green or black olives
Chopped parsley and basil leaves
Chopped roasted red peppers
Chopped hot pickled vegetables (giardiniera)

Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Toast bread 7 to 8 minutes.  Place the beans in a food processor with tahini, garlic, rosemary, the juice of 1 lemon and some salt.  Turn processor on and stream in a little olive oil, process until smooth, adjust salt and transfer to a small serving bowl, garnish with toppings if you wish, and serve with toast. 

Grapefruit Salad with Jicama

4 cups red cabbage, thinly shredded, washed, rinsed twice and patted dry
2 cups jicama, very thinly shredded
1 cup carrot, very thinly shredded
1 large grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup rau ram (Vietnamese coriander), or substitute 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup candied pecans (recipe follows)
1/2 cup dressing (see recipe below)

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Toss well and serve.  Serves  8.  Yields 9 cups.

Candied Pecans

1/2 cup egg whites (4 large eggs)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups pecan halves

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  With whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form.  With mixer still on, slowly add sugar and salt.  Beat 2 more minutes.  Fold egg whites into pecans.  Then spread mixture onto an ungreased sheet pan.  Bake until egg whites are puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Toss to deflate whites, spread out again and bake until nuts are lightly toasted, about 15 minutes.  Yields 3 cups.


5 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Thai chilies, seeded (or 1 jalapeno)
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 cup water

In a mortar, food processor or blender, pound the garlic, chilies and sugar into a paste.  Add soy sauce, vinegar and water.  Yields 3 cups.  Store in refrigerator. 

Lemon Grass Butter

1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, plus extra melted butter
1 tsp minced or ground lemon grass
1 kaffir lime leaf, very finely sliced (optional)
3 tbsp finely chopped chives
Cream the butter with above ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste. 

Pizza Herbs and Vegetable Cheese Spread

Delicious appetizers don’t get any easier than this!

2 packages of  8 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 envelope Lipton Veggie soup mix
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 tbsp dried basil
1/4 cup chopped mixture of marjoram, oregano, thyme, and parsley
2 tbsp grated fresh Parmesan cheese

With mixer or food processor beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add all remaining ingredients until well blended.  Line 7 1/2 x 3 3/4 x 2 1/4 inch loaf pan or small bowl with wax paper.  Pack cheese mixture into pan and refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.  Unmold on to serving platter.  Serve with bagel chips, cucumber slices, or assorted crackers. 

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto 

4 oz sun dried tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil (we used spicy bush basil)
3 tbsp chopped Greek oregano
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 tbsp chopped onions
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste

Place sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl and cover with warm water for 5 minutes, or until tender.  In a food processor or blender combine sun dried tomatoes, basil, oregano, parsley, garlic, pine nuts and onion; process until well blended.  Add vinegar, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes and red wine, and process.  Stir in olive oil and Parmesan cheese.  Season with salt to taste. 

Herbal Dip

1 garlic clove
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup chopped chives
2 tbsp chopped fresh chervil
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill weed
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil (we used Thai basil)
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 dash Tabasco sauce

Position knife blade in food processor bowl; top with cover.  Drop garlic through food chute with processor running; process 3 to 5 seconds or until garlic is minced.  Add remaining ingredients; process 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.  Cover and chill at least 4 hours.  Serve dip with assorted vegetables.  Yields 2 cups. 

Razzlemint Tea

1 teaspoon each of dried spearmint, peppermint, crushed rosehips, lemongrass;  1/2 tsp each of orange peel and raspberry leaf; dash of cinnamon (or purchase our ready-made tea blend!).

Mix ingredients together well.  Bring cool water to a boil.  Place 1 tsp of the tea blend in a tea infuser, pour 1 cup of boiling water over and allow to steep for 3 – 5 minutes, preferably in a covered container.  For iced tea, allow to steep up to 10 minutes, then allow to cool to room temperature and add ice and a squeeze of lemon if desired. 

Lavender and Orange Glazed Almonds

1 cup lavender sugar (recipe follows)
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp grated orange zest
1/2 tsp dried ginger (optional)
2 cups pecan halves (about 1/2 lb)

Lightly toast almonds in large heavy pan over low heat.  Line cookie sheet with waxed paper.  Bring first three ingredients to a boil in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Boil 30 seconds.  Stir in almonds.  Spread almonds in one layer on waxed paper and cool completely.  Separate almonds if necessary.  Prepare 1 day to 1 week ahead.  Store in an airtight container.

Lavender Sugar 

Combine 1 cup sugar and ¼ cup fresh lavender heads.  Place the mixture in a sealed container for about one week.  When ready to use, sift the sugar to separate it from the lavender.  The sugar may get clumpy but sifts easily. 

Herb Marinated Olives

Transform basic canned olives to something special with a simple marinade of fresh herbs, olive oil and lemon juice.  Keep olives covered with marinade.  Oil may congeal in the refrigerator but will quickly return to liquid at room temperature.  Marinated olives will keep in the refrigerator for 6 months.

To prepare 1 pound of olives with lemon juice, drain the olives, reserving the brine.  Layer olives with herbs and other seasonings of choice in a glass jar.  Pour 3/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup vinegar, preferably lemon-flavored, over the olives.  Add enough reserved brine to cover, and attach the lid.  Refrigerate for several days before using.

To prepare 1 pound of olives with olive oil, drain the olives, discarding the brine.  Layer olives with herbs and other seasonings of choice in a glass jar.  Pour extra virgin olive oil over the olives to cover.  Attach the lid and refrigerate for several days before using.

For our olives, we used a mixture of lemon thyme, lemon verbena, lemon balm, lemon basil and fennel, approximately 2 1/2 cups chopped per pound of olives. 

Pineapple Sage Pound Cake 

Slices of this cake hot from the toaster, with a bit of butter and honey, are delicious for breakfast!

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
5 eggs
2 tbsp chopped pineapple sage leaves
3 tbsp coarsely chopped pineapple sage flowers, if available
1 tsp grated lemon peel
4 tbsp well-squeezed, chopped pineapple
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups flour

Cream the butter and the sugar until very light and fluffy.  Beat in the honey.  Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat for one minute after each addition.  Beat in the sage leaves, flowers and lemon peel.  Stir the dry ingredients together and add to the butter mixture.  Add chopped pineapple.  Fold these together gently, until just blended.  Pour into four miniature loaf pan (6 inches by 3 1/4 inches by 2 inches).  Bake in a pre-heated 325 degree F oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until golden brown (a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean).  Cool for 10 minutes on a rack, then turn out of pans and continue to cool. 

Greek Lemon-Herb Cookies

2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 egg yolks
4 tsp grated lemon peel, divided
1/2 tsp dried rosemary or 1 tsp fresh

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.  Beat butter and 1 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg yolks, 3 tsp lemon peel and rosemary.  Gradually add flour mixture.  Beat at low speed until well blended.

Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp lemon peel in a shallow bowl.  Shape tablespoonfuls of dough into 1 inch balls; roll in sugar mixture to coat.  Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Press balls to 1/4 inch thickness using flat bottom of drinking glass.  Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Remove cookies to wire racks; cool completely.  Store tightly covered at room temperature or freeze up to 3 months. 

Scented Geranium Lemonade

1/2 cup sugar
6 cups water
8 rose scented geranium leaves
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Bring the sugar and 2 cups of the water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add the rose scented geranium, cover and remove from the heat.  Let the syrup steep for at least 30 minutes.  Strain the syrup into a pitcher.  Stir in 1/2 cup lemon juice and the remaining 4 cups water.  Taste and add more lemon juice if necessary.  Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.  Makes 1 1/2 quarts. 

Cranberry Sage Chutney
This chutney is wonderful with a holiday turkey and turkey sandwiches, but it is also delicious as a glaze for summer barbecues.

6 cups cranberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 orange, unpeeled, chopped, and seeded
1 cup orange juice
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds
12 dried dates, chopped
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dry mustard
3 tbsp chopped fresh sage

Place all the ingredients except 2 tbsp of the sage in a non-aluminum pan and cook over medium low heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat and boil until the berries and the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Stir in the remaining tablespoons of sage.  Ladle into sterilized jars, wipe the rims clean, and seal tightly.  This chutney can be refrigerated for up to 6 months.  To store for up to one year, process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes.  Store in a cool, dark place.  Makes 4 pints.

Bay Laurel Peaches

1 (29 ounce) can peach halves, undrained
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar

Drain peaches, reserving liquid. Arrange peach halves, cut side up, in an 8-inch square baking dish. Set peaches aside. Combine reserved peach liquid, bay leaf and butter in a saucepan; bring to a boil and boil 1 minute. Add paprika and remaining ingredients to mixture in saucepan, stirring well. Pour over peaches. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove bay leaf.  Yields 8 servings.

Bay Leaf Pound Cake 

Yummy for breakfast or dessert! 

5 bay leaves
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking powder

Mix together milk and bay leaves in saucepan.  Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and cool completely.  Beat butter until creamy.  Add sugar.  Beat until creamy.  Add eggs, beating until fluffy.  Sift together flour and baking powder.  Add to creamed mixture just until blended.  Strain milk and discard bay leaves.  Mix cooled milk into batter just until blended.  Spread into greased and floured 8 inch by 4 inch loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan.  Serve plain or topped with pureed strawberries or peaches.  Makes 12 servings.