RECIPES - Open House 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Spread
Delicious when you first make it, but chill it for 24 hours or more for the most flavor.

1 jar (7 oz) roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 pkg (4 oz) crumbled Feta cheese, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp Greek oregano
1-1/2 tbsp Lemon thyme

In mixing bowl, combine peppers, cheese, onions, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and herbs.

Orzo Salad with Vegetables and Herbs
The perfect summer side dish.

6 oz sugar snap peas, trimmed, cut into ¾ inch pieces
2 2/3 cup orzo (rice shaped pasta, about 21 oz)
1 1/4 cups cubed seeded tomatoes
3/4 cup cubed seeded peeled cucumber

1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh spearmint
2 tsp finely chopped lemon peel

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp minced garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

Bring large pot of salted water to boil.  Add sugar snap peas; cook 1 minute.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer peas to strainer.  Rinse with cold water and drain.  Add orzo to the same pot.  Boil until tender but still firm to bite, about 8 minutes.  Drain and cool.  Place orzo in a large bowl.  Mix in sugar snap peas, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, parsley, mint and 1 tsp lemon peel.  Season with salt and pepper.

For dressing combine lemon juice, remaining 1 tsp lemon peel and garlic in medium bowl.  Gradually whisk in olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour half of the dressing over salad; toss to coat.  This can be made 6 hours ahead, and salad and dressing covered separately and chilled.  Bring to room temperature before continuing.  Toss salad with enough remaining dressing to coat generously.  Season with salt and pepper.  Line shallow serving bowl with lettuce and mound salad in bowl to serve.

Horseradish Dill Dip

1 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

3 tbsp bottled horseradish
1/2 tsp salt

1/2  tbsp winter savory
chips for serving

Mix all ingredients and chill for 2 hours or more.

Spiced Herbed Nuts

3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp packed light brown sugar

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp fresh English thyme, chopped

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lb (about 3 cups) raw unsalted mixed nuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a medium saucepan over moderately low heat, combine all ingredients except nuts.  Cook, stirring frequently, until butter and sugar melt completely, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Add nuts and toss well to combine.  Spread nuts on large rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring after 7 minutes, until golden and fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes.  Cool in pan on rack.  Make up to 3 days ahead and store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Cheddar, Sage and Walnut Torta
This smooth, rich torta makes a spicy, elegant appetizer.

1/2 lb cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp fresh sage leaves, chopped (plus a few whole leaves for garnish)
1/2 lb horseradish cheese, shredded
1 cup walnuts, chopped (reserve a few halves for garnish

Place the cream cheese in a food processor with the chopped sage leaves.  Blend.  Line a 2 cup mold with a double thickness of cheesecloth.  Arrange the whole sage leaves in a decorative pattern on the bottom of the mold.  Add half the cream cheese mixture, then add shredded cheddar, smoothing out the layer and pressing it slightly.  Add the walnuts, again pressing gently.  Smooth the remaining cream cheese mixture over the walnuts.  Fold the ends of the cheesecloth over the top of the torta mixture and press lightly.  Refrigerate the mold overnight.  To unmold, fold back the top of the cheesecloth.  Invert a serving plate on top of the mold and flip them over together.  Lift off the mold and carefully remove the cheesecloth.  Garnish the torta with walnut halves.

Hibiscus Heaven Tea
Beautiful rosy pink tea, with a natural sweetness, and high in Vitamin C.

1 part chopped hibiscus flower
1 part rose hips, chopped

1/2 part orange peel
1/2 part lemongrass, dried

1/2 part lemon peel

Mix dry ingredients together well (1 part can equal 1 tsp for easy calculation).  For an extra zip of lemon, add a drop or two of lemon essential oil.

Lime Mint Sugar Cookies
A twist on our classic sugar cookies, with a little special citrus zing!

1 cup butter (or 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp peppermint extract
2 tbsp fine chopped fresh lime mint leaves

2 cups flour
2-3 drops lime essential oil or 1 tsp lime juice


Cream butter and sugar.  Add salt, extract, mint leaves, and flour. Mix well.  Chill dough for 1 hr, or until firm enough to handle. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Form dough into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar.  Press each ball with your thumb.  Place on ungreased baking sheets and bake 12 to 15 minutes.  Cool on racks.  Add chocolate chips or nuts for variety.

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.

Horseradish Meatballs

2 lbs hamburger
1 large chopped onion

1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
2-4 tsp prepared horseradish

2-4 cloves crushed or minced garlic
1 tsp black pepper
4-6 eggs, enough for a good consistency

1/2 tbsp finely chopped chives

Combine all ingredients, using your hands to blend well.  Shape into meatballs and place in frying pan.  Brown on all sides over low heat so meatballs cook through.

Rosemary Horseradish Pesto
Try this one with a roast beef sandwich!

1/2 cup rosemary
1/2 cup – 1 cup olive oil
1 cup parsley
1/2 cup walnuts

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1-2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp horseradish (can use more for more heat).

Mix all ingredients well in a food processor.  Adjust consistency with additional olive oil.

Herbed Pickles
Super easy to make, great for all of those extra cukes in the garden.  makes 1 Quart.

5 1/3 cups white vinegar
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup kosher salt

1 oz. dry mustard
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp  chopped garlic

3 tbsp pickle spice
1 bunch fresh dill (not chopped)
3 medium sized cucumbers

Wash and cut cucumbers.  Put dill, bay leaves and cucumbers in quart size jar.  In a bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.  Pour into your jar.  Place jar in a cool dark place.  Taste after six days.  Can hold up to a month in the fridge.

Lemon-Lavender Pound Cake
Makes 2 loaves

1/3 cup milk
6 large eggs
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp vanilla
3 cups  flour
1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest

1 2/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup dried lavender flowers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour the sides and bottoms of two loaf pans.  Set aside.  In a bowl, combine milk, eggs, lemon juice, and vanilla.  Whisk until combined.  In the bowl of a mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and freshly grated lemon zest.  Mix to combine.  Add the softened butter to the flour mixture.  Cream for 2-3 minutes until fluffy. Gradually add the milk mixture in 2-3 parts, mixing thoroughly for about 30 seconds to 1 minute before each addition.  Mix in lavender flowers until evenly distributed through the batter.  Be careful not to overmix. Divide the batter into the two prepared loaf pans.  Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes.  When the tops are about to crack, score the tops in one line with a sharp, oiled knife to create an even crack.  Then, place an oiled piece of foil on top of the cakes, oil side down.  Continue to bake for 25-30 minutes (for a total baking time of 55-60 minutes).  When a toothpick removed from the center of the cake comes out clean, the cakes are done.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes on a rack before turning the cakes out.  Let cool completely.

For Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
juice of 1 lemon

zest of 1 lemon
sliced almonds, optional

Mix together the powdered sugar and the lemon juice.  Add in the lemon zest.  Mix until combined.  Pour the glaze over the pound cakes.  Immediately top with a sprinkling of sliced almonds, if using.  Let dry.

Basil Pesto
The classic for summer pasta!

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 – 1 cup fresh Italian parsley
3/4 – 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 – 2 cloves fresh garlic

Blend everything except olive oil in food processor.  Slowly add olive oil to desired consistency.

Roasted Potato Salad
Serves 4 as a side dish

You can use sliced shallots instead of Vidalia onions. You can also think of adding dill, or chervil, or whatever mild herbs you like, just be sure to use a generous amount of tarragon. The roasted potatoes do not refrigerate well. You can also make this using unpeeled boiled potatoes, it makes a lighter-tasting salad that does keep well in the fridge. Flavors are incorporated better overnight in the fridge.

4 pounds of fingerling potatoes (or a mix of small potatoes)
3 tbsp white wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp. Dijon mustard

about 2/3 cup olive oil
1 Vidalia onion, halved and sliced

1/2 cup fresh tarragon leaves(we used evergreen)
1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (we used caraway)
dash of lime juice (for boiled potato version)

Clean and dry the potatoes. Cut them, unpeeled, into bite-sizes pieces, toss them with olive oil, salt, and a little pepper, and roast them in a 400º oven for 15 – 20 minutes, or until golden and crusty on the outside, and soft on the inside.  Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Pour the vinegar into a salad bowl, and whisk in enough salt to balance the vinegar’s acidity. Add the pepper and mustard, and whisk to combine. Add the olive oil in a thin stream while whisking. Add the Vidalia onions and fresh herbs, and let them macerate in the vinaigrette while the potatoes finish cooking.  When the potatoes are done, let them cool for about 20 minutes before adding them to the salad bowl and tossing them gently to coat with the vinaigrette. Add lime juice if the potatoes were boiled.  Let the salad rest for a few minutes before serving so the potatoes can absorb the flavors, then taste and correct the seasoning if necessary.

Blackberry Jam w/ Lemon Verbena
Lemon verbena and blackberries go together like peanut butter and jelly…

4 cups crushed blackberries (I sieved out 2 cups of juice and used 2 cups with seeds and pulp)
7 cups of sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 pouch Certo liquid pectin
3 tbsp fresh lemon verbena, finely chopped (remove main vein)

Measure exact amount of crushed blackberries (use a potato masher for best results.  If using a food processor, pulse to chop.  Do not puree.) and pour into a 6 or 8 quart sauce pot.  Stir in lemon juice, sugar (again, make sure it is exactly 7 cups) and lemon verbena.  You can also add in 1/2 teaspoon of butter or margarine to reduce foaming, if desired (I didn’t).  Bring mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.  Stir in pectin quickly.  Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat, skim off any foam with a metal spoon and ladle into prepared jars.

No Knead ‘French’ Bread
This sounds like a lot of work, but most of the time is spent with the dough sitting in a warm spot.  The results are so rewarding, and even if you have not had success with yeast breads before, this is a sure fire winner!

3 Cups All-Purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1/4 tsp Instant Yeast

1 tsp Salt

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.  Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.  Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

For the herb baguette:

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven 425- 450 degrees (depending on your oven).   Use approximately 1 lb. no-knead boule dough per loaf.  Pat/roll the dough into a rectangle about a 1/2-inch thick. Drizzle olive oil over the dough and sprinkle on 1 to 2 tbsp dried herbs (we used a traditional herbs de provence mix (basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley, marjoram, lavender and tarragon). Starting at the long end of the rectangle, roll up and pinch the edge shut.  Tuck under the ends of the loaf.   Sprinkle the pan with olive oil, place the loaf in the pan and let rise about 20-30 minutes.   Sprinkle with cornmeal, score the loaf,  and cover with foil or a lid to cook using the ‘steam’ method.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, taking off the cover the last 5 minutes to brown the loaf.

Chamomile Tea Cookies
Chamomile for cookies sounds unusual, but why not use a common tea plant for delicious dessert treats?  We think Peter Rabbit would have added these cookies to his tea party in a heartbeat!

1/4 cup dried chamomile flowers
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar

2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup flour

Carefully chop the chamomile blossoms and set aside.  Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs and vanilla.  Stir in the flour and chamomile.  Drop by scant teaspoonfuls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.

Cinnamon Chipotle Basil Brownies    Gluten Free!!

1/2 cup almond flour
2 tbsp corn or arrowroot starch

1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp finely chopped blue spice basil

3/4 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs

1/4 cup granulated erythritol (available at health food stores)
2 tsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.  In a small bowl, whisk together almond flour, cinnamon, chipotle, baking powder and salt.  Combine butter and cocoa powder in a medium bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Add eggs, erythritol, cream and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add almond flour mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.   Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and top with walnuts. Bake 18-24 minutes or until edges are browned and top is firm to the touch. Let cool in pan, then cut into squares.  Serves 16. Each brownie has a total of 6.4g of carbs, but only 3.4g if you subtract erythritol.