Archive for February, 2011


2 tablespoon Cranberry Pear White Balsamic

Pinch of salt

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

5 tablespoons Blood Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 1/2 teaspoons shallots, finely minced

Freshly ground black pepper to taste


4 cups torn Bibb lettuce or romaine or mixed field greens, washed, patted dry

1 small pear, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

4 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese, blue cheese or feta cheese

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

To make the vinaigrette: In a food processor or blender, mix the balsamic vinegar, salt and mustard. Slowly drizzle in the oil while the processor is on and process until an emulsion forms. Adjust the seasonings as necessary. Add the shallots and black pepper. Make this up to 2 to 3 days in advance and store in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature, whisk before using.

To make the salad: Place the greens in a large bowl. Drizzle a few tablespoons vinaigrette over the greens. Toss gently to coat the leaves. You might not use all the vinaigrette.

Divide the greens on 2 plates. Top each with a few pear slices and sprinkle with crumbled cheese. Sprinkle on some coarsely chopped walnuts. Drizzle more vinaigrette on top of the walnuts if desired.

Cook’s note: To toast the nuts, place on a tray in a toaster oven. Toast about 4 minutes or until fragrant. Watch carefully; they can burn easily.


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Balsamic Bloody Mary

24 ounce(s) vegetable cocktail, like V8
1 teaspoon(s) celery seed
1 tablespoon(s) freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoon(s) freshly grated horseradish
1 teaspoon(s) Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce, to taste
8 ounce(s) vodka
4 stalk(s) celery, with leaves
1  lime, cut into wedges
4 teaspoon(s) or more of Traditional 18 year balsamic vinegar


In a large pitcher, combine the vegetable cocktail, celery seed, pepper, citrus juices, 2 tablespoons of the horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco and stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Fill 4 glasses with ice. Add 2 ounces vodka to each and fill 3/4 full with the vegetable cocktail. Sprinkle with remaining horseradish, place 1 celery stalk in each glass, and squeeze a lime wedge over each glass before dropping the wedge into the glass. Float a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar on the top of each and serve.

From Mario Batali Holiday Food: Family Recipes for the Most Festive Time of the Year ©2000 Random House Inc – Buy the book

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For Portobello Fries:

1/2 cup of bread crumbs (store bought or homemade)

1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese or Pecarino

Pinch of red crushed pepper flakes

1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon of oregano

Salt and Pepper

2 -3 portobellos

2 large eggs, beaten

For Basil Aioli:

2 Tbsp. Basil Extra Virgin olive oil

¼ cup packed basil leaves

½ tsp. lemon juice

1 medium garlic clove, pressed

Pinch of salt

½ cup mayonnaise, either homemade or commercial

Directions for Portobello Fries:

Preheat oven to 425˙F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray it with cooking spray.  On a plate, mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, red crushed pepper flakes, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper.  In a small to medium bowl, beat the two large eggs.

Cut the portobello mushrooms into 1/8″ slices.  One by one, dip the portobello slices in the beaten eggs and transfer to the place with the bread crumb mixture, being sure to coat the mushrooms thoroughly.  Place the bread crumb covered mushrooms on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, checking on them after 10 and flipping them to ensure thorough baking.

Directions for Basil Aioli:

In the jar of a blender (or a small food processor), combine the olive oil, basil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. Process until the mixture is smooth like pesto, pausing every now and then to scrape down the side of the blender jar with a small spatula or knife.

Put the mayonnaise in a small bowl. Add the basil mixture, and stir well to mix.

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1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans),drained

2 tablespoons Tuscan Herb Extra Virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon Traditional 18 year Balsamic vinegar plus extra for drizzling

2-3 cloves Garlic

Pita bread, toasted baguette or chips


Puree beans, olive oil, garlic and 1 tablespoon vinegar in processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Drizzle with more oil and a few drops of vinegar. Serve with pita wedges or your choice of bread!

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Serves 6

This healthy, hearty winter soup will warm your bones. Serve it with some crusty bread and a green salad. It can be made in advance and refrigerated; simply re-heat to serve.

3 Tbs. Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

4 large carrots, chopped

4 ribs celery, chopped

1 small fennel bulb, chopped

2 Tbs. garlic, chopped

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

8 cups chicken broth (organic low-sodium preferred)

1 cup pearl barley

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish


Heat olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium heat. Add chopped vegetable mixture and cook, stirring often, until onions are translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add broth, increase heat, and bring to a boil. Add barley, return to a boil; reduce heat to low, and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, for about an hour. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into large bowls, and garnish with a generous sprinkling of parsley.

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    These vividly seasoned shrimp are great on their own, served atop pasta, or as part of a tapas tray.

    5 servings (serving size: about 4 ounces shrimp)


    1 1/2  pounds  medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

    1  teaspoon  sugar

    1/4  teaspoon  kosher salt

    1  tablespoon  chili powder

    1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin

    1/2  teaspoon  ground coriander

    1/2  teaspoon  dried oregano

    3  tablespoons  avocado oil, divided

    Lime wedges


    Sprinkle shrimp with sugar and salt. Combine chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano. Lightly coat shrimp with spice mixture.

    Heat 2 tablespoons of Avocado oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add all the shrimp; sauté 4 minutes or until done. Place shrimp on a platter; drizzle remaining Avocado oil over shrimp. Serve with lime wedges and enjoy!!

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