Vegetarian Cooking: Kimchi Bitter Melon (Vegetarian Cooking - Vegetables and Fruits Book 91)

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Serve the hummus in a bowl. Garnish with the pickled red onion and avocado. Serve with warm pita. Surg ing in popularit y across the U. Bring to a boil and add the roasted red pepper. Garnish with the red pepper. Skip the raw vegg ies and opt for uniq ue f lavor combos like onion, g inger and cilantro for a batch of crispy f rit ters.

Form the fritter into 2 oz balls. This recipe should yield around 20 fritters. Serve with a yogurt sauce or an aioli. We're going w ild for watermelon this spring as it's a stand out stars in every thing f rom gazpacho to salad and more! Toss the watermelon in the dressing and plate. Top off with the toasted almonds, feta cheese and sliced mint. Boldly go where your taste bud s haven't gone before w ith recipes f rom the Mediterranean, A sia and more!

Season with the remaining salt and add crumbled goat cheese [optional]. A s we spring into spring, elevate your menu w ith some splended lighter fare, using f resh and healthy ing redients. In a food processor, combine chopped garlic, cous cous, black beans and olive oil. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Combine with artichokes, scallions, vinegar, chopped herbs and yogurt.

Shape mixture into patty. On a preheated felt top, place burger and cook for 4 minutes each side. Place on toasted roll with lettuce and tomato and top with Chipotle dressing. The might y mushroom is q uickly becoming the vegg ie blend of choice for burgers as it of fers up American classics in a healthier way w ithout losing the satisf y ing taste or tex t ure. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.

Transfer cooled mushrooms to medium bowl. Add ground beef and salt, mixing until combined. Make 4 patties. Add remaining tablespoon of olive oil to pan and cook burger patties on medium-high heat until desired doneness. Plate and add desired toppings to bun. It's not just a "trend" - toast is being hailed as a f lavor and it's being topped w ith every thing f rom avocado to sweet potato to seaweed. In a bowl mash avocado and season with salt and pepper. Spread mixture over toasted wheat berry bread. Garnish with sliced tomato, feta and chopped olives. Garnish with chives and edible flowers such as alyssium and star flowers.

Two slices per person. Sweat the onion with the olive oil and reserve. Might even want to chill. Boil the water and add the peas for minutes. Drain the peas and add to bowl of ice water, shock the peas to maintain color. Strain them again. Take all ingredients and puree in a food processor. Puree for a short time for a chunky hummus or longer for a smoother hummus. Garnish with grilled flat bread bathed in butter and dusted with curry powder. Highlighting the pea's sweet f lavor and delicate tex t ure in a light, healthy and delicious risot to is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Place edamame beans in processor and blend until smooth. In medium mixing bowl add pureed edamame beans and diced avocado. Next, add remainder ingredients, all should be fine diced. Add juice and seasoning, toss lightly to combine until desired consistency is achieved. Plate in bowl, serve with fresh veggies.

In a bowl combine cauliflower and chickpeas, toss with olive oil and fajita seasoning. Bake for about minutes, turning to evenly roast. Heat tortillas, divide cauliflower mix evenly between 3 tacos and top with slaw. In a food processor add the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and tahini paste.

Add the salt and cumin. With the food processor. Whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil for the vinaigrette. Toss the Veggie Power Blend in the vinaigrette and place in a bowl. Top off with the grilled chicken strips, quinoa, avocado, cilantro and lima bean. Garnish with black sesame seeds. Meanwhile in a hot saute pan add the blended oil. Saute mushrooms until caramelized and add the balsamic vinegar. Cook until the balsamic vinegar is absorbed into the mushrooms.

Salt and pepper to taste. Top off with the mushrooms, remaining olive oil and chopped parsley. Place the mixture into a bowl. Top off with the remaining blueberries, sliced banana, raspberries, granola and toasted coconut. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to degrees. Place on a baking sheet and bake for approximately minutes until tender. Meanwhile in a food processor or blender, add in the vinegar, mustard and remaining salt. Blend and slowly add the oil to emulsify the ingredients. Add salt and blend for another 20 seconds. Mince the shallots and stir into the vinaigrette do not blend the shallots, you are going to want the texture.

Once the carrots are done,place them in a shallow serving dish. Pour the shallot vinaigrette on top of the carrots and finish with the torn mint, torn parsely and the toasted walnuts. Remove from heat and strain through a cheesecloth Add to a bowl with all of the other ingredients. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. Add all the vegetables and the vinegar, then slowly add the jalapeilo a little at a time. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toast the crouton and smear the cheese on top. Torch the cheese lightly with a brulee torch. Place in center of bowl pour the gazpacho around until crouton floats.

Let this sit covered and refrigerated for at least an hour. Sprinkle with flax seeds, microgreens, kosher salt, and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic syrup. Serve with equal portions of spring mix on top or to the side of cubes. Chop mint leaves and set aside. In a mixing bowl, squeeze the lime juice, then add the zest of orange. Add honey, chopped mint and mix well.

Salt to taste. Sautee for about minutes and add the garlic. Cover with lid and let simmer for approximately 40 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Remove from heat. Serve over cooked basmati rice and garnish with the remaining chopped mint and parsley. Toss the garlic in the blended oil and season with salt and pepperplace into an aluminum foil "pouch' and place in the oven for approximately 40 minutes. Remove and cool Zest and juice the lemon. Brush the remaining vegetables with 2 Tbs of the olive oil and place on the grill.

Grill the vegetables on all sides. Arrange the grilled vegetables on a plate and top off with the roasted garlic, olive oil, lemon juice , mint, feta cheese and garnish with the lemon zest. Combine the oil, vinegar, vegetables, and the Faro including the arugula. Salt and pepper the skin side first salmon filet. Sear in pan with the 1 Tbsp of olive oil to medium rare.

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In center of the plate position a round ring mold 6 inch and place farro on plate. Place salmon on top and garnish with the fruit zests. Heat olive oil in pan. Add onions, garlic, mushrooms, and thyme; saute until mushrooms brown. Season with salt and pepper; place in refrigerator to cool. Place chilled mushroom mixture into large bowl.

Add ground beef, soy sauce, mustard, breadcrumbs, and paprika. Combine and form into patties; refrigerate four hours to bind. Cook to desired temperature; place on bun. Add romaine, red onion, and tomatoes. GLAZE: Add the ingredients into a medium-size pot and cook over medium-low heat until it becomes thick, about 10 minutes. Remove and let stand. SLAW: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until completely combined. Keep cool before serving. Combine the mushrooms into a large-size bowl along with the pork, onion, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper and mix together.

Form 6 patties. Place the pork burgers on the grill on high heat and cook them for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or until dark grill marks are formed and they are cooked throughout. To plate: Place the grilled burger on top of the toasted bottom brioche bun. Glaze the burger with the soy-balsamic glaze and top off with a heaping scoop of banh mi slaw followed up with the toasted brioche bun top. Recipe provided by: The Mushroom Council. Season with salt and pepper. Make sure to stir every couple of minutes to thoroughly roast.

Remove and place in a bowl. Add sour cream. Spoon mixture over toasted baguette, garnish with crumbled blue cheese. Add onions and mushrooms; cook until translucent. Add rice and lemon zest and cook for one minute while stirring. Add lemon juice and cook on medium until nearly evaporated; continue to add stock one cup at a time, still stirring, until liquid cooks off. When all liquid is incorporated and rice is tender approximately 30 minutes , add peas, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.

Plate with halved egg on top. Garnish with chives optional. Afterwards, add to the resting bowl of squash and zucchini, then set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, add eggs, flour and beat well. Then add shredded cheese to mixture and fold. Pour the mixture into the sauteed vegetable, gently fold, season with salt and pepper.

Grease with butter, 12" square oven-proof pan, then pour mixture and cook for 30 minutes, or until firm to touch and browned. When done, let rest for 10 minutes, before slicing. Garnish with sour cream, salsa, avocado, cilantro and fried corn tortilla chips. Place on top of tacos. Heat in a large skillet and add 1 oz butter until melted, then add squash and zucchini, and saute until soft and browned, then place in mixing bowl, and set aside.

Cook for an additional minutes. Get saucy in many more ways than one.. With a mouthwatering desire for bold, cutting-edge flavors, now is the time to freshen up your menu with unique sauces and spreads, featuring vibrant, luscious Avocados From Mexico. From bright avocado aioli to a sinfully sweet avocado cream cheese, add a house-made touch to everything from sandwiches and burgers, breakfasts to late-night snacks, all while packing a fresh punch.

The saucebilities are endless. Here, trees naturally bloom four times a year and every season is peak season. Saucy Inspirations Create delectable recipes with these innovative sauces to enhance your menu and enjoy. Oftentimes when people hear "vegetarian restaurant" thoughts immediately go to a health-food focused place where you'll find a lot of tofu, alternative meats like seitan and a hipster-environment. But with the rise in interest of vegetables by American diners, that perception is changing. Many meat-centirc restaurants around the country have honed in on the trend and have added vegetable-focused dishes to their menus, but another crop of restaurants altogether have actually put vegetables front and center.

Quickservice chains like Sweetgreen, Freshii and Protein Bar have sprouted across the country, but full-service independent restaurants have gotten in on the action, too. Here we explore a number of places where you can get a healthy, produce-filled meal and still leave feeling completely satisfied. Take note of these places as you look to add more vegetables stars to your menu.

What it is: One of the first modern vegetable-focused restaurants in Chicago, Green Zebra has drawn people to its gorgeous, intimate dining room in the city's West Town neighborhood since What it is: A rustic neighborhood spot focused on serving seasonal, local fare where Chef Justin Pfau makes vegetables the star of the dish and in-house farmer Leslie Wade grows much of the produce used in the kitchen on the restaurant's rooftop. Cohen utilizes a variety of culinary influences — Mexican, Korean, Chinese — spices, textures and more to create a dining experience where meat is not missed.

As she says, "Anyone can cook a burger, leave the vegetables to the professionals. Example of dishes: Hen of The Woods Mushroom Pate with raspberry mostarda and shaved watermelon radishes Palak Paneer with Genesis Farms spinach, candied ginger, farmer's cheese, Green Acres shaved baby carrots and wholewheat chapati. Example of dishes: Mushroom Reuben with caraway pickled cabbage, black garlic, gruyere, roasted tomato aioli Forage Board: Changes depending on what's in the kitchen, but features different vegetables tempura spring onion; marinated beet salad , herbs, edible flowers and various textures.

No two boards are ever the same. Example of dishes: Kale matzoh ball soup with poached egg and okra Brussels sprout tacos served on a sizzling stone with lettuce wraps and other accompaniments. What it is: Chef CJ Jacobson grew up in Southern California and finds inspiration for his CaliMediterranean mezze- aka sharable plates focused menu in the fresh variety of vegetables he sourced while working out west. While you'll find meat and seafood on the menu, the main focus here is seasonal vegetables with some of the best falafel and various hummus you may ever have.

What it is: Set to open this April, it's a restaurant, market and magazine focusing on "food that makes you feel good. The goal is to show people that vegetables can be enticing, satisfying and fulfilling. What it is: Vedge, one of the most celebrated plant-based restaurants in America, is led by James Beard Award-nominated husband-andwife team Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby. Offering a refined dining experience, Vedge sources nearly everything locally and never uses any animal products in their dishes.

Charred eggplant with house made yogurt, lemon and California arbequina olive oil Green falafel with hummus, tzatziki, Mity Vine tomatoes, red onion and house dressing. Example of dishes: Ssamjang glazed tofu with edamame puree, roasted miso, yuba crackling and sea beans Portobello carpaccio with deviled turnip, caper puree and nigella grissini. What it is: The latest restaurant from One Off Restaurant Group headed by executive chef Cosmo Goss, Anker is an offshoot of the more oysters- and pork-focused Publican.

Goss, a native of Southern California, revamped the Publican menu when coming aboard a few years ago, adding a full vegetable section. Now at Anker, Goss' main focus is on seasonal vegetables and well-sourced fish. Example of dishes: Grilled cucumbers with whipped ricotta and zhoug green chili relish Scallops with sunchokes, tangerine and Serrano chile. Example of dishes: Frida Kale bowl with rice, kale, sweet potato, black beans and spicy tomato topped with corn nuts and cranberries Beefsteak tomato burger with pickled red onion, sprouts and caper herb mayo on an olive oil brioche bun.

What it is: Vital Root focuses on sustainability and sourcing locally with more than 50 percent of all ingredients on its menu sourced within Colorado. They only use organic oils and flours and unrefined sugars for its affordable, fast-casual veg-focused menu for breakfast through dinner. Is it time to bid farewell to the savory vegetable stews and elegant platters of roasted root veggies? Yes, and no. That said, there are compelling reasons to focus on some stars of the season.

Also important is the opportunity to highlight your seasonal buys on the menu. In addition, the chance to ramp up the produce quotient in a one-dish meal with grains and proteins is particularly strong during the warmer months, and pares down the per plate cost. Freshen up your menu with these prime picks Arugula The resurgence of salads is a welcome sign of spring, and the multi-talented arugula makes a peppery main attraction. Create a classic Italian salad with raw leaves tossed in olive oil, lemon juice, shaved Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper; make a sweet and savory cantaloupe, prosciutto and arugula salad or a beet and berry salad topped with blueberries and slivered almonds; go greener with the fresh crunch of peas or more colorful with red peppers and tomatoes.

For an al fresco delight, add strawberries to a shrimp ceviche with fresh vegetables, citrus juices and cilantro, or make strawberry spring rolls with vermicelli noodles, tofu and an almond dipping sauce. Even bolder: top frozen yogurt with a combination of fresh strawberries and a drizzle of balsamic reduction for an amazing burst of flavor. Bell peppers For sheer color appeal, pepper your dishes with the bright reds, greens and yellows of the baby bells or their larger-sized parents.

Braise up some reds, mix in julienned zucchini squash, with some chopped fresh basil for a peerless summer salad. Pickle the peppers, stuff them with goat cheese or puree them with garbanzo beans and tahini for a flavored hummus appetizer. Broccoli Like its crunchy cousin cauliflower, broccoli can be transformed by ricing and used virtually everywhere — over salads, in sauces and sandwiches. Your customers will load it into their wagons and ride off happily into the sunset. Learn more about our sauces at TexasPeteFoodservice.

Now available in half gallon! Resourceful chefs and operators have long utilized the versatile vegetable and other plants as both menu staples and edible vessels with which to present other foods. The sushi chefs of Japan figured out that seaweed would make the perfect wrapper for their gorgeous creations.

Imaginative Greeks long ago began stuffing savory fillings inside grape leaves, which they had in abundance. With the return of spring, consider whether edible vessels might add just the perfect fresh nuance to your spring and summer plate presentations. Chang s The signature dish at this popular Chinese chain is Chicken Lettuce Wraps, in which a secret-recipe chopped chicken mixture is presented with iceberg lettuce sections, used for encasing the chicken in a hand-held edible package.

Another interesting vegetable vessel on the menu here are the jicama shells, used to hold filling in a menu offering called Jicama Street Tacos. Of course, potatoes are a mainstay in the British Isles, but Americans love them, too. Small, medium and large bakers are offered with trendy vegan fillings: Hummus; Gazpacho; Quinoa Salad beetroot, celery, carrots, raisins, oil and vinegar ; Curried Rice wild rice, mango chutney, coriander, peppers ; Cous Cous; Spinach Salad and more.

Thought Starters for Veggie Vessels: Stuffed red, yellow and green sweet bell peppers are flavorful, colorful, retro comfort food that can easily be elevated with upscale fillings and regional specialties. Giant Portobello mushroom caps make the perfect chalice to fill with everything from rustic sausage and herbed panko crumbs to fancy lobster risotto with asparagus tips.

Hollowed out blanched zucchini and yellow squash make excellent boats in which to serve savory salads, ancient grains, vegetable ragout, rice pilaf, etc. Using a mandoline, cut vegetables such as zucchini or eggplant into long, thin strips that can be used as revolutionary lasagna noodles.

Using a spiralizer, create guilt-free colorful spaghetti from zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, etc. Vegetable-focused chefs have started to convert even the most meat-centric eaters by Ari Bendersky. There was a time in American dining that if you didn't have red meat prominently featured as the main course on your menu, you may as well not have bothered serving dinner.

Oversized T-bone steaks, burgers piled high on sesame seed buns, steak tartare front and center at the start of a meal — this was how the average American diner, well, dined and maybe they'd have some creamed spinach along side to get their recommended vegetable. As we moved into the '80s, people became more health conscious and white meat — pork, chicken, turkey — became more the norm and fish started swimming its way in front of more people, especially with the sushi boom in the '90s. Now as the country gets even more health savvy, chefs have started making vegetables the star at the center of diners' plates, but that doesn't mean everyone is ready to give up their meat.

So, as a chef, how can you help convince even the most meat-centric eaters that vegetables are their friends? While Harold's Cabin has meat dishes like a bison burger with onion jam and flounder with lavender-roasted pears, its main focus is on presenting beautiful seasonal produce as the star. It has a farm on its roof and an in-house farmer to tend to all the herbs and vegetables they grow. Meat eaters may visit Harold's looking for a hearty, meat-focused dish, but once they experience more vegetables,.

This was someone who elsewhere would have gotten a burger or fried chicken. Just give them vegetables in the first place. When we get repeat customers, they come back and want to try other things. It takes more to get creative with vegetables and to bring out their natural flavor than simply cooking a steak over coals. Chefs use a variety of cooking techniques, seasonings and spices to entice diners to try vegetables, and once they do, they're usually more interested in exploring what vegetables can offer.

Many new restaurants have emerged from the Northeast to the Southwest and the Pacific Northwest where vegetables have started taking center stage to show diners that meat isn't the only way to leave a restaurant feeling full and happy. At Los Angeles spot Botanica, which is scheduled to open this April, Emily Fiffer and Heather Sperling, two former food journalists, created a place where diners could eat more healthfully without feeling like they dropped into a "health food" restaurant. You feel like you're eating a really meaty, flavorpacked, richly spiced dish. Plenty of chefs have started doing whole roasted cauliflower and cooking a variety of vegetables over open fire, which gives it a steak-like taste with the char from the flame.

Others use a variety of spices and seasonings from around the world like Japan, India and the Middle East to help take the overall flavor up a notch. It's not the end game. We wanted to create meat and seafood as sides. If you're dying for protein you can add it to your meal in smaller portions and feel satisfied. While more diners have started gravitating toward eating more vegetables, many still feel like a meal isn't a meal without some sort of meat on the plate.

However, there are ways to fill people up without having a hefty sleep-inducing ounce ribeye as the main focus. Many new food trends begin with more prominent chefs and trickle down to restaurants across the country. But to start that movement, more chefs need to start cooking more vegetables. We can show you that vegetables can give you that same satisfaction as meat.

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You have to rewire your brain; it's like exercise. It's not going to happen in the first month, but after that you're going to start feeling great. You'll understand there's more to life than just eating meat as the center of your plate. Put vegetables in the center and give them enough flavor from smoke, char and spice and you won't miss the meat. You'll be as satisfied by not eating meat. At Charleston's Harold's Cabin, Pfau would likely never have a pastrami or corned beef sandwich on the menu, but he does have a mushroom Reuben, where he seasons fresh mushrooms with black garlic and pastrami spices and.

While it may not be an exact match for the traditional Reuben, people find it wholly satisfying. You can take baby steps by cooking vegetables in animal fats or in a bone broth or pork stock to add a meatier texture. Lead your meat-loving guests by the hand and show them how good vegetables can be. There are chefs who are really talented with cooking vegetables, but they're not paying enough attention to them. You can't look at a restaurant menu nearly anywhere in the country without having both of those ubiquitous vegetables stare back at you. Diners — and thus, chefs — jumped on the kale superfood trend and prepared more roasted Brussels with bacon than you can shake a stick at.

While we still love both, isn't it time to let other fabulous vegetables — and how to prepare them — shine? Chefs around the country have started gravitating toward beautiful, underused vegetables like turnips, kohlrabi, cabbages, watermelon radishes, green garlic, rutabaga, escarole, collard greens and the even more familiar cauliflower, beets and carrots, but prepared in new, inventive ways.

To get vegetables to be spectacular, you need to give them a lot of attention and that takes a lot of work. This is why many chefs have also started using a variety of techniques to make vegetables stand out throughout the year. There are numerous ways to go beyond simply steaming or roasting vegetables to really help bring out their natural flavors and nuances.

Between grilling over open fire, fermenting, pickling, preserving and using interesting new spices, the options to bring vegetables front and center are fairly endless. We'll ferment them when we get them so we can use them in winter. That [trend] is going to continue.

It's funny because it goes full circle and these are techniques people had to use forever prior to refrigeration. Even if you've seen certain vegetables on menus for a while, there are still ways to go about preparing them to give them new life. Yes, heirloom tomatoes have loomed large for years, but Curren returned to a classic French technique to make tomato water for a dish and it blew his diners' minds. That's where technique comes in. He suggests taking familiar vegetables like cucumbers or radishes and finding different ways to prepare them.

He sees more chefs doing this to get diners excited about vegetables. If you cook a cucumber or radish, they become juicy like a turnip. If you shave a turnip raw, it's delicious and crunchy. Roasted cucumbers taste like squash. Turn things on their side. Be creative. Sure, people still want meat, but we're also seeing a lot of people going out to get their veggie fix. If you start to view something as having the potential to be a main course, I think that's how things will start changing. More and more diners have started moving toward plant-based diets — or, at least, trying to cut back on their meat intake.

And a veggie burger is an easy way to make people happy. That said, not all veggie burgers are created equal. You can now find well-made frozen veggie burgers made with kale, quinoa, crimini mushrooms, millet, coconut oil, arugula, collard greens and apple cider vinegar that you can then also spruce up with other fresh toppings and delicious buns made from whole grains — healthier options diners are looking for. They also want environmentally responsible options, as sustainably sourced food is more important than ever. But once you nail that delicious blend that forms a patty that can stand up to the consistency of a meat-protein-based burger, diners looking for that alternative will thank you.

At one point he tried making a chickpea-based patty, but found the taste too vegetal and green, and thus felt like it was distracting. Ultimately, the combination that worked best uses black turtle beans cooked. Shaved beets get added before all the ingredients are bound together with egg white powder and the naturally occurring vegetarian enzyme transglutaminase a.

Most veggie burgers are one big dense patty that can be a little challenging.

One of my favorite styles of burger is a smash burger, which we re-created for this. It creates a caramelization and crust to give it the texture of a real smash burger. All those flavors together are reminiscent of an old-school diner burger. At the green-certified Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, James Beard Award-winning chef Jonathon Sawyer created a fairly simple veggie burger with better ingredients and never used any chemicals or fillers.

The result is a burger made with cannellini beans and long grain brown rice that Sawyer tops with aged cheddar, tomatoes and housemade pickles. You can get creative and stack meaty grilled portobellos with different ingredients like grilled peaches, guacamole or goat cheese. You can get creative and stack meaty grilled portobellos with different ingredients like grilled peaches, guacamole or goat cheese; or use grilled eggplant and layer that with hummus or pesto; play around with different grains like freekeh and couscous; or even make a falafel burger you can top with tzatziki, red onion and diced cucumber for a Mediterraneanstyle flair.

You can also let local produce and extra ingredients you already have in the kitchen for other dishes inspired you. At his two Tallahassee, Fla. He used local Southern corn with black beans and hemp seed for the patty at Bistro and smothered hummus on a sourdough bun. His first restaurants, Savann and Savann Est. Soon in New York, explored contemporary French fare.

He also boasts dozens of eateries spanning the globe specializing in Pan-Latin and Latin-Asian eats. And while each restaurant is remarkably different, one strong element ties them together: spices. The concept merges contemporary Indian and Latin American cuisines, which calls for an eclectic spice cabinet. How you manipulate them—roast, sauce, crush, paste, dry, whole—morphs each spice, and it's a skill that comes with experience and experimenting.

With so many spices out there, however, all that research may get overwhelming. He narrows them down to the basics: Pepper, ginger, oregano, chili powder, cinnamon and coriander seeds get more play due to their versatility, says Sandoval. She advises chefs to be fearless when it comes to spices and to seek out items unknown to them.

COM Like most contemporary American restaurants eager to earn a loyal following, Eden showcases bursts of color on every plate it sends out of the kitchen. It begins with something as simple as lightly fried Brussels sprouts enhanced by braised duck and freshly picked basil. But Devon Quinn, who serves as executive chef and partner at the Chicago restaurant with wife Jodi Fyfe, will tell you that every ingredient is strategic and purposeful. He credits his love for science and nature, plus a B. We use herbs at all stages of their lives, from very small, delicate micros to fragrant, mature plants.

My favorites are the intense blossoms. Quinn says he uses them in multiple ways, from garnishes and marinades to sauces such as Spanish salsa verde, pesto and chimichurri. For the award-winning mixologist Lynn House, using herbs she grows at home in market-fresh cocktails is what sets her apart from many of her colleagues. The self-described green thumb, who is national brand educator for Heaven Hill Brands, grows basil, mint, rosemary and pineapple sage, among other herbs, in her backyard. It is an organic way to get the strongest, most vibrant plants.

When your herbs are cut, make sure the leaves stay dry because when they get wet they will spoil if not used immediately. The shiny side is where the oils are, and where the flavor is. I recommend doing five crushes and that will release enough aromatics. If the thought of adding fruit to a savory recipe on your menu makes you scratch your head, perhaps it's time to start thinking differently.

Because fruit, although sweet, can add so many layers to a dish and help not only bring out unexpected flavors, but can help cut through the heaviness of certain dishes, especially those with more fat or oils from meat, seafood or butter to help achieve proper balance. Fruits provide natural sweetness, acidity, and tartness in balancing savory components.

That combination, along with cucumbers, fresh mint or basil , olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh lime juice makes a deliciously refreshing summer salad. He also said pairing scallops with blood orange works well, as does tuna and pineapple, which due to high acidity balances the oiliness of the fish. But fruit in a dish doesn't actually have to lend sweetness.

You can add savoriness to the fruit through a variety of techniques ranging from fermentation to grilling. Another technique that has gained favor among chefs over the last few years is pickling.


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Not only does it add a different flavor profile, it also lets you use spring and summer produce in fall and winter when they're not readily available locally. In general, start thinking of fruit just as you would a vegetable. By broadening the way you look at that segment of food, you'll quickly open up the possibilities of what you can do with it. Gamey meats go well with fruit and they don't have to be sweet. They can be sweet-sour, grilled, salted.

We grill peaches, figs, citrus and apples, which is one of our favorites. It's a sweet fruit with texture, but we do a quick pickle to it that pulls down on the sweet and adds acid to give a more interesting flavor profile all around. We eat with our minds as much as we do with our faces. We checked in with chefs who are passionate about the indispensable menu mainstay — the practically perfect potato. The variety is exciting to chefs. Potatoes, he says, has always been his go-to food. Also on the warmer weather menu: small varieties like fingerlings, petites and yellow, perfect for finger foods.

Use the grill to make specialties like campfire potatoes. Briwa artfully and authentically incorporates global flavors into a growing variety of accessible recipes. As a side or on a course all its own, Rosti, the Swiss version of home fries, is gaining traction, he says. All agree, potatoes are the workhorses of the restaurant menu, but they deserve outside-the-box thinking.

Salads with a difference. Potato Causa is going to be one of the next big things in food, predicts Richard Landau. Peruvian purple potatoes, peeled and boiled nutritional yeast salt pepper vegan butter aji Amarillo paste sunflower oil. Mash down with potato masher. In batches, blend in food processor until smooth and airy.

Do not over process! It will become gummy. Add the onion, capers, and garlic. Brown for about 3 minutes until the onions become translucent. Add the white wine and let it reduce to almost nothing. Add the vegetable broth and let it reduce by one-third. Then, add the salt, pepper, basil, tomatoes, and extra virgin olive oil. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Dust the tops and bottom of the roasted potatoes with the Montreal steak spice.

Sear the potatoes in a hot pan with a little neutral oil until golden brown. Spoon the tomato caper sauce over the seared potatoes and garnish with fresh herbs. Variations: Add olives for another dimension of flavor. Or, add some chopped pine nuts to give the dish more of a pesto feel. Place the lettuce, arugula, roasted tomatoes, sliced radishes, carrots, shave the celery, shave the cucumbers and mix all other components, topped with the crispy bacon.

Add a bit of cold confit oil and fresh lemon juice, and place on top and around the lettuces. Served chilled. Unequivocally, the answer is yes, and for reasons you may not expect. With no additives used and low-sodium versions available, chefs can confidently sub in virtually any frozen or canned vegetable for fresh. Both methods — canning and freezing — adhere to multiple safety measures every bit as rigorous as for fresh produce during fruit and vegetable processing.

For instance, at Seneca, heat processing and hermetic sealing kill bacteria and prevent microorganisms from spoiling the fruits and vegetables; a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point process ensures the canning process is monitored at all stages. Microbiological tests are conducted for all frozen products. Food waste in the U. Labor savings are built in, with vegetables already washed, chopped, and consistently sized.

Surprisingly, frozen and canned vegetables are not only nutritionally comparable to fresh, but in some cases, superior. Unlike fresh produce, which loses nutritional value day by day, frozen vegetable are harvested at the peak of freshness, and keep a nutritional edge as a result. According to a well-reported study from the University of California-Davis, which evaluated the nutrient content of eight commonly purchased frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables, freezing had a positive effect on the vitamin E content, and on minerals, fiber and health-promoting plant compounds. Canned foods also stand up to fresh, often with higher levels of nutritional content due to the heating process.

Frenchman Nicholas Appert conceives the idea of preserving food in bottles, like wine, and develops an airtight container. Englishman Peter Durand invents a method of sealing food into unbreakable tin containers. Fellow countryman Thomas Kensett emigrates to NY and establishes the first American canning facility. Clarence Birdseye, a young engineer, sees Eskimos use ice, wind and temperature to freeze just-caught fish. Intrigued, he envisions a way to apply the process to vegetables. Birdseye introduces a line of frozen foods to the public. The public, however, is not impressed, and sales of frozen foods languish over the next decade.

As a result of strict controls on canning materials during WWII, frozen foods come to the forefront. Frozen concentrated orange juice becomes the first volume item for the frozen food industry. Birdseye's company starts national distribution by leasing refrigerated boxcars to transport frozen foods. The TV Dinner, a complete meal in frozen form, debuts on snack tables across the U. The microwave oven debuts and leads to explosive sales for frozen foods. The era of healthy eating leads to more choices in frozen foods - lite, low-fat, low-salt and low cholesterol.

A University of Illinois study shows the canning process may enhance the nutrient profile of certain foods. Most fondly, she remembers how her colleagues reacted whenever she used unconventional ingredients in her cocktails. At that moment, no other bar in Chicago featured rhubarb on their menus, so I got a lot of flak for having rhubarb in a cocktail. And while she believes. House maintains that grass-to-glass, or market-fresh, cocktails are not a passing fad. The endless possibilities have the potential to increase revenue at restaurants and bars that could really use a boost.

Iowa bartenders paying attention to it. By the end of the day, he says, they truly appreciated the work farmers put into growing great produce. Anything growing takes time. They knew to come in every three months because I would change the menu. Throughout winter in most parts of the country, we want to do everything to stay warm and that includes eating comfort food and enjoying robust cocktails crafted with darker spirits like bourbon or aged rum, hearty spices like allspice and winter citrus. But come spring, it's time to lighten things up. By using lighter spirits like gin, vodka and agave i.

We tapped a handful of restaurants around the country to see what they have mixing up on their spring cocktail lists to help provide you a little inspiration to bring a bit of the garden to your glasses. Bring to a boil over medium heat, turn off heat and let cool to room temperature. Add reserved citrus juice.

Strain through fine mesh sieve and again thou gh a coffee filter. Tonic will be cloudy. Carbonate as needed in an ISI canister and keep cold. While still quite warm to the touch immerse cherry blossoms in syrup, add lemon juice, and let steep until syrup is flavorful but not over extracted, roughly 1. Too shor t and syrup will lack flavor, too long and syrup will finish bitter, vegetal and woody. The ideal note is a little floral, surprisingly almondy, and a bit fruity. BACK STORY: "It's crisp and refreshing like a good gin and tonic should be, but the subt ly almond-like and floral aromatics and flavors from cherryblo ssoms make it a little softer and a little warmer for these still rainy days and chilly nights of spring.

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Remove bags and discard. Strawberries were in season and I had just gone strawberry picking with the strawberries at Ambrose Farms. We though and fell in love t the rum and the strawberries were a no-brainer but wante d to add something that had a nice aroma that would of sweet and bitter at the same time, so we decide add a touch d to infuse Earl Grey tea and sweet vermouth.

Then, we thought of strawberry rhubarb and thought rhubar nice dimension to the cocktail. Thus sweet pea gre t ou d ne tur it d smell working an. Since we were researching and developing in the spring and summer, some cocktails didn't make the cut for a fall opening menu, and this was the one we were most sad to let go of The rhum agricole bridges the gap between the peas and the riesling, adding a little punch to the drink and making it a great spring and summer sipper! Fresh avocado ideas are always in season, too.

Looking for more avo inspiration? Get all of these recipes and more at Foodservice. Just as you update your food menus as the seasons change, it's also good to think about making changes to your wine list. You'll start using more English peas, asparagus, green beans, radishes, fava beans and more wonderful vegetables that take the place of heartier produce like potatoes, squash and turnips. They're also a source of polyphenols, currently under active research for their cardiovascular benefits, their cancer-fighting agents, and their capacity to bolster the immune system.

Cranberries have been valued for decades for their ability to help prevent and treat urinary tract infections.

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Recent studies have also suggested that this powerful berry may promote gastrointestinal and oral health: its phytonutrients are effective in lowering unwanted inflammation, and this extends specifically to the stomach, colon, and the mouth and gums. Clearly, the cranberry packs a powerful, healthful punch! I even add the berries to my beautiful, red-and-green holiday brittle, using shelled pistachios and dried cranberries as the chewy, crunchy bright spots in the caramelized sweetness of the brittle itself.

What's most important? Get creative! Use cranberries where you might have used raisins, cherries, pomegranate, figs, nuts, marmalade, maple syrup, orange or apple juice I've known since the age of 6 that cranberries are delicious -- and now I know, we know , that they're also a smart food choice. Eat, drink, and be berry! Posted by Dana Klitzberg at Wednesday, December 23, It's that time of year again: Halloween is upon us.

This season reminds me of growing up in central New Jersey, visiting apple orchards and pumpkin farms to pick out what would become our jack-o-lanterns with my brothers and my parents. And a treat in which we'd indulge -- aside from our actual trick-or-treating were were only allowed 3 pieces of candy per day from our loot, so we had to choose wisely! We'd carve our pumpkins with the help of our parents, and sometimes, our family friends as well. We'd gather neighborhood kids and clean out the pumpkins in our back yard, lots of newspaper spread out beneath us.

One year, we were lucky enough to have our friend Larry Calcagno, a wonderful and talented painter, come out to New Jersey from Manhattan, to help us carve some very artistic jack-o-lanterns. As you can see in the photo at left, I am supervising him, just to make sure he's, you know, doing it correctly.

I love this photo because it's so sweet, and so Bottom line, it was a great community and family activity of which I have the happiest of memories. We prepared the seeds quite simply. We'd roast them in the oven, sprinkled with a little salt when they were done, dry and toasty and slightly browned at the edges.

We knew we were doing a good thing by not letting the seeds go to waste. What I didn't know as a kid was how good pumpkin seeds actually are for us. The seeds themselves are nutrient-rich, with lots of protein, dietary fiber, niacin, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.

Fun fact? The earliest known evidence of the domestication of pumpkins and squash varietals dates back to between 8, and 10, years ago -- predating other "New World" crops like maize corn and beans. Pumpkin seeds are truly the perfect, healthy, South, Central, and North American snack! So, what to do with the seeds once they're freed from the slimy gunk of the pumpkin's flesh? It's best to rinse them off, rubbing them together in your hands under running water.

Some recipes suggest boiling the seeds for 8 or 10 minutes before baking them, but that's a step you can skip if you're short on time. You can dry them off in dish towels or with paper towels, or simply by spreading the seeds out on a cookie sheet or baking pan on a layer of parchment paper, and baking in the oven. Once the surface water has evaporated, you can mist them or sprinkle them with some vegetable or olive oil, or with a little pumpkin oil to amp up the pumpkin flavor. Once they're toasted and have turned a golden color, you can toss them with sea salt. If you'd like to add even more flavor -- and healthful benefits -- you can add some smoked paprika, cumin, turmeric, and a drizzle of Worcestershire sauce, or make them a bit sweet with a dusting of cinnamon, ground ginger, and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Either way, these spices add to the anti-inflammatory and sugar-regulating properties of the seeds themselves. And, once they've cooled, you can simply store them in ziploc bags and they stay fresh for several days. You can also incorporate pumpkin seeds into your cooking, both savory and sweet. I love to sprinkle pepitas , as they're known in Latin cultures, over my autumn salads and vegetable dishes. They're an important ingredient in Mexican moles, giving body to the sauce along with their flavor. I add them to salsas and green sauces: pulsed in a food processor for a few seconds with some olive oil, tomatillos, jalapeno and roasted garlic, and you have a great sauce for everything from tacos to roasted pork loin.

A whir in the blender with some parsley, cilantro, red onion, garlic, and scallions, and add some vinegar and olive or pumpkin seed oil, and you have a great sauce for grilled fish and meat dishes. And, in one of my favorite fall iterations of a pumpkin seed-enhanced dish, I make a pumpkin seed brittle. It's great on its own, but it is also a tasty and gorgeous topper and "accessorizer" to my famous pumpkin cheesecake. It makes for a fabulous ending to an autumn meal or Thanksgiving feast. When I think of late summer, the dwindling heat of end-of-August, I think of lazy days by the pool, happliy exhausting days on the beach, and backyard barbeques in the 'burbs.

All are heavenly. And what food best represents these languid last days of the hottest season of the year? The watermelon is the edible fruit botanically speaking it's a kind of berry called a pepo from a vine-like flowering plant that hails from southern Africa. Its cultivation harks all the way back to the second millennium B.

Watermelon seeds were found at the tomb of King Tutankhamun, and the fruit is mentioned as a food eaten by the ancient Israelites while in bondage in Egypt. The fruit was cultivated on the Indian continent by the seventh century, and had spread to China by the tenth. It was the Moors who introduced watermelon and a whole slew of other great things! From here its cultivation spread throughout Southern Europe, and by the 17th century, watermelon had become a fairly widespread garden crop on the European continent. We have the European colonists, and their slaves, to thank for the introduction of watermelon into the U.

Today, the fruit is grown in 44 U. The largest melon on record, however, was grown in Tennessee in , weighing in at a heaving Nutritionally speaking, watermelon isn't vitamin or nutrient-dense in the classic definition of the terms. But new evidence suggests that watermelon has several additional nutritional and health benefits.

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Watermelon flesh is quite high in carotenoid phytonutrients, specifically lycopene, and has been moved up to the front of the line, alongside tomatoes, in recent studies on high-lycopene foods. What does lycopene do? It's especially important for cardiovascular health. Bone health, too. It's an antioxidant and contains anti-inflammatory properties, so it potentially fights off all kinds of disease and inflammation that is the breeding ground for disease and chronic illness.

Recently, scientists have become interested in the high citrulline content of the fruit as well. Citrulline is an amino acid generally converted by our kidneys into arginine, another amino acid -- which helps improve blood flow and general cardiovascular health. There's also hopeful evidence that this amino acid conversion process might help to prevent fat buildup in fat cells by blocking a particular enzyme activity.

Things are looking up for watermelon fanatics! As for watermelon preparation and ways in which to enjoy the fruit, other than slices out of hand? It's actually incredibly versatile in both savory and sweet preparations. Watermelon "steaks" work well on the grill, even as served with grilled meats. One of my favorite summer dishes I've prepared in recent memory is a sort of riff on a Vietnamese pork chop dish.

I marinate thinly-sliced pork chops in a fish sauce, soy, and rice wine-based marinade, then toss them on the grill and reduce the marinade for a sauce. I serve them on a bed of greens watercress is my favorite with fizzled shallots, cilantro, watermelon cubes, and pickled watermelon rind.

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The combination of flavors, textures, and temperatures is heaven! Of course, simple preparations like my watermelon-feta-mint skewers and "cocktail sandwiches" is an easy snack. And there's this snack in salad form -- a dish that's become somewhat ubiquitous on menus in urban centers and beach locales all over.

But it's still delicious and refreshing, particularly on a hot August day. Add some jalapenos and I'm even happier. Mint is a must, cilantro is a bonus. Sorrel is a nice variation. Watermelon pairs nicely with cucumber technically another member of the melon family , and both take well to heat -- as in the spicy kind, from hot peppers. This is true even in cocktails. We all know the trick of a hollowed-out watermelon with vodka-soaked melon balls, or "tapping" the green rind and turning the watermelon shell into a keg for cocktails.

These are fun ideas, no doubt. But fresh-pressed watermelon juice with your liquor of choice and additional goodies makes for a sophisticated cocktail, without being hokey. Ditto the pulverized flesh of the melon. And for dessert, or a drink, or a cocktail-dessert hybrid? Freeze the pureed watermelon pulp to make granita , the Sicilian shaved ice and the world's original slushie frozen treat.

Just add a bit of simple syrup to the pureed melon -- equal parts sugar and water, heated and cooled -- if it needs a little added sweetness though ripe melon should be plenty sweet on its own. Pour into a tray or pan and pop it in the freezer, periodically mashing it up with a fork when it starts to freeze. Scrape, and serve. Here, liquor is optional, but ooooh , is it a good choice! It's the quintessential summer food, in any of its forms.

Enjoy the season! Capers are a curious little flower bud. Their briny touch of heat adds an interesting hit of flavor to sauces, salads, and main courses to which they're added. Caper bushes grow in harsh, semi-arid environments in Morocco, southeastern Spain, Italy, throughout the Middle East, and in parts of Asia and Australia. The plant thrives in intense daylight and temperatures of over 40 degrees centigrade in the summer -- though it doesn't do so well in cold and frost.

Once it takes hold it acts much like a weed, growing through the cracks of the Western Wall in Jerusalem, creeping over ancient walls in Rome, and snaking between cobblestones and fortifications in Marrakesh and Damascus. The Sicilian islands of Salina and Pantelleria are justly famous for their capers in salt. There, rustic, often unpaved roads are lined with makeshift and sometimes not-so-makeshift stands selling local capers, often manned by a young boy who picked the capers himself.

The island of Salina is the perfect place for every step in the caper production process, since the salt, too, often comes from the island's own salt flats hence the island's name. It's the good fortune of nature that capers pair so well with the fruits of these islands: seafood from the surrounding Mediterranean, as well as vegetables like eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers for which the cuisine of Sicily is renowned.

The caper buds, when ready to pick, are a dark olive green and roughly the size of a kernel of corn. They're plucked from the bush at the bud's base, then placed in a jar and brined in sea salt, or pickled in a salt-and-vinegar solution, and then eventually drained. This way they're perfectly preserved for future use -- though it's best to know a little in advance when you're going to need them for cooking, as they do well with several soakings in water to remove the powerful saline intensity they pick up from the salt.

Harvesting capers can be a labor-intensive, arduous process on a larger scale, since they're too small and delicate to be plucked by machine. It's all done by hand, which is what makes them a pricey comestible. The smallest, called nonpareil , are the most prized of the bunch, and the most frequently used in cooking.

Mustard oil known as glucocapparin in the capers is released from each bud, which accounts for the bite capers have. When this oil is released, the enzymatic reaction forms rutin, resulting in the crystallized white spots you often find on the surface of the bud. If left to flower and come to fruit, caper berries are created, which are almost a cross between a traditional caper bud and an olive, with lots of tiny, crunchy seeds inside.

The caper berries are usually pickled and are often served in Southern Italian and Greek aperitivi and mezze -- perfect pop-in-your-mouth cocktail snacks that, much like briny olives, help to fill the tummy while working up a thirst. Capers are a distinctive ingredient in Italian cuisine, especially in Sicilian and southern Italian cooking. They're used in everything from salads and pasta salads to meat dishes, fish preparations, and pasta sauces.

The latter, of course, is famously named supposedly because it was a pasta dish that was relatively easy for Neapolitan prostitutes "puttane" to prepare for their clients Whether this is true or not is a different story, but I've always loved this culinary origin tale, mostly because it paints the working girl-client relationship as more than just a business transaction, but as one during which they actually break bread, share pasta, have a few laughs, maybe a glass of wine.

Which leads me to this fun fact about capers: in Biblical times, the caper berry was supposed to have aphrodisiac properties. Ancient desire, the Wailing Wall, gorgeous Sicilian islands, friendly prostitutes in Naples Something to chew on. In many ways, it's the essence of Italian Food: it's seasonal, it's hyper-local, and it's a great use of a vegetable that may otherwise go unused, uneaten, and unappreciated.

It's ubiquitous in Rome, much like sauteed spinach is in Florence. But in the winter months, roughly November to March, Romans focus on the puntarelle, the stems of the chicory plant which are cleaned of any leaves, sliced lengthwise in thin strips, and soaked in cold water until they curl up. When making puntarelle , one begins with the dressing: an unctuous vinaigrette flavored with ground anchovies, fresh garlic, lemon, and wine vinegar, with a healthy glug-glug of top quality extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Then you mix this in with the cleaned puntarelle , and let it sit for 30 minutes or so. And then? The greens stay crispy, yet they absorb the flavor of the dressing, which you'll want to sop up with bread after you clean your dish of the greens. The cool thing about puntarelle? It's a super-extra-totally Roman vegetable, so even people in nearby areas like Abruzzo, Tuscany, and Le Marche don't get to enjoy the bitter-savory winter contorno.

When in Rome? Head to the Campo de' Fiori market where you can purchase the greens and all the ingredients to make the salad at home. Crunchy, chewy, warm, cool, salty, bitter, with the astringent zip of lemon and garlic When Rome is not your home? When I asked the waiter in Italian where he'd managed to find puntarelle , he responded very simply, " eh, signora: dall'Italia. Then mix with the dressing as you would the puntarelle.

As with Caesar salad fans, you have those who like it heavy on the anchovies, and those who prefer a less fishy flavor. I think there should be a nice balance of flavor -- using the anchovy liberally, but mashed well, will give the dressing its best consistency. Toss puntarelle in vinaigrette and serve. Few vegetables say spring like the artichoke. For me, in Rome, it was always the ultimate sign of la primavera, especially where I lived in the Jewish ghetto, which is known for its numerous restaurants specializing in the deep-fried "Jewish style" artichokes in-season.

Still, fifty years seems like a drop in the bucket, when we consider the fact that artichokes have been consumed in the Mediterranean region since the sixth century B. Cynara cardunculus , the globe artichoke, is thought to have originated in Northern Africa. A relative of the cardoon, the artichoke was cultivated in Sicily during the Greek occupation, as early as B. From here, it traveled further north to Venice and then into southern France, reaching Avignon by about Synonymous with the celebrated Roman Spring, it's perfectly paired with Easter specialties like baby lamb, fava beans, asparagus, and spring peas.

Anyone who has ever tried an artichoke in The Eternal City knows that there may be no better place on earth to eat one. The two most common local artichoke preparations are alla romana — Roman-style, slow braised in oil and wine with wild Roman mint and pecorino cheese, and alla giudea — Jewish-style, deep-fried twice so the crispy outer petals open up but the heart remains tender within.

This allows a greater portion of the flower to be edible, though local cooks generally pare down the leaves quite a bit. Romans tend to go straight for the tender heart. Romans believe artichokes reduce cholesterol, cleanse the liver…and are an aphrodisiac to boot.

Whatever their benefits may be, nutritional or otherwise, artichokes are labor-intensive but well worth the work. A trip to any Roman market in the spring months will reveal numerous carciofare , or artichoke trimmers, in quick action with gloved hands, a sharp knife, and a container of water with cut lemons floating in it: the acidulated water keeps the chlorophyll oxidation to a minimum, so the artichokes remain green and beautiful.

Look for artichokes that are heavy for their size, with tightly-packed leaves. Close leaves over filling. Serve with lemon wedges. Autumn and apples: for me, they go hand-in-hand. The anticipation of heading to the green market in the fall is terrific: poring over the myriad apple varieties, sipping warm apple cider while I stroll along, crisp and colorful fallen leaves under foot.

If I can find a good caramel apple, then I'm a sucker for it -- I'm hard-pressed to pass up a chewy, crunchy autumnal treat. And I love an excursion outside of the city for some apple picking, too. When time allows, this is a great fall weekend pastime we in the northeast are lucky enough to enjoy. And believe me, I don't take this for granted.

All the years I lived in Italy, fall had some wonderful food connotations for me: wine harvests, polenta festivals in Umbria But in Italy, well, they just don't do apples mele like here on the east coast of the U. I recently had friends here visiting from Rome, and we happened upon the Union Square greenmarket around lunchtime on a sunny, brisk early November afternoon.

They'd had a few minutes to wander through the market before meeting me, and they said, "Dana, we'd forgotten what a real apple tastes like! It was as if they'd tasted an apple for the first time. They bought several varieties to take back with them on the international flight, because as they exclaimed, "you can't find apples like these in Italy! A very funny moment.

Of course, I stocked up on apples as well. My beloved varieties for various uses, from eating out-of-hand to baking in desserts, include Cortland, Braeburn, Rome named for the town in New York state, not Italy! A love of good apples was ingrained in me from childhood by my father, who considers himself to be a shrewd apple expert. To him, the granddaddy of all varieties is the Ida Red. He carts bags and bags of them from the northeast down to south Florida when he heads down each November, since they're not readily available outside of their local growing area.

So yes, I had to get some Ida Reds as well. Some apple cider, too. Maybe some hard cider, good for drinking as well as making sauces for pork dishes. Is apple overload possible? I'm testing the limits!

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So, how will I consume all of these apples? Some, I eat with a fresh local Camembert-style cheese called "Bianca" from Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent, NY another greenmarket purchase -- the cheese slightly melted, the apples sliced, smeared with a little Tuscan millefiore honey on some crusty bread. Others, I'll slice and dip in some homemade salted caramel sauce, a sophisticated version of the street fair favorite. Some apples I toss with caramelized onions and kale, and sprinkle with cider vinegar and a little brown sugar in the pan for a great seasonal side dish to a meat main course.

And then there's my favorite apple dessert. It would seem un-American to diss the staple apple pie. And I do love a good one. It's simple. It doesn't need a crust. It bakes in about minutes and can be eaten warm: no waiting! Buon appetito! Haricots verts with almonds, beets, and orange supreme. Branzino topped with meyer lemon aioli, over roasted artichokes and sea beans. Moroccan honey-citrus cake, orangeflower citrus, roasted figs, sweetened yogurt. Lemon sole over beluga lentils and wilted chard, roasted citrus beurre blanc. Chopped fresh flat leaf parsley 4 TBS.