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Rachel's Smoked Salmon Nicoise Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 cups organic baby spinach
  • 1 small head of organic romaine, trimmed, leaves left whole
  • 4 large eggs, hard boiled, cooled, peeled, halved
  • 1 English or hot house cucumber
  • 2 large heirloom tomatoes cut into large slices (or 2 cups cherry tomatoes) 
  • 1/2 pound washed, trimmed fresh green beans, par boiled and cooled
  • 2 pounds new potatoes boiled in salt water until just fork tender, and cooled
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 1/2 small red onion sliced thinly (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup lemon stuffed manzanilla olives
  • fresh chopped Italian parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 pound of cooked and cooled meat/protein of choice such as smoked, poached or grilled salmon, poached or grilled chicken, grilled steak, seared tuna, fried or baked tofu, etc. (there are no wrong answers here)


Dressing

  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 3 tablespoons champagne-dark-balsamic-vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 anchovy fillet (optional)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup of UP or infused olive oil of choice (I used hojiblanca here but garlic, lemon, orange, lime, picual, etc. would all be great here)
  • Add the vinegar, lemon juice, anchovy fillet, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper, and cheese to the jar of a blender or food processor bowl. Pulse to combine well. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until thickened.


Directions

In a large bowl, toss the cooked and cooled baby potatoes with two tablespoons of the dressing. On a large platter just before serving, arrange a bed of baby spinach topped with the whole Romaine lettuce leaves. Arrange the various components around the platter with the meat, fish or protein showcased in the center. Add a grind of fresh black pepper and serve the platter with the dressing on the side. 

Serves 6 as a meal or up to 10 as a starter

 

Italian Style Blood Orange Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3 cups unbleached organic flour
  • 2 cups granulated cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 finely grated orange peel
  • 1 cup Blood Orange (fused) Agrumato Olive Oil
  • 2 large room temperature eggs, whisked
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
  • Powdered sugar for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, orange agrumato oil, orange juice, and eggs. Beat on medium speed until thick and creamy, about 3 minutes.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and remaining dry ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three additions beating in between additions until no dry spots remain.

Pipe the cookie dough using a pastry bag fitted with a star shaped pastry, portioning approximately two teaspoons of dough per cookie, onto a parchment lined cookie sheet pan. Alternatively, use two spoons to drop batter onto the cookie sheet. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes.

Increase the heat to 425 F and bake for an additional 2 minutes to aid in creating a golden brown exterior. Remove the cookies to a rack to cool. Repeat with the remainder of the dough. When fully cooled, dust with powdered sugar.

Yields about 48 cookies

 

Spicy Pickled Vegetables

Ingredients for the brine:

Ingredients for the vegetables:

  • 6 young spring carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 cup cauliflower
  • 2 thickly sliced shallots
  • 6-8 whole dried red chilies (depending on how hot you like it)

Directions:
In a medium saucepan bring 4 cups water to a boil reduce the heat so the water simmers and add the garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and salt, raise the heat, and bring to a boil, stirring until the salt dissolves. Remove from the heat.

In clean 1-quart jars with screw top lids. Divide the seeds and peppercorns between the jars. Place 5 cloves in each jar and then pack the jars full of carrots, cauliflower and chilies. Bring the brine back to a boil, pour it over the vegetables to cover completely, let cool, then cover and refrigerate. The pickles will taste good in just a few hours, better after a couple of days. And they'll keep for about 2 months under refrigeration.

 

Cheddar Cheese Cornbread

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour 
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal 
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder 1
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2  cups whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup Old Town Olive's Baklouti Chili Olive Oil
  • 8 ounces sharp grated Cheddar, 2 ounces reserved
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions, +2 tablespoons reserved  
  • 2 tablespoons (1 small pepper) seeded finely diced fresh Anaheim pepper

    Directions:
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 9"inch baking pan with Baklouti Olive Oil. Combine the flour, cornmeal, honey, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and Baklouti Olive Oil. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix in the grated Cheddar, scallions and Anaheim peppers. 

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the reserved grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

     

    Arugula Salad with Plums and Pumpkin Seeds

     

    Ingredients:

    Directions:
    In a small bowl, whisk together Old Town Olive’s Rosemary Fused Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Old Town Olive’s Vermont Maple Balsamic Vinegar, salt, pepper and shallots. In a large salad bowl, lightly season the arugula with pepper, add plums and the roasted pumpkin seeds. Add dressing and toss with enough of the dressing to coat.

     

    Asian Orzo Salad

     

    Ingredients:

    Directions:
    Steam broccoli until slightly crisp. Plunge in ice water and drain well. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, orzo, water chestnuts, chicken, scallions, and red bell pepper. Place all of the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until homogenized. Pour dressing over orzo mixture, tossing gently to coat. Cover and chill until ready to serve.