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EdibWasa Winter 2014 : Page31

a Note on TinNed FisHeS… T he three recipes below all call for good quality tinned fishes (anchovies, sardines, and mackeral). Access to high quality versions of these products has improved dra-matically in the US in recent years with some stellar Spanish imports available. These are sustainable fishes, high in Omega-3 fatty acids, and con-tain vitamins and minerals not pres-ent in many other fish.

Seasonal Recipes


The three recipes below all call for good quality tinned fishes (anchovies, sardines, and mackeral). Access to high quality versions of these products has improved dramatically in the US in recent years with some stellar Spanish imports available. These are sustainable fishes, high in Omega-3 fatty acids, and contain vitamins and minerals not present in many other fish.


Chicory is a very common plant around these parts. Maybe you haven't really noticed it, but you have surely seen it's pale blue daisylike flowers atop scraggly stems along Utah's roadsides. In the 1850's someone in Belgium figured out how to plant chicory roots under deep soil and force a new bud to grow in a tight bundle underground where the leaves stayed white - and not too bitter - in the darkness. This blanched chicory bud is sometimes called a chicon, but the dutch called the new vegetable witloof, or white leaf. The name stuck, but never really made it across the atlantic where we still call it Belgian endive just to keep things confusing (the two most common examples of plants that are actually endives are escarole and frisee.) Call it what you like but I'm sticking with witloof since it's way more fun to say than Belgian endive.

By any name this vegetable is very nutritious and tasty and can be prepared a million ways including raw in a salad with eggs or something sort of sweet to balance out the little bitterness it does have. My favorite way to enjoy it is braised in a little white wine and chicken stock.


6 witloofs
2 Tablespoons chicken stock
3 Tablespoons white wine
1 Tablespoon butter
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350º. Trim the root end of your witloofs and remove the outermost leaves if they're not looking so hot. Slice each witloof lengthwise and place cut side down in a large baking dish. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper. Pour the chicken stock and wine over them and dot with butter. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake in 350º oven until the stem ends of the witloofs are easily pierced with the tip of a knife, about 30-40 minutes and serve (with roast chicken!!)


Celery root, or celeriac, is the hero of the story about ugly winter vegetables that don't take much to make into a beautiful dish. This salad highlights the uniquely toothsome and crunchy texture it has raw.



2 medium sized celery roots
1/3 Cup crème fraiche
1 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
¼ cup toasted pecans
3 Tbsp pomegranate seeds
Pomegranate molasses
Salt and pepper
Celery leaves (or parsley)

Peel celery roots. Using your peeler slice off wide ribbons. Place in cold water and set aside.

Mix crème fraiche, oil, vinegar and mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss celery root ribbons with crème fraiche dressing and pecans, transfer to a serving plate. Top with a generous drizzle of pomegranate molasses and pomegranate seeds. Garnish with celery leaves or parsley, and serve.


Ahh the ugly sunchoke. Well it's ugly if you just look at it and ignore what it can do. True it is shapeless and knobby and unapologetically beige, but it has so much potential to make beautiful food. Standing in for potatoes in this classic gratin (plus sunflower seeds) it makes a truly delicious side dish.


2 lbs sunchokes, scrubbed and peeled
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 Tbsp butter, cubed
1 bay leaf
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
1 medium-size leek washed and sliced into thin strips
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Salt, pepper

Warm heavy cream in a small saucepan over a low heat with thyme and bay and a pinch of salt until simmering, then turn off heat and allow to steep. As cream is heating slice sunchokes into even 1/8 – 1/4 inch slices using a mandoline or slicing attachment in a food processor (if you don't have these a knife is fine, just try to make the slices an even thickness.)

Fish the herbs out of the cream and discard them. Toss sliced sunchokes with the cream, leeks, and cheese in a small mixing bowl. Add another pinch of salt and taste the cream to find out if it needs a little more. Slide the contents of the bowl into a 9" baking dish. Sprinkle with chopped sunflower seeds and dot with cubes of butter. Cover with foil and bake at 375°F for 30 to 40 minutes until sunchokes are tender. Remove foil and broil for 2 minutes until top is golden brown.


Although parsnips are closely related to carrots -- ugly step-child you say? -- they are sweeter and more flavorful in a more complex way. Despite the fact that they lack carrots beautiful colors they deserve some attention of their own. So, here is a recipe that puts them right at center stage all by themselves with a tangy aioli spotlight.


For Parsnips:
2 lbs parsnips
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

For Caper Aioli:
2 large egg yolks
2 large garlic cloves, grated or minced
1/2 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil, or a mix of the two
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp capers, chopped
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
Black pepper
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce

Scrub parsnips and cut, lengthwise, into 1/2 inch wide strips. Toss with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and set aside. To make the aioli, put egg yolks, lemon juice, mustard and garlic into a food processor. With the food processor running add the oil, one teaspoon at a time to begin, then in a very thin stream until aioli is thick. Fold in capers and parsley, and then finish with Tabasco and salt to taste. Heat grill pan (or outdoor grill) over medium heat. Grill parsnips until charred on each side but still al dente. Serve with aioli on the side as a dipping sauce.


Kohlrabi isn't ugly exactly, but it does look enough like a little alien spaceship to get a lot of head scratching and confused looks. That's too bad because once you peel back it's two fibrous outer layers (yes two layers, make sure you get them both because only the center will soften when cooked) you'll find a beautiful vegetable that has a flavor kind of like broccoli, but sweeter. Feed these to people who give you that "kohl-what?!?" look so they too can enjoy these little extra-terrestrials.


2-3 kohlrabi bulbs
3 oz soft goat cheese
2 Tbsp shelled pistachios, chopped
1 lemon
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Peel kohlrabi bulbs and slice into 1/2 inch rounds. Rub rounds with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425°F, flipping once, until browned on both sides and cooked through. While the kohlrabi is roasting, zest the lemon and squeeze to get a teaspoon of juice. Mix the goat cheese with the pistachios, the lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, and cracked black pepper, until a spread-like consistency is reached. Melt butter in a small sauce pan and add bread crumbs, stirring until toasted. To assemble, place kohlrabi rounds on a serving dish and top with goat cheese spread and toasted bread crumbs and serve.


Polenta is a perennial winter favorite that you can make for about a thousand times less than the cost of a trip to Italy. This recipe uses a little more liquid for polenta to be served very soft, almost as soft as porridge, but it can still be cooled and sliced if you want to fry up any leftovers.


2 cups milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 cup polenta
3 Tbsp butter
1 or 2 sprigs rosemary or thyme
1 clove garlic, minced

Heat water, milk and chicken stock in a large pot. Add rosemary or thyme, garlic and season with salt. When the liquid is just beginning to boil whisk in the polenta. Reduce heat to very low and stir occasionally as the polenta cooks for about 45 minutes. (This is slow food people. There are quick ways to make polenta, but the longer it takes the better is tastes.)

Before serving, finish the polenta with a little butter or grated parmesan cheese, taste to see if it needs a little more salt and maybe a splash of milk if it is too thick and serve with meatballs. A drizzle of good balsamic or saba is nice if you have any. And a little more chopped marjoram makes a nice garnish.


2 lbs ground pork (not too lean)
1 cup bread crumbs (or a few slices of the bread on page 28 torn into pieces and crust removed) and soaked in 1/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
1/2 cup red wine
2 tsp chopped fresh marjoram, or one tsp dried
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

In a small saucepan heat the dried cherries in the red wine. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. As the cherries simmer mix pork, milk-soaked bread crumbs, salt, pepper, pine nuts, marjoram, eggs, and cherries together well in a large mixing bowl using your hands. Mix in the cherries and form into golf ball sized meatballs. Heat oil in a heavy skillet and brown the meatballs on all sides. Unless you have a very big pan you'll probably want to do this step in a few stages, transferring the browned meatballs to a cookie sheet. Put meatballs into a 350°F oven, bake until cooked through, about 30 minutes. When cooked through cover with foil, and set aside.

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