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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category


Cooking with Curds: Strawberry Rhubarb Tiramisu

Sarah’s gallivanting around Europe right now, so I’m playing chef this month.  With more than a little guidance from The Gourmet Cookbook and my dear friend and baking sage Kathleen, we’re turning classic Tiramisu on its head and celebrating late spring fruit and our favorite mascarpone.  Enjoy!

Strawberry Rhubarb Tiramisu

(serves 6)

3 large eggs, separated

1 cup sugar

½ cup very cold cream

1 8-ounce container of Crave Bros. Mascarpone

18 Landyfingers

1 cup chopped rhubarb (about 2 stalks)

2 ½ cups chopped strawberries

1/3 cup Cointreau

1/3 fresh orange juice

1 T lemon juice

Zest of 1 orange

 

Combine chopped rhubarb, strawberries, ¼ cup sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan.

Heat to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 25 minutes, until fruit had broken down almost all of the way, and then cool.

While the fruit is cooking, beat together egg yolks and ½ cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until thick and pale.

Beat in mascarpone until just combined.

In another bowl, beat whites and salt with clean beaters until the whites hold soft peaks.  Add remaining ¼ cup sugar a little at a time, beating, until whites just hold stiff peaks.

In a third bowl, beat cream with cleaned beaters until it holds soft peaks.

Gently fold cream into mascarpone mixture, and then fold in whites.

Mix together Cointreau and orange juice in a shallow bowl.  Dip ladyfinger in mixture (about 5 seconds each side)

Soak enough ladyfingers to cover the bottom of an 8×8 1-quart baking dish.  Trim cookies where needed.

Spread half of the cooled fruit mixture on top of ladyfingers.  Cover with half of the mascarpone mixture.

Soak remaining ladyfingers and cover the mascarpone in one layer.  Cover with fruit mixture followed by a layer of mascarpone.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Just before serving, top with orange zest.


Potato, Parsnip and Celery Root Soup: SF Mom takes on Eat Good Food Recipe

San Francisco local Heather Knape moderates our 18 Reasons Food Lit Book Club and writes a blog called Eating Dirt about growing, cooking and eating food with her family. We invited her to try a recipe from Eat Good Food to see how cooking it would fit into her lifestyle as a busy mom and how it went over with the kids! She shared her experience with us:

Spring has sprung, sort of. The snap peas my kids and I planted last year are flowering on the deck, early asparagus is in the market and citrus is reaching its peak for the year. But the time for a dinner celebrating the commencement of bountiful growth hasn’t quite arrived – lamb is good, yet the price of asparagus is still high and there is no rhubarb in sight. About the only harbinger of Spring I can reliably find in good supply is green garlic- though that in itself is a much awaited treat.

Sam’s Potato, Parsnip and Celery Root Soup is an especially good recipe for this anticipatory time of year. It straddles the seasons deliciously, relying on winter holdovers of potato and parsnip as a base, with the brightness of celery root and green garlic to highlight the season. In addition to providing a great opportunity to talk to kids about how garlic matures from a stalk to a bulb, it gives those of us living where greens grow year round a gustatory glimpse into the warming of local soil, like crocus pushing up through the snow in colder climates.

Served with salad this soup makes a great dinner. To entice younger eaters in my house I float tiny meatballs on top; they eat it up. A thermosful also makes a great take-away lunch, both for parents and first graders. Good with homemade croutons, carrot sticks, an apple and a spoon packed alongside.

Potato, Parsnip and Celery Root Soup (adapted from Eat Good Food, p122):
1 T unsalted butter
1 T extra virgin olive oil
2 large leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced
salt
2 large waxy potatoes, peeled and diced (yukon gold are good)
2 medium parsnips, peeled and diced (or rutabagas or turnips)
1 medium celery root, peeled and diced
2 stalks green garlic, chopped
1 t ground mustard
4 large sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup dry white wine (leave this out if you want to send it to school)
4 cups chicken or veggie broth (homemade or storemade)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cream
1 T lemon juice
1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat.

2. Add the leeks, 1/2 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook for 6-8 minutes. The leeks will become translucent, be careful not to let them brown or burn. Add the potatoes, parsnip, celery root and garlic. Cover the pot and let it cook gently for 10 minutes or so, then add the mustard, thyme and bay leaf for a couple more minutes.

3. Add the wine now if you are using it, then cook until it has evaporated.

4. Add the broth, cover the pot partially and increase the heat to medium high. Bring just to a boil, then lower the heat to keep it simmering gently. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, until the vegetables are starting to break down.

5. To finish, remove and discard the thyme and bay leaf. Then puree the soup, either with an immersion blender, or by letting it cool and then blending it in small batches. Stir in the cream and lemon juice and season to taste with salt. Serve with chives and homemade croutons on top. To make the croutons, cut bread into cubes, then sauté in butter and sprinkle with salt.


Sarah F.

Cooking with Curds: Stilton Spring Breakfast

For a while, the cheese team has focused our energies on teaching our guests how to compose a killer cheese platter. We’ve talked about what kinds of cheese are complimentary, the different ways you can cut and display cheeses, and how to pair fruit and nuts on the platter.

Now we’re turning our attention to a new facet in the wonderful world of cheese: how to use it in cooking! We want to share all of the different kinds of dishes that can be elevated by the addition of the amazing cheeses we have here at Bi-Rite. So each month we’ll share a recipe on our blog that incorporates one of our favorites.

Right now, we’re celebrating cheeses from the British Isles, so I want to share a recipe for Stilton, which is made by the Colston Bassett Dairy specifically for Neal’s Yard Dairy. Two modifications make it different from the rest of their production: an animal rennet rather than a vegetarian rennet is used,  and the cheese is pierced later than their others, allowing the “white” cheese to develop more flavor before the blue mold is introduced to air. I’ve played around with this recipe at home and think you’ll find it easy and delicious for a special spring breakfast!

Stilton Spring Breakfast
(makes 4 open-faced sandwiches)

¼ # Colston Bassett Stilton, crumbled
1 yellow onion
1 head  romanesco
1 bunch asparagus
¼ # baby fava greens
1 ripe avocado, sliced
1 red onion
1 whole Judy’s Lovestick (or other baguette)
4 eggs
olive oil
butter
white wine (to deglaze)
white wine vinegar
salt
pepper
red chili flakes
paprika

1.  Cut baguette into quarters and toast in pan with butter.

2.  Cut yellow onion in half and slice each half into ¼” slices.

3.  Cut romanesco florets into bite-size pieces appropriate for a sandwich, and slice the asparagus on the bias into similar size pieces.

4.  In a skillet, heat olive oil over slow heat and add sliced onions.  Allow onions to brown slowly and once they begin to caramelize, slowly bring up the heat, and add butter as needed to the skillet.

5.  Add romanesco florets and sliced asparagus and cook until they are slightly softened.

6.  Season the vegetables with salt, pepper, chili flakes, and paprika.

7.  Deglaze the pan with white wine.

8.  Add baby fava greens and lightly sauté.

9. For the garnish, make a quick pickle with the red onion (slice it thinly, lightly boil the slices in vinegar, remove and add immediately to ice bath)

10. Heat more oil or butter in the skillet over medium heat.  Crack egg and cook to over easy.

11. Layer sautéed vegetables on top of toasted baguette, top with egg, pickled onion, avocado and crumbled stilton.  Enjoy!


Register Recipe: The Last Word

I’m excited to introduce some new bottles of liquor gracing the shelves behind the register. Let me share them with you here, while we’re not standing at the cash registers with people milling about:

Gran Classico – $36.99/750mL – Although a Swedish product, Gran Classico follows an Italian bitters recipe dating around the 1890’s. Think of it as a small batch Campari: more citrusy, complex and naturally colored.  My favorite thing about Gran Classico is the finish-the wormwood makes the spirit dance in your mouth! Also infused with bitter orange peel, rhubarb and many other aromatics, this liqueur is extremely versatile– drink it on its own (or with some sparkling water) on ice, or use it in Negronis.

Espolón Reposado – $27.99/750mL – This 100% blue agave tequila is made in a distillery that was recently recognized as the “Best Factory in Mexico.” We’re offering the reposado, which is aged in American oak barrels for 6 months. Espolón Reposado is big bodied and smells like vanilla and sweet tropical fruits. Its price makes it the perfect summer-day-in-February companion.

1512 Barbershop Rye – $32.99/325mL – 1512 was the address of a Prohibition-era barbershop here in San Francisco that once cut hair by day and distilled booze by night. Following his grandfather’s recipe, Sal Cimino (a third generation distiller) makes this 100% rye in Sonoma County. Unlike its amber cousins, this clear whiskey has not been aged in oak barrels. It’s certainly a unique product and part of history we’re happy to celebrate. Barbershop rye is sweet and floral. (This is a very small batch production. Only a few bottles remain in stock!)

Liqueur de Violette – $32.99/750mL – Proudly made in Petaluma, I’m really excited that we’re carrying a violette spirit. It does not at all smell like something a well-perfumed grandmother would wear, but instead this spirit superbly captures the beautiful scent of French violettes. Just a splash of the liqueur is a great way to make a glass of sparkling wine or an Aviation cocktail memorable.

Green Chartreuse – $62.99/750mL – Made in the French mountains of the same name, Chartreuse’s secret recipe of over 130 mountain herbs, plants and flowers has made this cocktail a classic since its introduction in the early 17th century.  So classic, the color chartreuse was named after the color of the Green Chartreuse spirit.  It is intensely herbal and floral, and stands up well to oak-aged spirits (try pouring equal parts brandy and Chartreuse over ice) and also works well in gin cocktails.

Speaking of Green Chartreuse, my dear friend Michael introduced me to the Last Word cocktail and it’s become one of my go-to drinks. Here’s the recipe so that all may share in my enjoyment:

The Last Word

½ oz. gin (Try St. George’s Botanivore)

½ oz. lime juice

½ oz. Green Chartreuse

½ oz. Luxardo Maraschino liqueur

Shake with ice, strain into a cocktail glass and enjoy.


Patrick

Recipe: Rancho Gordo Heirloom Bean Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Fennel and Coriander Vinaigrette

We received a very sweet email from a guest last month, lamenting her looming move to the East Coast and the lack of Bi-Rite that awaited her there. She wondered if we could share the recipe for our Rancho Gordo Bean Salad with Butternut Squash; as she said, “I am totally addicted to these salads and would love to be able to recreate them when I’m too far away to stock up at the store.”

I worked with our chefs to translate our recipe into the right quantity for the home cook, and sent it to this guest.  I want to share it now with all of our guests, since we always carry a great selection of Rancho Gordo beans in our grocery aisles, and now’s the perfect time of year to try a recipe based around them and the winter staple butternut squash.

Rancho Gordo's Vallarta Beans

Rancho Gordo Heirloom Bean Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash, Fennel and Coriander Vinaigrette

Serves 6 as a side dish

1 lb. Rancho Gordo beans (we use Cannellini and Vallarta) – soaked overnight using a 3 parts water to 1 part bean ratio

1 large butternut squash- peeled, seeded and diced into 1/2 inch cubes

2 fennel bulbs, cut in half, then into half moons

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 bay leaf

1 handful cilantro

2 tablespoon olive oil

For the Coriander Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup lemon juice

1-1/2 cups olive oil

1 tablespoon coarsely ground coriander

salt and pepper to taste

1)      Drain beans and place in a large pot, cover with fresh water and add 1 bay leaf. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer until the beans are tender (about 1 hour). Salt the beans the last 10 minute of cooking. Allow the beans to cool, and then drain.

2)      Toss squash with cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, pepper and olive oil, spread mixture out in a baking dish and roast at 400 degrees until tender (15-20 min.)

3)      Toss fennel with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted at 400 degrees until caramelized

4)     To make vinaigrette, stir ingredients together with a whisk until well combined

5)     Finally, combine beans, roasted butternut squash, fennel and coriander vinaigrette. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.


Linh

Recipe: Our Chicken & Prosciutto Chowder

Last week, we received an email from a guest saying she’d had the Chicken & Prosciutto Chowder from our deli and it was “just fantastic!!”.  She asked if we could share the recipe, so we asked Wyatt, our chef who made it. Wyatt comes from a strong cooking background, most recently having worked at Jardinière in Hayes Valley, and has quite an arsenal of recipes up his sleeve.  Here’s how he made this soup–let us know how it goes for you at home!

Bi-Rite Market’s Chicken & Prosciutto Chowder

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups yellow onions, medium diced

1/4 cup butter (if you have pork fat, use 1/2 pork fat, 1/2 butter)

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup dry white wine

4 cups milk

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups bell peppers (medium diced)

Chef Wyatt, always happy to share tricks of the trade

(NOTE: the above ingredients may be used as a base for any chowder, just add the other flavors as you choose. Below are the additional ingredients for this particular one)

2 cups fennel (medium diced)

2 cups celery (medium diced)

2 cups cooked chicken (medium diced)

1 cup prosciutto (sliced into small thin strips)

1/2 cup chopped parsley

1/4 cup lemon juice

Dash of nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Cut all veggies, proteins and herbs

2. Sear your peppers, celery, fennel with a little oil until they are just soft. Pull them off heat and set aside.

3. Gently melt butter, then add your onion, garlic, bay leaf, and cook slowly for 10 minutes. Keep a close eye not to caramelize the onions and garlic.

4. Add your flour and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring constantly so you don’t burn the flour. It should start to smell nutty and a little like popcorn.

5. Add your wine, let reduce for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir again so it doesn’t burn.

6. With a whisk slowly start adding all your liquid in two batches. Make sure to whisk so that the flour is incorporated each time, and to prevent the roux from separating. Bring to a boil.

7. Once it’s started to boil, turn heat down to a simmer (don’t continue to boil or it will burn. Flour and dairy products are very sensitive to heat.) Add your proteins and veggies, and let simmer for about 20 minutes or so. Pull off heat and add lemon, parsley, and a dash of nutmeg.

Wyatt’s tricks of the trade (for any recipe!):

1. Season throughout the cooking process: when sautéing veggies, when adding liquid, and when checking at the end.

2. Have fun and trust your instincts!


Maria

Maria’s Crafty Delicacies: Winter’s Best

Here are a couple of my favorite quick dishes using the hearty veggies we have on hand through the winter–a good addition to any crafty chef’s repertoire!

Raw Kale Salad

Raw kale makes for a surprisingly supple yet hearty salad that is fun to make. This is a great dish to brighten and lighten up a potluck in these post-holiday weeks when we may not be feeling so light. I usually like to make my kale salad with carrots and scallions, but it can become a beautiful and fresh side dish to any meal with pears, citrus, or other seasonal fruit.

Take fresh, washed kale. De-stem and cut or rip into small bite-size pieces. Use a big bowl and add kale, thinly sliced red onion, grated ginger, salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar and a LOT of olive oil. Here’s why you’ll want to use a big bowl: dive your hands in and massage the kale with a lot of love for about a minute or two. This will help the greens break down to become softer and more palatable. Top it off with sliced fruit or loose pomegranate seeds, and some freshly shaved parmesan for salty balance.

Fennel Butter

Herb butters are a super easy, fun way to add some extra flavor to anything you make, even if it’s just on a great piece of bread. Fennel butter is an especially great one with its sweet, delicate taste. You can make fennel butter a few different ways. You’ll always want to use room-temperature butter, to make sure you get well-incorporated flavor distribution when mixing together. You can use fennel pollen directly, or finely chop the feathery, bright green fronds of a fennel plant, or use fennel seeds. If you use fennel seeds, toast them first, as toasting dry herbs and spices helps get the flavors going and deepens the taste. Put the fennel seeds in a cold pan on the stove-top, bringing the pan and seeds up to heat together. It should only take about 30 seconds to 1 minute, just until you start to smell the herbs. Grind the seeds in a coffee grinder and mix them right into your butter.

You can experiment with other herbs — fresh rosemary, sage, lemon balm, lemongrass, mint….the list is endless. Make a few different ones for the table with a fresh loaf of bread and let your guests decide which one they like!

In this column, Maria from our grocery department shares her favorite recipes that are “so easy they almost makes me feel like I’m cheating! Only you have to know how silly-easy they are. “


Register Recipe: Tamarind Margarita

Aly Davis, our cashier who hails from Portland, Oregon, raves about her hometown’s authentic Thai restaurant. Pok Pok apparently serves up some of the best Southeast Asian food this side of the Pacific. In 2005, they began making their own drinking vinegars, called “Som,” that are pleasantly paired with soda water, soft-drink style, or mixed into their original house cocktails. The vinegars are all made with natural fruit and herbs, organic cane sugar and honey, and quality vinegars. Luckily for us here in the City, we’re stocking our shelves with a few of Pok Pok’s elixers. Currently we’re selling the honey, pomegranate, and tamarind flavored vinegars. Each flavor comes concentrated, with a dilution of about 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water necessary to make a good drink.

When Ian from our booze department caught wind that the vinegars had arrived, he spent some time crafting a cocktail with the tamarind version. Here’s the receipt for his own “Tamarind Margarita.”

Tamarind Margarita

2 oz. Herradura reposado tequila

1 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice

1 oz. Pok Pok Som tamarind vinegar

Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously to bring the drink to life. Strain into a cocktail glass.


Maria

Maria’s Crafty Delicacies: Holiday Quick Fixes

Hi, I’m Maria–you might know me from the Bi-Rite grocery team. In my new blog series I’ll be sharing with you my favorite recipes that are so easy they almost makes me feel like I’m cheating! My mom always used to say that to make anyone think you are a great cook, just sauté some onions in a pan. I guess I got my crafty culinary trait from her! So whether you’re hosting a grand dinner party or just having a few friends over, try out these suggestions to impress your guests. Only you have to know how silly-easy they are. I hope you find these helpful and inspiring to create your own twists on some classics. You’ll see that I write my recipes as if I’m hanging out with you in the kitchen and walking you through them–the ingredients are listed throughout the instructions, which is extra reason to read the whole thing through before starting (like the best cooks always tell us we should!)

Gathering around a table with my Bi-Rite friends--just what the holidays are for!

Holiday Quick Fixes

The holidays are upon us! As a time of gathering, the holidays are about spending time together with friends and family, being grateful, and perhaps most appealing of all, filling our bellies with delicious food. It’s the time we look forward to all year, finally the opportunity to make those tried-and-true recipes we love. But for some of us, it can also be an intimidating time. Cooking for others and attempting traditional recipes can come with high expectations and pressure. Here are a few simple and easy ideas that can make the whole meal surprisingly fantastic.

Citrus-Honey Syrup

Who needs maple syrup when you can make your own? Squeeze fresh oranges into a bowl with honey, give it a stir and voila, citrus-honey syrup. I know, almost too easy to be true, let alone write about in this blog. But it’s a delicious, fun alternative to the traditional maple syrup we always tend to turn to. Make your own syrup to your taste – more honey for more thick sweetness, more citrus for a lighter tang. Pour it over French toast, pancakes, even ice cream. And as the winter citrus season gets better and better, play with flavors – try mandarins, meyer lemons, grapefruit. Just keep in mind that the levels of sweet, sour and acidity will change with your fruit, so adjust accordingly.

Brussels, Bacon and Meyer Lemon

Shout-out to my good friend and co-worker Wyatt, who’s helped up the ante on my creations and contributed his own favorite brussels sprout recipe here for me to share!

Can’t go wrong with this recipe, a classic combo of brussel sprouts and bacon that is nicely complimented with sweet meyer lemon. The key here is using the whole lemon – peel, pith, pulp – chopped tiny. Cut bacon into small pieces and render on the stove-top. Strain the bacon out of the pan and throw in your brussels, cut in halves. Although you can also cook them in the oven, the stove-top gives you more control over the heat and a visible marker for when the outsides of the brussels start becoming crispy and brown. Add the chopped meyer lemon, salt and pepper and boom! You have yourself a great dish that will win over anyone.

Avocado Chocolate “Mousse”

This avocado-based chocolate dessert is so easy– it is literally avocado, cocoa powder, and sweetener. Because of avocado’s buttery texture, this dessert mimics real chocolate mousse like an expert. This is a great dessert for those vegan and/or sugar-intolerant friends of ours, or for any chocolate mousse lover who I challenge to a blind taste-test.

Mash the avocado(s) to a smooth texture and add cocoa powder and sweetener to taste. Any cocoa powder will work, although dutch-processed cocoa will blend more smoothly and have a less bitter taste than regular cocoa powder. Whether your sweetener choice is sugar, agave, honey, or maple syrup, make note that what you choose will affect the texture slightly differently. I have used confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar) before, which, because of its fine consistency, blends really well and makes this “mousse” even creamier. This dessert is best prepared, served and devoured relatively quickly. See how long you can keep the secret that it is avocado; I like to divulge the secret after the bowls are licked clean.


Register Recipe: The Doberman

Oh vodka, the things we can do with you. We can infuse you with delicious fruits, like seckel pears or those crazy finger forests known as Buddha’s hand citron. It’s easy: the pears you can leave whole, but the Buddha’s claws are best grated. Set in a jar with enough vodka to cover the fruit. Shake and taste every 3 days, and in about 2 weeks you’ll have a delicious infused vodka.

Vodka also tastes really good with fruit juices: their sugars give cocktails body and help mask those aggressive alcohol aromas. Meanwhile, vodka makes the juice lively and fun to drink.

Some distilleries make vodka exceptionally well, and Reyka, an Icelandic producer,  takes Vodka seriously: they make the spirit in small batches with pure Icelandic spring water. To make sure their Vodka is pure, they filter it through volcanic rock. Best yet—perhaps due to the fact that the distillery is powered by geothermic heat—it’s an incredible deal. We offer Reyka for only $19.99! It’s very economical for such a clean vodka.

Here’s another great idea for how to use vodka. If you haven’t tried a sweet lime, ask one of our produce clerks to cut you a slice of one. They are completely without the acids of their citrus siblings. Instead, they are filled with sugars and smell oh so fragrant. Mixed with Reyka, sweet limes create a deliciously aromatic and smooth cocktail. My roommate and I can confirm this as we’ve discovered the Greyhound’s cousin:

The Doberman

1 oz. Reyka vodka

4 ½ oz. freshly squeezed sweet lime juice

A dash of Angostora orange bitters

Mix ingredients in a glass filled with ice. Stir, imbibe.


Morgan

Bi-Rite Homegrown

Way back in the good old days (…we’re taking 1700’s here) Peru gave the San Marzano Tomato to the Kingdom of Naples as a gift.  Now, why the practice of one country giving another a type of produce as a gift has fallen out of style is a mystery to me.  I know that I’m constantly preaching about looking to the past for insight into how to improve our food systems these days.  Let’s bring back the international fruit swap!

Lines of vines on our farm

For the last couple of years Simon and I have been teaming up to grow, harvest, roast, and preserve our own tomatoes for the market.   This season’s batch has just hit the floor and is tasting great!  Simon got a hold of some Italian San Marzano seeds and grew this variety of tomato specifically for our sauce this year.  San Marzano is a type of “paste” tomato that is very similar to a Roma.  The things that set this tomato apart from the rest of the plums are its thin skin, thick flesh and low seed count.  This makes for a tomato that yields a good amount of finished sauce.  That, coupled with its robust flavor and mild acidity produces a tomato puree of excellent quality.

roasted to perfection

The sauce starts in the spring, when we till the soil on our Sonoma farm and plant rows…  then I get back into the kitchen and wait for Simon to work his magic.  Once the summer begins to fade and the pickup truck starts showing up at the market packed to the brim with flats of tomatoes, I get to work.

Sam and I busy in the kitchen

First, all of the tomatoes get washed and checked for blemishes.  Then we spread them on sheet trays, cover with salt, black pepper, olive oil, and we roast them in a hot oven.  When the tops of the San Marzanos begin to turn black and the skins start to split I pull them out of the oven to cool off.  Next, we blend the tomatoes with a little bit of citric acid to make sure that the pH will drop and the jars will be shelf stable. We bring water to a boil to quickly sanitize the mason jars before filling, then we fill the jars with sauce and drop them back into the skillet to simmer for about an hour.

Now our tomato sauce is ready for the winter months–find it on our shelves now, ready for your favorite pasta, casserole or meat dish!


Register Recipe: Pear Rosemary Cocktail

If you haven’t heard, local celebrity chef Danny Bowien (of Mission Chinese fame) recently made an appearance on the  Martha Stewart show. Ever since watching this clip, my love for Martha Stewart has been rekindled. Legal troubles aside, nobody does the holidays quite like Martha.

After browsing her website, I encountered a delicious cocktail—pears, rosemary, vodka, some sparkling water. It sounds like the perfect drink to serve before your Thanksgiving dinner, but would we really expect any less from the mistress of entertaining?  Just one caveat: some of the preparations must be done a few weeks in advance, meaning if you’d like to serve this cocktail, get started now! While the pears infuse a vodka-filled mason jar, make them a part of your home’s holiday décor. We just blogged about seckel pears in Simon’s latest blog post about November produce. They make a beautiful decoration—and that’s certainly a good thing.

Pear-Rosemary Cocktail (taken from Martha Stewart’s Website)

(makes 8 cocktails)

  • 6 to 10 Seckel pears
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) vodka
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 12 sprigs fresh rosemary plus more for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) pear nectar
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) sparkling water

Directions

  1. Put enough pears into a 48-ounce glass jar to fill. Add vodka. Seal jar, and let stand at room temperature 2 weeks (up to 2 months).
  2. Heat sugar and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Add rosemary; remove from heat. Let stand 30 minutes. Discard rosemary. Let cool completely. Syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 month.
  3. Fill 12-ounce glasses halfway with ice. Add 4 tablespoons vodka, 2 tablespoons syrup, and 3 tablespoons pear nectar to each. Top with 1/2 cup sparkling water. Serve garnished with rosemary sprigs.