Tag Archives | Fall 2014 Recipes


4 whole fresh figs with stems
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Fine sea salt, as needed

Wash and dry figs. Dust lightly with salt and set aside. Measure chocolate chips into microwavable bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds, then stir. Microwave another 30 seconds and stir until chocolate is completely melted. Holding a fig by its stem, dip in the melted chocolate and set on a wax-paper-lined tray. Sprinkle with sea salt. Let stand till chocolate is set.

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6 to 12 fresh or frozen figs, cut into eighths
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Montreal steak seasoning (a spice mix that includes
garlic, coriander, black pepper, cayenne pepper flakes
or paprika, dill seed, and salt. May vary according to recipes
or in bottled spice mix.)

Preheat oven to 350°. Cover a cookie tray or shallow baking dish with aluminum foil. In a bowl, mix figs, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and seasoning, making sure all figs are coated. Scatter the salsa mixture over the baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes until the figs become soft and mushy.

Scoop or pour the salsa into a bowl and serve with crackers or over tomatoes and mozzarella slices. Makes about 1 cup, depending on the amount and size of figs used.

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Serves 4 as appetizer

4 small Japanese eggplants
A handful of Sungold tomatoes, cut in half
1 Brandywine or other delicious heirloom tomato, chopped
3/4 cup feta cheese, sliced thin
A few fresh mint, parsley and basil leaves
Simple vinaigrette (recipe below)

Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Salt the cut side and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Rinse and squeeze out liquid with kitchen towel. Brush each eggplant half with olive oil and grill for 5 minutes on each side.

Place 2 eggplant halves on each plate, cut side up. Top with Sungold halves, chopped tomatoes, slices of feta and ribbons of herbs. Dress with simple vinaigrette.


Makes 1 cup

½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ tablespoon dried herbs (we love parsley, chervil and tarragon)
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Ground pepper, to taste

Whisk together or use immersion blender. Enjoy!

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New Jersey Scallop BLT


Makes 1 BLT

Courtesy Jeffry Wierzbicki, Winberie’s, Summit

1½ slices local smoked bacon
3 slices herbed focaccia bread
3 jumbo New Jersey scallops
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil
2 ounces lobster-scallop mousse (the home cook may omit for simplicity’s sake)
1 heirloom tomato, sliced
1/3 cup Jersey Fresh micro greens (opal basil and arugula)
1½ ounces New Jersey Tomato Vinaigrette (see recipe, below)
1 bacon-fried potato chip

In a hot cast iron pan or griddle (or oven-baked on a sheet pan), cook bacon slices until crispy. Toast the focaccia slices on a buttered griddle. Season the scallops with salt and pepper, then sear in olive oil, about 3 to 4 minutes each side (depending on the size), until caramelized. Arrange the 3 slices of bread in a triangle on the plate. Top each slice of bread with bacon, a dollop of lobster-scallop mousse (optional) and a piece of heirloom tomato. Arrange the scallops on top of the tomato. Toss the micro greens with ½ ounce of New Jersey Tomato Vinaigrette and mound in the middle of the plate. Drizzle the remaining 1 ounce of vinaigrette around the plate for garnish. Top the salad with a bacon-fried potato chip.


½ pound locally grown ripe tomatoes
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons purple basil (micro or leaves-only chiffonade)
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Peel tomatoes by coring and slicing and cutting an X in the bottom of the tomato. Dip into boiling water for 10 to 15 seconds until the skin comes off easily. Place into ice water to stop the cooking process. After removing the skin, dice into 1-inch or smaller-sized pieces. Put into a blender and pulse.

Add all the ingredients except the oil and begin to purée. Slowly add the oil while blending. The vinaigrette should be well emulsified. Place into an appropriate storage container. Dressing may be kept for up to 4 days.

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Bird on a Barrel

Courtesy Jason Albaum

2 ounces Busted Barrel dark rum
1½ to 2 ounces Blue J orange-vanilla syrup
Ginger ale
2 lime wedges

Put the first three ingredients into a shaker. Shake vigorously. Strain into highball or rocks glass. Top with ginger ale. Garnish with lime wedges.

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To make elderberry syrup, place ripe fruits into a thick-bottomed saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to a simmer slowly. Cook gently. I cook my syrup briefly, for ten minutes or so. Because raw elderberries are not edible, you may decide to cook longer, up to 30 minutes. Mash to loosen fruit from seeds. Strain through cheesecloth or a strainer to remove seeds and skins.

Return hot liquid to the pan. Add sweetener, either sugar or honey, and stir. You can use 1 cup sweetener for every 3 cups of syrup. Refrigerate to store for a couple months or freeze to keep longer.

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Make Your Own Kombucha


Kombucha is made from sweetened tea and a SCOBY (which stands for “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast”). The SCOBY is a thick mushroom-like mat that digests sugar as part of the fermentation process, resulting in an output of probiotics, vitamins, minerals and organic acids.

Acquire a SCOBY. You can purchase them online, or find a friend who brews his or her own. (SCOBYs divide into two after each batch).

Boil 3 quarts distilled water in a steel pot for about 5 minutes. Add in 1½ cups sugar and stir. Add 6 black tea bags (or a combination of 4 green and 2 black). Turn off the stove and steep for 10 minutes. Remove bags and let the tea cool thoroughly.

In a large glass jar (capacity greater than 3 quarts) add the tea you just made, your SCOBY and 6 ounces plain, already- fermented kombucha tea, which can be purchased or reused from your last batch.

Cover with a thin, clean cloth (doubled cheesecloth or cotton kitchen towel works well), secure it with a rubber band, and let jar sit in an undisturbed area (at a temperature of 70° or higher for best results) for 7 to 10 days.

Afterwards remove both SCOBYs from your batch of kombucha, which is now ready to drink. Refrigerate the kombucha in sealed jars—it can keep for several months in the refrigerator, but it’s generally advised to consume within three months.

As for the SCOBYs, peel them apart. (Keep your original, and either compost the new one or give it to a friend). Store SCOBYs in 6 ounces of kombucha tea, unrefrigerated, until ready to use again. Refrigeration will destroy your SCOBY!

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Warm Potato and Hakurei Turnip Salad

Courtesy Bennett Haynes

3 medium-sized potatoes (I use Kennebec)
4 Hakurei turnips with greens
3 small sweet onions (I use Walla Wallas)
Red-wine vinegar
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Chili flakes (let a handful of red chilies dry out in a sunny spot in your kitchen this summer and grind into flakes this fall)

Skin and chop potatoes into small pieces and boil until tender, then drain and set aside. Chop Hakurei turnips and onions into small pieces as well. Finely chop the greens of two turnips. With the warm potatoes in a mixing bowl, add the raw ingredients to the potatoes. Then add red-wine vinegar and olive oil to taste; a few splashes of each will be fine. Lastly, sprinkle salt and pepper generously, add a big pinch of chili flakes and mix all the ingredients gently, making sure not to smash the potatoes. Serve right away as a warm side dish or stick in the fridge for lunch tomorrow.

Hakurei turnips are like a “radish-turnip,” well balanced in flavor and texture between the spice and crunch of a radish and the earthy bitterness and smoothness of a purple-top or storage turnip. They taste great raw or cooked alongside other fall roots. Something about Hakurei turnips always makes me want to eat them raw (or fermented in kimchi!).
—Bennett Haynes, farmer, Ralston Farm

Ralston Farm
327 Rte. 24 W., Mendham
908.334.8018 ralstonfarm.com

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Interested in making your own dandelion wine? It’s not the secret recipe from Bellview Winery, but try this one:

2 quarts whole dandelion flowers
4 quarts water
1 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped orange zest; avoid any white pith
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped lemon zest; avoid any white pith
6 cups sugar
1 package (7 grams) dried brewing yeast

Wash and clean the blossoms well, removing all green parts.

Soak flowers for two days.

In 4 quarts water, combine blossoms with orange, lemon and lime juices. Stir in ginger, orange zest, lemon zest and sugar. Bring to a boil for one hour.

Using a filter (colander or coffee filter), strain off all liquid.

Let cool slightly, but while still warm, stir in yeast. Let sit overnight.

Pour into bottles covered by balloons with holes pricked into them. Store in a dark place for at least three weeks. Pour off unwanted sediment and bottle for use. Wait 6 months to 1 year before drinking. Enjoy!

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