Tag Archives | Spring 2014 Recipes

SMOKED PEPPERCORN RANCH DRESSING

2 teaspoons smoked black peppercorns
1 teaspoon dehydrated minced garlic
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
½ cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon kosher salt

In a small skillet over medium heat, dry-roast peppercorns, dehydrated garlic, coriander and mustard seeds until just aromatic or the seeds start to pop, 1 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Immediately transfer to a small bowl. When cool, grind roasted spices into a coarse powder using a spice or coffee grinder. Place ground spices into a medium bowl. Add the mayonnaise and yogurt and stir to incorporate the spices thoroughly. Stir in the remaining ingredients until smooth. Served chilled over a salad or falafels.

Makes approximately 2 cups sauce.

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SWEET GREEN PEA FALAFEL

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Serves 4

(adapted from Savory Spice Shop)

12 ounces of local spring peas (or 1 12-ounce bag of frozen peas)
3 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small shallot
1/8 bunch of parsley, stems removed
1 sprig of rosemary, stems removed
1½ teaspoon ground caraway
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon gray sea salt
¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
¼ cup all-purpose flour

Vegetable oil to fill large cast iron pan to ½ inch Shell fresh peas and blanch in a pot of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes (they should be slightly hard), then place in a bowl of ice water to cool and drain (or remove frozen peas from freezer and allow to thaw slightly at room temperature for about 15 minutes).

Place peas in a food processor and, using the grater mechanism, grate the peas to a coarse consistency and transfer to a mediumsize bowl. In the food processor, using the chopping mechanism, finely chop the scallions, shallots, parsley and rosemary. Thoroughly mix them into the peas. Next, add the spices and flour and fold together until completely combined. Seal the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Mixture can be made 48 hours before cooking.

Form falafels by rolling tightly into about 12 to 14 ping-pong-size balls. Heat the vegetable oil in a large cast iron pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully add half of the falafels, flattening each slightly with the back of a serving spoon.

Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the bottom of the bright green falafel has turned a dark brown. Using a spatula and a serving spoon, carefully turn over each falafel and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the same dark brown color is obtained. Transfer to a paperlined grate on a cookie sheet to drain. Repeat with remaining balls.

Serving suggestion: Hauge says this goes great with tzatziki sauce or his family’s favorite smoked peppercorn ranch dressing (recipe).

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MAPLE VINAIGRETTE

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Courtesy of Charlie and Bru Katzenbach of Sweet Sourland Farms

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

Combine all ingredients in a covered glass jar and shak ewell. Serve over your favorite mixed salad greens.

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SHAVED ASPARAGUS SALAD

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Photograph: Carole Topalian

As the spring sunshine warms the frost-kissed soil, the purple tips of young asparagus taper through the winter mulch, the green stalks of which we welcome in a perennial springtime tradition. Asparagus has a long history of both culinary and medicinal use throughout the European, African and Asian regions where native species are found; its roles range from a starring part in the German Spargelfest, an annual celebration of blanched white asparagus, to the use of shatavari (an asparagus species found in India) in Ayurvedic medicine. Here in the Garden State, the sandy soils of our southern regions and an innovative Rutgers research program have encouraged New Jersey farmers to rise to fourth in the nation in asparagus cultivation. Though asparagus prefers a maritime sandy soil, it will grow well in most soils amended with organic matter and that have moderate drainage. Asparagus may be harvested in its third year in the field by gently snapping or slicing the spear directly below the soil surface. —Johann Rinkens, farmer, Fields Without Fences

FIELDS WITHOUT FENCES
Frenchtown
908.996.0525 fieldswithoutfences.org

SHAVED ASPARAGUS SALAD

Recipe courtesy David Ercolano
Local Renegade Chef, Princeton

Freshly squeezed juice and finely grated zest from one organic Meyer lemon
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
2 medium-size shallots
Grape-seed oil
1 pound of jumbo New Jersey asparagus, bottoms trimmed
3 tablespoons non-filtered extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup smoked almonds
½ cup packed shaved Valley Shepherd Oldwick
Shepherd cheese
1 tablespoon fi nely chopped anise hyssop
Coarse sea salt, to taste
Aleppo pepper, to taste

Combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar and a pinch each of salt and the Aleppo pepper in a small bowl and whisk. Let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and shave the shallots lengthwise on a mandoline. Place them in a small stockpot with enough grape-seed oil to cover them. Start the oil cold over medium heat, stirring often. Cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the shallots and allow to dry and cool on a paper towel. (Reserve the remaining oil and use separately; it’s now great-tasting shallot oil!) Using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the asparagus lengthwise into strips and place in a large bowl. Whisk the olive oil into the lemon-vinegar mixture in a thin and steady stream. Taste and season the dressing with salt and Aleppo pepper as desired. Add the smoked almonds, dressing, Oldwick Shepherd, and anise hyssop to the asparagus and toss with your hands to combine. (Food tastes better when you use your hands, especially if you’re happy at the time!) Finally, top with fried shallots and enjoy. Serves 4.

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