Rhubarb and Coconut Chia Pudding

Chia seeds and coconut make a perfect combination for a pudding. The fresh rhubarb we found at the Green City Market inspired this not too sweet dessert.

Very easy to make. Simply plan ahead as it needs resting time.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened organic coconut flakes “Let’s do…Organics”
  • 7oz unsweetened organic creamed coconut “Let’s do…Organics”
  • 3 stalks rhubarb
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • Zest of 1/2 organic lemon
  • 2 cups hot water
  • Pinch of salt


Wash and trim the rhubarb stalks so there’s no green leaves. Discard the leaves it any. Cut the stalks in small even sized pieces. 


Cut the vanilla bean in half, and split each half so you can scrape the seeds. 


Place the rhubarb, honey and half a vanilla bean in a heavy saucepan on low heat and cover for about 10 minutes. 


Meanwhile place the creamed coconut in a large bowl. 


Add the hot water and the other half of the vanilla bean.


Whisk thoroughly to combine. 


Add the coconut flakes, salt and chia seeds. Mix well, cover and refrigerate about one hour or so.


Uncover the saucepan with the rhubarb and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Cover and continue to cook on low heat for another ten minutes. 


Transfer to a bowl, add the lemon zest, mix well, cover and refrigerate. 


Remove the bowls from the refrigerator when the chia seeds have set in the coconut mixture. 


Fill small jars by alternating chia/coconut preparation with the cooled rhubarb/honey/lemon mixture.  Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for later tasting. 

Note: the longer you refrigerate the pudding, the  more set it will become. 

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Radish and Radish Green Soup with Turmeric Root

This is a ‘fresh from the market’ soup. Beautiful radish greens with lots of fresh green onions, combined with sweet potato for texture and turmeric for a distinct flavor.

Only four ingredients:

  • One bunch radish
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 fresh turmeric root

Plus a bit of olive oil for cooking and sea salt for seasoning. 

Start by cutting off the greens from the radishes. Wash and scrub the radishes. Wash the greens in a bowl of water or salad spinner and drain. 

Peel the sweet potato. Scrub the turmeric and wash the green onions. 

Slice and chop the sweet potato. 

Heat a bit of olive oil in a heavy cast iron pot. Add the sweet potatoes and reduce the heat to low. 


Slice the whitish part of the green onions and chop the turmeric. 


Add the sliced onions and turmeric to the pot of sweet potatoes and combine well. 


Slice two or three radishes to use as garnish. Cut the remaining radishes in halves or quarters. Slice the green part of the green onions. 


Add the radishes (pieces only, not slices) and mix well. 


Add water, about 4 cups. Add sea salt to taste and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. 


Add the green onions and continue to simmer another 5 minutes. 


Grossly chop the radish greens. 


Add them to the soup and mix well for one minute until wilted. 


Process with an immersion blender until smooth. 


Serve at once and garnish with radish slices. Enjoy!

Truffled Scrambled Eggs with Grits and Arugula

Farm fresh organic eggs from our CSA delivery, Tomato Mountain, WI, and whole grain stone milled non-GMO yellow dent corn grits from Severson Farms, IL are a perfect match for indulging in the aromas of a black truffle for a leisurely breakfast. 

 The perfectly moist texture of the scrambled eggs is achieved by continuously whisking the eggs over very low heat.   
Ingredients:

For two servings

  • 4 farm fresh organic eggs
  • 1 small black truffle
  • 1/2 cup organic non-GMO yellow corn grits
  • Organic arugula
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Freshly ground Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper

Equipment: egg topper, truffle mandolin

 To cut a clean opening to top off the egg, the best tool is a spring egg topper. 
Sit the egg pointy side up in an egg holder.  Place the egg topper over the egg and pull the spring top, letting it snap back firmly.   The egg will have a clean cut all the way around. 

 If the sides do not come apart easily, you can insert the tip of a knife to gently separate both ends. 
   Be sure to open the egg over a bowl as the raw contents will pour out into the bowl. 
Continue the same procedure for all the eggs.  
Rinse the shells thoroughly and let dry on a towel.    Meanwhile, using the truffle mandolin, shave part of the black truffle onto the eggs. Grind some salt and pepper as well. 
  Whisk thoroughly until slightly foamy and set aside to let the truffle infuse its aromas into the egg mixture. Place corn and 1 1/2 cups of cold water into a saucepan. Add a dash of salt, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer about 15-20 mixing occasionally. Contrary to package instructions, I typically obtain best results, without lumps, by mixing initially with cold water rather than hot. 

 
Heat a bit of olive oil in a copper pan, pour the egg mixture and start whisking immediately.   Continuously whisk the eggs until almost settled. They should be slightly runny, as they’ll finish cooking and remain soft once served. 
 Place the egg mixture back into each egg shell. Top with extra truffle shavings and serve at once with the grits and a bit of arugula drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice. Enjoy!

Purple Cabbage and Potato Soup with Roasted Mango

A colorful heart warming soup for autumn.

When I received a purple cabbage in my CSA delivery I decided to do something different than preparing it as a slaw or salad, or even roasting it with apples (which I love). This time I want to see how it would turn out as a puréed soup. 

  The unusual color of this soup is enhanced by the bright yellow sautéed mango which also adds a sweet note to the cabbage. 

  Ingredients:

  • 1 red/purple cabbage
  • 2 small potatoes
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1/2 mango
  • Olive oil
  • A few chives
  • Freshly ground nutmeg
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

  Clean, peel, slice and cube the potatoes and onion.

Clean and cut the celery lengthwise and dice it as well.  
  Place a little olive oil in a large pot. Heat on medium. When hot, add the onion and celery and reduce the heat to low.   Meanwhile, wash and cut the cabbage. 
  Add the potatoes to the onion and celery.   Add the cabbage. 
  Add enough water to come up to the level of the cabbage. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender.   Cut the mango in half above the pit. 
  Reserve the half with the pit for another use.   Peel and slice the mango. 
Heat a little olive oil in a cast iron pan.   Add the slices of mango and cook until the bottom side is roasted.   Turn them over and roast them on the other side. 
  When the vegetables are tender, use an immersion blender.   Blend until smooth. You’ll obtain a beautiful color. 
  Season with freshly ground salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Serve in bowls, top with a slice of mango and some chopped chives. 

Enjoy!
   
   

Piperade

One summer, our parents took us to Les Landes for a month, in the southwestern part of France, by the Atlantic Ocean. It was a summer of smelling the tall and dense pine forests, admiring the grounds covered with ferns, climbing the huge dunes of fine white sand and playing with the forceful rolling waves, most famous for surfing. All unfamiliar topography and vegetation compared to our Provençal surroundings. Our eyes were wide-open with curiosity and our taste buds were delighting in exciting new dishes.  In the evening we would wander by the colorful and fragrant freshly picked peppers and tomatoes at the outdoor markets and prepare the local specialty of Piperade. It was such a delicious combination of flavors as the vegetables were in their prime, we wanted to savor it every night!

 Yesterday morning, as I discovered what our weekly CSA delivery held from Tomato Mountain, these memories instantly permeated at the sight of onions, peppers, garlic and tomatoes. I couldn’t wait to recreate those scents and tastes reminiscent of a joyful childhood discovery. 

  The variety of vegetables grown in the Midwest is different from my original introduction to Piperade in Les Landes, nevertheless just as delectable. So feel free to adjust ingredients based on what’s available from your local market.

Ingredients:

  • 3 yellow Aura peppers 
  • 2 Carmen sweet peppers 
  • 5 Capperino mildly hot peppers 
  • 5 medium size tomatoes
  • 1 extra large white onion (about 500 g/ 1 lb)
  • 1 extra large garlic clove
  • 5 Tbps extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh thyme and bay leaves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  Wash the yellow Aura peppers, cut in half, remove the core, seeds and white flesh, and thinly slice each half. Reserve. 
  Wash the Carmen sweet peppers, cut in half, remove the core, seeds and white flesh, and thinly slice each half. Reserve.   Wash the Capperino peppers, cut in half, remove the core, seeds and white flesh, and thinly slice each half. Reserve. 
  Wash the herbs and garlic clove without peeling it.   Peel the large white onion and cut in half. Thinly slice each half by hold down the root end. Discard the roots. 
  Heat the olive oil in a cast iron French oven. Add the onions and reduce the heat.   Place the herbs and garlic on top. 
  Arrange the sliced peppers as the top layer and cover with a lid. Cook on low heat for about 10-15 minutes.   Meanwhile wash and cut the tomatoes in quarters. Remove the hard green part attached to the stem and discard. Slice each quarter into smaller pieces. 
  After the onion and peppers have cooked for about 15 minutes, add the tomatoes as the last layer. Seasson with salt and pepper and cover with a lid. Cook over low heat for another 20-25 minutes.   Then remove the lid, and the vegetables will have shrunk. 
  Take the herbs and garlic out with a fork. Discard the herbs. You may keep the garlic for spreading on bread or crackers with a little butter as it will have become creamy inside.   Mix the vegetables with a wooden spoon to combine the flavors. 
  Serve hot or cold, either immediately or let sit to further infuse the flavors. Delicious on its own or with some eggs scrambled with red pepper flakes. 

Enjoy!

Watermelon and Chia Seeds Soup

Watermelon soup is a delicious, refreshing, and easy summer dish requiring very little time to prepare. It can appear on the table in no time. Equally satisfying either as an appetizer or as a dessert.  Here, paired with chia seeds to add texture, lime and ginger for a zing, and some fresh mint or lemon verbena for a variation of flavors. 

  Ingredients:

  • 4 lb / 1 kg 800 g watermelon flesh
  • 6 Tbsp/ 60 g chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 oz / 40 g fresh ginger
  • 2 limes
  • 1/2 oz / 15 g fresh mint or lemon verbena

  Peel and slice the ginger root.   Cut both ends of the limes and stand it upright on a wood board for slicing off the peel. 
Slice the peel off all the way around, being sure to remove the rind.     Quarter each lime. 
  Remove mint (or lemon verbena) leaves from the stems and reserve the nicer looking ones for serving.   Place lime, ginger and mint (or lemon verbena) at the bottom of a standing blender bowl. 
  Cut the watermelon into large pieces and discard the rind.    Add the watermelon to the other ingredients in the blender and process until smooth, in batches if necessary. 
  Pour the watermelon soup into a bowl and add the chia seeds.  Mix well, cover and refrigerate.  Serve chilled with mint or lemon verbena. You might also extra chia seeds on top for the presentation.

Enjoy!

Quince, Honey and Thyme Tart

Quince is a very hard and tart fruit in its raw state, which softens and becomes a delicious treat when cooked and sweetened.  When growing up in the French countryside, we commonly used to make quince jelly and quince paste with this fruit high in pectin. After cooking for a long time, the flesh of the fruit turns a beautiful deep pink color, which is most appealing and appetizing. 

 ​The honey caramilizes the quinces, and the thyme imparts a savory taste balancing the flavors. The longer the baking process, the more beautiful golden vermillion they turn. 

  Ingredients

  • 800 g/1 lb 12 oz quince
  • 60 g/ 2 oz French butter
  • 90 g/ 3 oz raw honey (Mild flavor like acacia)
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • 4 cloves
  • A few sprigs thyme

For the crust:

  • 150 g/ 5 1/4 oz all purpose organic in bleached flour
  • 70 g/ 2.5 oz French butter
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp cold water

Preheat oven to 375F. 

  Start by making the crust. Place the flour, salt and cold butter, cut in small pieces, in a bowl. 
  Using one hand only, gently and briskly mix the butter and flour to coat each piece. Then, press the flour-coated pieces of butter between your fingertips to ‘crumble’ the mixture.   Continue until the mixture resembles a sandy texture.  Then add just enough cold water to form a non sticky ball. 
  Place the dough on wax paper, wrap it and refrigerate it.  Meanwhile, cut the quinces in half, then quarters. Do not peel the quinces at this time as it would be a very difficult task. It is easier to peel them after cooking them.   Cut each quarter in halves to makes eighths. Quince oxidize extremely quickly by contact with air.Place them in a wide-bottom pot, barely cover with cold water, and add the cinnamon stick and cloves.     Bring to a boils and simmer about 30 minutes, until the quinces are tender. Meanwhile, place generous pieces of butter  on the bottom of a 9-inch pie dish as well as around the sides.   Pour the honey over the butter to cover the bottom of the pie dish.   Spread the thyme leaves over the butter and honey. Reserve a couple sprigs of thyme for presentation.   Take the quince out of the boiling liquid into a colander using a skimmer/slotted spoon. Reserve the liquid for another use, such as quince jelly.   Cut out the seedy core.   Peel the quince pieces. By now the skin should come off relatively easily.   Arrange the quince slices in a circle following the shape of the dish.   Take the dought out of the refrigerator and place it on a floured surface.  Using a French rod-style rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circle barely larger than the tart dish.   Roll the crust onto the rolling pin to easily transfer it from the surface to the tart dish. 

  Roll out the crust onto the quinces.   Tuck the edges between the quince slices and the buttered edges of the tart dish. 
  Bake for about 40 minutes. Then turn off the oven and let the tart sit on the rack in the oven for another 15 minutes with the oven door slightly open.   The crust should be lightely golden and crisp to the touch.   Run the blade of a knife around the edges to unstick the caramelized tart from the baking dish. Turn the tart over onto a serving platter.  You might have to carefully rearrange or straighten some of the quince slices. Finish by adding a few leaves of fresh thyme. Serve and enjoy!