Archive | Appetizers

Zucchini, Two Ways

As the weather warms up, zucchini and other summer squash are plentiful at local farmers’ markets. Chef Maria Capdevielle, a cooking instructor at Kitchen on Fire, shares two of her favorite zucchini recipes to enhance your summertime meals.
Roasted Zucchini with Mint Pesto
For the pesto:
½ cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
½ cup loosely packet fresh mint leaves
1 large clove fresh garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
For the zucchini:
4 zucchini
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon pepper
To make the pesto, process all the pesto ingredients together in a food processor or blender.
To make the zucchini, preheat oven to 400°F. Thinly slice zucchini lengthwise, brush lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with salt and black pepper. Roast 25 minutes, tossing halfway through. Alternatively you can grill them one minute on each side. Remove and cool. Spread about 1 teaspoon of pesto on one side of each grilled zucchini slice; roll up and serve.
Zucchini Blossom Fritters

Chef Capdevielle recommends these fritters as a perfect summer appetizer.… Read More

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Elderflower Chive Fritters

From The Regal Elder – Part 1 by Kristen Rasmussen

Photos by Kristen Rasmussen

Photos by Kristen Rasmussen

The batter for this savory dish contains lemon zest and chives, which add complexity without overpowering the floral qualities of the elderflower.

Makes 40 to 45 small fritters.

Batter1About 10 medium to large elderflower heads, broken up into 40 to 45 small florets
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch instant baker’s yeast
6–8 fluid ounces sparkling water
½ tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon sea salt, divided
2 tablespoons diced chives, divided
Grapeseed oil for frying
Ponzu for dipping (optional)

Whisk flour with yeast, 6 ounces sparkling water, lemon zest, and ⅛ teaspoon salt until combined. Batter should be runny (similar to pancake batter) and will start to fluff up from the yeast. If batter is not runny enough, add more sparkling water. Gently whisk in 1½ tablespoons of the diced chives.

Pour grapeseed oil ½ inch deep into a frying pan. Heat to high.

Dip florets (one at a time) into batter, shaking off any large clumps of batter, and fry in the heated oil until golden brown. This should take about 1 to 2 minutes on the first side and another 30 seconds after florets are flipped.… Read More

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Two Oyster Recipes


Oysters Rockefeller is a classic favorite with many variations. Photo courtesy of Jon Orlin.

Oysters Rockefeller is a classic favorite with many variations.
Photo courtesy of Jon Orlin.

The recipe for Oysters Rockefeller was created over a hundred years ago at Antoine’s restaurant in New Orleans, still in operation today. Because of the butter in addition to the oysters, the dish was considered so rich that it had to be named after the richest man in America—and at that time, this man was John D. Rockefeller. Antoine’s still holds the original recipe secret, so interpretations vary, mostly with the types of greens used.

We love this recipe because it is simple, fresh, delicious, and relatively easy to make. It is a luxurious treat that is still pretty easy on the wallet and fits well into just about any meal. It’s a classic. We recommend using the Kusshi oyster (kusshi is Japanese for “precious”) because its shell has a deep bowl that sits up on its own relatively well, and its taste is sweet enough to balance the butter.

Oysters Rockefeller
(Recipe Courtesy Hapuku Fish Market/Chef Evan Martin)

Serves: 4–6

8 tablespoons butter, softened
2 cups fresh spinach
1 bunch parsley
1/2 cup shallots, roughly chopped
2 whole cloves garlic
1–2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or hard cheese of choice
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 dozen shucked oysters, on the half shell
4–6 cups rock salt

Preheat the broiler.… Read More

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Recipe by Barbara Kobsar 
Artwork by Patricia Robinson

Shell 1 1/2 pounds of fresh fava beans and cook in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse. Peel off the skins. Reserve 12 beans.

Purée the rest with:
1 small shallot, chopped
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bulb green garlic, chopped

Brush 12 baguette slices with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake at 300° for 10 to 12 minutes. Top toasted crostini with purée. Garnish with mint, arugula, or spinach leaf and reserved beans.

Green garlic is a young garlic plant harvested before the bulb begins to form.  It is tender and mild flavored. 

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Molly’s Chèvre

Adapted from Goats Produce Too! The Udder Real Thing, written and published by Mary Jane Toth.

If you’ve never made cheese before, go to the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company website,, where there are tutorials on every part of the process described here.

5 quarts goat milk
¼ cup fresh cultured
⅓ cup cold water
3 drops liquid rennet
Optional flavorings:
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Sterilize all tools and pots.

Heat the goat milk to 90°. Add the buttermilk, stir, and let the pot sit for 15 minutes off the heat.

In a separate bowl, combine the cold water and rennet. Add 3 tablespoons of the water-rennet mixture to the goat milk. Stir for 3 minutes, cover, and let rest for 12 hours at room

Cut the resulting curds into ½-inch cubes and stir gently for 10 minutes to release the whey.

Let rest for another 12 hours at room temperature.

Drain in a hanging sack of cheesecloth until volume of curds is ⅓ of original size.

Mix in salt, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning, or experiment with your own flavorings.

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