Archive | Recipes

Benchmark Pizzeria Olive Oil Cake

Olive oil cake, served here with strawberries and cream rather than citrus. It's delicious either way.   Photo courtesy of Benchmark Pizzeria.

Olive oil cake, served here with strawberries and cream rather than citrus. It’s delicious either way.
Photo courtesy of Benchmark Pizzeria.

Makes 8 servings
Need: 1 9-inch round springform pan
Kitchen scale

100 grams citrus juice
Zest of 6–7 lemons/oranges
8 grams baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
200 grams sugar
219 grams cake flour
3 eggs
150 grams Séka Hills EVOO
110 grams whole milk yogurt (plain)

Preheat oven to 350˚. Spray springform with nonstick baking spray. Mix together wet and dry ingredients separately. Combine until smooth, then pour into sprayed springform pan. Bake 25 minutes, then rotate cake 180˚and bake another 25 minutes. Allow to cool for 1 hour. Serve with segmented citrus and whipped cream.

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Roasted Tomatoes

From Kassenhoff Growers, www.kassenhoffgrowers.com

September at Kassenhoff Growers often means abundant tomatoes.

This is how we keep them for future use in cooking.

Preheat oven to 450°

Sprinkle a pan with salt and pepper to taste. Cover bottom with some sprigs of fresh thyme. (We use our English thyme from the garden, but you could experiment with dried thyme or with other fresh or dried herbs.)

Cut tomatoes in half and place cut-side-down on top of herbs. Drizzle liberally with olive oil. Place in preheated oven and roast for 25 minutes. Lower heat to 325° and roast for another 25 minutes. Turn off heat and let pan cool in the oven. When cool, the skins will often just slip off.

After they are cool, the tomatoes can be placed, along with the oil from the pan, into a quart yogurt container for freezing. When you’re ready to use some, run the container under hot water until the tomatoes slip out, cut off what you want with a serrated knife, and return the rest to the freezer. Because of the oil content, the block doesn’t freeze totally solid.

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Grilled Watermelon Salad

From Lucero Olive Oil, www.lucerooliveoil.com

Serves 6–8

  • 1 medium-size watermelon
  • ⅓ cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (Try Lucero Arbequina, Miller’s Blend, or Ascolano)
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (try Lucero Traditional)

Cut watermelon into ½-inch spears. Place in a bowl and toss with ⅓ cup olive oil, then place spears on a hot grill and cook until lightly caramelized. Toss arugula, goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, and remaining olive oil in a salad bowl along with caramelized watermelon. Serve.

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Asian Pear and Watercress Salad with Sesame Dressing

From Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association, www.pcfma.com

Serves 6                                                        

  • 1 ½-inch-thick slice of fresh ginger, peeled
  • ¼ cup Asian sesame paste
 (or tahini)
  • 3 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon Asian chili paste with garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium Asian pears
  • 4 cups watercress, trimmed
  • 1 carrot, finely shredded

Process first 8 ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Peel pear and cut into julienne strips, then transfer to a bowl.
 Add watercress to the bowl, season with salt and pepper as desired, and toss gently.

Divide among plates, then drizzle with some dressing and sprinkle with carrot right before serving.

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Butternut Squash, Pear, and Leek soup

From Hillcrest Ranch Sunol, www.hillcrestrancholiveoil.com

Serves 4

  • 1 medium-size (about 2 pounds) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 large or 2 medium leeks, white and light-green parts only, washed and cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 2–3 ripe pears or apples, peeled (optional), cored, and cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400°.

Spread the squash, pears, and leeks in a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, stir to coat, and spread out evenly in the pan. Roast for 40–50 minutes (or until soft), stirring occasionally to ensure even roasting. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

Purée roasted vegetables and fruits along with the ginger and broth, working in batches so your blender or food processor is not too full. Pour each batch into a large saucepan. Reheat and adjust seasonings.

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Budín de Zanahoria (Mexican Carrot Custard)

This rich vegetable pudding combines sweet, savory, and tangy with a creamy texture that kids love. (My 3½-year-old gobbles it up!) And it works with many different harvest-season vegetables. You might want to make budín de camote (sweet potato), budín de maíz (fresh corn), or budín de calabaza (squash or pumpkin), depending on what you have handy.

  • 2 pounds or 2 bunches fresh carrots
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped piloncillo (Mexican raw sugar) or substitute brown sugar, Sucanat, rapadura, granulated palm sugar, or maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream (plus extra for garnish)
  • ¾ cup rice flour (can substitute white flour)
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375º.

Cut carrots into big chunks and steam until completely tender, almost falling apart. Transfer into another pot or bowl and mash with a potato masher, fork, or whisk.

Combine melted butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat until sugar is dissolved or incorporated (I recommend using an electric hand mixer if you have one. You could also use a food processor or a whisk). Add the eggs and beat until thoroughly incorporated. … Read More

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Anthony Keels’ Yellow Doll Cocktail

  • ¾ ounce Yellow Doll Watermelon Syrup (made with 2 parts Yellow Doll watermelon juice and 3 parts simple syrup)
  • 1¼ ounce CapRock gin
  • ½ ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
  • ¼ ounce lemon juice
  • ¼ ounce lime juice
  • Sparkling wine (your driest) 

Place all ingredients except the sparkling wine in a shaker with ice. Shake and then double-strain into a martini glass. Top with a floater of sparkling wine.

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Locavore Mayonnaise

When I make this mayonnaise, which is frequently, I rarely measure. I just start with one egg yolk and do everything to taste and to texture (or until my arm gets tired).

  • 1 egg yolk (I always use eggs from pastured chickens)
  • ½ cup local olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon prepared mustard (or make your own by harvesting seeds from a local field and grinding them yourself)
  • Juice of half a lemon, or up to 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • Sea salt to taste
  • ¼ cup yogurt cream or crème fraîche
  • Optional: Black pepper and/or other spices and herbs as desired
  • Optional: 1 clove garlic, minced

Put egg yolk into a small bowl. (It can be helpful to put a towel under the bowl to stabilize it). Begin whisking in olive oil drop by drop and then in a very thin stream, incorporating the oil completely as you whisk. (Use an electric mixer if you prefer.) Once you’ve got the emulsion started you can add the olive oil thicker and faster. Still whisking, add mustard, lemon juice, sea salt, and yogurt cream to taste. Add black pepper and/or any other spices or herbs as desired. To make aioli, add the clove of minced garlic at this time.… Read More

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Cream of Celery Root Soup with Leeks and Lard

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons lard
  • 2–3 leeks, sliced into rounds
  • 1–2 celery roots, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
  • 1 bouquet garni (an herb bundle tied with string) including a bay leaf and any or all of the following: a sprig of thyme, a sprig of sage, a sprig of parsley, a rosemary stem
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup yogurt, buttermilk, half-and-half, or whole milk (or ½ cup cream or crème fraiche)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Crème fraîche or cream
  • Finely minced rosemary, thyme, sage, or parsley leaves (or a combination of these herbs), or a grind of black pepper

Wash leeks by immersing in water, pulling apart, and agitating, then lifting them out of the water with your hands carefully, leaving the dirt behind.

Heat the lard in a medium-size soup pot. Add the leeks and sauté until tender. Add the celery root, chicken broth, ½ teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Add the bouquet garni and bring the pot to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce heat and simmer until the celery root is fork-tender.

Turn off the heat and remove the bouquet garni. Purée the soup with an immersion blender (or in a blender or food processor), adding the yogurt or other dairy, and more salt and pepper as you blend.… Read More

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