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Squash Blossom ‘Poppers’

Photo by Cheryl Koehler

Photo by Cheryl Koehler

By Barbara Llewellyn Catering and Event Planning

12 unopened squash blossoms (edge of tip removed)
½ cup cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup goat cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoon each: chopped chive, parsley, thyme, dill
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt

for batter:
4 egg whites beaten to soft peaks
½ cup milk
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt

Mix cheeses, cream, herbs and salt and pepper together with a whisk until creamy. Fill a pastry bag and pipe in cheese mixture (approx. ½ tablespoon) into each blossom. Push tip with finger to seal.

Mix flour and milk, add salt. Gently fold into egg whites. Dip filled blossom into batter and fry in oil (350 degrees) for 2 minutes or until golden. Drain on paper towels.

Sprinkle with lemon zest and parsley and serve warm.

Barbara Llewellyn Catering & Event Planning
434 25th St., Oakland
(510) 832-1967

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Tajeen of Artichokes


From the story: Exploring Culture and Conversion Through Food by Anisa Abeytia

This makes a nice weekend lunch.
6 artichokes, spiky tops and stem trimmed and rougher leaves peeled away
2–3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons paprika
1­– 2 teaspoons salt
1 whole onion, sliced

Place all ingredients (except onions) into a ceramic tajeen or stew pot, tossing until the artichokes are well coated. Pile the onions on top and add enough water to the pot to reach halfway up the artichokes. Cover and simmer for 1–2 hours in a tajeen or 45 minutes to 1½ hours in a stew pot.

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sautéed zucchini with caramelized fennel and onions


From the story: Exploring Culture and Conversion Through Food by Anisa Abeytia

3 pounds zucchini, sliced
1 whole onion, sliced
2 large fennel bulbs, sliced
2–3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil

Heat a deep pan with a lid on medium heat. When it is hot add in the coconut oil. Add in the onion, fennel, and pinch of salt. Simmer uncovered for the first 15 minutes. For the last 15 minutes cover and add salt to taste. Once they are done remove to a dish and keep warm. Sauté the zucchini in the onion and fennel juice and cover for 5–8 minutes. Place the sautéed zucchini on the bed of caramelized onions and fennel.
Serves 4–6

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Andy’s Pickled Verdolagas (Purslane)

From Jessica Prentice’s Seven Stars of Summer 2016

Andy Renard, Three Stone Hearth’s self-dubbed French Pickler, recently began culturing purslane to sell at our shop.

AndyExtAndy’s father’s family is from Guadalupe in the French West Indies where purslane is called poupier. As a child growing up in Missouri, Andy liked finding this mucilaginous vegetable (think nopales and okra) while weeding the garden with his mother. They would prepare it for the evening’s supper by lightly blanching it, then cooling and tossing in vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. When Andy moved to California, he discovered this childhood favorite at the farmers’ markets, although here it was called purslane. His pickled purslane was a love-at-first-bite experience for me. The meaty leaves hold up to brine with their pleasant saltiness and acidity.

Andy and the others in Three Stone Hearth’s “fermentation and preservation circle” have come up with cultured versions of purslane to reflect many parts of the world where this plant is enjoyed. This pickeled verdolagas (purslane’s Spanish name) features Southwestern spices.


two 2-quart Mason jars
6 tablespoons Celtic sea salt
2 quarts non-chlorinated water
½ pound purslane
1 bunch scallions, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 teaspoons coriander seed, toasted
2 teaspoons cumin seed, toasted
5 or 6 sprigs fresh oregano
¼–½ teaspoon red chile flakes (to taste), or, when in season, slices of fresh red peppers such as New Mexico chile

Wash the jars in hot soapy water, rinse, and air dry.… 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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Apple Stuffing

Featured in A Friendsgiving Picnic by Melissa Fairchild Clark

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or other high-smoke-point oil)
1 onion, diced
2 cups sliced celery (about a whole head)
2 Fuji apples, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup parsley, roughly chopped
½ loaf whole wheat bread, diced or torn (we used La Farine’s)
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup chicken stock plus ¼ cup reserved turkey drippings

In a sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion, celery, garlic, and apples. Sweat the vegetables until the onions start to look translucent, then add the parsley and turn the heat up to medium high, cooking until the vegetables caramelize a bit.

While the vegetables sauté, preheat the oven to 325°.

Slice or tear the bread and place the pieces in a large bowl. Add the sautéed vegetables and apples and toss everything together.

Add the chicken stock, ¼ cup at a time, tossing between additions. Once the stock is absorbed into the bread, dump the mixture onto a 9- x 9-inch sheet tray and bake for 50 minutes, or until the top is slightly toasted and crusty.

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The Spice Whisperer’s Coriander and Fennel Spiced Cabbage


Recipe by Vinita Jacinto from The Spice Whisperer Make House Calls

This rustic dish is common in North India, where cooks might vary the spices according to the seasons or Ayurvedic needs. Cumin seeds might be used instead of fennel, and red chile powder and/or green chiles could be added to generate heat. Jacinto created this particular combination to honor summer, as it features the cooling spices, coriander and fennel. Spiced cabbage is traditionally eaten as a vegetable accompaniment to curried lentils (dal), rice, and flatbread (rotis).

Serves 2 to 3

1 small green cabbage, chopped into small pieces (about 5 cups)
3 tablespoons ghee (or olive oil)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons water
Salt to taste
Juice of 1 lime or 1 lemon
3 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro

Heat the ghee (or olive oil) in a large frying pan over low to medium heat. Add the fennel seeds and cook for about 2 minutes until lightly brown.

Lower the heat, then add the coriander, turmeric, and water and fry the spices for about 2 minutes, stirring continually until you see bubbles forming as the water evaporates. When the spices emit a nutty aroma, add the chopped cabbage and stir well to coat with the spice mixture.… Read More

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Alex Lewin’s Fermented Carolina-Style Slaw and Lacto Fermented Vegetables

The recipes below are reprinted with permission from Real Food Fermentation: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen by Alex Lewin.

Fermented Carolina-Style Slaw


Courtesy of Quarry Books.

Carolina-style slaw is a type of coleslaw traditional in the southeastern United States. . . . It’s clear to me that today’s Carolina slaw, soured with vinegar, is a re-creation of the slaws of yesteryear, which must have been fermented—soured via bacterial action—because that was how one kept cabbage. . . . The big benefit, besides taste and texture, is that the fermentation process makes everything easier to digest—both the cabbage and whatever it’s accompanying. The same recipe can be made with broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and shredded turnip. Or you could replace all the cabbage with celery root if you wanted to.    –AL

1 pound green cabbage
1 large onion (red, yellow, or white)
1 large green bell pepper
1 large carrot
½ apple (optional)
¼ pound celery root, or 1 teaspoon celery seed
4 teaspoons sea salt
¼ cup honey (or less, if you have included an apple)
6 tablespoons oil (a mixture of sesame, coconut, and olive oils works well)
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 piece (1⁄3 inch) ginger root, peeled and grated (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper

Yield: 1 quart or 2 pounds
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 4–7 days
Large cutting board (wood is ideal)
Large knife (a chef’s knife is ideal)
Large mixing bowl
2 Mason jars (1 pint each) or similar glass jars with tight-fitting lids
Colander or strainer

Thinly slice the cabbage, onion, and bell pepper.… Read More

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