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Delectable Spring Asparagus Recipes

Shaved Asparagus Pizza


Makes 1 thin crust 12-inch pizza

1 recipe Really Simple Pizza Dough or your favorite pizza dough
1/2 pound asparagus
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded or cut into small cubes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Several grinds black pepper
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Preheat your oven to the hottest temperature it goes, or about 500 in most cases. If you use a pizza stone, have it in there.

Prepare asparagus: No need to snap off ends; they can be your “handles” as you peel the asparagus. Holding a single asparagus spear by its tough end, lay it flat on a cutting board and using a vegetable peeler (a Y-shaped peeler works best here, but I only had a standard, old and pretty dull peeler and it still worked; a mandolin would also work, in theory, but I found it more difficult to do it that way), create long shavings of asparagus by drawing the peeler from the base to the top of the stalk. Repeat with remaining stalks and don’t fret some pieces are unevenly thick (such as the end of the stalk, which might be too thin to peel); the mixed textures give a great character to the pizza. Discard tough ends. Toss peelings with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and be sure to try one — I bet you can hardly believe how good raw asparagus can taste.

Assemble and bake pizza: Roll or stretch out your pizza dough to a 12-inch round. Either transfer to a floured or cornmeal-dusted pizza peel (if using a pizza stone in the oven) or to a floured or cornmeal-dusted tray to bake it on. Sprinkle pizza dough with Parmesan, then mozzarella. Pile asparagus on top. Bake pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, or until edges are browned, the cheese is bubbly and the asparagus might be lightly charred. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with scallions, then slice and eat.

Baby Greens and Asparagus with Almond Vinaigrette


Serves 6

18 asparagus spears (about 1 pound), trimmed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound white or oyster mushrooms, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound (6 cups loosely packed) baby greens, such as oak leaf, mache, and watercress
Almond Vinaigrette (see recipe below)

Blanch the asparagus in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until bright green, about 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately transfer to a bowl of iced water. Drain and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch-long pieces. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat until very hot. Sauté the mushrooms just to soften, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and sauté briefly until the aroma is released. Remove from the heat. Stir in the parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, lightly toss the baby greens with about half of the Almond Vinaigrette. Divide into 6 portions and place on serving plates. Divide the mushrooms and sprinkle across the top.

In the same bowl, toss the blanched asparagus with the remaining vinaigrette. Divide among the salads, fanning the spears across the top.

Almond Vinaigrette

Makes 3/4 cup

1/2 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake until slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

When the almonds are cool, transfer to a blender or food processor along with the remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth. Store in a container in the refrigerator up to 5 days.

Sorrento Lemon Pie





430 ml (1¾ cups) flour
2.5 ml (½ tsp) salt
45 ml (3 tbsp) sugar
125 ml (½ cup) cold, unsalted butter, in chunks
30 ml (2 tbsp) cold vegetable shortening, in chunks
Ice water, as required
4 washed lemons, juiced and zest grated
180 ml (¾ cup) sugar
15 ml (1 tbsp) corn starch
4 egg yolks
60 ml (4 tbsp) melted butter
Whipped cream, to taste



  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Add the butter and shortening and pulse on and off about 20 times or until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  2. Add 60 ml (¼ cup) ice water and pulse to combine. Continue pulsing on and off until the dough begins to gather in a ball, adding a little more ice water, if necessary. Remove dough, wrap in plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F.
  4. On a floured work surface, roll out dough and press into a 23 cm (9 inch) pie plate with removable bottom. Prick all over with a fork, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and fill with dried peas or beans.
  5. Bake on lower rack of oven for 25 minutes. Remove aluminum and peas and set aside to cool.


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice and zest, sugar, corn starch, egg yolks and melted butter. Cook until thick and pour into the cooled pie crust.
  2. Bake on the lower rack for 20 minutes, remove from oven and cool at room temperature.

Limoncello Recipe



10 organic Sorrento lemons
1 (750mil) bottle 100 proof vodka or 1 bottle Everclear
5 cups distilled water
4 cups sugar

First wash and peel zest only, the white part makes the liquour bitter

***Using a serrated peeler makes an easier job of peeling***

*Place peels in a glass jar with tight lid. Store in a cool dark place for 40 days, the longer the better

*Make a simple syrup with the sugar and water -boil for 5 mins.-

*Let cool to room temperature and add to alcohol & peels

*Store again and let sit for at least a week and then strain through a paper coffee filter into a bottle

*Keep in freezer for use


It is wonderful as a palate cleanser or as an after dinner drink. 


Winter Squash Recipes

Tuscan-Kale-and-Squash Minestra

Food and Wine December 2011

Contributed by Grace Parisi

Minestra is a light, brothy Italian soup with vegetables


1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
One 2-pound butternut squash, neck only, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 1/2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1 pound Tuscan kale, stemmed and leaves coarsely chopped
4 cups chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup ditalini or tubettini pasta
1 cup drained canned navy beans
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and garlic toasts,for serving

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 4 minutes. Add the squash, cover and cook, stirring, until lightly browned in spots but not tender, 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the kale and cook, stirring, until wilted, 5 minutes. Add the stock, cover and simmer until the kale and squash are just tender, 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta.

Add the pasta and navy beans to the soup and simmer until the soup is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Ladle the soup into deep bowls and garnish with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Serve with garlic toasts.

The kale-squash soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.


Japanese Style Simmered Sweet Kabocha




1 lb Japanese pumpkin, kabocha
3/4 cup dashi stock
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Cut kabocha into small chunks about 1 and 1/2 inch cube.  Leave skin on (the texture of the cooked skin is great!).

Put dashi soup stock, sugar, soy sauce, and kabocha chunks in a pan. Place the pan in high heat and bring it to boil.  Turn down the heat to low and simmer kabocha for about 15 minutes or until the liquid is almost gone.  It’s said that eating kabocha is effective in preventing colds.

Satsuma Cocktails

Randy’s Satsuma Tequila Cocktail

Randy Windham, Earl’s Organic

2 ounces tequila
2 ounces simple syrup (click here for recipe)
3 ounces fresh satsuma juice

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until your hands turn cold. Serve in a salt rimmed glass.

Satsuma Gin Cocktail

Joanne Weir, Cooking Light

1 satsuma orange, peeled and sectioned
Crushed ice
1/2 cup dry gin
1/2 cup fresh satsuma orange juice (about 2 satsumas)
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (orange-flavored liqueur)
Satsuma orange rind (optional)


Rinse satsuma sections in cold water. Drain; freeze 30 minutes or until firm. Place crushed ice in a martini shaker. Add gin, juice, and Grand Marnier to shaker; shake well. Strain 1/2 cup gin mixture into each of 2 martini glasses. Add 4 frozen satsuma sections to each glass. Garnish with rind, if desired.


Satsuma Champagne Cocktail

By: Joe Wadsack From: Good Food Live   


3 Satsumas
50 ml  Absolut Mandarin vodka
champagne, to fill
thin strip of satsuma, peel only to garnish


Peel the skin off each of the satsuma segments and remove any pips. Place the satsuma segments, mandarin vodka and ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously until well blended. Strain into a champagne flute and fill with champagne. Garnish with the satsuma peel and serve.

Cranberry Sauce with Cardamom and Orange Zest

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

12-oz bag fresh cranberries (3 cups)

1 teaspoon cardamom seeds from lightly crushed green cardamom pods or to taste

1 cinnamon stick

1 TAB freshly grated orange zest

Bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries, cardamom seeds, cinnamon stick and simmer, stirring occasionally, until berries just pop, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in zest, then cool for at least an hour. Take out cinnamon stick before serving.

Blueberry Cobbler Recipe

Real Simple




  • 2 pints blueberries
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemonzest
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups heavy cream


  1. Heat oven to 375° F. In a shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dish or a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate, toss the blueberries, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the baking powder, salt, lemon zest, and the remaining flour and sugar.
  3. Add the butter and blend with your fingers or 2 knives until coarse crumbs form. Add 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream and mix until a shaggy dough forms.
  4. Drop mounds of dough over the blueberry mixture. Bake until the berries are bubbling and the top is golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve with the remaining cream for drizzling, if desired.


Pistachio Savory and Sweet Recipes

Chicken Biryiani Recipe

About.com Chicken From Maryland to Kiev by Clare Ferguson (Ryland Peters & Small)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 65 minutes


  • 1 (3-pound) chicken, quartered
  • 2-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 green serrano (medium-hot) chile, seeded and chopped
  • 3 inches fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea-salt flakes
  • 2 onions
  • 6 Tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1-1/4 cups basmati rice
  • 20 green cardamom pods
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup blanched almonds
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios, blanched and skinned
  • 1/2 cup dried mango pieces, raisins or sultanas
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon saffron powder or 2 pinches saffron threads, crushed
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Place chicken, stock, chile, ginger, cinnamon, and salt in a large, heavy saucepan or flameproof casserole. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until fairly tender. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.  Pour cooking liquid into a measuring cup and add water if necessary to make 2-1/2 cups.

Quarter onions, then separate into petal-like layers. Add ghee to saucepan and heat until melted. Add onion and fry until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a small plate.  Add rice, cardamom pods, and cloves to pan;  stir-fry 2 minutes or until rice is browned slightly.

Return chicken to pan; add almonds, pistachios, mango, coriander, cumin, and garlic. Sprinkle saffron into mixture and cook 2 minutes.  Return stock and onions to pan, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook, undisturbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Rice should be tender and the liquid completely absorbed. Sprinkle cilantro on top.


Almond Pistachio Saffron Curry Sauce Recipe

About.com Peggy Trowbridge Filippone

Use this sauce on grilled meat or chicken or simmer your favorite meatballs in it.


  • 1/2 cup raw unblanched almonds
  • 1/2 cup shelled, unsalted raw pistachio nuts
  • 2 Tbsp butter or mild vegetable oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp mace
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 green cardamom pods, husked, and ground
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads, soaked in 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 tsp salt, or to taste


Heat a heavy 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add almonds and pistachios and cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring often. Let cool 5 minutes. Place in a food processor or heavy-duty blender and process until nuts are powdered. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat. Saute sweet onion until lightly browned. Add coriander, mace, white pepper, cardamom, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg. Cook about 1 minute, until fragrant. Continuing to stir, add saffron, cream, salt, and powdered nuts and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Makes enough sauce for about 1-1/2 pounds of grilled meat or chicken breasts. Or simmer your favorite meatball recipe in the sauce for 15 minutes.

Yield: 2-1/2 cups sauce


Pistachio and Almond Cake with Orange Salad

Epicurious | January 2009

by Nate Appleman and Shelley Lindgren


• 1 1/3 cups unsalted shelled pistachio nuts
• 1 1/3 cups blanched whole almonds
• 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
• 3 lemons
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 3 eggs
• 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour or all-purpose flour
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

• 3 blood oranges
• 2 Valencia, navel, or blood oranges
• 1/4 cup orange marmalade
• 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

• 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
• Unsalted shelled pistachio nuts

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 300°F. Butter a 4-by-8-inch loaf pan. Then, using a sifter or a fine-mesh strainer, dust it with flour, tapping out the excess.

In a food process, combine the pistachios and almonds and pulse until finely ground. Set aside. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Grate the zest from the lemons directly into the bowl. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until smooth and creamy. Mix in the vanilla just until incorporated. On low speed, gradually add the nuts and mix just until incorporated. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition just until incorporated. Stir in the flour and salt and mix just until incorporated.

Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, run a paring knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake sides, invert the cake onto a plate, and lift off the pan. At this point, the cake can be served warm or allowed to cool completely before being sliced and reheated.

To make the orange salad, cut a slice off the top and bottom of 1 orange, stand the orange upright, and cut downward to remove the rind and pith in thick strips. Cut the orange crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices, capturing any juice. Repeat with all of the remaining oranges. Set the oranges slices aside until needed.

Gently heat the marmalade in a pot over low heat for about 3 minutes, or until syrupy. Add any captured orange juice along with the lemon juice to the marmalade. Remove the pot from the heat and add 1 to 2 tablespoons water to think the marmalade to the consistency of a vinaigrette. Let cool.

To serve, preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut the cake into generous slices and place on a baking sheet. Bake the slices, turning them over once, for about 5 minutes, or until warm and slightly toasted on both sides.  Place 4 or 5 orange slices on each plate and drizzle generously with the marmalade syrup. Place the warm pieces of cake next to the orange slices and top with a dollop of yogurt and a few pistachios. Serve immediately.

Kiwifruit Recipes

Brie with Kiwi- Delicious appetizer for your holiday party

California Kiwi Commission

  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons currants
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves, ground
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 kiwifruit, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pecan pieces
  • 1 small wheel of brie cheese

Place the cranberries, currants,brown sugar, cloves, ginger root, allspice, mustard and water in a medium saucepan. Cook gently over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer the mixture until the cranberries swell and the liquid thickens into a jam like consistency, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. When cool, stir in the chopped kiwi and pecan pieces.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the whole brie on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Spread with the cooled kiwi-cranberry marmalade over the top of the brie to coat the edges evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the brie round swells. Remove from the oven and gently slide the brie onto a cheese board or plate.

Serve immediately with crackers. Serves approximately 12

Southwestern Seafood Ceviche

– Recipe courtesy of Chef Stephen Barry


  • 1/2 lb prawn meat, raw, diced
  • 1/2 lb salmon, raw, diced
  • 1/2 lb scallops, raw, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 sweet bell pepper (red, yellow or orange), diced
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 chile pepper, crushed
  • 2 cups fresh lime juice
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 4  Kiwifruit, diced
  • 2 limes, segmented
  • 1 orange, segmented
  • tortilla chips (to serve)


Poach the diced prawn meat for two minutes; then, drain and cool. In a large non-reactive bowl, combine the prawn meat, salmon, scallops, white fish, red onion, peppers, tomatoes, chili and lime juice. Marinate seafood mixture in the refrigerator for 2½ to 3 hours. Just before serving, drain off the excess lime juice and add cilantro, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Carefully add the kiwifruit, oranges and lime segments. Serve on crisp tortilla shells.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Chilling time: 3 hours
Makes: 4-6 servings

Lambchops with Kiwi Fruit


  • 1 Kiwifruit peeled and crushed
  • 1 Kiwifruit peeled and sliced
  • 2 Lamb chops around 1” thick
  • 1/2-cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4-cup Fresh oregano leaves chopped (or 1 tbsp. dried oregano)
  • Cloves garlic minced

In a marinade (plastic or glass) container place lamb chops on the bottom sprinkle with a oregano, garlic and cover with olive oil. Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours (overnight for optimal results). Remove from refrigerator and cover with crushed kiwifruit let stand for 10 minutes.

Barbeque lamb chops 13-15 minutes a side (turning once)on semi-direct heat. Garnish with Kiwifruit slices serve immediately.


Asian Pear Slaw with Chilies

6 servings

Each serving equals 1/2 cup of fruit or vegetables
Source: Chris Faulkner for Melissa’s Variety Produce, Inc.


6 celery ribs
4 Tbsp fresh lime juice
4 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp ginger root
6 Asian Pears, sliced ¼-inch thick
3 scallions, thinly sliced on diagonal
¼ cup Cilantro leaves
½ tsp Fresno chili or Jalapeno chili, finely chopped

Whisk together juice, vinegar, and ginger and stir in celery and remaining
ingredients with salt and pepper to taste. Let stand at room temperature 15
minutes before serving.

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