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Archive for December, 2011

Sweet Satsumas Continue To Arrive

The boxes of sweet Satsumas continue to arrive at Earl’s from Side Hill Citrus in Lincoln, California.  I find myself buying boxes for myself, my family and friends.   I plan to make Satsuma-Cello this weekend, Satsuma peels steeped in Vodka for a week and a festive holiday Satsuma Vodka cocktail for my holiday party.   Satsumas picked early on in the season have more acidity, but as they ripen over a week the acidity mellows and they are more delicious!  The skin will start to tighten up and look dried out but don’t worry! This just means they are sweeter so get your daily dose of vitamin C and enjoy them now before they disappear faster than Santa’s sleigh.  

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.

Looking Good From The Inside Out

As winter and the holidays approach, the cold weather and over indulging takes a toll on our skin.  We have all heard the saying “you are what you eat” and by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables you will have healthier and glowing skin.  Eating more fats and carbohydrates increases the signs of skin aging so now is a great time to work in some of the wonderful winter citrus in season, leafy greens, kiwis, brussel sprouts, colorful peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes and winter squash into your meals.

We have been raving about Satsuma’s and Side Hill Citrus farm along with California Kiwis and how delicious they are but they are also chock full of vitamin C which is great for hydrating your skin and has been associated with fewer wrinkles.  Try adding a little color and vitamin C to your meals with colorful red, yellow, orange and green peppers.

Linoleic acid and beta carotene which is found in broccoli, sweet potato, carrots, brussel sprouts, kale and other dark leafy greens such as collard greens, swiss chard and spinach is associated with hydrating your skin and keeping the skin plump and smooth with less sagging and fewer wrinkles later in life.

Winter squash is in abundance right now with varieties such as kabocha, butternut, delicata, hubbard and red kuri.  They are full of vitamin C, beta carotene and carotenoids antioxidants which protect against free radicals, keeping your skin looking great.

Cook up some delicious squash recipes this winter and have healthier and glowing skin.


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