Vegetables

Asparagus Hummus And Spiced Pita Chips By Annie Copps

Tuesday, August 10, 2010
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It's spring, and that means asparagus season in Massachusetts — and nothing tastes better to me than asparagus hummus accompanied by fragrant, spiced pita chips.

Ingredients
2 cups fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 15-1/2-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and well rinsed
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

Directions
Prepare an ice-water bath and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and return water to boil. Cook about 4 minutes or until asparagus is cooked through and bright green. Drain asparagus and refresh in ice-water bath. After 5 minutes, drain and set aside.

In a food processor, combine chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, and puree. Add zest, juice, and asparagus, and process until smooth. With machine running, pour in olive oil and process until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with spiced pita chips.

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)

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annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Sauteed Fiddlehead Ferns
By Annie Copps

Tuesday, August 10, 2010
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This time of year is a transitional one for local ingredients, so we turned to Josh Ziskin, chef and owner of the Italian-inspired La Morra restaurant in Brookline. The end of winter through spring can be a challenging time to write a menu, so he sticks closely to what is locally available — and right now, that means fiddlehead ferns.

Total time: 30 minutes
Active time: 20 minutes

Ingredients
1 pound fiddlehead ferns, well rinsed and trimmed
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup white wine (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or the fresh herb of your choice: rosemary, basil, or oregano)
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher or sea salt

Directions
Bring a large sauce pot of generously salted water to boil. Blanch fiddleheads for 4 minutes; remove to ice water for 1 minute. Strain from water and dry well.

In a large saute pan over medium-high add oil and cook shallots and garlic until shallots are translucent. Add fiddleheads and saute for 2 minutes. Add wine (if using) and reduce until about 1 tablespoon of liquid remains. Add about 2 tablespoons of water and generously season with salt and pepper. Add thyme and butter and stir well.

Recipe courtesy of Josh Ziskin of La Morra.
__________________________________________________________
annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Italian-Style Corn
Lidia Bastianich

Monday, August 9, 2010
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America loves and is obsessed with corn, and I happen to have an Italian-American love affair with corn! When it’s in season, we do wild things with it on the menu at Felidia, my flagship restaurant in New York City.

I know you grill it, in and out of the husk, or boil it and simply dress with butter and salt.

But for an alternative, when a delicious pot of tomato sauce is perking on your stove, try plopping in some sweet ears of corn. The sauce will be sweeter and the ear of corn, tangier.

Directions
Just shuck the corn
Remove all the silk and rinse the ears
Drop them in the pot of tomato sauce
It’s in and out — 2 minutes will do

And what you’ve got is a delicious new way of eating corn, Italian style!

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Lidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire. Watch Lidia’s Italy Saturdays at 1:30pm on WGBH 2 or Sundays at 4pm on WGBX 44.

Grilled Peppers
By Lidia Bastianich

Monday, August 9, 2010
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Peter Piper picked a peck of…delicious peppers!

When you go shopping at your local reputable market, get yourself some peppers especially when they are in season. They are delicious, colorful, plentiful, nutritious, and usually inexpensive in the summertime! So what do I do with them, you ask me? It’s simple!

Directions
Grill whole peppers over an open flame, turning periodically until all of the skin blisters.

Set them in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap and let cool.

Peel and scrape off all of the skin under gently running water. Remove the stems and seeds.

Take these delicious morsels and put them in a casserole dish with sliced garlic, olive oil, salt, and fresh or dry oregano. Let steep for half an hour, and when you are ready to serve, add a drizzle of vinegar.

Serve these delicious peppers like we do at my Lidia’s restaurants, as an appetizer, side dish, or sandwich stuffer. Now go pick your peppers!

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Lidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire. Watch Lidia’s Italy Saturdays at 1:30pm on WGBH 2 or Sundays at 4pm on WGBX 44.

German Potato Salad
By Lidia Bastianich

Friday, August 6, 2010
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Who doesn’t love a good potato salad? Well, here is my twist on the classic: Insalata Patate Tedesca. Serve it with a refreshing glass of Bastianich Rosatto. It’s the perfect pairing.

Recommended equipment
A heavy-bottomed skillet or sauté pan, 10-inch diameter; a large bowl for dressing, tossing, and serving.

Ingredients
2-½ pounds red potatoes
1 cup finely chopped scallions
¾ cup sweet pickles (about 4 ounces), coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces slab bacon, cut in ½-inch pieces
3 tablespoons German-style mustard
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
Put whole, unpeeled potatoes into a pot with 2 to 3 quarts cold water, enough to cover them by a couple of inches. Bring the water to a gentle boil, and cook the potatoes until a knife blade pierces them easily to the center — but don’t let them overcook, split, or get mushy.

When done, drain the potatoes in a colander, peel them as soon as they’re cool enough to handle, and slice into 1-inch cubes. Immediately toss the warm cubes in a bowl with the chopped scallions and pickles and 1 teaspoon salt.

Meanwhile, put the olive oil and bacon pieces in the skillet, and set it over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until the bacon has rendered its fat and starts to crisp, 4 minutes or so.Whisk in the mustard and vinegar, and heat to a boil. Continue whisking until the dressing is smooth and emulsified, then pour it over the warm potatoes and toss. Sprinkle over it the chopped parsley, grinds of black pepper, and remaining teaspoon salt. Toss well, and serve right away.

___________________________________________________________
Lidia Matticchio Bastianich was born in Pola, Istria, on the northeastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. She is a cookbook author, restaurateur, and TV chef extraordinaire. Watch Lidia’s Italy Saturdays at 1:30pm on WGBH 2 or Sundays at 4pm on WGBX 44.

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