The Daily Dish

Herbs
By Lidia Bastianich

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Wake up and smell the herbs!

Herbs are one of the quickest and healthiest ways to impart flavor to any dish. They release their fresh flavor when cooked in a dish and then help to reinforce that flavor when added to a dish.

Don’t be afraid to use herbs during cooking or as a way to finish any dish, and if you have any herbs left over, here is a great tip that I also share in my cookbook, Lidia’s Family Table. It will allow you to keep your herbs fresh and usable all year long.

—Divide the fresh herbs in an ice cube trays with deep cubicles.

—Pour cold water to cover the herbs and put in the freezer to freeze.

—The herbs and their flavors will remain embedded in the ice and great for plopping into any drink, or perking up any sauce or soup!

—You now have cubed your herbs for year round use!

To keep these herb “rocks” fresh all year long, seal them in a plastic storage bag and keep them in the freezer.
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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."

Lidia’s Pasta
By Lidia Bastianich

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You may not know what you want to cook tonight but just take me to your cupboard, and together we’ll make a quick and delicious pasta dish.

All you need to feed a family of 4 to 6 is the following ingredients.

Ingredients
1 pound pasta
Some olive oil
Sliced garlic
Pinch of peperoncino
And any of the following will do: olives, capers, anchovies, or any canned beans

Now that we have scoured your cupboard, pour yourself a glass of Morellino “La Mozza” wine and begin!

Directions
Get the pasta cooking, meanwhile in a skillet with extra virgin olive oil, cook the sliced garlic over medium heat until golden. Add peperoncino and a choice of any of the other extra ingredients I suggested and season with salt. Cook together for 3 minutes, add a ladleful of pasta cooking water so that it forms into a sauce. The flavor gets even better if you happen to have a little shredded basil or parsley around, and you just throw it in at the end.

Drain the pasta and plop into the sauce. Turn off the fire, sprinkle a little grated cheese. And voilà, a meal challenge is overcome and a great pasta dish is ready for dinner.
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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.

Pesto Alla Anna
By Lidia Bastianich

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You're hungry! You just don’t feel like cooking — but you love pasta, right? Although the pasta in this recipe does have to be cooked, the pesto sauce does not!

Most of you know the traditional basil pesto: a paste of basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, salt, and garlic. Make it in  the blender, and voilà! The pesto is ready! But don’t stop there. That’s not enough. Let me give you another one of my favorites — pesto alla anna — which I recently learned about in Sicily and featured in my cookbook, Lidia’s Italy.

Ingredients
About ¾ pound sweet cherry tomatoes
12 fresh basil leaves
2 plump peeled garlic cloves
1/3 cup of whole toasted almonds
A pinch of salt
A pinch of peperoncino
Half a cup or more of extra virgin oil

Directions
In a blender, drop in all ingredients.
Blend until it’s nice and smooth.
Toss this fresh and delicious pesto with cooked and drained spaghetti.
While still hot, add some pasta cooking water if it’s too dry and finish with grated cheese.

Buon appetito!
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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.

Morel Mushroom Frittata
By Annie Copps

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A frittata is essentially a quiche of Italian ancestry, without the pastry. This recipe for morel mushroom frittata makes a fast, but elegant, weeknight meal.

Preparation Time: 35 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 60 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups chopped morels
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
8 large eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Heat oven to 300°. In a 10-inch round skillet, melt butter. Add morels and sauté 7 minutes. Stir in chopped chives and sage. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Stir in cheese, plus salt and pepper to taste. Pour egg mixture over mushrooms and stir. Make sure the egg mixture reaches all the way to the edges of the skillet.

Bake 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn on your broiler. Return to the oven on the top rack, and brown 3 to 5 minutes. Let it sit 5 minutes before slicing.

(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.

Strawberries Jupiter
By Annie Copps

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Why would anyone in New England eat a strawberry in February? I wait all year for strawberries. I know the season is brief, but I eat my fill. I bake pies and tarts. I make jam. I eat them out of hand. I make ice cream. I freeze them. It’s one of the season’s greatest gifts. There’s nothing like a tart, or this wonderful recipe for Strawberries Jupiter, made with ruby-red strawberries still warm from the sun, just bursting with sweet juice!

Ingredients
1-1/2 quarts fresh strawberries
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
1 10-ounce package frozen raspberries
1 tablespoon orange liqueur
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Chopped pistachio nuts
Fresh mint sprigs

Directions
Wash and hull the strawberries and dry them on paper towels. Slice the berries, cover with sugar, and chill for several hours. Purée the raspberries in the blender and strain them to remove the seeds. Add the orange liqueur and lemon juice and chill. Just before serving, ladle over the strawberries and garnish with pistachio nuts and sprigs of mint.

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Annie 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.

Asian BBQ Chicken Wings
By Ming Tsai

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If you’re like most people, your first encounter with hoisin sauce involved the Chinese dish mu shu pork, in which the sauce serves as a dipper for meat- enclosed pancakes. Today I bring you the flavor of hoisin along with one of my favorite finger foods- WINGS.

Serves 4

Ingredients
2 red onions, rough chopped
2 cups whole San Marzano tomatoes (canned or super ripe)
1 tablespoon sambal
1 cup hoisin sauce
1 cup naturally brewed rice vinegar
3 pounds chicken wings, washed, dried
Canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Jicama sticks, for serving

Directions
In a sauce pan coated lightly with oil over medium-high heat, saute onions for about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, sambal, hoisin and naturally brewed rice vinegar. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Using an immersion blender, buzz sauce and check seasoning. Season wings with salt and toss wings in sauce. Marinate as long as you can, up to 24 hours, ideally.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees standard or 450 degrees convection.

Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil and place wings in a single layer in pan. Bake wings for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through and crispy. You could also grill these wings. Serve with jicama sticks.

Drink pairing
Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico
—Chianti Classico DOCG, Tuscany, Italy

Taste: Rich, well-structured, berry fruit flavors, pairs exceptionally with the Turkey-Tomato Loaf and Michela Larsen’s Hoisin-Glazed Salmon with Heirloom Tomato Salad.

Aroma: Intense, mature fruit aromas

—Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Guarantita, or “controlled and guaranteed designation of origin,” an Italian wine classification for wines with more strict regulations than DOCs, including a specific bottle size, lower allowed yield, required tasting checks and in-depth chemical analyses.

—95% Sangiovese, 5% Merlot

—Produced with grapes from estates situated in the heart of the historical zone of Chianti Classico



Ming Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming.

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