Herbed Turnip & Beet Chips

Substitute these crispy, herb-coated vegetables for potato chips at your next barbecue!

Ingredients:
5 turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
3 beets, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh herbs, such as rosemary, parsley or thyme
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 400º. Wash, peel and thinly slice turnips and beets. (For quick results, use a Cuisinart food processor with the slice-blade.)

2. Transfer onto a foil-lined cookie sheet. Lightly drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs. Toss together and arrange in a single layer.

3. Put in the oven for about 20 minutes, then turn them over and let cook another 20 minutes, or until they have reached the desired crispiness.

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Ricotta-Stuffed Fried Squash Blossoms

The ultimate summer starter, incredibly beautiful and flavorful.

Ingredients:
12-16 squash blossoms
1 cup Farm & Larder ricotta
1 large egg yolk
¾ cup Grana-style cheese, divided
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
¾ cup chilled seltzer water or club soda
¼ cup finely-chopped mint
2 tablespoons each finely-chopped parsley and basil
3 cups vegetable oil, for frying
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Stir together ricotta, egg yolk, herbs, half of the cheese and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a small bowl.

2. Carefully open each blossom and fill with about 2-3 rounded teaspoons of the ricotta filling, gently twisting the end of the blossom to enclose. Tip: Use a pastry bag for this! (You may have filling left over.)

3. Whisk together flour, remaining cheese, about ¼ teaspoon salt, and seltzer in a small bowl.

4. Heat ½ inch oil to 375° in a 10-inch heavy skillet. Meanwhile, dip blossoms in the flour batter to thinly coat. Fry coated blossoms, turning once, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes total. Transfer with tongs to paper towels to drain. Coat and fry remaining blossoms. (Return oil to 375° between batches.) Season with salt and serve immediately.

Grilled Bread with Thyme Pesto

A wonderful appetizer to serve this week’s pasta supper!

Ingredients:
2 cups spinach leaves, torn
½ cup fresh thyme leaves
½ cup toasted pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
½ cup grated Grana-style cheese
½ cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
Italian Rustica bread, sliced into ¼-inch thick pieces
Sea salt

Method:
1. In a food processor, combine the spinach, thyme, pine nuts, garlic, Grana and salt. Process until the ingredients are roughly chopped. With the processor running, gradually drizzle in the olive oil until you have a chunky pesto. Set aside.

2. Heat the grill. Lightly brush each slice of bread with olive oil on both sides. Grill the slices a minute or two per side until they are crusty and have charred grill marks but are still soft in the middle. Spread each slice with a generous helping of pesto.

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Fava Bean Dip

This simple, fresh dip enhances the inherent nutty flavor of fresh fava beans.

Ingredients:
2 pounds fresh fava beans, peeled, blanched and steamed (see method)
⅓ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1 tablespoons Grana-style cheese, grated
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Combine the cooked beans with the olive oil, mint, garlic, lemon juice and both cheeses in a food processor and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and process again until just combined.

2. Transfer dip to a small serving bowl and garnish with additional chopped mint. Serve at once.

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