Italian Parsley-Caper Vinaigrette

This adaptation of the pungent vinaigrette from Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables is magical drizzled over roasted vegetables!

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
⅓ cup golden raisins
3 garlic cloves, peeled
4 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1 cup lightly packed Italian parsley leaves
⅓ cup olive oil
Sea salt

Method:
1. Put the vinegar and raisins in a little bowl and let the raisins plump for about 30 minutes.

2. Place the garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely minced, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the capers and pulse until you have a coarse paste. Add the parsley and pulse again until completely chopped.

3. Add in the raisins and vinegar and pulse until the mixture is blended, but still slightly coarse. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the olive oil to make a slightly chunky dressing. Taste and adjust with salt or more oil, if needed.

Frizzled Leeks

These crispy leeks are a wonderful garnish for salads, soups or main dish proteins like beef or pork.

Ingredients:
1 medium leek, trimmed of roots and dark green tops
2 cups neutral-flavored oil, such as peanut, vegetable or canola
Sea salt

Method:
1. Thinly slice the white and light green parts of the leek into 3-inch-long julienne strips. Rinse in a bowl of water to remove the grit, drain and pat dry.

2. In a small saucepan heat the oil over medium-high heat (it should reach a depth of about 1 inch) it reaches 325º and 350º on a candy thermometer. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low to hold the oil in this temperature range. Add a small handful of the leeks to the oil.

3. Fry the leeks in batches, stirring often with a metal slotted spoon, until the oil is barely bubbling and the leeks are light golden brown, 1-3 minutes. (The oil temperature will drop when you add the leeks; let it return to the starting temperature before frying the next batch.)

4. Lift the leeks from the oil using the slotted spoon, tap against the side of the pan to drain off excess oil, and transfer to a large plate lined with paper towels.

5. Sprinkle the leeks lightly with salt while they are still hot. Let cool to room temperature before using as a garnish.

Applesauce

This lovely, chunky applesauce pairs well with this week’s Bavarian fare.

Ingredients:
4 pounds fall apples of your choice, peeled, cored and quartered
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¾ cup organic cane sugar
Pinch of salt

Method:
1. Combine apples, lemon juice, sugar and 1½ cups water in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium low, partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are completely soft, about 40 minutes.

2. Mash the apples with a potato masher or large fork, if needed, until applesauce reaches desired texture. Applesauce can be stored in the refrigerator up to 1 week, or in the freezer up to 3 months.

Quince-Ginger Compote

Another fantastic filling option for this week’s crêpes.

Ingredients:
3 cups off-dry white wine, such as Riesling
1½ cups water, plus more if needed
1½ cups sugar
12 thin slices peeled fresh ginger (from one 2-inch piece)
3 pounds just ripened quince (about 4), peeled, cored, and cut into ½ -inch wedges
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Method:
1. Bring wine, water, sugar, and ginger to a simmer in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Add quinces. (Add more water if needed to cover fruit.) Reduce heat, and simmer gently until quinces are tender, 25 to 45 minutes depending on ripeness of fruit.

2. Transfer quinces to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Bring liquid in saucepan to a simmer, and cook until slightly syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove, and discard ginger. Stir in lemon juice. Pour syrup over quinces. Let stand until cool. Refrigerate if desired.

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