Pickled Peppers

These addictive peppers are wonderful for snacking, or served with burgers, tacos and sandwiches.

Ingredients:
4 cups assorted Corno di Torno peppers
1½ cups distilled white vinegar
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons coriander seeds

Method:
1. Stem peppers and, leaving seeds, cut into ¼-inch rings, then pack in a clean 1 quart jar.

2. Bring vinegar, all remaining ingredients, and 1½ cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour hot brine over peppers; seal jar. Let cool, then refrigerate. Serve within 1 month.

Roasted Grapes with Thyme

These juicy grapes boast an intense flavor, and are wonderful served with a sharp cheese and crostini.

Ingredients:
1 pound Candice grapes, rinsed and stemmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. In a large sheet pan, mix grapes, olive oil, fresh thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Bake, shaking pan occasionally, until grapes are beginning to blister, 15-18 minutes. Use immediately or let stand until ready to use, up to 4 hours.

Anise Hyssop Lemonade

Sweetened with an anise hyssop simple syrup, this lemonade is incredibly fragrant.

Ingredients:
1 cup anise hyssop simple syrup (recipe follows)
1 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2-3 cups water

Anise Hyssop Simple Syrup
1 handful (about 20 leaves) anise hyssop
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Method:
1. To make simple syrup, combine ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Once boiling, remove from heat and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Strain anise hyssop solids, and chill syrup until ready to mix lemonade.

2. In a pitcher, pour lemon juice and anise hyssop syrup, adding in 2-3 cups water to taste. Refrigerate and serve over ice with additional sliced lemons.

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 (or use this week’s herbed cream 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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