This elegant little starter is a beautiful showcase for this week’s Cinnamon Cap mushrooms.
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 ounces Cinnamon Cap mushrooms, wiped clean and trimmed
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 miniature sweet red peppers, seeded and sliced
4 tablespoons ricotta, drained
A few sprouts of chives, or other combination of fresh herbs, such as parsley or lovage, snipped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices Italian Rustica bread
1. Set a heavy frying pan, big enough to hold all the mushrooms in one layer, over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add the garlic and shake the pan to coat the garlic and keep it from sticking, cooking until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add mushrooms and peppers, salt and pepper and fry gently for a few minutes until peppers have softened and mushrooms are golden.
2. Meanwhile, drizzle the bread slices with a bit of olive oil and toast under the broiler on both sides. When toasted, divide ricotta and sautéed vegetables between the slices. Sprinkle with the snipped herbs and serve immediately.
This sweet-and-savory spread would be delicious on toasted crostini with this week’s Alpine-style cheese; or, add it to your morning oatmeal for an unexpected touch!
3 cups chopped rhubarb
3-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves roughly chopped
2 tablespoons diced shallots
⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Pinch cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon each of sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all the ingredients.
2. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring often, for about 30 minutes, until the mixture has thickened to a jam-like consistency. Cool to room temperature and remove the cinnamon stick. Refrigerate until ready to use.
This week’s loaf makes excellent crostini to pair with smoked salmon and lemon crème fraîche.
Jewish rye bread
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1. Thinly slice the rye loaf into ¼-inch-thick pieces with a serrated knife and place slices on a baking sheet.
2. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then slip pan into a 375º oven and bake crostini for 10-15 minutes, until bread is golden brown and slightly crisp. Remove from oven, and serve warm or at room temperature. (Can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.)
Pick yourself up from the post-holiday letdown this week with a nourishing bowl of handcrafted soup: Made from organic Beluga lentils and fresh vegetables simmered in our own chicken stock base, this hearty, healthy soup is wonderful served alongside toasted whole grain bread and a glass of earthy, spicy Côtes du Rhône wine from France. Accented by seasonal produce ranging from beets and winter squash to rainbow Swiss chard, this cold weather meal is finished off with a limited-release dark chocolate bar.
Here are some recipe ideas for the week:
Crostini with Blue Cheese, Honey & Hazlenuts
Fit for pairing with this week’s soup, these decadent crostini are also lovely topped with fresh slices of ripe pear or apple.
Gently cooking chopped cabbage in a bit of butter and salt creates a meltingly tender, richly-flavored side dish.
Rainbow Swiss Chard with Parmesan
Nutty parmesan and rich butter add nuanced flavor to Swiss chard in this easy stovetop recipe from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.
Rainbow Swiss Chard Gratin
Creamy with just a hint of mustard, this rustic gratin is wonderful served with this week’s whole-grain bread.