Cold Weather Salad

Cold Weather Salad
Serves 4

I’ll be honest; I’m not a cold weather fan. I am living that summer life all year round and in doing so, I’m still grilling (salads). Add some char to winter vegetables to warm yourself up and share with a friend, it makes the whole winter thing more bearable. This is the ultimate kitchen sink salad so color outside of the lines and use whatever scraps you have left over from the week, the point is to stay warm and cozy instead of braving the cold and the grocery store.

1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for fennel
1 bulb fennel, quartered with some fronds reserved
Few leaves of kale, stems removed
2-3 celery stalks with leaves if you have them
1 purple potatoes (or whatever you have on hand) thinly sliced on a mandolin
1 apple, thinly sliced

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat.

In a small bowl combine shallot, vinegar and generous pinch of salt. Allow the mixture to sit as you drizzle fennel quarters with olive oil and salt. Grill over medium high heat until charred, rotating every few minutes.

Whisk in olive oil to shallot and vinegar mixture and add fennel while hot. Place kale on warm grill pan and cook until slightly wilted. Remove and chop/tear, adding to the fennel and dressing.

Thinly slice celery and add along with potatoes and apple. Serve.

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Whole Wheat Fall Cous Cous “Risotto”

Whole Wheat Fall Cous Cous “Risotto”
Serves 4-6

I love wine, so a dish that involves wine is an automatic favorite. This was made with Elena Besser on my podcast, Lady Lair LIVE, using our sponsored wine, The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc. The trick with all risottos (traditional and like this – NOT!) is to allow the wine to “cook off.” Contrary to popular belief it’s not to “get rid of the alcohol” but to prevent the entire dish from tasting like you’re sipping out of a glass. The key is subtle flavoring as you go, which risotto is the perfect teacher of.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 lemon, zested
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and leaves separated, both chopped
1 lb. whole wheat cous cous
1 cup dry white wine, such as The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc
2 cups low sodium chicken stock or water
Salt, as needed
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
Dash of heavy cream, optional
Roasted squash, optional garnish
Fresh oregano leaves, optional garnish

In a large sauté pan melt olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, lemon zest and chard steams and sauté until broken down and onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add cous cous and stirring, toasting for about 1 minute or until you see the grain slightly toasted. Deglaze with white wine and allow the mixture to “burn off.” Add 1 cup of chicken stock, stirring regularly until evaporated and add remaining. Stir and simmer until nearly evaporated and grain is al dente. Season with salt as needed.

Add cheese, cream, chard leaves and optional garnishes. Serve while hot.

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Honey Turmeric Labneh with Poached Eggs & Hot Butter

Honey Turmeric Labneh with Poached Eggs & Hot Butter
Serves 2-4

1 cup of greek yogurt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon honey
2 eggs
Salt
2-3 tablespoons butter
2-3 dashes of hot sauce of smidge of Calabrian chili paste
Oregano leaves

In a large bowl mix together yogurt, turmeric and honey. Place a strainer over a second bowl and top the strainer with cheesecloth. Add yogurt mixture to cheese cloth and tie loosely so that the excess liquid from the yogurt can drain. Set aside. Can be up to 1 week in advance.

Heat a saucepan filled with at least 2 inches of water over medium high heat until boiling and then season well with salt. Add eggs, 1 at a time and poach for 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl melt butter with hot sauce.

To plate, smear labneh on a plate, top with eggs and garnish with butter, oregano leaves and if you so desire, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and fresh cracked black pepper.

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Radish Top Pesto with Radishes

Radish Top Pesto with Radishes

1 bunch radishes, tops removed and well washed, bottoms (radishes!) quartered
Handful of mint
Handful of arugula
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 cloves garlic
Salt
Extra virgin olive oil
Finishing salt

In a food processor combine radish tops, mint, arugula, lemon zest and juice, garlic and a good pinch of salt. Don’t worry too much about measurements here – there is no right or wrong!

Pulse until smooth in a food processor and stream in olive oil until desired consistency of pesto.

Lay a big spoonful of pesto on a plate (there may be left over!) and arrange quartered radishes on top. Season with finishing salt and drizzle of olive oil. Serve as a side or riff on classic crudité.

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