Tag Archives: sea salt

Sweet Pea Pesto Crostini

To continue the spring vegetable celebration, find some young green peas and make this vibrantly bright green sweet pea pesto. Young peas are the taste of spring. Crunchy, peppery, sweet. Young peas are not starchy, they are crisp, fresh and slightly sweet. I’m using this sweet pea pesto as an appetizer, but you can also make a wonderful salad with leafy greens including young pea shoot leaves , toss with your favorite vinaigrette, then add a few dollops of fresh ricotta cheese and sweet pea pesto. It’s the perfect spring salad.

From by the bay , wishing you bright spring green food memories!

Maryann

Sweet Pea Pesto Crostini

8 ounces fresh shelled sweet peas or defrosted frozen peas

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

To serve: grilled country bread, shaved parmesan cheese, young pea shoot greens, Maldon Salt

Directions

Boil salted water in a medium saute pan. Blanche the peas in boiling water until the peas start to turn bright green, 10 to 20 seconds. Place in cold water to cool. Remove from water and pat dry. Place peas in food processor. Add cheese, lemon juice, salt, pepper and process until well combined, you want the peas to have some texture. Slowly pour olive oil to combine. Place in a covered glass jar. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Serve at room temperature. To assemble the crostini – take the grilled bread, top with shaved parmesan, sprinkle with Maldon Sea Salt and finally top with a sprig of young pea shoots.

Spring Wild Ramp Pesto

 One of the first vegetable treats in early Spring is wild ramps! I grab a bunch as soon as I see it available and quickly make ramp pesto! the recipe is simple and much like the basil pesto you make during the summer with a few changes. No need to add garlic since ramps are a member of the Allium family tasting like a cross between garlic and onions. Once you have the pesto you have many ways to enjoy your wild ramps. Here are a few ideas:

  1. top your favorite pasta with pesto along with a little more grated parmesan cheese
  2. top a piece of grilled chicken, fish or beef with pesto
  3. top grilled bread with some fresh ricotta cheese and pesto
  4. add a spoonful of pesto to your salad vinaigrette
  5. add a spoonful to 1/2 a cup of good quality mayonnaise to use for sandwiches
  6. put a little pesto in an omelette
  7. add a spoonful to a favorite soup such as minestrone

Get creative and enjoy!

From by the bay wishing you wild ramp filled food memories!

Maryann

ramp

noun

  1. Allium tricoccum is a North American species of wild onion widely known as ramps and/or wild leeks. An early spring perennial, ramps have smooth light green leaves, that might have touches of burgundy or purple on the lower stem. They resemble scallion stalks and bulbs.

Ramps, like onions and garlic are an excellent source of vitamin A and C and some of their health benefits include healthy skin, teeth and bones, as well as promote healthy eyesight.

Spring Wild Ramp Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of ramps
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (toasted)
  • 1/2 cup, you kind of have to eyeball it)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions

 

Boil salted water in a medium saute pan. Wash and cut off the bottom roots of the ramps. Blanche the ramp in boiling water until the leaves turn bright green, 10 to 20 seconds. Place in cold water to cool. Remove from water and pat dry. Add chopped walnuts, cheese, lemon juice, salt and 1/4 cup olive and process until well combined. Slowly pour remaining olive oil to combine. Place in a covered glass jar. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Serve at room temperature.

 

Roasted Cauliflower Hummus

Inspired by all the cauliflower dishes on menus today and the great appreciation of a vegetable that for many years was out of favor, here is a delicious hummus celebrating cauliflower! It’s brightened with lemon juice and given texture with the use of several garnishes. The most interesting garnish being popcorn. I think it’s a great idea to make enough popcorn to not only garnish the hummus but to serve along to guests. If you don’t want to serve popcorn you can easily pop some corn in a small sauce pan with a cover over medium heat just adding a few dried kernels and cover. Shake a few times to ensure the corn does not burn, you’ll know when it’s ready by listening carefully to the corn popping. I like to serve this along with a nice toasted multi-grain bread.

From by the bay, wishing you warm cauliflower food memories!

Maryann

blog-cauli-hummus

Roasted Cauliflower Hummus

Ingredients

  • 28 ounces cauliflower florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/2 cup
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

To garnish use approximately 1 tablespoon of each depending on your preferences

  • dill
  • red onion  pickled with red vinegar
  • roasted and salted pumpkin seeds
  • fresh popcorn

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss cauliflower with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roasted in the oven until cauliflower starts to caramelize and is soft, approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. In a small dish add the red onion and red wine vinegar and mix. The vinegar will softened and pickle the onions. Once the cauliflower is cool add to a food processor along with the tahini, olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Process until smooth. Taste to adjust for seasoning. Serve at room temperature or keep refrigerated until ready to use. Garnish with pickled onions, pumpkin seeds, popcorn and dill. Serve with toasted multi-grain bread.

Dark Chocolate Bark with Pomergranate and Sea Salt

I enjoy gifting a homemade sweet during the holidays! Here is my holiday take on chocolate bark. The key to the recipe is the quality of your ingredients.  Using the best quality chocolate and sea salt will guarantee a delicious result. Happy Gifting!

From by the bay wishing you dark chocolate food memories!

Maryann

blog pom choco bark

Dark Chocolate Bark with Pomergranate and Sea Salt

Adapted from Ina Garten’s White Chocolate Bark from “Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?” published 2010

Ingredients

16 ounces very good dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried pomegranate arils or dried cranberries
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt ( or more to taste), such as Maldon

Directions

Place 3/4 of the chocolate in a microwave safe glass bowl. Place in microwave for 30 seconds, remove and stir with a rubber spatula. Repeat in 30 second intervals stirring in between each until chocolate is melted. Add remaining chocolate and stir until it melts. You may need to place back in microwave for another 10 seconds or so to melt the remaining chocolate.

Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a ruler and a pencil, draw a 9 by 10-inch rectangle on the paper. Turn the paper facedown on the baking sheet.

Pour the melted chocolate over the paper and spread to form a rectangle, using the outline. Sprinkle the cashews, apricots and cranberries over the chocolate. Set aside for 2 hours until firm. Cut the bark in 1 by 3-inch pieces and serve at room temperature.

 

Double Chocolate Rice Krispies Cookies

This is a delicious cookie – crispy on the outside, softer on the inside with a double dose of chocolate using good quality cocoa powder and chocolate chips and then two surprise ingredients. The first twist is using rice krispies which gives the cookie a light crunchy texture and then I top the cookie with coarse sea salt. I love to use Maldon sea salt. It gives a lovely subtle salty balance to the double chocolate sweetness. This sweet and salty cookie is definitely a wow!

From by the bay, wishing you sweet and salty chocolate food memories!

Maryann

blog choco krisp cookie

Double Chocolate Rice Krispies Cookies

Makes 24 to 30 cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup rice krispies

coarse sea salt, for topping (optional)

Directions

Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat for 1 minute more.

In a medium bowl shiftt together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients all at once to the butter and egg mixture. Beat on low speed until just combined.

Stop the mixer and stir in the chocolate chips and rice krispies.

Roll dough by the heaping tablespoonful. Place on cookie sheet, leaving about 2-inches between each dough ball.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until cookies are just done. the cookie will set while cooling.   Allow to rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool before storing. Eat within the week.

Five Ways to Celebrate Spring

It’s been a very long winter, I’m so ready for spring! This is how I am celebrating Spring by the bay!

1. Enjoying the crocus I planted last year

blog spring 02

2. Putting bowls of lemons around the house

blog spring lemons

3. Planter filled with pansies on the front porch

blog spring planter

4. Bread, butter, baby radishes and sea salt!

blog spring radish appetizer

 

 

Simple Radish Crostini
Serves 4
Ingredients

2 fresh radishes
2 tablespoons salted butter
4 slices ciabatta bread
Coarse sea salt

Directons
Clean radishes and using a mandoline slice the radish into rounds. Keep radish slices in iced water until ready to use. In a 400F degree oven, place 4 slices of ciabatta bread on a baking sheet in the oven until the bread starts to brown, flip bread over and toast the other side, 2-3 mins per side. Let toasted ciabatta bread cool a little, then spread with the best salted butter you can buy. Take radish slices out of the water and dry with a paper towel before layering the rounds on top the bread and butter. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and serve.

5. Fresh asparagus crostini – oh my!

blog aparagus crostini

 

Asparagus Puree with Lemon Ricotta Crostini
Serves 4
Ingredients

16 very thin asparagus spears or 8 asparagus thicker spears
2 tablespoons fresh mint
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ pound fresh ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons grated pecorino cheese
4 slices ciabatta bread toasted
Coarse sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Directions

Clean asparagus, remove the tender tips and place to the side. Snap off woody stems and discard. In to food processor add asparagus stalks broken into pieces and coarsely chop. Add the following to the asparagus: mint, olive oil, lemon juice and 2 tbs. grated pecorino. Pulse a few times. In a separate bowl combine the ricotta cheese, lemon zest salt and pepper. On hot toasted ciabatta bread layer the ricotta cheese, puree asparagus, grated pecorino cheese. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and add asparagus spear to the top.