Tuesday, March 19, 2013

RECIPES FOR SPRING INGREDIENTS



Ricotta Crostini with Sautéed Nettles Recipe





Fresh, buttery ricotta is delicious spread on a sliced and toasted baguette, sprinkled with salt and olive oil. For added complexity, top the cheese with earthy, nutty, bitter greens like nettles.
What to buy: Store-bought ricotta is fine to use here




INGREDIENTS
  • 1 baguette, sliced on the bias into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • Sauteed Stinging Nettles, coarsely chopped



INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted and crisp, about 8 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Lightly brush each baguette slice with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread about a 1/4-inch layer of ricotta over each slice of bread. Season with salt and pepper and top with nettles. Drizzle the crostini with olive oil and serve.






Sautéed Stinging Nettles Recipe



Sautéed Stinging Nettles



INGREDIENTS
  • 1 pound stinging nettles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, sliced lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Zest of 1 medium lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 medium lemon


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Wearing thick rubber gloves, clean the nettles by soaking them several times under cold running water, then drain. (Do not touch raw nettles with your bare hands. If you do not have rubber gloves, use tongs to handle the nettles.) Separate the tender leaves from the tough stems, discarding the stems. (Use scissors for this process if you don’t have protective rubber gloves.)
  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the shallots and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until the shallots have softened, about 2 minutes more.
  3. Using tongs, add half of the nettles and the water to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until the nettles have begun to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining nettles and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 3 minutes more. (Add more water a tablespoon at a time if the pan becomes too dry.)
  4. Remove the pan from heat. Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.










Shaved Fennel and Strawberry Salad



SPRING SALAD


Strawberries and balsamic vinegar are a classic dessert pairing. Here they move to the salad course, complementing crunchy shaved fennel, salty Pecorino Romano cheese, and toasted pine nuts.



INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium head fennel, halved, cored, and cut crosswise into paper-thin slices
  • 5 ounces baby arugula, washed and dried
  • 1 pint strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, shaved into thin strips


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place the shallots, both vinegars, the measured salt, and the pepper in a medium, nonreactive bowl. While whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a thin stream until fully incorporated, about 1 minute.
  2. Place the fennel in a large bowl, season with salt, and stir to coat. Add the arugula, strawberries, and pine nuts and gently toss to combine. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Season with additional salt and pepper as desired. Add the Pecorino Romano, tossing lightly (so as not to break up the cheese) until just incorporated.










Nicoise salad

Nicoise salad



INGREDIENTS


  • 12 (650g) small chat potatoes, halved
  • 400g baby green beans, trimmed
  • 425g can Sirena tuna in oil, drained, flaked
  • 250g grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 cup black olives
  • 2 baby cos lettuce hearts, leaves separated, washed
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, quartered
  • 3 anchovy fillets in oil, drained, halved lengthways (optional)
  • 1 quantity nicoise dressing


NICOISE DRESSING


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard


INSTRUCTIONS


  1. Make dressing: Whisk oil, vinegar and mustard in a jug. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes or until just tender. Transfer to a large bowl. Add beans to pan. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until bright green and just tender. Drain. Refresh under cold water. Drain. Add beans to potato.
  3. Add tuna, tomato, olives, lettuce, egg and anchovies (if using) to potato mixture. Add red wine dressing. Toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.












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