HOMEMADE CINNAMON BREAD
Leftover slices of bread make delicious French toast.
For the dough:
6 cups bread flour, divided
2 packages (4½ tsp, ½oz, 14g) Instant Baking Yeast
½ cup of sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 large eggs
For the filling:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Add 3 cups flour, the yeast, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment; mix on low for 30 seconds to combine ingredients.
In a saucepan or microwave-safe dish, heat milk, water, and butter until warm (120°-130°F; butter does not need to melt).
Add milk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix on low until just combined. Add eggs. Blend at low speed until moistened; mix 3 minutes at medium speed.
Turn the mixer down to low and slowly add enough of the remaining flour until dough comes together around the paddle. Switch to the dough hook.
Turn mixer to medium-low speed and knead for 6-8 minutes, or until dough becomes smooth and elastic.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise, about 60-90 minutes.
Prepare Filling: Place brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl, whisk to combine; set aside.
Punch down dough. Divide into in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll or pat each into a 14 x 7- inch rectangle.
Brush each half with half of the melted butter; sprinkle half of the filling over each dough. Starting with the shorter side, roll up tightly, pressing dough into roll with each turn. Pinch edges and ends to seal.
Place in greased 9 x 5- or 8 x 4- inch bread pans, seam-side down. Cover; let rise in a warm place until an indentation remains after lightly touching, about one hour.
Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Cool in pans for 30 minutes before removing. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Myths And Traditions About Hot Cross Buns According To The Smithsonian:
Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten during Lent, especially in the week leading up to Easter. Marked with an icing cross on top, they’ve been a holiday staple in many countries for centuries. (Versions of the hot cross bun even appeared in ancient Greece.) Given the bun’s long history, legends and superstitions have developed over time.
Here are a few:
Some believe the hot cross bun originated in St Alban’s, where Brother Thomas Rocliffe, a 14th Century monk at St Alban’s Abbey, developed a recipe called an”Alban Bun” and distributed the bun to the local poor on Good Friday.
In 1592, during the reign of Elizabeth I, it was forbidden to sell spiced bread, except at burials, on Good Friday, or at Christmas. If you violated the decree then you had to give all of your bread to the poor.
English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or grow moldy during the subsequent year. If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all loaves of bread turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year.
Another tradition encourages keeping a bun for medicinal purposes. A piece of it given to someone who is ill is said to help them recover.
If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwrecks.
They also expel bad spirits. Due to the blessed cross on top, hot cross buns hung in the kitchen are supposed to protect from evil spirits.
Those who share a hot cross bun are said to enjoy a strong friendship and bond for the next year. A line from an old Irish rhyme captures this lore, “Half for you and half for me, between us two, good luck shall be.”
I certainly wish my version of Hot Cross Buns brings you good luck!
Sourdough Hot Cross Buns
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 cups bread flour or 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons.wheat gluten
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sourdough starter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
Powdered sugar icing, recipe below
Combine the flour, wheat gluten, yeast, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix with a paddle attachment to thoroughly combine the ingredients.
Add the sourdough starter, milk, butter, and vanilla. Mix together until a dough forms. Add the raisins, and mix into the dough.
Switch to the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth — about 10 minutes.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat the top. Cover; let rise in a warm place until double — about 1 hour.
Punch down the dough. Divide into 12 equal pieces. Shape each into a ball. Place in a greased 13×9 inch baking dish.
Cover the dish with plastic wrap; let rise in warm place until double — about 30 minutes.
Bake in a preheated oven 400°F for 20 minutes or cooked in the center and golden brown in color.
Cool on wire rack. Be sure the buns are completely cool before adding the frosting or the frosting will melt over the buns.
Powdered Sugar Icing
Combine the following ingredients to make a thick frosting.
1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
With a spoon, drizzle icing in a cross pattern over each bun.
Do you get in a rut and eat the same things for breakfast most days? Time for a change. Below are some ideas to add interest to your breakfast meals. Wonderful fresh fruit is now becoming available in the markets, so don’t forget to make a fresh fruit salad to go with these dishes.
Jumbo Cinnamon Crumb Muffins
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 cup self-rising flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Prepare the topping:
In a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour and cinnamon.
With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until the mixture resembles large coarse crumbs.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour two jumbo 6-cup muffin pans.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and baking soda.
In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, mix together the melted butter, sour cream, eggs and vanilla.
Pour into the flour mixture and stir with a spoon just until combined.
Fill the muffin cups halfway and top with the crumb mixture.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
Switch pans in the oven after 15 minutes.
Cool the muffins in the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Avocado and Egg Sandwich
Ingredients for each serving
1 slice bread (crusty artisan bread, such as sourdough, rye, Italian or French) sliced one inch thick
1 garlic clove peeled
1/2 ripe, fresh avocado, peeled, seeded and mashed
2 teaspoons olive oil
Slices of tomato
Cooked bacon, optional
Fresh cracked black pepper
Sea salt to taste
Mix the avocado with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
Toast the bread and rub one side with the garlic clove.
Spread with the mashed avocado. Top with some sliced tomatoes.
In a small nonstick skillet, heat the oil and cook the egg as desired.
Place the cooked egg on top of the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Top with a little hot sauce and bacon on the side, if desired.
Barley Fruit Scones
Makes 8 scones
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons barley flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoons kosher salt
4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1/2 cup homemade or store-bought marmalade or fruit jam
Vanilla sugar for sprinkling on the top of the scones
Place a rack in center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk together in a large bowl, the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Cut butter into 1/2-inch pieces and add to the flour mixture.
With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles large coarse crumbs.
In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg.
Pour the buttermilk and egg into the dry mixture and mix until just combined.
Transfer the dough to a well-floured surface. If dough is too sticky to handle, dust it with flour and fold it together a few times.
Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces (use a scale).
Flour your hands and pat each piece of dough into a disk about 3/4 inch thick and 7 inches in diameter.
Cover one disk with the marmalade or jam.
Top with the other disk and press down gently so that dough settles into the marmalade.
Seal edges by lightly pressing together.
Sprinkle the top with sugar.
Use a sharp knife, slice circle into 8 triangular wedges and place them on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a few inches between each wedge.
Place the baking pan in the refrigerator and chill the scones until firm, about 30 minutes.
Bake for 25 minutes. Scones are ready when the tops are golden brown and some marmalade has bubbled over.
Slide a thin spatula underneath them while they’re still warm and transfer to a baking rack.
1 mini red bell pepper, diced
1 mini yellow bell pepper, diced
Half a sweet onion, diced
1 ½ cups leftover cooked sliced potatoes (I used leftover creamy scalloped potatoes)
2 tablespoons butter
8 large eggs, whisked
Salt and pepper to taste
2 slices of cheese (American, Cheddar, Swiss)
Preheat the broiler.
Melt butter in an ovenproof omelet skillet. Add the peppers and onions. Saute until tender.
Add the potatoes and let cook until they begin to brown.
Pour the whisked eggs over the vegetables.
Cook until all the egg is cooked, tilting the skillet to let the uncooked egg run underneath the cooked areas.
Place the cheese on top.
Place the skillet under the broiler and cook until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.
What flavors do you associate with fall? For me the ones that immediately come to mind are apple cider, cinnamon, caramel, ginger, cranberry, pumpkin and nut flavors. Here are a few ideas on how to incorporate these flavors into your cooking.
Apple Cider Sweet Potatoes
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 cup apple cider
- Parsley for garnish
Put the potatoes, apple cider and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring once, until the potatoes are tender (25-30 minutes).
Mash the potatoes with the cider until it is smooth. Add the butter and the pepper and heat just until the butter melts. Garnish with parsley.
Pumpkin Ricotta Cheese Pie
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/3 cup of honey
- 1 cup of pumpkin
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
- 1/3 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup pecans
- Pinch of salt
For the crust:
Place the crust ingredients, except the butter, in a food processor or blender and process until totally ground, but not powdery. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the crumbs for a topping.
Rub a little soft butter on the inside of a 9″ pie pan at least 1 1/2″ deep; use a deep-dish pan, if you have one.
If your pie pan isn’t at least 1 1/2″ deep, substitute a 9″ square pan.
Pour the crumbs into the pan, tilting and shaking the pan to distribute the crumbs across the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
Place the pan on a baking sheet, to make it easy to handle once you’ve added the filling.
For the filling:
Beat together with an electric mixer the ricotta, mascarpone, pumpkin, honey, eggs and pumpkin pie spice.
Continue to beat until creamy.
Pour the filling into the prepared crust and sprinkle the top with the reserved crumbs.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes or until the top of the center of the cheese pie springs back to the touch.
Chill in the refrigerator prior to serving.
Makes 20 bars
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped (3 cups)
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted or cinnamon chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan; set aside.
In a very large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
In a medium bowl combine the eggs, oil and vanilla. Stir in the apples and nuts.
Add the egg mixture to the well in the flour mixture, stirring just until moistened (batter will be thick).
Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool in pan on a wire rack for 1 hour to serve slightly warm, or cool completely.
- 5 cups thinly sliced pears
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup regular rolled oats
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 2-quart square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Mix the sliced fruit with the granulated sugar and place in the prepared baking dish.
For the topping:
In a medium bowl stir together the oats, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon.
Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the nuts.
Sprinkle topping evenly over the fruit.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the fruit is tender and the topping is golden.
Cranberry Pecan Bread
- 3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats, uncooked
- 1/2 cup sweetened applesauce
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- Cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C).
Coat an 8″ x 4″ loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the flours, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda.
In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, oats, applesauce and vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and thoroughly combine them.
Mix in the cranberries and pecans. It should have a consistency a little thicker than pancake batter.
Pour the dough into the loaf pan.
Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, until a knife inserted into the loaf’s center comes out dry or an instant read thermometer registers 190 degrees F at the center of the loaf.
Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then remove the bread from the pan and let it cool before slicing.
Makes 16 small or 8 large rolls
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, very soft
- 2-1/2 cups self-rising flour (all-purpose flour mixed with baking powder and salt)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
- 1-2 tablespoons milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Combine the filling ingredients in a small bowl, then mix with a fork until well blended.
In a another, larger bowl, combine the self-rising flour, sugar and baking soda.
Whisk together the buttermilk and 4 tablespoons melted butter in a separate bowl, then pour into the middle of the dry ingredients. Stir together until the dough just comes together (do not overmix.)
Knead slightly with your hands until the dough forms into a ball, then slice it in half.
On a lightly floured surface, roll each half into a 12×8 inch rectangle.
Spread half the filling mixture into the center, leaving 1/4″ of the dough clear on all 4 sides, then roll up jelly roll style.. Pinch together the seam and roll into an 8 inch log.
Cut into 8 one inch slices. Repeat with the other dough half and place the rolls in a greased 13×9 inch pan.
Note: If you like larger rolls cut each roll in 4 (about 2 inches each) and place in a smaller baking dish and cook for 10 minutes longer.
Brush the cinnamon rolls with the remaining tablespoon of melted butter and bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
Whisk together the powdered sugar and milk, one tablespoon at a time, until creamy. Drizzle onto hot cinnamon rolls and spread evenly.
Quick Pumpkin Bread
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice mix
- 1 cup solid pack pumpkin puree
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Grease and flour a 9×5 inch baking pan.
Whisk the flours, baking soda, salt and pumpkin spice mix in a large bowl. Mix the pumpkin, brown sugar, buttermilk, egg and oil in another bowl until well blended.
Fold the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Add the pecans and mix.
Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a rack for ten minutes.
Turn the bread over onto another rack to cool completely.
Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup soft butter
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup light sour cream (or yogurt)
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Garnish with candied lemon peel, if desired
Coat a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan with nonstick vegetable spray
Preheat the oven to 350°F).
In a large bowl of an electric mixer or a food processor, beat together the sugar, butter, egg, lemon zest and lemon juice, mixing well. Add the buttermilk, mix.
Combine the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and baking soda in a mixing bowl; add to the sugar mixture alternately with the sour cream, mixing just until incorporated. Do not overmix.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out dry. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.
Remove the cake to a wire rack to finishing cooling.
Combine the powdered sugar with the lemon juice and spread over the cooled loaf. When the frosting is set, garnish with candied lemon peel.
Morning Apple Cake
- Cooking spray
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup buttermilk milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 large apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sugar
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
Beat the eggs and the 1/2 cup of sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in the buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla extract.
Combine flour and cornstarch and fold into the cake batter. Pour mixture into prepared pan.
Layer the apple slices in a circular pattern on top of the cake. Combine the cinnamon and 1 teaspoon sugar in a cup and sprinkle over the apples.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until a knife or metal skewer comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake. Cool on a wire rack.
Eating seasonally means buying produce that can be grown locally, in their natural weather and climate conditions. Less energy and less transit time means a cheaper price tag. Eating seasonally also means that every few month or two, we’re trying something new, and that’s a good thing for our taste buds and our health.
Looking for seasonal food ideas or some new spring recipes? Now’s the time for fresh vegetable soups; crunchy green salads using fennel, peas, parsley, asparagus and new potatoes. Rhubarb and berries are in season for some delicious desserts.
Here is a handy interactive chart to see what produce is in season in your area.
Breakfast or Lunch Crostata
This is a great brunch recipe, also.
- 1 (9″) refrigerated pie crust, at room temperature
- I tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red onions, diced
- 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced
- 5 large eggs
- 1/4 cup half & half
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 2/3 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 Roma (plum) tomato, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large cookie sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
Heat the olive oil in 7-8 inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers; saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
In a medium size bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, cream cheese and chives.
Reserve 1 tablespoon of the chopped spinach for the topping and stir the remaining spinach, salt and pepper into the eggs.
Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and allow to cook, over medium heat, just until the eggs are set. Remove the skillet from heat and allow to cool 10 minutes.
Unroll the pie crust and place it in the center of the prepared baking sheet. Using a spatula, slide the omelet onto the center of the crust. Sprinkle the cheeses over the filling.
Fold the edge of the crust over the filling forming pleats as you go around the filling, press down slightly.
Bake about 25-30 minutes or until the crust is light golden brown. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with reserved spinach and the diced tomatoes.
Blueberry Cinnamon Banana Bread
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup mashed ripe banana, about 2 medium
- 2/3 cups packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Coat a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray and dust lightly with flour.
Whisk buttermilk, eggs, mashed bananas, sugar and oil in a large bowl until well blended.
Combine flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl.
Stir flour mixture into the buttermilk mixture, mixing just until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Combine the topping ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.
Bake about 1 hour, or until browned and crackly on the top and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pan 15 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Braised Spring Vegetables
These vegetables look beautiful served on this Tuscan platter given to me by my friend, Nancy. This is a terrific way to cook vegetables. They taste fantastic after simmering in olive oil.
- 1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 pound (4-5 oz) carrots, each cut into 1 inch pieces on the diagonal
- 1/4 pound (4-5 oz) medium potatoes, cut into thick slices
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed & cut into 1 inch pieces on the diagonal
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 scallions, trimmed, each cut into 1 inch pieces on the diagonal
- 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and each cut into 1 inch pieces on the diagonal
- 1 lemon, cut into eight wedges, de-seeded
- 1 large fresh thyme sprig
Pour the olive oil into a large, deep skillet (with a cover) and heat over medium-low heat. Layer the vegetables in the order of how long they cook.
On the bottom place the potatoes in one layer, followed by the fennel and then the carrots.
Add salt to the pan; reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes. Stir the vegetables after 10 minutes.
Add the asparagus, scallions, black pepper, half of the lemon wedges and the thyme to the pan. Cook just until the vegetables are tender, about 5 – 10 minutes more; avoid overcooking.
Remove the pan from the heat and remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges.
Note: save the oil and any leftover vegetables to add to pasta for another meal. See recipe below.
Spring Pasta Salad
This pasta salad is delicious for lunch.
- 12 oz orecchiette or small shell pasta
- Leftover spring braised vegetables, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, sliced thin
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
- Leftover olive oil from the spring braised vegetables
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, chopped
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain well.
Whisk together the leftover oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add pasta, leftover vegetables, celery, tomatoes and basil and toss to combine.
Serve at room temperature or chilled; refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Italian Style Asparagus Soup
- 2 ¼ lbs asparagus
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 cups vegetable stock or low sodium chicken broth
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- Truffle oil or olive oil
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
Cut the tips off the asparagus spears and set them aside. Cut the stalks into 1/2-inch pieces and add them to the pot, along with the stock, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat down to low.
Simmer for about 45-60 minutes until the vegetables are very tender. Turn off the heat.
Purée the soup with an immersion blender until completely smooth and return the soup to a simmer. Add the reserved asparagus tips and cook for a few minutes until tender-crisp.
Stir in the lemon juice, basil and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and drizzle with truffle oil before serving.