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This salad also features an oregano infused olive oil and calls for optional quickled red spring onions. The dressing has some fennel seed powder to echo the shaved fennel. You want to use a Ben Riner or other fixed blade slicer for this.

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The carrot top “pesto” isn’t really that pesto-ish to my mind as there is no garlic in it, or basil, but there you have it. Roasting the carrots on sprigs of oregano will give them a lighter aroma and flavor than chopping the herbs and putting it all over the carrots, and this way the more delicate topping will come through without interference. Serving these carrots on sautéed spinach will point up the sweetness of the carrots, but is entirely optional as the carrots are fine on their own.

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These can be made in minutes and will keep around a week in the refrigerator. These are not a true pickle and will not store for long times nor should they be left unrefrigerated long periods.

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This oil is originally for a Provençal inspired shaved fennel salad, but has many other uses. Once made it will keep in the refrigerator for a week or two before the flavor starts to drop off.

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This dressing is for a shaved fennel salad, but the fennel would make this a nice dressing to top grilled fish or pork chops. You could make the fennel salad without the lettuce and use this dressing with it for topping the aforementioned.

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A favorite ice cream flavor of mine growing up was mandarin chocolate. When I started cooking I figured out what the “mandarin” part was and have played with those flavors in other things since then. Here is another dish inspired by those excursions. This recipe lists carrot, but they can be omitted if you choose. They are a good companion to fennel as they have sweetness to match the aroma of fennel and they have an earthiness that helps ground the fennel, onion, and orange juice.

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Not truly a pesto, but as it is close, and it is in the same spirit of “cucina povera” that true pesto was invented in, why not call it a pesto? No basil or pine nuts, but oregano and almonds stand in. Garlic could easily overwhelm this, but if you decide to give it a go, try using only half a small clove of peeled and de-germed garlic. Use this on roast carrots, sautéed mushrooms, or with cappelinni pasta.

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This is a riff on a sandwich I had in San Francisco at the De Young museum. If you make this during tomato season, by all means add a couple thin slices of tomato to the sandwich.

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The “dressing” is fairly chunky, and could be considered a condiment as well. This salad makes a nice side to grilled fish or chicken, or you can omit the lettuce and use the dressed radishes as a topping for something.

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This dish is about the contrast between the bright lemon, and the mild spice of the radish and mizuna, both as a foil to the chewy and nutty flavor of the farro.

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If your turnips come with the greens on, remove the stems and wash the leaves, tear into bite-sized pieces, then add to the pan to wilt just before adding the dressing, or cook the greens separately and put on the plate first, the add the turnips and mushrooms, then dress.

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This dish pairs roast carrots, which develop a sweet flavor combined with a rooty depth, with a bright compound butter which features chervil (which has a flavor like tarragon, but lighter) spiked with some Meyer lemon, or not as you choose. The fennel see on the carrots will add layers of flavor to the dish and will support the chervil in the butter. As the fennel seed roasts it will take on a nutty flavor as well.

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This dressing delivers a dressing full of smoky garlic flavor without the heat of clove garlic. Once the season for green garlic is past, you could grill thin leeks and a clove or two garlic instead for a good alternative. As well as topping sautéed or grilled vegetables, it will complement salads of sturdy lettuces like romaine and things like escarole, endive, and radicchio.

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This butter will have a light anise/licorice/tarragon flavor to it, and is good for poultry, light meats, fish and seafood, and vegetables. It is perfect for adding to a pan of mussels or shrimp at the end, or slipping frozen slices under the skin of a chicken to be roasted. You can use this butter to make a “buerre blanc” – a sauce of shallots, wine or vinegar, and bits of cold vinegar swirled into a pan to form an emulsification.

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This gratin is for those who love the flavor of garlic. The nice thing about this is that using the green garlic gives you lots of flavor but leaves the pungent heat behind.

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This is a nice and light dish with bright flavors. If you have green garlic, be sure to use some of that in the filling. Button mushrooms will work fine in lieu of oyster mushrooms, but avoid shiitake as they will take over the dish.

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Definitely a fusion dish drawing on India and Southeast Asia for inspiration, with some pure California thrown in as well.

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The taste of fresh ground coriander is a refreshing floral, citrusy flavor with a little bit of nuttiness to it. I like to use it as one would pepper when I don’t want the bite or heat pepper can bring. I have a pepper mill just for coriander seed I like it so much. I suggest giving it a try. Find an old mill at the flea market, or grind some up and try it to see what you think before buying a new mill.

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Use these on sandwiches, roast or grilled meats, combined with sprouts to top things, or as here, as an element to a green salad.

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This dressing was made to go with a salad of Little Gems and Oakleaf lettuces and Quickled Leeks, but would be good with a cabbage salad with peanuts and shrimp, or on grilled chicken or pork chops. This would be good in a shrimp cocktail with avocado as well.

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Use this to top grilled or roasted fish, or serve as a side. This would be good mixed into hearty grains or thinned with a little pasta cooking water and used as a sauce on pasta shapes like campanelle or dischi volante. The fava greens are the tips of some of the plants and may include flowers. They have a “green” spring quality to them, and you want to just cook them.

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The cabbage is rendered tender but still crunchy by salt-wilting it, then it is gently warmed in a sauté pan with a mélange of soft cooked leeks and green garlic. This method brings out the sweetness of the cabbage which works well with the sweetness of the alliums and makes a great foil to the silkiness of the leeks and garlic.

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The briny capers, sweet nutty pistachio oil, and crunchy nuts all play off one another and make a great foil for the earthy chard.

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This light soup celebrates spring. If you have asparagus, add some 1/8th inch bias cut slices and you have all the local vegetable harbingers of the season. This recipe is more of a guideline, really. Feel free to play with it. You could just add the chard stems to the liquid, but the sautéing brings out sweetness in the stems, and wilting the chard in a separate pan gives a lighter, cleaner flavor to the broth. The fava greens are the tips of the plants, including some of the flowers.  Add mushrooms, carrot shreds, whatever you find.

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For all those vegans and vegetarians who are tired of feeling left out on St. Patrick’s Day, this one’s for you!

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This dish can be made with any beets you wish. If you have red beets, and fuyu persimmons, this is a great combination, both for flavor and visuals. The contrast of cold persimmon and hot beets is another layer of interest. This dish can be served as a side or starter, but is hearty enough to be a main course, although the flavors are bright. This recipe was inspired by a dish from Gramercy Tavern.

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Use this dressing with the Little Gems, Feta, Red Onion Quickles salad, or anything with orange or pistachios in it. You could use this dress lentil salads, or scallop dishes as well.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons good quality red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons pistachio oil
4 tablespoons lighter flavored olive oil
½ teaspoon sweet-hot mustard
½ teaspoon minced shallot
¼ teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
-OR-
1 pinch Herbs de Provence, crumbled
Salt and pepper to taste
 

METHOD:

In a non-reactive bowl, combine the shallots, herbs, and salt and pepper with the vinegar and allow the flavors to marry for 10 minutes, then whisk in the mustard.

Drizzle in a slow thin stream the pistachio oil, whisking vigorously the whole time. When the pistachio oil is gone, whisk in the olive oil as you did the pistachio until the dressing is emulsified.

Taste the dressing and adjust seasonings if needed, and if the dressing is thin or still quite sharp, whisk in more oil.

Yield: 1 cup

Source: Chef Andrew E Cohen

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Pistachio oil is pricey, but is a wonderful indulgence. It works magic in dressings, lentils, and grains, and is a nice way to finish scallops or fish. It matches well with orange and other citrus. Look for smaller bottles and keep it in the refrigerator. If you do not have pistachio oil, just use a plain red wine vinaigrette.

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Using chard instead of spinach, this variation of spanakopita is fairly easy. You can make this without the egg, but the egg helps keep the filling from being too wet and falling out of the pie when serving. You could use a soft goat cheese if you wished.

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This is my take on something I learned in cooking school. Fujian cuisine is known for full flavored yet light dishes that showcase the main ingredients. The area is also known for wet dishes such as soups, stews, and braises, as well as seafood, along with an emphasis on umami flavoring. This dish hits all those points. The chicken version is another dish that uses a store bought roasted chicken or left-overs. This dish goes together pretty quickly.

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