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Although this is submitted for a dish of turnips and their tops, this goes with many things. Try it with lamp or beef, or beef, thick fish such as sword or tuna, smeared in sandwiches, or with eggs. For starts.

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This dish has a little sweet and sour element, and the leeks take on a silky texture while the cabbage is cooked only enough to render it no longer raw. Use as a side dish or under something like seared salmon or halibut that has a crisp surface over the tender flaky fish.

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Add quartered and sautéed button mushrooms and a handful of cooked grains such as farro, wheat berries, or barley and use this as a one dish meal. Otherwise it is a fine side-dish. Spinach is used to supplement the turnips greens so there are more greens on the plate.

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Very simple but satisfying. A little char, cool bits contrasting with warm bits, crunchy and silky. The garlic dressing has the perfume and taste of garlic, but none of the heat. The “Grilled or Creamy” refers to the dressing having two iterations; one where you grill the garlic, the other where you blanch it briefly, then add thick yogurt to the pureé.

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This dish is cooked so it is not soupy, but rather until there is just a bit of liquid left. You can add more vegetables as you wish, and mushrooms and/or sausages turns it into a full dinner for the carnivorous set. I like it next morning heated up with a couple of farm-fresh eggs poached or basted on top.

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Use this with grilled Little Gem Lettuces, or other salads, or dollop onto sandwiches or whole rye toasts with cold smoked salmon. The flavor and perfume of garlic will be abundant, but none of the heat.

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imageHere is a celeriac purée offered by one of our subscribers. It is sprinkled with pomegranate seeds and sliced almonds and is topped with tofu baked with dandelion greens and fennel.

When blending the purée, add some milk and labne or yogurt/kefir, and tahini lemon sauce. You can also use butter in the celeriac… and a little lemon juice.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 Meyer lemon, zested with a Microplane or multi-channel zester*

¼ cup flat leaf parsley

½ cup mint leaves

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This is a simple recipe based on how many lemons you have and the juice yield. I like to make my lemonade with sparkling water. It just makes it seem more special, more grown up, while at the same time it brings out the kid in me. Adding things like mint, lavender, or bitters makes this really special.

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The Salsa Verde for this recipe uses enough olive oil to make it a dressing. If you wish, you can use a creamy orange fennel dressing (See recipe) instead.

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This dressing goes with the Fennel and Radish Salad, among other things.

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Pureeing fennel, leeks, and butternut squash give this soup a rich creamy texture while the absence of cream or other dairy keeps it light and airy. This would even be good as a cold soup on a hot day, or could be used as a sauce for light proteins such as chicken or goat. To use as a sauce, just use less stock to thin it with. Although the recipe looks longish, it really is simple and fairly quick, and does not require a lot of attention.

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This is a light refreshing salad with a peppery quality that could easily double as a topping or side for something like seared pork chops or duck breasts. You want to use pinky-thin sweet carrots for this, and they should be sliced really thinly-a mandolin would be ideal. The carrots are there to offer a sweet contrast to the other vegetables. If you don’t have skinny sweet carrots, skip them and use pine nuts or almonds instead.

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A flavorful soup with a creamy texture (no dairy here, though) punctuated with ribbons of chard for color and textural interest. The creamy texture comes from using a potato. This is an easy to make soup.

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This is one of those really simple dishes that surprises with how much flavor it packs. The kale acts as a foil with its earthy flavor to the fennels sweet, but it has a sweetness of its own that adds depth to the dish. Adding fennel seed and pastis adds even more dimension. Cooking the kale a shorter time gives it a toothsome quality that is a welcome texture with the fennel. Crushing the fennel with your hands seems to make it sweeter and also tenderizes it.

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You want lean bacon for this without too much smoke on it. You could use pancetta as well. The bacon should be fairly thickly sliced. If it is really smoky, cut it and drop it into boiling water for 10 seconds, then pat dry.

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I love gratins. I like to experiment with various ingredients and see how well they go together. Knowing that celeriac and potatoes go well as a mash, I was pretty sure this would work well also. It sure does. This light version of a gratin does not use cream or cheese.

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Maple syrup makes everything taste better it seems, and bacon can improve just about anything (except chocolate, but that’s another story), just as a good balsamic vinegar can. In combination, even those who think they loathe Brussels sprouts may be converted. Here, a small amount of vinegar is used as a contrast, so use the good stuff you have stashed in the back of the cupboard.

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INGREDIENTS:

3 – 4 quarts water
2 1 pint Brussels sprouts (10 to 12 ounces)
tablespoons salt, plus two more 

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So simple, and yet so flavorful. This is one of those things where the whole is so much greater than the parts. Do not try doing this in a food processor. It will simply be a mess. From this basic recipe there are many other directions you can go. Use Meyer lemon and or orange zest. Add lime to it and use cilantro.

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The silky texture of escarole always seems at such odds with its bitter flavor. Adding a little sugar and caramelizing it until on the border of burnt both tames and points out the bitter quality of this vegetable, and the addition of sweet/tart fruit and vinegar made from the fruit amplifies this idea. This dish goes well with meats with mild roast chicken or fatty pork chops with a nice crust for textural contrasts. It would also be a nice complement to kasha with braised mushrooms or even fried eggs.

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Minestrone is part of the “Cucina Povera” school of Italian cooking. “Povera” and poverty share roots, so this is a soup that is usually made of what is on hand, and recipes vary widely. Here is one based on my college days.

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A festival of flavors for the face. Sweet, earthy, tart, pungent, freshly herbaceous, it really is a party of tastes. Making the gremolata the day before makes this dish pretty simple to put together.

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This mélange could be used as a stuffing for poultry, Portobello mushrooms, or Delicata squash, a filling for pasta or chard leaves, or just served as a side. Add grains to it for a heartier dish, or top with pine nuts for elegance.

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Here is a sauce that feels rich in the mouth and has big flavors. The texture of the sauce comes from the squash and onions, and there is no cream in it. This sauce was devised for topping red beets, but it would be fine for fish, chicken, or even pork. It would also be nice on pasta as a fun twist on the classic Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Butter Sauce (see recipe for Pumpkin Ravioli on site). Stuff ravioli with chard and cheese, or add ground turkey or pork, and top with the sauce.

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This is a colorful dish with an interplay of textures and contrasts of flavors to add interest. The sauce is sweet and provides high notes, the cabbage is the mid-range and provides sweet and earthy, where the beets are mostly low range and have earthy notes tinged with a mellow sweetness. The vinegar the beets are drizzled with after roasting adds balance. Be sure to cook the cabbage just long enough render it tender, but still possessing some crunch.

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1210141809aSavoy spinach has a slightly more robust flavor than the flat kind, is well suited to cooking. However, the folds mean you need to be more attentive to washing it. Not a big deal really. Just use a large bowl to swish the leaves around in, then lift them from the water into a colander. Repeat as needed. To check that, look at the bottom of the rinse bowl for dirt, and bite a piece. That should let you know.

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With roasted beets in the refrigerator, you always have a dish waiting to happen. Here, roasted Chioggias are given a North African or Turkish treatment. For the recipe, the beets are cut into batons just because, but if you already have them in wedges, no worries.

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If you have the marmalade ready to go in the refrigerator, this is a quick and simple dish to prepare. The flavor of the crust is nice, but if you put it on a couple days ahead of time and let the chicken “marinate” in the refrigerator, the flavor will permeate the chicken. Since you have carrots in the marmalade, serving carrots alongside the chicken makes a nice pairing.

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Although it says marmalade, there really is no citrus peel here, it is just that the carrot shreds look like orange zest. Use this to top fish, pork chops, or chicken roasted with a fennel coriander seed crust (see the recipe). You want to have your Ben-Riner or mandolin handy for this recipe to make things easier, but a sharp knife can do the trick as well. The best pan for this recipe is a “chef’s pan”.

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