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Couscous with Kohlrabi and Chermoula Dressing


Couscous with Kohlrabi and Chermoula Dressing

Borrowed from From Asparagus to Zucchini: A guide to cooking farm-fresh seasonal produce.


1-2 tsp minced garlic

2 Tbs. minced cilantro

2 Tbs. minced fresh parsley

1 tsp. paprika

½ tsp. cumin


3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

3 Tbs. olive oil

2-3 cooked couscous, cooled to warm temperature

2 cups peeled, diced kohlrabi

½ cup diced radishes and/or spring turnips

16 kalamata or oil-cured black olives

½ cup crumbled feta cheese


Mixe garlic, cilantro, parsley, paprika, cumin and alt to taste. Stir in lemon juice and olive oil. toss this mixture with couscous. Bring to room temperature. Gently toss with kohlrabi, radishes/turnips, and olives. Sprinkle with feta. Serves 6.

sauteed escarole

yield: Makes 5 servings

active time: 30 min
total time: 45 min

Anchovy and red pepper flakes balance the bitterness of the escarole, giving it a sweetness that goes well with robust flavors.

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  • 2 heads of escarole, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • Half of a (2-oz) can anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained, patted dry, and chopped

Wash escarole well in a sinkful of water, then lift out and drain. Cook escarole in a 4-6quart heavy pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes, then drain in a colander.
Heat oil in same pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring, until garlic is golden, about 1 minute. Add anchovies, then reduce heat to moderate and cook, stirring, until dissolved, about 1 minute. Add escarole, stirring to coat with oil, then increase heat to moderately high and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until escarole is tender and most of liquid is evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Season lightly with salt.
Spoon onto a platter and drizzle with oil to taste.
Cooks' note: Escarole can be sautéed (but not drizzled with oil) 1 day ahead and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered. Reheat in a large pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until hot.
Adapted from


Winter Squash Curry

You can toss any veggies you like into this basic curry. It would be great with Brussels sprouts, broccoli, romanesco, potatoes, other winter squash or any root vegetable.
Serves 4.
2 Tbs. oil
1 onion or 1 large leek, chopped
1 Tbs. curry powder
1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
1.5 pounds butternut squash, peeled and roughly chopped
1 c. coconut milk, stock or water
salt and freshly ground pepper
chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
Put the oil in a pot or deep skillet over med-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the curry and ginger and cook until the onion just starts to brown, about 2 minutes more.
Add the squash and coconut milk and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and turn the heat down to low. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Check periodically to make sure there is adequate liquid. If the squash is done and there is ample liquid, turn up the heat, take the lid off and cook down until the consistency is thicker than stew.
Taste and adjust seasonings, garnish and serve warm.

Kohlrabi and Apple Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Apples aren't exactly in season yet, but the combination of sweet/tart apple with the kohlrabi, all mixed together with a mustard vinaigrette is a delight! If you have any hakurei turnips from last week still in the fridge, add them in (julienned like the kohlrabi). You can also throw in some diced celery if you have any on hand.
The Salad
Thickly peel your kohlrabi and cut into fine julienne strips. Slice or grate an apple - your favorite variety - and toss into a bowl with the kohlrabi. If you're adding turnips or celery, add them to the mix.
Mustard Vinaigrette:
2 T red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar or fresh lemon juice
2 shallots, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and fresh ground pepper
1 T fresh dijon mustard
2 T creme fraiche or sour cream
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
2 T snipped chives
1 T chopped parsley
3 T capers, rinsed
Combine the vinegar, shallots, garlic, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes, then vigorously whisk in the mustard, creme fraiche and oil until thick and smooth. Grind in a little pepper, then stir in the herbs and capers. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking.
Serves 4-6
Adapted from Deborah Madison's cookbook: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone


2 big fennel bulbs, sliced up
5 Tbs. olive oil
1 onion, sliced
3 tomatoes, chopped
8 basil leaves, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
½ cut pitted black or other cured olive

In a wide skillet, sautee onions in olive oil over med-low heat for several minutes. Add sliced fennel and sautée covered for about 15 minutes, until melted together and soft. Add chopped tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, vinegar and olives. Stir, re-cover and cook for another couple minutes. Serve hot or warm.
Serves 4-6.

Honeyed Parsnips and Carrots with Rosemary

Serves 8.

To add richness, sauté three ounces sliced pancetta until crisp; crumble over before serving.



  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound carrots (about 4 large), peeled, cut into 3x1/4x1/4-inch sticks
  • 1 pound large parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, cut into 3x1/4x1/4-inch sticks
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey (such as heather, chestnut, or wildflower)

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and parsnips. Sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and pepper. Sauté until vegetables are beginning to brown at edges, about 12 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Add butter, rosemary, and honey to vegetables. Toss over medium heat until heated through and vegetables are glazed, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Acorn Squash with Wild Mushroom Cranberry Stuffing


4 Servings



  • 2 acorn squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or currants
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
  • 8 ounces fresh wild mushrooms (such as shiitake), stemmed, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
  • 2 cup fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 425°F. Bake squash halves face down until soft. Turn squash halves cut side up. Season cavities with salt and pepper.
Combine dried cranberries and hot water in small bowl. Melt 6 tablespoons butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion and sage and sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add breadcrumbs and stir until crumbs brown lightly, about 3 minutes. Mix in cranberries with soaking liquid. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Mound stuffing into squash halves. Dot with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Bake until heated through and crisp on top, about 10 minutes.

Carrot Top Soup

Don't just throw them away! The tender tops on your carrots are great in soups! Here's one rendition, based on a recipe from Local Flavors:
1 bunch carrots, the tops and the roots
2 Tbs butter
3 Tbs. white rice
1 bunch purplette onions
2 thyme sprigs
2 Tbs. chopped dill, parsley or celery leaves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
6 cups veggie stock or chicken stock

  • Pull or pluck the lacy leaves of the carrot greens off their stems. You should have between 2-3 cups, loosely packed. Wash, then chop finely. Grate the carrots, or chop them finely.
  • Melt the butter in a soup pot. Add the carrot tops and carrots, rice, onions, and herbs. Cook for several minutes, turning everthing a few times, then season with 1.5 tsp. salt and add the stock.
  • Bring to a boil and simmger until the rice is cooked, 16-18 minutes.
  • Taste for salt, season with pepper and serve.

Tomato Seafood Soup Infused with Fennel

2 T. olive oil
2 fennel bulbs, sliced paperthin
2 leeks (white part only) sliced paperthin
1 lg sweet onion
3 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
1 T. chopped jalepeno pepper
4 lg tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup orange juice
 2 cans chopped clams plus liquid
1 pound sea scallops
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1.  Warm oil over medium heat in a heavy, large pot.
2. Add next 6 ingredients (through peppers), saute until tender, about 7 min.
3. Add tomatoes and orange juice.
4. Add clams and scallops.  Cover pan, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.  Be careful not to overcook.
5. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve. 
Makes 8 servings.

Curried Cabbage and Quinoa Salad

 1 head chapped finely shredded
1/3 cup shredded coconut
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil and soy sauce
3 Tbsp sesame seeds or golden raisins or grapes
1/3 tsp turmeric and curry and cumin
1 cup cooked Quinoa
Mix  together and chill 1 hour

Braised Fennel with Arugula and Feta Cheese

Olive oil

2 baby fennel bulbs, trimmed and quartered
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
½ cup  chicken stock
Handful of arugula
2-4 oz. marinated feta, crumbled
¼ small red onion, very thinly sliced
¼ large red chilli, thinly sliced
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind 
Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle 

  • Heat 2 tbs of oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add fennel and cook, turning, for 2-3 minutes or until fennel caramelizes a little, season with salt and pepper. 
  • Add balsamic vinegar and chicken stock, cover and cook for 8 -10 minutes or until tender. 
  • Transfer braised fennel to a bowl, add arugula, feta, red onion, chili, lemon rind and dress with olive oil. Toss gently to serve.

Chilled Indian-Spiced Tomato Soup with Crabmeat

yield: Makes 8 first-course servings

This soup can be pureed by pressing it through a strainer or a food mill. It can also be pureed in a blender and then strained.


Spice mix

  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns


  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 stalks chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion or shallot
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped peeled fresh ginger (from about 3-inch-long piece)
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pound bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped fresh fennel bulb
  • 3 pounds tomatoes, diced (about 8 cups)
  • 5 1/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons (about) hot pepper sauce
  • 1 pound fresh crabmeat, picked over
  • Thinly sliced radishes (optional)
  • Chopped fresh chives (optional)

For spice mix:
Toast all ingredients in heavy medium skillet over medium heat until spices darken slightly in color and start to pop, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Cool in skillet. Transfer to spice mill and grind finely.
For soup:
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add celery, onion/shallots, and carrots. Sauté until vegetables soften slightly, about 8 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and sauté 3 minutes. Add bell peppers and fennel. Stir 2 minutes to coat. Add tomatoes; cook until tomatoes soften and break down, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add broth and bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until all vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Add ground spice mix; return soup to boil. Remove from heat; cover and steep 20 minutes.
Place coarse sieve over large bowl. Working with 2 cups at a time, strain soup into bowl, pressing liquid and most of solids through sieve. Season soup to taste with hot pepper sauce, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate soup until cold, at least 3 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)
Ladle soup into 8 shallow bowls. Divide crabmeat among bowls. Garnish with radish slices and chives.

Too many veggies? What can a geek do?

Being the web guy for Valley Flora has it's benefits. Each week brings cucumbers, radishes, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, squash and any number of odd but tasty items that pile up -- hey a geek can only eat so many vegetables between pizza and espresso!

 Oh I grill and salad to my hearts content but each Wednesday yet more produce comes and I'm still left over with whatever I didn't get around to gnoshing on the previous week. Fresh food is wonderful but what's worse is watching it slowly wilt into mush so I hit on a simple solution: Vinaigrette Slury

 I have a big covered stainless steel bowl in my fridge filled with vinegar, olive oil, chopped up garlic, some basil, cilantro, black pepper, a bit of marjoram, some jalapeno or crushed red pepper and Dijon mustard -- a classic vinaigrette but heavy on the vinegar (I use a combo of red wine and apple cider vinegar). As the Valley Flora Veg get a little on the squishy side I just chop them up and throw them in the bowl. Cucumbers, tomatoes & onions do especially good in this bath, but squashes, and even spinach will soak up the goodness for quite a while without turning to yuk.

 So whatever I'm making, I just grab out some of that pickled veg and add it. For fresh salads it's great as a bit of spice and vinegar, it's freaking awesome on hot bagels with creme cheese and even better as a crunch on a taco or as a side to a nice bit of lamb. Best part is, it doesn't go bad!


So don't despair if your veg are going soft -- just open up a vinegar spa in your fridge and let them soak


BTW: Lee's Bees Honey just went live with a bunch of Oregon honey just south at Cape Blanco so check out the new site.  Still working on it but I think it's going to be pretty cool.


-Zachary the VF web geek


Ode to Kohlrabi

apple of turnip
pear of radish
your purple globe snaps
with seeking sun fingers

Zucchini and Cilantro Soup with Chile and Mint

1 poblano or Anaheim or jalapeno chile (de-seed the jalapeno if you don't like things too hot)
2-3 zucchini, 10-12 oz
1 bunch cilantro
1 large onion
3 Tbs. sunflower seed or olive oil
3 Tbs. chopped parsley
3 Tbs. chopped mint
2 corn tortillas
sea salt
5 cups water or chicken/veggie stock
juice of 1 or 2 limes
sour cream, optional

  • Roast the chiles and remove the seeds, then chop coarsley. Quarter the zukes lengthwise, then chop into 1/2 inch pieces. Wash the cilantro thoroughly, including the stems. Finely slice the stems and chop the leaves, setting aside  few for garnish. Thinly slice the onion.
  • Heat half the oil in a soup pot over med-high heat, then add teh onoin, zukes, cilantro stems, parsley and mint. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onoin is limp and the zukes are fairly soft, about 10 minutes. Tear one of the tortillas into pieces and add it to the veggies.
  • Add 2 tsp. salt and the water or stock and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, until the zucchini is completely soft, about 15 minutes, then add the remaining cilantro. Let cool at room temperature, then puree until smooth. Season with salt and lime juice to taste.
  • Cut the remaining tortillas into skinny strips and heat the remaining oil in a skillet. When hot, add the tortillas and cook until crisp. Set them on paper towls to drain. Serve the soup garnished with a dollop of sour cream, a little mound of tortillas strips, and a sprig of cilantro in each bowl.


Cabbage Kimchee (Korean Pickles)

1 head red cabbage, cut into 2" pieces
A few radishes, cut into half moons
5 c water
2 Tbs. sea salt
2 Tbs. ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 tsp cayenne

  • In a large bowl combine water, 1.5 Tbs. salt, cabbage & radishes. Set aside on counter for 12 hours.
  • Remove cabbage & radish from soaking liquid and combine with ginger, garlic, onions, cayenne & 1/2 tsp. salt.
  • Put into a jar or crock. Pour soaking liquid over vegetables up to 1 inch from the top.
  • Cover loosely with a clean cloth and set aside on the counter for 3-7 days.
  • Enjoy plain as or as a condiment with other foods.

From "Healing with Whole Foods," Pitchford 2002.

Fresh Pea Pod, Broccoli and Rice Salad

6 oz. long grain or wild rice
1.5 c chopped broccoli
1/3 c sliced red or green onion
1/4 c simple vinaigrette (recipe below)
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1 - 1.5 c sugar snap peas
1/3 c slivered almonds
1/4 c. olive oil
juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon (to taste)
1 tsp. dijon mustard
dash of sweetener, like honey, maple syrup or sugar (to take the bite out of the lemon acid)
dash of basil, oregano or thyme - fresh or dried
Whisk all together until blended smooth.
Prepare rice according to package directions. Cool slightly. Steam broccoli lightly until crunchy-tender. Toss with remaining ingredients and refrigerate 2-24 hours. Serves 4.

Sicilian Pesto with Arugula

Sicilian Pesto
Recipe adapted from Marcella Says (2004) by Marcella Hazan
2 oz. (about ½ heaping cup) whole, roasted almonds
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. grated pecorino romano cheese
½ cup tightly packed fresh arugula leaves
¼ tsp. dried red chile pepper flakes
3 to 4 firm, fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 tsp. fine sea salt                
Put all ingredients in a food processor and process to a creamy consistency. Taste and correct for salt. Toss with drained pasta that is still piping hot in a warm bowl. Serve immediately.
Makes enough pesto for 1 pound of pasta. 
This was always very popular at The Breadworks. Nice and spicy is best. Lots of red pepper flakes!
Also refreshing made with fresh mint leaves. Yum!

Zesty South of the Border Salad

1 bunch hakurei turnips, cut into matchsticks
1 bunch radishes, cut into matchsticks
A few chives, diced
Handful of mizuna, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste
Toss all the veggies together with the lime. Salt to taste.

Drunken Raspberries

  • 2 1/2-pint containers fresh raspberries
  • 3/4 cup raspberry liqueur

Combine raspberries and liqueur in small bowl. Let soak at room temperature at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. do ahead Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.

Cranberry and Celery Relish

  • 1 (12-ounces) bag fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and cooled
  • Garnish: finely chopped celery leaves

Simmer cranberries, sugar, water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a heavy medium saucepan, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of cranberries have burst, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely.
Just before serving, stir in celery and almonds.
Adapted from

Red-leaf Lettuce and Celery Salad

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 head of red-leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 3 large (outer) celery ribs, very thinly sliced on a long diagonal (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup tender inner celery leaves, coarsely chopped

Simmer water and onion in a small saucepan, uncovered, until onion is softened and most of water is evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Purée in a blender with vinegar, caraway seeds, sugar, mustard, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. With motor running, add oil in a slow stream and blend until dressing is emulsified.
Combine lettuce, celery, and celery leaves in a large bowl and toss with just enough dressing to coat.
Adapted from

Sweet and Sour Celery

Makes 8 servings

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons mild honey
  • 2 bunches of celery, cut into 2-inch pieces, reserving about 1 cup inner celery leaves
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Cut a round of parchment paper to fit just inside a wide heavy 6-to 8-quarts pot, then set round aside.
Simmer water, lemon juice, oil, honey, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in pot, stirring, until honey has dissolved. Stir in celery (but not leaves) and cover with parchment round. Simmer until tender and liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, 35 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, coarsely chop reserved leaves.
Serve celery sprinkled with celery leaves and parsley.

Braised Artichokes

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 globe artichokes, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1 1/4 cups dry white wine
  • 3 whole sprigs fresh mint or thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring, for about 30 seconds.
3. Add the artichokes and toss until they're coated with oil.
4. Add the wine, mint or thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.
5. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
6. Discard the thyme (if using).
7. Transfer the artichokes to a plate, drizzle them with pan juices, and serve.
Adapted from

Fried Artichokes

  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 4 large artichokes
  • 6 cups olive oil or vegetable oil
  • Special equipment: a deep-fat thermometer

Fill a large bowl with cold water and squeeze juice from 2 lemon halves into bowl.
Keep stem attached and, at opposite end, cut off top inch of 1 artichoke with a serrated knife. Bend back outer leaves until they snap off close to base, then discard several more layers of leaves in same manner until you reach pale yellow leaves with pale green tips. Trim dark green fibrous parts from base and side of artichoke with a paring knife, then rub cut surfaces with a remaining lemon half.
Trim 1/4 inch from end of stem to expose inner core. Trim sides of stem (still attached) down to pale inner core (don't worry if remaining stem is very thin). Cut off pale green top of artichoke, then cut artichoke lengthwise into 6 wedges. Cut out purple leaves and fuzzy choke. Rub cut surfaces with remaining lemon half and put in bowl of acidulated water. Trim remaining artichokes in same manner.
Drain artichokes well on paper towels and pat dry. Heat oil in a 4-quart deep heavy saucepan over moderate heat until thermometer registers 220°F, then simmer artichokes in oil, gently stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Continue to heat oil over moderate heat until thermometer registers 375°F, then fry artichokes in 4 batches until leaves are curled, browned, and crisp, 30 to 40 seconds. (Return oil to 375°F between batches.) Drain well on paper towels and season with salt.
Adapted from

Stuffed Artichokes

Makes 8 servings
For stuffing:

  • 4 cups fine fresh bread crumbs from an Italian loaf (1/2 pound)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (3 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic (5 cloves)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup minced sweet soppressata (dried Italian sausage; 2 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 cup finely chopped provolone cheese (1/4 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

For artichokes:

  • 8 medium artichokes (8 to 9 ounces each)
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic, divided
  • Equipment: a 6- to 8-qt pressure cooker or a wide 4- to 6-qt heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid

Make stuffing:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
Spread bread crumbs in a shallow baking pan and toast in oven, stirring once or twice, until pale golden, about 10 minutes. Cool completely, then toss with parmesan, garlic, parsley, soppressata, provolone, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Drizzle oil (1/4 cup) over crumbs and toss to coat.
Trim and stuff artichokes:
Cut off artichoke stems and discard. Cut off top 1/2 inch of 1 artichoke with a serrated knife, then cut about inch off all remaining leaf tips with kitchen shears. Rub cut leaves with a lemon half.
Separate leaves slightly with your thumbs, then pull out purple leaves from center and enough yellow ones to expose fuzzy choke. Scoop out choke with a melon-ball cutter or small spoon, then squeeze some juice from other lemon half into cavity. Repeat with remaining artichokes.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons stuffing into cavity of each artichoke and, Starting with bottom leaves and spreading leaves open as much as possible without breaking, spoon a rounded teaspoon stuffing between each leaf.
Cook artichokes:
Put 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup broth, 1/4 cup oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in pressure cooker (without insert) or pot and arrange 4 stuffed artichokes in liquid in 1 layer. Drizzle with 1/4 cup oil.
If using pressure cooker, seal lid and cook at high pressure, according to manufacturer's instructions, 13 to 15 minutes. Put pressure cooker in sink (do not remove lid) and run cold water over lid until pressure goes down completely.
If using a regular pot, simmer artichokes, covered, until leaves are tender, about 50 minutes. Transfer cooked artichokes, along with any liquid, to a shallow bowl and keep warm, loosely covered with foil.
Repeat procedure to cook remaining stuffed artichokes. Transfer artichokes with tongs to 8 shallow soup bowls and spoon cooking liquid around them.

Adapted from

Asparagus with lemon and butter

  • 1 pound  asparagus, trimmed
  • 1/2  tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Peel lower half to two thirds of each asparagus stalk with a vegetable peeler. Cook asparagus in a wide 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain well in a colander, then return to pot and toss with butter, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Adapted from

Wilted Swiss chard with garlic

Makes 4 servings
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems stripped and coarsely chopped and wet
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Fresh lemon juice
1.  heat large, deep skillet over medium high heat
2.  Add olive oil and garlic; saute 15 seconds.
3.  Add the wet chard one handful at a time.  Stir after each addition.  After all the chard has been added, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 5 minutes or until chard is wilted but still bright green.
4.  Remove the lid, raise heat to high and cook until all liquid has evaporated, 2-3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Rack of Lamb with Swiss Chard

For swiss chard filling

  • 1/2 cup sweet (red) vermouth
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large bunches Swiss chard (1 pound total), stems and center ribs reserved for another use and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

For lamb

  • 4 (8-rib) frenched racks of lamb (each about 1 1/2 pound), trimmed of all but a thin layer of fat
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • Equipment: kitchen string

Make swiss chard stuffing:
Bring vermouth and raisins to a boil in a small saucepan, then remove from heat and let steep until raisins are soft and plump, about 15 minutes.
Cook onion in oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender but not browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add chard, raisins with any remaining vermouth, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium heat, turning chard constantly with tongs, until chard is tender and liquid has evaporated, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in nuts, then cool.
Prepare lamb:
Cutting as close to bones as possible, make 1 long incision to separate meat of each rack from bones, stopping 1/2 inch from bottom (do not cut all the way through). Roll meat away from bones to create a long opening, then season inside with salt and pepper and fill with stuffing. Roll meat back over stuffing, then tie meat to bones with string (between every 2 ribs).
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
Stir together mustard, thyme, and rosemary and spread over both sides of each rack. Put racks of lamb in a large shallow heavy baking pan, pairing racks so that they stand up with their bones interlocking but leaving space between them at base.
Roast lamb until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meat (do not touch bone) registers 130°F for medium-rare, 25 to 35 minutes. Let stand, loosely covered, 15 minutes.
Cut each rack into 4 double chops, discarding string, and serve.
Cooks' note: Stuffing can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.