Kale or Swiss Chard Fries

Kale Fries

 

 

Kale what? Kale fries. Yes, I battered and fried up some kale stems, and they were delicious. So yes, Kale Fries!

I usually relegate the stems from all my greens to the compost bin, but in this instance I went for something a little bit different. The stem of greens such as chard, kale and collard greens are edible, but they do take a little longer than the leaves to get tender. Which is why we often discard the stems.

Kale Fries

Look how beautifully gorgeous and colorful the stems of chard and kale are? Yes, they will add lots of nutrients to your compost, but they can also add lots of nutrients to your dinner!

I developed this recipe for Cut ‘N’ Clean Greens, so please head over to their website for the full recipe for Kale Fries.

It will be so worth it. If you are serving kale or chard with dinner, consider these Kale Fries your appetizer. Nothing goes to waste, and your guests think you are a genius for serving those lovely tempura vegetables!

Kale Fries

 

Spiced Chestnut Soup

Spiced Chestnut Soup

 

 

Fall is here and certain flavors are starting to be used in everything from coffee to dish soap. Yes, I am speaking about the omnipresent Pumpkin Spice. It is everywhere.

But it is not here. Nope. Not happening on this blog.

But I know Fall is about so many other flavors.

Like chestnuts.

I love chestnuts. When I lived in NYC and the chestnut roasters would set up on the street corner, the smell would entice me like no other. Except the smell of those sugared cashews and almonds, which would bring me to my knees. But, I digress.

Chestnuts are available now already steamed and peeled, packed in jars and vacuum sealed bags. It could not be easier to use chestnuts in your everyday life, not just for that Thanksgiving stuffing. I buy them all the time, but you haven’t seen a lot of recipes using chestnuts because I tend to eat them straight out of the container. By the time I come up with a recipe to try, I have already eaten them all! sigh. . .

Chestnuts are generally a seasonal item. but if you buy the jarred or vacuum sealed bags they will last for many months. Stock up when you see them. That way, when you want to make this soup in the Spring, you are ready!

 

Spiced Chestnut Soup

 

Spiced Chestnut Soup

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 cups

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 13 ounces steamed and peeled chestnuts roughly chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock preferably homemade or low sodium
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

  1. In a soup pot over low heat, melt the butter.

  2. Add the onion, salt, thyme, paprika, ginger, cinnamon and allspice. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened.

  3. Add the chestnuts, stirring to coat them with the spice mixture.

  4. Add the stock and water, raise the heat to high.

  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

  6. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes.

  7. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. 

  8. Adjust the seasoning as needed and serve immediately.

Summer Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Tangerine Hatch Chile Vinaigrette

Summer Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Tangerine Hatch Chile Vinaigrette

This has got to be one of my favorite times of the year. Why? Its certainly not because of the triple digit heat or the annual brush fires burning out of control in Southern California.

It is because Hatch Chile season is just around the corner!

Yes, I love Hatch Chile season, because I love chile peppers in all forms. I grow three different kinds of chiles in my little organic garden: Poblano, Shishito and Habanero. I can’t grow Hatch chiles, because they are unique to New Mexico, where they get their one of a kind flavor.

But it is OK that I can’t grow my own, because every year, thanks to Melissa’s Produce, I can go to a local supermarket and get freshly roasted Hatch Chiles by the case! Then all I have to do is clean, pack and freeze them for a years worth of deliciousness.

In fact, you can probably find a Hatch Chile roasting near you! Click here for a listing of chile roasting events all over the country.

Recently, my friend and fellow food blogger Erika Kerekes introduced another flavor in her line of sauces Not Ketchup. With no added sugar, Tangerine Hatch Chile Not Ketchup is a great sauce to have in your pantry. Sweetened with only fruit, the addition of Hatch Chile powder adds a lovely and balanced kick to this sauce.

Tangerine Hatch Chile Not Ketchup

Tomato season is in full swing, and you can find sweet and juicy tomatoes at your local farmer’s markets, or even your own garden. The minute I tasted Tangerine Hatch Chile Not Ketchup I knew the spicy sweetness would compliment summer tomatoes. So I made a fat free vinaigrette, and added a little extra zing with some ground Hatch chile powder.

I suggest serving this Summer Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Tangerine Hatch Chile Vinaigrette with the dressing and seasoning salt on the side. I used Hawaiian black sea salt, but any sea salt will be delicious. I recommend sea salt because of its clean flavor, which will enhance the flavor of the vegetables.

Summer Heirloom Tomato and Cucumber Salad with Tangerine Hatch Chile Vinaigrette

Don’t hesitate to use this dressing on other vegetables, salad greens or to dress chicken or tuna salad. It is a wonderful way to add flavor without adding extra fat.

 

Summer Heirloom Tomato Salad with Tangerine Hatch Chile Vinaigrette
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: ½ cup
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup Tangerine Hatch Chile Not Ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon raw sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon lightly chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • ⅛ teaspoon mild Hatch chile powder
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

 

I may receive compensation in either monetary or product form for my recipe development. I take pride in working with products that fit my brand and will be beneficial to my readers.  All opinions are my own.

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Cilantro Pesto Sauce

Cilantro Pesto

 

Basil does not have a lock on pesto. Pesto can be made with any number of herbs, nuts and green vegetables. In this case, cilantro and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) take the lead in this Cilantro Pesto Sauce.

While the flavor profile of this pesto is very different than basil pesto, it can be used in many of the same ways. Tossed with pasta, smeared on  sandwich wrap instead of mayo, mixed with tomato sauce to make pizza sauce are just a few ideas. A dollop or two in a basic vinaigrette would really make your salad dressing pop. A spoonful stirred into a bowl of soup would be sublime.

If you cannot find pepitas in your market, substitute with slivered almonds. Be sure to toast the almonds to release the oils and nutty flavor.

 

Cilantro Pesto Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 6 bunches fresh cilantro, stems trimmed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • juice of one lime
Instructions
  1. Place the cilantro, garlic and pumpkin seeds into a large food processor, and process until smooth.
  2. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, stopping and scraping down the sides of the processor bowl if needed.
  3. Add the salt, red pepper and lime juice and mix to incorporate.
  4. Place the pesto into a storage container and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pesto before closing tightly.

 

Cilantro Pesto

Simple Salsa Verde

Simple Salsa Verde

Salsa verde = green sauce. The name is as simple as this recipe. The name may be simple but the complexity of the flavor is not.

Roast. Puree. Pour. Eat.

Roasting tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapeno changes and deepens the flavors of these vegetables and aromatics. It softens the harsh edges of the jalapeno and brings out the sweetness of the garlic and onion.

Whether food processor, blender or mortar and pestle are used, the end result is the same. A smoothly textured salsa that works as a dipping sauce, layering sauce and cooking sauce.

Simple Salsa Verde
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 pound tomatillos, papery skins removed
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stem removed
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • juice of 1 lime
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Place tomatillos, garlic, onion and jalapeno onto a sheet pan or into a roasting pan.
  3. Roast the vegetables for 30 minutes, remove from oven and cool.
  4. Place the roasted vegetables, cilantro, salt and lime juice into a food processor.
  5. Puree until smooth.
  6. Place into an airtight container until ready to use.

 

Simple Salsa Verde