Winter Wonderland


1 C farro, rinsed
2 C water
1/2 t salt
1 t dried thyme
2 bay leaves

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes until farrow is “toothy” but tender. Drain excess water. Spread cooked farro on a cookie sheet for quick cooling.

Salad ingredients:

8 ounces white mushrooms, stems removed and caps wiped, sliced thin
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced, rinsed and dried
1 C thinly sliced radicchio
1/2 c walnut pieces, toasted
1/3 c pomegranate seeds
1/2 bunch Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
3 slices prosciutto, crispy
Grated Pecorino cheese for topping

For prosciutto:

Put slices on a cookie sheet and place into a preheated 325 degree oven for seven minutes or so. Careful not to overcook. It will get crispier as it cools. Break slices into shards.


2 ounces lemon juice, roughly one lemon
6 ounces EVOO
1 t Dijon mustard
1/2 t salt
1/2 t fresh cracked pepper
1 t sugar

Combine all ingredients in a container except oil. Using an immersion blender (or whisk!) combine ingredients well. Slowly drizzle in the oil while blending or whisking.
Combine salad ingredients (except cheese) with cooled farro and dressing. Garnish salads generously with grated Pecorino.







Summer Corn Salad


Combine ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Dress lightly with Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette. It says “Summer Corn”, but it’s delicious year round!

(serves 8)

2 ears roasted corn, kernels removed
1 C red quinoa, uncooked measure
6 radishes, halved and thinly sliced
1 pint cherub tomatoes, halved
1 small package of French beans, blanched
1 small container of arugula
1 C walnut pieces, toasted
1 C blue cheese crumbles
1 small red onion, thinly sliced and rinsed
1/2 C fresh basil, thinly sliced

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For corn:
Rub corn with olive oil and evenly sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Place on a foil lined cookie sheet and roast in a 425 degree oven for 25 minutes or so. Using tongs, rotate corn for even roasting. Remove, cool and cut kernels off the cob.


For red quinoa:
Place red quinoa, 2 C of filtered water and 1/2 t of salt in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover. Cook until water evaporates and quinoa “sprouts.” Spread cooked quinoa on a cookie sheet for cooling.

Shrimp Lettuce Boats

(recipe will make 12 stuffed wraps)


Salad mix:

1 small head Napa cabbage, leaves removed, spines removed, rolled and finely chopped

1 C of grated carrots

1/2 C edamame

1/2 a bunch of finely chopped cilantro, plus additional for garnish

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

1 bunch of scallions, finely chopped

1 small bag of snow peas, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal

Fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced

Large romaine leaves for “boats”


Black sesame seeds

Lime wedges

Chopped peanuts

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For shrimp:

1 pound large shrimp, deveined and shelled

1 t salt

1/2 t red pepper flakes

several bay leaves

1 whole lemon, halved and juiced into water

Bring a sauce pan of water to a boil. Add salt, red pepper flakes, bay leaves and lemon. Add shrimp and cook until just firm to the touch. Strain off water and cool. Cut each shrimp into three pieces.

For salad mix:

Combine all ingredients, except mint in a large bowl and toss to combine. At this point, the mix will hold for a couple of days in the refrigerator, if you like. For service, add fresh mint (your call, I like it minty), a spritz of salt and pepper, diced shrimp and just enough mango ginger dressing to moisten. Mound mix into Romaine “boats” and garnish with additional chopped cilantro, chopped peanuts and black sesame seeds. Provide lime wedges and additional ramekins of dressing.

Mezze Plate


a trio of Mediterranean flavors: quinoa tabbouleh, cucumber yogurt & hummus 

For quinoa tabbouleh:

2 C quinoa, rinsed

4 C filtered water

2 t salt

3-4 bay leaves

3 lemons, skin and juice

1 1/2 bunches green onion, finely chopped

3 large bunches of curly parsley, finely chopped

1 pint cherub tomatoes, halved or quartered

1 bag fresh mint, finely chopped

1/3 C EVOO

Additional S & P

Toasted Pine nuts, for garnish

In a large sauce pan, add quinoa, water, salt and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Cover and lower heat. Cook until water is absorbed. Spread cooked quinoa on a cookie sheet for cooling. Once quinoa has cooled, place it in a large bowl. Add zest from lemons and juice, green onion, parsley, cherubs, mint, EVOO and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish tabbouleh with toasted pine nuts. Tabbouleh can be prepped a day ahead. However, leave out lemon juice, cherubs, mint, EVOO, and additional S & P. Add these ingredients about an hour before service.


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For cucumber yogurt:

1 – 32 ounce container of Greek yogurt, strained overnight

5 mini cucumbers, quartered and diced, salted and drained

1 T dried mint

1 T dried dill

1 t salt

4-5 radishes, thinly sliced for garnish

Place yogurt in a strainer and place it over a bowl. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight. I had almost 1 C of liquid strain off. The resulting yogurt is super thick and creamy. Place the diced cucumbers in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Cover with plastic and allow them to give off their excess moisture overnight. The next day, combine yogurt, cucumbers, dill, mint and salt. Slice radishes very thinly – a mandolin does a good job – and garnish. This keeps well for 2-3 days only.

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For hummus:

see highmade hummus recipe

For service:

Grill up some Naan bread on a panini or skillet. A light brushing of EVOO and nice toasty marks create a perfect “chip” for this salad trio. A few marinated olives topping the hummus is a tasty addition as well as some Green Zataar sprinkled on the yogurt. I served the tabbouleh in romaine “boats”. Thumbs up from my neighbors. Bold flavors. Freshness abounds. SO GOOD FOR YOU!

Grain and Green Salad with Grilled Shrimp

(recipe serves 8 as a main course salad)


2 C red quinoa, uncooked


2 – 5 ounce bags of baby arugula

1 English cucumber, peeled and seeds removed

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1 C Sweety Drop Peppers

I searched high and low for these and finally went to Amazon. They are worth the effort.

I searched high and low for these and finally went to Amazon. They are worth the effort.

1/2 C dry roasted, salted sunflower seeds

1 watermelon radish, halved and thinly sliced on a mandolin


WOW! Color and intense flavor.

Pickled red onions

24-30 large shrimp, deveined, shells removed and grilled

Chile/Ginger vinaigrette

For quinoa:

Rinse quinoa in a fine sieve. Place into a large pot and add 4 C of water and 2 t of salt. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover. Simmer quinoa for about 15 minutes until water has evaporated. Spread cooked quinoa on a baking sheet for cooling.

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For shrimp:

Use 21/25 shrimp. Thaw and rinse. Pat dry. Preheat a grill pan over medium high heat. Lightly brush shrimp with olive oil. Place shrimp onto a preheated grill pan. Spritz both sides of the shrimp with salt and pepper. Grill until just cooked through.

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For dressing:

1/3 C rice wine vinegar

Zest of one orange

1/2 t red pepper flakes

1/2 t salt

grated fresh ginger, about a 1 inch piece

1/2 C of Fischer and Wieser’s Mango Habanero Sauce


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1 C olive oil

Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a pitcher. Use an immersion blender, process ingredients until well combined. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while running the immersion blender. Process until smooth emulsification occurs.

For service:

Combine all ingredients and dress. Adjust  seasoning with salt and pepper.


Asian Slaw

(recipe serves a crowd 15-20, adjust portions down for a smaller batch)


2 heads Napa cabbage, leaves thinly sliced

1 head purple cabbage, thinly sliced

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Cut out the “spine” of the cabbage leaves.

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I added 2 T of dark sesame oil to the dressing recipe.

I added 2 T of dark sesame oil to the dressing recipe.

2 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips

2 large jalapeño peppers, seeded and cut into thin strips

1 small bag of shredded carrots

1 small package of snap peas, blanched and cut in half on the diagonal

1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

1 bunch green onion, finely chopped

1 bunch of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Black sesame seeds for garnish

1 recipe of Orange Soy Ginger Vinaigrette

All ingredients, except mint, can be prepared earlier in the day. Add mint and dressing just prior to serving. Toss. I did not add additional salt or pepper. The dressing and fresh herbs deliver the flavor.

All ingredients, except mint, can be prepared earlier in the day. Add mint, dressing and sesame seeds just prior to serving. Toss. I did not add additional salt or pepper. The dressing and fresh herbs deliver the flavor. Photo does not show black sesame seeds. They really are a nice addition.

Brussels Sprout Salad

Slice brussels sprouts in half lengthwise. Then slice each half crosswise into very thin strips. A bit tedious. Good knife work required!

Slice brussels sprouts in half lengthwise. Then slice each half crosswise into very thin strips. A bit tedious. Good knife work required!


To the sprouts, add matchstick slices of Pink Lady apple, toasted walnuts, chopped Italian parsley, grated Parmesan Reggiano, salt, cracked black pepper, fresh lemon juice and EVOO.

To the sprouts, add matchstick slices of Pink Lady apple, toasted walnuts, chopped Italian parsley, grated Parmesan Reggiano, salt, cracked black pepper, fresh lemon juice and EVOO. Use a cheese grater for the parmesan so that you get large slivers.


For a side portion, figure 4-6 sprouts per person. Eyeball remaining ingredients. The sprouts provide great texture, the apple is tart and sweet, the cheese is salty, the walnuts offer crunch and sweet and the parsley provides freshness and color. Don’t be shy on the pepper or salt. Just keep tasting and adding as needed. A good balance of lemon juice and EVOO pulls it all together. This really is a winner.

Coctel de Camaron

(serves 4-6)

1 pound 31/40 shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 lemon cut in half
1/2 t red pepper flakes
3-4 bay leaves


1 T salt

1 C ketchup
1/2 C fresh lime juice
1/2 C spicy Clamato
2 T Tobasco sauce
Zest of one small lime
1/2 t salt
1/2 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped


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(Jicama, an edible root, is crisp and crunchy. In Mexico, jicama sticks are sold on the street with a spritz of fresh lime and a sprinkle of chile powder. They add a great texture to the coctel.)

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(Prep vegetables ahead and add to sauce about 30 minutes prior to service.)

3/4 C white onion, diced small and rinsed
3/4 C baby cucumber, quartered lengthwise and diced small
3/4 C jicama, diced small

1 avocado, cut into chunks

1 head of iceberg lettuce, sliced thinly

Tortilla chips, cilantro, lime wedges for garnish



For shrimp:
Fill a pot with water and add lemon, pepper flakes and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Add salt. Add shrimp and lower heat. They will cook quickly. Shrimp should be just firm to the touch. Remove cooked shrimp to a baking sheet. Spread them out for cooling in the refrigerator.

For cocktail sauce:
Combine ketchup, lime juice, Clamato, Tobasco, EVOO, zest, salt and cilantro in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Place in the refrigerator for chilling.

Just prior to service, gently fold shrimp, onion, cucumber, jicama and avocado into the sauce. Place a small mound of iceberg lettuce into a serving piece. (Martini or shallow footed glasses work well.) Spoon shrimp cocktail mixture over lettuce. Garnish with a lime wedge, cilantro sprigs and tortilla chips. Summer never tasted SO GOOD!


Tostadas or saltines, your call.

Potato Salad with Smoked Trout and Frisee

(serves 6-8)


3 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (see photos)
1 T white vinegar
2 t salt

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2 heads frisee

1 bulb fennel, shaved using a mandolin

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2 filets of smoked trout, broken into pieces

2 Granny Smith apples , peeled and cubed – similar size to the potatoes

1/3 C of capers, drained and patted dry

1/2 red onion, finely chopped, rinsed and dried

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1 C mayo
1/3 C sour cream
2 T whole grain mustard
1/2 t salt
1 T apple cider vinegar
2 t honey
3 T fresh dill, finely chopped


Rinse cubed potatoes several times. Place potatoes into a pot and cover with water by about an inch. Add vinegar and 2 t salt to cooking pot. Bring potatoes to a boil and lower heat. Cook until just tender. Drain and spread potatoes onto a cookie sheet for cooling.

For presentation, place potatoes, apples, capers and red onion in bowl. Add just enough dressing to moisten potato mix. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Place dressed potatoes in a mound on a serving platter. Separate frisee from the core. Place leaves into a bowl with shaved fennel and lightly dress. Mound dressed frisee/fennel on top of potatoes. Arrange pieces of smoked trout on top of the frisee and potatoes. Garnish the platter with fresh dill and small dollops of dressing. Cracked pepper, if you like.


A delicious meal at Johannes in Palm Springs inspired this recipe. A perfect summer meal with a slice of pumpernickel and a glass of fume blanc. Found the smoked trout and frisee at Whole Foods. Worth the trip, I promise.

Watermelon and Feta Salad


Sliced wedges of seedless watermelon


Baby arugula


Thinly sliced radishes, thinly sliced red onion (rinsed and dried), kalamata olives (chopped)

toasted pine nuts, fresh mint leaves (torn)


Prefer feta in brine (cow’s milk)


Combine ingredients lightly dressing with EVOO, Kosher salt and cracked pepper.

(Use just enough EVOO to glisten the vegetable mix, not saturate. Tasting each individual ingredient is important.)


A drizzle of balsamic syrup provides a little counterpoint and sweetness. (See “Prosciutto and Melon” recipe for balsamic syrup cooking instructions.)


Mound salad mix on top of watermelon wedges. Drizzle with balsamic syrup. Try this for your 4th of July cook out.


Another winner for your July 4th picnic is heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, fresh basil, EVOO, Kosher salt, cracked pepper & balsamic syrup.