Posts in Beginnings
Strawberry Jalapeño Champagne Soup

During the dog days of summer,  nothing beats a chilled, light, bright seasonal fruit soup. Local strawberries have a fleeting, short season, but are one of the most soul satisfying when eating at their sun kissed peak straight from the farmer's field or backyard garden, and onto the spoon.

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Maple Brie with Bourbon Cherries & Almonds

Just when the sun begins to blister New England and most of our cooking has moved out-of-doors, cherries are at their irresistible peak. It is time to make a huge garden salad, pour glasses of pinot noir, and bake a wheel of decadent creamy brie on the grill. A small cast iron plate such as the STAUB 6" CAST IRON GRATIN ROUND BAKING DISH holds a standard supermarket 9" wheel of brie and makes grill to table serving a gorgeous affair and clean up a breeze. A wee soak in bourbon, a handful of toasted almonds, a serious drizzle of maple syrup (BARREL-AGED BOURBON & RYE MAPLE SYRUP even better!), and just a few minutes on the grill or in the oven makes this an irresistible tipsy treat.

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Sun Gold Tomatoes with Burrata, Olive Oil & Basil

Sometimes a craving for tomatoes in February is irresistible . Going against the gut to eat seasonally and pausing in the produce section to admire and remember the taste of summer's glorious sun kissed fruit, the urge for the taste of sunshine may be overwhelming. Hide a box or two of coveted tiny tomatoes under something else in the cart and forgive yourself.  Trial and error proves that the only tomatoes worth even trying out of season are the small, tiny ones. If available, up the ante and serve the tomatoes with burratta's cousin, stracciatella. It will be hard to resist getting a spoon and digging in.

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Salmon Tartare with Apple, Celery & Radish

These individual spoonfuls make for a delightful, colorful, and unexpected appetizer. Spiked with zesty horseradish and crunchy cool-season crop radish, this refreshing zingy small plate teases the palate and provides a perfect pairing with GROWER's CHAMPAGNE, a low sugar dosage, single vintner bubbly.

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Edamame with Truffle Salt

Sometimes the simplest things are the most delicious. This is an addictive, healthy, fun and easy way to enjoy green on a plate. Edamame are the young, soft, edible soybeans found inside the pod that eventually grow into the dry, hard beans used to make tofu and soy milk. A fabulous protein and fiber packed lip smacking snack, try serving this instead of popcorn during family movie night--after some initial grumbling, these little green bites just may turn into the favorite Netflix companion. 

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Sofra's Beet Tzatziki

A CSA share provides access to gorgeous year round produce and offers a glimpse into a farmer's precious dedication to the land. Siena Farms is owned by Farmer Chris who he just happens to be married to the James Beard award-winning chef, Ana Sortun. Lauded for her middle-eastern inspired cooking, she collaborates with her farmer husband to develop crop varietal selections and harvest techniques. Together they seek to sustainably grow some of the best tasting fresh produce. Each week, a box overflowing with beautiful seasonal produce arrives along with inspiration for preparing nature's local bounty. New England's climate allows for a varied harvest. A favorite is the chioggia beet, a candy caned striped variety perfect for this gorgeous beet dish-add a bit of seasoned, cooked, ground lamb, the perfect pocket pita ingredient.

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Spring pea soup with crème fraîche & mint

Frozen peas rock. Picked when perfect and flash frozen, they taste amazing. No other frozen vegetable may be able to boast that nine times out of ten, the frozen version wins the taste test. The color of the soup is a brilliant spring green, but because frozen peas are called for in this recipe, it can be made any time of year.

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Strawberry Tomato Gazpacho

What better way to get to know the heart of a place than sharing in a country's food culture? International cooking workshops make for a lovely experience-based activity that intimately connects travelers to the place they are visiting. BARCELONA COOKING offers a four hour hands on cooking class complete with a trip to La Boqueria, a public food market dating back to the 13th century. Gazpacho de fresas, a smooth version of the usually chunky soup, is one of Chef Candido's specialties. Originating in the Andalusian region of Spain, today gazpacho refers to any uncooked, chilled soup made with a tomato and bread base. This light and healthy soup is best in early summer when local strawberries are abundant and at their dreamy sweet and juicy peak. 

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