Arugula Borage Salad, Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Arugula and Borage Salad

Arugula and Borage Salad
Feta, Pomegranate Arils, Pistachio Slivers
Pomegranate Vinaigrette

It’s April and the borage is blooming! These electric blue star-shaped flowers have a mild cucumber taste and a soft texture. They make a striking addition to any salad.

Here, peppery arugula is accented with borage, giving the salad a distinctive visual emphasis. Feta brings salty-tangy-creamy notes while sweet-sour pomegranate arils add another layer of jewel-like color and a crunchy texture. Pistachios add that distinctive nutty flavor.

Pomegranate vinaigrette ties it all together with sweet-savory-zippy characteristics. Serve the dressing on the side for better presentation. Pair this lovely spring salad with a glass of rosé, of course.

Salad

  • arugula
  • borage
  • olive oil
  • pomegranate arils
  • feta, crumbled
  • pistachio slivers
  • salt and pepper

Toss arugula lightly with olive oil. Gently toss in the flowers. Place salad on serving plates and top with pomegranate arils, feta, and pistachio slivers. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a few more flowers on top.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. pomegranate molasses
  • 2 T. rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 2 t. dijon mustard
  • 1 t. garlic, minced
  • 1 T. shallot, minced
  • salt and pepper

Combine ingredients in a jar and shake well. Serve vinaigrette in a small glass pitcher on the side.

How to Prepare Borage for Food

Unfortunately I see many photographs of borage flowers in food with the sepals still attached. The reddish-brown sepals are covered with bristly hairs, they are not something you would want to eat in a salad.

Borage

To separate the corolla from the sepals, simply pinch the middle of the star and pull. Rinse the flowers in a bowl of cool water to remove any dirt or little bugs.

Eat Flowers, Be Happy

Here is a link to all of my Edible Flower posts, photos, and recipes.

Chicken Fricassée à la Chef Paul Bocuse

Chicken Fricassée à la Chef Paul Bocuse Chicken Fricassée à la Chef Paul Bocuse

The Chef of the Century had a crowing Gallic Coq tattooed on his left arm, one he would often flaunt proudly. The rooster is the national bird of France. But could the tattoo also symbolize Paul Bocuse’s veneration for Poulet de Bresse?

Upon learning of the Chef’s passing on January 20th at 91 years-old, French President Emmanuel Macron lamented that his death had chefs everywhere weeping in their kitchens.

Mais oui. Here too.

My love affair with “Chicken and Morels Paul Bocuse” began decades ago in Chicago at a long-gone restaurant named Bistro 110 where fricassée of chicken was served on a bed of fresh sautéed spinach with a morel cream sauce.

The combination was brilliant. The creamy mushroom sauce infused the sautéed spinach and turned it into a French version of steakhouse-creamed-spinach. The synergy of earthy-nutty morels and impeccably cooked chicken resulted in a timeless dish. It was rich but not overly so, it was balanced in the style that the Chef was known for…classic yet modern.

Chicken Fricassée à la Chef Paul BocuseIn 2011 when Paul Bocuse was named “Chef of the Century” by the Culinary Institute of America, Jacques Pépin said, “Certainly he did more than any other chef in the world that I can think of to bring the chefs in the dining room and to make the profession respectable and to make us who we are now…Now the chefs are stars and it’s because of Paul Bocuse.”

For my birthday, I hosted a luncheon in honor of the Chef and served Chicken Fricassée inspired by him. Here is my recipe.

Chicken Fricassée à la Chef Paul Bocuse

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Beet Salad and Fresh Horseradish

Beet Salad with Orange, Fennel, and Walnuts

Passover and Vicki’s Beet Salad & Fresh Horseradish

Passover 2018 ends at sundown tonight. As I have for the past 17 years, I traveled to Chicago to celebrate the holiday and cook Passover dinner for my family and friends.

The Seder tells the story of how we were slaves in Egypt before God led us to freedom. Each year at Passover we go on a journey in our hearts from slavery to freedom, from sadness to joy. The 3000 year-old story never changes, and our menu doesn’t change very much either.

Over the years I have been sharing our Passover recipes, this year I am so excited to share my cousin Vicki’s fabulous Beet Salad with Orange, Fennel and Walnuts and her super-popular fiery Fresh Horseradish!

Passover Table

2018 Tables – White Linen with Rainbow Flowers

What does change? The decor. Every year we have a wildly different color scheme. Some of the color combinations from our past Seders include:

And the tables are covered with frogs! Read all about our whimsical Passover Frog Collection here.

The Passover Seder Table is not simply a place to tell the story of the Exodus and to eat dinner. The Table is symbolic in and of itself. It is a place where memories are made and traditions are taught.

It is where we gather with family and friends, and perhaps strangers too, to celebrate our freedoms.

The care with which my sister-in-law Kristy sets her Table reflects the solemnness and seriousness of this holiday. The vibrancy and beauty of the Table reflect our gratitude to God.

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Greek Avgolemono with an Unorthodox Garnish

Avgolemono

Avgolemono

Greek Chicken Soup with Egg, Lemon, and Orzo
Crispy Chicken Skin Garnish

Yep, that is a big crispy piece of chicken skin on the side of the soup bowl. This is a heartier version of the classic Greek Egg Lemon Chicken Soup, Avgolemono.

Here, the irresistible tangy pale lemon soup is chock-full of orzo (rice-shaped pasta) and shredded chicken breast. Fresh snipped dill, a good dose of pepper, a drizzle of fruity olive oil, and that crazy chicken skin take it over the top. Is crispy chicken skin the new bacon?

Avgolemono Recipe

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Gluten-Free Noodle Kugel

Gluten-Free Noodle Kugel

Gluten-Free Noodle Kugel

Rice Noodles, Eggs, Ricotta, Cottage Cheese, Sour Cream, Cinnamon, Sugar
Golden Raisins, Cherries, Cranberries, Blueberries, Apricots

Perhaps you were one of the 85,000 people or the 3,500 vendors attending Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center last weekend? Maybe you had the opportunity to try gluten-free, organic, plant-based protein pastas by Explore Cuisine?

It was my honor and pleasure for the fourth year in a row to cook gluten-free pasta dishes to sample the crowds for my friends at Explore Cuisine. Among the most unique and quite popular was my gluten-free noodle kugel. Can I go out on a limb and gather that none of the other 3,500 vendors served a kugel?

Kugel is a beloved sweet Jewish dairy casserole that originated in Europe hundreds of years ago;  traditionally made with egg noodles, eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, and raisins. It is baked and dusted with cinnamon.

Explore Cuisine Brown Rice Fusilli is a kosher-certified,  gluten-free, whole grain pasta made in Italy of just two ingredients; organic brown rice and organic pea protein.

Kugel and rice noodles were a match made in heaven for those with gluten intolerance…those who are fans of original lokshen kugel and those who had never ever heard of kugel, all enjoyed this luscious gluten-free version.

Gluten-Free Noodle Kugel Recipe

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Egg Foo Young

Egg Foo Young, Shiitake Gravy

Egg Foo Young with Mung Bean Sprouts, Pork, and Scallions
Shiitake Gravy

It’s a nostalgic American egg dish borne of Chinese ancestry, one similar to the Italian frittata filled with vegetables and sometimes meat (but no cheese). Here, it’s cooked with a bit more oil than a frittata in order to conjure up the original deep-fried version of Egg Foo Young invented by resourceful Chinese immigrants to California during the Gold Rush.

Ten years ago I posted my Egg Foo Young recipe. A recipe that is still #trending today. Growing up, on most Sunday nights that I can remember, we would drive with our Dad to pick-up Chinese take-out for dinner. I loved that exotic deep-fried thick pancake then and still do…but what was it exactly?

I thought, of course Egg Foo Young was made with eggs. But it didn’t taste like any eggs that I was familiar with. It was oddly brown and mysteriously kind of crunchy. And who serves eggs with gravy, anyway? Gravy is for turkey.

Mom thoroughly enjoyed a Chinese cooking class back in the 60s and learned, among other wonderful things, that broccoli should be served bright green and crisp, not olive green and mushy. But “mung bean sprouts” did not show up in our home any other time except Sunday nights. The sprouts were also an ingredient in beef chop suey, another of our Sunday night favorites.

Recently I told my brother that I was writing about Egg Foo Young and asked if he had any recollection of it from our youth. He said, “Yes, loved egg foo young. Now I think it is too bland, but I order it anyway; because of the memories.”

Ok then, Donny, here is my updated Egg Foo Young recipe with wholesome ingredients reinvented from our past, it’s less greasy than the take-out version we remember because it is cooked in a pan, not deep-fried. It’s savory and evocative of Sunday nights long ago, and anything but bland.

Egg Foo Young Recipe

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