California Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

California Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

A Very California Salad
and a bit of Oregon too

Roasted Red and Golden Beets, Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese
Willamette Valley Hazelnuts, Turmeric-Black Pepper-Maple Yogurt
Arugula, Arugula Flowers, Beet Vinaigrette

A soft-ripened goat cheese accented with a line of bluish ash reminiscent of the fog often blanketing the expansive Humboldt County, California coastline is the centerpiece of this salad.

Pioneering American cheesemaker Mary Keehn of Cypress Grove conceived Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese in the early 80s in homage to cow’s milk French Morbier, with ash separating its light cakey layers.

Beets are available at California Farmers Markets year-round. And hazelnuts come from our wetter neighbor just to the north, Oregon (close enough).

Peppery arugula, earthy beets, toasty hazelnuts, and a tangy yogurt harmonize with the elegant and luscious goat cheese in this quintessential West Coast salad. A sweet-tart beet vinaigrette adds sunny notes with hints of herbs and fruit.

Arugula Flowers

Blooming in January, pretty arugula flowers come from my Southern California garden. Arugula flowers make a delightful garnish, they taste like light arugula leaves, maybe with a hint of sweetness.

Roasted Red and Golden Beets, Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, Hazelnuts, Turmeric-Black Pepper-Maple Yogurt, Arugula, Arugula Flowers, Beet Vinaigrette

Cypress Grove describes their cheese with flavors of buttermilk and fresh cream, complemented with floral notes, herbaceous overtones, and a clean citrus finish. As Humboldt Fog matures, the creamline develops, the flavor intensifies and the subtle tanginess grows more pronounced.

California Beet and Goat Cheese Salad Recipe

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Baran’s 2239 ~ Rainbow Carrots with Hazelnut Truffle Aillade, Carrot Caramel, Hollandaise

Baran's 2239 ~ Rainbow Carrots with Hazelnut Truffle Aillade, Carrot Caramel, Hollandaise

Baran’s 2239 Baby Rainbow Carrots
Hazelnut Truffle Aillade, Carrot Caramel,
Browned Butter Hollandaise

Leave it to Chef Tyler Gugliotta of Baran’s 2239 to take the humble carrot and turn it into a root vegetable fantasyland. Visually stunning, the colorful carrot-garden-in-a-bowl has three wildly distinctive sauces: a heady hazelnut truffle aillade, a sweet and earthy carrot caramel, and the rich silky hollandaise made with nutty browned butter.

Baran’s 2239 is arguably the hottest restaurant in the South Bay. The culinary collaboration by owners and brothers, Jonathan and Jason Baran and their friend Chef Tyler Gugliotta, opened earlier this year in Hermosa Beach, California.

“Fantastic pedigree in the kitchen.” -Los Angeles Magazine

“Progressive. Delicious. Unexpected.” -LA WEEKLY

“Best New South Bay Restaurant” -LA WEEKLY

“Atmosphere is casual, food is not.” -Los Angeles Times

#4 restaurant for “Best Overall” restaurants in Los Angeles -OpenTable

Jon Baran and I have been colleagues for several years and enjoy discussing recipes and esoteric ingredients…and it turns out that Tyler’s dad, Chef Greg Gugliotta and I worked together decades ago at Chez Melange. Small. World.

It has been my honor and pleasure to shoot Tyler’s food. His dishes are inspired, innovative, refreshingly original. Baran’s 2239 super-seasonal menu is fun and adventurous, this carrot dish is a perfect example. I loved this dish and asked if he would share…

Thank you for this wonderfully imaginative recipe, Chef!

Chef Tyler Gugliotta
Chef Tyler Gugliotta
Baby Rainbow Carrot Recipe
By Chef Tyler Gugliotta

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Spaghetti AFRAID-O with White Carrot Phalanges

Spaghetti AFRAID-O with White Carrot Phalanges

Spaghetti AFRAID-O with White Carrot Phalanges

Are you wondering what to serve for dinner on HALLOWEEN night? Something delicious and nutritious to counter-balance all that candy? SCARE your family with Spaghetti AFRAID-O!

It is a downright DISTURBING dish where alfredo and marinara sauces depict DEATH or at the very least, some SEVERE INJURY as FINGER BONES are MANGLED among BLACK bean spaghetti.

The idea for this dish came to me in a NIGHTMARE, it is the second in a series of three original FRIGHTFULLY fun and flavorful BLACK bean spaghetti recipes developed for my friends at Explore Cuisine.

The challenge was to create three HORRIFYING recipes. They needed to be GORY yes, but also DEVILISHLY delicious. This one is organic, meatless, gluten-free, and lower-carb too.

Spaghetti AFRAID-O with White Carrot Phalanges

Spaghetti AFRAID-O Recipe

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Deviled Eyes Buried in Garlicky Black Bean Spaghetti Spoons

Deviled Eyes Nestled in Garlicky Black Bean Spaghetti Spoons

Deviled Eyes Buried in Garlicky Black Bean Spaghetti Spoons

Happy Halloween! DEVILED Eyes BURIED in Garlicky Black Bean Spaghetti Spoons are the first in a series of three original FRIGHTFULLY fun and flavorful BLACK bean spaghetti recipes developed for my friends at Explore Cuisine.

The challenge was to create three UNNERVING recipes with a GHOULISH bent. They needed to be CREEPY yes, but also DEVILISHLY delicious with a unique presentation – the first ones to DISAPPEAR from the halloween buffet.

To keep the VAMPIRES at bay, dish #1 is quite garlicky. BLACK spaghetti is tossed with olive oil, GARLIC, fresh herbs, red chile flakes and crumbled egg yolk, while EERIE eyeballs are flavored with GARLIC mayonnaise. BLOODSUCKERS BEWARE!

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Not Your Average Crudités Platter

Crudités Platter with Lemony Cauliflower Dip

Crudités Platter with Lemony Cauliflower Dip
Three Oils, Three Seasonings

There are literally hundreds of flavor combinations waiting to be discovered on this one platter. Try a crisp slice of cucumber with lemony cauliflower dip, dunk a sweet cherry tomato into chili oil then crust with sesame seeds, dip a peppery radish into olive oil then coat with za’atar…

Cauliflower makes its appearance as a lemony dip. Three oils (fruity olive oil, fiery chili oil, and toasted sesame oil) plus three seasonings (Maldon sea salt flakes, za’atar, and toasted sesame seeds) complement a vibrant array of fresh vegetables. Castelvetrano olives, basil, and edible flowers add another layer of flavor and interest to this appealing platter where guests can enjoy discussing their favorite combinations over cocktails.

Crudités Platter with Lemony Cauliflower Dip, Three Oils, Three Seasonings

Not Your Average Crudités Platter

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Red Lentil Penne with Gorgonzola Sauce, Walnut, Apple, Mint

Red Lentil Penne with Gorgonzola Sauce, Walnut, Apple, Mint #glutenfree

Red Lentil Penne, Gorgonzola Sauce
Granny Smith Apple, Toasted Walnut, Fresh Mint

Gorgonzola, Granny Smith apples, and toasted walnuts have a particular affinity for each other. Here they are paired with gluten-free penne for a satisfying wholesome meal with higher protein, higher fiber, and lower net carbs. Explore Cuisine penne is made in Italy and comprised of only two ingredients: organic red lentil flour (73%) and organic brown rice flour (27%). Cool mint adds a note of freshness and counterbalance to the rich gorgonzola sauce while apple cut into allumette shape makes for a jaunty presentation.

Gluten-Free Red Lentil Penne Recipe

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Black Bean Spaghetti for the Whole Family #meatless #glutenfree

Black Bean Spaghetti for the Whole Family #meatless #glutenfree

Black Bean Spaghetti for the Whole Family

The nutritional facts are hard to believe, until one realizes that this spaghetti really isn’t pasta at all, but black beans masquerading as noodles.

Black Bean Spaghetti is made from 92% black beans and 8% water and has 25 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber in every serving. Generally, dried pastas have 5 to 7 grams of protein and 2 to 3 grams of fiber per serving. Black bean spaghetti’s taste is mild while the tooth is delightfully chewy.

The whole family will benefit from organic noodles packed with higher protein and fiber, and lower net carbs. Cook the spaghetti about seven minutes then plate two ways: A buttery-cheesy “caterpillar” will appeal to the kids while black bean spaghetti topped with a complementary avocado mash and fresh salsa will be a big hit with the adults.

Black Bean Spaghetti Recipes

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One Ingredient Transforms Classic Greek Salad

Try Adding Sweet Peaches to a Savory Greek Salad

Classic Greek Salad with Peaches

In an ephemeral memory, I remember her disappointment when being served a Greek salad long ago at some swanky Chicago restaurant. It had all the requisite ingredients, but was composed with lettuce. Lettuce, she told us, was not supposed to be in a Greek salad.

With absolutely no Greek ancestry whatsoever, my wonderful mother was an ardent fan of Greek food. When she would return to Chicago to visit family and friends, dinner out with my Aunt Alice for Athenian chicken was on the top of her list.

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Spaghetti al Pomodoro with a Twist

Spaghetti al Pomodoro with a Twist

Spaghetti al Pomodoro with a Twist

Beautiful summer tomatoes and fresh basil are calling out for spaghetti. Spaghetti al pomodoro. But how can we make a refreshingly simple recipe of spaghetti with tomato sauce just a bit more interesting?  How, just give it a twist! Turn the pasta into a “caterpillar.”

And for more interest, exchange the recipe’s predictable pinch of red chili flakes with Korean chili threads, shilgochu 실고추, finely-sliced dried chilis that are reddish brown in color with smoky red pepper and fruity flavors, and a medium degree of heat. They are cooked in butter for about a minute to soften then tossed with the spaghetti, adding a vibrant accent to the dish.

Spaghetti al Pomodoro with a Twist

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Mandilli di Seta al Pesto {Handkerchief Pasta} #glutenfree

Mandilli di Seta al Pesto (Handkerchief Pasta) #glutenfree

~ Mandilli di Seta al Pesto ~
Silk Handkerchief Pasta with Creamy-Style Pesto
Edible Begonia, Basil, and Pecorino Romano Garnish

Imagine a pasta that is a gorgeous shade of olive green, higher in fiber and lower in net carbs than traditional noodles. One that is full of plant-based pea protein, organic, and gluten-free. My friends at Explore Cuisine make such an extraordinary noodle. It is produced in Italy of green lentil flour (50%), green pea flour, and brown rice flour.

Usually used for lasagna recipes, here the rectangular green lentil sheets stand in for handkerchief pasta in a beautiful mandilli di seta adorned with edible begonias. The basil pesto is an elegant creamy-style, unlike its more grainy rustic cousin. The method of plating mandilli di seta is also unique – pasta handkerchiefs are dipped in the pesto, coating the entire noodle with the dreamy sauce, then they are artfully folded onto the plate.

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