In a cocktail shaker, muddle cucumber slices with sugar until the cucumbers exude their juices. Add the remaining ingredients into the shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass rimmed with salt (optional). Garnish with a cucumber slice.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Brush the pita breads on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with a few pinches kosher salt. Slice each pita into 8 wedges with a pizza cutter. Place the wedges on a baking sheet and bake until golden and crispy, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then break the wedges into irregular pieces.
Meanwhile, mince the garlic, then use the flat blade of your knife to scrape it into a paste. In a medium bowl whisk together the garlic, ¼ cup lemon juice, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, cinnamon, allspice, maple, and several grinds of black pepper. Gradually whisk in ½ cup olive oil a tablespoon or two at a time until a creamy emulsion forms.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas, shaking off as much water as possible. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the chickpeas, cumin, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper and sauté for 5 minutes until the chickpeas are golden and warmed through.
Chop the romaine hearts. Slice the tomatoes in half. Dice the cucumber. Thinly slice the scallions and radishes; slice the radishes in half. Thinly slice the mint leaves. To serve, place the greens in the bowl and arrange the vegetables, chickpeas, and toasted pita on top, adding a few pinches of kosher salt to the tomatoes and cucumber. Drizzle with dressing and garnish with mint and lemon zest (or sumac, if desired).
1 day-old baguette or country loaf (about 10-12 ounces), cut into 1-inch cubes (about 10 cups)
8 ounces of grated Gruyere or Fontina cheese (about 2 ½ cups)
Prep the vegetables: Stem the tomatoes and cut into eighths. Thinly slice the white and green part of the leek into half moons to yield 1 cup. Cut off the ends of the asparagus spears and cut into 1-inch pieces to yield about 2 ½ cups.
Cook the vegetables: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the leeks. Season them with ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper and stir frequently until the leeks soften and are beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn up the heat to medium high and add the asparagus. Stir to combine and then let sit undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes to encourage browning. Stir and then let sit for another 1 to 2 minutes until both the asparagus and leeks are browned in places. Take skillet off the heat and stir in the tomatoes.
Make the custard: Beat the eggs in a bowl or large pitcher and whisk in the milk and ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
Assemble the strata: Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish. Spread half the bread in a single layer on the bottom of the dish. Top with an even layer of half of the vegetables, half of the custard, and then half of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining bread, vegetables, custard, and cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and press down on the bread to make sure it is submerged in the custard. Refrigerate for at least four hours and up to a day before baking.
Bake the strata: Take the strata out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 350F. Take the plastic off the strata and bake until the custard is set, 45-55 minutes. Don’t worry if the middle is not quite set if the rest of the strata is firm. It will set as it cools. If, however, the custard is not set after 55 minutes and the top is browning, cover loosely with foil and bake until it sets, checking every 5 minutes. When ready, take out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes and then cut into squares and serve.
1 large head cauliflower, chopped into small florets (about 6 cups riced cauliflower)
¼ cup chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup shredded cheddar
2 tablespoons half and half or milk
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large cast iron skillet, cook bacon until crispy over medium heat. Remove from pan and set aside on paper towels. Chop or crumble bacon when cool enough to handle.
Reserve 2 teaspoons bacon drippings in pan for shrimp. Arrange shrimp in pan in single layer, cooking over medium heat until pink and cooked through. Flip halfway to ensure even browning on both sides. Remove shrimp from pan. Add onions and kale to the skillet and cook until onions begin to turn translucent; stir constantly and slowly add broth to skillet to keep veggies from sticking.
Stir in cherry tomatoes and cook just until they begin to burst, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in parsley.
For the grits, rice cauliflower in blender or food processor. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add riced cauliflower and cook until starting to brown about 8 minutes, stir in broth and cover for about 5 minutes to steam cauliflower until fully cooked.
Using an immersion blender, puree cauliflower slightly to create a creamy consistency that resembles grit like texture. Remove from heat and stir in cheese and cream; season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, ladle shrimp and tomato mixture over cheesy cauliflower grits and top with crumbled bacon.
Recipe and photography created exclusively for Village Farms by Kristina LaRue, RD
Make the Pork Belly: Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Remove skin from meat. Use sharp knife to score fat cap into a criss cross pattern (or ask your butcher to do this for you). Place meat in roasting pan and generously season all over with salt and pepper. Transfer to oven and cook 3 hours.
Raise oven temperature to 400 degrees and cook 30 minutes longer or until top of meat is caramelized and crisp, basting meat with accumulated juices every 10 minutes. Transfer meat to cutting board and let stand 30 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, make the Tomato Jam: In medium saucepot, heat mini san marzano tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, ginger, cumin, salt, allspice and red pepper flakes to boiling over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour or until mixture has the consistency of jam, stirring occasionally.
Assemble the Sliders: Slice pork belly into ¼-inch pieces. If pork belly has been prepared in advance and refrigerated, gently reheat sliced pieces in nonstick skillet until warmed through.
Divide sliced pork belly among bottom buns. Top pork belly with a spoonful of Tomato Jam and a small handful of arugula. Covers with tops of buns and serve immediately.
Home Chef Tip: The pork belly can be roasted up to 2 days in advance. After roasting, transfer whole pork belly to large plate or container and transfer to refrigerator, uncovered, for 2 hours or until completely cool, then cover until ready to slice, reheat, and assemble sandwiches. Tomato jam can be made up to 5 days in advance. After making tomato jam, let stand at room temperature until completely cool. Transfer to jar or covered container and refrigerate.
On large rimmed baking pan, prepare ravioli according to package directions. Sprinkle with black beans and cheese; return to oven and bake 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is melted and beans are warmed through.
Serve topped with campari tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, onion and olives. Serve with guacamole, hot sauce, sour cream and lime wedges.
1 14.1 oz Package refrigerated Pillsbury Pie Crusts, use one of the two crusts
1 Egg white
½ tsp Milk
1 tsp Fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 400º. Remove one roll of dough from the box, remove dough from plastic wrapper and let come to room temperature for 15 minutes.
In a large skillet, heat oil and add sliced onion and salt and cook until caramelized, about 25–30 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat and drain well on a paper towel.
Unroll the dough and place onto crust – in order – onions, shredded cheese and mini san marzano tomato slices being careful to leave a 1-inch border around the edges of the dough for folding. Fold the uncovered 1-inch edge of the dough up around the contents. The filling inside the galette (or tart) should be visible. Brush a small amount of the egg white mixture over the edges of the exposed crust. Bake at 400º for 20–25 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Top with fresh thyme before serving.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut campari tomatoes in half and divide between two rimmed baking pans. Drizzle campari tomatoes with oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Use hands to toss until all campari tomatoes are coated in oil, then turn them so cut sides are facing down. Transfer pans to oven and bake 45 minutes or until campari tomatoes are very soft and tomato skins are shriveled. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes.
Carefully pull skins off tomatoes and discard. Transfer campari tomatoes and any accumulated juices to blender. Add water, Worcestershire sauce, dill, lemon juice, horseradish, celery seeds, lime juice, sriracha, paprika, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Blend until smooth. If mixture is too thick, add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved. Taste mixture and adjust seasonings and spices to suit your taste. Transfer mixture to covered container or jar and refrigerate until chilled, or up to 5 days.
Fill 8 pint glasses with ice. Add 2 ounces vodka to each glass; top with Bloody Mary mix. Stir well and serve with desired garnishes.
In a large sauté pan, heat up the remaining olive oil. Once heated, place the eggplant cutlets down to sear. Be sure to allow each side to form a crisp, golden crust (approximately one minute for each side).
Transfer the finished eggplant cutlets to a baking sheet and hold warm in the oven until you’re ready to plate and serve.
To plate, spoon the warm tomato sauce in the middle of your plate, then alternate by piling on the eggplant cutlets, shavings of Parmesan cheese, and more tomato sauce. Enjoy.
Pat the scallops dry and pull of the small abductor muscle on the side if its still attached. (little tough rectangle that’s sometimes on the side of the scallop, peels off easily)
Slice the raw fennel thinly and reserve in ice water until serving time. (save the green fronds for garnish as well).
Lay the pancetta discs out flat on a baking sheet on parchment paper or wax paper.
Bake the pancetta at 300° for 8-10 minutes, keeping an eye on them, this one’s very particular - you want them crispy but every pancetta will act differently depending on how fatty or thick it is. You can take them out when they’re a nice dark roasted colour even if they’re not totally crisp yet because they will crisp up more as they cool.
Once the pancettas are done, transfer them to a paper towel to ensure they stay crisp.
Heat up a sauté pan, dry without any oil.
Quickly toast the pumpkin seeds in the dry pan then reserve them.
Return the hot pan to the heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil.
Season the scallops with salt and pepper, and add to the hot pan- don’t move them at all for 1 minute.
Flip the scallops and give them another minute of searing on that side, then pull the pan off the heat and let them sit in the pan as it cools to gently continue to cook. You can remove them at any point depending on how you like them done; if you pull them out right away you should have a nice medium-rare scallop.
Once you’ve removed the scallops from the pan and placed them somewhere warm to rest for a few minutes, add the cabernet estate coulis to the pan to heat it up and prepare to plate.
To plate the scallops, first pool ¼ cup of the tomato coulis in the center of the plate, then stack up the seared scallops, shaved raw fennel, and pancetta discs into a tidy tower or jumbled pile, as you see fit.
Zest and juice a lime over the 4 dishes to finish.
Cut the avocado in half and brush it with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Grill the avocado by placing it cut-side down on the hot grill/pan and not moving it for 1 minute.
Gently remove avocado from grill, coarsely chop, sprinkle with the juice of ½ the lime and reserve.
Roughly chop the cucumber, kale, and mint. Combine all in a large mixing bowl.
Peel down the Brussels sprouts into leaves and add to bowl.
Add the avocado to the bowl.
–15 minutes before serving, squeeze the remaining lime juice into the bowl, add the remaining olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Hand toss to mix.
Plate the salad by pooling the cucumber yoghurt in the center of the plate, spreading it out, then dropping your olive oil and lime-dressed salad in the center, then topping the salad with pumpkinseeds.
(If you’d like to step it up a little, you can use pumpkinseed oil, which is a beautiful, nutty-tasting oil, and drizzle it through the cucumber dressing.)
Preheat oven to 400°. Place tomatoes, onions, olive oil and salt onto baking sheet and mix well. Place on center rack in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Slice the chiles down the center and remove stems and seeds. Place onto a dry baking sheet and bake for 2–3 minutes at 400° until fragrant, being careful not to burn. Remove from oven. Place beef stock in a saucepan and heat without boiling. Remove saucepan from heat. Add chiles to the stock and allow to soften for 30 minutes. Remove chiles to a bowl and save all the liquid.
Cook tamales in their sealed package in boiling water for 45 minutes. Remove from package and set aside.
Place tomato/onion mixture, garlic, cumin, 2 Tablespoons chili-infused beef stock, salt and reconstituted chiles into food processor or blender and blend until very smooth. Add more stock to obtain desired consistency.
Place a small amount of sauce on top of your tamales and top with a dollop of sour cream.