Dena’s Tips 8/26/11

Well, I thought it was a language issue between the farmer and I, but the invoice says “shallots.” Another name is torpedo onions…take your pick; they’re tasty by any name.

Here are some tips on the frisee


• It is a bitter green and has a slightly peppery or nutty taste.

• Never cut the lettuce with a knife: tear it by hand.

• Separate the leaves from each other. Wash them and then spin them well or dry them immediately with a kitchen towel, since the leaves tend to soften quickly.

• To revive limp frisée lettuce, stick it first into lukewarm water and then into ice water to shock it.

• You can also “recuperate” tired frisée lettuce by sweating it in butter with a shallot. Finish with a drizzle of cream and serve as a vegetable.

Suggestions -
Place lettuce leaves on individual salad plates. Crumble blue cheese over them and sprinkle with green onion. Drizzle with a vinaigrette of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Or with goat cheese: Crumble some chèvre on your salad. Garnish with red onion and slivers of garlic. Dress with olive oil, lime juice and honey.

Or try the following combinations:

Country style – with bacon bits, croutons and garlic. For a light meal, add a hard-boiled egg.

Autumn salad – frisée lettuce, beets, apples, walnuts.

Italian – with a vinaigrette of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard and garlic… and with some dandelions!

Monacan – frisée lettuce, tomatoes, beets, celery, Gruyère and walnut halves. Spread frisée lettuce leaves with goat cheese. Cover with prosciutto or serrano ham and roll up to serve as appetizers.

Beet Refrigerator Pickles

I gave a class last night at Kitchen Angels with Organic Meals on a Budget and Home Grown New Mexico on refrigerator pickles. Here is my recipe for
Beet Refrigerator Pickles. Store in the fridge when cooled. Add hard boiled eggs for a colorful protein hit – a popular street food in Miami.

For one quart, cook 2 or 3 beets till just tender, peel and cut into quarters or slices (don’t overcook) 
Slice 1/2 medium onion into thick slices

Boil together:
1 c white vinegar
1 c filtered water
3/4 c sugar or 1/2 c agave
1/2 t salt
1/2 t celery seed
1 T mustard seed
1 clove

Pack beet and onion pieces in clean quart jar – make it pretty! Pour hot brine over, seal with new lid; cool and refrigerate. These are ready to eat when chilled and will keep in your fridge as long as you can resist eating them!

Tina, who helps us get all this lovely food ready for you, found a cool website,, “a recipe search for ingredients you have at home.”

Have fun with this week’s bounty.



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