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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Almond Butter Cookies

GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY-FREE | FLOURLESS

















These quick cookies take just a few ingredients and make a healthy snack. Unlike traditional peanut butter cookies that contain sugar and flour, this recipe calls for almond butter, a small amount of honey, and unsweetened coconut. An egg helps hold it all together.

The batter will be stiff but there are two things that will make it easier to work with:
  • Warm the almond butter before you start (and the honey if it's thick or crystallized). Place glass jars in a saucepan of barely simmering water or transfer the almond butter to a glass or stainless steel bowl and place it over a saucepan of slowly simmering water until warm. 
  • If you have it, use an electric mixer to finish the batter. (If you don't have an electric mixer, you can do it by hand.)

1½ cups raw almond butter, warmed
¼ cup raw, local honey
½ cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
1 egg, beaten
Pinch sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Once the almond butter is warm, stir it until the texture is consistent and smooth. Stir in the honey and sea salt. Add the coconut and beaten egg, then mix until all of the ingredients are incorporated thoroughly.

Use 2 spoons to form the mixture into balls and place them on a baking sheet. Use the back of a fork to gently press the balls into disks. Rotate 90 degrees and press again. Sprinkle with unsweetened shredded coconut or sea salt.

To achieve a perfect texture that is chewy but not crumbly, bake the cookies until their edges become brown, about 10 minutes. Watch them closely near the end of baking and take care to not over-bake them. But don't under-bake them either. If the edges aren't brown when you take them out, they may not hold together well once cool.

Yield: 20 cookies



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Healthy Holiday Seasonal Side Dish

Looking for a healthy and delicious seasonal side dish this holiday season?

Try this simple dish: my Creamy Brussels Sprouts Sauté.


Brussels sprouts are a healthy choice because they are a good source of fiber and they contain compounds that assist the liver in eliminating environmental toxins.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Duck Confit with Savory Blueberry Sauce

GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY-FREE

















This famous French dish, confit de canard, or duck confit, sounds fancy but it's really quite simple. Developed as a food preservation technique, confit is a method of slow-cooking and storing meats in fat. It sounds greasy, but it's surprisingly not. The meat stays moist and fall-apart tender while excess fat melts out during cooking.

This recipe does require a large amount of duck fat. I happen to have a jar in my fridge because I save rendered fat whenever I cook duck (it keeps for months in the fridge). But it's also sold by the jar. Look for D'artagnan duck fat in specialty groceries or buy it online.

This recipe also requires several duck legs. When I found them fresh, I bought a bunch to make this dish. If you have a hard time finding duck legs, ask around at your local farmer's market or have your butcher to order some for you. Alternatively, you can use a whole duck, fresh or frozen and thawed, cut into pieces.

Properly prepared, duck confit will keep in the fridge for several months. To store it, you'll need a glass or ceramic container. A covered crock or wide-mouth 2-liter canning jar works well. 

I served the finished product with a savory sauce made of blueberries and fresh rosemary. You'll find that recipe at the end of this post.

6 duck legs
Sea salt
Duck fat, 4 cups or more

At least 24 hours in advance, generously season the duck legs and set them aside in the fridge.

Allow the pre-seasoned duck legs to come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 275F. 

Wipe off any excess salt from the duck legs and arrange them inside a cast iron Dutch oven. Cover them with duck fat and warm over low heat until the fat has liquified and you're sure there is enough to cover the legs completely.

















Cover the Dutch oven and transfer it to the oven. Roast the duck legs for 2½ hours, then remove the Dutch oven and allow it to cool to room temperature.

Once the duck legs have cooled, transfer them to a clean, dry glass or ceramic container. 






















Very carefully, pour the duck fat over the legs. The duck legs must be completely covered with duck fat, so if there isn't enough, add more.






















Cool the jar completely to room temperature. Cover it tightly and place it in the fridge until ready to eat.






















When you're ready to eat the duck confit, bring the jar to room temperature. If you plan to serve it with the blueberry sauce, take the blueberries out of the freezer to thaw.

Preheat the oven to 400F.
Carefully remove the duck legs one by one, wiping away most of the excess fat (you'll want to leave a little to prevent the meat from sticking to the baking dish) and placing it inside a baking pan. If you have a hard time pulling out the duck legs, place the jar on the oven as it preheats so further soften the fat and ease removal. Cover the remaining confit and put it back in the fridge.

Roast the duck legs, uncovered, until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix up the Savory Blueberry Sauce (recipe follows).

Savory Blueberry Sauce

To make this sauce, I used my immersion blender and a wide-mouth pint-size canning jar. You can also use a regular blender or a food processor. If you need more volume to make your machine mix, you can double this recipe.

1/2 cup frozen organic blueberries
1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
Sea salt to taste
Ground peppercorn to taste

Purée all of the ingredients until smooth. Taste for seasoning and make and necessary adjustments. Serve the sauce within two hours or store it in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to eat.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Alternative to Canned Beans

GLUTEN-FREE | GRAIN-FREE | DAIRY-FREE

Beans are a wonderful source of vegetarian protein. I add them to salads, soups, veggie burgers, and scrambled eggs (topped with salsa and plain yogurt). Beans from a can are convenient, but unless they come in BPA-free cans, you should cook your own.

Cooking beans at home doesn't require a lot of effort, just good timing. Soak them in advance for 12 to 24 hours and cook them whenever you're in the kitchen anyway. Make a big batch, store them in their cooking liquid, and freeze what you don't use within a week.

Frozen cooked beans are almost as convenient as canned cooked beans. It's true that they have to be thawed, but in some cases you can skip that step, like when you're adding them to soups and stews.

I add epazote to my beans while they cook because it adds flavor and improves their digestibility. Epazote also reduces gas formation.

Epazote


















I foraged for epazote in Central Park and dried what I didn't use fresh. If you plan to pick it yourself, make 100% sure you have a positive identification.

Otherwise, look for it grocery stores that carry Mexican and Central American groceries ingredients. In Manhattan, find epazote at Kalustyan's on Lexington Avenue.

Take care to not over-cook the beans. Longer soaking makes for shorter cooking times, and beans that were dried recently cook much more quickly than those dried long ago. Soaked overnight, the black beans I buy from Pure Cayuga Organics at the farmer's market cook in only 45 minutes.

1. Soak the beans for 12 to 24 hours. 
    2. Rinse the pre-soaked beans well and add them to a pot with plenty of fresh water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the beans are tender, checking periodically to gauge cooking time.

    3. Cool the cooked beans in their cooking liquid.

    4. Strain the cooled beans, reserving the cooking liquid.

    5. Toss the strained beans with a pinch of sea salt, then transfer them to clean glass jars, leaving an inch of space at the top. Pour the cooking liquid over the beans, making sure that they are completely covered and leaving at least an inch of space at the top (unless you don't plan to freeze the jars). Tighten lids on the jars. Save any excess cooking liquid, or bean broth, for soups, stews and chili. Use it as you would mushroom or vegetable broth. It too can be stored in a clean glass jar in the fridge or freezer. Allow an inch of space at the top if you plan to freeze it.

    6. Transfer the beans and any excess bean broth to the fridge. If you plan to freeze them, allow the jars to chill overnight first. Transfer the chilled jars to the freezer and leave the lids askew to prevent them from cracking if the contents expand. Tighten the lids the following day, after they have frozen completely.

      Wednesday, November 23, 2011

      Using The Whole Bird

      Looking to use all the parts of your turkey this year?
      Try my recipe for Turkey Liver with Balsamic Reduction. It takes just a few ingredients and you may have already them on hand.



      Saturday, November 19, 2011

      Simple Thanksgiving Starter

      Looking for a simple starter this Thanksgiving?
      Try my Pumpkin Soup. It's festive, seasonal, and easy to make ahead. It's also a full serving of vegetables.


      Saturday, November 12, 2011

      Fall Detox Soup

      GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY-FREE


      It really feels like fall in the Hudson Valley and I'm in the middle of my annual autumn cleanse.

      This soup looks autumn in a bowl. It's bright yellow and orange colors are reminiscent of changing fall leaves. I used golden beets, yellow bell peppers, and an orange tomato because I happened to have them on hand. You can certainly substitute other colors, red or heirloom tomatoes, and green or red bell peppers. (If you substitute red beets, be prepared for your soup to turn purple.)

      This dish is my version of lime soup with chicken, or Sopa De Limón.


      Wait a minute, why am I eating meat during a detox?
      • Because protein and healthy fats are essential. 
      • It's being used as a condiment in a plant-based diet.
        • This meat was raised on pasture and never exposed to antibiotics, hormones or pesticides. (Look for pasture-raised chicken at your local farmer's market and make your own bone broth.)

          Beets support biochemical detoxification pathways in the liver (specifically phase two) while cilantro helps remove heavy metals from the body. Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs, so I added quite a bit to this soup (almost an entire bunch). Use as much as you like or substitute parsley if you prefer.

          Chili pepper spices up this dish and adds anti-inflammatory benefits. I chose chipotle because the smokey flavor pairs so well with cumin, but feel free to substitute cayenne pepper or a fresh chili pepper. If your lime isn't organic, omit the zest.

          1 pasture-raised chicken, 3 to 4 lb
          2 large stalks celery, about 2 cups chopped
          2 large onions
          4 cloves garlic
          2 large orange tomatoes, chopped
          2 large roasted yellow bell peppers
          2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, first cold pressing
          4 small golden beets or 1 large beet, peel intact, diced
          Sea salt
          1 tsp ground cumin
          1/4 tsp ground chipotle, more or less to taste
          1½ cups bone broth
          2 to 3 limes, the zest of one and 1/3 cup lime juice
          More cilantro or diced avocado to garnish

          Prepare in advance:

          Season the chicken (24 to 48 hours in advance if possible) and place it in a pot large enough to fit comfortably. While you chop the celery and one of the onions, reserve any trimmings. Set aside the chopped vegetables and place the trimmings inside the pot with the chicken. Roughly chop one tomato and the remaining onion, and add them to the pot with 2 or more cloves of garlic, smashed.

          Fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the chicken by at least an inch. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer it slowly until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit, about an hour.

          While the chicken cooks, roast the peppers. Cut them in half through the stem end and remove the seeds. Place them cut-side down in a baking pan under the broiler until blackened. Cover and set them aside. When cool, remove the skins and chop them into 1 cm pieces, and set them aside.

          Once the chicken is fully cooked, carefully remove it from the pot and set it aside to cool. Continue to simmer the broth and vegetables over low heat. Cut the chicken meat from the carcass and return the bones to the pot. Simmer slowly for 2 to 4 hours. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces, reserve 2 cups for the soup and the rest for another use.

          Cool the broth completely. Strain and discard the solids. Use it immediately or store it in air tight glass jars in the fridge or freezer. (If you're going to freeze the broth, use wide-mouth canning jars, leave an inch of space at the top, and chill the filled jars in the fridge first to minimize the chance cracking.) 

          To make the soup:

          In the bottom of a heavy soup pot, warm the olive over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, beets, and a large pinch of sea salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the vegetables start to soften and brown, 15 minutes or more.

          Add the roasted pepper, tomato, cumin and chipotle. Grate in 2 cloves of garlic (or more).  Once the tomato has broken down and dissolved the brown bits on the bottom of the pan, add 1½ cups of bone broth. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until all of the vegetables are tender, 30 minutes or more.

          Once the vegetables are fully cooked and not yet mushy, turn off the heat. Add the lime zest, lime juice, reserved chopped chicken and cilantro. Add water if necessary to achieve your desired consistency, more for a soup and less for a stew. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Cover and set aside for two hours.


          When ready to serve, taste soup again and adjust the seasoning and/or liquid level if needed. Gently warm the soup over low heat until hot. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro.

          If you're not on a detox, you can place some cooked brown rice in the bottom of a soup bowl and ladle some Sopa De Limón over the top. Garnish with cilantro and/or diced avocado.

          Vegetarian Variation:

          Omit the chicken and add instead 2 cups of pre-soaked, slow-cooked white beans. Substitute vegetable broth for the bone broth.

          Saturday, November 5, 2011

          Quick Refrigerator Pickles

          GLUTEN-FREE  |  GRAIN-FREE  |  DAIRY-FREE


          These pickles can be made in the fridge in just 24 hours. I kept the seasoning simple with garlic and chili pepper, but feel free to add some herbs, like a sprig of fresh dill or tarragon.

          They will keep in the fridge for several weeks. I like to offer them alongside richer and heavier foods, like paté or roasted meats, because their sharp flavor and crisp bite are a lovely contrast. You can serve these pickles with whatever you wish.

          1/2 cup white wine vinegar
          1/2 cup water
          1 tbsp honey
          2 cloves garlic, smashed
          Pinch red pepper flakes or minced fresh chili pepper
          1 tablespoon mustard seeds (yellow or brown)
          1/2 tsp sea salt
          1 large unwaxed cucumber

          In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, honey, garlic, red pepper flakes and sea salt. Warm over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the honey dissolves. Remove the mixture from the heat, cover and cool to room temperature.

          Thinly slice the cucumber. Place the slices inside a clean glass jar. Pour the vinegar solution over the cucumbers, cover the jar tightly, and shake to thoroughly distribute the liquid. Place the jar in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Strain and serve.


          Saturday, October 29, 2011

          Garlic Green Beans

          GLUTEN-FREE
          DAIRY-FREE


















          While fresh beans are still in season, make this simple side. It only takes a few ingredients and minutes to throw together.

          1 pound fresh string beans
          1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
          Sea salt to taste
          Ground peppercorn
          1 to 2 cloves fresh garlic

          Wash the beans and trim their stem ends. Leave them whole or cut them in half.

          Warm the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the beans with a pinch of sea salt and ground peppercorn. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender-crisp, about 10 minutes.

          Turn off the heat. Grate the garlic over the beans, then toss them to distribute it evenly. Cover for 1 minute. Toss again and taste for seasoning. Adjust if necessary. Serve immediately.


          Saturday, October 22, 2011

          Cajun Roasted Cod

          GLUTEN-FREE
          This fish dish is fast and easy to prepare if you have Cajun Seasoning already on hand. (If you don't, you can mix up your own in minutes). Because it contains sea salt, it's the only seasoning you'll need.

          You can use this seasoning with any protein, so if you don't have cod, substitute shrimp, Alaskan halibut, chicken or triangles of tofu.

          Balance the heat by serving this spicy dish with something cool.  I used my favorite fresh tomato: green zebras.

          Their cool, clean, and slightly sweet flavor pairs well with the spicy Cajun seasoning. If you don't have fresh, ripe tomatoes (of any color) serve a green salad instead.

          1 lb Alaskan cod, whole fillet or individual portions, at room temperature 
          Cajun Seasoning

          Preheat the oven to 375F. 

          Lightly coat a baking dish with butter or extra virgin olive oil. 

          Sprinkle the Cajun seasoning over the fish and place it inside the baking dish. 

          Transfer it to the oven and roast until flaky and just cooked through, 
          7 to 10 minutes for individual portions, 15 minutes or more for whole fillets.

          Serve the fish on a bed of diced tomatoes or salad greens.


          Friday, October 21, 2011

          Cajun Seasoning

          GLUTEN-FREE

          Use this versatile spice blend to season beans, fish and poultry.
          Stir it into a pot of lentils, use it as the flavor base for chili, rub it on chicken before you grill it, or sprinkle it over fish before baking.

          Don't make more than you'll use in a month or so, unless you plan to share. Once herbs and spices are ground, they quickly lose their flavor. If you prefer to add salt separately, omit it from this recipe.

          1 chipotle pepper, stemmed and torn into pieces
          2 tsp mixed peppercorns, or substitute black peppercorns
          2 tsp smoked sea salt
          2 tsp cumin seeds
          2 tsp dried rosemary leaves
          1 tsp corriander seeds
          2 tsp smoked paprika

          Add all the ingredients to a spice grinder. Pulse and grind until you achieve a fine texture.







































          Transfer any excess seasoning to an air-tight container and store for future use.

          Saturday, October 15, 2011

          Healthy Halloween Treats: Chocolate Nut Clusters

          GLUTEN-FREE

















          These Chocolate Nut Clusters taste so good, people may not even notice they're good for you too.

          A simple combination of dark chocolate and nuts, they are quick and easy to assemble. And they're free of added sugar, emulsifiers, stabilizers and preservatives.

          Look for a good quality chocolate with a high cocoa content, 70% or more. It’s the cocoa powder that contains healthy compounds shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke and cancer.

          I used cashews, walnuts and coconut. Other nuts would be good too, like pecans, pistachios, macadamia nuts or almonds. Or make mixed nut clusters.

          If you're avoiding nuts (nuts are among the top ten most common food allergies), you can substitute unsweetened dried fruit, like tart cherries, blueberries, apricots, or chunks of fig.

          I made these clusters in a silicone mini-muffin pan. Silicone molds of other shapes and sizes would work well too.

          This recipe makes about 20 clusters: 8 coconut, 6 cashew and 6 walnut.

          8 oz 70% dark chocolate
          18 raw cashews
          1/4 cup walnut pieces
          3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

          Warm the chocolate in a glass or stainless steel bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, covered, until just melted.

          While the chocolate melts, divide the nuts into the mini-muffin cups, 3 whole cashews or a few walnut pieces per cup.































          Once the chocolate is just melted, remove it from the heat and stir it until smooth. Drop a spoonful of the melted chocolate into each cup, over the nuts.

















          Transfer the cups to the fridge to set, about 10 minutes.

          Stir the unsweetened coconut flakes into the remaining chocolate. The coconut should be generously coated with chocolate. Set the bowl aside to allow the coconut to soften while the nut clusters set.

          Once the chocolate nut clusters have set, transfer them to a serving platter or an air-tight storage container.

















          Drop spoonfuls of the chocolate-coconut mixture into the cups.































           Transfer them to the fridge to set. Once set, transfer to a serving dish or an air-tight storage container.

















          These nut clusters are best served at room temperature. If you're making them ahead, plan to take them out of the fridge half an hour before you serve them.

          You can package the dark chocolate nut clusters for trick-or-treaters, offer them as a hostess gift, or serve them as a healthy dessert.


          Saturday, October 8, 2011

          Pumpkin Soup

          GLUTEN-FREE

          I serve this soup as a simple starter when I'm short on time. It's easy to throw together and doesn't take long to cook, if you have pumpkin purée already on hand and a well-stocked spice cabinet.

          Pumpkin is full of fiber and disease-fighting nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, iron,  calcium and magnesium. It also contains B vitamins and trace minerals like copper and manganese that are essential for healthy bones. My recipe contains turmeric, a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

          This soup is stand-alone good, but feel free to finish it with a dollop of whole milk plain yogurt or more coconut milk.



          Fresh chopped cilantro, toasted pumpkin seeds and/or coconut flakes make great garnishes too.

          For a dairy-free, vegan version, omit the yogurt and use olive oil instead of butter. 

          1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or butter 
          1 medium red onion, diced
          2 cloves garlic, grated
          1 inch of fresh ginger, grated
          Pinch cayenne
          1/4 tsp cinnamon
          1/4 tsp ground coriander seed
          1/2 tsp ground cumin
          1/2 tsp turmeric
          Ground nutmeg to taste
          Ground peppercorn to taste
          1/2 tsp sea salt
          1 cup vegetable broth
          14 oz canned pumpkin
          1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

          To garnish:

          More coconut milk
          Organic whole milk plain yogurt
          Fresh cilantro, chopped
          Oven-toasted pumpkin seeds
          Unsweetened shredded coconut or coconut flakes

          In a medium pot with a heavy bottom, warm the butter or olive oil and sauté the onion until soft and starting to brown.

          Grate in the garlic and ginger. Stir to combine. Add the rest of the spices: cayenne, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg, pepper and salt. Stir to coat the onion evenly with the spices. Continue to cook until they spices warm and start to stick to the bottom of the pan.

          Add the vegetable broth and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until nearly ready to serve, 10 minutes or more.

          To finish the soup, add the coconut milk and purée with an immersion blender until smooth. Continue cooking to bring the soup back up to temperature, then remove it from the heat.



          Garnish the soup with yogurt or coconut milk and pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, and/or fresh chopped cilantro.


          Serve immediately.


          Saturday, October 1, 2011

          Cajun Lentil Soup

          GLUTEN-FREE

















          Soup is one of my favorite things about fall. As temperatures cool, I crave warm and satisfying foods, like this simple lentil soup.

          Lentils are a good source of vegetarian protein. I used two kinds here, the regular brown variety that hold their shape and also some red lentils that dissolve to thicken the broth. The red lentils are so tender and small that they don't need to be pre-soaked. Ideally, the brown lentils should be soaked. In a pinch, you could get away without soaking them, but this extra step makes them easier to digest and their nutrients more bioavailable.

          This recipe calls for pasture-raised bacon. You can skip it if you prefer a vegetarian version, but it does give this soup a savory, smokey richness. And it's a good example of how a little meat can go a long way. Use it as a condiment in a plant-based diet, rather than the main course.

          My mandolin makes quick work of chopping the onion and carrot
          (I used the thin julienne blade) but a knife works just fine.


          The Cajun seasoning is an aromatic mixture of cumin, coriander, paprika, rosemary, peppercorn and chipotle pepper (a smoked jalapeno). If that's enough spice for you, omit the fresh chili pepper.
          I like the extra heat and the fresh chili flavor, so I use both.

          3 slices pasture-raised bacon, chopped
          2 cups finely chopped carrots
          2 cups finely chopped onion
          1 fresh chili pepper, minced (optional)
          3 or 4 cloves garlic, grated or minced
          2 cups chopped fresh tomato or crushed tomatoes
          2 tsp Cajun seasoning (recipe follows)
          2 cups dry lentils, soaked 8 hours or more, rinsed and drained
          1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
          2 cups concentrated home-made bone broth (chicken or turkey)
          Whole milk plain yogurt to garnish (optional)
          Fresh oregano or other fresh herbs to garnish (optional)

          Warm the chopped bacon in a heavy soup pot over low heat until the fat has rendered and the bacon has browned. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds more, until the garlic becomes aromatic. Stir in the onion and carrot and continue cooking until they start to brown.

          Add the tomatoes and Cajun seasoning. Stir to combine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Once the tomatoes have broken down and formed a sauce, add the brown lentils, red lentils, broth and enough water to cover all of the ingredients generously.

          Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting and simmer until the broth has thickened and the lentils and vegetables are tender. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

















          Serve immediately, garnished with yogurt and fresh herbs if you like, or cover and set it aside if you're making it in advance. Once it cools to room temperature, transfer it to the fridge if you're not planning to eat it within 2 hours of turning off the heat.






          Saturday, September 24, 2011

          Grapefruit Fennel Salad

          GLUTEN-FREE
          DAIRY-FREE

















          This crisp and refreshing salad is naturally sweet and sour. Serve it as a stand alone dish with grilled fish or, if you're serving several courses, in between heavier plates to lighten things up and refresh your palate.

          Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin C and lycopene, an antioxidant with anti-cancer activity. Fennel is anti-inflammatory, promotes good digestion, and dispells intestinal gas.

          This recipe makes enough salad for 1 or 2 people. If you're expecting more, increase the ingredients as needed and aim for approximately equal amounts of grapefruit segments and sliced fennel.

          1 young fennel bulb
          1 large grapefruit
          Extra virgin olive oil, first cold pressing
          Sea salt
          Freshly ground peppercorn

          Clean the fennel, reserving the fronds and removing the core and any tough outer layers. Thinly slice it using a mandolin or very good knife skills. (The thinner, the better.)



          Cut away the grapefruit peel: Slice off enough of the stem end to find fruit underneath, repeat with the other end, and set it upright. Cut off the sides, keeping as much of the fruit intact as possible. Cut out the segments and drop them into a bowl with the fennel. Squeeze the juice out of the remaining membrane into the bowl. Do the same with any pieces of peel that has fruit still attached.

          Drizzle some olive oil, sprinkle a little bit of sea salt, and grind some peppercorn into the bowl. Toss everything together and taste. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve the salad immediately if you like it crunchy or set it aside for up to an hour to allow the grapefruit juice to soften the fennel. Garnish with the reserved fennel fronds.

















          I like to serve this salad in bowls with spoons so I can scoop up the sauce as I eat it.