Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Romanesco @ The Co-op

Think spring! We just received some wonderful, beautiful, and delicious Romanesco. Romanesco broccoli was first documented in Italy in the sixteenth century.

Also known as broccoflower or coral broccoli, Romanesco broccoli is rich in vitamen C, fiber, and carotenoids.

Romanesco broccoli is usually prepared like conventional broccoli, with a texture more tender than cauliflower. Eat it raw. Cook it up. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


citrus is in full swing! we've received all sorts of great varieties of citrus this week. we've been sampling the vibrant, red fleshed, and sassy flavors of blood oranges and cara cara oranges. the sweet and juicy satsuma and clementine mandarin varieties are refreshing. the juice of the gold nugget tangerines drips down our arms after each bite. we have pommelos, rio star grapefruit, and white grapefruit. there's mineolas and navel orange varieties. whew. lots and lots of citrus.

meyer lemons are the citrus which i anticipate every year. they are a lemon variety, but not as tart as a lemon. their rind is thin and fragrant, and their flavor is calm, earthy, and reminds me of the older, wiser sister of the lemon. it is my favorite. i have found that meyer lemon zest mingles well with a lot of things. i've been using the zest on pastas, as it pairs wonderfully with parmesan, fresh herbs, and toasted pine nuts.

i've also decided to try out a meyer lemon bar recipe from 'the big sur bakery cookbook'. i think this cookbook is amazing, and i had to borrow it more than once from a co-worker, just so i could get my fix. the photos are great, and i immediately want to travel to california and spend a week eating there. not only are the photos and recipes spot on, but their views on supporting local everything is inspiring! anyway, please enjoy these magnificent meyer lemon bars.......

for the dough:
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup pine nuts, otasted
2 3/4 cups all- purpose flour
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbl sugar
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 egg yolks
2 Tbl heavy cream

for the meyer lemon filling:
3 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
grated zest of 3 meyer lemons
1 cup meyer lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 whole eggs
5 egg yolks

Pulse the flour, sugar, cornmeal, toasted pine nuts, salt, and lemon zest in a food processor until the pine nuts have broken down into smaller pieces. Add the butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Transfer it to a mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Whisk the yolks and cream together in a seperate bowl, and pour the mixture into the well. Knead with your hands until the ingredients are fully combined and the dough is uniform and smooth. Flatten it into a disk and wrap it in plastic. Chill for at least an hour.

Roll the chilled dough between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper into a 15 by 17 inch rectangle, 1/4 inch thick. Drape the dough inside a 9 by 13 inch baking pan, working it into the corners and up the sides. Trim off the excess dough with a paring knife, and chill for 30 minutes

While the crust is chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake the crust until it's a rich golden brown, about 20 minutes. Set it aside until completely cool.

Reduce the oven temp to 325 degrees.

Make the filling: in a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, meyer lemon zest, and juice, heavy cream, eggs, and egg yolks whisking away until frothy. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake until the filling is set but not browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Let it cool completely in the baking dish.

Using a chef's knife and wiping the blade clean with a wet twel between cuts, cut into 3 inch squares. Transfer the bars to a platter, sprinkle generously with powdered sugar, and serve.