Snuggle in with this delicious, nutritious winter menu provided by the staff of Sunset Magazine. Their spread of healthy winter recipes tastes best when made with local ingredients from your winter vegetable garden.
Based on the James-Beard-Award-winning One-Block Diet, The One-Block Feast (Ten Speed Press, 2011) is the ultimate guide to eating local. Complete with seasonal garden plans, menus, 100 recipes and 15 food projects, this guide explains how to raise and produce everything needed for totally made-from-scratch meals, all from your own backyard. The following healthy winter recipes are excerpted from “Winter Recipes.”
You can purchase this book from the GRIT store: The One-Block Feast.
We wanted a hearty salad for our winter menu, with lots of different textures and flavors. The core idea was eggs on toast—which we translated into wedges of hard-cooked egg and crunchy, garlicky croutons. The lettuces lighten everything up and the tangerines are nuggets of juicy sweetness.
If you use eggs from your own chickens, or are buying eggs from the farmers’ market, let them sit in the fridge for at least a week before you cook them (if eggs are too fresh, they’re hard to peel).
Makes: 6 to 8 servings
Time: about 1 hour
6 to 8 large eggs (not super-fresh)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed tangerine juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated tangerine zest
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
3 thin slices Wheat Berry Ciabatta (keep reading for this recipe), cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 1/2 cups)
5 cups loosely packed arugula leaves
6 cups loosely packed red butterhead lettuce leaves (about 1/2 small head)
2 large or 4 small tangerines
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the eggs in a small pot and cover with water by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil, immediately reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, immerse the eggs in ice water to cover, and let cool for 1 minute. On the countertop, crack each egg all over and return to the ice water for 5 minutes. Peel under cold water. Quarter eggs lengthwise and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the tangerine juice, zest, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the oil to make a dressing and set aside. Mince the garlic, sprinkle it with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and mash to a paste with the flat side of a chef’s knife.
3. In a heatproof measuring cup, combine the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and the garlic paste and microwave it for 10 seconds. Put the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with the garlic oil, and toss to coat evenly. Spread in a single layer and bake, stirring once or twice, until crisp, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
4. Rinse the greens and dry twice in a salad spinner. Peel the tangerines and remove the thready white pith. Cut the tangerines crosswise, and separate into chunks, discarding any seeds.
5. In a large bowl, toss the greens gently but thoroughly with just enough of the dressing to coat. Add the tangerines and the croutons and toss gently. Divide the salad among individual plates. Add a quartered egg to each and drizzle the eggs with a little more dressing.
Per 2-Cup Serving: 288 cal., 64% (184 cal.) from fat; 9.7 g protein; 21 g fat (3.9 g sat.); 17 g carbo (2.9 g fiber); 359 mg sodium; 212 mg chol.
We ate this shaggy-crumbed, chewy, steamy loaf slathered with homemade butter and sprinkled with sea salt. Although you will need to start it the day before, it requires very little effort that first day. We used sweet buttermilk left over from making Homemade Butter, and ‘Expresso’ (hard red) wheat berries and whole-wheat flour. Hard red wheat berries are the most common type sold in stores, and any brand will work; any regular whole-wheat flour will work, too.
Makes: two 1 1/2-pound loaves (about 22 slices per loaf)
Time: 7 to 8 hours (mainly unattended time), plus overnight to chill starter
1 cup wheat berries
4 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, plus more for dusting and sprinkling
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup homemade buttermilk or whole milk
About 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
3 cups ice cubes or ice-cold water
1. In a saucepan, combine the wheat berries and 4 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the berries are very tender and at least half of them have burst, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the heat and let cool in the pan to room temperature. Drain the berries; you should have about 3 cups. (They can be cooked up to 3 days in advance and stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.)
2. In a bowl, stir together 1 cup of the flour, 1/4 teaspoon of the yeast, and 1 cup cold water to make the starter. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. The next day, let the starter sit at room temperature for 1 hour; then scrape it into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the remaining 3 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup cold water, the honey, the buttermilk, and 1/4 cup of the oil. Knead the mixture on low speed until just combined but still shaggy, about 2 minutes. Turn off the mixer and let the dough sit for 45 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the moisture.
4. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon yeast over the dough and knead on low speed until a smooth dough forms, about 4 minutes. Add the salt and knead for 1 minute more. Add the reserved wheat berries and continue to mix on low speed just until most of the berries are incorporated.
5. Use about 1 tablespoon of the oil to grease a large deep baking dish. Transfer the dough to the dish along with any loose wheat berries and cover the pan with oiled plastic wrap. Let the dough sit in the dish in a warm spot until almost doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
6. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and divide it in half. Flour your hands; then, using your palms, press each portion flat to release any air. Fold both long sides of each piece of dough into the center, forming 2 rectangular loaves each 10 to 12 inches long. Place each loaf seam side down on a baking sheet.
7. Loosely cover the loaves with oiled plastic wrap and let them sit in a warm spot until doubled in size and very puffy, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
8. Set 2 oven racks in the oven with 4 inches between them. Put a large rimmed baking pan on the oven floor. Preheat the oven to 500°F.
9. Peel the plastic wrap from the loaves, being careful not to tear their surfaces. Lightly sprinkle the loaves with whole-wheat flour and put them, still on the baking sheets, on the center racks in the oven. Before closing the oven door, pour about 3 cups ice cubes into the baking pan on the oven floor, then quickly close the oven door to trap steam. Reduce the oven temperature to 450°F.
10. Bake the loaves, switching the positions of the baking sheets once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of a loaf registers 190ºF, 20 to 25 minutes.
11. Transfer the loaves to racks and let cool to room temperature. You can eat the bread right away, but if you rip into a loaf while it’s still hot, it will be gluey when it cools. We usually eat one hot and let the other one cool.
Per 1/2-inch Slice: 160 cal., 22% (35 cal.) from fat; 5.2 g protein; 4.1 g fat (0.61 g sat.); 28 g carbo (4 g fiber); 213 mg sodium; 1 mg chol.
A dish from the Italian Alps, nuvolone—the word means “big cloud”—is like a deconstructed soufflé, with the whites piled in a fluffy peak above the liquid yolk. This recipe is based on one in Manuela Darling-Gansser’s Winter in the Alps: Food by the Fireside. It’s great for a weekend breakfast.
If you want to make multiple egg clouds, beat all the egg whites together, but put each yolk in a separate little bowl (or in its eggshell) until using, which makes it easier to keep them intact. Prep all of your ingredients before you whip the egg whites—and reduce the cooking time to 9 minutes.
Makes: 1 serving
Time: about 20 minutes
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, homemade or store-bought, plus more for greasing
1 large egg, separated (keep the yolk intact)
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely shredded aged Gouda, homemade or store-bought
2 teaspoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon dried or 1/2 teaspoon fresh minced marjoram
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Generously butter a ramekin 3 inches in diameter and 1 1/2 inches deep.
2. In a small bowl, beat the egg white until soft peaks form. Add the salt and beat into stiff peaks. Quickly and gently fold in 1 tablespoon of the Gouda. Spoon the beaten white into the ramekin, pushing it up the sides of the dish and leaving a well in the center.
3. Ease the egg yolk into the well. Top the yolk with the cream, marjoram, butter, and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon Gouda. Smooth the white over the yolk and build it up into a frothy pile. Put the ramekin on a rimmed baking sheet.
4. Bake until the top is pale gold and the white is set around the rim of the ramekin, 9 to 10 minutes. Inside, the yolk will be liquidy and the white will be cooked. Serve immediately.
Per Serving: 164 cal., 75% (123 cal.) from fat; 9.3 g protein; 14 g fat (7.1 g sat.); 1.1 g carbo (0.06 g fiber); 324 mg sodium; 241 mg chol.
These are based on a recipe Sunset published years ago for German “egg cakes” (Eierkuchen) from the Elk Cove Inn, in the Northern California coastal town of Elk. They are good with whipped cream and berries, too.
Makes: 8 pancakes, or 4 servings
Time: about 30 minutes
Unsalted butter for cooking and serving
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour*
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon honey
6 large egg yolks
4 large egg whites
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Warmed honey for serving
1. Preheat an electric griddle to 300°F or a nonstick frying pan over medium-low heat. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Butter a rimmed baking sheet.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, milk, salt, honey, and egg yolks until well blended. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites with the lemon juice until moist, soft peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the yolk mixture.
3. When the griddle is ready, butter it and spoon on 1/2-cup portions of the batter. Cook until golden on the bottom and slightly puffed, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until golden on the other side and cooked through (break into one to check), 1 to 2 minutes more. As they are cooked, put the pancakes on the buttered baking sheet, cover with aluminum foil, and keep warm in the oven.
4. Serve hot, with butter and honey.
* We used finely milled local ‘Sonora’ soft white whole wheat flour, which behaves like commercial whole-wheat pastry flour in recipes.
Per 2-Pancake Serving: 267 cal., 37% (100 cal.) from fat; 12 g protein; 11 g fat (4.8 g sat.); 30 g carbo (4 g fiber); 241 mg sodium; 325 mg chol.
Simple yet elegant, these egg-topped crepes make an excellent brunch or a light dinner. The nuttiness of the whole-wheat crepes pairs well with the butterscotch notes in the Gouda.
Makes: 4 servings
Time: about 35 minutes
4 large Whole-Wheat Crepes, made in a 12-inch pan (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
1 cup finely shredded Gouda, homemade or store-bought
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, homemade or store-bought
4 large eggs
Fine sea salt
About 1/2 cup small arugula leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 250°F and warm the crepes in the oven while it is heating. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
2. Working with 1 crepe at a time, evenly spread about 1 heaping tablespoon of the onion in the center of the crepe. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese over the onion. Fold the sides of the crepe over the filling, overlapping to form a square, and press to seal. Put the crepe on a rimmed baking sheet, folded side down. Cover with aluminum foil and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining crepes, onion, and cheese.
3. In the same pan, melt the butter over medium heat and swirl to coat the bottom. Crack the eggs into the pan, trying to keep them from touching. Cook, turning once, until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny.
4. Place each crepe on a plate and top with an egg. Sprinkle each egg with a pinch of salt and then scatter a few arugula leaves on top.
Per Crepe: 367 cal., 61% (224 cal.) from fat; 19 g protein; 25 g fat (12 g sat.); 17 g carbo (2.4 g fiber); 770 mg sodium; 342 mg chol.
These crepes have a delicately nutty flavor and supremely tender texture.
Makes: 8 large (12-inch), 10 thickish medium (8-inch), or 16 small (6-inch) crepes
Time: about 30 minutes
1 1/2 cups whole milk
About 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, homemade or store-bought, melted
3 large eggs
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour*
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1. In a saucepan, combine the milk and 2 tablespoons of the butter and heat over low heat until warm.
2. Put the eggs in a blender and pulse just to mix. Add the flour, salt, and 1/4 cup of the warm milk mixture and whirl to combine. With the blender running, slowly pour the remaining milk mixture into the blender through the lid opening. Strain the batter into a bowl.
3. Heat a 12-inch, 8-inch, or 6-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Brush the pan with a little of the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, then pour about 1/3 cup batter into the largest pan, 1/4 cup batter into the medium-size pan, or 2 tablespoons into the smallest pan and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. Cook, turning once, until set and starting to brown, about 2 minutes total.
4. Transfer the crepe to a plate or a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining batter, brushing the pan with more butter as needed and stacking the crepes as you go.
Make Ahead: Crepes can be made up to 4 days ahead, wrapped in plastic wrap, and chilled, they can also be frozen, stored between layers of wax paper, for 1 month.
* We used finely milled local ‘Sonora’ soft white whole wheat flour, which behaves like commercial whole-wheat pastry flour in recipes.
Per Large Crepe: 148 cal., 48% (71 cal.) from fat; 5.3 g protein; 7.9 g fat (4.2 g sat.); 14 g carbo (2 g fiber); 187 mg sodium; 95 mg chol.
Per Medium Crepe: 118 cal., 48% (57 cal.) from fat; 4.3 g protein; 6.3 g fat (3.3 g sat.); 11 g carbo (1.6 g fiber); 149 mg sodium; 76 mg chol.
Per Small Crepe: 74 cal., 47% (35 cal.) from fat; 2.7 g protein; 4 g fat (2.1 g sat.); 6.9 g carbo (1 g fiber); 93 mg sodium; 48 mg chol.
Colcannon is one of the genius ways that the Irish have with potatoes—mashing them up with milk, good butter, and cooked kale or cabbage. It is simple but delicious.
Makes: 4 to 6 servings
Time: about 40 minutes
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into large, evenly sized chunks
1/2 pound Tuscan kale, tough ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1/3 cup whole milk, or as needed, warmed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, homemade or store-bought, plus more for serving (optional)
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1. In a saucepan, combine the potatoes with cold water to cover by 1 inch and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, pour water to a depth of 1/2 inch in another saucepan, insert a steamer basket, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the kale to the basket and cook, covered, turning the kale occasionally with tongs, until tender, about 20 minutes.
3. Drain the potatoes, return them to the pan, and add the milk, butter, and salt. Mash with a potato masher, keeping the potatoes slightly chunky. Add the kale and stir to combine. Stir in a little more milk if the mixture seems too thick.
4. Serve the colcannon with a pat of butter if you like.
Per 3/4-cup Serving: 145 cal., 27% (39 cal.) from fat; 3.8 g protein; 4.4 g fat (2.7 g sat.); 23 g carbo (1.7 g fi ber); 309 mg sodium; 12 mg chol.
Creating a hearty shepherd’s pie without meat was challenging, but meaty mushrooms and hearty greens and beans did the trick.
Makes: 4 to 6 servings
Time: about 13/4 hours
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 white onion, cut into slivers
1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons whole-wheat flour*
1/4 cup Chardonnay
2 cups Herb Vegetable Broth 1/4 pound Tuscan kale, tough ribs removed and leaves chopped
1/2 pound Swiss chard, ribs removed and leaves chopped
6 ounces oyster mushrooms, halved if large
1 cup drained cooked flageolet beans 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, homemade or store-bought
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
1. In a saucepan, combine the potatoes with cold water to cover by 1 inch and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes, return them to the pan, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until dry and floury, about 5 minutes.
2. While the potatoes are cooking, in a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened and lightly golden, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Whisk the flour into the onion mixture and cook, whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the wine and continue whisking to break up any lumps. Then gradually whisk in the broth and bring the mixture to a simmer. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
4. Add the kale and chard to the broth mixture, cover, and cook over medium heat until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cook, covered, until the mushrooms are almost tender, about 6 minutes.
5. Add the flageolets, return the mixture to a simmer, and cook until the consistency of thick but pourable gravy, about 5 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, press the potatoes through a ricer into a bowl (or mash with a potato masher). Mash the butter and milk into the potatoes, then stir in the egg, egg yolk, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
7. Transfer the vegetable mixture to an 8-inch square baking pan, patting it into an even layer. Carefully spread the potato mixture on top, covering the vegetable mixture evenly. If you like, using a spoon, sculpt the top into free-form peaks or waves.
8. Bake until the potatoes are lightly golden and slightly puffed, about 25 minutes. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken and cool slightly before serving.
* We used ‘Expresso’ whole-wheat flour, a hard red winter wheat. Any regular whole-wheat flour will work in this recipe.
Per Serving: 248 cal., 40% (98 cal.) from fat; 10 g protein; 11 g fat (3.9 g sat.); 36 g carbo (6.8 g fiber); 924 mg sodium; 81 mg chol.
Maria Helm Sinskey, author of The Vineyard Kitchen: Menus Inspired by the Seasons, makes her manicotti with crepes instead of dried pasta—just like her great-grandmother did. Ethereal and rustic at the same time, they were the inspiration for this recipe.
If you prefer crisp-edged manicotti, put the filled crepes on an oiled rimmed baking sheet in pairs (no tomato sauce beneath), leaving about an inch of space between the pairs. Top with two-thirds of the tomato sauce (leave the ends of manicotti bare) and bake in a 450°F oven until the edges are nicely browned, about 10 minutes, rotating the pan back to front halfway through so the manicotti brown evenly.
Makes: 10 manicotti or 4 to 6 servings
Time: about 40 minutes
3 cups ‘Sweet Million’ Tomato Sauce or other tomato-based pasta sauce
1/4 cup Chardonnay
3 1/2 cups ricotta, homemade or store-bought
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon crushed dried red serrano or árbol chile
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
10 medium Whole-Wheat Crepes, made in an 8-inch pan (they will be quite thick)
1/2 cup finely shredded Gouda, homemade or store-bought
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a small bowl, mix together the tomato sauce and wine. Spread some of the sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
2. In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, basil, lemon juice, chile, and salt. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the filling over each crepe, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Roll up the crepes and place them seam sides down in the baking dish. Spread the remaining tomato sauce evenly over the filled crepes.
3. Bake the crepes until hot and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the Gouda evenly over the top and continue to bake until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes more.
Per Manicotto: 343 cal., 57% (197 cal.) from fat; 17 g protein; 22 g fat (12 g sat.); 20 g carbo (3 g fiber); 691 mg sodium; 127 mg chol.
Cold rain hits the San Francisco Bay Area in January and February. A big bowl of this creamy chowder gives lasting, delicious warmth. To make it pretty, we sprinkled it with broccoli rabe and rosemary flowers.
Makes: 12 cups, or 6 main-course servings
Time: about 11/2 hours
2 pounds ‘Yukon Gold’ potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 3/4-inch chunks (about 6 cups)
1 head cauliflower, about 2 1/2 pounds, cut into florets
1 head broccoli romanesco, about 1 1/4 pounds, cut into florets
4 cups (about 1 bunch) chopped broccoli rabe plus any flowers
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
Chopped fresh rosemary, plus any flowers, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put half the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Pick out 3 cups bite-size cauliflower florets and combine them with the broccoli romanesco and broccoli rabe on another rimmed baking sheet (set aside any broccoli rabe flowers). Chop the remaining cauliflower and set aside. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the salt over each baking sheet.
2. Roast the vegetables, stirring often, until golden brown and tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes for the mixed vegetables and 25 minutes for the potatoes.
3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining potatoes, the chopped cauliflower, and 6 cups water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
4. Working in batches, ladle about 2 cups of the liquid and vegetables into a blender and process until smooth. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large bowl, using the back of the ladle to push the soup through.
5. Pour the puree back into the pot and bring to a simmer over low heat. Stir in the cream and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, then add the roasted vegetables and heat through.
6. Serve the chowder into deep soup bowls, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with chopped rosemary and broccoli rabe and rosemary flowers.
Per 2-Cup Serving: 273 cal., 23% (64 cal.) from fat; 11 g protein; 7.5 g fat (1.1 g sat.); 43 g carbo (5.3 g fiber); 1,205 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.
Many grains other than rice can be cooked like risotto, and wheat berries from soft winter wheat are one of them. As you stir them, they drink in hot liquid and their starchy outer hulls dissolve into delectable creaminess. We used local ‘Sonora’ soft white wheat berries from Pie Ranch in Pescadero, California. Despite the name, they are actually pale yellow, and have a lovely, fresh, slightly corny flavor. Hard red wheat berries are what you are likely to find in the grocery store, and while they won’t become as creamy, their earthier, deeper flavor is good in this recipe, too.
We ate this as a main course, with a chunk of homemade feta and some hot bread on the side.
Makes: 8 cups or 4 to 6 servings
Time: about 3 hours
2 cups wheat berries, preferably soft white wheat such as ‘Sonora’
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch broccoli rabe, about 1 pound, tough ribs removed and leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 white onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup slow-roasted tomatoes for the Freezer, thawed; or sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, homemade or store-bought
1. In a large pot, combine the wheat berries and 2 1/2 quarts water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 1 hour. Bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. If using soft white wheat berries, simmer until about half of the berries have just burst, about 30 minutes. If using hard red wheat berries, simmer until about half of the berries have burst wide open, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Drain the wheat berries and set aside.
2. In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the broccoli rabe and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the salt over the greens, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook until just tender, about 15 minutes more. Add the garlic, raise the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside.
3. In a saucepan, bring 6 cups water to a simmer. Cover and keep at a simmer over low heat.
4. In a heavy-bottomed 8-quart pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the wheat berries and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until hot, about 3 minutes.
5. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering water and cook, stirring, until completely absorbed by the wheat berries. Continue adding water, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until each addition is absorbed before adding the next, until the berries look creamy, 15 to 30 minutes. You will have water left over. Keep the pot at a steady simmer throughout, reducing the heat to medium-low if the mixture starts to boil.
6. Chop the tomatoes and add them and the cooked broccoli rabe to the wheat berries. Heat, stirring, until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes.
7. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the walnuts and butter. For a looser risotto, stir in 1/2 to 1 cup of the remaining simmering water. Serve immediately.
Per Serving: 535 cal., 52% (277 cal.) from fat; 15 g protein; 32 g fat (5.6 g sat.); 56 g carbo (11 g fiber); 490 mg sodium; 10 mg chol.
If you have a jar of preserved lemons and some dried chiles on hand, you can make these supremely satisfying greens quickly. We especially like the combination of sweet Savoy cabbage with mildly pungent mustard greens, but you can use any greens in your garden.
Makes: 4 to 6 servings
Time: about 25 minutes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup finely chopped white onion
2 tablespoons chopped preserved lemon peel
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red serrano chiles or árbol chiles
3 1/2 quarts loosely packed whole leaves of mixed greens such as Savoy cabbage, mustard, Swiss chard, and/or kale that have had the tough stems and ribs removed
Fine sea salt (optional)
1. In a 5- to 6-quart saucepan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the preserved lemon and chile and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.
2. Add half the greens and 3/4 cup water and raise the heat to medium-high. Cover the pan and cook until the greens have wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining greens and cook, covered, until all are wilted, about 5 minutes more. Stir, reduce the heat to low, and cook, covered, until the greens are tender, about 5 minutes more.
3. If there is too much liquid in the pan, uncover and boil over high heat for a few minutes to evaporate most of it. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and season to taste with salt.
Per 2/3-Cup Serving: 118 cal., 53% (63 cal.) from fat; 4.6 g protein; 7.3 g fat (1 g sat.); 13 g carbo (6.5 g fiber); 401 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.
Most preserved lemons take a good month to cure. Freezing them overnight speeds up the softening of the lemons’ cells, and they are ready in about a week. Slice or chop the peel and put in salads, cooked greens, or quinoa, or puree with cooked vegetables for soup—carrot is especially good. We used ‘Eureka’ lemons, because it’s what we grew; but if you have Meyer lemons, by all means use them.
Makes: 2 cups
Time: about 10 minutes, plus at least 1 week to stand
5 to 7 lemons
5 tablespoons fine sea salt
1. Rinse the lemons well. Quarter 5 lemons lengthwise, put in a bowl, and sprinkle with the salt. Mix with your hands to coat the lemons evenly with the salt, then crush them with your hands or a potato masher until the juices seep out. Pack the lemons into a 1-pint wide-mouthed jar with a clamp lid. The lemon quarters should be immersed in the juice. If not, squeeze the juice from the remaining 2 lemons and add as needed to cover the lemon pieces.
2. Cover the jar with plastic wrap, roll a rubber band down around the rim to hold the wrap in place, and freeze for at least 8 hours or up to overnight.
3. Let the lemons thaw at room temperature. Remove the plastic wrap and close the jar lid. Let stand at room temperature until the peels have softened, 7 to 8 days. Invert the jar twice a day to make sure the lemon pieces are evenly moistened.
4. The lemons are now ready to use. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 year (they will turn a deeper yellow). To use them, scrape the pulp from the peel and discard the pulp. If you want a less salty flavor, rinse the peel under cold running water. Cut the peel as directed in individual recipes.
Per 1/4 Lemon: 3.8 cal., 0% from fat; 0 g protein; 0 g fat (0 g sat.); 1.3 g carbo (0.5 g fiber); 1,680 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.
Bellwether Farms, in Sonoma, California, produces some of America’s finest ricotta, and head cheese maker Liam Callahan taught us how to make ricotta at home. It is terrific in this tart, which was inspired by one that Liam and his mother, Cindy, serve to guests at Bellwether. Their version is based on a tart by chef Emeril Lagasse, who invented it using Bellwether cheeses.
If you make the rectangular tart, you’ll have enough pastry dough, filling, and topping left over for a 4- to 5-inch mini tart. Instead of the caramelized tangerines, you can top the tart with any ripe, in-season fruit and glaze it with some warmed jam.
Makes: 1 round 9- or 10-inch tart, or 1 rectangular 4 1/2- by-14-inch tart plus 1 round 4- to 5-inch mini tart
Time: about 4 hours, plus at least 2 hours to chill
1 1/3 pounds small, firm tangerines (avoid the loose “zipper-skin” type)
7 tablespoons honey
1 cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice, plus more if needed
1 1/2 cups ‘Sonora’ whole wheat flour* or whole-wheat pastry flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, homemade or store-bought, cut into cubes
1 tablespoon honey
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
1 cup ricotta, homemade or store-bought
3/4 cup fromage blanc, homemade or store-bought**
1/2 cup crème fraîche, homemade or store-bought
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons Sticky Chewy Tangerine Marmalade or store-bought tangerine or orange marmalade
1. To make the topping, preheat the oven to 275°F. Wash the tangerines well, but don’t peel them. Slice them very thinly crosswise. Arrange half the slices in an 8-inch square baking dish, keeping them more or less in a single layer. Drizzle the slices with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the honey. Top with the remaining tangerine slices and drizzle with another 1 1/2 tablespoons honey. Pour the tangerine juice over the layered slices. It should almost cover the fruit; if it doesn’t, add more as needed. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and cook until the peels are very soft, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
2. Meanwhile, make the dough for the crust. Sift the flour and salt into a food processor and whirl briefly to blend. Scatter the butter cubes over the top and pulse until the mixture looks like shaggy fresh bread crumbs. Drizzle the honey over the mixture. With the motor running, drizzle in the ice water, adding just enough for the dough to come together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and press together into a rectangle or disk, depending on the shape of the tart you are making. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.
3. While the dough is chilling, make the filling. In a bowl, beat the ricotta, fromage blanc, crème fraîche, and honey until smooth with a wooden spoon. Then beat in the marmalade. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
4. When the tangerine slices are ready, drizzle with another 2 tablespoons honey and raise the oven temperature to 350°F. Roast the slices, uncovered, until they start to brown, about 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons honey.
5. While the tangerines are roasting, bake the crust. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Unwrap the dough, set it on the floured surface, and let it warm up for 10 minutes. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough about 1/8 inch thick to fit a 9- or 10-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom or a 4-by-14-inch rectangular tart pan with a removable bottom. Using a pastry scraper or a thin metal spatula, scoot the dough off the surface and gently ease it into the tart pan. Trim the dough even with the pan edge. If you are making a rectangular tart, gather up the scraps and reroll to a line a 4- or 5-inch tartlet pan.
6. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Slide the crust into the oven alongside the tangerines and bake until golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the pie weights and parchment, and bake the crust until deep golden, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let cool on a rack.
7. Spread the filling in the cooled crust to within 1/2 inch of the rim. Arrange the warm or cooled tangerines over the filling and drizzle with any accumulated juices. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
* We used local ‘Sonora’ soft white wheat flour because it behaves like commercial whole-wheat pastry flour.
** Store-bought fromage blanc is often much drier than homemade fromage blanc. If you use it, stir in enough heavy cream (at least 3 tablespoons) to give it the consistency of softened cream cheese.
Make Ahead: The tart can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated. You can also make the crust, filling, and topping up to 1 day ahead (keep the crust at room temperature; refrigerate the filling and topping), then assemble and chill for 2 hours before serving.
Per Slice of Round Tart: 342 cal., 44% (152 cal.) from fat; 6.5 g protein; 17 g fat (10 g sat.); 42 g carbo (3.8 g fiber); 236 mg sodium; 49 mg chol.
Without baking soda or baking powder, we couldn’t make cakes. But we could make this fantastic flan—smooth, rich, cool, and creamy.
Makes: 1 (9-inch) flan
Time: about 2 hours, plus 2 hours to chill
1/3 cup plus 1/2 cup honey
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon finely shredded tangerine zest
4 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
Thinly sliced tangerine peel for garnish (optional)
1. Preheat the broiler and position the rack 5 inches from the heating element.
2. Spread 1/3 cup honey in an ovenproof 9-inch quiche dish or pie pan.
3. Broil the honey until bubbly and medium amber, 5 to 10 minutes. Watch closely to make sure it doesn’t burn. Remove from the oven and swirl gently if unevenly colored, then let the honey cool (it will solidify and become fairly hard). Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and reposition the rack in the center of the oven.
4. In a small saucepan, combine the milk and tangerine zest and heat over medium-low heat until steaming. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup honey, the whole eggs, and the egg yolks in a bowl.
5. Slowly drizzle the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. Strain the custard through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a clean bowl. Put the quiche dish of honey in a roasting pan and pour the custard into the dish.
6. Pull out the center oven rack halfway and put the roasting pan on the rack. Pour hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the quiche dish. Carefully slide the rack into place. Bake until the custard jiggles only slightly when the dish is gently shaken, about 1 hour.
7. Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven. Let stand for 10 minutes, then transfer the custard dish to a rack to cool to room temperature.
8. Cover the custard and chill for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. To serve, carefully run a knife along the inside edge of the dish to release the custard. Invert a large rimmed plate over the custard, carefully invert the dish and plate together, and then lift off the dish. Top with the tangerine peel.
Per Serving: (1/12th OF FLAN) 135 cal., 27% (37 cal.) from fat; 4.2 g protein; 4.1 g fat (1.7 g sat.); 22 g carbo (0.1 g fiber); 48 mg sodium; 111 mg chol.
This Scottish-style marmalade is based on a recipe from my family’s friend Mary Latker, whose relatives owned the R. & W. Scott jam factory in Carluke, near Glasgow. It’s thick and delectably chewy, with a pleasantly bitter edge. The recipe has three stages: an overnight soak, a first boil, and a second boil in small batches, with sugar added (we used honey instead). Preserves made this “smallbatch” way have a better consistency and a fresher, brighter taste. You can double the recipe if you like, but you must still do the second boil in small batches. We don’t process the marmalade jars in boiling water, and have had no trouble (the jars seal properly and the marmalade keeps for several months at room temperature). That said, water-bath processing has the advantage of driving out every last bit of air from the jars, and marmalade or preserves that are processed this way keep their color longer. If you’d like to try it, follow the instructions that come with canning jars, or download directions from the National Center for Home Food Preservation; look under Make Jam & Jelly, then go to Processing Jams and Jellies.
Makes: 3 half-pint jars, plus a little extra
Time: about 3 hours, plus overnight to soak
2 pounds firm tangerines (9 to 15, depending on size)
2 1/4 cups honey
1. Wash 2 or 3 tangerines, then score their peels into quarters and remove them. Slice the peels into thin slivers (you should have about 1/2 cup) and put the slivers in a large, wide heavy-bottomed pot.
2. Peel the remaining tangerines and remove most of the thready white pith from all the tangerines, including those from step 1. Separate the tangerines into segments, cut the segments in half crosswise, and remove any seeds. Put the segments in the pot.
3. Wash the lemon half, then cut it, peel and all, into 1/4-inch dice and remove any seeds. Add to the pot. Measure the contents of the pot. You should have about 5 cups (add a little extra peel or fruit if you are short.) Return the fruit to the pot and add 1 1/2 cups water for every 1 cup fruit. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
4. The hard boil: Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil rapidly until the peels are very soft and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. The tangerine peels can toughen after seeming soft, so cook them well.
5. Meanwhile, put 3 half-pint canning jars on a rack (or on several cookie cutters) in a stockpot and fill with hot water. Bring to a boil, then boil for 10 minutes to sterilize. Wash canning lids and rings for the jars with hot, soapy water.
6. The small-batch boil: Measure the fruit pulp, including the liquid; you should have about 6 cups. Working in batches, put 2 cups pulp in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan (plain steel, no dark coating inside; this helps you see the true color of the marmalade as it darkens). Stir in 3/4 cup of the honey. You can do more than one batch at a time if you have enough equipment.
7. Put a small plate in the freezer to chill. Bring the fruit mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, uncovered, at a hard, foaming boil, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the mixture starts to thicken, about 20 minutes. To test, spoon a dollop onto the chilled plate. If the dollop has rounded “shoulders” instead of flattening out, and nearly holds its shape when you run a finger through it, the marmalade is ready. (It will thicken as it cools.) If it seems too thin, continue to boil, watching carefully (honey burns easily) and testing periodically the same way. If the marmalade begins to burn, reduce the heat and simmer until it is thick enough to set.
8. Empty the jars of hot water and set them on a counter. Ladle in the marmalade to within 1/4 inch of the rims and skim any foam from the surface. Wipe the rim edges clean with a damp kitchen towel. Set the inner lids on the jars, then screw on the bands. Transfer the jars to a cooling rack until they self-seal (they give off an audible “snick” as the lid is sucked in toward the surface of the jam). Test a seal by pushing on the center of the lid. If it doesn’t spring back, it is sealed.
9. If you have not been making batches simultaneously, repeat steps 6, 7, and 8 with the remaining fruit pulp. The marmalade will keep in a cool, dark place for several months. If a jar did not seal properly, store it in the refrigerator and use within a month. If you have leftover marmalade, or if the final batch failed to make a full jar, store that in the refrigerator too.
Per Tablespoon: 56 cal., 1% (0.42 cal.) from fat; 0.18 g protein; 0.05 g fat (0.01 g sat.); 15 g carbo (0.41 g fiber); 0.95 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.
Reprinted with permission from The One-Block Feast: An Adventure in Food from Yard to Table by Margo True & the staff of Sunset Magazine, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Buy this book from our store: The One-Block Feast.