whole cantaloupe melon, halved and seeded
tablespoon sesame seeds
In a small saucepan combine the balsamic vinegar and the honey.
Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, whisking often. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer (and whisk) until the balsamic and honey have reduced by 75% and coats the back of a spoon.
Let the glaze cool, it should continue to thicken as it cools down in temperature.
Meanwhile, using a melon baller, scoop out melon balls and divide into four bowls.
Drizzle with the honey-balsamic glaze and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Hi all! I am super excited to show you all the newly designed Danica’s Daily . So, head on over and check out the new site at:
PLEASE BE SURE TO UPDATE YOUR READER/SUBSCRIPTION WITH THE NEW SITE ADDRESS. You just need to drop the .blogspot and you should be good to go.
I will always keep up this site as this is where it all began :) Beginning tomorrow, I will start posting on the new site.
Thanks to ZestyCook for his help in designing my fantastic new layout.
Pomegranate Chicken & Roasted Green Beans
Dinner tonight was absolutely fantastic
we both gave it 5 stars all around and I will definitely be making this again! I’ve been wanting to use the POM Wonderful Juice that I received in a recipe and tonight was the night.
Can you guess the star of the show?
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ lb chicken breast tenderloin
1 Large Vidalia Onion, halved and sliced
2 cups 100% pomegranate juice
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 green onion, sliced, optional
1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the walnuts and toss until browned, then place on a plate to cool.
2. Add oil to pan, then add tenderloins. Brown on both sides and remove, setting aside.
3. Add onions to skillet, moving them around so they pick up all the chicken drippings. When onions have softened and browned, add pomegranate juice, lemon juice and rosemary. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Allow to remain at a vigorous simmer, for about 10 minutes, then add chicken back to pan. Simmer vigorously until sauce has reduced, about another 10 minutes. Serve with walnuts and green onion sprinkled on top.
Makes 6 servings, 5 Weight Watcher Points Each
Our veggies tonight involved roasting the Purple Green Beans we got at the market last week.
Roasted Green Beans with Walnuts
1 lb green beans, stems and ends snapped off
1 small sweet onion, halved and sliced into thick slices
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp roasted, chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with foil. Add green beans and onions. Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt & pepper. Mix with hands and roast for 10 minutes.
2. Combine balsamic, honey and rosemary. Drizzle over green beans and roast for an additional 10 minutes. Serve topped with walnuts.
Makes 4 servings, 1 Weight Watcher Point each
I had one serving of beans
I LOVE roasted veggies and the balsamic/honey adds a fantastic sweetness along with the roasted nuttiness of the walnuts.
Plus a 1/2 c Trader Joe’s Organic Frozen Brown Rice. I have The Husband hooked on this rice – he actually request it now instead of white – yeah!
And the star of the show, 1 serving Pomegranate Chicken. I LOVED the chicken and it honestly reminded me a bit of Thanksgiving. I know wrong fruit, but, I think it was just the combination of the herbs and the fruit juice that made it feel like a total healthy comfort meal.
All together with a POM spritzer
it was the perfect meal and it was totally worth heating up the kitchen to cook it! The Husband ate it all, but, I did manage to save one small serving for lunch tomorrow – yeah!
I am off to finish watching the Bachlorette Finale and make the last minute changes to switch to the new site
50 Grilled Sides and Desserts
Add these easy recipes to your cookout rotation this summer!
1. Charred Corn with Honey-Thyme Butter Mash 4 tablespoons softened salted butter with 2 teaspoons honey, 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme and a large pinch of cayenne. Grill 6 shucked ears of corn (cut into 2-inch pieces) on oiled grates over medium heat, turning, until tender and charred, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with the honey-thyme butter.
2. Husk-On Corn Pull back the husks of 4 ears of corn and remove the silks, then pull the husks back up. Combine 8 cups water with 2 tablespoons each sugar and kosher salt. Add the corn and let soak, 1 hour drain. Grill over medium-high heat, turning, until the corn is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with butter and salt.
Lemon-Parmesan Baby Carrots (No. 3)
Lemon-Parmesan Baby Carrots (No. 3)
3. Lemon-Parmesan Baby Carrots Toss 3 bunches trimmed baby carrots with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill, covered, over medium heat, turning often, until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with lemon zest, parmesan, chopped parsley and flaky salt.
4. Italian Bell Peppers Brush 3 quartered and seeded bell peppers (red, yellow and/or orange) with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat until softened and lightly charred, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Toss with 1 tablespoon each olive oil and white wine vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon chopped oregano.
5. Parmesan Polenta Brush 1 thickly sliced 18-ounce tube polenta with vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat, flipping once, until crisp and well-marked, 15 to 18 minutes. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and pepper.
6. Tomatoes with Pesto Brush cocktail tomatoes on the vine with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill stem-side up over medium-high heat until well-marked, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and grill until the juices start to bubble, about 1 more minute. Serve with pesto.
7. Artichokes Cut off the top 3/4 inch of 4 artichokes and trim the tips of the leaves with shears. Peel the stems and cut each artichoke in half through the stem scoop out the chokes. Brush all over with olive oil. Season with salt. Wrap 2 artichoke halves cut-sides down in heavy-duty foil repeat with the remaining artichokes. Grill, covered, over medium-high heat, until tender, about 10 minutes per side. Let sit 5 minutes before unwrapping. Serve with melted butter and lemon wedges.
8. Sesame Scallions Brush 3 bunches scallions with sesame oil. Season with salt. Grill on a grilling tray over medium-high heat, turning, until charred, 2 to 4 minutes. Whisk 1/2 teaspoon each soy sauce and rice vinegar drizzle over the scallions. Top with toasted sesame seeds.
9. Sweet Onions Soak 2 thickly sliced sweet onions in 1/2 cup buttermilk mixed with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper, 30 minutes to 1 hour drain. Grill, covered, over medium heat, flipping, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Toss with 1 tablespoon each olive oil and chopped parsley season with salt and pepper.
10. Fennel Toss 3 trimmed and quartered fennel bulbs with vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill, covered, over medium-high heat, turning, until tender and charred, 22 to 28 minutes. Serve with spicy mayonnaise.
11. Balsamic-Honey Radicchio Drizzle 2 quartered radicchio heads with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat, turning, until charred and crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Whisk 3 tablespoons each balsamic vinegar and honey with 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes spoon over the radicchio and top with crumbled gorgonzola and chopped chives.
12. Mustard Cabbage Wedges Brush 1 quartered green cabbage with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap each wedge separately in foil. Grill, covered, over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until charred and tender, about 35 minutes. Mix 4 tablespoons softened salted butter with 2 tablespoons chopped dill and 1 tablespoon grainy mustard spread on the cabbage.
13. Caesar Salad Cut 2 romaine hearts in half lengthwise brush the cut sides with olive oil. Season with salt. Grill cut-side down over medium heat until charred, about 3 minutes. Flip and grill 1 more minute. Drizzle with Caesar salad dressing and top with shredded parmesan.
14. Kale Chips Toss 1/2 bunch Tuscan kale leaves (trimmed and ribs removed) with olive oil. Season with salt. Grill over medium heat, flipping, until crisp, 12 to 15 minutes.
Ranch Potato Wedges (No. 15)
Ranch Potato Wedges (No. 15)
15. Ranch Potato Wedges Microwave 3 russet potatoes until just tender, 8 to 11 minutes let cool slightly, then cut into 1/2-inch wedges. Toss with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Mix 1/2 teaspoon each onion powder and garlic powder with 1/4 teaspoon each dried dill, kosher salt and pepper sprinkle over the potatoes and toss. Grill over medium-high heat, turning, until well-marked, 5 to 7 minutes.
16. Herbed Baby Potatoes Cover 1 pound whole baby potatoes with cold salted water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, 10 minutes. Drain and toss with olive oil season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat, turning, until charred, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped chives and parsley.
17. Sweet Potatoes Pierce 3 sweet potatoes with a fork microwave 5 minutes. Let cool slightly. Slice 1/2 inch thick and toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat, flipping, until marked, 3 minutes.
18. Summer Squash Toss 1 zucchini and 1 yellow squash (sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick) with olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat until lightly charred and tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drizzle with red wine vinegar.
19. Balsamic Asparagus Toss 2 trimmed bunches asparagus with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat, turning, until bright green and well-marked, 3 to 5 minutes. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar sprinkle with flaky salt.
20. Curried Okra Toss 8 ounces okra (halved lengthwise) with 2 tablespoons melted butter mixed with 2 teaspoons curry powder. Season with salt. Arrange cut-side down on a grilling tray. Grill over medium-high heat, turning halfway through, until browned and softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve with lime wedges.
21. Eggplant with Mint Generously brush 1/2-inch-thick eggplant slices with olive oil. Season with salt. Grill over medium-high heat until tender and well-marked, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and top with torn mint.
22. Spicy Chinese Eggplant Pierce 2 Chinese eggplants all over with a fork. Grill, covered, over medium-high heat, turning, until charred and very soft, about 20 minutes. Cut in half lengthwise. Season with salt. Whisk 2 teaspoons tahini with 1 teaspoon each soy sauce, rice vinegar and honey and ½ teaspoon chili oil drizzle over the eggplant. Top with sliced scallions.
23. Portobellos with Herbed Panko Brush 4 Portobello mushroom caps (gills removed) all over with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Grill over medium-high heat, turning, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop. Toast 1/4 cup panko and 1 grated small garlic clove in 2 tablespoons butter in a small skillet until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped parsley and ¼ teaspoon lemon zest season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the mushrooms.
24. Sweet Chili Broccoli Trim the stalks of 1 bunch broccoli to 3 inches peel the stalks. Cut into 1/2-inch-wide spears. Toss with vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat, turning, until charred and crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Whisk 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce with 2 teaspoons each fish sauce and rice vinegar. Drizzle over the broccoli.
25. Broccolini with Dijon Vinaigrette Whisk 2 tablespoons each white wine vinegar and country dijon mustard with 1/2 teaspoon honey and a pinch each of salt and pepper whisk in 1/4 cup olive oil. Toss 2 trimmed bunches broccolini with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Grill over medium-high heat, turning, until tender and charred, 3 to 7 minutes. Serve with the remaining vinaigrette.
26. Lemon-Pecorino Broccoli Rabe Blanch 2 bunches broccoli rabe in salted boiling water until bright green, 1 minute drain. Transfer to a large bowl of ice water to cool drain and pat dry. Toss with olive oil. Season with salt. Grill over medium-high heat, turning, until lightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon zest, grated pecorino and red pepper flakes.
27. Cauliflower with Lemon-Caper Aïoli Toss 1 head cauliflower (cut into large florets) with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon each paprika and pepper. Place on a grilling tray and grill over medium-high heat, stirring, until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Mix 1/2 cup mayonnaise with 4 teaspoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon each chopped capers, parsley and chives season with salt and pepper. Serve with the cauliflower.
28. Lemon-Basil Wax Beans Toss 1 pound trimmed wax beans with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a grilling tray and grill over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until charred and crisp-tender, 4 minutes. Toss with 2 teaspoons lemon juice and some chopped basil.
29. Tomato Bread Generously brush both sides of three 1-inch-thick slices crusty bread with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat, turning once, until lightly charred, 3 minutes. Rub the warm bread with the cut sides of a halved tomato. Sprinkle with flaky salt.
30. Lemon-Mint Edamame Toss one 10-ounce bag frozen edamame in pods with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a grilling tray and grill over high heat, stirring once or twice, until charred, 5 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon zest, chopped mint and flaky salt.
31. Plantains with Lime Butter Brush 2 yellow plantains (peeled and halved lengthwise) with vegetable oil. Grill over medium-high heat until well-marked, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Whisk 2 tablespoons melted salted butter with 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon lime zest and a pinch of cayenne drizzle over the plantains.
This salad is crunchy, sweet, salty, bright, and refreshing—in other words, it’s perfect for summer. Peak-of-freshness peaches are the way to go here: If they’re still ripe, but a little firm, that’s perfect. Bonus points if you get them at a roadside stand. If you can find fennel with intact fronds, get that rather than fennel with the tops cut off—the fronds help make the salad feel special. Serve with flaky white fish and a nice glass of white wine or rosé.
If you’re tired of your usual watermelon salad, give this fantastic new recipe a try. Tomatoes and melon soak up the tangy lime-ginger-mint vinaigrette, making them extra juicy and flavorful. Goat cheese crumbles add a nice creamy note to the salad, but crumbled feta works well too. Serve this salad immediately after it is made so the fresh herbs stay bright and perky.
Recipe Roundup: Blood Orange Fusion Olive Oil
Blood oranges and olives are pressed together to create this agrumato (or combination) of whole, fresh citrus fruits crushed with olives. Use the Blood Orange Fusion Extra Virgin Olive Oil on fish and seafood, chicken, fruit, salads and much more. It’s absolutely delicious when blended with ourCranberry-Pear White Balsamic Vinegar for a lively, tart vinaigrette.
Blood Orange Roasted Beets with Crumbled Cheese and Hazelnuts, Drizzled with a Tangerine Balsamic Reduction
Blood Orange Roasted Beets with Crumbled Cheese and Hazelnuts, Drizzled with a Tangerine Balsamic Reduction
This is a bright and beautiful dish to serve during the dreary winter months. The beets soak up the flavor of the blood orange oil as they roast, adding to their natural sweetness, and the tangerine balsamic reduction lends another layer of syrupy sweetness balanced with a mild tanginess. Beets pair deliciously with blue or goat cheese, but if you’re dairy-free, you can leave the cheese off entirely. Serves 4 to 6.
- 4 golden beets, trimmed and scrubbed
- 4 red beets, trimmed and scrubbed
- 3 Tbsp Sigona’s Blood Orange Olive Oil
- Zest from half a blood orange or Navel orange (use the half the orange for garnish)
- 1 tsp fresh minced rosemary or ½ tsp dried
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 200 ml Sigona’s Tangerine Balsamic
- A couple handfuls arugula
- 1/3 cup hazelnuts, lightly crushed
- 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese, more to taste (you can also use crumbled goat cheese)
Directions: In a bowl, mix together the blood orange oil, zest, rosemary, salt and pepper. Toss the beets in the oil, ensuring they are well coated. Wrap each beet in foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 45 mins to 1 hour, until knife tender (time varies depending on beet size). Remove and set aside to cool to the touch. When cool, remove the skins by peeling it off with your fingers or rubbing with a paper towel.
As beets cool, prepare the balsamic reduction. Add the balsamic to a small heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half it should be thick and syrupy. Remove from heat the balsamic will continue to reduce and thicken off the heat.
Slice into discs about 1/4-inch thick. Arrange a little arugula on a platter, then add the beets in a circular design, alternating colors and nestling them among and on top of the arugula add more arugula as desired.
Sprinkle the arranged beets with crumbled cheese and hazelnuts. Garnish with a few slices of orange. Drizzle the dish with a couple tablespoons of the balsamic reduction, serve the remaining on the side. Serve immediately.
Oven-Roasted Carrots with a Cinnamon Pear & Blood Orange Oil Glaze
Sweet, roasted carrots are the perfect side dish! The cinnamon pear balsamic and blood orange oil work deliciously well together, creating a sweet-spiced syrupy goodness that caramelizes as it roasts with the carrots. You’ll love this recipe! Serves 4. Easily halved or doubled.
- 2 bunches organic, California grown bunched carrots, tops removed and reserved for garnish
- 3 Tbsp Sigona’s Cinnamon Pear balsamic
- 3 Tbsp Sigona’s Blood Orange Olive Oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Scrub and peel the carrots, trimming off the scraggly ends. If some carrots are larger than others, consider halving them lengthwise. Pat the carrots dry and add to the baking sheet.
In a medium bowl, add the balsamic, oil, salt and pepper. Whisk briskly until the mixture is well incorporated and emulsified (thickened). Pour the mixture over the carrots toss and roll the carrots until they are well coated in the mixture.
Spread carrots out in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping once, or until carrots are tender-crisp.
To serve, transfer carrots to a serving dish and top with a sprinkling of salt and chopped carrots greens.
Fresh Fruit Salad with a Honey & Poppy Seed Dressing on a Bibb Lettuce Bed
If you’re looking for a salad everyone will love for Easter, look no further. This is a simple, healthy and delicious fruit salad with a fantastic honey dressing a combination worthy of resting upon its very own bed of lettuce. These will look elegant on salad plates at your Easter tablescape. Inspired by Food Network. Serves 4.
- 1 apple, cored and diced
- 1 banana, sliced
- 2 mandarins, peeled, segments separated
- 1/3 cup halved red grapes
- Juice from one lemon, divided
- 1/3 cup honey, such as orange blossom honey from Honey Hole Honey Co., available at Sigona’s
- 1/4 cup Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Mix it up! Use Sigona’s Meyer-Lemon Fusion Oil or Sigona’s Blood Orange Fusion Oil for more flavor!)
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tsp. poppy seeds
- 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- Salt, to taste
- 4 leaves from a head of Pescadero-grown Suncrest™ Bibb lettuce, separated
- 1/2 to 1 avocado, peeled and cut lengthwise into about 8 or 12 slices
- About 1/3 cup walnuts
Directions: In a medium bowl, toss together the apple, banana, mandarins and grapes with all but 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, oil, orange juice, the remaining one teaspoon lemon juice, poppy seeds, Dijon and salt, to taste.
Place one lettuce leaf on each of four salad plates. Divide the fruit mixture evenly between the four lettuce cups. Just before serving, fan out 2 to 3 slices of avocado on each of the salads and top with a few walnuts. Drizzle the salads with the dressing, serve any remaining on the side.
Fuyu Persimmon and Roasted Beet Autumn Salad with a Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Persimmons and beets come in to season just about the time Thanksgiving rolls around. This salad combines the two with a few other ingredients to create a fantastic salad for fall dinners. The sweetness of the persimmon, the earthy deliciousness of the roasted beets and garnet yams with a salty note from the cheese and pepitas is perfection when topped with the blood orange vinaigrette. Orange and beet pair well together, so the vinaigrette brings the whole dish together. Inspired by Low Carb Maven. Serves 4.
- 2 ripe Fuyu persimmons, sliced horizontally using a mandoline or sharp knife, to be about 3mm thick, but no thicker than 1/4 inch
- 2 to 4 medium beets, roasted* and sliced into 8 wedges each
- 1 small garnet yam/sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and roasted**
- Baby spinach, 1 large handful per serving
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (optional)
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- About 1/3 cup pomegranate arils
Blood Orange Vinaigrette:
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 3 Tbsp fresh orange juice (from about 1/2 an orange)
- 3 Tbsp Sigona’s Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic
- 1 Tbsp minced shallot
- 1/4 cup Sigona’s Blood Orange Fusion Olive Oil
- A pinch or two dried thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions: Divide the spinach among 4 individual salad plates or bowls. Tuck 2 to 3 slices of the persimmon around the spinach then add the wedges of beet and cubes of yam/sweet potato. Top with grated cheese, pepitas and pomegranate arils.
In a medium bowl, add the zest, juice, balsamic and shallot. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil and mix until emulsified (thickened). Season to taste with thyme, salt and pepper.
To serve, lightly dress each dish with vinaigrette or serve it alongside.
*To roast beets: Preheat oven to 400°F. Scrub the beets and trim off the root and stalk ends. Save the greens for another purpose, such as salad or garnish. Wrap each beet individually in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 50 to 60 minutes or until they can be easily pierced through the center with a fork. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to the touch. Remove from foil and rub off the skin. They’re now ready for use.
**To roast cubed yams/sweet potatoes: Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss the cubes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until fork tender, stirring half way through.
Roasted Organic Carrots with Blood Orange, Dijon and Rosemary
These roasted carrots, infused with the flavors of blood orange, dijon and rosemary, and finished with a little sweet from our maple balsamic, are simply incredible. The flavor pairs well with roasted meats. Don’t skip on the finishing salt it rounds out the dish perfectly. Adapted from Fine Cooking. Serves 4 to 6.
• 1 1/2 lb. carrots, peeled and trimmed, halved lengthwise, larger carrots quartered
• 3 Tbsp. Sigona’s Blood Orange Fusion Olive Oil
• 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
• 1 blood orange zested and juiced
• Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
• 1/2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves
• 1 Tbsp. Sigona’s Dark Maple Balsamic
• Ancient sea salt, for finishing
Directions: Heat the oven to 425°F.
Arrange the carrots in a single layer on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the blood orange olive oil, mustard and orange zest. Pour over the carrots and toss to coat. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Pour the orange juice around the carrots and sprinkle rosemary over the top. Cover tightly with foil and roast until the carrots are nearly tender, about 15 to 18 minutes. Uncover, drizzle with the maple balsamic, and roast, uncovered, until tender and beginning to brown, 15 to 18 minutes more.
Shrimp, Watermelon and Feta Skewers with a Blenheim Apricot and Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Watermelon and Feta are a delicious combination the sweet and salty pair also plays well with shrimp and arugula. The combination of all these flavors, topped with our Blenheim apricot and blood orange vinaigrette, would make a nice salad, but we love this skewer presentation. Skewering guarantees all the flavors are together in one perfect bite. Makes 12 skewers, serves 6.
- 3 Tbsp. Sigona’s Blenheim Apricot White Balsamic
- 2 Tbsp. minced shallot
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 Tbsp. Sigona’s Blood Orange Fusion Olive Oil
- About 1/4 lb. block Feta cheese, cut into 12 individual 1-inch cubes
- 12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail optional
- 1 mini watermelon
- 12 leaves of arugula
- Special equipment: 12 wooden skewers, at least 4 inches long
Directions: In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic, shallot, salt and pepper. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil to emulsify the mixture.
Place the feta cubes in a shallow bowl and top with about 1/3 of the vinaigrette. Gently toss to coat well. Set aside to allow the cheese to marinate while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Place the shrimp in a shallow bowl and top with about 1/3 of the vinaigrette. Gently toss to coat well.
Heat a medium skillet over medium-low. Pour in the shrimp their marinade, cooking the shrimp until pink and cooked through, about 5 minutes total, turning once. Remove the shrimp to a plate and allow to cool to the touch.
Meanwhile, wash off and slice open the melon. Use a melon baller to scoop out 12 balls of watermelon, about 1” in diameter. Alternately, slice the melon into 1” cubes. Save remaining watermelon for another purpose.
When ready to skewer the ingredients, begin by threading on a shrimp. Next, gently wrap an arugula leaf around a melon ball/cube and thread it on the skewer, piercing the arugula on the top and bottom. Complete the skewer with a cube of the feta.
Place the skewers on a serving tray (either standing or laying flat), drizzle lightly with some of the remaining vinaigrette and serve. Any remaining vinaigrette can be served on the side or saved for another purpose.
Blood Orange, Cinnamon & Rosemary Roasted Sweet Potatoes
You’ll love the flavors in this keto, paleo & whole30 friendly sweet potato dish. It’s also dairy- and gluten-free! The thin slices get deliciously crispy under the broiler, but also stay tender, creating a nice mouthfeel in every bite. Inspired by Thyme & Joy. Serves 2. Easily doubled.
- 1 large sweet potato, about 8 inches long and without much variance in width
- 1 Tbsp Sigona’s Blood Orange Oil, plus more for greasing baking dish
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp minced fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary or
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Directions: Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a little blood orange oil, lightly grease a rimmed baking dish, such as an approx. 9”x7” or 1.5 qt oval casserole dish.
Using a mandoline or sharp knife, carefully slice the sweet potato into rounds about 1/8-inch thick. Arrange the slices in the dish, overlapping one another in a semi-circle design.
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon blood orange oil, cinnamon, rosemary, salt and pepper. Drizzle the mixture over the sweet potatoes and use a pastry brush to coat the slices. Cover with foil and bake for 30 to 35 minute or until tender.
Uncover and place the dish under the broiler for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the top is crisp and slightly brown, just be careful they don’t begin to char and burn.
Remove from oven allow to cool slightly before serving.
Millet Bowl with Navel Oranges, Avocado, Green Beans and Pistachios
Packed with good-for-you grains, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats, this Buddha bowl is sure to satisfy. The burst of sweet citrus from the Navel orange adds just the right amount of zing, and finishing with a little Sigona’s Blood Orange Olive Oil brings it all together. Adapted from Feast. Serves 4.
- 2 cups millet, uncooked
- A handful of fresh green beans, end trimmed and chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp. butter or Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 medium or large avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
- 2 navel oranges, cut into suprêmes*
- 1/3 to 1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 2 to 4 green onions, sliced
- About 1/3 cup pistachios
- 1/4 cup crumbled Feta
- 4 tsp. Sigona’s Blood Orange Fusion Olive Oil
*Citrus segments: The fruit between the peel, pith and membrane of citrus is called a suprême. To slice suprêmes, begin by slicing the top and bottom off of your citrus fruit. Slice the peel from the fruit, top to bottom, getting as close to the flesh as possible. Once the peel is removed slice any remaining pieces of pith from the fruit so no white remains. Then, slice closely along the sides of each membrane to neatly remove the sections in between. Set the segments aside, discard the rest.
Directions: Cook the millet in 4 cups of water according to package directions. When it’s done cooking, add 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, season with salt and pepper and fluff with a fork.
Meanwhile, blanch the green beans by adding them to boiling water and cooking for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove green beans from the boiling water and place them in an ice bath. When cool, drain and pat dry. Set aside.
Spoon some or all of the millet into 4 bowls. Arrange the green beans, avocado, orange suprêmes and cabbage around the outer rim of the bowls. Top with green onions, pistachios and Feta finish each dish with a drizzle of blood orange oil.
Blood Orange & Cinnamon Pear Roasted Red Kuri Squash
An underlying citrus note from the blood orange oil, along with a sweet and savory flavor from the cinnamon pear balsamic gives this squash a wonderful, fall-spice flavor. Serves 4.
- 1 red kuri squash about, 2 to 3 lbs.
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 Tbsp Sigona’s Blood Orange Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Sigona’s Cinnamon Pear Balsamic
Directions: Preheat oven to 400°F.
Cut squash in half vertically. Scoop out the seeds and membranes, discard or set aside for another use. Cut each half in half one more time to create 4 pieces. Place the squash cut-side down in an oven-safe dish or rimmed baking tray and roast for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the blood orange oil and balsamic until the mixture is emulsified (thickened).
Remove squash from oven use tongs to flip the squash over so cut side is up. Season squash wedges with salt and pepper, then add 1 tablespoon of the oil and balsamic mixture to the well of each piece. Use a brush to coat all cut surfaces of the squash, leaving a bit of the mixture in the well of the squash slice.
Return squash to the oven to roast for another 20 to 30 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender throughout. Remove from oven, allow to rest about 5 minutes. Brush any remaining oil and balsamic mix over the squash and serve warm.
Grilled Watermelon pizza with Stone Fruit, Quick-picked Shallots, Walnuts and Blue Cheese
While we usually like to keep our fruits raw, sometimes summertime calls for throwing fruit on the grill! Grilling fruit brings out its natural sugars, giving the fruit more of a caramelized flavor. Pairing grilled watermelon with savory, quick-pickled shallots and salty, creamy and flavorful cream cheese makes for a salty-sweet treat that’s perfect for the dog days of summer. One personal-sized watermelon makes about 12-16 wedges, depending on size.
- 1 shallot, sliced into rings
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. Sigona’s Blood Orange Fusion Oil, plus more for drizzling
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 or 2 nectarines or peaches, halved, pitted and sliced into about 16 wedges (or at least 1 per pizza wedge)
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts
- About 1/2 to 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese or gorgonzola
- 3 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
Directions: Preheat an indoor or outdoor grill over high heat.
Mix together the vinegar and sugar in a small bowl. Add the shallots, mix together and set aside for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. After marinating, discard liquid and set aside.
Slice the ends off the watermelon so a good portion of the red fruit is exposed on both ends. Slice the melon into disks about 1- to 1.5-inches thick.
Brush the watermelon slices with oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Grill the melon for about 4 minutes per side or until nice grill marks appear. Do not cook much longer as melon will become too soft. Use a high heat in order to sear the melon. Remove grilled melon and set aside to cool slightly.
Cut the watermelon into wedges, as if a pie or pizza, at least 4 per slice, and arrange the watermelon wedges on a serving tray. Top each wedge with a slice of stone fruit and a couple rings of pickled shallot. Sprinkle the dish with crumbled cheese, walnuts and chopped tarragon. Drizzle the entire dish with blood orange oil and serve immediately.
Local Heirloom Cantaloupe Gazpacho
Gazpacho is a simple, often fruit-based soup that’s served chilled. It’s refreshing, light and great for summer parties, either in soup bowls or in smaller cups as an appetizer. Makes 4 to 6 larger servings.
- 1 medium local heirloom cantaloupe, about 3 ½ lbs
- 1 small cucumber
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 Tbsp diced shallot
- 2 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1/2 cup Sigona’s Fresh Press Olive Oil (Mix it up! Use an infused oil for more flavor, such as Persian Lime, Blood-Orange Fusion or Meyer-Lemon Fusion.
- About 3 Tbsp Sigona’s white balsamic, divided, such as Golden Pineapple White Balsamic, Honey Ginger White Balsamic, or Summertime Peach White Balsamic
- Black pepper, to taste
- Fresh mint or basil leaves, thinly sliced, for garnish
Directions: Halve the melon, scoop out and discard the seeds. Slice the melon from the rind, and then cut the fruit into chunks.
Peel the cucumber, slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Chop the cucumber into chunks.
To a blender or food processor, add the melon, cucumber, water, shallot and salt. With the blender running, pour in the olive oil. Blend until the mixture is smooth or until you reach your desired consistency.
Pour gazpacho into 4 to 6 soup bowls. Season each dish with salt and pepper, drizzle on a bit of balsamic and garnish with ribbons of mint or basil. Enjoy chilled.
Satsuma & Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake
Olive oil cakes are simple to put together, and their moist, dense, almost chiffon-like texture will make you wonder why you don’t make this traditional Sicilian dessert more often. We use our blood-orange infused olive oil to enhance the Satsuma flavor in this cake, but you could just as easily use limes and ourPersian-lime infused olive oil, or try Meyer lemons and use ourMeyer-lemon fusion olive oil. The possibilities are endless. Adapted from Instructables. Serves about 12.
- Zest and juice from 2 to 3 Satsumas, divided (you’ll want at least 1/4 to 1/3 cup juice)
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup Sigona’s Blood Orange Fusion Olive Oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- A few slices of Satsuma, for garnish
Directions: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Trace the bottom of a 9” round baking pan on parchment paper. After it’s cut out, place the circle in the bottom of the pan butter the sides of the pan and the top of the parchment. Dust with flour, if desired. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar for a couple minutes until the mixture is frothy. While whisking, add the olive oil, followed by the juice. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the zest and mix it in with a fork. Make a small well in the middle and pour in the wet ingredients. Use a whisk to combine until the batter is smooth and clump-free.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap it on the counter to bring out any air bubbles. Bake at 350ºF for 35 to 40 minutes, checking at 35 minutes (some can take up to 45 minutes to finish). It’s done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. The sides will have browned a bit.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges then turn the pan on to a plate or cooling rack quickly and gently turn the cake back onto a serving dish so it is presented top-side up.
Dust the top with a little powdered sugar and a few slices of Satsuma, if desired.
Clementine-and-Collard Greens Salad
This healthy yet hearty salad makes a great winter meal, just when you’re in need of something bright and sunny. Sweet and juicy clementines, a favorite citrus down South, liven up this mix of chicken, collard greens, pecans, and crumbled goat cheese. Massage some of the dressing into the collards to tenderize the greens and make them more flavorful.
Breakfast of a busy mom who's trying to be healthy (page 50)
From Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South Deep Run Roots by Vivian Howard
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- Categories: Egg dishes Breakfast / brunch American South Vegetarian
- Ingredients: eggs hot sauce broccoli sprouts
Introducing… Southbrook Vineyards
Presented by Sommelier Debbie Trenholm
“I think of wine like a talking stick”, shares Bill (right in picture). “You buy the wine because there is a story that you are eager to share with friends.” Bill & I have known each other for many years, yet during our phone conversation we commented that most of the time spent together was seeing each other at wine shows, in meetings at the winery or when Bill flies in to participate in a Savvy Taste & Buy event. “Let’s make a point to go out for beers next time we see each other”, we said in unison. It is a well-known fact that the drink of choice by most in the wine industry is beer!
On Dragon’s Den…
After a few beers I will endeavor to real dirt about Bill’s experience on Dragon’s Den in 2012. He explained the audition process and how one hour of filming with 8 cameras was unnerving enough then boiled down into 5 quick minutes we see on TV. “Over 9,000 people audition and 200 pitches were selected to go before the Dragons,” explains Bill. “I was really hoping that Arlene or Jim would say – I’m in!” While the winery was mentioned several times, Bill’s focus was on pitching Bioflavia –a health product used made from the dried and crushed skins of red grapes from their organic vineyards. This ‘wine waste’ contains high levels of natural and powerful antioxidants. Bioflavia can be added as an ingredient in smoothies, cooking or baking. “With the snap of Jim’s fingers, the dough of every Boston Pizza made could be enriched with a teaspoon of our product.” What happened in the Den? Click to watch the video>>
Bill & Marilyn are the driving force behind the winery’s organic and biodynamic practices. They are the first to tell you that they are fundamentally agriculturalists. Bill explained that his grandfather had a Jersey dairy farm in Richmond Hill. Growing up, he’d always been surrounded by farmers. Initially, Bill wanted to start an ice cream company using the rich Jersey milk from his grandfather’s dairy. The hurdle came when he discovered that his family’s milk could not be separated out from other Jersey farms – unlike a winery. Long story shortened, Bill shelved the ice cream idea and ventured into the winery business. “I wanted people to taste the terroir – the exact place where the fruit was grown.”
“We were drawn to biodynamics as it is a way to fully express the vineyard’s character in our wines. I did not want to make low end wines. There is no appeal or talking stick in making 2 buck chuck!”
If biodynamic is a new wine term for you, Southbrook’s winemaker Ann Sperling, puts it simply: ‘extreme organics’. Biodynamic agricultural promotes the ecological self-sufficiency and internal harmony of the land while taking into account the cycles of nature (ie. various stages of the moon) and there is a philosophical and spiritual aspect woven in too.
Our Sommelier Susan Desjardins (also a trained horticulturalist) explains more. Growing practices are quite similar to organic agriculture, but a specific calendar is followed to help determine when activities such as pruning and fertilizing should be undertaken in the vineyards. In addition, a variety of treatments are applied to the soil, generally using ingredients that are derived from plants or animals that are integral to the property. Other approaches include planting cover crops between the vines that attract beneficial insects and using lambs to ‘mow’ these areas. Southbrook has 80-90 ewes in their herd.
Ann explained to Susan, “Biodynamics says the farm is an entire ‘living system’. The resulting practices are about quality – quality in the bottle and quality of life.”
Southbrook is the first biodynamic winery in Canada. They keep company of other well-known wineries including Chapoutier and Domaine Leflaive of France. “Many of the wineries in the great wine regions of France are biodynamic”, Bill explains. “Like Southbrook, their wine labels do not herald their biodynamic certification. You can tell just by the taste that the wine has soul.”
What is in Bill & Marilyn’s cellar?
There’s about 1800 – 2000 bottles mainly old Bordeaux, ports and Chardonnay. “Nothing fancy to look at but it is well organized with IKEA shelving and like most cellars, there are always cases of wine on the floor.”
I’ll raise a glass to that! Enjoy your Savvy Selections.
SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES
Since 2008, all of the yeast used in the winemaking process is natural yeast. “We sold all of our commercial yeast and now use what is naturally in the air. Our vineyard is alive!” proudly explains Bill.
Triomphe Chardonnay 2013 VQA, $22.95 />
Made with Chardonnay grapes picked at various times throughout October from 5 different organic vineyards in Niagara.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Our tasting panel raved about this lively Chardonnay. Notes of fresh juicy peach, grapefruit & apples follow through into the taste with a hint of nutmeg & vanilla. A rich wine that is beautifully balanced, laced with subtle oak with a zip of acidity. The soul of the wine definitely shines through!
Suggested Food Pairing: This wine is simply delicious on its own (I am enjoying as I write this eZine!), with pork tenderloin, sushi, crabcakes or fish. The Savvy Selections tasting panel had so many good recipes to share and so did the winery, that we have not one…but three recipes that hit the mark! Peach Pizza, Sunshine Salmon & a unique recipe for Banana Leaf Tilapia with Lemon Beurre Blanc Egg Noodles.
Cellaring: Drinking well now or cellar 3-5 years.
Triomphe Cabernet Franc VQA 2013, $21.95 />
Ontario continues to impress us with Cabernet Franc wines. And this one is a fine example of how a big red wine can be made in a cold climate wine growing region. This wine contains 95% Cabernet Franc with a splash (5%) of Merlot to give it finesse.
Winemakers Tasting Notes: The wine presents a nose of red currant with notes of raspberry, savoury herbs and cedar wood. The palate echoes the fruit aromas supported by medium toast and firm tannins. The finish is of medium length and is driven by both fruit and savoury notes.
Note: our Savvy Selections panel tasted a different vintage, so the above notes are provided by the winery.
Suggested Food Pairing: Fire up the BBQ! Ribs, burgers or spring lamb chops would be a perfect pairing.
Cellaring: Ready now or can be cellared a further 3-5 years.
Whimsy! Married Young 2009 VQA $34.95 />
As you might imagine, there is no end to experimenting at Southbrook. The Whimsy label is where Ann and the winemaking team stretches their talent and winemaking techniques to play! Wines are made in small lot batches (so there are no big mistakes). On the label, each dab of paint represents a different varietal in the Southbrook palette to make an interesting design element that is…simply whimsical.
Winemaker Notes: This blend is 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Cabernet Franc. The juice of the two varieties were fermented separately, then blended prior to barrel aging (in French oak) in order to “marry” and create a wine of more complexity, depth and completeness. Released in February 2015 after several years aging at the winery. 138 cases were produced….and Savvy Selections subscribers took many of them!
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: Gorgeous! A smooth, delicious deep red wine that has blackberry, boysenberry, black licorice, leather, cedar and forest floor (think of walking in the woods after a rain). Tannins have mellowed with age, with a zip of acidity that will smooth out with food (we tried it with old cheddar), and long lingering smoky finish.
Suggested Food Pairing: Beef, beef, and beef! If you are vegetarian, then grilled mushrooms will be delish!
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms
Oh God. These are addicting. I take them to potlucks and parties and I constantly have to write the recipe down for people. I love it:-)
1 package mushrooms of your choice, rinsed
1 8oz package cream cheese
4 slices thick bacon, chopped
1 shallot, chopped finely
4 tbs parsley, finely chopped
4 tbs + 4 tbs bread crumbs (I use Italian seasoned)
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Right now is also a good time to make sure the mushrooms are clean and there is no lingering dirt. I also hollow out the mushrooms a little more. If you have a grapfruit spoon or a strawberry corer (my mom has a Pampered Chef one that works great). You can throw out the extra middle and half of the stems. The other half, chop finely and set aside.
In a small pan, cook the bacon until almost done. Remove the bacon but leave the fat in the pan. Cook the shallot and mushroom stems in the fat. When done, place into a large mixing bowl. Mix together the cream cheese, bacon, shallot mix, parsley, 4 tbs of bread crumbs, lemon, and spices. Once its mixed well, spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps. Its okay if they are really overflowing.
Sprinkle the bread brumbs over the mushrooms (or dip them in) and place them in a casserole dish. You'll want the dish to have sides because the mushrooms will produce water while baking and it could spill into your oven.
Bake on 350 for about 30 minutes. Serve hot.
I have added crumbled bleu cheese to this before- just about 4 or 5 tablespoons to the cream cheese mixture. It is great:-) I think feta and sundried tomato would be yummy too.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Veronica's Veggie Meatloaf with Checca Sauce
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 min
yield: 4-6 servings
* 1 pint cherry tomatoes (about 2 cups, or 12 ounces), halved
* 3 scallions (white and pale green parts only), coarsely chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* 8 fresh basil leaves
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* Pinch salt
* Pinch freshly ground black pepper
* 3/4 cup lentils (about 5 ounces)
* 3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
* 1 cup uncooked short-grain brown rice, rinsed well
* 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
* 1/2 cup shredded carrots
* 1 celery rib, sliced
* 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
* 2 tablespoons butter, divided
* 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves (about 4 cups)
* 1 1/2 cups cubed whole milk mozzarella cheese, divided (about 8
* 2 eggs, lightly beaten
* 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons
* 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tomato, sliced
For the Checca Sauce: Combine the cherry tomatoes, scallions, garlic,
basil, and oil in a processor. Pulse the tomatoes until they are
coarsely chopped, being careful not to puree. Set aside. Season the
sauce with salt and pepper.
For the Lentil Loaf: Place the lentils in a large saucepan of cold
water. Bring the water just to a boil over high heat. Carefully drain
the boiling water and rinse the lentils. Meanwhile, in a heavy large
saucepan over medium heat, bring the broth to a boil. Add the rice and
return the liquid to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover the rice,
and gently simmer without stirring for 10 minutes. Stir in the
lentils, onion, carrot, and celery. Cover and continue cooking without
stirring until the rice and lentils are tender and the liquid is
absorbed, about 30 minutes longer. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the
corn over the rice and lentils and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork. Cover and let stand for 5 more
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread 1 tablespoon of the butter over a 10 by 4 1/2 by 3-inch loaf
pan. In a heavy, large skillet, cook the spinach over medium heat
until the spinach wilts, about 3 minutes. Drain and squeeze the excess
liquid from the spinach. Transfer the spinach to a work surface and
In a large bowl, gently mix the lentil mixture, spinach, 1 cup of the
mozzarella cheese, eggs, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, basil, salt,
pepper, and half of the checca sauce. Spoon the mixture into the
prepared pan. Arrange the sliced tomatoes in a row over the lentil
mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and
2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Dot the top with the remaining 1
tablespoon of butter.
Bake uncovered until the loaf is heated through and the topping is
melted and starting to brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 15
minutes. Slice the loaf into 2-inch slices, arrange on plates, and
serve with the remaining checca sauce.