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Arugula and Pear Salad

Adapted from (link is external)

2 Tbs. shallot, minced

3 Tbs. vegetable broth

3 Tbs. olive oil

1 1/2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp. Dijon

1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste

black pepper, to taste

1/2 c. walnuts, chopped

2 pears, Bartlett, firm red

5 c. lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces

4 c. arugula, trimmed, washed and dried


Prepare your dressing by placing all of the ingredients (top 7 listed) into a mason jar or other tightly lidded container. Shake vigorously, until the ingredients are completely combined.

For the salad, begin by lightly toasting the walnuts in a hot skillet over the stove. You will know that they are ready when they give off a pleasing aroma. Slice the Bartlett pears into thin slices. Place pear slices into a large bowl and coat with 1 Tbs. dressing. Toss until each slice is completely coated. Add the lettuce, arugula and toss until all are coated with dressing, adding more if desired. Top with walnuts, serve and enjoy! Makes 4 servings.


Sautéed Pears with Thyme and Vanilla Ice Cream

Adapted from (link is external)

1 Tbs. butter

1 pear (ripe but firm)

2 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves (divided)

vanilla ice cream

lemon zest (from 1/2 lemon)


Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. As the butter is melting, slice the pear into 4 quarters. Add the pears to the skillet and sauté, turning occasionally, for 6-8 minutes, until lightly golden-brown. Halfway through the cooking time, sprinkle with half of the fresh thyme.

Serve in shallow bowls, with scoops of vanilla ice cream, sprinkled with lemon zest and the remaining thyme leaves. Makes 2 servings.


Arugula and Asparagus Ribbon Salad

Adapted from (link is external)

1 bunch asparagus (trimmed)

3 Tbs. olive oil

2 Tbs. lemon juice

2 tsp. honey

1 shallot (minced)



2 c. arugula

1/4 c. hazelnuts (toasted, roughly chopped)

Pecorino Romano (for serving, optional)


Slice the tips off the asparagus spears, then slice them all in half, lengthwise. Place in a large bowl and set aside. Use a vegetable peeler on the asparagus spears to create long, thin ribbons. Add the ribbons to the bowl of asparagus tips and set aside.

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and minced shallot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the asparagus, and toss to coat. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Add the arugula to the bowl of asparagus and toss to combine. Top with chopped hazelnuts, more black pepper, and a few shavings of Pecorino Romano, if using. Serve. Makes 2 generous servings.


Asparagus and Blue Cheese Pasta

Adapted from Blue Valley Gardens.

1 lb. asparagus

1 lb. pasta

1 c. half and half

1 c. Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)

1 c.. blue cheese (preferably gorgonzola, crumbled and mixed with 1 Tbs. flour)

4 Tbs. butter


Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces and steam about 2 minutes or until the asparagus is bright green in color. Drain and set to one side.

Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the half and half in a heavy pan on low heat while slowly adding the cheeses with flour, whisking until well blended. When the cheese is melted, stir in the butter and fold in asparagus. Toss the pasta with the asparagus and sauce, and serve. Makes 4 servings.


Vibrant Spring Socca with Basil-Arugula Pesto

Adapted from (link is external)

1 c. chickpea flour

1 c. water (plus 1/4 cup, divided)

1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil (plus 1/2 cup, divided)

1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. basil leaves (fresh, packed)

2 c. arugula

1/2 c walnuts (toasted)

1/4 c nutritional yeast flakes (or Parmesan)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

black pepper

2 c. sugar snap peas (trimmed, blanched, cut into bite-sized pieces)

1 c. snow peas (trimmed, blanched, cut into bite-sized pieces)


In a medium bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, 1 cup of water, 1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, parsley, and salt. Whisk until the batter is smooth. Set aside, and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, combine the basil, arugula, remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil, remaining 1/4 cup of water, walnuts, nutritional yeast, garlic, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth, adding more olive oil or water a bit at a time if needed.

Turn broiler to high, and place a rack 5 inches below the flame. Lightly grease a cast iron skillet, and place below the broiler for 1-2 minutes, until hot. Carefully remove the skillet and pour in the prepared chickpea batter, swirling the skillet to make an even layer. Place under the broiler and broil for 5-10 minutes, checking every 3 minutes to avoid burning. Remove from broiler when socca is golden brown. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a serving dish. Top with pesto, and sugar snap and snow peas. Serve.

You’ll likely have extra pesto, which can be frozen for up to 3 months. Makes 4 large servings.


Springtime Polenta

Adapted from (link is external)

4 c. water (plus up to 2 more cups if needed)

1 c. polenta

1 1/2 Tbs. butter

2 onions (small, finely minced)

1/2 lb. asparagus (trimmed, sliced diagonally into 1-inch pieces)

1 c. peas

1 bunch ramps (trimmed)

1 lemon (sliced in half)

1/2 c. Pecorino Romano (grated)

olive oil



Heat the water and a large pinch of salt in a large pot over high until simmering. While whisking, slowly pour the polenta into the simmering water. Continue to whisk for 2 minutes, then reduce the heat to low. Cook uncovered, for 30-45 minutes, whisking every 4-5 minutes, until no longer gritty and the consistency is smooth and creamy. If the polenta turns too thick, whisk in more water. Stir in the grated Pecorino.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, and sauté about 10 minutes, until golden. Stir in the peas and asparagus, and sauté until just barely cooked, 2-3 minutes. If needed, add a tablespoon or 2 of water if the pan starts to dry out. Add the ramps, and toss to combine. Remove from heat as soon as the ramps are wilted, just 30 seconds or 1 minute. Squeeze half of the lemon on top, and season to taste with salt.
Scoop a spoonful of polenta onto each plate and top with the vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with a wedge of lemon. Makes 4 servings.


Pork Top Loin Roast with Asparagus, Spring Onions, and Butter Lettuce

2 Tbs. butter (unsalted, divided)

2 Tbs. olive oil (divided)

2 lb. boneless pork top loin roast (or rib-end loin roast)



1 c. dry white wine

1 bay leaf

1 sprig fresh thyme

1/2 yellow onion (chopped)

2 oz. pancetta (thinly sliced, cut into 1/2-inch strips)

1 spring onion (large, both white and green parts, thinly sliced)

1 lb. asparagus (preferably thin, sliced into 2-inch lengths)

1 butter lettuce (head, sliced into 1/2-inch ribbons)

1/4 c. mixed fresh chopped herbs (like parsley, dill, and basil)

lemon juice (to taste)


In a small enameled cast-iron Dutch oven or casserole, heat one tablespoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Place the pork in the butter and oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown well, for about 10 minutes. Transfer the pork to a dish and discard the fat in the pot. Pour the white wine into the pot and raise the heat to high. Bring to a boil and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits. Add the bay leaf, thyme, and yellow onion, and return the pork to the pot. Cover, reduce heat to very low, and cook for about 1 hour, turning the pork once midway, until a thermometer inserted into the center of the pork reads 160ºF. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let sit for at least 10 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the last tablespoon of butter and olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the spring onion, asparagus, and butter lettuce. Measure 1/3 cup of pork juices from the Dutch oven, and pour it over the vegetables. Season with salt. Cover, raise heat to medium-high, and cook about 3 minutes, until the asparagus is tender. Uncover, and continue to cook until the liquid thickens. Remove from heat and fold in the chopped herbs. Taste, and add salt and pepper and lemon juice.

Return the Dutch oven to the stove and heat over medium heat. Bring the juices to a simmer and season to taste with salt and pepper. Slice the pork in thick slices, and serve with the pan juices spooned on top, with the vegetables alongside. Makes 4 servings.


Prosciutto Arugula Salad Rolls

Recipe adapted from

8 slices prosciutto (or other thinly sliced cured ham)

1 clove shallot

1 Tbs. white wine vinegar (or champagne vinegar)

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

3 Tbs. olive oil

4 c. arugula (tear large leafs into bite-sized pieces)

Directions: Separate prosciutto slices. Set aside while you prepare your other ingredients. Mince the shallot clove and grind in a mortar/pestle with the salt and freshly ground pepper. Place in a small bowl with the vinegar, and let sit for a few minutes. Whisk in olive oil until you have a beautiful salad dressing. Toss arugula in just enough dressing to lightly coat the leaves. Place about 3/4 a cup of arugula salad on a piece of prosciutto, and roll. Repeat until you have used all 8 slices of prosciutto. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.


Mushroom, Bacon, and Arugula Skillet

4 slices bacon

1 c. crimini mushrooms (trimmed, sliced in half)

1/2 c. oyster mushrooms (roughly chopped)



1 Tbs. olive oil

4 eggs (large)

1 c. arugula


Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through and crispy. Chop roughly, and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Drain some of the bacon grease from the skillet, leaving about 1? tablespoons in the pan. Add the mushrooms and cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium-low heat. Crack the eggs into the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cover. Cook until they’ve reached your desired doneness, then remove from heat. Top with bacon, mushrooms, and arugula. Serve immediately, with fresh, crusty bread. Makes 4 servings.


Spring Greens and Polenta Pie

Recipe adapted from The Genesis Farm Cookbook

2 1/2 Tbs. olive oil, divided use

1 c. chopped leeks, scallions or spring onions

2 clove garlic, minced or 1 Tbs. minced green garlic

10 c. mixed spring greens, such as spinach, mustard, dandelion, chard, kale, etc., well rinsed

2 tsp. salt, divided use

1 Tbs. minced fresh chervil or 1 tsp. dried tarragon

1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

4 c. water

1 c. cornmeal

freshly ground black pepper

1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese


Heat 2-tbs. olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks or onions and sauté for 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the garlic, cook until fragrant, then add the greens and 1 tsp. salt. Sauté, stirring constantly until the greens begin to wilt.

Reduce the heat, cover and simmer the greens until are tender, 7-10 minutes; add a tablespoon or two of water if needed to prevent sticking. Stir in the herbs; cook for another minute and turn off the heat.

Bring the water and remaining 1 tsp. salt to a gentle boil in a heavy 2 qt. pot. Stirring constantly, add the cornmeal gradually by letting it trickle through your fingers in a slow, steady stream.

Reduce the heat and simmer the polenta, stirring frequently until it is the consistency of thick porridge and begins to pull away from the side of the pan, 10-20 minutes, depending on the grind of cornmeal. Stir the greens into the polenta and immediately pour the mixture into a greased 10-inch pie plate.

Allow to rest for about 10 minutes until pie firms up.

Meanwhile preheat the broiler. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the pie, season with pepper and sprinkle with the cheese. Broil until the top is golden brown, about three minutes.


Springtime Locavore Salad

From Megan Minnick, Purchasing Director at the Willy Street Co-op.

3 Tbs. white wine vinegar

1 tsp. Dijon mustard (heaping)

1 shallot (peeled, finely minced)


black pepper

1/2 c. olive oil

4 slices bacon

1 bunch ramps (trimmed, bulbs sliced into rounds, leaves roughly chopped)

3 c. baby spinach

1 c. dandelion greens (washed well, patted dry, chopped)

1/2 c. Jerusalem artichokes (scrubbed, thinly sliced)

1/4 c. feta cheese (crumbled)

violet petals (optional, for garnish)

Notes: Look for violets growing wild.
Leftover vinaigrette can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container for a few days. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or so and give it a whisk before serving.


In a small bowl, whisk together the white wine vinegar, mustard, and minced shallot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil in a slow steady stream, whisking until emulsified and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Set aside.

Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove from the pan, leaving the bacon grease in the skillet. Sauté the ramp bulbs in the bacon grease over medium heat until they turn translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, dandelion greens, Jerusalem artichokes, and ramp tops. Drizzle with some of the prepared vinaigrette, and toss well to coat. Top with the bacon, sautéed ramp bulbs, crumbled feta, and violet petals, if using. Enjoy! Makes one serving.

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