Endive, Radicchio, Fennel, and Watercress Salad

Endive, Radicchio, Fennel, and Watercress Salad

Lyn reminds me that I forgot to mention the salad and also the Wholefoods Cranberry multigrain rolls we had at our Eastover feast. Laurel once made a similar roll but they are much better perhaps someday I will get the recipe but we were there and convenience sometimes rules. We recently decided that Wholefoods bakery is not so good again convenience sometimes rules. I rarely bake to exact a science for me. Although I usually say ½ cup or 2 Tbsp. of this I am guessing for others sake I am really a handful of this a pinch of that kind of guy. Anyway…….

Eastover Surf and Turf BBQ Rub Salmon, Grill NY Strip Steak, Roasted potatoes, carrot root, turnips and carrots, Fennel salad and asparagus.

Eastover Surf and Turf BBQ Rub Salmon, Grill NY Strip Steak, Roasted potatoes, Celery root, turnips and carrots, Fennel salad and asparagus.

Ingredients:

  • 4 endive, thickly sliced on the diagonal

BelgianEndive

  • 1 large bulb fresh fennel, fronds removed and bulb very thinly sliced

fennel

  • 1 bunch watercress, stems removed

watercress

  • 1/2 Head of Radicchio sliced crosswise thinly

radichio

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Zest of one Meyer lemon
  • Juice of 1 Meyer lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

How:

In a bowl, combine the endive, fennel, radicchio, watercress and Meyer lemon zest then toss gently to mix.

add Myer lemon zest

Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Add half of the dressing and toss gently to coat thoroughly. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and serve immediately..

toss

THE HISTORY OF  WATERCRESS

watercress about 1

From http://www.watercress.com/history.aspx

Watercress is the most ancient of   green vegetables known to man and its use can be traced back to the Persians,   Greeks and Romans. In fact, a famous Persian chronicler advised Persians to   feed cress to their children to improve bodily growth. He also strongly   recommended its use to the Greek and Persians soldiers of that time.Although these eminent rulers knew   nothing of such matters as mineral content and vitamins, they did observe   that their soldiers were in better condition when this plant was made part of   their daily diet. The Romans, too, looked with favor upon Watercress as a   salad. The common method of preparation in those days was with oil and vinegar.   It was also served with pepper, cumin seed and lentiscus…leaves of the mastic   tree.

When Hippocrates founded the first   hospital on the Island of Kos around 400 BC, he grew wild watercress in the   natural springs and used it to treat blood disorders.

It is reported that Nicholas   Messier first grew watercress in Erfurt, Germany, in the middle of the 16th   century. English cultivation started in early 1800, when a farmer near London   began to give cress attention as a product of Agriculture to be used in salads.   It was not long before its popularity spread and it became increasingly   difficult to meet the rather sudden increase in demand for watercress.

The herbalist John Gerard extolled   watercress as an anti-scorbutic (remedy for scurvy) as early as 1636. No doubt   in those days it was far easier to come by than oranges – a foreign   extravagance.

According to the book ‘James Cook   and the Conquest of Scurvy’, Captain James Cook was able to circumnavigate   the globe three times, due in part, to his use of watercress in his sailors   diets. And watercress is recorded as being on the menu for the vary first   Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims and the American Indians.

Wherever Watercress has been   reported in history, it has been common to eat the crisp green sprigs out of   hand, combined with other tender greens in salads and as a garnish on hot and cold dishes. In addition,   certain nationalities have made a particular watercress use famous in their   country.

For instance, the French are noted   for delicious thick soup made of potatoes and watercress, Potage Cressionniere.   This is usually served hot, though it is delicious served cold.

The English, of course, are   responsible for popularizing the watercress sandwiches. These are now practically standard service, appearing at   daily family teas and high teas alike. The Italians, too, did their bit by   adding shortcut sprigs of Watercress to their minestrone and other satisfying   and hearty vegetable soups. The Chinese have long used watercress sprays in their egg drop,   wonton and of course watercress soup.

Here in America, B&W   Watercress, Inc. has not only made watercress available easily, but we also   developed interesting recipes for using Watercress. These include: watercress   salad, soups and sandwiches, dips, entrees and of course the vegetable   dishes.

watercress2

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Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Lyn is laid up on the couch with her foot properly raised about 6” above her thigh and I am playing the part of Nurse Steve. We have nicked named her foot “Gronk Envey”.

Anyway, I was having a practically lonely time shopping and said to myself what makes one feel good, soup I answered, getting a strange look from the person next to me.  I had a long-necked butternut squash in my hands and went straight to the granny smith apples. This shopping trip suddenly had a dual purpose make Lyn feel better and a good soup.

               

Takes about 2 hours total time to the table, quicker if you are not a talker.

 Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. Unsalted butter (We keep butter in the freezer since we don’t use it all the time)
  • 1 ½ cups roughly chopped sweet onions
  •  1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 6 cups peeled and roughly diced butternut squash (I like to buy the squash with a long neck this part has no seeds and usually can get enough for what I need. The bottom I save for roasted later.)
  • 3 cups peeled and roughly diced granny smith apples (about 3 apples)
  • 2 tsp. Toasted Spice Rub, recipe below. ( I make a lot and store with my spices for future use.)
  • About 30 to 32 ounces low sodium, low-fat chicken broth or you can use vegetable broth.
  • 3 cups of water to add to the broth. I have left this out it makes a thicker richer soup.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (Don’t add until you taste finished soup a lot of times it really does not need)

How:

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat, and cook until it turns nut brown, just about the time it stops foaming. Add the sweet onions and cook until slightly softened, about 2-4 minutes. Add the garlic until you smell it 10-20 seconds

Now add the squash and apples, raise temp to high, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to caramelize, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in the Toasted Spice Rub and cook briefly to toast it, about 1 minute.

Add the broth-water mixture, bring to a simmer, and partially cover (use a wooden spoon across the pot rest the cover on that. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the squash and apples are tender, about 40 minutes.

In about 3 or 4 batches transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to a pot, reheat and season with salt and pepper if desired.

Toasted Spice Rub

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns ( I have made with a mixture of pepper corns not bad)
  • 1 1/82 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. ground Cinnamon

In a small heavy pan over medium heat, combine the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns. When the fennel turns light brown, work quickly. Learned this during my Chinese wok cooking stage, turn on the exhaust fan; add the red pepper flakes, and toss, toss, toss, always under the fan. Having trouble breathing? I said under the exhaust fan silly, I did bold it!” Immediately empty the spice mixture onto a plate to cool. I have a small coffee grinder for grinding spices; grind only the fennel, coriander, pepper, and chili flakes. Pour into a bowl and toss with the remaining chili powder, cinnamon and salt. You can use a blender and blend until the spices are evenly ground.  Either way works for me.