Recipes · Salad · Vegetarian

my new favorite salad

I’m in love with fuyu persimmons!  I’ve been getting them in my CSA box but wasn’t sure what to do with them.  I’ve been scouring the internet for recipes.  Then I asked my sister.  She told me “just eat them”.  WHAT????  It’s really that simple?   No recipe needed, just take a bite.  Okay, so…I decided to peel and slice them into wedges and put them on a platter with prosciutto.  My friends loved it.  And now the salad…my new favorite.

Persimmon and Arugula Salad

  • Baby arugula
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Fuyu persimmons, peeled, and cut into wedges
  • Goat cheese, crumbled


  • 2 parts Olive oil
  • 1 part Balsamic vinegar
  • spoonful of Dijon mustard
  • a little bit of dried thyme, crushed by hand
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl.  Dress the salad!

Turley is the worst.  What’s wrong with all those chew toys you have?

Persimmon on Foodista

Healthy · Main Dish · Pasta · Recipes · Salad

Red cabbage for a buck

Veronica and I went to the farmer’s market Saturday morning.  We haven’t been in a while, so we really loaded up.

It’s kind of unbelievable how much stuff can fit in my little smart car.  Well, and on top too.

VJ bought a couple of zucchini from one of the farmers at the market and paid 2 bucks.  That is a ridiculous price to pay, it’s too much!  I bought a full head of red cabbage for a buck and knew just what to do with it.

I LOVE this pasta dish.  It’s awesome with a refreshing salad of arugula, radicchio, radishes and thinly shaved zucchini.  I love how the crunchy raw vegetables in the salad contrast the slow cooked cabbage in the pasta dish.

Linguini with red cabbage

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 ounces French feta
  • 1 pound linguine

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet.  Add onions, cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add cabbage, cover and cook until cabbage is tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook linguine in boiling salted water until al dente.

Toss cabbage with pasta, season with salt and pepper.  Transfer to serving bowls, top with feta and serve.

Arugula, radicchio, zucchini and radish salad



zucchini, thin slice

radishes, thin slice

parmigiano-reggiano, shavings

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Season salt and pepper to taste

Slice the radishes, shave the zucchini and chop the radicchio.

Combine olive oil and lemon juice.  Season with season salt and pepper.

Combine arugula and radicchio, toss with some of the olive oil and lemon juice.  Add to the serving dish

Toss the vegetables with the dressing.  Place on top of the arugula and radicchio.  Garnish with parmigiano-reggiano shavings.

Appetizers and Snacks · Recipes · Salad

Balsamic Caviar?

You’ve heard of “Julie and Julia”, the blog, the book and then the movie.  Now there’s Marge and Michael.

Michael Chiarello’s new cook book,  Bottega…Bold Italian Flavors from the Heart of California’s Wine Country, has just been released, and I had to get it.  Lucky for me, on Wednesday Michael had a book signing at Napa Style, his store in South Coast Plaza.   He signed my book, gave me a hug and told me to “just keep cooking, Sweetheart”.  He’s very hot and sexy, but not as hot and sexy as my sweet Sunshine.

I was blown away by the crazy balsamic caviar he used in his updated version of a caprese salad in my fabulous new cookbook.  I immediately ordered the caviar making tool and the gold gelatin leaves to try it out.  I had never used gelatin sheets before, turns out it was pretty easy.  Check it out.

I made a mixture of balsamic vinegar and gold leaf gelatin, and let that rest for an hour.  At the same time, I put grape seed oil in a large glad container and let chill in the freezer.

Add the balsamic mixture to the bottom tray of the caviar maker.

Cover with top half of the caviar maker.

Create a suction by pulling the syringe back, pulling the balsamic mixture into the individual caviar pods.

Lift the top half of the caviar maker, and place over the chilled grape seed oil.

Slowly press the syringe to release small drops of balsamic mixture into the chilled oil.

Freeze the balsamic caviar in oil for a couple of minutes.

Remove from oil with a slotted spoon or mesh sieve.

Place into a dish that has been chilled.

And we have balsamic caviar!

I’ve used it on top of strawberry ice cream too!  Check out Marge-Alcious Morsels for a video on how to use the caviar maker and how to make strawberry ice cream using dry ice!

Balsamic Vinegar on FoodistaBalsamic Vinegar

Main Dish · Recipes · Salad · Side Dish · Vegetarian

Sunshine’s Special Quinoa

I woke up Saturday morning excited to make something for Sunshine with the organic tomatoes and purple basil that was included in my CSA box this week.  I love the creamy french feta from the Jordan market up the street, and thought it would make a nice addition to the dish.  I also wanted to incorporate wild arugula for it’s peppery bite, and use quinoa just for fun. This turned out to be a great summer salad on it’s own, or as side dish to fish or chicken.  Sunshine really liked it.

Tomato, Basil and Feta Quinoa

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 bunch Italian basil
  • 1 bunch purple basil
  • 4 ounces wild arugula
  • 6 ounces French feta, cut into cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cut the tomatoes horizontally in half.  Place the tomatoes on the baking sheet, cut side up.  Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, add 4 cups of water and 2 cups of quinoa to a medium size pot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook for 15 minutes, uncovered.

Line another baking sheet with parchment and sprinkle the pine nuts evenly on top.  Bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

Add 4 tablespoons olive oil, the minced shallot and garlic and 1 bunch of basil to large saute pan.

Bring up the heat to medium and cook until the garlic is fragrant and is just starting to brown.

Add quinoa, toss to coat with shallot, garlic and basil mixture.  Add purple basil and arugula.

Add the tomatoes, pine nuts and feta and gently fold into the mixture. It’s delicious served at room temperature, or cold.