Monthly Archives: June 2009

Spring Onion Pesto & Pasta


I like to experiment.  Sometimes my experiments go straight to the garbage can and sometimes I hit a home run.

Score one for Sarah.  There were some gorgeous spring onions in my CSA box this week along with a garlic scape.  I looked in my pantry and saw some slivered almonds and the last remaining garlic clove.  I was graving pasta and thought I might make a sauce with all the good stuff I had, then it dawned on me to try a pesto.  See, pesto doesn’t have to be basil based, you can used whatever you like. 

This was fantastic.  Not too onion-y, not too garlic-y.  Just right.  A different, yet refreshing flavor.  I will make this again.

Spring Onion Pesto

  • 3 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic scape (if you don’t have garlic scaped just use another clove of garlic)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese
  • 1 small handful of slivered almonds
  • Olive oil
  • S & P to taste
  • 1 lb cooked pasta, pasta water reserved (about 1 c)

In a food processor or blender add all the ingredients except oil and salt/pepper.  Pulse until well ground up.  Stream in olive oil and add salt/pepper until you get something that looks like this.


Add as much as you like to cooked pasta.  Add some of the reserved pasta water to help mix it along and enjoy.


Posted by on June 30, 2009 in pesto, spring onions


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Strawberry Ice Cream


I got a pint of the most awesome strawberries ever courtesy of HighCross Farm.  The weather has been unbearably hot on Wisconsin.  I thought some ice cream would be appropriate. 

I found this recipe here.  I liked this recipe because you use two eggs.  That’s it.  Not the typical 8 egg yolk recipe traditional ice cream bases call for.

This recipe makes lighter in fat, lighter in texture ice cream.  I think you will be pleased when you make this.  I used my kitchenaid ice cream attachment to make this.  You can use any ice cream maker, or no ice cream maker at all.

Strawberry Ice Cream

sweet cream base
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream (or whipping cream)
1 cup milk

1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/3 cup sugar
juice from 1/2 lemon
zest from 1 lemon (optional)

Combine strawberries, lemon juice/zest, and 1/3 cup sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Once strawberries have refrigerated, prepare the sweet cream base. Whisk eggs in a bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the sugar and continue whisking for a minute longer. Add the cream and milk, stir until fully combined.

Combine the strawberry mixture into the sweet cream base. Pour into an ice-cream mixer and mix according to mixer instructions.

I didn’t get a dark pink colored ice cream typical of most store bought strawberry ice creams.  What I got was this luscious very very pale pink ice cream with wonderful chunks of fresh strawberries.  Incredible. 

Close up…


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Posted by on June 28, 2009 in ice cream


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CSA Box 4


HighCross Farm does it again by giving me another incredible CSA box.

In the box this week:

  • Kohlrabi
  • Garlic scape
  • Baby beets with greens
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Green onions
  • 2 types of lettuce

I can’t wait to see what I can do with this week’s box!

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Posted by on June 26, 2009 in Uncategorized




I had gotten a beautiful head of Yukina in my CSA box and wanted to do something other than a stir fry.  It has a delicate taste to it, so I thought it might go nice with pasta.  I was right.

This is what I came up with.


I took the yukina and mixed it in with some tomatoes and mushrooms and put it over whole wheat pasta.  It was heavenly.


  • 1/2 box whole wheat penne pasta, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1 smallish can of diced tomatoes, juice and all
  • 1 small container of fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 grilled chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 head of yukina roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • S & P to taste

In a large pan heat sautee shallot and garlic in olive oil until they are clear and soft.

Add mushrooms and more olive oil if need and cook until soft.

Add can of diced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, chicken, basil and wine.  Let cook down until reduced by half.

Salt and pepper to taste.  Add the Yukina at the last minute.  Put sauce over pasta and enjoy.  That’s it. 

This is a wonderful dish that takes virtually no time at all to make.  The chicken can be prepared the night before to save time.  If you don’t have chicken, you can substitute with any protein you wish.

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Posted by on June 25, 2009 in yukina



Lasagna Roll ups


I got another really big bag of spinach in my CSA box this week.  I thought lasagna roll ups would be a great way to utilize the spinach.

Spinach Roll Ups:

  • 6-7 lasagna noodles, cooked according to package directions.
  • 1 26 oz can of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage
  • 5 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 15 oz container part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 – 1 c fresh spinach, steamed and chopped (if you don’t have fresh, use frozen.  Make sure it is drained well)
  • 1/4 c asiago or parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
  • 1 c shredded mozzarella, plus extra for topping
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • S & P to taste

Brown your sausage and drain.  Add spaghetti sauce and chopped basil.  Cook until thoroughly heated and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the ricotta cheese, nutmeg, asiago cheese, mozzarella cheese, spinach and S &P.

Place half of the sauce into a casserole dish and set aside.

Spread cheese mixture over the top of the cooked and cooled lasagna noodles.  Roll up carefully and place seam side down in casserole dish.

Cover lasagna rolls with remaining sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Cover and back at 400 for 30 minutes.

You will get something that looks like this.



This is what they look like on the inside…


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Posted by on June 24, 2009 in pasta


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Strawberry Tarts


Nothing beats farm fresh strawberries..nothing.  HighCross Farm delivered some of the sweetest berries, I can honestly say, I have ever had.

I decided to forgo the usual strawberry shortcake and mix it up a little bit.  I had some puff pastry cups in the freezer and a basic pastry creme recipe from my grandmother.  Puff pastry, pastry creme, strawberries…sounds like a winning combination to me. 

The results were nothing less than stellar.  If you are looking for an impressive yet quick dessert, this one is a keeper.

The Supplies:

  • 1 package of frozen puff pastry shells, baked according to package directions
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry-rhubarb jam
  • pastry creme (see recipe below)
  • fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled (the strawberries in my csa box were small in size, so I left them whole.  If you have larger berries, slice or quarter them)
  • chopped macadamia nuts
  • fresh whipped cream (see recipe below)
  • fresh mint to garnish

Pastry Creme:

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 c plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup whole milk

In a small saucepan, Heat milk to boiling point and remove from the heat.

In a heatproof mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until smooth. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue beating until pale yellow.  Beat in the flour. 

Pour the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture in a steady stream, beating constantly. When all the milk has been added, place back in pot you heated milk in. Heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool.

Vanilla Whipped Cream

  • 1 1/2 pint container of heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat in a chilled bowl until thick and creamy.  Do not over beat or you will have butter. 

Putting the tart together

Heat the jam until it melts.  It will not be runny, but it will not be a clump of jam either.  pour over your strawberries and coat thoroughly.

Fill your pasty shell with a good tablespoon of pastry cream. 

Top with the jam glazed strawberries.

Sprinkle with chopped nuts

Add a dollup of whipped cream and garnish with fresh mint.

That’s it.  Simple. 

Here is what it looks like on the inside.

018  🙂



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Posted by on June 20, 2009 in Uncategorized


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CSA Box 3


In the box this week:

  • Strawberries!!!
  • Green onions
  • Lettuce
  • Spinache
  • Sage flowers
  • Arugula flowers
  • Yukina

Love it!  I will be updating slowly but surely this weekend (it’s a very busy weekend for the Nett  family).  I have a pasta dish using the Yukina and I will be making Lasagne Roll-ups as well.  So keep checking back.  I should have everything posted by Sunday evening. 

I want to say thank you to all who take the time to stop by and take a look around.  If I have inspired any of you in any way, I am truly sated.

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Posted by on June 20, 2009 in Uncategorized



Spinach Salad with a Warm Bacon Dressing


The spinach at HighCross Farm is sublime.  I decided to utilize my big bag of spinach and make a salad.

I always loved the warm bacon dressing that accompanied a spinach salad in the restaurants, and wondered if I had the ingredients here to come up with my version of a warm bacon dressing.

I must say, I didn’t let myself down.  Not only does this dressing taste great, it’s super simple to make.

Warm Bacon Dressing

  • 6 slices of thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 2 c water
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1/2 red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • S & P to taste

In a large frying pan or sauce pan, fry bacon until crispy. Drain bacon on paper towel.  Keep 4 tablespoons of the drippings in the pan.

Add sliced shallot and let caramelize.

While bacon is frying you can prepare the other ingredients for the dressing.

In a medium bowl whisk together the water, honey and vinegar.  Add the cornstarch and whisk until the cornstarch dissolves.

Add mixture to the shallots, add the bacon and whisk together in pan. Let heat to almost boiling while whisking intermittently.  You will notice it start to thicken. Once thick, take off the heat and salt and pepper to taste.

Let it cool down a bit before adding to greens.  Enjoy!

You will have a lot of dressing left over.  Put it into a container and enjoy it through the week or put it in the freezer.



Posted by on June 18, 2009 in Uncategorized


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Seared Steak & Bleu Cheese over a Wilted Waido Salad


I love the fact I got a nice big head of Waido in my HighCross Farm CSA box this week.  Waido is a type of Mizuna, part of the Brassica family.  Brassicas contain glucosinolates which may inhibit the certain types of cancers. I’m just sayin’…

I decided to try a wilted salad.  I thought it would be a nice change from the normal lettuce salads I usually made with dinner.  I made a warm vinaigrette and wilted the mizuna in it.  It was fabulous.  I topped the salad with a pan seared steak that I topped with some bleu cheese.  Heaven.

Wilted Waido Salad

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 green garlic, finely chopped (I had some left, if you do not have green garlic, use a glove of regular garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, chopped (or use dry if you do not have fresh)
  • olive oil
  • cider vinegar (use what you want for acid here I used what I had on hand.  You can use red wine vinegar, lemon juice, whatever you desire)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • S & P to taste

In a large frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  When that heats up add the chopped shallot, thyme and green garlic.  Sautee until soft.

Add the dijon mustard and cider vinegar and wisk to emulsify.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Add the Waido and heat thru until wilted making sure you cover the greens completely with the vinaigrette.  Don’t overcook or you will get soggy greens.

Top with a seared or grilled steak.  I added crumbled bleu cheese to the top of my steak. You could also top your steak with the green garlic aioli from my previous post.  Enjoy!


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Posted by on June 13, 2009 in bleu cheese, steak, waido


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Pancetta, Waido, Arugula, Tomato Sandwich w/ Green Garlic Aioli


I took the classic BLT and gave it a makeover.  I was inspired by a recipe I found at epicurious.  I made my own green garlic aioli (more on that later).  Instead of bacon and lettuce, I opted for pancetta and the awesome waido and arugula I had gotten in my CSA box this week from HighCross Farm.

Pancetta comes from the belly of the pig and is usually cured rather than smoked like it’s cousin bacon.  I find pancetta to be less salty than supermarket bacon.

The pancetta coupled with the arugual/waido, topped off the the green garlic aioli is out of this world.  After you make this sandwich you will never go back to the old-school BLT.


Green Garlic Aioli:

  • 1/4 c chopped green garlic (white and green parts0
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teasponn dijon mustard
  • 1 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • S & P to taste

Sandwich supplies:

  • 1 loaf of brioche or Italian bread (today I used Italian bread), toasted
  • 1 beefsteak tomato cut into 1/4 ince rounds
  • pancetta (place on cookie sheet and bake at 450 until crispy.  It does not take long, keep an eye on it)
  • waido and arugula leaves, washed and dried.

In a blender or food processor mix the egg, green garlic and mustard until it’s pretty much the same consistancy (It won’t be silky smooth, you will have nice little chunks of green garlic..mmm).

Slooooowly drizzle in the oil and let mix for about 3 minutes.  You will notice it getting quite thick.  Add the lemon juice and mix until it is all blended well.

It should look something like this:


This picture doesn’t do it justice.  It comes out a beautiful pale green color.

Put into a serving container and salt and pepper to your taste.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.  It is so good.

To assemble:

  • Spread some aioli on one side of each piece of toasted bread
  • Add the waido and arugula
  • Add the tomato
  • Add the pancetta
  • Top with the other slice of breat

Grab a cold one and enjoy!


Posted by on June 13, 2009 in aioli, green garlic, sandwich, waido


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