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Appetizer

Radishes with Pistachio-Mint and Hard Boiled Egg Yolk Sauce

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Radishes with Pistachio-Mint and Hard Boiled Egg Yolk Sauce

There is an abundance of radishes right now and I decided to pick up a baby variety that included pretty much covered the spectrum on the color chart. I wanted to make this dish all about the radishes and that is exactly what I did. The problem is what to do with them? How do I tame down their spiciness? You can pickle them, salt them, cook them, all of which will tame their spiciness down a notch and leave you with a more earthy flavor. I thought about smoking them or grilling them which would have been fine and maybe would have add a little more to this dish (which is never a bad thing). But I wanted a more clean look and flavor to this dish so I simple cooked them in boiling salted water until they were just done. This is a great vegetarian recipe that Eloise really enjoyed and I was happy to hear that. I had some hard boiled eggs that I decided to make a sauce out of the yolks, mustard, and mayo. The result is a really creamy and tangy sauce that would go well on any salad. I also made a mint and pistachio butter that is completely addictive. Toss everything with a light vinaigrette and viola! Thats it! Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

5 baby purple daikon

5 baby green daikon

8 baby white radish

8 baby watermelon radish

2 red radish

Mint pistachio butter

1 1/4 cup of pistachios

2 1/2 cup of milk

1 cup of mint leaves

salt to taste

Egg yolk mustard sauce

4 hard boiled egg yolks

1 tbsp of dijon mustard

1/3 cup of mayo

salt and pepper to taste

3 tbsp of white balsamic

3 tbsp of olive oil

salt

Mint leaves to garnish

Brassica flowers

For the Radishes,

Place of pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil. Then purple radishes and cook them (depending on how big, mine were small) about 5 minutes or until tender all the way through but not mushy at all. Take out and place in an ice bath. Continue the same process with the next 3 radishes ( you might have to add a little more salt to the water after each time). Once all but the red radishes are cooked take a towel (paper is fine) and clean the outside of the radish off (since we didn’t peel them that outer dirty layer should come right off). Leave 1 radish of each color aside and take the rest of them and slice them about 1/2 inch rounds.

For the Pistachio Butter

Place pistachios and milk in a pot.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to light simmer.  Simmer for 20 minutes and then place the pistachios into a blender with the mint leaves.  Blend until completely smooth, you might need to add more liquid if it is too thick.  Should be green, creamy, and delicious. Season with salt and place in a squirt bottle.

For the hard egg yolk mustard sauce.

Place all the ingredients into a bowl (or blender, or food processor). I used a stick blender and pureed everything until it was smooth and creamy. Season with salt and more mustard if need be. Place in a squirt bottle.

To Finish

In a bowl add balsamic, oil, and salt. Then place the 1/2 inch thick slices of radishes into the bowl. Season aggressively with salt and toss well. Then take your two sauce and make dots all of the plate. Colorfully arrange the radishes around the plate. Take 1 of each radish and slice paper thin on a madeline and add on top. Add some more dots on top of the some of the radishes. Garnish with flowers and more mint leaves. Serve and enjoy!

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Tuna, Eggplant, Fig, Cayenne Chimichurri

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Tuna, Eggplant, Fig, Cayenne Chimichurri

Here is a recipe that has more of mediterranean feel (even though chimichurri is from south america) with figs and tuna. I really try not to buy tuna at all anymore. It has been probably a year since I have bought tuna because I don’t want to contribute the extinction of this precious animal. But, I did buy a small portion a few weeks ago and made three different recipes from the one piece. Here is the second recipe from that time. Simple easy and can be replace with any other raw fish that you so choose. Great for the late summer warm evenings. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Tuna, Fig, Eggplant, Chimichurri

8 oz of tuna sliced sashimi style

1 large eggplant

1 tbsp of vegetable ash

1 tbsp of butter

3 tbsp of cream

salt and pepper

6 ripe figs sliced in thirds

Cayenne Chimichurri

1/4 cup of diced red cayenne pepper small diced

1/8 cup of fresh dill fronds

1/8 cup of chopped chives

1/8 cup of chopped basil

1/2 cup of fresh parsley leaves

1/4 cup of fresh oregano leaves

3 cloves of garlic minced

1/4 tsp of red chile flakes

1 tbsp of sherry vinegar

1 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tsp of kosher salt


For the eggplant,

2 ways to do this. First is you place your eggplant directly on the hot spot of your grill and just let all sides get black or if you have a gas stove you can put the eggplant directly on the flame of your gas burner and do the same. The eggplant should begin to release its juices. (approximately 3-4 minutes on each side.) You want to char the eggplant really good but not burn the eggplant so much that there isn't any "meat" left inside the eggplant. If you cook your eggplant for about 15-20 minutes and it is charred on every side and feels pretty soft then place the eggplant in a bowl (while hot) and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to cool completely Basically you are steaming the eggplant at this point to insure that the eggplant will be cooked all the way through. Once cooled the eggplant should be very soft all the way through. Carefully peel the eggplant and place in vitamix with a touch of cream and butter. Season with salt and set aside for later. You can place in a squeeze bottle if you desire.

For the cayenne chimichurri,

Place all the ingredients into a bowl and season salt.

To Finish

On a plate take a spoon or squeeze bottle of eggplant puree and make 5 small dots on the plate. Then take 5 slices of tuna and season each tuna slice with a touch of salt and place on top of the eggplant puree. Then take a spoonful of cayenne chimichurri and spoon over each piece of tuna. Take your figs and slice them in thirds and place one slice by each piece of tuna. Serve and enjoy!

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Deconstructed Tamale (Masa Polenta) with Habernero Tomato

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Deconstructed Tamale (Masa Polenta) with Habernero Tomato

I’ve made plenty of tamales over the years and I really like the style from my wife’s native country of El Salvador. This however is not quite that type of tamale. I’ve played around recently with masa to see what other applications I can use with it. I’ve used the masa in a pate a choux dough and baked them for masa puffs, I’ve made dumplings with masa and fried them “chips and salsa”, this recipe I wanted to make a warm polenta or a deconstructed tamale ( or really just masa polenta, or grits). I can say that it was a big hit and it will be for anyone who likes tamales. This taste just like a tamale without having to cook them twice. Typically in a Salvadorian tamale you cook the masa with water or stock and a lot of oil. You cook it until it gets thick and taken on that typical masa flavor. Then while it is warm you spoon it onto the corn or banana leaf and whatever stuffing you want. Then wrap it and steam the tamales for another 30-45 minutes or so and then they are done. This is basically all the same flavor (minus all the oil) with a lot less work involved. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Tamale

2 cups of water or stock
2 cups of milk
1-1/2 cups of masa
salt to taste

Tomato habanero sauce
4 heirloom tomatoes charred on grill
1 habanero
1/3 cup cream
3 tbsp of butter
2 tbsp of micro cilantro leaves
Salt to taste
manchego cheese grated


For the charred tomato butter,

Take tomatoes and cut in half. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Place on the hot part of the grill and grill for 3-4 minutes until charred a bit. Place the grilled tomatoes in a small pot with habanero and add cream. Cook for 5 minutes on low heat, then add to vita mix and puree until smooth. Slowly add the butter to the blender until all is incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

For the tamale (polenta)

In a medium pot add water and milk and a tsp of salt. Bring to a boil and then while stirring vigorously add masa flour and continue to stirring until all is incorporated and smooth. Cook for 25 minutes until the flour has been completely cooked. Season again with salt (feel free to add pepperjack or a manchego type of cheese here if you like). If not your are ready to eat!

To finish,

Take a few spoonfuls of the warm tamale and place in the middle of the plate. Then add the charred tomato sauce of the top. Finish with freshly grated manchego. Top with micro cilantro. Serve and enjoy!

masa (tamale) Polenta.JPG


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Tuna, Honeynut Squash, and Nectarine

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Tuna, Honeynut Squash, and Nectarine

Here is a late summer appetizer that has a little sweet and spice on multiple facets. This is a recipe that compresses cured honey nut squash along with fresh nectarines and raw tuna. The whole dish comes together with the addition of ponzu dressing and cayenne pepper jam. The jam, ponzu, and honey nut squash can easily be done a day in advance so the recipe can come together really quickly. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 small Honey nut squash peeled and sliced very thin

1 tbsp of sugar

1 tbsp of salt

Ponzu (see recipe)

8 oz of tuna sliced thin

1 nectarine peeled and sliced thin

Cayenne jam

1 1/2 cup of minced cayenne peppers

2 cups of water

1 1/2 cup of sugar

1 tbsp of pectin

1/2 tsp of salt

1 radish sliced thin

cilantro micro leaves

sansho pepper


For the Cayenne Jam,

Place sugar, water, cayenne into a pot. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes, then add the salt and stir in the pectin. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and then turn off the heat and allow to cool or jar immediately into sterilized jars and can according to canning procedures.

For the honey nut squash,

In a bowl add thinly sliced squash and add salt and sugar. Then place everything into a cryovac bag and seal air tight to compress. Allow to compress at least 4 hours or overnight.

To Finish the dish

Take the tuna and the nectarines and alternate the pieces dress both with a spoonful of ponzu. Then take your cured honey nut squash out of the cryovac bag and shingle them in a neat row. Smear the cayenne jam on one side of the squash then flip it over and place on top of the tuna and the nectarine. Top the squash with sansho pepper, radish, a touch more ponzu, and cilantro. Serve and enjoy this wonderful appetizer!

Tuna honey-nut and Peach.JPG


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Artichoke, Beans, and Tomato

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Artichoke, Beans, and Tomato

Here is a great vegetarian recipe with nothing fancy just straight forward delicious mediterranean flavors that work great together. Use good tomatoes to make a basic tomato sauce. Cook fresh beans and combine it with artichokes and good olive oil. That is really all there is to this recipe. Clean eating at its best. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy this great vegetarian recipe!

1/2 cup of fresh white cannellini bean
5 cups of water
1 onion charred
1 sprig of thyme and bay leaf
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp of salt

1 1/2 cup fresh coco beans
1/2 onion charred, 2 cloves of garlic
4 cups chicken stock, 1 sprig of fresh thyme and savory
1 tsp of salt

Tomato Sauce here

10 baby artichokes here

Micro fennel

For the Beans,

In two separate pots place one bean with all of its ingredients and the other beans and its ingredients and place on top of the stove on medium high heat. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a light simmer and cover.  Cook for 20-25 or so minutes until the beans are tender and cook through. Set aside to cool. 

See Recipe for tomato sauce and artichokes

To finish

Take one cup of each bean and place in a small pot with some of the cooking liquid and heat up until hot. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and a touch of olive oil. Do the same with the artichokes in alternate pan. Then place in a bowl a ladle full of the tomato sauce. Add the beans on the bottom of the bowl. Then add the artichokes. Drizzle a little extra olive oil on top of everything and garnish with a micro fennel. Serve and enjoy!

artichoke tomato beans.JPG

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Tomatillo, Fig, Strawberry, Avocado

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Tomatillo, Fig, Strawberry, Avocado

This is a fantastic end of summer raw salad that take just a few minutes to throw together. This has sweet, sour, salt, spice, and creamy all in one simple recipe. This was really inspired by our garden and the tomatillos that were growing crazy. I’d already made salsa, and I wanted to use them in a way I haven’t in a long time and that was quick pickle simply made of white balsamic and salt. I didn’t even heat the vinegar up to keep the integrity of the thinly sliced tomatillo intact. I hope you enjoy the light and refreshing salad that is bound to make anyone drool!


12 tomatillos sliced 1/8 thick
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp of white balsamic
1 large avocado sliced and cookie cutter with small ring mold
10 strawberries sliced
6 figs sliced

1 tbsp of red peppercorns crushed
1 oz of micro cilantro and beets
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

For the Tomatillo,

In a bowl add sliced thin tomatillos with white balsamic and salt. Let it marinade for 10-15 minutes while you get everything else ready.

To finish,

Add sliced-marinated tomatillos to the plate. Then add avocado slices and season with salt. Add the strawberries and figs. Take some of the juice from the tomatillos and spoon over everything. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over everything. Season everything with crushed red peppercorns and a another pinch of salt. Finish with micro cilantro and beets. Serve and enjoy this easy summer salad!

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Artichoke Stems with Pea, Miso-Garlic puree

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Artichoke Stems with Pea, Miso-Garlic puree

As a cook it is easy to take parts of a vegetable or protein and discard them. As society and chefs become more aware and respect ingredients more and more we find ways of trying not to waste anything. This is a foundation in most kitchens and cultures. Use everything and don’t throw anything away. In restaurants this is vital to turning a profit especially now more than ever when the competition is so fierce and the industry so heavily populated. I found some beautiful baby artichokes at the farmers market from a farm called tutti frutti in L.A. and the stems where really long, strong, and healthy. When I returned back home and was deciding on what to do with the artichokes I contemplated on taking the time to clean the stems or simply get rid of the them. I cut a thin slice off of the end to see how much of stem was the outer peel and how much of it was the the meat and to my delight the majority of the artichoke stem was meat. I couldn’t bring myself to just toss it in the trash simply because I didn’t want to take a few extra minutes to clean the stems. What resulted was a “new” dish out of “trash”. That is what is really exciting for most chefs is make “something out of nothing”. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!


Artichoke Baragouile
16 small baby artichokes with stems removed and trimmed carefully
4 lemons
1 cup of white wine
7 cups of water
1 onion
6 garlic cloves
1 sprig of thyme , 1 bay leaf
1 tbsp salt

Miso garlic puree

1 cup fresh english peas blanched

1 tbsp of butter

Gremolata

1/2 cup of panko crumbs toasted with olive oil

1 lemon zested

basil leaves

Olive oil


For the Baragouile 

Take the artichokes and pull off the outer tough leaves of the small artichokes (wearing gloves helps you not to get pricked). Then take a pairing knife, cut off the tops and trim the bottoms of the green outer skin trying to keep the stem intact for four artichokes. Cut and remove the stems from the remaining 12 artichokes.  Trim the stems as well of all the green tough skin.  Immediately take one half of a lemon and wipe the artichoke all over to stop the oxidation process.  Place in a pot filled with water, white wine, and 1 lemon juiced.  Continue until you have all the artichokes peeled;  Then add the rest of the ingredients along with salt to the pot.  Take a piece of parchment paper and cut a large square.  Then fold it over in half and then in half again.  Then fold it diagonally into a triangle.  Then fold two more times continuing the triangle.  Then cut the point of the triangle off and cut around the outer edge to fit the size of the pot. Open the paper up (This is called a Cartouche), the paper should be a round circle that fits inside the pot with a whole in the middle of the paper.  This is basically a lid for the artichokes to keep them submerged under the water.  Bring the pot up to a slowly to simmer, where the water is just barely bubbling.  Cook the artichokes until they are just tender all the way through.  Test the artichoke with a cake tester to check the doneness.  Take off the heat and let the artichokes cool to room temp.  

For the gremolata,

Add a half cup of bread crumbs to a small saute pan. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and mix well. Place in a 350 degree oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Season with salt and set aside to cool.

To finish,

In a saute pan add some of the barigoule liquid along with the artichoke stems, the four whole ones, and peas. Cook for two minutes and then add 1 tbsp of butter. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Then place the miso-garlic puree down on the plate. Add 5-6 stems on top of the puree. Add one of the whole artichokes next to it. Then add the peas on top of the artichokes stems. Add the gremolata on top and garnish with basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve and enjoy!

Artichoke Stems .JPG


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Tomato Sourdough Salad

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Tomato Sourdough Salad

This recipe was something I threw together from fresh tomatoes from the garden and left over tomato sauce I had made. We had a great crop of tomatoes that is still thriving and sometimes just a little olive oil, salt and pepper is all you need to let the freshly picked tomato shine through. This recipe is really comprised of a few ingredients tomato, sourdough, and herbs and more tomato from the sauce. This is a quick dish you can make as an appetizer with leftover ingredients. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Tomato Sauce

4 cups of fresh heirloom tomatoes or 2 boxes diced tomatoes

1 onion chopped

4 garlic cloves minced

2 tsp of chili flakes

2 ½ cups of water

5 tbsp of olive oil

1/4 cup of basil leaves

salt and pepper   

(touch of cream if desired)

3 slices of nice large sourdough bread

4 tbsp of butter

4 tbsp of olive oil

salt and pepper

2 heriloom tomatoes sliced

Petite basil and fennel

red peppercorns crushed

olive oil

For the Tomato sauce

The better the tomatoes the better the sauce! This is my basic tomato sauce but I have plenty of variations on this website. In a sauce pot add 3 tbsp of olive oil with onion, chili flakes, and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes and then add the tomatoes. Add the water and 1 1/2 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil and cover with a lid. Cook for about 30-45 minutes and then add basil leaves. Then with a hand blender or vita mix puree until smooth. Add salt and pepper if needed. I would add a touch of cream if desired. Set aside and keep warm if you want to serve warm. For this recipe mine was cold from the leftover sauce I had made earlier but either would work well for this recipe hot or cold.


To Finish,

In a large saute pan add 4 tbsp of each butter and olive oil. Add the sourdough bread and “fry” for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. The bread should soak up all the fat and make it the best piece of toast ever. Take out and season with salt. Then using a cookie cut out rounds of the sourdough bread. Then place a spoonful of the sauce on to the plate. Add the sourdough on top. Slice the tomato and place one on top of each crouton. Season with tomato with salt, red peppercorn, herbs and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve and enjoy one of the easiest recipes, perfect for summer?

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Fava Bean Gnudi with Lemon and Mushroom

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Fava Bean Gnudi with Lemon and Mushroom

Gnudi is typically a ricotta dumpling that is rolled in semolina flour. I didn’t use the semolina for this recipe but you could easily sue it. This dish is all about using fava beans as the focal point of this dish. I had dried yellow fava beans, I had fresh fava beans, and I had the leaves as well. All are edible and all had either a slightly different flavor or texture. I added a little lemon to the pan butter sauce which gave the dish some brightness as well. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 lb of ricotta fresh drained

2 lb baby Fava leaves blanched and ring out of all water

4-5 oz pecorino Romano

1 eggs

1/3-1/2 cup of four plus another 1/2 cup

1 1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/4 tsp of chili flakes

1/2 tsp of nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup of dried fava beans

4 cups of water

1 shallot

2 garlic cloves

1 sprig of thyme

salt

1 cup of fresh fava beans blanched and peeled

1/2 lb of trumpet royal mushrooms (scored if desired)

1 cup of fava bean water

5 tbsp of butter

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 lemon juiced

salt and pepper

Green garlic oil

Petite fennel

For the Gnudi,

You can either do all in the food processor or in a bowl, I choose to do mine in the food processor. First is to blanch the fava leaves for 1 minute in boiling salted water. Then shock in a ice bath. Allow to cool completely and then strain off. At this point you need to squeeze all the water out of the fava leaves as humanly possible. You can then place the leaves in a food processor. Pulse a few times and then add ricotta, bread crumbs, flour, pecorino, eggs, chili flakes, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Puree until you have a consistent puree. The mixture should hold together, and should be moist but not overly wet. You don’t want it too dry either because that would make the dumplings more dense. Take small ice cream scoop and scoop out little balls, roll the balls in a small bowl of flour just to coat, and then onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. This recipe should give you about 65 balls. You can do this ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator wrapped up until you are ready to cook and serve the dumplings.

For the beans,

In a small sauce pot, add dried fava beans, shallot, garlic cloves, water, thyme, and a tsp of salt.  Bring to a boil, cover, and turn down to a simmer.  Cook for 20 minutes or until beans are tender.  Turn off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature in its cooking liquid.   Reserve the bean water for the gnudi.

To finish,

Cook for 2 minutes season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Place a pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil. Meanwhile in a large saute pan add 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp of butter, and trumpet mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes and then add both fava beans. Cook for another 1 minutes and then add the bean water. Place about half of the balls in the boiling water and let them float to the top. Should take about 3 -4 minutes or so. Scoop out the gnudi out of the water and directly into the saute pan. Add the butter and twirl the pan so that the 4 tbsp butter emulsifies and coats everything well. Finish little lemon juice, salt and pepper. Place three dumplings on the plate with a some of the fava beans. Place the mushroom on top. Drizzle with garlic oil, and top with petite fennel. Serve and enjoy!

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Stone Fruit Salad with Charcoal Aioli

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Stone Fruit Salad with Charcoal Aioli

This was a fun recipe using all the fruit from the grounds. We plums, nectarines, peaches, apples, and apricots. The plums and apricots normally ripen before the nectarines and peaches but I had picked some and they kept well in the refrigerator. I decided to make this relatively simple recipe highlighting all those different textures and flavors. I also picked some wild elderberry flowers and berries. I had some grapes I had purchase for the farmers market and to bring a bit of intrigue to the dish I made an aioli with vegetable ash. The ash amazing gives the fruit a flavor like they have been grilled, but keeps the texture of the fruits as they are at the peak of ripeness. I topped all the fruit with a white balsamic glaze and olive oil. Finished the dish with micro fennel, basil, and candied pistachio’s. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 nectarine sliced

1 apple sliced

1 plum sliced

1 apricot sliced

1 peach sliced

1/2 cup of grapes cut in half

1/2 cup of elderberry flowers

1/4 cup of elderberry berries

2 tbsp of crushed red peppercorns

Candied Pistachios see here (substitute pistachios for pecans)

1/4 cup of white balsamic

1/4 cup of olive oil

Salt

Petit fennel and basil greens

Vegetable ash

3 carrots and 1 onion charred completely
4 large bunches of green onion or spring onion charred completely

1 cup of mayo

For the vegetable ash aioli

Turn you grill or oven on as high as it will go.  Place all the vegetables on the grill and char completely.   All the charred bits need to be dried completely and then place the ashes in a coffee grinder and pulse to a powder. Combine 2 tbsp of ash with the mayo with a pinch of salt and mix well with a whisk. Set aside and keep cold.

To finish,

In a small mix white balsamic, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Then on four plates using a pastry brush, brush some of the ash aioli onto the plate. Then take 5 to 6 slices of each fruit and place in a line on top of the sauce. Then top all the fruit with the white balsamic dressing. Add red peppercorns, elderberry flowers and berries on top. Place halved grapes, fennel, and basil leaves on top. Finish with candied pistachios for a little crunch. Serve and enjoy!

Stone fruit salad.JPG

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Watermelon and Tomato Panzanella

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Watermelon and Tomato Panzanella

This dish screams summer!!! I just love this salad because of the simplicity but also the flavors. Watermelon and tomato might sound like a weird combination but let me reassure you it is not. Amazing how these two basic ingredients can work hand and hand to compliment each other. The beauty of this salad is how easy it can be. You can easily skip the whipped tomato on top and just have the herbs and bread crumbs. If you want the ultimate stripped down version it is just watermelon, tomato, olive oil, and salt. Top it all with a little fresh basil. That is it! And it is delicious! But of course I have to make it a little more refined for this recipe. Take as little or as much of this recipe as you want. Normally I would say this is a fantastic vegan or vegetarian recipe (which it is minus the gelatin in the foam) but really this is just a great summer salad for anyone, even the kids! The end result is refreshing summer salad with just a few ingredients. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

2 cups of watermelon medium diced

2 cups of yellow heirloom tomatoes medium diced

3 tbsp of olive oil plus more.

2 white radishes shaved thin (optional)

splash of sherry vinegar (optional)

salt and pepper


Tomato Foam

100 g of tomato water

3 g of gelatin

pinch of salt and sugar to taste


1 cup of sourdough croutons

handful of mint and basil leaves with garlic flowers

oven dried tomatoes or dehydrated ground up into powder


For the tomato foam,

Take half of the tomato water and place it in a small pot with a pinch of sugar and salt. Place the other half in a small bowl with the gelatin and bloom. Bring the tomato water to light simmer and then pour half of it over the top of the gelatin bowl. Mix well with a whisk until he gelatin mixture has melted. Once it has melted pour the rest of the tomato water in and mix well. Then cool either in a ice bath or let it come to room temperature. You don’t want it to gel up. Once it is cooled slightly place it in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment and whip until it resembles whipped egg whites. If they start to deflate just rewhip the tomato water. Doesn’t keep well foamy for a long time and needs to be used sooner rather than later.

To Finish,

Place tomatoes and watermelon in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add 3 tbsp of olive oil and a splash of vinegar if you have it. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Then using a round cookie cutter place the salad inside the ring and gently pack tight. Add slices of the radish and croutons on top. Take the ring off the salad and then a spoonful of tomato foam on top. Add herbs and flowers and a dusting of dried tomato. Add a little extra of the water and juice from the salad. Serve and enjoy!

Tomato and watermelon Panzanella .JPG


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Beets, Nectarines, and Fava Miso

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Beets, Nectarines, and Fava Miso

Here is a fantastic summer salad taking in the abundance of fruit and flavors of the local produce. In California, the stone fruit from the property, depending on the years, can be overwhelming! So much fruit from trees that are 20 years or older. Each summer is a challenge to not only let the ground and birds soak up all the fruit excess, but to keep the food interesting as well. Here is a great salad that screams summertime and is healthy, vegetarian, and flat out delicious. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

4 each Candy Striped and Golden Beets roasted

2 nectarines ripe and sliced

1/4 cup of grapes cut in half

2 radishes sliced thin

1/4 cup of marcona almonds

Black Garlic Mayo (see here)


Fava-Koji Dressing

1/3 cup of fava beans peeled and cooked to just done

3 tbsp of koji

3 tbsp of miso

1 small jalapeño

1 tbsp of rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup of cilantro leaves

6 tbsp of olive oil

salt if needed

Micro cilantro


For the Beets,

Turn your oven or grill on 400 degrees.  Take 2 tbsp of olive oil and drizzle over the red beets.  Season with salt and place them in the oven or grill.  Roast for 45 minutes roughly until they are tender all the way through. Use a cake tester to check the doneness  Don't worry about the outside of the beets getting a little burnt if you are grilling them.   Take the beets out of the oven or grill and allow to cool.  Once cool you can peel some of the burnt outer skin off if desired.  If not, leave it on, it will taste really good with a roasted flavor. 

For the dressing,

Place all of the ingredients into a vita mix except for the olive oil and puree until smooth. Drizzle in a 2 tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt if necessary. Set aside.

To finish,

Place the fava miso sauce down on the plate. Then place 3 slices of beets around the sauce. Season each slice with salt. Then add the nectarine slices. Add the radishes, almonds, and grapes. Add the black garlic mayo and drizzle with olive oil. Add another pinch of salt for the radishes and nectarines. Finish with micro cilantro. Serve and enjoy!

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Strawberry, Rhubarb, and Beets

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Strawberry, Rhubarb, and Beets

Here is a fantastic appetizer or salad recipe perfect for those hot summer nights. This recipe really captures a lot of the summer flavors all on one plate. You have your earthy root vegetable, paired with the tartness of the rhubarb. You get the sweetness from the strawberries and crunch from the pistachio. You finish with small amounts of boldness from the blue cheese and white balsamic topped with small amount of micro sweet basil. This might sound like a lot of complication or steps to this dish but I can assure that this is a really easy and delicious salad. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

4 large Red Beets washed and roasted, and cut into 1/8 pieces

5 sticks of thin rhubarb cut into 1 inch pieces

1 cup of sauternes

1 cup of water

1 tbsp of salt

1/4 cup of sugar

1 pint of small strawberries cut in half

6 tbsp of white balsamic vinegar

6 tbsp of olive oil

1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 oz of micro basil

1/4 cup of st. Andres blue cheese or your favorite blue

Salt and pepper to taste

For the Beets,

Turn your oven or grill on 400 degrees.  Take 2 tbsp of olive oil and drizzle over the red beets.  Season with salt and place them in the oven or grill.  Roast for 45 minutes roughly until they are tender all the way through. Use a cake tester to check the doneness  Don't worry about the outside of the beets getting a little burnt if you are grilling them.   Take the beets out of the oven or grill and allow to cool.  Once cool you can peel some of the burnt outer skin off if desired.  If not, leave it on, it will taste really good with a roasted flavor. 

For the rhubarb,

Place all the ingredients in a small pot with a pinch of salt.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes until the rhubarb start to get tender.  Turn off the heat and allow to cool.

To Finish,

Place strawberries, and beets into a bowl. In another small bowl mix oil, vinegar, and a pinch of salt. Then spoon a full tbsp over the strawberries and beets. Season everything with salt and pepper. Then divide the beets and strawberries up onto four different plates. Then finish the plate with blue cheese, pistachios, rhubarb, basil and a final drizzle of olive oil. Serve and enjoy this fantastic summer salad!

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Almond Variations with Saffron

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Almond Variations with Saffron

I did a 3 course meal last night and I wanted to create some new dishes. The first one was a snapper and tigre de leche course, the second was a broccoli and curry dish, and the third was this recipe. We have an almond tree and I’ve learned that there is a small window in which you can eat the green almonds. Now I have seen some chefs use the whole green almond but in my opinion the green doesn’t taste good at all. Maybe they pickle them but I didn’t want to go down that road. If you peel the green outer skin there will be an inner white flesh that I think is crunchy and taste pretty good. But for this recipe I just decided to use the young almond. Now they have different stages of the green almond from my understanding and the stage that I used mine at was when the almond is a little crunchy but almost like a cucumber in flavor. When I cooked them lightly they resembled flavors close to a grape.

I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do with this recipe other than try and incorporate 3-4 different variations of the almond. Jp and Eloise loved this dish and was really impressed by the dish. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it! s

Almonds

1 cups of green almonds cleaned ( 40-50 green almonds)

1/2 cup of marcona almonds

1/2 almonds roasted

Broth

1 cup vegetable stock (see here)

1/2 cup almond milk

1 tsp of Whole allspice

2 star anise

Pinch of saffron

Pinch of sugar

Pinch of salt

4 tbsp of butter

Basil leaves

Chive blossoms

2 tbsp Almond oil

To Finish
In a small pot add almond milk, vegetable stock, whole spice, star anise, saffron, pinch of sugar and pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 5-10 minute to release the favors.

In a saute pan on medium heat add 1 tbsp of each almond oil and butter. Then add the green almonds and saute for 1 minute. Ladle 8 oz of broth over the almonds and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the roasted almonds and marcona almonds. Finish the almonds with some butter. Season lightly with salt if needed. Then spoon the almonds into four different bowls. Finish with herbs, flowers, and a drizzle of almond oil. Serve and enjoy!

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Asparagus and Thai Green Curry Tart

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Asparagus and Thai Green Curry Tart

Here is a recipe that I was trying to thinking of a new way of to presenting asparagus and yet have it with some flare and spice. I’m not sure if I accomplished that or not but I did manage to pull off this appetizer that everyone really enjoyed! This is a great vegetarian and vegan friendly recipe if you wanted to substitute a few ingredients (butter and gelatin). This recipe is a bit different from most green curry because most of them are hot and liquified. I decided to gel mine and serve it cold like a salad. I made the tart shell from cashew and rye flour. I topped it all with variations of asparagus salad. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Thai green curry tart

3 cups Thai green curry sauce (recipe here)

1 tbsp gelatin

2 tbsp water


For the Salad

1/2 bunch asparagus, stems removed, raw sliced thin

1/2 bunch asparagus blanched, stems removed, sliced thin

1/4 cup cashew sprouted

1/4 cup beech mushrooms pickled (recipe here)

4 oz Petit greens

1/4 cup Radish flowers, fresh mint leaves

1 tbsp Sesame seeds

1/4 cup Rice wine vinegar and olive oil


Crust

1 cup of sprouted cashews

1 cup of rye flour

1 stick of butter

1/4 cup ice water

1/4 tsp salt


For the crust

Place the cashews and ry flour in a food processor and puree for 15 seconds. Then add the butter and salt and puree again. This time after 15 seconds add the cold water into the food processor until the tart dough comes together. Normally now you put the dough into the refrigerator to let the dough come together as it gets cold. I don't like when my dough is so cold I can't roll it and usually I am in a rush. If you can put the dough in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes it will really help; if not simply take the dough and put a light dusting of flour onto the parchment paper and place the dough on top. Then dust flour on the top of the dough and put a second piece of parchment paper on top of the dough. With a rolling pin roll out your dough to a thin crust consistency. Then take small round tart ring molds and place them a sheet pan lined with parchement paper. Then carefully place your tart dough inside the mold and prick dough all over with a fork. Using a rolling pin, roll the pin over the mold to trim off any excess dough. Place parchment paper and pie weights or dried beans. Place in a 375 oven for 20-25 or until golden brown. Take out and let it cool completely.


For the Sauce

In medium sauce pot on medium heat add sesame oil, onions, garlic, ginger(galanga), lemongrass, kaffir lime, cinnamon, allspice, and star anise.  Cook for 5-7 on medium to low heat.  You do not want to brown the vegetables but you do want them to release all of their aromas.  Once you have sweated the vegetables then add your sugar and green curry paste.  Cook for 2 minutes and then add the 2 cans of coconut milk.  Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat.  Finish the sauce with fish sauce and 1 tbsp of each cilantro, mint, and thai basil.  Let the herbs steep for 5 minutes. While the herbs are steeping combine water and gelatin in a small bowl to bloom.  Then strain off the sauce into a blend and add the rest of the mint, basil, cilantro, and gelatin.  Blend until smooth and bright green.  Then allow to cool slightly. When the sauce starts to get cool to the touch, pour it inside the pre-baked tart shells filling them up almost to the top. Place inside the refrigerator until the sauce is set.

To Finish,

In a small bowl add all the ingredients for the salad except for the sesame seeds, mint, and radish flowers. Then take the rice wine and olive oil mixture and drizzle over the salad. Toss well and season with a touch of salt. Then place on top of the green curry tarts in a uniform pattern. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, radish flowers, and mint.

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Pacific Snapper Escabeche

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Pacific Snapper Escabeche

This was a fun appetizer I originally made for new years eve last year. But instead of making it with snapper I used hamachi in the original recipe. Everyone loved it! One guest couldn't get enough she kept coming back for seconds and thirds +++. The is a quick version of escabeche. I haven’t really thought about serving this again but with the summer heat coming I thought it is a great dish to serve that is refreshing and delicious. It is something that is simple, doesn’t take that long and it can last for weeks in the refrigerator ( the vegetable portion). Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 lb of red snapper sliced thin (nigiri style)

Escabeche

1/4 cup each sherry vinegar, apple cider, and rice wine

1 cup olive oil

3 shallots or 1/2 red onion brunoise

1/4 cup of capers and some of the juice

2 jalapeños brunoise

1 red, yellow, and orange bell pepper brunoise

1-2 tbsp of salt

1 garlic clove minced

1-2 tbsp of chopped dill


Dill and micro greens to garnish

For the escabeche,

In a small pot add all the vinegars, juice from the capers, and 1 tbsp of salt. bring to boil. Meanwhile place all the vegetables, capers, garlic in to a heat proof bowl. Once the vinegar comes to a boil and the salt is dissolved pour the vinegar over all the vegetables. Then add the oil and probably another tsp or two of salt. Let it cool completely and then add chopped dill.

To Finish,

I took store bought sardines and emptied them out of the fish, washed them and used them as my plate. Place 4 to 5 pieces of snapper in the bottom of the tin. Season them with salt. Then take spoonfuls of the escabeche and spoon all over the fish. Top with micro greens and dill. Side note: the longer you leave the escabeche on the fish the more it change the texture (not a bad thing) from the vinegar. I would say to let it sit about 3-5 minutes before you serve it that way the flavors can marinate together, but you can wait as long as an hour if you would like. Serve and enjoy!

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Asparagus Pesto "Pasta"

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Asparagus Pesto "Pasta"

Here is a vegetarian dish that anyone who loves pasta and pesto would love. There are only a few ingredients which means light on the pocket book and prep work. This is what spring/summer cuisine is all about. I bought some jumbo asparagus from the farmers market that were absolutely amazing raw and this recipe could easily be raw if you so desire. There is no real trick to this recipe other than having a great peeler, delicious pesto and asparagus. It only takes about 20 minutes start to finish if you already have your pesto made. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

2 jumbo bunches of Asparagus shaved with peeler

1/4 cup of pesto

1/3 cup cream

3 tbsp of butter

Salt pepper

Parmesan to garnish

olive oil to garnish

For the Asparagus,

Simply cut the ends of the asparagus off that are tough and woody, the jumbo ones I bought only needed a little trimmed off the bottoms because the majority of the stock was crunchy and delicious. Then take your peeler or mandolin and shave thin strips of asparagus. When the stalks break or dwindles down to just the tips just use a knife and slice the tips to the same size as the rest of the asparagus.

To Finish

Place a pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil. In another large saute pan add cream and pesto and start to warm up. Then place all the shaved asparagus in the boiling water for 3-5 seconds then with a spider or strainer strain out the asparagus and place immediately into the cream and pesto. Add the butter and let the sauce thicken slightly so that it coasts the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and maybe add a little more pesto if needed. Using a large grill fork try to twirl the “pasta” (asparagus) around the fork and place on 4 different plates. Take the extra sauce left in the pan and spoon over the asparagus. Finish with fresh parmesan and olive oil. Serve and enjoy!

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Warm Lima Bean Salad with Mint Pesto

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Warm Lima Bean Salad with Mint Pesto

Here is a warm bean salad with fresh arugula and mint pesto. The salad is not only bright and refreshing but is something that can be a great source of protein for vegetarians. I decided to use small dried lima beans for this recipe but feel free to use any of your favorite beans. I had some fresh local jalapeno sheep’s milk cheese and offset that soft texture and spice with roasted candied pecans. The salad is really simply with clean flavors that can be served cold or warm, either way your guests will be happy. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

1 1/2 cup of fresh white lima bean

5 cups of water

1 onion charred

1 sprig of thyme and bay leaf

2 garlic cloves

2 tsp of salt

1/4 cup of pistachio mint pesto

1 cup of mint leaves

2/3 cup of roasted pistachios

2 tbsp of parmesan

1 garlic clove

3/4-1 cup of olive oil

6 oz of arugula

3 radishes julienne

1 cup of candied pecans see recipe

3 oz of jalapeno sheep’s milk cheese

Green garlic oil see recipe

Mint Pesto,

Place all of the ingredients except for the oil in a food processor. Turn on and puree, while the processor is still on slowly add the olive oil. Stop and scrap the sides if need by, season with salt and pepper once all the oil has been added. Pour out into a bowl and set aside for later.

For the Beans,

Soak beans in cold water for at least an hour if possible. Strain off the beans and place In medium pot place b with with charred onion, garlic, and herbs on medium high heat. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a light simmer and cover. Cook for 30 minutes and then add the salt (if you add the salt at the beginning it makes the beans tougher so it will take long to cook) continue cooking for a total of 45-1 hr or so minutes until the beans are tender and cook through. Set aside to cool.

To Finish,

Strain the beans out of the water but save the water for another application. Place 2 cups of beans in small saute pan and add 3 tbsp of mint pesto. Season with salt and pepper and just warm the bean on low heat. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl add arugula, radish, and pecans. Add 1 tsp of mint pesto and 1 tbsp of olive oil, mix well and season with salt. Place 2 spoonful of beans in the bottom of the bowl. Then take some of the jalapeno cheese and crumble on top of the beans. Then take the arugula salad and place on top. Take some green garlic oil (or mint pesto oil, or olive oil and drizzle around the bowl. Serve and enjoy!

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Spinach and Ricotta Agnolotti

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Spinach and Ricotta Agnolotti

Spinach and ricotta is a classic italian combination when it comes to pasta. Why not do a multicolor pasta though with some of the fantastic spinach that is growing wild during the spring months. That is exactly what I decided to do. Take a little extra time and work but adds a little more to the aesthetics of the dish. Pretty straight forward pasta recipe other than that. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Spinach pasta

2 cups flour

1 cup semolina

4 eggs

1 cup spinach cooked drained and pureed (2-3 tbsp of spinach puree)

splash of water

salt

Basic Egg Pasta see recipe

Cheese filling

1 lb of ricotta

2 oz of parmesan

2 oz of asiago or trugalo

salt and pepper

1 cup of bread crumbs

1/2 cup of parmesan cheese

3 tbsp of cream

2 tbsp of snipped chives


For the Cheese Filling,

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and place into a plastic pastry bag.
For the Basic Pasta

Place 2 cups of flour and 1 cup of semolina in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour. Add eggs, yolks, water, and salt. With a fork stir the egg mixture until it starts to form a ball of dough. Then use your hands to form the dough. Add more flour if the dough is wet. Knead the pasta for 5 minutes and then cover and rest for at least 30 minutes.

For the Spinach Pasta

Use the same ingredients and technique except add the spinach puree

Take your basic pasta and cut in half. Leave one half covered while you work with the other half. Take the half of the pasta with a rolling pin and roll until the dough is thin enough to fit inside the biggest setting on your pasta machine ( I use the kitchen aid attachment). Then run the pasta all the way down to the lowest setting twice. Dusting the dough with flour if it is too wet.

Repeat the same steps with your spinach pasta. Then on the third time you want to roll each the egg and spinach pasta thin enough to feed the pasta machine. But before you feed it the third time you want to cut each dough in half lengthwise. Take one half of the egg pasta and half of the spinach pasta and carefully pinch them together to make one dough. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough. Take your mixed pasta dough, the egg pasta and the spinach pasta, through the first setting of the pasta machine. Continue all the way down to 6.

Using your pastry bag pipe the cheese mixture along the bottom of the pasta leaving about a 1/2 inch from the edge. Run it along the whole length of the pasta sheet leaving about an inch or two at the ends (one long tube of filling). Then take a pastry brush or spray bottle of water and brush the top portion of the pasta sheet. Take the bottom part pasta closest to the filling and roll over to the brushed top portion. You should now have a long tube like pasta running all the way down the length of the pasta. Now, at every 1/2 inch use your index fingers and press down with with each index finger to create a little "ravioli" Continue the same thing all the way down the pasta sheet. Then using a pinwheel cutter cut away the excess pasta at the top. Then cut in between each press that you make with your fingers to create each agnolotti. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and extra semolina flour to help prevent sticking. Set aside while you aside while you repeat the same process with the other half of the pasta dough.

To Finish

Place your Spinach agnolotti pasta in salted boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes until they float to the top. Strain off and place in the saute pan with a little bit of pasta water, cream, and butter to emulsify into the water and pasta. Season with salt. Place four on a plate and top with toasted bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and chives. Serve and enjoy!

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Kampachi with Nasturtium Flowers

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Kampachi with Nasturtium Flowers

This recipe is all about spring and freshness. The spring is when all the flowers and plants are taking off. Whether in Austin or Malibu Nasturtiums can thrive, but because I was out west for this recipe there is a few different patches where the nasturtiums have really taking over. If you have never had nasturtium before they are beautiful herbaceous flower that grow like weeds and can take over an entire area. They have a distinct peppery flavor and can be used as a vehicle to combine with other ingredients to make a great recipes. In this case I left them raw and simply stuffed them with raw kampachi tartar or poke. The combination of the raw fatty kampachi with the peppery flowers where not only appealing to the eye but also to the taste. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy it!

Kampachi Tartar or Poke

8 oz of small diced Kampachi

3 tbsp of chopped green onion

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

2 tbsp of sesame seeds

1/4 tsp of sansho pepper

1/2 tsp of salt

1 tbsp of sesame oil

1 tsp of sirracha

1 tbsp of soy sauce

1 half of avocado small diced

2 tbsp of nori komi furikake

2 dozen nasturtium flowers and petals

For the Kampachi Tartar (Poke)

In a small mixing bowl add all the ingredients of the tartar, mix well, season, and let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.

To Finish,

Simply take one to two tsp of the kampachi tartar and stuff the nasturtium flowers. Place a petal on the plate and place two ( or as many as you want) stuffed flowers on each plate. Serve and enjoy

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