Eating Local — A Four Seasons’ Palette

Circa 2011


Serves 4

Cut into chunks and place in a bowl:

4 medium tomatoes


12 to 16 Kalamata olives

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Toss the salad with:

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Salt, freshly ground black pepper


Add 1 cup lettuce or diced cucumber.

Serve immediately.

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Serves 6

Heat in a large frying pan over medium-high heat:

2 tablespoons olive oil

Add and sauté:

1 medium onion, sliced


1 medium head red cabbage, sliced

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

2 large apples, peeled, cored, and chopped small

1 cup red wine

2 slices bacon, chopped into little squares

1/2 teaspoon salt

Simmer for about an hour, until the cabbage is just tender. Serve warm.

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Serves 6

Cook in a pot of boiling, lightly salted water:

6 ears corn

Drain, cool, and cut the kernels off the cob.

In a large bowl, place the corn kernels and add:

6 cups (about 1/2 pound) spinach, stems removed

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut into halves

1/3 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced

3 scallions, white parts only, thinly sliced

Mix together and season to taste with:

Salt, freshly ground black pepper

In a blender or food processor, puree:

1 small shallot

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

While still blending, slowly add:

2 tablespoons hot water

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Very slowly add:

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt, freshly ground black pepper

Toss the dressing with the salad and set aside.

Heat in a large frying pan over medium-high heat: 2 tablespoons olive oil


1 1/2 to 2 pounds large scallops, muscles removed, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

[Note: Scallops are sold as bay scallops, which are relatively small, and larger sea scallops, which come in random sizes. If they say “U-10,” there are an average of 10 scallops to the pound, which are very large scallops. U-20s have an average of 20 scallops per pound, and are therefore not as thick and will cook a little more quickly.]

You will most likely have to cook the scallops in two or more batches. Sear them hard on one side so a nice brown caramelization occurs, about two to three minutes per side. You will know they are seared fully when they don’t resist being turned over. If they are still sticking to the pan, wait a few more minutes. If they are larger, you may need to turn the heat down to medium and continue to cook them for an additional one to three minutes per side. They are done when you slice one in half and it looks completely opaque and flaky, and there is none of the translucent quality of the raw scallop left.

Be sure to allow the pan to become hot again before adding the next batch of scallops. You may also need a little more oil.

Divide salad onto six large plates and garnish with warm scallops.

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Serves 5

Bring to a boil in a heavy stockpot:

4 1/2 cups water

Whisk in:

1 1/2 cups polenta or corn meal

Turn the heat to low. While stirring with a wooden

spoon add:

1/2-cup heavy cream

Let cook for about 10 minutes, until the spoon stands firmly in the polenta. Add water as necessary to get the appropriate consistency. Add seasonings to taste,


Salt, freshly ground black pepper

Onion powder

Smoked paprika

Spread the polenta about 1-inch thick onto a baking sheet and cool in the refrigerator.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan over medium heat,


1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

Sear for about one minute:

1 large red pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch strips

1 large yellow pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch strips

Add and cook for three to five minutes:

8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced

Add and stir for 30 seconds:

4 garlic cloves, minced

Add and toss:

2 cups spinach, chopped (about 3/8 pound)

Immediately remove the mixture to a bowl and toss with: 1/2 cup grated carrot (about 1 small carrot)

Add to taste:

Salt, freshly ground black pepper

Heat in the frying pan over medium-high heat:

1 tablespoon olive oil

Add and caramelize:

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

Add the onions to the vegetable mix.

In a medium bowl, mix together and set aside:

6 ounces ricotta cheese

1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Mix together in another medium bowl and set aside:

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1 cup grated provolone cheese

Cut the polenta into 4” x 5” squares. Heat in a large frying pan over medium heat:

1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pan fry the polenta squares, browning both sides, about five minutes per side. Place a square of polenta on a sheet pan and spread the ricotta mix, then add a layer of vegetables, and then a layer of mixed cheese. Place another piece of polenta, repeat the ricotta, vegetables, and cheese layers, and top with a final piece of polenta. Top with cheese mixture. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until bubbly and golden.

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Serves 4 to 6

Tori and Robin Baron, owners of James Place Inn in Freeport, ME, shared this recipe. You can eat this quiche for dinner, or serve it for a very fancy breakfast and pretend you’re on vacation.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare half of a basic pie crust or thaw one piece from a frozen package.

Heat in a medium-size frying pan:

1 tablespoon butter

Add to pan and sauté lightly:

1 1/2 cups chopped spinach (about 1/8 pound)

Chop and set aside:

1 large tomato (about 3/4 cup)

In a large bowl, whisk together:

3 eggs

3/4 cup cream

3/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Roll out the dough on a floured surface and place it in a pie plate and flute the edges. Layer half the spinach into the crust, followed by half the tomatoes, then half of the 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta

Do a second layer of each item. Pour the egg mixture into the pie shell over the veggies and cheese. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until a knife stuck in the center comes out clean. Let the quiche stand for 15 minutes before serving.


Layer 1/3 pound cooked, crumbled bacon in the quiche

to get a BLT flavor.

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Makes 1 full pie

This makes enough for a top and bottom crust. Don’t be intimidated—it really isn’t hard. And you’ll taste the difference between it and the frozen ones you get at the store. If you’re in a pinch, though, go ahead and opt for convenience. Some days are just too busy, and local eating shouldn’t be just for the weekends.

Mix in a large bowl:

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cut in:

2/3 cup cold lard or butter

To prep the butter, either use two knives to cut it over and over until it’s pea size, use a pastry blender, or just make the crust in a food processor and process until the butter is pea size.

Slowly mix in until the pastry starts to stick together: 1/3 cup cold water

Don’t keep mixing once it forms together. Shape it into two balls (one, if it’s half a recipe) And let it rest for 15 minutes. It is now ready to use in any recipe that calls for pie crust.

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Serves 6

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt in a medium baking dish in the oven:

1/2 cup (1/4 pound) butter

Add and cook until translucent (about three minutes):

5 garlic cloves, finely diced

Add and cook for another 3 minutes:

1/2 cup pitted and chopped green olives

Turn the oven to broil. Add to the baking dish:

1 pound peeled and rinsed shrimp

Broil for about 3 minutes.

Add and toss with the shrimp:

3 cups chopped baby bok choy

Make sure the bok choy is fully coated with the butter. Broil the dish for an additional two minutes, until the shrimp looks opaque instead of slightly translucent. Serve over cooked rice.

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Serves 4

Cut into bite-size pieces, and pan fry over medium

high heat:

1 pound chorizo or hot Italian sausage

Remove the cooked sausage from the pan.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil

Gently sauté:

4 to 6 garlic cloves, finely diced

Add and sauté until just tender:

1 bunch kale, chopped


3 cups chicken stock

Add the sausage and simmer for about 20 minutes until

it’s all hot.


Add 1 can cannelloni beans or other white beans.

Add 1 to 2 cups cooked, diced potatoes.

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat over medium heat in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly:

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Stir in:

4 cups blueberries

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir for 1 minute. Pour into a greased 2-quart baking dish and place in the oven to keep it warm.

In a medium bowl, combine:

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Cut in with two knives or a pastry blender:

3 tablespoons butter

Mix in just until the dough forms a ball:

1/2 cup milk

Drop six heaping spoonfuls of dough onto the hot fruit. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

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In a large mixing bowl, whip with an electric mixer:

1 cup heavy cream (also sold as whipping cream)

As it whips, add:

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 tablespoon sugar, or more to taste

Continue to whip the cream until it makes stiff peaks.

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Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Wash, peel, and grate:

1 medium beet

Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and arrange the grated beet in a single layer on the paper.

Bake until the gratings are dried, 30 to 45 minutes.

Wash, peel, and thinly slice:

1 pound of red beets

Put the beets in a pan with:

1 1/2 cups water

Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes until the beets are tender.

Remove the beets. Add water or pour out liquid as necessary to make 1 cup total liquid, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, sift together:

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups sifted flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Add and beat with an electric mixer for two minutes:

1 cup milk

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup peanut, safflower, or canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup reserved beet liquid

Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans. Pour the batter into the pans and bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

In a small saucepan, melt until just beginning to brown:

1/2 cup (1/4 pound) butter

Put the melted butter in a mixing bowl, and with an

electric mixer combine with:

2/3 cup cocoa

Add, alternating, and mixing until smooth after each


2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1/3 cup milk

Add and mix in:

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Beat for two minutes or more. One of the most important and often overlooked ingredients in frosting is air, so mix until it’s light and fluffy. Frost the cake once it is cool, and sprinkle the top with grated beets.

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