Two Ways with Turnips

So here it is, my debut post at my new site.  I’ve considered this carefully and I know just what I want to lead with:  turnips.  You know, I’ve talked a turnip game before, but about all I’ve really done is boil a few to whip with some mashed potatoes.  I see them in the market.  They’re so pretty.  You get all the greens and the bulbs and they’re cheap as dirt itself, but I often walk by and get something safe and green that I know how to easily cook.

I bought this bundle of turnips last weekend and I took a picture of the price tag.  Here is a good opportunity to show you that our currency goes to the thousandths place.  When we go shopping here, we feel like we’re carrying around ‘pieces of eight’.  Even men have to have a change purse to hold all of the coinage.   The currency converter wouldn’t let me convert less than one Tunisian Dinar, but one dinar is worth about 66 cents.  This is one fifth less than that so it’s a little more than 50 cents.  Sorry to be so about the money, but look at the food you get for 50 cents!

I had to break this bundle into two dishes because I could.  Following, we have two distinct ways to go with a bunch of turnips:  all leaves and all bulbs and I really recommend them both.  Now, I’ve got three strategies in my game.

SAUTEED FRESH TURNIP GREENS

Adapted from COOKS.COM


1 lb. fresh turnip greens
1 tsp. salt
1 hard cooked egg
1/3 c. minced green pepper
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/3 c. chopped onion
1/2 tsp. sugar
2 strips bacon
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Wash turnip greens thoroughly. Trim off coarse stems. Fry bacon until crisp and remove it from the fat. Save bacon for later use and discard fat. Heat 5 Tbsp. olive oil in a saute pan.  Add onion and green pepper and saute until limp. Coarsely chop turnip greens and add to onions and green pepper. Stir to mix well. Cover tightly and cook 10 – 15 minutes, or until tender. Add salt, black pepper, sugar and lemon juice. Toss lightly. Turn into serving dish and garnish with crisp, crumbled bacon and slices of hard cooked egg. Yield: 4 servings.

CRISPY TURNIP FRIES

Adapted from COOKS.COM


8 med. turnips
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp.garlic powder
1 tsp. ground paprika

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Pare and cut turnips into 2 1/2 x 1/2 inch sticks.

Put 1/8 cup olive oil in a gallon-size sealable plastic bag.  Toss cut turnips in oil.   Combine cheese, garlic powder and paprika. Add combination to turnips and toss to coat.  Place turnips on baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes or until turnips are tender and golden. Makes 8 servings.

Red Snapper Chowder

            The soup worked.  I was kind of stressed about it.  After I made such a dramatic point about the fish stock with my glassy-eyed John Dory photo, I knew some people wanted to know how the actual soup came off.  And to tell you the truth, I had to really think about it.  It has been a couple of years now since I’ve had the pleasure of a serving of the snapper chowder at Stock Market in Granville Island Market.  I actually scrolled through the reviews of the restaurant looking for descriptors and found a few helpful ones.  In the end though, I had to go deeply into my taste memory and what I clearly remembered is as follows:  It was a little chunky.  It had a base flavor of oysters and bay leaves.  There was a ton of celery with some actual stringy bits that didn’t puree out.  And it was completely nondairy.  Here is how I built the soup to go with the stock.
Ingredients
1 ½ – 2 yellow onions, chopped
A bundle of celery about 3” in diameter, including leaves, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1-2 leeks, chopped
3-5 bay leaves
1 potato, peeled and cubed
2 liters fish stock
¼ cup Arborio rice
2-3 fish fillets, diced into ½ inch cubes
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
            Sauté all of the vegetables, except the potato, in olive oil until soft, but not browned.  Cook the potato in a small saucepan, with a little water, until tender.  Puree vegetables in a food processor or with an emersion blender.  Leave it a little chunky.  Add solids to fish stock and heat.
            Stir in Arborio rice and simmer until rice is soft.
            Add the fish to the heated stock and simmer, without boiling, until fish is cooked, but tender.
            Season with salt and pepper.
Serves 8-10
The Rosemary, Scallion Focaccia Bread is a David Tanis reprint.  I have already written about it at Dinner at Diane’s.  It’s always great, but remember, you have to start it one day ahead of when you want to eat it.

Fish Stock

 If I could do anything I want to this weekend… anything at all, I would go to Vancouver for the day and wander around Granville Island Market.  This False Creekside maze is the creative, culinary hub of the city that is still my standard as the greatest city in the world.  Sydney? Barcelona? Munich?  They’re all great, but you cannot beat that fresh, west, native feeling of Vancouver, which at the same time is Manhattan hip and San Francisco grounded.    With all of the big bounty of the Frazier Valley and the Pacific Ocean at hand, Granville Market serves as a food terminal moving it all along to kitchens and tables.  There’s the produce, strawberries stacked in almost 12-inch high pyramids, and the seafood, the cheeses and pastas and almost every beautiful food item you could desire.  So I dawdle through the sectors of the market, totally wide-eyed, my mind spinning with the options of the meals I could cook.  And suddenly, I’m starving.  Hunger comes upon me instantaneously and I have to eat that second.  I always go to the same place; it’s called The Stock Market.    This is a kiosk that sells vacuum-packed liters of their made-fresh-daily soups, fresh soup stocks, pasta sauces, dressings, and pestos.  You know, this is where you really need to start your shopping and then work backward, picking up meat, or pasta, or vegetables to complete the dish.  But how does this help my hunger issue?  They sell containers of their daily soup topped with a big hunk of Rosemary focaccia bread and they always seem to have my favorite:  red snapper chowder.  I never considered that anyone else in the world had noticed the red snapper chowder at The Stock Market on Granville Island, but me, yet when I researched it, there seems to be an entire cult following for this soup.

            I found a beautiful St. Pierre, which is a Mediterranean species of John Dory, at a local market this week.  I’ll admit that he’s not the most handsome fish, but I knew when I saw it that the post-fillet carcass of this fish was bound for fish soup stock, which is what is absolutely required if you’re going to make any kind of fish soup.  This formula will fill a 1-gallon stock pot. The ingredient amounts are suggestions to give you an idea of the proportions so you can, of course, adjust them.
Fish Stock
Ingredients: All well-washed and chopped in large pieces
Onions, 2 large
Celery, 3 stalks, including lots of leaves
Leeks, 1 large or 2-3 small
Carrots, 2-3 large
Fresh garlic, 1 clove, peeled and smashed
Fresh parsley, about 1 cup
Thyme, 6 healthy sprigs
Bay leaves, 3-5
Cloves, 2
Black peppercorns, 20 whole
Sea salt , a little for now.  You can adjust the salt in your finished dish.
Non-oily white fish bones (halibut, cod, red snapper or sole), rinsed and kept in large pieces
Cover with filtered water and low-simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
When cool, strain the stock and compost the solids.  Freeze or use the stock in soups, sauces, and braises.I plan to follow through with the snapper chowder and Rosemary focaccia bread this weekend and if all goes well, I’ll post it here.   Otherwise, I’ve got a gold mine of stock in my freezer for my next endeavor.

Grilled Caesar Salad

            You know that January night when you come home from work and say, “Wait a minute, isn’t the sun usually down by now?”  There is some lingering daylight hanging over the backyard and the long-shrouded barbecue is giving you a nod.  We’re a month past solstice and at a minute per day, it amounts to something.
            I wanted so much to make this grilled Caesar salad last summer, but in Tunisia, Romaine lettuce is a winter crop, not summer.  It is perfect and abundant now so tonight, we have a great opportunity to bring some summer into our winter work week.
            I use non-stick aluminum foil on the grill.  With some planning, I can cycle through the entire meal with one set of foil.  I started with leeks wrapped in pancetta and drizzled with excellent olive oil.   Wrapping vegetables in pancetta and grilling them is one of my go-to food preparations.  I do an entire bundle of vegetables at once and then put them in scrambled eggs for breakfast during the rest of the week.
            Next, I toasted bread, tossed in the leeky, salty olive oil.  This is basically Texas Toast.  Funny thing, my dad is from Texas and everything great in our house, when I was growing up, was from Texas.  I actually thought that Texas Toast was my dad’s invention until about 3 months ago when I heard my Canadian friend, Paul, mention Texas Toast to his sons in the context of not having a toaster yet because their shipment hadn’t yet arrived.
            Finally, you put the Romaine lettuce on the grill and leave it only until it develops grill marks.  Grilling it in whole heads is extra beautiful, but mine came apart on its own.
Dressing:
2 flat anchovy fillets, drained and chopped
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large egg
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Artisinal salt (I used Himalayan pink salt)
Freshly ground pepper
Blend all ingredients until emulsified.  Adjust amounts to taste.
           We bought these eggs, individually, yesterday in the Tunisian countryside.  I carried them home in a plastic bag.  I felt like I was playing a party game on the way home, trying not to break the eggs.  I won!
           Toss the greens with the dressing, to taste.  Coursely chop the leeks and pancetta and place on top.   Dust with freshly grated Parmesan and pepper.

It doesn’t just taste like a summer salad.  It’s a little bit roasted, a little bit wilted.  It suits winter.

Greens Soup

This recipe is the follow up to the vegetarian stock that I previously posted.  As I wrote there, I planned to make a soup of greens that I heard described on The Splendid Table (NPR).  Anna Thomas was the guest and she just published a new cookbook:  Eating Well.  From listening to the interview, I believe that Anna’s definition of eating well means eating whole foods, extracting as much of the foods’ flavor and nutrition as culinarily possible and I definitely agree.

            If you’ve got the vegetarian stock already packed away in your freezer, this can come together after work.  If you need to start from stock, then this is a weekend project, but worth it.
            I won’t summarize the recipe first, but I do need to comment on the onions.  Anna made a big point about caramelizing those onions to what may seem like an absurd degree.  Her rule of thumb was when you think you’ve overcooked them, go another ½ hour.  The bit of water you sprinkle over them once they’ve browned, and lidding the pan, keeps them from burning and steams them a little.  I almost had caramelized onion paste when I finished and that’s probably about right.
            This is not a bright, springy type of green soup.  Recall all of the browning of vegetables that has occurred both in the making of the stock and in the soup.  Additionally, the Arborio rice base you create before cooking the greens sets a nutty, warm palette.  You will need to finish it with good salt and fresh lemon juice to bring up some pop.  I also especially enjoyed the lingering heat of the cayenne and don’t think that drizzle of olive oil is optional.  Buy the grassiest, first-cold-pressed olive oil you can find and top it off with just a touch.
            The soup is an excellent team player.  Just on its own, it might be a little heavy.  I had it once alongside a sparkling salad of fennel, parsley, and cranberries, with a citrus dressing, and they were perfect mates.  We all went home that night and dreamed of dancing vegetables.  I had it a second time with a brunch of potato/gruyere quiche and blood orange juice and couldn’t imagine a more delicious combination than that.  Make it up, pack in the greens, and pair it up with just about anything.
Basic Green Soup
From Eating Well, by Anna Thomas
Yield:  8 servings
Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, divided
2 tablespoons, plus 3 cups, water, divided
1/4 cup arborio rice
1 bunch green chard (about 1 pound)
14 cups gently packed spinach (about 12 ounces), tough stems trimmed
4 cups vegetable broth
Big pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste
Drizzle of first, cold-pressed olive oil
Instructions
1.  Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water and cover.  Cook, stirring frequently until the pan cools down, and then occasionally, always covering the pan again, until the onions are greatly reduced and have a deep caramel color, 25-30 minutes.
2.  Meanwhile, combine the remaining 3 cups water and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a soup pot or Dutch oven; add rice.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Trim the white ribs out of the chard (save for another use, such as stir-fry or another soup).  Coarsely chop the chard greens and spinach.
3. When the rice has cooked for 15 minutes, stir in the chard greens.  Return to a simmer; cover and cook for 10 minutes.  When the onions are caramelized, stir a little of the simmering liquid into them; add them to the rice along with the spinach, broth, and cayenne.  Return to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once, until the spinach is tender, but still bright green, about 5 minutes more.
4.  Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth or in a regular blender in batches (return it to the pot).  Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  Taste and add more lemon juice, if desired.  Garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of olive oil.

It Begins with the Stock

I make chicken stock regularly.  This ritual has been a staple in my life for years and though I have wished for a vegetarian stock that is the chicken soup equivalence, I have yet to discover one that satisfies me.  I have tried many:  organic store bought, concoctions involving brewer’s yeast, but I’m sorry to say that they have, for the most part, come out tasting strongly of a strange, particular ingredient or else… dish water.  Usually, when a recipe calls for vegetable stock I substitute homemade chicken stock.

            I love The Splendid Table on NPR.  I feel happy in the radio presence of Lynne Rossetto Kasper, the host.  She is wise, yet so fresh with food.  She is also constantly affirming of all the guests on her show, taking a sincere interest in their culinary discoveries and implying that she is eager to learn from them, too.  Even Amy Sedaris.
            I am on a trajectory this week to make a greens soup that was described by a guest on The Splendid Table, Anna Thomas, who wrote a book called Eating Well.  I am going to save her greens soup recipe for a few days because I first need to make a deeply flavored vegetable stock.  I turned to the experience of Lynne Rossetto Kasper on this.  She has a recipe for a Hearty Vegetable Broth.  Her words, “There is nothing weak-kneed about this vegetable broth.  It’s big flavors hold their own in any dish…”
If you are used to tossing a bunch of raw ingredients in a pot, covering them with water, and walking away to let them simmer when you make stock, you may find this is a little more complicated.  To bring up the sugars in all of the vegetables, you cook them down until they are brown and beginning to stick to the pan.  You then deglaze the pan with white wine and let that cook off.  Finally, you add the cooked vegetables to some fresh ones, cover it all with water, and simmer it for a couple of hours.  This process, along with a large portion of sautéed mushrooms, gives the stock depth that I think rivals a beef stock.
Hearty Vegetable Broth
Lynne Rossetto Kasper, The Splendid Table, NPR
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons fruity extra-virgin olive oil
2 large carrots, coursely chopped
2 large stalks celery with leaves, coursely chopped
4 medium onions, coursely chopped
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, coursely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon dry basil or marjoram
2/3 cup dry white wine
6 large romaine lettuce leaves, coursely chopped
1 large ripe fresh tomato, chopped, or 2 canned plum tomatoes, crushed
A pinch freshly grated nutmeg
About 4 to 5 quarts of water
1.  Heat the oil in a 12-inch saute pan or skillet (not non-stick) over medium-high heat.  Add the carrot, celery, onion, and mushrooms.  Cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spatula, until the onions are golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and basil and cook a few seconds more.
Vegetables caramelizing and beginning to stick to the pan
2.  Add the wine and stir, scraping up any brown glaze in the pan, until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Transfer to an 8-quart stock pot.  Add the romaine, tomatoes, nutmeg, and enough water to cover the solids by 3 to 4 inches.  Bring to a gentle bubble, partially cover, and simmer slowly for about 90 minutes.
Deglazing the pan with white wine
Simmering stock
3.  Strain the broth into a large bowl, pressing down on the solids to extract as much flavor as possible.  Cool and chill.  Skim off any solidified oil from broth’s surface.  Refrigerate or freeze in 1 quart portions or in ice-cube trays.

I felt like I was making an Asian soup with the lettuce and the mushrooms.  The broth has a complex, yet natural flavor and this is only the stock.  On to the greens soup.

Chanterelle Risotto

Oh, these chanterelles.  What a surprise they were at the market yesterday.  When we lived in Bellingham, we used to go into the woods on Mt. Baker and forage for them in the fall, but we never got a batch this bounteous.  I’m estimating they cost about $4.00 per pound here, but I might not find them again this year.  That’s how it goes here: Grab them when you see them.
As we were drooling over them as they lay drying on their kitchen towel, our friend Shelly asked what we were going to do with them and actually, we hadn’t decided yet.  She suggested risotto, which was a great idea because we already had everything to make it so we could pull it off on a Monday night.
I adapted a recipe by Tyler Florence for Porcini and Chanterelle Risotto, but used a decadent whole pound of straight chanterelles.

Chanterelle Risotto
Ingredients 

1/4 cupextra-virgin olive oil 
1/4 cup unsalted butter 
2 shallots, minced 
1 pound fresh chanterelle mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only 
1 fresh bay leaf 
2 cups white wine 
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
2 cups arborio rice 
6 cups chicken stock 
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced 
1/2 cupParmesan

Directions
Warm a wide large heavy-bottomed pan over a medium-low flame. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter and melt together. Add shallots and cook for 2 minutes, or until translucent, and then toss the mushrooms, thyme, and bay leaf into the pan. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their moisture and begin to turn golden brown.
Pour 1 cup of the wine into the pan, and bring the liquid to a simmer, allowing the wine to evaporate. Continue cooking until the mushrooms are dry, about 5 to 7 minutes. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Discard the bay leaf.
Reduce the flame to low, and add the remaining butter and oil to the pan and melt. Stir in the rice and coat with the oil until the kernels are shiny, about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the remaining 1 cup of white wine and let evaporate.
Add the chicken broth, 1 ladle at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid. Do not add too quickly so as to prevent the kernels from exploding. Stir over a gentle flame until each ladle of the liquid is absorbed. Repeat until most of the broth is incorporated and the risotto rice is al dente, about 25 minutes.
Fold the mushrooms back into the rice and season with salt, pepper and parsley.  Stir in the Parmesan and serve immediately. 

To make a completely honest disclosure, I’ve gotta tell you that my husband is the primary risotto maker in our family.  It’s one of his specialties and I was mostly his sous chef.

Birthday Braise

          It’s Allan’s birthday.  We have a long succession of November birthday parties together.  It turns out to be a nice time for a party.  The weather is cool, but not yet frigid and some warm and filling foods taste very good.

We had 12 great friends over and lucked out with a warmer than recent evening, a lovely night sky,  and no wind.  We pulled the garden tables close to the barbecue and kept a fire going all evening.
The main dish was Cranberry Short-Rib Stew.  This was, again, from the stew/beer pairings section of the October 2011 edition of Sunset Magazine.  The recommended beer was Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter.  There were a lot of smokey and bright flavors in this stew that might not have been immediately recognizable, like chocolate, cranberries. ginger, and orange zest.  After cooking a couple of hours, the meat was tender enough, but the stock was still a little watery.  I uncovered the dish and continued to bake it for about 2 more hours which served to caramelize all of the complexities.

I couldn’t buy meat on bones at our butcher so I bought meat and bones.
After browning, but before braising.  See recipe for finished dish photo.

Since we are officially off pumpkin.  I omitted the addition of pumpkin in the stew, but it still needed some color.  Instead, I roasted some of our vibrant, almost red carrots.  I drizzled them with olive oil and seasoned them with herbes de provence, Himalayan pink salt, and pepper.  They needed to roast for at least 2 hours to get completely tender and a little caramelized.  As a finishing touch, I drizzled them with some passion fruit vinegar, which set them off nicely.

Think you already have the perfect mashed potato sequence?  Bon Appetit has a process that might give you some new thoughts about it.  You start with large cubed potatoes that you cook in salted water.  When they are fork tender, you drain them and turn them out onto a baking sheet to cool and dry for about 15 minutes.

Then, you force the potatoes through a ricer or food mill, along with 1/2 cup of chilled butter.

Heat milk, cream, bay leaves, fresh thyme or rosemary, and pepper corns on the stove.  Allow to steep about 20 minutes and then strain.  Reheat milk mixture.  Pour over potatoes as you stir.  I used the dough hook on my Kitchen Aid mixer.

This may be the biggest tip of the recipe:  at this point you can hold the potatoes in fluffy condition if you do the following.  Number one, cover the potatoes with plastic wrap directly touching them.  Number two,  keep them in a bowl over, but not touching, simmering water.

I kept them for over an hour and they turned out great.

And because I said I would, here is the link to the chocolate peanut butter cake at Smitten Kitchen.  Yes, it is a great recipe.

Eight Cups of Pumpkin- Do It!

            Oh my goodness, I have to put some distance between this entry and that leftover pumpkin picture on my last entry.  This may need to be a very long piece.  My Saturday morning mantra:  I will not compost that pumpkin, I will not compost that pumpkin.  Step #1 then, break it down.  Very few recipes call for huge hunks of pumpkin and as I already made clear, my husband doesn’t really like straight pumpkin anyway so it all has to be converted to puree.  Easy enough to do.  It now equals eight cups.  By day’s end, I will have used every last plop of the stuff and we will have some ready-made food in our freezer.  I just have to focus and get it done.
1 Cup
Pumpkin Waffles
This is a recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  It didn’t use a ton of pumpkin, but as waffles go, the recipe incorporated quite a lot of real food.  This is the local flour I buy most often.

I think it works well as whole wheat pastry flour.

Let’s be honest, waffles can be a hassle due to the various bowls for wet ingredients, dry ingredients, and then the egg white whipping.  I’m really not trying to show off here, but I’m just going to say that having two mixing bowls for your Kitchen Aid mixer is slick.  This 220 voltage model I bought to bring to Tunisia just came with two bowls or I would never have made that choice.  For this sort of preparation and for double batches that would overwhelm one bowl, it’s so convenient.

Now, we have about 10 individually frozen waffles in the freezer.

4 Cups
This recipe is the winner of the most pumpkin use award. The base recipe is my Homecoming Muffins, simply substituting pumpkin for the grated vegetables.  I intentionally underbaked them because I wanted them to be custardy, almost like bread pudding.  It worked.  We have a dozen muffins and two small loaves of bread in the freezer.

3 Cups
Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
This is also from Smitten Kitchen.  Hey, she’s been in my shoes.  The recipe actually called for over 4 cups of puree and I only had three.  Good problem.  I didn’t have any black beans, but I had a little package of tiny beans/peas I bought last spring in Umbria.  I don’t know what they all are, but some of them are black eyed peas.  They have such an earthy flavor.  They actually kind of taste like dirt, but most people don’t think that is a nice taste so I’ll stick with earthy.  I had to cook them before I could assemble the soup.

And there it is.  2 quarts of soup in the freezer.  Turns out I misread the soup recipe and it was 4 1/2 cups of beans it called for and only 1 1/2 cups of pumpkin so at the end of the day, I still had 1 1/2 cups of puree left.  But I’ve got some nice items in my frozen pantry and I can sleep well tonight knowing I gave it my best shot.

Pumpkin Cashew Cheese Dip

          Remember that ginormous pumpkin I stuffed and baked last Sunday?   Wow, that was a lot of pumpkin.  After the dinner guests took their small slivers (My husband:  “No pumpkin for me, I’ll just have some stuffing.”) and I gave a huge hunk to our hostess, I still took this much home.

We ate the stuffing with a chicken dish on Monday and I cut, peeled, and refrigerated the rest of the pumpkin.  Then I got really busy and couldn’t cook much for a couple of nights.  Finally, on Thursday, I needed to bring an appetizer to my book club and found a recipe for something called cashew cheese.  This is actually a vegan recipe that contains absolutely no dairy and is foundationally built upon pumpkin.  Yea, that’s good for me.
I couldn’t find raw cashews in Tunis, but I had blanched almonds and gave those a try.  I don’t know what cashew cheese is meant to taste like, but this made an interesting pumpkin spice flavored dip, slightly sweet, with a little kicky heat from some cayenne.  Served with baguette slices brushed with olive oil and rosemary, slices of fresh apples, and some real cheese,  it was nice.  The almonds didn’t completely break down so my dip had some chopped nuts that needed further chewing,  It was fine.

This is REAL cheese my friend, Lauren, just brought from The Hague.
The first new lemon of the season.