Tag Archives: lemon

meyer lemon pound cake with lemon cream

My in-laws are serious eaters. At all the gatherings I’ve attended, the quantities of food would make the Two Fat Ladies blush, and we always come home with several containers of leftovers. This Christmas was no exception! My mother in law hosted Christmas Eve, as is getting to be the tradition. She veered away from the usual Puerto Rican fare this year (roast pork, arroz con gandules) and went Mexican, making posole, ceviche and nopales (cactus) salad. One of his cousins brought an interesting new (to me) PR dish of chicken gizzards cooked with green bananas and a few green olives (something like this except it was served warm instead of like a salad). The dish is an unglamorous greyish color, but the flavor was great and the gizzards were much more tender than when I’ve made them. It re-inspired me to try making gizzards again after an unsuccessful attempt last summer.

With all this great food in such abundance, it’s always hard to know what to bring. My MIL never wants to assign me a dish; she always demurs, saying that there will be enough food, or to just bring “whatever I want”.  I know this is because she doesn’t want to impose, but I have somewhat mixed feelings about it… she knows I like to cook; I’m part of the family now; shouldn’t that warrant a side dish assignment? To be fair, for all I know she does the same with all the other relatives and they just bring whatever they feel like. But a small part of me would be flattered to be entrusted with something specific.

In the end, I just decided to make a dessert… you can never have too many, especially with his family’s sweet tooth! I didn’t feel like leaving the house for groceries, so I “shopped my pantry” and made a Meyer lemon pound cake with a lemon cream (lemon curd + whipped cream) to go on top. Although I’m not the biggest dessert/ cake person, I do love citrus (see these posts) and almost always have lemons in the house! I wasn’t sure if its simplicity would be appreciated, but to my delight it was almost gone by the end of the night, when richer and sweeter offerings remained.

This recipe is from The Gourmet Cookbook, one I turn to often when I’m looking for a recipe that’s traditional yet updated. The method is simple, and you can certainly serve the cake as-is with the lemon glaze rather than making the lemon cream (although you need to zest all those lemons anyway, so you may as well use them). I did an easy curd where you mix everything and cook it together rather than tempering the eggs; it seemed to work about the same. You’ll want to strain it for textural reasons, but that’s about the fussiest part of the recipe. And I know a heavy cake recipe is probably the last thing you’re looking for right now, but you never know when you might decide to have people over for tea, or when you might need an easy recipe for your next get-together with your in-laws.

(Meyer) lemon pound cake (adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook by Ruth Reichl)
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I made this cake with fragrant Meyer lemons, but regular lemons will do just fine. However, you will likely need more lemons for the curd if you don’t use Meyers, which tend to be much juicier.

for the cake:
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
zest of 5 lemons (about ¼ cup)
2 sticks (½ lb) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup whole milk

for the glaze:
1 cup plus 1 Tbs powdered sugar
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice

Lightly grease and flour a 2-quart kugelhopf pan or bundt pan (a neutral-flavored cooking spray works well to get in the nooks & crannies). Knock out excess flour. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 325°.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and zest. Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer or with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; then add vanilla. Reduce mix speed to low and beat in ⅓ of the flour, the milk, another ⅓ of the flour, the lemon juice, and the remaining flour, beating until just combined and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan (place on a baking sheet for easier transport in and out of the oven) and bake until top is browned and a skewer or knife inserted into the center comes out clean (original recipe specified 45-55 minutes but mine took about an hour and 10 minutes). Meanwhile, make glaze by combining powdered sugar and lemon juice until sugar is fully dissolved.

Cool cake in the pan for 15 minutes (see photo- a wine bottle works well for this). Invert on a rack and allow to cool completely before glazing. Put cake on a serving plate and pour glaze over top, allowing it to drip down the sides. If storing for later use, allow glaze to set before covering. This cake keeps well for several days if wrapped and refrigerated; allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Lemon Curd/ Lemon Cream (adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan)
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Note: in Dorie’s book, she uses the term “lemon cream” to refer to a variation on lemon curd containing a higher ratio of butter.

1 ¼ cups sugar
1 egg
6 egg yolks
6 Tbs butter, cut into 6 pieces
freshly squeezed juice of 4 lemons (use 5 or even 6 if lemons are dry)
optional: 1 pint heavy whipping cream

Whisk together all ingredients in a medium heavy saucepan. Place over medium low heat and cook, stirring vigorously and constantly, until butter melts and mixture starts to thicken (original recipe says 4-6 minutes but I’ve never had mine cook that fast). The curd is done when you can make a track with your finger on a spoon or spatula and the curd doesn’t run into the track. It will look thin, but thicken as it cools. If desired, for a smoother texture, strain curd while still warm through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Press plastic wrap over the top so a skin doesn’t form, and cool in the refrigerator.

To make lemon cream, whip cream with beaters or a stand mixer until it has body, but before it becomes firm. When curd has fully cooled, stir in whipped cream to taste- less for a more pronounced lemon flavor and more for a milder, creamier flavor.

kale salad with lemon feta dressing, and an accidental smoked trout {charcutepalooza}

I may be accused of chutzpah for labeling this post “Charcutepalooza”, but so be it. Last month’s posting deadline (April 15) breezed past without fanfare like I wish this cold, rainy spring weather would, and although I had the hot-smoking challenge in the back of my mind all month, I had no specific plan as to how or when to execute it. So when my friend Todd invited a few of us over and said he was firing up his smoker, right after Molly and I had just bought a whole fresh lake trout (scored at Eastern Market for $1.99 a pound!), it seemed like kismet.

Because the trout was going to be in the fridge for a few days before the get-together, I salted and sugared it (no measuring, I just threw on what I thought was an appropriate amount). I had already used my share of the steaks, which I braised in a Thai red curry coconut milk concoction, so I had my half of the fillet left to smoke. Molly went the opposite route, saving her steaks for the smoker. Despite my lackadaisical approach, I did attempt to create a pellicle by  placing the uncovered fish on a rack in the fridge the morning of the party. (I mention this as a pathetic bit of evidence that I actually sort of “did” the challenge…)

I was requested to bring a vegetable side dish, so I decided to give raw kale salad a try. It’s something I’ve been reading all about on various blogs and wanted to try for a while, but they always call for lacinato or “dinosaur” kale which I can’t easily find around here. I decided to make up a recipe using regular (curly) kale instead and see how it came out. The verdict? According to the other guests, it was great. I was totally satisfied with the flavor, but I think texturally it could have been improved upon slightly by chopping the kale a little finer, almost like tabbouleh. A mezzaluna would have come in handy for this task, but I don’t have one currently. Another item for the wedding registry!

Apparently we were supposed to be there 2 hours before we actually got there (I recalled the email mentioning 7pm but apparently this was the sit-down-to-eat time, not the arrival time…. damn ADD) but fortunately we showed up just as the burgers were coming off the smoker and people were getting ready to dig in. Our host presented us each with a Cuba Libre (translation: rum & coke with a lime) and we loaded our plates and headed out to what Todd fondly refers to as “the magical front porch” to eat. It was a bit chilly, but the great food, drink and company distracted us enough from the cold.

After dinner, we moved the party out back where the fish was still smoking and a fire was roaring. I figured the trout would be a snack for those later-on beer munchies, but then Evan busted out a phenomenal lemon gelato with something like 20 egg yolks, so understandably no one was much interested in fish at that point. (I’m suspecting, and hoping, that those who stayed past us drinking had a go at it later). I of course had to at least sample some for posterity’s sake. The fillet was light and delicate, with just a thin darker layer where the smoke had adhered. The steaks, which had been on longer, had a fuller, meatier and more intense smoke flavor. Both were incredibly moist and delicious. I’m kind of kicking myself that I didn’t steal a small piece to take home to put on a morning bagel, but our hosts had been generous so I wanted to leave it for them. A good reason to actually attempt the hot smoking challenge on my own at some point (or, a reason to put a smoker on our registry!) . I do have a souvenir, though- my coat still smells like smoked fish.

Raw Kale Salad with Lemon Feta Dressing
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Most of the kale salads I’ve seen on the interwebs are variations on Melissa Clark’s recipe and call for pecorino and lacinato kale…  I had feta and regular kale on hand so I developed this recipe instead. Featuring feta, lemon and oregano, the flavors are more Greek than Italian, and the copious but light dressing works well with the curly kale. The salad holds up beautifully for days without wilting, so it’s a great make-ahead dish.

2 bunches kale
1 cup olive oil
1/4 to 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
2 oz. plus 4 oz. feta in brine
2 garlic cloves, crushed and roughly chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp sugar
optional: cherry or grape tomatoes or strips of red or yellow bell pepper

Using the full 1/3 cup lemon juice makes what I consider a pleasantly tart dressing. If you are less of an acid-head than me, feel free to start with 1/4 cup; you can always add more.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, oregano,  pepper flakes, sugar and a couple pinches of salt.

Cut the tough stems away from the kale leaves and discard; roughly chop or tear the leaves and wash and dry in a salad spinner. Finely chop the kale (think tabbouleh or a little coarser) and place in a bowl large enough to toss the salad.

Put the olive oil, garlic and 2 ounces of feta in a blender and process until smooth. Add the lemon juice mixture and process again until fully combined. Taste for balance, adding more lemon juice or an additional pinch of salt or sugar if necessary.

Toss about 3/4 of the dressing with the salad and assess the results, adding the remaining dressing to your taste. Crumble the remaining 4 oz feta on top. If desired, garnish with additional vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, etc.

remembrance, fidelity, and cake

When it comes to indulgences,  I prefer to blow my “calorie budget” on an exquisite piece of cheese*, a succulent slice of fat-studded saucisson, or a glistening leg of duck confit (with accompanying duck-fat-roasted potatoes, of course).  In fact, I’ll usually forgo the dessert course altogether, having sated myself on one or more of the above.  But I was making Marvin a Valentine’s supper, and the menu didn’t feel complete without dessert.  Things were going in a somewhat Italian direction (rabbit braised in red wine; polenta with roasted garlic & honey; broccoli raab sautéed with anchovy & red pepper) so I thought of an olive oil cake- not too rich, just a subtly sweet ending.

The recipe I chose was a plain, unadorned sponge cake,  enlivened with the zest of a lemon and an orange, a slug of late-harvest dessert wine, and some finely chopped rosemary.  This simple, clean flavor combination struck me as the perfect ending to a rich meal.  (If it sounds a bit too austere, don’t forget that you’ll have that open bottle of dessert wine to sip along with your cake!)

This cake was especially appropriate for Valentine’s Day (or an anniversary for that matter) because rosemary symbolizes “remembrance and fidelity”.  It’s often used in weddings for this very reason- in fact, I attended one wedding where rosemary plants were given out as favors for the guests to take home.  I like to think that remembrance is meant not just in terms of looking back on something in the past, but rather in the sense that we should always keep our partner in our thoughts on a daily basis, remembering why we chose them and not taking them for granted.  Fidelity has the obvious connotation of sexual fidelity, but it also refers to being loyal to your partner- letting them feel secure in the knowledge that you’ve got their back no matter what.

I can’t say that either of us were thinking any of these deep thoughts while eating our cake, but it was interesting to look up the meaning of rosemary and to know that it had a symbolic connection with what is supposed to be a day of celebrating romance.  Although Valentine’s Day may be behind us for this year, I urge you to make this cake anytime you want to honor remembrance and fidelity, or anytime you want a simple, uncomplicated ending to a rich meal.

(*This cheese is pretty amazing with dessert wine too if you’re ever looking for something really special- it’s an artisan blue cheese wrapped in grape leaves that have been macerated in pear brandy.  It’s pricey, but no more pricey per pound than really good chocolate- for 4 bucks I bought a small piece that we didn’t even finish.)

Olive Oil, Citrus & Rosemary Cake (from Regional Foods of Northern Italy by Marlena DeBlasi)
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5 eggs, separated
2/3 cup sugar
2 packed tsps rosemary leaves, very finely minced
zest of one lemon
zest of one orange
4 oz. fresh, whole milk ricotta
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Moscato, vin Santo, or other late-harvest white wine
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp sea salt

Preheat the oven to 375.  Prepare a 9″ or 10″ springform pan by buttering the sides and lining the bottom with a parchment circle.  Beat the yolks and sugar until pale.  Stir in the citrus zest and rosemary.

In another bowl, stir together the ricotta, salt, olive oil and wine until combined.  Add the ricotta mixture and the flour to the yolks, a third at a time, alternating the two.

Beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold them into the batter.  Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 and bake an additional 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Be careful not to overcook, as this is a cake that can quickly go from perfectly done to dry.

Cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then unmold onto a plate and allow to finish cooling.  DeBlasi suggests serving a few roasted nuts alongside the cake, as well as the dessert wine you used in the cake.  If you like, you can decorate the cake with a sprinkling of powdered sugar as pictured.  My favorite way to do this is to put the sugar in a mesh tea strainer and lightly tap it over the surface of the cake (use a cardboard cut-out for a “stencil”).

garlic shrimp pasta ($2-a-serving challenge)

A few weeks ago I posted a challenge to come up with a $2-per-serving menu to challenge the notion that healthy food is “too expensive” or that you need to resort to convenience foods to have time to sit down with your family for dinner.  Ironically, what with trying to run holiday-related errands after work most days, and having a plethora of parties, shows, rehearsals and other stuff, I haven’t been cooking much! (I did make a big batch of lamb & bulghur stew last weekend and have been pretty much subsisting on those leftovers all last week, but it wasn’t particularly blog-worthy.)

The other night I was staring at the fridge with the glazed-over and rather desperate look of a person who hasn’t been to the grocery store in recent memory, when inspiration struck.  I had a bag of frozen shrimp in the fridge, a package of pasta, and enough pantry items to make said shrimp and pasta into a quick and very flavorful dinner.  Crisis averted.

Let me detour here to say that I do regret that my $2 meal was not more local– apparently there is a shrimp farm in Okemos but my shrimp were from Trader Joe’s.  I don’t eat a ton of shrimp because of the overfishing issues, but as a person who lives alone, there is a great advantage to a food which you can keep in the freezer and remove a few at a time for a single serving. This recipe may also not fall under some people’s definition of “healthy”, but it does use all natural ingredients and that’s my usual guideline.  As I had not been to the store I didn’t have any fresh vegetables in the house, but I would certainly encourage adding a green veg to make this a more balanced meal.

Here’s my cost breakdown: Shrimp: ½ bag @ $8.99/1-lb bag= $4.50; butter: 2 oz @ $2.89/lb= 36¢; 1 lb spaghetti= 99¢; 1 lemon= 50¢ (mine actually cost less since I had bought a bag of them, but I think that’s how much they are if you buy a single one); 4 cloves garlic= approx. 25¢; 1 tsp red pepper: negligible, but let’s say 15¢ (or get it free next time you order pizza!).  Total= $6.75 and serves 4, so $1.69 per serving.   That leaves $1.25 to spend on 4 servings of the veg of your choice-  a plain green salad, some sautéed zucchini,  or some steamed broccoli, perhaps?- and still keep it under $2.

Garlic Shrimp Pasta
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1 lb. dried spaghetti or linguini
½ lb. shrimp (should yield 4-6 shrimp per serving depending on shrimp size)
4 Tbs butter
4 large cloves garlic
1 lemon, halved lengthwise
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 handful chopped flat leaf parsley, optional
kosher or sea salt

Notes: Feel free to embellish and throw in other random items you may have in your pantry or refrigerator… a spoonful of capers, perhaps, or some grated Parmigiano.  I happened to have some parsley in the fridge so in it went.  This recipe is also very easily divisible/ multipliable- I originally made 2 servings, not 4- so it’s a good recipe if you’re just feeding 1 or 2 people.  The dish can be prepared in about 30 minutes, and 10 of that is just waiting for the water to boil.  You’ll want to work very quickly to get the sauce on the pasta before anything gets cold.

Directions:  Put a large pot of well-salted water to boil.  Rinse and pat dry the shrimp, salt lightly on all sides and set aside.  Mince the garlic.  Juice half the lemon; cut the remaining half into four wedges.  Chop the parsley, if using.

When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to package directions, probably 8 minutes or so.  You’ll want to try to time it so the pasta and shrimp are just getting done at the same time.

Select a saucepan in which the shrimp will just fit in one layer.  Melt the butter over low heat.  Add the garlic, keeping the heat as low as possible.  Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring and making sure the garlic does not brown.  (If the butter is foaming too much, add a splash of olive oil.)  Add the pepper flakes and stir.

Add the shrimp to the pan in one layer.  Cook gently until they appear opaque halfway up the sides, then flip and continue cooking until fully opaque.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a covered dish on the stovetop (so they remain warm).

Meanwhile, drain the pasta when done, reserving about ¼ cup of the cooking water.  Add the juice of half the lemon and a little of the pasta water to the butter/garlic mixture and increase the heat slightly, stirring.  Cook for 30 seconds or so, stirring to emulsify.  Toss the sauce with the cooked pasta.  Add any other ingredients at this time such as the parsley, capers, etc.  Taste the pasta for salt, adding as needed. If it seems too dry, add a bit more of the pasta cooking water, and/or a little olive oil.

Plate the pasta in warmed shallow bowls or plates, garnishing with the shrimp and a wedge of lemon.

meyer lemon marmalade cheesecake (daring bakers)

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.


I’m not a huge cheesecake fan- it’s not that I dislike it; it just wouldn’t be my first choice for empty calories (just give me the cheese plate instead!)- but I figured I would kill two birds with one stone and use it as my contribution to Easter dinner at Marvin’s mom’s house.  Turns out, his family all LOVES cheesecake- so much so that there were at two other cheesecakes at the get-together.  At least mine was the only one with lemons!

cheesecake-side-viewI had gotten the idea for candied lemons because a few weeks ago there were Meyer lemons all over the grocery stores and I wanted to take advantage of the season (go here and here to see all the citrus goodies I made).  Just after the idea had come to mind, coincidentally a fellow blogger whose blog I’ve started reading regularly posted a ricotta cheesecake with candied lemons.  I was glad not to have to hunt for a candied lemon recipe, but a tiny bit disappointed that someone had just posted on the same concept.  Ahh well, I suppose with the amount of food blogs out there these days, it’s hard to be totally original, unless you’re the Colloquial Cook! :)

cheesecake-in-water-bathThe recipe itself was pretty darn easy, mainly just combining ingredients in a bowl and dumping them in the pan.  And fortunately I didn’t have any issues with waterlogged crust or a crack in the top.  I thought this was a good albeit very rich recipe.  There was no flour (is there usually flour in cheesecake?  I have no idea.  I thought maybe there was a little), so the consistency was very soft and not at all “cake-y”, and it got kind of melty at room temperature, but was much better chilled.   The consistency may have changed a little due to my adaptation as well.  To flavor the cheesecake, I substituted 1/4 cup marmalade for 1/4 cup of the sugar, added the Microplaned zest of one lemon, and substituted lemon juice for the liqueur (too bad I didn’t have any Limoncello on hand!).  You’d think it would have turned out ultra-lemony, but it was actually pretty subtle.  The candied lemons on top were what really gave it some kick; I liked how their slightly bitter bite offset the sweetness and richness.


Incidentally, we had a great time at the family get-together, where we played a spirited game of Cranium with his cousins, and ate WAY too much food.  I’m still working through some of the leftovers! In addition to ham AND turkey, there was a delicious pork and bean dish with three kinds of pork, the ubiquitous arroz con gandules (this is the Puerto Rican side of the family), homemade grape leaves (a remnant of his mom’s marriage to his Chaldean father), several other side dishes, and about 15 different desserts including flan (which I polished off for breakfast with some banana and strawberries).  One of these days I am going to get together with his mom and learn some of the traditional recipes.  Meanwhile, I’m happy to bring my contributions, and was relieved at not having a whole cheesecake sitting around my house.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take my camera to Easter, so I only have the few photos I took before we left.  The photo of the cheesecake without the pan and the pics below of me photographing the cheesecake are courtesy of Marvin.


my favorite way to eat a carrot


When I lived in France, I learned how to make salad dressing (aka la vinaigrette) from scratch, and it was a revelation. Almost any vegetable, raw or cooked, can be dressed with vinaigrette and be so much the better for it (at least in my book). A popular salad on French lunch tables is carottes rapées (that’s grated carrots, not raped carrots, although I once had a French tutor who confused these faux amis during a lesson at her house, asking her husband if he could please rape the cheese for their dinner quiche…)  I’ve never been a huge fan of carrot sticks, or of carrot coins in a salad, but grated carrots may as well be a different vegetable entirely.  I can eat great big mounds of them, and they are one of the few vegetables I prefer raw.

shredded-carrots-cropHere’s an informative blog post by French food maven David Lebovitz on the cultural/ culinary significance of carottes rapées.  He also links to his method of preparing them, which is simplicity itself: lemon, parsley, maybe a little olive oil.  My crème fraîche version is admittedly a little less “pure”, but I did serve it to a Frenchman once who exclaimed excitedly “Ah j’adore les carottes rapées!” and promptly ate most of the bowl, so I feel somewhat confident in saying that, although different, my method is still acceptable.

While you can certainly serve this salad on its own, I love to make a first course out of it by mounding it into the center of an avocado.  It’s a little more luxurious, and somehow it has a sort of retro appeal.  You can either peel the avocados (if they’re the correct ripeness, the skin should easily peel right off) or leave them in their shells and let people scoop out the flesh with a spoon.

salade de carottes rapées en nid d’avocat/ grated carrot salad in an avocado nest

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Serves 8 as a first course; adjust measurements for smaller or larger crowds

4-6 carrots
4 ripe avocados
2 tbs crème fraîche (or substitute 1 tbs sour cream + 1 tbs plain yogurt)
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 large clove garlic, optional
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
some finely chopped parsley to garnish (I didn’t have any the day the photos were taken, and your salad certainly won’t be ruined without it, although it is a nice touch.  If you really like parsley, use more and mix it right in with the carrots.)


Notes:  As with almost all salads and salad dressings, I implore you to taste as you go and adjust as necessary- the measurements are intended as guidelines only.  If you don’t do dairy, this dressing can easily be made without it; just increase the olive oil and lemon proportionately.  Most vinagrettes use a much higher oil to acid ratio, but I find that because carrots are so sweet, they can stand up to a dressing that is quite tart.  When everything comes together, it should be well-balanced.  Also, if serving with avocados, their fatty blandness balances the extra tartness from the lemons.  Don’t fear the sour!

Directions: Make the dressing: in a medium bowl, combine the crème fraîche, mustard, and olive oil; whisk together until well combined.  Whisk in the lemon juice until fully incorporated, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  If using the garlic, smash the clove and put it in the dressing to infuse.

Peel 4 carrots and grate on a box grater or in the food processor.  When ready to serve, fish out the garlic and discard, and toss the carrots in the dressing until fully coated.  If serving with the avocados, it’s ok if the salad is a little “over-dressed”, because you need a little extra so the avocado isn’t bland.  If you’re just serving the carrots on their own, however, you may want to add a couple more carrots or reduce the quantity of dressing.  If you over-dress the salad, or let it sit too long before serving, the carrots will get soggy.  (Heaven forbid this should happen, but if it does, take comfort in knowing that pieces of baguette are the perfect vehicle for sopping up the extra juice.)

Halve the avocados, remove the pits, and if they don’t sit still, remove a small sliver on the bottoms so they don’t roll around.  Mound the carrots in the hollow, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

blood orange sorbet


I was looking for a simple, light, palate-cleansing finish to my lasagna dinner, so I had planned on making a lemon ice.  When I got to the store,  I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had blood oranges and Meyer lemons, both something of a treat in this neck of the woods.  And at semi-reasonable prices, no less!  I’m not sure how long they’ll be around, but for those of you in the Midwest, I encourage you to get to the store and pick some up before they’re gone.  I got mine a Trader Joe’s, but I saw them at Holiday Market as well, so I think they should be fairly easy to find.  (Incidentally, the bowl pictured was a Royal Oak Flea Market find… cute, no?)


If you haven’t tried one, most of you have probably at least seen a blood orange at some point as a plate garnish at a fancy brunch place.  The flavor is not all that different from that of other oranges; I would describe it as having a slight honey aroma; but the coloring gives them an obvious dramatic flair. After looking at the Wikipedia entry, I’m thinking mine were the Moro variety. Meyer lemons, a favorite of foodies everywhere, are sweeter and more fragrant than the Eureka lemons typically in stores.  They have a very thin skin, and are wonderful in all sorts of lemon desserts.  I have also seen them recommended for Moroccan preserved lemons, and am thinking I need to try this ASAP.  But back to the sorbet…


This is an incredibly simple dessert, even if you don’t have an ice cream maker, and is a great finish to a heavy or rich meal.  A nice addition would be a tuile or thin butter cookie to stick on the side.  The only downside to the recipe is that blood oranges don’t yield an incredible amount of juice… I used a whole bag (8 oranges) and only got a little over 1 cup of juice.  However, you could always combine some “regular” orange juice in to supplement things.

Blood Orange Sorbet

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blood-oranges-close-213 cups freshly squeezed blood orange juice, or a combination of freshly squeezed orange and blood orange juices
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbs blood orange zest

optional: 1 blood orange, sliced into thin half moons, to garnish (I did use this garnish when I served it, but didn’t have any left over when the photo was taken)

Directions:  Combine all ingredients and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.  Taste the mixture to check for balance of sweetness and acidity, adjusting if necessary by adding a pinch more sugar or a squeeze more lemon.  Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions.  Alternately, pour into a shallow plastic container and place in freezer until nearly frozen.  Break up in chunks and process in the blender until fluffy.  Put back in the freezer and repeat process once.  With either method, the sorbet will need about 1-2 hours in the freezer to set up after processing, so this is a good make-ahead dish.