Salmon with Hazelnut Salsa

This hazelnut pepper salsa is amazing! It is from Ottolenghi’s cookbook. This is the perfect weeknight meal.

Ingredients:
2 roasted red peppers
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp hazelnuts
1/4 c chives
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 – 2 lb salmon

Preheat oven to 400.

Combine all ingredients except salmon in a food processor and process until just smooth.

Spray salmon with olive oil spray and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until very light pink inside.

Serves 2 – 4.

Pasta with Un-Cooked Tomato Sauce

 This recipe is from Bon Appetite. It is perfect for a summer dinner.

Ingredients:
½ c hazelnuts, toasted
1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp salt, plus more
12 oz spaghetti or linguine
1 beefsteak tomato, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 c basil leaves, divided
2 small zucchini,grated
¼ c olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Pepper
1 oz ricotta salata, shaved

Place cherry tomatoes in a large bowl; season with salt.

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving ¼ c pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, purée beefsteak tomato, garlic, red pepper flakes, ½ c basil, 3 TBSP chopped hazelnuts, and 1 tsp salt in a food processor until smooth; add to bowl with salted cherry tomatoes. Add zucchini, spaghetti, pasta cooking liquid, ¼ c oil, and remaining ½ c basil leaves and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper.

Divide pasta among bowls, drizzle with more oil, and top with ricotta salata and remaining hazelnuts.

Serves 4.

Foie on Toast with Cherry Salad

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I love Foie Gras and the best thing about it is it cooks up so quickly. It is illegal to sell it in California, so you need to get creative about how you obtain it.

Ingredients:
2 2 oz slices of Foie gras
1/4 c bing cherries (frozen defrosted or fresh)
1 TBSP high quality balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP hazel nut oil
1/4 c toasted hazelnuts, chopped
Salt and pepper
Butter lettuce, torn
Balsamic glaze
Brioche or parmesan toast

Combine the balsamic vinegar, oil, salt and pepper in a small jar and shake to combine. Toss with salad, cherries and nuts.

Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add Foie and cook 30 – 40 seconds per side.

Serve with salad and toast and drizzle with a little balsamic glaze.

Serves 2.

Spinach, Roasted Butternut Squash and Burrata Salad

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This is the perfect fall salad! Serve it with some crusty bread and you are set for a fantastic meal.

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bag baby spinach
8 oz Burrata, torn into small pieces
1/4 lb hazelnuts, chopped and toasted
1 c aged balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP white balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 TBSP hazelnut oil
Salt and pepper

In a small skillet or saucepan, bring the aged balsamic vinegar to boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and simmer, long and slow. until reduced to about a third of its original volume. (The reduction will thicken some more as it cools. If it becomes too thick, thin it with a drop of water.)

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and toss to combine, bake for about 25 minutes until cubes are golden and slightly charred, yet still firm. Set aside to cool slightly.

Prepare the vinaigrette. In a small jar combine the hazelnut oil and white balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and shake until well blended.

In a large bowl toss the spinach with the half of the vinaigrette, adding more if needed. Top with the butternut squash cubes and burrata. Spoon the balsamic reduction generously on top, finish with the hazelnuts and serve.

Serves 6.

Porchetta, Fennel, and Apple Hand Pies

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Trader Joe’s is now selling cooked Porchetta – simply reheat and voila you have dinner, it’s really quite amazing. I decided to use this porky goodness to create a hand pie with fennel, apple, onion and hazelnuts – they turned out delicious!! You can always freeze these for a quick weeknight meal. Serve with salad and your all set.

Ingredients:
2 sheets of puff pastry, defrosted
8 oz Porchetta, medium dice
1 fennel bulb, medium dice
2 apples, cored, medium dice
1 onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp thyme
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 hazelnuts, toasted, chopped
Egg white

Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicon mat.

In a large skillet heat some oil over low heat, add fennel, apple, onion, garlic, thyme and sauté about 10 minutes, until softened. Add pork and hazelnuts stir to combine and remove from heat.

On a floured surface, roll out puff pastry, until it is thin. Cut into rectangles and place about 1/2 c of filling in each (you may need to adjust, you want the pies pretty full), fold over the puffed pastry and form into a crescent shape, crimp the edges and place on baking sheet. Repeat.

Chill pies for 15 – 30 minutes.

Combine 2 TBSP egg white with 1 TBSP water and brush pies with wash.

Bake 20 – 30 minutes until golden brown.

Makes 8 – 12 pies.

Cauliflower Salad

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Another great recipe from Jerusalem by Ottolenghi – I made a few minor changes.

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets
5 TBSP olive oil
3 large celery stalk, cut on an angle into 1/4-inch slices
1/3 c hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
1/3 c small flat-leaf parsley leaves, picked
1/2 pomegranate seeds
Generous 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Generous 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets (1 1/2 pounds total)
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 large celery stalk, cut on an angle into 1/4-inch slices (2/3 cup total)
5 tablespoons hazelnuts, with skins
1/3 cup small flat-leaf parsley leaves, picked
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (from about 1/2 medium pomegranate)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 TBSP sherry vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix the cauliflower with 3 TBSP olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and some black pepper. Spread out in a roasting pan and roast on the top oven rack for 25 to 35 minutes, until the cauliflower is crisp and parts of it have turned golden brown.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool.

Add nuts to the cauliflower, along with the remaining oil and the rest of the ingredients. Stir, taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6 – 8

Grilled Zuk Salad

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This might be one of my favorite salads of all time! Grilled Zuks topped with a little cheese, nuts and fresh basil!

Ingredients:
4 – 5 Zuks slices lengthwise 3/8 thick
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 TBSP hazelnut oil
1 TBSP Balsamic vinegar
1/4 c chopped hazelnuts, toasted
1 c basil leaves chiffonade
1/4 c parmesan cheese

Heat bbq or grill pan on medium high.

Toss Zuks with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook about 3 min per side.

Toss Zuks with remaining ingredients and serve.

Serves 2 – 4.

Zucchini and Hazelnut Salad

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This salad is super easy and perfect for a hot summer night! Use small Zuks for this recipe. Slice the Zuks as thin as possible on a mandoline or use a veggie peeler.

Ingredients:
1/4 c hazelnuts, toasted
4 small zucchini, very thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
3 TBSP fresh lemon juice
3 TBSP olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1/4 TBSP Mint leaves, chopped fine
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish

Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to combine.

Serves 4.

Scallops with Hazelnuts and Cherry Tomatoes

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This recipe is from the June Issue of Bon Appetit. It comes together quickly so it’s perfect for a weeknight. I made a few minor changes, the combo of hazelnuts and tarragon is a winner.

Ingredients:
1/4 c hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 lb scallops
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 shallot, minced
1 TBSP white balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP tarragon, chopped

Salt and pepper the scallops and set aside.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1
TBSP of oil over medium high heat, add shallots and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from pan, wipe pan and add the scallops, cooking about 3 minutes per side.

To serve: top tomatoes with scallops and springy with nuts and tarragon.

Serves 2.

Halloumi & Arugula Salad

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I love Halloumi cheese! Ok I love all cheese, but this one is especially great with salad. This is a great summer salad with lots of flavors!

Dressing:
3 TBSP hazelnut or olive oil
2 TBSP pomegranate molasses
1 TBSP lemon juice
3/4 tsp crumbled dried mint leaves
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Salad
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 tsp lemon juice
5 c loosely packed baby arugula
1/2 c pomegrante seeds
1/4 c hazelnuts
8 oz halloumi cheese, cut into 8 slices
4 small sprigs oregano (4 in. each)

Make dressing: Stir ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

Make salad: Toss fennel and lemon juice in a small bowl. Put arugula and Pom seeds in a large bowl; set aside.

Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add halloumi and oregano to dry pan; cook, turning once, until cheese browns (it will exude brine, then dry out), 4 to 6 minutes total. Remove from heat and discard oregano.

Toss arugula and Pom seeds with just enough dressing to coat, then toss with fennel. Divide among plates. Top salads with Halloumi and hazelnuts. Drizzle dressing over cheese.

Serves 2 – 4.