Archive for September, 2011

September 8, 2011

Golden Beet Salad with Fennel, Radish Shoots, Dates, Almonds & Gorgonzola Cream


I got the inspiration for this salad at Roadhouse in Davenport, Ca. Just a few miles from us here in Santa Cruz. It’s a gorgeous drive along the coast highway through the organic farms and vinyards. If your ever in this area here’s a great article listing some of our favorite places eat at and visit.


Golden Beet Salad
by Kelly Sterling

Method for the beets

6 small beets (any color)
2 cups water
1/4 cup organic sugar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
Zest from 1/2 tangerine or orange (use a vegetable peeler to slice off large strips)
pinch of sea salt

Combine all the ingredients into a small sauce pan, bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until tender, about 40 minutes or so. When cool enough to handle, rub the skins off using paper towels. Slice and set aside.


Method for the Gorgonzola cream

4 ounces good quality gorgonzola (I used an Italian gorgonzola)
1/3 cup whole milk
pinch sea salt/ground black pepper

Using a mixer or blender, combine all ingredients and process until smooth and pourable but not runny. Depending on the softness of your cheese, you may need to + or – the amount of milk to get the right consistancy.


To assemble (mix quantities to your liking)

Reserved beets (from above)
Shaved Fennel (use a mandolin or vegetable peeler)
Radish sprouts or Arugula
Fresh Dates, chopped
Sliced almonds, toasted
Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette
Gorgonzola cream

You can plate this individually or on one large platter. Pool some of the Gorgonzola cream on the bottom of the plate. Toss together the beets, fennel, dates and radish sprouts with some of the vinaigrette and a small pinch of salt and pepper, place on top of the cream, sprinkle on the almonds. Serve immediately.




September 1, 2011

My Summer Favorites – Heirloom Tomatoes, Padron Peppers & Burrata

Method Finely chop 1 bunch of basil with a clove of garlic and a few glugs of good quality olive oil (just
to moisten to basil)
. Slice tomatoes, sprinkle with sea salt and a few cracks of black pepper serve with
Brrata Cheese, basil oil and toasted Sourdough baguette.

Padron Peppers

MethodHeat a large saute pan over high heat. When the pan is very hot, drizzle with some olive oil and
add the
peppers all at once (stand back a little, they might spatter). When the skins begin to blister, squeeze
in some
lemon juice and a generous pinch of sea salt. Remove from pan and serve.

I want to share a few of my favorite farmers market must-haves. Every week a few heirloom tomatoes and a basket of Padron Peppers make it into my bag. I’m enjoying them as much as I can in these final weeks of summer. When fruits and vegetables are this perfect, at the peak of their season, you don’t want to do anything that masks the sun-kissed flavor. A pinch a salt, a drizzle of olive oil and maybe a splash lemon is all they need–if anything at all.

Heirloom Tomatoes are a favorite every year, and every year I’m astonished at how good these are with all the vibrant colors,  different textures and tastes. My favorite is green zebra, what’s yours?
(Actually, green zebra isn’t an heirloom, they are bred from 4 different heirloom varieties…go figure).

Padron Peppers are new to me this year (where have I been!). Mostly mild and sweet, but occasionally you’ll get a hot and spicy one in the batch. I noticed this weeks peppers were more spicy than the early summer ones – apparently they get spicier towards the end of summer. But not to spicy to thoroughly enjoy!

Another thing I’ve been enjoying is Burrata Cheese, I’m seeing it on a lot of menus around the Bay Area this summer. Burrata is a fresh Mozzarella that’s stuffed with a mixture of cream and mozzarella, giving it a beautiful, soft inner texture while having the familiar, firm outer shell. This is best served at room temperature.


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