Posts Tagged ‘sage’

I love a good Insalata Caprese; succulent mozzarella, vibrant tomatoes and fresh basil with a drizzle of fruity olive oil. However, tomatoes this time of year certainly aren’t from Jersey—unless they’re Newark’s finest. Plus, floods inundated basil fields all over the country, and I don’t want my basil grown in a test tube. Therefore, I replaced mozzarella with goat cheese, tomatoes with marinated beets, and basil with sage, to make a crostini that screams Caprese without compromising flavor.

Ingredients (Makes approximately hors d’oeuvres)

I finally found a measurement style that GW students can relate to

  • 2 shots of olive oil
  • 1 shot of balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Agave nectar to taste
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper
  • French Baguette
  • Long stick of goat cheese
  • Fresh Sage

Scott’s Steps:

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, agave nectar, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Slice the beets and allow them to marinate for at least 1 hour.

Slice a French baguette into thin, 1/8 in. slices. Arrange on a foiled sheet pan in an even layer and brush/drizzle on olive oil. Lightly sprinkle with salt and bake at 325° until they are crunchy.

To assemble, slice thick slabs of goat cheese and place on each crostini, resting one beet slice on top with a sage-leaf garnish.

The goat cheese has an unparalleled, rich creaminess and a tang that is complemented by the sweetness of the marinated beets. The lime and balsamic brighten the mellow flavor of the beets while the cinnamon adds a subtle complexity. Finally, the sage leaf provides and earthy aroma and an amazing sweet-savory flavor that ties everything together.

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  • Store-bought ravioli (pumpkin or butternut squash is best)
  • ¼ stick of butter
  • Frozen peas
  • Fresh button mushrooms, sliced
  • Fresh Sage
  • Olive oil
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • cinnamon

There is no shame in using store-bought ingredients, as long as you elevate them to something exceptional. With these techniques, you can use the most simple of ingredients by getting the most out of them.

1. For the ravioli, salt a pot of water until it tastes like ocean water and heat to a boil.

2. With a drizzle of olive oil in a pan over medium heat, sauté the mushrooms with thin slices of garlic and season with salt and pepper. When the mushrooms are almost finished, add about five leaves of chopped sage (slapping the leaves in your palm will help release aromatic oils)

3. Add thawed peas in a few minutes later and, when the mushrooms have softened and browned, deposit the vegetables into a bowl.

4. Add the ravioli. They should take about 3-4 minutes. When they are cooked, strain thoroughly, but start the brown butter in the meantime.

5. For the brown butter, clean the pan and heat to medium-high. Whisk or stir pieces of butter in one at a time. The water in the butter will cook off, resulting in foam. The foam will subside and the hot fat will brown the milk solids in the butter.

6. When the butter has a golden brown hue and there are fine flecks of brown, the butter is finished. Congratulations! You’ve made a beurre noisette! I like to add a pinch of cinnamon for an earthy sweetness. For an extra sweet twist, add a touch of maple or agave syrup. Immediately mix the butter with the vegetables to prevent further cooking.

7. To serve, I just scatter chiffonaded (shih-phone-ODD-ed) sage  leaves (stack the leaves, roll, and slice into very thin strands) and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

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