Herbed Olive Oil

We mow through quite a bit of olive oil and fresh herbs around here, whether it’s dressing a salad, drizzled on veggies, or topping a roasting chicken.   So I figured we could really use a bottle of Herbed Olive Oil.

Herbed Olive Oil

1/2 cup each- fresh parsley & basil
1/4 cup rosemary needles
2 cups olive oil
3 branches rosemary

Shred herbs in a blender or food processor, slowly drizzling in olive oil.  Blend until smooth. 

Place rosemary branches in a clean bottle.  Pour herbed olive oil mixture into bottle. 

Use as desired!

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Black Bean and Corn Salsa

A simple salsa which can be used on virtually any thing!

Black Bean and Corn Salsa
Adapted from Cooking Light: Way to Cook

1 can black beans
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 red bell pepper, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve as you wish!

Gnocchi with Roasted Beet Puree

Forrest took me on a trip to the 1804 Inn and Barboursville Vineyards for my last birthday.  One of the highlights of our trip was a late lunch at Palladio.  We ran into James Beard honored chef Mellisa Close Hart in the tasting room after our meal.  She graciously gave Forrest the recipe for her roasted beet puree.  We specifically planted beets just to make this recipe. 

Roasted Beet Puree

1/4 cup orange juice, plus more for puree
Fresh herbs:  bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, oregano; minced
Olive Oil
4 large beets
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
More fresh herbs:  oregano & basil; minced
Zest of 1 orange
fresh grated parmesan
fresh sage, chopped

Coat beets with olive oil.  Place in baking dish.  Add orange juice and fresh herbs.  Roast at 425 for 45 minutes or until tender.  Remove beets, reserve juice.  Using a paper towel, peel skin away from beets.  Chop into chunks. 

Combine beets & cooking liquid in blender.  Add salt, pepper, additional herbs, and orange zest.  Puree, adding additional orange juice until it reaches the consistency of thick applesauce.  Keep warm.

Serve warm with toasted gnocchi.  Top with grated parmesan and chopped sage.

Gnocchi with Venison/Lamb Bolognese

For Christmas, I received a meat grinder attachment for the KitchenAid Mixer and a Gnocchi rolling pin. And it just so happens, I have a freezer full of venison and some leftover lamb. So, I ground them up and with a lot of patience and Forrest’s help made a yummy dinner! I made up the Bolognese as I went along, so the measurements aren’t exact….

2 tbsp evoo
1 cup carrots, sliced using Cuisinart food processor
1 lb ground venison and lamb
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
6 oz. tomato paste
1 cup basil
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup dry red wine

Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add carrots, meat, and garlic and sauté until lightly browned. Meanwhile, crush basil and tomatoes (I also used the grinder attachment for this). Add remaining ingredients to meat mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer at least 1 hour. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Gnocchi
adapted from Williams Sonoma Pasta

3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 large eggs
1 tsp kosher salt
2-3 cups all purpose flour

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain and cool potatoes. Rice the potatoes using either a ricer, food mill, or mashing thoroughly. Allow potatoes to cool completely (this is VERY important! It allows the excess moisture to evaporate, so that the potatoes are as dry as possible).

Break the eggs into a bowl, add salt, and beat lightly. Drizzle egg mixture over cooled potatoes. Sprinkle 1 cup of flour over potatoes. Using a bench scraper, fold the flour and egg into the potatoes until a dough forms. Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour over work surface and continue folding in flour until the dough reaches consistency. Roll the dough into a 1 inch log and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

Drop the dough once piece at a time into boiling water. Allow to boil until gnocchi rises to the surface, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

** Freeze any extra dough in gnocchi shape on sheet pans.

Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

This is a good light dressing to use on salads.  Next time I’ll probably make a simple syrup instead of the liquid sweetener, since I’m pretty sure that’s all chemicals.

2 tbsp raspberry vinegar
2 tbsp seedless raspberry jam
3-6 drops liquid sweetener
1/3 cup light olive oil

Combine vinegar and jam in blender or small bowl.  Add sweetener and mix well.  Add oil in thin stream, blending well.

Roast Chicken Spice Rub

I love to roast chickens.  I tend to vary my method everytime I make one, but this is a nice rub that I created recently from our herb garden.

Roast Chicken Spice Rub
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp lemon zest

Mix all ingredients in a spice grinder.  Carefully coat chicken under and over skin, inside and out with EVOO and rub mixture all over.  Stuff with bay leaves and rosemary sprigs for additional flavors.