Category Archives: arugula

Requiem for Spring

arugula

arugula sprouts, basil and chives

This is my first post to this blog in about a year. Sorry I’ve been away for so long. 2010 has been quite the year.  Lots of transitions at work, side projects etc. Winter has finally come to NYC. Last night I was out with Mark and Nikki to see a movie and the 2 block walk to their car was a brutal 29 degrees. It has me longing for spring and relaxing on my balcony in the sun. I’ve been going through my archives of photos – many many more blog posts to come – and I found these shots of my garden. This year I went all out and planted tomatoes, a large box of arugula, several types of herbs and my ever loyal lemon tree. Miraculously everything turned out great. Though the tomatoes don’t look like much, there were delicious. The arugula was the standout star and produced several amazing salads. Even though its freezing out, the chives are still growing and flavoring my dishes.

tomatoes

yellow plum tomatoes grown on my balcony


lemon tree

budding lemons

Think Local, Buy Local

I decided to have some school friends over for dinner on Saturday night. I still have a ton of that Parmigiano cheese left so this was the perfect dish to top with curles of Parmigiano. Also I wanted to go to the local butcher and cheese maker because it is fun to shop locally and it is better for the environment.

Veal Milanesas with Polenta

1 pint grape tomatoes
handful of fresh parsley leaves
oil and balsamic vinegar
baby arugula
1 quart fat free milk
2 cups water
1 tablespoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
3 cups instant polenta
½ cup grated Parmesan
1 bunch fresh parsley, minced and divided
8 veal cutlets, pounded thin
salt and pepper
garlic powder
flour
1 egg
water
Italian style breadcrumbs
Grated Parmesan
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese curls
Lemon wedges

Cut the grape tomatoes in quarters and mix them with the parsley leaves and oil and vinegar dressing. Season as necessary. Wash the arugula and set aside to dry.

Start the polenta. In a large stockpot, heat the milk, water, garlic power and salt and pepper. Once the milk mixture is scalding but not boiling, add in the polenta grains. With a large whisk, on medium, continue stirring till the polenta is thick and fully cooked. If the polenta is too thick add a bit more water. Cover and set aside till after the veal is cooked.

Season the veal cutlets with the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Set up a dredging station. In the first bowl put the flower, in the second bowl make an egg wash with the egg and water and in the third bowl mix the bread crumbs, grated Parmesan and half of the minced parsley.

Heat half olive oil and canola oil on medium high in a large frying pan. Put in enough oil so that it will come up to half of the cutlet height.

Lay a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter. After dipping the veal into the flour, egg wash and breadcrumbs, on each side, lay them in a single layer on the paper. Once the oil is heated, fry the veal 2 to 3 at a time. After it is brown on each side flip it over and brown the other side. Drain the cutlets on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with salt.

While the last cutlets are frying, reheat the polenta, adding water as necessary to achieve a thick consistency. Add in the grated Parmesan cheese and the rest of the parsley.

To serve, place a mound of polenta in the corner of the plate. Lean two cutlets up against the polenta. Toss the tomatoes with the arugula and place a large mound over the cutlets. Sprinkle with the Parmesan curls and sprinkle with a tiny bit of lemon.

Berries with Mascarpone Cream and Balsamic Sauce

1 pint Strawberries
½ pint blueberries
½ pint black berries
4 chewy lime butter cookies
1 small container mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons honey
Pinch of salt
Balsamic Vinegar

To reduce the balsamic vinegar, heat on medium high until it gets thicker and sweeter. (This can be easy to burn and will make your house stink, so I like to buy reduced balsamic vinegar sauce from WholeFoods, to make my life easier.)

Wash and dry all of the berries. Quarter the strawberries and set aside.

Mix the cheese, honey and salt to form a sweet cream.

To plate the desert, place a cookie each plate and divide the cheese between the four plates. Pile the plate with the betties and drizzle the balsamic sauce over to for a pretty pattern. Use the Balsamic sparingly.