Santa Rosa blogger shares tips on how to eat like an Italian

Melissa M. Munoz

To cook dinner the polenta, Shick would make a vegetable stock from the eco-friendly portion of the leeks, which provides flavor though creating confident practically nothing goes to waste. Then she cuts up the white element of the leeks, blanches them and sautees them with the green garlic.

“Some of them I put in the polenta when it’s done,” she claimed “And the rest I sprinkle on best.”

For the kohlrabi, which is even now in period, she advises peeling it and slicing it skinny, then throwing it raw into a salad with some mandarin oranges, herbs and balsamic vinegar.

“It’s genuinely yummy, like a crunchy apple,” she stated of the kohlrabi. “Sometimes I like to combine the kohlrabi with fennel in a salad, in particular at the conclusion of the food. It really cleanses the palate.”

There are nonetheless loads of sweet carrots rising in the fields of Sonoma County correct now, so Shick offered up a carrot cake dessert, providing it her possess twist. Rather of grating the carrots raw, she opted to roast them initially.

“Somehow the roasting created it tremendous moist,” she stated. “I wanted it to be vegan, so that was Okay.”

For the frosting, she whipped up a coconut whipped cream making use of coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla, then additional a sprinkle of walnuts on major.

When you are browsing at the farmers industry, Shick indicates attempting some generate that you have by no means tasted before. Assume rutabaga, salsify and sunchoke, also acknowledged as the Jerusalem artichoke.

Then, to get tips on how to put together them, she advises speaking to the farmer. Talk to them what that bizarre hunting vegetable is, and how they themselves would get ready it. Along the way, you’re likely to get to know who is expanding your foods and make a new connection to the agricultural group.

“They constantly have so a lot of suggestions,” she reported. “Lee James (of Tierra Greens) has so significantly understanding. You ask her a person question, and she just keeps going.”

Alongside with her website, Shick is working on a memoir impressed by her lookup for her Italian-American roots. She hopes to offer some cooking classes on Zoom someday that would also be rooted in her style of plant-ahead, Italian cooking.

To indication up for a absolutely free membership to her newsletter, go to

The next recipes are from Ellen Shick of Santa Rosa.

When we believe of pesto, the vintage Genovese model with basil and pine nuts arrives to intellect. Even so, the quite a few variants of pesto all over Italy count on regional ingredients, tradition and the period. When this year’s favas and wild arugula arrived to the market place, making use of them for pesto seemed like a great way to help the time and set a creative spin on a basic thought. These fava and arugula pestos can be slathered on bruschetta or tossed on cooked pasta.

In some cases, I like to forgo the foods processor and make the fava bean pesto with a mortar and pestle. It feels additional authentic, and this fingers-on solution lets for simple changes and manage of consistency.

Fava Bean and Pistachio Pesto

Would make about 1 cup

1 pound complete fava pods (would make ½ cup beans)

20 pistachios, shelled

1 total garlic clove

2-3 tablespoons more virgin olive oil

1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice

Salt to style

To put together the favas: Split open the thick, outer pod and clear away the beans within. Fall the beans in boiling h2o to soften the outer skin, about 1 minute. Drain, cool and slip off skins. You will be still left with the delicate, internal flesh of every single bean.

Include the gentle beans, pistachios and garlic to a food items processor and grind to a tough paste. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in the olive oil and include the lemon juice a little bit at a time. Include salt and adjust to flavor.

Arugula and Parsley Pesto

Would make about ¾ cup

2 cups arugula leaves, washed and dried

1 modest bunch Italian parsley, washed and stems taken off

1 tablespoon pine nuts

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Roasted red bell peppers, slash into strips, as optional garnish (see notice down below)

Finishing salt, these kinds of as Maldon

Add arugula and parsley to meals processor and pulse to crack up leaves. Increase pine nuts. Drizzle in the olive oil and course of action right up until a paste is shaped. Transfer to mixing bowl. Add salt to taste.

Major with roasted red bell peppers, if wished-for, and finishing salt.

Take note: For the roasted peppers: bag and seal to continue on steaming for about 10 minutes. Remove peppers and when they’re great enough to touch, peel off the pores and skin which really should appear off pretty easily. Cut open the peppers and remove seeds stem and ribs. Use on bruschetta, in salads or on sandwiches.

When I shop at the farmer’s current market or choose up my weekly CSA box at Tierra Greens, I come to feel connected to the terroir of the local community and the quite soil of Sonoma County. By leaning into a plant-centered diet plan, I come to feel much more alive and in harmony with my surroundings. On a broader scale, our area farmers are on the pulse of regenerative farming, the health of our soil and the preservation of heritage varieties.

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