Vegetables

Arugula Salad with Balsamic Vinegar

By Linda Hoffman | January 24, 2013

Balsamic vinegar is an ingredient relatively new to American cuisine, but in just one generation has become the best-selling vinegar in the U.S.  Produced in northern Italy for centuries, it was so highly prized that it was often included in wedding dowries, to be used one valuable drop at a time.  Today the grocery store…

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Black Bean Salsa for B Vitamins

By Linda Hoffman | January 24, 2013

B vitamins support healthy heart, liver, muscle tone, nerves, skin, hair and eyes.  In fact, a shortage of B complex can lead to the malfunction of almost every organ and gland in our bodies!  Whole grains and legumes (peas and beans) are the best source of water soluble B vitamins, but they are also found…

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Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing

By Linda Hoffman | January 24, 2013

A good friend called today looking for a menu suggestion for a graduation open house over the weekend.  She wanted a chicken “something” to cook in a crock pot to serve as sandwiches, along the lines of Sloppy Joes.  Mentally, I couldn’t get there.  First, I don’t know such a recipe.  But with 95° temperatures,…

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Fresh Asparagus Soup

By Linda Hoffman | January 24, 2013

The drive to Casper wasn’t as long as I expected, and it was certainly more beautiful than I remembered: lots of open, empty country, stark but majestic, and a reminder of the stretch of road between Fort Collins and Denver in days gone by.  I had been invited to speak at the Master Gardener’s Conference…

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Asparagus with Quick Lemon Butter Sauce

By Linda Hoffman | January 24, 2013

In my first column for the Coloradoan 2 years ago I wrote about asparagus, a great family favorite.  Once again, asparagus is both abundantly available and reasonably priced, although not yet our local asparagus.  As the concept of local food is more understood and accepted, we’ll see more or it available from northern Colorado sources. …

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Asparagus Wontons and Wild Salmon and Asparagus Salad

By Linda Hoffman | January 24, 2013

Asparagus is a surprise member of the lily family, along with onions, garlic, leeks and chives.  It grows from a rhizome, or crown, planted almost 12 inches deep in any soil with good drainage.  Asparagus hates wet feet!  In Colorado, an asparagus bed can produce for about 20 years without replanting, a very attractive attribute. …

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Asparagus and Muenster Cheese Quesadillas

By Linda Hoffman | January 24, 2013

Spring has officially arrived, and that brings a welcome change from heavier foods that we’ve enjoyed all winter.  As much as I love beets and butternut squash, I’m ready for something different.  Asparagus fills the bill.  Of course, asparagus is our newest year-round crop, arriving every week, October through March, from Chile.   But at mid-March…

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Baked Artichoke Hearts

By Linda Hoffman | January 23, 2013

Anyone who has worked with fresh artichokes knows they are members of the thistle family, handled with care.  Actually the immature flower of the plant, they must be harvested young to be edible.  They’ve been cultivated in Italy for at least 2 thousand years and were brought to America by Italian immigrants who settled along…

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Try Broccoli Raab, Escarole, and Sorrel for Variety

By Linda Hoffman | January 23, 2013

  Cool season vegetables are those that need to mature before the weather turns hot, so need to be planted now.  Summer heat turns the leaves bitter, causes plants to form seed, or shuts off production altogether.  There are loads of delicious cool season vegetables that are easy to grow for the backyard or market…

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Aleppo Pepper

By Linda Hoffman | January 23, 2013

I recently had the pleasure of helping Old Town Spice shop celebrate their 2 year anniversary with a cooking demo, using some of their spices in several dishes for customers to taste.  One of the spices Sean asked me to use was Aleppo pepper, a robustly flavored pepper grown in Syria and Turkey.  Aleppo peppers…

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Basic Beans

By Linda Hoffman | January 14, 2013

There is nothing like a hearty dinner enjoyed around a crackling campfire, as food cooked outdoors seems to have heightened flavor, just plain tastes better.  Perhaps spending the day outdoors, hiking or climbing, stimulates our appetites in the same way it improves our sleep.  But it’s hard to argue with a steaming pot of beans…

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