Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pickled Fennel and Chilies

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pickled Fennel and Chilies

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pickled Fennel and Chilies

This is a farmer’s market fever dream of a salad. It contains some of the greatest hits of late summer! The pickled, sour fennel plays gorgeously off of the super sweet heirlooms. And nobody would hate you if you added some salty aged cheese into the mix.

Ingredients

Pickled fennel:

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, cored, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

Assembly:

  • 2 pounds large heirloom tomatoes (about 3), cut into wedges
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, preferably heirloom, halved
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic or Sherry vinegar
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Cubanelle peppers or Anaheim chiles, sliced into 3/4" rings, seeded
  • Fennel fronds (for serving)
  • Fresh basil (for serving)

Directions

For pickled fennel:
Bring vinegar, sugar, salt, and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Pour vinegar mixture over fennel and let cool; discard sachet. Cover fennel and chill at least 12 hours.


For assembly:
Combine large and cherry tomatoes, vinegar, and 6 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes.


Before serving, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Cook Cubanelle peppers, tossing often, until charred in spots, about 4 minutes.
Serve tomato salad topped with peppers, pickled fennel, fennel fronds, and basil.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

It's Time to Welcome Romaine Back into Your Life

It's Time to Welcome Romaine Back into Your Life

It's Time to Welcome Romaine Back into Your Life

We know what you’re thinking; the word “Romaine” has had a tricky amount of pressure added to it this year. However, according to our Procurement team, supplies are on the higher side with good signs coming from both demand and quality!

If you ate a salad in the past 20 years, chances are you had a tiny voice in the back of your head that told you to choose a dark leafy green. 

While spring mix, spinach, and kale are often hailed as the salad bar's nutritional powerhouses, the truth is that Romaine is, as far as vitamins and minerals and all that good stuff is concerned, actually very comparable (and in some ways better) to its "superstar superfood" cousins. Plus, that crunch just can’t be beaten.

Once you welcome Romaine back into your life, you'll open the door to some of my all-time favorite dishes that just wouldn't be the same without it. Try a crisp, satisfying Romaine crunch on a BLT salad. And there's the almost meaty char that develops when you throw fat wedges of romaine on the grill.

Romaine is also a perfect vessel for kung pao chicken lettuce cups and bun-less burgers. And romaine lettuce magic doesn’t stop at solid foods. Throw handfuls of it into smoothies and boost up your vitamin and mineral content!


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Crunch Romaine Fattoush

Crunch Romaine Fattoush

Crunch Romaine Fattoush

Toasty pita chips, crisp romaine, and cool cucumbers make for a Middle Eastern–style salad recipe that comes together on the fly. The texture in this salad makes it substantial for a vegetarian main dish, but grilled chicken would be lovely on top too.

Ingredients

  • 5 teaspoons za’atar, divided
  • ⅓ cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 6-inch pitas, sliced in half crosswise, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 romaine heart, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise ½ inch thick
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, cut lengthwise into quarters, then crosswise ½ inch thick
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems
  • 1 cup parsley leaves with tender stems
  • ½ cup torn dill
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • Sumac (for serving; optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Mix 4 tsp. za’atar into ⅓ cup oil in a small bowl. Spread out pita on a parchment-lined baking sheet, drizzle with za’atar oil, and toss until evenly coated. Bake, tossing once, until golden and crisp, 12–15 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Whisk lemon juice, honey, remaining 3 Tbsp. oil, and remaining 1 tsp. za’atar in a large bowl.
  3. Add romaine, onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro, parsley, dill, mint, and pita chips to vinaigrette and toss to coat; season with salt.
  4. Transfer to a platter. Top with queso fresco and sprinkle with sumac if using.

About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

The Powers of Pineapple

The Powers of Pineapple

The Powers of Pineapple

Working a gorgeous tropical fruit like pineapple into recipes injects instant sunshine into life, and it couldn’t be easier to use. Pineapples can be eaten raw in salads and salsas or sprinkled with chili flakes and lime zest for a Latin-inspired treat. The high acid and sugar content of pineapples makes for perfect marinades and tenderizers for meat. It can even cook fish for ceviche!

Whether added to a favorite barbecue sauce recipe, or muddled with oil, garlic, onion, and herbs, these fruits transform grilled, roasted, fried, or broiled proteins. Fresh pineapples are also sturdy enough for end-of-summer grilling. One of my favorite interpretations is smoky, chipotle-glazed pineapple as a filling for grilled fish tacos.

Pineapple is also totally classic in American and Asian barbecues and stir fries. The natural sweetness compliments grilled and smoked meats beautifully, and the natural acids also work as a great tenderizer. Of course, we can’t forget about the pina colada. Try elevating your poolside drink by blending roasted, deeply caramelized into it. That burnt sugar taste is the absolutely perfect accompaniment to rum! Or, you know, just pour a blender full of pineapple margaritas into a hollowed-out pineapple, and call it a day.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Pineapple-Cured Snapper Ceviche

Pineapple-Cured Snapper Ceviche

Pineapple-Cured Snapper Ceviche

This summertime dish is awesome because its packed with flavor, and can be made in advance. And no actual cooking required! The citrus and pineapple juices actually “cook” the fish, and all you need to do is open up a bag of tortilla chips to enjoy it.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup red onion finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 habanero pepper, minced
  • 1/2 cup hothouse cucumber or regular cucumber peeled, seeded and 1/4" dice
  • 1 jalapeño minced
  • 4 limes
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 medium pineapple
  • 3/4 pound yellowtail snapper fillets or other ocean white fish 1/2" dice
  • 1 avocado peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • tortilla chips for serving

Directions

  1. Cut the top and bottom off of your pineapple, and remove the skin with a sharp knife. Cute the pineapple in half, vertically through the core. Cut each half in half again, through the core. Use your sharp knife to remove the core from each quarter of the pineapple.
  2. Set aside two pineapple quarters for later, and put the other two  into a blender or food processors and blend until it turns into juice. Pour the pineapple juice into a bowl, and squeeze in the limes and lemons.
  3. Place the diced snapper in a small glass bowl and pour in the fresh juice to cover the fish. Swish the fish around in the juice so that every piece floats in the liquid. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate 3-4 hours until the fish is "cooked" and opaque.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the red onion, bell pepper, habanero, cucumber, jalapeño, pineapple and cilantro.
  5. Set a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl and pour the fish into the strainer. Transfer the fish to the vegetable mixture. Spoon out 3-4 tablespoons of the citrus juices and add to the fish mixture.
  6. Finely dice one of your remaining pineapple quarters. Add it to the fish with the diced avocado just before serving and gently toss the mixture together to combine. Season with salt and pepper and hot sauce (if using) to taste.
  7. Serve with tortilla chips and a cold cerveza.

About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

When In Doubt, Add Blueberries!

When In Doubt, Add Blueberries!

When In Doubt, Add Blueberries!

All berries are perfect in my book, but for my money, I think blueberries offer the most consistent sweetness and juiciness than any other. Blueberries pair super well with animal protein of all kinds. Simply toss a handful of blueberries into your pan of chicken thighs, skirt steak, or shrimp, and allow them to cook to the point of literally exploding. Dried and fresh chilies are also natural friends with blueberries. I particularly love fresh habanero and blueberry barbecue sauce this time of year, and blueberries are gorgeous cooked down into ancho chili mole sauce.

Blueberries and fresh herbs like mint, dill, tarragon, and basil are summer matches that can’t be beat. Try infusing your summer lemonade with crushed blueberries, fresh mint, and a drop of tamarind syrup. Salad dressing is a natural vehicle for blueberries, their color and inherent sweetness complimenting the acidity and salt of your favorite dressing base. Brighten up a spinach salad by serving it with a “blueberry pie” salad dressing with plenty of fresh lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, granny mustard, and pureed blueberries.

And speaking of pie, dessert and breakfast cannot be forgotten (and so often the lines between them can be decadently blurred). Whether served whole on top of pancakes or as a garnish for tarts, pies, or crème brulee, or melted into a coulis to top ice cream or waffles, fresh blueberries will signal to your diners that spring is here to stay.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Blueberry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Blueberry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Blueberry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

It’s just about the most seasonal thing you can make! This sweet, spicy, barbecue sauce can also be used as a marinade for animal protein or veggies, prior to grilling. Throw in a handful of extra blueberries right at the end to give the sauce some texture and pop!

2 tsp olive oil

¼ c onion, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and freshly cracked pepper

½ c brown sugar

¼ c apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tbsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

2 tsp cumin

3 cups fresh blueberries

Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant and translucent, 3-5 minutes.

Stir in brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, mustard, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and cumin. Add blueberries and gently crush with spoon. Simmer over low heat, stirring until thickened, about 15-20 minutes.

Using an immersion or regular blender, puree sauce to create a smooth consistency. Strain through sieve or fine mesh colander if you want a smooth sauce. Or skip this step if you don’t really care!

Sauce may be used right away or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator after cooling completely. Delicious served with grilled steak, salmon, or chicken.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Watermelon is What Summer is All About

Watermelon is What Summer is All About

Watermelon is What Summer is All About

Is there any food more iconic of summer than juicy, perfect watermelon? Of course, there are many ways to improve on unadorned slices of cold, ripe watermelon. It seems counterintuitive, but searing or grilling watermelon actually concentrates its flavor, and makes the texture almost meat-like.

Marinate watermelon chunks in soy, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar overnight, sear them for a few minutes, and serve. It looks almost exactly like tuna poke, and the texture is dead-on too. Watermelon is also delicious paired with savory seasonals like tomatoes and red onions.

One of my favorite salads combines heirloom tomatoes, watermelon, chunks of feta, and razor-thin sliced red onion with a cumin and mint dressing. And speaking of salty perfection, sweet watermelon pairs very well with grilled shrimp, prosciutto, salty cheeses, and even oysters.

Lastly, please don’t waste those watermelon rinds! Pickled watermelon rind is a classic southern staple for a reason. The rinds become almost translucent from the pickling liquid, and they are simply gorgeous as a cocktail hour bite, or as a garnish on backyard burgers.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Summer Watermelon and Mint Granita

Summer Watermelon and Mint Granita

Summer Watermelon and Mint Granita

Nothing beats a hot day like the combination of watermelon and mint. This summer granita is totally low-tech (no ice cream machine necessary!) and can be made while you lazily lounge on your porch. It’s an awesome dessert, but would also make a great palate cleanser in between courses.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cubed watermelon, seedless or seeds removed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • ½ cup of fresh mint leaves
  • Sea salt for garnish

Directions

Add the watermelon, lime juice, sugar, and mint leaves to the jar of a blender and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the liquid into a shallow freezer-safe dish, cover, and place level in the freezer.

After 1 hour remove the watermelon mixture from the fridge and use a fork to scrap any ice that has formed. Replace the lid and return to the freezer.

After an additional 2 hours remove the watermelon mixture from the fridge and use a fork to scrap any ice that has formed. The slush should be done or just about done now (depending on your freezer and how thick the mixture was in the container).

Serve with a sprinkle of salt if everything is uniformly icy or return the freezer and scrape with a fork one final time before serving. You may need to let the mixture sit at room temperature for a few minutes before re-scraping and serving.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Savory and Sweet Kiwi Combos to Try

Savory and Sweet Kiwi Combos to Try

Savory and Sweet Kiwi Combos to Try

Kiwifruit has a citrusy element to it, which always leads me to pair it with oranges, limes, and lemons. One of my all-time favorite breakfast treats is fresh oranges, kiwis, and full fat yogurt blended with a bit of ice and lime juice. This powerhouse smoothie isn’t just good for you, it whisks you away somewhere tropical and warm.

Strawberries are also a classic flavor combination with kiwis. Margaritas anyone? How about a strawberry kiwi tequila sunrise? In many American restaurants, the brown skin is peeled away before eating the fruit, but this is a huge mistake! Unless you need to preserve the bright green color for your dish (for example, in a kiwi sorbet, smoothie, or cocktail), you should absolutely eat the skin. It’s not only delicious, but it contains a ton of fiber and minerals. Very high in vitamin C, kiwi fruit is far better eaten raw - cooking it destroys the vitamin content and the green color.

So keep your kiwis raw! Throw them into breakfast fruit salads and pair them with chilies in tropical salsa and chutney for grilled halibut tacos. Freeze discs of gorgeous green kiwis into homemade popsicles, and muddled them into the bottom of your gin fizzes. Also, the enzymes in kiwis contain make them an awesome natural tenderizer for meat, so consider throwing processed kiwi fruit into your summer marinades and ceviche this barbecue season!


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Southeast Asian Smoked Mackerel Salad with Tropical Kiwi Salad

Southeast Asian Smoked Mackerel Salad with Tropical Kiwi Salad

Southeast Asian Smoked Mackerel Salad with Tropical Kiwi Salsa

This is the perfect summer dish because it requires minimal work, delivers maximum flavor and freshness, and makes use of some gorgeously seasonal fresh fruit. The kiwi here is really the star and pairs so naturally with the lime and earthy fish sauce. I also love the use of mackerel here because it is more sustainable than other fish varieties, but if you aren’t a fan or can’t find it, use salmon instead.

4 kiwis, cut into chunks

½ small mango, cubed

1 small avocado, cubed

1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped (I like Fresno here)

2 limes, juiced

2 tbs fish sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp soy sauce or shoyu

1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

1 small package of pre-washed arugula

4 small smoked mackerel or salmon fillets

Put the chopped kiwi, mango, and avocado in a bowl. Combine the red chili with the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, and cilantro. Giver the sauce a taste, and make sure you like the balance of sweet, umami, and salt.

Pour over the fruit and set aside for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

Divide the arugula leaves between 4 serving plates and top each with 2 mackerel or salmon halves. Spoon over the kiwi and mango salsa to serve.

 

 

A Beginners Guide To Grape Tomatoes

A Beginners Guide To Grape Tomatoes

A Beginners Guide To Grape Tomatoes

Grape tomatoes aren't as sweet as cherry tomatoes, and their flesh is meatier than other tomatoes varieties. Since grape tomatoes last longer than cherry tomatoes, they're becoming more and more popular since they are hardier and less fragile to pack and transport. The taste too remains unique.

Grape tomatoes are fuller, earthier, and not as sweet as other varieties. Pair them with fresh herbs like basil, thyme, and rosemary, and with lemon zest and olive oil. They work perfectly as a topping for burgers and sandwiches and melted into thick sauce on top of pasta and pizza. Grape tomatoes are lovely tossed into a pan and roasted with garlic and anchovies for an easy, quick side dish.

The minimal water content in grape tomatoes means they won’t dilute the flavor of whatever you cook them into, unlike cherry tomatoes, that are best eaten raw. I love roasting grape tomatoes deeply, almost to the point of caramelization, because their texture becomes toothsome and their flavor concentrates dramatically.

Try oven-roasting them at 200 degrees for several hours until they become super-concentrated with flavor. Grape tomatoes are also lovely shaved thinly on a mandoline into perfect, tiny rounds, and shingled delicately over fish or hunks of mozzarella cheese. Grape tomatoes are durable enough to pickle whole, or preserve in a bath of herb-scented olive oil.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Oven-Dried Grape Tomatoes With Italian Seasoning

Oven-Dried Grape Tomatoes With Italian Seasoning

Oven-Dried Grape Tomatoes With Italian Seasoning

This is an awesome weekend project because you get to sit at home and read magazines while your very low oven does all the magic. 3 hours later, flavor-packed ruby gems emerge, and you can eat them whole like candy.

Ingredients

1 lb grape tomatoes, sliced in half

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp granulated garlic

1 tsp dried basil

2 tsp salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.

Combine tomatoes, olive oil and seasonings in a large bowl and toss to combine. Spread in one layer on a rack fitted on a baking sheet. (If you do not have a rack, then spread on parchment paper on a baking sheet and turn over half way through baking.)

Bake tomatoes for 2½ to 3 hours until dried out with just a little bit of moisture left. Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

How to Maximize your Summer Cherry Bounty

How to Maximize your Summer Cherry Bounty

How to Maximize your Summer Cherry Bounty

From sweet to tart, to full sour, from red to black, the arrival of cherries in the markets signals the high point of summer feasting. Like all summer stone fruits, cherries have almost limitless potential in the kitchen. Pickling cherries not only preserves them, it also mellows out some of the sweetness, which is great when pairing them with salty prosciutto, duck, feta cheese, or hazelnuts.

Try throwing chopped, pickled cherries onto pizza piled high with arugula and spritzed with olive oil. Cherries are also lovely cooked down into barbecue sauce, curries, marinades, jams, jellies, and reductions of all sorts. Try cooking down a big batch with rosemary, sherry, and shallots and preserving the whole mix to enjoy again once summer is long gone.

Of course, cherries are naturals in desserts. Cherry upside down cake is a classic for a reason, and homemade cherry ice cream topping simply can’t be beat. Lastly, muddling fresh cherries into the bottom of a cocktail glass is always a good idea, particularly when paired with whiskey, fresh herbs, and a spritz of seltzer.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Fresh Cherry Breakfast Bars

Fresh Cherry Breakfast Bars

Fresh Cherry Breakfast Bars

If there’s oatmeal in it, it’s for breakfast, right? Ok, it might not be the MOST wholesome pre-school/pre-work meal, but it is a perfect treat for a special summer day. Use fresh black cherries here to achieve a dramatic color, or stick with a mix of sour and sweet to keep things interesting.

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups white flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 cup cold butter cold & cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 ½ cups fresh cherries, pitted

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 8x8 or 9 x 9 inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, combine the berries and cherries with sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice, and toss to coat. Set aside while you prepare the dough.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, sugars, baking powder, and salt. With a fork, pastry cutter, or your fingertips, cut butter into flour mixture together until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Press a little bit more than half of the dough into the bottom of your prepared pan, patting it down evenly.

Evenly distribute berry mixture over the crust, smoothing it lightly with a spatula. Evenly sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over berry layer.

Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares or enjoy straight from the pan if desired. Store bars in an airtight container in refrigerator.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Cantaloupe and Honeydew are More than Just "Filler" Fruit

Cantaloupe and Honeydew are More than Just "Filler" Fruit

Cantaloupe and Honeydew are More than Just "Filler" Fruit

We all know what the gems are in a fruit salad, and most of us see the melon as “filler” fruit that exists to bolster the berries, the grapes, and the kiwis. The only reason why this is the case is because too often, the melon isn’t ripe enough to really savor, and it isn’t really that enjoyable. But when ripe, cantaloupe and honeydew can overshadow any other fruit in the bowl.

Honeydew is sweeter than cantaloupe, but cantaloupe has a more distinct flavor. Honeydew has moist, sweet and light green or white flesh that melts in the mouth. Unlike honeydew, cantaloupe has less juicy, usually salmon-colored or orange flesh. Sweet, succulent, and bursting with flavor, these picks are most beautiful when kept raw, or even roasted gently to concentrate its flavor. Pork products of all kinds are classic pairings for both of these melons. The sweet saltiness is the perfect foil for the sweet, floral crush.

Both melons are hearty enough to withstand cooking applications as well! Roasted cantaloupe with a touch of balsamic vinegar reduction is an unexpected side dish, as is seared honeydew slices with miso and crushed pistachios. Cantaloupe and honeydew granita or sorbet are lovely desserts and palate cleansers. Both melons also pair extremely well with seafood. Try crab and cantaloupe tacos, or barbecued shrimp skewers with cantaloupe salsa fresca. 


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Melon and Fresh Herb Salad with Savory Granola

Melon and Fresh Herb Salad with Savory Granola

Melon and Fresh Herb Salad with Savory Granola

This dish is a total chameleon. It would be lovely on any brunch menu, but I can also see it pairing perfectly with pre-dinner cocktails as well. Especially if you add a little salty cheese to the mix.

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 egg white

1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels

1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon honey

8 cups sliced cantaloupe and honeydew melons

1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves

 

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine salt and egg white in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk until frothy. Add sunflower seeds and next 5 ingredients (through chili powder); stir to coat. Spread mixture in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes, stirring once after 10 minutes. Cool granola completely.

 

Combine oil, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place about 1 cup melon on each of 8 small plates. Top each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar mixture, 1 1/2 tablespoons granola, and 1 tablespoon basil.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

It's Time for Summer Asparagus

It's Time for Summer Asparagus

It's Time for Summer Asparagus

Asparagus is just one of those ingredients that gets people excited. It feels like a luxury ingredient, and evokes images of verdant fields, crisp air, and new life. Packed with a laundry list of vitamins and minerals, asparagus graces any dish with an instant “healthy halo” of goodness. The trick with asparagus is to avoid over-cooking it.

These emerald spears shouldn’t come close to boiling pots of water, unless they are plunged in them for only seconds, and then soaked immediately in an ice bath to preserve their beautiful color. Shocked asparagus like this reached perfection when adorned with hollandaise sauce, capers, and crumbled egg. Asparagus is lovely roasted, sautéed, pan-fried and even grilled.

The sweet yet grassy flavor is complimented by strong flavors like goat cheese, parmesan, garlic, oyster sauce, vinegar, and egg yolks. Asparagus can also be eaten raw! Try using a vegetable peeler to create beautiful ribbons of asparagus for an elegant salad or garnish. One tip to keep in mind is that the thicker asparagus grows, the woodier it becomes, especially at the root end. Pencil-thin asparagus can be used as-is, but very large stalks should be shaved slightly, and the bottom ½ inch of the stalk should be discarded.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Everything-Green Asparagus Salad

Everything-Green Asparagus Salad

Everything-Green Asparagus Salad

This salad practically screams summer. Crisp, ribbon-thin asparagus, just-tender favas, and herbs for days, it’s substantial enough to serve as a main course, and would be beautiful served along just about anything that touches your grill this season.

Ingredients 

  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped raw pistachios
  • 1½ cups shelled fava beans (from about 1 ½ pounds pods)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons champagne or white wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus, sliced thinly lengthwise on a mandoline
  • 2 cups trimmed watercress or arugula
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon leaves
  • 1 small wedge of Parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast pistachios on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until fragrant but not browned, 5–8 minutes. Let cool.

Cook fava beans in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander set in a bowl of ice water. Drain, remove skins, and transfer beans to a small bowl.

Combine shallot and vinegar in another small bowl; season with salt and pepper and set aside at least 10 minutes. Whisk oil into shallot mixture; season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

Combine beans, asparagus, watercress, mint, and tarragon in a large bowl; add vinaigrette and pistachios and toss to combine. Garnish the whole dish by using a vegetable peeler to create ribbons of cheese, scattered across everything.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

What You Should Be Doing with All Those Summer Peaches

What You Should Be Doing with All Those Summer Peaches

What You Should Be Doing with All Those Summer Peaches

Is there anything more indicative of early summer than fresh, juicy, impossibly sweet peaches? Peaches generally have either white or yellow flesh, but both varieties are generally interchangeable. If they are perfectly ripe, that is. Un-ripened peaches aren’t any good to anybody, so please make sure you are working with peaches in their peak before eating or cooking with them. You can tell that they are ripe when you can squeeze them (gently) and they give a bit.

Also, they should smell distinctly sweet and floral. Aside from eating them right out of your hand, there are about a million ways to use peaches creatively. They pair extremely well with other sweet flavors like raspberries (aka “Peach Melba”), vanilla, and other stone fruits. Peach pie, tarts, muffins, breads, and cakes are all a great way to go! I love grilling fresh, halved peaches until their juices begin to bubble and serving them with sweetened ricotta cheese and crumbled graham cracker crumbs.

Peaches are also incredible paired with savory and salty flavors. Try macerating peaches with a bit of sugar until they get jammy, and using them as a foil for goat cheese, Parma ham, and olives on a charcuterie board. Or throw peaches into your favorite barbecue sauce and let them cook down into smoky, syrupy goodness!


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.