2012 Summer Menu

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Here in the beautiful Bay Area, the summer season brings a spectacular array of vegetables and fruit. At the local market, we’ve got a colorful choice – bins full of yellow corn, baskets of blueberries, tables loaded with red and purple tomatoes and bags of green English peas. In this menu, I’ve balanced a refreshing pea soup with healthy grilled grass-fed tenderloin.

The fruit pizza finale will delight your family and friends. What could be better than enjoying it al fresco, with a glass of chilled rosé and a warm summer breeze?

—Chef Rey Hernandez,
Co-Founder and VP, Epicurean Group

  • Garden Fresh Organic Pea Soup with Chervil and Scallions

    2 tablespoons pure olive oil
    2 tablespoons butter
    4 scallions, chopped coarsely
    4 cups vegetable stock*
    3 cups fresh organic peas, shelled
    Kosher salt and pepper to taste
    1/2 cup blanched** peas, for garnish
    8 sprigs chervil, for garnish

    Directions:
    Heat oil and butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add scallions and cook until tender. Stir in 3 cups of peas and stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer and cook until peas are tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to food processor fitted with metal blade and purée until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill soup in an ice bath to preserve color. Refrigerate until ready to use.

    To serve:
    In a saucepan, heat soup to simmer. Place blanched peas in 8 bowls. Ladle warm soup into bowls and garnish with chervil. Serve immediately.

    *Save those pea pods to make a quick vegetable stock! Rinse pods and add to stockpot of lightly salted water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain and reserve. Use in pea soup or other light vegetable soups.

    ** To blanch peas, steam in boiling for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer peas to ice water bath, then drain.


    Link to recipe: Garden Fresh Organic Pea Soup with Chervil and Scallions

  • Organic Heirloom Tomato and Grilled Red Onion Salad

    6 medium red onions, (about 2 1/2 pounds) sliced into 1-inch thick slices
    6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    6 medium organic heirloom tomatoes (about 2 pounds) cut into large dice
    1 bunch fresh basil, chopped coarsely
    2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    Kosher salt and pepper
    8 cups red oak leaf lettuce

    Directions:
    Brush onion slices with 3 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper and grill about 6 minutes per side until slightly charred. Transfer to cutting board and allow to cool. Cut the rounds in half and place in mixing bowl. Add tomatoes, basil, 3 tablespoons oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently and set aside for 5 minutes.

    To serve:
    Place red oak leaf lettuce on 8 plates and top with tomatoes and onions. Drizzle remaining liquid from bowl over each salad and serve immediately.


    Link to recipe: Organic Heirloom Tomato and Grilled Red Onion Salad

  • Balsamic Charred Grass-Fed Beef Tenderloin

    For the Balsamic Glaze:
    2 tablespoons butter
    1/4 cup shallots, sliced
    1/4 cup honey
    1 cup balsamic vinegar
    1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
    2 cups veal stock

    Directions:
    Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until translucent. Add rest of ingredients and bring to a boil. Drop heat to simmer and cook until reduced by 50%. Strain through a fine strainer and reserve. Set aside 1/4 cup glaze for vegetable recipe, below.

    For the Tenderloin:
    8 each 6 oz. grass-fed tenderloin steaks
    1 cup balsamic glaze

    Directions:
    Heat grill. Place steaks in a bowl and add 1 cup balsamic glaze, toss to coat. Marinate for at least 30 minutes in refrigerator.

    Grill steaks to desired doneness, brushing each side with glaze while cooking. Remove from grill and let rest for 5 minutes.


    Link to recipe: Balsamic Charred Grass-Fed Beef Tenderloin

  • Organic Baby Vegetables with Roasted Peppers, Wild Rice Pilaf with Almonds

    Organic Baby Vegetables with Roasted Peppers
    3 tablespoons butter
    1 1/2 cups baby green beans, steamed and cooled
    1 1/2 cups baby carrots, steamed and cooled
    1 cup red and yellow bell peppers, roasted and julienned
    1/4 cup balsamic glaze
    Kosher salt and pepper

    Directions:
    Heat butter in sauté pan over medium heat. Add green beans and carrots and cook until heated through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Season to taste and
    add balsamic glaze. Add roasted peppers, toss to coat and serve immediately.

    Wild Rice Pilaf with Almonds
    1 3/4 cups chicken stock
    2 bay leaves
    8 sprigs fresh thyme
    1 large carrot, diced small
    2 cups wild rice
    3 tablespoons butter
    3/4 cup toasted almonds
    4 green onions, sliced fine
    Kosher salt and pepper

    Directions:
    Bring chicken broth, bay leaves, thyme and carrots to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add wild rice and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 35 minutes until rice is plump and tender
    and all liquid is absorbed. Add butter and toss to coat. Set aside and keep warm.

    To serve:
    Toss rice with almonds and place on plates. Garnish with green onions.


    Link to recipe: Organic Baby Vegetables with Roasted Peppers, Wild Rice Pilaf with Almonds

  • Deep Dish Fruit “Pizza” with Vanilla Pineapple and Raspberry Puree

    For the “Pizza”
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice
    1 teaspoon fresh yeast
    7 eggs
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
    1/2 teaspoon orange zest
    3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter

    Directions:
    Place flour, cane juice, yeast and 4 eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on high until combined. Reduce speed to medium and add salt, both zests, and remaining 3 eggs one at a time until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Place dough in a floured bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let rest at room temperature for 3 hours. When doubled in volume, punch down, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Remove from refrigerator, punch down the dough, wrap with plastic again and refrigerate overnight.

    For the Pineapple
    1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
    2 cups fresh pineapple, cut to a medium dice

    Heat cane juice in a saucepan over medium heat until it becomes light caramel. Remove from heat and add lemon juice; stir until smooth. Add in vanilla bean and seeds and pineapple. Cook until caramelized, remove from heat and reserve.

    For the “Pizza Sauce”
    3/4 cups raspberry puree
    1/2 cup evaporated cane juice
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    2 tablespoons crème fraiche
    2 pints, fresh organic strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
    4 oz. cream of coconut, for garnish
    Sifter with 1/4 cup powdered sugar, for garnish

    Place puree, cane juice and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Reduce by 75 percent. Cool to room temperature and add crème fraiche. Reserve.

    “Pizza” Assembly
    Heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into 8 equal portions. Shape each piece of dough into a circle. Brush with raspberry pizza sauce, place on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. If using sheet pans or cookie pans 4 pizzas should fit on a pan. When done, dough will bounce back when poked with a finger.

    Remove from oven, dust each pizza with powdered sugar, top with caramelized pineapple, sliced strawberries and drizzle with cream of coconut. Serve immediately.


    Link to recipe: Deep Dish Fruit “Pizza” with Vanilla Pineapple and Raspberry Puree