Tag Archive for 'recipe'

New Breakfast Menu

Our new Spring Breakfast Menu will be served starting tomorrow, June 2.  Categories of the menu include ‘light breakfast,’ ‘from the griddle,’ ‘omelets and scambles,’ ‘specialties,’ and ‘sides.’ 

Indulge in Eggs Benedict, a Lobster Omelet, or Cheese Blintzes with Strawberry Rhubarb Compote.  On the lighter side of that morning spectrum enjoy Housemade Granola, Slow Cooked Oatmeal, or the Roasted Seasonal Vegetable Omelet

Assemble your own assortment of sides to create your own breakfast.  Choose from fresh fruit, half grapefruit, muffins, bacon, chicken apple sausage, bagels, and whole grain toast.

The focus is on the freshest ingredients available to create these recipes.

Full Breakfast Menu

Joanie Hudson, Assistant Tasting Room Manager, Santa Barbara Winery

Rose Shopping for Seeds

When I began seed shopping, I thought of what sorts of veggies would be fun to cook with. I have had stuffed round summer squash before and thought I’d plant that. Round Zucchini have been popular in Europe for years.

The Italians have their dark green Tondo di Piacenza, the French have the light green speckled Ronde de Nice, the Dutch have the “Roly Poly” (a loose translation from Burpee’s marketers) and the British have their single serve striped marrow, Tender and True. There is even Chinese produced seed of an almost white round zucchini.

The common thread is that these zucchini are actually rather nice; solid, nutty, sweet with a low water content so they keep the round shape when cooked. They are extremely early producers and are prolific if you keep harvesting the fruit. I grow a blend of round and near round types that were marketed to chefs and hand collected by a group of seed savers on the East Coast.

The colors range from yellow and silver to dark green and bicolors, all meant to be used in the baby (2-3″) stage. They are so cute! The main ingredient in stuffed zucchini is the insides scooped out and mixed with ricotta cheese and herbs. Some people use meat. I prefer my veggies to be all veggie.

I found a vegan recipe online: Vegan Rice Stuffed Zucchini.

2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 large zucchini OR two to three small round zucchinis
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 white or yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
8-10 basil leaves, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 shredded vegan mozzarella

Bring vegetable broth to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add basmatic rice and let cook for about 45 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Do not cut zucchini in half. Core out the center of the zucchini, leaving a nice cylindrical shell. Take zucchini center that you cored out and chop up.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet saute garlic and onion for about 4-5 minutes. Add basil and saute another minute or two. Add tomato, zucchini, herbes de Provence, salt and pepper. Cook until zucchini becomes soft. Mix cooked rice and cheese with zucchini mixture and spoon into zucchini cylinder.

Place in a glass baking dish and put into the oven. Cook for about 30 minutes.

Rose Moadian for the Bistro & Wine Bar

Cucumbers from the Bistro Vegetable Garden

Rose Moradian on Cucumbers

Cucumbers are known for their green skin, but did you know that they come in different colors? White cucumbers are probably better known in Europe and Asia where they are used in cooking and pickling. Because of their high water content, cucumbers are very cool; their internal temperature can read much lower than the surrounding air temperature.

I decided to grow unusual cucumbers, both heirloom and newer hybrids this year. So I turned to the Asian seed catalogues and a small seed collective in Long Island for some unusual cucumber hybrids. As you can see, we have success. We have “Boothbys Blonde” which is an heirloom variety which turns orange when over ripe but still tastes very good; “Pearl”, which is an Asian cucumber and “Cucino” which is a green cucumber.

Generally there are three types of cucumbers; slicing which are long, smooth and slender;or pickling kind that are large, spiny and chunky, or the beloved “Lemon cucumber” that is round and yellow. Then there’s gherkins or corniches; tiny little cucumbers that taste a little more lemony than regular cukes. Cucumbers are technically a fruit, containing their seeds, but are perceived as a vegetable because of their flavor being bitter sweet site.

Cantaloupes and cucumbers are kissing cousins and in some countries cantaloupes are pickled when they’re young and fuzzy and eaten like pickles. Cucumbers are vines that you can support on a trellis as I do, or let them snake around on the ground. They prefer heat. They are susceptible to fungus on the leaves so its important to keep the leaves dry when watering.

Fertilize regularly with fish emulsion. Pick them carefully with sharp scissors, as twisting them off can disturb the rest of the vine. I love my cucumbers raw but there are many recipes that include them. In India, cucumbers are staple, so you’ll find them in many Indian dishes. “Raita” is basically dill and cucumber soup that is a dip in India. See CookThink and Recipe.

When I’m in the field harvesting, having a juicy cucumber is the best treat; its as satisfying as any sweet treat and helps to rehydrate.


Squash Blossoms

Rose Moradian on Squash Blossoms
Squash blossoms are an old fashioned delicacy. Because they are delicate and perish quickly,you won’t find them in many grocery stores. Farmers will bring some to the market for their elderly customers who remember back in the day. In America, such delicate blooms would be ruined in transit. Luckily for us, we grow squash and I will be bring Squash Blossoms to the Bistro.

Any kind of squash, summer or winter, sets blossoms before they fruit. Bees love this! I counted 8 bees in one blossom the other day having some kind of pollen party. Squash blossoms are thick and sweet like no other sweet. Many people stuff them with Ricotta cheese and herbs fresh from the garden, eaten uncooked as an appetizer. This is a beautiful display. Squash Blossom Omelets are pretty common in Spain. They are great in quesadillas. Some people stir fry them.

Some people float them on top of cream of squash soup. Many people get creative. Picking squash blossoms help curb the abundance of summer squash. Pick only the male blossoms, which are on a longer stem and are a smaller bloom. Female squash will actually have a tiny lump of a fruit at the end of the blossom. By picking off some of the males, you ensure less reproduction of the plant by the bees pollinating them. Which is good if you’ve planted too many plants.

Cross pollination happens in the field and often you will find strangely beautiful zucchini like yellow with dark green stripes. If you like what you see, let the squash grow big and save the seeds for next year! Here is a recipe for Squash Blossom Quesadillas I found on the web.
In fact this web blog has some very exciting recipes and beautiful images:
For 1 quesadilla (but I know you’ll want to make more than 1), you’ll need:

1 large flour tortilla
3 or so squash blossoms
1 tblsp cottage cheese, or queso fresco, or any soft white cheese
A few sprinkles of cheddar cheese
1 tblsp salsa

In a saute pan on medium heat, brown tortilla and then flip. On one half of the tortilla, add squash blossoms (I like to leave the petals facing outside.), a spoonful of cottage cheese, or queso fresco, or any white cheese, and a scoop of salsa. Fold the other half of the tortilla over to seal in the heat.

Smoked Cheddar and Bacon Grilled Cheese Recipe

Another recipe that appeared in the recent article in the Santa Barbara News Press on The Bistro’s Grilled Cheese night was the Smoked Cheddar and Bacon Grilled Cheese with Chipotle Relish. I made it at home myself last week and wanted to make sure to share the recipe because it is delicious and easy to put together. I had it paired with our 2007 1.7% Riesling, and it was the perfect match. The most important piece of information I can share when making this sandwich is to make sure you take the time to get quality and fresh ingredients. The recipe below is for one sandwich.

Smoked Cheddar and Bacon Grilled Cheese with Chipotle Relish
Butter or olive oil, to coat bread
2 slices sourdough bread
3 ounces smoked cheddar cheese
3-4 slices cooked applewood-smoked bacon
2 ounces Chipotle Relish, see recipe below

Butter or oil exterior of bread slices. Place remaining ingredients between slices. Grill in panini grill on medium-high heat for about 6-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown, or fry in frying pan on low heat for about 4-5 minutes per side.

Chipotle Relish
3 ounces ketchup
Half yellow onion, minced
3 chipotle peppers
3 ounces rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
3 ounces water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon black pepper

In small sauce pan, bring onions, ketchup, chipotle peppers, vinegar, sugar and water to low boil and cook until onions are soft and tender, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and spices and remove from heat. Pulse briefly in the food processor. Cook’s note: You can adjust the level of spice based on amount of chipotle peppers used (I like it spicy!).

Yield: About one cup of relish

Joanie Hudson, Assistant Tasting Room Manager, Santa Barbara Winery

Brie, Fig and Prosciutto Grilled Cheese

A recent spotlight in the Santa Barbara News Press on the Bistro’s Grilled Cheese Night (Thursday evenings) included a recipe for one of the delicious sandwiches that I would like to share here.

“This is not your mother’s grilled cheese. Joshua Keating, executive chef at Bistro Restaurant & Wine Bar, experiments with specialty cheeses in his sandwiches, including Carmody cheddar, fontina, brie and more. Any plans he might add American? “No!” he insisted. “That’s what Mom used to make…I’ll never live up to Mom’s expectations!”

Brie, Fig and Prosciutto Grilled Cheese

Butter or olive oil, to coat bread

2 slices of sourdough bread

Drizzle balsamic vinegar

Drizzle extra virgin olive oil

3 ounces brie

2 slices prosciutto

3 Black Mission Figs, cut in half and marinated in 2 ounces of red wine

Butter or oil exterior of bread slices. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil on interior. Place remaining ingredients between slices. Grill in panini grill on medium-high heat for about 6-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown, or fry in frying pan on low heat for about 4-5 minutes per side.

Yield: 1 sandwich

Joanie Hudson, Assistant Tasting Room Manager, Santa Barbara Winery

Salads from the Garden

Rose Moradian Fresh Garden Salad from our Organic Garden

Salads we hope to offer on a regular basis at the Bistro.

Cauliflower, Broccoli, Baby Corn, Peas and Zucchini sauteed minimally with olive oil

“Salad Bowl” red lettuce, rinsed and intact as a whole head

Fresh white bulb onion, purple Ararat Basil, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt, sauteed and pureed into a dressing

Nasturtiums and Basil as a garnish

Sauté fresh sliced vegetables and chill.

Prepare dressing.

Place whole lettuce on a deep plate

Dress with balsamic dressing

Garnish with Nasturtium


This is great on a warm day, fresh from the garden!
In addition to this, for now, we will also have fresh onion and basil pesto AND Kim Chi type coleslaw.


Beet News from the Bistro Organic Garden

Rose Moradian Rhapsodizes on the Virtues of the Beet

Have you ever wondered about how to prepare beets? Many people have asked me this question when I sold produce at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market.
Generally, the easiest way is to boil them, throw away the tops and smother them in some fatty sauce. Or buy them canned. They make an interesting addition to the plate. But my answer is NOT to boil them, not to buy them canned but get then FRESH from the ground, as I did today!

I love beets wholeheartedly and adore the greens! Fresh beets have a great amount of folate (folic acid) and potassium, and have a distinctive flavor and a crisp texture not found in canned beets. Fresh beets also supply a nutritional bonus; their green tops are an excellent source of beta-carotene, calcium, and iron and fiber.

The Chiogga variety is my favorite beet. There are many heirloom varieties, that is, pre-1840, but Chiogga is the most pronounced as it is white and red striped inside! I love these because they are a multiple use plant as you can harvest greens for many weeks before harvesting the roots. They mature in about 60 days for the roots, but you can harvest greens as soon as 30 days.

I love my beets as baby beets and pull them out just as the top of the flesh starts to show from above the soil line. At this point they are easily cleaned, sliced and sauteed with olive oil and red vinegar, with the tops cleaned and chopped thrown in at the end. The tops taste something like spinach, with a bit of astringency. My recipe is very quick and easily done, saving the nutrients from over cooking and appropriate for the early summer, when beets are small anyhow.

As beets can grow to be huge and used for cattle feed instead of gourmet yumminess, I suggest you use beets no larger than the palm of your hand. Here are few Rose Approved Recipes from the internet for beets from Jamaigo and Fromatoz.
and many more recipes from the Vegetable Heroine; Alice Waters!
Some recipes call for scrubbing clean the beets, removing the top and roasting them in a dutch over or cast iron pan with other in season vegetables, but that depends on the season. This photo montage is from todays harvest, using baby Chiogga beets, the tops, broccoli and peas, all from the Organic Garden at the Lafond Vineyard! Please join us!

Rose Moradian on Nasturtiums at the Bistro Organic Garden

A common sight in the Santa Barbara area in the springtime, Nasturtium is one of my favorite salad ingredients! I am growing some for the Bistro in many colors. Nasturtium in Latin means literally “nose-twister” or “nose-tweaker”, as a common name, refers to a genus of roughly 80 species of annual and perennial herbaceous flowering plants in the genus Tropaeolum (“Trophy”), one of three genera in the family Tropaeolaceae.

The flower is edible, making for an especially ornamental salad ingredient; it has a slightly peppery taste reminiscent of watercress at the end tip and sweet full leaves and is also used in stir fry. All parts of the plant are edible, not just the flower and leaves. The unripe seed pods can be harvested and pickled with hot vinegar, to produce a condiment and garnish, sometimes used in place of capers, although the taste is strongly peppery.

Nasturtiums are also considered widely useful companion plants. They repel a great many cucurbit pests, like squash bugs, cucumber beetles, and several caterpillars.
Click images to enlarge:

They had a similar range of benefits for brassica plants, especially broccoli and cauliflower. They also attract black fly aphids, and are sometimes planted in the hope of saving crops susceptible to them (as a trap crop). They may also attract beneficial, predatory insects.

I grow Nasturtium with my Peas and Cucumbers as hey compliment each other no just in flavor but in growing habit, upwards on a trellis. Some can Nasturtium can crawl up a tree for 12′! Others can be dwarf varieties. I always save the large, garbanzo bean shaped seeds for the following Nasturtium growing season, the Autumn. Here are two links to Nasturtium recipes;
To me, Summer Solstice celebrations are synonymous with Nasturtium. Because of the variety of flavors within the plant, it can be paired with many other foods and wines as well more.

Our Santa Barbara Winery Pinot Gris with watercress, Nasturtium and hard boiled eggs is an excellent combination. One of the oldest recipes on record is this: NASTURTIUM SALAD “Put a plate of flowers of the Nasturtium in a salad bowl, with a tablespoonful of chopped chervil; sprinkle over with your fingers half a teaspoonful of salt, two or three tablespoonsful of olive oil, and the juice of a lemon; turn the salad in the bowl with a spoon and a fork until well mixed, and serve.” Turabi ejendi, Turkish cookery book, 1864.

Summer and Winter Squash Sibling Rivalry

In terms of vegetable growing, much emphasis is made on the number of days needed to produce. Many of the same vegetables need different times to produce. Thus, “Early” tomatoes, “Baby” beets, etc. In terms of squash, Summer and Winter squash need to be planted around the same time. What are some winter squashes, you may ask. Pumpkins, Kabocha, Hubbard, Spaghetti, Butternut, Acorn and Buttercup squash are some, to name just a few.

Here is a link to good visual website for more. Some winter squash are blue, like the Hubbard. “Kaikai” is another, known for its striped outer hull and delicious black seeds, full of healthy oils and vitamins! I’m growing most all of these at the Lafond Vineyard for the Bistro. Winter squash needs 100+ days to bear a full size fruit. Summer squash, like Zucchini, Crookneck and Patty Pan squash, to name a few, need only 50+ days to produce.

But they have to be planted at nearly the same time. Summer squash we all know to pick before they grow too large. With Winter squash, you just leave the fruit on and when mature, stop watering and let the vine die. Its a very beautiful sight. But you have to slowly roll the Winter squash around weekly as it ripens so it will be round and evenly colored, or you’ll end up with bumpy and flat fruit. The skins of Winter squash are typically thick and the inside somewhat hollow, allowing for good storage.

After the vine dies and the squash is out in the field, the sugars are mellowing out and becoming that wonderful flavor we recognize in Pumpkin Pies or Butternut soup. The squash can be stored either outdoors or indoors, just perfect timing for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas. They can be kept for up to a year in dry storage because of their thick skins. In Asian counties, Winter squash is the norm for most villages. Pumpkins are picked young and made into delicious curries.

Elephants rampage patches because they love them so. “Buttercup” Winter Squash is a favorite because of its small size and cup like shape, they are easy to stuff. “Kabocha” is a wonderful squash for making into a soup because of its dry texture. “Butternut” is great baked and then roasted with Sweet Bell Peppers and Hazelnuts. There is nothing like the smell and flavor of Winter Squash to make the winter time blues feel warm and wonderful! So go and get your Winter Squash in while you still have room to grow them, as most are large vining plants. You can always move those vines around before the fruit gets big.

Plant tall vegetables, like Peppers between them, to maximize your space. Another note on Winter Squash; some have “warts”, lots of them. It turns out, in a Winter Squash, this is a good thing and can represent the sugar content. So don’t be afraid of the warty squash, its probably very sweet inside, a good parallel for life. I think. Read whatever information you can on your Winter Squash to help plan your garden space.

Barbara of Wind Rose Farms and Noe of Yes Yes Nursery, across from each other at the Saturday Farmers market in SB can answer many of your questions and have plants for sale. Plant your Pumpkins now for Halloween time! Although they do not show off in the summer, Winter Squash will be the star of the kitchen long after the Zucchinis have gone south for the winter. Here is a link to a recipe for Winter Squash Curry and another for stuffed acorn squash with turkey.