October 31, 2013 Lobster Mac and Cheese


Fall is a season of transition. We still grill outside but our chilly evenings have moved our dining permanently indoors. It’s time to return to the comfort foods of fall. Since lobsters were on sale this week at a local supermarket I wanted to incorporate them into our Sunday dinner. After browsing through some recipes on the Fine Cooking website, I thought the recipe for Lobster Mac and Cheese seemed like a great choice. Who doesn’t love creamy macaroni and cheese and the addition of  lobster would take it over the top.

Lobster is a splurge even when it’s on sale. It’s hard to believe that lobsters were considered peasant food and the fare of slaves and prisoners in the nineteenth century. If you are squeamish about cooking your own lobster, I have found that most markets will steam the lobsters for you at no additional charge. Joe steamed the lobsters for me. He cooked them for a minute less than if we were eating the lobsters on their own, just steamed. The lobster will cook a little more when the mac and cheese bakes and overcooked lobster would defeat the purpose of adding it to the dish in the first place.

I removed the lobster meat from the tails and the claws with assistance from my lobster cracker, trusty Cutco scissors and seafood pick. I kept the pieces on the large side, about 2 inches so that everyone would get good chunks of lobster. The shells went into freezer bags for a future lobster stock.

The sauce for the mac and cheese begins with a roux. A roux is made with equal parts flour and fat, in this case, unsalted butter. Melt the butter over medium heat, when the butter is melted and starts to bubble, add the flour and start whisking. The roux will eventually liquefy in about 3-4 minutes, continue to cook the roux over low heat to eliminate any floury taste. Still whisking, now slowly add the milk to the roux until it comes to a simmer. Now is the time to add the cheeses, nutty Gruyere, Emmenthaler and a sharp Cheddar, spices and salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. I chose smoky Spanish paprika, dry mustard and just a pinch of saffron to compliment the lobster.

My pasta of choice was the traditional elbow macaroni but any small shape that has a lot of nooks and crannies would work well. I made my dish in one large casserole but individual gratin dishes would also be an excellent choice. A crunchy breadcrumb topping gives a nice contrast to the creamy filling underneath. If you have leftovers, the good news is, as with any good mac and cheese dish, it’s even better the next day.


Lobster Mac and Cheese

Adapted from Fine Cooking


  • 7T unsalted butter, a little more for the baking dish
  • 1c breadcrumbs, or 2 slices stale white bread
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1/3c all purpose flour
  • 4c whole milk
  • 1 1/2c each Gruyere, Emmenthaler and Cheddar cheese
  • 1t dry mustard
  • 1/4 to 1/2t saffron threads
  • 1t Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1lb pasta-I used elbow, choose something small to medium with lots of nooks and crannies
  • 4-1 1/4lb lobsters, steamed, shelled, meat cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2t finely chopped flat leaf parsley, for garnish


  1. Heat the oven to 425°F. Lightly butter a 3-quart ovenproof dish and set aside.
  2. If using bread, tear it into 1-inch pieces and pulse them in a food processor until smooth. Melt 2T of the butter in a skillet over medium heat, add the breadcrumbs and swirl to coat with butter. Cook the breadcrumbs until browned, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set the crumbs aside.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the remaining 5T butter over medium heat. When the butter begins to bubble, whisk in the flour and cook, until the mixture begins to liquefy, 3 to 4 minutes. Continue to cook the roux over low heat until it has a toasty smell. Whisk in the milk in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly for 3 minutes. When the sauce comes to a simmer, stir in the cheeses, saffron, dry mustard and smoked paprika; season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and cover.
  4. Boil a large pot of water, season with salt, and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta well and pour it into a very large bowl.
  5. Add the cheese sauce and lobster chunks to the pasta; mix well. Transfer to the prepared dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumb topping evenly over the macaroni mix. Bake uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with parsley and serve.


October 29, 2013 Crunchy Baked Pork Chops


Most Saturday mornings from early May to Thanksgiving you will find me shopping at the Wrightstown Farmers Market. Local residents and their well behaved pooches browse the stalls and purchase goods from twenty five vendors. The offerings range from locally grown produce, farm fresh eggs, meats and poultry, to dog treats, homemade soaps and pottery. I go to supplement the produce in our own garden, stock up on dog treats and on this week, I stopped by the stand for Purely Farms to pick up some pork chops for a future dinner.

Since 2004, Marc and Johanna Michini have been farming 117 acres they have named Purely Farm in Pipersville, Bucks County. Their mission statement is “to provide the local community with quality and wholesome, naturally pasture raised meats”.  Their meats are hormone and antibiotic free.They not only raise pigs, but chicken and lamb also. We have enjoyed their artisanal sausages, bacon and pork chops for several years now.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with the chops until Joe reminded me of a preparation that we had enjoyed before, Crunchy Baked Pork Chops. The recipe from Cook’s Illustrated magazine originally called for boneless chops cut  3/4 to an inch thick, a cut that is readily available in most supermarkets. The chops from Purely Pork were bone-in and cut 1 1/4 inch thick. The original recipe called for a half hour of brining. Lacking the time, I skipped that step though I am not opposed to brining. Brining changes the cell structure of the meat and results in a juicier pork. But I also knew the quality of the product from Purely Pork was far superior to what I would have purchased in a supermarket.

The crunchy in this recipe is the crumb coating. Homemade bread crumbs are tossed with shallots, garlic, oil, salt and pepper and baked to a deep golden brown. The cooled crumbs are combined with Parmesan, and lemon thyme and parsley from the garden. Next the chops are coated in a three step process. First, they are lightly dredged in flour, then coated with a slurry of egg white, Dijon mustard and flour. The last step is the bread crumb coating that is lightly pressed onto the chop. The chops are placed on a wire rack over a baking sheet to allow air to circulate around the chop while baking, avoiding the dreaded soggy bottom. Since pork chops are easy to overcook, an instant read thermometer is a must. An internal temperature of 150°F provided us with delicious chops. They were crunchy and golden on the outside and tender and juicy in the middle.


Crunchy Baked Pork Chops

Serves 4

Slightly adapted from Cooks Illustrated


  • 4 1″ thick bone in, 6-8 ounces pork chops
  • 4 slices white sandwich bread
  • 2T minced shallot
  • 1T minced garlic
  • 2T vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2T grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1t minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2T minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/4c unbleached all-purpose flour plus 6 tablespoons
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3T Dijon mustard


  1. Place chops on a plate and salt on both sides. Let chops come to room temperature for an hour before cooking.
  2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F, 325°F if you have a convection oven.
  3. Tear bread into 1″ pieces and pulse in a food processor (I used a mini) until coarsely ground. You should have about 3 1/2c of crumbs.
  4. Transfer crumbs to a bowl. Add shallot, garlic, oil, 1/4t salt and 1/4t pepper. Toss until the crumbs are evenly coated with oil. Place crumb mixture on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake crumbs until golden brown and dry, about 10 minutes. Stir crumbs occasionally to insure even browning. Cool crumbs to room temperature. Toss crumbs with Parmesan, thyme and parsley. Leave oven on.
  5. Place 1/4c flour in a pie plate. In a second pie plate, whisk whites and mustard until combined; add remaining 6 tablespoons flour and whisk until almost smooth, small lumps will still remain.
  6. Increase oven temperature to 425°F, 400°F if using convection mode. Spray wire rack with nonstick cooking spray and place on top of  a rimmed baking sheet. This will allow greater air circulation and prevent chops with a soggy bottom!  Season chops with pepper. Dredge one chop in flour, shake off excess. Using tongs, coat with egg mixture; let excess drip off. Coat all sides of chop with bread crumb mixture, pressing gently so that the crumbs adhere to the chop. Transfer breaded chop to wire rack. Repeat with remaining chops.
  7. Bake until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of chop registers 150°F, 17-25 minutes. Let rest on rack for 5 minutes before serving.
Bone-in pork chops from Purely Pork.
Pork chop coated with crumb mixture. Cooking on a wire rack prevents the bottom from getting soggy.
Chops are crispy on the outside, juicy inside.

October 21, 2013 Toasted Farro with Pickled Carrots and Runny Eggs

DSC_3529a October brings more changes to the garden. The last of the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants have been harvested. A new planting of lettuces and greens are ready for salads. Root vegetables: beets, carrots and turnips are large enough to pull from the ground. Both varieties of kale we grow, Cavolo Nero, also known as Lacinato, and Red Russian will provide us with greens for months to come. Another selection from the Giardini (“gardens”) section of the menu from Ava Gene’s restaurant in Portland inspired me from the September issue of Bon Appetit, Fried Farro with Pickled Carrots and Runny Eggs.

In this dish, toasted farro is combined with spicy quick-pickled carrots, exotic mushrooms and earthy kale and topped with a runny egg. Farro is an ancient grain that I wrote in greater detail in a post last year. The recipe calls for browning the farro grains before cooking, enhancing the nutty flavor. The grain in this dish is semi-pearled farro, I was only able to find pearled farro. Pearling removes the inedible hull that surrounds the grain, but it also removes the nutritious germ and bran. Pearled farro will cook a bit quicker than the semi pearled. If you can’t find farro in your store, I think barley or cracked wheat could substitute. Just remember that farro is often translated from Italian into English as “spelt”. Spelt is not farro and will take more than twice as long to cook.

We have been growing kale long before it became a fad and on the menu at every trendy restaurant. In fact the other night it became an ingredient in the Quick fire Challenge on Top Chef. Dana Cowin, editor in chief at Food and Wine magazine included kale, along with bacon, smoked items and runny eggs in a list of “trends that are done”. Sorry Dana, kale is more than a trend for us. We were enjoying it before the masses discovered it and will continue to enjoy it for years to come. In fact it won’t be in it’s prime until after the first frost.

Maitake or hen of the woods mushrooms add a meaty dimension to the dish. Though I have used them many times before, I was not able to source maitakes in our local supermarkets. Maitakes are often called hens in the wood mushrooms because they grow in clusters that resemble the feathers of a chicken.  I substituted the similar and less expensive, shiitake mushrooms. I harvested carrots from our garden for the pickle with a fresh Serrano chili. The pickled carrots are very good, don’t forget to add the pickling liquid to the final dish, it adds yet another layer of flavor.

One ingredient was new to me, colatura. At first glance the word looks like coloratura, a soprano with a very nimble and high vocal range. My Google search thought I was looking for coloratura too. However, colatura, like it’s Asian counterparts, nam pla and nuoc man, is a sauce made from anchovies. In this case, anchovies are layered with sea salt in wooden barrels or plastic tubs. The fish are pressed down with a weighted lid.  Over time the fish lose their liquid and mix with the salt. The liquid drips through a hole in the tub and collects in another container.  The word colatura is from the Italian “colare“, to drip. It is said to be milder and more complex than the Asian anchovy based sauces. Since colatura is $16 for a 100ml  bottle and currently out of stock at Amazon, I think my first taste of colatura can wait.

I did see maitakes at my local farmers market this weekend.  They were five dollars a quarter pound, shiitakes, a little cheaper at  four dollars a quarter pound. The finished dish, even with all my substitutions, was very good. It was a great side dish with chicken, minus the egg it would be a great picnic dish and a great vegetarian entrée. DSC_3537a Toasted Farro with Pickled Carrots and Runny Eggs

Bon Appetit Sept 2013 -recipe from Ava Gene’s restaurant

Makes 6 servings


  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 1 Serrano chile, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2c white wine vinegar
  • 1t sugar
  • 1t kosher salt (plus some more)
  • 5T olive oil, divided, you will be using it to separately cook the farro, kale, mushroom and the runny egg
  • 1 cup farro (pearled or semi pearled)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped, one is cooked with the farro, the other with the kale
  • 6oz shiitake mushrooms, torn into 1″ pieces
  • 1/2 bunch Tuscan kale, center ribs removed, torn into 1″ pieces
  • 1T anchovy sauce ( I used nam pla) nuoc nam or colatura are accepted choices
  • 1/2c fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Place carrots and chile in a small heatproof bowl. Bring vinegar, sugar, 1t salt and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Pour over the carrots and chiles, let sit for at least 30 minutes. When ready to use, drain carrots and reserve the pickling liquid.
  2. While carrots are pickling, heat 1T oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add farro and half of the garlic and cook, stirring constantly until the farro is dark brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Gently boil farro for 20-25 minutes for semi pearled, slightly less time if pearled. It should be tender but still firm to the bite. Drain well and let cool.
  3. Heat 1T oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, tossing often, until soft and just starting to brown, 5-7 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a plate.
  4. Add 2T oil to the same pan, cook remaining garlic and kale until the kale is wilted, about 4 minutes. Add the fish sauce, farro, mushrooms and pickled carrots to the pan. Cook, tossing often until everything is warmed through. Season to taste with salt, fresh ground pepper and pickling liquid. Top with parsley.
  5. Heat remaining 1T oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Crack eggs into skillet and fry until egg whites are set but yolks are still soft and runny, about 3 minutes.
  6. Top salad with eggs and scallions, season with red pepper flakes. Just before serving, break up eggs and mix into farro.
Tuscan kale thrives in the cooler temperatures of autumn.
Carrots just harvested from the garden.
Farro grains almost look like barley.
Kale, stemmed and washed, cut into 1″ pieces.
In the sauté pan, without the eggs and fish sauce, a dish even vegans could love!


October 14, 2013 Beet Terrine


Recently we spent a week in sunny San Diego California. The reason for our trip was an educational conference for Joe and a much needed vacation for both of us. I had the pleasure of meeting in person, one of my favorite food bloggers, Denise Jones, photographer extrodinaire and the creator of There’s A Newf in my Soup. I have been corresponding with Denise off and on for several years and thought it would be great to meet her and her Newfoundland,Trapper in their beautiful hometown of Coronado California.

Since it had been about twenty years since we visited the area, I asked Denise for some dining recommendations in the area. In addition to her blog, Denise has been photographing and writing for Wine and Dine San Diego as well as assignments for other restaurants so I was certain she would know the best places. In her typical thorough fashion she gave us a list that covered every option from sushi to modern Italian to French bistro. None disappointed.

One of our favorites was a very unpretentious place, Carnitas’ Snack Shack located in the North Park (or North Pork as they like to call it) section of San Diego. Co owners Sara Stroud and Hanis Gavin offer “pork-centric” cuisine with tasty choices like a braised pork belly appetizer, a  BLT with bacon and crispy ham, and carnitas tacos. They are open from 12 noon to midnight every day except Tuesday.

You know you’ve arrived when you see the pig that adorns the roof of the building. Diners line up and place their orders at the walk up window. You can either get your food for take out or eat it on the back patio adorned with a pig mural.  The snack shack provided me with a uniquely California experience. I held our place in line while Joe shot video of our experience. (I never stop him, love the videos we have when we get home).

As I was the last person in a line of about a dozen or so, a “lost in the seventies” type stoner rode up on his bicycle. “Dude,” he asked me, “what are you getting to eat?” Not giving me a second to answer he continued, “you have to get the steak sandwich, I always get the steak sandwich, my friend, he’s going to meet me here, he won’t get the steak sandwich, it’s too hot for him, but I always get the steak sandwich.” He proceeded down the line, still straddling the bicycle  asking what the other diners had in mind, he clearly loved that steak sandwich.

“Dude” he said as he regained his place in line behind me, ” I forgot my bicycle lock, do you think I could leave it by the front door of that house that says cats and dogs?” I pointed out to him that the house that had a sign out with cats and dogs on it was a veternarian’s office and he should probably hold on to his bike. The line grew behind us so he found new recruits to spread his gospel of the steak sandwich.

In addition to the heartier fare of burgers, pork sandwiches and BLTs they had some surprises on the menu. Watermelon salad with country ham, radishes and cherry tomatoes and a beet terrine. Our week in San Diego could be subtitled, the week of the beet salad. Roasted red and golden beets with goat cheese and mixed greens, beet salad with spinach, avocado and balsamic vinaigrette, baby chioggia beet and mache salad, all very good, but a beet terrine?  I had to order it, the beet terrine was unique and quite delicious. Since I knew I would have an adequate supply of beets when I returned home, this would be something I would want to re-create.

This recipe really showcases the beets, so it is important that they are fresh from the garden or farmers market. That way their natural sweetness will shine through. I picked both Detroit Red and Golden beets for this recipe. After washing them, I trimmed back the stem and root ends. Since my beets were different sizes I wrapped them in foil packets according to their color (red beets bleed) and size. I roasted the beets at 375°F and started checking the packets with the smallest beets at around the 45 minute mark. I determined doneness by if the beet could be pierced easily with the tip of a sharp knife. Some of the larger beets took as long as an hour and fifteen minutes. I didn’t peel the beets before roasting, the skins slip off easily after they are cooked.

Trying to re-create the dish I had at Carnitas I added some spinach leaves to the layers of the terrine. I chose large leaves from the garden that I blanched for about 30 seconds, draining them and drying them flat on clean kitchen towels. Removing the center rib made for easier handling and placement of the leaves. Walnuts are always a good match with beets, I chopped about a half cup finely to sprinkle over each layer of spinach.

I chose my smaller Kuhn Rikon mandoline to get 2mm slices, first slicing the smaller quantity of Golden beets, keeping them on a separate plate, then the dark red. Short of wearing rubber gloves, It is inevetable that your hands, fingers, cuticles will turn bright red. Let the phone go to answering machine or you will be leaving a trail of red behind you. Next I lined a loaf pan with plastic wrap making sure there was excess wrap on all sides. I placed a layer of the Golden beets, overlapping when needed, to have a solid layer. I spread a thin layer (well, as thin as possible) of very soft goat cheese over the first layer of beets. You could choose plain or an herb variety, if you are ambitious, add your own combination of herbs. Minced garlic or lemon peel would be nice too. If the goat cheese doesn’t make a solid layer, that’s okay, it will spread out when the terrine is compressed. Two more layers of golden beets and goat cheese and I was ready for the red beets. Now I layered the red beets, goat cheese, then a few blanched spinach leaves and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. My last layer was just a solid layer of beets. I pulled the excess plastic up and around and sealed the beets. Compressing is essential to a good terrine. I placed another loaf pan of equal size on the top of the beets. On that I placed my two kitchen bricks to weigh it down. The beet terrine should sit for at least two hours but is best if you let it sit in the fridge overnight.

The next day it was very easy to unmold over a plate. Do the unmolding over a sink to collect the excess beet juice that will be in the bottom of the pan. The plastic wrap comes off easily and I found it best to slice it with a sharp, thin blade knife. Chef Hanis Cavin of Carnitas’ said, “when you only have one vegetarian item, it needs to be delicious.” Chef Cavin sources all local ingredients for his beet terrine. The portion size at Carnitas’ was larger and could be a vegetarian entree with a healthy slice of beet terrine served with frisee lettuce, radishes and a balsamic glaze.  A balsamic reduction is simple. I poured a half cup of balsamic vinegar in  a saucepan, brought it to a simmer and cooked it until it was reduced by half. The balsamic becomes syrupy and will harden if left to cool. It can be brought back to syrup over low heat.

The terrine can be cut into squares for a more attractive presentation as a first course salad. I did not have frisee lettuce, but our new crop of lettuce greens along with some purple radishes would be just perfect. I dotted the balsamic reduction along the edges of the plate. A sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil, some sea salt and fresh ground pepper round out the presentation. Time consuming? Somewhat, but if all the components are ready to go you will have a beautiful dish the next day.

I think we ordered half the menu at Carnitas’ Snack Shack, I would recommend it highly. Seasonal fries were on closer inspection, seasoned fries (we both need to get our glasses changed). What I thought was an art gallery across the street with a painting of a leaf on the wall was actually a marijuana dispensary. The friend of the guy I met on line did show up. “Dude you know I can’t eat the steak sandwich, it’s too hot.” Fortunately for him, there are many delicious alternatives.

Sliced Detroit Red and Golden Beets.
I used larger spinach leaves to line the terrine.
Line a loaf pan with enough plastic wrap to come up over the sides. I placed the first layer of Golden beets as the base.
Next, a layer of goat cheese.
The final layer of red beets before I pulled the wrap over it.
I weighted the terrine with another loaf pan and two of my “kitchen bricks”.
It is only fitting that the side view resembles a bacon slice!


October 8, 2013 Carrot and Beet Slaw with Pistachios and Raisins


When do tomatoes become more than tomatoes? When they become tomato raisins.

While waiting for mom at the hairdressers, I perused the September issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine.  The article on the Good Things page titled “Extend the Tomato Season” caught my eye. Two of the ideas, tomato confit and crushed tomatoes were both tried and true methods of preservation I had used in the past. Another option, tomato paste, I had made years ago and didn’t have the time or attention to attempt this day.  Ginger candied tomatoes was the recipe that inspired me.  For years I have made oven dried and sun dried tomatoes. What made this recipe unique was the addition of sugar and a little ginger before the drying process. After a quick pick, I rinsed and halved the tomatoes with a small serrated knife, which makes for a neater cut.  In a large bowl I gently tossed the tomatoes with about 1/2t ginger and since Sun Gold tomatoes are already quite sweet, just a light sprinkling of sugar  I placed the tomatoes on a cooling rack, cut side up over a baking sheet. The tomatoes were dried at a low setting, 180°F in convection mode until appropriately shriveled, in my case, 3 1/2 hours, I checked every half hour or so and rotated the sheet occasionally. I was very pleased with the results. Chewy, sweet, but not too sweet and a bit gingery.

Now, how to use them? September’s issue of Bon Appetit supplied the answer. September’s issue featured restaurant and drinks editor, Andrew Knowlton’s Hot 10 list of America’s best new restaurants. Ava Gene’s a trattoria in Portland Oregon is a champion of what they call “green thumb cuisine”. In addition to hearty dishes like lamb ragu with pasta and wood grilled pork they offer a flavorful Giardini “gardens” section in their menu. One of their recipes, colorful carrot and beet slaw would use produce I had just harvested from the garden. This recipe provided a way to showcase colorful Chiogga beets also referred to as Candy Cane or Bulls Eye beets.  The pink and white stripes that often bleed and fade out when cooked would stay nice and bright when julienned and raw. I julienned the beets and carrots by hand but a julienne cutter on a mandoline or food processor would speed up the process. Shredding the vegetables on a box grater would give the slaw a more rustic appearance. I used pistachios since I already had them on hand but walnuts or hazelnuts would be a good substitute. I noticed that the original recipe on the Ava Gene menu, celeriac was also included. That would make an interesting addition or even julienned baby turnips or kohlrabi.  My tomato raisins worked perfectly in this recipe, adding their own special character, giving just a hint of ginger to the dish. The slaw has a pleasant balance of sweetness, a little heat from the red pepper flakes and acidity from the lemon juice and vinegar.

Now what to do with the other bag of to-ma-sins? Another recipe in the September issue from the restaurant Fat Rice, calls for a half cup of golden raisins. Hmmm….

Sun Gold tomatoes are placed cut side up on a rack over a baking sheet.
Chiogga beets are an interesting and colorful addition to this dish.
Julienned beets and carrots along with my “tomasins”, ready to add to the slaw. They really do look like golden raisins!


Carrot and Beet Slaw with Pistachios and Raisins

Ava Gene’s, Portland Oregon one of Bon Appetit magazine’s “Hot Ten”


  • 3/4c salted raw pistachios
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1/4c white wine or rice vinegar
  • 1lb carrots, peeled and julienned
  • 1lb beets, peeled and julienned
  • 1/2c fresh flat leafed parsley leaves
  • 1T chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 3T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4t crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1/3c extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread pistachios out on a small rimmed baking sheet; toast stirring occasionally until golden brown, 6-8 minutes. Let the pistachios cool then coarsely chop them.
  2. Combine garlic, raisins and vinegar in a large enough bowl to hold the salad, let the mixture set for one hour.
  3. Remove the garlic from the raisin mixture, discard the garlic. Add carrots, beets and pistachios, parsley, mint. lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss to combine. Add oil and toss gently. Taste and correct seasonings as needed.