Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Spring Pea Dip with Mint & Lemongrass Balsamic

Here is a simple spring dip that could be classified as a pesto - pea shoots for the basil, and almonds for the pine nuts! It is gorgeous in appearance and bright in its slightly sweet fresh flavors. In addition to being a wonderful dip for veggies, it can be used as a salad dressing, on crostini, or on one of our flavored pasta! We’ll work on that last one and report back, but we are thinking our Garlic Chive Pappardelle!

Two notes - first, for an unusual treat, especially for the kids, try with cut strawberries. Second, the ‘purple/yellow’ colored vegetables pictured are dragon carrots. They don’t taste much different than standard carrots - perhaps a bit sweeter and spicier - but they make for great conversation with party guests! 

  • 1/3 cup unsalted almonds, whole
  • 10 to 15 mint leaves, depending on size
  • 1 handful (3 to 4 ounces) of pea shoots
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Pastamore Lemongrass White Balsamic Vinegar
  • pinch of salt and pepper to taste
  • variety of cut vegetables

Add almonds and mint leaves to food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add pea shoots to the processor and puree. Add pea puree to a medium bowl, and fold in yogurt, lemongrass balsamic, salt & pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve with assorted cut vegetables - we like carrot & celery sticks, radishes and cucumbers. Makes about 1 cup. 

Friday, March 31, 2017

Garlic Meyer Lemon Oven Roasted Potatoes

If you know us, you know we preach simplicity in cooking. We believe in minimal ingredients but of the highest quality. Can it get much simpler, or yummy, than oven roasting some red potatoes with garlic, and then adding a drizzle of our Meyer Lemon Olive Oil with some fresh herbs? For casual or elegant dining, this recipe is a hit, folks.

The herbs you use is your choice.  We recommend two methodologies; first, use up what you already have in the fridge, or second, use your herb selection to tie into what you are making as a main course.  For example, if you are making grilled lamb with rosemary, make sure to use a small amount of rosemary in the potatoes too.


  • 3 pounds small red or white potatoes
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
  • 1/3 cup Pastamore California Meyer Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh herbs (your choice, mix & match parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, etc.)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the potatoes in half or quarters and place in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic; toss until the potatoes are well coated. Transfer the potatoes to a sheet pan and spread out into 1 layer. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until browned and crisp. Flip twice with a spatula during cooking in order to ensure even browning.

While potatoes are roasting combine chopped herbs with the Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and allow to sit. This will meld the flavors.

Remove the potatoes from the oven, and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Place in serving bowl, and drizzle herbed lemon olive oil over the top. Serve immediately.

Serves 8.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Balsamic Shrimp Cocktail

We love traditional cocktail sauce with horseradish as much as anyone, but we are here to tell you there is another way to dip shrimp that will surprise you! Consider instead a deep rich complex sauce with a sweet/hot component quite different from spicy horseradish. You may not go back!

One bit of advice - you can whip this up in no time and serve right away, the sauce is quite simple. However, like with any sauce, you are better off letting it sit for a few hours in the fridge before serving - the flavors will combine better and 'meld'.


Mix the first three ingredients in a small bowl, allow to chill for a couple of hours in the fridge (flavors will meld). Carefully spoon a small amount into the bottom of two martini glasses - you will end up with extra cocktail sauce. Arrange 6 shrimp evenly around each glass. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

Serves 2 as an appetizer.

Lemongrass Spritzer

If you have spent much time on our recipe blog, you will note that we like to promote balsamic vinegar as components of cocktails. They add complexity, richness, and vinegar (like the now popular 'shrubs') add acidity, or brightness to a drink. This simple cocktail is a little sour, a little sweet, complex but refreshing, and can be wonderful at a holiday party or on a hot summer day.

We are not being trivial, below, where we recommend this as a wonderful non-alcoholic adult beverage. It is more sophisticated than you might expect.


  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 mint sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons Pastamore Lemongrass White Balsamic Vinegar
  • dry sparkling wine, such as a Brut (or club soda for a non-alcoholic version)
  • lemon slice as garnish
Muddle the lemon juice, mint and Lemongrass Balsamic in a small bowl. Strain and divide the mixture into two large wine glasses. We suggest four or five ounces of the sparkling wine, but do as you see fit. Garnish with the lemon slice.

Serves 2

Balsamic Hot Chocolate

Balsamic vinegar is an interesting addition to desserts in that it adds acidity, which balances sweetness, and adds a bit of tang.

This is a simple addition to something we all know and love. Try a splash of high quality imported balsamic vinegar in your next hot cup, and see what you think! It will add richness and depth. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Once you have tried this with the 'tried and true' traditional barrel-aged balsamic, consider the following options to really blow your mind. You can now consider yourself a hot chocolate connoisseur!

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Heat over low to medium heat, whisking occasionally until melted and combined and hot. Pour into mugs.

Will serve 1 or 2 in small mugs.