Little Green Bites of Delight
A St. Patrick's Culinary Celebration
Recipes and Photography by Peggy Bucholz of FineDinings.com
Try these gourmet delicacies to add a flavorful bit of green to your St. Patrick’s Day.
Lime Rose Garnishes
1 whole lime
Starting at the top of the lime, use a sharp knife and cut the green rind only without any white skin, making a 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch wide continuous unbroken strip. Roll the strip, skin-side out, into a tight circle; turn upside down and set on a serving plate.
Lime Basil Sorbet
1/2 cup sugar • 1/2 cup water
15 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
6 - 8 basil sprigs for garnish
Combine sugar, water and coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool the mixture, then add lime juice. Puree in a food processor or blender, strain and transfer mixture to a shallow pan or bowl. Cover and freeze until firm.
Remove from freezer, puree the mixture again in a food processor, put in a small bowl, cover and freeze. Use a melon baller to make 1 to 3 small sorbet balls per person, then serve in chilled stemmed glasses with the garnish. This dish is a great palate cleanser to serve before a main entree. Makes 6 - 8 servings.
Crab-Filled Cucumber Cups
English cucumber, unpeeled
1/4 cup crabmeat
1 tsp. lime zest • 1 tsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. green onion, sliced fine
1/4 cup celery, diced fine
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste
Fresh herbs (basil, thyme,
rosemary or parsley) for garnish.
Wash cucumber, cut crosswise into 1-1/2-inch slices, then cut each slice diagonally in half. Scoop out centers, making cups with a melon baller and leaving 1/4-inch walls. Salt cups lightly, then turn upside down to drain on paper towels.
Mix together the crabmeat, lime zest, lime juice, green onion, celery, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Fill cups with crab mixture. Garnish with herbs of your choice and serve. Makes approximately 10 cups.
Mesclun Green Salad with Camembert Cheese
1/4 cup fine breadcrumbs
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 Camembert cheese wheel with rind
1 egg white, slightly beaten
2 Tbsp. oil for sautéing
1 Tbsp. white truffle oil
1/4 tsp. salt
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 - 6 oz. package Mesclun green salad
Combine breadcrumbs and sesame seeds in a small bowl. In another small bowl, slightly beat the egg white. Cut cheese into 1-inch wedges, then dip it into beaten egg white, coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Sauté both sides quickly in a small skillet with oil over high heat. Remove from heat, cool and refrigerate. Can be done ahead.
Place mesclun greens in a medium-sized bowl drizzle with truffle oil, add salt and pepper. Serve on individual plates with a sautéed Camembert wedge. Serves 6 to 8.
Mesclun Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette and Asparagus
16 asparagus spears, pencil-size
6-oz. package mesclun greens
Trim the asparagus spears to 4 inches long, steam until tender crisp. Plunge into ice water, drain well and toss with a small amount of lemon vinaigrette dressing (recipe right). Arrange 8 asparagus spears on each plate in ‘Lincoln log’ squares, as pictured. This can be done in advance, covered and refrigerated.
Drizzle the mesclun greens with dressing, place the greens inside the arranged asparagus, garnish the plate with a small amount of dressing around the asparagus, and serve. Makes 2 servings.
Lemon Viniagrette Dressing
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp. minced fresh garlic
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
3/4 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
Combine ingredients and stir lightly. Do not emulsify, as a clear
lemon vinaigrette makes for a better presentation.
Arugula, Pear & Asiago Cheese Salad
2 Tbsp. walnuts coarsely chopped
8 cups baby arugula leaves, washed and spun dry
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black peppercorns
2 red pears, cored and sliced thin
1/4 cup Asiago cheese, coarsely grated
In a large bowl, toss arugula with the olive oil; add salt and pepper to taste. Arrange pear slices on 8 individual plates, or cut the pears into small pieces and add to the bowl. Put greens in center of plates by using tongs and piling as high as possible to make an attractive gourmet presentation. Sprinkle with grated Asiago cheese and toasted walnuts, and serve. Here’s another idea...serve this salad in a martini glass (as pictured) with a breadstick swizzle and pear slice on the glass rim. Makes 8 servings.
We hope you enjoy these delectable delights and that you have a happy St. Patrick’s Day!
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