Let us introduce you to the best condiment you never heard of ― gremolata. Traditionally, gremolata is a mixture of chopped parsley, lemon zest, garlic and sometimes anchovies.
Usually tossed over poultry, fish or beef, this tasty garnish can also elevate your veggie game. And if you throw in a few hazelnuts, the state nut of Oregon, you raise the roof even higher. We tried it with both green beans and roasted cauliflower and could not have been happier. The gremolata adds texture, brightness and a little crunch. Consider shaving some parmesan on top if you really want to guild the lily.
The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in central Oregon spans 44 million years and contains a wealth of well-preserved fossils.
- 1 cup flat or curly parsley
- 1 clove garlic
- 20 toasted hazelnuts
- Zest from one lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (flavored olive oil works well here)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
In the bowl of a food processor, add parsley, garlic, hazelnuts and lemon zest. Pulse until just combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all ingredients. Add olive oil and lemon juice. Pulse until finely minced. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Oregon designated the hazelnut as its state nut in 1989. The Beaver State produces 99 percent of the US crop so this little filbert is an important part of economy. And did you know, some think the word
filbert is derived from the term “full beard” which refers to the husk covering some varieties?
Hazelnuts have a rich, delicious flavor that marries well with apples. Along with dried cranberries and blue cheese, this appetizer was a fall flavor explosion that made us very happy. Try making this on Thanksgiving day to ward off the hunger pangs before dinner.
Crater Lake is the nation’s deepest lake at 1,945 feet. The intense blue of the water is due to its purity. Because it is strictly fed by rain and snow, many experts think it is the cleanest large body of water in the world.
Hazelnut, Apple and Blue Cheese on Crostini
- Olive oil
- Baguette, sliced
- 1/3 cup onion, diced finely
- 1 cup apple, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
- 2/3 cup blue cheese, crumbled
- 1/3 cup hazelnuts, chopped
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon horseradish
Brush olive oil on sliced baguette. Broil in oven until bread is lightly toasted. In a small saucepan, heat olive oil. Add diced onion. Heat until onion is translucent. Remove from heat and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, add apple, cranberries, blue cheese, hazelnuts, maple syrup, and horseradish. Add onion. Mix to combine. Top baguette slices with about 1 heaping tablespoon of mixture. Broil in oven for 2-4 minutes or until blue cheese melts. Serve immediately.
You can always tell by the smell when spring arrives in Vermont. From about early March to mid-April, sugarmakers in the state head outdoors to tap sugar maple trees and process the sap by boiling it
down into the rich, brown syrup our pancakes couldn’t live without. (And, FYI, the evaporation process is pure olfactory heaven.) In 2014, the effort yielded 1.3 million gallons of maple syrup, once again making Vermont the leading producer of syrup in the United States. In fact, maple is the official flavor of the Green Mountain State. If you visit, you’ll find so many products made with it, including maple candy, maple mustard and maple cream.
We decided to bring you a recipe for Maple Hazelnut Pie that is easy and delicious, and could rightly be considered the Yankee answer to the South’s pecan pie. The hazelnuts – sometimes called filberts – are very crunchy, and once baked, have a great toasted flavor that really complements the maple.
If a visit to Vermont is in your future, check out the Open House Weekend, March 27-28, 2015, when sugarhouses across the state give tours, demos and samples.
Vermont Maple Hazelnut Pie
- 1¼ cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons shortening
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1/2 cup plus one tablespoon brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
For crust: Place all ingredients except water in food processor and blend until fine crumbs are formed. Add water a little at a time until the dough is moist and forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge until ready to use. (Can be made a day ahead.)
For filling: Melt butter on low heat. Add brown sugar until dissolved. Add maple sugar. Bring to medium heat and boil for 60 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add vanilla and salt. Allow mixture to cool.
In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Add cooled maple syrup mixture slowly. Add nuts and stir until coated. Place nut and maple mixture into rolled-out crust. Finish crust edge by fluting or press with fork tines. Place in 350-degree oven for 50 minutes or until filling is set.