¾ cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 (12-ounce) bag cranberries, picked through
Makes 2 1/4 cups
The cooking time in this recipe is intended for fresh berries. If you’ve got frozen cranberries, do not defrost them before use; just pick through them and add about 2 minutes to the simmering time.
Bring water, sugar, and salt to boil in medium nonreactive saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Stir in cranberries; return to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until saucy, slightly thickened, and about two-thirds of berries have popped open, about 5 minutes. Transfer to nonreactive bowl, cool to room temperature, and serve. (Can be covered and refrigerated up to 7 days; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.)
1 medium red onion, about 5 ounces
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup rice vinegar, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
1 small clove of garlic, halved
5 black peppercorns
5 allspice berries
3 small sprigs of thyme
1 small dried chili
Kettle for boiling water
Knife and cutting board
Sieve or colander
Clean jar or container
Slice the onions: Start 2 or 3 cups of water on to boil in a kettle. Peel and thinly slice the onion into approximately 1/4-inch moons. Peel and cut the garlic clove in half.
Dissolve the sugar and salt: In the container you will be using to store the onions, add the sugar, salt, vinegar, and flavorings. Stir to dissolve.
Par-blanch the onions: Place the onions in the sieve and place the sieve in the sink. Slowly pour the boiling water over the onions and let them drain.
Add the onions to the jar: Add the onions to the jar and stir gently to evenly distribute the flavorings
Store: The onions will be ready in about 30 minutes, but are better after a few hours. Store in the refrigerator. They will keep for several weeks, but are best in the first week.
1/2 pound baby spinach (about 5 cups)
1/4 cup shaved Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup toasted pecans
1/8 cup pickled red onions
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
In a large bowl, toss the spinach with the cheese, pecans, and pickled onion.
Heat the butter in a small saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, begin whisking and continue cooking until it becomes light brown and smells nutty, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the mustard, honey, and vinegar until emulsified.
Drizzle the warm dressing over the salad, toss to combine, and serve immediately.
To gauge when the butter is properly browned, I go more by aroma than color. Once my kitchen fills with that deliciously nutty scent, I know it's ready.
I'm partial to balsamic, but other vinegars, like red wine and sherry, work in the recipe too.