Archive for March, 2023

This delicious dessert from Ina Garten’s Modern Comfort Food would be a great ending to a dinner party or Easter brunch. Marinate peach wedges in Grand Marnier while you whip up a batter and add dry ingredients. Place the batter in a springform pan, top with peaches, sugar and almonds and bake for about 50 minutes. Cook’s note: I used Cointreau instead of Grand Marnier and brown sugar instead of raw sugar.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Make sure the butter contains only milk or cream, with no added preservatives or colour. Use pure vanilla and almond extracts. No Name sliced almonds are additive-free.

Place batter in springform pan and top with peaches, sugar and almonds

Bake about 50 minutes, until golden brown on top


¾ lb (340 g) ripe peaches, unpeeled, cut into 8-10 wedges (2 large peaches)

2 tbsp (30 ml) Grand Marnier

¼ lb (113 g/1 stick) of unsalted butter, room temperature

¾ cup (187.5 ml) sugar

½ tsp (2.5 ml) vanilla extract

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) almond extract

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour

1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder

½ tsp (2.5 ml) kosher salt

2 tbsp (30 ml) raw sugar

2 tbsp (30 ml) blanched, sliced almonds

Confectioners’ sugar


Preheat oven to 350 F (176 C). Grease an 8-inch (20-cm) springform pan, set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the peaches with the Grand Marnier. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for two minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the vanilla, almond extract and eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Stir with a rubber spatula.

Pour mixture into prepared springform pan, smoothing the top. Gently press the peaches in concentric circles into the top of the batter. Sprinkle peaches with the raw sugar and almonds.

Bake about 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool slightly, dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

From Modern Comfort Food

This hearty salad from Real Simple combines cooked farro with asparagus, peas, feta cheese, nuts, orange segments and fresh tarragon, dressed with a tasty brown butter vinaigrette. This is a great side dish or vegetarian main course. Cook’s note: I used almonds instead of pistachios. I also boiled the asparagus and peas separately, instead of adding to the farro while it was cooking.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Tre Stelle feta is additive-free. Check the pistachios and butter to make sure they don’t contain colour or preservatives. I used pure maple syrup, President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon mustard and Acetaia La Bonissma balsamic vinegar, which has no added sulfites.

Farro salad with brown butter vinaigrett



¾ cup (187.5 ml) farro

1 ½ tsp (7.5 ml) kosher salt

1 lb (454 g) asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3-in. (7.6-cm) pieces

1 cup (250 ml) frozen petite peas

2 oz (56 g) feta cheese, crumbled (about ½ cup/125 ml), divided

¼ cup (60 ml) salted roasted pistachios, divided

2 medium navel oranges, peeled and sliced into segments, divided

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh tarragon


¼ cup (60 ml/½ stick) unsalted butter

2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil

2 tbsp (30 ml) balsamic vinegar

2 tsp (10 ml) maple syrup

1 tsp (5 ml) Dijon mustard

¾ tsp (3.75 ml) kosher salt

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) freshly ground black pepper



Combine farro, salt, and 2 cups (500 ml) water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until farro is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes. During last 5 minutes of cook time, stir in asparagus and peas; cover. Transfer mixture to a large bowl to cool slightly.


Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium. Cook, stirring often, until butter is just browned and smells nutty, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Whisk oil into butter.

Whisk vinegar, syrup, mustard, salt, and pepper in a high-sided bowl until combined. Slowly drizzle in butter mixture, whisking constantly, until dressing is smooth and emulsified.


Add half of the feta, half of the pistachios, and ¾ of the orange segments to farro mixture. Add dressing and toss to combine.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with remaining pistachios, feta, and orange segments. Sprinkle with tarragon. Serve warm. Serves 4.

From Real Simple

This delicious recipe from Food and Wine is based on the classic roast chicken with bread salad dish from Zuni Café in San Francisco. Stuff garlic and thyme under the chicken skin, sprinkle with salt and pepper and refrigerate, uncovered, for 24-48 hours. This dry-brining technique results in beautifully seasoned meat and crispy skin. Bake cubed bread for the salad and toss the croutons with salad dressing, scallions, garlic, currants and pine nuts. Then bake the bread salad for about 25 minutes and set aside. Roast the chicken in a cast-iron skillet and while it rests toss the pan drippings with the bread salad in a large bowl. Add greens and more dressing to the salad just before serving. Serve the chicken with the bread salad. Cook’s note: I used skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken, raisins instead of currants and baby arugula for the greens.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used Eden Organic red wine vinegar to soak the currants and also for the dressing. Ace Bakery bread is usually free of additives. Check the currants and pine nuts to be sure they are free of sulfites and other preservatives.

Stuff garlic and thyme under chicken skin

Dry brining seasons and the meat and makes the skin crispy

Combine croutons with currents, scallions and pine nuts

Add greens and more dressing to the salad just before serving

Zuni chicken and bread salad


Roast chicken

1 (3 ½ – to 4-pound/1.6-1.8 kg) free-range whole chicken

4 (4-inch/10-cm) thyme sprigs

4 small garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped

3 ½ teaspoons (17.25 ml) fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) black pepper

Bread salad

1 tablespoon (15 ml) warm water (90°F to 110°F/32°C to 43°C)

1 teaspoon (5 ml) red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon (15 ml) dried currants

¾ cup (187.5 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons (30 ml) Champagne vinegar

¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) fine sea salt

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) black pepper

½ pound (226 g) day-old, open-crumb, chewy, rustic bread loaf (not sourdough), cut into large (2-inch/5-cm) chunks (about 2 ½ cups/635 ml)

4 medium scallions (about 2 ounces/56 g), trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise (about ¾ cup/187.5 ml)

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (about 1 tablespoon/15 ml)

1 tablespoon (15 ml) pine nuts

4 cups (1 L) lightly packed greens (such as chicory, escarole, or radicchio) (about 4 ounces/113 g)


Make the roast chicken

Gently loosen skin from chicken breasts and thighs using your fingers. Stuff thyme and garlic under skin, spreading in an even layer. Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over chicken. Place chicken on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours.

Make the bread salad

Preheat oven to 450°F (232°C). Stir together 1 tablespoon (15 ml) warm water and red wine vinegar in a small bowl; add currants, and soak until plumped, about 10 minutes. Drain currants; set aside.

Whisk together ½ cup (125 ml) olive oil and Champagne vinegar in a small bowl; season dressing with salt and pepper.

Toss together bread and 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet until well combined. Bake in preheated oven until lightly toasted, 8 to 12 minutes, flipping bread once halfway through baking time. Let stand on baking sheet until cool enough to handle, 5 to 10 minutes; tear bread into smaller, bite-size (1- to 1 ½ -inch/2.54- to 3.8-cm) pieces. Toss bread with three-quarters of dressing (about ½ cup/125 ml) in a large bowl, and let stand until bread absorbs liquid, about 15 minutes.

Heat ½ tablespoon (7.5 ml) olive oil in a 10-inch (25-cm) cast-iron skillet over medium-low. Add scallions and garlic; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in pine nuts. Transfer to bowl with bread. Add currants and toss until well combined.

Spoon bread salad into a shallow 8-inch (20-cm) square baking dish. Cover loosely with aluminum foil; bake in preheated oven until heated through, about 15 minutes. Uncover and bake until tops of bread cubes are dry and bottoms are lightly browned, 6 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside.

Increase oven temperature to 500°F (260°C). Wipe skillet clean, and transfer to oven to preheat for 8 minutes. Remove heated skillet from oven and add remaining 1 ½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) oil to hot skillet, swirling to coat. Pat chicken dry, and carefully place in skillet, breast side up. Roast until juices run clear when a thigh is pierced using a knife and an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest portion of breast and thigh registers at least 160°F to 165°F (71°c to 73°C), 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, and let rest, uncovered, 10 minutes.

Tilt chicken and cutting board over skillet and drain juices into drippings. Skim fat from juices in skillet and bring to a simmer over medium-low; stir and scrape bottom of skillet to soften any hard golden drippings using a wooden spoon, about 1 minute. Return bread salad to large bowl; drizzle with a spoonful of pan juices, and toss. Add greens and remaining 3 tablespoons (45 ml) dressing; fold until well combined.

Cut chicken into pieces. Arrange bread salad mixture and chicken on a platter. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

From Food and Wine

This recipe from Don’t Worry, Just Cook is quick, easy and looks great. Arrange fish on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil, lemon zest and seasoning. Scatter rosemary and thyme sprigs over fish and arrange lemon slices around and on top of fish. Add cherry tomatoes and broccoli florets to the baking sheet. Bake until the fish is cooked through and serve. Salmon, halibut or cod would also work with this recipe and it can be served hot or at room temperature.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Every ingredient in this recipe is fresh and free of additives and preservatives.

Place all ingredients on sheet pan

Roast until the fish is cooked through

Roasted Arctic char with lemons and herbs


1 ½ to 2 lbs (680 to 907 g) boneless, skinless Arctic char or salmon, whole or in portioned pieces

2 tbsp + 2 tbsp (30 ml + 30 ml) extra virgin olive oil

Grated peel of ½ lemon

1 tsp (5 ml) kosher salt plus more for tossing

1/8 tsp (0.63 ml) freshly ground black pepper

3 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus more to serve

3 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more to serve

1 lemon, sliced

2 cups (500 ml) cherry tomatoes

2 cups (500 ml) broccoli florets, cut into 1-inch (2.54-cm) pieces


Preheat oven to 425 F (218 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Arrange the fish on the lined baking sheet with the skinned side down. Drizzle with 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil and sprinkle with lemon peel, salt and pepper. Turn the fish over a few times to coat well. Scatter the rosemary and thyme sprigs over the fish and arrange the lemon slices beside, around, or on top of it. Toss the cherry tomatoes and broccoli florets with 2 tbsp (30 ml) oil and some salt. Arrange them around the fish.

Depending on the thickness of the fish, cook for 10 to 12 minutes or longer, or until the fish is just cooked through. Press the thickest part of the fish with the back of a spoon; if it flakes, its cooked. The tomatoes and broccoli should be just cooked.

Replace the now dried sprigs of herbs with fresh sprigs To serve, arrange the roasted lemon slices on top of the fish and the vegetables around. Serves 4-6.

From Don’t Worry, Just Cook