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Spring Greens with TASTE’s Vermont Maple Balsamic

Spring Greens with TASTE's Vermont Maple Balsamic 12 cups spring greens (about a 12 oz package) 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese 3/4 cup sliced almonds 1 cup fresh strawberries, sliced 3 tbsp maple balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 tbsp sesame oil 1 tsp pepper 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil In large salad bowl, toss spring greens with feta, almonds, and strawberries. To prepare the vinaigrette, mix together all ingredients until well blended. Add vinaigrette to greens and toss, or serve as dressing on the side. Crumbled bacon will not harm this recipe, trust me on this.

Honey Ginger and Persian Lime EZ salad

1 pint grape tomatoes 1 ripe avocado 2 ears of fresh sweet corn 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped 2 tablespoons Honey Ginger Balsamic 2 tablespoons Persian Lime Olive Oil 1/2 teaspoon Tuscany Seasoning or salt/pepper mix to taste Grill corn over medium heat until slightly browned. Cut the corn off the cob then scrape the cob with the back of your knife to get the juices. Set aside and let cool. Slice the tomatoes in half. Dice the avocado and chop the cilantro. Whisk Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar with Persian Lime Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Tuscany seasoning. Combine tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, and grilled corn with the salad dressing and mix gently so everything is evenly coated. Be careful not to mash the avocados. Let the salad sit for 10-15 minutes to let flavors mingle.

Beet and Pasta salad

2 cups cooked spiral whole-wheat pasta 3 cups fresh baby spinach, shredded 1 12-ounce jar whole beets (1-1/2 cups), cut in half 1/4 cup chopped red onion 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts 2 tablespoons TASTE Vermont Maple Balsamic Vinegar 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil Mix pasta, spinach, beets, onion, and walnuts in a salad bowl. Combine maple balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil in a small jar and shake well. Pour over salad. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until you're ready to eat. Add a little crumbled feta or goat cheese if you like. Now is the perfect time of year to use fresh beets rather than preserved, it just takes a little more time. Serves six. Each serving contains about 123 calories, 4 g protein, 3 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 23 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, and 120 mg sodium.

Guac did you say? George’s favorite Guacamole

2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted Juice of one lime 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped 2 Tablespoons Cilantro & Roasted Onion Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 1 Teaspoon sea salt 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 Tablespoon Jalapeno Balsamic Vinegar Combine the avocados and lime juice in a small bowl and lightly mash with fork. I like to leave it a little chunky. Stir in remaining ingredients. Serve immediately. Or (this rarely happens) chill for serving later. Since California avocados are at the seasonal peak, and 5 for $4 at the grocery store, double the above recipe, and with the remaining avocado: Cut it in half Remove the pit Fill the cavity with Espresso Balsamic Enjoy with a spoon!

Cornbread with Baklouti EVOO and Cheddar Cheese

Warm, spicy, cheesy, and savory, this cornbread is delicious by itself. Scratch recipe, so worth the effort! 2 cups whole wheat flour 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal 2 tablespoons honey 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 1 teaspoons kosher salt 1 1/2 cups whole milk 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1/2 cup Baklouti Chili Olive Oil 8 ounces sharp grated Cheddar, 2 ounces reserved 1/3 cup chopped scallions, +2 tablespoons reserved 2 tablespoons (1 small pepper) seeded finely diced fresh green pepper Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 9"inch baking pan with Baklouti Olive Oil. Combine the flour, cornmeal, honey, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and Baklouti Olive Oil. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix in the grated Cheddar, scallions and green peppers. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the reserved grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares.

Balsamic Bloody Mary

Neapolitan Herb Balsamic Bloody Mary 1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice 3/4 ounce Neapolitan Herb Balsamic Vinegar 1 1/2 teaspoons horseradish 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 ounce Worcestershire sauce 12 ounces tomato juice Dash of pepper 6 oz. Vodka 4 celery stalks with leaves attached Mix vodka, tomato juice, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, Neapolitan Herb Balsamic, and horseradish. Pour over ice, and garnish with a celery stalk. Serves 4

Cauliflower Soup with Black Truffle Oil

Cauliflower Soup with Black Truffle Oil 2 tablespoons butter (unsalted or salted) 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 pound cauliflower florets (about 5 cups) 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 cans low-salt chicken broth 1 teaspoon white truffle oil from TASTE Toss the cauliflower florets in 2 tablespoons of robust extra virgin olive oil, and roast for 15 minutes at 400 degrees on a baking sheet until they begin to brown slightly. Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add cauliflower and sauté 2 minutes. Add broth. Cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 25 minutes. Working in batches, transfer soup to blender and purée until smooth. Return soup to pot. (Soup can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate.) Bring soup to simmer, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle truffle oil over each bowl as the final touch. Enjoy! George tip: Fry some slices of smoked bacon, then chop and use to garnish the soup alongside scallions or parsley.

Salad Dressing Proportions

Summer salad dressing. We are often asked what proportions of oil and vinegar should be used to make a nice salad dressing. Personal preference is a huge factor, but here is a good rule of thumb. Since the flavor of balsamic vinegar is more intense than extra virgin olive oil, use one part balsamic to two parts oil (1:2). For a marinade, we recommend equal parts oil and vinegar (1:1). If you look up recipes on the web, you'll find a wide range of other recommended proportions. We aren't saying they are wrong, just that our salad dressing recommendation is 1:2.

Brushetta

Brushetta, particularly good with fresh tomatoes and herbs and high quality EVOO and balsamic. Here's an easy recipe. 1 1/2 lb plum tomatoes, chopped 1/3 c chopped fresh basil leaves 1 tbsp chopped garlic 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano leaves 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp fresh lemon juice 6 thick slices of crusty bread, toasted

Mix tomatoes, herbs and liquids in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Hold at room temperature. Spoon tomato mix onto toast and serve.

Independence Day Slaw

1/3 cup blueberry balsamic vinegar 1/3 cup lemon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon cumin seed 2 cups shredded red cabbage 2 cups shredded white cabbage 1 cup walnuts coarsely chopped 1/2 pint blueberries 1/2 pint raspberries or strawberries 1/4 cup red onion coarsely chopped

Mix balsamic, EVOO, sugar, and cumin seed together for the dressing. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Add dressing and toss thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate about 3 hours before serving. It will keep about 5 days when refrigerated, so it is a good make-ahead dish for your Fourth of July celebration.

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