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February 4th, 2012 With great pleasure we welcome Gabriele Bertaccini back again with another wonderful Tuscan Box. For those of you who are new, or missed his last box, Gabriele is currently living

between Los Angeles, California and Phoenix, Arizona, where he is the Executive Chef and owner of iL TOCCO, a private boutique dining and catering company. He also organizes and directs the exclusive and renowned CULINARY MISCHiEF, an invitation-only underground roving event featuring a 6 course dinner and paired wines. Gabriele writes for several food magazines and publications, and regularly appears on NBC and other local and national television shows. You can follow him on Twitter @gabebertaccini and on his website

This week we have some special items in the box. FARRO: Also known as Ethiopian blue tinge emmer, Grano Farro has a long and glorious history: it is the original grain from which all others derive, and fed the Mediterranean and Near Eastern populations for thousands of years; somewhat more recently it was the standard ration of the Roman Legions that expanded throughout the Western World. In the centuries following the fall of the Empire, higher-yielding grains were developed and farro's cultivation dwindled: By the turn of the century in Italy there were a few hundreds of acres of fields scattered over the regions of Lazio, Umbria, the Marches and Tuscany. A renewed interest in farro among gastronomes has led to a resurgence in popularity, especially among trendy health-conscious cooks. The faro was grown by Reed Hamilton, of Grass Valley Grains, a one-man farming and milling operation in Grass Valley, CA. He grows grain crops using organic methods and materials and mills some into flour or meal in his own stone mill. We can look forward to other items from Reed in the coming weeks! Applewood Smoked Sea Salt: Produced by 16 year old Brogan McReynolds, who wanted a business more grown up than a lemonade stand, this is salt with a twist. His goal is to provide

a product, coupled with weekly recipes, that teaches the art of under salting food while providing intense flavor. Wagon Wheel: The latest “everyday” cheese addition to Cowgirl Creamery's lineup. Made with milk from neighboring Straus Family Creamery, Wagon Wheel was designed to be on hand for everyday cooking and snacking. The 25-pound wheel has a mild, sweet milk flavor that makes it a delightful table cheese. Fennel Seed: The Spicy Gourmet purchases his spices from small organic farmer associations in Sri Lanka and from community farmers in India. The fair trade status is vouched for by Trust Organic Small Farmers – A new Alliance for Eco-Ethical Trade and Goods. The seeds of the Fennel plant have an aniseed flavor and a hint of mint essence. The use of Fennel seed is ancient and is popular in the middle east and Indian sub-continent. Meyer Lemon Marmalade: Brought to you by Julia Crookston of Bona Dea, and produced in the Goodland Kitchen, a small batch kitchen in Goleta. This Marmalade boasts local Meyer Lemons and is created without the use of pectin. Enjoy it on toast, but also use it in recipes as below. Novy Ranches Beef: We’re really pleased to introduce you for the first time to Novy Ranches beautiful marbled beef. Novy ranches are the ongoing life work and commitment of Dr. Lowell Novy, a veterinarian, whose interests in conservation, cattle-ranching and animal welfare have influenced his decision to turn away from “traditional” feedlot cattle production by developing an entirely grass-fed program that is healthy for the land, cows and people. Based in the Shasta Valley area of Northern California since 1976 and surrounded by vast conifer forests, Novy Ranches lies in the shadow of magnificent Mt. Shasta, a Cascade Range volcano. Blessed with an abundance of natural vegetation, water and natural beauty, the ranches provide important habitat and sanctuary to a number of wild species. It is the family’s goal to maintain the natural balance of the Ranches so that its open space and wildlife are protected now and well into the future.

Produce Key!: In case you are wondering, the green garlic looks like a leek, but is definitely garlic. The Escarole is the green “head”, the Radicchio is the purple, and the marjoram is the herb bunch!



“GABRIELE’S TUSCAN BOX DUE” | FEBRUARY 4TH, 2012 Roots • • • • •

Purple Torpedo Onions (Tutti Frutti) Red Potatoes (Mike Dixon) Carrots (Roots) Green Garlic (Earthtrine) Beets (Rancho Cortez)

Vegetables • • • • •

Brussel Sprouts (2 Peas) Radicchio (Earthtrine)* Butternut Squash (Roots) Bacon Avocados (Rancho Sta. Cecilia) Cauliflower (Rancho Cortez

Fruit • • • • • • •

Leafy Greens

Extra Fruit **

• Red Lettuce (Earthtrine) • Escarole (Earthtrine)*


• Orange Juice – Friends Ranch Fair Trade

Fennel Seed (Spicy Gourmet)

Meat & Eggs

Extra Oranges, tangerines and • Chicken Breast (Dey Deys) • Blueberries • Sirloin Tip (Novy Ranch) Strawberries (Rancho Cortez) • • Tied Boneless Leg Roast (Rocky Canyon) • 1 dozen Eggs (Dare to Dream)


Regional Specialty

• Marjoram, Sage*, Rosemary (Earthtrine • Butter* (Organic Valley) • Wagon Wheel (Cowgirl Creamery)


Tango Tangerines (Somers) Grapefruit (Somers) Blood Oranges (Somers) Blueberries (Rancho Cortez) Kiwi (Mallard Lake) Hawaiian Guava (Ranco Sta, Cecilia) Apples (Fair Hill)*

Grain/ Pulse

Farro (Grass Valley Grains)

Catch of the Week ** •

Cobia (Kanaloa)

Meyer Lemon Marmalade (Bona Dea)

Nuts, Seeds or Dried Fruit

• Blistered Almonds (Fat Uncle) New Customer/ Referral Gift

Olive Oil (Oil of Pacines)

* Not included in the Couple’s Box ** This category is an ‘Add-on’ option. Please go to if you are interested

ARISTA WITH ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND ROSEMARY BUTTER POTATOES TUSCAN-STYLE PORK ROAST Usually I use a mechanical meat spit (called a girarrosto or spiedo) in my fireplace to make this dish. We found the meat just as delicious cooked in the oven. INGREDIENTS • • • • •

4 garlic cloves 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary 1 1/2 teaspoons apple wood smoked sea salt 1 (1.5-2lb) pork roast 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds

PREPARATION Preheat oven to 350°F. While the oven is preheating, score the skin of the pork. It will be scored already, but it's always best to add a few more lines. To do this you can use the point of a very sharp paring knife, or Stanley knife, or you can now even buy a special scalpel from a good quality kitchen shop! What you need to do is score the skin all over into thin strips, bringing the blade of the knife about halfway through the fat beneath the skin. Mince together garlic, fennel seeds and rosemary. Stir together with sea salt in a small bowl and season with pepper. Rub 1 tablespoon garlic mixture all over pork. Beginning at 1 end of roast, make a 1/2-inch slit with a long thin knife throughout the whole roast (5/6 slits). Stuff slit with remaining garlic mixture, pushing it through with handle of a long wooden spoon. Marinate at room temperature 30 minutes. Put roast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan and roast in middle of oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally at least 2 inches into meat registers 155°F, about 35 minutes per pound. Let pork stand, loosely covered, 20 minutes. Discard string. Separate loin from bones and cut meat crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick slices. If desired, serve bones cut into ribs. NOTE: Roast may be rubbed and stuffed with garlic mixture 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before roasting.


3 tablespoons butter 3 tablespoons pine nuts (optional) 1/2 pound fresh brussel sprouts, halved 1/3 cup chicken broth 1 shallots or onions, minced 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram 3 tablespoons lemon marmalade

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add optional nuts and stir until golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer nuts to small bowl. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in same skillet over medium heat. Add sprouts; stir 1 minute. Add broth; cover and simmer until sprouts are almost tender, about 7 minutes. Uncover and simmer until broth evaporates, about 5 minutes. Using wooden spoon, push sprouts to sides of skillet. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in center of same skillet. Add shallots or onion; sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in marjoram. Simmer for a few minutes until sprouts are golden about 4 more minutes. Add the lemon marmalade and mix to coat. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Stir over medium heat to rewarm.) Transfer brussel sprouts to serving platter. Mix in half of pine nuts. Sprinkle with remaining pine nuts.


1 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 lb potatoes (about 4 medium) half teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 500°F. Oil bottom of a shallow baking pan (15 by 10 by 1 inch) with 1/2 tablespoon oil. Cut each potato lengthwise into 8 wedges and toss with salt, pepper, and remaining tablespoon oil in a large bowl. Arrange potato wedges, flat sides down, in baking pan, then cover pan tightly with foil and roast 10 minutes. Remove foil and roast 10 minutes more. Loosen potatoes with a metal spatula, then turn over onto other flat sides and roast until tender and golden, about 10 minutes. While potatoes roast, melt butter with rosemary in a small saucepan over moderately low heat. Loosen potatoes with spatula, then transfer to a serving dish or plates and spoon rosemary butter over them.

CHICKEN MILANESE WITH ESCAROLE SALAD For the Pickled spring purple Onions: • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar • 1/2 cup cold water • 2 tablespoons kosher salt • 1 tablespoon sugar • 2 to 3 really good shots hot sauce (recommended: Tabasco) • 5 spring purple onions, sliced into very thin rings For the Chicken Milanese: • 1 cup all-purpose flour • 2 eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional) • chicken breasts, butterflied and lightly pounded to 1/4-inch thick • Kosher salt • Extra-virgin olive oil, for frying • 1 tablespoon butter For the Escarole Salad: • 1/2 cup grated wagon wheel cheese • 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts (or other nuts if you have some) 2 • tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves (optional) • 1 head escarole, washed, spun dry, cut into bite size pieces • High-quality extra-virgin olive oil Directions To make the Pickled Onions: In a small bowl, combine red wine vinegar with 1/2 cup of cold tap water. Stir in salt, the sugar and the hot sauce. Add the sliced onions and let sit for at least one hour. To make the Chicken Milanese: Set up a standard breading procedure in 3 wide deep plates. Fill 1 with flour, 1 with the beaten eggs, and 1 with the panko and grated Parmigiano.. Season the chicken breasts with salt. Using one hand for dry things and 1 hand for wet things, take each piece of chicken through the breading procedure: dredge lightly in the flour, then the egg wash and then through the bread crumbs. Lay the breaded chicken on a sheet tray and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. This is a good job to do with the kids! Pour olive oil into a large saute pan until it reaches a thickness of about a half an inch - better a little more rather than a little less. Bring to a medium-high heat and add butter. Test the oil by flicking flour or bread crumbs into the oil. If it doesn't sizzle-WAIT! When the oil is hot, test it again by dipping the edge of a piece of chicken into the oil, the oil should gently sizzle. Cook the chicken in the oil in batches on both sides until it is a lovely golden brown color and is crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Do not crowd the pan or the chicken will become very greasy and soggy. When the chicken comes out of the oil lay it on paper towels to drain off the excess oil and sprinkle with salt. You can keep the chicken in a low oven to keep it warm while the rest of the chicken is cooking. To make the Escarole Salad: Combine the cheese, hazelnuts and parsley in the food processor and pulse until they are coarsely chopped. Toss together the escarole, hazelnut mixture and some of the pickled red onions and dress with some of the pickling liquid and olive oil. Season with salt. Place chicken on each serving plate and top with the escarole salad.

BEEF STEW WITH POTATOES AND CARROTS For braised beef: • 1 pound boneless beef stew meat • 1 tablespoons olive oil • 1 carrot, quartered • 1 celery ribs, quartered (optional) • 1 medium onion, quartered • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise • 1 tablespoons tomato paste • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar • 1 (750-ml) bottle dry red wine (about 3 3/4 cups) • 1 bay leaves (opt) • 1 rosemary sprigs • 1 cup beef broth • 1 cup water For potatoes and carrots: • Small red potatoes • Carrots Equipment: a wide 6-to 8-quart heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid Accompaniment: crusty bread Braise beef: Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Pat beef dry and season with 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cut into chunks. Heat oil in pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then brown meat, without crowding, in 3 batches, turning, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to a platter. Reduce heat to medium, then add carrots, celery, onions, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 12 minutes. Push vegetables to one side of pot. Add tomato paste to cleared area and cook paste, stirring, 2 minutes, then stir into vegetables. Add vinegar and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in wine, bay leaves, and thyme and boil until wine is reduced by about two thirds, 10 to 12 minutes. Add broth to pot along with water, beef, and any juices from platter and bring to a simmer. Cover and braise in oven until meat is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Set a large colander in a large bowl. Pour stew into colander. Return pieces of meat to pot, then discard remaining solids. Let cooking liquid stand 10 minutes. Cook potatoes and carrots: While beef braises, peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch-wide wedges. Slice carrots diagonally (1- inch). Add potatoes and carrots to stew (make sure they are submerged) and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes and carrots are tender, about 40 minutes. NOTE: Stew improves in flavor if made at least 1 day ahead. Chill (covered once cool) up to 5 days. Reheat, covered, over medium heat or in a 350°F oven.


Ingredients • salmon fillet • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil • Smoked Salt to taste • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Place the salmon fillets in a shallow bowl. Toss well with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Let rest for 15 minutes. 2. Cook the salmon, skinside down in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, shaking the pan and carefully lifting the salmon with a spatula to loosen it from the pan. 3. Reduce the heat to medium. Cover the pan and cook until the salmon is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more. The skin should be crisp and the flesh medium rare. 4. Serve over the roasted pureed cauliflower

ROASTED AND PUREED CAULIFLOWER Ingredients • 1 head cauliflower, core removed, cut into florets • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 2 cups whole milk • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter • 1/2 bunch chives, minced for garnish (optional) Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a sheet tray, spread 1/4 of the florets with the oil, season with salt and bake until caramelized, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, combine remaining cauliflower, milk and half a teaspoon of salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a simmer, cover, and cook until cauliflower is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Strain cauliflower from milk mixture, reserving both. Transfer cauliflower to a blender. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and butter to the blender. Add a bit of of the reserved milk liquid (half cup ish). Secure top on blender and puree mixture until smooth. If mixture is too thick, thin by adding some of the remaining liquid. Season, to taste. Serve in a large serving bowl topped with caramelized florets and chives.


Ingredients: • 2 cups farro, rinsed and drained • 2 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt • 5 cups water (or stock) • 3 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice • 3 spring onions cut into 1/8ths • 4 x 1- to 1 1/2-inch-diameter beets, tops trimmed to 1 inch • Avocados peeled, and roughly chopped • • • • • • •

1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, minced 1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1 cup walnuts, deeply toasted (optional) 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled (or any other cheese you may like)

Preheat oven to 375. Combine the farro, salt, and water in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the farro is tender, 45 minutes to an hour, or about half the time if you are using semi-pearled farro. Taste often as it is cooking, you want it to be toothsome and retain structure. Remove from heat, drain any excess water, and set aside. While the farro is cooking toss the squash, onion, and marjoram with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a couple big pinches of salt on a rimmed baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer and place in the oven for about 20 minutes. Toss the squash and onions every 5-7 minutes to get browning on multiple sides. Remove from the oven, let cool a bit, and mince just 1/2 of the red onions. Arrange beets in single layer in 8 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish. Drizzle with vegetable oil. Cover with foil and roast until beets are tender, about 45 minutes. Cool. Trim beets; peel. Cut each beet into 6 to 8 wedges. In a large bowl gently toss everything (except the goat cheese) with the extra virgin olive oil and minced sage. Taste and add a bit of salt if necessary. Serve family-style in a simple bowl or on a platter garnished with the goat cheese.


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter 4 medium carrots, peeled, chopped 3/4 cup chopped purple torpedo onion (or regular onions) 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh Marjoram 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds 5 cups (or more) chicken broth

Melt 1/4 cup butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add carrots, onion, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon thyme and fennel seeds; stir to coat. Cover; cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add 5 cups broth. Bring to simmer. Cover partially; simmer until carrots are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Cool slightly. Working in batches, purée soup in blender. Return to pan. Thin to desired consistency with more broth. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and chill.) Bring soup to simmer. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with additional thyme


Though radicchio is undeniably a leafy green of the chicory family, it has the structure and character necessary to stand up to being fried, and if you don't know what it is the first time you encounter it you may not guess. But you will want more. Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 3/4 lbs radicchio 1 cup flour 1 cup beer ***** 1 egg, separated Oil for frying Salt & Pepper to taste. Preparation: Cut the radicchio into thin wedges. Prepare a thin batter with the beer, flour, yolk, salt and pepper. Whip the white to soft peaks and fold it into the batter. Dredge the radicchio in the batter, fry it until crisp golden brown, drain it well on absorbent paper, and serve it hot. The wine? A crisp dry white.

Gabriele's Tuscan Box Numero Due