Several months ago I was asked to contribute one of my recipes to a new cookbook. I took a look at the project and I was immediately drawn to the theme - recipes from different regions across the US. I gladly took part by sharing my Banana-Bourbon Scones with Walnuts.
After much anticipation, Country Comfort: Cooking Across America by Mary Elizabeth Roarke and Chef Nicole Roarke became available just a few weeks ago!
This is such a fun cookbook filled with recipes from chefs, bloggers and home cooks across the US, along with delicious recipes and tips from Chef Nicole. The book is split into 5 regions, and each has recipes for main courses, salads, sides and desserts.
This cookbook does not contain photos, and you know how much I love my photo-filled books. But honestly, it was easy for me to overlook. There are so many creative recipes in it that the more I read the more I have to make.
My scones can be found in the Southeast section, and my good friend Andrea's (of Food Embrace) Summer Corn Chowder and Kale Hash can be found in the Midwest. A few others that caught my eye - Shepherd's Pie with Herbed Mascarpone Polenta (Northeast), Carolina Sour Cream Pound Cake (Southeast), Chilled Pinot Noir and Door County Cherry Soup (Midwest) and Fingerling Potatoes in Smoked Gouda Cheese Sauce (Northwest).
I was excited to receive my copy last week. I quickly set out to make one of Chef Nicole's recipes from the Northwest featuring the state nut of Oregon, filberts (hazelnuts). This is the perfect winter salad. The spicy flavor of the fresh ginger in the dressings will warm you right up, while the kale and broccoli feel light and healthy. In addition to this salad, I can think of so many uses for this dressing. I loved it.
A couple notes. The recipe calls for blended oil which is explained more in the cookbook. It's basically two oils blended (such as soy and olive oils). Blended oil can be purchased or made at home. There are only a few oils I use in our kitchen (olive, virgin coconut and sesame) so I stuck with all olive oil along with the sesame the recipe calls for. And as hard as I try, I just don't like raisins in anything other than a baked good. I substituted dried cranberries, but I'm sure the golden raisins would be delicious if you enjoy them.
Kale and Hazelnut Salad with Sesame-Citrus Vinaigrette
Copyright © 2012 Mary Elizabeth Roarke and Nicole Roarke
Reprinted with permission
Serves 2; yields 1 cup dressing
Per her sister Liz’s request for a healthy lunch, Chef Nicole created a salad inspired by Oregon’s state nut, the hazelnut, also known as a filbert.
¼ cup sesame oil
½ cup blended oil (see my note above)
Paste from 1 clove garlic
Zest of ½ orange
Zest of ½ lemon
¼ cup segments and juice of 1–2 oranges
½ teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon turmeric
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 head kale, washed, ribs removed and discarded, and leaves sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 cup broccoli florets
1⁄8 cup thinly sliced red onion
¼ cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
¼ cup golden raisins
Combine both oils in a pourable liquid measuring cup, and set aside. Combine the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. To emulsify the dressing, vigorously whisk the mixture while slowly pouring the oils in a constant, steady stream (see tips on emulsification with Chef Nicole Roarke on YouTube).
Toss all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Prior to serving, add dressing to taste.