Homegrown Corn Salad with Feta & Herbs

Finally! Eckert’s homegrown corn is ready for the pickin’. Did you know Eckert’s corn is so tender that you don’t even have to cook it? My kids love to cruise down the hill from our house on the golf cart and pick it and eat it directly in the field.

corn salad ingredients

We have several different plantings of sweet corn and each planting can be picked for about three weeks. Staggered planting times, called succession plantings, allows us to have homegrown corn for pick-your-own and store sales from now until early September. And, boy are we grateful for the recent rains that are allowing all of our crops to grow and thrive in spite of the extreme summer heat.

Corn Salad

I love this recipe for Homegrown Corn Salad with Feta & Herbs which features corn cut fresh from the cob and I made it for the Eckert family’s 4th of July gathering on Monday. We met at Chris’ parents house on the Millstadt farm for a delicious family meal of fresh picked farm fruits and veggies and grilled meats from Eckert’s butchers. It was a yummy start to our evening of family conversations and an awesome fireworks show.

Come on out and pick some corn this summer at Eckert’s! You will be a-maze-d how good it is fresh from the field.

Eat well this summer, Angie

corn salad with feta and herbs

Ingredients

6 ears of corn
6 oz feta cheese crumbles
1 small spring onion or ½ shallot, finely sliced
1/3 cup kalamata olives
1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. white vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of Kosher salt
1-2 Tbs. parsley
1-2 Tbs. tarragon

Instructions

Cut corn from the cob with a knife. Using the back of the knife, scrape the cob to release any “corn milk.” Place corn in a medium bowl and add feta, onion or shallot, and olives. Drizzle vinegar and oil on top. Toss to coat. Add salt to taste and toss herbs in gently. Makes 8 servings.

Chicken Kabobs

Happy almost 4th of July! I bet you will be grilling this weekend so I decided to share a yummy kabob recipe this week. Eckert’s salad dressings make terrific marinades for pork and chicken kabobs. For this recipe, I used our Creamy Vidalia Onion Dressing but there are many more to choose from in our Country Store. The dressing gives the chicken a mild flavor, no worries, it will not be overly “oniony.” In fact, my kids didn’t even realize onions were involved!

fresh cut vegetables

Our homegrown veggies are abundant this week and I have been making salads every day with our farm grown squash, kale, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, garlic and turnips. This kabob recipe calls for cherry tomatoes, squash, onions, zucchini and Eckert’s hand trimmed chicken breast. I began by marinating the chicken and veggies separately in Eckert’s Creamy Vidalia Onion Dressing for a few hours. Then I carefully threaded the veggies and chicken on metal kabob skewers. I prefer to put the veggies together on the ends of the kabobs and the chicken in the middle because it prevents the chicken from getting dried out on the grill.

kabobs ready for the grill

Next I hand the kabobs off to Chris, my grill master, and I go to work on sides. This week I have been enjoying Tomato Mozzarella Salad and Judy’s Creamy Tomato and Cucumber Salad. The kids have been devouring sliced blackberries (yes, you have to slice them because they are HUGE) and peaches tossed with tiny bit of sugar. You know it’s summer at the Eckert house when you have three colorful, fresh-picked side salads on the table!

chicken kabobs on the grill

Wishing you and your family a happy and safe 4th of July. If you are looking for something fun to do, come pick blackberries and veggies this week or weekend!

Eat well this summer, Angie

Grilled Chicken Kabobs

Ingredients

1 ½ lb Eckert’s Chicken Breast (about 3), cut into 2 inch pieces
1 cup Eckert’s Creamy Vidalia Onion Dressing
1 small homegrown zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small homegrown summer squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups homegrown cherry or grape tomatoes
2 homegrown spring onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 Kabob Skewers

Instructions

In a glass bowl or zip top bag, combine chicken and ½ cup dressing, toss to coat. In another bowl or zip top bag, place vegetables and remaining ½ cup dressing, toss to coat. Refrigerate chicken and vegetables for at least 2-4 hours. Thread a skewer with 3” width of mixed vegetables, then thread a 3” width of chicken, and end with 3” width of vegetables. Repeat on remaining skewers. Discard remaining marinade. Grill kabobs on clean grates over medium-high heat for 12-16 minutes, turning multiple times throughout grilling time. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Three Cheese Blackberry Quesadilla with Peach Salsa
friends

It’s time to pick Eckert’s blackberries by the armload! There are more ripe blackberries in the patch than I have ever seen in my life and I am so excited about our record crop. When KSDK’s Show Me St. Louis crew came out this week to film a recipe, it was a no brainer… Three Cheese Blackberry Quesadilla with Peach Salsa was on the tip of my tongue, literally.

After picking a box of blackberries in under 5 minutes, I headed back to our cooking classroom to assemble my lunch. This recipe is perfect for a light lunch or as an appetizer before dinner. The three cheeses provide an creamy and tangy base for sweet, juicy blackberries. Sometimes I make my own peach salsa from the Eckert Family Summer Cookbook but today I just used our jarred peach salsa. It is a customer favorite and saved me some prep time. My fresh-picked lunch was so fast and oh so delicious, I couldn’t stop eating it.

I hope you will give this recipe a try if you are looking to take blackberries beyond the dessert course!

Eat well this summer, Angie

Ingredients

1 (4-oz) goat cheese log, softened
1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup carrots, grated
8 (8-inch) soft flour tortillas or 10 (6-inch) tortillas
2 cups fresh blackberries, cut in thirds
½ cup Eckert’s Peach Salsa

Instructions

Stir together softened goat cheese, softened cream cheese, and Parmesan cheese until blended. Add grated carrots; mix well. Spread cheese mixture equally on 1 side of 4 tortillas; top with drained blackberries. Place remaining tortillas on top.
Cook quesadillas, in batches, in a lightly greased large nonstick skillet or an electric skillet over medium-high heat 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.Cut into wedges, and serve with Peach Salsa

Note: Cheese/carrot filling can be made 2-3 days ahead of time, covered and refrigerated. Remove from refrigerator about 1-hour before using to make it easier to spread.

Sauteed Kale with Garlic Scapes

Did anyone else make a resolution to eat more kale this year? I sure hope so! I have been seeing articles in magazines over the past few years identifying kale as one of the world’s healthiest foods because it is nutrient dense and low in calories. Raw kale is packed with even more than your recommended daily dose of Vitamins A, C and K along with a decent amount of other vitamins. It also offers protein and fiber without many calories.

kale-in-field

Have you ever heard of garlic scapes? Scape is a botanical term for a flower that produces its own stem, think daylily. Garlic scapes are treasured by professional chefs for their mild, unique flavor which I like to describe as a combination between green onions and garlic. We are growing garlic at Eckert’s and we allow some of the garlic to flower and produce scapes which can then be used to give a variety of dishes interesting flavor.

My favorite way to eat kale is fresh-picked and removed from it's stems. To make the texture of raw kale a little gentler, I fill a large bowl with kale leaves and massage a teaspoon of olive oil and kosher salt into the leaves before dressing it with one of my homemade salad dressings. Last night however, I tried a new recipe for Sauteed Kale and I enjoyed it tremendously in a combined bite of steamed potatoes and shaved Parmesan cheese. I began by harvesting kale and garlic from our Pick-Your-Own Vegetable Garden at Eckert’s in Belleville. As usual, I picked more kale than I needed because the kale is so beautiful and fun to snip! After a good rinse and pat dry, I stored my extra kale in a zip-top bag in the refrigerator (it will be good for up to 2 weeks).

ingredients for sauteed kale

At the stove top, I sautéed garlic cloves and very thin slices of garlic scape in olive oil for a few minutes so that they could flavor of the olive oil. Then I added the wine and the kale in two batches, allowing it to reduce so that the whole bunch would fit in the skillet. After a few minutes and a taste test, I was ready to add the vinegar, salt and pepper. I then tossed the gorgeous bright green kale before removing it from the heat. Just before serving, I sprinkled a very light dusting of sugar. In my opinion, this step nicely tempers the bitterness of cooked kale.

sauteed kale

To complete the plate, I served my sautéed kale with steamed potatoes, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and grilled chicken from our meat department. If you are looking for a healthy meal and an interesting way to enjoy fresh kale, give this recipe a try!

Eat well this summer, Angie


Ingredients

¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 garlic scape, cut thin on an angle (stem only, not the bud at the tip)
½ cup dry white wine or water
1 large bunch of Eckert’s kale, stripped from the stems and chopped roughly, about 6 cups
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
granulated sugar, to taste

Instructions

In a large sauté pan over medium, heat olive oil, garlic and garlic scapes for about 3 minutes. Add wine and half of kale, toss kale. After first half of kale has reduced, add remaining kale and toss gently. Cover pan and allow kale to reduce for 2-3 minutes. Note: If you start to see browning on the kale, turn off heat. Remove kale from heat and toss with vinegar, salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl and dust with sugar. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.

Summer Veggie & Sausage Pizza

I am in love with this recipe for Summer Veggie and Sausage Pizza with Kale Pesto! Chris and I devoured our slices last night with a glass of Pinot Noir. Oh my!!! We liked it so much, we will be featuring this recipe in the upcoming Wine in the Vineyard classes.

Our whole family looks forward to hosting Wine in the Vineyard annually. This one-of-a-kind event starts in Eckert’s classroom followed by a wagon ride to the vineyard adjacent to our home. Guests will adore sitting outdoors with an excellent view of the farm and vineyard while enjoying wine and food pairings. Our kids are super pumped about serving food that night and they will look so adorable in Eckert’s aprons!

This week I have been pondering recipes for Wine in the Vineyard and I really wanted to find a unique way to serve our farm grown veggies. In June, we harvest onions, garlic, kale, turnips and beets. And while I couldn’t get all of those in this recipe, I think I did a pretty good job of incorporating many farm fresh flavors! I also had a notion to include our house made polish sausage to compliment the veggies.

grilled-onions

Chris grilled the onions for me while I browned the sausage and whirled together the kale pesto. This was my first attempt at kale pesto and it is divine. My mind is wandering about pesto kale on chicken, potatoes and noodles….

kale-pesto

After the onions were cool, we sliced and topped the pizza with onion slices, raw corn, sausage and thin slices of Havarti and popped it in the oven.

summer-veggie-pizza

Our family has been enjoying Eckert’s gluten free pizza crust so that is what I used here. Your favorite crust could easily be substituted. And if you would rather not turn on the oven, you can also grill this pizza directly on the grates.  Either way you spin it, your yummy and unique pizza will undoubtedly impress the adventurous pizza lover!

Eat well this (almost) summer, Angie


Click here to make reservations for our special Wine in the Vineyards class

Ingredients

Kale Pesto
2 cups kale leaves, ribs removed and leaves chopped
1 tsp. Kosher salt
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup toasted almond slivers
2 garlic cloves
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 links Eckert’s fresh polish sausage (about 1 lb)
2 ears of corn, kernels sliced from the cob
3 spring onions with green tops
1-2 Tbs. olive oil
10 oz deli Havarti cheese, sliced thin
2 Eckert’s 12” Gluten Free Frozen Pizza Crust (or sub your favorite crust)

Instructions

Preheat grill to high heat and oven to 400 degrees. Remove sausage from the casings. In a small non-stick skillet, brown sausage until all pink is gone. Pulse kale and salt in a food processor until finely chopped (it will resemble pesto). Add oil to processor and pulse 4-5 times. Add almonds, garlic and Parmesan and pulse until well combined. Cut onions in half lengthwise, rub with olive oil and grill over high heat  for 5-8 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before carefully slicing onion tops and bulbs. Spread crusts evenly with kale pesto. Distribute grilled onion pieces, corn and browned sausage evenly on top of pesto. Top with Havarti slices. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

 

Roasted Asian Spring Asparagus

The spring harvest of green asparagus has been excellent this year! My family has been making asparagus at least 3 times a week for dinner and believe it or not, it is the one vegetable both kids are excited to see on the dinner table.

I prefer to oven roast asparagus. I find the flavor is more intense and it makes for easy clean up when you use a pan lined in foil or parchment paper. Usually, I roast asparagus with olive oil and a sprinkle of Kosher salt but, when I am craving more complex flavors, I make Roasted Asian Spring Asparagus. This recipe paired with teriyaki marinated chicken breast and grilled pineapple makes for a delicious spring meal!

Eat well this spring,

Angie


Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 pound homegrown asparagus spears
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds toasted*
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons Eckert’s Pure Honey
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce or Tamari sauce
  • Dash of hot chili sauce such as Sriracha (optional)

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Wash asparagus and trim ends as far down as they snap easily (1-2 inches). Place asparagus on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking pan. Drizzle oil on asparagus and roll to coat stalks and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Arrange asparagus in single layer and roast 8-10 minutes, or until a fork pierces the stalks with little resistance.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, honey, soy sauce and hot sauce (if using). Drizzle on roasted asparagus and serve immediately.
  3. Make 4-5 servings
  4. *To toast sesame seeds, preheat oven to 350-degrees. Place sesame seeds in 4-ounce oven safe custard dish or ramekin. Roast 3-4 minutes or until the seeds are just starting to lightly brown. Remove immediately and cool.

 

 

 

Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Strawberry season is winding down at Eckert’s and I am trying to make the most of it by eating more than my fair share of fresh picked and sliced berries with a little dash of sugar. Today I decided to get a little fancier though by baking a strawberry cake for an afternoon party.

It’s hard to find a strawberry cake recipe that doesn’t call for a cake mix and I was determined to find one to break in my new personalized 9” x 13” baking pan! I searched all my cookbooks thinking I could find a scratch strawberry cake to no avail. After perusing some recipe blogs online however, I was thrilled to find a Strawberry Sheet Cake recipe from a blog called the Homesick Texan. I love her recipe because it is a strawberry version of the classic Texas Sheet Cake, one of my family’s favorite cakes!

I modified this recipe a bit by removing the lime from the frosting and using a gluten-free flour instead. After baking the cake, my whole house smelled like sweet, buttery goodness so much that I just wanted to take a bite of the air!
Today we celebrated a dear employee who is headed off to another state (We will miss you dearly Gail!!) This cake was a hit at our delicious buffet of celebratory desserts. Fresh strawberries are always a delight but I was glad I had a little extra time today to whip up this scrumptious cake instead.

If you are looking for a yummy strawberry cake, made from scratch, give this recipe a try!

Eat well this spring,

Angie


Ingredients

Scratch Strawberry Cake

  • 3 cups hulled and chopped strawberries
  • 2 cups of sugar plus 2 teaspoons, divided
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour*
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk**
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla
     

Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup crushed strawberries (from above)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

 

Instructions

Scratch Strawberry Cake

  1. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of sugar and 1/4 cup of water over chopped strawberries. Let them sit for one hour at room temperature so they can release some of their juices. In a blender or food processor, crush the berries on a low speed for a few seconds. They should be juicy but still have some texture. Separate 1/2 cup of the strawberry mixture and set aside for the frosting.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine sugar and flour.
  4. Melt the butter on low in a saucepan, remove from heat. Whisk in eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and baking soda into the saucepan with the butter. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl with the sugar and flour and stir. Add in one cup of the crushed strawberry mixture and stir until well incorporated.
  5. Pour batter into greased 9x13 inch pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center and cake is well-browned. Let it cool completely before frosting.

    Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
     
  6. With a stand or hand mixer, whip cream cheese and butter until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar until blended. Add the strawberries and vanilla. Spread over cooled cake. (If the icing is runny due to extra juicy strawberries, add a few more tablespoons of cream cheese to thicken it up.) Serve immediately or chill until serving time.
  7. *I made this recipe gluten free by substituting “Cup 4 Cup Flour.”
  8. **I made my own buttermilk by placing 1½ teaspoons white vinegar in a ½ cup measuring cup and filling the remaining space with 2% milk.
  9. This recipe originally found on www.homesicktexan.com and adapted slightly.

 

 

 

Eckert’s Fresh Strawberry Salsa with Baked Cinnamon Crisps

Who doesn’t love fresh fruit salsa?! This time of year, Ella and I love to make Strawberry Salsa with fresh pickin’s from the fields. Although the recipe is quite simple, you will be delighted by the complexity of flavors. We often serve it with our fresh made deli chips but if you are looking for something a little sweeter, try our recipe for Baked Cinnamon Crisps made from flour tortillas.

It has been raining quite a bit this week on the farm so we are very happy to see the sun today! Luckily our berries didn’t let the rain get the best of them thanks to our growing method called “plasticulture.” In plasticulture, strawberry plants are grown in raised beds of soil covered with a thin layer of plastic. The raised beds help drain excess moisture away from the plants preventing the berries from sitting in puddles of water during periods of rain. The plastic is also a great way to control weeds in the patch and to warm up the soil for optimum plant growth.  Thank goodness the sun came out today to ipen up lots of strawberries for this upcoming weekend.

Strawberry season will only last another week here at Eckert’s so hurry on over and pick some in our patch or grab trays of already picked berries from our Country Store in Belleville.  View Crop Updates for crop availability and hours.

And, if you happen to be awake bright and early this weekend, catch Ella and I making this recipe on FOX 2 on Sunday May 22, 2016 at 6:30am!

Eat well this spring,

Angie


Ingredients

For Cinnamon Crisps:

  • 5 flour tortillas (we used 6 inch)
  • Spray oil
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
     

For Salsa:

  • 2 cups finely chopped Eckert's strawberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped avocado (about 1/2)
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 seeded jalapeno pepper, finely chopped, optional
  • 2 tsp Eckert's Pure Honey
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

 

Instructions

  1. To make cinnamon crisps, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each tortilla into 8 wedges and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Spray with oil. Combine 1 Tbsp granulated sugar with cinnamon. Sprinkle wedges with sugar-cinnamon mixture. Bake for 10-15 minutes until browned.
  2. To make salsa, in a medium bowl, gently combine ingredients. Allow flavors to blend for 30 minutes. Serve with baked cinnamon crisps. Makes about 2 cups salsa. Serves 6 to 8.
Eckert’s Strawberry Chicken Salad

I have been baking all kinds of delicious strawberry sweets this week but I still can’t get enough of these spring jewels! So I decided it was time to incorporate berries into my lunch by making Eckert’s Strawberry Chicken Salad. We showcased this recipe in a recent Lunch and Learn class in our Cooking Classroom. It was love at first bite for our classroom guests! The sauce for the chicken salad adds a hit of sweetness, cayenne gives it a gentle kick and the fresh fruit makes it downright irresistible.

To save on prep time, I like to use already cooked chicken from our deli department and simply cube it. The amounts of the salad ingredients hardly need to be measured. Feel free to adjust them to your preference of fruit verses chicken. I like to serve this salad with Eckert’s fresh baked bread or on a bed of spring greens for those who prefer a low carb lunch.
If you are looking for a new way to enjoy fresh picked Eckert’s strawberries, give this recipe a try!

Eat well this spring,

Angie


Ingredients

  • 3 cups Eckert's stemmed sliced strawberries (clean and slice just before serving)
  • 3 cups medium diced cooked deli chicken
  • 2 to 3 stalks finely chopped celery
  • 1 stem with leaves finely chopped lovage (perennial herb) or 1/4 cup chopped celery leaves
  • 2 to 3 sprigs chopped mint leaves
  • 2 Eckert's spring onions (or green onion tops), chopped
  • 2 cups seedless grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup regular mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup plain regular or Greek yogurt or dairy sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Dash of dried cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds or chopped pecans, optional
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 to 3 tablespoons)
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 4 to 5 slices Eckert's Irish Soda or Hummingbird Bread*

 

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl place chicken, celery, lovage, mint, onions, and grapes. Gently stir. Set aside. In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, yogurt, cream, cayenne pepper, brown sugar and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to set 10 to 15 minutes to blend flavors. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  2. Add dressing to the chicken mixture. Gently stir. Recipe can be covered and refrigerated for 48 hours before serving. Fold in sliced strawberries when ready to serve. Serve chicken salad with bread slices. Garnish with whole strawberries cut in half.
  3. *Recipe is for an open-faced sandwich. Add another slice of bread if desired.
  4. Makes 4 to 5 servings
Mile High Strawberry Pie
strawberry-pie-slice.jpg

Happy Mother's Day week! Our farm is buzzing with activity as we set up for our first weekend of Pick-Your-Own Strawberries, rides and a petting zoo for kids, delicious meals for everyone in our restaurant and a greenhouse bursting with blooms all at our Belleville location. I cannot wait for the weekend to get here! This week, I also wanted to test a recipe I had tucked away for Mile High Strawberry Pie before making it on Mother's Day for my mom. As with most recipes, we had to make it several times and tweak the ingredients to get to our most successful version. Boy, did our store staff love being a part of our sampling sessions! Thanks to lots of trial and error and input from our fellow baking friends, we revised the original recipe to arrive at this this deliciousness!

The big trick is to whip the ingredients for the full 20 minutes as the recipe calls for. Don't cut this step short or you will miss out on maximum fluffiness!! Another cool tip regarding blind (empty) pie crusts baking came from one our sales reps who is a second generation baker. He recommends baking empty pie shells upside down (see photo). Place a pie pan on both sides of the pie dough and bake it inverted the pan. This allows gravity to do a little work for you and reduces the amount the pie shell shrinks around the pan rim. Cool huh?

pie tin

I hope you will give this recipe a try with your fresh Eckert's strawberries. It makes enough filling for the pie and a few extra bowls of crust-less fluffiness the kids (or your gluten-free friends) will adore. Happy Mother's Day!

Eat well this spring,

Angie


Ingredients

  • 1 (9-inch) prebaked Eckert’s Pie Crust, cooled to room temperature


Strawberry filling:

  • 2 cups (½ quart or ¾ pounds) Eckert’s strawberries, washed and hulled, coarsely diced
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice

Cream filling:

  • 1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbs. powdered sugar (sift first if clumpy)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
     

Instructions

  1. Pre-chill a 3 quart glass or stainless steel empty bowl.
  2. Combine granulated sugar and cream of tartar in a clean, dry 4 quart glass or stainless steel bowl. Add diced strawberries, egg whites and lemon juice. Beat on low speed about 2 to 3 minutes. Increase speed to high and beat for 15 to 20 minutes or until the mixture has quadrupled in volume and is very high, light and fluffy.
  3. In the chilled 3 quart bowl, add powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat whipping cream mixture until stiff peaks form, about 5 to 6 minutes. Gently fold whipped mixture into the strawberry filling mixture.
  4. Immediately pour mixture into cooled pie shell, reserving about 3 cups of the strawberry mixture. Freeze pie immediately. With the remaining 3 cups, pour into small freezer proof containers, cover and freeze.
  5. Remove the frozen pie or cups from the freezer about 1 hour before serving. Garnish with fresh strawberries.
  6. Makes 1 pie (6 to 8 servings) plus 6 mini cups (1/2 cup).
  7. Note: This filling is very flexible and does not have to be a ‘true pie’. It can be poured into a 9 x 13 pan and served as a crustless, frozen strawberry dessert as well.
Strawberry Caprese Salad
Strawberry-Caprese-Salad-2.jpg
kids on cart

Spring is officially here! The kids took the golf cart out on the farm for a cruise and came back with a beautiful bowl of Eckert’s strawberries!! I was one happy momma.After a quick rinse, we sliced the little red beauties and served them over custard immediately. Yummo!! Later in the afternoon, I tossed together this bright and cheery spring salad for dinner. I love to make Strawberry Caprese Salad with Aunt Helen’s Sweet Vinaigrette Dressing. This recipe is a sweet twist on the traditional Caprese Salad that uses tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.

If you find yourself without Aunt Helen’s Dressing, this recipe for blush vinaigrette will work too: In a jam jar, combine 1/3 cup red wine vinegar and  ¼ cup each fresh lemon juice, granulated sugar and canola oil. Shake well.

oh so juicy

We will have our strawberries for sale in the store very, very soon! Be sure to check our crop update box on our website for the most up to date info:

http://www.eckerts.com/

Eat well this spring,

Angie


Ingredients

  • 8 oz farfalline pasta, or other very small pasta
  • 6 to 8 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella pearls, or 1 large mozzarella ball, cubed
  • ½ cup fresh snipped basil
  • ½ cup fresh snipped parsley
  • 1 cup Aunt Helen’s Sweet Vinaigrette Dressing
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste


Instructions

  1. Cook pasta until al dente following package instructions. Drain pasta and immediately rinse with cold water to stop pasta from further cooking. In a large bowl, toss pasta with strawberries, mozzarella, fresh basil and parsley. Drizzle dressing over salad. Gently toss. Add salt and pepper to taste. If making a day or two ahead, reserve fresh basil and strawberries, adding about 2 to 3 hours before ready-to-serve. Makes about 8 to 10 servings.
Poached Chicken with Asparagus and Herb Mayonnaise
finished-dish.jpg
chicken and asparagus
chicken and asparagus

A few months ago in the cooking classroom, the kids’ class instructors were testing a recipe with poached chicken. That sparked an interesting conversion about poaching (or cooking something in liquid). Why don't we use this incredibly versatile technique more often? Eggs aside, poaching gets little mention in today's recipes. Yet, poaching is an excellent technique for cooking proteins without additional fats or oils. This recipe calls for chicken breast and fresh asparagus. After poaching, Eckert’s trimmed chicken breasts turn out incredibly tender while the asparagus maintains some crispness. These clean flavors are complimented by an easily-assembled herb mayo to make a stunning spring dish for an upscale lunch or dinner.

ingredients sized
ingredients sized

Our Garden Center is brimming with herb plants this spring meaning you can easily select your favorite herbs of choice for the herb mayo. I am partial to this combo of tarragon (a perennial herb), dill and parsley (biennial herbs), but basil is also an excellent choice. Have a little fun here trying different combinations of herbs and making notes on your favorite picks!!

If you are looking for a recipe to celebrate the spring season, give poaching a try and let the fresh flavors of asparagus and herbs shine!

Eat well this spring,

Angie


Ingredients

Salt and pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 2 lbs)
1 1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed*
1/2 cup mayonnaise
6 Tbs. chopped fresh herbs (ex: 2 Tbsp each: dill, tarragon, parsley)
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice

Note: Asparagus spears of medium thickness work best in this recipe.
 

Instructions

  1. Bring two cups water and 1 tablespoon salt to boil in 12-inch skillet. Add chicken, reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, until chicken registers 160 degrees, 12 to 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through cooking. Transfer to platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil.
  2. Add asparagus to skillet, cover, and simmer until tender and bright green, about 4 minutes, redistributing once during cooking. Transfer to serving platter with chicken.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk mayonnaise, dill, tarragon, parsley, mustard, and lemon juice together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon herbed mayonnaise over chicken and serve with asparagus.
  4. Serves 4.
Chicken, Potato and Asparagus Sheet Pan Dinner
sheet-pan-dinner.jpg
fresh cut veggies
fresh cut veggies

Is anyone else pinning sheet pan dinners like crazy? For the last 3 months, I have been stumbling across recipes for sheet-pan dinners in the local newspaper, on social media and in my various food magazines. Recently, after much experimentation, I combined a few of them to create my own variation called Chicken, Potato and Asparagus Sheet Pan Dinner.

chicken marinade
chicken marinade

This recipe can be made in one pan but to ensure all the ingredients are baked to perfection, you will need to add them to the pan at different times. I tried lots of sheet pan recipes and ended up with overcooked chicken, under-cooked potatoes and stringy veggies along the way. I think this recipe is a home-run! The marinade offers the chicken a mild garlic flavor and some complexity from the mustard and vinegar. Giving the potatoes a jump start on the cooking process ensures a tender, creamy texture and adding the asparagus and red pepper towards the end means your veggies will be tender but maintain a bit of crunch.

If you are looking to get on the sheet pan dinner bandwagon, give this recipe a try. I am sure your family will love it as much as mine did!

Eat well this Spring, Angie

P.S. Homegrown Asparagus Season is just around the corner. Stay tuned!


Ingredients

Marinade:

  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. Eckert’s Pure Honey
  • 1 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • Sheet pan ingredients:
  • 1 ½ lbs. red potatoes (about 2” in diameter), quartered
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 2 lbs.)
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, cut in 2” pieces
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and julienned

 

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together ingredients for the marinade. Place chicken breasts down in bowl of marinade and refrigerate for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Flip chicken breast over once or twice during the marinade cycle.
  2. While chicken is marinating, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place red potatoes on pan and drizzle and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to preference. Bake potatoes for 20 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and lay chicken breast on top of potatoes. Discard marinade. Bake 12 minutes and remove pan from oven.
  3. Finally, drizzle remaining olive on cut asparagus and red pepper before adding to the pan. Place asparagus and peppers on top of the chicken and potatoes on the pan. Salt and pepper to preference. Return pan to the oven and bake an additional 12 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165. Makes 4-5 servings.
Eckert's Honey Mustard Vinaigrette Dressing
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Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing
Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing

If you are looking for the secret to an amazing salad, my advice is to make your own dressing! I am a big fan of homemade dressing whether dinner is just for the four of us or a big group. I think a spectacular salad sets the stage for a memorable meal!

Hanging just inside my pantry, is my go-to reference sheet of more than 20 dressing recipes. The recipes call for a variety of vinegars, sweeteners and oils that I regularly stock at home to make it easy to assemble them in a matter of minutes.

Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing Ingredients
Homemade Honey Mustard Dressing Ingredients

This recipe for Honey Mustard Vinaigrette is one of my favorites. I use it often with combinations of salad greens, fruits and nuts. Since the dressing has a pleasant tanginess, it is an ideal match for sweet dried or fresh fruits like strawberries, apples and raspberries.

I start by plating my greens and salad toppings on a large platter. Next, I combine the dressing ingredients in a canning jar and shake to combine. When I entertain a crowd, I make this dressing an hour or two ahead and store on the counter in the jar until just before serving. I give it good shake before drizzling it on the salad at serving time.

I hope you will try this dressing recipe featuring Eckert’s Pure Honey next time you need a spectacular salad around your dinner table!

Click here to see how quick & easy this recipe is to make!

Eat well this spring,

Angie


Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs. white vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. minced shallots
  • 1 tsp. Eckert’s pure honey
  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

 

Instructions

  1. In a fruit jar, combine ingredients and shake vigorously until emulsified. Serve your favorite greens salad. Makes dressing for 4 side salads.

My favorite way to enjoy this dressing is by tossing it with salad greens, dried or fresh fruit, walnuts and feta cheese.

Mini Quiches and Oven-Baked Bacon
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Mini Quiche Bites
Mini Quiche Bites

Easter is almost here, do you have all of your recipes ready? Chris and I celebrate with both sides of our family. We head to my mom’s for Easter brunch and hunt for eggs with names on them (each cousin gets exactly the same amount this way). Then we head over to Chris’ moms for Easter lunch and a family scavenger egg hunt on Eckert’s Millstadt farm. So fun!

Ingredients for Quiche Bites
Ingredients for Quiche Bites

This year, I will be making Mini Quiches and Oven-Baked Bacon for our breakfast. When I visited the KSDK's kitchen this past week, I made both of these recipes for Show-Me St. Louis. I thought it would be perfect for viewers because it is so versatile and adaptable. I like to make a batch with herbs and aged cheddar for the adults while kids tend to prefer the classic ham and cheddar cheese. But what kids like best about this recipe is that they can grab one as they run through the kitchen while still chasing their cousins!

Since you are warming up the oven anyway, why not throw in some bacon too? Oven-baked bacon is a breeze and it can bake at the same time as the quiches. If you are looking to do a little night before prep, roll out your bread the night before and store it in an air tight container or bag. You can also chop the ham and shred the cheese the night before.

Give this recipe a try if you are looking for a unique breakfast for Easter or any day. I hope you and your family have a very happy Easter!! [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:101] Eat well this Spring,

Angie


Ingredients

  • Loaf of Eckert’s Country White Bread
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup finely chopped ham
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
     

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray mini muffin tin with non-stick spray. Cut crust off bread. Roll bread flat with a rolling pin (this is a great job for kids!). Cut bread in half and lace into the tins. Gently press the bread to fill the muffin cup. Tuck bread under if sticking up or trim excess with a scissors. Top bread with a sprinkle of ham and a sprinkle of cheese. In a 4-cup bowl, mix eggs, cream and milk until combined. Pour egg mixture into a 4 cup pitcher for easy filling. Fill cups with egg mixture. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top. Check for doneness by sticking a thin knife tip into the custard. The knife should come out clean. Remove from oven. Place on a wire cooling rack. Allow to rest about 5 minutes. Using a thin tipped knife remove each quiche from the cups. Serve warm with Eckert’s salsa or a dollop of guacamole. Makes: 2 dozen
  2. *Optional add-ins: Add 1/4 cup cooked finely chopped broccoli florets, 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, 2-3 slices cooked crumbled bacon. Fresh chopped herbs like dill, chives and parsley also make a nice addition. Mix all together in a 4-cup pitcher.

    Oven-Baked Bacon
  3. Place oven racks in middle position. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. (Or you can use a baking rack within a pan.)
  4. Place strips of bacon in rows without touching. Bake 20 minutes or until the desired crispness. Remove bacon to a paper towel–lined plate; blot dry and let cool.
Mini Macaroni Bites
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Cheese Ingredients for Homemade Mac n Cheese
Cheese Ingredients for Homemade Mac n Cheese
3 Cheese Sauce for Mac n' Cheese
3 Cheese Sauce for Mac n' Cheese

This fun little appetizer was my top pick for a baby shower I planned to host at my house this past Sunday for my dear friend. Well, her sweet baby boy had a different agenda and he came into the world at 4 am on the day of the intended party! Thankfully he is healthy and the whole family is doing well. Needless to say, however, the shower was cancelled and my frig was full of goodies ready to serve to a crowd, including these Mini Macaroni Bites. Thank goodness we have a big family and it only takes a few last minute texts to round up an eager crew. Chris put a roast in the oven, my sister-in-law brought over a salad and we ate my appetizers for dinner instead! I appreciate this recipe because you can make it with traditional noodles and all-purpose flour or you can turn it in to a gluten-free delight by substituting gluten free noodles and “Cup 4 Cup” flour. No one in our crew could tell I made mine gluten-free.

Pan Prep for Mac n' Cheese Recipe
Pan Prep for Mac n' Cheese Recipe

I made the cheese sauce and noodle mixture the night before and refrigerated the mac in my mini muffin tins. Then on Sunday, I simply had to pop them in oven to finish them off. I love the taste of creamy three-cheese macaroni so this recipe is an all-around hit with me!

Mac n Cheese Bites
Mac n Cheese Bites

If you are looking for a kid friendly appetizer you can make the night before, this recipe is for you. I think it is a fabulous choice for upcoming Easter brunches and gatherings.

Eat well this spring, Angie P.S. We are quickly approaching peach bloom on the farm, albeit two weeks earlier than last year. We sure hope Mother Nature will be gentle in the coming week as the peaches bloom. Freezing temperatures mean frozen peach buds and that is heartbreaking. Get ready to see some of the prettiest pink bloom pictures in next week’s blog post and in the meantime, please think warm thoughts for Eckert’s peaches!!


Ingredients

  • 8 oz of uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 ½ Tbs. unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz. deli-sliced American cheese
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • Pinch of salt
     

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook macaroni noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Brush three 12-cup mini muffin tins with butter. Sprinkle each pan with 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano and shake out the excess.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt 1 ½ tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add milk and whisk continuously until it boils, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and American cheese and whisk until melted. (Note: mixture will be thick but if it is too thick to stir, add more milk 1 tablespoons at a time until it can be stirred). Off the heat, stir in the egg yolk, paprika and salt. Then add the macaroni and stir to combine.
  4. Fill muffin cups to the top of the tin and pack them gently. Sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano cheese.
  5. Bake macaroni bites in for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes before transferring to a plate and serving. Makes 36 mini muffins.
  6. Notes: This recipe can be completely assembled ahead and refrigerated overnight before baking.
  7. This recipe can be made gluten-free by substituting Cup 4 Cup All-Purpose Flour and gluten free pasta. Milk will need to be increased to 1 cup.
  8. This recipe adapted was from Food & Wine magazine.
Perfect Hard-cooked Eggs
Easter throwback 2009 1.2
Easter throwback 2009 1.2

We are in the Easter spirit here in the House of Eckert! Ella is super excited about baby bunnies, chicks and ducks arriving on the farm this week. She has been counting down the days to their arrival for over a month now. We’ve decorated the house with our collection of beautifully hand-painted eggs from our dear friend Jeannie. We’ve perused through old Easter pics of the kids when they were toddlers and we have been googling creative methods to dye eggs! Ella wants to test a few dying techniques today after school, so I boiled some eggs this morning while the kids got ready for school. This recipe appears in the Eckert Family Spring Cookbook on page 48. It is hands-down the best way to make hard cooked eggs because the eggs turn out perfectly every time! Give this method a try this Easter Season!

Eat well this Spring, Angie

Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs

Hard Boiled Egg
Hard Boiled Egg

Place uncooked eggs in saucepan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add cold water to cover the eggs by 1 inch (do not cover pot). Heat saucepan over high heat to just boiling (just as large bubbles start to form). Remove from heat and cover. Let eggs stand in hot water for about 15 minutes. Gently remove eggs from water and serve warm, or cool completely under running water or in a bowl of ice water. Refrigerate when cooled.

How to Cook Hard Boiled Eggs
How to Cook Hard Boiled Eggs

Cooking eggs in hot, not boiling, water and cooling them immediately prevents the green ring from appearing around the yolk. Hard cooked eggs are easiest to peel after cooking and cooling.

 

Chef Lou's Maple Soy Vinaigrette
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This weekend, Eckert’s Country Store in Belleville will be hosting the 6th Annual Wine and Food Festival! I sure do hope you will join us for food, wine and beer tastings in our store. We will also host free cooking demos in the cooking classroom. I am super excited that Chef Lou Rook III will be here on Saturday at 1pm. Chris and I have known Lou for years and his dishes are some of the most impressive in my culinary universe. Have you ever visited Annie Gunn’s in Chesterfield, MO? If your answer is no, it needs to be on your bucket list!!! And, it is best to plan ahead and get a reservation. Lou told me this week that business has been booming as usual around Annie’s!

Chef Lou's Maple Soy Vinaigrette Ingredients
Chef Lou's Maple Soy Vinaigrette Ingredients

Since we are harvesting hydroponic lettuce out of the greenhouse these days, I chose to make Chef’s Maple Soy Dressing this week. This dressing made me nervous at first. I have never used 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce in anything but after one dip into the lettuce, my taste buds were craving more. I love this dressing’s explosion of flavors that hit the tip of your tongue. I served mine drizzled on Eckert’s homegrown lettuce with a little goat cheese, sliced ripe pears, a handful of slivered almonds and finely sliced red onion. This salad was so delicious I could have done without my entrée for the evening!

Eckerts Hydroponic Lettuce
Eckerts Hydroponic Lettuce

Earlier this week, Lou and I visited FOX 2 News in St. Louis and he whipped together a couple of gorgeous dishes in 10 minutes flat. Come meet Lou at Eckert’s this Saturday.

Cheers to you! Angie


Ingredients

  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tbs. soy sauce (or Tamari)
  • 3 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. minced shallots
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Peppermill, to taste

 

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients except the salt, pepper and canola oil in a food processor or blender and turn on to “blend.” Make sure the cap is on the blender. Once blended, remove cap and drizzle the oil into the blender in steady stream while blending. Taste the dressing on a piece of lettuce, then adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Serve on Eckert’s Hydroponic Lettuce or Baby Greens
Shrimp Sauté with Butter and Wine
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Eckert’s 6th Annual Wine and Food Festival is coming up soon, March 5th and 6th to be exact! I have been looking through my folder called “ Cooking with Wine” and this recipe instantly made me hungry. My Shrimp Saute with Butter and Wine is just like Shrimp Scampi. It uses butter, lemon juice and dry white wine to create a thin but flavorful sauce for shrimp. Luckily, this recipe is surprisingly simple. I started by thawing shelled shrimp under running water (I used 24/26 count/size). Eckert’s frozen shrimp comes to us from Dixon Fisheries located in East Peoria, Illinois. If you happen to be in that neck of the woods, stop by and visit their retail store. Be sure to pack a cooler because you will not go home empty handed; the delicious fresh catch list is constantly changing!  Eckert’s has been offering seafood dips and frozen fish from Dixon for over 8 years. We respect their business practices and love cooking with the fresh products they fly in from all over the world.

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Once the shrimp are thawed, I place them on a cookie rack to allow the excess water to drain through to sheet pan beneath. Then I pat them dry with paper towels. Next, the butter and oil go into the skillet. Once they are foaming, it is time to add garlic and red pepper flakes. After that, place the shrimp in the pan and pour the wine and lemon juice over the top. Be careful here to watch the clock. Overcooked shrimp turns into chewy and tough shrimp!

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IMG_1667

After less than 6 minutes in the skillet, these delicious shrimp can be plated alone or served with rice, noodles or crusty bread. Make this recipe your own by experimenting with different amounts of garlic, lemon juice and red pepper.

I will be revisiting all kinds of wine recipes this week to have handy at our wine festival. I hope you can join us for wine samples, food samples, recipe ideas and more. Click here for more info on our Wine &  Food Festival.

Cheers to you! Angie


Ingredients

  • 1 – 1 1/4 lb frozen, shelled shrimp (tail on)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup Pinot Grigio or other dry, white wine
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped parsley
  • 2-4 Tbs. freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)

 

Instructions

  1. Thaw the shrimp under running water. Drain and pat dry. Heat a 12-14”stainless steel saucepan on medium heat. Swirl the olive oil and butter in the pan. After the butter melts and foams. Add a pinch of salt, garlic and red pepper flakes.
  2. Sauté the garlic for 1 minute, then add shrimp to the pan. Drizzle the wine and lemon juice over the shrimp. Increase heat to high and allow the wine to boil as the shrimp cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. When the shrimp are starting to show “pink,” flip the shrimp over. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes longer.
  4. Remove shrimp from the pan and cover to keep warm. Boil the sauce in the skillet for 2-3 more minutes to allow it to thicken slightly.
  5. Plate the shrimp, top with parsley and parmesan cheese. Drizzle shrimp with the pan sauce.
  6. Serves 4.
  7. * gluten-free recipe
Gnocchi and Eckert's Italian Sausage Skillet
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Eckert's Italian Sausage
Eckert's Italian Sausage

This time of year has me literally starving for homegrown flavors and thank goodness our butchers can come to the rescue! At Eckert’s, we buy local pork cuts and grind them to make a variety of fresh sausages on a daily basis. All are delicious, but this week I am adoring Eckert’s Italian Sausage for its flavor-forward fennel and pepper, among other spices. Our Italian sausage offers the perfect amount of seasoning to my Gnocchi and Eckert’s Italian Sausage Skillet recipe. I started by removing the sausage from the natural casing by cutting just into the casing along the sausage, lengthwise. Then, using gentle pressure, I peeled the casing back from the link and discarded the casing. Next, I cut the sausage links into ½” pieces and sautéed them in the skillet. Fortunately, the sausage pieces hold their shape as if they were patted into mini sausage meatballs.

Fresh Veggies
Fresh Veggies

Once the sausage is nicely browned in the skillet, the diced and minced veggies can be sautéed in the skillet with the sausage. Finally, the spinach and previously cooked gnocchi, along with the reserved pasta water can be added. Next, I stirred until the spinach has wilted. I believe every dish takes a notch up on the taste scale with a little fresh grated Parmesan so please consider this addition seriously!

Gnocchi Recipe
Gnocchi Recipe

Finally, divide the skillet sausage dish among four platters and serve. This dish will not disappoint! It offers a colorful presentation with a flavorful profile and it puts local meat in the spotlight.

Eat well this new year! Angie

Note: this recipe is gluten free!


Ingredients

  • 1 package of shelf-stable gnocchi (approximately 17.5 oz)
  • 4 links of Eckert’s Italian Sausage, casing removed, sliced 1/2” thick*
  • 1 medium sweet yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ½ yellow onion, cut into slivers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cup spinach
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste, optional

 

Instructions

  1. Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/3 cup cooking liquid. Set gnocchi and liquid aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook sausage slices for 5-6 minutes, turning once. When the sausage is no longer pint, add sweet pepper, onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes. Then add gnocchi, tomatoes, spinach and reserved liquid to skillet. Heat through, gently stirring mixture until spinach is wilted. Top with Parmesan. Serves 4-5.
  3. *To remove the casing from the sausage, use a sharp knife to cut just through the casing down the sausage lengthwise. Then, gently peel away the casing and slip the sausage link away from the thin casing. Discard casing and cut sausage into 1/2” slices.