Santa Rosa blogger shares tips on how to eat like an Italian


To cook the polenta, Shick tends to make a vegetable inventory from the inexperienced section of the leeks, which adds taste though generating certain very little goes to squander. Then she cuts up the white aspect of the leeks, blanches them and sautees them with the green garlic.

“Some of them I set in the polenta when it’s accomplished,” she stated “And the relaxation I sprinkle on major.”

For the kohlrabi, which is nevertheless in year, she advises peeling it and slicing it thin, then throwing it raw into a salad with some mandarin oranges, herbs and balsamic vinegar.

“It’s seriously yummy, like a crunchy apple,” she stated of the kohlrabi. “Sometimes I like to blend the kohlrabi with fennel in a salad, primarily at the conclusion of the meal. It really cleanses the palate.”

There are continue to loads of sweet carrots developing in the fields of Sonoma County appropriate now, so Shick available up a carrot cake dessert, providing it her personal twist. Rather of grating the carrots raw, she opted to roast them very first.

“Somehow the roasting manufactured it tremendous moist,” she stated. “I wished it to be vegan, so that was Ok.”

For the frosting, she whipped up a coconut whipped cream making use of coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla, then added a sprinkle of walnuts on top.

When you are browsing at the farmers marketplace, Shick suggests hoping some develop that you’ve never ever tasted prior to. Imagine rutabaga, salsify and sunchoke, also recognised as the Jerusalem artichoke.

Then, to get concepts on how to prepare them, she advises conversing to the farmer. Question them what that strange seeking vegetable is, and how they on their own would get ready it. Together the way, you are heading to get to know who is expanding your foodstuff and make a new link to the agricultural community.

“They usually have so many concepts,” she claimed. “Lee James (of Tierra Veggies) has so much knowledge. You request her just one dilemma, and she just keeps heading.”

Along with her site, Shick is operating on a memoir encouraged by her research for her Italian-American roots. She hopes to supply some cooking classes on Zoom sometime that would also be rooted in her model of plant-forward, Italian cooking.

To indication up for a no cost subscription to her newsletter, go to

The next recipes are from Ellen Shick of Santa Rosa.

When we imagine of pesto, the traditional Genovese edition with basil and pine nuts comes to head. Nevertheless, the a lot of variations of pesto all through Italy depend on area substances, custom and the year. When this year’s favas and wild arugula arrived to the market place, employing them for pesto appeared like a great way to support the time and place a creative spin on a traditional strategy. These fava and arugula pestos can be slathered on bruschetta or tossed on cooked pasta.

Occasionally, I like to forgo the foods processor and make the fava bean pesto with a mortar and pestle. It feels additional reliable, and this palms-on method will allow for effortless changes and management of regularity.

Fava Bean and Pistachio Pesto

Makes about 1 cup

1 pound total fava pods (would make ½ cup beans)

20 pistachios, shelled

1 complete garlic clove

2-3 tablespoons more virgin olive oil

1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice

Salt to taste

To put together the favas: Crack open the thick, outer pod and get rid of the beans inside. Drop the beans in boiling water to soften the outer skin, about 1 minute. Drain, cool and slip off skins. You will be still left with the tender, interior flesh of each and every bean.

Increase the comfortable beans, pistachios and garlic to a food processor and grind to a tough paste. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in the olive oil and increase the lemon juice a bit at a time. Incorporate salt and alter to flavor.

Arugula and Parsley Pesto

Helps make about ¾ cup

2 cups arugula leaves, washed and dried

1 smaller bunch Italian parsley, washed and stems taken out

1 tablespoon pine nuts

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Roasted purple bell peppers, cut into strips, as optional garnish (see be aware down below)

Finishing salt, these kinds of as Maldon

Include arugula and parsley to food items processor and pulse to crack up leaves. Include pine nuts. Drizzle in the olive oil and course of action until a paste is fashioned. Transfer to mixing bowl. Incorporate salt to flavor.

Leading with roasted purple bell peppers, if preferred, and ending salt.

Take note: For the roasted peppers: bag and seal to continue steaming for about 10 minutes. Take out peppers and when they are neat ample to touch, peel off the pores and skin which need to come off quite very easily. Cut open up the peppers and remove seeds stem and ribs. Use on bruschetta, in salads or on sandwiches.

When I shop at the farmer’s sector or pick up my weekly CSA box at Tierra Veggies, I come to feel related to the terroir of the community and the extremely soil of Sonoma County. By leaning into a plant-dependent diet program, I truly feel a lot more alive and in harmony with my environment. On a wider scale, our neighborhood farmers are on the pulse of regenerative farming, the overall health of our soil and the preservation of heritage kinds.


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