THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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TIP OF THE DAY: Vegetable Pizza With A Vegetable Salad

Zucchini Pizza
[1] A slice of yellow squash pizza with a salad of green zucchini ribbons (photo courtesy Good Eggs).

Summer Vegetables
[2] Choose your favorite seasonable vegetables (photo courtesy The Homegrown Collective).


A meal kit from Good Eggs inspired this tip:

If you make a veggie pizza, make a matching salad.

The veggies on the pizza get softened in the oven. The veggies that comprise the salad are raw, tossed in a vinaigrette* that complements the cheesiness of the pizza.

When a vinaigrette isn’t enough:

  • Marinate the vegetables (e.g., mushrooms) for a longer time.
  • For an onion pizza, marinate the salad onions and include other vegetables: cucumbers and bell pepper, for example.

    Pick your favorite pizza vegetables that also work in a salad:

  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant (for salad, try this Greek melitzanosalata recipe, accompanied by olives and romaine)
  • Fennel
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Radicchio
  • Spinach
  • Sweet onions/red onions/caramelized onions
  • Zucchini
    Of course, you can have just one topping on the pizza, and still have multiple ingredients in the salad.

    You’re the chef!


    *Standard vinaigrette proportions: 1 tablespoon vinegar (apple cider, balsamic, rice, sherry, wine vinegar) or other acid like citrus juice, three tablespoons oil (preferably EVOO), a pinch of salt, a grind of black pepper, plus any elective ingredients: Dijon or honey mustard, pinch of sugar or honey, minced onion or shallot.


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    RECIPE: Bake Apple Turnovers (Or Your Favorite Fruit)

    There are two turnover holidays in the U.S.: National Apple Turnover Day on July 5th and National Cherry Turnover Day on August 28th.

    You can head to the nearest grocer’s freezer case and pick up some trusty Pepperidge Farm turnovers. Or, you can bake a batch or two of homemade turnovers with the recipe below from Good Eggs.

    In fact, you can use any fruit, fresh or frozen. We always add peach turnovers to our assortment of apple and cherry. Why not turn your favorite pie—blueberry, rhubarb, whatever—into individual turnovers?

    Before we get to the recipe…


    A turnover is a portable pie, made by placing a filling on a piece of dough, folding the dough over, and sealing it.

    Turnovers can be sweet or savory and are often a grab-and-go portable meal, similar to a sandwich, an empanada or a pastie. While triangle shapes are most often made, turnovers can be folded into half moons, rectangles or squares. They can be cut with cookie cutters into circles and hearts for special occasions, although since no crust is “turned over,” they’re an exception to the rule.

    Savory varieties are often used as a portable meal, as Americans grab a sandwich. Think globally, from calzones to dosas to empanadas to spanakopita.

    For Fillings, Anything Goes

  • Sweet turnovers commonly have a fruit filling, but custard or sweetened cheese can be used. Pastry choices range from classic European puff paste to Mediterranean phyllo/filo to American short crust.
  • Savory turnovers generally contain meat and/or vegetables and can be made with any sort of dough, though a kneaded yeast dough seems to be the most common in Western cuisines. They are usually baked, but may be fried.

    The concept of fruit-filled pastry and portable pies is thousands of years old. While the Egyptians were the first great bread bakers, the Greeks upped the game to cakes and sweet doughs. In ancient Greece, baking first became a profession.

    We don’t have a date for the first turnovers, but a printed recipe for “Apple Pasties to Fry” appears in England in 1753.In England, printed recipes start to appear around 1750.

    But given the paucity of printed cookbooks (and the literacy level of the general public), they may have been popular for centuries. The rule of thumb in centuries past is that when a printed record is first found, the recipe could be generations older.

    Add to that a challenge: Turnovers were often called apple pies, apple being the most popular and widely available fruit filling.

    By the end of the century, turnovers were being wrapped in puff pastry, and were called puffs in the U.S.

    By 1874, Cassell’s Dictonary of Cookery, published in London, calls them fruit pasties or turnovers. By 1902, Mrs. Rorer’s New Cook Book features a recipe for Apple Turnovers, and the term sticks.

    Prep and cook time is 40 minutes. You can substitute any fruit, fresh or frozen, for the apples.

    Another tip: Keep puff pastry on hand in the freezer. You can use it for pastries (including spanakopita), pot pies, quiches and more.

    Ingredients For 6 to 8 Turnovers

  • 1 package puff pastry or pie dough, thawed
  • 1 pound apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin wedges
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 thyme sprigs, leaves removed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • For serving: caramel sauce, chopped nuts, crème fraîche, ice cream, whipped cream

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F.

    2. PLACE the butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until the milk solids turn golden brown. The butter will foam a bit in the process. After about 10 to 12 minutes, the butter should separate into golden brown solids and a clear yellow oil (which is clarified butter).


    Homemade Apple Turnovers
    [1] In just 40 minutes, these turnovers will emerge from your oven (recipe below, photo courtesy Good Eggs).

    Cherry Turnovers
    [2] Cherry turnovers. Here’s the recipe from Country Living Magazine.

    Savory Turnovers
    [3] You can make savory turnovers for a first course or light lunch, from ham and cheese or chicken to your favorite vegetables. Here’s the recipe for these apple, sweet potato and bacon turnovers from Savory Simple.

    Mini Apple Turnovers
    [4] You can make mini turnovers as cocktail bites (savory) or dessert bites (photo courtesy Peapod).

    3. TURN the heat down,and add the brown sugar, thyme and apples, cooking over a low heat until the apples soften—about 10 minutes.

    4. CUT the puff pastry into 4-inch squares, and spoon a tablespoon of the apple mixture into the center of each square. Fold the dough over into the shape of a triangle and use a fork to press the edges together to seal the apples in.

    5. WHISK the egg yolk with a few splashes of water, and brush each turnover with the egg wash. Sprinkle some extra sugar on top and back for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the turnovers are a deep golden brown.

    5. GARNISH as desired. If you can, eat them while they’re still warm (not hot).



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    TIP OF THE DAY: A Use For Your Corn Cobs

    Raw Corn On The Cob
    [1] After you enjoy the corn, make stock from the cobs (photo courtesy I Love Corn).

    Corn Cob Stock
    [2] It’s easy to turn corn cobs into corn stock (photo courtesy Local Kitchen Blog).


    Who knew: You can make stock out of your corn cobs instead of immediately throwing them away.

    When simmered in a pot of water, corn cobs create a broth that can be used as a base for corn chowder, clam chowder or any vegetable soup.

    Or, you can reduce it a bit and add salt and pepper and some optional fresh herbs to make a tasty broth—not bone broth, but cob broth.

    The usual method is to first remove the kernels from the cob with a knife.

    But we’ve been known to repurpose the cobs after eating corn on the cob. It’s all in the family.

    It doesn’t matter whether the corn kernels on the cob are raw or cooked.

    Simply cover the cobs with water, bring to a boil and simmer 45 minutes. Don’t add seasonings just `yet: stock should be unseasoned, until you turn it into broth or another soup or a poaching liquid.

    Here’s a complete recipe for corn cob stock from Local Kitchen Blog.

    The difference between a stock and a broth is the seasoning.

  • Stock is not seasoned; it is an unfinished product that is an ingredient in another dish. For example, stock is used to make gravy (beef stock is use used for au jus), marinades, risotto, sauces and other soups.
  • So, if you’re using stock, you’ll need to add salt to your desired level. Broth already contains salt.
    Broth is a thin soup is made from a clear stock foundation. The terms bouillon and broth are used interchangeably.

  • However, a bouillon is always served plain (with an optional garnish), whereas broth can be made more substantive with the addition of a grain (corn, barley, rice) and vegetables.
    Here are the related types of soups, including consommé and velouté.

    Fresh summer corn is so sweet and tender, you can eat it from the cob without cooking.

    If you want to cut the raw kernels off the cob, here are some ways to use them:

  • Arepas
  • Corn relish
  • Corn bread (recipe) or corn muffins
  • Corn cakes
  • Corn chili
  • Corn chowder (recipe)
  • Corn ice cream (delicious—here’s a recipe)
  • Corn salad with red onion, bell pepper, cucumbers, optional chiles; or this recipe with edamame
  • Corn salsa (recipe)
  • Esquites (recipe)
  • Garnish for dinner plates
  • Gazpacho (recipe)
  • Grain salads
  • Green salads
  • Savory pancakes (recipe)
  • Stuffed marinated or grilled mushroom caps
  • Tex-Mex garnish (e.g., to top taco shells)

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    RECIPE: Red, White & Blue Berry & Banana Smoothie

    This delicious, nutritious smoothie is from Kelly at

    “I love using frozen organic fruit,” says Kelly, “because it’s frozen at its peak freshness. It’s available year-round, is generally less expensive than fresh organic fruit, especially when out of season. And it’s great in smoothies!”

    The smoothie is made with three separate layers (photo #1), but if you don’t want to create patriotic artistry, just blend all of the ingredients together for a fruit fest.

    You can also freeze it for an hour or so and serve as a sorbet.

    The layers:

  • Red: frozen strawberries, raspberry juice or any red juice, honey.
  • White: fresh bananas, unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any milk), ice cubes.
  • Blue: frozen blueberries, unsweetened vanilla almond milk or substitute, ground flax seeds.
    The smoothie is as healthy as it is patriotic, packed with vitamin K from the berries, potassium and vitamin B6 from the bananas, and fiber and omega-3s from the flax.

    Ingredients For 4 Smoothies, 8-12 Ounces
    For The Blue Layer

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1-1/4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
    For The White Layer

  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
    For The Red Layer

  • 2 cups whole strawberries, frozen
  • 1 cup raspberry juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
    Optional Garnishes

  • A pick with fresh or thawed berries
  • Watermelon stars (photo #3) for “stars and stripes”

    1. BLEND the blue layer ingredients together. Pour it into individual glasses, about 1/3 full. Place the glasses in the freezer for 10 minutes.

    2. RINSE the blender jar to remove any remaining blue layer mixture. Then create the white layer: Add the ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour the white layer over the frozen red layer, filling the glass to 2/3 full. Place the glasses back in freezer for 15 minutes.


    Red, White & Blue Smoothie
    [1] A patriotic smoothie. For days when you don’t want stripes, you can simply toss all the ingredients into the blender at once (photo courtesy Super Healthy Kids). Note that instead of the layers as shown, we reversed the blue and red layers so that they read red, white and blue from top to bottom.

    Sliced Banana
    [2] Bananas create the white layer (photo courtesy

    Watermelon Stars
    [3] Whatever you drink, make this snazzy garnish. Here’s how from Domestic Fits.

    3. RINSE the blender jar to remove any remaining white layer mixture. Create the red layer: Blend the ingredients until smooth. Pour the red layer over the frozen white layer, filling to the top.

    4. PLACE the smoothies in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve with a straw.

    National Smoothie Day is June 21st, the first day of summer.

    Check out the history of smoothies.


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    RECIPE: Tom Yum Soup From Thailand

    Tom Yum Soup
    [1] Tom yum, a spicy Thai soup, is good in both hot and cold weather (photo courtesy Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog).

    [2] Lemongrass (photo courtesy Park Seed).

    Kaffir Limes & Leaves
    [3] Kaffir limes and leaves (photo courtesy Dilly Dally Orchard).

    [4] Galangal is an Asian plant in the ginger family, an aromatic rhizome that is widely used in cooking and herbal medicine (photo courtesy Piano Non Troppo | Wikipedia) .


    Hot enough for you?

    In our high-temperature, high-humidity corner of the world, even the heat-exhausted professional baseball players are being replaced every inning.

    That’s why when we received this recipe from our colleague Hannah Kaminsky of Bittersweet Blog, we thought twice: It’s hot and spicy.

    Then we remembered: Hot and spicy foods are good in hot climates. The spices engender more sweating, which helps to cool you off (although you may not look so attractive in the process).

    Medically speaking, the benefits of eating hot and spicy foods include heart health and longevity. The details are in the second half of this article.

    Hannah says, “If you can’t stand the heat of the dish, feel free to take down the spice level a notch by incorporating a splash of creamy, cooling coconut milk [Editor’s note: if you don’t mind dairy, a splash of cream or half and half will do].

    In her version of her tom yum soup (photo #1), Hannah replaced the conventional rice noodles with sweet potato noodles from her spiralizer. The result: tom yam soup. 🙂

    She observes: “The sweet, sour, and spicy combination gains greater depth from the yams [rice noodles have more texture than flavor], and preparation is coincidentally simplified. Everything goes into one pot, cooks just to a boil, and dinner is served.”

    Tom yum soup typically includes shrimp, but Hannah doesn’t eat them. So we’ve included them as an option: Cook them in the soup, or place already-cooked shrimp in the bowls and pour the soup on top.

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 1 medium yam, peeled and spiralized
  • 3-4 cups stock: fish, mushroom or vegetable
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1 stalk fresh lemongrass (photo #2), bruised and roughly chopped
  • 6 kaffir [a.k.a. makrut] lime leaves*, bruised
  • 1 inch fresh galangal or ginger, sliced
  • 1 medium roma tomato, diced
  • 6 ounces firm tofu, cubed
  • 6 ounces mixed mushrooms, (cremini, shiitake, Trumpet, oyster, and/or straw mushrooms), sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek (substitute sriracha sauce†)
  • 1-2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Optional: 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • Optional: whole shrimp
    By the way, we’ve read that kaffir is a word adapted from the Arabic kafir, meaning non-believer or infidel.

    It’s thus an offensive term in some parts of the world.

    The movement @KaffirNoMore suggests using makrut, the Thai word for the bumpy lime; or simply, lime leaves, instead. The problem is, though, that the distributors and retailers sell “kaffir.”

    Check out the different types of limes.

    1. SPIRALIZE the yam and and placing the yam noodles in a large stock pot. Add 3 cups of the stock to generously cover the vegetable noodles, along with shallot.

    2. BUNDLE the lemongrass, lime leaves, and galangal or ginger in a large tea ball/spice ball and add to the pot. This allows for a powerful flavor infusion with easy removal later, since these ingredients are too fibrous to consume. If you don’t have a large enough tea ball, use cheesecloth tied with kitchen string.

    3. ADD the tofu, mushrooms, sambal oelek, soy sauce and lime juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat; then simmer for about 10 minutes, until the yam noodles are fork-tender but well before they start falling apart.

    4. DIVIDE the soup between two big bowls. Garnish with cilantro and dig in while it’s hot—just like today’s weather.


    *If you don’t have access to an Asian market, where kaffir is sold fresh or frozen, substitute the zest of 1 lime for every 2 kaffir lime leaves.

    †Sriracha vs. sambal oelek: The main flavor differences are that sriracha has a hint of garlic in sriracha and less vinegar tang. It is a sauce, rather than a paste like sambal oelek. In this recipe, the texture of the ingredient makes no difference.


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