risotto-veg2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion
2 cups braised vegetables or vegetable puree or sauce
1 cup of Arborio rice
6 cups light chicken, beef or vegetable stock (at a gentle simmer)
1/4 cup grated cheese (parmegiano or pecorino, or any other hard sharp cheese)
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground pepper


In a pot, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent and soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the braised vegetables and add the rice. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until the grains whiten but do not brown and are coated with the onion mixture.
Add 1 ladleful of the simmering stock, reduce the heat to medium-low heat, and stir until the liquide has been completely absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1 ladleful at the time, always cooking and stirring until completely absorbed before adding more stock, until the rice is tender but still a bit firm (“al dente”) at the center of each grain and creamy, about 20 minutes total. You may not need all of the stock. Or, if you see that you will need more liquid as you near the end of the stock, add a little boiling water to the stock remaining in the pan. When the rice is cooked, remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and the cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


The risotto may be accompanied by some grilled shrimp or sautéd fish and a chilled bottle of Cote du Rhone blanc or a white Bordeaux.

butternut squash pasta


butternut squash pasta


2 1/2 pounds butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon chopped sage, plus 20 whole leaves
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 pound fusilli or other curly pasta
1/4 cup freshly grated aged Asiago cheese, plus more for serving


Preheat the oven to 400°. On a large rimmed baking sheet, drizzle the squash with 2 tablespoons of oil and toss. Arrange in an even layer and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bake for about 30 minutes, until just tender. Add the chopped sage and toss.
Meanwhile, put the pecans in a pie plate and bake for about 4 minutes, until toasted.
In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the whole sage leaves and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until crisp, 2 minutes. Transfer the leaves to a plate and pour the butter into a bowl. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the sausage to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the sausage, until no pink remains, 7 minutes.


This recipe is a complete meal in itself. It can be served  with a fresh green salad with a  homemade vinaigrette.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the sausage and melted butter and gradually stir in the cooking water over moderate heat. Gently fold in the squash, pecans and the 1/4 cup of cheese. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Scatter the sage on top and serve with more cheese.



1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest, plus more for garnish     
2 tablespoons lime juice     
1 tablespoon canola oil     
2 teaspoons light brown sugar    
1 teaspoon rice vinegar     
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper     
1 medium cucumber, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch dice     
1 avocado, cut into 3/4-inch dice     
1 mango, cut into 3/4-inch dice (see Kitchen Tip)     
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Whisk lime zest, lime juice, oil, brown sugar,  vinegar and crushed red pepper in a large bowl until combined.
Add cucumber, avocado, mango and cilantro; gently toss to coat.  Serve garnished with lime zest, if desired.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.       
Kitchen Tip: To peel and cut a mango:     
1. Slice both ends off the mango, revealing the long, slender seed inside.      Set the fruit upright on a work surface and remove the skin with a sharp knife.     
2. With the seed perpendicular to you, slice the fruit from both sides of the seed,      yielding two large pieces.     
3. Turn the seed parallel to you and slice the two smaller pieces of fruit from each side.     
4. Cut the fruit into the desired shape.



Prep Time: 20 Minutes Serves 8 to 10

4 cups of broccoli cut in pieces
2 cups of cauliflower cut in pieces
3/4 C. green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 C. salted sunflower seeds (roasted cashews work well too)
1 cup of Feta cheese
3 C. red grapes cut in half        

2/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
1/2cup fat-free plain yogurt
4 tablespoons honey salt and pepper to taste


Put all vegetables in a large salad bowl.  
Mix dressing ingredients together and add to the vegetables right before serving.
Top salad with the fresh grapes, sunflower seeds (or nuts) and feta  

DEGUSTATION:  This salad is great for pot lucks, picnics or simply served as an accompaniment with grilled meats.
You can also use bacon instead of feta.

Fresh & Local – Article in the Harbor Style Magazine

Englewood Farmer’s Market has the energy and vibe of something new and fresh, and it is. The market only started in November of last year and only after
much research.

Marie Laforge, who owns Mango’s Restaurant on Dearborn Street, talked to vendors at other farmer’s markets and learned that there was a huge interest in
having another market on a weekday. By visiting other markets, the Englewood market’s organizers were able to handpick vendors to get a variety of local products.

“We weren’t sure how it would go, but on the first day we had more than 1,200 customers and a lot of vendors were out of products before it was over,” said market manager Don Musilli.

Vendors, many of whom sell at several other markets from Tampa to Naples, praise how well the Englewood market is organized and managed, especially for being so new.

pjnutsPJ’s Nuts is one vendor that sells at nine markets from Marco Island to Sarasota. “We’re impressed with the selection of vendors in this market, and the enthusiasm of the shoppers,” said Jay Kelly, who owns PJ’s with his wife Pat. PJ’s sells nuts, dried food, edible seed and mixtures, granola, energy bars and some gluten-free products.

Woof ‘n Purr sells food products, too, but for pets. Ellie Simonetti is the owner and chief cook” of products like “Chicken Biscuits,” “Callie Cat Tuna Crackers” and “Yip Yap Banana Snacks.” All are made with no salt, sugar or preservatives and incorporate a variety of textures so older animals, who may not have teeth, can have snacks, too. They also make all-natural grooming products. “People are pleasantly surprised to see us,” Simonetti said.

lou bonsaiLou Rindner, a local resident, has been selling his bonsai trees on the internet since 1997. He got into farmer’s markets when a Sarasota market asked him to give lessons on making bonsai trees once a month. The response was so great that he now participates in nine markets, including Englewood. “Having a market off the weekend is great,” he said.

Vendor Maggie’s Seafood sells fresh local grouper, snapper, swordfish, mahi-mahi, “and fish we get from the north because the snowbirds want it,” said owner Maggie Balch. They also sell homemade crab cakes, soups and seafood pies.

Daniel Bouvier has been growing wheat grass, sprouts and micro-greens for his own use for eight years and has been selling them to others for two years. He recommends grinding wheat grass into juice for its vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidant benefits.

For something really different, don’t miss Green Leaf Worm Farm. Their 100 percent organic fertilizer and insecticide is made from earth worms and can be used on all plants without the burning that often occurs from synthetic products.
“We’re a green business, so all the bottles we use were recycled and donated,” said owner Sean Moore.

Although they go to five markets, brothers Vaughn and Dean DuFour say they have encountered the friendliest, most appreciative people at the Englewood market. “They often thank us for being there,” they said. The DuFours sell mostly herbs but also starter vegetable plants in season. All are started in compost, fertilized with organic materials, and are pesticide-free.

yumyum vincentAmerican Paradise Produce in Port Charlotte has been selling produce in the area for more than 40 years. Wayne Dancer and Sky Stockton go to 13 markets. “We see more little children with their parents in Englewood, and it’s nice to know they’re eating healthy,” Dancer said. Hernandez Farm from Plant City and Yum Yum Tree Produce from Sarasota also sell at the Englewood Farmer’s Market.

The market has no shortage of dessert and snack vendors either. Nino’s Italian Bakery, German Bakery and Sugar Island Cupcakes are just a few of the sweet-treat sellers. Tropical Island  Foods, which sells their Kettle Korn at the Punta Gorda and Englewood markets, has found a way to make their treat healthier. Made with soybean oil, their Kettle Korn has no trans fat, no cholesterol, and just 143 calories per two-cup serving while retaining all the taste and just the right amount of sweet and salt. Husband and wife owners Carol Turner and Jim Dembrowski have made the Korn in Punta Gorda since 2003 and will soon open a factory there.

To read the full article in the Harbor Style magazine… PLEASE CLICK HERE