Tony and Sarah Nasello
Every year around this time, my mind invariably fills with thoughts of France. In my former life as a cruise director, Tony and I spent several spring seasons sailing around the western coast of France, visiting famous port cities like Bordeaux, Rouen and Saint-Malo, as well as some lesser-known stops like Belle-Île, a summer haven for the French but secluded enough to stay off the tourist trail, and Île d'Aix, the tiny little island of approximately 250 residents, where Napoleon spent his last night on French soil and the only cars allowed still today are service vehicles.
FARGO — Even though it's snowing as I write this, April has arrived and with it, the season for springtime salads. This week's Symphony Salad was thus named because it is a beautifully composed salad, which means that it is built and dressed in layers, rather than tossed.
Back in our cruise ship days, we used to visit Québec City several times each summer and fall during our Canada-New England season, which took us on 10-day cruises from New York City, all the way up the eastern seaboard and then into the St. Lawrence Seaway before concluding in Montreal.
Love is in the air, and this week we've crafted a three-course Valentine's menu featuring ingredients believed to possess aphrodisiac qualities: Asparagus Bleu Cheese Soup to start the meal, Linguine ai Frutti di Mare (Seafood Linguine) as the main course and Flourless Chocolate Torte for a flourishing finish. Each recipe has been previously shared here in our column, and we are delighted to present them in a new way for this occasion.
We are wrapping up our series of healthy January recipes with a new pasta dish that is destined to become a family go-to on busy weeknights. Last week, I was in a pinch for time so I turned to my sister-in-law, another Sarah, seeking her recommendation for an easy, yet delicious, meal. Sarah is an excellent cook, and she strives to prepare home-cooked meals for her family as often as possible.
FARGO — This week we continue our focus on healthy dishes with a Nasello family favorite: Sicilian-Style Swordfish and Rapini. Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean, and fresh seafood is a staple ingredient in its cuisine, especially along the coastal regions. Swordfish is prevalent in these waters, and its wonderfully mild flavor and firm, steak-like texture make it popular and versatile enough for a variety of dishes, including light and lemony preparations like today's recipe.
FARGO — Our focus on healthy eating continues this week with a recipe that showcases a dazzling assortment of winter produce, including one of our favorite winter greens, Belgian endive. Belgian endive (pronounced either en-dive or ahn-deev) is a cool weather green and member of the chicory family. Unlike its sister plants, the curly-leaf frisee and broad-leaf escarole, Belgian endive completes its final growth phase in the dark. This process stops the leaves from turning green, and helps the plant develop its signature white leaves and narrow, rocket shape.
Whether you're planning a relaxing night at home or hitting the town on New Year's Eve, everyone deserves a special treat as we enter the new year. This week we're sharing our recipes for Milk and White Chocolate Truffles, which are rich, elegant and delicious, and go almost too well with Champagne and Prosecco. Truffles are wonderful little confections made by creating a ganache (ge-naSH), a simple combination of chocolate, hot cream and, sometimes, butter. They are called truffles because their physical shape resembles the rare and edible fungus of the same name.
For decades, my mom produced amazing Christmas dinners for our large family, and one specialty we all looked forward to each year was her homemade Caesar salad. Amidst all of the beautiful food at her table, her Caesar salad was so delicious that I often found myself seeking a second helping. My parents now spend the holidays in Florida with my grandmother, who is just shy of her 100th birthday. Fortunately, though we miss them dearly, food can provide the opportunity to celebrate those we love, even when they can't be with us at Christmas.
FARGO — Each December presents an opportunity to revisit our youth and recapture the feelings that make the holidays so special. Food is inherently a part of this equation and often acts as the connector to those memories. This week's recipe for Joyce Family Peanut Bars has placed me right back in my teenage years, and imbued me with a wonderful dose of Christmas spirit.