Seasonal Recipe

Candlemas 2020
Imbolc, The Feast of Brighid, Oimelc, Nos Gwyl Fai

The pale Sun shines down through grey branches and barely warms the crystalline snow-covered ground. A mighty crocus pushes up through the crust of the earth seeking the light and warmth of the youthful Sun. Brave blossoms of crocus and snowdrop give us hope and the slightly lengthening days remind us that the child God and the new Mother are together bringing forth all that we need for life. Share your light and love, especially with those in greatest need of your time and care. The seeds of good deeds will return to you many times over.

Candlemas Menu
Brie and Pear Tarts
Cream of Vegetable soup
Broccolini and White Beans
Roasted Potatoes Wedges with herbed sour cream dip
Orange slices sprinkled with balsamic vinegar
Cheesy bread
Caramel Apricot Rice Pudding

Cream of Vegetable Soup
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, coarse chopped
3 lg. outer celery ribs with leafy tops, trimmed and chopped
2 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
3 lg. carrots, peeled and sliced
3 parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 small rutabaga, peeled and chopped
1 small potato, scrubbed well and finely chopped
1 cup butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
4 cups water, chicken broth or vegetable stock
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cups half and half or milk (more or less to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
Thyme and or savory to taste if using plain water

Heat olive oil in large pot to medium. Sauté onion and celery until onion is slightly translucent. Add leeks, carrots, parsnip, rutabaga, potato, squash, bay leaf and liquid. Simmer 10 - 15 minutes. Add parsley and garlic. Simmer an additional 5 minutes. Add milk or half and half. For creamier soup process all or part of the mixture with an immersion blender after removing bay leaf. Serve topped with cheddar cheese, toasted croutons and additional chopped parsley if desired.

Broccolini and White Beans
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small lemon, sliced very thinly
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 small bunch broccolini, washed, trimmed and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 15 oz. cans cannellini beans
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 Tbsp. grated parmesan
Additional parmesan cheese for serving

Heat oil in a heavy pot or frying pan on medium. Add lemon slices, cooking until softening. Add minced garlic and continue cooking until lemon starts to brown slightly. Add broccolini, salt and pepper. Toss and cook for about 5 minutes to brighten but not cook through. Drain beans, reserving 1 cup of liquid. Rinse beans and add to pot along with 1/2 cup of reserved liquid. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes. Add additional reserved liquid if pan becomes too dry. Add parsley and 2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese. Top with additional parmesan to serve.

Optional: top with crumbled bacon or crisped pancetta.

Caramel Apricot Rice Pudding

2 cups dried apricots
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
3 cups cooked white rice
4 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
4 cups milk, scalded
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
shaved dark chocolate
1/2 cup coarsely chopped, toasted almonds

Simmer apricots in water until tender, drain. Pour melted butter into 3 qt. baking dish. Sprinkle brown sugar over butter. Arrange apricots in single layer on the brown sugar. Spoon rice over the apricots. Beat eggs until foamy. Stir granulated sugar, salt and vanilla into the beaten eggs. Slowly stir scalded milk into egg mixture. Pour egg and milk mixture over the rice. Sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon. Bake one hour at 350 degrees or until center is set. Serve with whipped cream, shaved chocolate and toasted almonds.