Edible Berkshires

Drunken Stuffed Pears


Stuffed fruits are very common in Mediterranean cooking. Serve them as a snack or an aperitif, as a first dish or as a side dish. Use firm fruits to avoid their falling apart while cooking. Because apple and pears when cut fresh tend to get darker due to oxidation, blanch them immediately with lemon or white wine when handling. Here is a recipe for a baked pear, using the advantage of the fabulous taste of Berkshire Blue cheese.

Yield: 4 servings

4 pears, peeled (optional), cut in half and core removed*
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup white wine

For the stuffing:

½ cup Berkshire Blue cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons cream cheese**
1/3 cup nuts, diced***
1 tablespoon breadcrumbs****

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Set pears in a baking dish with their open sides up. Pour wine on and around the pears. Sprinkle nutmeg on the pears. Cover the baking … Read the rest

Earthy Celery Root Salad


Yield: 4 servings

Celery root or celeriac is the root of the plant Apium graveolens. While in North America we are familiar with the aboveground stalks and leaves known as celery, the roots of a closely related plant are very popular in the Mediterranean and European cooking. In recent years celery root has started to appear in our markets too.

When shopping for celery root search for the heavier roots, as they have not dehydrated and so will be fresher and tastier.

Sometimes farmers sell them with the stems, and though these are less prominent than celery they can certainly be used too; just cut the stems from the root and store them separately.

I love celery root and add it to many of my recipes, as it adds taste to any stew or mashed roots. One can’t cook a healing chicken soup without adding celery root to the pot. … Read the rest

Onion-Bacon Rolls

Recipe from Soup Night © Maggie Stuckey, used with permission
from Storey Publishing, North Adams, MA

Yeast rolls enjoy an extra flavor boost from bacon and caramelized onions. They are an excellent accompaniment to soups and chowders based on sweet vegetables, such as carrot, butternut squash, beet or corn— although truth be known, anything with bacon goes beautifully with anything else.

Makes about 3 dozen rolls

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup milk, heated to lukewarm (110°–115°F)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 egg yolks
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 bacon strips, chopped into small bits
1 cup finely chopped onion
Egg wash: 1 egg yolk whisked with 1 tablespoon cream

Make the dough: Sprinkle the yeast over a cup of the warm milk in a large measuring cup or medium bowl. Add the sugar and salt, and stir until dissolved. Set the … Read the rest

Sweet Corn Chowder


Recipes from Soup Night © Maggie Stuckey, used with permission
from Storey Publishing, North Adams, MA

Serves 4–6

5 bacon strips, diced
1 small leek, trimmed and thinly sliced**
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or winter savory, or 1 teaspoon dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups milk
2 cups cream
2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen (preferably fresh)

Brown the bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat.

Add the leek, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste and sauté until the leek is softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the potatoes, milk and cream, and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Simmer (do not boil) until the potatoes are tender.

Add the corn and continue to simmer until the corn … Read the rest


soup2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4–5 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
5–6 parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
4–5 celery stalks, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white wine
2½ quarts chicken stock
6 cups kale, chopped

In a soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, parsnips, celery and garlic, sauté for 5–10 minutes, until onions are soft and veggies are a little golden. Add the white wine and cook for a few minutes and then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then simmer over medium heat. Add the kale. While that’s simmering, make your meatballs.


2 pounds ground turkey
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
1 egg
½ cup Pecorino Romano cheese
½ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs (or regular breadcrumbs, if you can eat them!)
Garlic powder to taste
Sea salt … Read the rest

End-of-Season Heirloom Tomato Jam

Photo by Brent Wasser

Green Zebra tomatoes make a terrifically watermelon-green jam, but you can use any small or medium-sized tomato in this recipe. The result is a jam that tastes a little like ketchup and a lot like harvest time. Use Pomona’s Universal Pectin to set the jam. It’s available at natural food stores or online from the Greenfield, Massachusetts– based distributor (PomonaPectin.com).

Yield: 10 half-pints

10 half-pint jars with lids and bands
20 medium-sized heirloom tomatoes, whole
2 quarts water
1 cup kosher salt
1 large white or yellow onion
1 head garlic
2½ cups sugar
3 quarts apple cider vinegar
¾ tablespoon coriander seeds
¾ tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 teaspoons Pomona’s calcium water
4 teaspoons Pomona’s Universal Pectin

Place the tomatoes in a large glass or ceramic bowl or crock. Add 2 quarts water and 1 … Read the rest

Fennel Relish

Fennel is tasty raw, braised or grilled. If you simply have too much of this bulb-shaped vegetable, can it with some apple cider vinegar and a spicy pepper for an uplifting, zingy relish to enjoy later.

Yield: 6 pints

6 pint jars with lids and bands
4 medium-sized fennel bulbs
2 large white or yellow onions
2 red bell peppers
1 cup kosher salt
1 quart apple cider vinegar
½ quart water
6 cups sugar
¾ tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
¾ tablespoon coriander seeds.
2 teaspoons celery seed
1 small hot pepper

Trim the tops and a bit of the root end off the fennel to leave an oblong bulb. Save the trimmings for vegetable stock. Cut the fennel bulb in half and remove the base of the core if it is large, because this part can be very fibrous. Make sure there is no soil left between the layers … Read the rest

Dr. Newman’s Braised Short Ribs


These short ribs are braised under pressure in a liquid consisting of a dark beer and chile sauce. If you are using a 5- to 6-quart pressure cooker, total prep and cooking time will be less than 1 hour!

2 to 3 tablespoons canola oil
3½ to 4 pounds short ribs
1 medium onion, sliced into thin half moons
12 ounces any dark beer
1 (12-ounce) jar Heinz Chile Sauce
Salt and pepper

Heat the canola oil in the cooker and brown all 4 sides of each rib—about 2 minutes on each side. Do 3 per batch and reserve the browned ribs on a plate or sheet pan.

When the browning is completed, pour off most of the fat and then sauté the onions using a wooden spoon scraper to incorporate the bits from the bottom of the pot. Finally add the beer and chile sauce, then place the ribs … Read the rest