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Handline’s House Dressing

As with most great recipes, this one has a good story. One of both tradition and deceit. I first tried a version of this mind altering dressing about 12 years ago at a great West County restaurant. Chef Tai Olesky owned a cool spot named Mosaic in Forestville. His house salad was tender lettuces, blue cheese, toasted almonds, and sliced apples with a rich and somehow familiar dressing. I had never tried this dressing before, but the flavors brought me back. Learning later that the ingredients included such hippie classics as apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast and tamari made perfect sense. I, like Tai, grew up in Sonoma County in the 80’s. We were both children of “back-to-the-earth” hippies. He claimed this recipe as his own secret and made a small name for himself on its back. Fast-forward a few years later, when my brother Will returned from a Hollyhock Retreat center, on Vancouver Island, with a recipe book from their cafeteria kitchen. It turned out the house salad recipe from that book was the …

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Seasonal Fruit Galette

Galettes are a wonderfully easy dessert that really put the treasures of summer center stage. There is nothing better than beautiful fruit baked into flaky pastry. Once you learn the process of making this easy, versatile dessert, you’ll be making these gorgeous free form tarts all the time! Most importantly, have fun playing with the filling; apple, fig, peach, strawberry, the options are never ending. The secret to this recipe is in the flattening and folding of the dough, building up layers of butter in the pastry. Finishing the assembly with lashings of melted butter slathered all over almost makes the dough ‘fry’ in the oven. The key to many wonderful things is butter and this recipe is no exception. Served with ice cream, whipped cream, or whipped crème fraiche, it’s truly the queen of desserts. Summertime Rhubarb Galette For the dough: 10 oz flour 1 tablespoon sugar ¼ teaspoon salt 6 oz butter, cold and cubed ½ cups ice water For the rhubarb filling: 5-6 cups of chopped rhubarb zest and juice of 1 orange seeds from …

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Handline’s Smoked Trout

We are thrilled at Handline to be featuring TwoxSea’s beautiful McFarland Springs Trout on our menu year-round. It’s farmed sustainably in Northern California and fed a 100% algae based vegetarian diet. It has a wonderfully delicate, sweet, pink flesh that lends itself well to a light smoke. You can find the trout in our Monterey Salad featuring local greens and seasonal ingredients as well as on our Happy Hour Menu in the Smoked Trout & Clam Chowder. The key to this recipe is time and restraint. We don’t want to overwhelm the delicacy of the fish with too much salt or smoke. It’s a minimum of 24 hour process from start to finish but the end result is totally worth the wait. Before getting started, you’ll need to collect some equipment to fashion a stovetop smoker: 1 half sized metal hotel pan (4” deep) 1 half sized perforated metal hotel pan (2” deep) 1 bag of cherry or apple wood chips Step 1: Brine the Trout To brine something is to submerge it in cold …

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Handline’s Summer Squash “Ex Pat” Taco

Every year in Sonoma County, as chefs, we count down the days until the turning of each season, knowing that that turn will bring a new and exciting perspective and creative process to our menus. As the leaves begin to change and the air becomes crisp with the first sights and feels of Fall, I begin to dream of delicata squash, roasted chestnuts and pomegranates. As Spring approaches, I become giddy at the thought of young fava beans, English peas and asparagus. And by the time Summer starts to creep into West County, my mouth waters and my mind is flooded with aspirations for all the ways in which I might prepare the bounty of night shades that is just weeks away. And then there is Summer Squash. As a long time employee, and well, family member, to the Peter Lowell’s, and now Handline crew, I have come to expect the imminent flood of Summer squash from our farm, Two Belly Acres. Between the months of June and September each year, hundreds of pounds are …

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Lowell’s Sea Salt and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are, in my opinion, the best cookie ever. I can’t say enough about how glorious they are. We make ours with a darker chocolate to contrast with the rich, buttery, brown sugar cookie dough. A touch of sea salt sprinkled on top makes the flavors dance. Be sure not to over bake the cookies to achieve the wonderfully chewy texture inside and crispy texture on the edges. Ingredients: 9.5 oz whole wheat pastry flour 8.25 oz all purpose flour 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder 1 ½ teaspoons salt 10 oz butter, room temperature 8.75 oz brown sugar 8 oz sugar 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 16 oz dark chocolate sea salt First, mix the flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt together and combine well. In a stand mixer, or by hand with a wooden spoon, cream the butter and sugars together until they are just mixed together with no buttery streaks. You don’t want this mixture light and fluffy, you want it heavy and sugary. …

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Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage Brown Butter

Risotto: a northern Italian rice dish cooked in a broth to a creamy consistency. It’s an simple recipe with a lot of history, and when you give it the time and respect it deserves, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a staple of Italian cuisine, rich in traditions, rules, and techniques, developed over generations of Nona’s. They figured out all of the specifics required to achieve this creamy creation, now all we have to do is follow their lead. One of the reasons I love risotto is how versatile it is. You can make it with meat or seafood, showcase your favorite seasonal vegetables, and play around with different types of wine, butter, and onions. But in order to get that naturally creamy consistency, you MUST use short grain rice. Short grain rice, like Arborio and Carnaroli, are high in starch and help to thicken the broth and create a smooth, creamy texture. Tradition calls for the rice to be continually stirred, which loosens the starch, and further thickens the broth. Properly cooked risotto should be …

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Miso Ginger Sauce

Peter Lowell’s was created based on an idea I had that a restaurant menu could mimic the way I want to eat every day. Of course this couldn’t include all the cuisines I love, but the goal was to have enough menu variety that it could be a place one could eat regularly and stay satisfied. The menu was based on a Cal-Italian approach to cooking, but in order for a menu to be approachable every day it needed more that just antipasti, pasta, pizza, and meat. It needed some staples; a foundational dish that could be enjoyed daily. Out of this need came the Macro Bowl. Based on the idea of Macrobiotic cooking, and inspired by the Dragon Bowl from Angelicas Kitchen in NYC, it is a simple dish of brown rice, roasted vegetables, beans, blanched greens, and a protein and sauce of your choice.  It is meant to be simple but enjoyable at all times of the day and year. It has truly grounded our ever changing seasonally inspired menu and has created …

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The Classic Nicoise Salad

It’s one of the most pleasurable lunchtime meals and harks from one of the most pleasurable places on the planet to spend a lazy afternoon. The crested coast of South France is epic in it’s multitude of views, sites, and meals. At it’s most basic, and as it’s regularly served in Southern France, the Nicoise salad is canned tuna, olives, boiled potatoes, green beans and a soft or hard boiled egg, with a touch of lettuces. We encourage you to play with these ingredients. The Nicoise salad, as we are sharing with you, is in reference to both the preparation of the canned tuna into a tuna salad, and the preparation of the tuna salad as part of a composed Nicoise Salad. The Tuna Salad – In a large mixing bowl add: The zest and juice of 1 lemon (add more to taste if needed) 1/4 bunch parsley, chopped 1/2 red onion, shaved 1/2 cup celery heart, thinly sliced 1/2 cup chickpea beans 1 T capers and caper juice 1/2 cup aioli of your choice …

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Smothered Summer Squash with California Mole

This recipe was dreamed up as a great way to use up the bounty of summer squash we grow at the farm each summer. Luckily, the California mole is versatile enough to use on just about any roasted vegetables throughout the year, including potatoes, pumpkin, carrots and eggplant. It can also be used to accompany meats such as chicken or lamb. The recipe makes enough to save the leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for the next time you need a quick vegetable side dish. For the Sauce (makes 1 pint) ½ cup almonds ½ cup pumpkin seeds plus 1 tablespoon for garnish ½ cup tomato puree 1 dried chipotle chili 4 whole cloves garlic, peeled 1 shallot 1 lemon 1 tablespoon olive oil plus 1 cup for garlic confit Salt to taste Toast the almonds and pumpkin seeds on a sheet pan in a 350 degree oven, stirring once, until golden brown and fragrant, about 6-8 minutes. In a small saucepan add 1 cup olive oil and whole peeled garlic cloves, …

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Rabbit Crépinettes with Peaches, Morels and Dill Mustard

This dish is a culmination of summer. Fresh rabbit from our friends at the Giving Gardens Project, peaches from Stony Gate Farm and earthy morels come together for a satisfying, deceptively light dish. Crépinettes are typically a sausage wrapped in what is known as caul fat (crépine in French). We use the caul fat in lieu of a more traditional hog casing. It provides moisture and keeps the sausage contained during cooking. Plus, the visual presentation is striking. Crépinettes can be filled with a myriad of different sausages and for this recipe I’ve chosen rabbit. We source our rabbit from Tyja and Sarah at the Giving Gardens Project in Sebastopol. They raise all their rabbits with great care and you can really taste it in the finished product. The peaches are from Mary Radu, who grows them on her family property, also in Sebastopol. And the morels were foraged by Dylan Taube, who just happens to be Tyja’s brother. Taking the time to source the best ingredients really makes a difference. The dish is brought together …