The following recipes were produced by Lowcountry Local First’s Executive Director, Jamee Haley, and were featured in the April 2019 issue of Charleston Magazine.

Appetizer:  Carrot Crostini with Burden Creek Farms Goat Cheese

Serves 4
1 cup shredded local carrots
1 tsp. fresh dill
½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. extra-virigin olive oil, preferably Olinda
2 Tbs. chopped pecans
Sea salt to taste, preferably Bulls Bay
Sourdough bread, preferably from a local bakery
4 oz. soft goat cheese, preferably Burden Creek Farms
Local honey

Mix the carrots, dill, lemon juice, olive oil, and pecans together. Add salt to taste and let set for 20 minutes. Cut the sourdough into ¼-inch thick slices and toast. Spread the goat cheese on the bread, top with the carrot mixture, drizzle with honey, and serve.

Salad: Local salad greens with roasted turnips, sweet onions, and a lemon vinaigrette

Serves 4
2 cups bite-size pieces baby turnips
1 cup ½-inch dice sweet onion
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Olinda
1 tsp. paprika
2 Tbs. chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 small heads local lettuce or 8 cups local salad greens mix
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Toss the turnips, onion, olive oil, and paprika together. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in for 25 minutes. Toss with the parsley and let cool. When ready to serve, toss with the lemon vinaigrette below and Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to taste.

Lemon vinaigrette:

1 tsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. sea salt, preferably Bulls Bay
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Olinda
Ground black pepper to taste
Combine the mustard, salt, lemon juice, and garlic in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to emulsify. Add pepper to taste.

Entrée: Gnocchi with spring asparagus, oyster mushrooms and roasted chicken

Serves 4

1 lb. Rio Bertolini Ricotta Gnocchi, available at most area farmers markets and Ted’s Butcherblock
3 Tbs. olive oil, preferably Olinda
2 Tbs. finely chopped green garlic (if unavailable substitute shallots)
3 cups 2-inch slices local asparagus (about 1 lb)
2 cups sliced Mepkin Abbey Oyster mushrooms (about 8oz)
1 cup shredded roasted local chicken, preferably Fili-West or Keegan-Filion
1 cup heavy cream
¼ toasted pine nuts
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
4 Tbs. thinly sliced basil
Salt and pepper to taste, preferably Bulls Bay

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the green garlic and sauté until translucent, about two minutes. Add the asparagus and sauté for three minutes. Add the mushrooms and chicken and sauté for another three minutes. Add the heavy cream and let the sauce simmer for five minutes, or until the cream begins to thicken.  

Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi according to package directions. Drain them and toss in the sauce. Add the pine nuts, lemon juice, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Dessert: Flourless Chocolate Cake with strawberry compote

Serves 12
8 large eggs
1 lb. dark chocolate, chopped
½ lb. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Remove the top oven rack and position the other rack in the lower half of the oven. Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper and grease the pan well. Wrap two sheets of heavy aluminum foil around the outside of the pan and then place the springform pan in a roasting pan. Bring a kettle of water to boil.

Melt the chocolate and the butter together in a double boiler or in the microwave. While it cools, beat the eggs at high speed until they double in volume. Fold the eggs into the chocolate mixture a third at a time, fully incorporating each time.

Pour batter into the springform pan. Place the roasting pan on the oven rack and very carefully pour the boiling water in the roasting pan until it comes about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake the cake until it has risen slightly, the edges are just beginning to set, and a thin-glazed crust (like a brownie) has formed on the surface. Remove the springform pan from the water, set on a wire rack, and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until cool.  

About 30 minutes prior to serving, carefully remove the sides of the springform pan, invert the cake onto waxed paper lined baking sheet, peel off the parchment paper, and reinvert the cake onto a serving platter. If desired, lightly dust the cake with powdered sugar. Serve with strawberry compote. (The cake can be refrigerated for up to four days.)

Strawberry Compote:

1 lb. local strawberries, cleaned, hulled, and halved
3 Tbs. sugar
½ tsp. fresh lemon juice

Combine the strawberries, sugar, and two tablespoons of water in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft. Add the lemon juice and let cool. Serve over the chocolate cake. (The compote can be refrigerated for up to five days.)

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