Pippin Hill Farm

Fresh summer produce shines in these dishes designed for al fresco dining.

The air is warm, and the gardens are green. Chef Ian Rynecki of Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards in North Garden offers recipes that center on garden-fresh produce—from greens and herbs to peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers—and are equally suited to a back-porch meal under the stars or an elevated picnic in a scenic spot. Bring the season’s lush bounty into the kitchen and then enjoy the fruits of your labor in the delicious weather and with Rynecki’s thoughtful wine pairings.


Recipes: Heirloom Tomato Salad
Sera Petras Photography LLC

Wine Pairing: Blanc de Blanc

  • 1 pound heirloom tomatoes 1⁄2 English cucumber
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 ounces roasted tomato vinaigrette (see recipe below)
  • 2 4-ounce balls burrata cheese, halved 4 leaves basil, hand torn
  • 1 teaspoon Fig Vincotto vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon garlic crumb

Cut the tomatoes into 1 to 1.5-inch sections. The goal here is to keep it rustic; the cuts should not be symmetrical. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise; season with salt and pepper. Grill over direct heat for 3 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Once cool, cut in mismatched pieces, about 1.5 inches wide. On the bottom of the plate, spoon a 3-inch circle of tomato vinaigrette. Top with a half ball of burrata, cut side up. Surround the burrata with tomato sections and cucumber pieces. Top with basil. Drizzle the entire dish with Fig Vincotto and garlic crumb.

For the Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette:

Sera Petras Photography LLC

1⁄2 pound tomatoes (early ripening tomatoes such as Oregon Spring or Early Girl and good quality Roma or cherry tomatoes)

  • 1 tablespoon shallot, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup golden balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 cup grapeseed oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in halves or quarters, depending on the size. Roast in the oven for 1 to 2 hours, until darkened but not dry. Blend the shallot, Dijon, and vinegar until smooth. Add in the roasted tomatoes and honey and blend until smooth. Drizzle in oil slowly while the blender is still running. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 3 cups

For the Garlic Crumb:

  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

In a medium-sized pan, over low heat, melt the butter. Add the garlic. Cook until translucent, and add the breadcrumbs. Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula as the crumbs begin to toast. Alternatively, the entire pan may be placed in the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, until toasty and golden brown. Remove the crumb mixture from the pan, allow it to cool and set aside.

Sera Petras

Falafel on Flatbread with Zhoug Sauce, Cucumber Tzatziki, Red Onion, and Cilantro

Wine Pairing: Viognier

  • 1⁄2 pound chickpeas, dried 1⁄2 ounce cilantro
  • 1⁄2 ounce parsley
  • 1⁄2 ounce mint leaves
  • 6 scallions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon coriander, toasted and ground
  • 1 teaspoon shawarma west spice mix (available at LaBoiteNY.com)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • canola or other oil for frying
  • 4 pita bread rounds
  • 1 handful mixed crunch lettuce
  • 1⁄2 bunch cilantro
  • 1⁄2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • zhoug sauce
  • cucumber tzatziki sauce

Rinse chickpeas and place in a large bowl. Cover with cold water, adding enough water to allow the chickpeas to at least double in volume. Cover and let stand at room temperature overnight. After sitting out overnight, drain, rinse, and dry chickpeas in a spinner. Combine chickpeas, herbs, scallions, garlic, cumin, coriander, shawarma spice, and salt in the food processor. Pulse until chickpeas are very finely minced. If you squeeze a handful of the mixture into a golf ball-sized ball, it should be able to barely hold together. If not, pulse a little more. Heat a heavy-bottomed pot with 1 inch of oil. Heat to 350 degrees; check using an electric thermometer. Fry the falafel balls until golden brown.

To assemble, lay the pita down on a plate. Lay a small bed of crunchy lettuce on top, add the fried falafel balls, and lightly crush them with the palm of your hand. Top with cilantro, sliced red onion, zhoug sauce, and cucumber tzatziki sauce.

Sera Petras

(Chef Ian Rynecki)

For the Zhoug Sauce:

  • 2 jalapeños, seeded
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1⁄2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 5 teaspoons sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 limes, zested and juice of

Combine all ingredients in a blender and pulse until only a few chunks remain. This will make more than the recipe requires; the remainder can be used as a sauce or garnish for chicken or fish.

For the Cucumber Tzatziki Sauce:

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, not fat-free 1 lemon, juice of
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 sprigs dill, stemless, chopped
Sera Petras Photography LLC

Garden Greens with Sora Radish, Goat Feta, and Lemon Verbena Vinaigrette

Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc

  • 1 large handful little gem lettuce
  • 1 large handful butter lettuce
  • 1 large handful red-frill mustard greens and/or frisée
  • lemon verbena vinaigrette (see recipe below)
  • red radish, thinly sliced
  • goat feta, crumbled
  • Toss the lettuces with the dressing
  • Top with the radish and feta as desired.
  • salt
  • black pepper

Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds with a spoon. Dice the cucumber, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Let it sit on a paper towel for 20 minutes to remove excess water. In a small bowl, combine cucumber with the remaining ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4-5

For the Lemon Verbena Vinaigrette:

  • 1⁄2 cup lemon verbena, chopped 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1⁄2 cup golden balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons shallots, minced 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup grapeseed or canola oil salt
  • pepper

In a small bowl, combine the lemon verbena, honey, Dijon, vinegar, shallots, and garlic. Whisk to combine. While holding the bowl, slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil until you have a combined dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 3-4

Sera Petras Photography LLC

Spring Pea Agnolotti

Wine Pairing: Zero White

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1⁄4 pound pancetta, diced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 50 filled agnolotti (see recipe below) pea shoots, for garnish
  • pecorino cheese, grated

In a medium-sized sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add pancetta and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, rendering some of the fat out. Drain the fat, then add 1 tablespoon of crisp white wine, and reduce until almost dry. Then, add the heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of reserved pasta water. Cook until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the agnolotti and stir everything together. Split into 4 to 5 separate plates and garnish with pea shoots and pecorino cheese.

For the Agnolotti Pea Filling:

  • 1 1⁄2 cups English peas, blanched and shocked
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon mint, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chervil, minced
  • 1⁄2 cup ricotta
  • 1⁄2 cup pecorino cheese, grated
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil salt
  • pepper

In the bowl of a food processor, blend the English peas with the garlic, mint, chervil, ricotta, pecorino, and lemon zest. Slowly add the olive oil while the mixture is blending. Turn the blender off, and add salt and pepper to taste. Put the pea mixture into a piping bag and chill in the refrigerator.

Sera Petras Photography LLC

For the Agnolotti Pasta Dough:

  • 170 grams 00 flour
  • 55 grams durum flour
  • 9 egg yolks
  • 1⁄2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix both of the flours and mound on a board to create a well in the center, pushing the flour to all sides to make a ring with sides about 1-inch wide. Make sure that the well is wide enough to hold all the eggs without spilling. Pour your egg yolks, water, and olive oil in the middle of the well. Using your fingers, break up the egg yolks and mix with the water and olive oil. Slowly swirl your fingers in the well, grabbing little bits of flour along the edges. Continue swirling for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Add the remaining flour and begin to knead the dough together by pushing up the sides and then pushing back down with the heel of your hand. Add more water if the dough looks particularly dry. The kneading process should take 6 to 10 minutes. The dough is ready when it looks shiny and smooth, with some bounce back when pressed with a finger. Double wrap the pasta dough in plastic wrap and allow to sit for 30 minutes before use. Roll out the dough to 1/16 of an inch.

Sera Petras

Meyer Lemon Tart with Honey Lace Cookie

Wine Pairing: Petite Mansang

  • 1 cup meyer lemon juice, zest reserved 1 cup sugar
  • 5 1⁄2 ounces butter, unsalted, softened at room temperature
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 egg yolks, large
  • 5 eggs, large
  • honey lace cookie, for garnish

In a medium saucepan, add lemon juice, zest, sugar, butter, and salt until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Meanwhile add the eggs and egg yolks together until blended in a medium bowl. Slowly start to add the hot lemon juice mixture to the eggs, whisking constantly so not to curdle the eggs. Then return mixture to the stove on low heat and whisk until it resembles a pudding; do not allow it to boil. Then strain and let it cool down at room temperature. Heavily butter or spray a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Press dough (see recipe below) into the pan and trim the edges. Prick with a fork then set in the freezer for 30 minutes. Remove and bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven, spoon lemon curd into tart shell, and bake until the lemon curd has puffed a little, about 25 minutes. Cover the edges of the tart shell with foil while baking. Allow the tart to cool completely before cutting.

On separate plates, place one slice of tart and top with a honey lace cookie. Whipped cream and berries are also wonderful additions.

Sera Petras

(Diane Burns and Ian Rynecki)

For the Crust:

  • 12 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces butter
  • unsalted 1⁄2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Combine flour and salt in a small bowl. Cream butter and sugar together in a stand mixer for about 2 minutes until combined and fluffy. Add egg yolk and milk, and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and combine. Turn the dough out onto a cutting board making sure that it is a solid dough; knead a little if necessary. Gather into a ball, plastic wrap it and refrigerate for about an hour.

For the Honey Lace Cookie:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small saucepan, melt butter, sugar, and honey. Remove from heat, stir in flour and salt until smooth. Very quickly drop a little less than a teaspoon of batter at least 3 inches apart on the baking sheets. These are going to spread a lot and become very thin. Bake for about 6 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool, then use an offset spatula to peel them off the parchment paper.

Sera Petras Photography LLC

IAN RYNECKI grew up in a family of cooks in Connecticut and worked in Michelin- starred restaurants in San Francisco before moving into the catering world. Now the corporate executive chef for Easton Porter Group and executive chef for Pippin Hill, Rynecki sources his produce from the Pippin Hill kitchen garden, and his farm-to-table meals are inspired by the wide array of fruits, vegetables, and greens grown on property.

Certified horticulturist DIANE BURNS runs those gardens, planning the crops with Rynecki, tending the beautifully manicured beds, and harvesting fresh ingredients for each day’s meals. PippinHillFarm.com


This article originally appeared in the August 2021 issue.

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