A garden oasis and cultural center overlooking the Hudson River

Cooking with Maple Syrup

Great Performances chef Marc Spooner was here in late March to kick off our springtime Woodland Cooking series with a marvelous demonstration of how to cook with maple syrup. (Great Performances is Wave Hill’s exclusive caterer.) I always appreciate the way Marc combines delicious, easy-to-follow recipes and useful cooking techniques with interesting food information: Did you know that the sap of sugar maple trees (Acer saccharum) is about 98% water, and that 40 gallons of sap must be boiled down to produce one gallon of syrup? Thus its high price. Marc has a great personality, and is so good at making cooking accessible and helping people get excited about using local ingredients. Here is one of the delicious recipes from the demo, one Marc has been making for many years. It’s yummy!

Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese, Local Apples, Maple-sugared Cashews and Tarragon Dijon Vinaigrette
4 cups baby spinach, washed and dried
2 apples, cored and sliced
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup tarragon Dijon vinaigrette (recipe follows)
½ cup maple-sugared cashews (recipe follows)
Salt and pepper to taste

Place baby spinach, apples and feta cheese in a large bowl. Drizzle vinaigrette over ingredients and toss. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Garnish with maple-sugared cashews.

Maple-sugared Cashews
3 Tbsp maple sugar
½ cup cashews

Melt maple sugar in a sauce pan. Add cashews and coat them evenly with melted maple sugar. Keep stirring nuts until caramelized. Spread nuts on parchment paper and allow to cool. Once nuts have cooled, break them apart.

Tarragon Dijon Vinaigrette
1 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp shallot, minced
¼ cup champagne vinegar
¾ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together tarragon, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, shallots and champagne vinegar plus salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Recipe courtesy of Marc Spooner.

Laurel Rimmer is Assistant Director of Public Programs at Wave Hill. 

3 thoughts on “Cooking with Maple Syrup

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