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Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Asparagus, Cherry Tomato Butter Salsa with Fried FIsh, Pumpkin Mousse

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Malibu Beach Recovery Diet: Asparagus, Cherry Tomato Butter Salsa with Fried FIsh, Pumpkin Mousse

By Chef Licia Jaccard
In Malibu Beach Recovery Diet, Recipes

fall.jpgAlthough California still brings on days of intense heat where one might think the best of summer is still to come, throughout the rest of the country, leaves are turning reds and oranges, the upcoming holiday artifacts invade the stores (earlier and earlier it seems) and with the familiar scents of pumpkin and spice, the first signs of fall are here to tell us that the seasons are at a turning point.

One of the things that I missed the most when I moved to California, was the lack of real seasons.  It is a blessing for most and allows us to enjoy the outdoors for a majority of the time.  However, our bodies were made to adapt to the seasons and use that time for specific activities that are directly linked to its full functioning and its natural rehabilitation.  

Spring provides a time of revival and regrowth where your engines rev up and recalibrate themselves to prepare for the period of full growth.  You see this transformation in all of nature but particularly in trees, where the sap and inner oxygenation through the trunk and the leaves, prepares the branches to allow for new buds that will transform into new leaves and sprigs.  Salads, raw vegetables, quickly grilled meats and fish will nourish us during this season.  It is also a good time to do a cleanse or start a juice program.

Summertime is the full-blown explosion of ripeness, of color and of flavors.  Nowhere is it more apparent than in fruits and vegetables that are at the peak of their natural sweetness and intensity of taste.  This is the time of the year where we are ready for change, with our ability to concentrate and our energy levels at their fullest. Vegetables, fruits, refreshing and complex in taste, late nights with friends, picnics and excursions, the days are longer and our senses keener.

Fall is a season of winding-down, to enjoy a stroll and a well-deserved time to reflect on the direction our live has taken as well as make subtle changes to consolidate our achievements. Our bodies go into repair mode, rehabilitate themselves, adjust to new variations and compensate for the excesses of summer. The robust colors, ranging from oranges to reds, the strong flavors of cinnamon and ginger, game meats and heavily scented vegetables like butternut squash and brussel sprouts are there to remind us that there is nothing timid about fall.

Then winter comes for a season of nourishing, of caring, of nurturing.  Our bodies are less efficient but more concerned about entering into conservation mode, hibernation if you will, so that they can resurface with the required energy when spring comes around.  The animal kingdom is extremely revealing of our ability to stop and take care of ourselves in this time.  Our food is then richer, more sustaining, more loaded in nutrients and calories to overcome the cold, the rain and the rigor of the elements. 

By respecting our natural rhythms and our alliance with the nature that surrounds us, we allow the fullest nourishment of our body and enhance its ability to serve us in the best possible way.

(click to continue to recipes)


Licia Jaccard

Asparagus with a twist

Thumbnail image for fresh asparagus.jpgServes 4 


4 ounces turkey bacon, cut into very fine strips

1 Tbsp butter

1 pound asparagus, woody ends trimmed and sliced into 2 inch pieces on the bias

1 1/4 cup leek, thinly sliced crosswise (white and pale green parts only)

2 cloves garlic, minced

Zest of one lemon

1 tsp orange zest

2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts

2 Tbsp Italian parsley, chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


In a large non-stick pan, sauté the turkey bacon, stirring frequently, over medium heat, until crisp and lightly golden. 

Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan. Add the asparagus pieces and leek and sauté until the asparagus is tender crisp, about 3-4 minutes. 

Add the garlic, lemon and orange zest, toasted pine nuts and parsley and sauté for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and salt and serve immediately.


Cherry Tomato Butter Salsa with Fried Fishcherry tomatoes.jpg

Serves 4


Marinade and coating for fish

1 Tbsp tablespoon olive oil

2 Tbsp lime juice

2 clove crushed garlic

4 fillets of catfish or any other flaky white fish

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

1 tsp salt

ground black pepper


Butter Salsa

4 cups cherry tomatoes (cut in half)

2 jalapeno pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 clove crushed garlic

1 Tbsp chopped cilantro stems

2 tsp lime zest

1 tsp salt

water or chicken stock

lime juice and/or zest to taste

3 Tbsp soft butter

4 chopped green onions for garnish


Mix the olive oil, lime juice, and garlic with the fish in a non-reactive bowl and let rest for 1 hour. 

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, garlic, cilantro stems, and lime zest and begin cooking it down, stirring occasionally. It should be well cooked down and bright red, and the juices should be a bit reduced. Add stock or water to the salsa if needed to keep it from sticking. Add more lime zest and lime juice. Cook some more until the juices are reduced. 

Heat a thin layer of butter and/or oil in another large sauté pan over medium high heat. Season the flour with salt and pepper, dredge the fish and fry in the olive oil or butter until golden brown on both sides, flipping once, about 1-2 minutes. Remove to a warm oven while you finish the sauce. 

To finish: Stir in a few tablespoons of softened butter off heat.  Do this off the heat as you want the butter to make a creamy sauce. Serve over the fish. Garnish with chopped green onions and serve with lime wedges. 


Pumpkin foolThumbnail image for fall pumpkins.jpg

Serves 8


For the Graham Cracker Crumbs

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cubed

1/4 cup agave syrup


For the Pumpkin Mousse

1 cup pumpkin purée

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/4 cup agave syrup

1 1/4 cups mascarpone

Prepared graham cracker crumbs



Make the Graham Crackers: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, butter and agave, pulsing until they come together to form a somewhat firm dough.

Place the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll to a thinness of approximately one-eighth inch. Place the dough, still covered, on a cookie sheet and chill for 20 minutes.

Carefully peel the top sheet of parchment paper and bake the dough until it is a deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool the graham cracker completely, then crumble the cracker and pulse in a food processor until broken into coarse crumbs. This makes about 2 1/2 cups crumbs.

Make the pumpkin mousse: In a mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin purée with the ground cinnamon. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream, agave syrup and mascarpone on medium to high speed until the mixture forms soft peaks, about 5 minutes.

Carefully fold the pumpkin purée into the whipped cream mixture using a rubber spatula. Fill a large pastry bag set with a plain decorative tip with the pumpkin filling.

To build the fools, place 8 half-pint glasses or Mason jars on a tray. Put a tablespoon of the graham cracker crumbs into each glass, pipe about 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin mixture directly on top. Continue alternating until you fill the glasses to the top, finishing with graham crackers. Alternatively, to serve a family-style fool, build the layers in a trifle dish (4-quart capacity). Refrigerate for at least one hour, and up to 24 hours, before serving.  You can add a sprinkle of cinnamon to the top layer.

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