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Tuscan Ribs with Balsamic Glaze

Rubbed with fennel and herbs, and glazed with sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar, these pastured pork baby back ribs will have you licking your lips and fingertips. But the happy surprise of this dish is the roasted garlic cauliflower mash.

Lectin Free Gourmet Tuscan Ribs with Balsamic Glaze

Inspired by my favorite ribs recipe from Food & Wine, this Lectin Free Gourmet version is made from pastured pork ribs and seasoned with fresh herbs and fennel seeds from my garden.

FENNEL SEEDS are rich in polyphenols which feed microorganisms in your gut for healthy digestion! And they taste like licorice!

As the September nights turn crisp, cravings for meat and potatoes and warm comfort food creep into your subconscious. It's okay to cave in to cravings when you have ingredients from the Plant Paradox "YES" list.

Gorgeous pastured pork baby back ribs (I get mine online from Thrive), garden fresh herbs and fennel seeds, balsamic vinegar and olive oil help make one of your guiltiest pleasures — chowing down on succulent ribs — quite innocent. Seriously, devour them and enjoy!

The Recipe

Tuscan Ribs with Balsamic Glaze

1 Full Rack Pastured Pork Baby Back Ribs

1 T Olive Oil

1 T Fresh Rosemary Leaves chopped

1 t Fennel Seeds

1 t Fresh Thyme Leaves chopped

1 t Fresh Sage Leaves chopped

1/4 t Ground Coriander

1/4 t Allspice

1/8 t Cayenne

1/2 t Kosher Salt

1/2 t Black Pepper

2 T Balsamic Vinegar (preferably aged) reserved for glaze

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

1 Head Organic Cauliflower (cheat with frozen cauliflower rice)

1 Large Clove Garlic unpeeled

1/4 C Grassfed White Cheddar Cheese grated

1 T Grassfed Cream Cheese

1 T Butter from Pastured Cows

1/2 t Salt

1/4 t White Pepper

1/4 C Grassfed Whole Milk

Rosemary Spring Garnish


In a small bowl, make a paste rub using olive oil and all the herbs, seeds, spices and seasoning. Rub it onto the meaty side of the ribs. Place ribs in a roasting pan. Let ribs sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roast ribs for 2 hours. With 30 minutes to go, throw in the unpeeled garlic clove for the cauliflower mash to roast. When ribs are done, remove from oven. Lift the garlic clove out with a fork and set aside. Turn oven on broil and set to 500 degrees. Brush ribs with balsamic vinegar and place them back into the oven and broil for about 1 - 2 minutes until glaze bubbles. Remove ribs from oven and let stand 5 minutes before cutting into individual riblets for serving.

While the ribs are roasting, make mashed cauliflower. Cut head into florets and put them into a large pot of boiling water. Cook half covered for 40 minutes or until fork tender. Drain. In a large bowl, add the cheddar and cream cheeses, butter, salt and pepper. Peel your roasted garlic clove and mince. Add to the other ingredients in the bowl. Add the hot, drained caulifower florets. Mix with an electric mixer. Slowly add milk until you get the consistency of thick mashed potatoes.

For an extra side, flash fry asparagus spears in pan of pork fat rendered from roasting the ribs. Your asparagus will have the herbs and seasoning from the rib rub. YUM!

Plate the cauliflower mash in the middle and lean 3-4 ribs against the dollop. Garnish with a rosemary sprig and a side of asparagus.

Pair with a glass of old vine zinfandel. Saluti! Buon Appetito!

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