When Trinidad And Appalachia Meet, Chrissy Picklesimer

Chrissy Picklesimer

You may not know her name, but you have probably swooned over her cinnamon rolls and carrot cake sold locally at Bryson’s Food Store. 

With the last name of Picklesimer, there’s some serious connection to Highlands.  Chrissy married Benson Picklesimer of Highlands in the 80s, but was born in Trinidad West Indies, which becomes obvious when you hear her lilting accent; and it’s her roots in the islands that led to her love of fresh veggies and fish. 

“Oh, those luscious greens!”

A self-described kitchen nut, Chrissy says, “Don’t limit this sauce to pasta. Try it with chicken or fish as a baked dish and as a topping for baked potatoes. Let your taste buds guide you.”

Cheesy Onion and Veggie Pasta Sauce

2 tsp Herbs de Provence

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 cup Half and Half.

1 cup low-sodium Chicken Broth

1/3 cup Natural Romano and Parmesan Cheese

4 tbsp Butter

1 tbsp Cornstarch

1 small can Black Olives, drained

Black Pepper to taste

5 ounces fresh Broccoli

5 ounces fresh Cauliflower

1 cup fresh Baby Spinach

2 large fresh Carrots

1 large Sweet Onion

Cut Onion into 6-7 wedges and sauté in 1 tbsp Olive Oil until tender.  Remove from pan.  Pulse Broccoli and Cauliflower in food processor until resembling large bread crumbs.  Set aside.  Repeat with Carrots.  Cut Spinach into smaller pieces.  Add remaining Olive Oil to skillet and sauté veggies.  Remove from skillet.

 In same skillet, add 4 tbsp Butter and 1 cup Chicken Broth.  Heat 4–5 minutes.  Add Herbs de Provence.  Stir well.

 Combine Cornstarch with Half and Half then add to broth, mixing well.  Add cheeses and stir well. 

 Simmer until slightly thick and bubbly, being careful not to burn.  Slowly add sautéed vegetables, olives.  Mix well and simmer for 5-6 minutes.  Turn off heat.  Sauce may be used immediately or refrigerated up to seven days.  If sauce is reheated, add 1/4 cup Half and Half or Chicken Broth and 2 tbsp Parmesan/Romano. 

 Serve over whole grain noodles or whole grain spaghetti.  Chrissy says the sauce makes a wonderful filler for a veggie lasagna, using five cheese blends and ricotta cheese.