Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Butternut Squash and Coconut Soup with Shrimp





This is Thai style soup which can be served over rice or noodles if you wish.

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon red curry paste, more to taste
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces, about 4 cups
2 cups chicken broth
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup shredded coconut, toasted
Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in curry paste, sugar and salt and cook 1 minute longer. Stir in squash, broth and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender, 20 minutes. Stir in shrimp and simmer just until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro and sprinkle with coconut.
Note: If butternut squash isn't available, I'm sure any of the winter squashes would work fine.
Adapted from a Whole Foods recipe

Another good carrot recipe

Arthur and I went to holiday potluck this week. With all the vegetables I have I always make a dish that uses some of my veggies when I take a dish to a potluck. Since I had almost 6 pounds of carrots, this soup which uses 2 pounds of carrots seemed like a good choice.

Herbed Carrot Soup

4 slices uncooked bacon
1/4 c. butter
2 lbs. carrots, peeled and sliced
1 med. onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. peeled and chopped turnip
1/2 c. flour
6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. thyme
1 1/2 c. half & half or milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Don't worry too much about how the vegetables are chopped since you're going to puree them anyway. If you find the bay leaf after cooking you can remove it. I forgot about it and it seemed to disappear when I pureed the soup.

Saute bacon until crisp and remove from pan. Add butter, carrots, onions, celery and turnips. Saute until onions are transparent (approximately 5 minutes). Add flour and continue cooking 2 minutes, stirring constantly. (Mixture will be quite dry.)

Add chicken stock gradually. Stir until smooth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add bay leaf and thyme and simmer covered, 15 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor in batches. Add 1/2 & 1/2, parsley, salt and pepper. Reheat soup if necessary and top with crumbled crisp bacon.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Orange Curry Carrots

This dish makes a simple vegetarian meal served over brown basmati rice. The thick, sweet-savory sauce complements the carrots.

1 cup orange juice
1 cup water
4 cups 1/4" sliced carrots (peeled or not as you prefer)
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons ghee or butter
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
2 tablespoons flour
1 banana sliced (do use this--it adds a lot to the dish)
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
chopped fresh cilantro, as much as you like

Bring the orange juice and water to a boil and add the carrots. Reduce the heat, cover and cook until the carrots are tender. Stir in the raisins. Remove from heat.

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the spices and cook stirring constantly just until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour into the skillet and stir constantly until a smooth paste forms. Remove from heat.

Drain the carrots and raisins, reserving the orange liquid. Add about half the liquid to the curry mixture in the skillet and return to heat. Whisk until the sauce thickens and add the rest of the liquid. Cook until it is a medium thick sauce. Stir in the carrots, raisins, and banana. Season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Adapted from Farmer John's Cookbook

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cabbage Casserole

Cabbage, Mushroom and Noodle Casserole

This recipe turned out very well. My husband was only sorry I hadn't doubled it so that there were more leftovers.

2 tablespoons olive oil
6 ounces sliced mushrooms (I used cremini mushrooms)
medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 cups shredded cabbage (about 1/2 of a medium head) I used the thin slicing disk of my food processor which made preparing the cabbage really easy
4 ounces broad egg noodles
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk (not essential)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 cups milk
1/3-1/2 cup grated cheese (I used mozzarella, Swiss or Gruyere would work well)
Optional: 3 fully cooked chicken sausages, sliced
1/2 cup fresh or dry bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter (optional)

Saute the onions and mushrooms in the olive oil until the onions are tender. Put them in a large casserole and sprinkle with the tarragon. Put the broth in the skillet, add the cabbage and simmer covered until the cabbage is tender (about 7-8 minutes). Remove the cabbage with a slotted spoon and add to the casserole dish. Reserve the remaining stock in the pan. Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain and mix with cabbage and mushrooms.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk the flour, dry milk, salt, pepper and mustard into the liquid milk. Add it to the broth in the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until it melts. Add the sliced sausage if you are using it. Pour the sauce over the vegetables and noodles; sprinkle with the bread crumbs and dot with butter if desired.

Bake the casserole for 25-30 minutes, until bubbling and slightly browned.

Adapted from 366 Delicious Ways to Cook Pasta with Vegetables by Dolores Riccio

Another Great Recipe to Use Those Root Veggies

Harvest Meat Loaf

1 lb. lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups grated or minced root veggies (carrots, potatoes, celeriac, turnips, rutabaga--all work well) Easily done with a food processor
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ Tb Worcestershire sauce
1 Tb Stone ground or Dijon mustard
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
Salt and pepper

Heat about 1 Tb canola oil in a heavy skillet. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Then add garlic and root vegetables and sauté another 10 minutes to soften. Stir in oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, combine breadcrumbs, milk and eggs and let sit for 5 minutes. When veggies are slightly cooled, combine ground beef, breadcrumb mixture, veggie mixture, Worcestershire, mustard, and a pinch more salt and pepper. It’s easiest if you just get in there and use your hands.

I prefer an “open loaf” to using a bread loaf pan because I like the crispy edges. Form into a wide loaf shape in a 9 x 9" pan. Bake at 350 degrees until cooked through and crispy, about 45 minutes. Glaze with ketchup or barbecue sauce for the last 10 minutes if you like.

I borrowed this recipe from a friend's Blue Moon CSA newsletter. It made a very moist and flavorful meatloaf plus using some of our root vegetables. I think I used grated turnips and winter radish.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A new dish using root vegetables

This is a recipe for a vegetarian fruit and vegetable stew:

Vegetarian Tsimmes
Approximately 1 pound of dried fruit. I used a mixture of prunes, apricots, dried cranberries, figs and a few currants. It probably totals 3 cups. You can suit your own taste in choosing the fruit, although prunes are quite traditional. Chop the fruit coarsely.
Soak the fruit in a mixture of brandy and warm water almost to cover the fruit. Its OK to skip the brandy and just use all water if you prefer.

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into diagonal chunks
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3/4 pounds of onions, peeled and diced into large pieces (red or yellow are both fine)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
the original recipe called for ground cloves, which I skipped because I don't like cloves
juice from 1/2 lemon or about 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons butter

Fill a large pot with water to cover the vegetables and salt well. Cook the vegetables for about 15 minutes. At this point they should be almost tender.

Preheat the oven to 325F. Drain the vegetables. Stir in the fruit (including the liquid), the remaining ingredients and about 1/2 cup of the potato/carrot liquid. Transfer to a well-buttered large casserole dish and top with dots of butter. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 10 minutes to brown a little.

My husband and I were not in total agreement on this dish. I liked it and thought it made a very satisfying fall supper dish. Arthur thought it was confusing and couldn't decide if it was more like a vegetable side dish or a dessert.

Recipe adapted from A Veggie Venture website.

A new way to use parsnips

I found this recipe in Farmer John's Cookbook and adapted it slightly. I had never considered eating parsnips raw, but decided to give this salad a try. I took it to a potluck and asked the guests to try to guess what the vegetable was--it took them about 10 guesses.

Parsnip & Apple Slaw with Creamy Parsley Dressing

Dressing
1/2 sour cream
2 tablespoons minced onion (red or yellow)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
ground pepper

3-4 medium parsnips, peeled and coarsely grated (a food processor is the easiest way to do this)
2 medium apples (unpeeled) cored and finely diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds

Combine the ingredients for the dressing and stir well.
Mix in the parsnips, apples and cranberries. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Toast the nuts lightly, being careful not to burn them.
When you're ready to serve the salad, taste to see if it needs any more salt and pepper. Sprinkle the nuts on top.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Back to the kitchen!

I wasn't allowed to put any weight at all on my left leg for 10 weeks which is a very long time. The work that the surgeon did was successful and now I'm starting to get around my condo with the aid of a walker.

I've also started to do some cooking while hanging onto counters, etc. Last night I made a very simple supper but the salad was excellent and the pasta dish quite good as well.

Apple Spinach Salad

4 cups baby spinach
1 medium apple, sliced (I also peeled mine because I don't like apple peels)
1/2 small red onion cut into thin wedges
2 tablespoon roughly chopped dried tart cherries
1/4 cup pecan pieces
1/2 cup blue cheese (about 2 ounces) or you could substitute feta

Thyme-Dijon Vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt

Put ingredients for dressing in jar and shake well. Use the amount you want on the salad.

Adapted from a recipe from Heart Healthy magazine

Mini Cheese Ravioli & Butternut Squash

1/2 butternut squash, peeled and cubed, you should have about 2 cups. More is fine.
1 package fresh mini ravioli (the original recipe called for cheese tortellini which I didn't have) *
2 slices bacon, cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large sprig of fresh sage (about 10 leaves) or 1-2 teaspoons dried sage leaves
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish if available

Steam squash until tender or cook in microwave for about 5 minutes with 2 tablespoons water. Cook the ravioli according to package directions. Drain & set aside.
Cook bacon strips until crisp. Drain on paper towel lined plate. Return skillet to stove with drippings. Melt butter in the skillet. Add sage and cook until butter browns. Remove sage and discard. If you use dried sage you won't need to discard it. Stir in wine, sugar and squash. Cook for 30 seconds. Add pasta and heat through. Top with bacon, salt, pepper and parsley.

* If you live in Wisconsin, Minnesota or Illinois, try using RP's Fresh Pasta which is a product made in Madison. They make lots of varieties and all of them are very good.

Recipe adapted from Cuisine at Home magazine

Monday, August 31, 2009

No Recipes

In case any of my followers have noticed that there have been no new recipes for awhile, this is why. I fell in my kitchen on the night of Thursday, August 5 and broke my hip. I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and had surgery the next day. After 6 days in the hospital I was transferred to a rehab center on the west side of Madison which is where I still am. The really hard part is that I can't put any weight at all on my left leg. It makes things very challenging. My husband has been taking most of our CSA vegetables to my daughter's since he's not a cook.

I don't know when I'll be able to start cooking again, but I miss it and am really looking forward to getting back into my kitchen.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

World's Best Green Bean Casserole

This is a very good recipe for green bean casserole on A Veggie Venture website, http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/.  Alanna Kellog the author of A Veggie Venture has the following to say about the recipe, "'World's Best Green Bean Casserole'. What a lofty name! Still, I just might call this updated green bean casserole the World's Best Casserole, bar none."

I am unable to post the recipe for you here since it makes the original author tense to have it copied from her site.  However, its worth going to her website to find it and try it. 

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Salmon with Minty Mango Salsa

I'd like to say this dish is made with local foods--but its not. However, I will say its delicious and we loved it!

Mango Salsa:
1 medium, ripe mango, peeled and diced
1 cup peeled and diced cucumber
2 green onions, sliced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 avocado, coarsely chopped
1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped mint
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Sea salt

Salmon:
1# wild-salmon fillet
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons olive oil

1. To make the mango salsa, combine the mango, cucumber, onions, tomato, avocado, jalapeño, garlic, mint, and lime juice in a medium bowl, stirring gently to combine. Add the salt, to taste. Cover and set aside. If not using the salsa right away, chill in the refrigerator.
2. Season the salmon fillets on both sides with the salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Sear the salmon on both sides until golden brown and flaky, about 3 minutes each side.
3. Spoon the salsa on top of the fillets; serve immediately.

I've adapted this recipe created by Mariel Hemingway slightly.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Roasted Baby Beet Salad

1# or however many beets you have, stems trimmed to 1#
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 bag of salad greens or torn lettuce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap beets in foil and roast until tender. It will take 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool. Peel beets and cut in wedges. Whisk together dressing ingredients. Dress the salad greens with as much dressing as you like, top with the beets and drizzle with a bit more dressing.

Artichoke Spinach Pizza

This is another good recipe to use some greens. The original recipe called for frozen spinach, but fresh works well. No need to cook it first.

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1-2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 HVF bag of spinach (probably about 4 ounces)
1 whole wheat pizza crust (such as Boboli)
1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
2/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) grated sharp provolone or shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese or more if you prefer (I had some goat cheese feta and that worked very well)
you can also add a few slices of turkey pepperoni if you wish

Preheat oven to 450°.
Chop the spinach finely.
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir in spinach.
Place pizza crust on a baking sheet. Spread spinach mixture over pizza crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border; top with artichokes, cheese and pepperoni if using.
Bake at 450° for 13 minutes or until cheese melts.

Yum! Good for you pizza.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Spring (or Summer) Greens Lasagna

This tastes pretty much like a normal lasagna but you can use a LOT of greens in it. To get 8 cups of packed greens, I used 1 bag of HVF saute greens, plus some romaine lettuce, a few radish tops--you get the idea--whatever green stuff you need to use up. Do try to chop the greens up somewhat fine so that they aren't stringy. As I mentioned before I throw mine in the food processor and pulse a few times. You need to do this in batches and don't let them turn to mush.

1 box no-boil lasagna noodles (I didn't use the whole box)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced
8 cups packed greens, well washed and coarsely chopped, any combination (ideas include spinach, saute mix, chard, beet or turnip tops, even romaine lettuce works)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano (fresh herbs are good if they're in season)
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 cups organic tomato-based pasta sauce
1 cup ricotta cheese
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated
1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese

1. Try to make this the day before you want to eat it because it gives the noodles a chance to soften.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add onions. Saute, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent. Add garlic, greens, and herbs, and saute, stirring frequently, until greens are slightly wilted and greatly reduced in volume. Set aside.
4. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking dish. Layer half the noodles on top. Its OK to break them to cover the bottom of the dish. Cover with half the greens mixture, then half of the remaining sauce. Place dollops of ricotta on top, using it all, then sprinkle on half of the mozzarella, then half the Parmesan. Repeat with a layer of noodles, greens, sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan.
5. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest overnight. Add about 1 cup water, if it looks a little dry.
6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake for about 40 minutes leaving covered. Remove the foil and bake about 15 minutes more or until the top is brown and it looks bubbly.
7. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Adapted from care2.com

Note: If you want to cut down on the fat calories a bit, reduce the amount of cheese. It will still taste good and people won't really notice.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday Supper Menu

I don't normally post recipes except those using produce from our CSA farm. One of the recipes in this menu does use some of our farm veggies. However, the main dish was a recipe for barbecued shrimp that I thought was so good that I decided to share it (as well as remember myself which recipe I used). It has a lot of ingredients in the marinade but don't be put off by it because its very easy. The hardest part is peeling and deveining the shrimp and Arthur was nice enough to take care of that chore. We had purchased some frozen shrimp from a local vendor who comes to one of our farmers' markets. I normally prefer fresh shrimp but these were exceptionally good.

Spicy Barbecued Shrimp

1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves, plus more, for garnish
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (I used a little hot pepper from my daughter's garden. It was very hot! I didn't bother to seed it but minced it seeds and all. It added a definite kick to the dish but we all agreed it wasn't too spicy and added just the right amount of heat.)
1 teaspoon paprika (I used Penzey's smoked Spanish paprika) 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 lime, juiced
2 pounds large shrimp, peeled

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the shrimp and mix well to combine. Add the shrimp to the seasoning paste, and toss to thoroughly coat with the seasoning mixture. Let the shrimp sit in the seasoning mixture while you prepare the grill--up to a couple of hours in fine. Prepare a grill and either thread the shrimp on skewers or use a seafood grill pan, which Mike (my daughter's fiancee) had and use that. Its a lot less trouble. I've attached a picture of what the grill pan looks like. Place shrimp skewers on the grill or the shrimp in the pan and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the shrimp turn pink. Do not overcook! Sprinkle with chopped cilantro to serve.

Adapted from a recipe by Emeril Lagasse, posted on Food Network.com

We served these delectable shrimp with spinach salad with roasted beets (from Harmony Valley Farm), corn bean salad (Victoria & Mike's contribution), deviled eggs (I'm testing the recipe), potato green bean salad and cornbread.

I thought the following was a useful recipe to use a number of the vegetables we got in our CSA box from HVF on Saturday--green beans, potatoes, onions and basil. It would also be an excellent salad to take to picnics because you wouldn't have to worry about keeping it cold as you do with a mayonnaise dressing. It is in fact better if its served at room temperature.

Green Bean and Potato Salad

2 pounds red potatoes (unpeeled if they are organic)
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 small onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I recommend using white balsamic vinegar if you have it available, so that it doesn't tint the veggies brown)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Slice the potatoes and place the potatoes in a large pot, and fill with about 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 7-10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Remove the potatoes and drain careful. Add the green beans to steam for about 10 minutes or until they are as tender as you prefer. Drain and add to the potatoes in a large bowl. Toss with fresh basil, onion, salt and pepper. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegars, mustard, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and olive oil. Pour over the salad, and stir to coat. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. You can also add some lemon juice if it isn't as tart as you like. I didn't think it needed it.  Sprinkle small basil leaves on top of the salad as a garnish.

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Zucchini Soup with Cinnamon, Cumin and Buttermilk

This soup was supposed to be served cold, but we never got around to chilling it. I'm sure that would be good, but it was also fine at room temperature. The cold buttermilk helped to cool it. The seasonings are somewhat unusual but make for a very flavorful soup. Zucchini on its own is rather bland, so interesting seasons improve it.

1 lb trimmed zucchini
2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 seeded and minced Serrano chili pepper
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (yogurt could also be used)
Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Garnish: chopped, fresh cilantro or mint (if desired)

1. Chop the zucchini in large chunks.
2. Add the broth to a soup pot, bring it to a boil and add the zucchini.
3. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the zucchini is barely tender and still bright green. Remove from heat and cool.
4. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small, non-stick frying pan. Add the onion, chili pepper, fennel, cinnamon and cumin and fry until onion is soft, but not brown, and spices are fragrant.
5. Combine the zucchini with the onion mixture. Process with an immersion blender until well chopped but still retaining texture. Add the buttermilk and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Chill for at least 2 hours (or serve as is garnished with a sprinkling of cilantro).

Adapted from Lifescript.com

Saturday, July 25, 2009

2 good cauliflower recipes

This is a very easy, flavorful soup that is also low in fat.
Curried Cauliflower Soup

1 medium cauliflower
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
8 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 pinches cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup tiny pasta (Acini de Pepe, stars, orzo, whatever you have available)

Break cauliflower into florets. Put in a large pot with the broth. Add the olive oil and curry powder, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat and simmer until the cauliflower is fork tender, about 10 minutes. Using a potato masher, break up the cauliflower into small pieces (don't completely mash it). Bring the soup back to a boil and add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is done, about 6-8 minutes.

Adapted from a Penzey's catalogue recipe

This is another easy dish that is surprisingly tasty.
Mashed Potatoes, Cauliflower and Carrots

1 1/4# Yukon gold potatoes (or whatever you have), preferably unpeeled
1 pound(s) cauliflower, florets
3/4 pounds carrots, cut into chunks
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1-2 tablespoons butter or Brummel & Brown margarine
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
1/4 cup scallions, sliced

Place potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover ingredients; bring to a boil. Boil until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; return to saucepan.

Stir in milk, sour cream, butter, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Process mixture in the pan using an immersion blender until it has reached the texture you want; stir in scallions. You could also use a potato masher. Just a little more work.

Adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe

A great way to use fennel

We loved this dish of roast vegetables and Italian sausage served over polenta.

Italian Sausage and Vegetable Roast

1 pound sweet or hot Italian chicken or turkey sausage, cut into 1inch pieces
1 medium red pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 fennel bulbs, cut into slices
2-3 medium Italian plum tomatoes, cut into wedges
1-2 sweet onions, cut into wedges
4 or more garlic cloves
1-2 zucchini squash, cut into thick slices
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves, crushed or fresh if available
1/2 cups chicken broth
4 cups hot cooked creamy polenta*

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray roasting pan with vegetable cooking spray.
Mix sausage, vegetables and oregano and 1/2 cup broth in pan.
Roast 30 minutes or until done, stirring once.
Serve with pan juices over polenta. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

* I made my polenta using 1/2 water and 1/2 chicken broth. At the end I stirred in some soft goat cheese, not necessary but delicious.

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Radish Omelet

This is another good recipe I borrowed from A Good Appetite blog. We're still dealing with radishes and this is a good recipe to use them in. You can even eat your radishes for breakfast--we did.

2 cups radishes, sliced thinly
1 medium onion, preferably a Cipollini onion with some green on top, sliced thinly
enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
5-6 large eggs
1/4 cup milk or water
1 spring fresh rosemary, strip the leaves from the stem and chop coarsely (you could also substitute another herb for the rosemary)

Heat olive oil in a large skillet until hot. Add the radishes and onions and sprinkle with salt. Fry until golden. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel. Drain off most of the oil and leave about 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons.

Whisk the eggs with the milk until foamy. Heat the pan with the oil in it and add the eggs to the skillet. As the omelet cooks, pull to one side to let uncooked eggs flow to the bottom of the pan and cook. When the eggs are almost completely cooked to your liking, add the radishes and onions. Then flip 1/2 of the egg mixture over the other 1/2 so it is a half circle. Put the lid on the pan for a minute or two to finish cooking. This dish can either be served immediately or at room temperature.

I served it with beet greens, sausages and whole grain toast for a great Saturday breakfast.

Beet Greens & Cipollini or Other Sweet Onions

This recipe was in Harmony Valley Farm's newsletter. It sounded easy and a good way to use up our beet greens. Leafy green vegetables are supposed to aid in memory retention among other things, so I figured we better be eating our greens and not adding them to the worm bin.

Greens from 1 or 2 bunches of beets
Large cippolini or sweet Spanish onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper

Cut the top off the onion and set aside. Chop the onion, but not too fine. Heat oil and add onion. Continue to cook the diced onions until they caramelize. You can add about 1-2 teaspoons of sugar if you wish to aid the browning.
While the onions are cooking, chop the beet greens and slice the onion top. Then add the chopped greens and onion tops to the caramelized onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until the greens are completely wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Swiss Chard Tart

The fresh chard and the olive oil in the crust give this rustic tart an earthy, nutty flavor. It has just enough custard to hold the filling together. The pat-in-pan crust makes it easy to put together.

1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
kosher salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1-3 tablespoons ice water
1 large bunch Swiss chard (about 3/4 pound)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 large egg yolk
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 large eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream or 1/2 & 1/2
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 1/2 oz.)
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to mix them. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil and pulse a few more times. Add the ice water a little at a time and pulse just until the dough begins to come together. Use your fingers to press i into the base and us the sides of a 10 inch tart pan with a removable base. Wrap loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Clean the chard leaves and remove the stems, reserving them. Trim the ends off the chard stems and discard. Cut the stems into a small dice, about the same size as the onion. Cut the chard leaves in half lengthwise and then into 1 inch wide strips. Strip the rosemary leaves from their stem and coarsely chop them.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the crust from the refrigerator. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 12 minutes. While the crust is baking, mix the egg yolk with a pinch of salt. Remove the crust from the oven and brush with the egg yolk. Bake until the glaze is set, about 2 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

While the crust is baking, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a deep skillet over medium low heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the chard stems and chopped rosemary. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes, until the stems are tender. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Raise the heat to medium and stir in the chard leaves; season with salt. Cook until the leaves are wilted and soft and any liquid has evaporated, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.

Beat together the eggs and cream and season with salt and pepper. Add the chard mixture and then the grated cheese and mix well. Scrape the filling into the prepared shell. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until just set. Let cook for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe from Outstanding in the field, a farm to table cookbook by Jim Denevan

Creamy Risotto with Shrimp & Baby Bok Choy

I was watching one of Simply Ming's shows that I had taped. Simply Ming Online is the Web site of the public TV cooking series Simply Ming, featuring Chef Ming Tsai as he cooks up easy East-West inspired recipes. http://www.ming.com/simplyming/ The TV show is on in Madison on Saturday afternoons on PBS (21).

He made a dish with shrimp and baby bok choy added to risotto and flavored with lemongrass. Delicious!

1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced lemongrass
Olive oil to cook
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup white wine
3-4 cups chicken stock, hot
1 pound baby shrimp or larger shrimp, roughly chopped
3 heads baby bok choy, shredded (quantity is not important here)
4 tablespoons room temperature cream cheese
Minced chives, for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Coat a skillet or pot over medium heat lightly with olive oil and saute the garlic, shallots, and lemongrass for about 2 minutes. Add the rice, stir to coat with oil and season. Deglaze with white wine and reduce by 75%. Slowly add stock a ladle at a time, stirring rice until each ladle of liquid is absorbed. When just beyond al dente, add the shrimp and bok choy to heat through. Add cream cheese to melt, check again for flavor and garnish with chives.

Note: to prepare the lemongrass; use only the bottom, pale part of the stalk. Slice off the top green part and root end and peel away the tough outer layers. You can then chop the lemongrass with a large, heavy knife. Be sure to mince it finely for this dish as it is quite fibrous.

Adapted from Simply Ming.com

Chinese Cabbage Scallop

This dish is sort of a comfort food kind of thing.

1 medium sized head napa cabbage
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 flour
1 teaspoon Penzey's chicken soup base (or something similar)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1-2 cups buttered bread soft bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut large leaves in half lengthwise and then shred coarsely. (There should be about 8 cups--a little more or less is OK.) Place in a buttered shallow 8 cup pan (9 X 9" square pan works well).
Melt butter, stir in flour, chicken base, salt and pepper. Cook stirring constantly until just bubbling. Stir in milk a little at time. Cook and stir until the sauce thickens. Stir in parsley. Pour over cabbage. Make sure the sauce and cabbage are combined. Cover with foil. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes; uncover. Sprinkle buttered bread crumbs on the top of the cabbage. Bake 10 minutes longer or until cabbage in crisply tender and crumbs are golden and crispy.

Adapted from Family Circle magazine.

Lamb Lettuce Wraps

I haven't posted any recipes for a few days but that doesn't mean that I haven't been cooking away with the veggies from our box.

I borrowed this one from another blogger, A Good Appetite, the Minneapolis couple who love to eat. Their comment about the recipe, "The seasoning of the lamb was very flavorful & slightly middle eastern. I really enjoyed the texture of the almonds & the saltiness of the olives. The warm filling was really nice against the cool crispness of the lettuce though you could easily serve it in a pita or on top of some couscous or rice." I agree that its delicious and quick to prepare.

Lamb Lettuce Wraps

1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 lb ground lamb
1 t cumin
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t black pepper
1/2 t turmeric
1/2 c chopped green olives
1/4 c tomato paste
1/4 c sliced almonds
large romaine lettuce leaves, washed & dried

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion & sauté until just tender. Add lamb & cook until brown. Stir in cumin, coriander, pepper, turmeric, olives and tomato paste. Cook for 1 -2 minutes to blend flavors. Stir in almonds. Scoop a little into the middle of each lettuce leaf, wrap & serve.

I served Arthur's meat on a bed of chopped lettuce because he's not big into food being wrapped or that may not stay together.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Handy recipe to use up a few CSA veggies


This is a recipe that another member of Harmony Valley Farm and fellow blogger, The Green Adventures of a City Girl, posted on her site. I made a few changes to use ingredients that I had on hand. I recommend giving it a try. I think you can probably vary it quite a bit and still get good results. The picture is also from her website, but I wanted to give you an idea of what the finished dish looks like.

Layered Parmesan Polenta Bake

1 c milk
2 c water
1 t salt
2 c polenta or coarse ground cornmeal
1 t fresh sage, chopped
1 t fresh rosemary, chopped
1 T olive oil
2-3 c sliced green cabbage (about 1/4 of a small head)
3 spring onions, chopped - bulb and stalk portions kept separate
2 garlic scapes, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
2 zucchini or summer squash, sliced thin
3/4 - 1 c Parmesan cheese, finely grated (I used a mixture of Ricotta Salata and Parmesan)

Preheat oven to 400. Combine milk, water and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the sage, rosemary and cornmeal, whisking while you add it to prevent lumps. Simmer on low, whisking frequently, until thick. You can also do this in a microwave. That way you don't take a chance on it burning.

Pour thickened mixture into a greased 2 qt casserole dish. Sprinkle with 1/4 c of cheese, or more if desired. This is where I used the crumbled ricotta salata which was left from the radish salad. Heat oil in a skillet and cook scapes, bulb portion of spring onions and cabbage. Spread evenly on top of polenta. Top with another 1/4 c cheese (or more).Add basil, tops of the spring onions and zucchini to skillet and cook until tender. Layer in the casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and top is beginning to brown.

The original recipe called for fresh spinach instead of cabbage, but I had used up my spinach and had cabbage instead.

Mandarin Orange Salad

This is a recipe for another one of our favorite green salads. The original recipe called for iceberg (yuck) and romaine lettuce. You can use salad greens. I used our Red Boston lettuce the we got in our CSA box. Arthur said its some of the best lettuce he's ever had; very tender and delicate.

The original recipe called for you to caramelize the almonds which I didn't bother to do.

1/2 cup almonds
bowl of salad greens or lettuce
1 can (11 oz.) mandarin orange sections, drained
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Dressing:
3 tablespoons canola or sunflower oil
2 tablespoons vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar

Combine salad ingredients, sprinkle with the almonds just before serving. Prepare dressing by mixing or shaking all the ingredients together. Pour as much over the salad as you prefer.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fresh Amaranth (Red Spinach)

Amaranth Leaves are very similar to spinach in flavor and use. They're beautiful to look at. Its tempting to just keep the bunch as a decorative bouquet.

This time I decided to use mine in Chinese Spinach Curry. This is not a perfected recipe, but I would make it again so I thought it was worth posting.
Thotakura Palakura Tomato Kura

1 tablespoon peanut oil or other mild oil
¼ teaspoon each--cumin, mustard seeds and curry leaves (I think the quantity of these spices should be doubled)
1 big onion - finely sliced, about one cup
2 tomatoes - finely chopped, about one cup
5 green chillies--finely chopped (I used 1 Serrano, which I seeded--5 seemed excessive for our tastes but it needed either more than 1 pepper or to leave in some of the seeds. In other words it lacked heat)
1 teaspoon - ginger garlic paste
½ tsp each- turmeric and salt
1 bunch fresh amaranth (leaves and tender stems) - finely chopped, about 5 cups
1 bunch fresh spinach - finely chopped, about 5 cups
1 can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add cumin, mustard seeds and curry leaves and let them sizzle a moment before adding the sliced onion, tomato, green chillies and beans. Also stir in the ginger-garlic paste, turmeric and salt.
Let everything stew together for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Now add the fresh amaranth and spinach. Stir to mix and cook covered on medium-high for about five minutes until the leaves wilt. Remove the lid and cook another five minutes if needed. Turn off the heat. Let the curry sit for few minutes so that the flavors mix well.
Serve the curry warm with whole wheat roti (Indian grocery) or brown rice and yogurt.

This dish was good but not great. I think the seasonings need to be intensified. However, serving it with the roti which I warmed in a buttered pan was a very good combination.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sugar Snap Peas

We got a bag of sugar snap peas in our last CSA box. So many good possibilities and so few peas.
I decided to try this recipe that I cut out of the food section of the Chicago Tribune (my son saves them for me). The description accompanying the recipe promised, "The flavor of the bacon, sugar snap peas and mint make a perfect foil for wild salmon." Having now prepared it, I would agree. Roasted or sauteed baby fingerling potatoes are a great side with this (especially if you have them which I didn't). Pasta is also a good side. Do give this dish a try. Its easy and delicious.

Salmon with Sugar Snap Peas and Bacon

1 pound salmon fillets
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Coarsely ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 slices bacon, cut into slivers
1/2 onion, minced
1/2 cup white wine (or water if you must, but it won't be the same)
1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1. Place salmon skin side down on foil-covered baking sheet. Brush skin with oil; season with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and pepper to taste.
2. Place bacon in a large skillet; cook, stirring, over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon to paper towel-lined plate. Add onion to skillet; cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add wine, increase heat to high. Heat to a simmer; cook 2 minutes. Add peas and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of the salt; cook until peas are tender and most of the wine has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add mint; stir. Remove from heat.
3. Meanwhile, heat broiler. Broil fish until skin is crispy and flesh is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Mine did not take 10 minutes, more like 7-8, so watch it carefully. Overcooked dry fish is not a good thing. Cut salmon into pieces; transfer to plates. Spoon peas and bacon over
fish.

Adapted from the Chicago Tribune.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Colorful Tossed Salad

Dressing:
1/4 cup frozen white grape juice concentrate
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Salad Ingredients:
1/2 bag torn mixed salad greens
8 large fresh strawberries, quartered
1 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons sliced green onion
2 tablespoons chopped macadamia nuts, toasted

In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the first five ingredients; shake well. Refrigerate until serving. Set aside 2 tablespoons of dressing. Place the greens in a salad bowl and drizzle with remaining dressing. Top with strawberries, kiwi and onion; drizzle with reserved dressing. Sprinkle with nuts.

If you don't want to make your own dressing, a bottled raspberry or balsamic vinaigrette works well with this salad as well.

From Allrecipes.com

Rhubarb Bread

Catching up on another recipe posting. This is a good recipe for a very moist pleasantly sweet and spicy quick bread using rhubarb. It makes two 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 size loaves.

Avondale Rhubarb Bread

2 1/4 cups sifted unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice (the original recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon--so if you're a fan use this amount)
3 eggs
1 cup canola or sunflower seed oil
1 3/4 cups packed dark or light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups diced rhubarb (about 1#)
3/4 cups walnut pieces (or whatever nuts you prefer)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8 1/2 X 4 1/2" loaf pans.
Combine flours with other dry ingredients.
Beat eggs, oil, brown sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer or in a food processor until fluffy and smooth.
Combine the dry and and wet ingredients. The batter will be VERY stiff. Don't over mix but do get everything blended together.
Stir in the rhubarb and nuts.
Spoon batter into prepared pans, dividing equally.
Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes or until the bread tests done.
Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out on wire racks to finish cooling.

I have no idea where the original recipe came from. I found it on a little scrap of paper in my recipe files.

Sunchoke Cheese Soup

I got a bit behind in using all my CSA veggies. I found some sunchokes tucked away in the back of a refrigerator draw which were still perfect. I had stored them in a plastic bag with a paper towel in it to absorb extra moisture. This recipe would probably be more appropriate for cold weather but its worth saving for when the sunchokes return.

Sunchoke Cheese Soup

1 pound sunchokes
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 stalks celery
1 medium onion
4 Tablespoons butter
2-1/2 cups chicken broth or more if needed
3 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups medium-sharp Cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 cup cream
Salt
Cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Wash, peel, and roughly chop sunchokes and keep in water to which lemon juice has been added until ready to use. Chop celery and onion and cook in 1 tablespoon butter until slightly wilted, approximately 10 minutes. Add sunchokes and 1-1/2 cups chicken broth, cover, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Puree in a food processor or with an immersion blender.

In a medium-size saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter, add flour, and cook for 2 minutes without browning. Remove from heat and whisk in 1 cup broth, then cook for 5 minutes. Add cheddar cheese and mustard and stir until blended. Stir in choke mixture and cream and cook until soup is heated through. Season with salt, cayenne pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. I actually forgot the Worcestershire sauce, but it would probably be a nice addition.

You could also sprinkle chives on top.

Adapted from About.com: Home Cooking

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Snap Pea Salad with Radishes, Mint and Ricotta Salata


This is a interesting and somewhat unusual salad to help use up our radish supply. The dish got one thumbs up (me) and one thumbs down (Arthur). He agreed it tasted good but you had to chew too much--please!



Sugar Snap Pea Salad With Radishes, Mint and Ricotta Salata

1 1/2 cup sliced radishes
6-8 ounces sugar snap peas, sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
6-8 ounces ricotta salata, crumbled (about 2 cups)
1/2 bunch mint leaves, torn (about 1/3 cup) (I didn't have enough mint, so I added a few other fresh herbs)
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch kosher salt, more to taste
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

String the peas and then lightly steam them or use raw if you prefer. Cool slightly.
In a large bowl, toss together the radishes, peas, ricotta and mint.
Finely chop the garlic. I used my little food processor and then added all the other dressing ingredients and blended.
Pour dressing over salad and toss well to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
Note: Ricotta salata, which is pressed and salted ricotta, breaks down slightly, adding a creamy texture along with its milky cheese tang. You can't substitute regular ricotta, but I think you could use some feta cheese. I would use less, because ricotta salata is much milder in flavor so it lets the peas and radishes shine through in the salad.
Adapted from NY Times.com

Chilled Lettuce Soup

In an earlier post I mentioned getting a very large head of romaine lettuce. The following soup is one of the things I used it for. Lettuce Soup--I know it sounds a little weird, but it turned out very well. We both liked it.

Chilled Lettuce Soup

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon oil
1 cup sliced leek (or substitute green onions from CSA box)
1 medium shallot (believe it or not I still had a few left from a winter box)
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
10 ounces romaine lettuce or any other green or salad mix, chopped (I didn't measure and the amount isn't important)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 1/2 cups)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon or a bit more chopped fresh dill (I think other herbs would also work--but the dill was great)
1/2 cup 1/2 and 1/2 (or enough to get the consistency you want)

Melt butter in large pot. Add oil, leek or green onions and shallot. You could also use some garlic scapes. Cover and cook until vegetables are softened.
Add the broth, potatoes and lettuce. Cook until the potatoes are tender--about 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender or food processor to somewhat puree. I left mine a bit chunky but it got rid of any stringy greens.
Season with salt and pepper and stir in the fresh dill.
Add the half and half and refrigerate until chilled. The soup is OK warm too, but try it both ways. It makes a good sized amount.

Recipe adapted from 366 healthful ways to cook leafy greens by Linda Romanelli Leahy

Monday, June 29, 2009

My favorite coleslaw recipe

I've brought this coleslaw to a number of different potlucks and its always been very popular.

Super Slaw

Ingredients for Dressing:
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 tablespoons peanut butter (doesn't matter whether it is crunchy or creamy)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic

Whisk above ingredients in small bowl or mix in a blender. (Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before continuing.)

8 cups thinly sliced green cabbage (some of it could be red cabbage if you happened to have any)
1 large red or yellow bell peppers, cut into matchstick-size strips
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded (about 1 cup)
4 large green onions, sliced--use some of the green tops too
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4-1/2 cup chopped peanuts (optional)

Combine salad ingredients in large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Don't add the dressing until just before you're ready to serve the salad.

adapted from Epicurious

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Radish Sandwiches

I'm always looking for good ways to use radishes. They're not one of our favorite veggies.

We liked these simple sandwiches created by another CSA blogger. http://24boxes.blogspot.com/2009/05/radish-chive-sandwich-with-cream-cheese.html

The presentation of the recipe is also very cool. I served the open-faced sandwiches with soup last night. Arthur and I both thought the recipe was a keeper.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another good salad recipe

This salad recipe is good because it is a way to incorporate salad greens or lettuce into your entree.

Sicilian Grilled Swordfish Salad

1# swordfish steak (about 1# thick)*

Marinade
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons chopped red onion (or whatever kind you have)
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (1 teaspoon dried)
2 teaspoons capers (they add a lot to this dish)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Large bowl or platter of salad greens. Arugula would be a good addition if available.
You could also add radishes, celery or other raw vegetables to your salad.

Whisk the marinade ingredients together. Add the fish and coat on all sides. Refrigerate. My fish was frozen so I let it defrost in the marinade overnight. Fresh fish could marinate up to 3 hours.

Drain the fish and reserve the marinade. Grill or broil the fish. I used my George Foreman grill and it only took a few minutes. Be sure not to overcook the fish. Swordfish dries out easily.

Bring the marinade to a boil and remove from heat.

Cut the cooked fish into 2 inch chunks. Combine with the greens and drizzle the marinade over the top.

*I bought my swordfish at Trader Joe's frozen and it was still very good. Right now Whole Foods in our area has it one sale. You could also use another type of firm fleshed fish if swordfish is not available.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Giant Head of Romaine Lettuce

We got a gigantic head of Romaine lettuce in our CSA box on Saturday. I made this salad on Sunday night. Arthur said it was "delicious."

Artichoke, Romaine and Tomato Salad

Ingredients for dressing:

1 12 ounce jar marinated artichoke salad (or you could use all artichokes), drained
(use 1/2 of the the artichokes or vegetables in the dressing--save the balance for the salad)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or green onions
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup or more of the marinade from the artichokes

Blend the dressing ingredients in a food processor. Taste and add more oil if you think it needs it. Chill for 1/2 hour to let flavors develop or just eat it right away. Its still very good.

A large bowl of torn Romaine lettuce
1/4 cup green onions
1 cup or more grape tomatoes (halved)
2 large red radishes, sliced thinly
marinated artichoke hearts leftover from dressing
Parmesan cheese to taste, shaved

Combine lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and radishes. Toss with enough dressing to coat. There will be a quite a bit leftover. It keeps well. Top with artichoke salad or just artichokes and Parmesan.

Adapted from Bon Appetit

Chicken & Bok Choy in Satay Sauce

This is a great way to use up your bok choy.

Chicken & Bok Choy in Satay Sauce

1 tablespoon oil
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
12 ounces chicken tenders, cut in 1/2 or smaller
1 bunch bok choy (about 1 1/2 pounds), chopped (keep the stems and tops separate)
1/2 small onion finely chopped or substitute green onions
2-3 garlic scapes, chopped if you happen to have them
1 can (14 ounces) reduced fat or regular coconut milk
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar (or light brown sugar)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped roughly
1/4 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts

Heat the oil in a large skilled or wok. Add the red pepper flakes and cook 20 seconds until sizzling. Add the chicken and brown on all sides. Remove the chicken. Add the bok choy stems and onions (and garlic scapes if using) to the pan and cook for 10 minutes or until the bok choy is tender crisp. Add the chopped bok choy leaves, browned chicken, coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce and sugar. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken a bit. Remove from heat and top with cilantro and chopped peanuts. Taste for seasoning.

Serve over brown rice. Jasmine or Basmati are both good with this dish.

Adapted from 366 Healthful Ways to Cook Leafy Greens and allrecipes.com

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Savory Bread Pudding


I told Arthur I was going to make a bread pudding using our saute greens. He said that didn't make sense because bread pudding is a dessert. According to the definition in Epicurious, he's correct. "A simple, delicious baked dessert made with cubes or slices of bread saturated with a mixture of milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla and spices. Chopped fruit or nuts also can be added. Bread and butter pudding is made by buttering the bread slices before adding the liquid mixture. Both may be served hot or cold with cream or a dessert sauce."

This recipe may actually be more of a strata, but whatever its called its a good way to use some of the greens that you'll find yourself with if you subscribe to a CSA farm. I used the saute greens that I got in my CSA box as well as the radish leaves from a bunch of radishes. In addition I removed the leaves from a bunch of kohlrabi we got in our box and used those too.
The consensus after we had this for supper last night is that its very good and an excellent dish to stash a lot of your greens in.

Bread Pudding with Greens, Bacon and Goat Cheese
Butter or pan spray for greasing the pan
3 1/2 cups milk
1 large clove garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces bacon, sliced crosswise into 1/2 -inch pieces (I used bacon from Jordandal Farms)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 bunches greens, washed and dried, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces (about 9 cups); the original recipe called for dandelion greens--any kind will work fine
2 shallots, minced or green onions if shallots are not available
6 eggs
8 ounces fresh goat cheese (I used DreamFarm goat cheese; you can use plain or one of the flavors)
8 cups stale bread, half whole wheat, half country white, crust on, cut or torn into about 1/2 -inch pieces (I used all whole wheat)
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees and butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, garlic and black pepper. Heat until just before the milk reaches a simmer. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
2. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over low heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. When the bacon is cooked, keep the pan on the heat and add the olive oil, greens and shallot. Stir until the greens are wilted, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the cooled milk and the goat cheese and whisk until combined. Stir in the bread, greens mixture and lemon zest and mix until combined. Pour the mixture into the baking dish, pressing down to make sure the bread is submerged. Let the mixture sit for about 15 minutes so that the bread absorbs the liquid.
4. Bake for 35 minutes, until golden brown, rotating once for even cooking. Test to make sure the custard is cooked through, if not bake for another 10 minutes.
Note: I made a couple of changes. My bread was quite dense so I soaked it in the milk, garlic, pepper mixture overnight. Then there is no need to let it sit again. This time, I decided to chop the greens in my food processor. I put them in the bowl and pulsed a few times until they were roughly chopped. It worked very well and was also fast. The amount of greens is not important--no need to measure. You can use a lot of them in this dish.
Adapted from a recipe in the Los Angeles Times
I've mentioned Jordandal Farms meats and Dreamfarm goat cheese before. If you live in Dane County Wisconsin, these are 2 of the many local farmers that produce excellent products.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday Supper

In case you're wondering what to do with baby turnips and their greens, the following is a very good salad with interesting flavor contrasts.

Baby White Turnip Salad With Toasted Pecans And Bacon

4 small white turnips with their greens attached (or 1 bunch of baby white turnips)
1/4 c. pecan halves or pieces
3 oz. bacon
1 green garlic stalk and 1 green onion, sliced on the bias (a garlic scape is also a nice addition if you happen to have them available)
salt and pepper, to taste
1-2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil

Toast pecan pieces. I usually do mine in the microwave. It take 1-2 minutes. Otherwise toast them in a 350 degree oven. Make sure they don't burn.
Remove the greens from the turnips. Tear the leaves with your hands into medium to large pieces and set aside.
Slice turnips as thin as possible. I used my food processor using the thin slicing disk. Put into a bowl of iced water.
In a non-stick pan, saute the bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan and crumble, reserving the fat.
Prepare a simple vinaigrette: combine vinegar with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in about 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil. Set aside.
Heat the bacon fat in the same pan. Once hot, add the green garlic/onion and saute until tender. Add greens to the pan, season with salt and just a splash of balsamic vinegar and cook until they are wilted.
Remove the sliced turnips from the iced water bath and toss with the vinaigrette.
Arrange the turnip slices and their greens in a mound and sprinkle bacon and pecans on top.

Adapted from Group Recipes.com

Next we had a very simple pasta and greens dish. Its a quick and easy dish that takes very little time to cook.

Spinach and Ricotta Pasta

10 ounces elbow macaroni, penne or shell pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
8-10 ounces spinach, roughly chopped (1 bag of HVF spinach)
1 ounce basil, chopped (I didn't have enough fresh basil on my plants yet, so I used a combination of fresh and dry basil)
1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1/4 cup nonfat milk
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1/4-1/3 cup)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet saute onions and garlic until onions are soft and fragrant.
Add spinach and basil to the skillet, and stir until wilted. Then add ricotta cheese and milk to skillet and stir well.
Drain pasta, Combine cooked pasta and ricotta mixture in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the Parmesan.
Serve immediately with some freshly ground black pepper.
Add some Penzey's Pasta Sprinkle herb seasoning as well if you happen to have it available.

Adapted from About.com Low Fat Cooking

For dessert we had a yummy Rhubarb Strawberry Brown Betty.

I adapted this recipe from recipetips.com. You might want to
checkout their site. They have lots of other rhubarb recipes.
4 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped
2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons tapioca, quick-cooking
2 teaspoons orange rind (lemon can be substituted)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs (I used whole wheat rolls made into crumbs)
1/3 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400º F.
Place cut pieces of rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, tapioca, orange rind, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
Prepare soft, fresh breadcrumbs in food processor or blender by tearing each bread slice into quarters, placing in blender and shredding into somewhat coarse crumbs.
Melt butter for the breadcrumbs. In separate bowl, add breadcrumbs and then melted butter and vanilla. Mix the ingredients together.
Spray or coat casserole with cooking spray or butter.
Begin to layer ingredients starting with one-half of the fruit mixture and then half of the breadcrumbs mixture followed by the remaining half of the fruit and then the remaining breadcrumbs, resulting in four layers of ingredients. The breadcrumbs on top create a crisp topping for the dessert. Cover the casserole dish.
Bake for 30 minutes and then remove casserole lid to allow the dessert to bake an additional 10 minutes until bread topping is golden brown.
Serve warm, and if desired, garnish with vanilla yogurt or ice cream.
Note: You can also make this recipe with 6 cups of rhubarb and skip the strawberries.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Strawberries are in season

Yesterday morning our farmers had luscious red ripe strawberries available. I used some of them in:

Strawberry Buttermilk Pancakes

1cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup organic unbleached white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 egg
2 tbsp canola oil (or similar mild oil)
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1/2 cup toasted coarsely chopped pecans

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to the dry. Add strawberries and nuts and blend in lightly. Pour 1/4 c of mixture on hot griddle and serve with Vanilla yogurt.

Adapted from a fellow foodie's blog, Daalicious.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A good recipe to use your greens

This recipe is a combination of one in a Harmony Valley Farm newsletter and the original recipe on Epicurious, plus of course a couple of my own changes. This dish wasn't one of Arthur's favorites, but I'm posting it because I liked it a lot and would make it again. Plus it got good reviews on Epicurious.

Spicy Stir Fried Chicken and Greens with Peanuts

2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
2 tablespoons dry Sherry, divided
3 teaspoons Asian sesame oil, divided
2 teaspoons golden brown sugar, divided (or honey)
1-- 1-1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-wide strips
2 tablespoons oil, divided (I used canola)
4 green onions, white parts and green parts chopped separately (more is good too)
1 chopped serrano chile (use 2 if you like dishes quite spicy--if you want it milder, remove the seeds)
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and slivered
1 bag of saute greens (about 10 cups packed) or whatever you have available
I added some baby broccoli including the stems and leaves (I've never used broccoli leaves before but the farm said they were good--I didn't even notice them)
1/4-1/2 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts

Whisk 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Sherry, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon sugar in medium bowl. Add chicken; marinate 20 to 30 minutes. Longer is OK too.
Whisk remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Sherry, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon sugar in small bowl and reserve.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add white parts of onions, garlic, ginger, and chiles; stir 30 seconds. Add chicken and broccoli (if using) ; stir-fry just until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken mixture to bowl. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to same skillet; heat over medium heat. Add greens by large handfuls; stir just until beginning to wilt before adding more. Sauté just until tender, 1 to 6 minutes, depending on type of greens. Return chicken to skillet. Add reserved soy sauce mixture; stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Sprinkle finished dish with green parts of onions and peanuts and serve over brown rice.

I served it with brown jasmine rice which is my favorite brown rice. Brown basmati rice would be good too.

I didn't chop the saute mix greens which I would do next time since some of them seemed a bit stringy.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Gorgonzola & Dried Cherry Salad

Gorgonzola and Dried Cherry Summer Salad

1/2 cup toasted pecans
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/2 bag of Harmony Valley Farms salad mix (or a good sized bowl filled with greens)
1 granny smith apple, peeled and thinly sliced or any tart apple
3-4 green onions or 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (I always use a lot of the green tops from the green or potato onions)
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and serve with a raspberry vinaigrette.

Adapted from a Whole Foods Market recipe

I served this with a Mediterranean Spinach Torte Recipe. The recipe is on care2. Its OK but not fabulous.

Sunchokes are almost gone

This recipe is for sort of a soupy stew with Italian sausage and vegetables. We both enjoyed it for supper on Saturday with homemade cornbread. I made another recipe from my favorite cornbread cookbook, The Cornbread Gospels by Crescent Dragonwagon. This time I made a Northern (Yankee) style cornbread, Durgin Park Cornbread.

Sunchoke and Sausage Soup

4 slices bacon, diced
1 (16 ounce) package Italian sausage, coarsely chopped (I used Italian sausage from Jordandal Farms)
1 pound sunchokes, peeled, halved, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
6 small white potatoes, peeled and halved (1/2 pound or more)
3 stalks celery, diced
1 large onion, diced
4-5 green onions or potato onions or 1 leek (whatever you have and need to use)
3 cups chopped Yukina Savoy (1 bunch) or spinach
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (1-2 teaspoons dry if fresh isn't available)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (1-2 teaspoons dry if fresh isn't available)
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch ground paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water

Brown the chopped bacon and sausage in a skillet. Place in soup pot with the sunchokes, potatoes, celery, onion, green onions and garlic. Pour in the chicken stock. Cover, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Season with parsley, basil, oregano, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, and pepper. Add chopped greens. Shake flour and water together in a jar. Put the flour on top of the water and shake until blended. Stir into the simmering soup, and continue simmering until slightly thickened for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Burdock Soup with Hon Tsai Tai




In one of our early boxes from Harmony Valley CSA we got some burdock root. The roots have a brownish-red outer layer and gray to white flesh, and they do not need to be peeled before eating although they should be washed and gently scoured. Most people slice burdock root into thin circular pieces. A long, slow simmering is one of the best ways to cook burdock root, as it brings out the flavor while keeping the roots soft and tender. It stores quite well. Hon Tsai Tai is a tasty as well as rather pretty green, unlike the poor burdock which is not particularly attractive.
I found a recipe in one of the older HVF newsletters that I decided to try because it used both burdock and Hon Tsai Tai, both of which I had.
Burdock Soup with Hon Tsai Tai and Green Garlic
The quantities in this soup are not very important.
2-3 large pieces of Burdock (scrubbed and cut into 1/4 in slices)
1 bunch Hon Tsai Tai (rinsed and rough chopped. Use stems, leaves and flowers)
A few green onions (thinly sliced)
1 8 oz. package Soba noodles (buckwheat noodles)
1 small knob ginger root (peeled and sliced)
3 stalks green garlic (sliced)
1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari
6 cups chicken stock (my favorite brand is Imagine organic)
2-3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/4-1/2 pound peeled and cut up shrimp
1/4 pound sliced mushrooms (whatever variety you like)
Black pepper to taste
2 beaten eggs (optional)
In a large pot of simmering water cook soba noodles until al dente and drain into a colander. Let cool, and rough chop. In a soup pot on low heat, sauté the ginger, green onions and green garlic in the sesame oil for two to three minutes, do not allow to brown. Add soy sauce, sugar and chicken stock. Add the sliced burdock and cook until tender. Add the mushrooms and hon tsai tai and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Next add the chopped soba noodles and shrimp. The shrimp will cook in the hot broth. When everything is hot, pour in the beaten eggs if using. This helps to thicken the soup slightly and adds a bit more protein.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pea Shoots or Pea Vine

This is a hint that I found on the Harmony Valley website, "The secret to cooking them is to trim the ends to where the stems begin to be tender and chopping them into 2 inch, or smaller, pieces." I did chop them into small pieces, but failed to remove the tougher woody stalks. It kind of all looks alike, so its easy to think all of it will cook OK. This is not the case! We wound up having to pick the tough little sticks out of our pasta. This is not something you want to experience. It gives you a rather negative feeling about the whole pea vine thing.

I recommend the following recipe, but be sure to do a better job trimming the pea shoots than I did.

Pasta Carbonara with Pea Shoots

1/2 pound pasta of your choice
3-4 slices bacon
2 large cloves garlic, minced
4 cups pea shoots, including leaves and tendrils, roughly chopped (1 bunch, trimmed)
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Cook the pasta according to directions in a large port of boiling salted water.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove bacon and all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add garlic to the bacon fat and cook for a few seconds. Be sure not to let it get brown. Stir in pea shoots and cook until leaves wilt, about 1-2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Whisk eggs in a bowl. Add nutmeg and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

Drain pasta, reserving some pasta water. Whisk 1/4 cup of the hot pasta water into the egg mixture. Add the hot pasta to the mixture and toss to coat.

Add the pasta to the skillet with the pea shoots and toss, adding more pasta water if it seems to dry. Crumble the bacon and toss into the pasta. Sprinkle with the fresh parsley and the remaining Parmesan cheese.

Adapted from: the San Franciso Chronicle

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fish & Parsnip Chowder

This soup may sound a little strange but its delicious. I had to do some adapting (how unusual is that!). The original recipe called for smoked cod. I'm not sure where you can get that but its not easily acquired around Madison Wisconsin. The fish store didn't have fresh cod either. You don't want to use Atlantic cod anyway because its not on the sustainable seafood guide. Pacific cod is fine but the fish monger didn't have it yesterday. Any mild white fish would work fine.

According to the source recipe, "A wonderful New England creation, merging the sweetness of parsnips with smoky cod. Good fish alternatives include haddock, pollack, cusk, or whiting. Smoked haddock and smoked pollack are good substitutes for the smoked cod. Use 1 1/2 pounds fresh cod alone if no lightly smoked fish is available. Serve with hot, crusty bread and garnish with fresh chives."

Fish & Parsnip Chowder

1 pound fish fillets (I used trout and had to remove the skin), cut into large pieces
1/2 pound smoked trout, skin and bones removed, broken into small pieces (or other mild smoked fish)
1 sprig fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 pound parsnip, chopped
1 pound potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk or cream or a combination (fat free 1/2 and 1/2 works well here too)
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
chopped chives

In a large saucepan or kettle, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until wilted and golden. Peel the parsnips, and cut them into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch dice (I didn't peel mine). Add the parsnips, potatoes, and 3-4 cups chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the smoked and fresh fish and cream or milk to the vegetables & broth. Simmer gently just until the milk is hot. At this point the fish will be cooked. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Just before serving, top each serving with chopped chives.

Adpated from allrecipes.com

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sunchoke Sweet Potato Soup


We have quite a few sunchokes from our CSA farm that I need to use. Luckily they are very good keepers. This is a sweet savory soup which is quick and easy to make.

Sunchoke & Sweet Potato Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 bunch green garlic, washed and sliced (I think you could substitute some chopped garlic and green onions if you don't have green garlic available)
1 large onion, chopped
5-6 sunchokes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tsps fresh marjoram, washed and chopped (I used 2 teaspoons dried marjoram-since my plant isn't big enough to use any of yet)
4 cups chicken stock or broth
1 cup milk
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt to taste
sour cream for serving
I sprinkled Penzey's black and red spice lightly over the cooked soup and sour cream to give it an extra kick (this is strictly optional)
Directions
1. In a medium-sized soup pot, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and green garlic and saute, stirring often until it has softened.
2. Toss in the sweet potatoes and sunchokes and cook for another 10 or so minutes, stirring every few minutes.
3. Add the broth/stock and the marjoram and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables are thoroughly softened, another 10-15 minutes.
4. Once the veggies are soft, use an immersion blender (or a food processor or blender) to blend the soup until it is smooth with no lumps. Thin with the milk if desired and adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and a few grinds of black pepper or the black & red spice.
From: The Garden of Eating Blog

Monday, June 1, 2009

Rhubarb Muffins

I needed to bring a contribution to work for another "food" day. I had rhubarb from my Harmony Valley CSA box so I decided to try these muffins. They are not especially healthy, but they are very tasty.

Rhubarb Muffin Delights

1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup buttermilk (or plain yogurt)
2 cups rhubarb, diced small
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

For topping:
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts
1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine the brown sugar, egg, oil, vanilla and buttermilk. Stir in rhubarb and nuts. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir dry ingredients into liquid mixture until just blended. Do not overbeat. Pour batter into greased or lined muffin cups. Mix topping ingredients together and spoon over filled cups, press lightly. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before removing the muffins from the pan. 12-18 muffins depending on size of muffin cups and how full you fill them.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Apple Cranberry Salad

INGREDIENTS
3-4 oz package salad greens (about 1/2 bag of Harmony Valley Salad Mix)
1 medium apple, sliced (either peeled or not)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced green onions or chives
Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing (I like Annie's Naturals brand--but use whatever you like)
1/4-1/2 cup feta cheese is a nice addition to this salad

DIRECTIONS
Toss greens, apples, walnuts, cranberries, onions and feta (if using) in large bowl.
Add dressing; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Friends for dinner

We had friends join us for dinner on Monday, a couple and their three teenage sons. What a joy to cook for. They are very adventurous eaters and willing to try anything and eat it with gusto! I made marinated roast pork loin served with a citrus sauce. The flavor was great but the cut of meat made it very difficult to carve. The meat was not from one of my usual farmers and I won't buy a roast from this one again. We had a sweet and spicy red pepper chutney. The silly recipe called for 3/4 teaspoon of jalapeno pepper--I mean why bother. I used a whole pepper and left in the seeds. We all loved it. Delightfully spicy. I made a side dish of fingerling potatoes, mushrooms and peas seasoned with marjoram. My friend brought a wonderful asparagus salad with morel mushrooms. I also made a double batch of the Buttermilk Biscuits with Goat Cheese and Chives that I previously posted the recipe for. The guys really loved these. I didn't have so much as a crumb left. For dessert we had Apple Rhubarb Crisp served with Blue Marble whipped cream. This is a great dish to use some of your CSA farm rhubarb in.

Apple and Rhubarb Crisp

2 1/2# tart apples, peeled cored and sliced
1# fresh rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup water

Topping:
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the sliced apples, cut up rhubarb, raisins, brown sugar, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and water. Place in a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Topping: Melt butter. Pour into a large bowl. Stir in the two types of sugar. Add the cinnamon and baking powder and stir to blend. Next, add the flour and work the mixture until crumbly. I used a pastry cutter. You could also use your hands. Add pecans and mix in. Sprinkle crumbly topping evenly over the fruit mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until bubbling and browned. Poke the crisp with a knife to make sure the fruit is tender. If the top is getting too brown, tent with aluminum foil. Let it set for 30 minutes before serving. Serve with either ice cream or whipped cream.

From a Penzey's 2001 Summer catalogue

Lemon Chicken with Sunchokes

I'm not really a big sunchoke fan, so I'm always looking for interesting ways to use them that I'll like.

Lemon Chicken with Sunchokes

This Mid-East inspired dish uses plenty of garlic, saffron, thyme and pine nuts to flavor the chicken and sunchokes. The cream may be omitted to suit dietary needs. I used it and found it added a nice richness to the dish.

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 fresh lemon
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided use
1# boneless skinless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon saffron
1 pound sunchokes, peeled (or not as you wish)
10 garlic cloves, peeled and halved (yes--use this many!)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (1 teaspoon dry if the fresh in unavailable)
1/4 cup pine nuts
Hot, cooked rice or fettuccine

Finely grate 1 teaspoon of zest from the lemon and set aside. Juice the lemons and set aside. Place a large, deep, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle boneless, skinless chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Place in the hot pan and quickly brown them, turning only once. Remove to a plate and keep warm. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, remaining tablespoon of olive oil, chicken broth, and saffron threads to the skillet. Bring to a boil, stirring to loosen any browned bits. Add sunchokes and garlic cloves. Return chicken to the skillet, along with any accumulated juices. Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes, until chicken and sunchokes are tender. Stir in cream and thyme leaves. Taste and adjust seasoning, if need be. Return to a simmer and cook an additional 10 minutes. Serve over cooked rice or pasts and sprinkle with pine nuts to garnish.

Sunday Breakfast

We had a southern style breakfast that doesn't really have much of a recipe but I'll share what I did because it was delicious!

Ramps with Potatoes & Eggs

Cook 4 slices of bacon, remove from pan but don't drain the bacon fat. (I never said this healthy)
Fry about 1/2# of sliced unpeeled potatoes (or more if you like) and the sliced bulbs and stems from 1 bunch of ramps (8-10) until tender. I covered the pan so the potatoes cooked more quickly. Season with salt and pepper. When they are brown and tender, add the sliced ramp leaves and 4 beaten eggs. Cook the eggs until they reach the desired degree of doneness.

Serve with hot buttered cornbread. I posted a great cornbread recipe in an earlier post which is the one I made on Sunday morning. Its called Dairy Hollow House Skillet Cornbread. The recipe is from the Cornbread Gospels by Crescent Dragonwagon. Feel free to make any cornbread recipe you'd like to try from the book to serve with your ramps, potatoes and eggs--preferably one of the southern style corn breads. This is an essential cookbook for any fan of cornbread.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

We're eating our greens!

We got up (not so bright and early) and went to the farmers' market on the west side of Madison. Obviously with our CSA box we don't need to buy vegetables, but we like to get our milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese, bread and meat there. Next we went and picked up our CSA box from Harmony Valley. We realized we better get busy eating our produce. We did this by starting out with greens for breakfast by incorporating sorrel into a quiche.

Sorrel and Goat Cheese Quiche

Premade pie crust (Whole Foods has a decent frozen whole wheat crust)
2-3 cups sorrel, coarsely chopped (1 bunch), don't use the tough stems
3-4 few scallions, chopped
4 ounces goat cheese (I used Dream Farm French Herb goat cheese)
3 eggs
1½ cups milk
Salt & pepper
Parmesan cheese, preferably freshly shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread goat cheese in the bottom of a pie crust. Cover with chopped sorrel and scallions. Beat eggs, salt, pepper and milk together. Pour over greens. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until top is golden brown and the custard is set (not liquid in the middle).

Source: two small farms blog spot by way of Luna Circle Farm

More greens for supper. This is almost not a recipe because it is so adaptable as well as very quick and easy.

Pasta with Asparagus and Spring Greens

10-12 ounces pasta, any short shape (I used whole grain rotini)
1 pound fresh asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves minced garlic
6-8 ounces fresh greens, whatever you have available. I used one bag of saute greens from Harmony Valley which I chopped before cooking.
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (these are optional and not in the original recipe)
1/2 cup of either Parmesan, feta or crumbly goat cheese. I used Dream Farm feta.
Salt and pepper
Penzey's Pasta Sprinkle (also optional)

Cook the pasta according to package directions, then drain.
Snap off woody ends of asparagus, then cut into 2 inch pieces.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and saute the garlic for a minute or two. Add the asparagus, cover the pan and cook until crisp tender. Add the greens, cover and steam very briefly--about a minute.
Combine the pasta with the cooked vegetables. Sprinkle on the nuts (if using), cheese and Pasta Spinkle. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

I have no idea where the recipe came from.