Friday, December 3, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

There are a number of recipes for this bread available on the Internet.  Most of the others used milk chocolate chips.  I am not a fan of milk chocolate, so I gravitated toward this one.  I can't tell you that the others aren't good, but this one is GREAT!  Its a wonderful combination of ingredients.  The original recipe called for creamy peanut butter, but I recommend chunky.  If you are able to buy Parkers Farm All Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter in your area, by all means do.  Their crunchy PB has peanut halves not little pieces.  For peanut butter fans its good on bread, crackers, etc. and in this recipe.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 medium-large ripe mashed bananas
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided use
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons turbinado sugar, optional

Note:  Emily of the Sugar Plum blog and the originator of this recipe recommends using  Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips, the over sized chips.  I used her hint and it was a good one.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together banana, 2 tablespoons butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes; beat in eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Stir in the peanut butter. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in milk and flour mixture until just combined; stir in chocolate chips

Pour batter into prepared pan; bake for 50 minutes. Remove pan from oven, melt additional tablespoon butter, brush evenly over the top, and top with turbinado sugar. Continue to bake an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown. (Also a nice addition)

Cool for 20 minutes before running a knife around outside edges, removing, and transferring to a wire rack to cool an additional 30 minutes before slicing.

Adapted from  She has pictures of the bread too.

I took it to work for a "food day" and it was quite popular.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Swiss Chard, Leek and Goat Cheese Tart

Previously I posted a recipe for a Swiss Chard tart which was good, but this new recipe is fabulous!  I found it in the Chicago Tribune and they attribute it to David Leite's

For the pastry
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 to 6 tablespoons ice water

For the filling
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 pound leeks, white and pale green parts only, rinsed of grit and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound Swiss chard, stems an leaves washed and roughly chopped, keep stems & leaves separate
3 large eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons golden raisins, plumped in boiling water for 10 minutes
3 tablespoons pine nuts
6 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Note:  I used DreamFarm goat cheese which is soft and topped the tart with little blobs of the cheese.
Make the pastry
1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the flour, rosemary, thyme, and salt until blended. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, with pieces no bigger than small peas, about 13 to 15 one-second pulses.

2. Add the mixture to a bowl and drizzle with 4 tablespoons of water. Thoroughly mix with a fork to form a “shaggy” dough. Squeeze some in your hand. If it doesn’t hold together, add the remaining water one tablespoon at a time. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

3. Position the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 13-inch circle. Ease it into a 10- or 11-inch tart pan, fitting it snugly against the sides and bottom, and trim the excess. Prick the bottom of the tart with a fork and cover with parchment paper. Fill the tart with pie weights or beans and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment and set aside the tart shell.

Make the filling
1. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and saute the leeks and Swiss chard stems, covered, until softened, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Uncover, add the chard leaves and allow them to cook down and the excess water to evaporate, about 6 to 8 minutes.

2. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add the vegetable mixture and toss to coat. Pour the mixture into the pre-baked tart shell, scatter with the raisins and pine nuts, and dot with the goat cheese. Bake until the filling is set and puffy, about 25 minutes. Let cool on a rack for a short time.  Tart can be served warm or at room temperature.  I preferred it warm.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Farro and Broccoli Rabe Gratin

Never cooked with farro before?  Farro is a whole grain form of wheat that has been used for centuries in Italy.  Italians usually cook farro the same way as Arborio rice to create a creamy dish called farrotto.  It has become more widely available now in the U.S.  I purchased a bag at Whole Foods Market.  It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor and chewy texture and is high in fiber and protein. 
Note:  The original recipe called for fontina cheese.  I didn't have any and substituted muenster because it would be soft and melty on top of the dish plus browning nicely.

The combination of the farro, cheese and greens make for good comfort food for a chilly fall evening. 

4 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups farro
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup freshly grated (shredded) Parmesan (about 2 ounces)
1 large bunch broccoli rabe, cut into 1-2 inch lengths, stems included.  If you don't have enough broccoli rabe, you can add some fresh spinach
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1# can small white beans, I used navy beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup shredded fontina cheese (or see note), about 3 ounces

1.  Heat 1 tsp. of the oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned. 
2.  Stir in the farro and cook until lightly roasted (2 minutes).  Stir in the broth and water and bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer, uncovered, stirring often, until the farro is tender and the remaining liquid has thickened to a creamy sauce.  20-25 minutes.  Off the heat, stir in the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
3.  Bring a large pot of water (4 quarts) to a boil.  Add broccoli rabe, spinach and 1 tablespoon salt.  Cook for 2 minutes.  Drain, the vegetables and wipe the pot dry.
4.  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic and red pepper flakes to the pot.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until sizzling.  Stir in the broccoli rabe (and spinach if used) and cook until hot and well coated, about 2 minutes.  Off the heat, stir in the beans and cooked farro.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5.  Position an oven rack 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler.  Pour the farro mixture into a 3 quart broiler safe pan (I used a 9X12 inch pan) and sprinkle with the fontina or whatever cheese you are using.  Broil until lightly browned and hot, 3-5 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Adapted from America's Test Kitch Healthy Family Cookbook (2010)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gratin of Red Kuri Squash

Like many varieties of winter squash, red kuri squash is very versatile. With its bright orange skin, and small teardrop shape, you'll easily recognize kuri; inside, the firm flesh has a creamy chestnut-like flavor.  We got one of these squash in our CSA box and I found this promising recipe. 

Butter (for the dish)
1 small red kuri squash (a generous 1 pound), seeded
2 baking potatoes, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 small zucchini, grated
2/3 cup ricotta
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, plus more for the top (optional)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 cup blue cheese
1/4 cup Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon butter, cut up (for the top)

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish.
2.  Cut squash in 1/2 and either bake in the oven or cook in the microwave until tender.  Scrape the flesh out of the skin and put in a large bowl.
3. In a large saucepan fitted with a steamer insert, cook the potatoes. Bring to a boil, cover the pan, and steam over high heat for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
4. Mash the vegetables with a potato masher until they are coarsely pureed. Add the zucchini, ricotta, nutmeg, parsley, blue cheese, and plenty of salt and pepper.
5. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish. Smooth the top. Add the 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, butter, and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden. Let the dish rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Adapted from the Boston Globe

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lemon Broccoli

This is a surprisingly tasty recipe for broccoli and especially appealing because it is so quick and easy.

1 bunch of broccoli, divided into florets and stalks, remove any sections that are too woody
2-3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, sliced and separated into rings
3 stalks celery or about 1 1/2 cups, thinly sliced
3-5 cloves garlic, minced (depends on the size of the cloves and how much you like garlic)
1-2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Steam the broccoli in a vegetable steamer for 5 minutes or until it is tender.  Don't overcook.
Melt butter in a skillet and saute the onion, celery and garlic until softened and the onion begins to brown slightly. 

Add the broccoli, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper to the skillet and stir to combine.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  My husband put a dollop of sour cream on top of his.
Its good just plain as well.

Adapted from Weight Watchers

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Apple-Cranberry Crisp Pie

This is a delicious pie combining two popular fall fruits--apples and cranberries.  Plus there's no need to make a top crust for this pie.  You will need 1 pie crust rolled out to fit a deep dish 9 inch pie pan.  If you use a refrigerated or frozen ready made crust, you'll probably have too much filling.  Solution--just make two shallow pies!  I think most packages come with 2 crusts anyway.

3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
5-6 cups thinly sliced peeled apples
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (cut in 1/2)

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Roll out pie crust and fit into pan.  Crimp or flute the edge of the crust. 
Combine sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, cinnamon and salt.  Mix well.  Add apples and cranberries and combine.  Spoon into crust lined pan.
Combine topping ingredients; mix with fork or pastry blender until crumbly.  If it seems to soft, add a bit more flour.  Sprinkle over the filling.
Cover the edge of the crust with a pie shield if you have one.  This will prevent the edges from getting too brown. 
Bake the pie for 35 to 45 minutes or until the apples are tender

and the topping is golden brown.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Beet and Potato Roesti

This is very good recipe for someone who is not a big fan of beets especially if you use beets that are not red.  We had 2 large golden beets from our CSA farm and quite a few potatoes.  My husband loved this dish and ate most of it himself.
2 large beets, peeled, about 4 cups when grated
enough potatoes grated to equal 4 cups, no need to peel them
salt and pepper
4 scallions chopped
2/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons butter (we ran out of butter and I used some walnut oil)

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat.  Mix the beets, potatoes and flour a few spoonfuls at a time until well combined.  Melt butter in skillet or heat the oil.  Put the vegetable mixture in the pan and flatten with a spatula.  I covered the pan to make sure the vegetables cooked through.  Cook for 10-15 minutes.  Check the bottom to make sure it is brown and crispy. 

Now you need to flip it over which can be a bit tricky.  First run a spatula under the patty to make sure it will come out of the pan.  Try putting a big plate or round cookie sheet over the skillet and flip it on to the plate.  Then slide the roesti back into the pan.  Cook on the second side until crispy.  Probably another 10 minutes.  There is no need to cover the pan.  The worst that can happen is that it doesn't flip out in one piece.  It will still taste great!

Serve warm in wedges with the green onions (scallions) sprinkled on top. 

Our roesti looked like crispy hash browns and just had an added sweetness from the beets. 

Adapted from a recipe on Dianasaur Dishes blog.  She has a picture of what it would look like made with red beets.  I also made a much larger recipe than the original using more beets and potatoes.  It would probably be easier to flip it if it were smaller.

Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

I found this soup recipe online.  It was originally published in an article in Vegetarian Times called The Superfoods Recipes.  I'm pleased to know its a superfood, but it also happens to be delicious to eat and easy to make.  We're getting out of the tomato season now, but if you happen to have some tomatoes left this is a great use for them.

2-1/4 lbs. ripe tomatoes, halved lengthwise
2 large sweet red peppers, quartered, seeded
1 onion, cut into thin wedges
4 large cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
2 cups chicken broth or vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.Preheat oven to 450° F.
2.Arrange tomatoes, flesh side up, bell peppers, onion and garlic on large baking sheet.
3.Drizzle oil over; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
4.Roast until brown and tender, turning peppers and onion occasionally, about 40 minutes.
5.Remove from oven; let cool.
6.Transfer vegetables and any juices to food processor or blender.
7.Add basil and thyme leaves.
8.Puree soup in food processor or blender, gradually adding enough stock to thin soup to desired consistency.
9.Return soup to pan, and heat through, stirring occasionally.
10.  Good with a dollop of sour cream on top.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Spaghetti Sauce with Italian Sausage and Swiss Chard

Last Saturday we got a large bunch of Swiss Chard in our CSA box.  We do like chard but I'm always looking for new ways to use it.  I had saved this recipe that I found in a Willy Street Co-op newsletter.  This might be a good recipe for people who are not big fans of Swiss Chard.  It sort of blends in with the sauce.

Olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped small
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 bunch chard, stems and leaves chopped separately
1# Italian sausage, either bulk or sliced if you have links
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes (diced would also work fine)
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional--I used them)
Salt and pepper
a little sugar or honey

Brown sausage in a large pot.  Remove sausage and drain any fat left in the pan.  Coat the pan lightly with olive oil and add carrots, celery, and onions as you get them prepped.  Saute for 5 minutes or so and add the chard stems.  Cook an additional 5-10 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.  Put the sausage back into the pot and add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano and fennel seeds.  Add some water if the sauce seems too thick.  I probably added 1-2 cups.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat and cook for about 30 minutes, partially covered, until the vegetables are cooked through.  Stir in the chard leaves.  I like them chopped into small pieces so that the chard will blend into the sauce and you won''t have any stringy greens.  Cook until just wilted.  Taste sauce and add salt and pepper as needed.  If the sauce tastes too acidic add a spoonful of honey or a pinch or two of sugar. 

Serve the sauce over your choice of pasta.  I used whole grain rotini. 

Some notes:  This is good place to use the onion chopper that I mentioned earlier or your food processor so that you don't spend too long chopping the veggies.

I used link Italian sausage from Jordandal Farms, a local Madison producer.  It is very lean and tasty. 

Adapted from

Friday, September 10, 2010

Smoked Chicken Salad with Dried Cherries & Basil

This is a fabulous salad!  You can change it to suit your tastes.  I've already adapted it from the original recipe which I found on The Food Reference Website.

2 cups diced smoked chicken (more or less is OK)
3/4 cups diced celery, diced 1/4 inch (I used 2 stalks)
1 small-medium diced sweet onion, diced 1/4 inch (original recipe called for over 1 cup which I thought was excessive)
1 cup chopped dried tart cherries (I didn't bother to chop them)
3/4 cups toasted pecan pieces (I didn't have time to toast them--they were fine without)
1/4 cup minced fresh basil--this is essential
1 cup mayonnaise (can be light)
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh orange peel
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground

Combine chicken, celery, onion, cherries, and pecans.  Make the dressing separately and add to the chicken mixture--basil, mayonnaise, orange juice, orange peel, and pepper; stir gently until combined.  If it isn't quite tart enough add a little white wine vinegar or lemon juice.

This would also be good on sandwiches with lettuce.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cilantro Pesto

We got a large bunch of cilantro from our CSA farm.  Cilantro stays fresh for only a very short time.  I decided to try making cilantro pesto which I hadn't done before.  Its GOOD stuff!  If you like cilantro you'll want to make a patch of this pesto.

1 cup cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 scallions
2 tbsp almonds
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup canola oil
1 hot pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
juice from 1/2 lime

Puree all of the pesto ingredients in a food processor or in my case I used my super blender.  I served my cilantro pesto on top of grilled pork chops.  What was left, I put on salmon patties.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Poached Eggs in Tomato Stew with Chorizo & Garlic Croutons

I made this dish last weekend for brunch.  I know you're saying stew for brunch! It does have poached eggs on top and I decided that this made it a brunch dish.  It also helped that I had all the ingredients on hand.  This is a very flavorful, satisfying dish which would also be good for supper.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 pound chorizo sausage (try to buy locally made sausage from one of the farmers--it will be much leaner even if not as authentic)
3 cloves garlic
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
6 medium size red potatoes, halved and thinly sliced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes (recommended: Muir Glen)--I used fresh tomatoes that I peeled and chopped because this is the season for tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
4 thick slices crusty farm house, country style bread
1/2 cup flat- leaf parsley leaves, a few large handfuls, picked
2 eggs per serving
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Preheat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat and add the chorizo and cook, stirring frequently, 3 minutes. Remove the sausage, add the olive oil and add the 2 cloves chopped garlic, onion, celery, carrot, potatoes, thyme, salt and pepper, cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chicken broth and bring up to a bubble, turn the heat down to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.  I needed to cover the pan at this point so that the potatoes got tender.  It took another 15-20 minutes.

Fill a medium skillet with warm water. Bring water to a gentle simmer over medium low heat. Once the water is at a bubble for poaching the eggs, pour the vinegar into the simmering water. Crack an egg into a small bowl. Gently pour the egg into the simmering water. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Cook eggs for about 2 minutes for runny yolks, or about 4 for solid yolks. Do not allow the water to boil. Carefully remove the eggs with a slotted spoon to a towel-lined plate to drain.
Toast the bread in the broiler or in a toaster oven. Once the bread is toasted, drizzle with olive oil or spread with butter, then rub with a garlic clove or cheat and sprinkle with garlic powder or salt.  Cut the bread into larges cubes for the croutons. 

To serve, pull thyme stems from chorizo-tomato stew, then arrange the garlic croutons in the bottom of shallow soup bowls, ladle some of the stew on top of the garlic croutons, set eggs in place and sprinkle dish with parsley and serve.

If you have stew leftover, just reheat stew and poach more eggs to serve on top.

Adapted from the

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Radish Riata

This was a recipe that came in our JenEhr Family Farm newsletter.  I made cauliflower potato curry on Saturday for dinner.  It was very good, but I didn't post the recipe because it was on a scrap of paper that I seem to have misplaced.  Anyway I served the curry with this riata.  Its a sweet and cool and a nice contrast to a spicy curry dish, plus another good way to use radishes. 

1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and seeded
1 cup diced radishes (small dice)
3/4 cup plain low fat yogurt
2 tablespoons golden raisins, chopped *
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Frank's)

Grate cucumber into a medium bowl.  Add radishes and remaining ingredients, stir gently to combine.  Cover and chill 2 hours or overnight (if you have time--if not just eat it). 

* I didn't have golden raisins and used regular raisins.  I think any dried fruit would work fine. 

I like kitchen gadgets a lot, especially when they work well.  My husband bought this and I thought "oh yeah, right, like that's going to work."  Actually it does.  It does a great job chopping onions, potatoes, radishes, etc. and keeps the pieces all the same size.  It has two sizes-1/2" and 1/4" dice.  The catch container doubles as a measuring cup so you'll know when you have your cup of radishes. Its called the Vidalia Chop Wizard. 

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cheesy Tomato Bake

This is a recipe that was originally in a Penzey's catalogue.  For those of you that don't have a local Penzey's--all I can say is how very sad!  You can also buy their products online, but then you don't have the fun of roaming around the store and sniffing all the spices and blends.  This is a link to their online store:  The catalogue frequently has some very good recipes.  My friend tried this tomato recipe and recommended it.  I never got around to trying it, but this is the time of the year to do it.  Plus this summer we have had tons of wonderful tomatoes. 

Last week I bought 20# of tomatoes from a local natural food store.  He was selling his organic tomatoes for $1.00 per pound.  I thought that was a great price.  Of course, then you get home and have to do something with them.  I experimented making different tomato sauces and freezing them.  It will be wonderful to have these treats in the winter months. 

A fellow blogger (Spryte's Place) was kind enough to post a picture of the finished product.  Typical of us--we just ate ours.

1 onion, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons butter
3/4 C sour cream (I used Organic Valley Lowfat)

1/4 C mayonnaise
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1 C shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Edelweiss Tuscan Dream which is a lovely cheese available in the Madison area)
1 1/2 tsp 4/S Penzey's Special Seasoned Sea Salt (or whatever seasoned salt you have)
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
3 tsp Pasta Sprinkle (similar to Italian Herb Mix)
2/3 C milk
2 C biscuit mix (I used Bob's Red Mill Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle Whole Grain Mix)
3 firm ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 tsp paprika
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400F.
Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
In a medium skillet, melt butter and saute onions until tender and golden. Move onions to a large mixing bowl and add sour cream, mayonnaise, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses (or Tuscan Dream), seasoned salt, pepper and 1 tsp of Pasta Sprinkle and mix well.
In a separate bowl, stir together milk and biscuit mix to form a soft dough. Stir in 1 tsp Pasta Sprinkle.  Knead 10 - 12 times. Pat dough into bottom of 9x13 baking dish and push slightly up the edges to form a shallow rim.
Arrange tomato slices over dough. Spoon the sour cream and cheese mixture over the tomatoes, smoothing it to the edges. Sprinkle with paprika, remaining Pasta Sprinkle and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 400F for 25 minutes, until browned. Let cool 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Great warm or at room temperature.  We ate ours warm.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Risotto with Radishes & Radish Greens

I am always looking for good ways to incorporate radishes into our menu.  We are not big fans of raw radishes, but cooked ones are just fine.  This dish was a successs.  Arthur loves risotto and liked the addition of the radishes and greens. 

2 bunches radishes with green tops
5 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large clove finely chopped garlic
11/2 cups arborio rice
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Note:  I substituted 1/2 cup or a little more of Asiago cheese from one of our local Wisconsin cheese makers, Edelweiss Creamery.   

Optional: 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint (I didn't use this because I didn't find the idea until I saw it used in another version of the recipe, but I think it would be a good addition)

Separate the greens from the radishes. Wash and spin-dry the greens in a salad spinner. Coarsely chop. You should have about 3 cups--more is OK. Wash and trim one bunch of radishes. Chop radishes into about 1/4 inch dice. Heat stock in a saucepan. Put butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and radishes and cook just until onion begins to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat. Begin adding stock, a cup or so at a time, stirring occasionally while risotto is at a simmer. Continue adding stock as the rice absorbs the previous amount of liquid. Just before the last addition of stock, fold in radish greens. When risotto is tender, after 20-25 minutes, but still firm, remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and serve.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Iced Mint Tea

I served this iced tea last night to guests for dinner and everyone really liked it.  Either make ahead or have plenty of ice on hand. 

4 tea bags
10 sprigs of fresh mint
you can also use a stem of lemon verbena if its available
5 cups boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups boiling water
2/3 cups fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh orange juice

Put tea bags, mint and 5 cups of boiling water in a large covered container.  Let sit for 30 minutes.  Mix sugar and 3 cups boiling water and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Add lemon and organge juices.  Remove tea bags and add the sugar-juice mixture to tea mixture.  You can leave the mint/lemon verbena to steep.  Refrigerate until ready to drink.  Remove leaves and serve over ice. 

Donna's Oven Roasted Kohlrabli

We have been somewhat ambivalent about kohlrabli, but when I tried this recipe, we ate all our veggies and liked them! 

2 kohlrablis (about 1 pound or whatever you have)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Seasoned salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Spray a rimmed baking pan with pan spray.
Peel the tough outer skin from the kohlrabli bulbs.  Cut into 3/4 inch cubes or strips (like French fries).  Toss with the olive oil and seasonings.  Turn them every 10 minutes so they brown evenly.  Bake for 30 minutes or until tender. 

Adapted from Donna's Recipes on Channel

Stuffed Jalapenos

I rarely have enough jalapenos that I need to make any sort of recipe with them, but this time I did.  These make a great appetizer.

1 link chorizo, casings removed (I bought mine from Jordandal Farms, a local Dane County farmer)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 egg
1/4 cup cream cheese
2 tablespoon sour cream
1/2 tablespoon Frank's hot sauce (or to taste)
Salt & pepper
10 large jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded & halved lengthwise

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Brown chorizo and onion in a skillet.  Drain and add to a bowl with beaten egg, cream cheese, sour cream, & hot sauce.  Press filling into jalapeno halves.  Place on a flat baking sheet that you've sprayed with pan spray.  Bake until golden & bubbly and peppers are tender.  20-30 minutes. 

Fresh Tomato & Feta Cheese Salad

I seem to be on a tomatoes and feta cheese kick, but they do pair together so well.

4 large fresh tomatoes, cored and wedged (preferably either home-grown or from a farmers' market)
1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
Pepper to taste
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Mix yogurt & other ingredients together except tomatoes, avocado and feta together.  Pour over the tomatoes and avocado.  Let stand for a few minutes if you can to let flavors blend.  Top with feta cheese. 

Adapted from

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Feta Cheese & Tomato Omelet

This recipe makes an excellent dish for brunch.  I made it this morning when we got home from the farmers' market.  We got lovely tomatoes in our CSA box as well as basil.  I have mint growing in pots on my deck.  The finished dish was very pretty to look at and I'm sorry I didn't take a picture, but we were hungry.  Try it yourself and see what I mean!

6 eggs
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
3-4 chopped green onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 medium-large tomato, sliced

Preheat the broiler.  Beat the eggs with the water, salt, pepper, herbs and green onions. 
Use a large ovenproof skillet and heat the olive oil.  Pour in the egg mixture and cook for 4-5 minutes.  Lift the edges of the omelet and let the runny part flow over the edge of the eggs to cook.  Its OK if the omelet isn't completely cooked on top because it will finish under the broiler.  Top the omelet with the crumbled feta and the sliced tomatoes.  Put the pan under the broiler and cook until light brown and the eggs have finished cooking.  Watch carefully. 

Adapted from Fitness magazine, June 2008

Friday, August 13, 2010

Shrimp and Egg Fried Rice with Napa Cabbage

I love fried rice, but I don't think the fried rice you get from your Chinese take-away is very heatlhy.  This recipe is for a healthy version that will also help you use up your napa cabbage if you happen to have some.  If you have leftovers, it makes a great lunch the next day.

Canola or peanut oil (about 6 tablespoons)
1 medium onion
1 stalk celery
1" piece of ginger, minced

small head of napa cabbage, finely sliced
2 (or 1 large) clove of garlic, minced
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups cooked long grain brown rice, preferably made the day before and chilled
1 cup frozen peas
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3-4 green onions, sliced for garnish
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, for garnish

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok or a large nonstick skillet. Give the oil a minute to heat up, then add the onions, celery, and the ginger, and stir-fry for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the cabbage and stir-fry until the cabbage is wilted and soft, about 8 minutes; season with a nice pinch of salt. Remove the vegetables to a side platter.

Put the pan back on the heat and coat with 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic and to the wok and saute gently until fragrant. Add shrimp and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until pink. Set aside on platter with vegetables. Beat the 3 eggs. Add remaining oil to the wok and when hot, add the egg, then let it set without stirring so it stays in big pieces. Fold in the rice and toss with the egg until well combined, breaking up the rice clumps with the back of a spatula. Return the sauteed vegetables and shrimp to the pan along with the peas and season with salt, pepper and soy sauce. Toss everything together to heat through. Spoon the fried rice out onto a serving platter, and garnish with scallions and peanuts.
Quantities are flexible in this recipes.  You could also add other vegetables, such as mushrooms or broccoli.
Adapted from

Monday, August 9, 2010

Polish Sorrel Soup

This sorrel soup has a little different twist, but we thought it was very tasty.  I also like this soup because with the addition of the eggs, it has a fair amount of protein.

1/2 lb sorrel (more sorrel would be OK)
1 onion
4 cups beef broth (chicken broth would be fine too)
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium sized potatoes
4 hard boiled egg
Grate potatoes. 
Bring beef broth to a boil.
Add grated potatoes, finely chopped onion and chopped sorrel.
Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender
Add the flour to the milk.  Maker sure there are no lumps.
Pour into the soup and cook until thickened a bit.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Add butter
Pour in beaten eggs in a stream and stir into the soup.  They should mix in completely and help to make a smooth, slightly thicker soup.  
Serve over sliced hard boiled eggs.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Tomato, Corn, Basil Soup

This is a delicious easy to make summer soup with tons of great flavor.

1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
28 ounces canned, crushed tomatoes, preferably organic
1- 1 1/2 cups water
3 cups fresh corn kernels cut from the cob, or 3 cups frozen sweet corn, preferably organic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup finely chopped fresh basil (this has to be fresh--if it isn't available skip the soup until you have some)

1. Saute the onions in the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until they just begin to brown. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute, stirring constantly.

2. Pour in the tomatoes and cook covered for abut 5 minutes.

3. Add the water and corn to the soup and cook until the corn is soft and the kernels lose their raw taste, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the basil, mix well, remove from heat, and serve immediately.
Adapted from Dr.
To cut the corn kernels off the cob, I purchased an excellent gadget last summer.  The OXO Corn Stripper looks a bit like a mouse. To use it, you simply drag it down the cob and it will strip the corn into an internal container. It may not be mind blowingly technical but it does the job.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Broccoli Bread Pudding

We got some great broccoli in our CSA share.  This is a good way to use it.  Its a good dish for either supper or brunch.

2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 cups finely chopped broccoli (1 bunch), its OK if there is more than 4 cups
1 teaspoon each dried basil and dried dill
salt and pepper to taste
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup low-fat milk
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
4 slices whole-grain bread, torn into small pieces
Grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat butter in large skillet.  Saute onion until translucent.  Add garlic, broccoli and seasonings.  Saute until broccoli is tender but still bright green.
Beat eggs, milk, cottage cheese and sour cream together.  Stir in bread.  Add broccoli mixture and mix well.  Pour mixture into sprayed 2 quart baking dish.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Top with grated Parmesan cheese and bake for another 10 minutes or until mixture is no longer runny in the middle.

Adapted from CD Kitchen

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pancakes & Waffles

Today I want to post 2 totally different kinds of pancake/waffle recipes.  One is a traditional yet tasty recipe for Whole-wheat Banana Waffles.  The other is totally non-traditional and is a recipe for Broccoli Pancakes.

I made these recipes kind of in reverse.  We had the waffles (breakfast for supper) last night with strawberries and whipped cream.  Delicious!

Whole-Wheat Banana Waffles

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup oatmeal (uncooked)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ripe banana
2 eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil (or a similar light flavored oil)
1/2 cup pecan pieces

Stir together the flours, oats, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Mash banana; add remaining ingredients, except pecans, beating lightly until combined.  Add banana mixture to dry ingredients; stir until combined--do not over mix.  Add pecans and stir in lightly.
Heat waffle iron and spray with pan spray.  Pour about 1/4 cup into section and bake until brown.

They can be served with butter and maple syrup or with fresh sliced strawberries with vanilla sugar (Penzey's) and heavy cream whipped with confectioners sugar and vanilla. 

Adapted from a recipe from the Chicago Tribune food section

We had these for Saturday brunch.  They would also make a good lunch or supper dish.

Dr. Weil's Broccoli Pancakes

1 large head broccoli
1/4 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 small jalapeno pepper
1 large garlic clove, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour or unbleached white flour
1/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 pinch salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup low-fat milk
Smoked trout* (strictly optional but a very nice addition)

Cut the head of the broccoli into slices and separate florets by cutting the large ones in half so they are all more or less the same size. You should have about 3 cups, more is OK.
Steam for 3-5 minutes until crisp-tender.

Put the steamed broccoli, onions, jalapeno and garlic in a food processor and pulse on and off to chop (do not puree the vegetables). Transfer the chopped ingredients to a mixing bowl and stir in the oil, flour, dill, and salt. Add the egg and milk and mix thoroughly.   If using trout, break into small pieces and gently fold into the batter.  I used about 1/2 pound.
Smear the bottom of a large, nonstick skillet with 1/4 teaspoon of butter or butter spray and set it over medium heat for about 1 minute. Drop 2 tablespoons measures of the batter into the hot skillet, placing them far enough apart so that the pancakes don't touch, and cook over low to medium heat for about 1 minute. Turn the pancakes and cook the other side for 1 minute. Transfer them to a hot platter to keep warm while you continue making the rest until all the batter is used up.

Serve with sour cream, mixed with about 1 tablespoon of fresh dill and a couple of dashes of Frank's hot sauce.

* The Artesian Trout Farm sells very good smoked trout at the Westside Community Market in Madison on Saturday mornings.

Adapted from Dr.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chicken with Garlic Scapes & Capers

Now that I've discussed what garlic scapes are, I thought I'd share another good recipe that uses them.
2 whole skinless boneless chicken breasts, halved
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped garlic scapes
1 Tbsp. drained capers

Between sheets of plastic wrap slightly flatten chicken. In a large heavy skillet heat 1Tbsp. of butter and the oil over medium high heat. Sauté until cooked through. Season with salt & pepper. Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm. Pour off fat from skillet and add the remaining butter, the wine, lemon juice, scapes and bring mixture to a boil. Stir in capers and salt & pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over chicken.

Adapted from Mariquita Farms website, which has a CSA in California.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Potato & Garlic Scape Salad

We've been getting quite a few garlic scapes in our CSA box each week.  In case you aren't sure what they are, I found this good explanation on the

What is a Garlic Scape?
I never heard of garlic scapes before they came in our box from our CSA.  Apparently, garlic scapes are the shoots that garlic bulbs send up as they’re growing. Garlic bulbs want to become garlic plants, so they send up green things like onions do. 
Farmers harvest these shoots so that the plant uses its energy to make a bigger bulb instead of making a bigger plant. That’s how plants work. Instead of throwing the sprouts in the compost pile, our farmers send them out in the CSA boxes. I’ve heard you can also buy them at some farmer’s markets or directly from farmers who grow garlic.
Garlic scapes definitely taste like garlic, but the flavor is very mild. They’re like garlic essence, without the bite you back quality of a clove of garlic

Now that you know what they are, there's still the issue of what to do with them.  You can chop them up and use them in eggs, stir fries, salads, etc. 

I found the recipe I'm posting on a number of web sites.  Its a nice easy potato salad that I served with turkey burgers.

1 1/4 pound of cubed potatoes
2 stalks celery, chopped fine
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped garlic scapes (only use the green part of the scape)
1/4 cup cup finely chopped red onion or shallot (I used shallots)

1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup light mayonaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper to taste

Cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain and place in bowl.  Add celery.  Saute garlic scapes and shallots in olive oil for about 5 minutes until shallots are softened and scapes are tender-crisp.  Add to potatoes and celery.

Whisk together buttermilk, mayonaise, 1 tablespoon dill and mustard.  Pour dressing over potato mixture and stir gently to coat.  Garnish with remaining dill.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  If the salad has absorbed all the dressing add a bit more buttermilk. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Green Borscht

I found this interesting sounding soup recipe that called for sorrel. We really liked it and I'll be making it again the next time I get sorrel in my CSA box.

2 lbs sorrel, I used a combination of sorrel and spinach--2 bunches
2 1/4 quarts beef stock
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 potatoes, cubed
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 tablespoon scallion, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 eggs, hard boiled and sliced
1/4 cup sour cream

Bring the beef stock to a boil in a large pot. Add the onion, carrots, salt and potatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes. Cook until the carrots and potatoes are tender. Then add the sorrel and/or spinach. Cook briefly. Remove from heat and stir in the cream; add the dill. Serve and garnish with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of minced scallion and slices of egg.

Adapted from

Monday, July 5, 2010

Tex-Mex Summer Squash Casserole

We had dinner with friends yesterday. I was asked to bring a vegetable dish. Our hostess served grilled chicken, yellow rice and black beans. This was a perfect accompaniment to the rest of the meal.

2 1/4 pounds summer squash or zucchini or a combination, thinly sliced (about 10 cups)
2/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies
1/2 cup chopped picked jalapenos
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup salsa (I used a locally made fresh hot salsa)
4 scallions, sliced with the green tops
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Combine squash, onion, chilies, jalapenos, salt and 3/4 cup cheese in a large bowl. Sprinkle with flour; toss to coat. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish and cover with foil.
3. Bake the casserole until it is bubbling and the squash is tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Spoon salsa over the casserole and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese. Bake, uncovered, until golden and heated through, 20 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions and red onion.

For a milder dish, although this really isn't too hot, use mild salsa and less of the jalapenos.

Beet Green Soup

This is a good recipe to use those beet greens that come with a bunch of your CSA beets.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, halved and sliced into 1/4-inch thick half-moons
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 # potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
4 cups beet greens, sliced into 1/2-inch wide ribbons (the greens from 1 bunch of beets)
3 cups chicken broth
1 small bay leaf
Four 1/2-inch thick slices rustic whole grain bread
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over high heat until hot. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add the potatoes, sea salt and red pepper flakes, then add the greens, stirring well. Add the broth and bay leaf and bring just to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
Toast the bread, rub with some olive oil and a cut clove of garlic (or garlic powder).
Serve the soup in large bowls topped with the garlic bread and the cheese sprinkled over the top.

Adapted from

Garlic Scape Carbonara

We loved this super easy dish and between the 2 of us, ate every last crumb for supper one night last week.

1/2 lb pasta (I used Eden spinach ribbon pasta)
4 slices bacon (about 3 1/4 ounces), chopped
1/4 cup garlic scapes, cut into 1/4 inch coins
1/4 # sliced mushrooms
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

A good addition is 1/2 cup of peas.

Set a pot of water to boiling on the stove and cook the pasta. While it’s cooking, cook the bacon over medium heat until browned. Remove the bacon pieces with a slotted spoon and add the garlic scapes and mushrooms. Cook until soft (2-3 minutes). Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. (Drain both the bacon and the garlic scapes on a paper towel).
Whisk together the eggs, salt and red pepper flakes. When the pasta is done, quickly remove it from the stove. Drain the pasta and add it back to the pot, on the burner set to low. Stir in the garlic scapes, mushrooms and bacon. Add the egg mixture and stir for 3-4 minutes until sauce is thick and creamy. Don’t let it overcook or it will be gloppy. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese in, a little at a time, and stir to combine. Don’t add it all at once or it won’t mix through out the pasta as well (since it will clump).

Adapted from

Arugula, Feta & Dill Frittata

This is another tasty frittata which makes an easy supper dish. We love fresh dill and its a very nice addition to this egg dish.

9 large eggs
3 Tbs. freshly grated Parmesan
3 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about 2/3-cup)
2 Tbs. minced fresh dill
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced or 2-3 garlic scapes, chopped
4 cups packed arugula (about 4 oz. or 1 bunch), chopped

Adjust an oven rack to the upper-middle position and heat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Stir the Parmesan, feta, dill, and a light sprinkling of salt and pepper into the beaten eggs.
Heat the oil and the garlic in a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the garlic sizzles and starts to turn golden, add the arugula. Cook the arugula, stirring constantly, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, shaking the pan to distribute the arugula evenly. Add the egg mixture and cook until the eggs start to set around the edges, about 1 minute.
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the eggs are puffed and set, 10 to 12 minutes.

Adapted from fine

Old-Fashioned Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

I've posted a lot of recipes using rhubarb, but we really like it. Plus its readily available early in the produce season and rather inexpensive as fruit goes. It combines beautifully with strawberries. I liked this recipe because it has a very generous crumb topping which really compliments the tangy fruit filling.

2 pounds rhubarb stalks, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pecans (optional)

MAKE THE FILLING: Preheat the oven to 375°. In a bowl, toss the rhubarb with 3/4 cup of the sugar and let stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. In another bowl, toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Combine the fruit. Add the cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla to the fruit and stir well. Transfer the mixture to a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish.

MAKE THE TOPPING: Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, mix the ingredients together until large crumbs form. This can also be done in a food processor. If using the nuts, add at the end. You don't want them finely chopped.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the filling and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325° and continue baking for about 30 minutes longer, until the fruit filling is bubbling and the topping is nicely browned. Let the crisp rest for 10 to 20 minutes before serving.

Its good served with vanilla or butter pecan ice cream or whipped cream. I didn't have any of these things so we ate it as is. Delicious.

Adapted from Food and

Friday, July 2, 2010

Cucumber Salad

Balkan Cucumber Salad

• 1/4 cup very thinly sliced red onion
• 1 cucumber, preferably a long English cucumber (we get them in our CSA box)
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 3/4 cups plain yogurt, drain off any accumulated liquid. I use Sugar River Dairy low-fat plain yogurt, which you can purchase locally in the Madison area.
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 2 tbs. fresh mint leaves, minced
• 4 tbs. (packed) finely minced parsley
• 2 scallions, finely minced (greens included)
• 2 tbs. freshly minced dill
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

Cut the cucumbers into thin rounds and place in a medium-sized bowl.
Add remaining ingredients except walnuts, and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
Sprinkle the walnuts on top just before serving.

Adapted from The Moonshadow, a weekly newsletter of the Blue Moon Community Farm

Monday, June 21, 2010

Featherlight Buttermilk Pancakes

This recipe for pancakes is absolutely delicious. It has nothing as far as being healthy or local to commend it, but the pancakes are a wonderful treat for a weekend breakfast morning. The recipe did say to serve them with real maple syrup and I think that is essential. The season is over now for maple syrup. I bought some a few weeks ago at the farmers' market when the farmer said it would be the last time he would be there until next season.

The secret to making these amazing pancakes is the lumpy batter. So whatever you do, do not overmix the batter! You can make additions to them of fruit or nuts, but they are good even just plain.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups sour cream
2 large eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pure maple syrup, warm

Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, sour cream, eggs and vanilla in another large bowl. Add to dry ingredients. Stir until batter is just blended but still lumpy (do not overmix).
Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter on griddle over medium heat. Pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto griddle, spacing 2 inches apart. Cook until bubbles break on surface, about 3 minutes. Turn pancakes over. Cook until bottoms are golden, 3 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter, adding butter to skillet as needed.
Serve pancakes immediately with butter and warm maple syrup.

Adapted from

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Frittata with goat cheese and asparagus

Asparagus season is over, so I'm sorry I didn't post this recipe sooner. Its worth keeping in mind for next asparagus season though. Its quick, easy, delicious and uses lots of local foods. I highly recommend using Dreamfarm goat cheese if you live in Dane County Wisconsin. Its super mild and creamy and perfect on top of this frittata. I happened to have peppercorn flavor, but plain or any of the other flavors would also work well. We had this dish for a Saturday breakfast but it would also be good as a supper dish.

2 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, sliced
3-4 garlic scapes chopped, if available
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
3/4 - 1 pound asparagus, chopped
8 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
3 ounces goat cheese, in blobs
1/2 cup smoked trout, broken into small pieces (optional but a nice addition)

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Cook shallots and garlic scapes until wilted, 2 minutes. Stir in mushrooms; cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove mushrooms from skillet with slotted spoon. Add asparagus to the skillet, adding more butter if necessary. Cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Remove asparagus. Heat broiler. Mix eggs, salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Return skillet to stove over low heat. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon of the butter; pour in the beaten eggs. Arrange the cooked vegetables & smoked fish (is using) over the eggs. Cover; cook until the eggs are almost set, 10-12 minutes. Make sure that you don't overcook them. Dollop the goat cheese over top; broil until cheese is lightly browned, 2 minutes. Cut into wedges.

Adapted from a recipe in the Chicago Tribune

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

This is great recipe to use two fruits (rhubarb and strawberries) you may find in your CSA box at this time of the year, especially in southern Wisconsin. It is supposed to be a diabetic friendly recipe--perhaps because it doesn't call for much sugar. I just tried it because it sounded good--and it is!

3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups coarsely chopped (3/4-inch pieces) rhubarb
2 cups sliced strawberries

1 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut in bits
2/3 cup low fat buttermilk

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In bowl, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add rhubarb and strawberries; toss to mix. Spread mixture in an 8-cup greased shallow glass or ceramic baking dish (do not use metal); bake covered for 15 minutes.

Topping: In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture is size of small peas or process briefly in a food processor. With fork, stir in buttermilk until mixture is moistened and soft dough forms. Drop by spoonfuls in 6 evenly spaced mounds on hot fruit. Bake for 15 minutes, or until top is golden, biscuits are cooked through and rhubarb is tender when tested with a fork.

This is good served with ice cream or whipped cream. We didn't have either one and just had it as is. I think a dollop of vanilla yogurt would also be good.

Adapted from fabulous

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hawaiian Sweet Potato Casserole

I am posting this recipe at my husband's request. He's hoping that if I post it, I might make it again sometime. Most of the time I don't make a recipe more than once.

I made this particular recipe for our gourmet dining club Hawaiian dinner last Saturday. It was a dinner with wonderful foods, beverage and good company. We usually meet about 4 times a year and take turns hosting the dinner. When its our turn, we pick the theme and the recipes. Members select the dishes they want to prepare. Usually each of us makes about 3 different dishes which makes for a wonderful array of food. For this dinner, I made baked coconut shrimp, mango bread, chicken and long rice (a Chinese chicken & noodle recipe) and the sweet potatoes.

8 medium sized sweet potatoes or less if they are large
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 stick of butter (sliced into thin pieces)
1 16 ounce can of drained crushed pineapple
3/4 cup of coconut milk
1/2 cup pecan pieces

You can either steam the potatoes or cook them in the microwave which is what I did. Cook until tender, cool and then peel. Cut the potatoes into 1" cubes.
In a casserole dish that has been either buttered or sprayed with a non-stick coating, layer the potatoes in the following way:
1/3 of the potatoes
1/3 of the brown sugar
1/3 of the butter
half of the pineapple
Repeat the layers
After the last layer of pineapple, add the last layer of potatoes, the pecan pieces, and the last of the butter and brown sugar.
Pour the coconut milk over the top of the last layer.
Bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350 oven.

The coconut milk makes the casserole richer in flavor and texture than your basic sweet potato casserole.

Adapted from

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Agretti Pizza with Goat Cheese

I got a bunch of agretii in our spring share CSA box. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it. Its appearance is quite different than most other greens. "Rather rare, Italian Agretti is an inherently salty green heirloom herb that delivers a succulent texture and a pleasantly acidic tart taste when it is harvested fresh and young. Measuring anywhere from eight to twelve inches in length and appropriately named, agretti means "little sour one". This entire plant is harvested in bunches when young and enjoyed fresh or cooked."
I found a recipe for pizza with agretti that I decided to try.
This is a light pizza with no sauce and only goat cheese. You should use fresh dough for the crust and good olive oil. Bake a quick pizza crust from scratch or purchase the dough (which is what I did) and brush it lightly with olive oil when it comes out of the oven. I put my dough in a large oiled deep dish pizza pan (12") and baked it for about 15 minutes at 425 degrees.
Sprinkle the crust generously with chopped fresh herbs. I used fresh rosemary. Saute minced garlic or green garlic and 1-2 bunches of agretti in a little olive oil. When its done cooking (which is when its wilted and somewhat tender) squeeze a few drops of lemon juice onto it and stir it in. Spread agretti evenly over crust, then put lots of small rounds or dollops of soft goat cheese all over the pizza. I also added some slices of fully-cooked chicken spinach feta sausages (2 links). Bake at 350 until goat cheese has softened a bit and the pizza is smelling delicious. This took 10-12 minutes.
We voted this a great success with a green that we had never tried before!
Adapted from a recipe for Mariquita

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Salmon with Apples & Sorrel

I've never thought of combining apples and salmon in one dish, but it turned out to be a great combination along with the sorrel. I would have used even more sorrel because it really cooks down, but I only had one bunch.

1-1 1/4# salmon fillet
salt & pepper
juice of 1/2-1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 granny smith apples, peeled & diced
1 bunch green onions, sliced--use some of the green parts too
1 bunch sorrel, sliced

Season salmon with salt & pepper and lemon juice. Add olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter to a frying pan over medium to high heat depending on how thick the salmon fillet is. Saute until golden brown. My salmon fillet was very thick so I covered the pan for part of the time to help it cook more quickly. Be sure not to overcook the salmon.
In a separate pan, add the remaining butter and saute the apples and onions until tender. Add the sorrel for the final minute or two.
Serve the salmon on top of a bed of the sauteed apples and sorrel. It makes an attractive presentation. I'm sorry I didn't take a picture, but it was 10:00 PM and we were quite hungry.

Adapted from

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cinnamon-Topped Rhubarb Muffins

All I can say is YUM! This recipe is a combination of a couple of recipes I found on the web. I tried adding some lemon verbena to the muffins because I was taking the muffins to an herb society board meeting. I guess I would have needed to add a lot more because I didn't taste the lemon verbena at all. Basic recommendation--skip it and stick to the recipe.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups finely chopped rhubarb (a little more is OK)
1/2 cup pecan or walnut pieces
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients. Combine egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in rhubarb and nuts. Fill greased or paper-lined muffins cups about 3/4 full. To make it easier to peel the liners off, spray the paper cups with pan spray. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over each muffin. Bake at 375 degrees F for 16-18 minutes or until muffins test done.
Adapted from &

Arugula Salad with Pears & Beets

This salad has a nice contrast of colors and flavors.

1/2 jar of pickled beets or you could start with fresh beets and cook them. Beets aren't in season right now, at least in Wisconsin. Besides I happened to have a jar of pickled beets in the refrigerator.
Bunch of arugula
If it looks as though you won't have enough arugula, add some salad greens--preferably local
2 pears, peeled and sliced--I know pears are not in season in Wisconsin now either. I got a couple of pears at Whole Foods and felt slightly guilty for a very short time
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese--yes it was local!
1/4 cup cups toasted pecans

For dressing you can either use some raspberry vinegar & olive oil or Annie's Raspberry Vinaigrette

Adapted from

Potato Swiss Chard Soup

This soup is excellent and a great way to use a bunch of Swiss chard. We've been getting quite a bit of Swiss chard in our spring greens CSA share. We like it, but I know quite a few people who don't. This soup just might convince them otherwise.

1 large leek, sliced (you can use an onion if a leek isn't available)
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cup potatoes, cubed (only peel if they aren't organic)
2 medium carrots, cut in chunks
1 bay leaf
5 cups chicken broth
4 cups chopped Swiss chard (approximately 1 bunch), coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 or 2 links of Italian sausage, cooked and sliced (optional)

In a soup pot, saute leeks or onions, celery and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, carrot, bay leaf and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add Swiss chard, parsley, thyme and cook an additional 10 minutes. Add black pepper. Remove from heat. Puree using an immersion blender if available or in a food processor. Add the sausage, if using and check to see if any salt is needed.

Adapted from

Spring Greens & Roasted Chicken

This salad is delicious and super quick and easy if you're in a hurry to get dinner ready. It tastes as good as it looks!
1 2-1/4-pound purchased roasted chicken, chilled (Whole Foods-Madison has their roast chicken's on sale on Tuesdays)
5-ounces spring greens (about 8 cups) or a mixture of greens & lettuce
2 cups fresh sliced strawberries
2-3 ounces Gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
1/2 cup roasted cashews
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (I used Annie's)
If you have time you could cook one of Jen Ehr's wonderful chickens to use in the salad. In case you don't though, Whole Foods already roasted chicken is quite tasty. This is pretty much a local foods production especially if you used a chicken from one of the local farms. My greens and strawberries were both from my Jen Ehr CSA box and the cheese from the Madison Westside farmers' market.
Adapted from a Better Homes & Garden Recipe (

Monday, May 31, 2010

Chicken & Swiss Chard Enchilada Casserole

I don't typically think of using my greens in Mexican style dishes. I tried this out last week; naturally with my own adaptations. We like Swiss chard, but I think it might be a dish that even people who were not overly fond of the green might be OK with.

1 pound Swiss chard, rinsed well and drained (less is OK--I used 2 bunches)
2 garlic cloves, or to taste, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large whole chicken breast, about 1 1/2 pounds, cooked, boned and shredded, about 1 1/4 cups meat
12-7 inch corn tortillas
3 cups Mexican style tomato sauce
1-1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack, about 6 ounces (I used Calico cheese from Fair Oaks Farms that I found at the Westside Farmers Market in Madison--its mild and melts very well)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Cut the stems from the Swiss chard leaves and chop them and the leaves separately. In a large skillet cook the garlic in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until it is fragrant, stir in the Swiss chard stems and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Chop the leaves. The easiest way to do this is in a food processor. Just pulse a few times until they are chopped the way you want them. Add the leaves and cook the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the leaves are tender. Toss the Swiss chard with the shredded chicken and salt and pepper to taste.
I had a cut-up chicken from Jenehr that I cooked in a crock pot and then used in several different dishes. This being one of them. I used more than 1 1/4 cups of chicken. Plus it does not need to be strictly chicken breast.
Saute the tortillas in a pan that you have sprayed with pan spray, about 3 at a time.
I made the Mexican sauce out of tomato puree from Jenehr and just added some chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. You could also use purchased enchilada sauce. Spoon about 1/3 cup of it into the bottom of a greased 13 by 9 inch baking dish and arrange 4 of the tortillas in one layer over it. Spread the tortillas with half the chicken mixture and half the cheese, spoon about 1/2 cup of the remaining sauce over the mixture and cover it with 4 of the remaining tortillas in one layer. Spread the tortillas with the remaining chicken mixture and the remaining cheese, top the mixture with 1/2 cup of the remaining sauce and cover it with the remaining 4 tortillas. Pour the remaining sauce evenly over the tortillas and sprinkle it with the Parmesan. Bake the enchiladas, covered with foil, in the middle of a preheated 350F oven for 15 -20 minutes, remove the foil, bake the enchiladas, uncovered, for 5 to 10 minutes more, or until the cheese is bubbling.

This dish also reheats well if you happen to have leftovers.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Polenta with Sausage & Greens

We had this for supper last night and used our frilly yellow mustard greens and another bunch of mustard greens that we got in our spring share box. I don't think the cornmeal I used to make the polenta was local but just about everything else was. Its a very easy dish to make, but quite tasty and a good way to use a lot of "greens."

3 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 cup polenta
8 ounces sausage--I used 2 links of Cajun sausage from Jordandal Farms (you could also substitute turkey sausage)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or 2 green garlic
1/4 teaspoon hot chili flakes (optional)
1 lb mustard greens, rinsed, stems trimmed, and chopped into 1 inch pieces (I used 2 bunches)
1/2-3/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese--I got Parmesan cheese from Farmer John's at the Hilldale farmers market.
salt and pepper

In a 3-4 quart pan over high heat, combine broth, milk, and cornmeal, stirring until mixture reaches a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until smooth, about 12-15 minutes. I usually make my polenta in the microwave so I don't have to worry about it sticking or burning.
Meanwhile brown the sausage slices. Add garlic and chili flakes (if desired). Add mustard greens and stir-fry until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add a little water if they seem to stick to the pan.
Spoon polenta into wide, shallow bowls. Top with sausage and greens mixture. Sprinkle shaved Parmesan over top and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Adapted from

Rhubarb Bread Pudding

My husband loves, I mean really loves bread pudding. I wanted to make him a treat for his birthday and this is what I made. Freeze leftover slices of bread, and when you get enough, make a bread pudding. We had rhubarb from our CSA spring share so this seemed like a good recipe to try.

7 slices bread, cubed
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
5 eggs
1 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups diced rhubarb
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place bread cubes into a buttered 2 quart casserole dish. Combine the milk and butter in a saucepan, and heat just to the boiling point. Pour over the bread cubes, and let stand for 15 minutes or until the bread is soggy. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Stir in rhubarb. Pour over the soaked bread, and stir gently until evenly blended. Sprinkle walnuts over the top. Bake for 50 minutes in the preheated oven, until nicely browned on the top. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

This is good with a dollop of fresh whipped cream if you have it available. If you don't, it is still a yummy dessert.

If you don't have quite enough rhubarb, you can add a few frozen strawberries.

Adapted from All

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Komatsuna Greens in Ginger Miso Sauce

Yes, another greens recipe. We're getting lots of greens in the spring share from our CSA farm. Anyone who has ever done a spring share will be able to relate. Fortunately we really like all kinds of greens, but I'm always looking for new ideas of how to prepare them.

We both liked this greens & tofu dish served with a combination of cooked whole grain (I'm not sure what it was since I had it in unmarked canister) and whole wheat couscous. Obviously brown rice would be another excellent choice.

1 bunch Komatsuna Greens, stems and leaves separated
1 lb firm or extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon miso
1 teaspoon rice vinegar

Brown the tofu. My method is to slice the tofu and drain on paper towel. Press gently to remove as much liquid as possible. Sprinkle both sides with flour. Spry an iron frying pan with pan spray (preferably the high heat variety) and get the pan very hot. Brown the tofu until it is crisped the way you prefer it. Do not overcrowd the pan or it won't brown. Set the tofu aside on a plate to add to the stir-fry later.

Chop the komatsuna stems into 1/2 inch pieces. Julienne the leaves. Heat up a wok or saute pan (without oil) and add the almonds. Stir-fry quickly until fragrant and toasted, about 45 seconds. Remove.
Then in the wok, heat up 1-2 tbsp of sesame oil on medium heat. Add the onion, cook for 6-7 minutes or until the onion turns clear and soft. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for one minute. Add the komatsuna stems and cook for 5 minutes. Add the leaves and cook until just wilted. While the komatsuna is cooking, combine the soy sauce, miso, and vinegar until smooth and set it aside.
When the greens are tender, add the tofu and then drizzle with miso sauce and sprinkle with almonds.

Adapted from the blog Cupcake Punk