Sep
16
    
Posted (Lori) in News

BEETS

This week’s recipes are beet-centered.. Many members tell us that they never liked beets until they tasted the ones from Stoneledge. If you thought you didn’t like beets, try the ones in your share and you may change your mind

The easiest way to cook beets is to cut off the tops and bottoms, wrap them loosely in foil—I wrap a bunch, some people say it’s better to do each beet separately—and roast them in the oven (375-400 degrees). If they’re very big, cut them into halves or quarters. I find that they are sometimes done (soft when you poke them) in as little as 30 minutes, but sometimes take up to 90 minutes. I just keep checking them; the only constant I find is that if I am in a hurry and need them to be done fast, they take longer. Once they’re soft, the skins peel off easily.

Other ways of cooking: peel and boil them; peel and steam them; slice and broil them.

They can also be microwaved; there are detailed instructions here:

http://www.healthy-beets.com/fresh-beets.html

And beets are delicious raw—crunchy and tasty. I wouldn’t serve whole raw beets, but grated or slivered, they are excellent additions to salads and slaws. They’re too messy to use as crudités—pink fingers–but thin slices of raw beet are great in sandwiches and salsas

A few recipes:

The BEETBURGER recipe in Recipes from America’s Small Farms is one of my favorites. It takes a long time and uses lots of dishes (plus the food processor)—but if you make a full recipe you can refrigerate the “batter” for about a week and have fresh beet burgers several times.

Honey Ginger Balsamic Glazed Beets (The Kitchn)

Serves 4-6 as a side dish or 2-4 as a luncheon salad

1 pound medium-sized beets, trimmed and scrubbed (about 6) 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons peeled and chopped ginger 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon honey (optional) basil leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place beets in an oven-proof pan with sides, such as a cake pan. Splash in about 1/4 cup of water and seal the top with aluminum foil. Place in oven and roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Test by piercing a beet with a sharp knife — it should glide right in.

Remove beets from oven and allow to cook a few minutes, just enough to handle them comfortably. Peel beets using a sharp paring knife, or have a little fun and just slip the skins off using your hands. (A very sensual kitchen experience!) Cold beets won’t peel easily, so be sure to do this while the beets are still warm. Slice beets into chunks. At this point you have the option of refrigerating the beets until you are ready to use them.

Heat the butter over medium heat in a large frying pan and add the ginger. Cook the ginger for a minute or two, just until it becomes fragrant. Add the beets and the balsamic and stir. When the beets are hot and glazed, test for sweetness. Add honey if needed and cook a little longer to glaze. Hint: Adding honey and upping the sweetness of this dish is a good way to introduce beets to the haters.

Remove from heat and serve hot. Alternatively, these beets are also really good served at room temperature as a salad.

BEET AND CABBAGE BORSCHT

1/2 cup dried cannellini or other other small white beans

3 large beets (about 2 lbs.)

2 Tbsp. olive oil, vegetable oil, or butter

1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

1small  head green, Savoy, or Napa cabbage, cored and thinly sliced or shredded

1  tsp. caraway seeds

4 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable broth

Lemon juice to taste

Plain yogurt or sour cream for garnish (optional)

Fresh chopped dill for garnish (optional)

Put the beans in a large pot and add cold water to cover generously. Bring to a boil, cover, turn off heat, and let sit 1 hour. Drain and return the beans to the pot. Cover again with cold water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to keep a simmer and cook until beans are tender to the bite, about 20 minutes. Drain the beans and set them aside.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap the beets in a large sheet of foil, place on a baking sheet, and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. Let the beets sit until cool enough to handle. Peel them (their skins should slip off easily after being roasted) and grate them on the large-hole side of a box grater. Set aside. (Note: I like the ease of peeling roasted beets, but feel free to peel and grate raw beets – they will cook quickly enough in the soup.)

In a large pot over medium-high heat add oil, onions, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, if using, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cabbage, stir to combine, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage wilts, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the caraway seeds and beets. Stir to combine and add the broth or water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer, add beans, and cook until vegetables are tender and flavors blend, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Serve hot, with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream and a sprinkle of dill, if you like.

Makes 8 generous servings.

WARM BEETS AND GREENS (adapted from EATING WELL)

8 cups greens (chard, kale, collard, spinach, etc.) torn into pieces or sliced into ribbons

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup thinly sliced onion

2 plum tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons sliced Kalamata olives

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups steamed beet wedges, or slices, 1/2-1 inch thick

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

]

Place greens in a large bowl.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, olives, parsley and garlic and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 3 minutes. Add beets, vinegar, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the beets are heated through, about 1 minute more. Add the greens to the beet mixture toss over low heat until combined and greens wilt sightly. Serve warm.

ROASTED BEET, PEACH, and GOAT CHEESE SALAD (Allrecipes)

2 beets, scrubbed

1 bunch arugula, rinsed and dried; or a mixture of mesclun

2 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted, and sliced

2 shallots or one small sweet onion, chopped

1/4 cup pistachio nuts or toasted almonds, chopped

1 (4 ounce) package goat cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup walnut oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wrap beets in foil, and place onto a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until the beets are tender. Allow the beets to cool slightly, then remove the skins. Let the beets cool to room temperature, or refrigerate until cold. Once cooled, thinly slice the beets.

Place the greens into a large mixing bowl. Add the sliced beets and peaches; sprinkle with the onions, nuts, and goat cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk together the walnut oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper until emulsified, and pour over the salad mixture. Toss well, and serve.

SPICY BEET, ONION, and WALNUT SALAD

Adapted from Jerusalem—and simplified.

About 1 cup cooked beets, cut into wedges

About 2 cups salad greens—arugula, lettuce, mache, watercress, etc.

1 small onion or leek, sliced into rings and lightly sauted

2 tablespoons of your favorite herbs—basil, parsley, cilantro

Dressing:

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (or other nuts)

2 tablespoons crushed garlic or garlicscape

¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)

¼ cup cider vinegar

3 tbs. oil—if you have walnut oil, mix 1 tbs walnut oil with 2 tbs olive oil.,

Toss the beets, greens, onions/leeks, and herbs. Mix the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad.

ROSH HASHANAH

Only a fraction of our members celebrate the Jewish New Year; but I think the recipes are useful—and I for one like to hear about other people’s traditions. If anyone has recipes from other cultures, please send them. Our CSA is very diverse—I once counted 16 nationalities among our members—and it would be nice to share.

Rosh Hashanah, for most, means sweet food. Symbolism is big in Jewish and sweet foods symbolize the desire for a sweet year. But it doesn’t stop with sweet. The Talmud, in a rare show of humor, established a series of puns involving food and suggested including them in Rosh Hashanah meals. For example—the word for “carrots” in Yiddish is mirren, which sound like the word for “increase.” So when you eat a dish with carrots, you say: May it be the will of god that our fortunes will increase in the New Year.” The wordplay involves beets, leeks, cabbage, carrots, apples, gourds/squash, dates, and fish heads, but there’s no reason not to create your own based on English rather than Hebrew or Yiddish words. There are recipes for beets (may our enemies be beaten) above; here is one for leeks and one for sweet peppers. And a recipe from stuffed cabbage (may the new year be stuffed with joy). And finally a tomatillo chicken soup, because . . . well, chicken soup is often served on Rosh Hashanah and we have a lot of tomatillos.

CHICKPEA & LEEK PANCAKES

3/4 cup chickpeas

1/4 cup leek

1 egg

bunch of cilantro

salt + pepper

Optional: You can add a tablespoon of flour if you prefer more of a ‘pancakey’ texture, I prefer them sans flour.

Chop the chickpeas, leek and cilantro

Combine all three into a bowl and stir in one whisked egg

Add salt + pepper (and the flour if you wish)

Add a small drizzle of your preferred oil to a fry pan and spoon tablespoon amounts into the pan (this recipe will make 5 or 6 fritters)

Cook each side until golden and serve with a squeeze of lemon or lime or even a bit of Greek yoghurt

PEPPERS WITH HONEY AND ALMONDS

2-3 peppers (any color; our big bell peppers count as 2); quartered or cut into lay-flat slices

2 tbs olive oil

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 ounce slivered almonds

2 tbs honey

2 tbs sherry wine vinegar

2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat broiler to high.

Place peppers skin side up in a single layer and broil for 5-10 minutes till charred. Remove to a paper bag to steam and cool. When cool enough remove skin and discard.  Slice into bite size pieces.

In a large pan, heat oil and add garlic for about 3 minutes add almond for 1 minute add honey and vinegar mixing in, Pour over peppers and garnish with parsley season with salt and pepper. Serve room temperature.

Halupkis: Stuffed Cabbage

2 large cabbage heads, coarse outer leaves removed

2 cups rice, uncooked

2 medium onions, diced

3 pounds ground lean beef

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground

2 teaspoons salt

4 eggs, beaten

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1 (14.5 ounce) can tomato sauce (or fresh tomato sauce)

1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth (or fresh chicken soup)

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 chopped hot pepper—remove seeds to adjust heat

Remove the center core of each head of cabbage. Place in large pot of boiling water. Boil until soft, removing each leaf as it softens. Let leaves cool, then trim the thick rib on each leaf. Reserve 14.5 ounces of the cabbage cooking water.

Boil rice in a separate saucepot until half cooked. Drain and set aside.

In a bowl combine beef, partially cooked rice, pepper, salt, eggs, cooked onion-bacon mixture, paprika, and celery salt. Measure the mixture with medium sized ice-cream scoop to make each halupki the same size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

On each separate cabbage leaf, place 1 scoop of the meat mixture at the bottom of the leaf and roll, tightly tucking the sides to cover the mixture. Line the bottom of a roasting pan (not aluminum) with cabbage leaves that are too dark or to small to use for rolling. Place halupkis in roasting pan, making 2 layers.

Combine tomato sauce, broth, chopped tomatoes, and reserved cooking liquid and pour over halupki. Cover and bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Add more liquid, if needed.

They taste best the next day.

SPICY CHICKEN AND TOMATILLO SOUP

From: What’s Cooking America

2 whole chicken breasts, boneless and skinless 1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered 1 onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped or minced 1 Russet potato, peeled and quartered 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 to 2 fresh jalapeno chile peppers (stems and seeds removed) or according to your taste 4 cups chicken broth or stock 3 cups water Coarse salt and coarsely-ground black pepper, to taste 1/4 cup sour cream (optional) 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Prepare Tomatillos: Remove the husks before using, the husks are inedible. Tomatillos are very easy to cook with because they don’t need to be peeled or seeded. Their texture is firm when raw, but soften when cooked. Rinse before using as the tomatillo is covered by a sticky substance. Do not peel the green skin.

In a large soup pot (or cast-iron Dutch oven) over medium heat, add chicken, onion, garlic, tomatillos, potato, oregano, chile pepper, chicken stock, and water; cover and bring just to a boil. Reduce head to low and simmer 20 to 30 minutes until chicken is tender and the meat falls from the bone. Remove chicken from the pot to a bowl or plate and set aside to cool (when cool, take meat from the bones and shred into pieces). Refrigerate cooked chicken until ready to use.

Remove the soup pot from the heat and let the vegetables and broth cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree the vegetable and broth in a blender or food processor.

When ready to serve, reheat the vegetable soup puree over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

To serve, place a small pile of the shredded chicken into each soup bowl. Ladle the pureed soup around the pile of chicken in each bowl. Top each bowl of soup with sour cream and cilantro.

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 (15-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained

Directions

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the rice wine vinegar, canola oil, sugar, and salt and pepper.

Toss all together and let marinate for at up to 8 hours in the refrigerator before serving.

BEETS

This week’s recipes are beet-centered.. Many members tell us that they never liked beets until they tasted the ones from Stoneledge. If you thought you didn’t like beets, try the ones in your share and you may change your mind

The easiest way to cook beets is to cut off the tops and bottoms, wrap them loosely in foil—I wrap a bunch, some people say it’s better to do each beet separately—and roast them in the oven (375-400 degrees). If they’re very big, cut them into halves or quarters. I find that they are sometimes done (soft when you poke them) in as little as 30 minutes, but sometimes take up to 90 minutes. I just keep checking them; the only constant I find is that if I am in a hurry and need them to be done fast, they take longer. Once they’re soft, the skins peel off easily.

Other ways of cooking: peel and boil them; peel and steam them; slice and broil them.

They can also be microwaved; there are detailed instructions here:

http://www.healthy-beets.com/fresh-beets.html

And beets are delicious raw—crunchy and tasty. I wouldn’t serve whole raw beets, but grated or slivered, they are excellent additions to salads and slaws. They’re too messy to use as crudités—pink fingers–but thin slices of raw beet are great in sandwiches and salsas

A few recipes:

The BEETBURGER recipe in Recipes from America’s Small Farms is one of my favorites. It takes a long time and uses lots of dishes (plus the food processor)—but if you make a full recipe you can refrigerate the “batter” for about a week and have fresh beet burgers several times.

Honey Ginger Balsamic Glazed Beets (The Kitchn)

Serves 4-6 as a side dish or 2-4 as a luncheon salad

1 pound medium-sized beets, trimmed and scrubbed (about 6) 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons peeled and chopped ginger 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon honey (optional) basil leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place beets in an oven-proof pan with sides, such as a cake pan. Splash in about 1/4 cup of water and seal the top with aluminum foil. Place in oven and roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Test by piercing a beet with a sharp knife — it should glide right in.

Remove beets from oven and allow to cook a few minutes, just enough to handle them comfortably. Peel beets using a sharp paring knife, or have a little fun and just slip the skins off using your hands. (A very sensual kitchen experience!) Cold beets won’t peel easily, so be sure to do this while the beets are still warm. Slice beets into chunks. At this point you have the option of refrigerating the beets until you are ready to use them.

Heat the butter over medium heat in a large frying pan and add the ginger. Cook the ginger for a minute or two, just until it becomes fragrant. Add the beets and the balsamic and stir. When the beets are hot and glazed, test for sweetness. Add honey if needed and cook a little longer to glaze. Hint: Adding honey and upping the sweetness of this dish is a good way to introduce beets to the haters.

Remove from heat and serve hot. Alternatively, these beets are also really good served at room temperature as a salad.

BEET AND CABBAGE BORSCHT

1/2 cup dried cannellini or other other small white beans

3 large beets (about 2 lbs.)

2 Tbsp. olive oil, vegetable oil, or butter

1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste

2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

1small  head green, Savoy, or Napa cabbage, cored and thinly sliced or shredded

1  tsp. caraway seeds

4 cups chicken, beef, or vegetable broth

Lemon juice to taste

Plain yogurt or sour cream for garnish (optional)

Fresh chopped dill for garnish (optional)

Put the beans in a large pot and add cold water to cover generously. Bring to a boil, cover, turn off heat, and let sit 1 hour. Drain and return the beans to the pot. Cover again with cold water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to keep a simmer and cook until beans are tender to the bite, about 20 minutes. Drain the beans and set them aside.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap the beets in a large sheet of foil, place on a baking sheet, and cook until tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. Let the beets sit until cool enough to handle. Peel them (their skins should slip off easily after being roasted) and grate them on the large-hole side of a box grater. Set aside. (Note: I like the ease of peeling roasted beets, but feel free to peel and grate raw beets – they will cook quickly enough in the soup.)

In a large pot over medium-high heat add oil, onions, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, if using, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cabbage, stir to combine, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage wilts, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the caraway seeds and beets. Stir to combine and add the broth or water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer, add beans, and cook until vegetables are tender and flavors blend, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Serve hot, with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream and a sprinkle of dill, if you like.

Makes 8 generous servings.

WARM BEETS AND GREENS (adapted from EATING WELL)

8 cups greens (chard, kale, collard, spinach, etc.) torn into pieces or sliced into ribbons

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup thinly sliced onion

2 plum tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons sliced Kalamata olives

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups steamed beet wedges, or slices, 1/2-1 inch thick

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

]

Place greens in a large bowl.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, olives, parsley and garlic and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 3 minutes. Add beets, vinegar, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the beets are heated through, about 1 minute more. Add the greens to the beet mixture toss over low heat until combined and greens wilt sightly. Serve warm.

ROASTED BEET, PEACH, and GOAT CHEESE SALAD (Allrecipes)

2 beets, scrubbed

1 bunch arugula, rinsed and dried; or a mixture of mesclun

2 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted, and sliced

2 shallots or one small sweet onion, chopped

1/4 cup pistachio nuts or toasted almonds, chopped

1 (4 ounce) package goat cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup walnut oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wrap beets in foil, and place onto a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until the beets are tender. Allow the beets to cool slightly, then remove the skins. Let the beets cool to room temperature, or refrigerate until cold. Once cooled, thinly slice the beets.

Place the greens into a large mixing bowl. Add the sliced beets and peaches; sprinkle with the onions, nuts, and goat cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk together the walnut oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper until emulsified, and pour over the salad mixture. Toss well, and serve.

SPICY BEET, ONION, and WALNUT SALAD

Adapted from Jerusalem—and simplified.

About 1 cup cooked beets, cut into wedges

About 2 cups salad greens—arugula, lettuce, mache, watercress, etc.

1 small onion or leek, sliced into rings and lightly sauted

2 tablespoons of your favorite herbs—basil, parsley, cilantro

Dressing:

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (or other nuts)

2 tablespoons crushed garlic or garlicscape

¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)

¼ cup cider vinegar

3 tbs. oil—if you have walnut oil, mix 1 tbs walnut oil with 2 tbs olive oil.,

Toss the beets, greens, onions/leeks, and herbs. Mix the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad.

ROSH HASHANAH

Only a fraction of our members celebrate the Jewish New Year; but I think the recipes are useful—and I for one like to hear about other people’s traditions. If anyone has recipes from other cultures, please send them. Our CSA is very diverse—I once counted 16 nationalities among our members—and it would be nice to share.

Rosh Hashanah, for most, means sweet food. Symbolism is big in Jewish and sweet foods symbolize the desire for a sweet year. But it doesn’t stop with sweet. The Talmud, in a rare show of humor, established a series of puns involving food and suggested including them in Rosh Hashanah meals. For example—the word for “carrots” in Yiddish is mirren, which sound like the word for “increase.” So when you eat a dish with carrots, you say: May it be the will of god that our fortunes will increase in the New Year.” The wordplay involves beets, leeks, cabbage, carrots, apples, gourds/squash, dates, and fish heads, but there’s no reason not to create your own based on English rather than Hebrew or Yiddish words. There are recipes for beets (may our enemies be beaten) above; here is one for leeks and one for sweet peppers. And a recipe from stuffed cabbage (may the new year be stuffed with joy). And finally a tomatillo chicken soup, because . . . well, chicken soup is often served on Rosh Hashanah and we have a lot of tomatillos.

CHICKPEA & LEEK PANCAKES

3/4 cup chickpeas

1/4 cup leek

1 egg

bunch of cilantro

salt + pepper

Optional: You can add a tablespoon of flour if you prefer more of a ‘pancakey’ texture, I prefer them sans flour.

Chop the chickpeas, leek and cilantro

Combine all three into a bowl and stir in one whisked egg

Add salt + pepper (and the flour if you wish)

Add a small drizzle of your preferred oil to a fry pan and spoon tablespoon amounts into the pan (this recipe will make 5 or 6 fritters)

Cook each side until golden and serve with a squeeze of lemon or lime or even a bit of Greek yoghurt

PEPPERS WITH HONEY AND ALMONDS

2-3 peppers (any color; our big bell peppers count as 2); quartered or cut into lay-flat slices

2 tbs olive oil

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1 ounce slivered almonds

2 tbs honey

2 tbs sherry wine vinegar

2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat broiler to high.

Place peppers skin side up in a single layer and broil for 5-10 minutes till charred. Remove to a paper bag to steam and cool. When cool enough remove skin and discard.  Slice into bite size pieces.

In a large pan, heat oil and add garlic for about 3 minutes add almond for 1 minute add honey and vinegar mixing in, Pour over peppers and garnish with parsley season with salt and pepper. Serve room temperature.

Halupkis: Stuffed Cabbage

2 large cabbage heads, coarse outer leaves removed

2 cups rice, uncooked

2 medium onions, diced

3 pounds ground lean beef

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground

2 teaspoons salt

4 eggs, beaten

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1 (14.5 ounce) can tomato sauce (or fresh tomato sauce)

1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth (or fresh chicken soup)

1 can chopped tomatoes

1 chopped hot pepper—remove seeds to adjust heat

Remove the center core of each head of cabbage. Place in large pot of boiling water. Boil until soft, removing each leaf as it softens. Let leaves cool, then trim the thick rib on each leaf. Reserve 14.5 ounces of the cabbage cooking water.

Boil rice in a separate saucepot until half cooked. Drain and set aside.

In a bowl combine beef, partially cooked rice, pepper, salt, eggs, cooked onion-bacon mixture, paprika, and celery salt. Measure the mixture with medium sized ice-cream scoop to make each halupki the same size.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

On each separate cabbage leaf, place 1 scoop of the meat mixture at the bottom of the leaf and roll, tightly tucking the sides to cover the mixture. Line the bottom of a roasting pan (not aluminum) with cabbage leaves that are too dark or to small to use for rolling. Place halupkis in roasting pan, making 2 layers.

Combine tomato sauce, broth, chopped tomatoes, and reserved cooking liquid and pour over halupki. Cover and bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Add more liquid, if needed.

They taste best the next day.

SPICY CHICKEN AND TOMATILLO SOUP

From: What’s Cooking America

2 whole chicken breasts, boneless and skinless 1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered 1 onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped or minced 1 Russet potato, peeled and quartered 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 to 2 fresh jalapeno chile peppers (stems and seeds removed) or according to your taste 4 cups chicken broth or stock 3 cups water Coarse salt and coarsely-ground black pepper, to taste 1/4 cup sour cream (optional) 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Prepare Tomatillos: Remove the husks before using, the husks are inedible. Tomatillos are very easy to cook with because they don’t need to be peeled or seeded. Their texture is firm when raw, but soften when cooked. Rinse before using as the tomatillo is covered by a sticky substance. Do not peel the green skin.

In a large soup pot (or cast-iron Dutch oven) over medium heat, add chicken, onion, garlic, tomatillos, potato, oregano, chile pepper, chicken stock, and water; cover and bring just to a boil. Reduce head to low and simmer 20 to 30 minutes until chicken is tender and the meat falls from the bone. Remove chicken from the pot to a bowl or plate and set aside to cool (when cool, take meat from the bones and shred into pieces). Refrigerate cooked chicken until ready to use.

Remove the soup pot from the heat and let the vegetables and broth cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree the vegetable and broth in a blender or food processor.

When ready to serve, reheat the vegetable soup puree over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

To serve, place a small pile of the shredded chicken into each soup bowl. Ladle the pureed soup around the pile of chicken in each bowl. Top each bowl of soup with sour cream and cilantro.

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 (15-ounce) cans black-eyed peas, drained

Directions

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the rice wine vinegar, canola oil, sugar, and salt and pepper.

Toss all together and let marinate for at up to 8 hours in the refrigerator before serving.


 
Sep
02
    
Posted (Lori) in News

WEEK 13 RECIPES AND TIPS: Tomatillos, Sage, Chilis Rellenos

PREPARING TOMATILLOS—Adapted From Mariquita Farms

Before using, peel off the husks and rinse to remove the sticky residue. Other than peeling off the husk, do not peel the green skin.

Raw – Uncooked tomatillos add a fresh, tangy citrus-like flavor and are often used raw in Mexican table sauces. Finely dice or puree them.

Blanching – Mellows the flavor. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the whole tomatillos (husks removed and rinsed) and boil for about 5 minutes, until soft. Drain and crush or puree as directed in a sauce recipe.
:
Roasting/broiling: – Leaving slightly blackened skins on enriches a sauce with a smoky, woodsy flavor. Tomatillos can be roasted under the broiler, or over an open flame such as a grill or a gas burner. Make sure the heat is quite hot, otherwise the tomatillos will turn mushy before being charred.

Broiling Tomatillos FROM Chili Pepper Madness;

Peel off the outer brown skin that wraps the tomatillos and discard. Rinse the tomatillos and slice them in half. the horizontal center (not up and down) and arrange on a large baking dish. Spray or brush with oil. Place the tray in the oven, on a rack that is close to, but not touching, the flame. Broil about 8 minutes, then flip the tomatillos. Broil another 5 minutes until skin side is blistering. Remove, cool and peel.

NOTE: The tomatillos will be very soft at this point, so peel directly over your mixing bowl. Also, if you prefer to bake instead of broil, preheat oven to about 400 degrees, then bake about 20 minutes. Then proceed. They will not char, but they will be just as good.

TOMATILLO SALSA VERDE (From The Great Salsa Book by Mark Miller)

Alice Nicola sent the following recipe for salsa verde, which she’s made many times: With no pre-cooking of the tomatillos, this can be done in a matter of minutes. If you keep all the seeds in the Serrano chilis, this is going to be very, very hot—I’d remove all but a few of the seeds unless you like it scorching.

1 pound tomatillos (about 12-15), husked, rinsed, and roughly chopped

3 serrano chiles, with seeds

3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (a bunch)

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender, and puree.

Serving suggestions: An all-purpose salsa verde: especially with seafood, chicken, and rice.

Yield: About 2 cups

TOMATILLO-AVOCADO GUACAMOLE (adapted from “What’s Cooking America”)

Prep time: 20 min

1 large jalapeno chile pepper, washed and dried*

1 serrano or other chile pepper, washed and dried*

4 tomatillos, husked and rinsed**

1 large tomato, seeds removed

1 small red onion

1 clove garlic, peeled

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed and discarded

Juice of a freshly-squeezed limes

2-3 large ripe avocados, peeled, seed removed, and diced

1 tablespoons salt or to taste

* You can adjust the amount of chile peppers according to your taste—or remove seeds to adjust heat.

Preheat the broiler of your oven.

Warning: Always wear gloves when working with hot chile peppers (fresh, dried or roasted chiles). Never touch your eyes when working with chile pppers. Please don’t learn this lesson the hard way!

Place chili peppers, tomatillos, tomatoes, onion, and garlic clove on a baking sheet in a single layer; broil 3 to 5 minutes on each side until blackened. Remove from oven.

To roast and steam chile peppers. Place the blackened hot chile peppers in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap or an airtight lid, and allow to steam for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove chile peppers. Using a sharp knife, remove stems, skins and seeds (if desired).

Roughly chop tomatillos, tomatos, chile peppers, and onion. Place in food processor or blender and add the garlic, cilantro, and lime juice. Pulse until smooth.

Mash the diced avocadoes and combine with the guacamole mixture. Season to taste

and serve with your favorite chips.

TOMATILLO AND LIME JAM
Mermelada de Tomate Verde con Limon
Makes about 1 1/4 cups; from Patti’s Mexican Table

1 lb tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and roughly chopped
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
Rind of a small lime, whole or chopped
A pinch of salt

Place all of the ingredients into a saucepan set over medium heat. Let them come to a simmer and stir occasionally, letting them cook until it has thickened and achieved a soft and loose jam consistency, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Don’t wait until it has thickened too much, because it thickens considerably as it cools. Once it has cooled down, pour it into a container, cover tightly and refrigerate.

THINGS TO DO WITH SAGE

Sage has strong medicinal qualities—it’s anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial. It’s also an anti-coagulant—one website said that people who are taking other anti-coagulants should be warned. It’s also full of antioxidants and vitamin K. And it tastes good.

I’m not including ways to use sage in stuffings, potpourri, sachets—because it’s still summer and there’s not reason to make the house smell like Thanksgving. I’m fairly certain that we’ll get sage again in November.  Most of these are pickups from last year’s piece about sage, but I omitted the potato and carrot bits and added the sage-tomato sauce and the sage-infused butter

1. Sage butter. Chop fresh sage; mash 2 tablespoons into a stick of softened butter and reform the butter.  Use it on bread or muffins or over pasta. You can also add a teaspoon of lemon zest for lemon sage butter—great with fish.

2.  Sage-infused butter. Heat ½ stick butter in a pan. Add 10 to 12 sage leaves and toss for about five minutes; the sage leaves should darken. Remove the sage leaves with a slotted spoon and discard; use the butter over vegetables, meat, poultry, or fish.

3. Sage cream. Melt a stick of butter in a skillet and add 2 tbs chopped sage; sauté for about a minute. Add ¼ cup of light or heavy cream and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over ravioli or other pasta; also good with any seafood.

4. Sage chicken. Before roasting a chicken, stuff its cavity with whole sage leaves, as many as you can fit. Slide a few leaves under the skin. Dress with sage cream.

5. Sage tea. Dry the sage (see below) and crumble it. Put about two tablespoons in a teacup, and pour boiling water over it. Steep for a few minutes, then strain. Add honey, lemon, and/or ginger. Very soothing for a wore throat.

6. Sage omelette. Add 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage to an omelette; Crumble in goat, feta, or other cheese if you wish.

7. Sage-infused vinegar. Add a sprig of sage to a bottle of vinegar and leave overnight. Use the vinegar in salad dressings. There are many sites that suggest infusing oils with sage as well—but there are also reports of botulism in oils that are combined with other ingredients, so I’m staying far away for the subject.

8. Fried sage leaves. Strip the leaves from the stems. Dip them in beaten egg white and then in flour (season the flour with salt and pepper). Heat vegetable oil in a small frying pan; when it’s hot but not smoking, drop the coated leaves into the pan. Fry for about a minute, until they become crispy, then turn and fry the other side. Serve with fish, chicken, or pork, or add to salad, pasta, rice, or other grain dishes.

9. Tomato Sage Sauce—from Good Housekeeping

2 pounds ripe tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

Peel and coarsely chop tomatoes.

In 10-inch skillet over medium heat, in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil, cook onion until golden. Add salt and tomatoes with their juice; over high heat, heat to boiling.

Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring and mashing tomatoes with spoon occasionally. Stir in butter and sage.

9. Sage and pork. Rub pork chops or roasts with a rub made of chopped sage leaves, salt, and pepper before pan-frying or roasting. The leaves should stick to the meat; if they don’t add a little oil before rubbing them on.

10. Apollo cocktail

1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger. sliced
7 fresh sage leaves
1.5 oz gin
1 egg white
0.75 oz simple syrup
0.5 oz lemon juice
Garnish: 1 dash Angostura bitters, fresh sage leaf

Muddle ginger and 7 sage leaves in mixing glass. Add remaining ingredients and shake without ice. Add ice and shake again. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. Top with bitters and single sage leaf.

DRYING SAGE is so simple. Just band together the sprigs you want to dry and hang them upside in a dry place. It will take a few days before they are completely dry and crumbly. Crumble them and store in a tightly-lidded glass jar (if you store in plastic, you’ll have to use the plastic container for sage forever, because the scent is absorbed). Use for tea or in any recipe calling for dried sage.

CHILES RELLENOS

The following recipe for Mexican stuffed peppers claims authenticity.

My own recipe is much less authentic; I use mozzarella as the stuffing, and I shred it and toss it with sautéed onions, garlic and other spices before I put it in the peppers. And instead of coating the peppers with flour and egg, I dip into egg first, and then matzo meal, which is probably hard to find in Mexico. And I use much less oil—I use an 8-inch pan that fits 4-6 peppers and find that about ¼ cup of oil comes about ½ inch up the sides and that’s enough.

6 fresh Anaheim or Ancho peppers

1 (8 ounce) package queso asadero (white Mexican cheese), cut into 3/4-inch thick strips

2 eggs, separated

1 teaspoon baking powder

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup vegetable shortening or oil, for frying

Preheat the oven’s broiler and set the oven rack at about 6 inches from the heat source. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place peppers onto the prepared baking sheet, and cook under the preheated broiler until the skin of the peppers has blackened and blistered, about 10 minutes. Turn the peppers often to blacken all sides. Place the blackened peppers into a bowl, and tightly seal with plastic wrap. Allow the peppers to steam as they cool, about 15 minutes.

Rinse cooled peppers under cold water to peel off the skins, and cut a slit along the long side of each pepper to remove the seeds and core. Rinse the peppers inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Stuff the peppers with strips of the cheese.

Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with the baking powder. In a second metal bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until the whites form stiff peaks. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture. Place flour into a shallow bowl.

Heat the vegetable shortening in a skillet over medium heat. Roll each stuffed pepper in flour, tap off excess flour, and dip the peppers into the egg mixture to coat both sides. Gently lay the coated peppers into the hot shortening. Fry peppers until lightly golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes per side.


 
Aug
26
    
Posted (Lori) in News

This week’s veggie list looks like the ingredient list for piperade,  a basque dish that, in it’s classic form, includes ham or prosciutto. But I usually leave out the meat and it’s fine without it. I’ve also included some raw pepper salads—because it’s going to be hot this week—and some kale and cabbage salads that require very brief cooking or none at all.

JULIA CHILD’S PIPERADE (adapted)

6 medium tomatoes

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

4 ounces thinly sliced Bayonne ham (or prosciutto), cut into 1/2-inch squares

2 medium garlic cloves, finely minced

2 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves

1 medium bay leaf

2 medium red bell peppers, cleaned and sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips

2 medium green bell peppers, cleaned and sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips

(the frying peppers and lipstick peppers in our share are fine in this recipe)

2 teaspoons piment d’Espelette (or paprika or cayenne pepper; or chopped hot peppers, with the seeds removed, to taste)

Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. Prepare an ice water bath by filling a medium bowl halfway with ice and water. Using the tip of a knife, remove the stem and cut a shallow X-shape into the bottom of each tomato. Place tomatoes in boiling water and blanch until the skin just starts to pucker and loosen, about 10 seconds. Drain tomatoes and immediately immerse them in ice water bath. Using a small knife, peel loosened skin and cut each tomato in half. With a small spoon, scrape out any seeds and core and coarsely chop the remaining flesh. Set aside.

NOTE FROM LORI: I skip the step above because tomato skins don’t bother me; I just chop the tomatos roughly. Your choice)

Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Once oil shimmers, add Bayonne ham (or prosciutto) and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon and reserve.

Return pan to heat, add 2 teaspoons oil, and, once heated, add garlic and onion. Cook, stirring rarely, until soft and beginning to color, about 8 minutes. Stir in herbs and pepper slices and season well with salt. Cover and cook, stirring rarely, until peppers are slightly softened, about 10 minutes.

Stir in diced tomatoes, browned ham, and piment d’Espelette (or paprika or cayenne pepper) and season well with salt. Cook uncovered until mixture melds together and juices have slightly thickened. Serve hot.

AND AN ITALIAN VERSION

PEPERONATA (from The Food Network Kitchen)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 red bell peppers, seeded, sliced into 2 1/2 to 3-inch long strips

2 yellow bell peppers, seeded, sliced into 2 1/2 to 3-inch long strips

2 orange or green bell peppers, seeded, sliced into 2 1/2 to 3-inch long strips

(again—the peppers in our share this week will work fine)

1 large onion, sliced into half-moons

4 garlic cloves, sliced thin

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon sugar

4-5 Roma or other plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup fresh basil, leaves torn roughly

Lemon juice

1 Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. When the oil is almost smoking, add the onions. Sprinkle with a little salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the onions just begin to color.

2 Add the peppers and stir well to combine with the onions. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. The peppers should be al dente—cooked, but with a little crunch left in them.

3 Add the garlic, and sauté another 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle a little more salt over everything and add the sugar and dried oregano. Cook 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes, and cook just one minute further.

4 Turn off the heat and mix in the torn basil. Grind some black pepper over everything. Right before serving squeeze a little lemon juice over the dish.

STUFFED ITALIAN FRYING PEPPERS

from COOKS.COM

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. Italian frying peppers
1 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
2-3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg
1/2 tsp each oregano and basil (fresh is best – if using dry, reduce amount to 1/4 tsp)
2-3 cloves finely minced garlic.
pinch of rubbed sage
3-4 anchovies (or to taste)
1 green onion or shallot, minced (optional)

Sauté garlic and green onion or a minced shallot, if using, in olive oil, til very lightly browned (a teaspoon of butter may also be added to speed the browning along). Mash the anchovies using a fork, stirring them into the olive oil.

Add parsley and other herbs, heat for 2 minutes. Add bread crumbs, then quickly mix in an egg which has been beaten (using a fork) with a few tablespoons warm water. Another teaspoon of olive oil may be added, if needed, for a smooth mixture.

Add cheese and mix well; stir in enough warm water to make a mix that can be pressed into the center of the peppers which have had their stems removed, and have been seeded and cored.

Saute the peppers in a skillet with 1/4″ good olive oil with 3-5 peeled whole cloves garlic; turn the garlic to prevent browning. The garlic should just take on a lightly toasted color and will become soft, at which point it can be mashed into the oil and removed (save for spreading this on Italian bread – good before using for Bruschetta!)

The peppers should begin to blacken/brown on one side; turn them several times to distribute the coloring, keeping them always well coated in olive oil. When they appear to be somewhat tender and have streaks of browning, cover pan for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Serve right away, sprinkled with coarse kosher or sea salt.

These same peppers can be made in a similar way, except they are only cored and seeded, but not stuffed. In this case, they are served drizzled with garlic-mashed olive oil in sandwiches made with crusty Italian bread. (A few caramelized onions can also be added but this somewhat detracts from the focus on the pepper flavor).

Either dish is a good Summer meal, relatively light and doesn’t need to be served piping hot. Simply sauteed in olive oil, the plain, unstuffed peppers are very quick and easy to prepare, can be made ahead, and also travel well for picnics.

AVOCADO, GREEN PEPPER AND TOMATO SALAD, from Martha Stewart

Meatless

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lime

1 small garlic clove, minced

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Coarse salt

1 firm, ripe avocado, halved and pitted

1/2 yellow bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish

Preparation

1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and cayenne. Season with salt.

2. Scoop out flesh from avocado halves, reserving shells, and chop. Transfer to a bowl and add bell pepper, tomatoes, scallion, and chopped cilantro.

3. Drizzle with dressing and season with salt. Gently stir to combine. Spoon mixture into reserved shells. Garnish with whole cilantro leaves and serve immediately.

Per serving: 424 calories, 34.63 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 31.25 g carbohydrates, 6.6 g protein, 16.36 g fiber

CABBAGE AND PEPPER SALAD (From Natasha’s Kitchen.com)

Salad Ingredients:

1/2 large or 1 small cabbage

1 yellow or orange or  red bell pepper (or 5-6 mini peppers)

1 small head of broccoli

1/2 cup chopped green onion

Dressing Ingredients:

Juice of 1 small lemon

3 ?bsp sunflower oil (olive oil works too but sunflower is better)

1 ?bsp mayo

1 ?bsp sour cream

1 tsp sugar

1/2  tsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp salt

2 heaping ?bsp dill (fresh or frozen)

2 heaping ?bsp parsley (optional)

For the dressing: In a small bowl mix together juice of 1 small lemon, 3 ?bsp of sunflower oil, 1 ?bsp mayo, 1 ?bsp sour cream, 1 tsp sugar, ½ tsp garlic powder and ½ tsp salt (or just 1 tsp garlic salt), 2 heaping ?bsp chopped dill and 2 heaping ?bsp chopped parsley. Refrigerate dressing and start on the salad.

Wash your veggies. Using a mandoline or a knife, thinly slice 1 small cabbage and place in a large mixing bowl.

Chop 1 small head of broccoli into small peaces.

Cut bell pepper into small strips.

Dice half a bunch of green onions, about ½ cup. Add everything to the mixing bowl.

When ready to serve, pour the prepared dressing over the salad and mix well until all of the veggies are evenly coated with the dressing :) .

CHOPPED CABBAGE AND KALE SALAD

© Todd Porter & Diane Cu

The textures of chopped cabbage and kale work wonderfully together in this quick salad, with chopped walnuts and red bell pepper providing even more crunch.

Slideshow: More Green Salads

6 cups chopped green cabbage

3 cups loosely packed, de-stemmed and chopped kale

1/2 medium red bell pepper, sliced

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Zest of 1 medium lemon

Juice of 1 medium lemon

1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, kale, bell peppers, walnuts and feta cheese.

In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Chill and serve.

STIR-FRIED CABBAGE, from All-recipes.com

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound shredded cabbage

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine, or another Chinese flavoring, such as Szechuan sauce

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook for a few seconds until it begins to brown. Stir in the cabbage until it is coated in oil; cover the wok, and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the soy sauce, and cook and stir for another minute. Increase the heat to high, and stir in the Chinese cooking wine. Cook and stir until the cabbage is tender, about 2 minutes more.

s.

This week’s veggie list looks like the ingredient list for piperade,  a basque dish that, in it’s classic form, includes ham or prosciutto. But I usually leave out the meat and it’s fine without it. I’ve also included some raw pepper salads—because it’s going to be hot this week—and some kale and cabbage salads that require very brief cooking or none at all.

JULIA CHILD’S PIPERADE (adapted)

6 medium tomatoes

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

4 ounces thinly sliced Bayonne ham (or prosciutto), cut into 1/2-inch squares

2 medium garlic cloves, finely minced

2 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves

1 medium bay leaf

2 medium red bell peppers, cleaned and sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips

2 medium green bell peppers, cleaned and sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips

(the frying peppers and lipstick peppers in our share are fine in this recipe)

2 teaspoons piment d’Espelette (or paprika or cayenne pepper; or chopped hot peppers, with the seeds removed, to taste)

Bring a small pot of water to a boil over high heat. Prepare an ice water bath by filling a medium bowl halfway with ice and water. Using the tip of a knife, remove the stem and cut a shallow X-shape into the bottom of each tomato. Place tomatoes in boiling water and blanch until the skin just starts to pucker and loosen, about 10 seconds. Drain tomatoes and immediately immerse them in ice water bath. Using a small knife, peel loosened skin and cut each tomato in half. With a small spoon, scrape out any seeds and core and coarsely chop the remaining flesh. Set aside.

NOTE FROM LORI: I skip the step above because tomato skins don’t bother me; I just chop the tomatos roughly. Your choice)

Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Once oil shimmers, add Bayonne ham (or prosciutto) and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon and reserve.

Return pan to heat, add 2 teaspoons oil, and, once heated, add garlic and onion. Cook, stirring rarely, until soft and beginning to color, about 8 minutes. Stir in herbs and pepper slices and season well with salt. Cover and cook, stirring rarely, until peppers are slightly softened, about 10 minutes.

Stir in diced tomatoes, browned ham, and piment d’Espelette (or paprika or cayenne pepper) and season well with salt. Cook uncovered until mixture melds together and juices have slightly thickened. Serve hot.

AND AN ITALIAN VERSION

PEPERONATA (from The Food Network Kitchen)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 red bell peppers, seeded, sliced into 2 1/2 to 3-inch long strips

2 yellow bell peppers, seeded, sliced into 2 1/2 to 3-inch long strips

2 orange or green bell peppers, seeded, sliced into 2 1/2 to 3-inch long strips

(again—the peppers in our share this week will work fine)

1 large onion, sliced into half-moons

4 garlic cloves, sliced thin

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon sugar

4-5 Roma or other plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup fresh basil, leaves torn roughly

Lemon juice

1 Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. When the oil is almost smoking, add the onions. Sprinkle with a little salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes, until the onions just begin to color.

2 Add the peppers and stir well to combine with the onions. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. The peppers should be al dente—cooked, but with a little crunch left in them.

3 Add the garlic, and sauté another 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle a little more salt over everything and add the sugar and dried oregano. Cook 1 minute. Add the diced tomatoes, and cook just one minute further.

4 Turn off the heat and mix in the torn basil. Grind some black pepper over everything. Right before serving squeeze a little lemon juice over the dish.

STUFFED ITALIAN FRYING PEPPERS

from COOKS.COM

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. Italian frying peppers
1 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
2-3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg
1/2 tsp each oregano and basil (fresh is best – if using dry, reduce amount to 1/4 tsp)
2-3 cloves finely minced garlic.
pinch of rubbed sage
3-4 anchovies (or to taste)
1 green onion or shallot, minced (optional)

Sauté garlic and green onion or a minced shallot, if using, in olive oil, til very lightly browned (a teaspoon of butter may also be added to speed the browning along). Mash the anchovies using a fork, stirring them into the olive oil.

Add parsley and other herbs, heat for 2 minutes. Add bread crumbs, then quickly mix in an egg which has been beaten (using a fork) with a few tablespoons warm water. Another teaspoon of olive oil may be added, if needed, for a smooth mixture.

Add cheese and mix well; stir in enough warm water to make a mix that can be pressed into the center of the peppers which have had their stems removed, and have been seeded and cored.

Saute the peppers in a skillet with 1/4″ good olive oil with 3-5 peeled whole cloves garlic; turn the garlic to prevent browning. The garlic should just take on a lightly toasted color and will become soft, at which point it can be mashed into the oil and removed (save for spreading this on Italian bread – good before using for Bruschetta!)

The peppers should begin to blacken/brown on one side; turn them several times to distribute the coloring, keeping them always well coated in olive oil. When they appear to be somewhat tender and have streaks of browning, cover pan for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Serve right away, sprinkled with coarse kosher or sea salt.

These same peppers can be made in a similar way, except they are only cored and seeded, but not stuffed. In this case, they are served drizzled with garlic-mashed olive oil in sandwiches made with crusty Italian bread. (A few caramelized onions can also be added but this somewhat detracts from the focus on the pepper flavor).

Either dish is a good Summer meal, relatively light and doesn’t need to be served piping hot. Simply sauteed in olive oil, the plain, unstuffed peppers are very quick and easy to prepare, can be made ahead, and also travel well for picnics.

AVOCADO, GREEN PEPPER AND TOMATO SALAD, from Martha Stewart

Meatless

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lime

1 small garlic clove, minced

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Coarse salt

1 firm, ripe avocado, halved and pitted

1/2 yellow bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish

Preparation

1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and cayenne. Season with salt.

2. Scoop out flesh from avocado halves, reserving shells, and chop. Transfer to a bowl and add bell pepper, tomatoes, scallion, and chopped cilantro.

3. Drizzle with dressing and season with salt. Gently stir to combine. Spoon mixture into reserved shells. Garnish with whole cilantro leaves and serve immediately.

Per serving: 424 calories, 34.63 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 31.25 g carbohydrates, 6.6 g protein, 16.36 g fiber

CABBAGE AND PEPPER SALAD (From Natasha’s Kitchen.com)

Salad Ingredients:

1/2 large or 1 small cabbage

1 yellow or orange or  red bell pepper (or 5-6 mini peppers)

1 small head of broccoli

1/2 cup chopped green onion

Dressing Ingredients:

Juice of 1 small lemon

3 ?bsp sunflower oil (olive oil works too but sunflower is better)

1 ?bsp mayo

1 ?bsp sour cream

1 tsp sugar

1/2  tsp minced garlic

1/2 tsp salt

2 heaping ?bsp dill (fresh or frozen)

2 heaping ?bsp parsley (optional)

For the dressing: In a small bowl mix together juice of 1 small lemon, 3 ?bsp of sunflower oil, 1 ?bsp mayo, 1 ?bsp sour cream, 1 tsp sugar, ½ tsp garlic powder and ½ tsp salt (or just 1 tsp garlic salt), 2 heaping ?bsp chopped dill and 2 heaping ?bsp chopped parsley. Refrigerate dressing and start on the salad.

Wash your veggies. Using a mandoline or a knife, thinly slice 1 small cabbage and place in a large mixing bowl.

Chop 1 small head of broccoli into small peaces.

Cut bell pepper into small strips.

Dice half a bunch of green onions, about ½ cup. Add everything to the mixing bowl.

When ready to serve, pour the prepared dressing over the salad and mix well until all of the veggies are evenly coated with the dressing :) .

CHOPPED CABBAGE AND KALE SALAD

© Todd Porter & Diane Cu

The textures of chopped cabbage and kale work wonderfully together in this quick salad, with chopped walnuts and red bell pepper providing even more crunch.

Slideshow: More Green Salads

6 cups chopped green cabbage

3 cups loosely packed, de-stemmed and chopped kale

1/2 medium red bell pepper, sliced

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Zest of 1 medium lemon

Juice of 1 medium lemon

1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, kale, bell peppers, walnuts and feta cheese.

In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Chill and serve.

STIR-FRIED CABBAGE, from All-recipes.com

1 taWblespoon vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound shredded cabbage

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine, or another Chinese flavoring, such as Szechuan sauce

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook for a few seconds until it begins to brown. Stir in the cabbage until it is coated in oil; cover the wok, and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the soy sauce, and cook and stir for another minute. Increase the heat to high, and stir in the Chinese cooking wine. Cook and stir until the cabbage is tender, about 2 minutes more.

s.


 
Aug
17
    
Posted (Lori) in News

SO MUCH EGGPLANT SO MANY RECIPES

I spoke to Deborah Kavakos a few days ago and she told me that the fields are still full of eggplant and that it’s going to keep coming. So I’ve experimenting with my own—I got a few extra last week

I deal with eggplants three ways: I roast them and use the pulp; I cube or dice them and either sauté or steam the cubes/dice; or I slice them and broil the slices. I very rarely bread them and fry them for eggplant parmesan—I think that’s a real chore.  Here are tips and recipes for all three mthods.

(I just thought of a fourth way—I dip them in a flour-and-water batter and fry them. I just mix about ¼ cup of flour with about 1/8 cup of water and mix until the batter is smooth and thick enough to stick to 1/8” thick slices of eggplant (or squash or mushrooms). Heat a few tablespoons of oil on a skiller—not for deep frying just enough to come about half-way up the 1/8” slice. When the oil is hot but not smoking lay the eggplant slices on it in one layer. Fry until one side is done maybe a minute not more than two minutes; then flip and fly the other side. The whole thing takes less than five minutes. Drain on paper towels, add salt and eat hot.)

PULP

When eggplants are subjected to high heat, their insides turn soft and mushy and for some reason smoky. This pulp is not pretty, but it’s delicious, low-carlorie, full of antioxidants and many recipes are based on it.

There are several ways to turn an eggplant into pulp:

–Prick it with a fork wrap it in foil loosely place it in a 400 degree oven and leave it there for about an hour until it collapses and the skin is black. Allow to cool split and then scrape out the pulp

–OR don’t wrap in foil just put in on a baking sheet;

–OR—cut it in half brush the exposed flesh with oil place face down on a cookie sheet as above

–OR—impale on a knife or skewer and hold over a flame until blackened and soft (I’m including this one because it’s on a lot of websites, but it sounds like a good way to burn your fingers and drop your eggplant into the fire).

Once you’ve scraped the pulp—don’t worry if you get a few bits on skin—you can freeze it or use it any of these recipes; the flesh will last for a couple of days in a tightly closed plastic bag or container. Some of these are repeats, but I thought we should have all our eggplant recipes in one place:

BABAGANOUSH: To the pulp from one large eggplant add (more or less to taste)

1 tbs mashed, crushed or minced garlic

1 tsp lemon juice

Salt and cayenne pepper

¼ cup tahini paste

Mash it all up or if you want a smoother texture (and don’t hate washing the food processor as much as I do)—whirl in a food processor for a few seconds.

ABUGANOUSH, a variation on the baba variety: Instead of puree-ing the pulp, chop it roughly and combine with

A diced tomato

A diced cucumber

A diced pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley an

A diced onion or scallion.

Drizzle in some olive olive and season with salt, pepper, and cumin.

THAI EGGPLANT DIP: While you’re puree-ing the pulp, add:

2 tablespoons of finely minced fresh ginger

1-2 tablespoons soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil (start with one tablespoon and add more to taste).

Sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped parsley.

BAGNACAUDAGANOUSH: I just made this one up, and it’s pretty good: Puree the pulp with:

several cloves of garlic—roasted garlic is even better

2-3 anchovy fillets.

Add oil to get the concistency you want. You probably won’t need salt—the anchovies are very salty.

BAKLAZHANNAIA IKRA (POOR MAN’S CAVIAR). The New York Times

Adapted from “Recipes: Russian Cooking” (Time-Life Books, 1969)

Scrape the pulp from 1 large, roasted eggplant and set aside.

1 cup finely chopped onions

6 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper

1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons salt

Black pepper

2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Dark rye or pumpernickel or sesame-seed crackers, for serving.

1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake the eggplant on a baking sheet in the center of the oven, turning it over once or twice, until it is soft and its skin is charred and blistered, about 1 hour.

In a skillet, cook the onions in 4 tablespoons oil over medium heat until they are soft but not brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the green pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes longer. With a rubber spatula, scrape the contents of the skillet into a mixing bowl.

Chop the eggplant pulp into a mixing bowl and stir in the tomatoes, sugar, salt and a few grindings of black pepper. Mix together thoroughly. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet over moderate heat and pour in the eggplant mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then turn the heat to low, cover the skillet, and simmer for 1 hour.

Uncover and cook 30 minutes, stirring from time to time, until all the moisture in the pan has evaporated and the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape in a spoon. Stir in 2 tablespoons lemon juice and taste for seasoning, adding salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Transfer the “caviar” to a mixing bowl and chill, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to serve. Serve on squares of bread or on sesame-seed crackers.

Yield: 3 cups.

PUNJABI EGGPLANT & TAMARIND (BAARTA) from: Jonathan Kandell

An adaptation of Siri Ved Kaur’s recipe for Baarta, northern indian roasted eggplant and tamarind, which turned out delicious.

The flavors mix really well.

Note from Lori—this sounds like a lot of trouble, but I thought some of you might have tamarind in your pantries.

To the pulp of 3 eggplants, add:

2 onions, sliced into thin  rings

5 cloves garlic, minced

1.5 t turmeric

1 t crushed red chile

1/2 t ground cumin

3/4 t black pepper

1 T ground corriander

2-3 ripe tomatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 C frozen peas

1 T tamarind concentrate*

4 T fresh lemon juice

1/2 C cilantro

[* Tamarind concentrate is available in Indian and Middle Eastern stores.

Don't buy the blocks of tamarind pulp by mistake as it's a pain to use].

Mix all the spices and crush them. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until soft, then add all the spices and heat until they begin to sizzle. Add the tomatoes and peas and continue cooking, stirring frequently until the tomatoes are dissolved and the mixture has a saucy consistency.(You may have to add a little water to prevent scorching.)

Mix the lemon juice and tamarind until smooth.

Add into the onion/tomato mixture.

Add the eggplant pulp to the pan; mix thoroughly. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve warm or at room temperature.

EGGPLANT DIP WITH YOGURT (BORANI-E BADEMJAN)

Author Notes: Lightly adapted from Claudia Roden’s The New Book of Middle Eastern Food – Nicholas Day

To the pulp of two eggplants add:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup yogurt

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 clove of garlic, crushed (optional)

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped (optional)

Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in the parsley or mint, if using. Taste again. Serve.

EGGPLANT RISOTTO

Contributed by Jonathan Justus

Puree  the pulp of one large eggplant

In a large skillet. Heat:

2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Add

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons minced shallot

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 1/2 cups arborio rice (10 ounces)

Cook stirring un

1/4 cup dry white wine

3 cups hot vegetable stock or broth

1/4 cup heavy cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Ground sumac (optional)

Puree the eggplant until creamy.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter and oil. Add the onion, shallot, garlic and rice and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it is absorbed. Add the vegetable stock, 1/2 cup at a time; stir constantly until it is absorbed before adding more. Cook until the rice is al dente, 20 minutes total.

Stir in the eggplant puree and the cream and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and scallions. Spoon the risotto into bowls, sprinkle with sumac and serve.

EGGPLANT PASTA SAUCE

In a saucepan, combine the pulp of large eggplant with:

3 cups of your favorite tomato sauce

Sauteed or roasted vegetables

Your favorite herbs and spice

Stir until combined and hot. Serve over pasta, sprinkled wi9th parmesan cheese

CUBED EGGPLANT: STEAMED

EGGPLANT COMPOTE, Joël Robuchon

ACTIVE: 15 MIN

TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN

SERVINGS: Makes 3 1/2 cups

Joël Robuchon ingeniously softens spongy eggplant by steaming it instead of sautéing it in oil. “Usually, cooked eggplant absorbs so much oil and becomes full of fat,” he says.

1 1/2 pounds eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

3 medium tomatoes, coarsely grated on a box grater

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika

1/4 cup tomato sauce, such as marinara or canned tomato puree

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Set the diced eggplant in a steamer basket. Set the basket over 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer. Cover and steam the eggplant until tender, 12 minutes; drain well.

In a large skillet, combine the tomatoes with the garlic, cumin and paprika and simmer over moderate heat until thickened, 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and the eggplant and simmer, gently stirring a few times, until the eggplant is flavored with the sauce, 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper; add the lemon zest, cilantro and parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Make Ahead The compote can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Notes One Serving 39 cal, 0 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 9 gm carb, 4 gm fiber, 2 gm protein.

CUBED EGGPLANT, SAUTEED

TUNISIAN EGGPLANT — From “Still Life With Menu” by Mollie Katzen
(recipe re-printed with author’s permission)

Preparation Time: About 40 minutes
Yield: Appetizer for six

Here is a South Mediterranean version of eggplant caponata (the famous Italian eggplant salad) featuring two outstanding guest stars: green olives and marinated artichoke hearts. It is so good it must be served as a course unto itself, accompanied by wedges of pita bread. (If you serve it with anything else, the other dish, no matter how good, might go unnoticed. *Ed Note: That is the TRUTH.)

It keeps beautifully, so go ahead and make it three or four days ahead of time, if that is most convenient for you.

1/4 cup olive oil (or more, as needed)
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
2 to 3 medium-sized cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more, to taste)
1 large eggplant (peeling optional), cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup small pitted green olives
1 small jar (6 ounce) marinated artichoke hearts (drained, each piece cut into 2 or 3 smaller pieces)
pinches of dried tarragon, basil and/or oregano (optional)

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic and salt, and sauté over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent (5 to 8 minutes).
  2. Add the eggplant cubes, stir and cover. Cook until the eggplant is very well done (15 to 20 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add small amounts of additional oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed to prevent sticking.
  3. Stir in tomato paste and vinegar, and heat to the boiling point. Add the olives and remove from heat.
  4. Stir in the artichoke hearts, then cool to room temperature. Taste to adjust the seasonings, adding the optional herbs, if desired.
  5. Cover tightly and chill. Serve cold or at room temperature.

BROILED SLICED EGGPLANT

EGGPLANT SALAD WITH WALNUTS

Contributed by Dmitry Leonov

TOTAL TIME: 35 MIN

SERVINGS: 8

Terrific as a salad or a spread for flatbread, adzhapsandali is like a Georgian version of ratatouille. Grilling the eggplant gives the dish a luscious, smoky flavor.

Two 1-pound eggplants, sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick drizzle or brushed with oil.

1 large jalapeño

Vegetable oil, for brushing

Salt

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

5 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 small red onion, thinly sliced into rings

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Grilled flatbread, for serving

Broil  the eggplant until nicely charred and tender, about 4 minutes per side.

NOTE: Don’t let the oiled eggplant get too close to the broiling element (as I did) or it will catch fire (as mine did).

Transfer the eggplant to a work surface and let cool. Broil or sauté the jalapeño, turning, until charred and almost tender, about 4 minutes. Peel and seed the jalapeño, then finely chop it. Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch dice.

In a large bowl, combine the cilantro, vinegar and garlic. Add the eggplant, jalapeño, tomatoes and onion, season with salt and toss. Garnish with the walnuts and serve with grilled flatbread.

Make Ahead The salad can stand at room temperature for up to 1 hour.

Broiled Eggplant Sandwiches

Really, that’s the whole recipe—a couple of slices of broiled eggplant between slices of brea. The oil an smokiness seep into the bread and make the whole thing delicious. Ypu can add other broile vegetables—onions, squas, mushrooms, peppers—or condiments (horseradish sauce is nice) or chese. But plain is just fine.


 
Aug
12
    
Posted (Lori) in News

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BROILING PEPPERS

A lot of you probably already know about broiled peppers, but if you’ve never done it, it’s going to be a revelation. The big, meaty peppers we’re getting this week are perfect for broiling. Red and yellow ones are best, but even green peppers take on a whole new level of sweetness when broiled. For some reason, these are often called roasted peppers, even when they are cooked in the broiler. Some people achieve the same effect by holding the pepper over an open flame and turning it until it chars; I always burn my fingers when I try to do it that way.

Broiling peppers is easy. Cut them in half, scoop out the seeds and flatten them slightly. Place them on a cookie sheet, skin side up, close but not touching. Place them under a broiler—close to the flame but not touching. Broil for about 5 minute, then keep checking them. When the skin is black and blistered, take them out and let them cool. The skin will peel off easily, The flesh is now soft and juicy. I eat these just as they are; some people toss them with oil and vinegar. They’re a great side dish all by themselves, but also can be added to salads, soups, and pasta. Pureed, with a little cream, they’re an amazing dip. Thin it a little, and you have a soup that is incredibly flavoful, low-cal, and low-cost

Broiled peppers—or the dips and soups—freeze well. The texture is not as good when they’re thawed, but they’re still fine for pureeing.

BROILED PEPPER DIP—makes about ½ cup

Flesh from two large peppers—red, green, yellow, or a mixture

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon vinegar—red, balsamic, or any flavorful vinegar

2 tablespoons sour cream

Salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Put everything into a food processor and pulse until smooth.

VARIATIONS:

–Add capers or olives before you puree or chop them into the finished dip

–Add a handful of chopped nuts, either before or after pureeing

–Season with soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce

–Add chopped garlic or chives (even leeks or onions); herbs such as thyme, basil and summer savory are also good additions

–Thin with milk, cream, or vegetable stock to make a soup; serve hot or cold, with croutons or chopped vegetables.

SAVING TOMATOES

There’s a limit to how many fresh tomatoes we can eat and some of us are bumping up against it. But tomatoes are the perfect candidates for preservation. They can be preserved by small-batch canning methods—and won’t take up freezer space—or slow-roasted until they are condensed into tiny packages of deep, rich tomato flavor that can fit into corners of an already-stuffed freezer.

SLOW ROASTING:

Oil a large cookie sheet. Full disclosure: I usually line it with foil to avoid the messy cleanup, which is a very unsustainable thing to do.

Slice tomatoes into ½-inch rounds. Smaller tomatoes can be cut in half, the bigger ones should be cut into slices. You can cut out the cores before or after roasting. Place the tomatoes on the oiled pan, packing as closely as possible. It’s ok to overlap a bit because they will shrink as they roast.

Drizzle a bit of oil over the tomatoes; I use about 2 tbs for a big sheet. A misto is perfect for this. Sprinkle kosher salt (or whatever salt you have) over the tomatoes, just a few grains on each slice. I usually sprinkle a bit of brown sugar (again, just a few grains on each tomato slice, maybe 1 tbs for the entire sheet) as well. Then put a tiny bit of basil (thyme or parsley or a combination are also good) on each piece.

Put the cookie sheets in the oven at low temperature—150 to 200 degrees, depending on how low your oven goes. Leave them for several hours or overnight (in my tiny apartment, the fragrance reaches every corner and I dream about picking tomatoes and basil; neighbors sometimes ring my bell and ask for some). When they’re done—which will depend on the thickness of the tomatoes and the temperature of your oven—they will be shriveled and much smaller, but not burnt (except for the ones that you cut too thin). Let them cool, use what you need now and transfer the rest to small ziplock bags and freeze—remove skins and cores at this point if you haven’t already done it. Don’t forget to capture the juice—use in a vinaigrette or soup. Or put it in a bowl and dunk bread in it—it will be gone in no time.

TOMATO SAUCE

There are many ways to make tomato sauce; here are two recipes I’ve used.

1. From The Guardian. You’ll find lots of options/variations on their website:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2013/aug/01/how-to-make-perfect-tomato-sauce

About 2 pounds of ripe fresh tomatoes

2 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp sugar, preferably brown

Dash of red-wine vinegar

3 stems of fresh basil

Drop the tomatoes into a pot of boiling water and leave for about a minute, until the skins split. Lift out and peel, then roughly chop.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan on a medium-low heat and add the chopped onion. Soften for about five to seven minutes, until translucent but not coloured. Stir in the garlic and cook for another two minutes.

Add the tomatoes, and break up with a wooden spoon if necessary, then add the sugar, vinegar and the stems of the basil, reserving the leaves. Season lightly.

Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick.

Test the seasoning, add the basil leaves, roughly torn.

2. From Food52.com; this is Marcella Hazan’s recipe, with some additional notes;

2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes, prepared as described below

5 tbs unsaled butter

1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half

Salt to taste

Put the prepared fresh in a saucepan, add the butter, onion, and salt, and cook uncovered at a very slow, but steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until it is thickened to your liking and the fat floats free from the tomato.

Stir from time to time, mashing up any large pieces of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon.

Taste and correct for salt. Discard the onion before tossing with pasta. Serve with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese for the table.

Making Fresh Tomatoes Ready for Sauce

fresh, ripe plum tomatoes (or other varieties, if they are equally ripe and truly fruity, not watery)

The blanching method: Plunge the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute or less. Drain them and, as soon as they are cool enough to handle, skin them, and cut them into coarse pieces.

The freezing method (from David Tanis, via The Kitchn): Freeze tomatoes on a baking sheet until hard. Thaw again, either on the counter or under running water. Skin them and cut them into coarse pieces.

The food mill method: Wash the tomatoes in cold water, cut them lengthwise in half, and put them in a covered saucepan. Turn on the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Set a food mill fitted with the disk with the largest holes over a bowl. Transfer the tomatoes with any of their juices to the mill and puree.

AFTER THE SAUCE IS MADE

Sauces will last in tightly covered containers for about two weeks. Or, you can preserve for up to six months in a steam canner. I’m not going to tell you how to do it and I’m not going to tell you that there are not risks involved. Here are the official USDA site that gives instructions, that shoud be followed carefully:

http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html

CHOPPED SALADS AND SALSAS

We have everything we need for chopped salads and salsas in our shares tonight; all you need is a sharp knife, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. The onions, peppers (including a little bit of hot pepper if you like some heat), tomatoes, leeks, and cucumbers can be chopped into small dice. A splash of vinegar and oil, salt and pepper—and you have a great appetizer or side salad. The summer savory can be added as well.

CUCUMBERS

I never have trouble using up my cucumbers; mostly I eat them fresh. I’m also not above sandwiching tuna salad between cucumber slices. And when my eyes are tired, a slice of cucumber placed over each eyelid does wonders. But we’re getting a lot of cucumbers this week, so here’s an idea from Bon Appetit.:

CUCUMBER POPS

1 large cucumber (10–12 oz.), peeled

1 cup simple syrup (1/2 cup sugar dissolved in 1 cup boiling water)

? cup fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger

Purée cucumber with simple syrup, lime juice, and ginger until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup, divide among ice-pop molds, insert sticks, and freeze until solid, at least 6 hours.

SHAKSHUKA (Shock-SHOE-kuh)

In Israel, and throughout the Middle East, this recipe is as common as mac ‘n’ cheese is in America. No one shops for the ingredients—you use what’s in the refrigerator. Tomatoes and eggs are the only constants. Lately, I’ve seen this dish popping up in recipe columns and restaurants, usually with complicated ingredient lists and instructions. But it can be made simply and with whatever you happen to have.

1. Heat oil in a large skillet (for a 4-serving recipe, an 11-inch skillet; for one or two servings, an 8 or 9-inch skillet is enough). Add chopped garlic, onion/leek/shallot/scallion and herbs/spices (cumin is often recommended) to flavor the oil. I’m not going to give quantities—use whatever feels right or whatever you happen to have). Saute for a minute or two.

2. Chop whatever vegetables you have and add to the mix; eggplant, summer squash, mushrooms, peppers, greens. If you’re using firmer vegetables, such as carrots, put them in first and give them more time. Eggplant also needs more time to lose its sponginess. The greens can be added in the last minute or two. Cook the vegetables, stirring every minute or so, until they are all soft. Add 1/4-½ cup of vegetable stock or water if it starts to stick.

3. Add two large tomatoes, chopped (about a pound for two servings, 2 pounds for 4 servings). Stir until the tomatoes lose their shape and the whole things because sauce-y. It needs to be fairly loose—add some broth/water if it’s too thick to hold the eggs that will be added in the last step.

Or, instead of adding fresh tomatoes, you can add about 3-4 cups of fresh or canned tomato sauce or tomatoes. It’s easier, but with all the fresh tomatoes we have, I would just use the fresh ones.

4. Add salt, pepper, and other herbs and spices to taste. Stir and adjust liquid. You might also add grated cheese at this point.

5. Crack one or two eggs for each serving into the hot mixture. The eggs will begin to set right away. It will take about 4-5 minutes until they are fully poached. By this time, the vegetable mixture will be firm as well. Cut into wedges and transfer to plates. Serve over couscous, rice, or another grain for a full meal.

You could also move the skillet into a pre-heated oven after adding the eggs, but I find that they poach just as well on top of the stove.

If you prefer to follow a more exact recipe, here is one from Melissa Clark, NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/recipes/1014721/Shakshuka-with-Feta-.html

SUMMER SAVORY

Though it’s flavor is somewhat like that of thyme, it’s stronger, so use just a little. It dries very well—just tie a few sprigs together and hang them upside down in a dry place. You can use the dried leaves in potpourri. Use fresh or dry leaves to flavor vinegars, herb butters (soften a stick of butter, mix in chopped leaves, and remold; spread on bread or use over vegetables. It’s great in any vegetable dish that calls for thyme—just cut the quantity in half. ]